Fey-pact Warlock / Bard
====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ====== Marid, level 8 Tiefling, Warlock Eldritch Blast: Eldritch Blast Charisma Eldritch Pact: Fey Pact Background: Occupation – Scholar
FINAL ABILITY SCORES Str 10, Con 15, Dex 10, Int 18, Wis 11, Cha 20.
STARTING ABILITY SCORES Str 10, Con 15, Dex 10, Int 14, Wis 11, Cha 16.
AC: 22 Fort: 19 Reflex: 21 Will: 23 HP: 62 Surges: 8 Surge Value: 15
TRAINED SKILLS History +13, Insight +9, Intimidate +14, Bluff +16, Arcana +13, Stealth +11, Diplomacy +14
UNTRAINED SKILLS Acrobatics +4, Dungeoneering +4, Endurance +6, Heal +4, Nature +4, Perception +4, Religion +8, Streetwise +9, Thievery +4, Athletics +4
FEATS Bardic Ritualist: Ritual Caster Level 1: Bardic Ritualist Level 2: Sacrifice to Caiphon Level 4: Skill Training (Stealth) Level 6: Scion of the Gods Level 8: Skill Training (Diplomacy)
POWERS Eldritch Blast: Eldritch Blast Warlock encounter 1: Darkworm Feast Warlock daily 1: Curse of the Dark Dream Warlock utility 2: Ethereal Stride Warlock encounter 3: Otherwind Stride Warlock daily 5: Crackling Fire Warlock utility 6: Fey Switch Warlock encounter 7: Mire the Mind
ITEMS Adventurer’s Kit, Ritual Book, Fine Clothing, Alchemical Reagents (Arcana) (200), Pact Blade Dagger +1, Bloodcurse Rod +1, Mac-Fuirmidh Cittern +1, Cloak of the Walking Wounded +2, Shadow Warlock Leather Armor +2 RITUALS Comprehend Language, Glib Limerick, Silence, Lullaby, Call of Friendship, Enchant Magic Item, Traveler’s Chant, Sending ====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======
Marid the Tiefling: a (very) short bio.
Marid is a travelling scholar from the country of Sarldom, homeland of the Tieflings. Although he came from a wealthy family, he felt that he had little chance of inheriting, so he left home and came north to study the history of Farlanthia. He differs from most Tieflings in Farlanthia in that he’s a ‘first generation’ immigrant who’s barely begun to adjust to life in the North.
Marid still has the outlook and attitude of a Sarldom native, which means he quite naturally looks down on anyone who’s not from Sarldom! However, he’s usually tactful enough not to let his arrogance show. It might sound as if he’s a two-faced scoundrel, but in Sarldom that’s considered normal, maybe even virtuous. And fortunately, the longer he’s away from the people of his home country, the less he seems like one of them. Marid might consider people of the North to be only half-civilized, uncultured and uncouth, but at least now he admits they aren’t actually evil. And he’s even decided that he likes a few of them.
Marid often affects the appearance of a well-to-do scholar, but he is quite capable of defending himself, having learned fey magic at some point during his studies. However, he doesn’t really like drawing attention to the fact that he’s a warlock. Angry mobs with pitchforks are a serious nuisance, and while their torches don’t actually hurt him, they do tend to damage his wardrobe.
When I find I have little to do
I’ll oft write a limerick or two
But if that doesn’t please
Then get down on your knees
And beg me to write a haiku
(The above information was available to the other PC’s at the beginning of the campaign. The following story is his “real” background, which came to light when the Autumn Queen ‘outed’ him in front of the entire group as “Bastard Prince of the Spire.”)
MARID’S TRUE STORY: The Tiefling’s Tale
My mother was a harlot.
Oh, don’t look so scandalized! Lots of harlots have children. Inshirah was no street-walker, but a harem slave in the Obsidian Spire of Lord King Yorath, who brought to our unfortunate land the benevolent rule of High Queen Lyssa the Conquerer. Many times since leaving the Citadel have I heard legends of how Queen Lyssa brought enlightment to all the Kingdoms of the World. Her vassal Yorath brought little to my country but ruthlessness and deceit, and subjugated our people in her name.
