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EarthDawn: A Brave New World - Sheet: Catslayer, The

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Name: Catslayer

Discipline: Swordmaster

Circle: 1

Skin: Marble red

Hair: White

Eyes: Black

Age: 46

Sex: Male

Height: 20"

Weight: 15 lbs

Race: Windling

Attributes	Value	Step	Dice
____________	_____	____	____
Dexterity 	19	8	2D6
Strength 	7	4	1D6
Toughness 	12	5	1D8
Perception 	13	6	1D10
Willpower 	13	6	1D10
Charisma 	17	7	1D12



Physical Defense: 12

Spell Defense: 7

Social Defense: 9

Physical Armor: 0

Mystic Armor: 1

Damage: 0

Death Rating: 34

Wound Rating: 9

Uncon Rating: 26

Recovery Tests: 2

Recovery Dice: 1D8

Initiative Step: 8

Armor Penalty: 0


Initiative Dice: 2D6

Karma Dice: 1D10

Karma Cost: 5

Karma Pool: 60/60

Movement, Land: 54/27

Movement, Air: 110/55

Carrying: 40

Lifting: 80

Racial Attributes


Astral-Sensitive Sight

Increased Physical Defense

Talents		Rank	Step	Dice	Karma	Strain
_______		____	____	____	 _____	______
Avoid Blow	 2	 10	D10+D6	 no	1
Karma Ritual	 1	 1	n/a	 no	0
Maneuver*	 3	 11	D10+D8	 no	0	
Melee Weapons*	 2	 10	D10+D6	 no	0
Taunt		 1	 8	2D6	 no	0
Wound Balance	 1	 6	D10	 no	0

Skills                 	Rank	Step
______	           	____	____
R/W, Dwarven	  	  1	 7			
R/W, Windling     	  1      7
R/W, Human        	  1      7   

Legends and Heroes        3      9
Windling History          1      7

Weapon  Runecrafting      4      11

Orichalcum: 0

Gold Coins: 0

Silver Coins: 0

Copper Coins: 0

Legend Points:

Current: 150

Total: 150

Legendary Status: 0


Catsbane, bone sword (str+ 4)


Wealthy Traveler's Garb with Robe

Inventory: (Possessions not wearing)

Threaded Items:

Catsbane, Thread 0 sword (STEP 4)

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It had waited patiently for many years. It had watched the seasons pass and the leaves turn and the trees grow old and barren. It had seen the snow build upon the ground and blanket all the mountainside, remaking the world white and cold and pure...only to melt away into dirty slush that ran down the mountain like muddy tears. The rains came and left the rocks shining wet and smooth. And came and went and came again until the rocks began to wear away. And still, It waited. When the others left, defeated, It stayed and waited.

Sometimes, as one long day stretched into another and another and another, It almost fell into a sort of trance. It was as if all the tons of earthy dirt and stone and rock were as thin as gossamer. It had only to press against the Kaer and it could hear the sounds of the people within, the noise of their breathing and the whispers of their movement. Their footfalls like the beating of a heart or the falling of the rain. Pat pat pat. The clanging of their tools, the scraping sounds of iron and metal. The crackling of their fires and the strumming of their music. It heard their frenzied slippery love-making. It heard their voices, light with song or hard with anger. It heard the sound of their chatter. The sound of men. It could smell them, too. Through the dampness of the stone, carried out of the mountain by some invisible current of air. Like a thread. Like a tendril. It smelled their smoking and their meat. It smelled their animals and their filth. It smelled their birth and their death. And It waited.

It knew men better than all the others. It had walked in their skins and looked through their eyes and touched with their hands and It longed to do so again. It knew their minds and their ambitions, their dreams and their desires. It knew the pleasure of a warm drink on a cold night, of a young woman’s soft embrace. Best of all, It knew their pain. It knew the suffering of their flesh. It knew how keenly they felt misery and loss. It knew the soul-shattering agony a mother felt when she watched her child die. Their lives were so fleeting and insignificant, like a breath upon the wind, but they felt so richly, so wonderfully. It was starving to taste their suffering again. Behind that slab of warded mountain lay a banquet of anguish on which It would gorge until It was glutted. It would dine on their tears, so salty and so sweet, and let their screams fill up the emptiness of Its existence, because their magic could not last forever. Their power would wane. Or they would forget their rituals. Some small detail would be missed. It would wait. It would wait until the mountain itself were gone if It had to. It clung to this belief with the desperation of a drowning man as Its hunger grew and grew, and It waited and watched for the day when It could finally feast.

