In the east is an ancient land steeped in hoary magics and infernal pacts. Beyond the civilized lands of Falhath, beyond the Great Woses lies the witch infested land of Zehin. Centralized around the shattered bulk of the Black Mountain, Zehin spreads to the coastlands to the east and to the craggy heights of the Skyraker Mountains in the west. The northern border is a thick forest, rank and humid in the summer and bitter cold in the winter. This is the abode of the devil known as the Verdant Devil, the Demon of the Wood, or most simply, the Green Devil. Like the Black and White devils of the mountain, the Green devil is imprisoned beneath the Teufel-GrÃ¼n Forest, and from there, it's essence has permeated the very soil of the forest.
1. Yggdraal, Lord of the Forest
The ground quivers as Yggdraal stirs, the trees bow to the passage of the self proclaimed forest lord. A beast twenty feet tall, Yggdraal appears as a typical devil, though lacking wings. His body is a vivid emerald green and the scales have a definite leaf shape and pattern to them. The Hierophant of Verdant Order, Yggdraal is the leader of the druids of the Teufel-GrÃ¼n Forest as well as being the physical avatar of the Green Devil itself. Having the powers of a Tercerian Devil/God as well as mastery of Druidic magics, Yggdraal is more a backstory element than a foe for PCs. When faced, the Lord of the Forest appears in a Wild Form, as a pack of Dire Swine, and as the pack members are injured he is increasingly likely to summon the trees against foes and finally assuming his avatar form only if pressed by a superior foe. More often than not, the Hierophant of Teufel-GrÃ¼n wanders about dispersed into the forms of roughly a dozen large predators.
2. Blattdirne Green-Leaf
Officially the liaison to Yggdraal, Blattdirne is also a half-devil spawned by the avatar of the Green Devil and a druidic Witch. Tall and willowy, Blattdirne is as firm as old wood and poisonous plants such as nightshade and poison ivy sprout from her hair. The assistant to the Hierophant is on good terms with the leaders of communities bordering the Teufel-GrÃ¼n forest and handles most of the operations of the Verdant Order. When called into battle, Blattdirne assumes the form of a giant oak tree draped with poisonous plants and can call the attendant dryads and the Loru Valsharris of Teufel-GrÃ¼n to battle.
3. Maranais the Minstrel
Born of common stock, Maranais had no illusions of becoming great, his mother voyaged to the Shattered Peak once and was not chosen, and his father was the son of a woodcutter. Surrounded by witches and warlocks, the young man took to reclusion in the boughs of the Teufel-GrÃ¼n where he slowly and arduously taught himself to play a reed flute. At first imitating birds and other animals, he is now quite experienced and can play most songs by ear after hearing them a time or two. One day he simply never left the forest, instead he joined an elder druid as an apprentice and played his music for the forest. Equal parts bard and druid, Maranais is a simple man who loves nature and music.
The Deeping Mire
Located in the eastern region fairly close to the Zehini coast, the Deeping mire is a part of the Teufel-GrÃ¼n that is as much swamp as it is forest. There are brackish pools of black water and deceptively shallow looking straights full of sucking mud and vast groves of mangrove, reed, and other water loving plant life. Poisonous plants are more common in these boggy region as are reptiles and insects in larger profusion than in the rest of the forest proper.
4. Uuth Swamp Brother
Six foot tall and gnarled as an ancient cedar, Uuth is a troll hermit that has long since taken up refuge among the swamp glades of the Deeping Mire. A cast-out from the Great Woses, Uuth is now content to live out his days in relative peace eating bugs and snakes and swamp fruit. While only a marginal druid in terms of skill, Uuth is a skilled tracker and hunter. He collects things that bubble up from the swamps and as such has amasses a frightening stockpile of Zehini relics and debris in his lair.
5. Nimsghul the Necrophagus
A necromancer and ritualistic cannibal, most of the regular denizens of Teufel-GrÃ¼n avoid Nimsghul and the swath of marsh that he has since claimed for his own. Shaven headed and immaculately clean, Nimsghul is a frighteningly well educated man, having learned great things from tomes recovered by Uuth. It was also Uuth who brought Nimsghul around to cannibalism and the dark powers inherent in such a blasphemous act. Several times this necromancer has called up hordes from the black slime of the mires to subdue and slaughter foes of the forest. He is a moderately accomplished druid and his necromancy in the end is a ally to the forest.
