Character Portrait – Rem

Cthulhu by dano_h

image credit: Cthulhu, by dano-h on DeviantArt

One of my many clerics was Noremus Toffli. Rem was a human cleric of Pelor tasked with finding a cure for a mind plague afflicting the people of Stormport. Little did he know when he joined the heroes that his quest would take him far from home, to the very stars themselves. Rem’s story is tightly coupled with that of my paladin of Helm, Terun.

Terun and the heroes of Silverhall had traveled to the Moonsea city of Stormport. There, they found a people under the influence of a band of insidious mind flayers. Through much tribulation, and a couple of misunderstandings, the party freed the city. Unfortunately, it became clear that this group of heroes had some deeply rooted failings, in that they were unwilling to do whatever it took to uphold the glory of Helm and Terun parted ways with them to seek out worthier companions.

In stepped Rem. A cleric of the temple of Pelor in Stormport, he saw that many in the city were still afflicted by a mysterious brain disease that had come upon them during the  Illithids’ reign. While his brothers and sisters remained to treat the sick as best their abilities could, Rem traveled in pursuit of the band of heroes. Catching up with them, he joined with them as they eventually found their way aboard an Illithid sky ship. 

The party traveled aboard the fell contraption to the mind flayers’ home world of Penumbra. There, the heroes faced off against many of the mind masters, their slave minions, and their elder brain master. Through great battles and at great cost, the heroes defeated the creatures. Carrying what remained of their wizard companion, the party were able to find their way back to Faerun.

Rem, having gained the cure for the brain disease, was last seen traveling east from Waterdeep towards home. Perhaps we have not seen the last of this young adventurer…

 

Character Portrait – Gogun

Photo by Prasanth Dasari

Gogun Elfcrusher, aka “The Gogun”, was my cleric of Silvanus. He was from our 2nd Edition Dungeons & Dragons era. He ventured north with a group of dwarves, led by King Tadom Trollslayer, seeking to return to their ancient home in the Vast. It was a nameless city north of Raven’s Bluff. I created him to join the campaign after my paladin of Helm, Terun, left over a religious disagreement with another paladin.

Gogun served the Trollslayer as a scout for his armies. The name Elfcrusher came from one of his scouting missions. They were exploring some caves and he came across a party of drow. The dark elves had apparently killed each other in some argument. He was examining the bodies when one of the other scouts came across his position. The story soon spread that Gogun had slain the drow by himself. Despite his attempts to refute the story, it stuck to him.

Gogun was reporting to the king and attempting to set the story straight when the party arrived in Yhaunn, where King Tadom was in exile. The party was on a mission from the Silver Queen to do a favor for King Tadom. This led the party to the nameless dwarven city in the Vast. After their return, Gogun remained with his people as the adventurers departed for Silverhall. Gogun again attempted to set the story straight with King Tadom, who had been making him into a hero in his absence. Feeling that this was a sign of ingratitude and an insult to him, the Trollslayer exiled Gogun from his presence. Seeing no other options, Gogun followed the adventurers to Silverhall.

Once at Silverhall, Gogun joined the party and followed them on their quests through Firestorm Peak and the Return to White Plume Mountain. It was in White Plume Mountain, ancient Greyhawk fortress of the mighty wizard Keraptis, that Gogun found his destiny. First, from an ancient scroll of magic he gained the power to cast Fireballs. Thrilled at his new found abilities, which should have been beyond a cleric’s reach, he pushed deeper into these arcane mysteries. Eventually, the party happened across a Deck of Many Things. Following an irresistible urge, Gogun drew several cards from the deck. He ended up a twisted, deformed mutation of his former self.

The Gogun

Here stood this 6 foot tall dwarven cleric, with incredible strength and extra eye on the back of his neck. Add upon that his newfound arcane abilities such as casting fireball spells. And with each passing hour, he fell more and more into the belief that HE was the only true Keraptis. Eventually he would succumb to the powers and influence of Keraptis, fleeing the party. At a crucial point, when lava was exploding into a room he threw himself into the ethereal plane.

There he stayed for a time, barely conscious. When the true Keraptis was reborn and all the pretenders should have died, he survived because he was still in the ethereal plane. Then, when Thomisan cast the limited wish spell, he was dragged back into the Forgotten Realms. In this act he lost the last few vestiges of his original personality and became once and for all Keraptis.

Even so, he knew that in Silverhall there remained a part of himself that he must free. So in the night, while the chaos of a battle raged through the halls of Silverhall, he came. Gogun strode through the chaos and stole away the child Keraptis and the hammer Whelm. He did not understand how, but he knew that the child was a part of him and he a part of it.

