All of Unholy's NPCs (for his own convenience, still)
THE BROKEN HAND PLOT
The Broken Hand (†)
The Broken Hand is a group that was formed with the simple goal of uniting to spread their cruelty onto others. In life, they were savage tyrants, ambitious and power hungry, and all too eager to trade existence for more power. In unlife, their strength can seem powerful enough to snuff out hope...
But make no mistake, the Broken Hand are still vulnerable, still mortal, and still very much in danger of death. Each member knows this, laments it, and hates it. It drives them further and further into the dark depths.
The leadership of the Broken Hand, which in its entirety consists of dark cultists, necromancers and the undead, is made up of three individuals. The leader Lacaine the Undying, who boasts a body that will never truly die, is in actuality gifted with regeneration powerful enough to outpace most attacks in battle.
Lacaine in life was the son of a noble hero, and the brother of a noble druid, and by his hand his family has torn asunder, all in the name of power. He rules over the Broken Hand spreading misery and torment, and using his necromancy and benefactor he twists corpses and the unlucky living alike into monsters for his army.
The Duke Garnet, or the Lord of the Manor, is the second of the Broken Hand's leadership. In life a greedy noble who indulged in hedonism and longed for more, turning to demon worshipping for what he thought would be the power to indulge forever. Yet a brush with death made him understand exactly what was at stake.
In his manor, where he draws power through dark rituals, Duke Garnet sacrifices others in his place to buy time, appeasing dark demon masters and the Broken Hand's benefactor. In his manor, Garnet is seemingly immortal, killing him merely ends with him being resurrected and another dying in his place... on the surface.
In truth, he is kept alive by the same dark magic he has come to fear will damn him to eternal torture, and tries to appease them with the sacrifices who are extinguished in his selfish place. But with each death (or at least death state) he grows more and more exhausted, his body grows weaker, and his mind begins to shatter. Now he is on the edge of insanity.
Finally, the Inventor. A mad genius of sorts, but mostly a huge bastard. The Inventor has no real name that has been kept in any records, and has been around long enough to know how things work. He tinkers in plagues, poisons and new inventions to help his schemes, all of which end in mass death.
The Inventor is the closest thing the Broken Hand has to a face, recruiting new stock from mad cultists and desperate people, often with intention of turning them later into more of the undead that he aids Lacaine in creating en masse. An utter sadist, he delights in the pleasure that petty cruelty brings.
While not invincible, he is a powerful vampire, however he is kept from harm by the creation of hollow simulacrum-like clones that fight in his place. Each clone is far weaker than his true self, but allow him to oversee things without ever putting himself in danger. The Inventor shows a sort of cowardice, only fighting in his true form when he knows he can win.
Somewhere in the cold mountains, the Broken Hand plot and scheme. Each one believing that they will become truly immortal, and escape death forever. Hopefully the adventurers of Narfell can prove them wrong and put them in the ground once and for all.
Current Status: The Broken Hand was destroyed by adventurers. Duke Garnet was dragged to his eternal demise at the hand of his "business partners" while the Inventor's lair was raided by hunters who eventually vanquished him once and for all. Lacaine's connection to his dark benefactor was severed, and his lethal wounds finally brought him down. Without their leadership, the remaining Broken Hand minions are left without aim and direction.
Artemis Delemont, Henry Duran, Claire Edwards, "Trick" (†)
A group of adventurers who fought against the Broken Hand. Artemis Delemont, a druid and son of a noble Cormyr hero named Argent Delemont, was Lacaine Delemont's brother. Sacrificed so that Lacaine may gain his power, Artemis was brought back by priests, and has spent what feels like his entire life hunting his once loving brother across the land.
Henry Duran, Paladin of Helm, and Claire Edwards, a Ranger, traveled with Artemis during his initial adventures and search for Lacaine's mysterious power source. But when Claire was turned into a monster by the Broken Hand, Artemis fell into desperation, and Henry Duran began to lose hope. They were forced to abandon their quest.
Reappearing as Lacaine began to move in Narfell once more, Artemis and Henry were joined by Trick, a former prisoner and a halfling rogue who joined them in return for an early release. But of course, things never work out, and the group was again soundly beaten by the Broken Hand.
Now Artemis has been turned and Henry Duran lay dead at the hands of the Inventor, with Trick missing somewhere in the Giantspire. The final living Delemont has fallen, and the estate shall forever lay in ruins.
With any luck, adventurers may be able to find Trick, and perhaps discover the secrets he has learned during his time alone.
Current Status: After leaving Narfell, Trick was last seen in Cormyr reporting the deaths of his friends.
THE PLAYWRIGHTS CHALLENGE PLOT
The Playwright / The Yellow Cloaked Prince
A powerful fey of the Unseelie Court. The Playwright, who is known to his followers as the Yellow Cloaked Prince, has spent years producing stories and plays for the enjoyment of his peers and especially his beloved Queen. With a variety of enchanted tools, the Playwright can manipulate reality, and with it he turns the lives of ordinary people into the grand (and always exclusively tragic) stories woven at his leisure. A sadist, whose favorite topic is the erosion of hope, the Playwright never plays fair, and his stories always end one way. With the hero losing.
He is a patron of those who have fallen to madness or despair through their creativity, from the starving artist who cannot make ends meet, all the way to the serial killer who views his work as another form of art. All of them will, eventually, hear the whispers of the Yellow Cloaked Prince, who offers them alleviation and ascension in their work, at the cost of them becoming more puppets to play with. Of course, should they deny him... they'll find his sweet temptations are far from optional.
DRAGONS OF NARFELL
A bronze dragon situated somewhere in the Sea of Stars. Hythaelis is an old, respectable dragon who carries himself with grace and wisdom. Having explored the realm 9 times over and having survived a thousand challenges, Hythaelis is content to spend his later years mentoring the younger generations, be they dragons or humanoids. A guardian of sailors and ally of adventurers, Hythaelis encourages a healthy curiosity and believes people should feel free to make mistakes, so long as they learn from them. He visits Peltarch on occasion in a disguised guise to mentor the young copper dragon residing in Peltarch.
Real name unknown. A copper dragon who was once known as the Wanderer, guised as a human who would explore the realm, giving a puzzle box to those he felt were worthy, containing an egg, the only surviving relative he has. Peregrine has witnessed the fall of his family, but has always kept his cheerful attitude and optimistic outlook. Having never wanted to tie himself to a lair, he has spent a life wandering, indulging in culture and witnessing the rise and fall of heroes and villains alike. Peregrine views himself as a defender of the outcast, and a guardian of the creative. Peregrine in particular is a great supporter of those who overcome "their nature" to be who they want to be, regardless of society. He himself indulges in all sorts of hobbies, from baking, to singing, to juggling. Peregrine currently resides in Hinhold, who he views as kin, also enjoying comforts, pastries and good music.
Agrimmyra / "Grim"
A blue dragon. Grim resided in the deserts, collecting a vast hoard. But a string of losses and humiliations left him feeling unsatisfied and introspective. After being locked away for a period by mages, Grim began to reflect on his past and what he truly wanted. By the time he was freed, he seemed to have no ill will even towards those that captured him. In a strange twist of fate, the villages Grim once mockingly harassed and caused grief to found themselves instead protected by the blue dragon, who drove of bandits and brought relief to those in need of water and food. In an even stranger twist of fate, Grim found love with a dragon who he had once clashed with, and almost killed, Peregrine, the Wandering Dragon.
But Grim's story took a tragic turn. The Cult of the Dragon, seeking to lure him into their clutches, sought to manipulate him into accepting their gifts. Grim refused, unwilling to return to his former self, and wanting a brighter future with his mate. However the Cult of the Dragon were not willing to take no for an answer. Through the actions of the half dragon, Shogath, Grim was driven utterly insane. Now more of a primal animal, even more barbaric and animalistic than the white dragons of the snowy north, Grim killed Shogath and his allies, then turned on Peregrine and his brother, killing the latter and wounding the former. Grim remains in his lair, acting on instinct, preying on anyone foolish enough to approach him... but maybe hope is not lost. Maybe the dragon who turned against the dark path, can again be saved.
Time will tell.
Cyran (and Kyrkal)
A silver dragon and a black dragon respectively. Cyran is a heroic figure who carries himself like a chivalrous knight, and acts with the swagger of a man in a play. And like a chivalrous knight, he will keep his word, fighting to aid anyone who calls on him. He can be a bit large headed, and is proud even by the standards of a dragon, viewing any failure on his part as utterly crushing and tending to think in extremes. He does not like Narfell much, since most of it appears to be coated in demon ruins, who Cyran had predictably bad encounters with.
Kyrkal meanwhile is a vicious and cruel dragon. The extent of his rampages and the sheer cruelty he inflicts on anyone he catches is so great that even his fellow chromatic dragons tend to view him as unstable and unhinged. Kyrkal revels in his villainy, openly proclaiming he has no redeemable qualities, and finds nothing more entertaining than the suffering of those below him... which is everyone. A true shining example of what it means to be a bad guy.