6. Ormal the Mycologist
Few half-breeds are more reviled than the offspring of humans and dwarves. Born to a human mother, Ormal spent most of his life as an outcaste, called a mule, humpstump, and a plethora of other cruel names. He took up the travelers path, crossed through the Woses, Zehin, and finally found a place to rest in the forest. Along the way, the young half-dwarf discovered the wonders of mushrooms. He would find and sell truffles to nobles, warn children from poisonous caps, or sell those same caps to apothecaries. Now as part of the Verdant Order, Ormal tends fungal gardens growing mushrooms for their hallucinogenic powers, poison, sopophoric spores, and other uses.
7. Gorefinger the Ogre
Not an exile, but rather an idiot, Gorefinger wandered out of the Great Woses and made it to the mire. It was in the mire that the savant ogre got hopelessly lost and eventually gave up trying to go back home. He keeps his own abode where he still makes Buck-Ogre Rum from swampcane and unlucky trespassers. This rum is sold among some of the non-human druids, but most avoid it. Gorefinger and Uuth fight frequently and enthusiastically as masked wrestlers though seldom to any lasting harm.
8. Ainax the Coiling Oracle
Ainax was once a normal female druid, her interest resting in the now extinct Graeae, or the serpent folk. Once masters of sorcery before the time of Zehin's Ascendancy, they were all slain in an instant during the Nightmare War. Ainax learned to her horror that some secrets should rest with the dead. She was overcome by an ancient Graeae plague that warped her body and mind, turning her into a gruesome hybrid of human and serpent. From the wist up she is a normal woman, but from the waist down she has the body and tail of a swamp viper. She is now the oracle of the Deeping Mire and reads entrails for those brave enough to seek her out.
The Weald composes roughly half of the bulk of the Teufel-GrÃ¼n forest. Predominantly medium forest interspaced with trails and smalls glens it is well suited to being inhabited by a small population not involved in agriculture or ranching. The bulk of the trees are deciduous and about a quarter are fruit bearing. The Weald is criss-crossed by dozens of streams, brooks, and washes that are teeming with ferns, buzzing insects and the like.
9. Dana'a Weald-Son
Born to a human mother, Dana'a is half elven. In typical Zehini fashion regarding the spawn of the elves, Dana'a was left to die on the doorstep of the Teufel-GrÃ¼n. A chance passing by an elder Druid saved the child from predators and exposure and Dana'a was raised entirely by the Verdant Order and it's members. He is quite devoted to the Order and views many of the elders with an almost paternal/maternal sense of love. A druid's druid, Dana'a favors the forest above all and his interpretation of druidic law tends to be rather draconian regarding outsiders.
10. Tavvad Oakenfist
A stalwart protector of the Weald, Tavvad has been patrolling the Teufel-GrÃ¼n for several decades. In that time, the warrior-druid has sired a family who live in a cottage deep in the Weald, trained a number of martially aspected druids, and fought as an ally to the Zehini, and the ogres of the Woses. Now getting on in his years, Oakenfist has taken his last apprentice and is training him to be his replacement when he retires from active hunting. Tavvad's wife is also a druid and gathers herbs, makes wild fermented beer and has given him six daughters and three sons.
11. Latsa the Giant
Apprenticed to Tavvad, Latsa is actually a half-giant. He is one of the few to ever wander into Teufel-GrÃ¼n forest from the north, rather than the seaward coast or south. He appeared one winter bruised, bloody, and half starved, and half mad from the northern ice and sky lights. Given as a charge to Tavvad, Latsa has found a place that he lacked among the giantkin. Almost ten feet tall and as heavy as a bear the half-giant has made great progress in being at peace with the forest as well as with the giantish rage that burns in his half-blood heart. Despite his huge size and weight, Latsa is only about 15 in terms of mental and social development.
12. Vasil the Pretender
Clad in emerald green robes and bearing a staff that is seemingly a half living serpent, Vasil is the very image of the Druid. Images are important to Vasil since illusion and illusion magics are his passion second only to the forest itself. On a serious side, Vasil has used his powers to conceal things that need not be found, or made things appear more dangerous to deter the curious. On a less serious note, more than one druid has been the target of his phantom homunculi; comical caricatures of other druids and known figures roughly a foot tall capering through the woods making strange noises and such.
13. Seedsower the Sprite
Roughly the size of one of Vasil's homunculi, Seedsower is a sprite that flitters about the forest as a messenger for the druids, as well as carrying small pouches of seeds and spores to distribute in a pattern only obvious to the Sprite. Areas where Seedsower frequents have a strong diversity in plant life as well as bushes and other non-tree plants growing to create hedges, mazes, and barriers. Seedsower himself has a lair in the middle of a glen filled with stinging nettles and briar bushes. This diminutive character has a wandering eye and will spend time stalking attractive women, always staying out of sight, but leaving them flower buds and such.
