Kingmaker: The Rise of Stormgaard
Master of Stealth, Misadventure, the Trickster, the Irrepressible Scamp, the Friendly Rapscallion
Lesser Power of the Planes N
PORTFOLIO: Stealth, thievery, adventuring, halfling rogues
ALIASES: Kaldair Swiftfoot, otherwise none widespread
DOMAIN NAME: Wanders
ALLIES: Baervan Wildwanderer, Baravar Cloakshadow, Dugmaren Brightmantle, Erevan Ilesere, Garl Glittergold, Haela Brightaxe, Mask, Quorlinn, Vergadain, the halfling pantheon
FOES: Abbathor, Beshaba, Urdlen, Vaprak
SYMBOL: Halfling’s footprint
WORSHIPPERS ALIGNMENT: Any
Brandobaris (BRAN-doe-BARE-iss) is the master of adventure and misadventure, a favorite of halfling adventurers. Tales of the Trickster’s wild exploits are almost beyond counting. The followers of Brandobaris, as might be expected, are mostly thieves and fighter/thieves. The more ardent followers are usually also the ones to take the greatest risks on adventures, and the Master of Stealth views them almost as favored apprentices.
Brandobaris is the errant rogue of the halfling pantheon, regarded with exasperated tolerance by his fellows. Only Tymora regularly accompanies the Trickster on his jaunts, and Lady Luck and the Master of Stealth are said (by halflings) to be romantically linked. Conversely, Brandobaris is routinely cursed by Beshaba, but, for the Trickster at least, Tymora’s favor always seems to prevail over the Maid of Misfortune in the end. Brandobaris is an irrepressible scamp who gets along well with most powers who can let themselves smile at his antics. Helm and Torm are notable exceptions, and even Arvoreen finds his patience tried at times by the Trickster. Brandobaris is a good friend of Baervan Wildwanderer, Erevan Ilesere, Garl Glittergold, and Vergadain, and all have accompanied him at one time or another on some of his many misadventures. Brandobaris and Mask have a healthy rivalry, although the halfling god of thieves dislikes the Shadowlord’s penchant for cruelty. The Master of Stealth will have nothing to do with Abbathor, as the Great Master of Greed is literally in the game only for the gold.
Brandobaris is always ready with a joke or a jug, yet he is such an agreeable, friendly rapscallion that he rarely makes an enemy. He’s always well dressed and ready with a smart reply to any attempt at conversation. He has a bawdy sense of humor and little sense of propriety. Brandobaris often goes on adventures to find some item he believes wilt make life more comfortable for him, though this does not always prove to work out as he had planned. The moral lesson of many of his journeys and scrapes is that it is better not to dash off unprepared into danger, let alone on foolish dares. Nonetheless, Brandobaris does come across as an appealing sort of scamp. He has much of the trickster in him; he is primarily a clever thief who fools his opponents into thinking him harmless, then steals them blind and escapes (heir wrath. No matter how awful a situation in which he finds himself (and he’s found some pretty awful ones), Brandobaris manages to find his way out again – and make a profit from the episode as well.
The mischievous Master of Stealth is always on the lockout for a worthy risk and challenge to face, and he may even seek out a highly skilled halfling thief or two to join him in some caper as he wanders the Prime. Other thieves may come along on such jaunts, but if they do not worship Brandobaris they might find some of their valuables missing when the adventure is over. Brandobaris reveals his identity only after the adventure is over, and only to his followers. Brandobaris’s adventures can be exceptionally challenging and dangerous, but hold the promise of great reward for the fast, the clever, and the quiet!
Brandobaris appears as a plump, jolly, cheeky-faced young halfling dressed in smart leather jerkin, silk blouse, and cotton pants.
Brandobaris rarely manifests, preferring to interact directly with his worshipers in avatar form. When the Master of Stealth does manifest, it is usually subtly and the recipient of his beneficence is rarely even aware of the divine sponsorship of his good fortune. For example, a halfling thief who blows the use of a thieving skill (such as Climb Walls or Remove Traps) or an ability check (such as a Dexterity check) in a potentially fatal situation might find a small protuberance on which he can stop his fall, grab a trip wire before it can fully trigger, or recover his balance before tumbling off a narrow ledge. In such situations, Brandobaris’s manifestation permits a second chance at the thieving skill or ability check.
