Alvaro Sarysse

A learned man of mercantile upbringing and Chessentan descent, trained in upholding the sanctity of the mind.

Description:
Race Male Human Ethos Twilight
Role Adept 6 Virtue Resolute
Culture Contemplative Vice Censorious
Origin Chessenta Conviction 5
Religion Assuran/Hoar, Savras Core Ability Fearless
Languages: Common, Undercommon, Chessentan, Chondathan, Untheric
Stat Value Stat Value Stat Value
Str 0 Wis 4 Speed 9 (45’)
Dex 2 Cha 0 Climb 3 (15’)
Con 0 Luck 0 Swim 3 (15’)
Int 3 Rep 2 Fly X
Combat Bonus Defense Bonus Save Bonus
Base 3 Dodge 9 Fortitude 6
Initiative 14 Parry 3 Reflex 4
Melee 5 Feint 9 Will 11
Ranged 5 Intimidate 10 Toughness 0
CMB 3 - W/ Armor 0
Power 7 - Terror 6
Weapon Groups
Attack Dmg Crit Range Special
Psychic Weapon* 6 20/3 Variable bonus
less than 2 lb object 1 20/2 4 See Move Object
Sneezing Powder -2 to rolls d4 rnds (Fort -5) 2

*Preferred forms: Scimitar (+2 Dodge until next turn or Move 5’), Staff (Improved Reach 10’ plus Cleave)

Feats
Type Feat Target Type Feat Target
Racial: Talented K:Arcana, K:Science Level 8: XXX X
Racial: Wild Talent Move Obj, Manip Obj, Second Sight, Sense Minds Level 9: XXX X
Cultural: Great Save Will Level 10: XXX X
Level 1: Body Control X Level 11: XXX X
Level 1: Psychic Shield X Level 12: XXX X
Level 1: Move Object X Level 13: XXX X
Level 1: Manipulate Object X Level 14: XXX X
Level 2: Psychic Weapon X Level 15: XXX X
Level 3: Supernatural Focus Move Object Level 16: XXX X
Level 4: Apport X Level 17: XXX X
Level 5: Widen Power X Level 18: XXX X
Level 6: Teleport X Level 19: XXX X
Level 7: XXX X Level 20: XXX X
Type Feat Target Type Feat Target
Bonus: Canny Dodge Wis Bonus: XXX X
Bonus: Mind Over Body X Bonus: XXX X
Bonus: XXX X Bonus: XXX X
Skill Total Ranks Skill Total Ranks
Acrobatics 8 6 Fly X X
Appraise 8 5 Gather Info 9 9
Athletics 5 5 Handle Animal 0 0
Awareness 11 6 Heal 10 6
Bluff 0 0 Intimidate 5 5
Command Item X X Research 3 0
Concentration 13 9 Ride 7 5
Decipher Script X X Sense Motive 6 2
Diplomacy 5 5 Sleight of Hand X X
Disable Device X X Sneak 2 0
Disguise 0 0 Survival 4 4
Escape Artist 2 0 Swim 4 4
Skill Total Ranks Skill Total Ranks
K-Arcana 10 5 C/K/P X X
K-Geography 4 1 C/K/P X X
K-History 4 1 C/K/P X X
K-Science 10 5 C/K/P X X
C/K/P X X C/K/P X X
C/K/P X X C/K/P X X

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Bio:

Alvaro Sarysse
Human male, age 28
5’11”, 170 lbs.
Native of Mordulkin, Chessenta
Primary Deities: Assuran/Hoar, Savras

Family:
Third of five children.

Father:
Adile, a Sembian merchant, former representative of a Sembian family gone native in Chessenta, a prosperous trader in textiles. Deceased.

Mother:
Ikatya, a healer and hedge-witch of Rashemi ancestry, who married for both love and money (she waited for a good, responsible prospect, then fed him a love potion).

Siblings:
Rolando “Rollo” (M), a congenial and patient man who takes strongly after his mother, heir to the family business.
Areti (F), a sharp-minded woman whose genes favored her Sembian heritage, was the family business accountant until she married, now does the same work for her husband, a trader in spices and exotic goods.
Alvaro (M), who seems to have inherited both Sembian calculation and Rashemi purposefulness.
Madina “Dina” (F), a pleasant woman of little ambition, now married to a tailor and living in Cimbar.
Lavrentia “Tia” (F) (see below).

Alvaro demonstrated unusual talents as a child; when angry, objects would move around him, although his abilities while untrained were generally harmless. His father determined to have Alvaro properly educated to exploit this gift, and sent him to the island of Praal, an otherwise unheralded rock off the Dragon Coast near Telpir, home to a monastery of the mental arts.

The psions of Praal believe in the sanctity of mind over all else, and have developed strong mentalist disciplines while shunning mind-to-mind contact. Telepathy and its descendants are anaethema, and dedicated practitioners of such arts (e.g. mind-flayers) are held to be the worst evil extant in the world. Training focuses on shielding, resistance, divination, and non-invasive (i.e. TK/Tport) mental arts, as well as physical health and the subordination of body to mind. Praal houses a shrine to Savras, and the islanders also give devotions to Tyr.

Alvaro adapted well to his new home in most respects, but his mother’s faith in the Untheric/Chessentan pantheon traveled with him, and while respectful of Savras and Tyr, he remained partial to Assuran/Hoar’s vision of discipline and justice.

His sister Tia joined him at Praal after three years had passed. She had also demonstrated some psychic ability, apparently not passed on to the other three siblings. They grew quite close while growing up at the monastery, with her quick wit leavening his overly serious approach to the world, and his stronger focus aiding her study habits.

