Walter Derleth

Mathematician, Adventurer, Heretic

“I know always that I am an outsider, a stranger in this century and among those who are still men.”

– H. P. Lovecraft


“My journeys have left their scars, to be sure. My thirst for knowledge was sated at no small cost. I can only hope that this new debt will not prove as consequential.”

Walter is a stocky man gone to waste and recovering. His pale skin hangs loosely on his skeleton, particularly around his neck, but less so than it once did and he no longer looks to be on death’s door. His thin and too-early greying hair is long, but now maintained and groomed with some measure of frequency, combed forward to at least somewhat conceal the hideous mask of scars that comprise the left side of his face. His overlarge, silver eyes with their violet pupils peer out from their sunken pits with more life than they have ever shown in the past and a smile actually graces his thin lips every once in a while.

The professed scholar and mathematician dresses in a brown coat over a green tunic and dark breeches, all barely touched by time. His high boots are soft leather and on his belt he carries a plain knife, a well-made mace marked with the brand of Harrowstone prison, and a small crossbow, none of which seem to have seen any use despite Walter’s claim of having belonged to the Pathfinder Society. Opposite the weapons, he wears a pouch and a scroll case and an empty sack hangs from that hip. He also bears a well-crafted leather satchel of considerable size, stuffed with all the accoutrements of exploration and a number of small tomes.

Two small crystals orbit Walter’s head, their images reflected in the silver circlet he wears. On his right hand a ring in the form of a skeletal finger is wrapped around the man’s index finger. On his left is a small circle of platinum. Around his neck, Walter has strung a holy symbol for almost every deity he is aware of, and hidden amid the tangle is a piece of beaten silver, inscribed with bizarre geometric shapes, on a silver chain.

On his back is perhaps the most curious and most ill-fitting item, a slightly curved, single edged sword. Even based on how it’s worn, it is obvious that Walter is completely unfamiliar with the use of the Tian katana.


“For longer than I can remember, I have carried a weight in my soul, one I was not even cognizant of. Now, I feel as though my feet might leave the ground at any moment (their ability to, in fact, do so notwithstanding).”

Despite the recent changes in Walter’s appearance and behavior, he remains a strange specimen of humanity. His hands are usually clasped behind him, forcing him to stand straighter than his wont and giving him a bookish appearance, a look only enhanced by the reality of his character. He tends to go on ad nauseum about any number of archaic topics, both mundane and arcane, and now does so with enthusiasm, completely oblivious to the reactions of his listeners. Despite all this, he proves to be an intriguing individual, his scars and unusual eyes lending credence to the intensity of his personality and conveying the determination with which he clearly pursues his endeavors.

Derleth uses his knowledge of formulae and the sciences to fold the planes together in order to produce various effects through what amounts to spellcraft. In combat, he lifts himself into the air to drift around the battlefield, deterring his foes while healing and blessing his allies through the use of key words and phrases of truespeech.


Her beauty is a visage of hope and her visible joy when she plays or dances lifts my heart. She makes me realize what burden I had carried in my soul. Perhaps there is a chance of salvation, if only she can truly aid and protect me.


In the wake of Jenkin’s disappearance after encountering Desna, Walter has acquired a new familiar, ostensibly sent to him by the goddess herself. Yidhra is a small, beautiful woman with dark hair, palest skin, violet eyes, and gossamer wings of indigo, azure, and sable. Dressed in flowing, wispy robe of lace, sunlight dances around her and moonlight makes her shine.

Madam Yi is a creature of absolute grace and beauty. She sings with a voice that brings to mind the music of the spheres and plays all manner of delicate instruments, favoring the strings of a lyre. Typically hovering near Walter or standing on his shoulder, she frequently darts out on her own to explore and investigate. She is constantly on the lookout for any way to be helpful or anything that might aid Walter and his companions. Anything to make them stronger and better prepared for what is to come. To that end, she is also eager to be of service in any way she can, so long as it is, in fact, of use.

Party Relationships

(Extracted from Walter’s Journals.)

Relationship with Elk Runner

Her intelligence once enthralled me and blinded me to her own self importance. She may be my greatest ally, and I trust her as much as anyone, but only if it does not impede her own goals or well being. She has taken it upon herself to keep things from me in the past. She must realize she cannot judge what is best without all knowledge of a situation. I would share the facts with her, but some things should never be known.

Approval Rating: -1 (Suspicious)

Walter doesn’t trust Elk Runner with treasure
Walter believes Elk Runner will protect herself
Walter doesn’t believe Elk Runner will protect him
Walter trusts Elk Runner with knowledge
Walter is neutral on Elk Runner’s judgement
Walter believes Elk Runner is helpful to him

Walter depends on Elk Runner to supplement his own brilliance and lead the others.

Relationship with Mordren

The woman can certainly hold a grudge. She still bears Liam’s suspicion of me, but she has proven to be strangely reliable when necessary. I find myself regretting some of my past actions against her. If only she would cease standing in my way, we might be friends.

Approval Rating: -1 (Suspicious)

Walter trusts Mordren with treasure
Walter believes Mordren can protect herself
Walter isn’t sure Mordren will protect him
Walter doesn’t trust Mordren with knowledge
Walter doesn’t trust Mordren’s judgement
Walter doesn’t believe Mordren is helpful to him

Walter depends on Mordren to slay his enemies and keep him in check.

Relationship with Bjorn

Bjorn is perhaps the least attached of our group. He is dependable only in a fight, and seems impatient to race from one near-death experience to another. It is ironic that I need such a man to stand between me and my own end. He has also proven a useful, if unwitting, distraction and means of obtaining information from those with whom we parlay.

Approval Rating: -1 (Suspicious)

Walter trusts Bjorn with treasure
Walter believes Bjorn can protect himself
Walter believes Bjorn will protect him
Walter doesn’t trust Bjorn with knowledge
Walter doesn’t trust Bjorn’s judgement
Walter believes Bjorn is helpful to him

Walter depends on Bjorn to protect him and to communicate with his foes.


Feelings on Reiner’s Disappearance

The man was perhaps too full of himself and not aware enough of others and the world at large. Certainly he seemed to care little for consequence to anyone else. I sincerely hope the man survived his lone crusade against the orc horde, but I will never regret my decision to abandon him to his own hubris.

Approval Rating: -2 (Irate)

Feelings on Hirayama’s Death

There seems to have been no call for the mass murder of so many people. I can see a certain logic in his eyes to the killing of one, but not fourteen. No doubt his spirit has joined those others we must quiet in Harrowstone. His actions have caused me a great amount of unnecessary difficulty.

Approval Rating: -2 (Irate)

Feelings on Liam’s Death

A noble, if wasted death, but his sacrifice revealed more than a few fascinating secrets the man was holding. Perhaps I misjudged him in life. I may need to seek answers from him in his death.

Approval Rating: +0 (Cautious)


Call of Ktulu – Metallica
Rats in the Cellar – Aerosmith
Monsters of the Cosmos – Symphony of Science
Dragula – Rob Zombie
Obsessive Devotion – Epica
Can I Play with Madness – Iron Maiden
Save Me from Myself – Sirenia
Losing My Religion – Lacuna Coil (In part because they just dumped a bunch of cinematic clips from random video games)

Walter Derleth

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