Thursday, July 2, 2009

Aelfiriat, Elven Ranger

*Photography by Darrin Anderson

[The following is the first of three non-player characters made with Monte Cook's Dungeon A Day specifically in mind. Of course you'll be able to use them without running that campaign, but, if you are these wonderful gems should fit right in.]

"May the gods grant mercy to those who stand between me and my goals, because I will not." --Aelfiriat

When Aelfiriat (Al-feer-y-aht) was a young maiden, she used to amaze the children with her rambunctious attitude and scathing tongue. Even as her mother tried to tame the girl Aelfiriat’s father would smile and secretly encourage the behavior. When she was old enough her father, who was a brave and powerful elven knight, taught her the ways of an archer. She learned quickly and gave great pride to her father. Using his position he sought a place for her amongst the rangers that protected the forest around their home. As she was finishing her training to become a ranger an old friend approached her father with a request for aid. This human friend, named Bareal called in an old favor to acquire her father’s aid in a trip to Dragon’s Delve.

Time passed swiftly, and her father did not return. Aelfiriat decided to make her way to Bridenford and see if she could find out what had delayed her father. Research into the matter brought dark tidings. Her father and Bareal had traveled into Dragon’s Delve many times, but once they did not return. Convinced her father is alive and driven to find him before that changes Aelfiriat may be encountered on the upper levels of the Delve, but more likely players will find her in the corner of the The Lost Shepard Inn, carefully listening for any rumors that could help her find the man who made her the warrior she is today.

Born to Feramar, a powerful elven knight, and his wife after the former had retired from adventuring to serve his people Aelfiriat was in a position of influence before she was old enough to use it. Her father commanded attention wherever he went and not because he demanded it. It was something in his bearing, in his past, in the way he held a sword and fought like a lion. When she was old enough to walk Aelfiriat would follow her father around everywhere, sometimes following him all the way to the Warrior's Hall. Here the young girl sat and watched as her father trained the older elven children in the art of war.

Noting his daughter's interest in his trade Feramar decided he would make her a fine soldier. He would put her to sleep by telling paraboles of elven warriors and there triumphs, their defeats. He taught her to see between the tales and grasp the tactical knowledge they offered, hidden behind the finery of poetry. He taught her the rules of engagement and what it meant to be an elven warrior. He taught her honor, pride, and courage.

The girl grew, she was spunky and full of energy and her father believed she was ready to begin her training in earnest. They would run as a pack of wolves in the morning, hunting the wild stag together and bringing the meat back for the tribe. They would drill combat maneuvers at midday, practicing with both sword and bow. Evening's flickering light would see them talking strategies late into the night. Life continued thus for some time.

Believing his daughter was ready to become a productive member of society Feramar used his influence to secure a position for her in the elven rangers. These warriors protected their homelands with bow and blade, dangerous combatents who could fade into the underbrush and attack guerilla style until their enemy routed or lay dead upon the ground to a man. Ranger training was difficult, but Aelfiriat was more than ready for it. She excelled at all manner of tasks that were set before her and it was believed she would finish her training in record time.

During this time an old friend of Fermar, a human by the name of Bareal came to Aelfiriat's home. No one knows the discussion that took place there, but at the end Feramar packed his bags and left the village. He left a message for his family that he was heading to a town called Bridenford to explore the nearby Dragon's Delve. He left, and he never came back. Once her training was finished Aelfiriat traveled to Bridenford and asked after her father. Telling the tale of a great elven warrior to any who would listen. It was during one of these conversations that she learned the dark news. Her father and Bareal went into the delve many times, but at one time, they never returned. Desperately hoping her father is alive Aelfiriat has tried many times to breach the dangers of the delve. But alone even her mighty ranger training it not enough. So she waits at the Lost Shephard for a party of adventurer's to work with.

For better or worse, Aelfiriat is tied to her father. Her entire life has been aimed at pleasing the great man and on emulating his prowess in herself. With him gone Aelfiriat has become unsure and confused. A hundred days of tactical drilling and physical excercise save her when battle is joined. But outside the deadly dance of death she doesn't know what to do. She refuses to admit her father's possible death almost fanatacally.

In the short term the elven ranger wishes to find allies powerful enough to travel into Dragon's Delve. To this end she can be found almost universally at the Lost Shephard, watching from the corner of the tavern for any powerful enough to help her on her quest. Although, when night falls Aelfiriat walks to the entrance of the Delve and set up camp near enough to watch the entrance. She is perturbed by the large amount of evil humanoids she sees, but without allies she cannot breach their position and find her father.

Beyond finding her father and getting him to come home safely, Aelfiriat has no idea what to do with her life. She is single-minded and stubborn in her decisions to delve into the dangers the Fallen Duchy provide, but she has no sense of greater purpose beyond that. She is confused and a lonely figure, and if the PCs try to befriend her they will have to prove themselves first. Once they do though, she will gladly give everything she has to keep them safe, rather than be seperated from more people she cares for.

