CAS

CAS

Monday, June 20, 2011

Oerthly Encounters Red Hanlan & Black Harris Part 1

Oerthly Encounters


Red Hanlan & Black Harris


This pair of Brigands has been highly successful raiding across the lands west of Greyhawk, such as Furyondy, Veluna and Bissel, as well as the lands of the Yeomanry, Keoland, Ulek and Gran March. Recently, however, they have parted company and now Black Harris pursues his former partner. Red Hanlan now rides with his new partner Tess Bywater or "Laughing Tess" as she is called.

Periodically after a successful raid or series of raids the band would split up, each going their separate way, to enjoy the ill-gotten gains of their labor. Some traveled in pairs like the brothers Kalife and Kalib, but most set off on their own. At an appointed date the band would gather again and it was common for both Red Hanlan and Black Harris to return with a string of new recruits.

Having successfully left a bloody trail of robberies and murders along the paths and roads between the Dreadwood in Keoland to the Lorridges in Bissel, the evil band gathered together once more in a small but growing market town named Fountainspring set within the heart of the Kingdom of Furyondy. Red Hanlan came with a half dozen followers but Black Harris brought along only Tess. While in town the raiders were on their best behavior, but as the reunited group celebrated one last time before leaving town Tess killed a long time member of the band who 'insulted' her. Black Harris and Tess had a shouting, then throwing, match and finally Tess stormed off, with Red Hanlan. Later that night a now staggeringly drunk Harris broke down the door to Red Hanlan's room and the struggle which ensued wrecked the tavern and scattered or killed those who supported Red Hanlan.

Since that time Red has been on the run. Only Tess followed him from the broken tables and smashed chairs of the Inn.

Black Harris has sworn a dark oath of vengeance, but while his followers understand his desire they have more practical concerns, namely loot. Always bloodthirsty and merciless Black Harris has raided and robbed with a brutal cunning. Now he has grown careless. Robbing only to pacify his followers, his thoughts are turned to tracking down and exacting a painful retribution on his brief one-time lover and his faithless former partner. Previously the band would raid only after studying the layout of the land and the composition of the merchant caravan or train, though they would not hesitate to waylay a small party or individual whose bodies would be hidden among ditch or bramble, unlikely to be seen again. Now they strike without preparation. So far they have been lucky and their casualties have been
few, but their luck is not likely to hold.

Red Hanlan has been on the run since that night. Nearly overtaken outside of Littleberg, he has since laid low, living rough along the edge of the Gnarly Forest. Once a ranger of Geoff, Red has used the skills learned in his early days to pick hidden and secure camps and hideouts for the band amid the wild. Now he uses these skills to hide from Black Harris.

Black Harris chases Red Hanlan. He will pursue him wherever the trail will lead. Red cannot remain hidden forever but will appear again, while Harris will follow carelessly in a wake of death and destruction till he is pulled down like a mad beast by the forces of order in the lands he afflicts or till he at last runs down his quarry, Tess and Red Hanlan.

The Brigands:

As an early precaution against detection the brigands took to wearing masks and black clothing on raids and making sure to dress differently if they were in a town or village. Several months before the group split apart they attacked a group of wandering players. The loot was poor but it contained many different theatrical masks which the brigands adopted. Unfortunately Black Harris and Red Hanlan also adopted a policy of no quarter. No survivors, no witnesses. It proved highly successful from their point of view. Merchant caravans and travelers simply vanished, their wagons, baggage and bodiesabandoned in woods or rough terrain. The careful and merciless tactics of Red Hanlan and Black Harris have kept their identities separate from the raiders who plague an area for a few weeks then disappear only to reappear leagues away in a different country or kingdom.


Black Harris, human male, Ftr Level 9
Str 17, Int 12, Wis 12, Con 17, Dex 12, Chr 10
HP 89, AL LE, AGE 36
Physical Description:
6"2', Thin and wirey. Brown hair and eye, brown mustache. Scars over his left eye, on right cheek, wide scar across upper right chest. Tattoo of a grinning skull on right bicep, an eagle holding a bloody dragon in its claws on his left.

On raids Harris wears black. black boots, pants, a black tabard over his chain mail and a black plume from his helm. He was a man of careful habits and grooming but now is lax and usually needs a shave. His mustache once neatly trimmed is on its way to becoming a soup strainer. While in towns or villages Harris would always wear colorful and fancy clothes of fine quality. In his current obsessed state he wears whatever he puts his hands on, leaving such garments on till their stench is strong enough for him to notice.

