Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Spotlight - Detmer, Druma

Paizocon has ended and I'm back at home from a whirlwind experience in Seattle. I'd like to take a moment to thank the Paizo staff and the hordes of volunteers who helped make this year's Paizocon a success and made me feel remarkably welcome and among friends the entire time. Now that Paizocon has ended, the update schedule for the Encounter Table will gradually return to normal, including the next chapter of Tyranny of the Stars.

Today the Encounter Table premieres the second entry into its Spotlight series, focusing on a settlement on Golarion that has not yet seen official outlining in print. Detmer, the home of Druma's naval headquarters and shipyards is the focus of this spotlight, as well as the deep-dwelling terrors that lurk in the shadows of the city's dense political landscape!

Let us know what you think about this Spotlight article in the comments section!

Detmer, Druma
Detmer, Druma
LN small city
Corruption +3; Crime +1; Economy +4; Law +1; Lore +0; Society +3
Qualities AbstinentCITYSCAPES, Prosperous, Shipyard*, Strategic Location
Danger +5
DEMOGRAPHICS
Government council
Population 8,200 (6,500 humans; 800 dwarves; 500 half orcs; 150 elves; 250 other)
Notable NPCs
Councilman Caleign Haghridh (LG male human aristocrat 7)
Councilwoman Forenia Syth (LE female half-elf cleric [Asmodeus] 9)
Councilman Edreth Lorlaine (N male human fighter 9)
Captain Dalaine Tremere (LN female human cavalier 11)
Talori val Ifyl (LE female changeling witch 4/rogue 4)
Dhaelor Avaldain (LE male human bard 12)
Ivis Avaldain (LE female human sorcerer 11)
Yvaulgath (LE undead veiled master)

MARKETPLACE
Base Value 5,720 gp; Purchase Limit 37,500 gp; Spellcasting 6th
Minor Items 4d4; Medium Items 3d4; Major Items 1d6

*Shipyard
This settlement designs and constructs nautical vessels in vast shipyards.
Increase economy by +1; Additionally, consider the settlement's base value to be doubled for purposes of determining the availability of water vehicles for purchase.
Situated on a rocky peninsula and nestled within the Bay of Accord on the southern edge of Lake Encarthan, the industrious city of Detmer serves as the headquarters for the navy of Druma and a powerful strategic point for the entirety of the Kalistocracy. With its strategic importance, Detmer finds itself in the sights of threads both mundane and supernatural, leaving its defense to both its tenacious citizens and groups of adventurers looking to make a fortune as a mercenary.

History

A city of industry and warfare, Detmer has long stood as the bastion of naval might for the Kalistocracy, nestled securely in the Gulf of Accord. Home to Druma’s sole shipyards, this city is responsible not only for the construction and maintenance of Druma’s naval forces, but also the training and command of the nation’s entire navy. While Druma borders only the Lake Encarthan, it sends some vessels up and down the western coast of Avistan and Garund and also into the Inner Sea on mercenary operations. This alone makes Detmer a critical part of Druma’s military machine. 

The people of Detmer are strong and independent with a mercenary edge to their everyday lives. Everything in Detmer has a price, but that isn’t to say that the city is a trade hub—far from it. Druma prefers to keep this naval city a military site and directs most major sea trade away from Druma. Instead, the city thrives with travelers and adventurers from across the Inner Sea who come to learn at its naval college and sell their skills alongside other Drumish legions. 

Detmer is not the first home for the Drumish navy, however. That title goes to the city of Kathrandor, once situated twenty miles east of Detmer on the coast of Lake Encarthan. However, in 3776 a legion of undead operating at the behest of the Whispering Tyrant, Tar Baphon, arose from the bottom of Lake Encarthan and burned the city to the ground in a brutal surprise attack in order to prevent the Drumish navy from assisting the Shining Crusade. At the time, Detmer was a small coastal municipality comprised primarily of farmers and fishermen, but its tactical position in the Gulf of Accord made it the prime choice for a new settlement and naval headquarters.

Construction on the walled city of Detmer was completed in 3830 and little has changed since that time. While the spacious cobblestone plazas and wide roads designed to accommodate heavy traffic were part of a planned community design, Detmer was non-the-less designed hastily, causing some of its buildings and streets to suffer from impromptu planning and arrangement. Compounding this issue was a fire in 4614 that ripped through the harbor and demolished many of the older buildings, forcing the city to rebuild its dockside district and make major repairs to the shipyard. 

Large portions of Detmer’s sewer system was sealed during the period of reconstruction following the harbor fire due to severe structural damage. These walled off passages ultimately led way to the formation of the subterranean tunnel network below the city called the “Gills” by locals. The Gills are part of a two square mile network of man-made and natural tunnels twisting beneath Detmer primarily occupied by the White Hand guild, a loose alliance of thieves, assassins, and scoundrels led by Talori val Ifyl. Portions of the Gills lead all the way to flooded caves that delve deep down into the Darklands.

Notable Locations

1. The Skrag’s Lament: This four-story brick building with slate-shingled roofing tiles was once a textile factory during Detmer’s early years. The building still retains the spacious factory-like architecture, with high ceilings, tall windows, and bright lighting but no longer serves an industrial purpose. The Skrag’s Lament, as it has come to be known, is the premiere tavern and inn in Detmer, servicing mercenaries, adventurers, and all other manner of professionals from across the Inner Sea. Featuring seventy-six rooms, twenty suites, and ten common rooms, the Skrag’s Lament caters to the adventuring elite and offers foreign cuisine from as far away as Osirion. 

