- "They're there, you know - in all the corners and all the dark places, just waiting for Marienburg to stumble. And when it does, they'll come to take us, but we'll already be one of them!"
- —Pepijn Barendregt[1a]
In his late thirties and tall at 6'4", this once proud man has been broken mentally so that he now walks with a nervous step, his eyes twitching back and forth, as if looking for something or someone that could come from anywhere at any time. His harrowing experiences have left him looking twenty years older, and the patches of grey hair that remain jut out at wild angles. Heis suspicious of everyone and keeps on a constant move to make sure he can't be trapped again. He is never without his sketchpad and charcoal sticks, nor without his best friend, Wilmer.[1a]
Pepijn is a paranoid lunatic whois convinced that the mysterious "they" will come for him. But being paranoid doesn't mean that someone isn't out to get you.[1a]
Pepijn was once an up-and-coming member of the Mason's and Tyler's Guild in Marienburg. The youngest Master ever, he knew all the secret handshakes. He was so skilled that the Dwarfen Engineer's Guild recognized his talents and made him an honorary member, the only non-Dwarf to have been so honoured in living memory.[1a]
Then one day, Pepijn vanished while inspecting the ancient cisterns and sewers under Kruiersmuur. No one saw him for days, and his friends began to assume that he had either met with an accident or, worse yet, run afoul of some criminal gang. Then, weeks later, he was found wandering the canalsides in Winkelmarkt, raving about "them" and "they're everywhere" and "we're them!" Unable to care for himself and a potential danger to others, the ward court committed him to Heiligdom.[1a]
Pepijn had been captured by a band of Fen Loonies who had used almost-forgotten ways to enter Marienburg. Held prisoner and tortured for weeks, he managed to escape and somehow wandered back into the city. He suspects the warders of being mutants and is just waiting for them to take their masks off andreveal the drooling beasts beneath. While he's become a little calmer, thanks to the Sisters' ministrations, it wouldn't take much to unhingehis delicate mind and send him over the edge again.[1a]
His paranoia prevents him from having any real friends - he doesn't trust the staff and his friends from the outside have given up on him. He does like Sister Lise, who gave him his pad and charcoals and encourages his art, at which he's quite good. Wilmer is his only real friend, though, because he doesn't have a face that can hide an enemy. He does, however, know the way to the Loonies' camp in the Fens and could lead adventurers there - if they could only gain his trust, overcome his phobias andget him out of Heiligdom.[1a]