10 Slavers with Personality

Slavers are foul, odious folk dealing in the basest form of trade. Encounters with slavers—particularly role-playing encounters—should be memorable, if only for the slavers’ ineffable evil. A few slavers, however, differ from the norm.

By William McAusland (Outland Arts)


Use the NPC bios below, to portray notable slavers encountered by the PCs:

  1. Preternaturally tall and rake-thin Agis was abused mercilessly as a child by his peers. This torment twisted his soul and he now unleashes his childhood frustrations on his charges. A sadist, he is hated by those he guards. Even his fellow slavers give him a wide berth; Agis is unpredictable and his humour is very much an acquired taste.
  2. Harek doesn’t want to be here and is miserable and terrified. Several years ago, he was faced with a stark choice: live on the street or sign up with the slavers. Ever since, he has regretted his choice and desperately wants to leave. Wracked with guilt, he tries to make his charges’ lives as easy as possible. He sneaks them extra food and only beats them when he absolutely must. Consequently, he is almost liked by the slaves he watches. If he survives the PCs’ assault any freed slaves lobby for his release.
  3. A petty thief—and not a good one—Joried views her membership of the slavers as a good opportunity for virtually risk-free, minor thievery. She always tries to be the one to process new arrivals and steals whatever she can find concealed about their persons. She has hidden her spoils in an out-of-the-way storeroom and uses them as a bargaining tool to secure her freedom, if captured by the PCs.
  4. Ceol is a coward and terrified the slaves will rise up and slay their masters. Unless he can help it, he is never alone with any slaves (unless they are securely restrained). If he encounters the PC he immediately flees—even abandoning fellow slavers—to “get help”. A weaselly man, Ceol sports a scraggly beard and an abundance of knives—which he thinks makes him look tough.
  5. With a heavily scarred face and balding Praen fits the cliched image of a ferocious, vicious man. With Praen what you see is what you get. He cares only for himself; others are merely tools. Praen is also unable to back down from an argument and believes shouting is normally a winning tactic. if that fails, he resorts to extreme violence.
  6. Immensely fat, and with questionable hygiene, Inga is middle-aged and much inured to the suffering around her. To her, the world is a hard place and you are either hunter or hunted. Dark rumours accusing her of witchcraft and cannibalism circulate among the slaves, but these are untrue. In truth, she is just a very unpleasant person.
  7. Teuvo is masquerading as a slaver while he attempts to track down and free his aged mother, taken in a slaving raid a year ago. His mother—Irja—is a skilled jeweller and he believes she has been sold to a buyer in need of her particular skills. He immediately surrenders to the PCs, if given the chance, and attempts to recruit them to his cause.
  8. Elir Nuralegg is a dwarf, and he stinks. Personal hygiene does not trouble Elir and he takes perverse pleasure in standing as close as possible to his comrades. Elir neither hates nor cares for the slaves under his control. To him, they are short-lived humans worth only what someone will pay for them. With long hair, an impossibly tangled beard and dirty, sweaty studded leather Elir makes an impression on all he meets.
  9. Varma is a slaver because she is worried that if she isn’t she’ll instead he a slave herself. To prove her worth, she is outwardly even more uncaring and vicious than her fellows. She is, however, cracked by guilt, but terrified of trying to leave or of helping the slaves. If captured, she breaks down in tears and begs for mercy and forgiveness. If she is spared, she turns herself around and founds an orphanage to atone for her sins. If the PCs ever come this way again, she remembers them and does her best to assist them in any way she can.
  10. Even more vicious, depraved and merciless than the average demon, Filimer was once a slave himself. He bettered his lot by informing on, and beating to death, troublemakers and malcontents. When he stymied a prison break he was rewarded with his freedom. Now, he delights in tormenting those who once shared his station. His personal quarters are a place of nightmare, and he delights in torture. If he falls into the slaves’ hands his fate will be drawn-out and painful in the extreme.

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This article appears in 20 Things #12: Slaver Compound.

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