Bringing you a taste from the dark pages of Warlock…
Infernist, madman, binder, crackpot, genius, saint: all these titles and more were set upon the shoulders of Arshin, legendary enchanter of the Winewood. Here, in your hands, is a tome containing information on the man, his followers, and his great works of magic. Though we concern ourselves here with his most famous creations, the prolific magic tamer produced countless strange and wondrous treasures throughout his lifetime. Your adventurers might unknowingly possess one of his works at this very moment! Best to bargain in good faith with the enigmatic Seekers should they come to claim it.
Arshin of Winewood
The old enchanter is dead, his remains entombed at the site of his workshop and home in the fantastical forest known as the Winewood. While his followers, the obsessive Devotees of Arshin, remember the man for his wisdom and humor, his true legacy is the assortment of magical objects he created over his lifetime. A few of these Devotees have taken up residence in his workshop, keeping it clean and preserved –precisely as Arshin left it when he died.
The entrance to the workshop is built into the base of a mammoth tree stump surrounded by a labyrinthine, stone maze. The underground rooms of his residence are far from cold and rooty; instead, cheery vistas spring into being as one travels from chamber to chamber. The enchanted pigments Arshin created to construct these living paintings are the prized possession of any artist lucky enough to find them.
The woods around the enchanter’s residence have been transformed by the constant exposure to magic. The night flowers cast a dim light when they bloom, illuminating the trees in blue and violet hues. Insects with sparking wings flit audibly through the undergrowth and rare beetles capable of telekinesis weave living branches into nests high in the canopy. Fey creatures are drawn to the Winewood, a fact that the keepers of Arshin’s estate use to their advantage, as their master did before them.
Though the man has passed on, his works persist, plotting their own courses through the world. Some of his objects serve as heirlooms and status symbols, while others remain lost in the shadowy places of the world. A lucky few have even found his creations in markets, hiding in plain sight beside mundane urns and pitted blades.
Devotees of Arshin
Devotees of Arshin are best described as ardent fans of the enchanter’s work. Why some women and men become so obsessed is unknown. Some claim it’s a kind of madness, a prospector’s fever that sets in and doesn’t let go. Devotees are loosely divided into two factions: those who tend his estate, protecting its walls and contents, and those who scour the world in search of his lost works. The former call themselves the Keepers, and, like monks in a monastery, their travels beyond the Winewood are few. They live among the magic-infused trees and commune with the fey things that dwell in the forest. The latter are known as the Seekers, and they travel to the ends of the world and beyond to reclaim the enchanter’s treasures. They believe their task is above most laws and employ whatever tactic necessary to secure Arshin’s works.
The Seekers bring their recovered items back to the Keepers, who stash them away in vaults hidden throughout the Winewood. These troves draw greedy explorers and curious adventurers alike into the forest, most of whom are never heard from again.
Devotees of Arshin can be molded into a neutral good organization that is obsessively dedicated to the enchanter, his workshop, and his works. They may welcome travelers to small outposts in the Winewood where they trade the non-Arshin-made wondrous items the Seekers have collected in their travels. They may lend, or even grant, one of Arshin’s magical items to those opposing great evil. They might hire stalwart adventurers to deal with threats to the forest or to embark on a dangerous quest to recover one of the enchanter’s treasures. As allies, and pro-social NPCs, Devotees behave like a high-functioning cult–dedicated to their dead patron, but not outwardly violent as they carry out their business. As allies to the good folk of the world, Devotees venerate Arshin and believe that his magic brings light and wonder to the world.
Devotees of Arshin can be presented as a nefarious organization willing to do anything to recover its patron’s powerful objects. The Winewood is a twisting and perilous place, filled with sharp-toothed fey and beasts bristling with dangerous magic. Neutral evil Devotees dislike outsiders, who, they believe, come to steal their treasure and delay their ultimate end: to resurrect Arshin as a powerful lich. The Seekers act as burglars, assassins, and extortionists, hunting down their lost treasures with no regard for the lives of those in their way. As villains, Devotees are a cunning cult whose stronghold is the workshop and estate of their late master.
Devotee of Arshin
NE or NG humanoid (any race, size varies)
Armor Class 13 (studded leather)
Hit Points 55 (11d8)
Speed 30 ft. (varies by race)
Str 14 (+2), Dex 12 (+1), Con 10 (+0), Int 16 (+3), Wis 10 (+0), Cha 11 (+0)
Skills Arcana +5
Senses varies by race, passive Perception 12
Languages Common, Draconic or Sylvan (see below)
Challenge 1 (200 XP)
Focus Bearer: The devotee carries and is attuned to an enchanted focus which grants the devotee access to three cantrips. The chosen cantrips can come from a single spell list or a mix of any three. The spells are cast innately (spell save DC 13, +5 to hit with spell attacks), requiring only verbal components. The focus can be any small object such as a ring, carved figurine, or polished stone. Only the devotee can attune to the focus and use its power.
We Serve in Different Ways: Each devotee represents one of two archetypes. Choose one of the following traits:
- Three times per day when making a spell attack, the devotee gains advantage on the attack . Additionally, the devotee receives a +4 bonus on Dexterity (Stealth) checks and gains Sylvan as a bonus language.
- The devotee gains +10 ft. to its speed, advantage on Wisdom (Survival) checks, and a +4 bonus on Wisdom (Perception) checks. Additionally, the devotee gains Draconic as a bonus language.
Shortsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d6+3) slashing damage.
Shortbow. Ranged Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, range 100/400, one target. Hit: 6 (1d6+2) piercing damage.
Read more about Arshin the Enchanter and other great articles in this month’s release of Warlock, only on Patreon!