Rogue?s Gallery Rjurik NPCs

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WotC Article

The contents herein are entirely copyrighted to Wizards of the Coast and represent official Birthright lore.
©1996-2010 Wizards of the Coast, Inc.

Original article from Dragon Magazine 230

Note that at the time of publishing this was 2nd edition, thus all stats are still in 2nd Edition format


©1996-2007 Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
©1996-2007 Wizards of the Coast, Inc.

6th-level Rjurik Bard






AC 6




DAMAGE/ATTACK 1d6 (short sword) or 1d4 (dagger)

Bloodline: Anduiras, minor, 16.
Blood Ability: Resistance (major). 50% immunity to wizard spells of the enchantment/charm school, priest spells of the charm sphere, and similar spell-like effects.
Weapon Proficiencies: Dagger, short sword, throwing knife.
Nonweapon Proficiencies: Ancient history (12), etiquette (16), local history (16), musical instruments?bagpipes and lute (16), reading/writing Rjuven (14), singing (16).
Equipment: Padded leather armor, ring of protection +2, furs in winter, short sword, dagger, throwing knives, bagpipes, lute, scroll cases, books.
Spells (3/2): Charm person, phantasmal force, read magic; invisibility, whispering wind.
Bard Abilities: Climb Walls 60%, Detect Noise 40%, Pick Pockets 10%, Read Languages 55%.
Description/History: As a bard (or skald, as the Rjurik call their bards), Jerryl serves an important function in Rjurik society. Jerryl is at once an entertainer, historian, herald, and negotiator. With equal talent, she can sing ballads of epic wars or speak words that bring lasting peace. Though short (she stands only 5?6? tall) and sleight in build, this young woman commands great respect and wields considerable influence.
A gifted musician, Jerryl exhibits talent on both the bagpipes and the lute. Her finest instrument, however, is her own voice: Whether singing or merely speaking, Jerryl?s voice creates music that all around her crowd nearer to hear.
Jerryl spends the seasons roaming the Rjurik countryside, generally wintering in one of the Taelshore domains. Her arrival in a village or town draws smiles from the faces of regent and commoner alike, for they know she brings the latest news, tales, and songs from abroad. Jerryl can discuss with equal authority the increased military training of Stjordvik?s many clans or the new weaving method developed by the women of Halskapa. Jerryl receives warm welcomes any time of year, but especially during winter months, when Rjurik?s frigid weather drives its clans into their longhouses to spend their time in handiwork, storytelling, and planning for the coming year.
Jerryl has earned the trust of many Rjurik jarls and regents but?having taken an oath of neutrality?gives allegiance to none. Though her gentle and sometimes flirtatious manner has led to speculations linking her romantically with several jarls and other eligible bachelors, Jerryl has given her heart to her music alone. She believes that romantic entanglements pose a threat to both her diplomatic and artistic integrity.
At 27, Jerryl has had few years in which to build a reputation, yet she has earned one distinction that has eluded all other skalds: Jerryl alone has garnered the favorable regard of the Siren, one of the awnsheghlien cursed with the essence of the evil god Azrai. Formerly a bard herself, the Siren has lived in virtual seclusion since shortly after becoming an awnshegh. It is said that she refused all skalds who sought entry into her domain because she could not bear to hear other voices creating music, when hers brought only pain and destruction to its listeners. Yet somehow Jerryl gained an audience with her. No one knows just what the young woman said or sang, but she is now the one skald whose song can charm the Siren.
It is also said that Jerryl is the only human on Cerilia who can listen to the Siren?s song without ill effect. Folks speculate as to whether this alleged immunity derives from natural, divine, or magical means. Jerryl herself, however, has never confirmed the rumor.
The Siren respects Jerryl?s neutrality and allows her to come and go as other obligations?or her wanderlust?dictate. Jerryl readily delivers any greetings or messages the Siren may send to other regents, but she reveals nothing else of the time she spends in that mysterious domain.
Keldric the Seer

©1996-2007 Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
©1996-2007 Wizards of the Coast, Inc.

9th-level Rjurik Magician






AC 10




DAMAGE/ATTACK 1d6 (staff)

Bloodline: None.
Weapon Proficiencies: Dagger, staff.
Nonweapon Proficiencies: Ancient history (16), astrology (15), fire-building (12), herbalism (14) read/write Rjuven (17), read/write/speak ancient Rjuven (17), read/write/speak Anuirean (17), spellcraft (14).
Equipment: Cloak, furs in winter, dagger, staff, crystal ball, scrying bowl, rune stones, divining rod, other divination devices.
Spells (4/3/3/2/1): Change self, detect magic, know bloodline strength (Book of Magecraft), know Cerilian origin (BoM); Calder?s starry sky (BoM), ESP, improved phantasmal force; clairaudience, clairvoyance, invisibility 10? radius; Shaefpaete?s shadowy distinction (BoM), minor creation; contact other plane.
Description/History: Keldric lives alone in a cottage at the edge of a small village in Jankaping. Strange divinitory apparatus, bundles of dried herbs hanging from the ceilings, and many books crowd the cottage. It is a dwelling few enter without trepidation; indeed, children of the village dare each other merely to walk past it.
The cottage receives few visitors. The Rjurik people harbor great superstition about wizards (commanders of true magic) and seers (practitioners of lesser magic). While they accept as natural their druids? priestly magic, they consider sorcerers to be servants of the evil god Azrai. Thus, those who seek help from Keldric generally do so only in times of stress or crisis.
Keldric received his training from Jorvald, the village?s previous seer. Jorvald recognized Keldric?s talent when the younger seer was just a boy, telling Keldric?s parents that their child had the doom (a Rjurik term akin to ?curse?) of second sight. Keldric?s parents rejected Jorvald?s words and went to great lengths to shield their son from the old mans influence.
As Keldric grew, he too rejected Jorvald?s words as the mutterings of a madman. As a boy, he told himself that his premonitions and dreams were not prophetic but simply coincidental. By his midteens he hoped that if he ignored the visions they would eventually go away. Finally, at the age of 19, he went to Jorvald for guidance and began his training. Keldric studied with his mentor until Jorvald?s death 14 years ago, by which time the student had become a master in his own right. That was 17 years ago. Keldric is now 50.
Among Keldric?s rare visitors is the province ruler himself, who comes in secret during the cover of night. The jarl believes he can?t afford not to hear Keldric?s words?whatever power might grant the seer?s divinations, they are accurate more often than not. Keldric keeps the jarl?s confidence, as he does that of all his visitors. The villagers would likely be very surprised to learn that nearly every one of them has visited Keldric at one time or another, seeking to learn anything from the gender of an unborn child to the results of a contemplated raid.
Though Keldric sometimes inadvertently divines information not requested, he keeps it to himself. He does so in part out of compassion (why tell the parents of a newborn that their child will live only a year?) and in part out of self-preservation: Keldric has been blamed more than once for causing an event merely by prophesying it.
This self-enforced code of silence taxes Keldric?s spirit and mind. Foreseeing tragedies that he is powerless to prevent in the lives of his fellow villagers fills him with frustration and has made him reluctant to cultivate close friendships. And so he lives alone ? physically and emotionally isolated from the community his gift commands him to serve. Those who have seen him recently say that the solitude is beginning to wear on his sanity. Keldric has become increasingly gruff and impatient with his visitors. His ordinary conversation is sometimes as cryptic as his divinations. And he seems exceptionally nervous when shadows cross his path.
Maija Larsdotter

©1996-2007 Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
©1996-2007 Wizards of the Coast, Inc.

7th-level Rjurik Fighter






AC 8 (7 using single weapon)

THACO 14 (12 with saber +1



DAMAGE/ATTACK 1d6+4 (sabre + 1)

Bloodline: Masela, major, 29.
Blood Abilities: Enhanced sense (major), blood history, unreadable thoughts.
Weapon Proficiencies: Saber (specialist), long sword, dagger, longbow, one-handed weapon style (specialist).
Non-weapon Proficiencies: Rjuven (14), swimming (13), seamanship (17), rope use (16), strategy (12), intrigue (16), speak Anuirean (14), read/write (15), Basarji (14).
Equipment: Maija rarely carries much more than her weapons and some simple outdoor survival gear, as she prefers not to burden herself. She also owns a magical saber +1, which she calls Retribution, given to her by the Khinasi merchant lord el-Hadid.
Description/History: Maija is a slender Rjurik woman of average height. She wears her blond hair very short, for in her younger days she masqueraded as a young male Rjuvik warrior. Her cornflower blue eyes mirror her every mood.
Maija?s face shows the effects of years of hard living, both as an adventurer in southern lands and in the harsh climate of the north. An unfortunate encounter with the edge of a table in Harry?s tavern in Haes left her with a small scar on her chin. Although she is not an especially beautiful woman, she possesses a self assurance and lightness of spirit that have drawn the amorous attentions of more than one southern nobleman. She dons armor only in the most dangerous of circumstances, preferring instead to rely on her natural grace and skill with a blade to keep herself out of harm?s way. She is as comfortable in the style of clothing worn in Anuire as she is in Rjurik garb.
Maija is the daughter of Lars Bodenson, a chieftain of the Thajarr, a tribe that roams the northern reaches of Svinik. Her mother, Lida, is the daughter of Jarl Ulfgrim of Innsmark. She traces her rather rare bloodline through her mother, who derived it in turn from her mother. Ever a willful child, she fought continually with her father. By the time she was old enough to decide her own fate, their relationship had deteriorated enough to cause her to seek her fortunes as far away from Svinik as she could get; she left for the south at 17. Maija spent the next 16 years as a wandering sellsword in Anuirean lands. She was a caravan guard, a soldier in the Mhor?s army, and a ship?s captain for the merchant lord el-Hadid. She studied saber under the swordmaster Maruf al-Saad, and she honed her tactical abilities under Wilfred Raenard, lord marshal of the Prince of Avanil. Although she will not discuss it, she was even married once, for a brief time. She returned to her ancestral lands a year ago, when messengers from her father?s clan told her that her father was dying and wished to have her come home to her people. They made a sort of peace, and he passed on to her the leadership of the clan. Since her return, she has reaffirmed her ties to the ways of her people. Already one of the orog tribes of the Blood Skull Barony has learned to their cost that she is every bit her father?s daughter.
Despite ? or perhaps because of ? her years in the south, Maija has a strong connection both to the people of the Thajarr and the lands they roam. In the short year that she has been chief, she has won her people?s respect. They look to her for leadership and the defense of their ancient ways. She has successfully fought off orog raids from the Blood Skull Barony and sent packing an envoy from King Fulgar of Rjuvik, who sought to make her his bride. Although she seems enigmatic and aloof to those who do not know her, she is a true friend to those she is sworn to protect. As chief of a fairly small clan, she is very well aware of how tenuous her people?s existence is, so she prefers to avoid open warfare if possible. She has shown, however, that she can be a dangerous opponent when crossed. The few travelers from other lands whom she and her tribe encounter might expect to find some hulking brute acting as the chief of the tribe. Instead, they discover that the chief of the Thajarr is a good deal more wily and erudite than expected. Maija does not hesitate to use the confusion caused by that discovery to her advantage and to the benefit of her people.

Ulfig Bjornsson

©1996-2007 Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
©1996-2007 Wizards of the Coast, Inc.

6th-level Rjurik Priest (Druid of Erik)






AC 4 (studded leather, wooden shield +2)




DAMAGE/ATTACK 1d6+2 (spear +2)

Bloodline: None
Special Abilities: As druid, plus the following ranger abilities: Move Silently (70%), Hide in Shadows (56%), and animal empathy (save at -3); when enraged, he gains +1 to hit, +3 damage, and +5 hit points, but may not use a shield and may attack only with melee weapons.
Weapon Proficiencies: Club, spear, hand axe.
Non-weapon Proficiencies: Rjuven (11), survival-forests (11), direction sense (16), hunting (14), weather sense (14) fire-building (14)
Equipment: Ulfig carries his magical boar spear, a club, and whatever spell components and survival equipment he needs. The boar spear is a spear +2, called Witch-slayer, which he inherited from his mentor.
Description/History: Ulfig is considered large even among the Rjurik. Standing six and a half feet tall, he weighs just over 300 pounds. Strangers among the superstitious Rjurik give him a wide berth as much for his long, shaggy black hair as for his size because they fear the dark rages commonly associated with black-haired people. His dark complexion shows the strain of his daily existence, and his blue eyes have a haunted look. He wears dark, stained leather and hide armor decorated with bronze banding. In winter, he often wears a great bearskin.
Ulfig was born 28 years ago in northern Rjuvik. His black hair was considered an ill omen by the clan?s seers and midwives, but he did little to cause them any concern until he was 16. He and the jarl?s son were hunting with some other of the clan?s younger warriors. The jarl?s son, Toorvald, began to taunt Ulfig about his black hair. The other boys joined in. Ulfig tried to laugh at first, but as the others escalated the taunts, he became angry. When Toorvald poked him with a boar spear and drew blood, something inside Ulfig snapped. He wrenched the spear out of Toorvald?s hand and began to lay about him with great swings. By the time he mastered himself, his hands were badly lacerated from grasping the blade end of the spear, and young Toorvald had been beaten to death. The others, some of them injured by Ulfig?s attack, fled back to the clan?s camp. Ulfig knew that the jarl would order him killed, so he ran.
Ulfig fled to the Realm of the White Witch, enemy of Rjurik, where he hoped his people would not dare to go to exact their vengeance. There, a small tribe living in fear and defiance of the White Witch?s forces took him in. The tribe?s druid guessed the truth of his violent nature and began to teach him how to control it. He told Ulfig that he was blessed with the spirit of the bear. The bear, he explained, is normally a peaceable animal, but when stung to anger, it can cause terrible destruction. He learned more from the druid about the animals of the north. When the man died, he took up his responsibilities. He gave himself the surname Bjornsson to honor both the druid?s teachings and to remind himself of his nature.
Ulfig is a simple man who bears an unfortunate curse: He is prone to berserker rages when injured or when defending something important to him (such as one of his clan members). He cares a great deal for the people he has come to regard as his own, and he works hard to help them survive against the combined forces of their harsh natural environment and the depredations of the White Witch. Despite this concern, he does not become close to anyone, for he still bears the guilt of the death of Toorvald. He is steadfast and loyal, and he shows great courage in the face of any danger. He remains unmarried, for he fears that he will pass on his curse to his children.

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