Yesterday I promised a folk hero for the Lizard Folk of the Demon Swamp. Here he is: Shilin “The Serpent’s Fang” Wesliniss, an ancient leader of the empire.
Backstory and Levels 1-25
Shilin Wesliniss was a prodigy among his tribe deep in the Homebog, or Demon Swamp as it would come to be known, and early in his youth he was tapped to represent his tribe as a disciple of Wesarin and sent to the temple for religious training. Even among the elect youth, Shilin excelled and advanced quickly past older youth and eventually adults as a Cleric of Wesarin. He was not only exceptionally wise and prudent, but a great scholar with extreme ability to learn. After his induction into the Supreme Order of Wesarin Shilin became the leading magical scholar of the order, but also one of their most important diplomats to the merfolk, orcs, and goblins, speaking all of their languages.
Shilin was on a diplomatic mission to the orcs of the Hungry Hills, known to them as the Hills of the Sky, when the settlers of Reach arrived on the Western Shore. Immigrants had come to their lands before, but never in such numbers. Despite his best efforts, Shilin could not convince the orcs to come defend their territory. Instead, seeing their opportunity to break the grip the Wesarin Empire had had on them, the orcs refused all refugees to their lands and declared war on the lizardfolk. Shilin was forced to flee through forests embroiled in war as the human and elf invaders drove his people from the area.
As the war went on, Shilin did his best to rally his people and support them with his magics. It was not enough. Soon they had been driven even from the valleys that divided the orc and goblin hills and saw the goblins turning against them as well, driving out their ambassadors. As the invaders paused in their campaign to settle the land they had taken, Shilin rushed South to help defend against a goblin offensive in the late Fall. He joined the garrison of their largest fortress on the border of goblin lands. Shilin became truly desperate as the goblins continued to attack into Winter with growing undead hordes. It was then he turned to Necromancy. Soon he had raised a massive army of undead lizardfolk and goblins (including some of the goblin necromancers). By Spring he had crushed the goblin nations, driving them back underground and destroying their civilization.
The human and elf invaders attacked again in the Spring. Demoralized, the lizardfolk withdrew all the way back to the swamp, preparing to defend the Temple of Wesarin at all costs. Their preparations were not needed. Shilin pressed with his undead hordes, growing more and more powerful. Their prayers were heard by Wesarin, who enticed a dragon of the Heaven Mounts to attack Reach itself. Upon the dragon’s sack of Reach, Shilin pressed against the remaining settlers, destroying each of their villages in turn and sending forces to occupy the Ruins of Reach. Though the lizardfolk did not expand to populate the regained territory, they maintained contact with Shilin. Seen as a tragic, self-sacrificing hero, Shilin was ostracized for his rampant necromancy. He lived the rest of his life alone in the massive fortress with his undead hordes, still defending his people against orc and goblin attacks.
Strength: 11, Constitution: 13, Dexterity: 20,
Wisdom: 25, Intelligence: 39, Charisma: 15
Abilities: Prayer VII, Pray on Behalf III, Magical Scholasticism I, Arcane Knowledge XII, Magical Intuition II, Spell Casting XVII, Persuade II, Gather Followers I, Animate Dead VI, Stealth Magic I, Call Undead III, Sense Death XI, Soul Drain IX, Command Undead I
Skills: Diplomacy VIII, Will X
This Shilin is the Shilin who lives alone, choosing power over persuasion. By level 25, his days of negotiation are far behind him, but he still has the skills to convince those with lesser conviction. However, his primary strengths are in his undead horde and in his magic.
Shilin is a very powerful caster. With Spell Casting XVII (27) he’s entitled to 31 of each component type. There are only 24 words and 24 circle components, so he has overkill there. There are 36 finger components, however, but his one level in Stealth Magic picks up the rest of those, as well as increasing his overkill in the circle components. “Why would he take 27 levels in Spell Casting?” you might ask. With 27 levels in spell casting he can double the power of any spell he casts up to 52 DoP. This might seem like overkill as well, but has a support caster with high will, Shilin is fairly likely to be casting very long, slow spells and is capable of doing so without failing due to exhaustion. Consider the encourage rain spell from last week: it is a 23 DoP spell. With Shilin’s excessive Spell Point pool, he could easily cast a similar spell using 52 DoP and then double that again from his Spell Casting bonus. This spell would produce over 4.5 times the water the spell would produce as written, giving Shilin a much more potent influence over the weather. He could do this with any spell, perhaps noxious fog or a teleport spell or even better, the undead bolstering spell I am going to present on Saturday.
With Animate Dead VI (6) he can animate dead up to level 11 and can control up to 300 of them. He has plenty of spell points to bind this many with many of them being very powerful.
This character is mighty enough to be the main villain of a campaign, but the truth is, he was an ancient folk hero, by the time our players meet him and his horde he is long dead…
As a Master Weaver, how would you expect your players to handle Shilin? How else could you use his story in a campaign? As a player, what would this lore teach you about the Lizardfolk? Comment below and let us know.