Sir Mortimer Graves, Knight of Alfheim, is a very youthful looking and unreasonably handsome male halfling, unnaturally tall and unusually slender for one of his race (if scaled to human he'd be a 6' 8" basketball player). He looks to be perhaps 20 years old (another magical effect) and these days is sometimes mistaken for a sibling of his children.
Straight, shoulder length, centre parted glossy hair the colour of honey frames angelic features: golden winged brows above warm and slightly slanted tawny eyes*, flecked with green; high cheekbones; a long, straight nose; firm mouth; purposeful chin; and creamy ivory skin. Exquisitely cast features that look more Elven than Halfling, but that somehow do nothing to detract from his comeliness. To elves he appears even more handsome.
(This all being the result of a powerful magical enhancement, replacing his previously rather undistinguished features).
His strength appears moderate, his other physical attributes unremarkable, save his resistance to blows, and capacity for exertion; both notably high for his race.
He is generally well clad in knee length soft boots, trews, shirt and doublet in pearl and dove greys, with a full circle cloak of rich, milky white silk interwoven with gold (samite).
- To powers (gods, demons, angels) and agents Mortimer's eyes appear as gleaming, burnished gold.
Mortimer's home of "Gravesend" sits on a dozen or so acres of mostly wooded land a few miles outside of New Seagate. The main building is a fortified manor house, and there are a number of barn-sized workshop outbuildings, most containing enormous machinery, and experimental Graves Steam Engines.
Visitors riding in through the open gates, above which are Mortimer's arms, will be met by a scene of domestic activity bordering on chaos, consisting in part of a gaggle of children, various fantastical and domesticated animals, and innumerable cats. If time permits Mortimer will generally invite visiting fellow Guild members to tour the grounds a little and then have tea and scones.
Born and raised on a farm in Brastor, the eldest child and only son of an indentured farming family, Mortimer hated farming (and being little more than a slave) and ran away from the farm as a young teen. He was taken in by an elderly man, a "hedge-witch", who saw his magical potential and trained him as an apprentice, teaching him the ways to make potions and lay hexes, while Mortimer entertained thoughts of one day going back and rescuing his family and exacting a measure of revenge on the rich farmer to whom they were bonded.
Shortly before the old man died he called upon his demon "master", Marchosias, Marquis of the Seventh Throne and Mortimer made a Pact with the great eagle winged Ox. To be fair, Marchosias wasn't too impressed by the small cowering halfling who was entering his service and went some way towards remedying this by taking Mortimer's fear. Now boldly demanding a familiar, Mortimer in return wasn't much impressed by the toad that was offered up -- but warmed to him later, naming him "Flytrap".
After the old man died, Mortimer followed his parting advice and journeyed north to Seagate and the Guild. (Mortimer's mentor having told him that the Seagate Guild was an association of high minded and honourable folk who sought to right wrongs and further the cause of justice, and that it was a fine place for a young man to make a name and fortune for himself. Mortimer surmised that the Guild has changed somewhat). The Guild accepted him, though he discovered that "Black Mages" were none to fondly thought of, there having been some unpleasantness with them in the past.
Slowly gaining experience, Mortimer, still very young, looked for fellow adventurers to emulate, seeking those qualities he desired; the wealth to rise above his background, and the power to defend against the abuses he had seen and suffered as a child. Von Kroft engendered in him an interest in machinery, and from Silverfoam he gained a thirst for knowledge, and a love of all things Elven -- Mortimer rather wishes he'd been born an elf. One defining moment for him, was being rewarded for services to the Elven Crown by being made a Knight of Alfheim, and a member of the elite guard of Prince Eoren's Bowmen. (Mortimer is aware of all of the principles behind a bow and can build giant siege bows, but has himself never used one, so it's good that the military position is entirely honourary).
As his philosophical knowledge grew, one thing he studied deeply was the ways of the powers, and demons in particular; the more he learned the less wise he felt his pact to be. During dealings with some other Guild members he gained the opportunity to switch masters and took it, being traded to the demon Buer, the Star President, whose ethics (though still deeply tainted with self interest) fitted rather better than those of the baresark Marchosias. Mortimer isn't sure what he got traded for, but suspects that Marchosias would have been happy receiving in return a more martial follower of Buer's... or even a small house-plant. Buer insisted that Mortimer learn healing, and marked him as his own by giving him eyes "the colour of mars" as Buer himself possesses, though only powers and agents could see this.
Around this time he received a letter from his sister (smuggled off the farm and sent north) asking him for help. Returning home he discovered the landowner dead, the demon that slew him (whilst looking for Mortimer) rendered harmless through a convoluted series of events involving an extra-planar demon hunter. After the mess was cleared up Mortimer removed his family from the farm and set them up with a bakery and "tea shop". Following recent Dark Circle events, they relocated to Ranke. (Mortimer dearly loves his parents, he'd just rather they weren't in the same city as him).
