Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Innate Magic People Part 7

Today's artist is Hugh Pinder, a great fantasy artist from Canada. I'm going to focus on his portrait art, but he does great battle scenes like this as well.
In Ahneria, nearly everyone can cast a little bit of magic, but some people can cast full-on spells. I decided it would be fun to detail out a set of NPCs based on the first level spells. As I said in the previous article, these are people who are somewhat common, but might have gained notoriety or fame based on their abilities.

This is the seventh in this series, and the continuation of the fifth level spells. These spells are so powerful, that not only will these people influence the world, but the world will bite back. Their stories are tales of epic heroism, tragedy, or legend. Thus, we'll be reducing the number of NPCs but increasing the description of them.

Drogos Vexlin
Spell: Geas (PHB pg. 244)
Known as the Dragon King, Drogos Vexlin has worked his way to the head of the country of Droales by pure charisma and force of will, despite being a half-dragon in a population of humans. Many nobles who turned their heads at first became entranced by his promises of change and power after meeting with him. The common folk are uneasy about his fierce policies and commanding diplomacy, but the lawmakers of the country seem to fully support him.

The country is currently stable, but Drogos has set his sights on the neighboring city-state of Asmouris. They are a peaceful community ruled by Queen Ezri, ripe for the taking by the power of the Dragon King. However, the Queen has an extremely competent and trusted healer, who might realize Drogos’s “diplomacy” is mostly magical commands. He is devising a strategy to usurp this healer so he can be free to rule.

Esme Simko
Spell: Greater Restoration (PHB pg. 246)
In the peaceful city-state of Asmouris, Queen Ezri rules with a firm but gentle hand. She is loved by the people, and much of that has to do with the efforts of Esme Simko, the Royal Healer. Esme guides the doctors of the city, and thanks to her efforts, Asmouris has remained free of disease and sickness. With their health intact, the people are happy and productive.

However, recently the neighboring country of Droales has come under the rule of the Dragon King, a Half-Dragon who has ruthlessly taken over the nobility. Queen Ezri is worried, and so are her citizens. Aside from their walls and guards, they don’t have an army to fight back with. The Queen is hiring spies to see what the Dragon King is planning to do next.

Avitia Du Toit
Spell: Hallow (PHB pg. 249)
The country of Espor stands as a beacon of light in a dark world. Its borders were blessed by Saint Avitia, a priestess who traveled her entire life to ensure the country’s safety. Every few miles, a consecrated temple stands as a ward against the evils of the outside. And there is great evil to fear here: the rest of the continent has been swarmed over by demons, completely consumed save for the efforts of this one woman.

However, the demons rail upon the barrier every day, and with the passing of Saint Avitia, it only becomes weaker. The leaders of Espor are looking for someone to strengthen the barriers, as reports of demonic incursions only become more frequent and more disturbing. A call for heroes is echoing across the last remaining foothold of humanity.

Virion Dalralis
Spell: Hold Monster (PHB pg. 251)
It’s said that Virion Dalralis can make even the meanest monster freeze in fear with his intimidating gaze. He made a name for himself as a hunter, disposing of various creatures that attacked towns and villages around the kingdom of Boucourt. He was even invited to meet with King Tyraelon after slaying Onthistria, a terrible dragon threatening the countryside. His powers of intimidation became somewhat infamous - people in the Kingdom say someone with a sour look on their face has “Virion’s eye”.

However, that was many years ago, and Virion has been slowly declining in popularity. He doesn’t get as many jobs as he used to, and the younger generation of hunters look up to him but aren’t about to share their spoils with an old man. Because of this, Virion has taken to teaching young hunters the basics of the trade, though nobody can match his infamous gaze. He longs for his glory days, before he was the tutor to a bunch of young brats.

