Karduk Dytlineer is only our second mixed race character (the first was Milo Redbranch, a Half-Elf Ranger). Karduk is a half-gnome, quarter-elf, quarter-human, largely as a druid/illusionist must be either human or a mixed race. Mixed race characters with the right inherited stats have the potential to be the most powerful characters. They also tend to have interesting backstories.
Karduk was born to a half-elf, half-human mother on her return to Hemifa. The father was a gnome worshipper of Korgaran she had met on a pilgrimage to Vanias’ Shrine in Tripik, her oldest standing shrine.
Karduk was raised by his mother in the worship of Vanias, but she had already been a near outcast from the elves in Hemifa, despite her help growing their iron wood hedges. They considered her druidic powers to be unnatural meddling with nature. Still, her good standing with Vanias left their disdain mostly without grounds. Karduk’s birth only made matters worse. The Hemifa elves hate gnomes, and they could tell what his father was.
Just the same, Karduk’s mother loved him deeply and allowed him to help her maintain the hedges with druidic power. He was very bright and a quick study. She was very proud despite his eccentricities and wild fits. However, when he came of age, the elves cast him out. Alone in the world, he returned to the things his mother had taught him.
Karduk never got far from Hemifa, settling in only a few miles to the West. He remembered that his mother had said that the hedges kept them safe, and he wanted to be safe. He started building his own hedges, but they were mad and twisted. Still, his rough cottage was safe.
Eventually, unsupervised Karduk stumbled upon his connection with the plane of magic. The power to create and destroy supernaturally delighted him and he delved deep into magic. This eventually drew the attention of the elves of Hemifa, who abhorred magic.
They were too late. By the time they tried to infiltrate his wood, Karduk was a powerful mage and had come upon the power of illusion. They were driven back. Karduk continues to defend his large stretch of woods, now known by communities in the area as the Trickster’s Wood.
Strength: 12, Constitution: 23, Dexterity: 22,
Wisdom: 21, Intelligence: 35, Charisma: 10
Abilities: Illusory Casting XVI, Spell Casting X, Speak to Plants X, Rapid Growth VI, Speak to Animals V, Facade V, Natural Empathy VII, Control Plants V, Throw Voice V, Crusade (Elf) IV, Swift Magic I, Call Animal I
Skills: Stealth X, Agility V, Perception V
Karduk’s primary asset is his illusions. With 16 levels and 35 intelligence, his illusions, when believable, require a perception check of 52 to see through. Since even someone with 30 levels in Perception would have trouble getting that high, Karduk can afford to make his illusions more unbelievable and disturbing. Even when touched, his illusions are so realistic that they would continue to seem real. Touching an illusion reduces its believability by half, so at 26, only with 4 or more levels in Perception would someone have a chance of seeing through the illusion when touching it. These chances are somewhat improved, since Karduk’s illusions tend toward the insane and Lovecraftian.
He has plenty of SP for creating such illusions, at 4368 SP. However, he has faced determined opponents in the past and knows how to use his SP conservatively. Using his stealth and his ability to throw his voice, he augments his illusions with more mundane deceptions. He also uses his normal spell casting to throw some real death or fire into the mix, just enough to keep the enemy from assuming all danger is faked. He can cast spells far quicker than most, using 7 arcs in 2 seconds and more than 4 fingers per second on the left hand and 2 fingers per second on the right.
His Rapid Growth and Control Plant abilities are mostly used to build the hedge maze of the Trickster’s Wood, which he only changes rarely of late. He spends most of his time communing with nature and awaiting threats. His illusory ambushes are brilliantly planned and use a wide range of natural and magical resources.
As a Master Weaver, what kinds of illusions would you have Karduk use? As a player, how would you fight him? Or would you try to recruit him? What kind of treasures might he have hidden? Let us know in the comments below.