A Rogues' Gallery

The great majority of the opponents a ZeFRS character faces will be other human beings. In this section we present some examples of typical people your character is likely to encounter.



Bands of armed robbers can be found haunting forest and highway alike. These roaming thugs are somewhat less fearsome than bands of actual military men, whether mercenary or soldier.

Pro 1 Fight 1 End 0 Kno 0 Per 0 In 0
movement 5
acrobatics 3
climbing 5
sword 4
dagger 3
brawling 3
damage 5
poison 2
lockpicking 2 picking pockets 3
observation 4
direction sense 3


The common folk of the world are skilled in whatever profession they follow, but have next to no knowledge of the talents adventurers use every day.

Pro 0 Fight 0 End 0 Kno 1 Per 0 In 0
movement 3
strength 2
brawling 2 damage 3
willpower 2
poison endurance 2
any profession/trade 10    

A commoner will have little on his person beyond the tools of his trade and perhaps a few coppers.


The religions of a sword-and-sorcery world are many and varied, but a large number have this in common: they inspire their adherents to become gibbering killers.

Pro 1 Fight 0 End 0 Kno 0 Per 0 In 0
movement 4
strength 5
throwing 1
weapon 4
wrestling 4
damage 4
magic endurance 3
any profession/trade 2 animal handling 3
observation 3
animal senses 2

Cultists will be most often be armed with ritual weapons such as daggers, sickles or garottes.


A step up from the common mercenary, freebooters are professional military units that work for the highest bidder. Elite freebooter companies will even include cavalry.

Pro 1 Fight 1 End 2 Kno 0 Per 1 In 0
movement 5
strength 5
sword 5
shortbow 5
brawling 5
damage 8
magic endurance 3
poison endurance 3
will 6
at least two foreign languges 3 animal handling 5
observation 3
tracking 2
direction sense 3

Freebooter "knights" will also have heavy and light lance Talents at a rating of 5-8.


Merchant sailors and pirate crewman share much the same Talents (no surprise given that each may have been the other only a few weeks ago).

Pro 1 Fight 0 End 1 Kno 0 Per 0 In 0
climbing 3
swimming 5
movement 3
dagger 2
cutlass 5
damage 10 sailing 6
navigation 2
medicine 2 weather sense 2

Sample Characters

Dural Besh

Dural Besh, son of Dural Hab the praise singer and Dural Ima the weaver, was born in the land of Marumasai. Dural grew to a moderate stature, with a wiry frame and long, nimble fingers. His skill at the loom was passable, but he excelled at vividly recounting folktales and even scenes of everyday life in the city where he and his parents lived. On days he was sent to the bazaar for materials, he spent far more time swapping stories with traders from far-flung lands than he did hunting for good deals on cotton and silk. One day he could refuse the call of the open road no longer; he spent his meager savings on two blades and a leather coat and signed on as a guard for a caravan headed for a city he had never heard of. Ever since Besh has wandered the far corners of the earth, always sure that a new great tale of adventure is just over the horizon.

Pro 1 Fight 1 End 0 Kno 0 Per 0 In 0
movement 5
animal reflexes 3
climbing 3
saber 5
dirk 3
two-weapon fighting 3
damage 5
poison 3
lore 3 minstrel 3
artisan: weaver 2
observation 3
personal magnetism 4

Weaknesses: Phobia (cats)
Equipment: sabre, dirk, leather jack, cotton trousers, ox-hide sandals

Jackal the Reaver

Of all the children of the grim and hard Rhagadash people, Jackal the Reaver is among the most dour and pitiless. The nameless country of the Rhagadash was a mighty nation until a wizards' war blasted its very earth; now the once-cultured citizenry have reverted to barbarism in their struggle to survive against creatures warped by sorcery and a landscape that is itself in constant upheaval. The Rhagadash believe that each day of life must be won in a struggle against Emradeth, a god who pays the world no mind other than to send curses and doom. Jackal took this lesson to heart and has made it his goal to wrest as many days as he can from this divine tormentor by deeds of ferocity and might. Every day he lives is another chance to spit in the Cruel Lord's eye.

Pro 0 Fight 1 End 1 Kno 0 Per 0 In 0
climbing 3
movement 5
brawling 4
broadsword 7
axe 5
damage 7
willpower 4
survival (desert) 3 observation 5
tracking 3
animal senses 4
directional sense 2

Weaknesses: Taciturn, Phobia (magic)
Equipment: broadsword, iron and sinew headband, linen tunic, leather breeches and boots

Galya Eyepiercer

Galya, daughter of Rina the Swift, daughter of Yevna Stonehand, lived her early years among the wild riders who roam the Sarthian steppes. Her eponym she earned while little more than a girl, downing six Mitrugolnik warriors at the Battle of Evernight Forest. She soon became the captain of her own troop of mounted archers who made their living in the traditional Sarthian manner, as elite mercenaries in the service of the strange kingdoms across the mountains. With every campaign the fame of Galya's band grew - as did the envy of rival freebooter captains. At last, during a battle on the borders of the Amarian moors they left open a crucial avenue of attack on her company. Wild Uskibayan barbarians swept down and slew the lot before the other mercenaries closed in and destroyed them in turn. They were finally rid of their hated rival. Or so they thought.