Don't assume that's a dude, or your in for a 3rd-act gender reveal plot twist!
Shiva Kakoti
Spell: Holy Weapon (XGtE pg. 157)
Those who have seen Shiva Kakoti fight claim that the God of Fury himself descended upon the battlefield. She wields a blazing sword, wears full plate armor, and always carries the symbol of Aszuth around her neck. Those who oppose her are sliced to death, or enveloped in an explosive burst of holy fire. She is said to have single-handedly won the Battle of Agkog Valley, a turning point in the war between the Junriss Republic and the Khagur Empire. Her skill and presence became legend in both countries.

Now, however, the war is over. Shiva has hung up her blade and taken up the lifestyle of the missionary. She still fights for the Khagur Empire, but travels through the now-conquered lands of the Old Republic to spread the word of Aszuth. She is finding the task difficult, being both hated and feared among the populace, but she refused to back down.

Arkvius Wick
Spell: Immolation (XGtE pg. 158)
In the arid climate of Salimar, it’s important to have a contingent of firefighters available in every city. Fire burns hot and often, and bucket brigades run from any body of water or well to each corner of a settlement. Which is why the recent outbreak of fires have been so devastating. They don’t seem to be affected by water or sand, the primary means of quenching the flames. Several buildings have burned to the ground, and only by cutting off the fire has it been halted.

Unbeknownst to all, these fires are caused by a young tiefling boy named Arkvius Wick. He doesn’t mean to do so, and hasn’t made the realization yet that these fires are starting in places he visits. The orphanage that took him in, run by Sister Primrose, has been too busy relocating their current children to a new home to notice the cause of the fires that seem to follow them around. Sister Primrose is desperate to end this streak of “bad luck” and find permanent homes for the remaining children - quickly.

Rasul Galimov
Spell: Infernal Calling (XGtE pg. 158)
For many long years, the Empire of Oflos has been ruled over by Lord Rasul Galimov and his army of infernal servants. Born with the power to summon devils to his command, he overthrew the old regime at the young age of 17 and took the throne himself. He began with little innate power, but by dealing with devils and sacrificing thousands of souls, he has gained magical powers that make him nearly invincible in combat.

However, he knows his power is infernal in nature, and he will forfeit it when he dies. Thus, he has devoted all of his power towards finding a secret to immortality. His personal efforts have produced the truenames of several devils, but none have been strong enough to grant his request. He is desperately searching for the truename of an archdevil, hoping their power will allow him to reign eternally.

Fayrana Uripos
Spell: Insect Plague (PHB pg. 254)
Though she looks like a normal young halfling girl, Fayrana Uripos is one of the most feared beings on the country of Oswa Tren. This is because she is able to summon forth swarms of locusts, eradicating the farmlands if anyone who draws her ire. Those who oppose her end up dying of starvation or forced to leave their homes and find new pastures. She became known to the world when her insects destroyed the crop fields of the city of Dagvik, causing a mass emigration to the surrounding cities. Word spread of a girl who was a walking natural disaster, and prayers were whispered that she wouldn’t follow the refugees to their new homes.

It hasn’t yet been revealed, however, that Fayrana is working for Sipan Avakian, the Lord of Dagvik, who used her to elicit sympathy for his plight among the high courts of Oswa Tren. He has promised the young girl a proper home and family, though she is currently in hiding with a contingent of his personal soldiers. He is trying to secure a larger holding than his previous charge, and gain the power and resources needed to overthrow High Ruler Neressa. Fayrana is simply a tool in his schemes, one that he hopes will continue to be useful before she realizes how powerful she truly is.

Enough mystery to create interest, enough aloofness to blow you off completely
Fi Zinfiel
Spell: Legend Lore (PHB pg. 254)
The daring elven bard Fi Zinfiel was already known across the land before the incident. She was a master storyteller, weaving tales of terrible peril and epic heroes over every campfire from Astrein to the coast. Her stories always had a bit of fantasy and a bit of truth to them - her magic allowed her to see the past play out before her, and she could tell exactly what happened to the great heroes of yore. People don’t like to hear about the flaws in their legends, though, so she would always spice up the stories with her own additions.

