Namtar Eridu has walked in shadow for much of his life and knows well their seductive, ebon depths. For while today, Namtar makes his way in the world as a sword for hire, it was not always thus. For Namtar once served a power so dark, so evil, so utterly vile that he even now dares not utter its name—for Namtar served Demogorgon, Prince of Demons.
Namtar grew up in the Black Pits below the great temple-complex of Balon-Sur. His first memories are of the stench of sweat, blood and fear. Namtar knows nothing of this mother—although he believes her to have been a slave taken in war. In any event, she died while he was but a toddler. Pity was thin on the ground in the slave pits and the young Namtar had to grow up fast to survive. For years he scavenged and stole using his speed and agility to escape. When they failed, his quick wits and impressive skills as a liar saw him through.
His willingness to betray and backstab his fellow slaves did not go unnoticed and he was chosen to undergo the brutal training required to join Balon-Sur’s elite guards. At this he excelled and his willingness to do anything to survive and prosper marked him out as someone worthy of Demogorgon’s special blessing.
And thus, he served his dark lord as one of his unholy warriors. During his decades of service at the temple, Namtar witnessed—and participated in—countless atrocities each blacker and more depraved than the last. Finally, something snapped deep within his soul and he realised he had to escape. Taking his chance during a raid, he slew a fellow warrior and slipped away.
Casting aside his battle regalia, Namtar has since made his way in the world as a sellsword and mercenary. Near destitute—and struggling with his deep feelings of regret and guilt—he tries to do good but daily struggles with such concepts as kindness, trust and love—all of which seem utterly alien to him. He knows he cannot ever make up for the unspeakable acts he committed in Demogorgon’s name, but hopes to at least readdress the balance before his death.
Divinations cast at Balon-Sur have revealed Namtar has thrown off the Prince of Demon’s mantle and is trying to embrace the accursed path of light and goodness. This cannot stand. Demogorgon’s priests have despatched several minions to hunt down Namtar and to bring him back to face their wrath.
I’ve noticed it a fair amount of official and 3PP publications (including Raging Swan’s) the presence of ex-paladins; these trouble souls seem to be either hopeless drunkards or on a quest to regain their powers. I don’t recall ever seeing an ex-antipaladin, and I think the concept of redemption from darkness is an interesting one to play out.
As you may know normally I am a huge fan of espousing Core Rulebook only for my campaigns and character generation. I’m a core only fan.
However, this time I’m giving myself a break for Namtar is a troubled soul and was once an antipaladin! Thus his first level is ex-antipaladin. In some ways this makes him weaker than a normal 1st-level fighter (as he does not gain a fighter’s bonus feat) but I think it makes him a much more interesting character to play.
I also see in his future a level or two of sorcerer (with the abyssal bloodline obviously). It should be pretty obvious by now that Namtar isn’t exactly an optimised character, but I’d look forward to portraying the slowly emerging abyssal taint and his reaction to it.
That all said, I doubt I’d play him in an optimised game in which mechanics ruled supreme. He just wouldn’t survive long enough to make him fun. In any event, here is Namtar’s character sheet:
Sadly, I fear I’ll never actually get to play Namtar, as normally I GM (at the moment we are doing the Shattered Star adventure path). However, at the moment we are on a summer break and my eldest son is preparing a short one-shot adventure for 10th-level characters. I don’t plan to play Namtar in that game as we’ve already got a couple of fighters for the group. I’m in the midst of designing a sorcerer for the game and I’ll be posting her background soon!
4 thoughts on “Namtar Eridu: The Shadowed One”
I love seeing interesting characters! As a fellow DM, I understand how it can be when you think of a cool character and may never be able to play him. I really love the idea of this character, and would love to see how his path to redemption plays out. I hope someday you get the chance!
Thank you, Trevor. I fear the Shadowed One will never see the light of day, but I live in hope!
His name backwards is Ratman. 😉
Strangely, I never spotted this! Thanks for spotting this Jason. I’ll have to add some lycanthropy into his background…