The refugees from Escape from Elturgard* are a great way to get the PCs to care about the fate of Elturel and to drive them towards Baldur’s Gate.
On the other hand, don’t feel like you have to make all of these refugees important, or that you need in any way to protect them from dying or being largely ignored. In fact I would recommend letting some die or fade into the background a bit – just let it be lead by the players.
For example if Segren Hall dies in the stables, then Vasha is going to be a very different character than if he is saved. Or maybe like my group, your players just aren’t drawn to Ippon and Pal… well then they just stop being prominent in scenes. Later they might just do their own thing in Baldur’s Gate, rather than sticking around with the other refugees.
The only slight exception is Dara, Ghorin and Clyde. While they aren’t protected with plot armour; Ghorin and Clyde secretly being celestials makes it ‘interesting’ should they be attacked. You could either have this fact be revealed early, and ignore my later articles on the trio, or you could trigger similar events but within whatever context this occurs. Or make them mundane mortals – Ghorin really is just an old man with a goat.
Personally I’m a big fan of Dara and my players really latched onto them (they are in love with Clyde), so you can expect at least two more articles featuring them. One will be in Baldur’s Gate after the Dungeon of the Dead Three, and the other in Avernus possibly related to the Crypt of the Hellriders (or in finding it).
I’ve made a number of changes to the NPCs from the Adventure League module, so assume these versions of ‘canon’ and replace any conflicts with the module.
Appearance: A young human girl about 10 years of age, clearly marked as a priestess of Ilmater – God of the Suffering – with blood red cord tied around her wrists. She keeps her long brown hair tied in a ponytail with similar red cord.
- Often implores with her hands raised, the red cord of her faith visible on her wrists.
- Dara carries an air of reason and composure far beyond her apparent years.
- She stays focused on the current task at hand, but never forgets the overall importance of the mission.
- Dara is a 10 year old girl who was fostered by priests of Ilmater and raised in the Tower of Willful Suffering, a temple of Ilmater in Eshpurta, Amn.
- The young Chosen of Ilmater has been traveling for a long time en route to Baldur’s Gate aided by Ghorin and his goat Clyde.
- She doesn’t yet know the reason behind her pilgrimage, but is relieved to be nearing her destination.
- Dara doesn’t know what has happened to Elturel, she Ghorin and Clyde had just passed through a day ago and nothing seemed out of the ordinary.
- Dara’s is searching for others to accompany her to Baldur’s Gate and wants to rally the refugees from outside Elturel
- Despite being a Chosen of Ilmater, she is just a normal 10 year old human girl (of immaculate conception) with some cleric powers. At least for now.
Stats: LG female human child acolyte (page 342, 5e Monster Manual)
Appearance: A dottering old man who wears dusty clothes worn thin from years of hard work. He walks with a stooped gait supported by a long, smooth yew staff.
- He’s frequently accompanied by an equally old goat with grey fur named Clyde.
- Ghorin’s keen eyes miss nothing and he never let Dara out of his sight.
- Despite his apparent age, he’s still sharp as a tack, no nonsense and has a proverb about everything.
Background: A priest from Amn’s Tower of Willful Suffering, a temple of Ilmater in Eshpurta, Amn. His duty is to watch over Dara with Clyde.
- Ghorin is secretly a planetar named Rinzel and Clyde a deva with goat legs named Ausuriel, but even Dara doesn’t know this.
- They would only reveal their true forms if confronted with the very real possibility of Dara’s death.
Stats: Ghorin LG male human elder, secretly a planetar (page 17, 5e Monster Manual).
Clyde LG male goat, secretly a deva (page 15, 5e Monster Manual)
Appearance: Fierce featured, with long brown hair and an air of confidence about her, this human woman stands tall in her worn breastplate, rapier at her hip.
- Puts her hand on her hip when she talks, in a posh Elturian nobles accent.
- Stands tall and proud, Vasha is never defeated and never gives up.
- Confident, a natural leader.
- Vasha is minor Elturgard nobility.
- She owned the Fabled Fawn Inn with her husband Segren.
Stats: LG female human noble (page 348, 5e Monster Manual)
Appearance: The massive head wound on this mans head appears pretty serious. He looks like a man who enjoys fine food and drink and has lived a life of hard work.
- Rubs the massive horse-inflicted dent on his head often, with a grimace.
- Subservient to Vasha, he is used to being led by her.
Background: Owned the Fabled Fawn Inn with his wife Vasha. Unlike Vasha, Segren isn’t a noble and is of middle class.
Stats: LG male human commoner (page 345, 5e Monster Manual)
Appearance: A nonbinary elf, who wears the robes of a traveller. Their features are soft, and their brown hair tumbles about their face and neck.
