GALAISHA is a medusa of great reknown. She was raised on the Infernal plane of the Nine Hells. Raised in such an environment caused her to become ruthless.
Galaisha has plenty of ambition, but no focus, and does not persevere with plans. This is perhaps an effect of the mentality that says, “If that doesn’t work, I can always turn them to stone.” She jumped from profession to profession before finally hearing the call of the blackguard from a “relative” who saw potential for unbridled destruction in her.
The Blackguard is a specialized organization on Faerûn that epitomizes pure evil. They are quintessential black knights, carrying a reputation of the foulest sort. Consorting with demons and devils while serving dark deities, blackguards are hated and feared by all. They usually lead legions of undead, evil outsiders or other monsters to conquer under their own guide. Occasionally guards might end up as wandering purveyors of chaotic destruction, attacking with honorless guile or flat out smiting the forces of good that stand in their way
It was after she arrived on the Prime plane that she was attacked and killed by a vampire. She slew her creator shortly after, and now wanders the world as a vampiric medusa. She was last known to be living in the vast city of WATERDEEP.
Jacenelle Traen was a Chondathan human wilder who led the Stray Thoughts psionic mercenary adventuring company based in Selgaunt in Sembia in the 1370s DR. Her role was to organize members of the Stray Thoughts to undertake missions, and she herself was away on activities half the time. She assigned prospective members to probationary missions. She would often manifest her psionic powers to aid members. She was eager to expand the organization, particularly outside Sembia, and would look for someone capable to establish a chapter house elsewhere.
Around 1374 DR, the Stray Thoughts were engaged by a mysterious being called Z’dusk to hunt for a psionic artifact of unspecified nature and powers, for a 25,000 gp reward. They have not been seen since and are assumed to be dead.
Vanthus Vanderboren is the son of Verrick and Larissa Vanderboren, and the older brother of Lavinia. He is ruthless and greedy, seeking to control Calinmport’s sea trade. He was fundamental in forming the fledgling criminal organization known as “The Lotus Flowers.” He has been plotting and scheming for quite some time, slowly gaining more and more control of the day to day business in Farshore, his family’s trading post on the Isle of Albion.
Vanthus set his plan into motion with the murder of his parents. He hired Soller Vark to assassinate them, making the murder look like a common mugging in a back alley. With his parents dead, he inherited half of the Vanderboren holdings. The other half went to his younger sister, Lavinia. Vanthus hired the Lotus Flowers to deal with Lavinia, as well. Her ship, the Blue Nixie, was sabotaged with crates of Alchemist Fire which were rigged to explode as she set sail in the Calimport Bay. With her gone, all assests of the Vanderboren estate fell to Vanthus.
Vanthus is now focused on bolstering the resources of Farshore. He has the business of many pirate crews and the small colony has blossomed. It is perched on the edge of the known world, the last stop before the endless expanse of the Isle of Dread. It is a hub of trade, a bastion of civilization in a realm haunted by piracy, disease, violent weather, and monsters.
His family vault continues to fill and soon he will have enough resources to move on to the next step of his plan. For now, he bides his time, praying to Demogorgon for wisdom and inspiration.
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.
According to Realms Lore, Cala was born and raised in Damara, a harsh, wintry place hundreds of miles from the civilized lands in the west of Faerûn or the fortified halfling homeland of Luiren in the south. Cala’s parents fell in with the evil forces of the Witch-King Zhengyi when it became apparent to them that he would conquer Damara. Still young and impressionable at the time, Cala saw how quickly her parents capitulated in the face of great evil and realized that evil was a road to power. Although she was not yet an adult when the Witch-King was destroyed, Cala chose the path of darkness and embraced the evil in her own heart. Feeling contempt for the weak humans of country, she learned the most effective ways to kill them.
Cala works as a mercenary guide and a guard for caravans in rugged or cold places. Sometimes she sneaks away from camp to kill human members of her group with arrows, or plants false trails ahead to help lure her “friends” into dangerous situations. She may be encountered outside of Damara, Vaasa, and Impiltur in pursuit of a magic item (she would particularly like to get her feet into some boots of elvenkind) or an old vendetta, or even to escape someone who discovered her habit of killing her traveling companions. Cala trusts only herself, but she puts on a friendly face when dealing with strangers. Only with other halflings (and particularly lightfoot halflings, at that) is she truly friendly.
