Legends: Wil Blakeston, The Solitary of Shawmut

Hello Again,

This post contains stats for another high-level NPC, based loosely on the historical William Blackstone. Tons of background information here:

Legends of Boston: Wil Blakeston, The Solitary of Shawmut

From the Diary of Samuel Wilkerson, Puritan:
September 17th, Anno 1630
It has grown plain that we have chosen a poor site for habitation. This peninsula, though well sited with defensible hills and a narrow neck connecting it to the mainland, has no sweet water for drinking. Many of our folk have taken sick from drinking the water or have caught a miasma from the nearby marshes.
Having seen a light upon the top of a great hill across the bay, three nights running, we undertook to investigate this phenomenon, not knowing if it were the work of Witchlings, savages, or of the devil himself. The truth of the matter did prove stranger, as I will shortly relate:
We rowed a shallop across the bay to the place we had come to call Trimountain and alighted at the base of the tallest of the three great hills that mark the site. Mr. Wilton and Mr. Miller accompanied us as we ascended the long slope, following the course of a good stream that had its source at a fresh spring about half way to the summit. To our surprise, the copse of trees we had seen from below was now revealed to be a grove of young apple trees, well crutched and tended. Having had no fresh fruit these past weeks, we partook of some of the fallen fruits: yellow sweetings such as we have in England but larger and of a much sweeter taste.
Not a minute later, Mr. Miller shouted in a most alarming fashion, and spreading his cloak upon the grass and sitting down upon it bade his servant remove the wrappings from about his right foot, which had long been much swollen with the gout. A shout of joy it was, for his gout had disappeared completely and had he been a less sober man before the Lord he would have danced for the gladness of it. It was at that time I realized that the wound I had taken in the Low Countries no longer troubled me — my constant companion, a scourge which it had pleased God to place upon me, had disappeared, leaving not even a scar, and the ball which had lodged against my hip eight years ago now sat gleaming upon the ground at my feet, excised by some miraculous power.
We reasoned that the apples had some virtue to heal the wounds and ills of the flesh, and then stood amazed for some time, unable to account for this event, until shaken from our reverie by the sound of a brass bell tolling not far off. Following, we came to a meadow of sweet grass grazed by a single black bull of enormous size, but quite tame, belled about the neck. Beyond the meadow, beneath the summit of the hill, stood a thatched English house of modest size, girded about with a tidy garden of divers and useful plants, including pompions, squash, First Ones corn, beans, and many fragrant herbs. The door stood ajar, as if we were expected, and we stood long at the threshold, wondering who the master of this place was.
At last, Mr. Miller found the courage to enter, and we followed shortly. As our vision grew accustomed to the dim interior we became aware that a good lunch had been set for us upon a table therein, and at the head of the table sat an Englishman of perhaps two score years, with a kind countenance and gentle manner. He bade us break our fast, and we did not have to be asked a second time. He led us in thanks for meat, and while we ate, he told us of how an English gentleman came to be settled in that wild place…

Wil Blakeston, Wandering Healer and Witch-hunter
CR 13
Human Commonwealther Male Aristocrat 1/Cleric 6/Sower 7, Social Rank 0
LG Medium Humanoid
Init +1; Senses Listen +2, Spot +2
Languages: English, Naraganset, Penacook
AC 11, touch 11, flat-footed 10
HP 58 (14 HD; 1d8+6d8+7d6)
Saves: Fort +10, Ref +5, Will +14
Speed 30 feet (6 squares)
Melee +2 quarterstaff +9/+4 (1d6+4/20) or unarmed +7/+2 (1d3+2 nonlethal)
Base Atk + 7 Grp +7
Atk Options: Wil does not fight unless he can’t use his spells to protect himself, flee, or disable his enemies. When no other option presents itself, he will attack with his +2 quarterstaff. His spells are geared towards disabling his foes, healing his allies, protection from magic, and communication, rather than attack.
Special Actions: turn undead (as 13th level cleric), with +4 bonus to check
Combat Gear: +2 quarterstaff, oil of magic vestment +5, 4 divine apples of cure moderate wounds, 1 divine apple of discern lies, 2 divine apples of neutralize poison, 1 divine apple of remove curse, 1 divine apple of true seeing (all divine apples are caster level 9th)
Cleric Spells Prepared (CL 13th):
7th — resurrection, regenerateD
6th — antimagic fieldD
5th — hallow, scrying (DC 17), spell resistanceD, true seeing (extended spell; DC 17)
4th — cure critical woundsD, dimensional anchor, discern lies (DC 16), sending, tongues
3rd — cure serious woundsD, daylight, dispel magic (widened spell), remove curse
2nd — aid (extended spell), augury, calm emotions (DC 16), hold person (DC 16), shield otherD, silence (DC 14), status
1st — command (x2; DC 15), detect evil, entropic shield, protection from evil, remove fear, sanctuaryD
0 — detect magic, detect poison, light, mending, purify food and drink (x2)
Religion: Uropan Dissenter; Domains: Healing, Protection (domain spells marked “D”)
Abilities: Str 14, Dex 13, Con 11, Int 14, Wis 15, Cha 15
Special Qualities:
Commonwealther: Literate; Polearms as free feat; +1 attack bonus against chaotic creatures; Knowledge (religion) +2; proficient in halberd and longspear, and treated as having Weapon Focus with those weapons
Cleric: good aura (Ex); spells; spontaneous casting; can’t cast evil or chaotic spells; turn undead 5/day (Su); +2 bonus to turn checks from Knowledge (religion) skill
Sower: harmless appearance; create divine apples; staff (+2); create divine tree; tree of good; tree of healing; divine tree; tree of peace.
Feats: Extend Spell, Negotiator, Polearms*, Self-Sufficient, Spell Focus (Enchantment), Greater Spell Focus (Enchantment), Widen Spell
Commonwealther bonus feat
Skills: Concentration +8, Craft (carpenter) +6, Craft (Joiner) +4, Diplomacy +10
, Handle Animal +2, Heal +10, Knowledge (local) +7, Knowledge (nature) +6, Knowledge (nobility and royalty) +4, Knowledge (religion) +10**, Perform (oratory) +2, Profession (farmer) +6, Ride +1, Sense Motive +4, Survival +5, Use Rope +2

