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Jervis Stoot

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Jervis Stoot
Jervis Stoot, the Chopper.
(Person)
Aliases Chopper, Old Stoot, Jervas Stoot
Alignment Chaotic evil
Race/Species Human ghost
Class Rogue 5
Gender Male
Homeland Sandpoint, Varisia
Deity Pazuzu
Died 4702 AR

Source: Paizo Blog: Golarion Day: Chopper's Revenge!

Jervis Stoot is the true identity of Chopper, an infamous serial killer who claimed 25 lives in Sandpoint during the terrible time known as the Late Unpleasantness.[1]

Background

In 4687 AR, when Jervis Stoot made clear his intentions to build a home on the island just north of the Old Light, locals in Sandpoint paid him no mind. Jervis had already garnered something of a reputation as an eccentric for his one-man crusade to carve depictions of birds on every deserving building in town. Stoot never made a carving without securing permission, but his incredible skill made it a given that if Stoot picked your building as the site of his latest project, you seized the opportunity. Sporting a Stoot soon grew to be something of a bragging point, and Jervis eventually extended his talent to include ship figureheads and even carriages. Those who asked or tried to pay him for his skill were rebuffed, Stoot telling them, "There ain't no birds in that wood for me t'set free," and going on his way. Stoot often wandering the streets for days before noticing a hidden bird in a fencepost, lintel, steeple, or door frame and securing permission to "release" it with his trusty carving knives.[2]

Stoot's excuse for wanting to move to the isle seemed innocent enough—the place was a haven for local birdlife, and his claim of "Wantin' ta be with th' birds" seemed to make sense. So much, in fact, that the guild of carpenters (with whom Stoot had maintained a friendly competition for several years) volunteered to build a staircase, free of charge, along the southern cliff face so that Stoot could come and go from his new home with ease.[2]

Unknown to Sandpoint's residents, Stoot's decision was not an idle one. One day, when scavenging for wood, he found a strange statuette of a bird-faced winged man: the demon lord Pazuzu (Stoot was unaware of this at that time). This statue was buried on the isle and washed out to Sandpoint after erosion caused it to tumble into the sea. Stoot discovered that his ability to see birds trapped in wood was enhanced by the statue, and built his new house on the isle, above a shrine built by Pazuzu cultists millennia ago, compelled by the influence from beyond. He learnt of this complex in a dream, and confirmed it one day when he woke up, having dug a hole in his floor to reveal a staircase leading to the underground shrine. Pazuzu was pleased, and Stoot emerged as Chopper an hour later.[3]

For fifteen years, Stoot lived on the island. His trips into town grew less and less frequent, making it something of an event when he chose a building to host a new Stoot.[2]

In 4702 AR, amid the terrible time that would come to be known as "the Late Unpleasantness", the town's local serial killer, called Chopper, took the life of the sheriff, Casp Avertin, in a dark alley. When the town guard found the sheriff dead with another victim several minutes later, they were able to follow the bloody trail left by the killer.

A trail that led straight to the stairs of Stoot's Rock.

At first, the town guard refused to believe the implications, and feared that Chopper had come to claim poor Jervis Stoot as his 26th victim. Yet what the guards found in the modest home atop the isle, and in the larger complex of rooms that had been carved into the bedrock below, left no room for doubt. Jervis Stoot and Chopper were the same, and the eyes and tongues of all 25 victims were found in a horrific altar to a avian demon lord[4] of winged creatures and temptation whose name none dared speak aloud. Stoot himself was found dead at the base of the altar, having plucked his own eyes and tongue loose for a final offering. The guards collapsed the entrance to the chambers, burned Stoot's house, tore down the stairs, and did their best to forget. Stoot himself was burned on the beach in a pyre, his ashes then blessed and scattered in an attempt to stave off an unholy return of his evil spirit from beyond the grave. And in the months to follow, Sandpoint did its best to forget the terror, although even today, children who remember the dark times only a few years ago sometimes wake with nightmare visions of Chopper hiding under their beds.[2]

Motivations

What the townspeople of Sandpoint do not know, however, is what led Stoot to commit such unspeakable crimes. In fact, Stoot's murderous rampage was caused by the very same thing which brought about the Sandpoint chapel fire and the death of Atsuii Kaijitsu. When Runelord Alaznist's runewell of wrath activated under Sandpoint, the resulting magical energies made most people only feel a brief anger. In Stoot, though, the wrath grew until he became a serial killer.[5]

Life after death

Jervis Stoot is now a ghost whose soul has yet to be put to rest. Old Stoot's ghost has the ability to summon birds and command avians, powers granted by his devotion to Pazuzu.[6]

Recently, fishermen near Sandpoint have started seeing a red seagull-like creature appearing just before events of bad luck. They call it the 'Stoot Bird' and say that it is possessed by Stoot, but this is untrue: this creature is actually the Red Bishop, disguised. Stoot himself still remains tied to his house, but is aware of other agents of Pazuzu operating nearby, and knows that the Red Bishop will contact him when needed.[7][3]

References