Postfest XV: Sanctigaard and the Demesne of Sir Xaris ab Yustin
Date: Tue, May 17, 2011
Topic: Campaign Articles
Ever needed a higher level base of operations for your characters than the Keep on the Borderlands? Welcome to Sanctigaard, Eastboro, and the Demesne of Sir Xaris! If your campaign is pre-Greyhawk Wars, your heroes can use this village as a base from which to make assaults upon the humanoids and other mysteries of the Pomarj. If you wish to incorporate the Greyhawk Wars into your campaign, Castle Sanctigaard is a great place for your characters to make their last stand in an Alamo-like finish. If you simply need a new and exciting NPC benefactor for your PCs, this is the place. :)
The Demesne of Sir Xaris ab Yustin
Being the third son of a minor nobleman in southern Furyondy, Xaris, son of Baron Yustin, son of Baron Nalman the Just, sought his fortune as a Paladin in the service of Heironeous along with companions known as childhood friends or trusted colleagues encountered in his early adventures. When his accomplishments earned him followers and wealth sufficient for the establishment of a stronghold, Xaris first petitioned Belvor IV, king of Furyondy, for lands. Though sympathetic to Xaris’ request and appreciative of his accomplishments in the service of Good and Right, King Belvor simply had no lands within his realm that he could bequeath to Xaris without causing unacceptable political turmoil between the throne and the current nobility. Disappointed, but not discouraged, Xaris searched distant lands seeking the place he felt Heironeous guiding his sword arm. Thus it was that in the year 581 he came to the attention of the Dwarven Prince of Ulek, Olinstaad Corond.
Prince Corond was having quite a time juggling the complaints of the various lords and ladies of the easternmost portion of his realm. At the very easternmost tip of Principality land, cradled in a crook of the Jewel River, the realms of four different noblemen and women converged at a point on the river where a ford provided the best crossing within 30 leagues north or south (and the ford farthest south both shallow and rocky enough to allow for the crossing of wagons). This was also the northernmost point of the river at which ocean-going vessels could reach. This combination could be ideal for mercantilism, despite being so near to the rapacious humanoids of the Pomarj. However, being so close to the Pomarj made it extremely easy for humanoids, especially half orcs in the service of one evil master or another, to infiltrate the system and make for too many headaches for any Lord’s Man to establish order and tax properly. As a result, none of the nearby nobles were willing to provide for law enforcement as attempting to tax the area was more costly than it was profitable.
When Xaris’ presented himself before the Prince of Ulek, Corond grasped his request from the forge of opportunity with the tongs of inspiration. Together, they worked it upon the anvil of politics with the hammer of ingenuity into a workable solution to his problem. Xaris was knighted by the Prince as Sir Xaris and granted land east of the Jewel River in a radius of 15 miles from the ford. In exchange for these two concessions by the Prince, Sir Xaris covenanted with him to enforce the laws of the land, encourage lawful enterprise amongst the inhabitants, maintain sufficient armed forces for the protection of the populace, and to pay to the Prince’s accountant all taxes determined by him to be appropriate for the wealth of the population. Xaris also agreed to pay for the erection of fortification suitable for accomplishing the above duties with his own funds. Though witnesses within the Prince’s court thought Sir Xaris a fool and the Prince a genius for such an arrangement, both men were content with the result. Sir Xaris had plenty of wealth from his years of adventuring which he was itching to put to good use in a land where people could benefit from it. The noble Lords and Ladies who had lost small portions of their land believed that it was a small price to pay for not having to deal with the area any more. In addition, they felt rather smug about having what they considered a buffer between their realms and the most dangerous point of assault from the riffraff of the Pomarj.
Sir Xaris, his wife Lady Xristine, and their loyal henchmen, hired the specialists they would need to build their keep, purchased many supplies, and set out to their new land. When they arrived, they found the village of Eastboro to be just as they had been warned – a haven for hardened criminals, duplicitous spies, and deadly assassins. The humble folk lived in fearful servitude to the baser elements of society, too poor and terrified even to try leaving for a better life elsewhere. Never-the-less, Sir Xaris and his household had the power and the means to root out the evil and put an end to it. Few who escaped his wrath even attempted to return. The remaining villagers were put to work as their own masters if they had skills or hired as laborers on the budding keep. The decrepit docks were razed and replaced with quality piers. As the work on the keep progressed, merchants were encouraged to establish the village as a base of operations and the village’s mercantile offerings grew to match those of a modestly sized town. Despite the increase in trade and other improvements to the village itself, few additional peasants have immigrated to it. This is mostly due to the perceived danger of such proximity to the Pomarj. Everyone living in Eastboro is well aware of their role should a large assault be made by humanoids from the east.