Yorath made no secret of the fact that he hated ruling the land of the ‘sand people’ as he called us, and spent much of our taxes to make the Citadel more comfortable for himself by building elaborate gardens and arboretums filled with plants and trees of his northern homeland. It was a strange place for a Tiefling child, but for reasons I wouldn’t understand until I was much older, I could never leave the Spire.
Lord King Fionngall was the 37th in Yorath’s line, and the third since the High Queen’s Enchantment. Some say the Lord Kings of the Spire have been given to excess and depravity only after the loss of their Queen – others say they have always been thus. Fionngall gives me reason to believe the former, for how could 2,000 years of rulers like himself be endured? I suppose I shouldn’t judge him too harshly. In his harem, he favored my mother greatly for some years, and during those years I was born. He was my father.
For this reason, I grew up in the Obsidian Spire, and never left its walls, for my people would gladly have torn any of the Lord King’s offspring limb from limb. Not that he would have cared; Fionngall knew that no Tiefling would ever sit on his throne. No human slave in his harem was ever allowed to keep a child, for fear they might be a threat to his heirs. But the man had exotic tastes, and sired children by Tieflings, Elves, and other strange peoples. He once tried to enslave a Shadar-Kai woman with a magic choker which kept her from vanishing – she nearly killed him in his bed. (I digress.) So the harem creche was filled with all manner of half-breeds, except for me. The blood of Gedjik runs true, and I was born a Tiefling like my mother. I was no half-breed, and the others hated me. Especially Lucan.
Lucan was a Half-Elf, and Inshirah told me his mother was Fionngall’s favorite before she was brought to him. The Elfin lady was enraged at having been displaced, but helpless to strike back at anyone, until I came along. She poisoned her son against me when we were still but children, and he took revenge against me. So on behalf of our mothers, we fought often, and fiercely—once he managed to chip one of my horns. I still have the broken tip tucked in my belt. As we grew older, however, our maneuvers against each other gained subtlety, and became far deadlier.
As I reached manhood, it was decided that I should do something with myself, in the service of the Lord King. Most of his ‘undesirable’ children were trained as assassins, scouts or spies, given that they were expendable to him. And I too, was to be trained as an assassin. Mother knew this, and didn’t wish for me to meet a bad end. (How ironic!) Inshirah had been my teacher for many years, and she told Fionngall I had a quick mind. Could I not be of some assistance to his librarians and lore-masters? The King found this suggestion odd, but reluctantly agreed to her request, on the condition that I never study anything dangerous, such as arcane lore.
I swore an oath of loyalty to Lord King Fionngall, and became his junior-most lore-master. I spent my days in the Spire’s massive library, amid the accumulated knowledge – and dust! – of two millennia. There was so much to learn! Sometimes I felt as if my mind was being swept away by a flood. I learned as much as I could, mostly regarding the history of the Northern Kingdoms and High Queen. But the books were full of empty platitudes from the North – knowledge is power – truth will set you free – and no matter how much I learned, I knew the truth was that I would remain here, a slave.
The King’s lore-masters had been cautioned that I was not to be taught any arcane lore, but some were more careful than others to keep such things from me. The wisest of the old sages never slipped – it was as if not a scrap of arcane knowledge existed anywhere in the library! But the others weren’t as clever; their desire to keep me away from certain parts of the library was too obvious. And I was so useful...if an aged librarian had a stack of heavy tomes, I was always there to help carry them. Late in the evening, it hardly mattered to a tired old man if I wasn’t supposed to read something. After all, I was just helping out with the shelving so we could all get some much-needed rest….
A few tomes on the mystic arts came into my possession that way, with no one the wiser. But it was frustrating, lacking a proper instructor, and worse yet, many of the most important arcane volumes were in Elvish, which I did not read. I was going to need help. There was no one in the library I could trust. Lucan spoke Elvish, and could read, as well. But he’d surely report my treason. I would have to find someone else, but who? I spent several fruitless months mulling over the problem, getting nowhere. I resigned to learning Elvish the hard way, teaching myself, which I expected would take years. And then one day, an Elf walked into the library.
