D&D 5E Out of the Abyss: Hemeth the Duergar

CapnZapp

Legend
The adventure barely mentions this NPC.

Have any one of you expanded his role and backstory?

I'm especially interested in if you have invented a role for him to play back in Gracklrstugh.

Cheers
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Daern

Explorer
He introduced the group to Captain Errde as potential contact for supplies and information. Sort of a low-level betrayal because he'd made big promises.
 

mgshamster

First Post
There's some excellent NPC cards with associated Houserules located in the GitP 5e forums. Hemeth is one, and he gives the PCs some interesting abilities to use. Created by Goober4473. The thread is called "NPC Companion System Idea." You can also find a link to them on the Paizo messageboards under the forum "4e and Beyond" in the thread "Out of the Abyss Resources (5e)." Posted by Bookrat.

I'd link it, but I'm new to these forums and can't post links yet.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
I'm leaning toward making him a Darkhaft Duergar in the employ of the Laduguer church. His real name (and appearance) is as Hemathon, a spy/agent of Deep Duerra opposed to any demonic influence in the otherwise devilish city.

You see, in my campaign I made him quite insistent on returning to Gracklstugh as soon as possible after seeing the rise of Demogorgon in Sloobludop. That alone made my players curious, speculating he has a role of some importance to play, and I would disappoint them if he "only" was what the module makes him: a small-time arms dealer at the wrong place.

Next, the players dropped the Whorlstone dungeon bash as soon as they found the secret passageway from the alchemy lab up to the docks district, so I want to make something of the Council of Savant plot to bring madness to the city, and to incite a Derro uprising and/or have Demogorgon reduce it to rubble (I'm guessing even Aliinka and Zubriska, the derro savant twins themselves don't really know).

Having Hemathon suggest to the archpriest of the Laduguer church* in Gracklstugh he's found a suitable party of gullible surfacers that he can use to infiltrate the Council of Savant HQ to check for demonic presence would mean an alternative adventure to the rest of Whorlstone.

What do you think? Any pitfalls to look out for?

*) Grim Herald Brilmara Gloomstorm high cleric of Laduguer
(I thought Morndin would be very old by now, so he runs the church from "behind the throne" with a daughter as puppet)
 
Last edited:

Goober4473

Explorer
My plan was to use him as-is as an arms dealer, but if the PCs manage to befriend him, he may stick around. At the very least, he'll feel indebted enough to keep them out of too much trouble in Grackletugh. Though I might give him a connection to the Keepers of the Flame. Perhaps he deals in weapons they make? That way if the party gets arrested, he can request to speak with the Keepers instead.

There's some excellent NPC cards with associated Houserules located in the GitP 5e forums. Hemeth is one, and he gives the PCs some interesting abilities to use. Created by Goober4473. The thread is called "NPC Companion System Idea." You can also find a link to them on the Paizo messageboards under the forum "4e and Beyond" in the thread "Out of the Abyss Resources (5e)." Posted by Bookrat.

I'd link it, but I'm new to these forums and can't post links yet.

Thanks for the shout out. :D

You can now find the cards, along with the ruleset to use them, on these forums: http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?474885-5e-Companion-System
 

Valchymax

First Post
I had Hemeth help guide the party to Gracklstugh so he could get home and get back to work, then he arranged a meeting with scouts from the Xornbane clan, who in turn got them an audience with Ylsa the caravan master.
I also made Hemeth part of the Ironhead clan, weaponsmithing rivals of the Steelshadows. Hemeth would love to see the Steelshadow clan brought down, but of course he and his clan dare not move against the king and his kin directly.
 
Last edited:

feartheminotaur

First Post
In our game the kuo-toa were engaged in an inter-clan cold war that had recently turned into a violent civil war after both sides were suddenly supplied with high quality arms and higher level magic. Shushaar tried to stop it, only to find that the entire thing had been instigated and orchestrated by Hemeth and his backers to "create a new market" for their weapons. Shushaar fled and was captured. Meanwhile, the arch-priest's daughter got the demon madness and became a sort of messianic 'stop the violence' figure and that's why Hemeth was on the sacrificial altar. He traveled with us for a couple of days and then "disappeared" (Shushaar killed him on his watch and dumped the body)

The DM played Hemeth like an amoral CIA/Soviet operative from an 80's movie.
 

Crucial_agony

First Post
Been running Oota and I accidentally mislabeled Hemeth a regular dwarf and not a duergar in the chaos of the sacrifice event at Shloppdeloopduhslup. So I rolled with it and made him a dwarf with fiery red hair, claiming the name Hemeth Fireblood who was going to sell a cargo of dwarf weapons to the Kuo-toa before they went all Kalllii-maaa. PC's helped him escape the Prince on his trader boat and Hemeth hired them as bodyguards across the lake back to Gracklstugh (and eventually Blidgestone) in hopes of recouping his loses.

Thing is he's also a crooked conman of sorts and adopted the name and goods of a trader that he and Gorlakk exed out for east profit to sell outside the city Gracklstugh.