Once the stronghold was well under way, Sir Xaris and the members of his household returned to adventuring on occasion, both to weaken any powerful humanoid warlord near his demesne and to pad his coffers in order to avoid excessive taxes on the people of his small realm. A small wooden watchtower was built on the hill across from the ford to provide for a more advanced warning of any large-scale assault by beasts from the east. In reality, the watchtower’s purpose is as a lure and trap. It is hoped that it will slow any attacking force by luring it into stopping to assault it in which case it will be in a position from which the defenders in the keep can rain fire and stone from trebuchets onto their heads. The watchtower is manned at all times by four soldiers with instructions to signal the keep upon sighting any significant enemy force, then retreat immediately across the river to make their report – two to the Sheriff (Nqatuan) in the town and two directly to the keep.
A wall is currently in the process of being built around the town itself, though the western portion and half of the southern portion are still incomplete. Additional warehouses are being built by merchants down by the piers as the increase in trade necessitates. From here, goods are packed onto wagons, carts, and beasts of burden for an overland trip northeast along the river to Celene or east to the interior of the Principality. Though a narrow road follows the curve of the river south of Eastboro, only mercenaries, common folk, and soldiers make common use of it as most merchants find the shipping route to be much more cost-effective now. Goods travelling south are loaded on cogs, coasters, and barges to make the trip down the river to its mouth in the Azure Sea.
In addition to all the merchants and various members of such a town one would expect to find, there are two powerful merchants’ guilds operating here by the writ of Sir Xaris. Archangel is a mercenary’s guild headquartered in Dyvers which has found it lucrative to open a branch office in Eastboro. They deal strictly with highly-trained mercenary companies. Their members charge 50% higher prices than those found elsewhere, but they are generally better armed and armored than typical mercenaries of their class, have more experience (levels, etc.), are provided better benefits in life and death by the company, and can be certain that no fellow members of Archangel will be encountered on the opposing side of any conflict (the guild must approve any member contract before it is validated). As a result, their morale and trustworthiness are better than what is typical for their class of mercenary. The second guild in town is The Witch is Dead Merchant’s, Mercenary’s, and Adventurer’s Guild. This guild is headquartered in Perrenland, but was personally invited by Sir Xaris to establish an office in his demesne in an effort to improve trade as his covenant with Prince Corond calls on him to do. This particular guild proved of great benefit to Sir Xaris and his adventuring companions when they became members within the realm of Sir Dread Locks in the northern Vesve near the beginning of their adventuring careers. The Witch is Dead represents all of the local merchants and many of the traveling merchants as well. They also represent a smaller number of mercenary companies, most of whom don’t want to be saddled with all of the restrictions and obligations Archangel contracts require of their members, despite the benefits realized in return. Finally, they open membership up to adventurers of all stripes, though evil groups are politely, but firmly, denied membership and reported to Sir Xaris’ officers without delay.
Sir Xaris and those acting on his authority run a tight ship within his lands, brooking no tolerance for evil humanoids or beasts of any kind. Evil humans and demi-humans are treated with suspicion, warned about violating any laws, and watched carefully. The multitude of clerical and paladin henchmen that Sir Xaris has and the additional number of such NPC’s that have flocked to his demesne in the time he has been in authority here, ensure that evil has a very difficult time remaining hidden for long. It also helps prevent neighbors reporting each other out of spite as the truth is usually only a spell or two away from being known. It should be noted, however, that neither Sir Xaris and his supporters nor goodly common folk can be everywhere, so evil forces do occasionally manage to establish footholds here and there within his domain.
Eastboro is the only town-sized settlement within Sir Xaris’ demesne. One of the first improvements Sir Xaris initiated after cleaning out Eastboro was to order all independent agricultural concerns within his realm to consolidate their homes in centralized locations with no less than three households together in a single steading. Thus, scattered throughout the fertile arc of the Jewel’s easternmost meandering, are approximately 50 log-walled compounds enclosing homes, barns, smithies, tanneries, etc. Each of these steadings will be home to three to nine extended families and their hired help who farm and ranch the prairieland around their steading. Each steading will have between 30 and 180 individuals living within. 85% of the individuals will be human, 11% will be Halfings, and 1% each will be Dwarf, Elf, Gnome, or Half-Orc. 60% of the individuals will be fit to bear arms in defense of the steading if it is attacked. The excess crops and livestock produced by these homesteaders is the primary export of Sir Xaris’ demesne.
There is one single Dwarven settlement of 150 individuals about a half mile south along the Jewel. It is called Mineholme. They have carved a home out of the cliff from which the stones that built Castle Xaris were quarried. This community is small, but close enough to the realm’s center of power to feel well-protected. In addition, the Jewel is narrow, but deep and swift as it races through the mile long trench it has carved through the hills in this region, so any assault from the Pomarj here would require the building of a bridge or the power of flight. These Dwarves have established a market for the stone they quarry for distant keeps and have also discovered a small vein of silver within the cliff. Because of the swiftness of the Jewel here, the quickest way to move their wares is to cart it north to ships docked at Eastboro whereupon it is loaded for travel south.
Below is a partial listing of what may be found within Castle Sanctigaard. Following that, 3.5 edition game statistics and information for Sir Xaris and many of his forces will be found along with a map of Castle Sanctigaard and the surrounding terrain.
Castle Sanctigaard was built using large limestone blocks quarried by the help of Dwarves at what is now Mineholme. The concentric castle faces east, toward the rising sun and the greatest threat – the Pomarj. The ford across the Jewel is directly east of the front entrance to the castle. A cliff runs past the south edge of the castle, the piers are just south of the ford, and short falls lie between the ford and the piers. The town of Eastboro is just north of the castle a bit back from the river.
The Curtain Wall: The embattled curtain wall of Castle Sanctigaard is 30 feet high with machicolations and measures approximately 500 feet across it’s east and west lengths and 400 feet along the north and south. It has a skirt encircling it up to a height of 10 feet. Each crenel measures two feet across and each merlon measures three feet so there will be two of each for every 10 foot section of crenellation. Each merlon has a cross-shaped arrow slit in it to allow for the firing of either a bow or crossbow from behind the cover (90%) it provides. The curtain wall appears to be a uniform 20 feet thick all around from ground to top (plus the skirt), but the upper 10 feet is really only 10 feet thick with a hidden, though not secret, passageway running its inner circumference connecting all towers, the Gatehouse, and the Well. This passageway has arrow slits along its entire length allowing bow/crossbow fire into the inner bailey.
The curtain wall (and the entire castle complex) sits directly upon a bedrock foundation. As a result, undermining attempts must be dug through stone, not dirt. In addition, the curtain wall and its towers are protected by mighty magics which Sir Xaris acquired through his many associations and friendships with powerful spellcasters throughout his adventuring career. These include the following: Runes of Impregnable Defense (Dragon Mag #129), Holy Guarding (SBG), Woodbane (SBG), and Augment Object (SBG).
The Towers: The four corner towers are 40 feet high and are embattled and machicolated just like the curtain wall. Each of the two square towers (on the northeast and southeast corners) has a single trebuchet built atop it which can be dismantled and removed if desired. There are also 10 rounded boulders positioned nearby for a crew to use as ammunition. These trebuchets have the range to reach over the hill opposite the ford and beyond. They can also reach the piers and any ships docked there.
Atop each of the other two corner towers is a single heavy catapult with enough ammunition for 10 shots. The Gatehouse, the Well, and the two half towers in the middle of the north and south curtain walls are all 40 feet high as well with machicolated battlements. The walls of these towers are all 20 feet thick for the first 20 feet. They then thin to only 10 feet thick at their upper 20 feet. They are all skirted like the curtain wall. Atop each of the half towers is a light catapult with 10 shots worth of ammunition. Atop the Well are two ballistae with ammunition for 20 shots each. Atop the gatehouse are two light catapults. Atop each of the hemispherical protrusions in the east and west curtain walls sits a single light catapult with ammunition for 10 shots. Two 20 foot square guard towers inside the curtain wall adjacent to the large square corner towers stand a total of 50 feet high. Atop each of these towers is a ballista with ammunition for 20 shots. The various levels of each of the towers within the curtain wall are used to store trebuchet, catapult, and ballista ammunition as well as missiles and pole arms for defenders atop the walls.
The Gatehouse: This building is 40 feet high and the first floor is almost entirely solid stone. The only exceptions are the staircases built into the western wall. Twenty foot tall double doors guard both ends of the passage through the ground level. They are each two feet thick and can be braced by three one foot by one foot by nine foot long wooden beams on their back sides that are engineered to simply pivot into place. When not bracing the doors shut, these beams hang vertically against the back of each left-hand door. A single man with a special six foot long pole with a hook on one end can pivot and lock these beams into place in two rounds once the doors are shut. It takes a DC 25 strength check to shut a single door. Up to three individuals may work together to shut each five foot wide half of the double doors.
The entrance to the gatehouse is the subject of an Antipathy (CL 17)spell focused against those of Chaotic Evil alignment which has been made permanent via a Permanency spell (CL 17).
The doors to the second floor of the Gatehouse from ground level are made of three inch thick wood reinforced with iron bands. The hinges are on the inside and the doors may be barred, though this will only be done if attackers breach the wall or gatehouse and reach the inner bailey. The second floor has murder holes in the 10’x10’ section of floor over these doors that are sized to allow spears to be thrust through. The central hallway is 20 feet high separating the second floor of the gatehouse into two rooms. These rooms have three cross shaped arrow slits per 10 foot section allowing fire into the central hallway 10 feet below.
The third floor is one large room with murder holes designed to allow bow/crossbow fire down into the central hallway. There are also five iron portcullises rising through this room into the room above (one for every 10’ of passageway). Two wooden, iron reinforced doors allow access to the hallway circumnavigating the interior of the curtain wall. These doors may also be barred.
The fourth floor is also comprised of two rooms. The easternmost room with the staircases has a 2’ thick east wall with three cross shaped arrow slits per 10 feet. Barrels holding 60 arrows and 60 crossbow quarrels sit between each arrow slit. The westernmost room is used as storage for pole arms, longbows/arrows, light crossbows/quarrels, ballista bolts, and catapult stones. Access to the roof (with two light catapults) is via a trap door at the top of each set of spiral stairs.