14. Isil Cut-Horn
Hailing from the alpine meadows, Isil is a Minotaur who was exiled from her ancestral homeland. Having been an herbalist and apprentice apothecary, Isil did not answer the calls to the war moots and for this was censured and later exiled. Broken hearted, the tauress wandered south, ended up on a ship bound for the Malazar coast, and was drawn into another apprenticeship with a Zehini Salve-Maker. Her horns cut, Isil is a striking white minotaur with pale tan spots on her back and neck. Rather than violence, she is curious and surprisingly intelligent.
A small region near the center of the forest, the Silpion is noticable for it's silver bark birch and ash trees, stands of rowan, and a great silver tower standing in the middle of the wood. The remnants of an ancient city, the tower remains by means of magical protection and serves as the base of operations for a small number of magically minded druids who keep the secret of it's existence tightly held.
15. Jodah, Verdant Enchanter
It is not uncommon for wizards to keep familiars, it is also fairly common for demons and devils to keep wizards. Desiring sorcerous power but failing to meet the requirements for the Black Devil, Jodah petitioned other entities for patronage. The Green Devil accepted and became Jodah's patron and absentee mentor. Since that day, Jodah has been indebted to the Green Devil for the mixture of sorcery and druidic magics learned from the archives held within the Silpion tower. But pacts with devils are seldom good for the mortal and when Jodah dies, his spirit will be subsumed into the Green Devil and the best he can then hope for is to be reincarnated as an avatar or liaison for the Green Devil.
16. Mass'sish the Centaur
A large and heavy bodied centaur, Mass'sish is an erudite scholar and one of the most respected mortals within the Verdant Order. Before Jodah, he was the custodian of the Silpion Tower and collected tomes and books and other bits of lore that were dredged up from the swamp, bartered from traders and the like. Now that Jodah attends the tower, the centaur has been roaming further abroad in the forest and seems to be enjoying a semi-retirement. Jovial to a fault, he loves wine, song, and giving pretty girls rides on his back.
To the west, the mountains of Thorondrim rise and eventually themselves give way to the greater crags of the Skyraker range. The Teufel-GrÃ¼n crawls across thousands of square miles of this rough and broken territory as if the forest has a will to climb the mountains and claim them for the Green Devil itself. In a sense this is true and only the harsh climate and bluff stone face of the mountains have stopped the almost cancerous western growth of the forest.
17. Vaseolith the Awakener
The trees shudder as the Awakener passes overhead, and the predators of mountain and wood alike find refuge. Nearly sixty feet long, the Awakener is a mottled brown and green dragon. Surveying the northern and western boundaries of the Teufel-GrÃ¼n, the dragon claims a vast swath of forest as it's own, but has an honorary rank as a member of the Verdant Order, in deference to the might of the Green Devil. While dragonflame is almost forgotten, the Awakener still gathers offerings of gold and gems, it's favorite being well polished thrar stones.
18. Doyenne Zadha
It is never easy serving two masters, but Zadha does just that. Her alliegance lies with Terat, the Goddess of War, but she has also sworn fealty to the Verdant Order and the Green Devil. A statuesque woman laced with scars and curved war swords, Zadha is equal parts druid and cleric. While her combat abilities are exception, it is the magic that Zadha commands that makes her truly impressive on the field of combat. Calling upon the green sorceries of the wood and heath Zadha excels in summoning natural animals, especially predators such as wolves, bears, and the like. On the War Goddess side, she heals with a burning touch, inspires her followers to unquenchable bloodlust and slays that which is foul and unnatural. Jodah currently considers Zadha to be his largest rival.
19. Hasimel Long-Fang
Beyond the Woses, Orcs are rare. Indeed most of the goblinoid peoples are found to the west and to the south beyond the mountains. Hasimel traveled around the Horn of Falhath as a slave aboard a merchant freighter bound for the Malazar coast. As soon as no one was looking, Hasimel bolted and fled into the forest and hide to the best of his skill. Reclusive and shy, this castrated orc turned slave now serves under Zadha as a scout and messenger. His mastery of druidic magic is considered poor, but he has a special knack for communication with plants not matched by most druids.