However, both Cyran and Kyrkal are in an odd state. After clashing in a battle that lasted several days, the two found themselves merged together by the result of some strange curse or spell. Now stuck fighting each other for control of a shared body, the two bickeringly make their way across the land desperate for any cure to seperate themselves, so that they can finish their battle once and for all. Cyran tends to hold the most control, but Kyrkal never makes it easy, and when Kyrkal does gain control... well things rarely go well for either of them.
The Green Dragon
A thus unknown dragon dwelling in the swamp. Rumor has it that the dragon is rallying the murkwater denizens to their side. Whether they have plans for Peltarch or not, a Green Dragon is rarely a neighbor you want. Time will tell.
A half dragon, specifically a blue half dragon, and a veteran member of the Cult of the Dragon. Shogath was a cunning and manipulative sort with a great talent for getting his way. It was said that he held an old relic important to the cult, but it was lost upon his death, scattered who knows where, maybe not even in Narfell anymore. Shogath drove Grim mad through shady methods, seeking to obtain "his pawn" either way. Things backfired when Grim slaughtered his men, and killed Shogath. His corpse was left mangled on a tree, now a skeletal reminder to those that would enter Grim's territory. But what of Shogath's hideout? What of his schemes? ... Are they still in motion?
CLASH OF THE ELEMENTS PLOT
Cloaked in majestic red and gold robes, and with a head full of tattoos, Hesh still looks the part of a fearsome Red Wizard. However, Hesh has long since abandoned the troublesome politics of Thay, and Toril in general, instead turning his sights on the realms. A planeswalker of incredible magical power, but with not a shred of sociability in his body, Hesh has only one friend (Carmil) and countless enemies. Though self described as a pragmatic and logical sort who has no time for emotions, the truth is Hesh has made his life a lot harder by refusing to get along with others, scheming and keeping things close to his chest, alienating potential allies and infuriating those who seek to end him through "harsh honesty" that is in actuality just Hesh's bitter ramblings. Hesh for some reason has fought very hard to keep the adventurers away from the Elemental Incident, but even Dust does not seem to know what Hesh's agenda is.
The cowardly fire elemental who dwelt in the furnace of the local smiths of Peltarch. Shazen's glory days have long since turned to ash, now forced to constantly flee the elemental forces that hunt him over a petty squabble that Shazen has quite soundly lost. Shazen is selfish and short sighted, as hot headed as any fire elemental could be, and tends to run away from any trouble that follows him, leaving others to clean up his mess. Of the Elemental Union, he was allegedly intimately close with Lady Vaxis, and was responsible for the Elemental Incident along side Zephyr, who he was also once close to. Now Shazen wants to put as much distance between him and the group as possible, And in true fire elemental fashion, he'll burn every bridge he needs to to get away.
A water elemental known as "Lady Vaxis" by loyal followers. First impressions can usually be quite unfortunate, as Vaxis has become rather cold in recent years after numerous defeats and setbacks. Vaxis enjoys treasure, and likes to collect things to add to her growing hoard, but it has made her somewhat greedy, and also vulnerable, as she spends much of her time worrying about her things. Vaxis has been stuck in a rivalry with Zephyr after the Elemental Incident, a one sided affair, as Vaxis merely views Zephyr as a failure, while Zephyr seems intent on ensuring Vaxis loses her followers for as of yet unknown reasons.
A name gifted to him by the humans he has befriended, the earth elemental with the very difficult to pronounce name is a very unusual earth elemental indeed. Forsaking the slow, unchanging and often static nature of earth elementals, Rocky has always sought change, and was instrumental in keeping the Elemental Union together through his rationality and kind thoughtfulness. Rocky has kept in contact with Vaxis, often residing in her "court" wherever it may set up. He longs for the old days. Rocky is the only known survivor of the Elemental Incident, Zephyr and Shazen's attempt to harness raw energy of the Elemental Chaos, which went poorly, and annihilated not only Rocky's home, but the earth elementals who followed Rocky. He has never blamed his former friends, but does have a wound that has never truly healed.
Prince of Pleasure, Windy Warrior, Annoyance. All titles that Zephyr has held across his many years. Owner of the so called Zephyr Pleasure Palace, a constantly falling rock in the Plane of Air, Zephyr is a mischievous fair weather friend who hides his true thoughts under a thick layer of general tomfoolery. Having seemingly sided with Dust, Zephyr has found himself in an awkward position, put under the cruel thumb of the Fire Barons, and processed along side his people after going against Dust's wishes and trying to harness the raw power Dust seeks to wield. What Zephyr has hoped to gain from Dust is unclear, as is why he undermines Dust to help the adventurers. While a chaotic windy mess at the best of times... does Zephyr have a plan? A goal? If so, what? And will he survive to see it through?
Baron Cindergrin and Baron Azar
A duo of fire elementals who now rule over the Charred Fortress, once the home of Shazen and his followers. Cindergrin and Azar are known as the Fire Barons by Dust's forces, and work to oversee the cruel Process which sees elementals undergo a forcible change, becoming mish mashes of elements in an unnatural manner. The duo constantly hound Shazen, who they once fought against for control of the Fortress, and who they wish to see finally destroyed for good. Cindergrin is the more spiteful and malicious of the two, being a smug and cruel villain, who often runs his mouth when he shouldn't. One such inability to close his gob led to Cindergrin mouthing off to a fey, who lopped off Cindergrins head, and stuck it to the brass cane he carries with him, fusing the two and forcing Cindergrin to now carry around his own head. He has mixed feelings about this.
Azar meanwhile is a surprisingly stoic creature and the one who handles the process itself, ensuring it is carried out with ruthless and planned efficiency. Those under him live in constant fear, as Azar does not tolerate failure, and lives by the creed that the squeaky wheel is to be absolutely obliterated.
A nefarious water elemental... also goes by Gasptide, it tends to switch depending on who is referring to the elemental in question. With a reputation for harassing sailors and unfortunate sea creatures, Tidegasp holds grudges like no one else, said to contain a thick (water proof one would hope) book in her lair that contains every slight against her. She works with Dust as a sort of assassin, and in return it seems the so called Emperor tracks down those who have wronged her, or at least, that she believes have wronged her.
Emperor to his people. A mysterious entity forged in Elemental Chaos, who claims that there is no other like him, "rebirthed" into something free and powerful. Capable of shifting his form, from the uncanny and pure white creature that seems to be his real form, to an equally uncanny humanoid, with numerous flaws that point out just how unreal he really is, from not blinking and breathing to the fact his skin is flawless... to an unnatural and eerie degree, like a blank canvas. Despite all of these weird appearance factors, Dust is incredibly charismatic, with a smooth and casual attitude that has won him over numerous followers. Dust speaks with such conviction that it is impossible to decipher the lies from the truth, the manipulation from the honesty. According to the Emperor himself, Dust seeks to usher in an age of freedom, with even his Emperor title being a cheeky little nod cooked up by his allies, In this age of freedom, all can be as they wish to be. Of course, to get there, he'll have to forcibly perfect his "process" ritual, and change numerous entities against their will.
And of course... that brand he carries. The one that can rob you of your free will and force you to serve his every command. Which he claims he only uses if he really has to... how much of Dust's benevolence is a mere façade, does he truly believe he is fighting for a better future? For now Dust tries to curry favor with the adventurers who have turned their gaze to his forces. An uneasy attempt at an alliance or a truce, that cannot hide Dust's work.
Carmil the Blue / Carmil the Unlucky
In theory one of the greatest mages of his generation, with boundless arcane skill and a quick thinking mind. In theory. Carmil is a veteran adventurer who has completed his fair share of quests, but his reputation is almost one of complete and utter disappointment. Why? Well, because nobody is unluckier than Carmil. Almost seemingly cursed by Beshaba to have the worst luck imaginable, Carmil is always the cosmic butt of the joke. No matter his genius strategy, no matter how much he has accomplished, Carmil faceplants when it counts. None the less, Carmil is usually in high spirits, and always wants to make himself useful. He has never lost his kind, selfless edge, no matter how much Bessy rains hell down upon him.
Spoken of only in hushed tones by his former peers, Mitsuhide is a samurai known for his bloodlust and cruelty. With a frenzied killing urge that would put Garagos to shame, Mitsuhide is a danger to friend and foe alike. To be rid of him, Mitsuhide was sent on a suicidal quest to find the legendary Steps of Tazmordan for his lord. It is also rumored that N'Jast has hired him to do the same thing, though the truth is that Mitsuhide has no plans to give the Steps to either of them, instead wanting to use them for himself so that he can drown in unending war. Despite his complete insanity, Mitsuhide is a blademaster with several sneaky tactics who can bite just as hard as he barks.
While it's unknown if the wolf masked figure known as Wolf Lightning actually IS named Wolf Lightning, it is none the less what he is known by all who hear his incredibly loud declarations. Owner of the very profitable "Wolf Lightning Co." (the Co is rumored to stand for... Company) and manufacturer of food and drink, among other weird items, Wolf proclaims that he lives "on the edge" and wishes to drag people to that same edge... through capitalism apparently. While it's easy to look at Wolf as nothing more than a showman with some really odd designs, there is a ruthlessness to Wolf and his business that lay beneath the surface. After all sometimes to make a couple of coins, you have to break a few heads.