Both returned to Mordulkin after her training was complete, but took different roles. Tia’s talents were strongest in divination, and she joined the family business as an advisor and market analyst. Alvaro’s natural strength in kinetics was less directly applicable to the textile trade, and he worked both as an agent for the family and his own freelance interests simultaneously.

Then the Black Sleep arrived…

The advent of the kinder, gentler Thay made the merchant trade harder for the Sarysse family, and in response Adile began to coordinate with his old contacts and relatives in Sembia. Over several years, his business was partially integrated into a larger network centered on the Gordolyn family, to which Adile was a cousin. As the Thayvian pressure intensified, the various Sembian merchant houses began to form loose cartels to reduce competition and better contest with Thayvian economies of scale. Gordolyn was no exception, and formed an alliance with another major house, Sanza, and several lesser families and costers.

Perhaps inevitably, given the nature of Sembian loyalties, the cartel proved unstable. Gordolyn and Sanza built little trust for each other, and the constant friction between them undermined the cartel’s efforts to maintain market share. In 1366, matters turned ugly when the Sanza, apparently prompted by major cash considerations from a rival Sembian cartel, sabotaged several Gordolyn trading vessels, assassinated the head of the Gordolyn family, and switched allegiences. Among the casualties was Adile Sarysse, killed when his best ship was explosively torched in Mordulkin harbor.

Gordolyn family influence collapsed, and the Sarysses became an independent shipping firm again, at a time when the outlook for independent firms was increasingly grim. The family economized by terminating subcontracts, selling off marginal assets, and limiting transportation to the two remaining privately owned vessels plus a third bought with the fire sale proceeds. These three ships, large enough to defend themselves on the increasingly dangerous Fallen Stars trade routes, operated with marine guards and a resident wizard at all times.

In 1371, Ikatya and Rollo ran the business, which had adopted a lower profile and restructured to emphasize north-south trade (furs and cotton) rather than the east-west trade (silk and leather) preferred by Adile. They still made a good living, but Adile’s level of success appeared out of reach with Thay so focused on economic control over the Sea of Fallen Stars.

Adile’s death created an unexpected rift between Alvaro and Tia. Tia’s sense of ethics had always drawn her toward Savras, while Alvaro’s worldview made him a strong devotee of Assuran/Hoar. When she refused his demand to divine those responsible for Adile’s demise, a deeply wounding argument broke out between them. Tia stood her ground, agonized by her father’s death but convinced that eye-for-eye retaliation would only lead to further harm for her family; Alvaro was bitterly offended that she would thwart his plans to avenge the killing. He left Mordulkin in search of the perpetrators.

Over the next three years, Alvaro hunted down and killed five key Sanza agents, taking great care along the way to ensure that this vengeance could not be traced back to his family. However, true success eluded him; the aging head of the Sanza family, Lokio, was beyond Alvaro’s power to reach, and every attempt to penetrate Lokio’s motives (simple greed, or some larger plot… and with what accomplices?) bogged down in contradictory evidence and confused signs.

Alvaro still worked for the family, although he was not often seen in Mordulkin anymore. Both before and after his father’s death, his travels had mixed purposes. Often he scouted markets for new business opportunities. Sometimes he journeyed to unusual or isolated locations for mental and spiritual enlightenment. He has made money on the side as a courier, advisor, and/or guardian. On occasion, he adventured, although only on a per job basis, never as part of a regular company. And along the way, he always acted as a talent scout for the monastery, a hunter of rogue mentalists, and a lay-priest of Hoar.

The Wakening brought much disruption to the Sarysse family. In keeping with the pattern of the Dying Dream, Adile never woke. Ikatya professes not to remember the Dream, but it seems clear that this is a lie of salvation, that her injured spirit cannot face up to the truth. And Tia woke in body, but not in mind; she will follow simple instructions, and can feed herself if prepared food is placed before her, but does not speak or acknowledge the world around her.

The other siblings have fared better, and it has fallen to them to pick up the pieces. Rollo claims to have spent the Dream sailing a grand Ulyssean adventure, but he has taken charge of the business as if he had been running it for years, and seems motivated to avoid his father’s other-world choices. Areti does not speak much of the world-that-will-never-be, but has indicated that she does not wish to repeat its choices either, and has worked with a will to aid Rollo. Dina has attempted to contact her Dream-husband, but no word of him has surfaced; she remains at home, tending to Tia’s needs and keeping Ikatya company.

Alvaro has pitched in as a temporary herald (for lack of a better term). He spent the first eight months after the Wakening crisscrossing the Sea of Fallen Stars, locating lost ships, assessing trade conditions, and generally restoring direct family control over assets and information. With much of his Dying Dream experience retained to his memory, his mental abilities have advanced rapidly since the Wakening; Alvaro’s superior mobility has been a huge boon to Rollo, who has been able to reestablish “normal” trading operations much faster than his competitors largely through Alvaro’s efforts to “fly the flag” and be an on-the-spot manager, redirecting routes and cargoes and reestablishing trusted contacts.

As the family has begun to emerge from the immediate crisis, Alvaro has become increasingly distracted by the world-that-will-never-be and its implications. Unlike his older siblings, he has not tried to put the Dream behind him, but has instead focused on it and studied it. Unlike his youngest sister, he was never a diviner, but now he has received visions and portents related to the Dream. Distressed by Tia’s condition (and worried that he may be partly responsible), concerned by the alternate history and the light it sheds on the world now, and mildly lost in the woolly confusions between his Dream experiences and his “real” weltanschauung, he has taken leave from Rollo’s day-to-day needs to follow this strange psychic trail north, to Rashemen, and hopefully to some form of salvation.

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Alvaro Sarysse

Travelers of the Path Grunthos