For many, many years, her stories were treated as historical fiction, but one caught the ear of a wandering knight. Fi hinted at the location of the ancient Night’s Edge Sword, a weapon of great power. He ventured to the location, and was shocked to discover the Night’s Edge Sword. Word got out, and suddenly every one of Fi’s stories were being treated as fact. She has since gone into hiding, and needs to avoid every organization looking to gain their own legendary weapons.

Covnos Vonorath
Spell: Maelstrom (XGtE pg. 160)
Known as the Cyclone King, Covnos Vonorath is the King of the Tritons of Corasa. He overthrew the previous king with his powerful magic, which tore apart the castle that stood as a symbol of his power. The Tritons of Corasa were upset by this change in regime and loss of history, but no one had the strength to stand up to Covnos and his soldiers. Some believed that the magic was a sign of his destiny to rule, others saw him simply as a bully, albeit an extremely powerful one. But whether the tritons loved or hated him, Covnos was here to stay.

This all happened a few years ago, and since then the Cyclone King has used his great power to defend the throne and protect the tritons from enemies and natural disasters. Public opinion of him has slowly changed, with growing appreciation for his strong sense of justice and protective powers. But a triton expedition recently discovered a large area of devastated ocean upstream of their home. The powerful maelstrom magic was destroying the ecosystem of the ocean. Rumbles of revolution are beginning again, and all it requires is a force strong enough to match the King’s terrible power.

Chidi Obasi
Spell: Mass Cure Wounds (PHB pg. 258)
The leader of the Medical Division of the Bahniri Army has little practical medical experience. Chidi Obasi is a kind and practical leader, and she has deep trust from those in her division, and her magic more than makes up for her lack of medical knowledge. Simply by focusing her energy, she can create a field of healing magic in a large radius around herself. Wounds stop bleeding, exhausted soldiers feel refreshed, and unconscious fighters jolt awake. Within this field, her team of top-notch doctors performs life-saving surgeries and risky medical procedures, all possible due to the healing assistance they receive from Chidi.

Because of this  division alone, the Bahniri Army has gained a reputation for resilience and longevity in battle that is unmatched on the continent. But Chidi is getting old, and her time in the service is catching up to her. So many years of watching death and battle is wearing on her soul, and she seeks an honorable discharge to live out her years in peace. However, King Khabash hasn’t granted her request yet. She is planning a trip to the capital to ask him herself, but she fears her magic might be too strong for the Army to give up.

Guess who's (not) coming to dinner!
Ayira Okomo
Spell: Mislead (PHB pg. 260)
Though they don’t realize it, most people have never seen the real Empress Ayira Okomo. She remains in hiding while her illusory double performs her court functions and meets with the nobility. Her advisers, save the trusted Grand Adviser Josiah Rao, are none the wiser. She takes her meals in private, and has survived several attempts on her life thanks to the help of her duplicate.

The reason for all the secrecy and potential assassins is due to the ruling policies of the Empress. Her overwhelming caution has lead to her abdicating much of her power to her advisers, and they have conspired to enrich themselves at the expense of the crown. They care little for the reputation or safety of Empress Ayira, and Grand Adviser Josiah is the worst of the lot. He knows the Empress slumbers while her duplicate sits on the throne, and he is concocting a plan to slay her personally when the time comes.

Lazu Maron
Spell: Modify Memory (PHB pg. 261)
For years, Lazu Maron has been a non-person. Some strange magic instinctually rewrites the memories of those around them to erase their presence from anyone they encounter. They are a stranger to everyone, forcing them to live alone from a very young age. Even their parents were surprised to see the child in their home. They grew up alone, never able to retain friendships, because as soon as they left the presence of another person that person never knew they existed at all.

Of course, living was difficult. But they realized quickly that they could steal whatever they wanted and simply make the person forget it was stolen. A victim might realize later they were missing a favorite ring or their coin purse, but they wouldn’t remember how they lost it. Ustrax City slowly became notorious for missing objects, attributed to a network of highly-skilled thieves. This drew more pickpockets to the city, making the entire place worse for the wear. Lazu doesn’t mind, and nobody knows about their existence anyway. But the citizens of Ustrax are concerned about the growing presence of burglars in their city.

