Dagorym’s post on “The Highwayman” got me to thinking about one of the most notorious NPC’s in my Earthdawn game. For those of you familiar with Dungeons & Dragons module HHQ3 Thief’s Challenge, there’s a character known as “The Gullwing Bandit”. The Gullwing Bandit is a son of a noble who’s land was stolen away from him by the current prince and is raiding the princes barges for revenge. The adventure is interesting and set on the river that has villages centered around locks for transportation. I enjoyed the adventure because the character’s have to do some sleuthing to find the identity of the Gullwing Bandit.
Now for some history on how this NPC became so pivitol. I was running an Earthdawn Game where one of the players had created a character based on William Goldman’s ‘The Princess Bride’. He named his character The Dread Pirate Dalamar and adventured in black complete with mask. As a pirate, his raids were targeted at the slaving empire and he gained a bit of notoriety for freeing slaves. Awash in his own legendary image, he was upset to discover that another individual was using his name. Enter the Gullwing Bandit. The my game, the Gullwing Bandit took to raiding one of the merchent houses that had caused the financial ruin of his family. He dressed in
black pants, a red shirt, and a red mask similar in style to the Dread Pirate. So when The Dread Pirate Dalamar heard of the Gullwing Bandit, he felt the need to preserve his good name; the Gullwing Bandit was not using the the Dread Pirates name, but the average sailor easily mistook the Gullwing Bandit for the more well know Dread Pirate Dalamar, even when the Gullwing Bandit would correct them. The Gullwing Bandit became a recurring NPC as the player sought to unmask the individual. Since they were both swordmasters, every encounter resulted in a duel where all the bystanders would stop and watch to see which one of the masked figures won. Each encounter resulted in a different victor which caused the legends of both to grow. In one particular scene, to prevent the Gullwing Bandit from escaping, The Dread Pirate Dalamar rammed his ship into the Gullwing Bandit’s ship. The two masked crusaders duelled as their respective ships sank to the bottom of the river.
In the end, the victor was the Dread Pirate, who convinced the Gullwing Bandit to join his fight against the evil slaving empire. The image of two masked swordmen, expertly dueling while two ships of fighting sailors stopped to watch, is one of ny more memorable games. To read other’s favored NPC’s, read the comments on Dagorym’s post ‘Favorite NPCs: June RPG Blog Carnival‘.
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