A “seer” is a person who is supposed to be able, through supernatural insight, to see what the future holds. Such is the case with the young man called Alaundo. He left home at an early age and became a hermit living within The Dales. History says that he was a tortured soul, wise beyond his years. His prophecies were recorded in private over the next seventy-five years. He scribbled his visions in nine different tomes which were essentially his only true possessions during that time of his life.
Male human druid (arctic) 13/cleric 5/rogue 2
NG Medium humanoid (human)
Init: +4 (+10 in cold terrain); Senses: Perception +22
AC: 23, touch 10, flat-footed 23 (+8 armor, +5 natural)
hp: 186 (20 HD)
Fort +21, Ref +12, Will +26
Defensive Abilities: Arctic endurance, evasion; Immune: Aging; Resist: Cold 5, fire 5
Speed: 30 ft.
Melee: Santa’s staff of animals +15/+10/+5 (1d6+2)
Special Attacks: Channel positive energy (7/day, 3d6, DC 16), sneak attack +1d6, wild shape (4/day; beast shape III, elemental body III, plant shape II)
Combat Gear: Bag of tricks (tan), restorative ointment (3), Santa’s staff of animals
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 5th, concentration +13):
At will – Clairaudience/clairvoyance
16 rounds/day – Speak with animals
11/day – Lore keeper (+23), touch of good (+2)
Cleric Spells Prepared (CL 5th, concentration +13):
3rd – Magic circle against evilD, magic vestment, remove curse, water walk
2nd – Calm emotions (DC 20), detect thoughtsD, make whole, resist energy, shield other
1st – Command (DC 19), detect evil, protection from evilD, remove fear, sanctuary (DC 19), shield of faith
0 (at will) – Create water, detect magic, guidance, resistance
D Domain spell. Domains: Good, Knowledge
Druid Spells Prepared (CL 13th, concentration +21, +15 melee touch):
7th – Animal shapesD, heal (DC 25), true seeing
6th – Antilife shellD, find the path, mass cure light wounds (DC 24), transport via plants
5th – Awaken, beast shape III (animals only)D, control winds (DC 23), tree stride (2)
4th – Cure serious wounds (2, DC 22), dispel magic, freedom of movement (2), summon nature’s ally IVD
3rd – Cure moderate wounds (DC 21), dominate animalD (DC 21), neutralize poison (DC 21), protection from elements, remove disease, sleet storm, summon nature’s ally III
2nd – Barkskin, hold animalD (2, DC 20), lesser restoration, reduce animal, wood shape (2)
1st – Calm animalsD (DC 19), charm animal (DC 19), detect animals or plants, hide from animals, obscuring mist (2), pass without trace
0 (at will) – Detect poison, know direction, mending, purify food and drink
D Domain spell. Domain: Animal
Str 14, Dex 10, Con 16, Int 13, Wis 26, Cha 18
Base Atk: +13; CMB: +15 (+17 disarm); CMD: 25 (27 vs. disarm)
Feats: Combat Casting, Combat Expertise, Craft Staff, Craft Wondrous Item, Great Fortitude, Improved Disarm, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Leadership, Natural Spell, Toughness
Skills: Craft (toys) +15, Diplomacy +18, Disable Device +7, Handle Animal +18, Knowledge (geography) +15 (+21 in cold terrain), Knowledge (nature) +17, Perception +22 (+28 in cold terrain), Profession (teamster) +13, Stealth +14 (+20 in cold terrain, +27 in flurry form), Survival +24 (+30 in cold terrain)
Gear: Belt of control weather (3/day, CL 20th), boots of spider climbing (as the slippers), bracers of armor +8, cloak of resistance +4, flying sleigh (as 6 ft. by 9 ft. carpet of flying, needs reindeer for steering), hat of inspired wisdom +6 (as the headband), amulet of natural armor +5, sack of holding (as bag type 4, holds about 9,000 gp worth of toys and minor protective, healing, or nonviolent magic items), vest of weather resistance (provides cold and fire resistance 5).
Languages: Common, Druidic, Gnome; truespeech
SQ: Arctic native, flurry form, holiday spirit, icewalking, nature bond (Animal domain), nature sense, rogue talent (ledge walker), snowcaster, spontaneous casting (cure, summon nature’s ally), trapfinding +1, wild empathy +17
Animal Domain: Santa Claus does not currently have an animal companion. All of his reindeer have been awakened and do not count as animal companions (they are now magical beasts instead of animals). He may acquire a new animal companion if he feels the need.