20. Liath the Guide
Appearing in the desolate heaths of the west, Liath looks very much the part of the helpful mountain-druid. He carries a staff and has a green cloak and a necklace of wild animal teeth and claws. This is an illusion as Liath is a bound earth spirit that claims a single mountain as his domain. Those who offer proper respect and chimiage are given proper guidance as proscribed by the tenets of the Verdant Order. Those who do not, or those who willingly trespass are lead astray into a dead end grotto with dead falls and tricky ravines where Liath reveals his horrific true Rakshasa-esque form to feed on their life force.
Situated in the south-eastern portion of the forest, well south of the swamplands, Rabican village is technically part of the Weald. It is the largest concentration of inhabitants in the forest as well as the seat of the Verdant Order and the site of the Green Devil's only shrine, the Wooden Orb. At most a hundred or so beings call the village home and most of these are either skilled artisans devoted to the Order's cause, or the elderly or pregnant; those not quite capable of surviving in small groups or alone in the forest.
21. Kolbyln the Brewer
Born and raised in the leafy boughs of the wood, Kolbyln is a satyr of typical disposition. Often going by the moniker 'Furpants', Kolbyln spends most of his time in the village but occasionally can be found across the Weald and into the Stoneshoal. He is primarily a collector of wild grapes and other grains and fruits for his experiments in fermentation. As a brewer he is quite skilled, but is heavily limited by the quantity of goods he can procure. His druidic skills are mostly used for passing unnoticed and encouraging wild grapes to grow better in the wild. He loves music, and even moreso, attractive women.
22. Light Fingers Bertrall
Things got dicey for Bertrall after he pulled off one of the greatest thefts in Falhathian history. Breaking into the Wizard's Cache, he liberated a large amount of gold and precious gems before the Wizards were alerted to his presence. He barely escaped with his life, let alone pockets full of jewels and platinum. He fled dozens of trackers and bounty hunters, scampering north through Soixane, the Woses, and even Zehin before finding refuge in the forest. A few trackers sought him, but after giving half of his jewels to Vaseolith, the Dragon eliminated his stalkers. Still wizard marked, Bertrall can never leave the forest, and has found a small place there by adopting the green cloak and using his old thieving skills to entertain.
23. Gorem Mossbeard
Standing in the center of Rabican village, Gorem is considered to be the elder of the village in basically in charge even though he is a tree. Gorem was once a shepard of trees, but has entered the later years of a very long life and has set his roots down. No longer mobile, the tree lord is still able to observe and speak, and the villagers now seek his council in various matters as their tree lord has the benefit of centuries of knowledge without the presence of arrogance which so often comes from long life. He has a small vice in that he enjoys beer, but to do so a keg must dumped out on his roots. After which his branches droop and his normal booming voice becomes slurred and he takes a notion to sing old Entish songs.
24. Oathsworn Begad
Begad's cloak is white as the snow that falls on the Shattered Peak, and his mail shines like ice under moonlight. Years ago this man swore his service to the White Devil, the mistress of cold and the healing touch. Now many years later he has found himself married to a druidess and residing in the forest, dispensing the healing and cold justice of the White Devil beneath the branches of the Green Devil's wood. Most of the druids and forest folk find him to be pedantic and aloof, but do not deny that his sword has been of great service to the forest. He has learned the basics of herbalism and forest lore and is an honorary druid.
25. Daughter Rowan
Most of the men of the Weald and Rabican village consider Daughter Rowan to be one of the most eligible females under Teufel-GrÃ¼n's green canopy. The child of a venerable druid and a deep forest dryad, she was born from the forest itself but has all the loveliness of a mountain-born maiden. An exemplary druid at the age of 15 she has demonstrated that one day she will sit among the elders of the Verdant Order. Should it be learned that Daughter Rowan despises her human attributes and has taken a silent vow of chastity it would dash the hearts of her many paramours.
Deep in the forest is the Darkheart region, well north of the Weald and west of the Deeping Mire. It is rumored that the corporeal elements of the Green Devil are buried somewhere in this region, and it is the source of the Teufel-GrÃ¼n forest. Deep under the soil is a pulsated green clathrate that bubbles with raw green essence. This is the ancient heart of the forest and the Green Devil draws much of his strength from the clathrate. The Darkheart is home to some of the more nefarious members of the Verdant Order.
26. Nicktuku the Vampire
Almost as old as Gorem, Nicktuku was a druid ages ago when he received his initiation into the ranks of the living dead. now considering himself a brother to bats, the druid turned vampire is an undead sentinel in the deepest and darkest parts of the forest. Unlike some other vampires who ape civility, Nicktuku is monstrous, spending most of his time as a bloated bat like creature feeding on the blood of forest animals and the unwary. Feeding from the forest for as long as he has, the vampire has long since gained immunity to wooden stakes through the heart. If recently fed and approached during the daytime, he is considered safe to talk to.