The Crimson Sands
Wolf's primary rival in Narfell. A foreign business from Calimshan, founded in Almraiven. The Crimson Sands is marked by their symbol, an Efreeti head marked with X's over the eyes. While at first glance it may seem odd that a Calimshan based company has made its way all the way to Narfell, the Crimson Sands primary interest seems to be nothing more than spiting Wolf and his company. While openly the Crimson Sands deals in caravans and trading, they are rumored to be a front for shady criminal activity. Or maybe Wolf just likes telling people that... well time will tell.
Shay? / The Golden Eyed Thing
Golden eyes and clad in bone, a thing that hides in the dark of your room and in the corner of your vision. An uncomfortable thing, like the churning of a stomach just before the violence starts and the moment between the beats of your heart. Twisted shadows reaching out for you until you turn your head, and then stand silently still mocking your paranoia. A thing. Not a man. Not a beast. A thing. Inky black and pools of ichor, shadows like smog choking your lungs. Always here. Always here.
I'm always here. I'm always watching. And one day you'll be mine. In body, mind, and soul. Mine and mine alone. Cormac.
A Dwarven Wedding (The Bad)
What is there to say about this large band of brutal raiders, destroying and butchering their way across the land for their cruel gods? This particular bloodthirsty band has it out for the Ironheart's, having raided their home time and time again, but have always been ejected. What was once merely an attempt to pillage has turned almost into an obsession, with some even believing that Gruumsh himself DEMANDS that the Ironheart's fall.
Chieftain of the tribe with a vendetta against the dwarves. Hagruk Spinebreaker was once a powerful, mighty and respected orc warrior who has savaged the land without equal. However a crushing defeat against the Ironheart's ended with Hagruk losing an eye to Amgrim's well placed crossbow bolt. To Hagruk, this defeat was a sign from Gruumsh, his lost eye an omen that he must slaughter Amgrim and his people for great honor and to please the gods. It is a single minded obsession that drives the old orc, even as his mind has begun to fade.
To his orcish minions, Hagruk is a sort of has been, powerful enough to keep them in line, but with that power clearly fading. With a string of defeats, Hagruk's minions often seem to look elsewhere for leadership, and there are those who would rather Hagruk step down... or you know... die horribly. None the less, Hagruk has led them to Narfell to slaughter the Ironheart's, hoping that outside of their home they are a far easier target.
A Blade of Ilneval and the cunning Captain who acts as Hagruk's advisor. Gore is a remarkably intelligent orc, thanks in part due to the headband of intellect that he stole from a slain foe, though even without it he is shown to be a surprisingly shrewd tactician who can both plan up a genuinely solid strategy and then follow through with his own orcish strength and brutality. Gore is still an orc devoted to his gods at heart, and takes great joy in slaughtering his enemies. He has a particular hatred for humans, after being captured by a human town. Luckily humans are a plentiful lot, so Gore always has someone to torment.
Gore seeks to usurp Hagruk, but knows that even if many of the orcs support him, he would lose in a direct opposition. This is due to Hagruk's bodyguard, the brutal Snarl Elfeater, who seems to know of Gore's schemes and has kept him in check with threats of intimidation that Gore knows he can back up. The clever Gore has a new plan, take the legendary orcish waraxe that Amgrim holds, and use it as a symbol to unite enough orc under his command that nobody can oppose him or dispute him. Gore aims to be the Chief of Chiefs. The greatest orc alive. Nobody can say he isn't ambitious.
A really big orc. He eats elves. Has a giant club. A pretty straightforward orc, who can fold you like a chair. He acts as Hagruk's bodyguard, and seems to either know what Gore is up to, or just hates the orc instinctually.
The Golden Band
A group of scheming, greedy dwarves who worship Abbathor. The Golden Band consists of outcasts, rogues and criminals who have banded together to take from others. Founded by Thunal Firebraid and Thardak Green Eyes, the Golden Band has come to Narfell to steal the sizable tribute that both clans are offering, as well as anything else not nailed down. But for Thunal, it's also about evening the score.
Thardak Green Eyes / Valganauth
One of the founding members of the Golden Band. A shady, mysterious dwarf who seemingly came out of nowhere and rounded up those forced out of their homes for their own terrible nature, as well as those who put themselves above all else. Unknown to the world at large, Thardak isn't actually a dwarf at all, and is in fact the cruel green dragon Valganauth, who had her treasure stolen and her face scarred. Valganauth schemes to take back what is hers, and to kill the dwarf who scarred her.
The second in command and co founder of the Golden Band, Thunal is a cruel and self centred egomaniac who was exiled for almost killing another clan member over money gambled and lost. What is not known to all but a select few is that Thunal Firebraid is actually an exile of the Runehammer's, and is in fact the brother of Belgrum Runehammer. Thunal has a bone to pick with the Runehammer clan, and seeks to disrupt the wedding and avenge his pride by killing Belgrum. Thunal is the only member of the Golden Band to have suspicions about Thardak, but has brushed them off as another obstacle to be removed. After he slays his brother... Thunal will turn on Thardak, and take his rightful place as the ONLY Golden Band leader.
A group of duergar who often sell trinkets and weapons in Ghaunttown, among other places. As generally unpleasant and mean as all duergar tend to be. The Dourhand are at least less hostile than most you could run across, generally only reacting with hostility to those that waste their time. They've had dealings with surface dwellers in the past, though they never say who, with rumors being that at least one adventurer has hired their services before.
While the Dourhand don't seem to be the type to move against the wedding, at least some of their members are aware of the Runehammer and seem somewhat annoyed that they've arrived in Narfell.
Known only by the title "Chief" (short for Chief of the Forge, Chief of the Smiths, Chief of the Lot) this duergar leads the Dourhand in their forging, their sales and their security. He has a distaste for surface dwellers, but understands their value and what he can gain from them. The Chief is at odds with the Gorechain duergar, mostly for territory reasons... but the duergar don't necessarily need a reason to hate anyone.
A group of duergar who dwell in a fortress known as Blastbringer's Landing. They are a somewhat isolated group and tend to shroud their work in secrecy. Anyone who comes near their fortress tends to die. It is rumored that they have a fascination with tinkering, though whatever it is that they tinker with is kept inside their fortress. They have a strong grudge against the Runehammers, with the older Gorechains having clashed with the clan, which resulted in a costly loss.
The Devious Duke. The Count of Chaos. The Lord of Laughter. Rotrig Gorechain has a lot of titles, and most are inaccurate, since he's not technically a duke, count or lord. Instead these are merely surface titles that he has taken and given to himself. The current leader of the Gorechain duergar, the owner of Blastbringer's Landing, and an absolutely stark raving mad duergar who was rumored to have seen... something... that really got into his head. Rotrig is, in contrast to the bitter, dull duergar, a lively and absolutely whimsical entity who'll shake your hand, stab you in the stomach, spin you around, and then kick you out the door. All while talking about his day.
While the Gorechain don't necessarily like their current leader, who is only the leader because all other options are dead, it is said that it is Rotrig who has kept Blastbringer's Landing safe from some of the more annoying threats, such as the Drow and the tentacled freaks that lurk in the shadows. This has placated his underlings enough that none of them openly want to stab him to death. But they'll certainly think about doing it.
Rotrig is said to be armed with a flail, and rides a metal beast through his territory knowing full well which paths and shortcuts to take to cut off, intercept or avoid people at his own leisure. Nobody really knows what his metal beast is, since nobody outside the Gorechain has seen it and lived.
A Dwarven Wedding (The Good)
The Ironheart Clan
An old and respected clan known for their superb armor and weaponry. The Ironheart are distant and aloof to outsiders, even by dwarven standards, keeping people at a firm arms length outside of selling their wares. Their kings have been dutiful traditionalists who ensure the clan honors their gods and live in unity, with dwarves clad in armor working like a well oiled machine to defend their homes from numerous enemies, in particular the orcs leg by Hagruk Spinebreaker.
They have had a feud with the Runehammer dating back generations, to the point where when asked few of the clan can even truly remember the point of it all. It was the Ironheart who offered peace through a bond formed between a son and daughter. The dutiful Ironheart will always honor their promises, and have come to Narfell to carry out the union that will unite the two clans together. And if their enemies shall follow... the Ironheart will ensure they regret it.
Amgrim "Grim" Ironheart
King of the Ironhearts, known in his youth as Orcbane, but often called by the somewhat mocking nickname Grim by those outside of his clan. Amgrim lives up to that nickname, being a generally grim looking dwarf who speaks politely and keeps his emotions in check. In a clan of aloof and suspicious dwarves, Amgrim Ironheart stands out as one of the most aloof and suspicious of them all. However it is this level of paranoia that has made him an effective commander and successful ruler. To Amgrim, threats lurk in every shadow, and he always has a plan to stomp them into the stone.