Only reason why he is able to even be seen in the dark dwarf city is because he convinced enough people that his name and hair implies a certain lineage to Azer fire dwarves (conman = impressive charisma). But the origin helped add a layer of conflict to the party in the city, especially since of the Gorlakk was expecting Hemeth to come back with a decent load of gold and not a handful of montley crew convicts....and ontop of that Hemeth nearly swindled the party and almost sold the PC's to a Drow slavemaster for a healthy profit.....and last session all but Hemeth got arrested by Gorlakk for assassinating rival Drow emissaries in public for said slavemaster.

So its a big exciting mess but having Hemeth know the town without being too embedded as a duergar let the whole city still feel alien to the PC's when they arrived but added a personal level of drama to all the chaos of the city.
 

Motorskills

Explorer
Been running Oota and I accidentally mislabeled Hemeth a regular dwarf and not a duergar in the chaos of the sacrifice event at Shloppdeloopduhslup. So I rolled with it and made him a dwarf with fiery red hair, claiming the name Hemeth Fireblood who was going to sell a cargo of dwarf weapons to the Kuo-toa before they went all Kalllii-maaa. PC's helped him escape the Prince on his trader boat and Hemeth hired them as bodyguards across the lake back to Gracklstugh (and eventually Blidgestone) in hopes of recouping his loses.

Thing is he's also a crooked conman of sorts and adopted the name and goods of a trader that he and Gorlakk exed out for east profit to sell outside the city Gracklstugh.

Only reason why he is able to even be seen in the dark dwarf city is because he convinced enough people that his name and hair implies a certain lineage to Azer fire dwarves (conman = impressive charisma). But the origin helped add a layer of conflict to the party in the city, especially since of the Gorlakk was expecting Hemeth to come back with a decent load of gold and not a handful of montley crew convicts....and ontop of that Hemeth nearly swindled the party and almost sold the PC's to a Drow slavemaster for a healthy profit.....and last session all but Hemeth got arrested by Gorlakk for assassinating rival Drow emissaries in public for said slavemaster.

So its a big exciting mess but having Hemeth know the town without being too embedded as a duergar let the whole city still feel alien to the PC's when they arrived but added a personal level of drama to all the chaos of the city.

Nice recovery. :D
 

wedgeski

Adventurer
He's been mentioned, in passing by a duergar trading party the PC's managed to avoid a fight with, but I actually replaced the sacrifice at Sloobludop with Skriss from the Society of Brilliance, so Hemeth stands in reserve for now.
 

Crucial_agony

First Post
Oh man. A SoB member is a very smart idea. Love the idea that a Society member sees the doom of the Demon Prince first hand and could potentially lead the PC's to some fun quests or locations.
 




Motorskills

Explorer
I have two new players / two new PCs introduced to the party of Grazilaxx. He has foisted a couple of his "helpers" onto the party to help out with the Society's research into the crazee afflicting the Underdark.

More firepower for the party, useful feedback for Graziliaxx.

"I help you, you help me."
<or I suck out your brains, that bit got left unsaid!> :D
 


FalloutJaeger

First Post
I'm currently having Hemeth travel to Guantalgrym with the party, and I'm having him be Neutral evil or True Neutral, due to being a smuggler. However Hemeth is still a Druegar, which Im going to add into his personality he always pays his debts, so he is going to travel with the party and help them out, until he deems he repaid his debt. When he deems he repays his debt, he will either leave the party or keep travelling with the party due to befriending them.
 

Werebat

Explorer
Ah, Hemeth. One of my favorite NPCs from OotA.

They met him in Sloobludop, of course, and he escaped with them and led them to Gracklstugh. Along the way, he revealed that he was a weapons smuggler, and offered to sell them quality Nephelium weapons from the secret stash in his boat (which was recovered from the docks in the scramble out of Sloobludop). This was to foreshadow the Gates of Firestorm Peak, which I used in between Act I and Act II of the book.

Hemeth left the party once they got to Gracklstugh, which they left in some amount of disarray. He popped up again later in the duergar outpost under Firestorm Peak, where he started calling them "bad coppers" for showing up again in his life, and grumbled about some of the madness that had followed their leaving Gracklstugh. If you know Gates of Firestorm Peak, then you know that the PCs can cause quite a bit of upheaval there as well, and mine did, assassinating a hated leader but getting "framed" by the very cleric who paid them to perform the assassination right after they had done the job. And shortly after they left the outpost, it was invaded by undead illithid accompanied by none other than Orcus (this was off screen).

Hemeth showed up again in Mantol-Derith (he IS a smuggler, after all). They met him with other duergar near the gates of the duergar compound, where he grudgingly warned his fellows that "these topsiders -- bad coppers all -- be right good in a fight". When the PCs were finished in Mantol-Derith, they left "the gem" there without realizing what it was (they turned it over to the duergar), and of course all Abyss broke loose there afterwards (again, this was off screen after they left).

Hemeth showed up AGAIN in Menzoberanzan, where the PC dwarf ran into him accidentally while he was negotiating a deal with a drow contact who was trying to purchase some nephilium. He took one look at the dwarf, cursed under his breath, and informed the drow that "tha deal be off", on account of "that softbeard (the hill dwarf) an' 'is bad copper friends" being loose in the city. He'd seen everything go to heck each and every time they'd shown up, from Sloobludop on, and had decided to get out of dodge at the first sign of them. Which was quite canny on his part, since it wasn't long after that that Vizeran summoned hundreds of demon lords to Menzoberanzan...
 

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top