Owned and operated by Jalesti Shurry (N male halfling fighter 5), former soldier in the Mercenary League, the Skrag’s Lament is known locally as an authority in all manners mercenary. In the lobby of the tavern an enormous wooden posting board contains hundreds of paper documents lists work-for-hire opportunities ranging from the hunting of dangerous local monsters, exploration of ruins, and bounties on local criminals. Jalesti maintains the bounties board and ensures fair payment for proof of accomplishment and even helps hire and manage adventuring groups for a nominal fee. 

2. Grand Bank of Abadar: This monolithic white marble cathedral faces the harbor and features a pair of hooded statues, each carrying a pair of merchant’s scales. These stoic figures denote the entrance to the Grand Bank of Abadar in Detmer, part finance office, part church. Here, Tellers of Abadar ensure that the financial systems of the naval city are in proper alignment with that of the rest of Druma, allowing the expensive operations of ship building to continue seamlessly. The clergy is led by Keeper Durgin Everwall (LN female dwarf cleric 6), though the priests of Abadar have more financial than religious or political influence in the city.

3. Mercenary League Garrison: When Detmer’s harbor district burned in the great fire of 4614 the Mercenary League Garrison was one of the few buildings to survive the conflagration. Thanks in part to the building’s solid granite construction, this monument to the military might of Druma has stood vigilant over the Detmer harbor since the city’s founding. Home to a constantly fluctuating number of Drumish soldiers, the garrison houses 1,500 active soldiers on a daily basis. This facility is commanded by Marshall Aldvus Kraskin (LN old male human fighter 9) who retired to Detmer following three decades of active duty in the Mercenary League across the inner sea. Aldvus is a knowledgeable and seasoned veteran who has seen much of the world and is always willing to share war stories with fellow soldiers.

4. Cathedral of the Prophecies: Near the heart of Detmer is the looming white-washed stone cathedral of the Prophecies of Kalistrade. Sterile and blanched, this monolithic building with its squared buttresses and blocky architecture stands apart from the rest of the city. Here, faithful of the Prophecies come to head the lectures of Prophet Tithiel Aluloar (N female elf oracle [lore] 8), reigning leader of the Prophecies in Detmer. Nearly all citizens of Detmer spend some part of their day in the Cathedral of Prophecies, fasting, studying, or otherwise opening themselves to the wisdom of the state-sponsored religion. Those who forsake the Prophecies for other faiths still tend to offer lip-service visits in order to avoid a damaging social faux pas. 

5. Pathfinder Lodge: While the Pathfinder Society’s presence in Druma is not a pronounced one, Detmer features one of the nation’s most active lodges. Maintained by Venture Captain Arcuris DeMortange (NG male dhampir magus 9) the lodge serves as a waypoint between Pathfinder operations in Ustalav and the rest of the Inner Sea proper. By connecting the southern lodges with those north of Lake Encarthan, the Detmer Lodge sees frequent traffic but infrequent persistent residence. Its Venture Captain is a native of Caliphas in Ustalav and left the intrigue of Ustalav behind for the rigidity and predictability of Drumish life.

6. Academy of the Iron Cobra: The premiere martial-arts school in Druma, the Academy of the Iron Cobra is run by Vrundesti "Shale" K'Gagun (N male oread barbarian [invulnerable rager] 9/monk [martial artist] 4), former member of the Mercenary League. Shale retired after only three years of service, settling in to instruct others in the ways of martial combat he honed during his tenure as a world-traveling soldier. Shale is the only known oread to reside in Detmer and finds little company among humans and other races, preferring to spend his days with the populous dwarves, occasionally taking forays into the Five Kings Mountains to learn under dwarven masters within their deep cities.

7. Detmer Shipyard: The fire that destroyed the harbor district in 4614 began in the original Detmer Shipyard, believed to have been caused by a toppled oil lamp that ignited a drydocked vessel awaiting repairs. By the time the fire was put out, the shipyard was little more than ashes and smoldering timbers. Thanks to the financial assistance of the Grand Bank of Abadar and crews of laborers from the Five Kings Mountains, the new shipyard and dry docks were completed in 4616 and have stood the test of time since. Countless vessels are constructed within Detmer’s shipyard, and naval vessels damaged in the line of duty are brought in for repairs with great frequency. The shipyard and dry docks are typically abuzz with activity and the sounds of work day and night, with shifts of laborers keeping the shipyard open around the clock. Harbormaster Bolin Avrunt (N middle-aged male human expert 7) runs the shipyard under the watchful eye of the Drumish navy and tolerates no risks that could once more put the shipyard—and Detmer’s prosperity—in danger.

8. Worker’s Row: Dozens of narrow brick apartment buildings packed side-by-side in the harbor district were one of the innovations that followed the fire that gutted most of the residences here in 4614. These tar-roofed buildings, locally known as “Blacktops” are cheap, cramped, but functional dwellings belonging to shipyard workers and their families. These homes have little private space and typically consist of a single common room, two bedrooms and a small stove and share communal baths that service the hundreds who live in each compartmentalized building block.

