Faerjaklüin

Medium undead, neutral evil or chaotic neutral

Armor Class 16 (natural armor)
Hit Points 123 (19d8 + 38); Wound Threshold N/A
Speed 30 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
10 (+0) 17 (+3) 15 (+2) 20 (+5) 14 (+2) 18 (+4)

Saving Throws Dex +9, Int +11, Cha +10
Skills Arcana* +17, Deception +10, Insight +8, Investigation +11, Perception +8, Survival +8
Damage Resistances cold, lightning, necrotic
Damage Immunities poison; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, frightened, paralyzed, poisoned
Senses truesight 120 ft., passive Perception 18
Languages Deep Speech, Drow, Elvish, Primordial, Undercommon
Challenge 20 (25,000 XP)

SPECIAL TRAITS

(**) Faerjaklüin casts these spells on himself before combat.

ACTIONS

  • Debilitating Touch. Melee Spell Attack: +11 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 10 (3d6) necrotic damage. The target must succeed on a DC 19 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned for 1 minute. The target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.

LEGENDARY ACTIONS

Faerjaklüin can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. Faerjaklüin regains spent legendary actions at the start of his turn.

  • Cantrip. Faerjaklüin casts a cantrip.
  • Debilitating Touch (Costs 2 Actions). Faerjaklüin uses his Debilitating Touch.
  • Mind Probe (Costs 2 Actions). A creature of Faerjaklüin’s choice that he can see within 120 feet of him must make a DC 19 Intelligence saving throw. On a failure, until the end of the creature’s next turn, the creature has disadvantage on attack rolls against Faerjaklüin, and Faerjaklüin has advantage on saving throws caused by the creature. If a creature’s saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, the creature is immune to Faerjaklüin’s Mind Probe for the next 24 hours.
  • Psychic Shock (Costs 3 Actions). A creature of Faerjaklüin’s choice that he can see within 60 feet of him must succeed on a DC 19 Intelligence saving throw or be stunned until the end of its next turn.

ABOUT

An elder lich of the Netherworld, Faerjaklüin has been seen in major drow cities for thousands of years. Though his noble garments show awareness of the most recent trends, he also stands out with his sporting of antique trinkets and an attitude that alternates between casualness and pride.

Faerjaklüin was once an elenion wizard called Miquelaurë who took part in the Dawn War. Like many others, he ventured into the depths of the earth to fight Canker. A member of the lost legions, he was part of the first generations of drow. Faced with grief, the loss of his world and of his own self, Faerjaklüin undertook the dark ritual that turned him from an archmage into a lich. Thus has he defied time, being now aged five thousand years-older than some gods!

Prone to mood swings, he can go from personable to aloof and all the way to cantankerous, switching between intense sociability, avid collaborative research, and depressive seclusion. During such a phase, he meditates next to Nulnyrë’s Cenotaph in Shadowsilk, or by the Rift of No Return on the outskirts of the kingdom of Arallün, close to the ghosts of the Last Elenion Legion. Bent under the weight of eternity and undeath-which he yet cannot cast away-he seeks succor and entertainment among the living.

Keeper of the Memory of Cyfandir

Faerjaklüin’s domain is located under Cyrillane, close to the border of what is currently the drow city of Shadowsilk. As logic would dictate, this is where the lich has hidden the phylactery that will rejuvenate his body should it be destroyed. In addition to this vital treasure, he has also stashed precious personal items there, including his in-progress memoirs.

Faerjaklüin has valuable information on life in the Netherworld, having compiled comparative studies spanning centuries. He has charted maps tracking geological and geomagical evolutions, population shifts, creature migrations, the fluctuations of Cankerous fronts, and even the recent appearance and expansion of Sublime.

In addition to his lair close to the Crystalline Labyrinth, the lich lord has other more or less secret laboratories, each dedicated to a specific field of research, and all located at the crossroads of underground magic currents. Once Faerjaklüin’s experiments have exhausted a natural source of magic, he changes locations.

A Peculiar Collection

Using the programmed illusion spell as a basis, my master has designed a ritual to store what a targeted creature is feeling over a short period of time. The feeling can be a present sensation or one from a memory. He calls it “psychic tracing.” With my consent, he captured my feelings in a memory crystal-a quartz whose crystalline structure is similar to a brain’s-as I was smelling flowers. A Vigilant had brought him roses from the surface, and we needed to proceed swiftly before they wilted. Gemstone in hand, eyes closed, I basked in this exotic perfume that I had never experienced before. In that moment, the Abyss flux passing through both the crystal and I synchronized our vibrational rates, my deep trance-like state allowing the psychic tracing to occur. The stronger and sharper the feeling is, the brighter the crystal shines. The walls of the room where Faerjaklüin keeps his meticulously cataloged crystals look like a firmament. All one needs to do to re-experience a feeling stored in a crystal-complete with sounds, smells, images, emotions, etc.- is to hold it in one’s hand.