On a very unadventurous adventure, travelling to a rich halfling's birthday party as celebrity entertainers, Mortimer first failed to win Mary-M's affections, before inadvertently thrusting her into the arms and embrace of Dumas through the unadvised use of love potion, (a small barrel of the stuff was involved... along with a village that will probably never be quite the same), a relationship that didn't last however, being destroyed by Sabella, another halfling vying for Dumas's affections, also by the use of love potion. But all was for the best in the end, as Mortimer met (and later married) the only slightly demonic "food witch" Esmeralda the Magnificent (aka Daisy), who transformed herself into a halfling. Some months later Petal (as she was now calling herself) gave birth to the triplets, Zack, Zoe and Zardoz -- the family now living in a goodly manor outside New Seagate along with a stable of horses, many assorted animals, 27 cats and a paranoid goldfish named Mack.
Over the years Mortimer's adventuring has declined, time being taken with family, books and enormous machinery powered by experimental Graves Steam Engines. Some have been useful -- the 40 foot steam yacht "Esmeralda" was used on adventure -- but most are for interest only. When the Guild was attacked as services disrupted Mortimer offered to train philosophy and mechanics students, and when the Dark Circle threatened he designed and built new defences for the Duke -- and personally argued against the abortive attempt to require oaths of fealty from anyone with demonic associations.
The demonic pact continued to weigh heavily on his mind however, as over the years he had found far more in common with the Powers of Light (though not necessarily with their Church) and hoped one day to perhaps put the demons behind him. A few years ago, journeying to the worlds of Icefall and caught in that plane’s time-loop effect, the party, save one, were deconstructed at the beginning of the universe and rebuilt by the will of the creator, or at least the creator's throne, occupied at the time by Lysander. She heard and understood Mortimer's heart and when he reformed he felt the change; his pact had been re-aligned to the Light, and Flytrap was embarrassed to be seen in non-toad form (it having something to do with fluffy wings). Mortimer didn't appear to be pacted to any of the beings known as the Powers of Light, but rather to the source of their principles and ethics; he is still investigating this change, and looking to make a change for better in the world.
Further changes were to follow when he became entangled with the doing of Faerie, resulting in Flytrap's metamorphosis into a fey being (with butterfly-like fairy wings replacing the fluffy) and Mortimer being marked as a fey-friend, and a magical change (caused by an item carried for many years) that left his features transformed from what a polite observer might have called "homely" to his current stunning looks (with which he is slowly becoming comfortable). Unable it seems to avoid meddlesome beings Mortimer has also been marked as a scion of a Power, another area that requires investigation.
- (born ???). Formerly known as Daisy (when human), and professionally titled Esmeralda the Magnificent. Petal practices a form of magic centered around enchanted food; summoning, creating, turning into buildings, etc. Chocolate cake houses (rather less structurally sound than gingerbread), hail storms of strawberries, rains of cream, and flocks of pancakes have also occurred. While Daisy appeared human her family and lineage is more mysterious with her father being a cambion (the half-human offspring of the union between a mortal and a demon) or similar.
- (born Winter 789 WK). Zack is tall and lanky (for a halfling) with rather undistinguished features. He often appears scruffy and somewhat disheveled, with overly long hair. He is easy going and good natured, despite being the one most likely to get blamed when the triplets got into trouble.
- (born Winter 789 WK). Zoe is tall and lithe (for a halfling) with angelic features and porcelain white skin. She has sparkling green eyes and an appearance of innocence that well conceals the wicked temper that she has when roused. Zoe was most often the ring-leader when the triplets got into trouble, yet somehow managed to side-step most of the blame.
- (born Winter 789 WK). Zardoz is tall and lean (for a halfling) with black hair in a widow's peak, dark eyes, and a suave and urbane manner. If angered his eyes can become red, and shadows about his brow and back suggest horns and tail (although these are insubstantial). His aura shows a trace of something extra-planar and possibly demonic. Zardoz was usually the voice of reason and caution when the triplets got involved in chaos causing schemes, and yet somehow managed to increase the overall confusion and fallout while being nowhere to be found when blame was being shared.
DragonQuest Personality Profile
(originally filled out for Jeff Ledra)
List your skills (including College)
What motivated you to study each of these skills?
- Witchcraft & Alchemy
- The Witchcraft college has never sat entirely comfortably (even now embracing the Light) and sometimes I wish I could switch to something else, although I’m not sure what. [Martin -- this was chosen years ago as Black and mostly just to be different and break the cutesy hobbit stereotype. I was originally planning for him to be a Necro -- Mort Graves, yes? -- but decided the College was very poor and lacked flavour. This was fixed later by rewriting it with Dean].
- Alchemy was gained on adventure many years ago and I have only recently begun studying it seriously. [Martin – in part because the GM who designed it never finished the job and with my own GM hat on I was trying to avoid the unbalanced aspects. This was recently resolved].
