WHITCHTHORN

 

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Whitchthorn was the ruler of all the Fey living in Kryptgarden. When he was a prince, he lived with his spouse, the dryad Ishaldra, who balanced his evil inclination with her good nature.

The Green Dragon Mask is recovered from the lair of Claugiyliamatar in Kryptgarden Forest. Old Gnawbones himself is injured while blows were struck against Thay, the Cult of the Dragon, and Zartruss hobgoblin clan.

Claugiyliamatar near the realm of Whitchthorn, an Unseelie Lord. His presence corrupts Ishaldra, the dryad spouse of Whitchthorn and Ishaldra’s treant bodyguard. Whitchthorn, an archfey and now fey king, unleashes his evil against the dragon, but Old Gnawbones is too powerful.

Ultimately, an adventuring party of Harpers hired to defeat Claugiyliamatar gains an audience with the fey king and Whitchthorn agrees to aid them to defeat Old Gnawbones, but only if the adventurers make a pact with him.

KHEMED

Born in Calimshan of a fairly wealthy family, Khemed offended his father and was cast out of his home. He continued to practice in the arts of war and worked as a mercenary, turning to banditry when times were rough. He has gathered a group of younger mercenaries about himself and hires his team out as “the Blades of Bhaelros.”

Khemed is a faithful worshipper of Talos and has contacts with clerics of Talos in most major cities across western and southern Faerûn. When he expects to stay in a city for a while, he rents an unfurnished home or small warehouse for himself and his team, but otherwise lives on the road in tents.

Khemed is of average height but very broad, sporting large tattoos of fire and symbols of Talos on his arms and chest. He enjoys using his spiked chain to disarm foes and employ attacks of opportunity against them when they try to reclaim their weapons. Against a superior foe, he fights defensively and has his employees set up flanking and give him opportunity attacks.

Khemed is likely to be encountered working as a mercenary, protecting people of interest or valuable shipments, regardless of the nature of their employer or goods. If not employed, his team might be acting as bandits on roads or outside of known dungeons.

Khemed may be cut off from his family’s fortune, but this human fighter intends to amass his own. A mercenary leader devoted to Bhaelros, Khemed and his Blades are efficient fighters you should keep your eyes on — best accomplished by never showing him your back.

THE AARAKOCRA, BIRDFOLK

aarakocra_by_christopherburdett

Sequestered in high mountains atop tall trees, the aarakocra, sometimes called birdfolk, evoke fear and wonder. Many aarakocra aren’t even native to the Material Plane. They hail from a world beyond—from the boundless vistas of the Elemental Plane of Air. They are immigrants, refugees, scouts, and explorers, their outposts functioning as footholds in a world both strange and alien.

Aarakocra are about 5 feet tall and have a wing span of 20 feet. About halfway along the edge of each wing is a hand with three human-sized fingers and an opposable thumb. An elongated fourth finger extends the length of the wing and locks in place for flying. Though the wing-hands cannot grasp during flight, they are nearly as useful as human hands when an aarakocra is on the ground and its wings are folded back. The wing muscles anchor in a bony chest plate that provides the aarakocra with extra protection. The powerful legs end in four sharp talons that can unlock and fold back to reveal another pair of functional hands, also with three human-sized fingers and an opposable thumb. The hand bones, like the rest of an aarakocra’s skeleton, are hollow and fragile.

Aarakocra faces resemble crosses between parrots and eagles. They have gray-black beaks, and black eyes set frontally in their heads that provide keen binocular vision. Plumage color varies from tribe to tribe, but generally males are red, orange, and yellow while females are brown and gray.

Aarakocra speak their own language, the language of giant eagles, and, on occasion, the Common tongue.

In aerial combat, an aarakocra fights with either talons or the heavy fletched javelins that he clutches in his lower hands. An aarakocra typically carries a half dozen javelins strapped to his chest in individual sheaths.

Aarakocra live in small tribes. Each tribe has a hunting territory of about 10,000 square miles with colorful banners and pennants marking the boundaries.Each tribe lives in a communal nest made of woven vines with a soft lining of dried grass. The eldest male serves as the tribe’s leader. In tribes of more than twnety members, the second oldest male serves as the shaman, leading simple religious ceremonies involving the whistling of melodic hymns at sunset on the first day of a new month. Males spend most of their waking hours hunting for food and occasionally for treasure, such as gems and other shiny objects. Females spend eight months of the year incubating their eggs, passing the time by fabricating javelins and other tools from wood and stone. While resting on their backs, aarakocrafemales can use all four hands at the same time to weave boundary pennants, javelins sheaths, and other useful objects from vines and feathers.

Five aarakocra, including a shaman, can summon an air elemental by chanting and performing an intricate aerial dance. The summoned air elemental will comply with the aarakocras’ request for a favor, though it will not endanger its life on their behalf.

Aarakocra have little to do with other species, including neighboring aarakocra tribes, and leave their home territory only in extreme circumstances. They rarely encounter humans except for an occasional foray into a rural community to snatch a stray farm animal; this is not an intentionally malicious act, as aarakocra are unable to distinguish between domestic and wild animals. A human venturing into aarakocra territory may be able to convince one to serve as a guide or a scout in exchange for a shiny jewel or coin.

aarakocra_by_leesmith

THE CHURCH OF CYRIC

CYRIC
CYRIC

Cyric is a megalomaniacal deity with an immense following. One greater powers of Evil on Faerûn, he is petty and self centered, and enjoys misleading individuals of all inclinations so that they perform acts that ruin their lives or so that they make fatal mistakes. He drinks the tears of disillusioned dreamers and broken-hearted lovers. He is not above an alliance with another deity as long as he thinks he can betray the other deity and come out ahead.

The Church of Cyric is a large cult devoted to the Prince of Lies. They are a fanatical organization made up of the dregs of Faerûn society, willing to give their lives for their diety.  They organize in small groups and sleeper cells, working together to kill those devoted to good and ultimately take over the world.

The Church is pledged to spread strife and work murder everywhere in order to make folk believe in and fear the Dark Sun. It supports cruel rulers and indulges in intrigue in such a way that the world won’t be overrun by wars (and thus fall under the sway of Tempus). His church is often beset by internal feuds and backstabbing, but this conflict has decreased in recent years as Cyric has gained better control of himself and has consolidated the churches of deities whose portfolios he took over.

Cyric’s clerics pray for their spells at night, after moonrise. Cyric’s church has few holy days and does not even celebrate the date of his ascension to divinity. Whenever temple acquires something important enough to sacrifice to Cyric, its high priest declares a Day of the Dark Sun to signify the holiness of the event. Eclipses are considered holy. They are accompanied by feasts, fervent prayers, and bloody sacrifices. Cyric’s clerics often multiclass as rogues or assassins. Because it was the place that Cyric aschended to godhood, Mount Waterdeep is a holy site for the Church.

The Church draws its powers from the madness of their worshippers. They are unpredictable, zealous, and self-destructive. They believe that in giving their life for Cyric they will be granted immortality as a demi-god.

The dieities of Faerûn obtain their powers through the faith of their followers. Therefore, Cyric grants his worshippers powers in exchange for murder, treachery, and deception against Cyric’s foes. Some assassinate influential individuals who govern or lead communitities. Others begin armed conflicts against temples and holdings of the more righteous faiths. Other follows simply want to “see the world burn” and carry out terrorist strikes in towns and cities. In any case, Cyric is pleased as long as kidnapping, murder, and espionage is being done in his name.

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