Kala Palaavi
Spell: Negative Energy Flood (XGtE pg. 163)
A few years ago, the city of Tamilkos was attacked by the vile Necromancer Romas Vaznys. After the survivors had fled, the remaining undead citizens tried their best to return to their lives. Things moved more slowly, there was less speaking and more groaning, but those undead with enough intelligence to understand their situation and communicate slowly rebuilt what society they could. There was still a mad dash at anyone with blood pumping in their veins, and many of the unintelligent undead simply played out mockeries of their former existences, but unlife had found a way.

There was one major problem, however. Those who lost arms or legs, either from fighting intruders or simply rot and time, could not heal their wounds. This is where Dr. Kala Palaavi came in. Though she is still alive, she is able to coat herself in negative energy that masks her life from the undead around her. This energy can also be channeled into an undead to grant them healing and regeneration, despite their unliving bodies. She keeps to herself, and her services are known by intelligent undead around the city. They tolerate her presence, and she repairs their wounds. However, the undead hordes have not yet realized Dr. Palaavi’s true plan: to recover the “lost wealth” abandoned by the living inhabitants of the city. Once she can locate this missing treasure, she plans to leave the city for good.

Cooper Falan
Spell: Passwall (PHB pg. 264)
How do you deal with a thief that can turn any wall into a passageway, that no cell can hold, that no treasure is safe from? Simple: Pay him handsomely as captain of the royal guard. This is the story of Cooper Falan, whose long and sordid history winded its way through the country of Sebria before he arrived at the Royal city of Glasea and was recruited. His expertise in the ways of criminals made him the most efficient and successful captain of the guard in centuries.

Now, under the employ of Empress Kenra Salil, he works tirelessly to catch lawbreakers and protect the Royal family, using his ability to carve out perfect escape tunnels when disaster strikes. But recently he has fallen in love with the Duchess Nenai Everglade, and the Empress is worried that his services might be compromised if he marries into the family. The palace has become the game board for a web of political intrigue, a subject which both Captain Cooper and Empress Kenra are well-versed in.

Brielle La Roix
Spell: Planar Binding (PHB pg. 265)
Brielle La Roix, an old recluse, is known as the Witch of Xaka due to the strange magics she is said to possess. She is sometimes believed to be able to grant wishes, other times she is said to deal in terrible curses. Throughout the country of Xaka, people seek her out to receive blessings, favors, or even beg her forgiveness. She has swarms of animals that do her bidding, and lives in a hollowed-out tree stump so large it could be mistaken for a house.

Well, only the last part of that is true. Brielle’s only real power is binding the creatures of the fey to her command. She uses them to perform her spells and tricks, and although they often resent being captured, she has enough servants that those who escape dare not think of retribution. However, in her old age she has become very fey-like herself, slowly becoming what she has always abused. The Witch of Xaka worries that the Summer Queen will steal her away and punish her for years of fey crimes. She is gathering servants to fight back, but she is running out of time.

The glowiness makes a great night light
Kersam Quint
Spell: Raise Dead (PHB pg. 270)
In his youth, Kersam Quint was sought after by every noble and royal in the land of Altaz. His power to bring the dead back to life was responsible for foiling dozens of assassinations and undoing several accidents. As long as the body was obtained quickly enough, there was nothing that would stop him from his work. And the payment was exceedingly comfortable, such that his few days of work a year would pay for lavish living quarters all year round. It was a charmed life.

However, the years passed, and his services became more and more popular. He was slowly forced to lower his prices to accommodate more requests and fuel his lifestyle. He still lived lavishly, but became more and more busy. The land of Altaz became known as a place where lethal accidents were a mere inconvenience. This reputation began to strain Kersam, and he now wishes for his work to end so he can move away and be left alone. He’s having trouble doing so, however.