Amgrim is the mind behind the pact, hoping to bring peace to the two clans. Much of this is rumored to come from the fact that Amgrim's hands are weakening, and that age is finally catching up with him. Or perhaps an illness, as some others suggest. Believing that he must ensure his clan is secure and protected, Amgrim has put a lot on the line to ensure things go ahead as planned. To Amgrim, all promises must be kept, all deals honored and all bonds protected. The wedding will go ahead as planned... even if it kills him.
Amgrim wields a brutal enchanted orcish waraxe, taken from the old nemesis of the Ironheart's known only as the Ironbreaker. Though Amgrim finds it a powerful weapon, and a symbol of his victory over a long hated foe, he does not know that the axe holds historic value to the orcs, and that he has made himself an even bigger target by wielding it.
Ketmor "Ket" Ironheart
The groom of the wedding to be. Ket is a curious sort, far more affable and welcoming than his suspicious peers, but is almost a little too trusting. With a nasty habit of going where he shouldn't, touching what he shouldn't and then feeling the consequences, Ket is jokingly called "The Wandering Dwarf" by his kin. He is noted to disappear and appear at random, often with a new tale, and a few new injuries. He views life as an adventure, and enjoys the spice that comes with seeing new things, meeting new people, and sometimes getting bonked right on the head by them.
Though he keeps it close to his chest, Ket is somewhat unnerved at the prospect of being married for political reasons. While not one to abandon a sacred duty, Ket wonders if he will be happy in his new life, and chafes under the weight of what the wedding actually means to the two clans. It is of no surprise that, as a consequence to his fears and frustrations, he has begun to wander even more after arriving in Narfell. In Narfell, Ket always finds trouble, and trouble always finds Ket.
The Runehammer Clan
Proud, boisterous warriors who have fought against the odds and always come out on top. The Runehammer take pride in vanquishing great foes in the name of their gods and their ancestors, taking on greater challenges to prove themselves. They are known to delve deep into the caverns below the realm, fighting cruel enemies and saving lost travelers. To a Runehammer warrior, death is not something to fear, it is something to face head on with a blazing spirit and your weapons in hand.
The Runehammer have a few notable enemies, but the strongest are the duergar, having clashed with their kind in skirmishes for years.
Belgrum "Bel" Runehammer
King of the Runehammer and the strongest dwarf they've ever had. Belgrum is known in his clan for his decisive victories over the duergar, his single handed rampage through a fortress after the death of his father (which did almost result in his own death, something he often muses) and his robbing blind of the green dragon Valganauth, who Bel personally scarred in a fierce battle. Bel is a legend, and he knows it, with an ego the size of... well a dwarf.
Though calling him a reckless berserker is an understatement, Belgrum understands the value of good allies and has entered the union with the Ironheart's willingly. While he believes Amgrim is paranoid, seeing too many threats in the shadows, Belgrum has his own concerns about forces moving against them. In particular, the so called "Golden Band" which seems intent on stealing his tribute. Still, Belgrum doesn't believe there is a threat in Narfell he can't personally beat down.
He wields the Runehammer, the symbol of the kings power, an incredible and dangerous ancestral weapon forged at the clans foundation, which can shatter stone and turn bones to dust with minimal effort.
The heir to the Runehammer clan and Bel's only daughter. Bryn contrasts her father by thinking before she acts, but none the less she shares the same boisterous love of conflict as her kin. Bryn has accepted her lot in life, to enter a loveless political marriage for the sake of the clans, though it's clear that she's not particularly thrilled by the whole thing. She, like Amgrim, believes that the wedding will bring about enemies who seek to disrupt the union and slaughter the clans. And Bryn is all too eager to enter battle with them.
Corvo Arkel / Corvo the Blue / Wiseman
A veteran adventurer, accomplished mage and Narfell resident (you don't know him, he goes to another tower) Corvo the Blue has been on numerous quests across the realm. In the current age, Corvo has hung up his pointy wizard hat and built a home for himself in Narfell, where he tends to his garden, reads interesting books and on occasion fights the forces of evil to save the world, or at least parts of the world. Known to the dwarves as "Wiseman" because, when he isn't acting before his brain has processed what he's doing, he can be quite insightful, Corvo was chosen to be the mediator of sorts for the wedding. He offers his tower as neutral ground and has curried some favor with Peltarch and Norwick to avoid incident as they pass by.
He wields a staff that allows him to make use of temporary portals with the utmost ease. The staff is quite powerful, and Corvo does not part with it easily. In fact, in the event anyone tries to grab his staff from him, a failsafe will teleport him and his staff back to his tower. This failsafe has a habit of triggering without anyone actually trying to steal his staff, leading to awkward moments. He is called "Corvo the Blue" because, in contrast to the Red Wizards... he... wears blue. It's not really that great a title.
The Initiative Plot (Case Closed)
Samuel Brine (†)
During the Purifier War, Peltarch was, for one horrific battle, bathed in flames and swarmed with fanatical Kossuth worshippers seeking to cleanse the world. For Samuel Brine, it was the day he finally earned minor recognition among his peers, leading a group of defenders, guards and concerned citizens in an effort to put out fires threatening to engulf homes and businesses. Yet it was also the day he lost those he cared about, with his close friends perishing to either the Black General's forces, or the flames that grew out of control. Though the Purifiers were pushed away, and Peltarch was saved, Sam had lost a piece of him that he would never recover.
To his superiors, Samuel Brine was clearly a traumatized soldier, suffering from at least some form of survivors guilt. But as he could still perform his duties, and he never caused a fuss, he was essentially left alone and to his own thoughts, for better or worse. His mundane career continued as Sam put up a wall, acting aloof and keeping those around him at an arms length. To his peers, Sam was a loner, but still they claim he wasn't the kind of person who would join a conspiracy and involve himself with kidnappers and traitors.
Sam claims his role was to be an enforcer of sorts, to protect the Far Scouts who seemed to be behind the kidnappings and aid them in suppressing witnesses and potential loose ends. He seems torn between his genuine belief in the conspiracy, and his belief in the heroes of Narfell that he looks up to. In the end, Samuel Brine chose to stand with Peltarch and those he had once believed in so readily, even as he knew that it'd cost him his life. When death came for him, he did not flinch, instead trying to act just as Isolde would have acted. To the last, Samuel Brine stood proud as a Peltarch Defender.
How could one describe Victor? In two words? Pure Evil. In more words? Victor is a particular kind of fiend, not born of torment or trauma, but born with a hole where his heart should be. Never turned to the darkness, always embracing it since the day he could walk, Victor is a complete and utter sociopath and an irredeemable monster. Having been expelled from three magical academies for exploring the taboo and general maverick behavior, Victor was eventually scooped up by the Broken Hand, where he learned at the foot of the lieutenants of the Inventor, experimenting with flesh and bone, creating abominations... it was all so much fun.
When the Broken Hand was torn apart by adventurers, Victor fell into the shadows again, sometimes sighted in Oscura. He gained a reputation among the particularly twisted as an "artist" who would sell his works, made of those unfortunate enough to fall into his clutches. It wasn't until he met the Handler, or as Victor would call him the Warden, that Victor finally had a "reason" for his work again, outside of petty sadism. Hired for his immense knowledge of bodies and how to manipulate them, Victor was kept on a short leash, but given enough freedom to "play with the parts" left behind, a decision that left his Handler uncomfortable, but Victor giddy.
Victor does not hold the same beliefs as his co conspirators, admitting he doesn't actually have any interest in Peltarch nor any particular belief that what they're doing is righteous or just or whatever else. His loyalty to the conspiracy exists as long as they let him indulge. A complete and utter monster, a vermin in human skin, Victor knows that his days are numbered. Even if he escapes his new Norwick home, even if he is freed, someone somewhere will eventually take him out... and yet this too gives him nothing but joy, as if life and death are all just one big game to him.
Despite the damage that Victor has done to Herald D'Cameron's psych with his strange revelations, Victor finally met a fitting and messy end at the hands of Cormac Randolph. A being so vile that Norwick burned what gore remained to ash and scattered it across the forest, even refusing to speak his name, one can only hope that whatever Cormac has done has not, in some way, kept Victor's memory alive. Because something like Victor should all but be forgotten.
The Far Scouts / Fox and Badger (†)
Official reports on the Far Scouts known as Fox and Badger are few, and the few that exist are buried almost intentionally, but what is known is that both were newer Far Scouts recruited, trained and armed by the Far Scout known as Coyote. Fox, headstrong and stubborn, was the dominate force of the duo, ordering Badger around. However despite their lopsided relationship, there was genuine comradery (or so those who knew them would state) and a real friendship. Ultimately, though, Fox's zealotry to his new cause was far stronger than his friendship with Badger. Badger lay dead at the hands of his friend, and Fox at the hands of Cormac's brilliant but... messy... tactical maneuvering.
According to sealed documents by Coyote, the two were childhood friends. For one to turn on the other is a testament to how dangerously fanatical the Conspiracy could be.
Ruthless in his methods and direct in his tactics, the fallen paladin of the Broken God unintentionally caused the downfall of the conspiracy in a brazen grab for power. Arcter was once a noble hero, or so those who knew him say with different levels of conviction, blessed by his deity to bring a sword to those that'd bring suffering to others. He fought in the Siege, where he protected the efforts to put out the blazes, even receiving a wound to his side for the trouble. To those brave fire fighters, he was a hero, a little terse... but a hero.
