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The Bilge Rat


Top level Gća Personalities


GĆA
A well detailed history to describe them years between 15 and when a characters play actually starts.

The Bilge Rat aka Bret Gail



Nationality: Vassniss Protectorate

Tribal Life (18)
The ‘Bilge Rat’ previously known as Bret Gail, in the country of his birth, lived with his tribe till the age of 18. His mother was a Yurt executive/gatherer & his father a hunter/warrior so like all boys he decided that being a Yurt executive did not appeal to the senses of manhood and became a hunter/warrior.

Peuc Brut was the love of his life. She used to be up two hours before dawn to milk the mares, and then place the milk in the butter churn bags attached to the wagon wheels. Not only did she have more butter than anyone else in the tribe but she was a legend as well. (After a stampede she went out to retrieve the horses, not only did she bring them all back but she collected all their dung as well. She got whipped by her father for showing her knees while carrying the dung with her skirt. That was the moment he fell in love.)

He had never seen her face but she had grass green eyes, her hair is black (or it could just have been a bit dirty). Bret used to fantasize about her erecting a Yurt and what they would be doing therein afterward.

At the time that Bret saw her knees there were a few older and tougher men who were jealous of him because they had missed that beautiful sight. They invited him to go drinking some fermented mares milk with them on the shore. They made a nice big bonfire and started playing Short Grass*. By losing each round he was forced to have a drink as forfeit - a distilled herbal drink derived from the Juniper bush. It was not a tonic.

The Sailors (20)
The next morning he awoke with a splitting headache and the earth seemed to be swaying beneath his feet. But that was only to be the most pleasant part of his morning. He was wrenched to his feet by a chain around his neck. He was quite in awe of this chain as it was the most valuable (not to mention heaviest) piece of metal that he had ever seen and he was WEARING IT!! All of a sudden his stomach started heaving like the death throes of a throat cut buck. In his tribe if a man’s body betrays him it is polite to look away, these men however just stared at him and laughed (or so it seemed) to their hearts content. Being the gentleman that he was Bret tried to teach these men some manners. Against overwhelming odds he was defeated and then tortured. The torture left him paler than he had ever been. The creatures of the sea had been given an opportunity to snap at him while he was being dragged behind the ship. If any of his tribe had spilt their bodily fluids on the ground the tribe would just move on to a different site but on the ship he was forced to CLEAN UP! Such insults could not go unpunished. Daily he tried for revenge, each day he would attack one of the sailors and each day he would be bound and thrown into the bilges for this minor inconvenience that he caused them.


The bilge started to get homesick. In his tribe the hunters have to stay silent while they are on the hunt therefore when they return to the camp they sing epics of their lives. These epics are called Cariochi. After starting his epic with “the green, green grass of home…” the sailors started gagging the poor bilge rat when they bound and threw him into the bilges. When he got a chance however he would restart and carry on until they had bound and gagged him again. (He liked doing all his singing in the crow’s nest as this enabled his voice to carry further and he could defend himself to a certain degree)

One morning while planning his next attack he became aware of great excitement amongst the crew. As he looked around for a victim he noticed that they were closing in on another ship. To his astonishment, one of the sailors handed him an axe and happily informed him that they were about to board a ship and that everyone had to pull their weight in battle even a bilge rat like him. He revelled in this and forgave these kind gentlemen who had given him a chance to blood himself in battle. This was the first of many such episodes.

The battles were glorious and the kind sailors even allowed him to sleep outside every now and then…when it was raining. Occasionally he would decide that he had been insulted and try and attack someone. As his fighting skills became better the rest of the crew started walking around in groups for protection.

The fact that everyone had started calling him bilge rat didn’t really bother him, he thought that the name had been given to him because, being sailors, the most ferocious animal that they had ever seen was a bilge rat. So in recognition of his warrior prowess these poor ignorant seamen called him the Rat – obviously a more informed group would have called him a lion or tiger. But as in everything all good things come to an end.

His singing was becoming less and less interrupted. One day when he reached his 587th verse he saw a strange land creeping up on them. He yelled the news to the sullen sailors down below and went on to the 588th verse. As the ship got closer to the shore he was begged to come down from the crow’s nest. The chain was removed from his neck. “So he could swim and wouldn’t get dragged down’” said the sailors, when he tried to get it back. He was heaved over the side by all the crewmembers he had tried to avenge himself on. They yelled at him to see what was ashore.

He reached the shore and headed for the nearest high lookout point. He reached the top of a little hill and noticed that the ship was leaving under oar power in a great hurry. Needless to say the bilge was pretty upset as they seemed to have left him without even giving him a mug of fermented mares milk and a good hunting farewell but what could you expect from such uncivilised cretins.

The Raiders Life (26)
After wandering around for a while the Bilge Rat (Bret Gail) fell in with a tribe who called themselves Raiders. As it turned out the tribe wasn’t that bad excepting for the fact that they didn’t enjoy fermented mares milk forgot to collect their animals dung and did disgusting things to heather. After the third night of singing Cariochi he was finally recognised as the great hunter who he was and put on hunting duty full time.

During his time with the Raiders the chieftain of the tribe gave him a dog as a reward for slaughtering enough animals for a feast which was held for a tribal clan gathering. Dog followed him wherever he went and soon became an expert tracker and retriever. Dog had even saved the Bilge’s life when he had to hunt one of the big cats for the tribe’s totem and the cat’s mate got involved. (He decided then and there that he would kill for Dog.)

Being the good hunter that he was Bilge soon learnt how to live of the new land. A while ago he had made his special Francolin stuffed with herbs and baked in a clay ball for the tribe. He had tried a new herb stuffing and everyone seemed to become hungrier the more they ate. Everyone was giggling as he left to go do some more hunting for the ravenous tribe. Everything seemed so reeeal…He came across a spring where he rested for days until he had finished the extra stuffed Francolin travel food he had brought along. While sitting there he counted that there where 42 grains of dust in his navel which seemed of great import to him. The next day the sun seemed terribly bright, his skin felt as if ants were trying him for breakfast and someone was stalking him. He never saw it, never heard it and every time he turned around to face it, it had ducked out of sight.

When he returned to the tribe’s campsite he found that everyone had disappeared. He suddenly remembered that in his tribe there had been tales of people who had been taken out of time by the gods. He decided that he must have had a religious experience and that he had been shown the meaning of life, which was…42.

He decided to travel back to his home land and see if he could enlighten his tribe and if he hadn’t been out of time too many years he could find a women with a smear of dung on her left knee. He knew in his heart that it would take a long time to wear off because he was certain that she had never been tortured like he had.


 

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Gygax Magazine Issue 3 Out
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