Cal Rissian was a notorious Libaterran smuggler and captain of the Chiliad Cormorant during the events of the Rose of the Desert. He was addicted to gambling, and in his later years he lost his ship to another smuggler named Hans Olo in a game of poker. Since then Cal has been operating a successful smuggling service from his Cloud Cottage by the river north of Reign, letting black market goods and people into the city via a secret underground tunnel for a fee.
Born as the son to a Simoe mother and a Libaterran father in the merchant city of Etheril, Calvus Rissian's childhood wasn't an easy one. Bullied for being a halfbreed, he quickly learned to make a stand and survive against the odds. He got into bad company in his teens and committed petty crimes such as pickpocketing to finance his gambling much to his father's disapproval as this bad reputation affected their house in the eyes of the other houses.
Their family was targeted by the House of Seneron which wished to expand its influence to the goods the Rissians were profiting from, and this led to the deaths of Cal's parents. Cal himself barely survived the political assassination before going into hiding using his gang connections, and this event shook the young man's worldview and turned him more jaded as a result.
Unable to return to the life he had once led as the Senerons took over the family business with ruthless efficiency, Cal swore to make all merchants pay and would dedicate his life to screwing the nobles over whenever possible. Understanding that going against a powerful house as the Senerons would be suicide without having the money to pay assassins to do the job for him, Cal got more heavily involved in gambling to finance his quest for revenge. Thanks to his rather bad luck and need to get more money fast, he became a smuggler who used his family's old riverboat, the Chiliad Cormorant, for successful smuggling runs in Southern Libaterra.
Rose of the Desert
- See: Rose of the Desert
By the time of the events of the Rose of the Desert, Cal was running a rather successful smuggling service, transporting clients who paid well enough to locations by the Great River in Libaterra with the Chiliad Cormorant. He was hired by the merchant Pyrrhus to take him and his bodyguards, the mercenary group Fang, to Lutherin for a business meeting.
During the later years of the Libaterran Civil War, Cal lost his ship in a game of poker to an upstart smuggler called Hans Olo. Despite this setback and getting more heavily in debt, Cal didn't give in and fell back on his backup plan to use the old cottage near Reign, which had once belonged to a tollkeeper, to smuggle goods and people into Reign via a secret underground tunnel for a fee. He renamed the small house Cloud Cottage, and it became well known among underworld factions who saw the benefits of such a service. Despite Cal running a one-man show, he managed to keep rivals from attempting a hostile takeover by rigging the cottage with traps that only he knew how to avoid and defuse.
Cal Rissian continued his smuggling career past his retirement. Having long since abandoned any hope of having his revenge against those who had wronged him in the past, he instead lived a mostly carefree life in his Cloud Cottage by the river north of Reign. He continued running this smuggling operation over a decade after the Cataclysm, being unaffected by the changes in power in the politically fractured Libaterra.
During this time he got to know Bella Sirius and Fehr Sirius whom he, along with Thorn Stronghelm, helped set up an inn which acted as a neutral meeting ground between various thieves guilds in the city. Cal learned of the Siriuses having poker nights every weekend, and he began attending those poker nights as he simply couldn't quench his thirst for gambling that easily.
In 1017 AE by the time the decisive Battle of Alent was being fought, a trio of travellers consisting of Arcturius, Bella Sirius and their thief escort from the Union Workers arrived at Cal's cottage, wishing to use the scoundrel's services to reach Reign unseen.
Cal owed Bella and her husband Fehr a favour, so he took the trio, along with the feverish Arthur Fonzarelli whom he had found outside earlier, with him to Reign. The smuggler took an almost unhealthy liking to Arcturius and kept talking sweetly to him, which Arcturius found uncomfortable but had to put up with. After briefly passing through a plaza where they saw the caught rogue Garrett Shieldshatter being humiliated by the bard Eric Idle, they eventually reached the Crafty Crow inn where Bella was finally reunited with Fehr.
Cal was offered free booze for his role in bringing Fehr's wife back, and he stayed as the Siriuses' guest for the rest of the night and the following day. He still tried to woo Arcturius with his words, but the young bard kept his distance from Cal who eventually focused more on beverage than the boy.
Aliases and Nicknames
- What he was called among those who knew him. It was shortened from his full name 'Calvus' which he rarely used because it meant 'bald' and he liked to see himself as a masculine ladies' man.
- 'Land ho!' Cal Rissian
- His notorious name among smugglers due to his tendency to take his ship through dangerous areas, including the Simoe Gorge.
A black man with slightly greying hair and a killer moustache fit for a scoundrel such as himself. He's clad in fine merchant's clothes and has a badass cape to bring the look full circle.
Personality and Traits
A somewhat slimy but still charming man who has an eye for young boys. He's crafty but has a gambling problem which tends to negate the profits he gains from his smuggling operation. He shows no love towards merchant guilds, especially the ones in Etheril who he left on bad terms.
Powers and Abilities
He's a mediocre card player, sometimes holding his own, most times losing horribly. He can hold his own in a fight, using whatever dirty tactics he can to ensure his survival.
Cal met Bella and her husband after the two had moved to Reign. He was one of the first people to see their worth after listening to their ideas and helped them set up an inn in the city. Since then he's been on good terms with them, so much so that the pair have forgiven him on his gambling debts, thus allowing him to continue gambling. Cal sees Bella as an integral part of the Siriuses' business and respects her conviction.
Cal met Fehr and his wife after the two had moved to Reign. He was one of the first people to see their worth after listening to their ideas and helped them set up an inn in the city. Since then he's been on good terms with them, so much so that the pair have forgiven him on his gambling debts, thus allowing him to continue gambling. Cal has witnessed Fehr rising from an upstart into a reputable businessman and respects Fehr's cunning and ruthlessness which are necessary for the kind of people they deal with.