27. Shasl the Silent
Formerly a member of a wandering tinker-gypsy camp, Shasl saw the worst of humanity when a band of arrogant Gold Talon guards assaulted his camp at dusk. Most of his family and friends were murdered, their wagons set aflame, and their bodies left for the vultures. The remnants of the band headed north, away from Sangreal and without a guide lost their bearings and foundered just south of the forest. Shasl fled into the boughs of the trees and was adopted by a druid scout. Indoctrinated in wood lore, Shasl perfected his skills of stalking, and learned the poisoners art. Decades later, he practices his art with cold efficiency eliminating the enemies of the forest. Shasl is one of the few druids to regularly leave the forest for any length of time.
28. Sarah, Wyrmcaller
A quietly beautiful woman of mixed heritage, Sarah has long been at home in the forest. There have always been special men and women who have a way with animals, relating more easily to them than their fellow humans. Sarah has such a way with animals, though her talent is unique in that the animals that she shares the closest kinship to are the five to eight meter long forest wyrms. Tipping the scales at at almost two tons each, these wyrms are the apex predators of the forest and thankfully are only active during the summer and early fall of each year. Sarah can call to them and when they come, she is able to control them to suit her needs.
29. Estarque, Maiden of Ashes
Capricious and wild, Estarque is one of the true enigmas of the Teufel-GrÃ¼n. She has the hindquarters of a large deer combined with the torso and arms of an attractive human female. Stranger still, she has a large pair of dark tawny wings growing from her back which give her a limited ability to glide, though her ability to climb is less than average. Created from the remnants of several creatures, Estarque is somewhere between being a fey creature and a flesh golem. Years of bathing in the hoary essence of the forest has given this once mongrel creature a new vitality and life. The Green Devil reincarnated a fallen druidess into the shell of the creature and within a short time, the spirit of Estarque altered the new body to fit her better.
30. Carvegil the Druid
Carvegil was raised in a small village near the forest, and as he was coming of age, he was disillusioned with the creations of man and was drawn to the power of nature. At an early age he donned the green cloak and began an apprenticeship to the local druid as a student of herbalism and foraging. Now older, he carries a vine twisted staff and calls upon singbirds as messengers and listens to the trees tell their tales. Wisened, but wary he is a generous soul, so long as the forest is respected.
Most of the 30 submissions are independent lists of archetypes and sample plug and play characters. As I pondered on the work of the 30 Druids submission, the druids refused to stand alone, instead they kept working towards a cohesive whole. This in a way makes sense as druids would work together to protect the interests of their parent order as well as the boundaries of their arboreal home.
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? Responses (14)
I lke this.
Well, this 30 is truely awesome! Nicely done - so many useful NPCs who are worthy of subs on their own!
Could it be that Ormal is connected to the Fungus Gardeners?
Not a bad list. Diverse and colorful as the inhabitants of a forest should be. Good work!
Might want to check that link Manfred. It took me not to the Fungus Gardeners, but to Zhâo Wén Jûn, a very good if not quite relevant sub!
Oops! Mislinked. :)
Added the link into Ormal's entry. Thanks Manfred!
diverse and colorful as manfred said. I actually like how they are all somewhat interconnected by time and place.
bottom line? great trove of wilderness NPCs!! I say wilderness, because you can really plop these characters anywhere uncivilized, which is another plus.
faves: (for no rhyme or reason, i just like these particular ones) Nicktuku, Isil, Jodah, Uuth, and Aenex (around whom an entire scenario can be created...the 'The Naga's Wood')
Very cool 30 druids! go Scras! well linked too! I like the different species too, you dont ususally see a druid giant or ogre, but they came out really well!
What can I say. I love the 30's lists ! 5/5
BUMP. What a great trove of 'stuff' for one's camapign. Kudos again.
One of the best of all of the 30 lists. Especially as they form a conherent order. I was working on a morally ambivalent druidic order for my campaign, might I use this list? The Green Devil will fit well in my world!
Still like this one. Blurbs with detail of the localized kind. What I mean is they could all be used individually of course, but the fact that they share a time and place is nifty. Pretty unique for a 30.
The length of this 30 made me put off reading it for a long while, but I'm glad I finally got through it all. I, too, love the interconnectedness of the entries and am fascinated by the sheer variety you managed to work in -- everything from sprites to dragons. Separating them into groups based on region was a particularly nice touch. Well done!