Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tribes of the Land: Gaspak's Clan

This entry was written by James Lawson, for the April Contest: Tribes of the Land. He can also be found on his website and twitter under @blackengorge.

Gaspak's Clan

Gaspak's Clan is a small tribe of Xivorts (see MM3, p.208) that have taken refuge in the world and are waiting for the day that they become strong enough to exact their revenge on the giants and ogres that they see as their oppressors.

Distant cousins of gnomes, Xivorts have been changed and ravaged by fell magic and torture by formorians in the Shadowdark. Many xivorts are still slaves to the formorians, but a lucky few have managed to escape into the feywild or the world. However, for some this escape was at a price - bargains with cabals of hags to help them escape left them with gross exaggerations to their twisted features as they escaped through the Shadowfell. Many xivorts harbour hatred towards larger creatures, such as goliaths and half-orcs, but reserve their fiercest ire for ogres and giants.

One such xivorts that managed to flee the formarians' servitude through the Shadowfell is Gaspak, who's journey through that plane has transformed him into something stronger than normal. He saw opportunity for revenge when he was released by the hags and made further deals with them. The hags would continue to free xivorts and hold them for Gaspak in exchange for riches and treasures from the world.

Gaspak steadily built up his clan, starting with those that escaped with him, and gradually adding to his numbers with gifts and offerings to the cabal of hags that freed him.

The main tactic the clan employs is to find caves or hideouts fairly close to small villages and towns. Time is spent fortifying these places with traps and hazards, and then they begin small raids - more intent on terrifying than any real destruction. These raids are disguised as best they can as goblin or kobold raids, with the hope that the village will employ any wandering adventurers to solve the problem.

When adventurers arrive the xivorts use their traps and hazards to waylay them and then attack in swarms. The intent is to relieve the adventurers of any items they have that the hags would like. Gaspak takes his share of the items, picking and choosing those that will ultimately help him reach his goal of being powerful enough to take on giants and ogres, before meeting with the hags at pre-arranged times and places to offer them the remaining riches.

Gaspak stays in the location for as long as he deems it safe and the raiding disguise holds, or until adventurers stop coming. The clan then leave in the night to find a new base of operations.

This process has been repeated over and over again for more than three years, and their leader has gradually accumulated items that he believes will help him in his crusade. His clan now numbers over thirty, with new xivorts from the hags helping bolster his numbers, or replace those that have fallen.

Gaspak is a single-minded and determined Xivort, the thought of revenge all he truly has to rest upon after years of suffering and torture. Clever and decisive, he has thought of many of the traps that the xivorts employ - the tinkering skills of their distant cousins, the gnomes, present in his bloodline. He leads battle from the front when he has to, using the weapons and armours he has taken from past adventurers to his best advantage.

Sample Encounters:
Level 1 Encounter (550xp)
- 2 Xivort Slashers (MM3, p.208)
- 1 Shadowhunter Bat (MM, p.27)
- 1 Xivort Darter (MM3, p.208)
- 1 False Floor Pit Trap (DMG, p.87)

Level 3 Encounter (750xp)
- 3 Xivort Slashers (MM3, p.208) mounted on...
- 3 Giant Rats (MM, p.219)
- 2 Xivort Darters (MM3, p.208)
- 1 Xivort Netcaster (MM3, p.209)
- 1 Spear Gauntlet Trap (DMG, p.87)

Level 5 Encounter (1,025xp)
- 3 Xivort Slashers (MM3, p.208)
- 1 Xivort Darter
- 1 Xivort Netcaster
- 1 Xivort Shadow Caller
- Gaspak (see above) mounted on...
- 1 Dire Rat

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