But when a paladin falls, it is often a brutal change, and for Arcter his fall led to him becoming militant and unforgiving. While his co conspirator chose a path that he had hoped would bring an end to any further fighting, Arcter had an unshakable belief that only bloodshed would resolve their situation. To Arcter, as long as the likes of Isolde, Nate and the royal family still drew breath, there would never be change. In many ways, Arcter's tactics harkened back to the more violent side of the Autonomists.
While only the dead know what truly made Arcter fall, what broke his spirit and his faith, there is enough proof that once a man named Arcter stood in defense of others and truly was a good man. And perhaps deep down, beneath the bloodlust, the cruel temper, and the heart of broken iron, there was still a man who wanted to do good. A man who, when Victor had finally served his purpose, would send the bastard to hell. A man who would try to build something out of the wreckage he had created, even if he knew he wouldn't belong in this new world.
Or perhaps the darkness he showed was who he was all along. It doesn't matter now. Arcter is dead.
As some uncovered records have revealed, Arcter's fall from grace appears to have been a violent one. An actual, genuine paladin, an encounter with a force that he could not defeat left his faith broken and his confidence shattered. In order to adapt to a world where evil seemed unstoppable, Arcter became a ruthless and cold hearted individual, giving in to his rage and hatred. But some remember who he used to be. Some remember the paladin, not the handler.
Yuran "Yurei" Eiora (†)
Official records on the man who went under the nickname Yurei are sparse and mundane. A city clerk for a short term period, and a member of the fire fighters who battled possible and occuring blazes in Peltarch. A brother to one sibling, with no recorded parents. A half elf who may have had good intentions, but who started an extremist conspiracy that took innocent lives for a deluded purpose. Yurei did not have any real friends, spoken of only as an acquaintance of sorts by his co workers and neighbors. He is essentially all but forgotten.
Yurei's ideology was a twisted thing, warped by the genuine belief he had in those who protected Peltarch clashing with the genuine belief he had that it wasn't going to be enough. In his own words, he had seen the proof of predators lurking in the shadows, of dangerous foes who would annihilate the Peltarch that he knew and loved. It made him desperate, desperate enough to go ahead with the plans he believed no sane ruler would approve of, believing if the results spoke for themselves then he would get what he wanted. A stronger, ironclad Peltarch.
Though Yurei kept it close to his heart, both the siege of the Purifiers and the work that he had begun did a serious number on Yurei's psyche, plaguing him with nightmarish daydreams and thoughts that kept him on edge at all times. He could never rest, never relax, always feeling strung out. This made him somewhat erratic if his buttons were pushed, despite his best attempts to be a calm voice of reason for those who worked with him, and it was clear he wasn't really in the best of places. The Oscuran guards who claimed his body even found a flask in his pocket, indicating a possible vice to keep his feelings dulled.
Yurei's death came at the hands of his own bodyguard, on orders of his co conspirator Arcter. Though the meeting Yurei held with the heroes of Peltarch was, from the beginning, supposed to be a mere distraction, Yurei had secretly hoped to sway his foes to his side. Instead, as Yurei faltered and made it clear just how conflicted he truly was, how desperate he was becoming, his bodyguard began to understand Arcter's concerns and impaled Yurei with a broken cage post in the Brawling Bodak, a brutal and undignified end for the man who went from a mundane clerk to the creator of a dangerous conspiracy.
Yuran Eiora was a child who believed he was weak, and feared that he was powerless. To protect those he loved, he swore to do anything, even knowing there was so little he could truly do. It was a world in which he couldn't hold a sword properly, a world in which he was slower and clumsier than those who'd cause his loved ones harm. But still he pressed on, desperate, frantic, for a better world. And though ultimately, Yuran has done more harm than good, perhaps his intentions alone will be enough in the eyes of those who choose not to forget the golden haired man who started something... so very dire.
A powerful and dangerous woman with strange abilities, alleged to be psionics. Janna Eiora has always been "off" for reasons known only to Yurei. From childhood, Janna relied on her brother to keep her calm, however a side effect of their closeness was Janna becoming co-dependent, unable to truly function properly if not for Yurei watching over her and trying to keep her safe and on track. Without Yurei, she seems to grow more and more erratic, which led to her seriously injuring a fellow Defender trainee during basic drills.
Janna's desire to help the conspiracy, not out of any patriotic means but purely to make Yurei happy, led to her picking up Victor's craft. Though Yurei was reluctant to let her share the "burden" and the guilt and especially reluctant to let her near Victor, Janna proved herself to be quite adept at his techniques, even quickly surpassing him and creating her own designs. According to Victor, it even seems like she made things that he thought were just impossible theories into reality, perhaps with aid from her powers, or perhaps just using techniques he couldn't think of.
None the less, for all her dedication and work towards making Yurei's vision come true, Janna's only goals now appear to be to utterly annihilate those who murdered her brother, placing the blame on the adventurers (and not Arcter and his co-conspirators) and deeming Peltarch something that must be erased. With her modified iron soldiers, the remaining mindless drones, and two powerful and unstable weapons, Janna has become the very thing Yurei feared: something that could end the Peltarch he knew and loved.
All for the brother who kept her safe. All for the brother they took.
A life of torment, and fearing those around her, of never truly understanding what she was... has come to an end. Janna, willingly surrendering herself to the Peltarch Adventurers, has finally found rest in the jail cells of Peltarch. And though a debate rages on what to do with her, ending her life or keeping her imprisoned or... something, for Janna this no longer matters. She can finally sleep. Close her eyes. Dream of something other than the war Yuran feared, and the father that hurt them. A peaceful world, a lovely world.
And the real world? The world her brother loved? She'll leave that to them... those who dragged her back.
Misc 4: Knock on the Door (Far Scout Edition)
The Coyote is the working alias of a Far Scout within Peltarch with a knack for information gathering and a decent repertoire of assassination skills. Coyote has a reputation outside of Peltarch as an information broker willing to sell information to any faction who pays him enough, and while his prices are steep his skills are unquestionable. If Coyote doesn't know it, he will know it soon enough, or so the saying goes. With no loyalty to anyone but himself and his coin purse, Coyote is a valuable friend to have if you have money... just try not to spill the beans around him. Else those with money will soon know all your secrets...
Alias of one of the newer active Far Scouts under Coyote, known for his expert work in poisons and his love for "gas barrels" which are... pretty much exactly what they sound like. There are rumors that like Coyote he often sells out his services as a "scout" to other factions, but such things are clearly just rumors. Due to inhaling his own mixtures quite frequently he has a tolerance to them, but also claims he hasn't slept in over 3 years. Either way he's slightly odd. Tends to hire adventurers to hunt rare ingredients or set up his contraptions.
Simultaneously an expert at stealth and incredibly unstealthy. The Falcon is very good at stalking targets through civilization and the wilderness, but tends to announce himself loudly when he actually engages. More of a duelist than a traditional Far Scout, he fights flashily with a shining rapier, and has an almost chivalry-esq code of honor when it comes to combat, which perhaps explains his habit of announcing himself to his enemies. Like the others, there are rumors about their mercenary tendencies and secret shopping. Tends to hire adventurers to deal with problems he's self aware enough to know his way of combat would make troublesome.
Formerly a professional assassin working for the Elysium, a secretive assassin guild operating around Damara and other regions. Allegedly he's just there to do his job, and doesn't tend to hire himself out (or sell secrets) for profit. But the others in Coyote's group suspect that his real purpose, and the reason Coyote tends to keep him around within their circle, is to kill the others should they ever threaten Coyote's profitable ventures. The Jackal works surprisingly close with his niece, who he trains in the art of assassination. Doesn't hire adventurers, and only rarely shows up with Coyote if there is a threat of danger.
Another member of Coyote's inner circle of spies and cheats. The Octopus isn't actually a Far Scout, and is just the alias known to Coyote's men of a clerk within City Hall who has a particular knack for forgery and ensuring that some of the more troublesome things they get up to remain buried under red tape and misdirection. It is unknown if Coyote actually knows who exactly the Octopus is, due to the Octopus's paranoia in dealing with Far Scouts with "greedy hearts."
Tends to send out coded messages to specific adventurers (usually with rogue-ish or morally questionable backgrounds) when he needs some outside help, and pays the best of all of Coyote's circle. But his missions tend to be espionage related, with a lot of deniability and the risk of being left by yourself in a dangerous situation if things get out of control.
Devil in Plain Sight Plot
In life, a dark wizard, and in death a dark soul. The Mastermind is the devious formerly Avernus-trapped soul who schemed out an escape with his allies. Through a mostly unknown means, the Mastermind spearheaded a successful escape and found a new body to hide from prying eyes. Absolutely ruthless in his quest to escape death, he is willing to kill thousands just to save himself. Last seen in the body of a sailor...
A former Zhent brute known for carrying out intimidation and executions in order to keep rabble in line. The Enforcer is a sadist who enjoys his work and loves hurting people. Escaping along side the Mastermind to avoid his fate, the Enforcer was last seen inside of a dwarf on the bluff... now hiding among the rest and biding his time until he can figure out where to go from here.