The Great Hall: This 100’ long by 90’ wide room is located on the first floor of the castle and is the scene of judgments and festivities. All members of the castle, Eastboro, and countryside receive occasional invitations to participate in at least one festival/feast in the Great Hall per year. (Sir Xaris and his household use these opportunities to keep in touch with the people of his realm and to surreptitiously survey those in attendance with their ability to Detect Evil.) This room is open to the second floor and curtained balconies on that level look down upon this room. Upon its walls hang banners of Sir Xaris’ most trusted allies (the Old Characters), the Prince of Ulek, and other allied nobles within the nation. On the other side of the north and south walls of the Great Hall are grand hallways featuring the banners and weapon/armor trophies of some of Sir Xaris’ grandest victories over evil.
The Well: This is the name used by the castle residents to refer to both the well itself and the entire tower/section of wall in which it is found. It is located on the ground floor of a rectangular tower in the center of the west curtain wall opposite the Gatehouse. The well shaft itself descends 60’ to an underground stream that exits the cliff in a short, 10’ waterfall directly south of the castle. This exit is an irregular 4’ diameter hole with only about a foot of the top not filled with rushing water. It is not blocked by any type of grating, but the point at which the castle’s well penetrates this underground stream is protected by a Lawful Good Forbiddance spell (CL 16). Note that this means that the Forbiddance effect reaches up through the well to within a few inches of ground level and extends both directions down the stream’s tunnel for 60’.
The well room itself has a complex system of buckets and pulleys which allows someone to easily draw water. Knowing the vulnerability and importance of this water access point, a half-squad of Medium Infantry (sergeant F2 and four soldiers F1) are posted in this very room 24 hours a day. A gong stands in one corner of the room with a mallet for sounding an alarm if anything should present itself from the well shaft without a written letter of recommendation from Sir Xaris himself.
The Chapel: This holy room on the third level of the castle is dedicated to the worship of Heironeous, patron god of Sir Xaris. White marble pillars support twin staircases ascending to a balcony and wooden pews fill the floor area. In the front are a raised pulpit and altar which is protected by a Permanent(ed) (CL 17) Consecrate (CL 16) spell (dedicated to Heironeous, of course). To the left of the altar/pulpit is a raised choir loft and to the right is a dais holding a basin on a pedestal full of holy water. This magical basin will fill itself with a dozen pints of holy water each day that it rests within a sanctuary consecrated to Heironeous. If those 12 pints are emptied, a cleric of Heironeous may use the basin to create as much holy water as s/he has the spellcasting ability to do so without the need for material components other than the water itself.
Each door (including the secret doors) into the chapel are protected by permanent Glyphs of Warding (caster level 16) that target any individual with an evil alignment with a Glitterdust spell lasting 16 rounds. (Note that invisibility does not fool a Glyph of Warding.) These Glyphs do not activate when an individual is leaving the chapel. The entire room is the subject of a modified Forbiddance (CL 16) which only triggers when detecting an individual with an evil alignment. An evil individual who is invited to enter by a good-aligned worshipper of Heironeous within the foyer may enter the chapel as if s/he had spoken a password allowing free access. Once such an individual leaves, they may not again return safely without again being invited or changing to a non-evil alignment. In addition the entire Chapel is under the effects of a Permanent(ed) (CL 17) Magic Circle of Protection from Evil (CL 16) and a Permanent(ed) (CL 17) Zone of Truth (CL 16).
Any good or neutrally aligned being that offers a prayer to Heironeous within this chapel and leaves an offering of any monetary value upon the altar is rewarded with a Guidance spell effect upon their person that lasts for a full 24 hours or until used. This benefit may only be gained once in any 24 hour period. Any good-aligned worshipper of Heironeous who does this receives the effects of a Bless spell upon themselves lasting for the next 24 hours.
A cleric of Heironeous (level 1, 2, or 3) is posted in the foyer before the double doors into the chapel at all times. It is his or her responsibility to see to guarding against entry by enemies (Glyph/Glitterdust) or unfortunate accidents resulting from curious visitors without an invitation.
The stables: of Castle Sanctigaard are extensive and can hold a total of 264 horses in their 5’x10’ stalls. Sir Xaris’ castle garrison includes 100 heavy cavalry (heavy warhorses), 100 medium cavalry (heavy warhorses), and 50 light cavalry/skirmishers/scouts (light warhorses). When full, the stables hold four extra heavy and ten extra light warhorses (used frequently by messengers). Tack, saddle, and harness are raised and lowered above each stall with a pulley system that leaves them stored in suspension above each horse so that they can all be readied for battle quickly. Separate stables for the warhorse mounts of Sir Xaris, Lady Xristine, and their henchmen are located along the rear curtain wall.