Is my master using our memories to jog his? Or is he making them his to fill the gaps of a crumbling personality?

An Ambiguous Enemy of Canker

Faerjaklüin was the pupil and loyal friend of Nulnyrë the wizardess, an admired, mysterious heroine of the Dawn War. It is said that all through her descent into the Netherworld, she kept notes on Canker, seeking to understand this terrifying enemy. At the time of the lost legions, the two wizards quarreled and parted ways, which Faerjaklüin bitterly regretted, as it was the last time he ever saw Nulnyrë. Despite his mentor’s staunch opposition to Canker, he has since become a lich, and forever bears a fragment of corruption as a consequence.

Faerjaklüin claims to be a sworn enemy of Canker. He has even long sought to recover Nulnyrë’s research, hoping to find the key to countering the godlike threat. By all accounts, however, he hasn’t managed to uncover his mentor’s hidden stashes… Unless he concealed his discoveries… For all of his assurances, Faerjaklüin’s actions paint a more nuanced picture of his stance against Canker. After centuries of activity, what are the lich’s true plans to fight it? Faerjaklüin has settled in the region of Shadowsilk, where a community was annihilated by Sublime in times past and where this ancient peril threatens to strike again. But he does not seem actually committed to preventing the impending catastrophe, as if he were certain of its inevitability.

Perhaps the solution Faerjaklüin is searching for lies in a better understanding of the cycle of souls and the Fateforge. Did Nulnyrë’s research inspire him to seek a different method than a frontal opposition against Canker in its Sublime incarnation?

A Hidden Dream

Is Faerjaklüin looking for a way to return to life? He has made attempts at long-term possession of adventurers, but their bodies were inevitably consumed by his power, with Fate-chosen individuals proving to be the most resilient. He has studied the Astral Plane and the souls’ cycle of reincarnation. He is fascinated with sidhes and how they retain partial memories from their former lives, but rejects the idea of altering his knowledge and the last vestiges of his first life. He wants to reclaim what he lost through his transformation, but without letting go of what he subsequently acquired. And of course, he wishes to remain immortal and eternally young! A forgotten note on an armchair’s armrest mentions reversing the dark ritual that made him a lich. Is this related to his reignited interest in the Fateforge? And to the expedition to the Lands of Mibu that he has been organizing?

Servants and Mercenaries at his Service

When he is in a good mood, Faerjaklüin enjoys mingling with the living, attending high-class gatherings and shows-even though they fail to captivate or uplift him. An elitist, he is very scrupulous about his servants, though he cannot keep them close to him for long, as his undeath forbids physical contact and attachment. Still, he obstinately refuses to have constructs as helpers.

Servants of Faerjaklüin who perform dangerous missions in his service are called the Abyss Vigilants.

Most of the time, they pursue their adventures and send their reports to their contact among the lich’s secretaries. The Abyss Vigilants’ emblem is a counter- clockwise black spiral. Whoever carries such a tattoo is an important member of this group. Painted on a building, this mark signals a haven, possibly even the location of a teleportation circle inscribed by the lich. Here are a few examples of missions:

Archiving. Many scriveners of House Myitikos work on restoring and copying Faerjaklüin’s scientific works, which are then sent to the great libraries of Dörtharogær, Irkallaë, and even the Free City’s Academy. These scholars are also sent across the Netherworld to gather collections, transcribe stone engravings, or watch over other libraries.

The index. The lich lord began writing his memoirs very early. As tomes piled up, he came up with an index to conveniently reference any scientifically or intimately precious information.

Unfortunately, in time, the monumental collection was scattered as homes changed, projects were discontinued or abandoned, etc. Some disciples even stole some of the books and tore pages from the index to cover their misdeeds.

Additionally, the oldest books have degraded or have not been faithfully transcribed, resulting in different copies contradicting each other. Every now and then, servants are tasked with bringing order to this chaos by recovering manuscripts, copying them, sorting them, etc. The lich’s archive rooms have grown into veritable mazes where oozes and vermin make their homes.

Search for artifacts. Faerjaklüin has a thriving business as an antiquarian, but having no time to waste on appraisals, he has trained servants in identifying and pricing precious items. Always on the lookout for ancient materials and artifacts, he hires adventurers to bring such antiques back to him, with the fee for such a service depending on the danger and urgency of the mission. Among the items he actively seeks are Nulnyrë’s spellbooks and writings, though more for sentimental reasons than for the knowledge they hold.

Intelligence network. The Abyss Vigilants are Faerjaklüin’s messengers and spies. They come and go among magic academies and major Netherworld authorities. They explore unknown or faraway regions, keeping track of the activities of Canker and Sublime. They study the behavior of ravagers, elementals, and fey, and monitor the currents of the Abyss. They watch out for tears in the Astral Plane and are empowered to take action to eliminate any source of perturbation or corruption of the fluxes-except their master.

