Loot Niptil

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Loot Niptil was an amnesia-afflicted wizard with black hair, green eyes, and sharp cheekbones. He was a refugee of a planeswalker fight, summoned to do battle and then left behind when the planeswalkers were done. It was during this battle that Loot suffered a blow to his head and lost his memory.[1][2]

History[edit | edit source]

He was still dazed and confused when Kyyrao Grenmw, a Khyyiani (a Sukurvian cat warrior tribe), found him.[1] Shinra, one of Kyyrao’s warriors, attacked Loot, thinking him simple prey. Loot easily fought him off. Kyyrao tried next but was easily put down. Loot remembers little of this combat but afterwards the cat warriors decided to take responsibility for him and nurse him back to health. Upon waking, Kyyrao took him for her mate.

He took the name Loot Niptil: Loot because he found it to be better than ‘precious’ (Kyyrao’s idea) and Niptil as a shortened form of Nippedtail.

At the Peregrinator Complex[edit | edit source]

Loot was involved in a short adventure to the Peregrinator Complex.[1] He and his companions (Kyyrao, a nameless Benalish Hero, and the dwarf Corsen) were lured there by a Crookshank Kobold broodlord named Dreadfang. Dreadfang held Corsen's brother and nephew and forced Corsen to lure Loot to the complex by telling him that there was a woman there by the name of Anayatha who looked a lot like Loot, and may have been his daughter.

Dreadfang needed Loot to defeat a powerful curse guarding a treasure trove witin the complex. The curse read thus:

Wary must be he who steps yet closer
To this treasury filled with things of fame
Enter here and steal just one,
And Cursed will be all of your name!

Dreadfang sought a suit of armor that would heal his body but dared not take it. Loot, Dreadfang reasoned, had no name, and should be immune to the curse. Loot did as he was told and retrieved the armor, he then began hurling coins and other treasures, hoping to distract the kobolds, but it did not work. Desperately, he took up a sword and attempted to strike Dreadfang with it. Instead, he slipped on a ruby and dropped the sword. Then he realized what had happened.

Because his name was ‘Loot’, all his name - all the loot - was cursed. Understanding this, he challenged Dreadfang, claiming that he was an omnipotent planeswalker. Dreadfang did not believe it and attacked with the sword Loot had recently dropped. The looted sword, now cursed, turned on its user and impaled the kobold.

Afterwards, Loot claimed that the rest of the treasure was indeed trash, and not loot at all, and that they ought to clean the trash out.

The Justiciar of Automatown[edit | edit source]

Some time later, Sopti Borth, an artificer from Automatown (a town east of Grover's Pub and which Loot calls "Junktown") was murdered in her workshop.[2] Loot was arrested for her murder because a Truthsniffer had picked him out. The Truthsniffer was a mechanical dog that employed the magical law of Contagion (which states that items that have spent a long time in proximity to one another are connected) to follow trails.

There was not enough evidence to determine who the murderer was, because he had removed the knife and used a scapegoat ritual to sever the connections between himself and the evidence. The clue that supposedly identified Loot as the killer was a cameo brooch with a picture that looked exactly like him, but was supposedly a representation of N'ciczli.

N'ciczli (probably not his real name, since nysikzly was a predynastic Sarpadian religious term that meant inhuman), the last and greatest of the Tchotkan war-priests, was frequently summoned by planeswalkers for duels, and was supposedly never defeated by any army. One day, he was summoned and never returned, and his empire, without a leader, was destroyed by the progenitors of the early Sarpadian empires. Malkean Feorr, an Argivian archeologist, suggested that he had been summoned from the past, lost his memory during the battle, and became Loot Niptil, but Loot believes that he couldn't have been a war-priest (or any kind of priest) because he is an atheist, and believes he was probably an atheist before he lost his memory too.

To prove his innocence, Loot would have to fight the Justiciar, a four-armed hydraulic automaton. Haspian Chastoril, a salvager, had tried to convince people that it was an old Imperial device that he found and repaired before he arrived in Automatown. Malkean led Loot to the Justiciar Court across the town square from Sopti's workshop.

Before the fight, Haspian removed the creature's one crystalline eye ("Justice must be blind.") and the Justiciar's left horn was filled with Sopti's blood, and the right was filled with Loot's. He then replaced the eye with the brooch. Malkean ordered the machine to seek the guilty, and it came up from the throne and tried to embrace Loot with its sharp claws. Loot ducked but was hit on the shoulder be one of its arms and rolled toward Malkean. The Justiciar, though blinded, was still able to follow Loot. He realized that the automaton could not be tracking him by sound, but knew where he was because he had been standing in one place long enough for the dirt and air to absorb his essence. He could have dodged the Justiciar for the rest of the trial, but he instead jumped off its throne and slammed his feet into the creature's back, propelling it forward into a wall.

After it stumbled back and fell forward, Loot slapped his hand over the cameo and invoked one of the few psychometric spells he knew. The vision from the point of view of the cameo was from after Sopti's death, because of the scapegoat ritual the murderer had performed, and told him nothing about the identity of the killer. He then looked at the Justiciar's impressions. He learned that it was not predynastic, and was in fact only twelve years old. Loot saw Kyyrao, who had returned from the eastern mountains after making sacrifices to Lord Windgrace, on the edge of the wall, ready to leap into the court and fight the Justiciar herself if Loot gave her leave. He instead tossed the cameo to her and told her to get him the one who did not hunt mammoths with them. She went for Haspian, who stood up and held the Justiciar's eye over his own right eye, ordering it to kill the cat. It headed toward her, but Malkean heaved a ladder at it, tangling the automaton and snapping one of its arms. After it had hauled itself over the wall, Loot slapped it on the back and used a spell to freeze its hydraulic fluid. He kicked off of the automaton's back and it landed on Haspian who Kyyrao had tossed into the courtyard, fracturing his ribs.

Malkean and Kyyrao dropped over the wall and Kyyrao removed the automaton's head, letting it dangle from her hand by one of its horns. After the archeologist asked her why she had went for Haspian after Loot tossed her the cameo. She told him that Haspian's scent was the strongest one on the cameo, implying that he had spent much time with it. Malkean suggested that he had discovered the cameo, but Loot claimed that Haspian had created it. Because all his other 'predynasty' artifacts were poor forgeries, everyone in Automatown believed that his skills were limited, although, according to Loot, he was actually playing the buffoon to trick them later; he actually had an entire trove of more realistic forgeries. He put Loot's image on the cameo to distract Sopti. He wanted her to authenticate it as Tchoktan. If she did, he could use the endorsement to legitimize the rest of his forgeries, sell them, and make a fortune. He had overstepped himself in forging the cameo, and Sopti threatened to expose him as a fraud. He killed her and used the scapegoat ritual to sever all links between himself and the evidence so he could frame Loot. Neither the brooch (which Kyyrao knew Haspian had spent a lot of time with) nor the Justiciar (which was 'found' by Haspian) had any links to him, proving that he had performed the ritual, and a search of his home would turn up the other fraudulent Tchoktan artifacts.

Loot told Kyyrao that they could mount the Justiciar's head on Grover's wall and tell lies about how they got it. Kyyrao said they had no need for lies, but Loot replied, "Oh, but we do. I don't think anyone will believe I froze it to death on a hot sunny day, all to prove a man was a murderer based on insufficient evidence of his guilt - including his failure to hunt mammoths with us last year."

References[edit | edit source]

  1. a b c What's in a Name? by Michael A. Stackpole from the Tapestries Anthology
  2. a b Insufficient Evidence by Michael A. Stackpole from the Distant Planes Anthology