NPCs of Castle Xaris
Male Human Paladin 16
Lawful Good Medium humanoid (6’7”, 233 pounds)
Init: +7; Senses: Darvision 60’ (Rose Quartz Lenses), Listen +0, Spot +4
Languages: Common, Draconic, Elven, Dwarven
AC: 31, touch 11, flat-footed 30
Immune: Fear, Disease; Resist: Electricity 20 (shield), Critical Hits and Sneak Attacks 75% (armor)
Fort +20, Ref +15, Will +15
Melee: +5 Dancing (Keen) Holy Avenger longsword (Auratus Armipotens) +30/+25/+20/+15 (1d8+14/17-20x2 plus 2d6 vs. any evil) or
+3[+5] Fire Outsider Bane Frost Brand of Speed bastard sword (Alsius Iusticia) +28/+28/+23/+18/+13 (1d10+12/19-20x2 plus 1d6 cold plus 2d6 cold vs. Fire Outsiders) or
+1 spiked Undead Bane flail of Disruption (Exitius) +26/+21/+16/+11 (1d8+10/x2 plus2d6 and Destruction [Will DC 14] vs. Undead) or
Javelin of Lightning +19/+14/+9/+4 (5d6 Lightning Bolt, Ref DC 14 halves) or
+3 Lance of Longinus +22/+17/+12/+7 (1d6+12 thrown as Holy javelin of Speedy Returning); +28/+23/+18/+13 (2d8+12/x3 plus 2d8 as Thundering lance of Brilliant Energy)
Base Atk: +16; Grp: +25
Atk Options: Blinding (shield, Ref DC 14, 2/day), Dancing (Holy Avenger), Divine Shield, Greater Dispel Magic (Holy Avenger, 1/round, area effect only, CL 16), Smite Evil (+8 Atk, +16 Dam, 4/day), Sunlight (Holy Avenger, as Sun Blade 1/day), Turn Undead as Cleric 13 (3/day), rocks with Continual Light cast upon them)
Combat Gear: +5 Dancing Holy Avenger longsword (in Scabbard of Keen Edges), +3 Fire Outsider Bane Frost Brand of Speed bastard sword, +1 spiked Undead Bane flail of Disruption, Javelins of Lightning (7), Lance of Longinus, Potion of Cure Serious Wounds (x4).
Spelllike Abilities: At will: Detect Evil, Protection from Evil (constant), Turn Undead (+8, 3/day), Summon Special Mount (1/day for 32 hours), Remove Disease (4/day).
Spells Known (Typically prepared):
4th: Break Enchantment
3rd: Discern Lies
2nd: Owl’s Wisdom, Resist Energy, Zone of Truth
1st: Bless x2, Detect Undead
Abilities: Str 20(28), Dex 16, Con 18, Int 14, Wis 16, Cha 21(26)
SQ: Aura of Courage; Aura of Good; Divine Grace; Divine Health; Lay on Hands (96 hp/day); Protection from Evil (constant); Smite Evil (+8 Atk, +16 Dam, 4/day), Turn Undead (+8, 3/day)
Feats: Celestial Mount (BoED p42), Divine Shield (CWar p106), Exotic Weapon Proficiency (bastard sword), Greater Heavy Armor Optimization (RoS p141), Heavy Armor Optimization (RoS p141), Improved Initiative, Mounted Combat
Skills: Concentration +5; Diplomacy +10; Heal +10; Knowledge (Nobility & Royalty) +5; Knowledge (local geography – Eastern Principality of Ulek and Western Pomarj) +7; Ride +19; Sense Motive +5; Spot +4; Speak Language – Draconic, Dwarven, Elven
Possessions: Combat gear plus +3 Mithral Full Plate of Speed (+10’ movement) and Moderate Fortification (75%), +5 Heavy Mithral Shield of Blinding & Improved Electricity Resistance (20), Mithral Winged Helm (as Winged Boots), Belt of Giant Strength +8, Cloak of the Righteous Zealot (as Cloak of Resistance +5 and Cloak of Charisma +5), Rose Quartz Lenses (crystal lenses provide Darkvision 60’), Scabbard of Keen Edges (for longsword), Gauntlet of Rust, Necklace of Adaptation, Ring of Freedom of Movement, 10 stones with Continual Light cast upon them (in belt pouch), Scrolls with Cure Light Wounds x4 (2) (in second belt pouch).
Tactics: Sir Xaris’ can summon his special mount, Gonfalon the Celestial Warhorse, once per day for a total of 32 hours. As a result, Gonfalon spends almost all his time on the Prime Material plane - in his special stable in the castle or running the grounds - and is available to Sir Xaris any time he travels, so he will usually be encountered mounted when outside Castle Sanctigaard. He begins any violent encounter using his shield and Holy Avenger, drawing the Frost Brand from a second sheath, also on his left hip, as soon as the Holy Avenger is ready to be released to Dance. Sir Xaris is adept at returning the Frost Brand to its sheath in time to catch the returning Holy Avenger, sacrificing only his final attack on the round he does so.