  • includes sower class bonus; **includes Commonwealther bonus
    Posessions: combat gear plus backpack, bedroll, flint and steel, 5 days’ trail rations, traveler’s outfit.

Wil Blakeston, known as the Solitary of Shawmut, was Boston’s first Uropan inhabitant, and though no longer dwelling in the city, remains a powerful if aloof presence in New England. He nurtured the city through its first difficult days, only to see its citizens disenfranchise him. He now walks the roads and woods at the edges of Uropan settlement, a healer, prophet, and tireless enemy of witchcraft and sorcery. He is determined to create the godly society that should have remained the mission of Boston’s founders had they stayed true to their professed principles.
When the Puritan expedition arrived in Massachusetts Bay in 1630, Wil was there waiting for them — an English gentleman, in a comfortable house upon the hill in the place called Shawmut, with a custom library of 200 books and an apple orchard. It was almost as if he were sitting as a pious steward of the hill upon which they would build their city of God, ready to cede the land to them should they prove worthy of the task.
Wil Blakeston was educated at Cambridge in Albion (then called England) as a doctor of the Anglic church, but like many of his generation, he became a Dissenter over matters of Anglic religious practice, and was soon preaching reform. Hearing of Sir Fernando Gorges’ plan to establish a settlement in New England that would challenge the supremacy of the Witchling enclave of Naumkeag, Blakeston joined the venture and crossed the Atlantic Sea in 1625. They landed in the country of Piscataqua, to the north of Naumkeag, where tall pines and good rivers offer advantages to the timber and shipbuilding trade, but poor prospects for agriculture. The colony failed, beset by food shortages and harried by Penacook raiders and Witchlings.
Abandoning the site, the colonists tried again at a headland to the south of Naumkeag not far from the new colony of Plimoth. Again, the colony failed, this time struck by plague. It may have been sent by Naumkeag, or simply carried by one of the settlers, but this virulent disease killed every member of the colony but Wil. He made his way north to the place called Shawmut, a hilly peninsula at the head of a great bay. The plague had also devastated the First Ones in this place, and the once busy bay now stood largely empty. With a minimum of supplies and tools, and a great black bull he had broken to the saddle, Wil began building a house for himself on the southern slope of the largest of the three hills. He had saved apple pips from his fellow shipmates’ stores for months in preparation, and now he began planting them on the hillside. Some instinct — or as some would later claim, a higher power — was guiding his hand. The remaining First Ones, respecting his love of the earth and of growing things, allowed him to develop the land. As a lone Uropan, he slipped beneath the notice of the Witchlings, and on the odd occasion that a flight of witches caught him abroad, his mastery of divine magic ensured that they would not harm or capture him.
By 1630, his trees were in blossom, and he had become a true sower, imbuing his fruit with healing and protective powers. The First Ones came often to him, and were impressed with his skills as a surgeon and healer. He in turn learned much from them, and despite a now growing sense of unease in Naumkeag, Wil was immune from the Witchlings’ urgings of the Penacook to make an end of him. The Puritan expedition of 1630, much larger and well-organized, nonetheless made a poor choice of settlement, in Charles Town across the bay from Shawmut. Wil was vexed by their often haughty manner, but he took pity upon them and invited them to move their encampment to Shawmut, where good water was plentiful. He was instrumental in the new settlements’ defense against repeated Witchling attacks — by now his divine powers were formidable, nearly the match of the most powerful clerics among the Puritan colonists, and he still had the good graces of the First Ones, so they did not join in the attacks.
The encampment grew in a few short years into a bustling town, its numbers swelled by additional colonists from England. One day a deputation from the governor arrived at Wil’s farm and informed him that their generosity was such that he could keep a few acres of land within the city, although the rest would remain the property of the colony, as of course it always had been under the royal charter they had carried with them from England. Without a word, Wil nodded in assent, loaded his books upon the back of his black bull, and left the city forever.
He wandered for years among the First Ones, traveling far afield, living as a healer, peacemaker, and preacher. His battles against the Witchlings, who still blame him for allowing the Puritan city of Boston to endure, are legendary: struggles of mighty divine magic against witchcraft and summoned outsiders. Several times he has rallied small groups of adventurers from both the Uropan and First Ones’ worlds to join against a supernatural threat. He also challenged many First Ones manito sorcerers to tests of their power against his, and won a following of those who took up the Uropan faith. He has faced Passaconnawaw himself in a duel of divine power against sorcery twice, and both times the Penacook sachem withdrew, swearing to best Wil the next time they should meet in battle. At last, Wil settled among the Naraganset in the south, paying them tribute in the form of healing services and the planting of divine trees.
Wil is a bitter foe of all Witchlings and evil beings. That Witchlings can be of good alignment does not seem to trouble him — certainly a moral blind spot in his character. He dislikes the Puritan authorities in Boston, considering them poor stewards of his trust, and having strayed from their mission to create a pious, muscular community in the New World.
Wil still travels much, as much at home in Commonwealther settlements as in First Ones villages. He takes no sides in their disputes, but acts as mediator between warring sides, often planting a tree of peace in areas beset by strife. Now an old but hale man with a white beard and long hair, wearing homespun clothes, and still riding upon his ancient bull, he shows up unexpectedly in trouble d times to offer help, then leaves with little fanfare, humbly knitting together the peoples of this region of Northern Crown into a tightly-knit world of alliances and dependencies, even as new political tensions threaten to unravel it.
In person, Wil can be brusque, even crotchety, and he does not suffer fools gladly. As a healer, his bedside manner leaves much to be desired. A flinty voice, a sharp tongue quick to scold, and a cold, disapproving stare mark his dealings with those in his care, always seemingly annoyed with their shortsightedness and pettiness. Among those he knows well and who have proved their good sense and good character, he presents a softer, grandfatherly demeanor, matching compassion with companionability. In battle against Witchling, undead menace, or evil sorcerer, Wil is cold and relentless.
The function of Wil Blakeston in the Spectral Boston campaign setting is as a catalyst for adventure, an NPC ally of good-aligned PCs, and a deus ex machina savior for a badly bruised and beaten party. He may show up, warning of an imminent threat to the general peace, and use his diplomatic and oratory skills to rally a group of adventurers to meet the danger head on. Weak in combat, he often prefers to ally with competent soldiers and paladins to compensate for his lack of battle prowess. He knows the political and geographical lay of the land quite well, making him an excellent counselor and guide for PCs.