9. Detmer Council Hall: The center of governance in Detmer, the Council Hall comprises the non-military legislative and administrative branches of the local government. The large granite-block building is capped by a copper dome that has long since gone green with verdigris and is surrounded by marble statuary depicting important historical members of the Resplendent Bureaucracy. High-ranking members of the Resplendent Bureaucracy make far-reaching decision here during weekly sessions alongside members of the Mercenary League and the Detmer Admiralty Board. Three councilors hold the highest office in Detmer, each representing the peoples of Detmer and the interests of the Kalistocracy.

10. Detmer Naval Headquarters: The official offices of the Drumish Navy are set within a glorious mansion that sprawls across a walled compound shared with the adjacent naval academy. Within this five story manor, the admiralty board of Detmer manages and leads the Drumish Navy and works in concert with the Mercenary League to defend against threats to the nation. Admiral Eralus Torrdin (LN old male human fighter 9) leads the Drumish Navy but is nearing retirement, leading to other younger members of the Admiralty board to vie for his position when it goes up for general election on Torrdin’s retirement. This situation has left the Drumish Navy flush with intrigue and back-door politicking as eager members of the nation’s Navy position themselves for a power grab.

11. Detmer Naval Academy: Home to 760 students, the Detmer Naval Academy is a stoic marble-walled mansion perched on the cliffs facing the Bay of Accord. Young members in training for the Drumish Navy come to train at this school, though attendance requires either sponsorship from an acting captain or an annual fee of 350 gp. Wealthy elites from across the Inner Sea send their children to the Detmer Naval Academy for myriad reasons; some come with a history of military service, others are cast-offs from wealthy families effectively exiled to Druma, while others still are talented hopefuls sponsored by naval captains to better hone their skills. Classes at the academy run 10 months out of the year, with a two month break during the months of Neth and Kuthona. Typical enrollment at the academy lasts four years and leads to instatement as a sub-lieutenant on a Drumish warship following graduation. Graduates of the Detmer Naval Academy often go on to eventually become captains in their own right.

12. Detmer Lighthouse: Perched on the edge of a rocky breakwater off of the city’s northern peninsula, the Detmer Lighthouse serves as a beacon for all ships coming into harbor from Lake Encarthan. Six hundred feet tall and comprised of solid granite blocks quarried from the Five Kings Mountains, this lighthouse has stood since before Detmer was a naval base for the Drumish Military. Believed to date back to the time of Thassilon, the lighthouse is curiously not of Thassilon design, leaving question as to which ancient culture was responsible for its creation. Local legends indicate that it is not quite as old as Thassilon and suggest that tribes of gillmen created the tower not as a lighthouse but as an observatory to study the stars, though the factual basis of this legend is left up for debate.

People of Detmer


Talori val Ifyl

Born of the union of a Drumish mercenary captured during a mission in Isger and an Annis hag, Talori Ifyl has fought to pull herself up from her cursed youth to a position of influence and power. Talori's father escaped from captivity with her hag mother shortly after her birth. Raised by the coven, Talori was inducted into the art of witchcraft from a young age. However, Talori's father was haunted by nightmares of his time as captive of the hags, leading him to return to Isger seven years after his escape with a company of mercenaries. These men laid waste to the coven and put the hags to the sword. Talori alone was spared, but unwilling to raise the hag-blooded child, her father abandoned her in Detmer shortly after the attack on the coven, forcing her to fend for herself on the streets at the age of seven.

For two decades Talori val Ifyl was a vagrant living in squalor along Detmer's coastline with the other destitute and homeless. It was during this time that she was first approached by Detmer's prominent thieves' guild, the White Hand. Starting as a courier of stolen goods, Talori eventually became the favored agent of the guild's leader Manden Sahr. Manden was a notorious pirate within Lake Encarthan and frequently raided Kalistocrat shipments moving out of Druma. Talori became a trusted confidant, utilizing her witchcraft to manipulate targets within the government of Detmer that were unassailable through bribery or other subterfuge.

Over time Talori became confident in her abilities and saw the waning health and old age of Manden Sahr as a liability for the guild. In 4704, working with the members of the city council, Talori led the city militia to the hideout of the White Hand below the city and through her magic forced a bloody conclusion to the encounter that left two dozen members of the White Hand, including Manden, dead. Immediately following the battle, Talori moved her own loyalists in to kill the remaining members of the militia that survived the battle with Manden. She then swept in on the council and informed them of a changeover in governance in Detmer. Leveraging her arcane magic and the loyal group of cutthroats and spies at her command, Talori became the puppetmaster behind the council of Detmer. In an overture to ensure her position, Talori reached out to the Kalistocracy of Druma and the Resplendent Beureaucracy in an official capacity, informing key members of the government of her takeover of Detmer and offering them financial gain in exchange for covering up her coup. Lining the pockets of these diplomats and politicians with gold, Talori ensured that few knew the truth of her takeover.

