Dame Thara Grimgold
Eye Color: Black with an Orange Coal Glow
Skin: Soft Gray
Hair Color: Black
Alignment: True Neutral
She is a medium-height, lithe tiefling with gray skin and black eyes. The sclera of her eyes often glow red with magical energy. She has a pair of curled black demon horns, along with a pair of antlers protruding from her forehead. The antlers have an ashen and ember-like appearance, glowing with fire from within. She has short, jet-black hair. Her clothing is tattered and often revealing. She carries a golden and black filigree skull on her belt, named Degal, that can speak. She has a pet bog octopus called Murky, who often clings to people or objects in a mischievous manner. He is similar to a cuttlefish, but the size of a small dog. Along with the usual animal forms a druid can take, Thara can transform into several creatures native only to her home of Fellthorn. These include: Leshen, Straakspider, etc. Her father, Mortegal, gifted her with some abilities outside of her druidic magic.
She is graceful, refined and calculating. Respectful to anyone as long as they do the same in return. Flirtatious and charming. Ruthless, with a dark sense of humor. Will exert violence and cruelty on those she believes deserve it.
Bonds, Allies, and Organizations:
She serves her goddess dutifully. She protects the denizens of her forest with the love and fierceness of a mother. Has a special connection with all creatures who dwell in Fellthorn.
Prefers to remain neutral and take care of her own. Believes in protecting the outcast and mistreated. Despises disrespectful, entitled bigots. Holds survival, power, intelligence and beauty in high esteem.
She often makes a show of her cruelty, as she believes it will teach a lesson to others. Can be impatient with fools and charlatans. Has a superiority complex.
Weapon of Choice: Zvarcoli
Zvarcoli is a disembodied limb of the elder Cephedarch, Aketh, who dug her way deep into the North mountain of Fellthorn and was trapped by Severa. It laid eggs deep in the caves, bringing the first bony Cephedarch species to Tarrea from the pocket of Illerageld from whence Aketh came. To this day the spindly, darkborne creatures roam the corpse lake of Fellthorn, crushing open skulls and ribcages with their cephalopod-like beaks and gobbling the succulents out of the corpses in the wash. The weapon appears to be a staff made from a lengthy smooth bone with the sinews of a still-operable Cephedarch Limb, which reflexively swipes and strikes where it senses movement, sometimes several times per strike. When in resting form, the staff resembles a bony stave with a triangular metallic clawblade, almost like a scythe and a polearm bill connected to one another by an eldritch appendage of something still living.
1d10 ( + 4 magic damage) Slashing damage, or 1d10 ( + 5) Piercing damage. 1 Platinum. 12 pounds, top-heavy. One-handed or two handed, multi-strike. Range: 10 ft.
Reflex (Passive Effect) – Every time the blade hits, there’s a 1d2 chance for the blade to strike another time using its squirming, reflexive nature for 1d8+2 damage. Outcome must be 2 to trigger the reflexive strike.
Hurl (Active) – When an enemy is struck, Zvarcoli will inflict 1d10 piercing damage +5 blunt damage and throw the enemy 10 feet in a direction of your choice, stunning them for 1 turn and knocking them prone. Cannot be used to throw Ultra Heavy enemy types or heavily armored enemies—- but Hurl will reduce their AC by 2 for the duration of combat from piercing and possibly ripping off a piece of their armor. Can be used twice per combat.
Arcane Focus: Degal
Degal, Skull of the Thief, was once an elven Mage-Thief famous for stealing right under the noses of nobles. When he was caught in a Lord’s house near Fellthorn, he ran as fast as he could on horseback into the forest, thinking the guards wouldn’t give chase in such a place. He knelt at a shrine to Severa and told her he’d do anything to stay alive, and that he was too young to die. He was wrong about the guards. They’d given chase, and caught him sitting at the shrine. Taking him to the nearest village, he was sentenced to death and executed within the hour. After everyone left the headsman’s block, Severa appeared and breathed life into his skull—-but only his skull. She stated her reasoning as “If I’d have left you your hands, my forest would become poorer by the morn.” His response was "Well. That’s fair I guess. The former kleptomaniacal mage and has been made into an arcane focus many times over through the hands of several witches until he was lost in the bog when he upset his most recent owner by telling her she had saggy tits.
Nearly 80 years later, he floated up to Thara when she was a young girl in a heavy bit of rain—-enough rain to dislodge him and leave his golden head and jewel teeth glinting in the bloody muck. His first words to Thara from the ground, startling her, were “Gods, you look like your mom. C’mon. Pick me up.” He has served as her bonded arcane focus ever since. He’s best known for saying inappropriate things and acting as a powerful conduit for Thara’s magic.
Thara Grimgold was born of a demon and a goddess. She was conceived during the coldest night in memory, beneath the stars in a bog of blood.
Her mother is Severa, Goddess of the Beldyn Caul. Severa is reputed to bear seven faces, or seven different incarnations she may appear as. The act of Gods appearing to their constituents is rare in the here and now, but Severa is unique in that she seems to appear at whim. She often tricks men into bed, grants gifts to women in need, and blesses children of the forest with powers unseen. Severa is also known as the Sister of the Swamp, Crone of the Copse, Mother of Mud, Hag of Harvests, Bride of Bones, Teg of Tombs, and Wife of Winter.
