Up and Comers of Oerth
Date: Sat, May 26, 2018
Topic: Rogue's Gallery

There are many great names that populate the world of Greyhawk.  Luminaries that have careers and adventures that span many lifetimes.  Here is a group of personages who are on the cusp of greatness.  These folk are rising stars, increasing in influence and power and may be the movers and shakers of the future.

The Good:    

Alleren, the Mage.  Alleren is your typical illusionist, in that she will never admit to being an illusionist.  When she adopts a wizardly identity, she calls herself a generalist mage with a simple title, and has a collection of magical and mundane devices that can successfully imitate a number of effects that support this ruse.  She adopts this persona when adventuring, otherwise she regularly disguises herself with one of literally dozens of identities she has cultivated over the years.  She maintains a couple rooms in various inns in the City of Greyhawk, using a separate identity for each.  On top of that, she often travels invisibly, uses secret means to enter and leave each of her dwellings, and always takes care to always pay the innkeep and neighbors not to ask questions.  These techniques make her identity exceptionally secure.  Her actual appearance is that of a perfectly average human female in all respects.   

Thus Alleren has her multiple bases of operations and established identities that allow her unequaled freedom of action throughout the city.  She is involved in a number of activities, to include mercantile interests, exploring the local ruins, and joining adventuring parties for the opportunity to expand her knowledge and opportunities.  She even takes a hand in entertaining, as she is a talented actress and singer as well as a spellcaster.  She has contacts throughout the local gnomish community, as she has done many adventures for the gnomes at Sourload and has traded notes with gnomish master illusionists as a matter of professional courtesy.  Finally, she undertakes some espionage activity for an unknown foreign power (most likely Keoland).

Sir Euard of Tehn.  This paladin is convert to Pholtus, having long lived in Atherstone, near the border with the Pale.  As a youth, he was affected with wanderlust, always moving about Oerth, seeking to bring the light of Pholtus to the unbelievers.  While Euard grew up near the Palish church, he adheres to the more goodly aligned aspect of Pholtus, seeing the Pale as worthy people but just a little extreme.  After the invasion of Tehn during the Greyhawk Wars, Euard was instrumental in providing the exiled court of Tehn with money gained from his adventures and by sponsoring treasure seeking expeditions to lost ruins.  He was awarded his title by the exiled Duke himself in recognition for his efforts.  He is currently still seeking to gain more access to any lore that can lead him to finding more funds to support his exiled people and is searching for lost caches of treasures near the Flinty Hills and Nyrond.

His appearance is typical for a paladin - wearing shiny armor and impeccable bearing.  He radiates charisma, but still has a common touch when dealing with people.  He always has time to administer to the faithful and provide a good example of Pholtean ideals as he travels.  He is also notable for having a kobold valet that always accompanies him.  This kobold, named Grackle, was caught in a trap in some ruined dungeon when Euard came across him.  Moved to pity for the lost humanoid, Euard freed the little guy, and has never been able to get rid of him since!  Grackle is useful as a low level rogue in trap disarming skills and is incredibly loyal to his "savior". 

The Bad:

The Archer of Iuz.  This individual is a loner, a half-elf in the service of Iuz who goes by no other title or name.  He is an expert assassin and woodtracker who distinguished himself in the Vesve Forest campaigns.  He currently operates out of Izlen and is armed with a minor artifact, the Black Arrow of Iuz (See Note below), which he uses to full effect against the elves and men of the forest.  He is motivated by hatred for his elvish mother, a flightly elf maid who abandoned his father when he was just young.  His father never recovered from the loss of his love and died soon thereafter.  The Archer has made it his personal quest to drive deep into the elf lands in the center of Vesve.  He will wreck as much havoc in the lands of the Timeless Tree as he can, hunting for his mother that he is sure lives in that area, and have a reckoning with her.

He keeps the knowledge of his elven heritage a secret, lest he run afoul of Iuz's orc soldiery.  To facilitate this, he keeps scalps and ears of elves he has slain tied to his person.  This increases his standing in the eyes of Iuz's troops as well as disguising the scent of elf blood in his veins.  His only associate is the Boneheart priest Panshazek, as they share the same pathological hatred for elves and have similar ideas as far as tactics in the Vesve campaign go.  Panshazek does not control the Archer, however.  The Archer of Iuz hunts as he sees fit but will sometimes cooperate with the conventional troops of Iuz to support some important mission.      

