A while back, I listed a few changes in the revamp of Black Mask & Pale Rider, particularly with the addition of Scales and Verit, and going a bit more in depth with how Shani and Pania arrived on Earth. As I’ve been plotting and making some additions to each of the stories, I’ve come to a certain realization that might change the dynamic in a way. When Shani and Pania arrive in a small Pennsylvania town between Reading and Harrisburg, they’ll encounter a vampire that’s terrorizing the community. The community is made up of Pennsylvania Dutch, and one of the first people they meet is Dieter Van Bueren, a young man who helps them out by giving them a few silver bullets to help fight the vampires.
In the revamp (pardon the pun) Dieter is going to play a larger role, but his role isn’t to be the hero to come save the day. He’s going to end up a part of the group going to fight off the lead vampire. Because Shani and Pania are already at the mouth of the vampire’s mansion, they reluctantly bring him along (partially, he’s there for comedic foil and because he ends up needing to be rescued a couple of times). But Shani and Pania are going to get some other assistance when they decide to send a message back to their home world and recruit the help of Shani’s sister, Wren Wennemein.
Rarilmawren Wennemein is her full name, and like Shani, she has raven black hair and tanned skin, almost brown. She’s a well cultured student of the many different cultures of the Green because of her vocation. She is what is called a Consoler. Consolers are clerical knights who tend to the needs of the dead and their families. So of like undertakers, but blessed with divine abilities to protect the living and make sure the dead remain in their endless slumber. The uniform of the Consoler is black armour or robes with gold trim, somewhat matching the dower nature of their vocation. Wren wears a rapier on her left hip and has a shield on her left on her left arm. Not a full shield, but one that is part of her bracer and allows her to block incoming attacks. Yes, Consolers are trained to fight, for defending the living is part of their vocation.
While Consolers are considered dower and rather bleak, Wren is rather opposite. She always has a smile and a kind word, and like many elves, she has a constant companion; a small fruit bat that hangs under her cloak that she raised from a baby when she found the bat on its own. Wren enjoys colour, even though her vocation only allows her armour and robes of black and gold. She paints her lips purple and and dark purple highlights. The main reason for this is her warm and friendly nature, and that she uses as part of her work as a Consoler.
Because she is a consoler, she has had to learn of every culture on her home world. At any time, a Consoler may be called upon to attend to the needs of a grieving family, and often that means they will have to go to other areas that are not of their home region. As described before, The Green has many cultures, all of which mirror Earth. Wren has in fact gone to many different areas and has performed burial rites similar to the ancient Norse traditions, the ancient Egyptian traditions and some similar to Native American, Mayan or Aztec rituals. Consolers will know the greetings that are to be used when arriving, they know the language and they will know what form of dress that the locals in the area wear and will often dress accordingly, adding something to their own uniform that is familiar to the culture they are attending to.
Conversely, the elven people see the arrival of a Consoler at a time of death as a figure of hope, because the Consolers take a great deal of care to ensure that every last wish of the deceased is carried out. Even still, there are those who associate Consolers with death and sometimes as a bad omen. This is similar to their rather dower and quiet nature.
Another duty of the Consoler is to enter the life history of a deceased into the Library of Names. Each elf that dies has their life recorded with the help of local bards, skaalds, scholars and story tellers. Once written, the book is then taken into the heart of the desert where the library resides, and carried into the main hall for cataloguing. Here at this library, the Consolers use their own language which is fittingly called the Consolers language. Some who have heard it call it a mix of every language in The Green.
As for Wren, she is especially good at this aspect, because she has a near photographic memory.
In the adventure with Shani and Pania, I’ve sort of begun the main plot where the two elven gunslingers call back to The Green, sending a message to Wren. My only thought now is if Wren stays throughout the remainder of the adventures or if she returns to The Green. I’m partially leaning toward having her stay, especially when the arrive in Shreveport and have to deal with zombies.
Anyway, that is one of the changes coming that I have in mind for the adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider.