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Thread: Cleric of Helm question
Tuesday, 27th December, 2011, 06:29 AM #1
Cleric of Helm question
This is my first time on the forum, so I apologize if this is in the wrong area.
I need some advise/opinion on a scenario I'm running for an NPC. The setting is Forgotten Realms, in the year 1374. First, the background. An NPC Cleric of Helm has been the bodyguard to a Sultan's harem in Calimshan. His loyalty has always been to protect the harem from anyone who would do them harm. The PC group is good aligned and recently rescued the harem from the evil Sultan, attempting to convince the bodyguard that he should let them go. Just before the battle, his divinations revealed that there was to be harm upon the harem and he was on extra alert. The PC's had some good rolls and were very convincing to the bodyguard who hesitated in attacking them. When the Sultan arrived in the middle of the escape, he activated the magical slave collars around the harem in an attempt to kill them before they escaped. The bodyguard became enraged, finding the divinations were referring to his employer as the one who sought to hurt his charges, so he joined the PC's in killing the Sultan, in which the NPC got the killing blow. They all escaped and the bodyguard has decided to go with them.
Fast forwarding a bit, the characters are on a ship bound for the island of Tharsult with the harem and the bodyguard. Once the harem is offloaded on Tharsult, he has a choice to make. The Calishite government has used its resources and pint-pointed it was the bodyguard that killed the Sultan, with the aid of people decribed as the PC's. Naturally, they want to bring him to justice. The cleric knows this, and this is sort of where my delima begins.
The bodyguard/cleric is very loyal to the harem and once they are safe, his duty has ended. If he returns to Calimshan to face justice for killing the Sultan, he will undoubtably have to reveal the identies of the PC's who are thus far trying to avoid notice. If he doesn't return, then his presence on their ship, or Tharsult, will draw Helmite inquisitors or Calishite bounty hunters, and the same problem will happen later down the line. Does anyone have any advice on how to handle this? I don't want the PC's to be identified so soon, but I do think its important to stick to the NPC's desire to do right by his faith and duty.
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Tuesday, 27th December, 2011, 12:49 PM #2
Myrmidon (Lvl 10)
Knowing that the sultan was evil and the PCs did the right thing, I would not consider it unlawful for him to admit he did it and knows who helped him, but refuse to reveal their identities, even under torture. This is the noble thing.
"The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules." - Gary Gygax
Tuesday, 27th December, 2011, 03:27 PM #3
Myrmidon (Lvl 10)
What is this Cleric Bodyguard's approach to alignment? Is he more bound to obey the law (Lawful) or more bound to stand by his moral descision (Good)?
Kitcik's suggestion is excellent. He does not need to reveal thier names.
"RUMBLETiGER is at least marginally better than Stalin!" ~ Dozen
Tuesday, 27th December, 2011, 05:28 PM #4
The cleric is a cleric/fighter mix who's Lawful Neutral. He was once a slave gladiator in Calimport's arena. He managed to beat a hill giant in signle combat but was wounded in his face and groin. The Sultan witnessed the battle and was impressed, the man's strength, abilities and injuries made him perfect as the chief guard to his harem. The former slave accepted this for his freedom, but the Sultan made sure to get him proper training as a guard. The bodyguard took well to Helm's teachings and since that time, his primary concern has been the protection of the harem, not necessarily the Sultan (the Sultan has his own bodyguards for personal protection). He understands as harem slaves, the women can be punished for disobeying, but outright attempt on their life from their master violated his understanding of Helmite dogma. His oathe was to protect the harem and in the end, he had to protect them from their own master.
Now however, he's conflicted. While doing his duty and being vigilant as Helm demands, he has also violated the "Never betray your trust" tenant.
Tuesday, 27th December, 2011, 05:35 PM #5
Orcus on an Off-Day (Lvl 22)
Narc off the pcs. Let them deal with the aftereffects; those need not come immediately. I am not sure why you said you want to wait to have the pcs ID'ed; but if the sequence of events seems to lead there, I'd go with it.
Tuesday, 27th December, 2011, 09:27 PM #6
Enchanter (Lvl 12)
I'd take Door #3: Have the Bodyguard decide that, once his duty to the Harem is done, his duty to the government of Calimshan is also done.
As noted, accepting the duty was a price of his freedom, so having done that duty he is in fact free. He doesn't have to go back and face a misguided legal system that would torture and kill him for fulfilling his sworn duty.
Neither, however, does he have to go with the PCs, particularly if his presence endangers them. He can pick a different direction, board a different ship or ride away along a different road.
Things that might help him: Either a Regeneration spell or the Alchemical agent Elf Hazel to remove the scars from his face, thus changing one his most visible identifying features. (The Regeneration might also add a bit of fun to his life in other ways, though it would disqualify him as a Harem guard. )
That leaves the ball in the party's court: Will they abandon their new friend to face the bounty hunters and Helmite justicars alone? Or will they insist on aiding him, as he aided them, even knowing that it would set their enemies right on their trail? (Note, when he decided to save the Harem by killing the Sultan, he made exactly the same decision, knowing that he was facing those same consequences.)
Oh, and by the way, welcome to the forum!
Wednesday, 28th December, 2011, 12:45 PM #7
If you need to buy time for something, the Cleric could seek another sect of Helm, where he would meditate to atone for his actions. This might take days, months or even years during which he would be kept safe by the church.
Tuesday, 3rd January, 2012, 06:04 PM #8
Thank you everyone for your replies. I had been very busy the last few days so I haven't had a chance to post until now.
All ideas are very welcome and extremely convincing. I like them all, and I'm trying to see if I can work elements from each into his decision. Here is some further plot development:
- After arriving at Tharsult, two of the harem members have decided to stay on the island. Another one has joined the crew of the ship that took them there, and two more have yet to decide what to do. Its these two that the bodyguard still guards at this time.
- The ship and the characters on it were attacked by an assassin while docked (nothing to do with the plot, something else all together) and the poor harem member that joined the ship's crew was killed by flying shurikens. The bodyguard blames himself for her death.
- The bodyguard has recieved various Sendings by his Church in Calimport, demanding he reveal their location to him (the ship had been blocked by scrying attempts with Mage's Private Sanctum) and return home immediately. He has replied with "I still do Helms duty. When it is done, I will speak of it." every time. He has not told the PC's of these Sendings at this time.
- Unknown to the PC's, the Calishite government has long arms indeed and agents of theirs have spoted the bodyguard on Tharsult. A Calishite bounty hunter is on the way. The government is more concerned with the bodyguard at this point than the PC's, but they'll round them up as well.
Once the remaining harem members decide on their course of action (they are currently being influenced by the PC's on what they should do), the bodyguard will make his choice.