In life a gambler, a cad, a rake and a card shark. In death, even without his pretty face on display, he still has a habit of getting what he wants. The Charmer is self absorbed and sociopathic, willing to rob from the rich to give to himself, and then rob from the poor because he's still craving more. All while giving you an absolutely charming smile. Luckily, he's not the most cunning sort, and is easily manipulated, even by his so called "allies" as it were. Last seen in the body of a Far Scout.
The Fourth Escapee
The last soul to escape Avernus, but the only one with little information going as to who they are or where they are now. Described as "kind of an asshole" and confirmed to have escaped along side the others. But where is he now? Last seen... never.
Another escaped soul, having fled along side the slain monk, Nathelin. This soul took the body of a deceased Cerulean, killed in a previous encounter. Finding Narfell familiar, but unable to remember their identity, the Cerulean indulges in matters of the flesh, eating, drinking and whoring to enjoy a life he can't remember and is afraid he will never get back if his "jailers" ever find him again. Unlike the others, he is not particularly malicious, but isn't exactly helpful. He just wants to stay free.
The Tower of Fog Plot
There are many ways to earn the adoration of the masses. Listen closely, give them what they want, or if you're particularly crafty convince them what you're selling is all they need. For Cole, it was enough to give them something to hate. Something to unify the masses under his banner, with promises of crushing a threat that may have never existed in the first place. And through blinding hate, they'd never realize that the true threat to their existence was the man they trusted without question.
Cole is a tyrant, and makes no real attempt to hide this. His spies sit on every corner street peddling wares in rags, or beside you in a tavern on a rum soaked, salt air filled night. His city watch patrol the foggy streets with dark eyes watching you closely, daring you to make any move what so ever that would allow them to enforce Cole's Justice upon you. Even those who stand above the unwashed masses are not safe... one wrong word and you can watch your entire legacy go up in flames.
As for the tyrant, he sits upon a dark iron throne overlooking his domain. A hunger inside of him, like a void dragging all light around it deep into the abyss, drives him forward. More... more thralls, more territory, more conquest, more destruction of those who oppose him. Not to craft an empire to rival the Nars, not to bring order or stability, not even for the sake of being the most powerful man alive. But because the act of conquest is a drug that the tyrant cannot resist.
Indeed, were the realm to fall into his grasp and the borders of his nation span endlessly into the realms beyond... he would merely burn it to cinders. So that, in this new world of ash and ruin, he could conquer it all again. Eternally feeding a void that'll never be satisfied. Always... always wanting more.
The official records of the Raven state that she is a dangerous extremist and political opponent to the rightful King. That she is an agent of the Eldreth Veluuthra, and a mastermind of numerous attacks upon the righteous citizens of the realm, all to get across a message of fear. But the unofficial records tend to paint her in a more sympathetic light... sometimes. The Raven is the mastermind behind the Raven's Flock, essentially the only resistance movement still existing withing Cole's Realm.
In part thanks to an extensive propaganda movement, Cole managed to successfully demonize the elves after the Eldreth Veluuthra's attack on the festival of Lliira's Night, a brutal attack that left a good portion of the noble community dead, including many home grown heroes and role models attending the celebration. The end result was not pretty, with a complete racial outcasting of all elves (and some half elves) within Cole's domain.
While, officially, this knee jerk reaction was lessened soon after and elves ARE technically allowed to exist within his borders... the fact of the matter is it's not a very good idea. Either cordoned off into some of the worst districts within his iron coated city, or vanishing after a visit from the Watch, your life is not a particularly happy and lengthy one. And so the Raven tirelessly works to protect "her" people, her flock. Even as she bloodies her hands over and over to do so.
The old saying, of course, is he who fights monsters. And the Raven teeters on the edge of becoming exactly what Cole wants.
The Pure Flame Plot
The Black General (†)
The Black General is an old tale, a cautionary warning towards zealotry and overwhelming faith without reason or restraint, without question. A reminder to every priest to truly understand their purpose and their god, lest they become a victim of insanity. The story goes that the Black General was once a man who served Kossuth, who began to hear a voice he believed was his beloved deity and who, spurred on by this holy voice, began a holy conquest to purify "heretics" and enemies.
He was eventually caught after causing the deaths of everyone who had ever loved and trusted him and burned at the stake, where he was aflame for over an hour before the fired died out and he remained... alive and furious. It is said that he swore vengeance on those who sought to kill him, and their bloodlines, but in his new form was cursed to never have a man truly serve him loyally, as he had betrayed loyalty too much in the past.
And so it was that the Black General turned to those that had no choice but to serve, the desperate, the foolish and the greedy. His armies were said to consist of the vulnerable and the cruel, with no loyalty to him, but loyalty to either themselves, a deep seated desire or to the purifying flame that embraced all. The purifying flame that many of these naive soldiers would eventually come to face as the Black General eventually turned on them.
After all, to the Black General, the perfect world is one of fire... and ash.
Of course records of an actual Black General are non existent, and the moniker itself is pretty generic, leading to many assuming it is either an amalgamation of various historical figures, or just a fictional tale. But if it is a fictional tale, then the Black General who currently resides in Narfell is a true fan of the story, as his work is almost directly identical to the legend of the Black General.
Waging a brutal war against Narfell, having already burned several villages to the ground, the Black General's schemes and scheming underlings have attempted a variety of methods to wipe out their enemies, including non combatants, including poisoned grain and the more traditional burning and pillaging. The Black General himself tends to announce their presence during the raids, though has never directly fought with the forces he marshals.
A true zealot to the cause, the Black General's primary forces are part of the Disciples of Purification, a heretical offshoot of the Monestic order of the Purifying Flame, who forgo the concept of balance, by believing that true "purity" comes from the absolute annihilation of corruption and ignorance. What this essentially boils down to is quite literally just purging anyone who isn't them. They are considered outcasts even by most of their peers, not because of their cruelty, but because their extreme zealotry means not even their brothers are safe from irrational judgement.
Current Status: The Black General lay defeated and his reign of terror has come to an end. In the end his true identity died with him, if he even remembered it himself.
Majordomo Hakuro (†)
The general portrayal of a Fire Giant is one of a master craftsman and warrior who wishes to test his mettle against worthy foes. Hakuro, however, is no standard portrayal. A being of cunning and cowardice rather than strength and metal, Hakuro got to where he is through schemes and trickery. Once called Hakuro the Gnarled for his somewhat weak body, Hakuro rose up through societies ranks by stealing the works of his peers, an act which eventually saw him outcasted.
Hakuro serves as the Black General's Majordomo, overseeing civic duties and negotiations (though the Black General rarely has use for either) and marshalling his forces, turning a mix of monsters and rabble into a coherent army. Hakuro is a devious sort, whose sadism and love of holding power over others is also his weak point, he is easily goaded, and believes himself to be far more brilliant and invincible than he truly is. Despite this, he is not a person to be taken lightly.
Current Status: Betrayed like so many others, Hakuro was twisted and controlled by his dark master and eventually slain by adventurers.
A member of the Arcane Brotherhood, a group shrouded in mystery, specifically the "Eastern Tower" section. Torbraxu is a rather secretive person, even among a group known for its secrecy, keeping to himself and only accepting people into his personal powerbase that he has vetted repeatedly. He is said to be rather paranoid and suspicious, keeping his cards close to his chest, and never lets feelings get in the way of success.
Torbraxu is known for putting his research above everything, including his personal safety. Willing to destroy himself, others and honestly the whole world if it's what it takes to see the results, he has a very obvious one track mind and once he starts up it's hard to stop him. Torbraxu's only known living family is a son who turned to piracy to spite his father, though it is whispered that Torbraxu has never really reacted to this.
In fact, it's rumored Torbraxu barely recalls he has a son, treating him with the same emotional detachment that he treats everyone else. Nobody has the willpower to ask him directly, though.
Current Status: Dead after a rad mecha fight. The Arcane Brotherhood may not take too kindly to his demise.
Bounty Hunters (†)
With the Arcane Brotherhoods bounty attracting a carnival of killers, several notable members of the hunting and assassination community have come forward to try their luck on collecting the money on "The Little Blue Star" "The Arcane Whirlwind" and "The Dark Councillor" with very little success. Of course big money attracts stupid people who aren't usually deterred by such things like "dying" and "dying horribly"
These hunters include people like Victory, leader of the black clad mercenaries creatively called... well... Black Company. A militant group operating to the east of Narfell who have already tried their luck and failed, taking a significant loss in the process. Victory is a true professional, and a pragmatist, willing to admit defeat and cut his losses when it's clear that the risk outweighs the reward.
Blackeye, a "middle man" in the bounty hunting community, in the sense that he hooks up hunters with contracts that may not be on the open market. Blackeye has come with a cadre of killers to claim a bounty on the Little Blue Star, due to Blackeye's personal loathing of halflings. Why? Well there's a lot of rumors about why, including having lost a girlfriend to a halfling before. But who knows? He's sort of crazy. It could be nothing!
