Everything About: Belor Hemlock!

Rise of the Runelords

Let's flesh out the character of Belor Hemlock!

(I figure every GM wants to run 3-dimensional NPCs, but not everyone has the time to prep every one. So I'm hoping this can act as a reference thread for GMs starting the AP, where they can take advantage of the creativity of GMs who have already invested the time into making this character interesting.)

Let's see all of your content (original or not) about Belor Hemlock, including but not limited to:

  • Non-canonical backstories
  • Mannerisms and descriptions
  • Relationships with other NPCs
  • Encounters or side-quests
  • Favorite activities
  • Images
  • Anything else that helps flesh out this character!

Looking forward to reading any responses.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I don't have ideas on this yet, but like the spirit of the thread. I'm having trouble making him relatable and a couple players are disliking his dour, serious nature. One of them took the Sczarni trait and made a passing reference to visiting the Pixie's Kitten in front of Hemlock, not being aware of all the backstory there, which triggered him to get very angry at her.

In the book 1 of Carrion Crown, the dour, serious Sheriff was softened by his secret crush on the town Alchemist, allowing the party to play matchmaker. Need something similar here.

Liberty's Edge

Also like the spirit of this thread. Haven't really done much with Hemlock yet, though.

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Love this idea - though I think the concept would work better if it was structured by power groups rather than individuals.

I've got plenty of stuff for the town guards, but only a little on Belor himself.

During Stones over Sandpoint, I allowed the players to participate in mini scenes across town (I ran it a bit differently, than presented, giving the players no real forewarning of the attack)with each player getting to run some of the NPCs of the town, each player getting to run the closest think to the mentor type of their actual character, and answer a couple of questions about the character and their motives.

For me, Belor is in a bit over his head - he got his job with the support of the Scarnetti family, who want to use the town guards as their own personal anti-Sczarni task force. The Scarnetti also wanted someone who owes them something in charge of the guards in the wake of the Avertin/Deverin alliance of the previous years. Belor is a decent guard and a man of his word and is out of his depths in dealing with the political aims of the Scarnetti. The secret that truly haunts him however is that Chopper is actually his great uncle, and he maintains his tight control over himself because he is secretly afraid that he may have the same evil inside.

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Let's see. *goes through his notes*

While Belor is proud of his Shoanti heritage he'd never admit so, standing by the choices he made to gain his current post and the favor of the Chelish population. He's certainly close to the mayor and often serves as a personal advisor to her whenever it comes to the security of the town. Whenever there's a crisis in Sandpoint, Hemlock is the one official who stays calm. Belor had a short period in his youth when he was part of either part of a militia or a mercenary group. He doesn't talk about it, though and keeps that part of his past close to his vest.

He also is a workaholic who doesn't know what to do with himself as soon as criminal activities in Sandpoint hit a low. Even though Kaye does her best to cheer him up, he resorts to drinking whenever there are no Sczarni activities for a period longer than a week. He's obsessed with Jubrayl Vhiski, and that he didn't find evidence of that Sczarnis crimes (himself) that were solid enough to arrest him can lead to a severe depression once the Heroes of Sandpoint successfully do that job for him.

My version of Belor also wasn't very happy with the decision to reincarnate Vhiski, after the Varisian criminal died in Scribbler's Lair (I had to change stuff around there) and he wasn't at all amused when the Heroes of Sandpoint decided to fake Vhiski's death shortly thereafter and gave him a new identity just to use him as informant on Sczarni activities in Magnimar. It didn't help either that Vhiski at that time was the star witness in the trial of Titus Scarnetti and Justice Argentine was furious over the sudden death of the Sczarni who promised to spill the beans on the patriarch's misdeeds and should have been safe in a cell in Sandpoint under Hemlock's protection. I play Belor as a man with a lot of cynicism.

He's maybe on of the 7 or 8 most important NPCs in my version of Sandpoint (or in my players version, since they are in the end the ones who decide with which NPCs they interact with between their adventures) Not as important as Jubrayl or Ameiko or Quink or Kaye or the Venders, but somewhere close behinde them as far as importance goes.

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Ran monster in the closet tonight, and the PCs captured Gresgurt alive. (Who was surprisingly fun to roleplay in his feral state.) After they had interrogated the little goblin, and the Amale had freaked out, I had the Sheriff decide to spare the family a trial and chop his head off there on the spot, asking the PCs to say the goblin was killed in battle. Honestly, I'm not sure if goblins are supposed to get trials, and I'm not sure how I feel about Belor bending the law this way, but it provided a pretty memorable moment.

Also, a PC enjoys flirting with Kaye Tesserani. Nothing in the book says her not so secret affair with the Sheriff is monogomous.... I wonder what will happen if the PC and Kaye sleep together.

she runs a brothel. if she's monogamous, she's not doing her job right. just make sure she gets paid

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Hythlodeus wrote:
she runs a brothel. if she's monogamous, she's not doing her job right. just make sure she gets paid

She *runs* the Brothel. That doesn't mean she's herself sleeping with other people, either. I'd say she's probably not personally sleeping with customers from money, in fact, unless her rates are absurdly higher than anyone else's.