Having moved the operations of the White Hand to the ruin on the Stony Isle off the coast of Detmer, Talori has afforded the guild space from the militia and navy to pursue their thievery. However, in 4710 Talori discovered the operations of the Cult of Razmir and their indoctrination site located in the old White Hand hideout below Detmer. Underestimating the cultists, Talori became exposed to the power of the ghost sphere and dominated. Like others indoctrinated by the cult in this manner, Talori's memory was altered via modify memory to excise exposure to the cult. Talori is now convinced that she controls the cult of Razmir, when the truth is that she has become a sleeper agent of far more malevolent powers.

Councilman Caleign Haghridh

Born of Kellid blood, Caleign Haghridh was raised in the city of Trollheim in the Lands of the Linnorm Kings until he was twelve. Son of a blacksmith and a tailor, Caleign's ancestry is rife with warrior-heroes and hunters who called the frozen steppes of northern Avistan home. In spite of this ancestry, Caleign moved south to Druma after a chance encounter with a traveling merchant who visited his family's smithy when Caleign was but a boy. This merchant—a traveling Kalistocrat—lured the young Kellid with tales of riches and esoteric mysticism, fanciful tales that appealed to a boy who—while born of warrior's blood—had no true skill at arms. So it was that Caleign uprooted against his family's wishes to pursue a path he felt was right for him, rather than what his ancestors intended.

Raised and trained in Kerse, Caleign shed the trappings of his Kellid ancestry in favor of the asceticism of the Prophecies of Kalistrade. Classically educated in the affairs of politics, finance, and religion, Caleign has branched out to follow an interest in politics following the purchase of a ship-building company that moved his base of operations to Detmer. That keen interest in politics and shrewd business sense allowed Caleign to quickly climb the social ladder, leading him to attain a position on the city council within six years of his arrival.

When Caleign was made aware that the council of Detmer is a puppet organization for Talori Ifyl's ambitions, Caleign restrained his opinions on the matter and quietly began amassing favors and popularity of his own. Caleign plans to eventually drag Talori into the light, revealing her to the people of Detmer as the manipulator and criminal mastermind that she is, but he still lacks the manpower and influence to back up this bold move. Further complicating matters is Caleign's ignorance to the threat of the Cult of the Living God, and the fact that Talori herself is a pawn in a much greater and more sinister game. Any movement against Talori would make Caleign a target of the cultists.

Forenia Syth

Born and raised in Cheliax, Forenia Syth belongs to a clandestine sect within House Thrune known as the Secret Page, an organization dedicated to the quiet overthrow of foreign governments. Bastard daughter of the influential Chelish nobleman Acathian Leroung, Forenia was raised to become an operative in service to the Secret Page, keeping her apart from her family and forcing her to adopt a surname not of Chelish descent. For twenty years Forenia trained under the watchful eye of diabolists of the Secret Page, preparing for eventual assignment in the nation of Druma as a covert operative.

In 4708 Forenia was deployed to the city of Detmer under the guise of a traveling scholar from Kyonin looking to settle down and explore the human side of her ancestry. Using her extensive training and divine magic, Forenia has built a power base in Detmer as a learned scholar of arcane magic. This position eventually curried her enough favor to gain a seat on the city council, establishing Cheliax's first solid foothold in Druma. Forenia is so focused on her work of steering Detmer—and by proxy, Druma—towards stronger ties with Cheliax that she has become blind to the threat represented by the Cult of the Living God operating in the city.

Forenia is a cruel and pragmatic mastermind who is staunchly loyal to Cheliax and an ardent follower of Asmodeus. Forenia believes, like most diabolists, that she will be rewarded in the afterlife for her faithful service to Asmodeus. As such, she sees her work in Druma as not only politically important, but important for the survival of her very soul. While she is a forward thinker and planner, Forenia often becomes lost in the details of her schemes and through her obsession with perfecting a single facet of a plan, loses sight of the bigger picture.

Edreth Lorlaine

Retired member of the Mercenary League of Druma, Edreth Lorlaine is a seasoned and battle-heardened veteran of several regional conflicts in and around the Inner Sea. A commander of men and trained killer, Edreth stands apart from the other members of Detmer's city council with his military upbringing and sensibilities. Born and raised in Detmer, Edreth is not a religious man and holds no allegiance to the Prophecies. However, he is a shrewd man who has grown accustomed to a well-financed lifestyle between campaigns. In retirement he moved into politics with a commander's presence, treating council meetings like war room briefings.

In the council, Edreth focuses most of his attention on the maintenance and governance of the city militia and cooperation with Captain Tremere and other influential forces within the Drumish navy. Edreth is the sole member of the council who has suspicions about the activities of the cult of Razmir, however his leads have all come up empty. He eagerly pursues any information that could lead to the cultists being removed from Detmer, or even deported back to Razmiran. Edreth has also become aware that Forenia is not an arcane spellcaster as she presents herself, but is unaware that she is a cleric of Asmodeus. With his primary focus on the cult of Razmir, Edreth has not had the time to pursue leads on Forenia's allegiances.

Edreth is a stern and taciturn man with a no-nonsense attitude. He likens all political and diplomatic affairs to military maneuvers and campaigns, sometimes even referring to the city council as his "unit" and the councilors as "brothers in arms." However tactical he is, Edreth's weakest point is his greed. Having become so accustomed to a well-paid lifestyle as a mercenary captain, Edreth has allowed Talori Ifyl to pull the wool over his eyes. Paying for Edreth's loyalty, Talori continues to manipulate the markets in Detmer and uses Edreth to spy on Councilman Haghridh's actions.

