NOBLES:

Strova is home to three major noble families: The Antonovics, the Gregorievs, and the Nikolovs.  In addition, there are several families of lesser nobility that reside in Strova, usually as vassals to the larger houses- such as the Rusevskys.

Lady Helena Antonovic (Deceased):  An eccentric noblewoman and one of the heirs of the fading House Antonovic. Outspoken and naive, but kind-hearted.  She was shipped off to Westlake two years ago to marry Dietrich Stroud, a wealthy nobleman, but recently she returned to Strova unmarried and covered in dueling scars; ever since, she has been loudly parading around town, involving herself in all sorts of unusual situations and proclaiming her intention to clean up "her city." She inadvertently brought the party together in her efforts to dodge paparazzo Claudio Corolanus, helped them battle the rampaging Krenshars, and treated them to a drink after a great deal of talk about them having made a connection. Later that night, she was brutally murdered, and her body was found among the animal cages in the Crimson Sash Carnival’s kennel tent.

Alesh Antonovic: Lady Helena’s younger brother and the lover of Rozina Nikolov. A somewhat simple-minded but earnest young man, he has a hard time taking a hint but is generally pretty pleasant; however, immense pressure from his parents to achieve something useful in his life, followed by the sudden death of his sister Helena, have made his behavior as of late somewhat erratic. He surprised Rozina with a wedding proposition at Helena’s funeral.

Nolan Gregoriev:  A young man crippled by lifelong illness.  He was previously engaged to Clara Esser, heiress to a wealthy shipping empire based out of Maristov, but Izsak Nikolov- older brother of Rozina Nikolov- stole her affections, humiliating Nolan and the entire Gregoriev family in the process.  Nolan’s older brother, Viktor, challenged Izsak to a duel for his brother’s honor, and while the bout was only meant to be to first blood, somehow Izsak ended up being killed- and Viktor subsequently disappeared.  Nolan, having withdrawn from public view following the scandal, recently approached Rozina to inform her that Viktor has returned to Strova and hopes to speak with her.

Antoine Rusevsky: A member of House Rusevsky, a vassal house to the Gregorievs, Antoine is heavily involved with the Bankers’ Guild, as well as various shipping and storage companies along the banks of the Ornos River. A thoroughly unpleasant individual, he incensed the crowd outside the Crimson Sash Carnival into violence and led Rozina and Tizi on a brief chase before being tackled to the ground. He claims to have proof that the Amaranthi are responsible for some terrible crimes across Strova since the Carnival’s arrival.

Teodor “Uncle Theo” Nikolov: Twin brother of Count Tomas Nikolov, he rejected the life of a pampered noble in favor of the rough and rugged Outriders, utilizing his skills as a tracker and horseman to aid the wilderness patrol alongside his longtime friend, Patrol Captain Deckard Corbin. He has been asked by the party to aid in the investigation of Helena’s death, as they have little experience with such things.

Dietrich Stroud:  A member of Westlake’s wealthiest noble family, Dietrich Stroud’s reputation precedes him; he is said to be callous, cruel, and calculating. He was formerly the fiance of Helena Antonovic, but now, mere days after Helena’s death, has arrived in Strova and proposed marriage to Mira Nikolov, Rozina’s younger sister.

Mira Nikolov: The younger sister of Rozina Nikolov. At 19 years old, she is a pretty typical noblewoman, interested primarily in fashion and luxury. Naive and impressionable, but sweet-hearted, she is completely taken with the handsome Dietrich Stroud.

Count Tomas Nikolov: Rozina’s father and Count of Strova, an honorary title that bears influence over a number of factors on a local scale, but actually means relatively little as nothing lower than the rank of Baron actually has true authority on a political level. Tomas, twin brother to Uncle Theo, is crisp, calculating, and sometimes cold, but does care deeply for his family; however, he is also known to be a cunning schemer. He is currently overwhelmed with the death of eldest son Izsak, troubles at the Nikolov’s silver mines north of the city, and the sudden engagement of daughter Mira to Dietrich Stroud weighing on him... not to mention the local drama Rozina has gotten herself into.

Viktor Gregoriev: Viktor is the older brother of Nolan Gregoriev.  When Nolan was jilted by his fiance, Clara Esser, who had left him high and dry in favor of the more charming Izsak Nikolov despite their engagement, his older brother stepped up to avenge his honor. Known to be a troublemaker himself, Viktor nonetheless takes great pride in his family name, and wished only to humiliate Izsak if he defeated him in a duel- and even if he lost, he would have publically defended his brother’s good name and exposed Izsak as a scoundrel. However, the duel proved fatal, and Viktor was sent off to Maristov to lie low while Izsak’s death blew over. Now he has returned and hopes to investigate what exactly happened that day, and hopes Rozina will help him expose the truth.

 

THE STROVAN GUARD:

Acting as the police force that protects Strova from crime and corruption, the Strovan Guard is unfortunately poorly-organized and under-funded.  The Guard are for the most part hard-working, but famously prone to corruption.

Sheriff Burton Barrington:  Sheriff of the Strovan Guard. A grim and generally unpleasant man who has served as Sheriff for fifteen years.  His failure to capture the infamous Ratcatcher, and the subsequent suicide of his son and passing of his wife have left him a gloomy, suspicious, hollowed-out shell of a man. As his job is all he really has left, he takes it seriously, but he also is known to allow a bit too much freedom to his longtime friends, officers Cutwell and Bartley.  He seems to harbor some suspicions toward the party, but whether he has any reasons other than his personal feelings about them is a mystery.

