Seventeen-year-old Ceph is the closest thing Azrael’s Stop has to a proprietor. He runs the bar, manages the funds, and entertains his patrons with a quick wit and legendary dryness—a dryness that does not extend to his formidable drink selection (try the Stormcrow wine). He also seems to be the only employee at the bar, though he insists it’s not his property.
Ceph never talks much about himself. The only things anyone really knows are his age, and that Ceph has seen a lot of death in his short life. Patrons wonder what lives behind his straight face; regulars leave him to his burdens as much as he leaves them to theirs.
Always small for his age, perhaps due to a harsh childhood and inconsistent standards of living, Ceph is slight and not too tall. His size is accentuated by the fact that he seems to carry himself only reluctantly—he usually has a bit of a slouch, and always looks tired. But he puts on a brave face for his patrons and friends, and a ghost of a smile plays about his features often (when he’s not keeping a perfectly straight face to accent his dry humour).
Ceph’s longish dirty-blond hair doesn’t quite reach his shoulders. He doesn’t take much care with it, mostly just trying to keep it out of his face while he works, so it’s often a little shaggy and unkempt. Other times, he’ll put it into a tiny ponytail. His eyes are dark, often shadowed and hidden beneath his brow when he looks down (to wipe the bar or make a drink, for instance, both good excuses to avoid eye contact when necessary). The shadows extend to the perpetual bags under his eyes.
He usually wears a dirty white shirt, the top few buttons undone and the sleeves partially rolled up. The wear on his clothes is due mostly from heavy use and I’ll care—but he’s never been known to spill a drop of alcohol. The apron he wears appears to be mostly to hold things: coins, a bottle opener, perhaps his worn copper amulet if it’s one of those days he doesn’t want to wear it.
No one quite knows if the hooded crow that lives in the rafters is anything more than a bird that has found a comfortable living arrangement. But it does seem to possess a keen kind of intelligence, a taste for alcohol, and an intimate understanding of comedic timing when it comes to clearing its bowels. And it knows when someone in the Stop has died. For that alone, the crow receives great respect.
The crow looks like a fairly typical hooded crow—black-feathered head and breast, wings, and tail, with a lighter body, though where typical hooded crows are ash-grey, this one is even lighter. Its black eyes have a kind of expression to them that many interpret as intelligence—when it cocks its head a certain way, it almost looks concerned.
Though usually referred to in the neuter gender, the slightly smaller relative size of the crow betrays the fact that it is female.
Reports vary on just how old Tom is. He’s been staying in a room at the inn longer than anyone else has been coming to the bar. He says he’s waiting to die, that he’s ready. But until he does, he’s a staple of the nightly camaraderie. Many would be saddened if Azrael did finally come for him.
Tom is an old man, in his seventies, but far from frail. He used to be a dockworker in Theore City, and he remains broad-shouldered and tall. He has large hands and an air of strength, though heavy drinking and depression have turned some of his muscle to fat and given his shoulders a pronounced slouch. He has a full head of grey hair, though it’s thinning, and he sometimes forgets to shave. The lines on his face betray an utter exhaustion with life, which shows too in his eyes even when he smiles. He wears a simple worker’s tunic, and a heavier leather jacket when he goes out.
Rye only comes to the Stop during the day, when no one but Ceph is around. He is Ceph’s only real friend these days, having met in boarding school, and they have shared many laughs and many tears. He has long been in love with Ceph.
Young, boyish, and cute, Rye has large green eyes and short dark hair that sticks up everywhere in a casually good-looking way. He’s small, but not boney, and when he smiles he has an impish look about him.
Were he still alive, Rye would be seventeen—but he died of a wasting sickness when he was sixteen. Stuck in the Limbo between world and Shadowrealm, Rye has a pale, ghostly form, which will forever look like his pre-death sixteen-year-old self. There is a perpetual sadness in his eyes—not the bleak depression or exhaustion of Ceph, but more a sad sympathy for those around him.
Nael lost his eyes to war, and now travels around the Trysm Empire as a minstrel, telling truth and easing pain through song. In his late twenties, Nael wears a bandage over his eyes, and carries his guitar with him constantly. Like many at the Stop, he doesn’t talk much about his past, but has been seen quietly crying some nights, tears only able to fall from one damaged eye.
Nael is tall and lean, with shoulder-length dirty blond hair. He usually has a bit of stubble on his face. He wears a bandage tied around his eyes, which were destroyed by an elven sword in battle when he was very young.
He dresses cheaply, but with a bit of bardic flair—a billowy white shirt, open at the neck, under a ragged red vest and leggings, with tall riding boots. He always carries his guitar with him, slung over his back.
A recent regular at the Stop, Lona is half-elven, with the distinctive twisting black tattoos on her face and arms of the dark elves of the far Thron Sea. She is friendly with the regulars, even flirtatious with Old Tom, but she rarely talks to Ceph. She watches him.
Tall and lean, Lona is a warrior—swift and silent as a cat, deadly as a cobra when she needs to be. She has long dark hair kept in a braid down her back. She has a ring of scars on her upper left arm. She wears flexible clothing—leather pants and a leather vest, in greys and blacks. A casual smile comes easily, but there’s always a watchful darkness in her eyes. She carries a long, curved blade in her belt at her back.
Trin is a sixteen-year-old girl new to the city. With a wry smile and a zest for life Ceph hasn’t seen in a long time, the question on many minds is—what’s she doing at the Stop?
Trin is a little short, with mousy hair kept in a ponytail, large green eyes, and a smile that twists up on one side. While not traditionally beautiful, and a little bit curvier than is the current fashion, she is, by all accounts, very cute. She dresses simply in loose pants and a green belted tunic that shows off her body without being provocative.