Unrestrained socializing. During his manic phases, Faerjaklüin suddenly becomes frantically active, taking pains to be up to date on the surrounding civilizations. It is at these times that he is the most approachable and committed, holding conferences, funding expeditions, mentoring young leaders, etc. But such efforts turn out to be self-defeating: the dizzying flurry of change results in him losing his bearings, and he finds himself unable to adapt to new things. Moreover, taking the role of advisor inevitably reminds him of the past, and few are those who can stimulate him intellectually; these two hurdles together quickly make him weary, jaded, and pessimistic. For the lich’s servants, these hyper-social phases mean an exhausting increase of activity, including field missions to prepare the arrival of their master or to hurriedly fetch him the data he requires. And when Faerjaklüin relapses into melancholy, his servants must act as stand-ins at formal events, deliver apologies, and wrap up schemes that the lich started then lost interest in.

Looking for talented students. One of the tragedies of Faerjaklüin is that undeath hampers creativity. Being now incapable of strokes of inspiration or improvisation, he must rely on living assistants for fresh material. Using his knowledge and methodology, he can then organize, refine, and flesh out these ideas, giving them concrete applications. But with no disciples, there is no innovation. The lich lord only takes a few apprentices at a time and stimulates their competitiveness. These aides are often empowered to call upon the Abyss Vigilants for needs that can be serious or frivolous. Some of the lich’s permanent servants may also be tasked with removing former apprentices planning to reveal that Faerjaklüin is not the genius everyone thinks he is, and that he plagiarized their discoveries.

A Theater of Illusions

The first time I found myself face to face with a holographic projection, I thought I was in the presence of a ghost and ran away. Using the programmed illusion spell, my master leaves messages for himself, which activate when he enters a room. In the library and gallery, some of the illusions are bound to books or artifacts. They were recorded by former servants, and each gives a warning, a summary, or an anecdote about an item. Other holograms, bound to memory crystals, recount the most treasured memories of their researches and adventures with my master-a room entirely dedicated to the stroking of his ancient ego! Others feature actors playing characters from Faerjaklüin’s intimate past, or archetypes. The performers are given very precise lines that leave absolutely no room for improvisation.

The scenes are generally short and poignant: a fatherly figure saying good night, a comrade-in-arms urging forward… During his depressive phases, Faerjaklüin can remain shut in for months or even years, listening to these recordings.

Among the most recent of these “specters,” some seem gifted with sentience. They can follow conversations about simple topics. But just like their creator, they are devoid of emotions. They are mimicries of the bygone people Faerjaklüin appreciated. When I am gone, there will be one in my image…

Current Preoccupations

Though Faerjaklüin is a historian, he is no conservative, and is outspoken against obsolete traditions.

He holds that solutions to present issues are not to be found in the past, much less in mindlessly aping it. A long time ago, at the dawn of the civilization of the lost legions’ survivors, he tried involving himself in the social and ideological reorganization of the drow people. But he failed to anticipate Irae’s actions, as well as the establishment of the drow matriarchy that followed the revolution she spearheaded, and this frightened him and disappointed him in equal measure. Having since resolved to be a neutral party, he lives away from the political battles of the Netherworld, avoiding diplomatic conflicts and councils like the plague. But even so, he has been keeping a watchful eye on the two greatest drow kingdoms of Cyfandir.

Arallün’s Dangerous Good Intentions

For a long time, the lich wizard has been keeping his distance from Arallün, where he was revered as a living relic and mostly esteemed for his knowledge regarding the Elven Empire and the worship of the Falcon god. This is what led to him changing his name and hiding his true identity from the members of the K’kaysairon council. Faerjaklüin fears that Arallün’s priests might open a portal to Nightmare to rescue the lost god. He has thus been secretly working on limiting the empire’s expansion and on ensuring that it focuses its efforts and resources on fighting Canker.

The Shadowsilk Conspiracy

Faerjaklüin was a powerless witness to the maelossa’s corruption and its transformation into a Sublime oasis. Due to Shadowsilk being so close to his main lair, he was able to study the phenomenon and found out about the matriarchs’ secret: Aranÿélissa is no goddess incarnate, and the Ritual of Renewal is a way to restrict her power. The Sublime oasis is a golden prison for a people used as fodder for driders, keeping them from spreading throughout the Netherworld.

When ritual sacrifices prove insufficient to slake their hunger, strangers are captured. For the time being, Faerjaklüin knows too little about Sublime, and he is reluctant to bring about one more revolution. Thus, he has been keeping his revelations to himself. If he were to learn about the connection between Sublime and Canker, would he change his mind?

Section 15: Copyright Notice

The Creatures Rulebook for the Fateforge Role-Playing Game Copyright © 2021 Studio Agate.

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