Curse of the Crimson Throne
Ionas "Slim" Tils
A Varisian man of average build and gruff demeanor, with blond hair and green eyes, a rapier at his side
Prior to the incident, Ionas was a fairly cheerful, witty young man with a ruddy, roguish charm about him in a stereotypical kind of way as all up and coming cutpurses think they are. He is a rogue through and through, but kept to his own code of conduct instilled upon him from his mentor, Valria. He is never cruel, but meets injury for injury. He still has a passion for languages, and in his later years picked up a few more to aid in his craft. He’s not particularly religious, but follows the same cultural norms of his surroundings.
After the incident he loathes those who would commit unspeakable acts against the dead, and has a distaste for those who follow Asmodeus, given the connection with his mark. His demeanor has grown grim, he’s serious and always stern, although every now and then a smile can be found upon his face, revealing a glimpse of his former self. Since meeting the party, he’s grown less grim, although recent events have made him fear that his past is now connected to the recent events in Korvosa, although he doesn’t know for sure. Peace indeed hasn’t found him since his exodus, and he fears there will be more bloodshed before it is all over.
It seems the exodus from Korvosa, along with other perks with being in an adventuring party, have started to have an effect on Ionas. He’s back to his old self again, for the most part, bantering and quipping in the face of danger. Notably though, is that he’s taken a more vocal role in the party’s affairs and dealings, probably to the dismay of the Paladin. He’s been on a bit of a gambling streak with events that have unfolded, playing against hands that are often beyond his bet. So far, he and the other Crimson Blades have been winning, but who knows what might happen when all the bad hands he’s played finally catch up with him…
A note about ‘Slim’:
“Slim” is just the most recent alias he has picked up, and his many others also include a story, usually not flattering but always with an adventurous flair. Here’s but a sampling that may of come up during the downtime between fights.
In the Tils caravan: Often called “Little Wolf” in the Varisian Tongue, a nickname referencing his father, Ionan, who is called “The Old Wolf” due to his shrewd and almost cutthroat dealings that have been attributed to the success of his venture. It is said that once they have enough wealth in Magnimar to buy a title, the Wolf will be on their Sigil.
Riddleport: “Slick, Shoulder’s Bane” Unlike today, earlier in Ionas’ career he was a terrible shot and would miss killing blows, the bolts still managing to hit but often in the shoulder. Most guards or thugs unlucky to have taken one of these bolts to the shoulder usually ended their careers early, as the damage done had the unfortunate side effect of leaving them unable to wield a weapon for long. Word spread and added to his notoriety. “Slick” was given to him among the Tins due to his newbie status among them.
Magnimar: “Ionas the Crimson Prince/the Crimson Jackal” friends in Taverns of Magnimar gave him the nickname due to his red scarf and generosity, often buying drinks for all the patrons when a successful job payed well or on first arrival after a long absence. His enemies that frequented those same taverns have a different name for him, “the Crimson Jackal”, due to the fact it was often with their pilfered coin that he payed for all those drinks, with carefully rehearsed sleight of hand when greeting all the patrons in the tavern.
Ionas grew up the younger middle child of a large, well to do merchant family from Magnimar, although most of his life he lived on the caravan, travelling to as far south as the Chelaxian capital of Egorian to the Dwarven Halls of Janderhoff in the East. He was a favorite of his father as a boy, teaching him the secrets of his trade as soon as he learned to write. Indeed, that was a talent for Ionas, by the age of 12 he had fluency in 4 languages. As he entered puberty, however his father grew distant seeing the boy he loved look less and less like himself and more like a friend and fellow trader. Ionas was quick to sense this change, and from then on had pursued other interests than that of a merchant, though he never forgot the lessons he learned.
It was around this time that he met a young Chelish girl named Valria, like him an outcast in her father’s eyes but needed to mind the caravan on their many trips abroad. It was she that taught him the more deftly arts, how to open any lock, how to move without being seen, how to wield a sword. Being 3 years his senior, he followed her around without question, and soon fell in with her band of miscreants “ The Tin Scales”, the namesake coming from the fact that all members in the gang were from other merchant families with far too many descendants, leaving no inheritance for the younger ones. They started off with petty theft, but as their acts grew more daring the moved their operations to Riddleport to earn real credentials as a rogue outfit. His parents disapproved of his actions, and by 16 he was out on his own, with only Valria and company as his new family. They did fairly well for themselves, but after a few bad jobs they soon found themselves in Egorian.
Life in Egorian was much harder than in Riddleport, but they managed. They even staked out a small piece of territory from among the local gangs, offering services ranging from protection and wet work to more legitimate services like appraisals and fraud detection. They even had a small storefront that also served as a den for their more illicit dealings. Valria was smart and cunning, and while that made for a great leader of the band she lacked experience, and that ultimately lead to her demise.
