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NPCsby John Calvin
Elder Conclave Part I
Member of Elder Conclave
Head of Yardrak Clan
History: Born in 2643 BC, Aynmegk was an infant when his family began their migration from Skothar. Promised to Orcus from birth, the Yardrak spent his youth performing greater and greater abominations in order to appease his patron. When he was old enough he left his family and settled in the northlands across the Bridge of Oost, where he became obsessed the concept of eternal life and postponing the journey to his demonic patron. Despite that obsession Aynmegk was determined to hedge his bets, and began building up a force that would please the Black Prince. Constant attacks by giant barbarians and their elven allies frustrated him to no end, and on several occasions he was almost forced to abandon his estate.
In 2467 BC the Moadreg were in turmoil. Besieged on multiple fronts by their enemies, the dwarves and their allies were ready to fall. Aynmegk usurped control of the clan from Undwyr Yardrak (a distant cousin of his), sacrificed the former patron, and consolidated an army of dwarves and demons to lead against the giant attackers. When Dranwyrf united several of the major houses, Aynmegk threw in his support, and the dwarves were finally able to secure a home.
Personality: Shifty and paranoid, Aynmegk is always looking over his shoulder, or rather down at his feet. He is convinced that something is trying to grab him and "take him away." In private he often falls into screaming bouts and claws at unseen attackers grasping at his ankles. The only thing that can calm him in one of these states is to sacrifice a sentient being to his patron Orcus. Despite this seeming madness, Aynmegk is an expert bargainer and leads Clan Yardrak through guile and deception. His avarice might be matched only by that of Engdyr Heldfyst, with whom he has a great rivalry.
Appearance: Aynmegk is old and shrivelled, though the Wasting does not appear to have taken hold of him. His hair and beard, both long and unbraided, are stark white. His dark eyes are sunken and surrounded by grey skin, an obvious sign that Aynmegk gets little sleep. The old dwarf always wears fastidious robes, lighter and more free flowing than is the Moadreg norm, although all of his clothes are torn and frayed around the legs and feet, and his legs are more often than not a bloody mess of tares and scratches.
DMing Notes: A master of the dark arts, Aynmegk is accustomed to the use of intimidation and threats in order to get what he wants. Like most Yardrak, Aynmegk is much more social than the rest of his kin, and can call on any number of relatives and servants (both mundane and abyssal) when in need. Although he may be willing to help the PCs on occasion, anything that he touches ultimately ends up on Orcus' sacrificial table.
Head of Felweg Clan
History: Much of Dranwyrf's early life was spent fighting wars with giant kin and elves to the north and east. Trained as a Radiomancer, his skills proved useful in the struggles, but it was apparent to him that the dwarves were fighting a loosing battle. Each house lead their own forces, and rarely did they coordinate their efforts. Despite being barbarians, the elves and giants worked together. On the brink of defeat, Dranwyrf brought several houses together and was able to push back their attackers. After this the dwarves recognised the importance of having a single leader (at least with regard to outside forces) and named Dranwyrf First Elder, a term translated by many outsiders to be king.
In recent years he has secretly converted to the faith of Kagyar, though if the rest of the Conclave discovered this fact they would certainly remove him and have him summarily executed as a menace.
Personality: An aberration among his kind, Dranwyrf truly cares for the fate of his people. Though just as reclusive as his peers he works tirelessly to ensure the continued existence of the Shimmering Lands and its people. Dranwyrf's expression is always stolid and unreadable, a fact that he attributes to his constant commune with Kagyar. When in solitude, the old dwarf often looses his own sense of identity and thinks of himself as a direct extension of his immortal patron.
Appearance: Small and shrivelled, Dranwyrf has been nearly crippled by his use of the Radiance throughout the years. Both of his legs are crippled by the Wasting disease, as well as one arm and much of his face. Heavy robes cover these deformities and the aged dwarf uses a spider like construct to help him move. Soon he will be ready to leave the useless husk that has become his body, when he completes the process of becoming a soulbound and transfers his soul into a construct body of solid stone.
DMing Notes: Dranwyrf often works behind the scenes, promoting adventurers and visionaries who will work for the ultimate good of his people. He is secretly a priest of Kagyar and siphons funds and resources to the Way of the Stone whenever he can. The closer he gets to becoming a soulbound, the more fanatical and reckless he becomes in his beliefs. Eventually Dranwryf will be transformed into the undying servant of Kagyar known as Denwarf Dwarffather and will return to his people over the eons to guide them when needed most.