And then it came. It almost missed the buzzing of the fly, almost dismissed that tiny trivial speck. But it had come out of the mountain. There was no time for hesitation. It pulled away from the rock where It had lain and pushed against the insect mind of the fly. There was hardly anything there to resist It. A smattering of confused impulses jumbled together, nothing more. It easily overpowered the primitive instinct that fought against It and took its place. There was none of the struggle or satisfaction It felt when It took a man. There was hardly anything at all and It might have jumped clear again had It not seen through the creature’s compound eyes, the way inside. A sliver traced its way into the earth, past the mighty walls of the Kaer through little pockets of space between the stones. A twig could not have fit through such a path, but the fly could.

Patience forgotten, It hastily descended through the maze of rock into the Kaer. The richness of life was spread out before It. Huts of stone and dried mud, some larger than others, more craftily fitted together, lined the cavern walls of the Kaer. There were tents and fire-pits and washing baskets and clothes set out to dry. There were men and women and even streets—how these poor pathetic beings sought order—with torches hung from poles. Pies sat baking on window sills. A little girl ran crying from a boy with a stick and It felt a surge of power, an immense satisfaction. The Kaer was just as It had imagined, only more. There were more than ragged broken survivors in this place. There were families. Children who had never seen the sun or stars, born beneath the earth because outside, It and the others had waited. And now the waiting was at an end. Now this hole in the mountain side would become a giant tomb. But not all at once. No. It would savor every death slowly and completely before moving on to the next. It would make widows and then orphans and It would let their terror build and grow until they’d given up all hope, and then, only then, would It kill the last of them.

Suddenly, something struck at It, and for a terrible moment It feared It had been discovered. But how could they know, and so soon? The body it had taken was broken and smashed upon the stony floor, bits of it sent flying. A leg. A wing. It had forgotten how vulnerable It could be. It had been careless and now not only would Its prize be lost, but It would cease to be. Above It, the monster that would kill It loomed huge and black. A massive paw slapped down, crushing much of Its exoskeleton, sending the gooey insides of Its borrowed body spurting onto the stones. It was dying, dead, but It refused to let go. The years had made it strong and the fly twitched as It tried to lift into the air. Above It, the paw rose again. It heard a terrible rumble from the beast’s chest...and then It knew. This was no monster. Only a cat. In the instant before the feline struck again, It gathered all Its power and It leapt.


“Spooky!” The child cried. She had heard the frightened meow and come running. “There you are, you silly kitty!” It watched from behind the cat’s emerald eyes as a girl with blonde pigtails, like two golden upside-down tear-drops that framed her rosy round face, reached down to scoop It into her arms. Weak from Its jump, It could do nothing as the girl-child carried It away, cradling It close to her neck where It could feel the pulse of her blood beneath her skin like a promise. It had waited so long. It could wait a little longer. And then it would drink. It would rip her skinny throat open and sup on the geyser of hot gore that flowed forth.

In the days that followed, It tried to rest and regain Its strength. It suffered the girl, Amalia was her Name, to stroke its fur with sticky little fingers. It ate from her hand and drank from the saucers of milk she placed before It. It bore the indignity of her nuzzlings because It wanted her to love It. It wanted to see the stunned and hurt betrayal in her eyes before she died. And too, It had some vague sense of foreboding It could not place. Something, It knew not what, was amiss. It stayed hidden in the cat’s skin until one morning Amalia’s mother swept It from the house with a broom, because It had offended her with the corpse of a mouse It had tortured for three whole nights. When she discovered the rodent under her bed, she cursed and yelled and slapped at It with the broom. Once outside on the cold stones of the street, It resolved that the cat had served its purpose. It would have enjoyed Amalia’s pitiful sobbing as she was murdered by her prized pet, and It would have relished the look on her parents’ faces upon finding the child’s dead and bloodied body, perhaps with an eyeball ripped and dangling from her skull. But Amalia’s mother had enraged It and It was growing weary of the game. It wasn’t even certain It could kill Amalia. It could harm her. Leave her pretty face scarred for life...but at what cost? If It tried and failed It might be known for what It was. And then It would be hunted. It could not destroy an entire Kaer from inside a cat.

