Saturday, November 5, 2016

Sea Princes Campaign: NPC Portraits

Well met, friends of Greyhawk. I've been struggling to come up with good posts lately then realized I have a wealth of art to show off from my current Five Shall Be One/Howl From the South campaign. While I don't serialize my game nights anymore, I do have some wonderful art to go along with it such as my player character portraits from last time. Today you'll get to see some pivotal NPCs from my game. Some are canon, others developed purely out of game play. Enjoy!

Mallon the half-elf mage is a character from the original Five Shall Be One module by Carl Sargent. He kind of gets things rolling in the quest for the five swords. In the original he is the apprentice of Karasten Meldraith an old wizard who lives on the coast of White Fanged Bay. In my Sea Princes remake, Mallon serves the deep-sea archmage Drawmij. Either way, he is quiet, nerdy and generally useless to the predominantly sailor crew unless something needs to be detected or identified. The pirate characters tolerate him because he too is marked by the "black spot", a curse that forces them to find the Blades of Corusk.

Ogie the Ogre was a surprise addition to the adventuring crew. This ogre was supposed to be a disposable brute serving a hag in the Amedio Jungle in the earliest parts of my FSBO. If it hadn't been for a clever use of a charm spell by the bard Ogie would be deceased like his cousins. Instead, the PCs took me by surprise and actually befriended the big lug, using him on their ship as manual labor and intimidation; paying him in copious amounts of food and shiny trinkets. Never has an ogre been treated better in a D&D campaign. Ogie slowly has evolved from a jungle monster to a credible citizen of the Sea Princes. I cannot wait to see what direction he takes after the quest.

Archmage Drawmij is of course the well-known member of the Circle of Eight. His role in my remake is a replacement for Karasten, namely the wise sage who informs and directs the PCs on their quest for the five swords. Drawmij and his undersea lair also was a serendipitous choice for I replaced the orc mountain city of Garel Enkdal with a deep sea trench city of sahuagin. Using nautical and undersea elements in this campaign has been a blast and Drawmij is an NPC that I've always admired but could never capitalize on properly until now.

Captain Kendrick of Blue is one of those random NPCs that somehow hits it off with players (in more ways than one) and thus becomes a recurring ally in their ongoing quest. Kendrick is a pirate lord who technically works under the vile Slave Lords of the Pomarj, but he is too honorable for slaving, instead choosing to prey on Aerdian vessels. His charismatic characterization has given him greater influence in my story as it's unfolded. Kendrick has gone from a encounter to pirate fleet captain in mere game months.

Admiral Arn Scornblade is main antagonist of the over-arcing plot of my campaign though the PCs have never met him (besides Sabriel in a dream). Most of the villains of this series have been dispatched easily from a Shadow Dragon to Sahuagin Princes to opposing pirate captains. Admiral Scornblade is like the Emperor in Star Wars, he is the ominous BBEG at the end of a quest. He controls the Aerdian armada that is creating a war on the Azure Sea. This backdrop of war has been hinted at and only recently felt by the players who have been too busy collecting swords. The ultimate goal however, is uniting the pirate factions into their own armada to help the Iron League take down Scornblade and his invincible metal plated "Ship of Battle" the Tyrannic.
Not only does Arn have a navy, he is also a High Priest of Hextor which makes him doubly dangerous. His visions and divine guidance may make the climax of this two-part campaign more than the PCs can handle even with five artifact swords!

More next time!

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