But it is the final group that is truly worth taking notice of. The Elysium, a group of absolutely high class professionals who are only generally hired out to incredibly wealthy clients. The Elysium are second to none when it comes to security and secrecy. Their members wear special suits that explode upon death or capture, taking the agent with it, and a variety of spells keep their men genuinely in the dark about what they do to ensure no compulsions can ever pry the secrets from their minds.
The Elysium only appear to hunt targets worthy of their time, and after repeated failures by ordinary Bounty Hunters and Assassins, it's rumored that Torbraxu and his peers have sent out a contract to hire Elysium to take on the three Narfellian bounties and put them in the grave once and for all. Time will tell who comes out on top.
Current Status: The bounty has been called off. The Elysium operates within Narfell at full capacity.
MISC 3: REVENGE OF THE SITH
The "Mad Inventor" and a friend of Pious, who appears to be from a distant land with his dusky skin and golden hair. Virtue is an inventor and a very obvious eccentric, playing games with others in return for prizes of his own invention, and operating several businesses that prey on the greed of others. He is whimsical and marches to the beat of his own drums, even at the cost of everyone else's sanity.
Outside of his whimsical nature, Virtue is rather jaded. He often speaks bitterly about idealism and has a very low opinion of self righteous people. This, plus his metal arm replacing whatever organic arm he used to have, point to obvious scars in his past that haven't fully healed. Scars that often become bloody when he is reminded of what he used to be... whatever it is he used to be.
A firebrand noble from Waterdeep, noted for being unafraid to say what is on her mind and being notorious for once wound her (now former) fiancee in the groin with a sword for cheating on her and robbing her family of its coin. She finds herself in Narfell now, pursued by the enigmatic and dangerous Illusionist, but why? That's yet to be revealed, but it's clear Altea won't take his threats lying down. She is often followed by the "Dark Knight" a strange, dark armored bodyguard.
The Silver Knight Suzail (a title he calls himself) and a wandering... something. Pious is an odd character, with a fascination for art and a slightly more morbid fascination for death. Pious has never been seen out of his clanky silver armor, which is often coated in various forms of paint or muck. He speaks oddly, and often to himself, but sometimes he forgets to speak at all and just has very awkward silences. All in all Pious is a very odd individual.
Pious is responsible for the Dapper Man statue among other things, a weird statue that pops up occasionally in Peltarch as if out of thin air. During the day the fine features of that noble man smile brightly, but at night the candles placed around the statue give it a nefarious looking expression. When asked what the deeper meaning behind this statue is, Pious tends to shrug it off or ramble. Truth is he does that about a lot of things.
Pious is followed by an entourage who are never too far from him. It include the Crusaders, two golden knights who are often mistaken for paladins, who never speak and follow his every whim. There is one male and one female, though their exact relationship to each other and Pious is unknown. It also includes Joan, a red headed bodyguard wielding a truly sharp greatsword, who often delivers messages for Pious and has a wicked glare in her one good eye.
A newcomer to Oscura, whose nobility comes from "parts unknown" and who shepherds wealth towards Oscura due to what he claims are plans to make it into "a new Skullport" of some kind. Much known about Crow is rumors, as despite his rather lavish parties that he loves to throw, he tends to keep to himself and is cautious about giving information about his past. Crow tends to work through his men when it comes to hiring outside help, adding to his reclusive enigma feeling.
To his employees (be they contracted or adventurers) he pays handsomely and acts benevolently, giving them "creative control" in their dealings and allow a lot of free reign. He forgoes intimidation and the fear factor if he can avoid it, running counter to the usual Oscuran stereotype, which can make it easy to forget that above all else Lord Crow is a ruthless business man with big ambitions. He is still very capable of performing cruel acts to get what he wants.
Chain Breaker (†)
An Oscuran annoyance. Some believe the Chain Breaker is someones daughter with too much time on her hands, while others believe she is a foreign infiltration expert... and some just believe she's an idiot. The Chain Breaker is an anti slaver who claims to have broken slaves free from Athkatla to Thay. The truth to the extent of her career is fuzzy, but she has at least been active in Narfell for long enough that people have begun to speak of her title with... mixed emotions.
The Chain Breaker is rather abrasive and acts her age, seeming rather young, she can be petty and childish and tends to hold grudge against people who irritate her. None the less she has some cunning to her, coming up with (sometimes needlessly) complex plans to free slaves and hurt their masters in the process, usually via their coin purse. She is also an adept fighter, having actually managed to fend off anyone who physically confronts her.
The ethics of slavery aside in this realm of ours, of course, the Chain Breaker continues to be a divisive figure. Often times her plans end up with others getting hurt and being manipulated by the firestorm that is her personality, and sometimes these people are not her "intended targets" as she calls them. She claims such things are necessary in her righteous crusade, but it has earned her quite a few enemies. It almost feels like it won't be long until it catches up with her...
Current Status: Slain by Verika Evrilla for crimes against Oscura.
A long deceased demonbinder from ages past. Tazmordan was an intelligent man whose intellect was only matched by his inhumanity, performing cruel experiments with the aid of demons and dark magic alike. He did these experiments with complete detachment, showing no love for sadism or pain, just cold logic. Tazmordan's name was lost to history, having died in total obscurity, partially by his own will.
Before he died, Tazmordan crafted a variety of inventions he called the Steps of Tazmordan, some of which could be used for constructive purposes but... well most of these "steps" were in fact deadly weapons. For reasons unknown, some suggesting that he didn't want his weapons used for further evil, but others suggesting he just didn't want anyone using his weapons, Tazmordan locked away all of the Steps of Tazmordan within vaults and other secure locations, most of which were lost to ruin.
Sometimes, however, foolish adventurers led by ambitious men stumble upon Tazmordan's work, and echoes of his past. And every time, their lives are put in danger. In the end, nothing good comes from digging up the past of the Ice Hearted Demonbinder.
The Dapper Man
War in the Trees Plot
Grothel the Exile
In his younger years, Grothel Headtaker was a savage and vicious bugbear with immense strength and little to think about. Grothel never particularly liked being ordered about, let alone ordered to give away the things that he owned. He wanted everything, the things that he had and the things that others had, and he wanted to be on the top of the totem pole. As such, Grothel sought to usurp his superior, but found only that his strength only seemed immense in contrast to those he had fought. Grothel was soundly beaten, humiliated even, and kicked out into the night. This was another form of humiliation, after all, they could have killed him... they just chose not to.
Years of exile have done a number on Grothel. First his bloodlust, and then his sensibilities. Having little and struggling to gain anything made him respect what he did have. Spending so much time avoiding things that could defeat him taught him patience, and conversely having more time on his hands on quiet nights meant that Grothel had time to read the books and items he had stolen from travellers.
Soon, "Grothel the Exile" was considered a well read sage-like figure by those who would visit him, bringing him supplies in return for wisdom or the unique mixtures he had learned to brew. When Grothel was offered new places, in new hierarchy and tribes, he turned them down. Not because he did not want to be led, but because he knew that his lot in life was to be alone, to exist in the forest by himself.
As bitter blood spreads between the goblinoids, and the lustful lure of power calls to them, Grothel stands on the edge watching inward, seeing too much of his past self for comfort. But he will not bring himself to intervene... or rather, perhaps it's better to say he cannot bring himself to intervene. To get close to his old home. Lest he fall back into his old ways.
Every so often a goblin is born with an unusually cunning mind and the determination and willpower to use it. For a goblin, Halftooth is unusually charismatic and far before he ever proclaimed himself Warchief, he had a strong core group who would do what he said without question. Dwelling in the Hold not far from Norwick, Halftooth first gained an utter contempt from Norwick when a band of adventurers cut down his siblings and almost killed him, chipping his tooth (and gaining him his new monikor) but forgetting to check if he was truly dead.
Nursing a spiteful vengeance that only grew worse when he began to get kicked around by those who saw him as fodder, Halftooth continued to gain loyal allies not only within the Hold, but also from other goblin tribes from the surrounding areas. Eventually, as things hit a boiling point in the Rawlinwoods, Halftooth made his move and declared himself "Warchief of Goblins" with his new green horde.
While some in this up coming dispute may see Halftooth as a tiny runt of an upstart whose only quality is arrogance and a green tide to send dying one after the other, the truth is Halftooth is far more intelligent than his opponents give him credit for. Rumors spread that he has even found benefactors, human benefactors at that, willing to arm him with dangerous explosive weaponry to tip the tide in his favor... benefactors who bears the mark of the Black Hand.
Gringat Mirkblood, he of many poisons, is a goblin assassin who founded the Twisted Blades, a likeminded group who would assassinate for riches, named after Mirkbloods enchanted weapons. Mirkblood was a pragmatic sort, and a cowardly sort, who'd take missions from just about any race but would always ensure he could get away if things went wrong, even at the cost of his fellow Twisted Blades. He seeks treasure and status, with power being a distant second.
So it's rather odd that Mirkblood and the Twisted Blades have made it clear they intend to throw their lot in this growing turbulence. Whispers have it that Mirkblood isn't exactly fond of ruling himself and owes a deep debt to some dangerous individuals. Individuals whom Mirkblood repeatedly sends warm bodies to. Who are these shadowy people? Some say the Drow, but nobody is truly sure.
