A deeply unlucky high priest of Ranald, with a direct line to his god
John Pech was the unlucky and ill-fated high priest of Ranald for the protector cult of Hergig – The Cat That Looks (a reference to an old saying ‘a cat my look at a king’). His favourite saying was ‘Better to die free than live under oppression’, he tended to say it just before engaging in particularly dangerous missions. He has a direct line to The Man In Black – an aspect of Ranald. It is well known that The Man In Black has promised to personally escort John to the garden of Morr when he dies.
John’s parents never appreciated him talking to The Man In Black. Once they even sent for an exorcist, though nothing came of it except for John being shaky for a while after. One night The Man In Black shook John awake and told him to climb into the sewers. He didn’t want to but The Man In Black would not stop shouting at him. A terrible fire gutted his house and many others around it that night. Wandering around in the wreckage and arguing with himself got him sent to a temple of Ulric pretty quickly.
John’s terrible luck started to turn for him after he met the halfling lad Thomas. The boy stuck up for him against the other boys, and would steal food for him when he was hungry. The first time the lads tried to escape John accidentally stepped on a loose roof tile and fell, breaking a leg. The lads were recovered by the Ulrican temple and John’s medical needs attended to, the two were punished with the rod. A few months later the leg was completely better and they were ready to try again. The lads escaped over the wall, distracting the bulk of the priests by putting out the temple candles. Fleeing around and under the local populace The Man In Black led them into an alleyway and down through a sewer grate. In the sewer they found a temple of Ranald which they promptly joined. After this The Man In Black appeared less frequently to John – reasoning that he needs him less now.
John stayed the best of friends with Thomas, and later with Rose. The proudest moment of his life was officiating over their marriage.
His priest mentor was the high priest of the temple – an old prostitute/seamstress/cutpurse/crime-lord/brothel-owner named Eliza Smith. John became the next high priest after Eliza died suddenly in the bed of a particularly handsome initiate.
Although lacking the contacts and confidence of his mentor John did well as the new high priest – he relied on his friends to deal with managing the contact network, particularly his friend and second in command Tom. John focused on seeing that the most needy and vulnerable were protected, preferably at the expense of their abusers or the most privileged. Every year or so he’d have a special mission from The Man In Black to execute too.