NPCs


(This is not the exact form in which you fought him, but it is pretty close. He has had a few item downgrades and a few item upgrades/additions, most notably of winged boots and a ring of evasion; two feats were replaced as well so as to make taking thicket of blades legal. His challenge rating is one more than his class level due to the fact that he has a decent amount more wealth than a typical 17th-level character, plus he has above-25-point-buy statistics and four arms.)

The Lord of Blades

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The Lord of Blades paced his chambers in Sharn, letting out a roar of anger. This was not good, not good at all.

His diviners had reported that Quarrian, his agent at Arythawn Keep, had been slain, and the bridge destroyed. Vol’s army would have a much harder time crossing out of the Mournland now. And if Quarrian was no longer guarding Vol’s amulet, Lucan’s forces too might slip out of his grasp. All because of this group of humans. I wished I could just rip their beating hearts out, as I did with Boranel, he thought.

He reached the end the room and turned to pace again.

Everything seemed to be coming apart. The expedition to Xen’drik was waylaid and destroyed before the ancient technology could be recovered. Vol was reporting delays in her arcane breeding programs—something about the glowing chasm’s energies being “too unpredictable,” pah—and the alliance with Droaam was as shaky as ever. But we have to march soon, he thought. Every day we delay, Thrane and Karrnath gather their strength. Every delay means more allies for them. We have to strike now!

No. Impatience would only bring about ruin.

But these humans. This strike team—famed throughout the human lands. Even among my own ranks, there are whispers of fear. “They destroyed Falchion,” they say. “I hear they’re headed into the Mournland to try for Vol next,” say others.

Unacceptable. Something must be done about them. And soon, before they destroy everything I’ve worked so hard to build. A group that powerful could turn the tide in any battle, and we can’t afford to lose the ones coming up.

With a inward smile, the Lord paused his pacing. Yes… she will do perfectly. They thought Quarrian was a fun creation? Wait until they’ve seen this one… “Dagger!” he called out.

“Yes, Lord?” replied a rather diminuitive warforged, appearing almost instantly in the doorway.

“Bring me Vol’s latest… delivery. I have a task for her that I think she will find to her liking.”

Viorr rummaged in the satchel hanging on his chair. “I represent an element of the King’s Citadel known as the Dark Lanterns,” he said. “We perform certain… intelligence-related… duties for King Boranel. We need adventurers of skill and action who can bring a rogue agent back to us—alive, if possible. If you’re willing to swear to keep secret what you’re about to hear, I’ll tell you more.”

“I’m sorry—I can’t take that oath.” As Valith uttered these words, the grizzled captain raised an eyebrow.

“Why would that be?”

“I can’t maintain secrecy if it would in any way help the cause of evil.”

A slight chuckle made its way past Viorr’s lips, although one could see that this comment had actually gained his respect. He clapped a bony hand on Valith’s armored shoulder: “Son, let me tell you something about evil. I’ve been fighting evil, in one guise or another, since before your father ever managed to get close enough to your mother to conceive you. Nobody takes evil more seriously than us, whether that evil comes in the guise of foreign spies, warforged terrorists, or even the corner wizard peering a bit too deeply into his scrying mirror. Throughout the Last War we kept greater evils away from Breland’s borders than any army was capable of taking on. Evil does not simply march at you in the battlefield, son—oh no, it’s much more insidious than that. And I can tell you that although you may think you were fighting the good fight during the War, the evil I am sending you after is a greater threat than anything you have faced so far.”

As his tirade ended, the guard captain backed down slightly. “So, do you understand the need for secrecy? Can you handle this responsibility?”

Valith, finding no residue of evil emanating from the man, nodded his consent. “Yes, sir.”

“Very good. Now… One of our best agents, Lucan Stellos, disappeared two days ago. Yesterday, a high-security vault we maintain here in Sharn was compromised, and a powerful magic sword was stolen…”