|STRENGTH||18||+4||+6||Initiative: +0||Longsword||melee||+6||1d8+4 slashing damage|
|DEXTERITY||10||+0||+0||Speed: 30'||Dagger||60'/20'||+6||1d4+4 piercing damage|
|CONSTITUTION||12||+1||+1||Armor Class: 16 ||Javelin||60'/120'||+6||1d6+4 piercing damage|
|INTELLIGENCE||8||-1||-1||Hit Points: 32|
|CHARISMA||14||+2||+2||Hit Dice: 4d10|
|STRENGTH||10||+0||+2||Initiative: +4||Scimitar||melee||+6||1d8+4 slashing damage|
|DEXTERITY||18||+4||+6||Speed: 30'||Dagger||20'/60'||+6||1d4+4 piercing damage|
|CONSTITUTION||12||+1||+1||Armor Class: 16||Longbow||150'/600'*||+9||1d8+5 piercing damage|
|INTELLIGENCE||8||-1||-1||Hit Points: 32|
|CHARISMA||14||+2||+2||Hit Dice: 4d10||*not disadvantaged by long range|
|STRENGTH||8||-1||-1||Initiative: +1||Firebolt||120'||+5||1d10 fire damage|
|DEXTERITY||12||+1||+1||Speed: 30'||Poison Spray||10'||DC 14 Con||1d12 poison damage|
|CONSTITUTION||10||+0||+0||Armor Class: 13||Thorn Whip||30'||+7||1d6 piercing damage*|
|INTELLIGENCE||14||+2||+4||Hit Points: 23||Dagger||20'/60'||+3||1d4+1 piercing damage|
|WISDOM||18||+4||+6||Perception: 15||Scimitar||melee||+3||1d8+1 slashing damage|
|CHARISMA||14||+2||+2||Hit Dice: 4d8||*melee spell attack that may pull target 10'|
|STRENGTH||10||+0||+0||Initiative: +2||Vicious Mockery||60'||DC 14 Wis||1d4 psychic damage*|
|DEXTERITY||14||+2||+4||Speed: 30'||Rapier||melee||+4||1d8+2 piercing damage|
|CONSTITUTION||12||+1||+1||Armor Class: 14||Dagger||20'/60'||+4||1d4+2 piercing damage|
|INTELLIGENCE||14||+2||+2||Hit Points: 27||Shortbow||80'/320'||+4||1d6+2 piercing damage|
|CHARISMA||18||+4||+6||Hit Dice: 4d8||*imposes disadvantage on next attack roll|
|STRENGTH||10||+0||+0||Initiative: +1||Eldritch Blast||600'||+6||1d10+4 force damage|
|DEXTERITY||14||+2||+2||Speed: 30'||Poison Spray||10'||DC 14 Con||1d12 poison damage|
|CONSTITUTION||12||+1||+1||Armor Class: 14||Firebolt||240'||+6||1d10 fire damage|
|INTELLIGENCE||14||+2||+2||Hit Points: 27||Dagger||20'/60'||+4||1d4+2 piercing damage|
|CHARISMA||18||+4||+6||Hit Dice: 4d8|
|STRENGTH||10||+0||+1||Initiative: +2||Ray of Frost||60'||+6||1d8 frost damage*|
|DEXTERITY||14||+2||+3||Speed: 30'||Poison Spray||10'||DC 14 Con||1d12 poison damage|
|CONSTITUTION||12||+1||+4||Armor Class: 13||Firebolt||120'||+6||1d10 fire damage|
|INTELLIGENCE||14||+2||+3||Hit Points: 19||Dagger||20'/60'||+4||1d4+3 piercing damage|
|CHARISMA||18||+4||+9||Hit Dice: 4d6||*target's speed reduced by 10 on next turn|
Margaret Appleton was born and raised in the great metropolis of Galford. In her youth she did not appreciate the playhouses, concert halls, libraries, and museums within walking distance of her home. Though her father was a respectable tailor and life was comfortable, she longed to see the world beyond this city. This moved her to flee both home and school to enroll as a military cadet. Through determination and relentless training, young Margaret honed herself into a mighty warrior. Her coming of age coincided with victory at a tournament conducted to select recruits for the King's Diuturnal Dreadnoughts.|
Training for this elite unit earned her a customized suit of chainmail. Yet she was ultimately frustrated, as patriarchal officers assigned her to "meatwagon" duty. She was to follow the main force, rolling up to the line only for purposes of hauling wounded soldiers back to the medical tent. When the Dreadnoughts joined a battle that would be known to history as Hart's Folly, this duty took a grim turn. In the wake of an epic defeat, Margaret was charged with hauling away corpses and digging hundreds of graves. She single-handedly populated a new cemetary with old comrades.