Captain Morgan wrote:
Ran monster in the closet tonight, and the PCs captured Gresgurt alive. (Who was surprisingly fun to roleplay in his feral state.)

Had a party do this. Then they caught another goblin who wasn't feral, and put it in the same cell. It was a fun reaction when I described Gresgurt going after the fresh meat because of his feral state lol. Hemlock wasn't too impressed though after that one.

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So in my campaign I played Belor as the no-nonsense "straight" guy to the party's antics. He would do some version of this A LOT: "So you guys ran around the town, causing dozens of gold pieces of damage on merchant stalls and roof tiles just because you 'thought you saw' some kind of shady deal going on?"

During the "Local Heroes" chapter I had him taking a trip to Magnimar to personally request reinforcements after the initial goblin attack. He deputized the PCs, asking them to just very visibly walk around town helping people in order to curb crime and raise morale. In the process they discovered a Sczarni plot to make Belor "suffer an accident" during the trip.

He was EXTREMELY tight-lipped about what the resolution of the Chopper murders, as he fears the knowledge of the Pazuzu's name might bring its attention back to the town. That led to much frustration for the party's paladin, whose parents were killed by Chopper, which resulted in him being raised by Sir Jasper.

Unfortunately I never got to develop him that much. Anyone has a better grasp at the feud with his brother?

Rune wrote:

Unfortunately I never got to develop him that much. Anyone has a better grasp at the feud with his brother?

I did little with that until recently, in the downtime before we started book 6 one of my players discovered that there might be Shoanti folklore about the River Avah and decided to ask Hemlock about it. I made a point about Belor not having much memories about any Shoanti traditions and folklore and if so, staying as far away from it as possible to be 'a sheriff for all of Sandpoint, not just a Shoanti who somehow came to that position.' The player the decided to visit Hemlocks brother, who, of course, embraced his heritage and knew the songs and lyrics his folk sings about the legendary river. That gave me the opportunity to delve a little deeper on their relationship but I still feel I just scratched the surface a little bit. Maybe, if I revisit Sandpoint in Jade Regent I might do more with it.

As it is, the group is more interested in race politics when it comes to the Varisians in town and therefore the Sczarni are way more developed. That might change after the played through CotCT

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I know that I'm reviving a dead thread, but wanted to share what I was doing with Belor.

The "man" that everyone believes is Belor is not Belor. That night that he came across Jervis Stoot he found out that Jervis was dead and a Lamia matriarch had been impersonating him. Seeing an opportunity, the Lamia decided to take over a more high ranking persona in town. Incapacitated Belor and imprisoned him in her magic mirror/shadow plane shard.
The Lamia has a magic item that will allow her to perfectly impersonate (+20 to Disguise checks) him, but the subject must be visible to cast the spell. By keeping Belor alive in her mirror she does not have to keep a corpse around and wasting her Sihedron Medallion for the Gentle Repose on him like she did for Jervis. A quick switch and now she is a Deputy. Shortly after that, she is promoted to Sheriff.
Her two older sisters were given the task of finding greedy people to feed to the Runewell, but she was given a different task. She is part of the army that will attack Sandpoint in book 4 and is looking for the resting place of Karzoug's spy, Xaliasa. She knows that Xaliasa is near, and thought the best way to find him was in the tunnels she found under the island north of the Hellfire Flume. She had excavated much of the tunnels there (I used this for The Chopper side-quest adventure) but could not reach him, and she had all but given up hope of completing her orders. The a group of adventurers found the entrance to the Catacombs of Wrath, and now she has renewed hope.
She is the cause of the cave in by the Garrison as she has been moving huge amounts of earth to dig down, but is not an engineer and didn't brace it well enough.
I am leaving clues around that Belor is not who he says he is. In the adventure path it says that he was changed the day after he found the old Sheriff dead. Yeah, he was changed alright. Anytime someone sees through her disguise she blames it on that dreadful night. Changing his name, the falling out with his brother, the stern personality, even the "love affair" with Kaye Tesarani is an act of changing Belor's public appearance into something that the Lamia can handle better than the old shoanti traits Belor used to have.
Once the players have found her out they must defeat her and then they can destroy the mirror. If they just shatter it, it will kill anyone inside. If they go inside the shadow plane and destroy the "heart" of the plane (ala "The Midnight Mirror" adventure) then the true Belor can be saved.

My group had a more... interesting history with Belor, and it was due to one player whose PC had a personality reminiscent of Bender from Futurama. He had crafted a background that was a bit adversarial with Belor due to small crimes (moonshine and gambling) and the like (and the fact he was a bastard scion of the Scarnetti family), and kept joking how he'd build himself a floating brothel and gambling casino off the shore so Belor couldn't do anything about it.

When Belor got badly hurt during the giant attack... well, he was crippled and having difficulties doing his job. The Scarnettis planned on getting rid of him and at that point the PCs all joined forces because while they weren't fond of Belor, they HATED the Scarnettis. They found the evidence on Scarnetti malfeasance, turned it in rather than blackmail them, and then laughed as they got them exiled and turned the Scarnetti manor into an orphanage... while also ensuring Belor remained sheriff.

After the end when Karzoug was defeated, that player did build his floating brothel and casino. Belor was quietly amused at that even as he outwardly groused about it.

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