She was dressed in the livery of kitchen staff, most likely a slave like most non-humans here, including myself. She looked to be of the Norwood, if I had to guess—perhaps a captured scout who had been put to work here instead of killed for spying. Now she had been given the task of delivering cold meat to those of us too busy to visit the dining hall at the appointed hour. Her passage through the library created a stir among the younger staff, who in turn drew sharp looks from the older staff and got back to work. I made it my business to have a word with her before she returned to the kitchen.
“You there…” I spoke quietly in perfect Farlanthian. ”...I’ll be studying very late tonite. Please bring up another tray in six hours or so, if you would.”
She nodded. “Midnight? Food for how many?” Her speech was thickly accented, definitely from the Norwood.
“Just one, thank you. I like to study alone. Or two, if you’re feeling hungry.” I smiled, just a little.
Her eyes narrowed. For a slave, meeting someone alone at midnight usually meant only one thing… “Very well.” I do believe she had every intention of killing me if I tried anything.
I waited. Just before the stroke of midnight, as I sat reading Madrigand’s Lament, she appeared again, both beautiful and fierce, even in the livery of a kitchen wench. I asked her name as she laid the tray of cold cuts and cheese next to my book.
She stepped behind my chair, reading over my shoulder for a moment as she answered me. “Cerridwyn.”
I nodded, then turned around to face her. “Cerridwyn…that’s fitting for one so beautiful. I’d have thought the Lord King would have one as lovely as you sent to his harem, not his kitchen.”
Her eyes never left mine, but I sensed the movement of her hand to my neck. Her next words came as a soft hiss in my ear. “I’m not in the harem because the Lord King’s men…I’m sorry, his surviving men...told him of my skill with knives. I know you, Malik.”
I looked down, and saw my own blade in Cerridwyn’s hand, pressed to my throat. She’d slipped it out of my belt with me none the wiser. Time to change the subject, quickly…”Do you like poetry, Cerridwyn?”
The knife dropped, ever so slightly. “Excuse me?” She sounded genuinely confused.
Deliberately, I spoke in casual tones. “You can either kill me, or sit down and read with me. This is the library, remember?”
Rather than admit she’d had the wrong idea, Cerridwyn simply changed her mind and took a seat, conveniently forgetting to return my knife, just in case. “And what exactly will I be permitted to read, my lord Malik?” She still didn’t trust me.
From the folds of my robe I produced a smallish text and handed it carefully to her across the table. “I don’t read Elvish, but I think it’s Norwood Elfin poetry, from the Third Age if I’m not mistaken. Consider it a gift…just don’t get caught with it, or we’ll both be flogged.”
She took hold of the book, looked over the first few pages appraisingly. Her eyes went wide as she read, a small gasp escaped her lips, and Cerridwyn actually blushed. (Never before or since have I ever seen such a sight!) She closed it and looked across the table at me suspiciously. “I suppose you expect me to compensate you for this somehow?”
I nodded and smiled. “Of course.”
“I knew it!” She hissed. Cerridwyn looked as if she were about to hurl the priceless book right back in my face.
I leaned towards her and shook my head, speaking ever more quietly. “Read it to me, Cerridwyn.”
“What?” Twice in as many minutes I had gotten her hopelessly confused. You may be very good indeed with knives, but are all Elves this dense, my dear?
“I want to learn to read Elvish, from a native speaker. Teach me.”
“And why, exactly, would I do any such thing, Malik?”
“Because you wish to return to the Norwood, Cerridwyn. We’re both trapped here. Now, will you trust me?”
She glanced at the book for a moment. It was true – if she were caught with it, she had only to tell the guards who gave it to her, and I’d be in a world of trouble. Then she smiled. “For the moment. I’ll be back tomorrow night.”
I returned to my quarters and dreamt of freedom. And of Cerridwyn.
The following day, I ran into Lucan on my way to the library. He made it seem like a chance meeting, but between us, there are no coincidences. He grinned at me smugly. “It had to happen eventually, Malik…I’m so sorry.” He stopped and shook his head in mock sadness.
“Excuse me….” I spoke in Sarl. Excuse me has several possible meanings, most of them highly insulting. He pretended not to notice what inflection I had just used.
