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ID: 3185


February 6, 2007, 1:41 pm

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Cheka Man

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Hachnar Velstrad


Hachnar T’ Velstrad

An insular alchemist walking two paths..


This dread alchemist and underground figure is surprisingly mundane in appearance.  He is middle-aged with salt and pepper hair, and somewhat pale skin.  Facial hair is cut short, the better to avoid contact with the various components and reagents which he uses.  He is slightly portly and has the body of one who has never pursued manual labour. 


Hachnar was born into what some societies would consider a well-off middle classed family. Trained originally as Wizard - a vocation at which he excelled, he found himself drawn to the secondary art of Alchemy.  While the powers within can be formidable, when one combines it with external sources such as elixirs or items of enchantment, one can be even more powerful still.

It was his interests in Alchemy which nearly ended up killing him.  One area of Alchemy at which he was especially adept was the crafting of toxins.  Since the Royal Guard used poison against various foes, such as the lions which occasionally raided into the civilized lands, their manufacture and development was accepted.  However, Hachnar made the mistake of selling one of his projects to an assassin. This assassin was unsuccessful in his mission and was captured, along with the vial of unused poison.  Hearing of this, Hachnar knew it was only a matter of time before his part in the affair would be found, and so he fled his homeland.

When he finally settled into his current home, he concealed his true skills and took a job as an Apocathary’s assistance at The Crystal Retort.  He worked hard at the job, biding his time while continuing to establish contacts within the city’s underground. 

Satisfied he had the necessary network in place, he carefully, slowly, poisoned his boss.  As his boss’s health declined, Hachnar took over more and more duties.  It was to Hachnar’s advantage that his boss was a proud man, and took to trying to cure himself rather then seek outside help.  It did not occur to him that the medicines so helpfully provided by Hachnar were in fact the source of his illness.

Finally, knowing death was near, Hachnar’s boss willed the Crystal Retort to his ever-helpful assistant (what family he had was remote, and estranged). That was all Hachnar needed - he increased the next dose, oh so slightly and found himself master of the Crystal Retort the following morning.

An investigation was made, but the conclusion drawn by the examiner was that the dead proprietor simply succumbed to the hazards of his trade.  Hachnar was warned that perhaps better venting might help him avoid his master’s fate.

Once in firm control of the establishment, Hachnar made a point of firing all of the current employees, as well as engineering various scandals, threats and assaults upon them to drive them from the city.  He replaced these people with ones recommended by his underground friends.

Next, he expanded the product line of the shop, focusing less on medicines and other remedies, and more on powerful alchemical substances useful to adventurers, soldiers and the like.

Finally, he began escavating a second work area far below the current establishment, where he would produce and sell even more ‘interesting’ wares to his friends and contacts in the underground.

Learning from his experience in his homeland, he made a point of separating himself from virtually all outside contact and instead worked through a pair of Homunculi he created (Het and Eta - see The Crystal Retort for details).

Both of his businesses have done well, and he now has employees (in the above-ground enterprise) who have no idea of the full picture.  Those who do know work exclusively in the subterranean part of the operation.

His current line of research is the creation of magical items from the remains of magical creatures.  He has developed techniques to preserve the innate powers of creatures and bind them into usable items.

Having limited his outside contact to the two Homunculi, he has become more and more eccentric over time.  That plus the slow effects of contacts with alchemical substances may push him over the edge someday.

Special Equipment

Hachnar carries a wide array of magical devices, potions and elixirs on the odd time that he leaves his establishment, and then always with magical protections and disguises.

More typically in his establishment, he carries a few powerful offensive items and a small number of powerful curative elixirs in case of accidents.

Roleplaying Notes

Hachnar is very cautious but greedy.  He harbours dreams of returning to his homeland with riches and power enough to enter the elite and crush his enemies.  He thinks that he is a sought-after villain, but in truth no-one found out about his involvement with the assassin.

He does not have to play a villain in the campaign - he can be a supplier for shadier equipment the PC’s may desire, he can provide employment for monster hunters, and he may (indirectly, of course) commission PC’s to obtain specific items.

However, if the PCs are investigating crimes where items sourced from Hachnar are used, they could easily come into conflict with him as well as the local criminal element.

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Comments ( 3 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted the Wanderer
February 6, 2007, 21:57
Nice stand alone NPC, great with the shop! Well done! I like the fact that he can play two roles, makes him even more fun and useful.
Voted Wulfhere
February 7, 2007, 11:43
A cold-blooded villain that could lurk in the background of a campaign for years without ever coming to center stage (How often do player characters try to track down where the villains get their poison, anyway?)

He's a well-detailed character with a variety of uses. I could picture him having a falling out with one of his contacts in the underworld, leading to a cat-and-mouse game where the villains try to do each other in...

Sir Lothar, the Lord High Mayor has asked that you look into this matter. The deaths of several prominent merchants over such a short period of time may be a coincidence, but we suspect not. All the men were quite mysterious in their business dealings..."
Voted Cheka Man
February 7, 2007, 12:52
Only voted

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