Her father is Morteval the Expected, a Dagweild demon. He is one of the 77 servants of Shar, Goddess of Night. His kind emerged from tar-black lakes in the Blackwoods of Illerageld. The Dagweild demons were tasked to create the first night and paint the sky black, so that all could see the stars. It is said that Severa gave birth to Thara as payment to Morteval, though no one knows why.
Thara grew up in Fellthorn Forest, nestled between the Regal Province of Elevarton and the Duchy of Tarant. The forest was once part of these two kingdoms, but she was able to claim it as her own through clever ruthlessness. As a child, Thara was raised by the Witches of Fellthorn, servants of her mother who are guardians of the forest. She often saw and spoke with her mother, who was ever omni-present throughout the woods in her many forms. She taught Thara the value of survival and intelligence, as well as how to manipulate and punish those who would do harm to the denizens of Fellthorn. The young tiefling learned to wield natural magic at a young age. She eventually gained the ability to change her physical form, often taking the shape of animals and strange frightening creatures native to Fellthorn. After reaching the age of 50, Thara took her rightful place as the leader of the Fellthorn Witches, taking on the responsibility of fulfilling the wishes of Severa and protecting the Ellivan. Her father, Morteval, appeared to her on the night of her birthday. In the darkest part of the forest, the two of them spoke at great length and she was gifted with new powers.
The Ellivan are sentient habitants of the forest that are abnormal or altogether shunned, that seek communion with Severa. She has great love for all things odd, misunderstood, hated, and unusual. She is considered the mother they were all denied. ‘Ellivan’ is Thornspeech for ‘Those Who Come’. They make offerings to Severa and her Witches, while serving at the hand of Thara Grimgold. No race has ever been turned away from entry into the fold, save for the disingenuous of heart. Succubi and Incubi inhabit the northeast region of the forest (near the Kingdom of Queterais). They live in intricately carved caves, with the scent of rosewater and sweet sweat emanating from their homes. The Succubi are frequently welcomed into the arms of the Fellthorn Witches, but the rest make a habit of traveling far and wide to practice their trade. They often bring back a variety of spell components, particularly used in rituals practiced by the Fellthorn Witches. Thara is close friends with an Incubus by the name of Erus, who visits her regularly with interesting tales and rare materials in tow.
In the past 70 years, since the birth of Thara and the Black Eclipse of the Third Moon, the forest has come under considerable outside pressure. The surrounding kingdoms had
long forgotten why it is necessary to give Fellthorn a wide berth. Beritend in the West and Queterais in the East could not decide where the line between their kingdoms fell, an ongoing argument of over 300 years. On five separate occasions they tried moving armies through the forest, with nary a soldier reporting to the other side. During this time, Lord Skeyla Bogrant of Beritend built Bogrant Estate in the South. He visited Thara Grimgold to acquire a philter of potency, so that he could produce an heir. The druid formed a contract with him as payment, asking that on the child’s 5th nameday he would return with the following: The dress of a Queterais Dame, a candle, and an ingot of gold. Believing that he’d gotten what he wanted for free, five years passed, and the Lord did nothing to repay Thara.
After nine additional months, Thara showed up at his doorstep. She was unsurprised to find him dead in the front garden, drowned in the fountain by a nest of thorny brambles. He’d forgotten to read the ramifications of the contract—- Thara would become his sole heir to all lands, titles, and property in the event that she was not paid for services rendered. The lawyers of Beritend were forced to honor the agreement, as it was proven and deemed legal after the scroll he signed was produced as evidence. The lands, titles, and keys to Bogrant Estate were passed to Thara. She became the Dame of Fellthorn, which put her in control of the entire Western half of the forest and its outlying estates. Her manservant, Thog of Mud, took residence with her in Bogrant Manor after the staff members were dismissed and escorted out.
After hearing of the Beritend incident, the Kingdom of Queterais sent witch hunters into the forest. They wished to log the trees and dig the bogs, believing there would be no opposition to their surprise attack. Thara and her Witches mounted the witch hunters on spikes of briarwood just outside the forestline to serve as example. Queterais sent their army in response, but the outcome was relatively the same. This time Thara called upon the Bloodlets in service to Severa and the Ellivan Warriors to eradicate the Queterais forces. They rode on the backs of strange bear-like creatures seemingly made from rose vines and red moss. Afterwards, she invaded the home of the nearest vassal lord and took him hostage, announcing that she’d put the whole Kingdom in a state of ruination unless someone dispatched a courier to fetch the King of Queterais, Roi Regus Je Taum.
The Roi arrived in secret with a small entourage, attempting to save himself public embarrassment. He offered his complete cooperation, fearful that the powerful druid would destroy his kingdom. Thara asked for his half of the Fellthorn and a tract of land along the forest border, placing all villages there under her jurisdiction.
The Roi agreed, asking what she would do with the lord taken hostage. She fed the squalling lord to the Bloodlets, in full view of the Roi, to serve as another warning. After the lord vassal’s death, she claimed his lands as her own— effectively becoming a Dame of both kingdoms. Thara told the Roi to never trespass upon her forest again,
allowing him to ride off one last time.