Using Aelfiriat in Your Campaign
For lower-level parties with less than five players Aelfiriat makes a great ally for forays into the dungeon. She is more than proficient with a bow and she has a working knowlede of the types of humanoids in the Bestial Host. As a font for roleplaying you should play up her stubborn nature and her dedication to her father, but also her confusion in regards to what path her life will take.
If the party doesn't interact with Aelfiriat and leaves her to her own devices she may eventually try to tackle the dungeon on her own.

Appearance and Behavior
Aelfiriat is an extraordianrily attractive elf with raven black hair and a powerfully built lithe figure. Her face alternates between showing her courage and the worry she feels when she thinks about the future. She wears a stunning blue cloak that matches her armor and equipment and has her bow strapped to her back when not in use. A hip-worn holster made rests upon her hip, made from leather cured from her first successful hunt with her father.

Not Playing Dungeon a Day?
Dragon's Delve could just be a famous dungeon in your campaign, everything else still works as is. However, if you haven't checked it out, I implore you to check out, Monte Cook is doing some truly amazing things, and you can see some of the first floor as a preview without signing up. Take your players for a trip through those first rooms and see if DungeonaDay is for you.

3rd Edition Dungeons and Dragons Stats by Benoist Poiré
Aelfiriat CR 3
Elven Ranger 3
CG Medium humanoid (elf)
Init +3; Senses: Listen +6 Spot +6
Languages Common, Elven, Goblin

AC 17, touch 13, flat-footed 14
hp 28 (3 HD)
Fort +4, Ref +6, Will +1
Speed 30 ft. (6 squares)
Melee Masterwork Longsword +5 (1d8+1/19-20)
Ranged Masterwork Composite Longbow +8 0r +6/+6 using Rapid Shot (1d8/x3)
Base Atk +3; Grp +4

Abilities Str 12, Dex 16, Con 12, Int 12, Wis 11, Cha 10
Feats Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Track, Rapid Shot, Weapon Focus (Longbow)
Skills Hide +9, Knowledge (nature) +7, Listen +6, Move Silently +9, Spot +6, Survival +6, Swim +9
Possessions MW composite longbow, MW longsword, Mithral shirt, elixir of hiding, elixir of sneaking, 300 GP, adventurer’s kit (backpack, bedroll, belt pouch, flint and steel, 2 sunrods, ten days worth of rations, 50 ft. of hempen rope, waterskin).

4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons Stats by Francis Bousho

Castles and Crusades Stats
by Benoist Poiré
Aelfiriat, Female elf ranger 3, HP 28; Prime Attributes: Strength, Dexterity (+2), Wisdom, AC: 16, Attk: Longsword 1d8, Longbow 1d8, ALG: CG, EQP: Longbow, Longsword, Chainmail shirt and leather coif, 300 GP, Adventurer’s kit (backpack, bedroll, belt pouch, flint and steel, 2 sunrods, ten days worth of rations, 50 ft. of hempen rope, waterskin).

Iron Heroes Stats by Jeremy Land
Female Human (Dexterous, Forest-Born [ghost in the green])
Archer 3, CR 3
Init +4, Speed 30 ft.
HD 3d4+12+6, HP 27
Defense 17 (touch 17, flat-footed 10); DR 1d3/magic
BDB +3
BAB/Grapple +2/+4
Ranged BAB +3
Attack (add +1 ranged attack/damage within 30 ft.): +9 ranged (MW comp longbow [+2], 1d8+2, 20/x3, range 110 ft.) or +7 ranged (shortspear, 1d6+2, 20/x2, range 20 ft.) or +4 melee (shortspear, 1d6+2, 20/x2).
Full Attack (add +1 ranged attack/damage within 30 ft.): +9 ranged (MW comp longbow [+2], 1d8+2, 20/x3, range 110 ft.) or +7/+7 ranged (MW comp longbow [+2] w/Rapid Shot, 1d8+2, 20/x3, range 110 ft.) or +7 ranged (shortspear, 1d6+2, 20/x2, range 20 ft.) or +4 melee (shortspear, 1d6+2, 20/x2).
Fort +5, Ref +7, Will +5
Str 14, Dex 18, Con 12, Int 14, Wis 15, Cha 10
Skills – AGILITY 6 ranks, ATHLETICS 6 ranks, PERCEPTION 6 ranks; Balance +11, Climb +7, Diplomacy +2, Escape Artist +9, Hide +9, Jump +9, Listen +8, Knowledge (nature) +9, Move Silently +3, Search +7, Sense Motive +8, Spot +8, Survival +8 (add +2 in aboveground, natural environments; add +2 in forested terrain), Swim +6, Tumble +11, Use Rope +4 (add +2 to tie someone up)
Feats (Projectile 3/Defense 2/Finesse 1/Other --) – Point Blank Shot 1, Precise Shot 2, Rapid Shot 2, Weapon Focus (composite longbow) 1.
Class Abilities - Aim pool, deadeye shot (deadly shot), bonus feat (Rapid Shot 2), deadeye shot (accurate shot).
Possessions – Masterwork composite longbow, 3 shortspears, studded leather armor, 28 gp, adventurer’s kit (backpack, bedroll, belt pouch, flint and steel, 2 sunrods, ten days worth of rations, 50 ft. of hempen rope, waterskin).

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