Elminster Speaks

(Part #13 : A Dark Heart to Lead Voonlar

Most Voonlarrans fear and obey the clergy of Cyric, and some even regard worship of the Dark Sun as a road to power. Nevertheless, they have the infuriating habit of referring to the Lord of Three Crowns as "Lord Bane." Gossip (which travels swiftly to Cyricist ears) includes reminiscences about the "good old dark days" when the Banites up at The Dark Lord's Hand, as the temple was then known, "really knew how to be proper tyrants . . . not clumsy brutes, like this lot. Silken menace, and not shouting and the clumsy bludgeon."

Such talk is both infuriatingly accurate and almost inevitable, given the arrogance of the master of The Dark God Reformed, who's openly disdainful of folk of Voonlar, whom he refers to simply as "the common rabble" or to distinguish them from rabble elsewhere, "the local filth." At the same time as he delivers himself of such unflattering forms of address for others, Dark Patriarch Gormstadd the Rerisen likes to be himself addressed as "Most Dread Holy."

A lawful evil human cleric who rose to be the head of The Dark Lord's Hand over the bodies of his betrayed superiors, Gormstadd is a brawny man with a small, narrow face and two flint-hard eyes. He has thick brown hair all over his body, brown eyes so dark as to appear almost black, and thick eyebrows that meet in a severe bar across his face when drawn down in anger.

No stranger to rough-and-tumble fighting, the tripwire and "accidental" fall down long stairs for rivals, and even the false rumor or fake incriminating-of-rivals letter, Gormstadd enjoys several interests. He likes his wines (the ambitious are warned that he can recognize many poisons by taste, and has built up a resistance to most of them by selectively poisoning himself with very small doses). He also enjoys the policies of his new faith involving dealing heavily and enthusiastically, in falsehoods, and the feeling of power he gets when he walks among folk who fear him too greatly to ever lift a hand against him, even when goaded.

Gormstadd has a very good memory for tastes, smells, and faces, but is terrible at names, dates, amounts, and the wordings of specific agreements--about all of which he keeps copious notes, trusting in no scribe or assistant. He also has an eye for muscular women, and dreams of siring a family of warrior-maids who will glory in the service of the Dark Sun, and win him such favor in the eyes of Cyric as to be granted immortality and special powers as a trusted servant. Thus far, however, Gormstadd hasn't found a worthy mate who'll consent to his advances . . . and he doubts an unwilling consort will be acceptable to the Dark Sun.

In the meantime, until his eye should fall on the right woman, Gormstadd fills his days with indulging his cruelties on those unable to defend themselves, enjoying wine and seized riches, spreading fear and the dark influence of the temple, and spying on neighboring rulers and rival Cyricists. He'll steal any wealth and valuable non-perishable goods he thinks he can get away with (entire wagons have disappeared from encampments within reach of the temple), and try any dastardly deed that he can blame on someone else.


Gormstadd, Strifeleader of Voonlar
Male human, 10th-level Cleric of Cyric
Str 14, Dex 11, Con 15, Int 14, Wis 18, Cha 13
Fort +9, Ref +3, Will +11
AC: 26 (+3 Full Plate of Blending, +3 Large, Steel Sheild)
HP: 64
Melee Attack: +11/+6 (+2 longsword, nine lives stealer)
Damage: 1d8+2

Special Abilities: +1 on saves vs. illusion or phantasm, can cast black talon once/day, can summon an aerial servant that will fight for him, can create a dark aura or skull of secrets once/day, can cast phantasmal killer once/tenday.

Skills: Concentration +13, Diplomacy +13, Knowledge (arcana) +13, Knowledge (religion) +13, Spellcraft +13

Feats: Brew Potion, Craft Wand, Craft Wondrous Item, Silent Spell, Spell Penetration

Spells: 6/5+1/5+1/4+1/4+1/2+1 (spells listed after the + cannot be swapped out for healing spells): 0-level: cure minor wounds, detect magic, guidance, inflict minor wounds, resistance, 1st-level bane, cause fear, command, cure light wounds, detect good, doom, + protection from good, 2nd-level: aid, bull's strength, hold person (x2), spiritual weapon, + desecrate; 3rd-level: dispel magic, prayer, protection searing light, speak with dead, +magic circle against good; 4th-level: cure critical wounds, divine power, freedom of movement, spell immunity, +unholy blight; 5th-flame strike, insect plague, +dispel good.

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