Captain Dalaine Tremere

An orphan of the Goblinblood Wars, Dalaine Tremere was born in Isger. Dalaine witnessed his mother and father's death at the hand of goblin raiders from the Chitterwood when he was just eleven years old. Shipped from orphanage to orphanage, Dalaine narrowly avoided swift indoctrination into the church of Asmodeus thanks to the efforts of a Drumish naval captain named Bralond Ker. Captain Ker encountered Dalaine while shopping for boys of age to serve as crew on his ships and a precocious, fiery young woman would capture his eye. Recommending the child conceal their gender under a masculine disguise, Dalaine adopted a male identity that has transitioned over time from disguise to truth. 

Thanks to his ability to read and write, unlike most of the other orphans Ker had purchased, Dalaine was recruited to serve as Ker's personal steward. In disguise as a young boy Dalaine would sit by Ker's side in meetings with the Drumish admiralty, observe his negotiations with mercenary groups, and ensure his cup was always full. In return, Dalaine was able to see the world from the journeys of Ker's ship across the Inner Sea. Ker treated Dalaine like his own child, raising him as any would as an heir to a captain's legacy. He saw in Dalaine a strength and capability that would one day eclipse him, and he would sooner die than see her squander that potential.

At the age of fourteen, Dalaine officially enlisted with the Drumish naval academy in Detmer. Having operated as a young man for most of his life, Dalaine continued to identify as and address herself as a man during her time at the adacemy and had come to feel more comfortable as a man than as a woman. It was there that Dalaine honed the rough sea-borne skills impressed onto him by Captain Ker, and it was there—three years into his education in the academy—that he would learn of Captain Ker's death in the Shackles at the hands of pirates. The news of his mentor and father-figure's death crushed Dalaine's spirits and nearly caused him to leave the academy all-together. Three months later, Dalaine recieved word that he was named as the sole inheritor in Bralond Ker's will, inheriting his family estate in Detmer and title to his sailing ship, the Arodus Gale, though the ship was lost to the pirates that claimed his lifey. 

In the fallout of Ker's death, Dalaine's peers at the academy learned of his identity as Captain Ker's adoptive daughter. While the revelation may have had more weight earlier in his life, by this point Dalaine's identity was not something he questioned, and while Ker may filed paperwork listing him as a daughter, Dalaine knew what was the truth was in his heart. While his peers and all official documentation referred to him with female pronouns, those who had known Dalaine most of his life continued to address him as he had chosen. Ultimately, the brief bit of gossip was quickly forgotten.

Following his graduation in 4703, Dalaine was appointed the position of boatswain on the Drumish naval vessel Kalistrade's Lance where he served for the next five years. In 4708 the Kalistrade's Lance was chartered by the Mercenary League to transport members to Sargava to fulfill an anti-piracy contract with the local government. En-route to Eleder, Kalistrade's Lance was attacked by pirates from the Shackles using the Arodus Gale

In the confrontation that followed, the pirates of the Arodus Gale boarded Kalistrade's Lance and managed to kill the ship's captain. Dalaine was put face-to-face with the captain of the pirate vessel, none other than his father Bralond Ker, who had given up his life as a naval officer and faked his death to live a life of vice and piracy. Bralond made an offer for Dalaine to abandon his crew and rejoin him, but instead he condemned Bralond for abandoning both his sworn duty to Druma and to his family. Dalaine rallied the crew of Kalistrade's Lance and fought a pitched battle against Captain Ker and his men, ultimately resulting in Ker's death at Dalaine's hand.

When Dalaine returned to Detmer following his duty in Sargava with the Arodus Gale in tow, the Drumish admitalty board appointed him captain and recommissioned the Arodus Gale to active duty. Since that time, Captain Dalaine Tremere has safeguarded Drumish interests across the Inner Sea. Time has tempered Captain Tremere some, seeing him marry his longtime sweetheart Katalia Vairne and adopting a half-orc daughter named Atais. With family has come increased responsibility and pressure to settle down into a position on the admiralty board, but Dalaine has been reticent to see himself move into an administrative role and resists this change at every turn.

Dhaelor Avaldain

Born and raised in Thronestep, Dhaelor Avaldain was indoctrinated into the faith of the Living God during childhood. Faith in Razmir and allegiance to Razmiran is all he has known his entire life. In 4707 Dhaelor, a well-known and respected Vision of the Fifteenth Step was appointed to spearhead a new missionary program designed—as far as the public was aware—to bring the faith of the Living God to foreign lands. In secret, the missionary program was intended to traffic the drug known as the tears of RazmirISWG to other countries in a bid to leverage control over chemically dependant citizens.

It was Dhaelor who chose Druma as the first stop for this missionary outreach, bringing his sister and fellow priest of Razmir, Ivis, with him. The Avaldains were quick to recognize the difficulty in beginning a religious movement in largely secular Druma, where the national philosophy of the Prophecies of Kalistrade hedged out most other "upstart" faiths. Likewise, the ascetic nature of the Kalistrade faithful made opening drug dependency at higher levels of society problematic.