It resolved to take Amalia’s father when he came home. Inside the father’s skin Its strength would be a hundredfold what it was now, a thousandfold. It would scoop out Amalia’s eyes like grapes, but leave the mother’s so that she could watch helplessly as It raped and killed and ate her only daughter. And then It would tie her to a table with her own steaming guts and light their miserable hut on fire and listen to her screams as she burned within. It licked Its whiskers and waited.

When Amalia’s father came home, his broad shoulders hunched and covered in a fine layer of stone dust, It jumped cleanly onto the kitchen stool and looked into his face as he reached for a wineskin. Luminous green eyes bored into the man’s skull as It pressed against the fleshy shell and fought to break in. Only there was no fight. It sat stupidly as Amalia’s father drank from his wine and ruffled the fur behind Its ears. “Good cat.” The idiot said, not knowing that his soul had escaped annihilation. It gathered Itself and tried again, but It could not jump. There was not so much as a tug. Somehow, after having caused the ruination of so many lives, after having danced from flesh to flesh, after having waited and waited—an eternity it seemed now—for the chance to hunt and kill again, It had become trapped. In the body of a cat. The hunger It had so patiently suffered, as seasons bled into seasons and the world spun round and round, had all been for naught. It hopped down from the stool and dragged Itself limp-tailed to the bed of blankets Amalia had made for It. There It flopped onto Its side. It had been one of the most feared of Its kind. It had been a thing of legend. It had been a tale men told in hushed tones by fireside, the whites of their eyes showing when they spoke of It. Now It was to be known only as ‘Spooky’.

“Hi Spooky! How come you look so sad?” Hours later, Spooky still lay where he had fallen, silent and unmoving, his bright green eyes fixed on nothing. Amalia had come home from some game. Her knees were scuffed and dirty, her hair a tangled mess. Amalia’s heart had stuck inside her throat when she’d first seen the cat, thinking it had died until she’d seen an ear twitch. She crouched beside it, stroking one side of its belly. “I know what’ll cheer you up! Let’s go see the Windlings!”


“See? Aren’t they beautiful, Spooky?” They were. Spooky watched from his perch on the empty barrel of spirits where Amalia had placed him, as the Windlings danced across the air, twirled and spun and played. They were like butterflies, whirling around one another on gossamer wings. So delicate. So colorful. He had seen such creatures before of course, under the open sky. But he had dismissed them as being unfit for his pursuits. Too fragile. Too small. Too trivial. But now he saw them as with eyes newly opened. In this dark dank place where the humans were bent by the weight of their sorrow, these diminutive beings had made themselves a home. They sang and strummed on miniature lutes. They wore bright clothes that could have been made for dolls. They drank and laughed and told their tiny children stories of the past. Their little corner of the Kaer was like a world that had stood still in time, untouched. Unspoiled. They had not learned fear and terror and despair. Spooky would teach them. He watched them and licked the back of his paw and thought of all the suffering he would visit on them.


The Windling called Snowflake, Because your heart is as cold as one his wife had told him, walked across the stony paths of the Kaer. He drew no small number of curious glances. His kind seldom walked when they could fly, and Snowflake’s wings were strong and broad. But the Beast walked, and so Snowflake would walk. Twelve years ago Snowflake had celebrated the birth of his child. Luna. Snowflake had never felt such happiness, had never felt his heart fly so high as it did then. He remembered everything about her. The spun silk of her hair. Those bitty little fists clinging to his fingers. The sweet smell of her. Her gap-toothed laughter when he tickled her. The red-stitched sandals her mother had made for her on the ninth anniversary of her Naming day. She had worn those sandals so proudly.

