illustration by Kata Kane

One cool spring morning, a young man named Johannes Proft ventured into a deep, dark forest. He was a junior contributor to a publication called The Almanac of Complete World Knowledge and he was keen to make a name for himself as an investigator of all that was strange and mysterious.

A year and a day later, he stumbled back out of the woods with a head full of fractured and scrambled memories, clutching a smooth gray stone with a perfect hole worn through it, and the name Jon Proferatus on his tongue.

From a sheaf of crumpled, frantic notes he found in his coat pocket, Jon learned how to channel his will through the stone – the Hag Stone according to the notes. For the most part, his disorganized thoughts could only create flames of varying intensity and project frightening or confounding imagery into the minds of others.

While living on the outskirts of civilization, Jon met a young wilderness scout named Cal Shrigley and through Cal became part of a troupe of adventurers. While exploring the catacombs beneath a ruined castle, Jon answered a mystical call emanating from a pool of water. Plunging into the pool, he found a sword and became bound to it. Despite having no training in fencing or fighting – that he can remember anyway – Jon discovered he could wield the blade to deadly effect.

Jon was last seen plummeting out of the sky in a dragon-shaped flying machine with all his friends.

Jon Proferatus is a character I created for a friend’s Sword & Backpack game, illustrated here by another friend and player in that game, Kata Kane. Please check out more of her work at

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