8 months ago, the group had received a request from one of the nobles in the capital, the unscrupulous Viscount Myrenos Stylexes. It was an audition for a larger job, one that demanded the best in the city, or so it claimed. Ionas was hesitant, naturally, as he had heard nothing good about this particular nobleman. Valria brushed his caution off as mere naiveté and accepted the job. It seemed simple enough, break into a mansion of a well known rival of their employer, Archdeacon Kalemnos Prophyria, and steal his families’ prized heirloom, a golden medallion that had his sigil on one side, and a large emerald on the other. Do this, and they would be offered the real job, one that would make them richer than they could possibly imagine. The catch was this rival was no ordinary nobleman, but one known for his devout beliefs in Asmodeus , and did not take lightly to those who had made transgressions against him.
Still, the plan went into motion, and a month later they entered into the mansion. All was going to plan, and they entered the vault. After securing the medallion, Ionas noticed a faint hissing sound, the vault started to fill with choking gas. In the frantic moments later, Ionas was forced to leave his comrades behind as the gas overpowered them and he alone escaped the mansion, medallion in tow. It was then that he had made a fateful choice that haunts him to this day, he sent word to the Archdeacon that he would exchange the medallion in return for his comrades. 3 days had passed and he received a reply. The meeting would take place in the mansion, and so long as he brought the medallion, all would be forgiven and he would see his companions once more.
With haste Ionas raced to the mansion, eager to see his companions again. He was lead into the house, which was dark and silent as he had left it, and lead into the main chamber were the Archdeacon house waited. Ionas showed him the medallion, and requested he be shown his friends before any transfer was made. The Archdeacon Prophyria chuckled and said, “You are indeed a man of your word, pity you didn’t phrase your words carefully. Here are your beloved friends!” From the shadows, shambled out the zombified corpses of his companions, the ones he had risked so much for, the ones he cared so much about. Marionetted like horrific dolls, they shambled about in mockery of their former selves, leaving a horrified Ionas to marvel at what they had become. Lastly, a broken but still living Valria shambled out. Her eyes torn out, and body covered in lacerations and boils from agonizing torture. She begged Ionas for forgiveness, for not believing him, and begged him to run before at last being silenced by a deft bolt to the heart. It was at the bolt that the zombies snapped from their inaction, and charged him. Rage and anguish filled his heart as he fled the mansion, only just barely escaping with his life.
It was shortly after that horrific event that the bounty on his head was announced. Never before had such a bounty gone out for a burglar, but the Archdeacon was no ordinary man. On the bounty, a special message was left for him, “So long as you have the medallion, your friends will never be free of their torment. Nothing can save you from my wrath.” In desperation, Ionas reached out to Viscount Stylexes for aid, thinking surely he would be able to shield him from this horror.
At first, all seemed to be well, Stylexes welcomed him in. Having gone through such an ordeal on his behest, he promised protection, in exchange for the medallion. Wary about his insistence, Ionas hid the medallion and created a fake to present him in case things were not what they had seemed. Indeed they were not. Shortly after handing over the fake medallion, Ionas was beaten and thrown in a cell, to await further horrors at the Viscount’s hand. His only saving grace was that he had not given the real medallion, and indeed shortly after it was discovered was his life spared. After a month of torture, Ionas planned his escape. Remembering his escape artist tricks he learned from Valria, used the scarce scraps lying about in his cell to make a makeshift pick, opened the lock, and deftly left the mansion.
He made his way back to his group’s establishment to find it in ruins, ransacked and burned to the ground. Going through the wreckage, he picked up the medallion and fled the city. He drifted for a while, using what little resources he had in Cheliax to find out more about why he and his group were setup and to stay one step ahead from his pursuers. He thought about returning to his father, but decided that would be a foolish gesture while he was still on the run. He didn’t wish for any more of his loved ones to be in harm’s way.
He only knew of one place that would be a safe haven for him, Korvosa. He knew it was far enough from Cheliax to get lost in the crowd, lick his wounds and plan his next move, yet close enough in ties to keep an ear out for any trouble from there. With the last of his coin, he booked passage for the famed city.
5 months prior to meeting the party, was when he had landed in Korvosa. With little coin left, he went to the only place he had known to welcome a soul of his sort, the Sticky Mermaid. The place was as loud and boisterous has he had remembered it, although he was worse for wear since the last time he had entered. It wasn’t long before he was given trouble by a half-orc who tried to bully him into paying his tab. The argument soon turned to violence and despite his destitute and sullen demeanor, the large and fat half-orc proved no challenge for his deft rapier. After three deft strikes the half-orc was down, dead. Unfortunately for Ionas, his already ragged clothing couldn’t withstand hanging together much longer, and soon fell off his body leaving him stark naked in front of the entire tavern, earning him the nickname “Slim” by Kyra. It was then she recognized his skill and hired him on as a private contractor, earning his keep at the Sticky Mermaid by performing odd jobs for her until he met the party.