- They speak in cryptic rhymes due to the lingering effects of a long stint in the Feywild.
- A wanderer at heart, Hastrine has a deep passion for discovering new people and places.
Background: A travelling furrier and herbalist who was passing through the area when Elturel was destroyed.
Stats: NG nonbinary elf scout (page 349, 5e Monster Manual)
Appearance: A dark skinned human from Turmish descent, he has two black tattoo lines on his skin under each eye and a shaved head. His physical strength is readily apparent as his arms bulge under his clothes.
- Cracks his knuckles often, one hand then the other
- A bit too fond of a drink, especially with Gordrick
- Bury’s objects in the ground before saying a prayer in offering each morning
- Ran a blacksmithy outside Elturel.
- The Turmish tattoos beneath both his eyes mark him as literate
- 0 lines marks you illiterate, 1 lines as able to read, 2 lines as able to write and 3 lines as a mage.
- His offerings are to the goddess Chauntea and are a tradition of his homeland.
Stats: CG male human guard (page 347, 5e Monster Manual)
Appearance: A male dwarf with a clean shaven face, incredibly unusual for his people. He wears open or low cut shirts and piercings in both ears.
- Takes a sip from a ‘waterskin’ often, clearly filled with strong smelling alcohol.
- Forlorn and prone to bouts of despondent depression
Background: His father, and entire bloodline, were exiled for causing a mine to collapse by trying to save money by using few tunnel supports. Many lives were lost.
Stats: NG male dwarf commoner (page 345, 5e Monster Manual)
Appearance: A female half-elf with dark skin – although clearly on her human side, for it is the rich brown of the Turmish people – and not the ashen skin of a drow. A golden amulet sits at her throat, a green topaz faceted into it’s centre.
- Clicks her tongue when she talks.
- Pretends to be overly honest and forthcoming – she is a skilled liar and possesses a silver tongue.
- Vollis father was from Turmish, but moved to Baldur’s Gate before she was born.
- She is illiterate and so therefore has no tattooed lines below her eyes.
- Indoctrinated into the Cult of Zariel in Baldur’s Gate.
- Vollis is being mentally guided by Gargauth to find descendants of Elturian Knights and kill them.
- The necklace she wears is an amulet of proof against detection and location.
Stats: LE female half-elf cult fanatic (page 345, 5e Monster Manual)
Appearance: A bookish looking halfling woman, with a high ponytail of brown hair and spectacles on her nose.
- Pushes her spectacles up her nose.
- Always counting supplies, keeping a tight ledger of how many days food and water the caravan has.
- Very no-nonsense.
Background: Formerly a miller and general store owner, where she employed Pal.
Stats: LG female halfling commoner (page 345, 5e Monster Manual)
Appearance: Male half-elf who wears a warm smile on his soft face, despite the situation. His long hair is tied up, but still runs down the length of his back.
- Makes motions like killing himself behind people’s backs in joke mockery, especially Ippon’s.
- Has a real gallows humour.
- Charming, most find him hard to dislike but also to take seriously.
Background: Pal worked with Ippon as her assistant. He is an enthusiastic fan of Billiam’s writings, which he has long appreciated.
Stats: LN male half-elf commoner (page 345, 5e Monster Manual)
Appearance: A flamboyant yet morose of later years human who wears a smart blue tunic. He looks tired, pale and scrawny, yet somehow still retains a regal air.
- He is frequently found writing of his experiences his journal.
- Billiam frequently neglects whatever other duties he might have been charged with, due to writing instead.
- Often argues with and says hurtful things to himself.
- He hopes someday to go to Candlekeep, where he hopes they will accept his works as the donation required for entry.
- Secretly a member of the Cult of Bel.
Stats: LE male human commoner (page 345, 5e Monster Manual)
Note, Alyssa doesn’t show up until later in 1.3 Journey to Baldur’s Gate
Appearance: This human woman is clearly pregnant, perhaps 6 or 7 months so. She has religious garb on, although clearly is not of high station or wealth.
- Places her hand on her bump for reassurance.
- Alyssa is fearful of the dark.
- Hopeless, has only her unborn child’s safety keeping her going.
Background: Alyssa is from Elutrel, but her husband Fessel was working in Baldur’s Gate. Alyssa had gone with him months ago while he worked in his home city. She is a reverent believer in Unity and Companion worship, saying Unity Prayers frequently and creating Unity Tributes.
- Alyssa is pregnant, not imminently so, but enough to hinder her.
- Her husband Fessel was from Baldur’s Gate, but they were going back to Elturel so Alyssa could have her child around her own family.
- Fessel’s mother was a Hellrider.
Stats: LG female human commoner (page 345, 5e Monster Manual)
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