Deputy Valentina Gelliver: A Deputy serving under Sheriff Barrington. Generally well-mannered and reasonable, she has been at odds with the Sheriff as of late. Her growing frustration and disillusionment with the Strovan Guard as of late have led to her bending the rules a bit, including helping the party during their investigation into the murder of Helena Antonovic, which the Deputy is well aware is being bungled by her own peers.

Officers Cutwell and Bartley (a.k.a. "Dumpy and No-Chin"):  A pair of long-serving officers in the Guard of somewhat ill repute. Often drunk, they throw their weight around and abuse their authority to their hearts' content, and Sheriff Barrington has thus far protected them from being reprimanded as they have been his best friends since childhood.  Cutwell is rotund and has an impressive moustache, while Bartley has a beak nose and lacks a chin.

 

ST. CRISWELL'S HOLY CHURCH OF ADELOS:

The faith of Adelos is by far the most prevalent religion across Kedrenos, and as such there are dozens of churches and temples across Strova, but the only one visible from miles away is St. Criswell’s Holy Church of Adelos.  Its towering gothic cathedral is the highlight of Strova’s skyline, reportedly visible from any point in Strova at any time.  Already a lavish and opulent place, it is under constant reconstruction as new wings are added and old chambers are renovated, thanks to the deep pockets of the Gregoriev family and the endless demands of overseeing high priest Father Lopur.

Brother Duncan:  A heavy-set, well-meaning but somewhat sheltered priest at St. Criswell's.  An expert on medicine, he frequently is summoned to the Strovan Guard's headquarters to serve as a medical examiner.  He was charged with examining Helena Antonovic's body and was convinced by Tristan to allow them a peek.  He seems convinced an animal or monster was responsible for her death.

 

KNIGHTS OF THE HOLY ORDER OF THE WHITE STAR:

There are seven Holy Orders of knights sanctioned by the Church of Adelos, each with the aim of exterminating one of the “Seven Great Enemies of Man.”  The Order of the White Star are tasked with destroying Witches, and any who practice the “black arts:” arcane magic.

Ser Erebus Svendt:  A swaggering, self-assured Holy Knight who holds the rank of Captain. He is the leader of a unit of Knights of the White Star that recently arrived in Strova and took up temporary residence at the Angel’s Respite Inn. He carries an enormous silver spear and seems to have a thing for apples and, possibly, Tristan’s mom.

Ser Eugene: A very nice and helpful, if overbearing, Knight of the White Star.  Perhaps due to his youth and inexperience, he is usually left behind to look after the Angel’s Respite while the rest of Captain Svendt’s unit conducts their business.

 

OTHER CITIZENS OF STROVA:

All NPCs not belonging to one of the aforementioned groups are assembled below.

Claudio Corolanus:  A slimy, petulant writer for the Strovan Gazette. He is a rival to Tizi Loneward and considers it his mission in life to one-up her. The party has gotten on his bad side by intervening in his efforts to stalk Helena Antonovic, not to mention repeatedly slapping his notebook out of his hands or breaking his pen. He may have been the last person to have seen Helena Antonovic alive.

Romona Salis: A half-Amaranthi “lay priestess” who arrived in Strova some time ago and, with her genuine healing abilities, willingness to help the poor and downtrodden, and loose interpretation of the Silver Codex has become a thorn in the side to Father Lopur and the gang at St. Criswell’s.  The party met her after Helena’s cremation and learned that she was actually in love with Helena back in Westlake, but fled to Strova after having her life threatened by Helena’s betrothed, Lord Deitrich Stroud.  She helped the party take on the cursed ghoul-like cannibals in the graveyard and has become an ally, as she is eager to uncover the truth of Helena’s murder.

Weyland Killian:  A skillful blacksmith who owns Killian’s Anvil. He takes great pride in his Valhar heritage and has been tasked with reforging Tristan’s sword- the sword that once belonged to his brother Gareth.

Antonio “Tony” / “Tony Tony” Loneward:  The brother of Tizi Loneward, Tony was a well-known layabout and tramp and a fixture in Underbridge. He floats from job to job, unable to keep any one for very long, eventually finding his calling as a courier that worked for various drug dealers in the area.  His tendency toward drinks and drugs often leaves him addled, but at heart he is a sweet, open-minded fellow who can never quite escape his vices. He revealed to his sister recently that he had been running Shudder, a drug known to be only available through the Wild Dogs, and had sold some off during an encounter with what seemed to be the Darkfolk.

 

CRIMSON SASH CARNIVAL:

A traveling Amaranthi carnival that has settled on the northern outskirts of Strova for what is meant to be a one-week engagement.  With the death of a prominent noble on their carnival grounds, things have gotten very complicated for the Crimson Sash very quickly.

Mistress Ilmara: The aloof and sultry leader of the Amaranthi caravan and proprieter of the Crimson Sash Carnival. She met the party when they were investigating the death of Helena Antonovic and allowed them to inspect the kennels where her body was found. She seems to have taken a liking to the party and has informed them that she is at their disposal if needed, and has been seen to swing a mean whip when threatened.

Vollo with two Ls:  Bartender at a drink tent at the Carnival. He seems to be a nice enough fellow.

Mauro:  A rotund Amaranthi who is one of the ground supervisors at the carnival. He showed the party around and offered to Murtaugh a place among their caravan if he ever wanted.

Sirocco: Animal handler who manages the “Midnight Menagerie.” He seems to care deeply for the well-being of his beasts and insists his Krenshars are very sweet and docile.