Demetria Carlozzi
Spell: Rary's Telepathic Bond (PHB pg. 270)
Since she was born, the residents of the city of Casmar have been subject to Demetria Carlozzi’s magic. Most call it a curse, however. Upon her birth, every citizen in the radius of the city has been able to hear the surface thoughts of the people near them. Overnight, productivity ground to a halt as countless arguments and disagreements played out around the city. By morning, people had either gone mad from the information overload or were pounding on the gates of the King’s palace demanding he do something about their condition. Meanwhile, thanks to the declaration of hostility by the neighboring country of Sutra the week before, nobody suspected it was little Demetria that was linking the minds of the populace.

After a brief and confusing war with Sutra, the city of Casmar settled down and began to deal with their predicament. There was no distance from the city that would make the curse vanish, and anyone who arrived at the city eventually gained the power as well. Casmar quickly became known as the City Without Secrets, where nobody was able to hide things from each other. Those with dark personal secrets were ousted, while honest folk were quickly given political power and kept in check by those around them. The city spread out, homes allowing enough distance that the thoughts of their neighbors were no louder than a murmur. Things began to return to normal, or as normal as they could be. But next year is Demetria’s 11th birthday, and she has already begun showing signs of the emotional surges from being a teenager. It’s unclear what will happen if she discovers her role in the curse that plagues her city.

Mortumal Sarven
Spell: Reincarnate (PHB pg. 271)
Nuraskis is known as one of the most diverse cities in the world, with people from all races and walks of life visiting, living, and even ruling in the city. The residents of the city are proud to live in a place where anyone can become a leader, and the populace believes strongly in meritocracy and equality.

However, the city is not what it seems. Behind the scenes, a conglomerate of elves known as the Iron Rose Society has taken over the city, using the talents of Mortumal Sarven to change bodies as necessary. Nobody has suspected that such disparate politicians would be secretly conspiring to overtake the entire ruling system, but thanks to Mortumal’s power of body-swapping, they are doing just that. The only trouble is getting rid of the old elven bodies. The Iron Rose Society is looking for someone to take the fall for the rash of elven corpses being discovered around the city.

Solange Beauvais
Spell: Scrying (PHB pg. 273)
Just outside the settlement of Kalios, in the dark forests of Kalidro, it is said there lives a wise old woman who can answer any question, provided you bring to her a part of that person as sacrifice. She is known as Solange Beauvais, and is sought out by wives wishing to know the affairs of their husbands, children with grudges or crushes, and gossipers who are brave enough to venture into the dangerous forest. She is said to collect these tokens of her targets, and somewhere in the woods there must be a dwelling with jar upon jar of her prizes.

Though the rumors persist, the politicians and nobles of Kalios have never truly believed the validity of them. That is, until Solange exposed the secret affairs of his opponent and took the city council seat, the first halfling on the council in centuries. There was a sudden rush of visits to Solange, and the nobility suddenly became very cautious with their public appearances, possessions, and likenesses. One noble house has a bonfire where their official portraits were burned all at once. Another has begun organizing a secret witch hunt for the oracle, desperate to kill her before their secrets are revealed. The city is on edge, and nobody’s secrets are safe.

Keto Sabauri
Spell: Seeming (PHB pg. 274)
A curse has befallen the city of Alok Gex. One night, everyone woke up to discover their faces were missing. They could still see, eat, and feel their missing faces, but visually it appeared they were completely blank. Mass chaos ensued, followed by mass exodus when people realized that the curse wouldn’t extend beyond the city’s limits. The king was at a loss, there was no way for him to know what caused such a powerful and terrible curse. Soon, the city was empty, the people completely migrated to the next city of Sobraith.

Only one family stayed behind. The Sabauri’s thought they knew the true cause of the curse: the birth of their child, Keto. The curse had befallen the city the instant the child was delivered, after all. As long as they remain in the city, the curse won’t spread to the next city. However, without other people, they are stuck scrounging for food and hoping for caravans to buy from. They can’t leave their child, but their child can’t leave the city without extending the effect of this curse.