- Philosopher & Mechanician – Both of these are very central to me and stem from a desire to understand (and perhaps control in some ways) the world around me. [Martin -- Mortimer describes himself as a Rational Empiricist, and prefers to rely on observational, experimental, or deductive processes. Despite his prodigious library collection he has little love of Scholasticism].
- Alchemist , Herbalist & Healer help round out the scientist portfolio.
- Armourer, Weaponsmith, Mil Sci, and various Artisan skills round out the Military and Engineering aspects.
- Various Language skills add to the scholarly abilities.
- Courtier marks my transition from peasant background to a person of some estate and refined tastes.
- Ranks in Astrologer, Beastmaster, Merchant, Navigator, Ranger, and Spy, and more recent physical development and weapons training are all part of my pursuit of the Renaissance Man or polymath ideal.
- Troubadour is just for fun (and will never be highly ranked).
- Thief is purely cultural heritage.
Accomplishments you are proud of
- Being made a Knight of Alfheim. (This one is absolutely tops!)
- Being one of the best scholars and engineers around, and particularly for my work in Elven linguistics.
- Winning a Smartest and Bravest award from the Guild.
Speculate on the ideal relationship
- Errr… being a grail hobbit, with an appetite for 6 meals a day, married to a food-witch and being surrounded by triplets, assorted house guests and hangers-on, a menagerie of animals, 27 cats and a gold-fish named Mack.
What events in your life did you enjoy most?
- Getting away from home, and joining the Guild.
- Being made an Elven Knight.
- Going home to find that my parent’s owner…errr… “employer” had been killed by a demon that I had pissed off. (A guilty pleasure perhaps).
What events in your life did you enjoy least?
- My childhood. ‘Nuff said.
- Meeting people who feel that halflings are objects of ridicule.
- Mary M falling for Dumas… and me being responsible for it.
What aspects of yourself do you like the least?
- My ability to hold a grudge.
- Being physically weak.
What aspects of yourself do you like the most?
- Being trustworthy.
- Being able to be useful.
- Being able to take a joke.
List your most frequent worries
- That I won’t be able to protect my wife and children in the face of apocalyptic events.
- That I’ll be judged for what I am, not who I am.
What are your greatest strengths?
- Knowledge, in the form of scholarship, magic and skills.
What are your principle desires?
- To stand on the side of right and justice.
- To have a good influence and impact on the world.
- To be respected.
- To be happy.
If you were to receive an award, what would you like it for?
- Something that involved bravery and smarts that resulted in good for people.
List three things you believe yourself
- Villains are often well dressed.
- People should be given a chance to prove themselves… and redemption is possible for anyone.
- Negotiation is preferable to conflict, but if you have to fight, it’s not a game, it’s not a sport and you should fight to win.
List three things you believe about your relationship with party members
- It’s always best to adventure with people you can trust to guard your back, and they should be able to trust you too; honesty and trust are crucial.
- Never use love potions.
- No-one enjoys the trumpet at 4am.
List three things you believe about money
- It’s nice to have.
- It lets you buy toys.
- You shouldn’t get too bent out of shape over it… or you’ll turn into a Dwarf.
List three things you believe about adventuring
- You get to see some amazing things and exotic locations.
- It teaches you about the world.
- Most adventurers have problems reasoning their way out of difficulties and choose aggression instead… actually most have trouble reasoning their way out of a soggy paper bag.
List three things you believe about the Guild
- It’s generally honest.
- It doesn’t always do the best it could for the members.
- It lets in some real riff-raff.
List three things you believe about the future
- It’s currently looking downright gloomy.
- If we manage to make it through the next few years then things will be brighter.
- There’ll be really big machines involved, probably steam-powered…
List three things you believe about tolerance
- You need it to be a successful adventurer and associate with some of the bone-heads they let in the guild.
- Too many people judge without understanding.
- There are limits.
List three things you believe about Pacting
- You should be very careful who you choose to become an Agent of… randomness is right out.
- A promised change is not always good.
- It needs to be an arrangement that is of benefit to both parties.
List three things you believe about the Powers of Light
- Their aims are worthy.
- Their goals and beliefs are often misrepresented by their ignorant mortal followers.
- They can be sanctimonious pratts.
List three things you believe about the Church
- They often misunderstand or misrepresent the PoL they follow.
- They are just people, and subject to ignorance, petty jealousies and political in-fighting.
- Many of them are good people, trying their best to act for good in the world.
List three things you believe about the Powers of Darkness
- There are shades of grey, but all have a highly developed sense of self-interest.
- Look into bargains carefully.
- Never summon demons you can’t bind.
How does your history shape your behaviour?
- I’ve spent a long time running away from home, trying to lose the trappings of poverty and serf-dom, losing accents and ignorance, gaining knowledge and wealth. My impish tendencies have toned down over the years and become hidden behind a veneer of culture and nobility, although they still peek out from time to time, more so I think now that I’m no longer demonic.