Rather than be discouraged by this challenge, Dhaelor and Ivis endeavored to find another way to ensnare the populace of Druma, beginning with the port-city of Detmer. Thanks to their initial foray into peddling the tears of Razmir, Dhaelor had contact with the White Hand guild, and through them black market connections for illicit goods. When word of an unusual find hauled out of the habor reached Dhaelor's ears, he sent Ivis to negotiate with the White Hand for an unusual haul—the corpse of an aboleth.

The corpse had washed up on the shores west of Detmer, disemboweled and eyeless, and was spotted by several fishermen before being hauled off by agents of the White Hand who presumed the body may have value among alchemists or other researchers. With its purchase, Dhaelor had devised a fiendish plan to circumvent the need for chemical dependency in Druma for a more insidious indoctrination program. With the help of the White Hand, Dhaelor had the aboleth carcass secreted into his laboratory piecemeal. There, he and his sister labored over the course of several months to devise a way to reanimate the aboleth as an undead creature under their control. The siblings hoped to allow the aboleth to retain the use of its supernatural powers in undeath, while remaining wholly loyal to its new masters. Dhaelor's limited magical expertise meant that he performed much of the legwork and research while Ivis handled the necromantic process, though this required further assistance from the White Hand to procure occult necromantic rituals from Ustalav through their black market contacts.

Finally, on a cold winter night in the month of Kuthona, Ivis performed the necromantic ritual and called the wrathful soul of the aboleth back from whatever their atheistic kind finds in the afterlife. This powerful undead raged against Ivis's controls and the painful irony that a human would dare hold sway over an aboleth. Though the incorporeal creature—which Dhaelor dubbed a deep wraith—was under his sister's command, there were times he doubted how absolute that control was. The deep wraith would disappear from time to time, always returning at Ivis' call, but at increasingly delayed intervals. Before his plans could proceed further, Dhaelor constructed a prison to contain the creature that would allow it to leverage its mind-controlling powers but remain "contained." His finished product was a magical device called a ghost sphere, and allowed Ivis to contain the spirit of the deep wraith in a prison of glass it could not escape from.

With his labor complete, the time came for Dhaelor to test this powerful indoctrination tool. Ivis immediately recommended Talori val Ifyl—leader of the White Hand—for the first indoctrination. Both siblings feared Talori knew too much about their operation, especially the corpse of the aboleth she had sold to them. Dhaelor and Ivis set about inviting Talori and a handful of other White Hand members to their shop to discuss terms of future business arrangements, but when the guild leader arrived, Dhaelor brought them before the ghost sphere and brought the full power of the deep wraith's psychic magic to bear. The test of the deep wraith's powers went far better than either of the siblings expected, implanting subtle controls in Talori and her entourage, modifying their memory of the event, and releasing them back into the city as sleeper agents of the Cult of Razmir.

With this new and terrible power realized, Dhaelor began to plan the slow and insidious takeover of Detmer.

Ivis Avaldain

Ivis Avaldain (CR 10)
XP 9,600
Female human (Ustalav) sorcerer 11
LE Medium humanoid (human)
Init +3; Senses Perception +13
DEFENSE
AC 19, touch 14, flat-footed 17 (+4 armor, +1 deflection, +2 Dex, +1 dodge, +1 natural)
hp 60 (11d6+22)
Fort +4, Ref +8, Will +9
DR 10/— versus nonlethal; Resist cold 10
OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft.
Melee mwk longspear +7 (1d6+1/×3)
Ranged mwk light crossbow +9 (1d6/19–20)
Reach 5 ft. (10 ft. with longspear)
Bloodline Spell-Like Abilities (CL 11th; concentration +16)
8/day—grave touch (shaken 5 rounds)
1/day—grasp of the dead (10d6 slashing, DC 20)
Sorcerer Spells Known (CL 11th; concentration +16)
5th (5/day)ghoul armyISM, teleport, waves of fatigue (DC 22)
4th (7/day)—animate dead, dimension door, greater false life, greater invisibility
3rd (7/day)command undead (DC 20), fireball (DC 18), hold person (DC 18), ray of exhaustion (DC 20), vampiric touch (DC 20)
2nd (7/day)acid arrow, blindness/deafness (DC 19), false life, scorching ray, see invisibility, spider climb
1st (8/day)—charm person (DC 16), chill touch (DC 18), floating disk, mage armor, magic missile, true strike
0th (at will)—arcane mark, detect magic, light, mage hand, message, prestidigitation, ray of frost, read magic, resistance
Bloodline undead
TACTICS

Before Combat Ivis casts
greater false life and mage armor.
During Combat Ivis uses ghoul army or hold person to keep opponents from reaching her while she uses ranged attack spells such as fireball and ray of exhaustion.
Base Statistics
Without greater false life, mage armor, and protection from energy, Ivis' statistics are HP 49, AC 15, touch 14, flat-footed 13.

