Not really special, but he lives in a large chest that for game purposes should be considered to hold five times what it actually has room for in terms of volume.
To begin with, Kurden's are small creatures, no bigger than a kobold. They are frail creatures, resembling a bidepal furless, orange skinned rat, with small batlike wings growing from it's back.
Urk is fairly non-descript, as Kurden's go. He is somewhat more lanky than the norm in the race, appearing gaunt to species that actually have meat on their bones. He has a bald head but sports a long blue beard. Yep, blue.
Mutants arise in every race, generally something catastrophic is the result and many die outright. Sometimes mutations have beneficial side-effects whilst having negative side-effects. Urk suffers from such a mutation. Born into a race of creatures that make goblins look smart, Urk realized quickly he was vastly different. While others of his race were residing in the mountains picking up rocks and attempting to drop them onto animals from high above, he was sneaking into a local mage's library, learning languages and magical lore.
Urk has an intelligence vastly superior to his race, and likewise vastly superior to humanoid races as well. Unlike many NPC's with a super high intelligence, Urk does not suffer from the standard fare of insanity or absent-mindendness.
However, as a result of his mutation, Urk has slowly become more and more frail and by his twenty-fifth birthday he was effectively a complete quadrapalegic, with limited vocal ability. Despite this, he was already a moderately powerful spellcaster but found himself unable to cast spells that had even the simplest vocal, somantic or material requirements. He devised one spell that requires just a strength of will to cast it. This spell he calls 'Urk's Invisible Helper'. The spell causes two magical hands to come into existence. The hands are invisible, can fly, pull and push as if they were of moderate strength (in human standards). The hands cannot fulfill somantic components for spells so Urk is still unable to cast any other spells, though the hands can fight as a standard 1st level fighter. Urk normally has four of these spells in operation at any time, he can maintain control of all eight hands due to his vastly superior intellect.
He lives in a chest that he has filled with all kinds of mechanical tools. He is a happy sort, whimsical, optimistic and obsessive. This is how he was introduced to my players.
The players had been searching for an entrance to a pyramid known as the tomb of the first emporer. They finally found it and proceeded into the pyramid, which was thought to have eight seals which had to be passed before the throne room could be reached. The first chamber they came across they saw Urk sitting on his chest in front of a small table, his wings unfolded looking like a menacing demon (he has no control over his wings, they fold and unfold randomly). A hot-headed member of the party shot the poor fellow in the back, killing him instantly. When they approached the table they discovered a journal, the page Urk had been writing said:
'Good news, I have broken the seventh seal and I believe I know how to break the eighth. Like the other seals I have reformed the seals so that I may break them again and keep my mind sharp. The problem is however, that to break the eighth seal I am going to need two copper plates, about 3 pica's in diameter, and molded such that their circumference will be equal to twice their inflection of concavity. A lead disc will also be needed, nearly 16 pica's in diameter, and I have no idea how to get it here. Of course two felt covered iron rods will be needed as well as tacks, ether, a gallon of water and fuel to boil the water. I would explain further dear diary, but it seems pretty self-evident what I am getting at. How do I get the lead disc here though, for I am certainly much to feeble to be able to carry..'
From there hijinx ensued, as it tends to do.
Urk's intelligence is super-human, though he can become obsessed with problems. He will often solve some difficult problem and before he can move on to the next he will likely look for even simpler solutions.
For some reason he seems to be incapable of fear, and combined with his optimism this makes him an incredible liability if a party were to try to adventure with him, not to mention the speciesism that would arise as the result of the party draggin around what looks like a small demon with them.
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? Responses (11)-11
Don't ask what you do with the copper plates and whatnot, I have no idea, only Urk does.
If I read this right, Urk is dead?
In my story yes, they killed him, read his book returned to town with his carcass to try to resurrect him and found themselves vastly deficient of funds. They did manage to procure a bag of preservation (stops decaying) and they are know trying to get enough money to resurrect the poor fellow.
Doesn't mean he has to be dead in someone else's story though
All in all a very good character. Colorful and different, without being too beyond belief. You provide rational for his(?) existance. You have thought through how he would live. Good Job.
Man, I LOVE IT. The usage of him is wonderful but I can instantly see his novelty being used in dozens of different ways.
-Librarian with Piecewise (the animated hand)
-Specialized and well sought over alchemist of rare potions with any number of helpers (or PCs) gathering ingredients.
-Loremaster of kings.
-Dumb him down a little and make him the best cook in the kingdom owning a large restraunt tavern that the king even visits.
More more more. The creature can just add so much color and uniqueness to a game that I love it!
I really liked this character. It has the innocense, joy and humour that I attribute to the golden age adventures of my roleplaying career. Two thumbs up!
Another chance to vote in the new system. I will take it!
Sweet... and the excerpt from his diary is priceless. Nothing above gently punishing your players for shooting too quickly.
A strange and entertaining NPC. Good work done here.
The roleplaying story really makes this one!
Agreed - this one has excellent storytelling!