Other able-bodied survivors went on to rebuild the Dreadnoughts, but Margaret was traumatized by her stint as an undertaker. After wandering for a time, she made her way to Bleary Grove where she found relief in a pouch of pipeweed. Searching for some way to fund a habit, she crossed paths with the notorious smuggler Jane Winslow. As a competent wagon driver with no criminal past, Margaret was both willing and able to help Jane's operation scale up for larger hauls over greater distances.
Jane Winslow spent her youth in Bleary Grove. It might be more accurate to say that she spent her youth in the surrounding woodlands. She was climbing trees not long after learning to walk. Compared to the sights and sounds of the forest, neither school nor church did much to hold her attention. She learned to be fearless, thwarting punishments and facing down wild beasts. When her family no longer offered the troublesome girl financial support, she hunted for her own food and took what work she could get as a wilderness guide.|
The kindness of a local apothecary gave her a weekly opportunity to escort him while gathering herbs and roots. Other jobs were few and far between. Many of those involved visitors who wanted to check out famed pipeweed cultivars in the wild. While she was skulking about one unlicensed farm, Jane went from unwelcome spy to valued asset. Both glib and furitve, the young woman was well-suited to move loads of illicit pipeweed around checkpoints and across borders. This work taught her much about woodlands far from her hometown. She also learned how to talk her way out of trouble and, when that failed, how to escape captivity.
Among friends, Jane was happy to brag that no prison could hold her. Yet she still feared arrest enough to develop sophisticated concealment techniques as well as a faculty for reading others' intentions. Yet the greatest upgrade to her operation occured when she met Margaret Appleton. A respectable soldier with an official-looking wagon would facilitate smuggling more product across greater distances. Together they handled the bulk of the farm's deliveries, living well on their cut of the proceeds. Jane even managed to pay outstanding fines, putting an end to her outlaw status, at least for the time being.
Jubal Sterling's brilliance was recognized from a tender age. His family did their best to provide him with every educational opportunity, and he set off for a full university education when he came of age. With a particular affinity for spellcasting, young Jubal breezed through his early lessons so easily that he was not studious in the face of more advanced material. Though competent enough to embark on an apprenticeship, he declined his diploma departed Axon with no particular purpose in mind. As a humble vagrant, he gathered and sold herbs for what little coin passed through his hands.|
Over time, his sense of communion with nature grew into a strong bond. He sought out adherents to the Old Faith, and they immediately recognized his affinity for nature. Soon after, Jubal was initiated into a circle and trained in the ways of druidic magic. This circle already covered all the best lands nearby, and its members were especially territorial. Venturing beyond their reach, he settled near Bleary Grove. There he assisted local farmers and hunters with his modest powers. Eventually he developed a circuit of farms and hamlets he would serve by way of promoting healthy crops and deterring pest activity.
Among these farms was an unlicensed pipeweed producer raising thousands of plants in a remote glade. Already fond of the stuff, Jubal was happy to trade a measure his time and magic for a steady supply. Sleeping in a small network of temporary shelters, the druid lived for many years as a mysterious yet welcome visitor to that farm and several other agricultural efforts. Year after year of tranquil obscurity saw Jubal grow less fit even if he remained generally happy. He felt purpose in amplifying the bounty of others while guiding them toward good stewardship of lands under their control.