So now, in the darkness of night, around campfires, and anywhere else is told tales of fright and horror, is told the tale of the Gogun. Children run in panic or cower in their beds. The hearts of even the bravest of warriors are chilled at the tale. But those who knew him, who know the truth behind the stories and what really happened, also know this: When the time comes and the child Keraptis comes of age, they will once more come face to face with…. The Gogun!

Character Portrait – Chojen

Warrior Monk

Alas, poor Chojen Morg. After Thelisn the bodak fell to the servants of Gulthias within the Heart of Nightfang Spire, I brought in Chojen. He was human, a former thief and rogue who had repented of his ways and taken up a life of service to the gods. Serving in a monastary near Daggerdale, the companions of Silverhall rescued Chojen when he and others had been taken by an evil cult.

To repay the debt, he offered his service to them. That service was sadly all to short. Soon after the companions re-entered Nightfang Spire, he fell victim to an undiscovered trap in the floor, sliding him down over a sharp blade and then flinging him out the side of the tower. Having no ranks in fly, he plummeted to his death at the base of the Spire. 

I was sad to lose Chojen, especially so shortly after losing Thelisn (twice). The character concept of a thief-monk multi-class was one that really appealed to me. I’m bummed I never got a chance to really explore what he was capable of. At some  point I would like to run a new character that’s similar in concept. We’ll see.

D&December 2017 – Rapid Fire: W4D4-Trinkets/Treasures, W4D6-Forbidden Knowledge, W4D7-Spell/Item

DnDecember2017

Nothing like waiting til the last minute for the last three topics I didn’t get done. So here we go in rapid fire succession. Trinkets & Treasures, Forbidden Knowledge and Favorite Spell/Item. 

Favorite Trinkets & Treasures

As a DM, my favorite treasure items are those that have a bit of a cursed trait to them. Or at least some significant downside anyway. Any adventure I run has to have a couple of cursed items. Well, during my first foray as DM it was a LOT of cursed items. Don’t worry, I’ve toned it way down since then. Now, in cursed items, I’m including any item that has a significant downside to it, not just those specifically defined as cursed. For instance, it may be a long sword +2, but it might also be an intelligent sword. And that sword is prone to lecturing the player in a condescending tone on their fighting techniques the entire time it is wielded. This would force the player to make a save every round or have a penalty to hit that round. I find those kinds of items to be far more fun than a straight up cursed item.

Forbidden Knowledge

My character Delban is an expert on forbidden knowledge. During their adventure in Ravenloft, Delban stole a Tome of Evil from Lord Soth’s castle, using it’s knowledge to advance his skills. The end result was that he left the party and became an NPC for a few years, serving as one of the bad guys when I ran the Speaker in Dreams adventure. He later found that Soth wasn’t too happy with the theft and tracked Delban down to his tower outside of Brindonford. The knowledge and power of the Tome was ripped from him and Delban was forced to flee into PC status for the City of the Spider Queen campaign.

There’s a reason that forbidden knowledge is forbidden. Leave it there. So says Delban. Learn from Delban. Don’t be like Delban.

Favorite Spell or Item

I’ve already discussed my favorite spell in a previous post. So this time I’ll talk about two of my favorite items, one magical and the other not.

First, my favorite magic item is the Deck of Many Things. This is a classic D&D item. You find a deck of strange cards. Drawing a card at random provides a magical effect of some sort, as often bad as good. There are many variations on the Deck and each DM tends to create their own version when called upon. When I was running my dwarven cleric Gogun Elfcrusher, he drew several times from the Deck we found in White Plume Mountain. Among the effects was he grew to about 6′ tall and grew a third eye on the back of his neck. Everyone started calling him “The Gogun”.

Of course, he was also the one that found one of the Keraptis scrolls and learned how to cast fireballs. A minor secondary effect was that he eventually come to believe he was Keraptis. He was last seen vanishing into the night from Silverhall, taking Whelm and the Keraptis reborn baby with him into the forests of the Dalelands.

My favorite mundane item is rope. What’s not to like about rope? It’s the handiest and most useful non-magical item in the game. Everything from descending into pits to tying up wizards so that the barbarian can cut their head off when we tell him to “bag the wizard”. Every character I’ve ever created carries 50′ or 100′ of silk rope. It’s always the first thing I buy when I create them.

 

So there you have it. My rapid fire coverage of the last three topics for DnDecember 2017. Hope you enjoyed it. Time to get back to some other things.