Member of Elder Conclave
Head of House Gyrbain
History: In 2419 BC, at the age of 23, Gherihk was apprenticed into the Controller's Guild and indoctrinated into the Cult of Dominion. He was a natural at his craft and spent several decades in the northlands skirmishing with tribes of barbarian giants. When the ashen clouds of Vulcania blotted out the sky in 2408, Gherihk came into his own. An expert at finding giant communities struggling in the wake of the disaster, he would infiltrate them and systematically destroy them from within, always dominating key members of the tribe and using them to slaughter their own people.
After returning from the northern campaigns, Gherihk rose in power quickly, both within the Cult of Dominion and the Controller's Guild. He enacted training programs to teach hopefuls his techniques on giant slaying, organised several slave rings that supply demands from Demhyeld in the north, to Isshum, and Colhador. In 2323 BC, upon the death of Stabon Feghwyl, he was named the youngest member of the Elder Conclave at the age of 119.
Personality: Gherihk appears to enjoy the company of others, dwarf and non-dwarf alike, although his demeanour and strange appearance tend to put others off rather quickly. He enjoys intrigue, although his schemes are rarely complex and never subtle. Gherihk prefers the act of forcing his will upon others rather than going through the tedium of covert manipulation.
Appearance: No one ever sees Gherihk's limbs, though movement is often visible beneath the heavy robes that cover his girth. Those portions of his body that can be seen appear completely normal, as if the Wasting has bypassed Gherihk completely. Younger than most in the Conclave, he still sports a full, braided jet black beard and hair. When he speaks, his voice is like gravel being smashed on an anvil, and he often emits gurgled croaks in mid sentence.
DMing Notes: A master of mind control, and devout follower of Slizzark, Gherihk is a force to be reckoned with, and not one to be overlooked. His estate near Qifhyeld on the southern shores of Oost serves as the base for a vast slave ring and a safe haven for alien entities and servitors of long abandoned gods. Slizzark herself has sent several kopru to advise and serve him and rumours are that many of the slaves he captures see the insides of his workshop where their flesh and minds are warped into horrors best not named.
Member of Elder Conclave
Head of House Heldfyst
History: Born just before the dwarves settled in the area, Engdyr has always called the Shimmering Lands home. He served the radiomancers at the Gate of Light for several centuries, living an insulated life free of worries while many of his compatriots faced extinction at the hands of giants and worse. He quickly rose through the ranks when several of his superiors disappeared and were never heard from again. As the Radiomancer Guild's chapter head, Engdyr played an instrumental role in completing that artifact and was soon after awarded a seat on the Elder Conclave.
With the onset of age Engdyr feels the need for increasing isolation. He takes great solace from the teachings of Zugzul and since his elevation to the Conclave in 2319, he has used his position of considerable power to influence the Shimmering Lands into eradicating as much of the surrounding vermin as it can. Although he would much rather spend his life in solitude studying on his estate, Engdyr finds it very hard to concentrate knowing that the world is crawling with other sentient beings.
Personality: Engdyr Heldfyst is a xenophobe who can hardly tolerate his own kind, much less any of the other races he has dealings with. Most of his servants are constructs and soulbound. Although he will employ other sentients for specific tasks, he considers them all to be fodder and much prefers a clean end to any operation, one where all concerned are permanently silenced, to one in which his pawns survive. His fiery temper is legendary, and usually results in him smashing something with his obsidian arm.
Appearance: White hair framed by bright orange streaks frame Engdyr's head, or would if it were not falling out in clumps. His beard is so far gone that he has taken to shaving his face, just to clean up the few remaining rough patches that dot its surface. Bringing attention to this fact is guaranteed to attract Engdyr's wrath. Withered from the Wasting, he has replaced his right arm with that of a golem's made of shiny black obsidian and covered in glowing blue runes. When he must go out among others, Engdyr dons heavy armour decorated with the symbols and designs of Zugzul prominently displayed, but when in the privacy of his own estate, he prefers simple robes in reds and oranges.
DMing Notes: So many years of working so closely with the radiance have taken a heavy toll on Engdyr's mind. He simply can not abide that other thinking creatures are alive (and so near to him). In the clergy of Zugzul he sees a powerful tool that can be used to help him solve his problems, however for Engdyr this is a backup plan at best. Using his intimate knowledge of the Gate of Light, he plans to turn that artifact into a weapon that will wipe out all life in the region... although he has never once considered what would happen to himself should he succeed.