Poppy Purcell is the daughter of a genuine baron. Twelve generations ago, her family took the lead among a growing community of swineherds. Five generations ago, prosperity in the region enabled one of her ancestors to buy the title of "Baron Purcell." Yet the man became known as the Baron of Bacon even before his coat of arms was duly registered. In scenic lands covered with a blanket of prosperous farms and busy smokehouses, the family presided over a period of escalating prosperity.|
Firm believers in education, they spared no expense in hiring tutors and mentors for their children. Most of the family were practicing wizards with access to a superb library. Poppy proved academically adept as a child, but her growing independence led to increasingly eclectic interests. Love of music drove her to study several styles of performance, touring distant lands in pursuit of cultural immersion. Dance followed, along with rigorous gymnastic training. At the height of her contrarian streak, she studied Stalwart Mongoose, an exotic Oriental fighting style especially effective against spellcasters.
That same tendency also caused her to roam widely and socialize with common folk. She felt especially fortunate to stumble upon an unlicensed pipeweed grower with a hedonistic entourage. Poppy served as the group's entertainer, though she was also a paying customer prone to binging on premium material. Finding a new home among a gang of lawbreakers seemed a greater act of rebellion than any of her increasingly quirky educational choices. Her music became more elaborate and upbeat with newfound inspiration. Free of the Purcell family mold, Poppy finally felt ready to blossom and make her own way in the world.
Alice Fox seemed to develop a passion for cooking right after tasting her first hot meal. While still a mere toddler, she would stumble and crawl toward ovens in use. When her peers were playing in the park after school, she could be found at the neighborhood bakery, enthralled by the artisans there. After becoming the primary cook for her family, young Alice found many guests drawn to her table. Despite a promising offer to join a holy order, she devoted herself to culinary perfection.|
Accumulated gifts funded the use of increasingly exotic ingredients. As the budding chef mastered more recipes and won over new fans, she accepted a deal that would put her in control of a public house at a prime location. Her food packed the place early in the day, and her reputation grew. Yet her contract did not offer compensation commensurate with the value of her work. Alice knew she was being exploited, and she was desperate for a way out. A mysterious customer introduced her to a whole new world of occult knowledge. Her wish to be free of her business partner was fulfilled when a coven sacrificed the man in an unholy ritual. This created an opportunity for her to run the establishment entirely for her own personal benefit. Instead she fled.
Though Alice ran from her diabolic benefactors, she retained her own infernal patron. She could not resist devilish promises that her cooking skill would continue to improve. Fire seemed increasingly fascinating to her, to the point where she started to understand related spells. Her occult studies continued, always with emphases on precision and control. Thus she was able to grasp the subtle art of using pipeweed to prepare intoxicating dishes. This made her a welcome addition to the household when she resettled into obscurity with an unlicensed grower of the stuff.
Rose Jennings was the youngest of seven sisters. From an early age, she learned to misdirect blame for any mischief onto one or another of them. Somehow, things always seemed to go her way, even when she made no effort to earn a positive outcome. She excelled in school despite little study. She earned acclaim as a dancer with only wild improvisations ungoverned by any form. Likewise her accolades as an actress were responses to unrehearsed displays of emotion. She even developed command of magic after a mere casual exploration of arcane lore.|
Despite her shenanigans, Rose remained beloved by all her kin. Yet she felt guilty for getting away with habitual petty theft, lying, and general disrespect. Setting out on her own, she adopted an entirely new identity. Where possible, she earned coin as a travelling entertainer. Yet Rose often turned to grift, peddling dyed whiskey and old pressed flowers as items with magical healing properties. Scams prevented her from settling in one place for long, but she always seemed to emerge from trouble with a full purse and an open road ahead.
A particularly lucky moment for her was that first encounter with Alice Fox. The occult-inspired cook was baking up batches of pipeweed-infused muffins when Rose was drawn to the aroma. With some actual medicinal value in these treats, a supply would enable Rose to exercise her merchandising skills without being quite so dishonest. In partnership they became prolific distributors of the beneficial herb in edible form. With well-disguised Rose handling the actual sales, the Count's licensing agents found themselves chasing a woman who did not exist.