Although generally easy-going, Erich tends to prefer his own company. He tends to say little unless absolutely sure of his facts, and prefers to reach his own conclusions, even if he does take longer than most to arrive at them.
Erich has travelled up and down the River Reik and its tributaries ever since childhood. His family was killed by bandits when he was little more than a child, and he has grown used to relying on his own skills. A Boatman’s life has suited Erich’s temperament, with its outdoor life and chance to keep on the move. But the opportunities for money-making are somewhat limited, and since Erich has never owned anything bigger than a rowing boat he has been forced to hire out his services to other barge owners, ferrying passengers and small cargoes between the Reikland settlements.
Now, at the age of thirty-five, Erich has decided that he’s had enough of making money for other people; it’s time to strike out on his own and seek fame and fortune as an adventurer. Accordingly, he sold his rowing boat to his current employer and, somewhere on the road outside the town of Delberz, he fell in with a group of adventurers headed for Altdorf – glittering capital of The Empire …
Like most Halflings, Jack has an insatiable curiosity and an almost child-like cheerfulness. After all his travels, however, if there is one thing that makes him see red, it’s the usual Human assumption that the only thing Halflings are good for is cooking.
Jack was brought up in the small, Halfling village of Barliton on the border of Mootland. His mother is a Herbalist, his father a Baker, which led to many disputes as to the course his future should follow. Jack’s first love is undoubtedly food, but he prefers others to cook it! In the end, he decided to leave home to see The Empire and to let the future take care of itself. He travelled through Wurtbad, but didn’t spend much time there, since nearly everyone he met tried to employ him as a cook. After that, he worked as an assistant to a Herbalist in Käserburg for a while, but as he wasn’t given much to do other than cook, he left after only a few weeks.
As Jack passed through the town of Delberz, he couldn’t help spotting an advertisement for adventurers, and since he is a firm believer in the principle of “nothing ventured, nothing gained” he decided to head for Altdorf to apply for the job. En route, he stayed at a coaching inn called the Traveller’s Rest where he met Matthias, a young giant of a labourer, grown restless in his workman’s life and eager for action. The two hit it off almost at once, and decided to try their luck together …
Full of self-confidence, Axel possesses a bold – some would say dangerous – sense of humour. He loves practical jokes and this has often got him into hot water. Nor is he hampered by a nagging conscience. It’s not that he’s actually dishonest, but if an opportunity presents itself, he does not fail to take it.
Brought up in the seedier area of the town of Delberz, Axel is the youngest of a very large, very poor family. His parents were far too busy struggling to earn enough to feed their offspring to have any time for educating them. Luckily, Axel has always been sharp-witted, and he soon learnt that life for the poor is a never-ending battle against hunger, disease, and oppression by the rich. Accordingly, he made up his mind that since the “rules of the game” seemed to have the sole function of maintaining the status quo, he was just going to have to break them.
Not surprisingly, this soon made Axel an unwelcome person with many of the local shopkeepers. Then, after he booby-trapped a chair that was being used by the head of the local Merchants’ Guild at the opening of a town festival, he soon realised that Delberz was too small a town for someone with his ambitions. Stumbling upon an advertisement for a group of adventurers, Axel headed off towards Altdorf – capital of The Empire – where he figured his talents would be more appreciated …
Matthias is a trusting and honest individual, always prepared to give people the benefit of the doubt. A lover of the strong Reikland ales, he is slow to anger but terribly hot-headed once roused.
Matthias grew up at his parents’ coaching inn, The Traveller’s Rest, between the village of Mittelmund and the town of Delberz. His life has been easy, if unexciting, doing odd jobs about the place, helping the coachmen, working behind the bar, mending the odd broken table after some adventurer’s over-exuberant drinking bout. But recently Matthias has grown tired of hearing about other people’s adventures, and since his parents can now afford to pay someone to do his work, he has been eager to leave home and find some action.
As chance would have it, a young Halfling named Jack recently called at the inn, carrying a copy of an advertisement from some Noble looking for adventurers. Seeing this as a golden opportunity, Matthias asked Jack if he would mind his company on the road. Jack was excited to accept his offer, and so the two of them set off together for the famous City of Altdorf – glittering capital of The Empire …