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Lem King, the Bard, is an orc archivist and adventurer who uses musical performances to produce pattern magic effects.

Appearance Edit

Though fit, the six-foot-tall Lem is relatively small and thin for an orc. He has green skin, joyous eyes, and is prone to blushing. He wears his greyish[1] wild hair in a topknot. Lem's tusks are decorated with scrimshaw designs, "like overpaid 21st century artists carve skulls". There is a sharp-angled scar framing the center of his face where he was burned by the edges of Samot's mask, which was human-sized and thus small for his face.

He wears leather archivist's armor which has lots of velcro pockets, unfolding flaps, and places to store knicknacks. His bracelets, necklaces, and ring can be used akin to an abacus for working out math problems. Archivists like Lem travel with a particular type of bag, akin to a firm backpack with an internal wire frame and a handle on top, which opens up to many different compartments, much like a sewing box, tool kit, or mid-century doctor's case.

When Lem was acting as a prosecutor in Nacre, he wore a toga with a turquoise sash.

History Edit

The archivists, and Lem, prize collection and categorization of histories and objects and whistled songs; the Archives resemble a warehouse or museum more than a city. Recent events, however, have led Lem to flee the archives, clutching an old violin, and he's arrived in Velas looking for adventure and excitement and (perhaps) somewhere to hide.

Characters, Friends at the Table official site

Lem was born and raised in the New Archives, where he first befriended Fero Feritas, who was living in the mountains nearby.

Although his theft of a violin from the Archives made him a wanted man, Archivist-Collector Morbash has written to Lem informing that, having impressed Morbash with his skills he still has a chance to get in their good graces if he returns the violin, retrieves several volumes of Pruning the Thorns, and takes care of a rare thyme plant.

Alignment Edit

Lem's alignment is Neutral. To receive experience, he must "Avoid a conflict or defuse a tense situation."

Bonds Edit

Old Edit

  • This is not my first adventure with Fero.
  • The Great Fantasmo doesn't trust me, and for good reason. (Academics of conflicting disciplines; magical experimentation vs. cataloging & study)
  • I sang stories of Hella's sword long before I ever met them in person.

Current Edit

  • Fero's happiness at the destruction of Nacre is deeply troubling. I will seek to protect what he wishes to destroy.
  • Ephrim should not have taken the blade he carries; I will seek to ensure his faith does not lead to other, rasher decisions.
  • Hella is a rock; let her presence anchor me.

Abilities Edit

Lem's knowledge of pattern magic and good-natured demeanor give him a number of unique abilities, most of which he channels through music played on his violin.

Lem king playing

Animation by Lily Pfaff

  • Arcane Art: Lem can channel a performance to heal damage, increase damage going forward, clear an enchantment, or increase the effectiveness of aid.
  • Bardic Lore: When Lem first encounters an important creature, location, or item covered by his area of expertise (The Grand Histories of the Known World) he may ask the GM one question about it. Austin will answer truthfully and then ask Jack what tale, song, or legend Lem learned the information from. Additionally, as an orc archivist, when Lem enters an important location, Jack can ask Austin for one fact from the location's history.
  • Charming & Open: When Lem speaks frankly with someone, he may ask them one of the following questions and they must answer truthfully. Then, in turn, they may ask him one and he must answer truthfully.
    • Whom do you serve?
    • What do you wish I would do?
    • How can I get you to _____?
    • What are you really feeling right now?
    • What do you most desire?
  • Invigorate: When Lem uses pattern magic to heal someone, they also take a bonus the next time they deal damage.
  • It Goes to Eleven (renamed Wolf in White Van): By unleashing a crazed performance, Lem can make a target attack one of their allies. This is somewhat disturbing and upsetting to witness.
  • Metal Hurlant: By shouting with great force or playing a shattering note, Lem can deafen and damage a target.
  • A Port in the Storm: When Lem returns to a civilized settlement he's been to before, he can see how it's changed since then.

Song repertoire Edit

  • A song about winter drawing in, sad ballad about long nights and snow mixed with uptempo parts about fires and spending time with people you love. Used for healing.

Possessions Edit

  • An orc-sized[2] violin stolen from the Archives. Neither magical nor of great historical importance, the pattern magic which Lem performs with it are thanks to his studies, not the instrument[3].
  • Samot's mask
  • Samol's guitar (transformed into a violin)
  • Left behind in the New Archives:
    • Map of Hieron's northwest quadrant (gives Lem a +1 to Perilous Journey rolls in that part of Hieron)
    • Dueling rapier - not like a human's, but a broad orcish blade, like a long machete, wider at the tip than the base. Can be a bit messy.
    • Velasian thyme plant: one cubic foot in size, carried in Lem's bag, strapped in place and surrounded with hay and feathers to keep it warm
    • Volumes 9 through 13 of Pruning the Thorns
    • A strange sword hilt

Origin Edit

When choosing the name "Lem King" during character creation, Jack referred to Lem Doolittle, a fictitious playwright from Kentucky Route Zero, and a friend of his named Lou King. It was pointed out by Art that in the Pathfinder series, their "iconic character" of the bard class is also named Lem; however, Jack decided to double down on the name and be "the best Lem."

References Edit

  1. https://curiouscat.me/notquitereal/post/146083717
  2. https://curiouscat.me/notquitereal/post/143966716
  3. "lem's violin doesn't have a backstory that is magical or divine or even particularly narratively satisfying. it is a good violin, in the same way that you might find a good violin in a music shop in a big city. there's no inherent magic to it, and nobody tremendously historically important in its past. the orcs found it, liked it as an example of a particular make of violin from that period, put it in a case in the archives. the violin only does what it does because lem is good enough at that particular branch of semiotics" - Jack via the Fans at the Table discord, #general-spoilers channel, 7/6/17
Player Characters
Fantasmo · Fero · Hadrian · Hella · Lem · Throndir · Aubrey · Castille · Hitchcock · Sige · Adaire · Ephrim

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