STATISTICS
Str 12, Dex 14, Con 8, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 21
Base Atk +5; CMB +6; CMD 19
Feats Combat Casting, Craft Wondrous Item, Greater Spell Focus (necromancy), Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, Scribe Scroll, Spell Focus (necromancy), Toughness
Skills Diplomacy +7, Intimidate +15, Knowledge (local) +6, Knowledge (planes) +7, Perception +9, Sense Motive +6
Languages Common (Taldan), Hallit, Necril
SQ bloodline arcana (corporeal undead treated as humanoids for spell effects)
Combat Gear potion of cure moderate wounds, potion of cure serious wounds, potion of cat's grace, potion of fly, potion of invisibility, wand of shield (46 charges); Other Gear masterwork light crossbow with 15 bolts, masterwork longspear, amulet of natural armor +1, cloak of resistance +2, headband of alluring charisma +2, ring of protection +1, 634 gp
Born to a merchant family from Absalom, Ivis Avaldain is not Dhaelor Avaldain's blood-brother. Kidnapped a sa child from her family while they traveled in Razmiran, Ivis was raised within the cult of the Living God since before she could remember, gifted to the Avaldain family as a token of appreciation for their longtime service. Even Dhaelor, a few years senior to Ivis, is unaware that they do not share a blood tie. Ivis' lineage traces back far from the streets of Absalom where her parents once lived, rooted in the fog and shadows of Ustalav, where her long-distant ancestors server the Whispering Tyrant Tar-Baphon. A hint of the dark history of her ancestors remains like an ink-blot on her soul, made manifest through supernatural affinity towards the undead that she has struggled to control most of her life.

In Ivis' blood, the icy chill of the grave flows, and this closeness to death is what left her frail and prone to illness most of her life. But what began as frequent childhood illnesses eventually escalated into uncontrolable expressions of sorcerous gifts, expressions that caught the eye of the cult she had been indoctrinated to serve. Recognizing her potential as a necromancer, the church of Razmir ensured that Ivis received proper—and arduous—training to rein in her graveborn powers. The cruel trials and tests she underwent as a young adult left Ivis scarred both physically and emotionally, scars she gladly hid behind the iron mask of her faith.

While her brother Dhaelor swiftly rose through the ranks of the cult by measure of his charm, charisma, and keen intellect, Ivis was seen as little more than a specialized tool to be used as needed with little regard for her well-being. Frequently, Ivis was thrown into confrontations with apostay wraiths—restless spirits of servants of Razmir that had passed into the afterlife only to realize their god was nothing of the sort—and forced to destroy them. Each time she battled one of these tortured spirits, Ivis was confronted with the bitter truth of her "faith," and yet still maintained her loyalty to Razmir out of habit, hopelessness, and a manufactured devotion brought on through two decades of physical and emotional abuse. Never once did she confide in her brother about the truth of Razmir as shown through the tortured confrontations with the apostay wraiths. Ivis was convinced that he would leave her if she spoke such heresy, and Dhaelor was—in Ivis' mind—an anchor in her life. An anchor that, like all other things Ivis possessed, was fabricated by the cult.

When Dhaelor announced that he was leaving for Druma on an assignment for the church, Ivis was thrilled to accompany him to a place out of the reach of the Living God's direct influence. The potential to be useful in ways not tied to her grim sorcerous nature appealed to the part of Ivis that wanted to lead a normal—or at least peaceful—life. For a time, the port city of Detmer seemed to offer that peace. The planning, legitimate business work of running an apothecary shop, and day-to-day affairs helped distance the pain she experienced on a regular basis in Razmiran. All that fell apart the day Dhaelor discovered an aboleth carcass had been pulled from the harbor.

Once more, Ivis was drawn back to the necromantic arts. This time, hwoever, her need was exaggerated in ways that threatened to overwhelm the young sorceress. Forced to turn to hideous necromantic rituals that Dhaelor purchased through Detmer's black market, Ivis delved deeper into the ancestral heritage flowing in her veins more so than ever before. Time and again she voiced her reservations about reanimating a creature like an aboleth and allowing it to retain its mind. Time and again Dhaelor brushed off her concerns, obsessed with his designs to indoctrinate the Kalistocracy's elite and wrest control of Druma in the name of Razmir.

When the time came to call the lost soul of the aboleth back from whatever foul plane their kind's spirit migrate to after death, Ivis was confronted with a force she could not control. Neither she nor Dhaelor knew that the partial carcass they had retrieved was not just an aboleth, but a more sinister and powerful member of their kind known as a veiled master, capable of devastating feats of mind control. Undeath only increased the veiled master's power, and its transformation into what Dhaelor dubbed a "deep wraith" unleashed a horror never before seen onto the world. Ivis' mind was crushed instantly upon the deep wraith's creation, and her mind became a tool for it to discretely exercise its will. The deep wraith became the master, puppeteering Ivis through subtle and insidious psychic magic, all the while maintaining the ruse that she was the master.

Over time, Dhaelor began to become suspicious of the true strength of Ivis' control and recommended the construction of a prison for the deep wraith. In spite of a few protests work began on the ghost sphere, and Ivis—at the behest of the deep wraith—contributed to its construction, knowing that she would be one of the keyholders of the device, should the creature within ever desire to be freed. Furthering its own agenda, the deep wraith manipulated Ivis into suggesting the leader of the White Hand, Talori val Ifyl, as the test-subject for the indoctrination process. When the leader of the thieves' guild fell under the deep wraith's control, the creature's terrifying network of slaves grew exponentially.

Now a slave to the deep wraith's will, Ivis watches on behind a prison of her own mind as the master manipulator uses her memories and experiences to build a web of psychic slaves in the shadows of Detmer.

