Friday, February 20, 2015

Lands of Pergerron: the Lich Aruman

Back to Pergerron: Aruman is an ancient lich who has been both trapped within and protected by the Vosjin Wood. His schemes are far-reaching, however, and he promises profane occult lore to those who will do his vile bidding...

The Many Schemes of Aruman

Aruman is an ancient lich, once a man, who bears a great grudge against the city of Samaskar and the ruling king Damadis who betrayed him two centuries ago. Aruman’s key personality elements include a habit of never telling the same story the same way twice, never displaying remorse or regret, and strongly believing in the principles of the plague god of the undead Pulsragal, whom he personally ventured into the Outworld to find, in order to achieve his immortality.

He is at mortal odds with the Lich Xamorthas, whom Aruman once studied under and stole the requisite spells from to commune with Pulsragal. Two centuries ago, when King Damadis and Queen Aspara were feuding, Damadis consorted with the lich Xamorthas for aid, and in exchange all Xamorthas asked was that Damadis hand over Aruman. At the time Aruman was a venerable servant of the king, an agent of the court and a newly formed lich of great power; his betrayal of Xamorthas had been discovered at last.

Damadis did indeed hand over Aruman to Xamorthas, or attempted to. Aruman was able to escape, and was chased into the deeps of the haunted Vosjin Wood. Some claimed that not even Xamorthas and his hunters could find Aruman within the mysterious woods, but the truth is they did: the lich’s warriors tossed Aruman down a natural cistern after dismembering him. There, Aruman lay wounded but not dead due to his immortality as a lich, and he discovered a portal to the Outworld, which exposed the majesty of the hidden mountain of Sambador at the heart of the woods. Aruman petitioned dark spirits within to restore him, in exchange for insuring that Sambador’s temple be restored.

Today, Aruman dwells in a small villa built over the cistern and cavern he found which allowed for passage into the Outworld. He has continued his magical studies for two centuries, and has learned much in this time. The forest never allows him escape, for Lamia Queen Sukagras dislike him, but the two spirits of the wood-the White Stag and the Black Rook-have taken a liking to him.

Without an ability to leave the Vosjin Wood, Aruman must act through third parties to seek out new magic, discover ancient lore, and gain revenge upon the descendants of King Damadis. He ultimately seeks to escape the woods and gain revenge upon Xamorthas as well, but that is revenge he personally wishes to exact.

Aruman's hut
Ancient Tomes of Pergerron

Both of these books, or copies therof, are in the possession of Aruman:

The Tupsimatti Grimoire

This ancient tome is a treatise on the origins of the primordials, the rise of the elves in ancient Sar and the origins of the mysterious power that is the quintessence, the fifth element, of magic. Those who read it will find that the book is nearly endless; every month of study will reveal the following:

In Magic World it reveals 1D3-1 new spells, and allow the reader a chance to improve his or her Intelligence or Power scores (only one, and once a month).

In D&D 5E it reveals 1D3-1 new spells to the user each month of levels 1D10 (where 0 is a cantrip). The book can be used to swap out one prepared spell during a short rest with another from the book.

The Tome of Grol’Magog

This potent ancient tome contains the teachings of the outworld Demon Prophet Grol’Magog and includes a detailed discussion of the City of Chains where the ancient demon sorcerer dwelt. It provides planar gate magic, summoning magic, and names thirteen of Grol’Magog’s enemies’ true names. It contains dozens of useful spells, but the reader who learns it all risks madness and possession by Grol’Magog himself, who has imbued a portion of his demon spirit within the tome.

In Magic World, the user risks possession by Grol’Magog when reading the book (INT 21, POW 27; a resistance roll of POW vs. POW that leads to failure means the malevolent spirit is in possession of the sorcerer; this conflict may be rolled once per day after 8 hours of sleep, and each time the victim is possessed the spirit steals 1 POW from him or her). If the reader successfully fights off the spirit then one new spell is revealed and learned.

In D&D 5E, the spirit will take possession (similar to a ghost) which requires a DC 17 Charisma save to resist. Failure means the spirit retains total control of the reader for one day and a new save may be made after a long rest (yes, the spirit may intentionally deprive the victim of sleep to stay in control). A successful save means one new spell of choice (or random at the DM’s discretion) is revealed which the reader may then study and add to his or her spellbook. After the first time the reader is possessed, future saves are made with disadvantage.  


  1. I have enjoyed these posts about your NPCs and characters, especially since I have entered into the DM Role. Should we expect to see a passage about Grol’Magog? Also, at what point will some one need to make a sanity check when reading his book. If they read it to simply acquire the demon names would they be ok?

    1. Heh actually I am using sanity rules in both my MW and 5E versions of the game....I should include some notes on that too.

      Grol'Magog will probably get a write-up soon. Right now I am vacillating between the Vos'Jin wood area which was the focus of last year's campaign, and the Silver Coast which is where current events are taking place. I wanted to do a specific stat block on Aruman but couldn't find the time....maybe in the near future.

      On the books I think anyone who attains spell knowledge from either book would make a sanity check, though (A DC 15 Wis roll in 5E) or suffer a malady (minor permanent from the DMG, or 1D6 SAN loss from MW with San rules in use).