Legend: Wil’s Tree
Wil’s wondrous orchard was gradually cut down to clear the land for houses. Their fragrant smoke rose from the black chimneys of the same gentlemen who had crowded him out; deprived of their fruits, the people of the city lost a valuable source of healing and protection against evil. Now, thirty years later, one tree remains, in a weed-choked lot between two houses. A tree of healing (see the sower prestige class in Northern Crown: New World Adventures), its fruit is said to taste bitter in the mouth of any citizen of Boston, but sweet to any visitor. Old folk say that should Wil’s last tree fall to the axe, so will fall the city of Boston, in payment for their mistreatment of him, For this reason, the tree is guarded always by retired militiamen, who swear that it is the very heart of the city.

Wil’s Black Bull
Large Animal
Init +0; Senses Listen +7, Spot +5
AC 13, touch 9, flat-footed 13
HP 52 (7 HD)
Saves: Fort +8, Ref +4, Will +1
Speed 40 feet (8 squares)
Melee Gore +8 (1d8+9/20)
Base Atk + 3 Grp +13
Atk Options: Trample: As a full-round action, the bull can move up to twice its speed and literally run over any opponents of Medium size or smaller. A trample attack deals 1d8+9 bludgeoning damage. The save DC against the bull’s trample attack is 19.
Special Actions none
Abilities: Str 22, Dex 10, Con 16, Int 2, Wis 11, Cha 4
Special Qualities: Scent
Feats: Alertness, Endurance
Skills: Listen +7, Spot +5
Wil’s bull, still nameless after decades of service, is trained for riding, in addition to knowing how to come, heel, and stay at Wil’s command. Not trained to fight by any means, he is a generally docile animal unless Wil is in trouble, in which case he will defend his master fiercely.