Some of the most important people to the average adventuring group, especially early on, are the healers, the noble individuals who bring the PCs back from the dead, restore their bodies from poison, restore their minds from insanity, and the like. This week we look at ten flavorful examples of these NPC healers so that you can spice up your PCs’ own encounters with these all-important characters.
1. Karlog Skydaughter, orc shaman. As a healer in a seedy town known for attracting monsters and murderers, this orcish woman is not so out of the ordinary as she might be in another town. She is, however, renowned for being by far the most powerful spellcaster for miles around. Able to cure the incurable and bring the dead back to life, in their own body or in another, Karlog is a formidable woman whose other powers and mystical bearing frighten off all but the most desperate. Karlog does not accept gold for the magic of the sky mother, her shamanic patron, but often demands difficult or dangerous favors in exchange for her services.
2. Gordon Hadric, frontline priest. Gordon is a skilled and capable priest who has devoted his life to the fight against evil. Roaming the world hunting vampires and other terrors, Gordon is on the frontlines of many of the same battles as the PCs. Though he is a jaded man, Gordon nonetheless is the savior of most of the helpless humans who fall prey to the monsters and fiends that plague the human societies he travels to. Though Gordon will freely part with minor healing spells, he requires gold and a good reason to bring people back from the dead or perform other services.
3. Emelia Chartan, discount resurrections. A priestess of an obscure goddess of commerce, Emelia is an entrepreneur favored by her goddess. Well known for her discount revivals, she undercuts the cost of raising the dead in order to spread the word of her god. Though her spells are just as effective as the other healers, they sometimes have unintended consequences, such as attracting the ire of outsiders or bringing back the individual slightly wrong. In any case, she is quick to tell folks that there are no refunds.
4. Nolandus Earthbreaker, dwarven priest. A dwarven priest of dwarven gods with a very dwarven outlook on things, Nolandus is more sympathetic to dwarves and those who have proven themselves to be friends of his people. To others, Nolandus is professional, but cold, and difficult to deal with. Often, he demands steeper donations from non-dwarves, and his pro-dwarf viewpoints are viewed as racist and dangerous by some of the local humans, leading to conflicts between him and others. Still, no other local healer can match his talent.
5. Harmony Islorina, half-elf wizard. Even though she lacks divine magic of any kind, Harmony posits that she is as good, or better, a healer than most. Some of her methods are unusual, but between her arcane skills and penchant for weird science, she can patch up even the most severe wounds, and even return some semblance of life to the dead by resurrecting them as intelligent zombies, skeletal champions, or ghosts, with an it’s-just-better sales pitch. Considered a heretic and dangerous witch by many, she is rarely able to operate in a single area for long before the locals decide to run her out of town.
6. Theon Argus, warrior’s friend. A towering, battle-scared man, Theon resembles the great arena champion rather than the humble hero. Still, this skilled fighter has devoted his life to keeping those that fight for a living in good health. Attached to a deadly arena, Theon spends most of his talent on keeping fighters in good shape, free of charge. Though he is willing to accept payment for his services from outsiders, he will happily provide free healing to those who do well in the arena, or whose friends are willing to fight on his behalf.
7. Greatest Nymiska, serpent god. Nymiska is a powerful couatl who has supplemented her natural abilities with divine power from the worship of her own obscure gods. Posing as the god to a formerly barbaric jungle tribe, Nymiska has guided the savage warlike peoples to decades of peace and prosperity. When someone falls gravely ill within the village or suffers dire wounds, they turn to her and she restores them. Though she does not charge gold for her services, they are never free, and her favors and demands on the recipients of her healing mean they often worry they might be in a worse position than they were already.
8. Cal Iship, kindly druid. A waspish and wiry man, Cal has been a priest of nature for most of his life and is a master of the druidic arts. He often seeks out those who do good for nature to provide them help, and he keeps tabs on those that do their part for his lands. He is known to appear unbidden to provide assistance and healing for just the cost of material components for those that champion nature’s cause; for others, he demands that they perform a service for the wild before he will see them.
9. Ursina, Sea Witch. A lovely mermaid who dwells on the edges of a dark sea, Ursina has a foul temper and a violent aspect which has earned her the name Sea Witch. Selfish and hateful, though Ursina possesses great gifts in the healing arts, she is unwilling to share them with the common folk. She requires great tributes, sometimes in the form of rare items and sometimes in the form of vile services, to grant her aid. Her healing is supremely effective, however, and for some even her steep prices are worth the cost.
10. The Warlock of the West. More of a legend than a man, the Warlock of the West is said to be able to cure any ill, including restoring the souls of the lost and bringing back the long dead. His tears are said to possess the power to bring immortality to those that drink them. He is said to dwell in a vast mere cloaked in silvery mists, and that to meet him you must first catch his grey hawk, which is swift as the wind, and subdue his hound, which is said to be a terrible and mighty beast in its own right.