Background:
Called 'Black Harris' because of his grim and merciless nature. It's rumored that he grew up in the Hold of the Sea Princes and spent part of his life as a pirate but no one knows for sure. He is merciless but maintains a rough and comradely discipline among his men. He demands obedience but does not play favorites and will not break his word. His followers know that they can expect honest and fair dealing from him but cruel and swift punishment if they should cross him or violate the oaths that they have sworn to Harris. He has deep respect for magic both wizardly and divine and will go out of his way to recruit practitioners of these arts.

Personality and attitude:
Harris is now obsessed with the desire for vengeance. Once a careful and cunning planner he now simply rides in with the full strength of his band and overwhelms any guardsmen or outriders, then falls upon the body of the caravan or merchant train. He cares nothing for what treasure or valuables are harvested from these raids, though he still takes his cut. He uses this wealth only to pay informants or recruit more men in his quest against Red Hanlan. Only his lieutenant, the wizard Lyndos, and Lyndos's aid Falil, object to Harris's current actions.

The evil priest Salin, a follower of Hextor, approves of this direct action, "Attack, Attack, Attack!" is his motto.

Black Harris has a taken a step from evil into madness and the light from his fiery obsession burns in his eyes.


Equipment:
Chainmail +2
Saber +1 of wounding. (1d8s-m 1d8-l)
Shield +1
helm
Lance +2
Gauntlet of crushing grip:
This single gauntlet can be commanded by the wearer to attempt to crush anything in its grasp 3 times every 24hours. It can easily crush a flagon or snap an unenchanted blade. An arm or ankle would be pulped and perhaps severed. This gauntlet crushes slowly, taking 4 rounds to fully close. With a resisting opponent the user of the gauntlet must make a successful To-Hit. On the first round no damage is inflicted, the gauntlet merely grips what it will then proceed to crush. On each following round 1d6+7 pts of damage will be inflicted. The victim has the opportunity to pull away from the grip if they save vs their Dex on the first round for no 1d6 damage. Each subsequent round the victim will get a more difficult save, first at -2, then -4, and finally -6 as the gauntlets fingers sink deeper into their flesh. If successful they receive half damage as they pull away from the crushing steel fingers of the gauntlet. The gauntlet will not damage enchanted items. Its fingers would not even scratch enchanted plate mail but a shirt of chain, while itself undamaged, would not keep what is between its links from being pulped.


War Horse:
Obesdian, is the fourth Heavy War horse of that name which Harris has ridden. As its name implies it has a glossy black coat.
HD: 4+4 AC7 HP:31
6 potions of extra healing (private stock)
1 potion of Hill Giant Strength
1 potion of speed


Black Harris's Band


#1 Lyndos (level 7 Magic User) Harris's lieutenant
#2 Falil (Level 4 Magic User) Lyndos's aid
#3 Salin (Level 6 Priest of Hextor)
#4 Zeffin (Level 2 Cleric) Salins assistant
#5 Kalib (Level 5 Fighter) twin brother of Kalife
#6 Kalife (Level 5 Fighter) twin brother of Kalib
#7 Smashnose (Level 4 Fighter) 1/2 Orc
#8 Travis (Level 5 Thief) leads thief contingent within band
#9 Costos (Level 3 Thief)
#10 Halvas (Level 1 Thief)
#11 Dursus (Level 1 Thief)
#12 Bismon ( Level 3 Fighter) Follower of Hextor
#13 Quisson (Level 2 Fighter)
#14 Tras (Level 2 Fighter) Follower of Hextor
#15 Arrash (Level 1 Fighter)
#16 Cruther (Level 1 Fighter) Follower of Hextor
#17 Sasor (Level 1 Fighter) Follower of Hextor

4 comments:

  1. There's an intelligence and depth to your Greyhawk that goes way beyond the 10' poles and mindless plunder from back in the day. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but your take is refreshing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I loved mindless plunder and lived through that kind of gaming when all my friends and I had was the Holmes basic set. When AD&D came out and some of the modules, like T1 Village of Hommlet, a new world really opened up. Greyhawk really inspired me. I have my own setting as well, but Greyhawk was first.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great post!

    Black Harris, a legend of the Hold I may need to incorporate in my campaign? ;)

    ReplyDelete
  4. With a little alteration these guys make a decent crew for a pirate ship.

    ReplyDelete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.