Excerpts 02/12/2007


Secrets of Sarlona Excerpts
By Keith Baker, Scott Fitzgerald Gray, Glenn McDonald, and Chris Sims



The mysteries and unknown await exploration in Secrets of Sarlona. Take a few moments to look at some excerpts, which reveal a few things about Sarlona, such as a couple of adventure sites, some interesting people, new feats you can use, and a new item called emotional armor. Then, when you crave to learn more, go find a copy of Secrets of Sarlona and start learning even more about this part of Eberron.

Notable Riedrans

Thousands of powerful individuals make up the elaborate Inspired hierarchy. Thousands of aides, warriors, and spies serve them. Here are a few examples.

Devotion

LN female changeling rogue 7

Personal identity has no value to Devotion. Service to the Thousand Eyes is the center of her existence, and names, faces, and personalities are simply tools she uses in this task. Her skills and dedication have earned her the personal interest of Lady Sharadhuna. Devotion is often assigned sensitive missions on behalf of her mistress. She could be sent to observe the PCs and to interact with them in a variety of guises, testing their reactions to different situations and offers. Should Lady Sharadhuna decide to involve the characters in her rivalry with the Dreaming Dark (see Dissension in the Ranks, page 61), Devotion is her emissary.

Devotion has no single favored form. While she has a few cover identities she uses in her work, if no specific face is required, she wears a new one every day, changing voice and mannerisms to match. Her one defining trait is her utter loyalty to Lady Sharadhuna, and no offer can tempt her to turn on her mistress.

Ilaan, Unchained Dreamer

CN male human expert 3 (Dream of Contact, Dream Scion, Dream of Truth)

Though only a child, Ilaan has an innate connection to dreamspace -- a gift that has given him wisdom beyond his years and hardened his mind against the indoctrination of the Inspired. He can't control his dreaming, and he rarely grasps the cryptic images he sees, but occasionally he wakes with a vital insight about the present or the future, and he always feels obliged to act. These oracular visions guided him to a local cell of the Unchained, and they might guide him to the PCs. In this way, if the characters are in desperate need of direction, this strangely mature boy might approach them. Once the PCs have encountered Ilaan, he might reach them in the future using the Dream of Contact feat.

It might be that Ilaan's youth has shielded him from the eyes of the Inspired. Or it could be that his "visions" are in fact dreams sent by one of Riedra's overlords, who is using the boy to guide the party down a particular path.

Keshraa the Fallen

NE male changeling telepath 13

Once an agent of the dragons of Argonnessen, Keshraa was mind seeded by Lady Sharadhuna of the Thousand Eyes. Draconic discipline, an indomitable will, and the innately slippery thoughts of the changeling were pitted against quori power, and a new being arose in the aftermath, one who had the memories and cunning of the kalaraq spirit but no loyalty to Dal Quor or Argonnessen. Now calling himself Keshraa, this changeling eluded his captors and disappeared.

Keshraa is a mastermind engaged in a complex and ruthless vendetta against the quori who created him. Although he frequently works with rebels and dissidents, he is utterly amoral and doesn't care what happens to the Inspired, Riedra, or Khorvaire. His only interest is the game he is playing with Lady Sharadhuna and the Thousand Eyes. He might help those who are working against the Inspired, but Keshraa does nothing out of kindness. If he provides assistance, that help is serving his purposes.

This rebel changeling could hold influential positions in any of the dissident groups described in the Plots section, though he considers these groups to be nothing more than tools. He might appear out of nowhere to help PCs in their hour of need, wearing the face of a priest, a soldier, or even one of the Inspired. He has absolutely no regard for human life. Still, in Sarlona, the help of a villain might be the best one can hope for.

Keshraa has turned a number of Chosen against the Inspired, and he could serve as a mentor to a Chosen PC. He claims to see a reflection of himself in the character -- the vessel turned against the Inspired. Does he truly have an emotional bond with his protege, or is this one more ruse intended to create a more effective weapon?

When dealing with Keshraa, remember that he has the cold cunning of a prince of nightmares, and that he has successfully eluded the Thousand Eyes for almost a decade. His intellect is a far greater weapon than his psionic powers. If he is forced into battle, something has gone terribly wrong for him.

Lord Sulatesh

LE male du'ulora Inspired psychic warrior 12

The du'ulora champion Lord Sulatesh commands Kintam Ulakhun, the great fortress that watches Kaashta Keep from the edge of Syrkarn. Sulatesh has commanded this front since the war began -- he was present at the first disastrous siege of Kaashta, and he still thirsts for vengeance. Sulatesh is a cruel being who takes great pleasure in torturing his foes, both on the battlefield and in his dungeons. The kalashtar and agents of the Summit Road who fall into his hands suffer for weeks before being allowed to die. While the tortures Sulatesh devises are horrifying, this obsession could provide the time rescuers need to liberate a prisoner, or it could give prisoners time to devise a plan of escape.

Although cruel to his foes, Sulatesh treats his troops well and is loved by his soldiers. Many are disturbed by the practice of torture, but most accept their lord's explanation that it is a necessary tool to purge the prisoners of the altavars that possess them. A few, however, are deeply troubled by what they have seen, and these doubters could come to the aid of prisoners in Kintam Ulakhun.

Ruukra, Horned Guard

LG female ogre mage fighter 1

This ogre mage is an imposing sight, ten feet of muscle sheathed in chainmail. Her skin is icy blue, and her horns are glistening black ivory. Ruukra is especially devoted to the Path of Inspiration and the belief that through good works, she can purify the demon within. She is lawful good, and when she is off the battlefield she goes out of her way to show compassion to others. In battle, she acts with honor -- she shows no mercy to those she believes to be tools of evil, but she will not condone unnecessary cruelty among her companions. Although brave, she is a wise warrior and knows when to retreat to fight another day. If she is seriously injured, she typically turns invisible and takes to the air, staying out of her enemy's reach while she regenerates. As with all members of the Horned Guard, she has been forbidden from using her change shape power. The priests say that the body of the ogre mage is designed to hold the altavar, and changing shape weakens those bonds and lets the spirit influence the ogre.

Ruukra can be encountered on the borders of Adar, or as a guardian of the peace in a bastion city. She initially opposes the PCs, but if they act with honor, she might come to respect them. Ruukra is violently opposed to the Horned Shadow, and a joint battle against the Shadow could easily cement a bond between her and the PCs. Eventually, she might come to realize that the PCs are more honorable than her Inspired masters. Although she will never abandon the Path of Inspiration, she could turn against the Inspired.

Despite her fearsome appearance, Ruukra is calm and compassionate. She never lets anger show, even in battle. She pities her opponents rather than hating them.

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