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I'm running the first book of LoF currently, and noticed that while the Refuge of Nethys itself is solid and interesting, Haidar seems like he isn't involved; an Osirian character, separate from the storyline, who more or less seems like Just Some Guy. It also solved the issue of why Haleen had made it into the battle market, as opposed to the PCs, who generally seem to be slain on sight (well, so far, no one's died, but Old Bonegrinder got pretty close...). Additionally, it opens up possible connections in The Jackal's Price. Since people here may find it interesting, I figured why not share it?
When he arrived, he was surprised to find the old leader of the tribe he was expecting replaced with Kardswann. The deal went south, in terms of the gnolls' offense at Lamashtu, and Kardswann, under Xulthos' influence, figuring that slaying a Katapeshi aristocrat could be a great prelude to his war. Haleen, thinking fast, quickly made an offer to join the gladiator bouts, and Haidar changed into his wereleopard form and escaped.
Changes to the game this has caused:
- Outside the Refuge of Nethys, the PCs will find a patrol of gnolls on Haidar's trail. If pressed for information, they will tell the PCs that there was a criminal they pursued in; I left it vague as to who he was, in hopes of an ally.
- When encountered, Haidar will be in human form, acting erratically; prolonged exposure to the Breath of Nethys has loosened his grip on reality. A successful Knowledge (Nobility) check will reveal who he is. In any event, his odd antics will eventually cause a party member to anger him in some way. He shifts to wereleopard form, fight fight, etc. This could be the end of him, but mine occurred differently.
-The PCs stabilized Haidar when he was brought to negatives, thinking he may be valuable. In this case, Haidar will attempt to go along with them, realizing the party is dangerous to him, but angling for advantages, and trying to get in with Almah's group. I played him as trying to slimily make deals, but occasionally have him struggle to restrain his bestial urges (a perception check showed him to be staring at our sorceror's throat, for instance) For her part, Almah is not a fan. Barring that, he will attempt to be healed enough to backstab the party in revenge for beating him at a later opportunity, or escape during the chaos of combat. In my case, he established an antagonistic relationship with the PCs, and, uh, I now have an organic recurring villain who the party despises, as he ran away when my group's swashbuckler tried to drag him into combat.
Since Haidar has a whole year to get back at the party, a natural place to fit him would be as having ties with Father Jackal's organization, perhaps replacing Father Jackal himself (he trains up some levels in the year between HotCK and HotB). In the meantime, he'll attempt to sabotage the players politically.