Cruel, savage and selfish. Grayback represents the worst a bugbear can possibly be. Valuing pillaging and destructing over conquering, Grayback seeks to do what Ostromog should have done, capture Norwick... and burn it to ash. And if there's time, he'll stake the survivors up high for all to see. Grayback's men consist of the young and impressionable goblinoids, as well as older ones looking for a good fight or some good old fashioned human blood spilling. Their savage strength can wash over the unprepared, leaving only destruction in their wake.
A young bugbear follower Ostromog. Zulvark honors the old bugbear even as age has slown him down to a crawl. Zulvark seeks to emulate Ostromog, but tends to be rather overzealous and lacks Ostromog's general skillset, coming off as rather impressionable and somewhat easily manipulated. None the less, there are many who throw their lot behind Zulvark, many others who honor Ostromog and his ways, and seek to keep them going even once the inevitable happens.
Evird is a proud hobgoblin who emulates their ways well. Militaristic, disciplined and pragmatic to his core, Evird seeks primarily to stop chaos from unfolding as ambitions rise and greed takes over. Evird's pragmatism extends to his way of fighting off his rivals, willing to work with adventurers and former enemies in the name of defeating mutual threats. But Evird is still a dangerous person himself, capable of ruthlessness and cruelty in the name of victory.
Evird's men are undyingly loyal and rigid. They follow him into battle without hesitation.
THE LICH PLOT
There are many reasons a spellcaster chooses to become a lich. Some fear death, some wish to extend their lives to complete their goals, and some do it just to prove that they have the power to do so. For Darius, becoming a lich was a means to an end, to continue his lifes work, only to find some years into his new lifestyle... that he really didn't care anymore. Left listless and theoretically eternal, Darius grew bored.
Darius was always good at being cruel, and was always evil even when his heart was still pumping blood through a body that has long since been rendered... skeletal. But boredom causes the mind to wander, and the wandering mind of a cruel man can come up with some inventive and disturbing ways to harm others. At the drop of a hat, Darius can do things to mortals that no sane man would think of, not because it excites him but merely because... well, he can.
Yet Darius is a strange creature, in that he carries himself with a weird amount of (hollow) humanity. He plays cards, indulges in drinking despite not really having any use for it, and skins humans to wear their pelts in order to "fit in" with a natural look, because just magically disguising yourself isn't horrific enough. The charm he puts on as he lives the day to day as a sleazy human is surprisingly convincing.
But at the end of the day for all of Darius's desires, both the wanton cruelty in which he slaughters and the nights he spends indulging in taverns and the arms of drunkards who can't stop singing, he is a lich who has outlived his lifes work, and is utterly ridden with boredom. And may the gods help anyone who truly interests this utterly brutal lich.
Current Status: Left his cult to an unknown figure within Narfell, and went to explore other planes of existence... and kill things there for fun. Occasionally returns to shower his minions in alien objects.
The Five (†)
A group of paladins uniting to fight against great evils and small evils alike, the Five have discarded their names (at least while on the hunt) to symbolize that their actions are far more important than who they are as individuals. The Five are loyal, strong willed and selfless to their cores, the ideal paladins who will not be swayed from the path of righteousness. Their numbers are as followed.
One, not quite the leader but the most analytical of the group, and thus the closest thing to a leader. A Paladin of Tyr, who greatly values order and strategy. One can come across as dispassionate because of his rather subdued demeanor, only emoting in minor ways, and generally keeping his calm. However he is as dedicated to protecting the weak and destroying evil as anyone in the Five.
Two, the Paladin of Helm, is a more outgoing and casual sort. Quick to joke and prod his peers, Two is none the less the iron wall that protects his allies from his enemies. Two is notorious for being rather unlucky, despite his blessings of Helm usually getting him through the worst of it, with Two often falling to various misfortunes such as curses and traps placed every which way.
Three, the Paladin of Torm, is the more passionate of the group. He believes strongly in their cause, and is the first to try and rush into battle to defeat his foes, as well as the first to try and give a speech. He can be hot headed when pushed, but can be reigned in by those who fight along side him. He has a particularly deep seated hatred for necromancers, due to his own past traumas.
Four, the Paladin of Kelemvor, is a silent member who rarely seems to interact with anyone. He is still a paladin, a righteous warrior, and still invested in keeping the realm safe. But his lack of speech and the general distance he keeps from others can make him feel rather foreign, and he comes across as very hard to read. Whether he even views the others as friends is something one could probably debate.
Five, the original, was a Paladin of Ilmater and a half orc. Known as the Scarred Paladin by some, he strove to take injuries meant for others to spare them the pain he felt. He perished at the hands of the Fives enemies, but died heroically, and is remembered fondly.
With his death, the fifth seat opened up, and the Five convened to recruit a new member... Warziver... as their fifth. With their numbers restored, the Five hope to continue their crusade against evil, and unite those who fight for justice against those who fight for injustice.
Current Status: Deceased, souls used as a barrier to protect adventurers from an overwhelming dark force.
THE ILLUSIONIST PLOT
The Red Wizards (†)
Of all the Red Wizards to face the Illusionist, Luther has always been the most compassionate. Unusually kind for a Red Wizard, although no less ambitious, Luther is a good example of power not always corrupting, at least not entirely. Luther is the most accepting and helpful of his peers, being open to working with others while keeping minimal secrets, and still offering aid to those that don't wish to associate with Red Wizards.
However Luther's neurotic personality is his downfall, as he is often unable to control his emotions and is prone to panicking or not thinking things through. As such Luther generally leaves the leadership role to his partner Khardan, or to Jadus, and only shows initiative when the danger is low and the situation isn't dire.
Khardan is a classical Red Wizard, who hordes magical artifacts and schemes with the best of them. Considered ruthless and cunning, Khardan is a brilliant mind who is somewhat hampered by a lack of empathy, seeing his research as far more important than lives and discarding people all too easily. He does not suffer fools, which often leads to him dismissing others on first impression.
Reki, the youngest of the anti Illusionist force, is a firebrand (somewhat literally) of the highest order. He is the very stereotype of the storybook Red Wizard, vicious and cruel, arrogant and self centered and wielding powerful destructive magic. He lusts for violence, and engages in wanton slaughter with reckless abandon much to the chagrin of his peers. Reki had a sister, his only redeeming quality was his affection for her, and her death in the Convict Slaughter drove him to the brink.
Reki met his end, temporarily, at the hands of Erurk and a group of adventurers. Believing Erurk to be responsible for his sisters death, Reki refused to hear him out, and ultimately paid the price for it. Brought back by his peers, Reki is chained both metaphorically and literally, as they seek to drain the fight out of him and turn him into something more obedient and less... of a pain in the ass.
Finally, Jadus, the most powerful of the four and a Diviner. Jadus is a detached individual who rarely thinks about the world on the same level as most, instead keeping his focus on bigger things. This makes him seem rather... disinterested, and also uncaring. Jadus will occasionally play Kingmaker for the others, but otherwise he will stay out of their arguments and bickering. Jadus seems to know the most about the so called Hand of Leira, but keeps his cards close to his chest.
Current Status: Slaughtered by the Illusionist's schemes. Jadus revealed a traitor, and punished accordingly by adventurers.
Warden Cole (†)
Warden Cole was, before becoming a Warden, a prisoner in that very same prison. A skilled assassin, Cole made a habit of shaming his captors by killing them just to prove he could. He survived numerous attempts to kill him and be done with it, and eventually his determination and persistence was enough to give his captors such a headache they offered him power over the other prisoners just to keep him sitting still. Warden Cole proved to be a very ruthless man on either side of the bars.
When the Prison Break occured, it was Cole who aided the Hand of Leira in collecting Khardan's prized tablet piece and rallied the prisoners to his cause. And unlike the prisoners, who believed their savior was a half orc named Erurk, Warden Cole saw the Hand for who he really was, even glancing upon his visage. Cole shows unusual loyalty to the Hand, be it a natural loyalty or a forced one (it's hard to say) and leads the rampaging Convicts of Camp Freedom in his name.
Current Status: Slain, along side many of his elite "prisoner forces"
The Hand of Leira / The Illusionist
A mysterious individual and culprit of many strange and confusing events. The Hand of Leira is identified by his symbol, Leira's symbol bastardized by an open hand in the middle. Very intelligent but also unpredictable, the Hand of Leira uses powerful arcane magic to weave confusion and disarray for goals known only to him and his closest allies. Every word from his mouth comes from a silver tongue, which rarely if ever tells anything more than a half truth.
Contrary to his original alias of the Illusionist, he is not necessarily a proper Illusionist, showing adept skill in the rival school of Enchantment, having enthralled and dazed many of the humanoids, such as orcs and hobgoblins, prowling around Narfell to use as a patchwork army. Regardless of his actual teachings, he is clearly a powerful mage, capable of dangerous spells, and his complete unpredictability means that he is incredibly hard to outmaneuver.
Current Status: He's still here. And he has not forgotten.