The Vaspasian family owns mercantile interests across the southeast. This cements them as an invaluable part of the Guild. This relationship works in both directions: the Guild ensures that the Vaspasians have a place to sell their wares, and the Vaspasians ensure that the Guild gets the best prices and that their interests are safe. Right now that duty falls to Baltana.
Baltana has been working with the Guild for some ten years. Before that he tried his hand at many different tasks – blacksmith, horse-trainer, yeddim-driver, ship-builder, sand-sailor, and more – before finally realizing that he actually did want to go into the family business. Since then he’s been happier and more fulfilled than in his journeyman days.
Most of the people around him know this story, because Baltana is always happy to talk. It’s what makes him so good at his job. His parents always said that he was “born with a parrot in his mouth,” which he always thought was the funniest expression he’d ever heard, so he started collecting similar sayings.
Recently Baltana found his mind wandering toward Red Jade Canyon, wondering if there might still be some way to make a profit there despite the collapsed mine. Perhaps he could even find the right people to repair it! He left Ember to travel south, convincing the guild to allow him “only a small entourage” of fifty or so, with a few new-hired guards and some expert engineers. They arrived in Red Jade Canyon just ahead of an unexpected complication: Lady Shafallika‘s desert cavalry.
Baltana’s family is native to the south. He has medium-brown skin with sepia undertones and brown-red eyes. His hair is well-groomed salt-and-pepper on both his head and his beard. He wears a perpetual smile.
Baltana is both genial and business-oriented. He can work and talk at the same time, and forgets that not everyone wants a little happy chatter in their lives. He’s always nice about it, but it usually takes him two or three tries to actually be quiet. Baltana is also highly optimistic, thinking the best of others. He even has a little difficulty bringing himself to believe that someone has hurt him intentionally.
Baltana is a little sad that he doesn’t have someone to share his life with yet. All the time he spends on the road for the Guild makes it hard to find that special someone. He’s hoping to get assigned to a caravan one of these days – their large population makes it more likely that someone find him to their liking.
Baltana is very charming, and fairly attractive. Only the most dour introverts can keep a scowl on their face when he’s around. He knows how to work a crowd and how to make friends one-on-one. He can keep his feet after downing a surprising amount of liquor. He keeps his own books, knows the price of goods all up and down the southeastern mountains, and has a tremendous store of aphorisms and obscure sayings that turn out to be surprisingly accurate.
He’s been assaulted a handful of times, and while he primarily relies on his elite bodyguards, he has also learned how to dodge blows and where to hit someone to make a quick getaway.
Baltana has no control over his own essence.
- Tyrael Vaspasian, head bodyguard and a distant nephew. Diligent, friendly, courageous.
- Unter Pelaver, the entourage’s scout and Baltana’s best friend on this journey. Industrious, adventurous, eccentric.
- Orala Dirtmind, the best engineer in Ember, recruited to examine the mines. Ambitious, skilled, unkind.
- Three-Hands Rendo, the local Guild representative in Red Jade Canyon for when the caravans aren’t here. Nervous, penny-pinching, ambitious.
- Note that Baltana would make an excellent employer for any player characters entering this setting. Feel free to augment or replace any of his entourage with one of the PCs.
- How will Baltana extricate himself from the situation in the canyon? What will he do if he can’t?
- Where might Baltana find profit in this situation? Will he look for that, or will he try to act for a greater good?