He throws the Lance of Longinus at individual foes who refuse to close with him for melee and his Javelins of Lightning at groups of such individuals. His flail is holstered on the side of his saddle on Gonfalon and is used against appropriate foes. He will use the Lance of Longinus against foes who insist on jousting against him, though he prefers to simply engage even horse mounted opponents with sword and shield.
If diplomacy has failed and combat ensues, Sir Xaris always offers intelligent opponents the opportunity to repent of their evil ways and surrender to just authority (which he represents until he can turn them over to a more appropriate entity or agency of justice). If the situation is not desperate (i.e. the lives of his companions or other innocents are not in immediate jeopardy), he will fight defensively using all his skill to simply prevent his opponent from causing him any damage, striking occasionally for non-lethal damage in order to demonstrate that he can defeat said opponent at will. All the while, he will be offering his opponent the chance to make a wise decision. At any time that it appears to him that such a tactic will be dangerous to others, he simply ends the evil threat as quickly as possible. He will still offer those he is striking to kill the opportunity to repent and surrender if they make that choice before they are struck down.
Sir Xaris is willing to do anything in his power to make sure that his judgments are just, but once his decision has been made, he brooks no argument. When evil is determined to exist within his realm, his justice is final and, usually, terminal. His philosophy sees no possible redemption for evil humanoids and similar creatures who’s gods are all evil and, thus, created in their own image without agency. Thus humanoids, evil dragons, evil magical beasts, demons, devils, and similar creatures are destroyed as they are encountered and are exceptions to the above offer of clemency. Sir Xaris adventures as his duties allow, but spends a minimum of one month each year in such pursuits, usually within the Pomarj.
His shield device is azure, a longsword pointing downward argent, a Gold Dragon rampant or left of the blade, a Pegasus rampant sable right of the blade, and a small replica of the shield of the Principality of Ulek in the upper left corner – argent, a battleaxe gules.
Gonfalon (Sir Xaris’ Warhorse)
Male Celestial Warhorse
Lawful Good Large Extraplanar Magical Beast
Init: +1, Senses: Empathic Link, Low-Light Vision, Darkvision 60’, Scent
AC: 33, touch 10, flat-footed 32
hp: 120 (12 HD)
Resist: Acid 10, Cold 10, Electricity 10 (20), SR: 21, DR 10/magic
Fort +11, Ref +9, Will +4 (can use Sir Xaris’ Saving Throw bonuses instead when within 5’)
Base Atk: +9, Grp: +19,
Attack: +15 melee (1d6+6, hoof)
Full Attack: +15/+15 melee (1d6+6, 2 hooves) & +10 melee (1d4+4, bite)
Atk Options: Bull Rush, Overrun, Trample
Abilities: Str 22, Dex 13, Con 17, Int 9, Wis 13, Cha 6
SQ: Command Horses, Darkvision, Empathic Link, Low-Light Vision, Improved Evasion, Improved Speed, Scent, Share Saving Throws, Share Spells, Spell Resistance
Feats: Endurance, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Overrun, Run, Trample
Skills: Jump +16, Listen +7, Spot +7, Swim +10
Possessions: +1 Mithral Full Plate Barding, Military Saddle of Flying, Horseshoes of a Zephyr
Lady Xristine, Sir Xaris’ wife, is a Lawful Good Cleric/Ranger of 7th/7th level who venerates Ehlonna. She wears +1 Elven chainmail underneath +3 Black Dragon Scale armor. She possesses a +3 Longsword, a +3 Longbow, and a Ring of Feather Falling among other lesser magical items. Her animal companion is a unicorn that serves as her mount. It wears Elven Chain barding and a Ring of Flying upon its horn.
Aurus Boreas (Golden Wind of the North) is an adult Gold Dragon that is a friend of Sir Xaris. Sir Xaris freed him from imprisonment by an evil wizard a few years ago and gained a trusted friend and ally. Aurus Boreas’ lair is miles away to the northeast in the southeastern Lortmils, but he makes occasional visits to Castle Sanctigaard to visit his friends there. One of his favorite activities during these visits is to wander Eastboro polymorphed into the shape of an uncommon race such as a Drow, Leonal, Half Dragon, etc. However, he never does this disguised as an evil humanoid race. He enjoys humbling individuals who judge him based upon his race and attempt to abuse him for it.
The following individuals are the henchmen of Sir Xaris and have been with him for many years of adventuring. They serve as military, religious, and law enforcement leaders within Castle Sanctigaard and the village of Eastboro. They also accompany raiding forces from the castle into the Pomarj. They are all Lawful Good and their loyalty is unwavering.
Gared and Trek, 6th level Human male Cavaliers: These two are the leaders of the castle’s heavy cavalry. Gared’s high strength and Trek’s high intelligence combine to make the forces under their command both fearless and extremely effective.
Jhauna, 7th level High Elven female Cavalier: Jhauna serves as the Ancient (standard-bearer) of Sir Xaris and Lady Xristine. She travels with them on all occasions and is the senior authority among the Henchmen.
