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Vhalantru as a patron

Page history last edited by Nib 10 years, 12 months ago

In order to make the revelation of Vhalantru as a beholder in chapter 8 even more memorable, many DMs have opted to make Vhalantru appear as harmless as possible, even friendly to the PCs and thus, the role of Vhalantru as a patron (group or PC) have seen lots of interest. Here's some ideas taken from the paizo messageboards...


What can Vhalantru as a patron do for the group ?


- Providing each PC with a masterwork weapon or piece of armour. Fairly significant for a low-level party, but not a lot in the bigger scheme of things.

- Paying for their rooms at the inn, or perhaps even providing them with a small house where he can keep a closer eye or three on them.

- I’m planning on pulling out all the stops when I run delvesdeep’s wonderful Demonskar Ball scenario. I can see Vhalantru helping the PCs prepare for this with advice, making sure they get the proper lessons and costumes, hiring a carriage for them, etc. Perhaps part of his motivation for this is knowing that the Stormblades dislike the PCs and are hoping they make fools of themselves at the ball. Vhalantru has no love for the other nobles in town, and it’s a chance to get a dig in at them and have a bit of fun before the real fireworks start.

- Offer to help cut through any red tape when dealing with town hall and the authorities.

In exchange, Vhalantru will of course want to hear about the PCs exploits in detail, which naturally helps him keep close tabs on their abilities and powers, as well as know what’s going on in the area.


How to best introduce Vhalantru ?


After the PCs rescue the orphans in Life’s Bazaar, Jenya will arrange an audience with the lord mayor (as suggested in the magazine version – not sure if it made into the book version). Lord Vhalantru will be there, and will seem so impressed by the PC’s accomplishments that he will invite them to his manor for dinner. At dinner he will show them around, explaining how he’s always liked to encourage and sponsor young adventurers, and became fond enough of many of them to have stone likenesses made in their honor…. After dinner he will then offer to become the PCs patron as well.

Delvesdeep had the idea of passing Vhalantru off as comical and harmless. That’s a great way to help allay any of the PCs suspicions.


How to best introduce Vhalantru ?


Basically I was setting a situation in which adventuring parties need to be registered in order to receive the lucrative contracts handed out by the government of Cauldron (in my case Sundabar in the Forgotten Realms Silver Marches region). The functionary in charge of this is a relatively new noble by the name of Vhalantru.

The game opened with a group of the PCs (some wanted to start as a group and some wanted to meet in game) going to apply for one of these group licenses as well as get their first assignement.

As they arrive at the offices they are met by the smugly departing Stormblades. The Stormblades paused to mock the party member who was a member of the nobility and haughtily ignore the rest of the party. This really did not indeer them to the party (phrases like "don't take that from that corn-rowed b$^#%" were bandied about).

Once inside the offices they were escorted into see Vhalantru who thanked them for their application but explains that he was forced to give away the last available contract to the group who just left for political reasons.

For me then, Vhalantru's patronage would mean access to missions. He will be pulling strings to get the PCs missions instead of the Stormblades (and some will go different ways depending on how much I need to play up the rivalry at the moment), with the PCs getting the commisions for adventures in the AP and the Stormblades getting made up commisions.

The PCs would then be witness to Vhalatru's incredibly quick rise in the ranks to be the right hand man of the Lord Mayor and eventually his replacement when the LM goes missing. If I were to do it right the PCs would even be cheering this change on.


How to best introduce Vhalantru ?


The party met Vhalantru shortly after rescuing 3 of the 4 orphans - some Beholder took the fourth one, but then mysteriously dumped him at the orphanage anyway. Due to some strange events the Stormblades received the credit for the rescue of all of the orphans. Vhalantru approached the heroes in the Tipped Tankard and let them know that certain 'movers and shakers' around town knew the truth and that there would be more work available for the in the future.

Since then, he has arranged for them to buy property, dealt with beaurocratic problems and helped smooth over their initial entry to the Cusp. During the tax riot all they could think of doing was to get in touch with Vhalantru to find out what was going on inside the town hall!

Now that they've headed off into the Demonskar, he's convinced that he won't be dealing with them again.


How to best introduce Vhalantru ?


Vhalantru has been a patron of my PCs since early in the campaign. They are about to start Soul Pillars. he has given them civic honours, medals, awards etc and the use of a house by the lake with a servant. The servant is a shapechanging spy who keeps his master well informed of the PC's activities. They consider him to be a friend and benefactor and he pretends to be very concerned about the chaotic state of Cauldron. He has occasionally given the PCs bad advice to get them in trouble. When the party wizard was on trial for some minor crimes, Vhalantru offered to pay for his defence and slipped him a fireball scroll to blast his way to freedom. The mage (Wis 8, CN) was sorely tempted but the other PCs got him (legally) out of trouble.


