Racial Portals of Faerûn
By Ramon Arjona
The Red Wizards of Thay have been responsible for many atrocities throughout the course of their existence. Many of them show no restraint or remorse in their dealings with the foulest of extraplanar beings. Their only goal is the accrual of magical knowledge and the commensurate power, both political and economic, that will one day allow them to dominate the whole of Faerûn. They are unscrupulous and relentless in this pursuit, and they often sacrifice the lives of other sentient creatures without hesitation to gain the smallest advantage in their endless struggle for dominance.
Numerous portals are hidden throughout Thay, and some are known only to members of a particular magical school or to a certain cadre of allied mages. Several of these portals lead to other locations in Faerûn, while others reach outward to the farthest and foulest planes. These latter are often used by the Red Wizards as a ready means of commerce. The Red Wizards barter with demons, devils, and evil gods for greater knowledge and power. No price is too high, if the reward offered is great enough. Nevron, zulkir of Conjuration, is particularly interested in establishing and maintaining relationships with these evil beings. He invests much of his time in the study of demonology, and many suspect that he counts more than one powerful demon lord amongst his allies. The other zulkir would do well to watch Nevron carefully, because his study of the Outer Planes may one day lead him to the limitless power he seeks.
Using one such portal to the Outer Planes, the Red Wizards, under direction of the zulkir Nevron, conducted one of the most perverse and demented rites ever seen in the human lands of Toril. With powerful magic, they coaxed a demon lord through the portal -- though which demon lord this was, none can say. Then, sacrificing the blood of no less than twelve innocent victims, the Red Wizards proceeded to extract a portion of this demon's life essence and bind it into human flesh. From this unholy union resulted the tiefling twins, Oroleth and Udalamath.
Signs of their infernal parentage were already evident on their infant bodies at the time of their creation. Oroleth had unnaturally red skin. Udalamath had cloven hooves where his feet ought to have been, and he stank faintly of sulfur no matter how frequently his nurses bathed him. Both boys had small, goatlike horns above their eyebrows.
It was Nevron's intention that these twins would grow into the perfect assassins, loyal only to him, that he could use as twin blades in the darkness to eliminate his more stubborn opponents. With this goal in mind, the boys were given over to cruel tutors who instructed them in the arts of stealth and poison. Udalamath took to this gladly, and by the age of five he had murdered half a dozen of his nurses along with one careless instructor.
Oroleth, on the other hand, did not show the same enthusiasm. Perhaps it was some indomitable remnant of the mortal souls sacrificed in his creation. Perhaps it was because his demonic progenitor had not been a wholly willing participant in the ceremony that gave Oroleth birth. Whatever the cause, the young tiefling learned his lessons with as much aptitude, but with far less joy than his brother. His imagination was captured not by the prospect of slaughter from the shadows, but by the sight of the forests of the Thayan countryside visible outside his bedroom window.
Oroleth, using the training imparted to him by his tutors, slipped away under cover of darkness on a moonlit night. Pledging his devotion to the gods of nature, he sought to leave the way of the assassin and the lands of Thay far behind him. He fled into the far North, hoping to lose himself in the vast expanse of snow and ice. His flight, however, has been in vain -- for the Red Wizards have dispatched his brother with orders to hunt Oroleth down and destroy him. Nevron considers the boy a failure, and like most powerful wizards, the zulkir of Conjuration hates to leave a record of his failure.
Meanwhile, the portal that the Red Wizards used to create the twins remains somewhere on the island tharch of Alaor, and its exact location is known to Nevron himself and a handful of other conjurers. The portal is keyed, requiring the blood of at least a dozen sentient, lawful good creatures be emptied into a reservoir at its base before it will open. The portal opens into the Abyss near the stronghold of a particularly powerful demon lord. As such, only the most powerful or the most ignorant would risk opening it. Even with the proper blood sacrifice, the portal opens only once a month. Outsiders can pass through it freely, but only arcane spellcasters can use the portal to pass into the Abyss.
Oroleth: Male tiefling Rog 5/Drd 10; CR 16; Medium-size outsider; HD 5d6+10 plus 10d8+20; hp 92; Init +8; Spd 30 ft.; AC 17, touch 17, flat-footed 17; Atk +14/+9 melee (1d6+5, +2 frost quarterstaff); SA darkness, sneak attack +3d6; SQ animal companion, cold resistance 5, electricity resistance 5, evasion, fire resistance 5, nature sense, outsider traits, resist nature's lure, trackless step, traps, uncanny dodge (Dex bonus to AC), venom immunity, wild shape (Small, Medium-size, or Large animal 4/day), woodland stride; AL N; SV Fort +10, Ref +11, Will +11; Str 14, Dex 19, Con 14, Int 18, Wis 16, Cha 10.