An especially daring risk (one that places the halfling in considerable jeopardy) that pays off is looked upon favorably by Brandobaris. He might reward the perpetrator of such a daring act – though he does so only once in that halfling’s lifetime, so as not to encourage the mortal to be too foolhardy. Such rewards commonly take the form of a manifestation, and the recipient of such might gain the ability to employ feather fall, free action, spider climb, or a similar spell-like effect in some future situation.
Brandobaris is served by azmyths, blue jays, boggles, brownies, campestris, copper dragons, crows, crystal dragons, dobies, ethyks, faerie dragons, firefriends, firestars, fremlins, kenku, leprechauns, luck cats, mercury dragons, mice, monkey spiders, pixies, pseudodragons, raccoons, ravens, snyads, sunflies, and the occasional tiefling. He demonstrates his favor in the form of footprint marks leading toward a clue, key, treasure, or the like and by causing objects to appear in a pocket. The Master of Stealth indicates his displeasure in the form of footprint marks leading the tracker astray and by causing objects to disappear from a pocket.
Like Brandobaris himself, the church of misadventure is filled with appealing scamps who regularly find themselves embroiled in trouble, but who usually emerge better off than not. Tales of the exploits of Brandobaris’s followers are told and retold in most halfling cultures. However, despite their fondness for such tales, most halflings would prefer that the church of Brandobaris keep far away from their own lives and are personally unwilling to get involved in the misadventurous capers of the Trickster’s entourage.
While most halfling gods are worshiped predominantly in small shrines within the home or local community and true temples are rare, Brandobaris is unique in that his church has no actual temples or permanent shrines at all. The Master of Stealth is honored instead through adventurous activity and by relating tales of his exploits and those of his followers. In a sense, a shrine of Brandobaris is temporarily created whenever a story involving the Trickster is told or whenever an item commemorating one of his misadventures is brought out and remembered.
Novices of Brandobaris are known as Wayward Rascals. Full priests of the Master of Stealth are known as the Hands of Misadventure. In ascending order of rank, the titles used by Brandobarian priests are Scamp, Rascal, Swindler, Blackguard, Trickster, Rapscallion, Knave, and Master Rogue. High-ranking priests have unique individual titles.
Adventure and risk are the spice of life, and stealth and subtlety are the tools of the trade. Seek excitement and danger wherever your feet take you, for risk-taking leads to life’s greatest rewards. Lust for the thrill, not for the treasure, for greed obscures the true prize of the experience. At the end of the day, the wildest tale is the greatest reward. Learn to tell a good yarn, and sometimes your tongue will get you out of trouble.
Members of Brandobaris’s clergy are active adventurers who seek lives of excitement and danger by taking active risks and by employing the skills taught to them by the Master of Stealth and his most accomplished apprentices. Most Hands of Misadventure are stricken with wanderlust, seeking to see as much of the world as they can. While Brandobaris’s priests are often involved in daring thefts, smooth cons, and other larcenous behavior, they are thrill-seekers, not bandits. They are driven by the acquisition of treasure, not the holding of it, and many benefit their communities by lavish spending of newly acquired wealth at halfling-owned establishments. Those who cannot adventure, whether due to age or infirmity, serve the faith by running safehouses and by spreading glorious tales among the sedentary majority of the halfling populace.
Holy Days / Important Ceremonies:
As one might expect, followers of Brandobaris have little in the way of formal ceremony when they venerate the Master of Stealth. On nights of the new moon, no matter where they are, followers of Brandobaris are expected to hide one or more stolen items from the previous month’s take in the best hiding place they can find as part of a ritual known as the Trickster’s Tithe. If Brandobaris is pleased with the offering (which has less to do with the value of the offering than it does with the amount of risk required to acquire it), it vanishes from its cache by morning, any the worshiper is blessed with the Trickster’s favor for the following month. (In game terms, this translates into a +1 bonus on a single saving throw that must be used within the next month at the character’s discretion.)