Galya alone survived the fighting, though so badly beaten she was unrecognizable for many months. She dragged herself by her one good arm to a farm, where the old couple who kept it took her in and nursed her back to health. Upon recovering she set out to learn what had gone so terribly wrong that day. It didn't take long for her to learn of her troop's betrayal, and less time for her to begin to take her revenge. Seven captains of the civilized world's most famous freebooters have met their deaths on the end of her knife or the tip of her arrow. Only one remains, and Galya will never rest until she has watched him die at her hand.

Pro 0 Fight 1 End 1 Kno 0 Per 0 In 0
movement 5 shortbow 10
dagger 4
wrestling 2
damage 8
poison 8
brewing 2
fletching 2
herbalism 2
animal handling 8 direction sense 4

Weaknesses: Weakness to drink
Equipment: shortbow, 50 arrows, chain shirt, silk undertunic, leather pants, felt boots


Rumor has it that Tolgan, called Daggerheart, is the second-born of the Warduke of Sava. He didn't intend to resign himself to a second son's life in a backwoods monastery of the Eighteen Forebearers, but neither did he covet the place of his elder brother Rurik. Tolgan knew well that with land and vassals comes an inheritance of parasites and assassins. Let his brother take up the axe of authority while he dispensed brotherly advice from well behind the throne. And when his brother fell, as he inevitably would, he wouldn't join the long line of younger brothers who had ended their days eyeless and tongueless in a dungeon cell. Instead he would impress on the new Warduke the wisdom of his counsel - and the patina of legitimacy his new rule would acquire from keeping Tolgan at court.

The risks were great, and Tolgan determined to leave nothing to chance. To supplement his natural persuasiveness he sought ancient knowledge that would let him enchant men's minds and bend their will to his own. And thus he took his first heedless step on the road away from the court of Sava, for with each sleepless night spent poring over mouldering scrolls and dear-bought tomes of lore, his obsession with magic grew to the exclusion of all other concerns. Moving his brother to marry one chieftain's daughter instead of another, to proclaim an edict banning the wearing of a certain style of hat on pain of a season's imprisonment, to have a visiting dignitary flayed and dragged across a stonefield by plough horses - these were adequate preliminary experiments. But with each new spell Tolgan mastered, his conviction grew that he was on the cusp of even greater power. He had plumbed the depths of sorcerous knowledge that could be found in Sava and the surrounding duchies. To find the wisdom he desired, nay deserved, he would have to travel to the far corners of the world. So it was that one day, he accepted the Captain of the Guard's gift of his life's savings and set out on a never-ending quest to master magic.

Pro 0 Fight 0 End 1 Kno 1 Per 0 In 1
movement 6
sleight of hand 3
dagger 2 damage 5
magic 8
alchemy 3
arcane languages 6
herbalism 8
observation 2 hypnotism 3
mind control 5
obsession 6
personal magnetism 4


Barad-Ghal embraced his assassin
Type: Mind Control
Difficulty: moderate (yellow/acceptable)
Targets under the influence of this spell will perceive a selected invididual as friendly and trustworthy, even if that person is about to fall upon them with a drawn weapon.
Brew the Nine Deaths Blood-Reversing Poison
Type: Alchemy
Difficulty: moderate (yellow/acceptable)
This poison causes an agonizing death and is particularly hard to counter. Its effects confound the normal flow of blood in the body, making administration of the correct antidote very difficult. The blood reversing poison is rated 10/10/5 minutes (see the hazards section for an explanation of poisons).
Sound counsel
Type: Mind Control
Difficulty: moderate (yellow/acceptable)
Any suggestion delivered in the correct tones and accompanied by certain precise gestures will sound eminently reasonable to the individual to whom it is directed. The subject of the spell will not be quite sure why he is obeying, and if questioned later will either be at a loss to explain or invent something on the spot.
To hide an image
Type: Mind Control
Difficulty: inanimate objects - moderate (yellow/acceptable); animate objects - difficult (red/heroic)
This spell lets the caster erase an object from the awareness of those in sight of it when the spell is cast. Should they look directly at the hidden object, it will not register. Someone who comes on the scene after the spell is cast, however, will see the object normally. As the two levels of difficulty show, it is much easier to hide an inanimate object than a live, moving creature.

Weaknesses: Nocturnal, Animal Aversion
Equipment: dagger, hooded woolen cloak, long wool coat, trousers, leather boots, leather satchel, various scraps of scrolls and tomes, 50 gold coins