Sunday, May 27, 2012

Dark Corners of Mystara: New Adventurers in Karameikos

I mentioned my fondness of "the Shearing" in one of my older posts about Mystara and Karameikos, due to its rationale for creating adventurers.

Karameikans, however, view it as a Traladaran custom that was adopted by the incoming Thyatians in order to 'weed out' the less capable, less ambitious members of families, since it would be up to either the family or society to determine if the 'sheared' individual was worthy of reclaiming his name.

As intriguing as a lengthier bit of speculation on the cultural effects of this culture might be, my thoughts are on how young men and women might find their ways into the well-known adventuring classes through this custom.

Fighters


This seems to be the most straightforward, with folks who have some measure of promise in fighting ability falling into jobs that deal with protecting things, fighting people, and so on. Perhaps they start off informally, or perhaps they were already quite skilled before the shearing.

It stands to reason that certain adventuring / military / mercenary organizations would have the equivalent of a well-known recruiting office in larger cities, making it easier for would-be adventurers to sign up.

Thieves


Another seemingly straightforward option for those who lean towards stealth, slight of hand, misdirection, and a taste for less reputable means of making a living.

However, it should be noted that spies and slavers may also be viewed as higher levels of achievement in this base profession, so it may be that sheared children entering this profession may also have been earmarked for it by specific groups rather than assuming that they just accept youngsters who 'fall into' the profession.

Clerics


Perhaps the particularly devout already make their intentions clear early on. After the Shearing ceremony, it's not inconceivable that some children would go to their nearest temple and offer their services and lives to the Church of Thyatia (or Traldar).

Naturally, they must first prove themselves and be favored by their patron deities before they are granted more abilities and influence. And yet, the 'adventuring cleric' is probably unusual and reserved for those with a specific skillset or temperament. Those more skilled at administration and/or community building would likely have another 'career path' in the church organization.

Magic-Users

"Tell me, son. Do you like explosions? Can you say F'thagn?
Three times fast? Excellent, excellent..."
Karameikos has a single well-known school of magic. It seems to me that with the Grand Duke's goal of growing the spell-casting abilities of his fledgling nation, he'd want to be more proactive in grabbing potential mages from the populace. Furthermore, it seems unlikely that some child will just say: "ooh, I think I'll give magery a shot. See if I like it."

More likely, there are traveling mages who scour the countryside for young talent, hold small tests under the guise of fortune-tellers or performers, and try to bend the ears of their targeted youth towards joining the official college of magic.

And while Bargle doesn't seem to be the most likely to have string of apprentices, other less reputable mages might be sought out by souls less interested in the country's good fortune and more in the accumulation of personal power.

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That's my side of things. Let me know what you think, my friend.

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