Lord Payn Ack-Arthur
Payn grew up in the town of Bestraville, not far from the Hilly Crags in Kelerak. His parents, Arthur (a secret ranger and tomacco gatherer) and Beatrice, instilled in him a strong love for the wilderness, and because of his devotion to the town's namesake goddess, the worship of Bestra came natural to him.
Although not a very large town, Bestraville is a strong religous center, both to the goddess Bestra, for whom the town was named, and also the god Heshtail. Due to this, Bestraville was a natural target of the evil forces during the dark occupation and it was ruled by a Hoth, or orcish war boss, for many centuries. Because of its religious centricity, the quiet hamlet was also looked on as dangerous to individual dark folk, and they molested the physical structures of the town very little. In fact, they were content to rule the populace and let the famous temples of Bestra and Heshtail sit empty for many years. Of couse the fact that the first orcs who tried to enter the temple of Bestra were struck dead may have had something to do with their attitude towards the temple.
Another force that perhaps added to Bestraville's "protected status" was that of the Woodsman. In league with the sect of druids that inhabits the Hilly Crags, these mysterious rangers flitted from shadow to shadow, acting as a secret police force and slaying any orc or corrupted human that dared to overstep his bounds. The Woodsmen existed for many decades, avoiding all attempts by the orc bosses to stamp them out. Indeed, Payn's father Arthur was very actice with the ranger group, undertaking his share of secret missions. Because of this, Payn was drawn to the Woodsmen, the forces protecting his town. When he officially joined the secret group, Payn's father rewarded him with a hunting hound to help keep Payn safe while he lived the dangerous life of a Woodsman. Payn called his new beloved hound "Chomper."
As Payn grew up, he secretely spent a great deal of time in the woods surrounding the town, often following his father's example in tracking animals, hunting, living off the land, and respecting everything the forest gave, as well as killing any orcs who wandered about alone or in small numbers. Payn and his best friend, Taren ack-Odo, often spent many hours each day trekking through the woods, exploring and attaining a deep devotion to nature and the wilderness, hunting animals for food and fur, of course killing orcs and wargs to keep the evil rulers in line, but not harming creatures of the wilderness when unnecessary.
When word came in 8160 F.R. that the Lord of Lust was slain and that Kelerak was rising up against her evil rulers, the Woodsmen were on the vanguard of the rebellion that freed Bestraville. Because of their decades-long pressure on the evil forces, the coup was not very bloody, and most of the orcish inhabitants of the town fled into the Hilly Crags or away to the South. The rebellion was not particularly traumatic for Payn.
A moment that was traumatic, and which was quite possibly the event that pushed him to leave Bestraville in search of greater good, happened just a few months before the fateful meeting with Bartarius and Malcall in Dragonspur, nearly nine years after Bestraville was freed. Payn, Taren, and Payn's devoted pet dog Chomper were trekking through the woods, following prey that they intended to bring home to their families. Suddenly they came upon a huge warg that was foaming at the mouth, obviously mad with rabies. Upon seeing them, the warg lunged at Payn. Chomper instinctively jumped at his master's attacker, and a brief but ferocious battle ensued with Chomper getting slashed badly with the raging warg's teeth. This, however, gave just enough time for Payn and Taren to react, falling upon the warg with their flashing blades and slicing it to death.
Chomper, though badly wounded, was still alive, and Payn took him home to heal. But because the warg was rabid, Chomper soon showed signs of rabies, and the healing that Payn could give was not able to cure his friend. Finally, when Chomper began to lose his mind, Payn was forced to kill the animal that had so quickly jumped to save him.
This was a traumatic experience for Payn, giving him the belief that he needed to leave the town of Bestraville in search of a greater good. And since that time, whenever he has been attacked by dogs he has been pulled down. In 8171, Payn was named a Lord Knight and then a Lord of Dragonspur City.
Lord Payn Ack-Arthur
Medium humanoid (human), neutral good
Armor Class 18 (studded leather)
Hit Points 185 (20d10+60)
Speed 30 ft.
STR 16 (+3) DEX 19 (+4) CON 16 (+3) INT 11 (+0) WIS 17 (+3) CHR 10 (+0)
Saving Throws Str +8, Dex +9
Skills Nature +8, Perception +8, Stealth +9, Survival +8
Senses passive Perception 18
Languages Dark Speech, Kelevan
Challenge 13 (10,000 XP)
Land's Stride. Moving through nonmagical difficult terrain costs Payn no extra movement. He can also pass through nonmagical plants without being slowed by them and without taking damage from them if they have thorns, spines, or a similar hazard. In addition, he has advantage on saving throws against plants that are magically created or manipulated to impede movement, such as those created by the entangle spell.
Spellcasting: Payn is a 20th-level spellcaster. His spellcasting ability is Wisdom (spell save DC 16, +8 to hit with spell attacks). Payn has the following ranger spells prepared:
1st level (4 slots): ensnaring strike, hail of thorns
2nd level (3 slots): silence, spike growth
3rd level (3 slots): lightning arrow, plant growth, protection from energy
4th level (3 slots): conjure woodland beings, freedom of movement
5th level (2 slots): conjure volley, swift quiver
Master of Stealth. Payn can try to hide by pressing himself up against a surface and remaining motionless. When he does this, he gains a +10 bonus to Dexterity (Stealth) checks as long as he remains there without moving or taking actions. Once he moves or takes an action or a reaction, he loses the bonus. He can’t be tracked by nonmagical means, unless he chooses to leave a trail.
Keen Senses. When Payn attacks a creature he can’t see, his inability to see it doesn’t impose disadvantage on his attack rolls against it. He is also aware of the location of any invisible creature within 30 feet of him, provided that the creature isn’t hidden from him and he isn't blinded or deafened.
Foe Killer. Payn deals an extra 8 (2d8) damage when he hits with a melee attack (included in the attacks.)
Multiattack. Payn makes two attacks with his scimitar and one attack with his shortsword; or Payn makes two longbow attacks.
Scimitar. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 15 (1d6+2d8+4) slashing damage.
Shortsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 14 (1d6+2d8+3) piercing damage.
Longbow. Ranged Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, range 150/600 ft., one target. Hit: 16 (3d8+4) piercing damage.
Stem the Tide. When a creature misses Payn with a melee attack, he can force that creature to repeat the same attack against another creature (other than itself) of his choice.
Payn can take three legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature's turn. Payn regains spent legendary actions at the start of his turn.
Whirlwind of Steel (costs two actions). Payn makes a scimitar and shortword attack against each creature within 5 feet of him, with a separate attack roll for each attack on each target.
Stealthy Movement. Payn moves up to his speed and can take the hide action at the end of his movement.
Natural Tenacity. Payn heals 8 (2d8) hitpoints.
Possessions. scimitar +1, studded leather +2