Major Centers of Worship:
As noted above, Brandobaris has no true temples. Instead, the Master of Stealth is worshiped through daring deeds and wild tales of his exploits. In some sense, cities and kingdoms where many of Brandobaris’s followers practice their craft – such as Athkatia, Baldur’s Gate, Berdusk, Calimport, Everlund, Iriaebor, Silverymoon, Riatavin, Waterdeep, and Zazesspur as well as Amn, Calimshan, Cormyr, Damara, Deepingdale, Luiren, Ravens Bluff, Tethyr, Turmish, and the Vast – are the Trickster’s major centers of worship.
Legendary sites of Brandobaris’s greatest adventures can also be considered major centers of worship, for many of his followers visit the settings of the Trickster’s tales in simple homage to his daring and skill and to tell the tales of the Trickster’s exploits. One such tale involves the founding of Luiren, legendary land of the halflings, centuries ago on the shores of Luirenstrand (also known as Hambone Bay), long before the fall of Myth Drannor. The founding myths of Luiren claim that the Lluirwood (now split into the Long Forest, the Granuin Forest (also known as the southern Lluirwood), and the Gundar Forest) at that time stretched from the foothills of the Toadsquat Mountains to the shore of the Great Sea and from the eastern bank of the River Ammath to the western bank of the River Gundar, incorporating all the territory that now composes Luiren and Estagund. At that time, the Lluirwood was inhabited by ogres, whose descendants still populate the Toadsquat Mountains, and the first Small Folk to settle along the shores of the Luirenstrand were hardpressed to defend their homesteads from the relentless raids of the beast-men. At that time, a young halfling by the name of Kaldair Swiftfoot – now believed to have been an avatar of Brandobaris – encountered an avatar of the rapacious and violent ogre god, Vaprak the Destroyer. For 10 days and nights, Kaldair toyed with the Destroyer, leading him on a merry chase through a trap-filled tract of woodlands, but the ogre god could not kill or capture the elusive halfling rogue nor could Kaldair permanently thwart Vaprak’s murderous designs on the halflings of the region. Finally Vaprak collapsed of exhaustion, while Kaldair danced about him and taunted the ogre god for his weakness. In his rage, the Destroyer hurled trees ripped from the ground at the elusive halfling, but to no avail. Kaldair then proposed a feat of strength – uprooting a tree without breaking the roots – with the loser withdrawing to the mountains and the victor claiming the forest, and Vaprak readily agreed. The Destroyer went first, ripping the great hardwoods from the forest floor, but he failed to remove a single tree without tearing apart its root structure. Kaldair, on the other hand, succeeded on his first attempt after carefully dislodging a tiny sapling with a single taproot. Vaprak roared in fury at the trick, but the ogre god had no choice but to concede defeat and adhere to the terms of the contest, for to do otherwise would simply add to his humiliation. The ogres then withdrew to the mountains and the halflings settled the forest glades. To this day, when a great tree falls to the ground outside the town of Beluir, a region known as Vaprak’s Glade, a follower of Brandobaris sits on the trunk and relates the tale of Luiren’s founding to the next generation of Small Folk, seeking to inspire them to pursue a life of adventure.
The Midknights of Misadventure are an informal fellowship composed primarily of halfling clerics and fighter/thieves. While hardly a formal military order, small bands of Midknights perform jailbreaks and other rescue operations in situations where an imprisoned follower of Brandobaris faces death or torture and escaping without assistance is very unlikely. The composition and membership of a particular band varies widely, but half a dozen or so Midknights of widely varying skills and abilities are typically available at any given time in cities or regions with sizable halfling populations.
Given the informal nature of the church of Brandobaris, regular adventuring gear serves as the ceremonial garb of priests of the Master of Stealth. For most priests, this includes leather armor, a cloak in a subdued hue, and when feeling particularly jaunty, a feathered cap of some sort. The holy symbol of the faith is a small purloined object of great value that the priest has personally blessed, typically a gold or platinum coin or jewel of some sort.
Brandobaris’s priests favor leather armor, or, in very rare cases when they can acquire it, silenced elven chain mail. They employ the weapons and tools of the trade, favoring clubs, daggers, knives, slings, and short swords for situations where combat cannot be avoided.