Postfest III: Davril Easton; The Sword of Erythnul
Date: Fri, December 10, 2004
Topic: Rogue's Gallery
This story is a based on a actual events. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.
Davril Easton; The Sword of Erythnul
Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.
When the snow piles against the door and night’s chill cuts to the bone, we would gather about the inn’s grand stone fireplace. Filled with a fine feast and the warmth of brandy in our bellies, we would begin a night of stories of heroes, villains and impossible adventures. I remember one night particularly well. We were gathered, as usual, for our storytelling when a man stepped in from the cold dressed as an army scout, with a bow across his back and a fine detailed whip on his hip. He had the look of one haunted by having witnessed more than his years could bear. He greeted us kindly enough, asking politely for the inn’s hospitality. He sat near us, lost to his own thoughts. We continued with our stories.
“I have a tale,” our visitor cut in part way through the night. We had almost forgotten that he was there. Starved for new stories, we eagerly invited him to tell us his yarn, pouring him a large drink of brandy.
“Yarn?” he took a slow deliberate swallow of his drink. “Well…this is the story of Davril Easton. He grew up in a village along The Axewood Forest not far from City Axegard. Some of you may know it. Like his brother and uncles, he trained to be a Ranger. His father was, on the other hand, a merchant and, as the family was to discover, a poor gambler. Needing money, Davril's father entered into a flawed business partnership, which left him penniless after the so-called partner left with all of the ill begotten loot. Davril took his family responsibilities seriously and decided to find ways to earn money. He and his brother went to Axegard looking for work. Thorril, his brother, found work as a two-bit actor. But Davril was finding the task of becoming gainfully employed much more difficult. So he started stealing and, as luck would have it, he happened to rob a shop that was a front for one of the local guilds. Rather than violently retaliating, the guild forced him to join. But as one of fate’s little ironies, he was now making far more money than he could have imagined. He would send money home by his brother, who continued his ranger training off and on back home.
"Davril met a woman called Cassia and his life would be changed forever. She was, as it is in all cases, the most beautiful woman he had ever met, with hair dark as night and eyes that held you to your place. He fell in love. Soon, Cassia joined the guild and the two worked together, often giddy with their success. She talked him into more daring and outrageous plots, even suggesting blackmail and extortion. Davril, like a puppy, happily agreed. Then the news came that his mother was ill, so he and his brother left for home to attend her. She died as they journeyed home. Davril cursed his father, blaming him for his mother’s, death and left immediately after the funeral. Arriving in Axegard, he quickly sought the refuge of the guild, only to find Cassia standing over the bodies of the guild members, her arms and sword coated in the red crimson of their blood. Her smile was made more hideous by the tattoos that covered her face. Grabbing him by his tunic, she kissed him and thanked him for helping her with her prize. With a back handed slap across his face, she left saying that they would meet again.
"As the shock wore off, he realized that he was smeared with the blood of the guild. He fled the city back to his brother, telling him that he had witnessed a murder and feared for his life. A month later, disgusted by their pitiful father, he and his brother returned to Axegard and joined a party of adventurers headed north. The party had success fighting orcs along the Geoff/Gran March border and recovering stolen goods for merchants and The Watch. Eventually, they ended up in Hookhill. During this time, although quiet and sullen, Davril carried more than his share of the risk and fighting.
"In Hookhill, he started stealing again, lifting a pouch of gems off a halfling gambling with is brother. This did not go unnoticed. It happened that a member of the Black Willow Guild observed the act. Davril was approved by one of the members and could not help but find them appealing. He told them of the party and their good works. Davril would often venture out on his own and meet with certain guild members, becoming more and more enthralled by them. The party noticed that Davril would sometimes leave for extended periods of time, but his reasons always seemed reasonable. One evening, at the Griffon’s Feather Inn, the guild member told Davril that there was a woman in a meeting with some Nobles who was plotting to kill them and they needed his help to stop it. He found himself filled with rage, voices telling him that he must protect his friends. Bursting into the room, he surprised and slew the woman easily. ‘Now go,’ the voices said, ‘Go quickly.’ Outside, his head spun wildly and, realizing what he had done, he ran to his brother once again, saying he had witnessed a murder. His brother said he would cover for him. The next day, the party learned that a spy working for their employer was murdered. Davril carefully walked away from the meeting, his head reeling at the revelation. His day became even more confusing, for that evening he thought he saw Cassia moving through the alleys. He started following her, but he lost the trail after an hour of pursuit. Turning to go back to the party, he was pulled against the alley wall. The cold sharpness of a sword against his throat sent a chill though is body, but the voice drained his face of blood.
‘Hello my love.’
‘Yes,’ she whispered in his ear, ‘We need your help again. This will be hard, but I know you can do it.’
"From out of the shadow came two members of the guild whom he recognized. They talked to him and talked to him, slowly twisting the “truths” into him. The party, his brother, their employer, were dangerous. They could kill his friends, even Cassia. He cried that he could not kill his brother.
‘You only need to guide them into a trap, nothing more,’ the voices said soothingly.
