Harran (the Mad) Calaron
Builder of the Black Tower
?, ?, (Evil)
Hit points- ?
Saving Throws: ?
Damage Resistances: ?
Damage Immunities: ?
Condition Immunities: ?
Challenge Rating: ?
Almost seven hundred years have passed since the attempted coup of Harran the Mad, a decorated army general who had served two generations of kings. As an award for exemplary service during an orc incursion, Harran Calaron had been awarded with a parcel of land of his choosing. To everyone’s shock, Harran had selected a swampy lowland some distance from the capitol, land that had previously been considered undesirable due to its boggy terrain and preponderance of hideous beasts. Harran told everyone he had a plan to drain the swamp, boasting that doing so will reward him with the most arable
land in the entire kingdom. His first act was to oversee the construction of a tower which would serve as his domicile while the rest of the keep would be built. Choosing a patch of relatively dry ground on a hillock deep in the swamp,
Harran pulled together stoneworkers and architects,
selected a hard, black volcanic stone from some
nearby mountains, and within five weeks had the base
of the tower in place.
Almost immediately, the project hit upon
problems. A bullywug raid led to half of his workers
being slaughtered before Harran was able to rally his
soldiers, seek out the hidden bullywug lair, and wipe
them out. Not long after, the worker’s camps became
infested with oozes that had to be burned out, and
stirges became a regular problem. Fevers swept
through the workers regularly.
Finally the tower was complete. Harran moved
his family into the rooms in the upper floor of the
tower, deaf to the complaints of his wife and daughter,
who hated the stench and the constant insects. As
Harran turned his attention toward the construction of
the dykes and channels that would dry up the swamp,
disaster struck once more in the form of a young green
dragon, Kaxannanar, who had been hibernating
elsewhere in the swamp. Taking offense at all this
human activity, Kaxannamar attacked the tower in a
rage, killing almost all the workers who were housed
in the most vulnerable area, a camp near the base of
the tower. To his horror, Harran discovered his
daughter, Kira, had been in the camp, sneaking off to
visit a young laborer whom hoped to marry her. The
remaining workers fled, followed by the artisans, and
even some of the soldiers, who saw this last terror as a
precursor of many more to come. Stricken by the
death of their only child, Harran’s wife, Julae, hurled
herself from the top of the tower.
After all this, Harran retreated into his tower, burying himself in books. He began to research magic,
hoping to find a way to return his wife and daughter
from the grave. His research drove him into funding and leading expeditions with what little funds he had left searching out items he believed could help him. This collection of artifacts quickly became compulsory as each failed attempt led to him desperate trying to find and acquire the next. As the last of his money ran dry, few saw him, and those who did said he had gone mad from grief, foregoing his formerly fastidious grooming, eating only what little he needed to survive, even allowing swamp insects and parasites to live, unmolested, in and on his body. The last time anyone saw him, he looked a worse fright than any
diseased wretch in the capitol’s back alley slums.
Upon his presumed death, the tower was
forsaken. Most considered it cursed, and even those
who rejected such things recognized the folly of a
homestead in the swamp. The place became a rumor,
its location forgotten. Eventually disappearing altogether… until recently.