Such memories would have brought a smile to Snowflake in years gone by. Now they brought a deep and angry ache. For three years the Beast had visited death on them. Those first few disappearances had puzzled Snowflake’s small community. Kite had been gone nearly a week before anyone thought to look for him. It had been thought the youngster was simply taking a game of hide and seek too far. But Kite never came back, was never found. Smallwind had been next. Her jests and pranks had earned her many friends and when she was taken her absence was deeply felt. Two months later Saya had gone missing. It was then that concern had turned to fear.

Havig and the other elders had gone to the humans to seek out help, to look for answers. Perhaps some strange and twisted soul was capturing Windlings, keeping them for some strange purpose. Havig’s wife had heard of such a thing happening in the cities before the times of Kaers. The humans were asked to investigate. How hard could it be to find the rotten apple in such a small bunch? The human rulers promised action. Their Sheriff, they said, would look into the matter. But the days came and passed and still there came no answers. No Kite. No Smallwind. No Saya. They were simply vanished. As their numbers dwindled, Havig became more desperate. He pleaded with the humans to defend them, but the humans had no time for Windlings. “We have a society to rebuild, our own families to think of” was their common refrain. What it meant was, “We don’t care about your dead. Your problems are not the Kaer’s problems.”

A divination was conducted. It was the first any of them had seen the Beast. From the flickering blue flames of Havig’s magical fire, a form took shape. Massive black head, teeth that shone like wet white knives, glittering green eyes. It roared out of the stone ring and raked its claw across Havig’s chest, dissolving into inky whorls that swam up into nothingness. For weeks after, Havig teetered on the brink of death, sweating through a deep fever, twisting in the grip of dark dreams. Ilspeck used her best poultices, tended to him day and night, but the scars over Havig’s chest never properly healed.

The three best trackers were sent to find the Beast. Anwar, son of Deek, Caspin, and old Deek himself. Only Deek returned, covered in blood, trailing bits of himself, wingless, back to the Windling camp. He clung to life by less than a thread, but the weathered wind scout would never be the same. He refused to speak of his encounter with the Beast, hardly spoke at all, and when he did his voice came out all wrong. Broken and forlorn. No Windling would ever take their own life, but Deek had lost his will to live. He wasted away, old and withered, and waited for death to come claim him. After that, the Windlings barricaded themselves as best they could. Three months went by, a year, and just as the Windlings had begun to relax, had begun to think their nightmare ended, the Beast struck again--taking three of their young under the cover of darkness. The Longest Night, the Windlings called it. Worst of all, there were no bodies, no ashes to send on their final journey, just emptiness where life had been.

That is why Snowflake found himself walking across the Kaer, seeking out its deepest and dankest corners. He was resolved. Either he or the Beast would die. If it was to be him, then his death would be glorious and bloody and he vowed the Beast would count his victory dear. But if he prevailed...Snowflake could already imagine his hero’s welcome. He would have all the brandy he could drink. Arcata would bring him pies. Perhaps he would eat a whole pie himself, while the children sat around him and begged to hear more. And the men would look on with envy. And his wife, Semaki, would throw herself at his feet and worship him and finally, finally, he could lay Luna’s memory to rest. The sword in his hand was heavy, though the Dwarven smith who had made it for him had jokingly called it Toothpick. It was well, if hastily, forged. A simple sliver of fine steel. Snowflake and Toothpick. Someday they will sing of us.

