NPC Closeup 04/25/2003

G'ragh, Mongrelfolk
Paladin of Heironeous

G'ragh, Repentant Warrior of the Mongrelfolk

G'ragh was raised in the warrior tradition of his tribe. The warriors of the Fleabiter Clan would routinely raid other mongrelfolk clans for livestock or property, or they did so just to test their bravery. These other clans eventually withered under the repeated assault of the stronger Fleabiter clan until they either were incorporated into the tribe or became extinct. As their resources dwindled, the Fleabiters fell into decline until a new source of sustenance arrived. A colony of humans arrived in the mountains and settled there, unaware of their neighbors. The Fleabiter Clan rejoiced in this new source of honor and food. They gathered a war party and struck. The first forays into the human settlements left the humans with a few less sheep and chickens and a few more bruises. As the attacks continued, the humans became more strident in their responses.

A young mongrelfolk warrior named G'ragh excelled in these raids, primarily because he enjoyed the challenge and the feeling of superiority over the humans that victory provided. Once the attacks became more serious and deadly, however, G'ragh began to resist the bloodthirsty tendencies of the rest of his clan.

Since they could not stop the attacks on their own, the humans called for assistance from outside their community. The answer to their plea arrived in the person of Moneth Falstyr, Holy Paladin of Heironeous. As he rode into town upon his dark brown charger, the wan sunlight reflecting off of his armor, the people were awed by the sight. After hearing their tale, the paladin offered to mediate between the two communities. Given that the mongrelfolk community was there long before the humans, but that the human community did not intrude on their territory, he felt that some kind of agreement might be reached. Moneth agreed to represent the humans and sent a request to the clan leaders to parlay.

The clan leaders accepted the request, but they had an entirely different agenda for the negotiation. They planned to lure the human into a trap and kill him, then attack the main community again. When G'ragh heard these plans, something within his soul rebelled at the idea. His concerns met with ridicule from his clan, and his elders commanded him to join in the ambush as punishment.

At the appointed time, G'ragh gathered with the other warriors out of sight of the place where the paladin and the elders of the Fleabiter Clan were to meet. The stars on the moonless night reflected their glory in the holy warrior's armor as he walked his horse to the meeting place, where the clan leaders awaited.

Just prior to the appointed signal, G'ragh jumped out of his hiding place and warned the paladin of the trap. Seeing that the ambush had failed, the mongrelfolk forces simply attacked en masse. G'ragh, Moneth, and Moneth's warhorse stood together against the onrushing horde and held their ground. After the battle, the battered trio watched as the remainder of their ambushers fled. Moneth placed his hands upon G'ragh's head and named him his squire, in the service of Heironeous.

G'ragh, Squire to Holy Paladin Moneth Falstyr of Heironeous

For years G'ragh followed Moneth and expanded his horizons and his talents. Although the oddly matched paid drew some odd glances, Moneth's presence lent G'ragh an air of respect. Also, wearing the tunic of a squire of Heironeous didn't hurt at all.

G'ragh proved himself time and time again in service to Moneth. He also learned to read and write, and he studied the teachings of the Church of Heironeous with the fervor of a committed soul. Moneth insisted that G'ragh have proper fighter training but did not want him to commit to the path of the paladin until he was sure it was what he wanted, for few understand the paladin's calling of service to others.

Indeed, G'ragh learned firsthand that there is more to being a paladin than wearing fancy armor and swinging a sword. He and Moneth got covered in mud while helping to shore up the banks of a flooding river and covered in dirt while helping to plow fields for an impoverished family. Through it all, they served the faithful of Heironeous in whatever ways they could.

G'ragh, Holy Paladin of Heironeous

Eventually, Moneth decided that G'ragh's faith had stood the test, and it was time to present him to the high priest of Heironeous as a new paladin in the god's service. In a ceremony befitting an honored knight, G'ragh was pronounced a Holy Paladin of Heironeous. As the high priest stated during the ceremony, "Heironeous is pleased with all those who stand for justice, be they human or not. We are pleased to call you Brother."

G'ragh continues to wander the lands, this time in the armor of a Holy Paladin of Heironeous. He looks forward to any opportunity to serve. However, now that he does not have the stalwart Moneth at his side to lend him legitimacy in strange towns, G'ragh has wisely acquired a hat of disguise that enables him to pass as human among strangers.

About the Author

Penny Williams joined the roleplaying game industry as Game Questions Expert for TSR, Inc. in the 1980s. Since then, she has served as RPGA Network Coordinator, Polyhedron Newszine editor, and Senior Editor and Coordinating Editor for the RPG R&D Department at Wizards of the Coast, Inc. Now a busy freelancer, Penny edits for several game companies and runs the online playtesting program for Wizards products. When not enhancing the cruelty of the deaths PCs will suffer at the hands of designers, Penny puts up jam, works jigsaw puzzles, and tutors students in math and science.

Michael S. Webster has written several modules for the RPGA, mainly for the Living Greyhawk campaign. When he is not being a lackey for the Nyrond Triad or playtesting for the kind but merciless taskmistress, Penny Williams, Michael is raising four children in the Utahraptor stomping grounds of Central Southeastern Utah.

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