J is for Jahi the Jackalwere

jahi

Jahi is unique among his kind because he is not of this world. I mean, other than his animal head and sleep-inducing mind control powers. Sleep-inducing as in “he can put you into a magical sleep” not that he’ll bore you into a stupor. Actually, I find that the sole entry for “J” in the Monster Manual, IS rather sleep-inducing, to be honest, so I had to think outside of the box.

…but I just couldn’t. I have to admit that some monsters in the Monster Manual are… boring boring boring. So! I decided, instead, to take one of my favorite rules from another rpg (Dungeon World) and port it over. Sort of. Anyway, back to Jahi.

Jahi appears to characters who have just died. He speaks to them in a stern but kindly voice, offering them one more year of life in exchange for a quest of his Mistress’ choosing. The choice must never be agreed upon lightly: the tasks are usually very somber and sometimes world-changing.

Background

JA long time ago, Jahi became a cleric to an ancient goddess of death whose name is unspeakable, and for a good reason; saying her name out loud will instantly kill someone dear to you. If spoken out of anger or spite, then you’ll die instead.

Anyway, he impressed her with his stoic devotion to prolonging the lives of mortals, be they good or evil, and for peacefully and painlessly ending the lives of those who suffered. She gave him the task of greeting certain individuals as they died and offering them some more life for accepting certain quests that furthered the goddess’ interests. He agreed.

Using this NPC in your campaign

Jahi has only one use: bringing a character back to life for a limited time but with a serious task to accomplish.

On every new moon night, Jahi will speak to the character in their dreams, and talk about their progress. If, at any time, Jahi feels that the character isn’t working toward the goal enough (or, if he feels manipulated in any way), then he gives the character one week to make amends. If, at the end of this time, Jahi doesn’t like what’s going on, the character’s organs suddenly turn into sand and he or she dies immediately without any chance of resurrection of any kind, even a Wish spell.

Some example tasks include:

  1. Send a soul to the death goddess once per week (kill one humanoid once per week).
  2. Choose a friendly PC; he or she must live in the underworld for a year.
  3. Become a cleric of Death (replace all class levels with Cleric).
  4. You can go back to help your friends but must stay in the dungeon (or whatever location) until you die
  5. Bring down the greatest ruler in the land, be they good or evil.
  6. Become undead: zombie, skeleton, ghost, ghoul etc… Your stats are the same, but you get all the supernatural benefits and flaws.
  7. Wield the Doom Weapon (a cursed blade that automatically hits an ally on a critical miss)
  8. You will always forget the events of the previous day (except the details of your deal with Jahi).

2 Replies to “J is for Jahi the Jackalwere”

  1. I had a character travelling with a large group. He was the only one with a magic weapon and had to defeat the jackalwere they encountered in single combat. This led to him being called “the Wolf”.
    The member’s of the group swiped his shield and gave it a device to mark the victory.
    This led to his shield device of half black, half gray, with a wolf’s head in the center of the opposite sides being black and gray with red eyes.
    He is now feared and hated by his enemies, and others who have heard about “The Wolf” tend to show great respect and fear.
    His reputation was far greater than the levels he had to back it up, but it made for great roleplaying.

    Check out my A to Z: http://followmeanddie.com/

  2. Oooh I love these! Has some Terry Pratchett feel to it (or maybe it is that most death-related things remind me of his work). But great adventure hooks! Thank you!

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    Multicolored Diary – Epics from A to Z
    MopDog – 26 Ways to Die in Medieval Hungary

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