Kjallakr the Cursed.  A Stonefist warrior who made an unfortunate boast, that he "was more blood thirsty than Erythnul".  As a consequence, the Lord of Malice cursed him to taste nothing but blood in his mouth when eating or drinking.  He is growing more and more insane with this curse, desperate to break it.  Kjallakr discovered, through the Erythnul priesthood, that the only way he can break this curse is to commit some act of atrocity that even the God of Slaughter would be impressed.  To this end, he has gathered a small party of Stonefisters and is traveling in disguise to the civilized southern lands.  There, he seeks to find some idyllic, peaceful village and slaughter it entirely as an offering to Erythnul.

The cursed warrior is guided by a prophetic priest of Erythnul and by several powerful warriors.  This group is exceptionally dangerous, as they are on what they perceive as a divinely sanctioned quest and are thus very disciplined to keep to their movement secret as the go through the civilized lands.   Kjallakr, however, is getting increasingly maniacal with the taste of blood constantly in his mouth.  His disguise is starting to slip and he now appears like the crazed berserker he is - his eyes are bloodshot, his body twitches uncontrollably, he rants gibberish periodically, and he constantly drools blood from his mouth. He is about ready to explode in uncontrolled violence at any moment, and has a force with him that can cause much terror to an unsuspecting land.

The In Between

Voor and Lurda, Servants of Wastri. This is a married couple of Wastri pilgrims on a holy crusade in the Underdark.  They have been guided by a quest from the Hopping Prophet to rescue of a large group of humans that have been captured and enslaved by an underground race of demihumans.  Their problem is that they are not sure where the captives are located, with the drow or the derro.  Currently, the pair are conducting opportunistic raids on drow merchant caravans in the attempt to get information that can help them.  In doing their work, the pair have an unmatched knowledge of the comings and goings of the Underdark races throughout their area of operations.  They would seek to ally themselves with an adventuring party of humans to help them in their mission.  An adventuring party with demihumans presents more of a challenge.

Lurda is a fire-breathing fanatic priestess of Wastri and is subject to having visions of her deity directing their quest.  Voor is a hulking warrior and is actually the more reasonable of the two.  That is, he would consider cooperation with a surface party of demihumans in order to survive perils in the Underdark or else further their quest, and may be able to convince his wife to ally with such a group.  Certainly, rescuing slaves from their cruel captors is a good act, so that a temporarily alliance with these two zealous bigots may be possible.  The composition of the captives may or may not be a group of Wastri worshippers themselves.  Certainly, Lurda would attempt to convert them to the Wastri way of thinking once a rescue was affected.  A party may try to oppose that, leading to some role playing opportunities.        

Jeggred of House Aleval.  This male drow was taken captive by an adventuring party while travelling in the Underdark.  Wanting to interrogate him, the party's priest put a Helm of Opposite Alignment on the drow and used him to get the local information they needed.  During the course of adventuring through drow occupied territory, the party was wiped out, but Jeggred managed to escape.  Now, he is wandering through the Underdark, assisting those in need with food, information, and shelter from the evil forces in the tunnels.

The magical effects of his forced alignment change are causing long term mental suffering to the drow.  He knows subconsciously that he is acting contrary to his nature, and that is causing distress to his psychological well-being.  A party contacting should be faced with a moral quandary, should they accept the help from a good-aligned drow, or seek to cure him of his goodness, making him evil again?  A party in desperate straits in the Underdark would need the help that the good-cursed drow could offer and that the evil drow would refuse, so in the short term keeping the situation as is can benefit the party.  Depending on the religious persuasions of the party, that may not be an acceptable approach.  Once a being operates under the aspects of a Helm of Opposite Alignment for long enough time, the natural alignment of that being could start to shift as well. Perhaps the best situation would involve releasing him from the cursed magic item and then seek to convert Jeggred willingly, now that he has had a taste of being good, an honest attempt at conversion may be more successful.           

Note:  See the Greyhawk Adventures Hardcover book for details on this magic item.  Basically, this arrow can be called upon once a day to slay its target (save versus death magic or die immediately, good creatures save at -2).  The Archer typically uses it to snipe at elf sentries as he moves throughout the Vesve Forest.

Further note:  These character sketches are deliberately kept "stats light" to allow for flexibility in adding to your campaigns.  They have possessions and magic items appropriate to their levels, which should be tailored for your existing campaigns.  These are intended to be mid-level NPCs, coming close to becoming high level contacts or adversaries for your parties.  

This article comes from Canonfire!

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