Realms Personalities : Ryld Argith, Master of Melee-Magthere

Dragon #312

Raised in the squalor of Menzoberranzan's worst neighborhoods, Ryld Argith was born to fight. Abandoned by his mother to the nonexistent mercy of Braeryn's streets, he learned early to rely on wits, stealth, and speed to make his way in the world. Ryld grew into a strapping young cutthroat with a reputation as a lightning-quick brawler. By his twentieth birthday, he had survived a half-dozen knife-fights and was well on his way to becoming a callous thug or killer for hire.

Ryld might never have left the wretchedness of Stenchstreets were it not for a chance meeting with Szarr'tham Ilplarl, the weapons master of a minor merchant House. While drunk, one of Szarr'tham's students started a brawl that ended with his death at Ryld's hands, and Szarr'tham came looking for the slayer of his kinsman a few days later. He gave the young drow his first real lesson in swordplay, but in the process of cutting him to pieces, Szarr'tham recognized a glimmer of true potential in the youth. So instead of killing him, the Ilplarl Weapons Master dragged Ryld to Tier-Breche and enrolled him in the fighter's school of Melee-Magthere. Szarr'tham might have intended to take Ryld into his House's service after the youth completed his training at the Academy, or the elder drow might have simply been moved to make sure a young talent did not go to waste. Whatever the reason for Szarr'tham's action, however, Ryld never saw him again - the weapons master died in a House feud a few months later.

Wild, unschooled, and unmannered, Ryld began his studies with nothing more than natural strength, quickness, and a sort of feral cunning in his favor, but the discipline of the blade instantly captivated the young drow. Ryld threw himself into his studies with single-minded determination and quickly became one of the top students in his class. After ten years, when most of the students had concluded their studies and returned to their Houses to put their swords at the service of their matrons, Ryld simply remained at Melee-Magthere and continued to study, since he had no home worth returning to. Eventually, he left the Academy to take up service in some of the hardest mercenary companies and merchant Houses of the city. For the next several decades, he roamed throughout the Underdark, honing his skills in the service of others.

In time, Ryld returned to Menzoberranzan and Tier-Breche and won a place as a Master of the school in which he had learned his bladework. During this time, he made the acquaintance of Pharaun Mizzrym, the Master of Sorcere. The two became close comrades and shared many dark adventures.

Ryld is tall and broadly built for an elf (let alone a male drow), and he keeps his hair cropped close to his skull. Compared to the noble-born drow of the city, he is dour, pragmatic, and simple in both clothing and manners. He favors heavier weapons and armor than those most drow would choose, and he owns a deadly magic greatsword called Splitter that he can wield with the quickness and grace of a born duelist.

Ryld Argith: Male drow Rog2/Ftr15; CR 18; Medium humanoid (elf); HD 2d6+10 plus 15d10+75 hp 174; Init +8; Spd 30 ft.; AC 28, touch 14, flat-footed 24; Base Atk +16; Grp +24; Atk +31 melee (2d6+19/17-20, Splitter) or +27 melee (1d6+11/19-20, +3 ghost touch short sword) or +23 ranged (1d8+3/19-20, +2 light crossbow with +3 bolts); Full Atk +31/+26/+21/+16 melee (2d6+19/17-20, Splitter) or +27/+22/+17/+12 melee (1d6+11/19-20, +3 ghost touch short sword) or +23 ranged (1d8+3/19-20, +2 light crossbow with +3 bolts); SA sneak attack +1d6, spell-like abilities; SQ darkvision 120 ft., drow traits, evasion, spell resistance 28, trapfinding; AL CN; SV Fort +18, Ref +16, Will +11; Str 26, Dex 18, Con 21, Int 16, Wis 11, Cha 12.

Skills and Feats: Appraise (armor) +5, Balance +9, Climb +18, Craft (armorsmithing) +11, Diplomacy +3, Gather Information +6, Handle Animal +5, Heal +4, Hide +19, Intimidate +6, Jump +23, Listen +9, Move Silently +14, Ride +14, Search +10, Sense Motive +5, Spot +17, Swim +14; Blind-Fight, Cleave, Combat Expertise, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Greater Weapon Focus (greatsword), Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Mobility, Power Attack, Spring Attack, Weapon Focus (greatsword), Weapon Specialization (greatsword), Whirlwind Attack.

Spell-Like Abilities: 1/day - dancing lights, darkness, faerie fire. Caster level 17th.

Drow Traits: Ryld is immune to magic sleep spells and effects. He gains a +2 racial bonus on saves against enchantment spells or effects, a +2 racial bonus on Will saves against spells or spell-like abilities, and a +2 racial bonus on Listen, Spot, and Search checks (already figured into the statistics given above). He is entitled to a Search check when within 5 feet of a secret or concealed door as though actively looking for it. As a drow, Ryld also has light blindness (blinded for 1 round by abrupt exposure to bright light; dazzled on each subsequent round that he remains in bright light).

Evasion (Ex): If exposed to any effect that normally allows a character to attempt a Reflex saving throw for half damage, Ryld takes no damage with a successful saving throw.

Languages Known: Common, Drow Sign Language, Elven, Goblin, Undercommon.

Possessions: Splitter(+5 keen superior dispelling greatsword), +3 ghost touch short sword, +2 light crossbow, 50 +3 bolts, +5 mithral breastplate of lightning resistance and silent moves, piwafwi of resistance +4, master's ring, belt of giant strength +6, gauntlets of Dexterity +4, boots of speed, drow house insignia, portable hole, backpack, bedroll, and routine supplies.

Ryld's Unique Items

While Ryld does not have the resources and treasures of a great House at his disposal, he has acquired a number of interesting and unique items during the course of his adventures.

Master's Ring: The most talented and capable masters of Melee-Magthere aspire to win one of these greatly prized rings. Wrought in the pattern of a small twisting dragon, a master's ring provides a +6 enhancement bonus to Constitution and +4 natural armor bonus. Furthermore, the wearer is continuously under the effect of a longstrider spell, which increases his base land speed by 10 feet.

Strong transmutation; CL 13th; Forge Ring, bear's endurance, limited wish, longstrider; Price 102,000 gp.

Piwafwi of Resistance +4: This black cloak grants the wearer a +4 resistance bonus on all saving throws and a +10 bonus on Hide checks.

Strong abjuration and illusion; CL 12th; Craft Wondrous Item, invisibility, resistance; Price 20,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.

Superior Dispelling: A superior dispelling weapon allows the wielder to use dispel magic as a standard action in a 5-foot radius centered on the wielder (caster level equals wielder's character level). The item grants only the use of the area dispel function of the spell, not the targeted dispel or counterspell functions.

Moderate abjuration; CL 11th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, greater dispel magic; Price +3 bonus.

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