“Your mother…she’s been, shall we say, displaced. No longer the King’s favorite. Oh, don’t worry; she’ll be well looked after…as long as you stay out of trouble.” He paused a moment, waiting for my reaction. I gave him nothing. Then he turned on his heel and strode proudly away without another word, as if he cared not a whit.
Time was running out. I was a quick study, but Cerridwyn wasn’t trained as a teacher. We muddled through the book I’d given her in a fortnight. I must say having an Elven maid reading me poetry isn’t the worst way to spend an evening! But then we had to start on more serious arcane subjects, and things got more difficult. Cerridwyn grew impatient with me at times. One evening, about a month later, she was quite late, and I began to think she had given up on me. Then she came stalking into the library, disheveled and winded. It looked she might have been crying, a little. I asked what had happened.
“Your friend Lucan…seems to think himself irresistable to elvenkind. Now he knows otherwise.” She smiled grimly.
I reached out to steady her. “Cerridwyn…did he follow you?”
She shook her head. “I left him on the floor. He wasn’t badly hurt….”
At that moment, Lucan stormed into the library, (mussed up worse than Cerridwyn!) and saw us together, me holding her. “You little...oh!” He stopped in his tracks, his rage giving way to jealousy for a moment, then quickly turning to glee when he realized what was really going on. “Well…this is interesting, Malik.” Lucan glanced at the table, stacked with tomes of elvish arcana, and pretended not to understand. I’ve never seen such a smug, evil leer. “A Tiefling and an Elf…disgusting!” The two of us should have overpowered him and killed him right then and there, but we were too shocked. He turned and left, laughing as he went.
Cerridwyn and I decided not to study that night. We simply comforted each other, and somehow managed to convince ourselves we weren’t disgusting.
The next day, Lucan found me in the library again. He was completely calm, the picture of civility. This did not bode well. “Father would like a word with you.”
The Lord King seldom spoke with any of his ‘other’ children – the only one he acknowledged was his True Son and heir, Toiraenn. For the King to summon me surely meant that I was in trouble. But he sent no guards to apprehend me – only Lucan to deliver the message. So it was most likely bad news, but he was not yet angry with me.
I was shown to Fionngall’s private chamber, not the Royal audience chamber. He sat by the cold fireplace, his men-at-arms standing by silently, discreetly. He bade me sit, offered me a drink. He seemed to be sad about something….
“My boy, we both suffered a terrible loss this past evening…Inshirah is no longer with us.” He paused for a moment to gauge my reaction. I lowered my head in sadness, and rage! I’d been a fool, to let anyone find out about Cerridwyn. The King no longer needed my mother as a hostage to control me. He went on, “No one loved her more than you and I, my boy. And I know you’ll want revenge for her murder.”
I stared at Fiongall in disbelief. He admitted Inshirah had been murdered? “You know I will, Father.”
He returned my stare grimly. “Very good. I’m getting too old for this sort of thing. Now, before we condemned you to that damned library, you were going to be an assassin, yes?” I simply nodded – I had never even begun the training, but there was no sense arguing with him. He put a hand on my shoulder and leaned very close to me, lowering his voice to little more than a whisper. “Your mother was poisoned, my boy…one of the kitchen staff. An Elvish girl…you know who I speak of. As your King, I command you…kill her, for me.”
I drew away, inhaling sharply and glowering at him angrily. After a moment’s pause I found my voice again. “Yes, Father…I know of her. You have my word, by tomorrow, she will be gone.”
...and I with her. Damn Lucan! Because of him, the Lord King knew everything. And my whole plan was in ruins now. I had sworn to obey the King, so he had falsely accused my Elvish teacher of murdering my Mother, and tasked me with killing her. I could tell him that Cerridwyn had been with me when Inshirah died, but that would expose our study sessions, or worse, implicate me in protecting an accused murderer. In any event, refusing to obey the King amounted to treason. Cerridwyn and I were both very thoroughly trapped.
I had only one choice, so I made ready for my final meeting with Cerridwyn, that night, in the library. She knew something was wrong the moment she arrived. “Cerridwyn, we’ve run out of time. The Lord King has commanded me to kill you.”