Skills and Feats: Animal Empathy +15, Balance +12, Bluff +10, Climb +10, Concentration +20, Decipher Script +12, Diplomacy +2, Disable Device +12, Disguise +8, Escape Artist +12, Hide +26, Intimidate +10, Intuit Direction (Spot) +21, Knowledge (nature) +22, Listen +11, Move Silently +12, Use Magic Device +8, Wilderness Lore (Survival) +16; Empower Spell, Enlarge Spell, Extend Spell, Improved Initiative, Skill Focus (Animal Empathy), Skill Focus (Hide).
Darkness (Sp): Oroleth can use can use darkness once per day (caster level 15th).
Animal Companion: Oroleth may have one or more animal companions. This animal is one that he has befriended with the spell animal friendship. The total Hit Dice of all animal companions at a time may not exceed 10.
Evasion (Ex): If exposed to any effect that normally allows a character to attempt a Reflex saving throw for half damage, Oroleth takes no damage with a successful saving throw.
Nature Sense: Oroleth can identify plants and animals (their species and special traits) with perfect accuracy. He can determine whether water is safe to drink or dangerous.
Outsider Traits: Oroleth has darkvision (60-foot range). He cannot be raised or resurrected (though a wish or miracle spell can restore life).
Resist Nature's Lure: Oroleth gains a +4 bonus on saving throws against the spell-like abilities of fey (such as dryads, nymphs, and sprites).
Trackless Step: Oroleth leaves no trail in natural surroundings and cannot be tracked.
Venom Immunity: Oroleth is immune to all organic poisons, including monster poisons but not mineral poisons or poison gas.
Wild Shape (Sp): Oroleth can change into a Small, Medium-size, or Large animal and back again four times per day as per the polymorph self spell. Unlike the standard use of the spell, however, he may adopt only one form per use of the ability. Oroleth regains hit points as if he had rested for a day. He does not risk the standard penalty for being disoriented while in his wild shape. He gains all the creature's special abilities when he does so.
Woodland Stride: Oroleth may move through natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain at his normal speed and without suffering damage or other impairment. However, thorns, briars, and overgrown areas that are enchanted or magically manipulated to impede motion still affect him.
Druid Spells Prepared (6/5/5/4/3/2; save DC 13 + spell level): 0 -- create water, cure minor wounds (2), detect magic, light, read magic; 1st -- animal friendship, cure light wounds (2), faerie fire, goodberry; 2nd -- delay poison, heat metal, hold animal, speak with animals, summon nature's ally II; 3rd -- contagion, cure moderate wounds, protection from elements, summon nature's ally III; 4th -- reincarnate, repel vermin, summon nature's ally IV; 5th -- cure critical wounds, wall of thorns.
Possessions: +2 frost quarterstaff, cloak of elvenkind, Murlynd's spoon, +3 ring of protection, portable hole, 20 feet of rope, water.
How to Incorporate the Thayan Portal Into Your Champaign
- Udalamath, his demonic appearance disguised by magical and mundane means, attempts to enlist the PCs in the hunt for an evil druid who is plaguing the northlands. The druid, of course, is Oroleth, Udalamath's twin. The tiefling druid may try to expose his brother's lies but, being primarily interested in solitude and self-preservation, he does not hesitate to strike back against the PCs should they appear to be a credible threat to his life.
- Oroleth emerges from the High Ice, having learned that Nevron plans once again to employ the portal to create another pair of twin assassins. Fearing that this will give his evil progenitor an insurmountable advantage, Oroleth enlists the PCs in an attempt to thwart Nevron's plans and, if at all possible, destroy the portal.
- The PCs learn that the zulkir of Conjuration intends to use a portal to contact a powerful demon lord, with the goal of forging a military alliance and bringing a demonic army into Faerûn. To avoid this catastrophe, the PCs must first find the location of the portal. To learn the location of the portal, they must find Oroleth in the Northlands and persuade him that it is in his interest, and the interest of the natural world, to thwart Nevron's plan.