*Beyonce's Halo plays in the distance*
Bahram Sharyar
Spell: Skill Empowerment (XGtE pg. 165)
In the city of Tolkith, you can bet on anything. Gladiatorial pits, animal races, elections, anything. Bookies line the streets, and the economy is geared towards the hope of financial windfall. It happened to Bahram Sharyar, the richest man in Tolkith. Starting as a stable boy in the Zandu Racetrack, he became fabulously wealthy from horse races before transitioning to all manner of sports. Zandu Racetrack is still the most popular track in the city, even more than Sharyar Track, named after Bahram himself.

The secret behind Bahram’s wealth, of course, is his ability to enhance the skills of those he touches. He discovered it by accident while still a stable boy, and gained money by always requesting to inspect the horses before a race. Even directly in front of rules officials, he could impart his magic to the contenders. Now, he controls a vast gambling empire, and ironically, Zandu Racetrack is the last thing standing in his way. Old grudges are beginning to stir, and the city of Tolkith is on edge.

Crier Bell
Spell: Steel Wind Strike (XGtE pg. 166)
Crier Bell is the finest assassin in the country of Uvrias, which is saying a lot. The country is notorious for its lacking laws and open borders, and many unscrupulous types find their way here when fleeing from the Khashrad Empire. Of course, Empire bounty hunters are also allowed to enter the country, making the profession of hired bodyguard or killer a common and lucrative one. And Crier Bell is the best.

Though appearing as a simple Kenku girl, Crier Bell can take out an entire squad of Empire goons in an instant, using only a dagger. The speed of her movements is so fast she briefly vanishes, causing most of the damage to be done by the mere force of her momentum. She accepts hefty payments for her services, and is an expert in negotiating with criminals. But the Empire is getting wise to her abilities, and have begun preparing countermeasures. Crier Bell is training to increase her other skills and stay ahead of the Empire’s underhanded tactics, but it may not be enough.

Spell: Swift Quiver (PHB pg. 279)
The Firbolg sanctuary known as Jakulu village has remained a well-guarded secret from the nearby humans for decades. Not because they don’t know Firbolgs live in the Istrom Forest - the gentle creatures have been met with and seen plenty of times. But whenever someone wanders too close to the village, they find a set of arrows suddenly thudding into the ground at their feet. Those who don’t flee find the next few in their arm, or even chest.

The speed of the arrows makes it appear that there is a mass of Firbolgs devoted to guarding their village, but in truth there is only one: Leozeiros, an archer of incredible speed and skill. He has guarded his village single-handedly since he came of age, and the Firbolgs have enjoyed a period of incredible peace and growth as a result. They pity Leozeiros, who must steep his hands in occasional blood to keep the village safe, but they recognize the good he does for their culture. And he has yet to actually kill an intruder before they are scared off, though the day that might happen always haunts Leozeiros.

Paw of a Bear
Spell: Synaptic Static (XGtE pg. 167)
Paw of a Bear is the greatest warrior to Tabaxi clan of Lurking Storm has ever known. She has the ability to stun and even kill her enemies with the touch of her hand, earning her namesake. The clan has a legacy of great warriors acting as leaders and shamans, forming the upper social circles of the clan. Bear has little interest in leadership and guidance, preferring the thrill of the hunt and challenging herself against greater and greater opponents. This has lead to a de facto abstention of a “leader” within the clan: Everyone recognizes that Paw of a Bear could be the leader, but she chooses not to.

However, a new warrior is rising up the ranks of the clan, and her popularity has earned her more respect and admiration than Bear and the other leaders expected. Eclipse of the Moon fights using a unique weapon, a bowed spear, which allows her to avoid contact with an enemy, and has already reached the point where she could challenge Paw of a Bear if she wished to. However, Eclipse seems to be interested in milking her current position as long as possible to destabilize Bear’s influence in the clan before the actual challenge. Paw of a Bear isn’t interested in playing political games, and is itching to put young Eclipse in her place.

Again, please check out this great artist!
Next week: more fifth-level spells, and the first sixth-level spells!

Thanks for reading!

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