ZEITGEIST Harkover Lee Reveal


My group likes Harkover Lee quite a bit; we're just at the point of the first battle against Borne in adventure 5, and they've reached out to Lee on more than one occasion for favors and he's one of the few NPC's the party fully trusts (up until recently, they thought the King was hiding something). I have skimmed forward, and was wondering: is there a dramatic moment of Harkover's identity? They only thing I saw in a skim forward was that if a PC becomes the monarch, then Lee casually mentions it to them before the Ob does their thing and eventually controls him.

Is there anything more to that? Im thinking, in my group, there may be a possibility for Lee to revert to his true form during the battle against Borne if things get dire. But, of course, this is more cinematic flare and revelation than anything dramatic for gameplay, since Lee would essentially be incapable of anything of significance. Is there anything that an early revelation would mess up?
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Oh, in adventure 9 where the palace is attacked there's a line -- I might have made it a bit too low-key -- where Aodhan "gives Harkover permission." Harkover then follows his king's command and transforms into his dragon shape, but he has been staying as a human so long that he's weak and cannot remain in dragon form indefinitely. Basically, he's a short-term ally in that scene, but it's an excuse to keep the party from, like, riding atop him when they go to Flint.


Minor things of note:
-El Extrano may or may not know that king Boyle granted asylum to some dragons in Risur, but public revelation that the second man in Risur is freaking dragon is bound to change relationships between Risur and other countries;
-Bourne is specifically warded against most magic impacts, given that he is supposed to bathe in chaotic energy of released Ancient Seal;
-Lee is still hexed (apparently by Boyle?), which is the reason for "the spinal injury of youth" he talks about. His wings are injured and he takes ongoing damage as long as he is in dragon form;
-connection to Avilona is still broken in adventure 5, so no dragon is able to fly;
-considering dramatic reveals - near the end of adventure 6 Risur is almost garanteed to reveal the existence of dragons to party ("You're going into the former lair of dragon tyrant Gradiax and Perberton is missing? Hmmm, no, nothing you should know about, nothing at all"). There's no direct reason to include Lee in the reveal, but party will probably be suspicious.


My players figured it out on their own back in Adventure 6. Harkover Lee revealed Pemberton's true identity when they contacted Risur about the threat from the Cult of the Steel God. Ultimately, my party took Pemberton up on his offer to ally with him against Ber in exchange for Tinker Oddcog.

They had their suspicions about Lee, and when they voiced them in conversation with Pemberton (who was already slightly annoyed at his identity being revealed by Lee), he had no qualms with confirming those suspicions.

Orryn Emrys

My players have yet to hone in on Harkover's secret, and they're currently in Adventure 7. That being said, they asked him for some aid in Adventure 6 and noted that he was a little uncomfortable spending any time in Ber. I remember a couple of my players speculating about his reticence and one of them asking a probing question or two when they talked to Pemberton later on, so I don't think it'll be a huge surprise when they find out. For now, I still enjoy keeping them guessing.


Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
In the first draft of adventure #9, Aodhan and Harkover try to teleport away from the attack on the palace and get 're-routed'. Harkover winds up dead and Aodhan is strapped to some sort of device because Stanfield needs royal blood for his big ritual.

The first the players know is when they come across a dead red dragon on their way to challenge Stanfield.

I understand the reasons for the changes that were made (principally, allowing Harkover to survive as an NPC and provide dramatic nemesis in adventure #13). But I really loved that reveal. There was something very 'No Country For Old Men' about finding out what he really was only after he died. A real WTF moment.


Oh yeah, in my own game, Pemberton/Gradiax blew Harkover/Inacht's cover way back in Adventure 6, IIRC.

It seemed like exactly the kind of thing Pemberton would do.