Nqataun, 6th level Human male Fighter: Nqataun serves as the Sheriff of Eastboro, but prefers to hunt humanoids in the Pomarj.
Juris and Genli, 5th level Human male & female Paladins: When these two are not on expeditions to the Pomarj, they are tasked with rooting out evil in Sir Xaris’ demesne. To this end, they each travel the countryside in the company of a dozen of the castle’s medium cavalry visiting with all they find in an effort to address needs, concerns, and problems and keep Sir Xaris and Lady Xristine informed of the developments.
Ukase and Etibonec, 6th level female and male Monks respectively: These two Henchmen serve as scouts and spies within the Pomarj and infiltrators in the village of Eastboro as they are more able to blend into the population without wearing heavy armor.
Tallygreen, 2nd/3rd level female Halfling Cleric/Fighter: Tallygreen works closely with the farmers and ranchers of the land to improve their lives. She frequently travels with Umsaliliu.
Bombard, 2nd/4th level male Dwarven Cleric/Fighter: Bombard prefers to accompany military excursions into the Pomarj, but is also a close confidante of the dwarves of Mineholme and assists them and Sir Xaris as a mediator as needed.
Downlow, 3rd/2nd level female Gnomish Cleric/Fighter: When not adventuring in the Pomarj, this spry gnome spends much of her time visiting the people of Eastboro. She does her best to lift their spirits and brings their concerns to Sir Xaris and Lady Xristine in order that they may be more effectively addressed.
Arek, 6th level male Human Cleric: Arek serves as the (rather stern) head priest of the chapel in the castle, but is most comfortable smiting evil humanoids on raids into the Pomarj.
Estraven, 6th level female Half Elven Ranger: Estraven spends most of her time scouting the western lands of the Pomarj. She reports the movements, locations, types, and numbers of humanoids and other monsters within the lands she travels to Sir Xaris. He then assigns or leads military excursions based upon her information.
Argaven, 2nd/4th level male Gray Elven Fighter/Magic User: Argaven serves as the castellan of Castle Sanctigaard when both the lord and lady are away.
Umsaliliu, 5th level female Half Elven Bard: Umsaliliu is happy to perform for audiences Far and wide and usually travels with Sir Xaris and Lady Xristine when they are away from the castle. When not with them or adventuring in the Pomarj, Umsaliliu travels Sir Xaris’ realm entertaining the populace and keeping an eye out for evil infiltrators.
The soldiers of Castle Sanctigaard consist of the following forces. These soldiers are all of the most loyal and honorable individuals that can be found willing to fill such positions, except as noted below. They are all highly trained and gain lots of experience through the various missions they are assigned. Each company (100 individuals) is divided into squads of 10 including 8 Soldiers, 1 Sergeant, and 1 Captain.
Light Infantry (80) F1 Soldiers, (10) F2 Sergeants, & (10) F3 Captains: Leather & Light Shield, Longsword & Hand axe.
In pitched battles, these units may be used as flanking forces in wooded terrain or as reserves on open ground. Normally, however, their assignments include infiltration missions in urban locations and scouting missions in the Pomarj. Ukase and Etibonec share command of this company.
Medium Infantry (400) F1 Soldiers, (50) F2 Sergeants, & (50) F3 Captains: Chainmail & Heavy Shield, Longsword & Morning Star.
These units’ primary remit is to guard the castle, but they are regularly rotated on assignments to raid the Pomarj, guard important caravans, and assist with law enforcement in Eastboro. Arek, Bombard, Tallygreen, and Downlow are commonly assigned leadership of a company each when large numbers of Medium Infantry are involved in battle.
Heavy Infantry (80) F1 Soldiers, (10) F2 Sergeants, & (10) F3 Captains: Breastplate & Tower Shield, Spear, Shortsword, and 3 Javelins.
These units are used to hold important positions in battle (such as the center of a formation in a pitched battle). They are sent into the Pomarj when a humanoid lair is discovered and needs to be assaulted. They fight in tight formation and are very accomplished at this style of battle. Nqatuan is officially the commander of this company.
Heavy Crossbowmen (320) War1 Soldiers, (40) War1/F1 Sergeants, & (40) War1/F2 Captains: Chain Shirt, Shortsword, & Heavy Crossbow with 20 Bolts.
These units generally come from untrained young volunteers from various parts of the realm or minor criminals who are considered to be worth rehabilitating. They are given extensive basic training, then equipped and assigned as a crossbowman when ready. They guard the castle walls and are sent to accompany some raids into the Pomarj. Umsaliliu commands these units as her ability to inspire courage comes in handy with these least-trained soldiers.
Longbow Archers (160) F2 Soldiers, (20) F3 Sergeants, & (20) F4 Captains: Chain Shirt, Shortsword, & Longbow with 40 arrows.
These units are more experienced warriors who have more extensive training. They are more frequently sent on expeditions into the Pomarj than are the crossbowmen. Estraven is their titular head.
Light Cavalry (40) F2 Soldiers, (5) F3 Sergeants, & (5) F4 Captains: Studded Leather & Light Shield, Longsword, & Short bow with 40 arrows.