Bestiary

Yvaulgath, the Deep Wraith CR 20
XP 307,200
LE Large undead (incorporeal)
Init +13; Senses darkvision 120 ft., thoughtsense; Perception +39

DEFENSE

AC 32, touch 28, flat-footed 23 (+4 armor, +10 deflection, +9 Dex, –1 size)
hp 406 (28d8+280)
Fort +9, Ref +20, Will +24
Defensive Abilities channel resistance +2, incorporeal, Immune electricity, undead traits; Resist cold 20; SR 31
Aura psychic cloud; 30 feet (DC 34)

OFFENSE

Speed fly 80 ft (perfect)
Melee bite +30 touch (4d6 negative energy plus 1d6 Wisdom drain and consume memory), 2 claws +30 touch (1d6 negative energy plus 1d6 Wisdom drain), 4 tentacles +25 touch (2d6 negative energy plus 1d6 Wisdom drain)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft. (20 ft. with claws and tentacles)
Special Attacks delayed suggestion, psychic cloud
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 20th; concentration +30)
Constant–mage armor
At will–detect thoughts (DC 22), dominate person (DC 25), hypnotic pattern (DC 22), illusory wall (DC 24), mirage arcana (DC 25), persistent image (DC 25), programmed image (DC 22), project image (DC 23), veil (DC 22)
3/day–dominate monster (DC 29), quickened dominate person (DC 25), geas/quest (DC 26), mass suggestion (DC 25)

STATISTICS

Str —, Dex 28, Con —, Int 27, Wis 26, Cha 30
Base Atk +21; CMB +30; CMD 40 (can't be tripped)
Feats  Arcane Strike, Combat Casting,  Combat Expertise, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Flyby Attack, Greater Vital Strike, Improved Initiative, Improved Lightning Reflexes, Improved Vital Strike, Lightning Reflexes, Mobility, Quicken Spell-Like Ability (dominate person), Vital Strike
Skills Fly +46, Intimidate +38, Knowledge (arcana) +39, Knowledge (geography) +36, Knowledge (history) +36, Knowledge (local) +36, Knowledge (nature) +36, Perception +39, Sense Motive +39, Spellcraft +39, Stealth +36, Use Magic Device +38
Languages Abyssal, Aklo, Auran, Aquan, Common, Draconic, Ignan, Infernal, Terran, Undercommon; telepathy 300 ft.
SQ puppeteer 

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Consume Memory (Su) When Yvaulgath bites a creature, it consumes some of that creature's memories. The creature bitten must succeed at a DC 34 Fortitude save or gain one negative level. Yvaulgath heals 5 points of damage each time it grants a negative level in this way, and also learns some of the target creature's memories (subject to the GM's discretion). This is a mind-affecting effect. Yvaulgath can suppress this ability as a free action. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Delayed Suggestion (Su) Whenever Yvaulgath successfully uses dominate person or dominate monster on a creature, it can also implant a delayed suggestion that triggers when dominate effect ends. A successful Will save (DC 34) made when the dominationends negates this ability. Typically, this suggestion is for the previously dominated creature to seek out Yvaulgath again and submit to a new domination attempt, but sometimes, Yvaulgath implants other suggestions, allowing the ability to function as compel hostilityUC or terrible remorseUM

Psychic Cloud (Su) Yvaulgath is surrounded by a shadowy cloud comprised of sounds and images pulled from the memories of its victims in a 30-foot radius spread. Yvaulgath can control these images to display any memory it has obtained through its consume memory ability, or anything that a creature under the effect of its dominate person or dominate monster has experienced or is currently experiencing. Furthermore, Yvaulgath can make these images particularly distracting, unsettling, or vivid, causing creatures within the cloud to become overwhelmed by the psychic bombardment. A creature in Yvaulgath's psychic cloud that fails a Will save (DC 34) is affected as though by confusion until they leave the area of Yvaulgath's cloud. A creature that successfully saves against Yvaulgath's psychic cloud is immune to it for 24 hours.

Puppeteer (Su) Yvaulgath's link to creatures affected by either its dominate person or  dominate monster spell-like ability is profound, allowing Yvaulgath to communicate telepathically with his victims, gain access to their memories as if they had been affected by its consume memory ability, and see and hear through the affected creature's senses as a full-round action. While using another creature's senses, Yvaulgath is considered helpless. Furthermore, the fine control Yvaulgath exhibits raises the DC of Sense Motive checks to notice victims of his enchantment abilities (such as mass suggestion and dominate monster by +20.

Thoughtsense (Su) Yvaulgath notices and locates creatures with an Intelligence score over 3 within 60 feet, just as if it possessed the blindsight ability.

Wisdom Drain (Su) Creatures hit by a Yvaulgath's natural weapons must succeed on a DC 34 Fortitude save or take 1d6 points of Wisdom drain. On each successful attack, Yvaulgath gains 5 temporary hit points. The save DC is Charisma-based.



Sources: APG (Advanced Player's Guide), UC (Ultimate Combat), UM (Ultimate Magic), CITYSCAPES (Cityscapes: Options for the Pathfinder RPG), ISWG (Inner Sea World Guide), ISB (Inner Sea Bestiary)

Open Content: The game mechanics of this game product are Open Game Content, as defined in the Open Gaming License version 1.0a Section 1(d).

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