"The next night, Davril did just that. It was the last time that his brother saw Davril as he left the party stranded on a booby-trapped roof in the middle of the guild’s complex. The party fought their way through and down into the heart of the Black Willow’s base, making horrid discoveries along the way. After two days, well under the city, they rescued a thief named Thadeus from a female elf vampire who seemed very familiar with Davril. Thadeus told the party and his brother of the torrid scene he had witnessed between a woman with facial tattoos, the elf vampire and Davril. He told of how Davril surrendered to the vampire, willingly becoming one. He said that the tattooed woman than took him away. The party found a letter to Thorril in Davril’s hand telling Thorril not to follow him for he did not want to kill him.”
The stranger took another long slow drink of brandy.
“Until now, no one has seen nor heard of Davril. You have heard of the Sword of Erythnul?” he asked more in affirmation than in question.
There were gasps and gestures of protection at the mention of the name.
“Yes, the creature that rides a fiendish dire bear followed by a band of Ravagers and undead that roam the borders of Duchy of Geoff, making ghost towns wherever they go. That is Davril Easton. The whispers are that he was trained and blessed by clerics or an avatar of Erythnul which makes him less susceptible to Sunlight ”
There was a cold uneasiness that hung over the room. The stranger stood and with a hood, started for the stairs.
“How do you know it is Davril?” I asked.
“I have seen the Sword of Erythnul. A man knows when he hunts his own brother.”
This story is a based on a true story as played out in a campaign I am running. One of the players was willing to allow his character, Davril, to become a Non Player Character. He did not to become a NPC until he betrayed the party. The brother in this story is still a player in the game. The player who gave up Davril is now Thadeus in the same campaign.
Stat block using e-tools:
Davril Easton, Male Human (vampire) Rgr4/Rog4/Ftr1/Blk2/Rav3: CR16; Medium undead; HD 4d12/4d12/1d12/2d12/3d12 (hp 123); Init +5; Spd 30; AC 21 (touch 15, flat-footed 21); Base Melee Attack +20/15/10, Base Ranged Attack +18/13/8; SA Children of the Night (Su), Create Spawn (Su), Dominate Person (Su), Energy Drain (Su), Blood Drain (Ex); SQ Turn Resistance +4 (Ex), Resistance Cold 10 (Ex), Gaseous Form (Su), Damage Reduction 10/magic and silver (Su), Spider Climb (Ex), Resistance Electricity 10 (Ex), Alternate Form (Su), Fast Healing 5 (Ex); AL NE; SV Fort +16, Ref +17, Will +7; Str 24, Dex 20, Con --, Int 17, Wis 12, Cha 16.
Skills: Diplomacy +20, Hide +21, Intimidate +20, Knowledge (Religion) +8.5, Listen +13, Move Silently +22, Open Lock +15, Ride +17, Spot +13, Survival +13.
Feats: Alertness, Armor Proficiency (heavy, mediuam and light), Cleave, Combat Reflexes, Dirty Fighting, Dodge, Endurance, Improved Initiative, Improved Sunder, Lightning Reflexes, Mounted Combat, Point Blank Shot, Power Attack, Quick Draw, Shield Proficiency, Simple Weapon Proficiency, Tower Shield Proficiency, Track, Two-Weapon Fighting.
(Rgr --/1): Entangle; (Blk --/2): 1st - Cause Fear, Summon Monster I.
Rat, Male Dire Animal: CR1/3; Small Animal; HD 1d8+1 (hp 5); Init + 3; Speed 40, Climb 20; AC 15; Base Attack + 1; Grapple -4; Attack bite +4 melee (1d4 plus disease); Space/Reach 5 ft./5 ft.; SA Disease (Ex); SQ Low-light vision, scent; AL N; SV Fort + 3, Ref + 5, Will + 3; Str 10, Dex 17, Con 12, Int 1, Wis 12, Cha 4.
Skills: Climb +11, Hide +8, Listen +4, Move Silently +4, Spot +4, Swim +11.
Feats: Alertness, Weapon Finesse.
Fiendish Dire Bear: CR9; Magical Beast; HD 12d8+51 (hp 105); Init +1; Speed 40 ft.; AC 23 (touch 10, flat-footed 22); Base Attack +9; Grapple +23; Attack claw +19 melee (2d4+10); Full Attack 2 claws +19 melee (2d4+10) and bite +13 melee (2d8+5, Bite); SA Improved grab, smite good 1/day (+12 damage to good); SQ Darkvision 60 ft., damage reduction 10/magic, low-light vision, resistance to cold and fire 10, scent, spell resistance 17; AL NE; SV Fort +12, Ref +9, Will +9; Str 31, Dex 13, Con 19, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 10.
Skills and Feats: Listen +10, Spot +10, Swim +13; Alertness, Endurance, Run, Toughness, Weapon Focus (claw).
Possessions: +1 chainmail barding.
I have left Davril unequipped so one may suit him as they choose. In my campaign he has a +3 Keen Soul Drinking bastard sword and +3 Darksoul Protection Chainmail (see Book of Vile Darkness). The sword is intelligent and only works for Davril. If Davril is truly killed than the armour and sword disintegrate.
The Band of Ravagers (see Sword and Fist) consist of Cassia a Rv5/ Ftr5/Rog2, 5-8 lower level Ravager/fighters and 7-10 undead of various forms. The band travels from village to village wiping out any who live.
Darvil is “blessed” and is able to walk abroad in all but clear sunny days, so the effects of sunlight are halved. Other than Darvil’s vampire weaknesses he has one more. He cannot kill his true brother, though neither his brother nor he are aware of this.