Update 28-Jan-18: I’m going to try to keep this post up-to-date with key NPCs from the Thule Archipelago. Newest additions are at the bottom.
Bergfinn and his men can provide adventure hooks, Skabu sells her healing services, while the Tolberts are a source of eldritch lore. Dusty will appraise treasure recovered from the Black City. Rival Adventuring Parties will keep the PCs from becoming too complacent.
Bergfinn the Bold (Ftr 8): Bergfinn is a battle-hardened Viking warrior of 45 years. A veteran of multiple expeditions to the Black City, Bergfinn wears full Hyperborean armour and wields an Ancient ray-gun. Two seasons ago he succeeded Thorvald and Karlsefni as the de facto “Jarl” of Thule and his honour guard – coined Bergfinn’s Bashers – keeps the law in Trade Town. He is generally considered fair and reasonable.
Bergfinn’s Bashers: Honour guard of “Jarl” Bergfinn. Keep the law in Trade Town and operate a checkpoint at the Well of Woe. Not to be trifled with.
Bluetooth: A veteran of Bergfinn’s Bashers. Stationed with a crew at the Well of Woe to assist exploration teams venturing to the Undercity (and extract fees in the process).
Skabu (aka “Rhiannon”) (Antiquarian Witch 4): “Sold” in the previous season to the Tolberts as a healer, she escaped from the Dark Spire and somehow managed to survive in the Black City itself over the winter (she whispers of “Kihago” when asked about this). She currently has an agreement with Bergfinn – serve in Trade Town for the season; in exchange she will be protected from the Tolberts and returned to the mainland at the end of summer.
Tolbert (aka “Tolmedes the Bright”) (Loremaster 3+): Multiple copies of the same individual, each Tolbert is a skilled wizard who resembles a classical Greek philosopher. Dressed in togas made of pale leather, they are often adorned with rings, necklaces, or skullcaps made of bone.
The Tolberts are a strict gerontocracy (government based on age). There are currently three Tolberts who have escaped radiation sickness and death; they form the ruling Triune. Eldest Tolbert discovered a restorative artifact in the Black City almost 25 years ago. Simple Tolbert is a healthy clone, but with an imperfect mind. Viking Tolbert uses black magic to possess healthy Norsemen bodies.
The Tolberts and their history are described more fully in the Dark Spire post.
The Secret Council: The PCs have heard rumours of a “Secret Council” of Tolberts who use dark and unnatural magics to survive as unliving abominations.
Dusty the Appraiser (Venturer 4): An older man, Dusty is an odd sight among the younger adventurers in Trade Town. He is a merchant who specialized in foreign wares, and was one of the first to assess the artifacts from initial forays to the Black City. He has accompanied Bergfinn for several seasons, serving as the “chief appraiser” in Trade Town. He will offer to buy artifacts that catch his interest at the standard price (½ appraised value).
She Who Must Be Obeyed (SWMBO): An immortal Hyperborean Priestess-Queen, bathed in an unearthly blue glow. She rules over a colony of subterranean Neanderthals in the giant underground cavern known as “Kihago”. She hosted Skabu after her escape from the Tolberts, and has no love for the devious wizards. Seems to have existed in her temple-palace since before the fall of the Black City.
Rival Adventuring Parties:
Spears of Odin: Experienced crew; third season in Black City. Discovered a secret Hyperborean trove in the Undercity. Won blood feud against the claim-jumping Red Men.
Harald’s Red Men: Freebooters and thieves of ill repute. Declared “outlaw” after losing a blood feud against Odin’s Spears, with the survivors fleeing into the Black City.