Runequest Thursday #80 - Deseneus - Pact Mage!

Clint Staples

Deseneus is a character I play in Brendan Cass' game set in the Swords of Kos fantasy campaign setting. Although Brendan runs his game using his own very cool Swords of Infinity game engine, I thought it might be fun to convert Deseneus to Runequest. By the way, Brendan ran Swords of Infinity, in which I got to play the SoI version of Deseneus, on d-Infinity Plays! which you can watch.


Deseneus is a Dacian (also known to ancient authorities as the Getae) warrior, a minor noble by birth, hailing from the area north of the Danube, beyond Thrace and Macedonia - essentially the land of the nearer barbarians (as opposed to the farther barbarians of the Hyperborean steppes tribes).

Withouth going into details of how Dacian history differs in the Swords of Kos Fantasy Campaign Setting, for the last several centuries, Greek culture, civilization, philosophy and religion had an increasing effect on Geto-Dacian culture.

Deseneus is a product of this influence. He grew up with sufficient resources to be indulged in his quest for knowledge, learned Greek through the writings of Homer and other ancients as a youth, and developed a deep respect for the world around the eastern Mediterranean. When, as a young man, he had the opportunity to visit, as part of a diplomatic envoy to the south, he jumped at the chance. Taking ship down the Danube, the envoy, with young Deseneus, sailed the Black Sea southward.

Alas, if any diplomatic mission can ever be said to be simple, this one surely could not be. By the time the Dacians arrived in Athens, the first stop, they learned that the ruler who had sent them had been supplanted by a feircer competitor. Their mission made irrelevant by events at home, the envoy broke up, some heading home, others feeling that their future lay in the south, remained. Deseneus was one such. Over the next decade he ventured widely, studying when able, selling his skills with a sword when necessary.

On one such assignment, with the stated goal of spying on the Fire Giants of Sicily, Deseneus was aboard a ship traveling the straits of Messina. Attacked by the terrible creature known as Scylla, he appeared doomed. But scylla did not consume hima s she had his fellows. Instead, she made him an offer - serve her and live, or be consumed over the course of the next century in her gargantuan gullet. The choice appeared simple.

In exchange for his service, Deseneus has gained, and lost, much. His pact has given him magical power, and considerable knowledge lost to modern times. But the influence of Scylla on his personality has made him colder and more calculating. Often, she calls upon him to spy, even kill in her name, to advance some agenda that the Dacian is only now piecing together.

Attached are the stat for Deseneus. You may wish to take a look at the rules for Pact Magic. Enough at least to get you by if you want to use him. I will undoubtedly expand on pact magic in a later Runequest Thursday.