NPCs of Bral: Nan-Keto, Hired Killer and Troubleshooter

Nan-Keto’s name is well known on Bral, now, after setting up in the asteroid city as his base a few years ago.
Tall, wiry, very swarthy with short wavy glossy hair and a long drooping moustache, a scar that severed his left earlobe and curves down across his left cheek to the edge of his mouth, brilliant green eyes. He favours black leather jerkins over dark red silk shirts and dark trousers with black leather armoured thighs, knees and shins. Under his top clothes he wears a mithril chain shirt.  Usually he speaks with a slow, careful intensity and rarely if ever shouts, yet still can put the fear of death into men with quiet words and his absolute sincerity.

As a young lad, he saw his mother raped and murdered by bandits, while his elder sister hid them both and kept him quiet. After that, he took to the arts of killing, joining a local militia then various guard units, always eager to kill scum.  But he’s no hothead, that’s what marks him apart, he is ruthless, calculated, but he’s not an assassin or murderer, and only kills straight up and in their faces, except when needs of a mission require stealth to get to his main target.  Honourable, intelligent and he likes to chat, toying with enemies, pleasantries with well behaved folk, or “shop talk” with fellow professionals.

Many folk think Nan-Keto is an assassin as he often works for criminals or suspicious characters, but that’s because he only takes such jobs when they require the extermination of another usually much worse scumbag, and he gets paid for AND always learns info on his employer in case he gets a contract on him or her day….

Much of the time he’s in town, enjoying a rich, civilised life, which he greatly enjoys.
He loves fine things and genuine quality, and has two mistressess, one married who thinks little of her pipsqueak husband she was forced to marry. The other a beautiful young lass he rescued from a mugging one night. Both know of each other and have come to a friendship, with the younger woman living in his house.

Folk whisper rumours about Nan-Keto’ love life, but cautiously, he’s prickly about his honour and while he’d rather duel with fists if insulted by non-villains, anyone dumb enough to pull a blade on him.will be maimed or killed in a heartbeat. He’s killed two men in duels, maimed five, and beaten a dozen or more arrogant brats, thugs and the like to a pulp just while he’s been on Bral.

Another love of his is gambling. He’s cautious never to lose himself in his love of gaming, so he has a system.
Where stakes are high he sets a limit on what he will spend and never goes over an affordable amount, but, for more thrills he will go to cheaper places and spend a lot of copper and silver with games with ordinary folks where the fun is high, amounts seem large and he can forgive a debt as he wants no ordinary working stiff ruined, it’s all in fun! And if a fight breaks out, well that’s fun too!
When he wants more cerebral action, he sticks to games more of skill.
He finds chess a little slow and boring, so dominoes and some card games he whiles hours away in low stake pleasantry.

Partially because of this, he has a lot contacts and good relationships with the ordinary folk of Bral, who see him as a tough bastard, but honest, fair and always up for a good, decent if rowdy time.
The Shou, who are gambling mad, really respect him and unusually for.someone outside their society, accord him eager respect.

The authorities on Bral get on with him as well, though he works for shady people at times, he never harms ordinary folk who don’t piss him off, and fairly often hires out to guard important people for short times, hunts down bandits, pirates, murderers and the like.
Several asteroid mines and smaller communities owe him their lives or existence.
It must be understood that on a job he’s rarely a loner, using hirelings, preferably folk he trusts and who need the pay. As an ex-soldier he uses them well intelligently and fairly.

On Bral he has three friends:
Quellis the Raven, priest of Tempus, huge, wild, good natured killer. Reliable as an ally, just berserk in fights or when drunk.

Methren, crippled by age now and wounds, the ex-ranger is almost like a second mother to him, and many of her extremely extensive family have hired up and fought beside Nan-Keto over the years.

Kerresin the Younger, a healer priest of Ilmater, if he doesn’t go with his friend on a contract, he finds someone suitable to act as a healer.

He tries never to take his friends on contracts if he can avoid it in case they get seriously injured or hurt.
He never takes contracts lasting more than a few weeks or months as he likes variety and is quick, efficient, also, he wants paid quickly and very well. Thus he ensures he has a good reputation at dealing with problems.

In combat Nan-Keto uses a cutlass in his main hand, or a sabre if on a horse
A large bladed Bowie knife (1d4+1 damage) or a spiked buckler are favoured off hand implements, with an enchanted returning throwing axe for ranged combat.
As defence he relies in his mithril shirt and parries or blocks with his off hand.
A Ring of Spell Turning helps against magic users. He likes using Beads of Force in clever and useful ways and always carries several. Another favourite are his Boots of Speed (or similar movement enhancing footwear depending on what level etc the game is)

In respect to interactions with the player characters, he maybe an ally, neutral or enemy. Lies, manipulations etc and an enemy may convince Nan-Keto that the party are evil marauders, though he’s clever it’s not impossible for him to be tricked. so.
Duels are certainly possible over insult to his women etc
His old pain and terible loss maybe used to drive him mad or to dark deeds by manipulation or magic.
Or the PCs may wrongly think him an assassin or such.
The PCs should feel that he’s damn dangerous and not someone to annoy lightly.
Interestingly, he can act as a sage regarding gambling knowing many games and their history and lore.

Another possibility is the PCs move in on a scumbag whom Nan-Keto is working for, and he’d probably walk away and give them tips in that case if they don’t over insult him. He won’t directly help them though, ending a contract is one thing, killing his ex-employer without due time past after leaving eploy would be dishonourable in his eyes, unless the employer was in desperate need of being stopped fast, like a kidnapper, child killer etc.

As a character, Nan-Keto is high in all his scores, especially dexterity, wisdom, and then strength, intelligence etc.
In combat he is incredibly brutal and fast, he likes killing the leader or spellcasters while hirelings disrupt the enemy and provide healing etc as need.
He always plans well and uses his allies as an effective combat team, nor does he abandon them lightly but in the end, he will if needs, he’d die for honour or friends but not gold. He is honest about this and his hirelings know they are mercenaries, to work and help each other but if things get too bad, to flee.

By Silverblade the Enchanter

Out with it then!

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