Fester, Old Queen of Mudhole
by Clive Squire
Gully dwarf traits (cowardly, hardy, pitiable, small size, survival instinct); bonus noble class skill (Move Silently), favor +1; sneak attack +2d6, trapfinding, evasion, trap sense +1.
Climb +4, Disable Device -1, Gather Information +1, Hide +10, Knowledge (local) +0, Listen +4, Move Silently +8, Open Lock -1, Sleight of Hand +6, Search +0, Spot +7, Survival +2.
+1 club +5 melee (1d6+2) or sludge bomb +6 ranged (10-ft. range increment, bomb explodes into a 10-ft.-radius green noxious mist, those within must make a Fortitude save DC 13 or become nauseated for 1d4+1 rounds).
Queenly Stick (exhausted rod of wonder), ragged blue robe, sacking clothes and a broken pottery crown.
For a gully dwarf, Fester is remarkbly well dressed. She still wears her trademark blue robe that was her symbol when she was the Queen of Mudhole (she refused to give it up to her daughter, the current Queen of Mudhole, Kack, and after a furious fist fight, was allowed to keep it). Fester's once beautiful gully dwarf looks have remained with her, she has round mud-brown eyes, a large bulbous nose and few teeth, enough though she is now middle aged.
Fester is a rare creature in the world, a gully dwarf with the air of leadership about her. Fester is proud of being a gully dwarf and gets upset when she sees the bigger races abuse gully dwarves. She is normally quiet and reserved, but like most gully dwarves, has a terrible memory for specific things not about daily survival.
Fester is the aging Old Queen of Mudhole, wife to King Nomscul. Nomscul and Fester lived in a tiny community of gully dwarves by one of the Theiwar food warrens, in Thorbardin. Nomscul was the clan's shaman just before the War of the Lance, and had made a "property" that a King and Queen would descend from mud to lead them.
In a cruel twist of fate, Flint Fireforge, famed Hero of the Lance, had travelled to his home village of Hillhome to investigate recent dealing the hill dwarves were making with the untrustworthy Theiwar mountain dwarves. Flint and Perian, a captain of the Thanes Guard, got caught up in the schemes of Pitrick, a Theiwar savant who was dealing arms to Lord Ariakas for his up-and-coming war. The pair were sentenced to death in the Beast Pit, where they made their way into Mudhole.
Together with the gully dwarves of Mudhole, King Flunk II and Queen Furryend II, as Flint and Perian were called, stopped Pitrick from wiping out Hillhome. Fester became Queen Furryend's weighty lady. After the Battle of Hillhome and in gratitude for the gully dwarves' assistance, Flint abdicated and Nomscul and Fester were crowned the new King (a title he soon changed to Best Cook, Chief Shaman and Queen's First Husband) and Queen of Mudhole. Numscul and Fester remained King and Queen happily for 2 years more, when just before the War of the Lance, Nomscul abdicated and went on to to become a cleric of Reorx.
Fester remained the sole ruler of Mudhole during the War of the Lance, and made serveral attempts to get the Highbulp to side with the forces of good against the Dragonarmies. The Highbulp, unfortunately, was always in meetings with the Thanes of Thorbardin (usually asleep), so it was left to Fester to martial what few forces she could. Fester sent out crack gully dwarf agents into the surrounding area around Thorbardin. When news reached her of any Dragonarmy forces, she had teams of gully dwarf raiders harass them. Her small contribution, although unrecognized by the bigger folk, helped tipped the balance in the War of the Lance towards the Whitestone forces.
Mudhole prospered during the short interval between the War of the Lance and the Summer of Chaos. Its population grew to well over 500, all of whom loved and respected their King and Queen.
During the Summer of Chaos, the gully dwarves of Mudhole were again instrumental in a major battle. They helped defeat the forces of Chaos that were unleashed within Thorbardin. Fester used the last charge of her sceptre (actually a rod of wonder), with the aid of Nomscul, killing a daemon warrior that had breached the defenses of Mudhole and started obliterating the gully dwarves. Due to her courage and tenacity, the gully dwarves declared that Fester would be Queen of forever, or until someelse wanted the job.
Fester and Nomscul had fifteen children, the eldest of these, Flunk (named after Flint Fireforge) took over the mantle of Kingship over Mudhole in the year 420 SC, and reigned with his blushing bride as Flunk III and Kack I. The coronation of Flunk and Kack went well until Kack wanted the Queenly stick and robe. After a long and bloody fist fight (which resulted in a few broken bones and teeth being misplaced), Flunk declared that Fester could keep the Queenly stick and robe.
In Your Campaign:
Fester can be used in your campaign as a good source of information about the secret doings of most of the clans of Thorbardin. She could lend a group of heroes invaluble aid in sneaking around the warren cities as well as hidden ways of escaping from it.
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