In the blink of an eye, her knife was at my throat, just like the night we first met. Cerridwyn didn’t speak – she simply waited for me to explain myself. “He had my mother killed, and he’s setting you up to take the blame. With you as my witness, I forswear my oath to him. Now withdraw your blade…if you would.” She did so, slowly, and we both breathed a huge sigh of relief, falling into each other’s arms.
“I’m sorry, Malik…about your mother.”
“I had hoped she’d be coming with us. Now it’s just you and I…Cerridwyn, we escape tonite, or we die trying. Let’s go.”
I delved into the stacks for the last book I would need for our escape. We made our way cautiously to the tower next to the library. It was deserted, but I discovered the room I wanted to use had been locked. Cerridwyn stepped up to the door. “Allow me.” Her picks were improvised, but she had the lock open in half a minute. She opened the door and looked into the circular room, with strange sigils in a circle on the floor. “What is this place?”
“Summoning room. The circle is permanent…I think. We might need it, and I still have no idea how to make one myself.” I stepped into the circle and set the book the podium near its center. “Malik, what are you planning…and what book is that?” Cerridwyn looked very nervous about all this…and with good reason. Summoning wasn’t for amateurs!
“The only slave I’ve ever known to escape this place was a Shadar-Kai. So I’m going to do it their way. This…” I pointed at the ancient tome in front of me, ”...is the Unseelie Grimoire. Pact magic, Cerridwyn.”
“You’re mad, Malik! That’s not just a Shadar-Kai text….”
“They killed my Mother! And we’re next, if we don’t do something. Now bar the door, and stay out of the circle.”
She did as I asked, and I opened the book. I immediately discovered why it seemed so heavy: the inside cover was inset with a fine mirror which had been shattered into a hundred shards, then completely reassembled – save for a single missing piece. The pages were bound across the top, so the mirror stayed in view as they were turned upwards. I began reading the ancient inscriptions, haltingly. My command of the fey tongue was still poor. Cerridwyn assisted me, against her better judgement.
Upon completing the first invocation, something stirred in the dark mirror. A vision gradually resolved – the face of a Shadar-Kai woman, a Dark Queen even more starkly beautiful than the one who escaped the Spire! And she spoke, in a voice to make the softest of night breezes jealous, “If the fey tongue does not suit you, we can use another…who calls me forth from my domain?”
“I am Malik Ibn Inshirah, of Sarldom.” I would not mention the Lord King’s name in this bargain, if it could be helped!
She answered me in flawless Sarl. “A scion of Gedjik…excellent. And what do you desire to do with the power I might share with you?”
I did not hesitate for an instant, although I should have. “I desire to be free, and to seek vengeance on those who wronged me, and those close to me.”
She smiled at me then, and my blood ran cold. “So it shall be done, for freedom and revenge are also my greatest desires, Malik, scion of Gedjik. I will grant you the power to escape this place…and more. If you would grant me what I seek, find the last shard of the mirror…and I shall be free to reward you with all the magic of the Unseelie Court.”
Completing the Pact took hours. Cerridwyn watched in silence until it was finished, and the Dark Queen took no notice of her. When I closed the book, exhausted, and stepped out of the circle, she looked at me sadly. “Do you have any idea who that really was?”
I confessed that I didn’t. She must have known something, because she warned me, “Just don’t even think about looking for the last piece of that mirror, Malik. I’ll kill you myself, if it comes to that.” I promised Cerridwyn she’d never have to kill me.
In the dark hours before dawn, we made our escape. The Obsidian Spire was known to be an impregnable fortress, but it was famous for keeping intruders out – as a prison it was not so formidable. The only way out of the central tower was the main gate, but we snuck past the guards unseen. Tieflings are naturally stealthy, and now I could shadow walk as a warlock. Cerridwyn was as quick and quiet as any elf scout. And our would-be jailers lacked our ability to see at night.
The massive outer wall surrounding the tower would not be so easy. It was well-lit and garrisoned around the clock. We needed a diversion, both to distract the guards on the wall, and discourage pursuit. I naturally resorted to the Tieflings’ favorite weapon against northern invaders: Fire. Cerridwyn did not approve, but like most Tieflings, I have little fear of flames. What I feared most that night was being pursued by the Lord King’s cavalry, so I burned the stables.
