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Male human psion (egoist) 1: CR 1; Medium humanoid (human); Hit Dice 1d4+8; 10 hp; Init +1; Spd 40 ft. (8 squares); AC 12 (+1 Dex, +1 Armor), 11 touch, 11 flat-footed; BAB/Grapple +0/+1; Atk +1 melee (1d6+1, club); Full atk +1 melee (1d6+1, club); SA psionics; AL NG; SV Fort +2, Reflex +1, Will +2; Str 12, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 16, Wis 10, Cha 10.
Skills and Feats: Autohypnosis +2, Balance +2, Concentration +6, Heal +2, Knowledge (psionics) +5, Listen +4, Profession (tailor) +4, Psicraft +7; Psionic Body, Rapid Metabolism, Speed of Thought.
Languages: Common, Dwarven, Elven, Gnoll
Psion Powers Known (Save DC 13+power level): 1st-force screen, thicken skin, vigor
Power points/day: 3
Possessions: Club, flint and steel, padded armor, sack, torch, trail rations (x3), traveler's outfit.
Weight: 180 lbs
Hair: A brown mop that was obviously a bowl cut before being allowed to grow wildly
Skin: A pale white, the shade of someone that hasn’t spent much time in the sun
Harland appears to most people as a bit ragged. His hair, once kept neat and above the ears has grown long enough to hang in front of his face, but too short to tie back. It is usually unmanaged. This seems to match his face, which usually sports a few days worth of stubble. This is not to say that Harland is unclean. He keeps himself bathed, but he just always has the appearance of someone just waking up after a long night of drinking.
Growing up, Harlan Tailor’s life was not easy. His mother died when he was barely three years old, leaving him with very few memories of her at all. Harland’s father, a sour-faced man by the name of Tommen, always pushed him very hard, making him work long hours in the family’s clothing shop under close scrutiny and, occasionally, a harsh lash. When he was a child, Harland thought his father hated him because his mother died, but eventually came to realize that Tommen just considered him an unwanted burden he was shackled with.
Tommen ruled every aspect of Harland’s life, from what he ate to who he talked with (which was very few people) to how he was dressed. Any deviation was met with a severe punishment from Tommen’s belt strap. Harland was allowed to wander the town, though. In fact, Tommen always seemed to prefer it when he was away. However, he never saw any share of the profit from the family business, so he never had money to go to most of the places in the city he could escape to. As a result, Harland discovered the city library in his wanderings at a fairly young age. It was here that he spent most of his time when he wasn’t working in the shop. He spent many nights sleeping there with his head pillowed by an open book.
After being struck by Tommen’s lash during his twentieth year, Harlan made up his mind to leave his home and see the wonderful places he had only read about. He didn’t tell Tommen, not because he thought Tommen would try to stop him, but because he knew Tommen would never let him leave with the quilted jerkin he intended to make and wear as armor. Harland spent a month working on his armor before it was complete. Once it was done, he packed a small sack with a bit of food and left that very day. To the best of his knowledge, Tommen never came looking for him.
Even as smart as he was, Harland was ill prepared for the harsh realities of the world outside of the city walls. His food was gone two days after he left, his shoulders ached from the weight of his armor, his body was stiff from sleeping on the cold ground and he had no idea where he was or which direction he was heading. At this point, he probably would have gone back to Tommen and his lash, had he only known how to get there.
After a few more days of wandering alone and hungry, Harland was set upon by a pair of goblins in a woodland clearing. He had no weapon and no way of defending himself, so he did the only thing he could think to do&he climbed a tree. For hours, he clung to the branches of a tall tree, crying and screaming for help while trying to avoid the rocks and sticks the goblins below threw at him. All at once, a huge thunderclap echoed through the woods and one of the goblins was thrown across the clearing into a tree where it collapsed into a broken lifeless heap. The other goblin wasted no time in trying to run, but it was cut down by a brilliant bolt of light before it could take more than a few steps. This was simply too much for Harland’s mind to take. Sore, bruised and hanging from a tree limb twenty feet in the air, Harland Tailor fainted.
When Harland came to, darkness had already fallen. A fat bandage was wrapped around his head, as he had suffered a deep cut from falling from the tree. A middle-aged human and a dwarf had tended to his wound and set up a campsite. They introduced themselves as Tael Specci and Brun Granitecrag before asking for his story. After blurting out the story of his entire life with very little time taken to stop for air, he asked the pair if they were powerful wizards to have killed his goblin tormentors as they did. Laughing, they informed him that they were not wizards and that everything they had done had been a simple issue of mind over matter. Deeply curious, Harland begged the duo to teach him. Tael decined, stating that he had important business to take care of in the capital, but Brun agreed to maintain the campsite and apprentice “the young lad” until Tael’s business was finished. Weeks later, Brun secretly confessed to Harland that he did so mostly because he hated the idea of spending weeks of his life cooped up in some smelly human city.
For a little over two months Brun instructed Harland in the ways of psionics. He started slowly with meditation and focusing of the mind, but eventually graduated to more powerful psychic abilities. Brun was amazed at how quickly his young student learned to use his mind to augment the abilities of his body. By the time Tael returned, Harland had graduated from apprentice to full-fledged psion. He asked if he could accompany the pair on their travels, but the two declined, advising him to return home and reconcile with his father. Sadly, he told them that he would as he bid them farewell, though Harland had no intention of ever returning home. Gathering his modest belongings, he set off in a northern direction towards whatever adventure lay in his path.
Using Harland Tailor:
Even as first level, there are many potential uses for an NPC like Harland Tailor.
Daddy’s little boy: Two weeks after Harland’s disappearance, his father has finally accepted that his burden has been lifted and Harland won’t be coming back. His cheer is turned sour by the discovery that a large portion of his expensive stock material has been stolen (in the form of Harland’s armor). As spiteful as he is, Tommen hires the PCs to find Harland and return his merchandise. He sugar coats this under the guise of concern for his son’s welfare, but makes no mention of bringing Harland back.
Thief! Thief!: The party meets Harland in a small town. Over a few drinks, he tells them his story, including Brun and Tael, who very obviously match the description of wanted criminals. Does the party try to pry their location from Harland, hoping to get a reward for their capture? Do they tell Harland at all? Do they just leave the situation alone?