Hello everyone, Kyle here with the first of a planned series of GMPC starter kits! The goal of this series is to provide all the information a Gamemaster needs to bring a character into their campaign as friend, foe, or anything in between. This will include their background, personality, statistics, and even an adventure hook featuring the GMPC. If you have any characters you would like to see highlighted in this series, or ideas to make these even more GM friendly, please join the discussion on our official discord channel!
The now famous t’skrang lore merchant, Vardeghul, grew up in the shadows of the Caucavic Mountains in an independent and inconsequential t’skrang village. Around her time of kaissa (the age at which a hatchling develops a gender), House Syrtis began to assert control over the local villages. Vardeghul chafed at their rigid and hands-off business practices. She found her calling as a Swordmaster and made the difficult decision to depart her village to create her legend.
The remains of Parlainth interested the young adept and she took to exploring the (then undocumented) ruins. There she encountered other intrepid explorers and soon joined forces with Torgak, adventuring alongside him on and off for decades.
Vardeghul was instrumental in establishing Haven in 1485 TH and began her Lore Exchange business shortly thereafter. From its founding, the village was designed to cater to explorers. While Torgak focused on selling supplies and the Restless Troll offered lodging, Vardeghul focused instead on brokering information.
From the beginning she followed the policy that every piece of information has value. She even sold her inventory list, forcing adventurers to pay before they knew if she had the information they sought. She ran the business on her own for years. She never officially joined Torgak’s administration. Eventually, she hired three troll brothers (Steffgor, Chujonn, and Mahousk Grobakk) to help her organize the shelves and remove upset customers.
As of 1518 TH, the importance of Vardeghul’s Lore Exchange is waning. The Curators have arisen as a more welcoming organization and their Repository contains more information than could ever fit in Vardeghul’s stuffed office. Vardeghul is still the single most learned and knowledgeable resource on Parlainth and the surrounding area, but it is becoming difficult to compete with her more collaborative neighbors.
On the surface, Vardeghul seems a miserly and cruel woman with a whip-crack voice and wicked sneer. Many believe she takes pleasure in abusing adventurers down on their luck. However, the t’skrang has purposefully cultivated this reputation ever since she founded the Lore Exchange. She believes adventurers will always push to get something for nothing and, once they have the information they want, will happily be on their way, leaving a hard-working scholar high and dry.
Since she expects the world to take advantage of her, she puts up barriers and makes sure to get her silver up front. She believes information itself is intrinsically valuable and fair prices should always be charged. Vardeghul considers herself a fair and level-headed businesswoman who refuses to make exceptions for those who would try to manipulate her.
Vardeghul often makes snide remarks about her customers, though she excuses any cruel words away as simple honesty, claiming nobody else in Haven is as honest and forthright as she. Vardeghul even berates her two remaining employees, Steffgor and Mahousk Grobakk (5th Circle troll Warriors). While the trolls seem more than capable of defeating Vardeghul in combat and avenging their honor, her staff willingly takes the abuse and treats her more as a nagging mother than an offensive employer.
- Dexterity (17): 7/d12
- Strength (10): 5/d8
- Toughness (11): 5/d8
- Perception (14): 6/d10
- Willpower (13): 6/d10
- Charisma (17): 7/d12
- Initiative: 7/d12 (10/2d8 with Tiger Spring)
- Movement: 12 yards
- Physical Defense: 10 (11)
- Mystic Defense: 8 (9)
- Social Defense: 11
- Physical Armor: 7
- Mystic Armor: 6
- Unconsciousness Rating: 43 (33)
- Death Rating: 51 (41)
- Wound Threshold: 10
- Blood Magic Damage: 10
- Recovery Tests/Dice: 2/d8
- Knockdown: 5/d8
- Carrying Capacity: 80
- Maximum Karma: 12
- Avoid Blow (3): 10/2d8
- Danger Sense (3): 9/d8+d6
- Distract (4): 11/d10+d8
- First Impression (4): 11/d10+d8
- Maneuver (3): 10/2d8
- Melee Weapons (4): 11/d10+d8
- Riposte (2): 9/d8+d6
- Taunt (4): 11/d10+d8
- Tiger Spring (3)
- Weapon Weaving (4): 10/2d8
- Detect Weapon (Earthdawn Companion, p. 89)
- Tail Weapon (Earthdawn Companion, p. 100)
- Acting (2): 9/d8+d6
- Evaluate (3): 9/d8+d6 (Earthdawn Companion, p. 95)
- Haggle (4): 11/d10+d8
- Knowledge – Parlainth Ruins (5): 11/d10+d8
- Knowledge – Scourge History (3): 9/d8+d6
- Knowledge – Theran Heroes (3): 9/d8+d6
- Read and Write Language (5): 11/d10+d8 [Dwarf (Throalic), Human, Or’zet, Sperethiel, T’skrang]
- Research (6): 12/2d10
- Speak Language (5): 11/d10+d8 [Dwarf (Throalic), Human, Or’zet, Sperethiel, T’skrang]
- Vardeghul may spend Karma Points on Interaction tests.
- Vardeghul may use the Tail Attack combat option (Player’s Guide, p. 386).
Crystal buckler, Death Cheat charm, forged blood pebble (+3), forged broadsword (+3, Base Damage Step 8 [13/d12+d10]), forged dagger (+2, Base Damage Step 4 [9/d8+d6]), Horror Fend charm, 2 message stones, warm cloak, 250 silver (on hand).
Vardeghul started the Lore Exchange to get away from the life of violence and risk. Still, people sometimes come looking for trouble or she chooses to leave her stacks to handle a critical situation. Should the elderly t’skrang get into a fight, she takes up a defensive posture near the biggest bruiser on the field (typically one of the Grobakk brothers under her employ). From this position she Taunts and Distracts the most dangerous target on the field and tries to leave the actual fighting to those more qualified.
Should she be brought into melee range, she makes use of Tiger Spring and Maneuver while continuing the withering barrage of Taunts. She rarely uses her Tail Attack as she prefers not to keep a weapon attached. However, she has a fine dagger suited to the task if necessary.
Adventure Seed: Final Arrangements
The characters are recruited by Vardeghul to escort her to Kaer Eidolon and help her find a blood elf Named Ilmar Thrask. Vardeghul is tight-lipped about her reasons, claiming she has ‘family business’ to attend to and that time is of the essence; Ilmar’s assignment in Eidolon only lasts a few more months. Further information on Kaer Eidolon is available in Elven Nations (p. 62).
In truth, Ilmar used to accompany the Blood Warder delegation that regularly visits Haven. Ten years ago, he got into a barroom brawl and accidentally killed Chojunn Grobakk. The crime was covered up by the blood elf delegation and not discovered until after Ilmar left town. Today, the young elf is a minor functionary for the Queen’s Court.
Once the group arrives at Eidolon, it is simple to find Ilmar. It is also clear the blood elf moved on and started a family. A family he took with him on this assignment. Vardeghul remains bent on revenge for her lost ‘son’, despite any social or political consequences. It is up to the players to find a solution that avenges Chujonn, leaves Ilmar’s family intact, and (ideally) avoids the ire of Blood Wood’s Court.
About the Blogger:
Kyle Pritchard is a second-generation tabletop gamer who has been slinging dice since before he was crawling. He’s been working with FASA Games since 2014 and has been a member of Earthdawn Team since 2018.