The Sarldom dry season lasts eleven months – the stables went up like old kindling. And when the alarm was raised, everyone was called out to fight the fire and save the horses. Most of the riding gear was lost, and the walls were nearly empty of guards – the plan almost worked perfectly. Almost, except that someone realized the stable fire had been set deliberately, and went to double-check the gate-house. Toiraenn, the Lord King’s True Son, spied us trying to sneak out amidst the chaos.
It would have been bad enough if he had simply sent his guards after us, but Toiraenn was trained as a warrior, and eager to prove himself. Not realizing who or what he faced, he stepped forward into our path and tried to stop us himself. He did not know Cerridwyn, but he recognized me. “You started the fire, didn’t you? Not even staying to bury your mother, Malik?” He drew his sword and glanced warily at Cerridwyn. “And who’s this…the elvish wench Lucan told me of? That’s quite a piece of work, girl—you killed his mother, and now you’ve got him helping you escape!”
Cerridwyn and I were both enraged at his lies, and leapt to attack, but she was faster than I. Her daggers flashed in the guards’ torch-light, and Cerridwyn stabbed at Toiraenn viciously, deeply. The eyebite spell I cast on Toiraenn did not hurt him much, but it did cause him to ignore me for a moment. Looking back, I wish it hadn’t. The guards rushed to his aid, and on his orders they surrounded Cerridwyn. She couldn’t possibly fend off four attackers. Toiraenn stabbed at her, and one of the guards found an opening, wounding her again. But she recovered her footing and avoided other two.
Then Cerridwyn struck back. She slashed one of them in the throat, dropping him in a pool of his own blood. Snarling a fey curse at Toiraenn, I hurled a blast of eldritch power at the guard between myself and Cerridwn, cutting him down where he stood, then moved to her aid. The third turned and ran back into the fortress.
Seeing his men dead on the floor, Toiraenn shouted in rage and swung his sword viciously. Cerridwyn was closer to him, and he wounded her deeply. She made a desperate attempt to retaliate, but his guard was up, and her blade cut him only a little. He would kill her with his next strike if I didn’t stop him.
I thought only of saving Cerridwyn, not realizing the full consequences of my action until afterwards. I had little choice, if it meant letting her die. But killing one such as Toiraenn took power, and sacrifice. I reached out to Cerridwyn, knowing she was already in mortal danger. But there was no one else. She cried out in pain and terror as she felt the spell growing within me, drawing life from her. When it was strong enough, I lashed out at Toiraenn with the most potent blast of eldritch poison I could cast, augmented by the fey curse I had hexed him with.
He lunged at me next, screaming with anguish and fury. He gave me a vicious scratch, but it wasn’t enough to save him. The poison was killing Toiraenn, slowly. I had no wish to prolong his suffering, and toying with him would only give him more time to take me with him. Before he could strike again, I set upon him with witchfire, burning away his mind and his body. Cerridwyn was on the ground, recovering, staring back and forth in horror between myself and the charred husk which had been my half-brother.
I walked over and held out my hand, helping her up. She took it only reluctantly. I pointed north, out the open gatehouse, and her gaze followed my gesture out into the darkness. “The Norwood is that way, Cerridwyn, and now…no one will stop us.”
She seemed to regain her sense of purpose then, nodding sternly with newfound determination. “Let’s go then.”
Cerridwyn saw the look on my face as we hurried away from the Spire in the dark of night, across the desert towards the coast. “What’s wrong, Malik? We’re free! And you’ve taken vengeance on the Lord King—that was his only heir….”
I stopped and looked back at the Wall, and the Spire still lit by the burning stables within. “Toiraenn was his only legitimate heir, Cerridwyn….”
“Oh….” Her eyes went wide with sudden comprehension, and then fear.
“Yes…I expect he’ll meet with an ‘accident’ before too long. Lucan is his oldest surviving offspring now.” I spat. He hates us both…and he’s going to be Lord King of the Spire very soon. “We have to get you back to the Norwood—and I probably should be going with you.”
She looked at me in dread. “Malik…you made a Pact with the Shadar-Kai! There’s no way you’ll be safe with my people. We can travel together as far as the Border Wood…then we’ll have to go our separate ways.”
(and so begins the campaign…)