Monday, May 13, 2013

Grudlum, Witch Doctor of the Deep (Swords & Wizardry NPC)

Art by Bruno Balixa - used with permission
Grudlum, Witch Doctor of the Deep

Hit Dice: 7 (38HP)
Armor Class: 3 [16]
Attacks: 2 claw (1d6) or spell
Saving Throw: 12
Special: Blunt weapons do only half damage due to rubbery skin, can breath in air or water
Move: 6 / 12 (in water)
Alignment: Neutral
Number Encountered: Unique
Challenge Level/XP: 8 / 800

Grudlum certainly looks more dangerous than he is. Or, more accurately, looks more "Chaotic" in nature than is the truth.

Before Grudlum was "Grudlum, Witch Doctor of the Deep" he was Gravetis of the Brown Robes, a magic user of middling ability. While exploring the Dungeon of She That Shall Not Be Named, the fellows in his adventuring party were killed as Gravetis ran for his life. He made a wrong turn, opened a wrong door and fell into the wrong pool in what was certainly the wrong dungeon. When he removed himself from the waters, he was no longer in the wrong dungeon but in the wrong land and most certainly in the wrong body, as now he looked like an obese Sahuagin.

Gravetis goes by the name Grudlum these days and uses the title "Witch Doctor of the Deep" to keep the few locals in the area away from his lair, as the title in and of itself is impressive and mysterious. They respect his space and sometimes leave him offerings of food and alcohol. In return he occasionally casts Continual Light on a river stone and leaves it for the villagers to use. The arrangement has worked well for both sides.

When he talks to others it's in a deep, gutteral manner, but in truth this is mostly an act to go along with his appearance. On the occasions that he talks to himself (which is not unknown for one living with themselves as their sole daily companion) it's in his old voice as Gravetis.

Grudlum / Gravetis casts spells as a 6th level magic-user and has a fairly comprehensive spell book that boasts some unique spells. As he is known to say, to the few that he talks to, he has nothing but time. He has been in his current form for nearly 27 years and doesn't feel like he is aging at all. He enjoys his existence of solitude, but every once in a while the urge for the company of others draws him to one of the local villages for a few hours. Even then he doesn't talk much, but he is known (or at least "known of") by the locals, and his appearance generates excitement more then anything else.

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