Thanks to @totalpartykillr for this art piece!
For the Third Annual Burning Man One-Shot Filler Episode, Liam O’Brien takes us into another part of Wildemount, where we see another facet of the continent’s residents. The effects of wars of the past have shaped the lives of many, and the tale of the Lorelei bloodline proves that the wars of old have ways of living beyond their end...
History and Historical Context of the Loreleis
The Lorelei Castle stands on the edge of the city of Deastok. Sound familiar? That’s because Sir Taryon Darrington of campaign one’s Vox Machina hails from there as well! The Darringtons lived within the city of Deastok, with Tary’s father, Howaardt serving as a baron to King Bertrand Dwendal. Tary fell in love with his tutor, Lawrence, and things got complicated for the Darringtons. If you’re interested in learning more, you should check out Episodes 86-100.
Deastok itself sits on the western edge of the Dwendalian Empire, south of Kamordah (Beau’s home) and slightly southwest of Zadash. Zadash, as you’ll recall from our Historical Context article on the attack on the Zauber Spire, was once the capital of the Julous Dominion. The Julous Dominion was taken through brute force by the Dwendalian Empire and incorporated in. The Lorelei family helped the Dwendalian Empire in that endeavor (which is eyebrow raising itself, since Deastok would have been a part of the Julous Dominion), and were rewarded with a tract of land upon which now sits Lorelei Castle. During that conflict, Alfarr Lorelei was bitten by a lycanthrope of some kind, a trait which was passed down through all generations thereafter.
Thanks to @oakantony for this art piece!
The Loreleis maintained their secret lycanthropy and grew their power through family members going through a ritual called The Taming. The Taming is a modification of the ritual mentioned in Matt’s Order of the Lycan subclass for his Blood Hunter class. For those who are not lycans who wish to enter the order, they undergo The Taming to become one and learn to use its power to their benefits.
The Loreleis, who are already all lycans due to their genetics, undergo The Taming to tame their innate wilder instincts and harness their power. Portia, Benicio, and Lawrence all went through The Taming and are Order of the Lycan Blood Hunters. Aurra refused to go through this taming, taking after her grandmother, Genevieve. Aurra instead chose to become a Circle of the Moon druid (like Keyleth) and learned magic that pulled from the essence of nature. Lucius, two years Aurra’s junior, followed a calling from the Moonweaver and became a cleric. Although the Moonweaver is not an Empire-approved deity, it seems that the Loreleis’ good graces with King Bertrand grant them a blind eye turned towards Lucius’ piety, if the Empire is aware of it at all.
Thanks to @oliviahintz for this art piece!
If you attempted to research the Moon Domain, you may have found that there is not currently a 5e version available through official channels (though there are many excellent homebrew options!). Considering its existence in 3.5e and both Liam and TJ’s notable D&D experience, we presume they adapted both the lore and the mechanics for 5e to suit the faith of the man of the claw-- we mean cloth.
TJ mentioned two specific domain features:
- Mark of Waning: After Lucius hits a creature with radiant damage, they are marked with the Mark of Waning. The targeted creature’s speed is halved, and makes strength ability checks at disadvantage.
- Luminous Clarity: As a reaction, Lucius can shine a light into the darkest moments, shielding an ally from alien influence. When a creature within 30 feet of him that he can see makes a wisdom saving throw, he can use his reaction to grant them advantage on the roll.
As for domain spells, the full list from 3.5e isn’t 100% transferable to 5e, but based on the spells TJ cast and mentioned, we do know that they include Faerie Fire (1st level) and Moonbeam (2nd level). Neither of these spells are in the cleric spell list (Faerie Fire is bard/druid and Moonbeam is druid-only), so they must be domain spells. Since everyone appeared to be 6th level, Lucius should have one more 1st level domain spell, one more 2nd level, and two 3rd levels. Most cleric domains also have an alternate Channel Divinity feature to Turn/Destroy Undead, but we did not see Lucius use his; Turn/Destroy Undead seems to have been the more useful feature to deal with of a horde of skeletal ancestors.
Thanks to @Shadow_fate13 for this art piece!
Blood Hunter Rites and Curses
While we saw regretfully little of the Blood Hunter in the main campaign, the three Lorelei siblings demonstrated several abilities in combat.
- Benicio (1:35:30) Rite of the Frozen
- Lawrence (1:37:58) Rite of the Flame
- Portia (1:48:05) Rite of the Flame
- Benicio (2:50:08) Rite of the Flame
- Lawrence (3:18:35) Rite of the Storm
- Portia (3:27:40) Rite of Storm
- Lawrence (4:30:04) Blood Curse of the Marked
- Benicio (4:35:00) Blood Curse of the Dead Puppet
Lastly, we present the obligatory crit roll stats:
- Aurra (0:50:09) Perception Check with advantage
- Benicio (1:09:58) History Check
- Lucius (1:10:01) History Check
- Skeleton (2:13:25) 10 to Benicio
- Lawrence (3:33:53) Claw against Geneviève with advantage
- Benicio (3:47:57) Save against Geneviève’s fear effect
- Portia (3:52:05) Claw against Geneviève
- Benicio (3:54:06) Glaive against Geneviève
- Portia (4:07:44) Claw against Geneviève with advantage
- Portia (4:26:22) Claw against Geneviève with advantage
- Benicio (4:28:50) Glaive against Genevieve with advantage
- Lawrence (4:30:36) Shortsword against Drow
- Portia (0:48:37) Investigation Check with disadvantage
- Aurra (1:18:49) Stealth Check
- Portia (3:13:23) Longsword against Drow