Clarion the Guardian
Clarion the Guardian

Clarion the Guardian

(Planar aasimar ranger [he/him] / NG)

Many Cagers, especially those with business among the sects and fractions of the city, will be familiar with the sincere, concerned appearance of Clarion the Guardian. A fixture in the city for many years, he’s often said to be partly leonal and partly sneak. While that’s a little unkind, Clarion does have the distinction of being the Cage’s best-known secret service chief.

Tall and handsome, with pale skin and long blond hair, Clarion runs his operations from the Fiend’s Salute Tavern near the edge of the Hive. He seems to act independently, although he is loyal to the Guardians and thus to the Guardinals, but rumours abound of some more sinister power behind him. However, few who know the smiling aasimar well would really think he had anything other than people’s good at heart. Whether he’s trying to protect githzerai from baatezu racist attacks or helping a rogue modron to avoid being taunted by Xaosmen, protecting Harmonium informers from the Mercykillers or trying to get a grip on the Anarchists, he always seems to want the best. Perhaps that’s why many don’t trust him.

Clarion’s success as a spymaster rests on his ability to talk to people without ever seeming bored, and to make friends everywhere. He has amongst his drinking companions an enigmatic Fated tiefling named Morla (planar thief [she/her] / Fated / CG), a Sensate Nidavellir Drow named Hilde, two Xaoticians, the quesar Savoire, the trumpet archon Laurelli Tantarella, and numerous others. And Clarion seems just to sit in his chair and listen to them, every evening he can. But that’s not his only way of finding things out. He can be found during the day associating with almost every faction, helping in the Bleaker soup kitchens, asking the Guvners about science, relaxing with tired Harmonium officers at Iarmid’s (Clarion is not related to Iarmid, although the two are good friends), admiring Xaositect murals with the Sensates and chatting amiably to the Anarchist Lissandra.

But not every faction has Clarion’s love. He doesn’t like the Harmonium much, although he respects their desire for people to behave well. In fact, Clarion feels he’s on the edge of discovering a dark secret about the Hardheads, and his highest-up contact in the faction, Mover Three Jasmin Tealybuck (planar halfling priest of Yondalla [she/her] / Harmonium / LG) says she’ll stop talking to him if he pushes it too far. The Mercykillers are loathed and feared by the slit-eyed crusader, for he knows of their links to the Baatezu and considers them inflexible and unfair anyway. And although he likes the Athar idea of freedom from control, and sometimes debates companionably with Factol Terrance, he believes himself in freedom of religion. But the faction most people are surprised to learn Clarion dislikes is the Dustmen. There’s no adequate reason for this, and Clarion never explains himself to his friends on this.

Rumours therefore abound as to this mistrust of the Dead. Some say that he’s undead himself, pointing to his largely indoor or city-bound lifestyle and pale visage to suggest he may be a vampire, and that he broke the Dead Truce once. Others, the same others who claim he’s been romantically involved variously with Morla, Hilde, Kylie, Lissandra and even Iarmid, suggest he may have been spurned by a Dustman in love long ago. But the rumours which cause him to narrow his eyes and toy with his vestigial whiskers the most are those that he has a relative in the Dustmen whom he doesn’t wish to run into. But most believe him simply to be uneasy with the undead.

Clarion’s present interest is sects. He’s tried, largely unsuccessfully, to persuade the Xaoticians to embrace good, and he’s clashed several times with Cirily’s Planarists. He sometimes prays in the Archonite churches around the City, and has contacts amongst the Communals, including the mind-flayer barkeep Lithoss. He encourages all he meets to oppose the fiends and protect each other and everyone from the plots of the yugoloths. Many consider this a bit rich coming from an agent of the secretive guardinals.

So who does Clarion actually tell all the darks he learns to? No-one knows. Likely he just stores it up for when he’ll need it to oppose the fiends, and tells the choicest bits to his superiors (his relatives, perhaps?) as he sees fit. Right now, Clarion’s looking into the mysterious death of Nekrotl, a god of necromancy from a prime world called Ambal. He’s been aided a great deal in this quest by Martiken Solitz, a friend-for-hire who Clarion mixes with a great deal, according to the chant. The famous explorer Martiken’s supposedly been following up some leads that Clarion dug up, and they’ve taken him as far as the Inner Planes. One thing Clarion’s sure about is Nekrotl had plenty of worshippers, and the power was defended by two more senior gods of magic. So how did the mighty fall?

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Source: Alex Roberts

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