Julius "Rig" Mer-Krel
Bonus Feats (3), Sailor Lore, Seamanship +4, Dirty Strike +4d4, Back-to-Back +3
Balance +15, Bluff +8, Climb +17, Escape Artist +8, Gather Information +11, Intimidate +13, Jump +12, Listen +7, Profession (sailor) +15, Spot +9, Survival +7, Swim +11, Tumble +13, Use Rope +11
Athletic, Combat Expertise, Dodge, Improved Disarm, Improved Feint, Improved Initiative, Lucky, Mobility, Weapon Finesse (cutlass)
+3 keen cutlass, +20/+15/+10 melee (1d6+6 damage, crit 17-20/x2, slashing/piercing)
ring of feather falling (matches ring worn by his wife Shaon), amulet of natural armor +4.
Rig is dressed in red shirt, black breeches belted with gold sash and wears a ankle length red and gold buccaneer's coat (functions as a cape of the mountebank) and a tricorn hat with scarlet feathers. He wears an eye patch over his left-eye having lost it in a battle, and his chin sports a careful groomed goatee.
As a young man, Rig was concerned solely with lining his own pockets. He didn't care who he had to kill to make it rich and over his lifetime has killed hundreds of men. Being forced to be the instrument of death of his friend and mentor though shook him to his core. Rig has had a change of heart and now believes in letting people live so they can be robbed again. This is not to say he won't kill if he has too, but he doesn't like killing if he can disarm, render his opponents helpless instead. Rig is unconcerned with matters of good or evil he simply wants to live the good life.
In another time Rig Mer-Krel would have been destined to become one of Goldmoon's Heroes of the Heart; however in the Age of Dragons, Rig is a pirate who looks out only for himself and his crew.
Rig, born Julius Mer-Krel, comes from an abusive home. His father was a violent drunkard with a proclivity for domestic violence and a love of dwarf spirits. After his father killed his mother one night in a drunken rage, Rig decided he'd had enough. A few days later his father passed out from imbibing too much dwarf spirits; Rig left the house and never looked back.
He stowed away on a merchant caravel bound for Caergoth. The caravel was attacked by pirates a day out of Crossing. These pirates sailed aboard a vessel called the Kraken's Shadow and were notorious for not leaving anyone alive to tell of their deeds. The pirates put the passengers and crew of the caravel to the sword leaving only Rig. Fearing for his life Rig scrambled from his hiding place and up into the rigging of the ship. He evaded several of the pirates sent up to kill him. The ease with which he navigated the web of ropes and beams earned him a stay of execution from the pirate Captain, Markus Essex.
Capt. Essex took Rig on as a cabin boy. From Essex, Rig learned seamanship and the art of fencing. He could outfight just about any one of the crew, save for Essex himself. The crew gave Julius the name "Rig" because when he wasn't serving the Captain he could often be found up in the rigging of the ship doing jobs none of the rest of the wanted to do.
After many years of loyal service Rig worked his way up to the rank of First Mate. Soon after Captain Essex told Rig his greatest secret.
"I am not the real Markus Essex," he said. "The real Essex has been dead for at least 20 years. I am really a sivak named Hume." To prove his point Hume assumed his true form before Rig and continued his explanation.
"I killed Essex in a tavern fight nearly 20 years ago. You may have noticed that when I led the crew in battle I never actually killed anyone myself," said Hume. "That was so I could preserve Essex's form and my status as Captain of this vessel. After 20 years though, I am tired. To that end I am giving you this ship. I will hide out until we next make port, then I will depart. Tell no one what I have just related to you. Once I depart the ship is truly yours."
Hume never made it to port. One of the crew had been spying on the meeting between Rig and Hume and informed the rest of the crew. The crew mutinied the next day killing the draconian. To retain his position, Rig was forced to deliver the killing blow. He mouthed the words, "I'm sorry," then decapitated the sivak. The crew made Rig the new Captain.
The death of Hume left a bad taste in his mouth and Rig swore off killing as a result. His swordsmanship gave him many tools other than death to use against opponents. His distaste for killing however did not stop him from killing the crew member who ratted out Hume. The crewman bragged about it a few nights later and Rig rigged an accident to befall him. No word was ever said about the crewman's death. Many assumed he'd jumped ship. Only Rig knew the truth.
Rig abandoned Essex's practice of killing the crew and passengers aboard the boats they plundered. Instead he allowed those who surrendered to live, reasoning that they could be robbed again another day. These practices resulted in great wealth for the crew and a reputation for honorable dealings; however leaving so many witnesses behind also led to him being a hunted man.
A taskforce comprised of members of the United Realms tracked down Rigs pirate ship and sunk it. This taskforce was led by the Knights of Takhisis from their flagship, the Lord Broedius. The battle was fierce; but despite fighting valiantly Rig and his crew was out-numbered.
Rig survived the battle as did his wife, Shaon; however only twelve other crewmen survived. They were taken prisoner aboard the Lord Broedius and were forced to watch from their cells as the Kraken's Shadow was set alight and burned to the waterline.
Rig and his crew were taken to Sanction where they were to be held before being transported to Palanthas for trial, while repairs were made to the Lord Broedius which had been heavily damaged in the battle with Rig's ship. Using their wits Rig and his crew escaped and commandeered a prototype vessel being developed for the Dark Knight Navy. It was for all purposes a normal sailing ship albeit one designed to sail through air as well as the sea. Rig and his crew escaped by taking to the skies in their new airship.
It has taken some time for the crew to become accustomed to sailing through the air, but now each of them is an accomplished sky-sailor. In homage to his lost ship, Rig renamed the Queen's Victory, the Ghost Kraken. Rig takes care not to plunder any Dark Knight ships until the crew is more adept and their numbers have grown. For the moment, Rig confines his piracy to non-military vessels.
Stealing the airship earned the ire of the Knights of Takhisis, who will stop at nothing to recover their property.
I do not know if Julius is Rig's real first name as I could not find it in any book I possess. I chose Julius because to me it sounded like an Ergothian name. I also opted not to include stats for the Ghost Kraken as I do not have the book on airships.
This item has been published here with permission from the author(s) and may not be reproduced without permission. This is a fan submission and its contents are completely unofficial. Some characters, places, likenesses and other names may be copyright Wizards of the Coast.