Lords of the Harvest
Maximilian "Max" Arakeen
Name: Maximilian “Max” Arakeen
Current Pursuit: Gunslinger
Phobias: Bugs and Crustaceans; Garish Asymmetry (Explanations below)
Max was born breach-side. Malafaux has always been his home. His parents came from the other side
and settled in Malafaux. Both expert craftsmen, then enchanters as their dormant powers awoke after
a time. They were called Magewrights; with it steady work and money flowed. They started a family
after settling down on the boarder of the Industrial Zone and Downtown, just south of the Northern
NCZ. Max is the youngest of three children. He has an older sister and brother.
Unlike his parents, Max’s mystical skills never truly blossomed. Though he has some aptitude for
Enchanting, his analytic mind was the perfect foundation for a craftsmen. He quickly took to the art
of steel and beaker, becoming a journeymen-level blacksmith and chemist before he reached his mid-
teens. Life was not all fun and games as a child in Malafaux, as one has to grow up fast, or become
a gutter rat begging for enough coin to survive. Instead of playing and fun, his friends were books,
beakers, and pencils. His parents made sure he was educated and literate, hoping one day that he would
become a brilliant engineer and artificer.
Seeing his older siblings as semi-failures, his sister a homemaker married to a pioneer that settled in
a contract town, and brother whom is a known criminal, their hopes for successful child rested on his
shoulders alone. Max too, became somewhat of a disappointment as he fell in love with older, lower-
class, indentured laborer. His soon to be wife was a housekeeper and ill-treated servant for a wealthy
family. Once it was discovered that she was pregnant, Max wed what he considered to be the love of
his life. The wedding gift to his wife, Betty, was a release from servitude. That family simply did not
want her around anymore… it simply did not suit their high-standing to have a servant they considered
Max wed his wife Betty and had his first set of paternal twins when he was only 15 years old. Betty
was 25. Life got quite rough for Maximilian as he worked long hours to provide for a family. A year
later, another set of paternal twins became part of his family. That is when things got rough. Providing
for a family of 6 is hard enough, but worse so in Malafaux! His love was strong and he worked hard.
They were poor, but clothed and fed. There are worse fates than that under the twin moons!
Max toiled in his small shop while Betty raised the children. She started to pitch in more and more
when the children were older, and quickly discovered that she had a hidden talent. Her natural aptitude
for how things worked and fit together helped Maximilian forge better, pricier weapons. That was not
even the best part; Betty had a hidden artistic talent! Together they created and forged beautiful, highly
sought-after works of the most deadly art. Beautiful barrel-etchings and carving on the stock of a rifle,
to custom-order revolvers and daggers propelled them into a small fortune.
The moved to Downtown where their items gained fame and the Guild Script rolled in! In a few short
years they had a beautiful home, great food, private tutors and nannies for the children. Betty had her
own art studio while Max had a wonderful workshop and lab. For years they lived quite well, while
their children were educated and became apprentices. At the age of 33, Maximilian saw all his children
leave the house, get good (and fairly safe) jobs with the Guild. They were all well on their way to good
lives themselves. Thing were great… but it was not to last.
One night while dining at a riverfront restaurant on the boarder of Downtown and the Southern NCZ,
their lives were shattered. Fiendish creatures rose from the depths of the river and attacked the outdoor
restaurant. Many were grabbed and drug toward the depths of their unpleasant fate. Others were ripped
asunder. Terror and chaos ensued. The Neverborn were vicious and hungry. By the time the Guild
Guard arrived to drive the creatures away the damage was done. Few survived, while even fewer could
even be called survivors.
Max and Betty were both injured… while most of the physical wounds healed, their minds and very
souls were not so lucky. They were both hurt in ways that could never heal. Betty was far worse than
Maximilian, as she never fully recovered. Betty now lives in a privately-run group sanatorium for
women that lies on the edge of Downtown and the Eastern Slums. The price is high, but the care is as
good as it can be. This place is worlds better than the asylum… as people there tend not to live long.
Maximilian ended up selling almost everything he owned to pay up front for his wife’s lifetime,
contracted care. She will be taken care of, for the rest of her life, if you can call what she has a life. The
children do visit, as does Max. However, Betty’s psychological damage is quite bad. Some days she is
lucid and normal. That is when Max sees her the most. Other days she is catatonic and stares blankly
out the window for hours on end. Oftentimes, she regresses to a child-like state and plays with dolls,
living carefree and happy. Betty only truly recognizes Max when she is lucid. Betty is scared of him
when child-like, and does not even acknowledge his presence when catatonic.
Even with the tragedy there is a glimmer of hope. But hope requires powerful magic, and an expensive
Soulstone. If he toiled day in and out it would take him 20 or more years to get that much money
together. By then, his wife’s condition could worsen to the point where there is no return. With little
possessions, and a shitty place to live in the most western part of the Eastern Slums, Max knows he
would most likely never succeed in his quest plying his trade. He needs more Guild Script, and he
needs it now. To that end he sought out his elder brother, Steven.
Steven is a bad man; a bully and heartless killer. He is a criminal, a mercenary, a gunslinger, and street
brawler. But family is family, and he was willing to take Maximilian under his wing and teach him
how to fight, how to survive, and how to make a fist full of Script! These things never appealed to
Max before, as he thought them distasteful. However, since that fateful night on the riverfront, bloody
and broken, his grip on sanity was damaged. Damaged, poor, and needing money he has followed his
brothers lead and learned to be a cold, calculating, hardened Gunslinger.
Maximilian hears things now. Sounds with no source, thought not his own, chaos in his analytic mind,
and madness where none was before. Whatever that creature was, it hurt Max far worse than anything
before; a hurt that will never heal as his soul is now warped and darker. He is now truly of Malafaux.
Now, at the age of 36, Max has realized that he is not whole, not completely sane, no longer what he
was. These sounds… the chaotic thoughts that enter his mind and push him further and further into
darkness are ever present now. Whispers… Whispers in the dark… in the night. They call to him.