Brittanis Iconics: Gareth of Whitestone

[This post is the first of a series. I’ve always loved Paizo’s iconic characters— the “default” pre-generated characters for their Pathfinder world of Golarion. So I’m doing the same for Brittanis. Characters who embody the tone, theme, and feel of the world to be played ot to help inspire those building Brittanis characters of their own.]

Gareth of Whitestone

Gareth of Whitestone, played by James Purefoy

Situated at the junction of two nations and a wasteland waiting to be reclaimed, the town of Whitestone is the only major light of civilization for leagues around. Thus, putting yourself on the bad side of the man ruling that town would be a bad thing. This is even more true if that Lord happens to be your own father. Gareth of Whitestone slew his own mother, maimed his brother and fled Whitestone with only the armor on his back and a sword in his hand– and he is the good guy in his story!

Born in the bustling border town of Whitestone, Gareth is one of the unluckiest things in life: a fourth child of three healthy older siblings. His eldest brother and sister are both mages, and his next eldest brother is a plotting, scheming ne’er-do-well whose daggers were firmly targeted on his elder siblings’ backs. Gareth proved to be the black sheep of his family and took to the martial way of life almost instantly, his natural force of personality showing up at an early age. As the son of the Lord of Whitestone, he learned early of tactics, troop movement, and the burden of command. He served as a squire and then a man-at-arms for his father’s forces, and it seemed as if his lot in life was to become the strong right hand to his elder brother when the title was passed down from father to eldest child. But such was not to be.

Gareth had suspected his next-eldest brother–Wynstan– of treachery for a long time, but had no proof until one night Gareth was on watch with the militia and Wynstan was brought to the guardhouse in chains yet again. He had been beaten severely by local toughs because the young lord owed a great deal of money to a local thieves’ guild and couldn’t pay. With a little investigation, Gareth found that the reason Wynstan was in trouble was even more nefarious– he had taken a contract out on his own father’s life and then couldn’t pay the fee. Disgusted and furious, Gareth went to his father with the evidence and told the Lord of Whitestone of his own son’s assassination plot. Wynstan refuted the charges and challenged Gareth to a trial by combat.

During the duel, Wynstan smuggled members of the Thieves’ Guild into the castle and staged a coup. The elder Lord of Whitestone was sadly slain, and though Gareth managed to rally many of the guards in the castle under his command, he was too late to save his father. Wynstan’s blade took his father’s life and his blood ran red on the floor. Enraged, Gareth commanded his soldiers to finish off the thieves and his bother, but as he swung his blade to deliver the killing blow, Gareth’s mother rushed into the fray and took the blow meant for her treacherous son. Mad with grief over her dead husband, she told Gareth that she could not bear to lose a child too, and Gareth held his dying mother as Wynstan and his thugs fled into the night.

The next day, Gareth was exiled. His elder brother, now Lord of Whitestone, had nobody to punish and vent his rage upon but his youngest brother. Accusing him of murdering their mother, Gareth was exiled from Whitestone never to return. Cursing his fate and unable to attand the funerals of his mother or father, Gareth left the city and has wandered central Brittanis since, serving as a mercenary squad commander and leader of soldiers.

Gareth was once a man driven by duty and devotion to his family, but all that is gone now. He sees the mercenary life as all he will ever achieve until one day an enemy gets lucky and he ends up dead on a spearpoint. Gareth is a man looking for a purpose– a man looking for a cause to believe in, a people to defend from evil, or something to give his life meaning before the darkness swallows it up whole. He is grim and determined, and utterly fearless in battle– he feels as if he has little to lose and gains satisfaction from bringing his companions back from each battle alive. Not concerned with the money, Gareth lives the mercenary life because that’s all he has. His heart is still noble, and one day he intends to avenge himself on his both of his brothers and clear his name. Some day he intends to go back to Whitestone and pay his respects to his mother and father. Some day.

[Note: Human PCs get an additional bonus feat in my game world, depending on their ethnicity. Gareth is a Tiberian Human, so his choices were Iron Will or Skill Training (Diplomacy, History, or Religion). Gareth took Iron Will]

Gareth of Whitestone, level 1 Human Warlord
Build: Inspiring Warlord
Warlord Ability: Battlefront Leader
Commanding Presence: Inspiring Presence
Human Power Selection: Heroic Effort

Theme: Noble

Background: Recent Life – Mercenary Work (+2 to Athletics)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 18, Con 13, Dex 8, Int 12, Wis 11, Cha 15.

AC: 19 Fort: 16 Reflex: 14 Will: 16

HP: 25 Surges: 9 Surge Value: 6

TRAINED SKILLS
Intimidate +7, Endurance +4, Heal +5, Athletics +9, Diplomacy +7

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics -3, Arcana +1, Bluff +2, Dungeoneering, History +1, Insight, Nature, Perception, Religion +1, Stealth -3, Streetwise +2, Thievery -3

FEATS
Human: Improved Inspiring Word
Feat User Choice: Iron Will
Level 1: Armored Warlord

POWERS
Warlord at-will 1: Wolf Pack Tactics
Warlord at-will 1: Direct the Strike
Warlord encounter 1: Hammer and Anvil
Warlord daily 1: Fearless Rescue

ITEMS
Longsword, Scale Armor, Heavy Shield, Handaxe (4), Backpack (empty), Bedroll, Belt Pouch (empty), Flint and Steel, Hempen Rope (50 ft.), Torch (2), Trail Rations (10), Waterskin

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2 Responses to Brittanis Iconics: Gareth of Whitestone

  1. Anonymous says:

    Waaaiiiiit. If Wynstan defaulted on a deal with the thieves guild (who I guess moonlight as assassins who work for cash on deliv… for each attempt maybe?) why would they agree to help him stage a coup (unless he was going to be a puppet ruler for their guild master?)? In any case, how could he smuggle them in *during* the duel? If it was before, why even bother with the challenge? It would buy time I suppose, but in the meantime I’d have thought he’d at least be locked up.
    And what did the Lord, their father, have to say? “I’ve been brought evidence of my own son’s treachery but sure we can ignore that and let them decide it by trying to kill each other.”
    And they didn’t even finish the job! Setting aside that he didn’t try to kill off his older brother, the biggest object between him and the throne, why did they not stay and follow through with the coup instead fleeing into the night, never to be mentioned again?! I presume at the very least the new ruler set up a manhunt for the blackguard.

    • Good on you for finding all the holes in the story so quick. Everything written is information from Gareth’s point-of-view, so the player picking up Gareth’s character sheet doesn’t know the secrets involved right at the start. All the questions you mentioned are deliberate, and are there so that Gareth’s player has a mystery to unravel as game play progresses. Well done!

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