Villa Lucis is a fishing village, blessed with sunlight and good catches year-round. Unfortunately, it was too prosperous and too well positioned for the Empire to ignore for long. Insurgents have always been found in the region, but the village elders were always able to maintain their neutral status when the Empire’s inspectors came around. Xeric helped save the village from destruction, but at a cost. They rejected him when they saw his darkness made manifest, and couldn’t accept that such a person either had saved them, or was one of them.
Status of the village: unknown. Either alternative (destroyed or intact) could both be interesting. If the Empire burned it down or something, that would explain why people scattered. If it survived, it might be a haven for insurgents, or it might mean Xeric saved them after all. But this is also a question we don’t need to answer right now.
For @insomn14 here’s what I’ve got for Xeric. If you have existing NPCs that will fill these roles, or if someone else’s NPCs can do double duty, maybe we can use that instead. For that reason I’d love to hear from everyone.
Let’s see if we can pick 2-3 NPCs from the following list, especially ones that other players would enjoy engaging with. Each of them should have a reason to interact with the team as a whole.
The Mentor - the mysterious individual who taught Xeric how to cultivate his coer using darkness as a guide. They are here searching for some kind of lost artifact or forgotten secret, for unspecified but perhaps suspicious reasons. They may want the party’s help with that search.
The Insurgent - someone who tried to involve Villa Lucis in the fight, and who may have inadvertently called in the Empire on them in the end. They’re now working as a mercenary to support the researchers, like we are. They may be angry at Xeric, or feel guilty for something they did to his village, or have some other motive. They may want to recruit the party to their cause.
The Torch - a best friend, love interest (in one or another direction), or anyone else from the village who still holds Xeric in high esteem. They’re supplying the expedition with food or equipment, working at the base. or doing something else to help out behind the scenes. They might want something from Xeric as he is now, or want him back to how he was, but either way represent the appeal of the old days.
The Doubter - someone from the old days - a villager or a fellow fighter trainee. They’re everything he’s not. Popular, fun, light-hearted, you name it. They distrust Xeric and what he’s done with his life. For now, they have to work together, and they might try to persuade others not to pal around with this darkness-wielding weirdo.
The Seeker - this is someone dedicated to the expedition’s mission, a true seeker of knowledge. If the Torch or the Doubter didn’t persuade Xeric to join the project, this person did (and they may be the reason the others are here now). They represent the positive possibilities he’s fighting for, but also the risks and vulnerabilities that could befall the mission without protectors guarding it.
The Turncoat - someone who sold the village out to the Empire - or an Imperial who defected to the good guys. Either way, they’re not with the Empire right now, or so they say. The question is can they be trusted, and how do they feel about the old days. They have something useful - knowledge, or a pass-key, or a special map - that makes them tolerable for the moment. They’re like the Insurgent in that they stir up Imperial tension, but unlike in that the Insurgent’s loyalties have always been clear.