So lost in thought was Snowflake that he almost walked right by the cracked opening in the stone. He would have done so, had it not been for the smell. Sickly sweet and overripe. Like meat and fruit left out to rot. Snowflake turned and saw the hole. It was no taller than his head and not much wider than his shoulders. The smell was cloying, overpowering as he drew closer. From inside the dark cavity in the stone came a wet slurping sound. Snowflake crept forward. Utter blackness swallowed him and the cold earth beneath the stone was so damp he began to fear for his wings. If he tripped and fell in this place, they might tear. It was like a rabbit’s burrow, a hole rounded out of the Kaer’s walls, a breach that went no further than a few yards. Deeper into the miniature cavern Snowflake went, and he began to see that his instincts had been right. This was the lair of the Beast. All around him was the evidence of its long years work. Little Windling skulls lined the ground like macabre path markers. Shredded bits of wings, dried and wispy, were scattered about like confetti. And the smell. Snowflake felt his stomach turn as he stumbled onto its source. A fat black cat sat before him, licking something from the pads of its paws. On the blood drenched earth were the rotting remains of the children, their bones assembled in a stinking mound. Snowflake retched and the Beast turned to regard him with lazy malice, whiskers twitching.

“Have you come to die?” Spooky rasped at the intruder, the ridiculous would-be hero, that stood hunched over, wiping a string of drool from his lips. Spooky’s voice was like a nail scraping over glass. He had not made words in centuries, but having walked so long in the skins of men he could remember, and still draw them forth.

“I’ve come to kill.” Snowflake answered, tucking his wings in tight, shifting his booted feet forward and hefting his sword.

“With that?” Spooky laughed and the sound of it was terrible. It was like ice in Snowflake’s spine. He felt his bladder shiver, his knees tremble. He wanted desperately to run.

“Yes. With this.” It came out like the squeak of a mouse.

“I have a better idea.” Spooky rose to his full height, his eyes aglow with an unnatural green light. “I have already fed. Instead of throwing your life away, you could serve me.” He moved sideways, circling, and Snowflake quickly backed away. “I would reward you. Do you wish for coin? Women? I have no use for such things, but I could give you all that you wanted and more.” Spooky purred. “I could give you everlasting life.” His green eyes watched Snowflake’s every step. “Your people live life so fully. They treasure every breath. I could give you eternity. It would be so simple. You need only say ‘yes.’”


“No?” Spooky hissed and coiled himself, back arched high. “Look around you, fool.” Snowflake did. He saw the bones of his kin littered about. He thought of the terror they must have felt, the horror they must have known. “Do you really think you can best me?”

“RAAGH!” Snowflake cried in answer. He charged. A short burst of speed from his wings shot him forward like a lance, his blade held out before him, aimed at Spooky’s heart. Spooky’s paw struck first, swatting him aside, smashing him against the wall. He felt something crack inside his chest as he tumbled and fell to the ground, knocking aside a pile of skulls. His sword went flying.

“Too bad, fool.” Spooky loomed over the fallen Windling, poised to strike. “You’ve cast aside your life for nothing. No one will ever know of your death. It will be as if you’d never lived at all. I’m going to start by eating your arm.”

“My Name is not fool. It’s Snowflake.” The Windling groaned.

“That’s a stupid name, for a stupid INSECT!” Spooky roared gleefully, and he pounced. In that very moment, Snowflake’s outstretched hand, reaching for something, anything, in desperation, closed around a smooth bit of bone. It was long, a femur, and it had been gnawed and licked and worried at until it had become as sharp as a stake, as quick as a blade. As Spooky fell onto him, Snowflake turned the bone blade up and thrust hard with both hands. Hot blood splashed down the length of the bone, over Snowflake’s hands and arms. “NO!” Spooky screeched, eyes wide and round with disbelief. “NO!” Snowflake thrust again and the bone drove deeper into Spooky’s guts. When he yanked, steaming viscera came spilling out. He was drenched in sticky gore, in ropey strings of intestine. Spooky vomited a gout of bile-black blood and collapsed, nearly crushing Snowflake under his weight.

“You were right,” The little Windling warrior sneered as he looked down on the body of his vanquished foe. “Snowflake is a stupid name.” He was covered with blood from head to toe, a slippery sword of bone gripped in his right fist, giblets still dangling from its tip. An ancient evil was laid out at his feet, dead, defeated. It would kill no more. His people had been saved. The Kaer had been saved. All by my hand. “From this day forth, I will be Catslayer.”

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