These skirmishers see lots of action as they are sent on lightning raids into the Pomarj to hit mobile bands of Humanoids before they reach the safety of their lairs. In pitched battle, their first priority is to neutralize enemy archers, then to harass infantry units or screen retreats. Jhauna commands this half-company of mounted skirmishers.
Medium Cavalry (80) F2 Soldiers, (10) F3 Sergeants, & (10) F4 Captains: Chainmail & Heavy Shield, Longsword, Light Mace, & Light Crossbow with 20 bolts.
These units are mounted on heavy warhorses, but are less heavily armed than the true Heavy Cavalry. In addition to mounting assaults upon enemies in the Pomarj, these horsemen are sent on regular patrols within Sir Xaris demesne. Juris and Genli are co-commanders of this company of horsemen.
Heavy Cavalry (80) F3 Soldiers, (10) F4 Sergeants, & (10) F5 Captains: Breastplate & Heavy Shield, Lance, Longsword, Morning Star, & Dagger
These units are the cream of the crop at Castle Sanctigaard. They are the most highly trained forces in the castle and are given the most important and dangerous assignments as guards in the realm and raiders against humanoids and other monsters in the Pomarj. Gared and Trek command this company.
Barony; AL LG; 30,000 gp limit; Assets 12,900,000 gp; Population 1,350; Mixed (80% Human, 12% Halfling, 5% Dwarf, 1% Elf, 1% Half Elf, 1% Half Orc). There are no full-blooded humanoids of any kind living openly within Sir Xaris demesne.
Eastboro NPCs: The DM should feel free to populate Eastboro with any additional NPCs that s/he feels would add spice to their campaign. It should be noted that a much higher percentage of the population has a level of Warrior NPC class than is typical of villages in safer locations.
Castle Sanctigaard and the village of Eastboro can serve as a safe and convenient base of operations for adventuring parties interested in making sorties against the evils of the Pomarj. Player characters may find any basic adventuring equipment for sale within Eastboro and merchants can provide most any (non-magical) item the PCs may request if given sufficient time to acquire it from afar. Local smiths have the skill to make any type of armor or weapon (simple and martial only) the PCs request, though time and price are up to the DM.
Slavers: Estraven has recently ambushed and slaughtered a raiding band of 8 Hobgoblins that had apparently just returned to the Pomarj from the Principality side of the Jewel with five captive children. The children were from a steading not far north of Eastboro. Sir Xaris is looking for competent adventurers to follow clues left by the dead Hobgoblins to discover where they were heading. This leads into the Secret of the Slavers’ Stockade module.
Infiltrators: While on patrol, Juris attempted to apprehend a suspicious individual traveling the eastern road who took his own life before he could be questioned. Though it was not obvious by his appearance, upon closer examination, this individual was determined to be a half orc that has been seen in Eastboro. Nqataun has been tasked with discovering what this half orc was up to in the village and the countryside and is willing to deputize reputable adventurers to assist with this investigation. What is unknown is that this evil half orc was being harbored by a Halfling cobbler in Eastboro because he was threatened with the death of his relatives in a steading ten miles away. Akkub is another evil half orc living in a steading of 41 humans and 8 Halflings. He serves as the steading’s tanner and carpenter and wears an Amulet of Proof Against Detection and Location. If he receives the word to assassinate the steading’s Halflings, his plans are to do so, travel to Eastboro to receive payment from his contact, then vanish back into the Pomarj. His contact had just paid him a visit before being caught by Juris. An Orc witchdoctor with the power to cast Invisibility will pay the Halfling cobbler in Eastboro a visit within a couple of days to meet with his erstwhile border. When he discovers that the tribe’s plans are in jeopardy, he will attempt to contact Akkub himself. The party must stop the threat to the lives of the Halfling homesteaders, discover what nefarious plans the dead half orc spy had, and put an end to the continued threat of the tribe of Orcs across the river.
Hostages: As the party travels along the road, they encounter a young boy on a farm horse coming their direction at a run. As he nears, it is obvious that he is terrified and the animal has been run to exhaustion. He tells a tale of monsters sneaking into his steading at night, murdering people in their sleep, slaughtering livestock, and other horrors unfairly witnessed by one of such youth. He begs the party to race to his steading and rescue his family. The steading, 5 miles away, has been overrun by a band of raiding humanoids (DM’s choice) of a type and number of sufficient strength to challenge the party. It is a small steading, originally of only three families. However, only 12 hostages remain alive, one of them being a member of the boy’s family. The humanoids will not remain long at the steading. The party may have to chase them back toward the Jewel where they will use a stolen row boat to cross with their loot and captives.
Map of Sir Xaris' Demesne
3.5e Dungeon Master’s Guide
3.5e Player’s Handbook
3.5e Monster Manual
Book of Exalted Deeds
Races of Stone
Dragon Magazine #129
Stronghold Builders’ Guide
Secret of the Slavers’ Stockade