How to best introduce Vhalantru ?


In my campaign the group caught some of the Dark Creepers and brought them to the surface. These were handed over to the Town Guard. Afterwards they met the Dark Stalker, who wanted to have back his "children". Then he would show the group the way down and give them further details (he also asked them to find the other missing children in the factory room to show him, that the group is earnest about their offer). To obtain the Creepers from the Town Guard they went to the Town Hall to speak with the Lord Mayor...

Enter: Lord Vhalantru, after explaining the situation to him, he offers valiantly to help them *evil DM grin* and gives them a letter to release the Dark Creepers back into the custody of the party.

Thus the patronage is born...

Meanwhile: one of the party did not like the decision of the others and went back down to Jzadirune (i still do not know what went against his grain...). He was captured by the Dark Stalker and gave them the information, where in the town the Dark Creepers were being held. Since it took too long (in his view) for bringing back his children the Stalker decides to take a more active approach and invades the barracks of the Town Guard to free the Dark Creepers (killing three town guards in the process).

Meanwhile 2: the aberrant PC is rescued by a rogue (his romantic interest) and tries to catch up with the darkfolk.

The group enters the town barracks, finds no Night Sergeant (he lies dead behind his desk), hurries down to the prison cellar and gets ambushed by the Dark Creepers. Nearly everyone is dropped into negatives. Enter: a fuming ranger, freshly escaped from Jzadirune. He takes out the Dark Stalker while another fighter mops up the Creepers before they can escape.

One of the closest fights ever, that i have seen. 


How to best introduce Vhalantru ?


They first met after the PCs successfully dismantled the kidnapping ring and put an end to Kazmojen. They were honored by the mayor in a small public ceremony at town hall. Afterwards he invited the party inside for a short chat and a drink. I wrote-up the initial introduction and thought I’d include it here:

Opening a dark, carved wooden door, they all enter a spacious, circular room furnished with comfortable chairs and settees, with hanging tapestries and a bright chandelier overhead. As they enter, a figure rises awkwardly and smiles at them. He is a human of average height, slightly overweight, with long blond hair, dressed in noble’s clothes that are just a bit dishevelled. In one hand he holds a silver cup, in the other a small wooden pipe. He holds the cup aloft and says loudly “Greetings brave heroes! Join me in a drink in your honour!” He drains what is left in his cup. It is clear he is a bit tipsy. He sets down his pipe, which falls over on the table, and picks up a nearby bottle.

The mayor says “Ladies and gentleman, may I introduce Lord Orbyus ("Or-bye-us") Vhalantru, one of Cauldron’s upstanding nobles. Lord Vhalantru, the Company of Seekers.”

Vhalantru flourishes an exaggerated bow. “Greetings, greetings, one and all. Now, for that toast.” He gestures to one of the two serving people in the room, who picks up a tray of silver cups, while the other takes a bottle from a nearby table and begins to pour drinks. While they are distributing the cups, Vhalantru chuckles and says “What heroes you are, to have rescued those orphans. My, I haven’t seen such daring in many a season! Are you hungry? We have fruit and cheeses over here if you’d like,” gesturing to a sideboard with a bowl and plate of said items. “But you have your drinks now, so a toast.” At this point everyone, including the mayor, has a cup filled with red wine. “To the Company of Seekers, long may they… do what they do!” He drains his cup and holds it out to be refilled, teetering slightly.

(I intentionally played Vhalantru as a bit distracted and not very eloquent here).

The adventurers are offered seats, and the mayor takes a seat himself in an overstuffed armchair.

The mayor says “Lord Vhalantru is a great admirer and supporter of Cauldron’s adventurers. He asked to be able to meet you personally and extend his congratulations. He has a notable history of interest in heroes such as yourselves.”

“Indeed!” says Vhalantru. “Those who would risk life and limb in the interests of those around them deserve to be recognized and celebrated. In fact, you are all invited to my manor for a dinner in your honour! How does tomorrow…the day after that sound?”

- response -

“Wonderful! I will see to the preparations immediately.” He drains his cup again. “Severen, have you seen my driver?” he asks, looking around at the walls.

“One of the servants will help you find him Lord Vhalantru,” says the mayor, gesturing to one of them to help the noble. “Ah, very good!” says Vhalantru. “Until then, dear friends of Cauldron!” He bows again, knocking over a chair. He chuckles and is lead out of the room.

The mayor says “Don’t mind him too much. He’s a good man, Lord Vhalantru, very generous and well-meaning, but I think he’s a little lost sometimes. He doesn’t have the same kind of interest in commerce and business that some of the other nobles have, which is why I think he takes such an interest in adventurers like yourselves. I do recommend taking him up on dinner though, he can put on a fine table.”


It is after the dinner two days later that Vhalantru offers to be the group’s patron.



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