Holiday Spirit (Su/Sp): Santa Claus is filled with holy power, granting him the truespeech ability (as tongues), immunity to aging, a +2 bonus to all his ability scores, and the ability to use clairaudience/clairvoyance at will as a spell-like ability.
Santa’s Staff of Animals: This finely crafted wooden staff is adorned with gold, detailed emerald enamelwork, and bells; it’s crowned with a carving of a reindeer. It allows the use of the following spells:
• animal trance (1 charge)
• calm animals (1 charge)
• charm animal (1 charge)
• dominate animal (1 charge)
• hide from animals (1 charge)
• speak with animals (1 charge)
Caster Level: 6th; Prerequisites: Craft Staff, animal trance, calm animals, charm animal, dominate animal, hide from animals, speak with animals; Market Price: 28,125 gp.
Low CR: Although he is a 20th-level character, Santa Claus is not optimized for combat. His CR is lower than most characters of his Hit Dice.
Santa Claus has a base Leadership score of 28 (30 for the purpose of attracting followers). His cohort is his wife, Mrs. Claus (NG female human adept 18). He has 135 1st-level followers, 13 2nd-level followers, 7 3rd-level, 4 4th-level, 2 5th-level, and 2 6th-level; nearly all of his followers are gnome commoners or experts who work as toymakers.
Santa’s sleigh is pulled by a team of eight awakened reindeer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder, and Blitzen. Some say he has a ninth reindeer whose muzzle glows as brightly as a daylight spell; these claims are unconfirmed.
In addition, Santa has several companions, including the Krampus (LN male troll barbarian 10), Belsnickel (CN male human rogue 10/fighter 5), Black Piet (NG male human bard 10), and Knecht Ruprecht (NG male human commoner 8). His cohort, followers, reindeer, and companions all share his immunity to aging.
The Krampus is a horned, anthropomorphic figure. According to traditional folklore, Krampus punishes children during the Christmas season who had misbehaved, in contrast with Father Christmas, who rewards well-behaved ones with gifts. Although he appears in many variations, most share some common physical characteristics. He is hairy, usually brown or black, and has the cloven hooves and horns of a goat. His long pointed tongue lolls out. Krampus carries chains and bells of various sizes attached to long birch branches that he uses to swat naughty children. Sometimes Krampus appears with a large sack or a washtub strapped to his back; this is to cart off evil children for drowning, eating, or transport to Hell.
I am participating in the April A-Z Blogging Challenge, and my theme is Dungeons and Dragons.
One hundred years ago the sorcerer Zenopus built a tower on the low hills overlooking Portown. The tower was close to the sea cliff west of the town and, appropriately, next door to the graveyard. Rumor has it that the magician made extensive cellars and tunnels underneath the tower. The town is located on the ruins of a much older city of doubtful history, land Zenopus was said to excavate in his cellars in search of ancient treasures.
Fifty years ago, on a cold wintry night, the wizard’s tower was suddenly engulfed in green flame. Several of his human servants escaped the holocaust, saying their master had been destroyed by some powerful force he had unleashed in the depths of the tower. Needless to say the tower stood vacant for a while after this, but then the neighbors and the night watchmen complained that ghostly blue lights appeared in the windows at night, that ghastly screams could be heard emanating from the tower at all hours, and goblin figures could be seen dancing on the tower roof in the moonlight. Finally the authorities had a catapult rolled through the streets of the town and the tower was battered to rubble. This stopped the tauntings but the townsfolk continue to shun the ruins. The entrance to the old dungeons can be easily located as a flight of broad stone steps leading down into darkness, but the few adventurous souls who hove descended into crypts below the ruin have either reported only empty stone corridors or have failed to return at all. Other magic-users have moved into the town but the site of the old tower remains abandoned.
Whispered tales are told of fabulous treasure and unspeakable monsters in the underground passages below the hilltop, and the story tellers are always careful to point out that the reputed dungeons lie in close proximity to the foundations of the older, pre-human city, to the graveyard, and to the sea.
Portown is a small but busy city linking the caravan routes from the south to the merchant ships that dare the pirate-infested waters of the Northern Sea. Humans and non-humans from all over the globe meet here. At the Green Dragon Inn, the players of the game gather their characters for an assault on the fabulous passages beneath the ruined Wizard’s tower.