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He Who Was

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He Who Was is a Shadar-kai NPC found in the Ruined Battlefield at X: 128 Y: 110 who gives the quest Punish the Wicked. He has a Raven companion.

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The murdered lie silent. The raven asks - will you be their voice?
He Who Was quotes the Raven

Overview[edit | edit source]

As a shadar-kai, He Who Was is a servant of the Raven Queen. Shadar-kai were formerly elves before being trapped in the Shadowfell and transformed. The Raven Queen, who is obsessed with collecting memories and essences (typically of loss and grief), sends the shadar-kai to retrieve mementos of tragic events, whether they are physical tokens, memories, or the souls of the dead. They are guided in doing so by ravens; He Who Was's raven companion is one such bird.

Shadar-kai are typically as cold and emotionless as their queen, but for an unknown reason (possibly the effects of the shadow curse) He Who Was has become petty and cruel, taking pleasure in tormenting people while gathering their memories. Ambient dialogue between He Who Was and his raven companion implies that he is no longer following the orders he has been given,[1] which the raven is displeased with.

Involvement[edit | edit source]

He Who Was has a ritual circle set up to use Speak with Dead Speak with Dead on a corpse of a woman called Madeline. He initially tells the party to clear off, but his white raven suggests they might be able to help. He explains that the dead woman was a murderer. He asks the party to find Madeline's Ledger at the tavern she worked in and bring it back so that the murderer may be brought to justice and her victims given peace.

If the party gives the ledger over to He Who Was, he is able to channel the spirit of Madeline through his body. The party can ask Madeline about the details of what happened, and then decide what punishment she deserves.

If the party makes Madeline stab herself once, or shame her for being a coward, He Who Was is satisfied (this will cause Oath of the Ancients and Oath of Devotion Paladins to break their oath). If the party attempts to forgive her, or make her stab herself a second time, he becomes enraged and attacks the party. Each stabbing inflicts 5 damage which persists into combat.

Combat[edit | edit source]

Attacks and abilities[edit | edit source]

Bane Spell.webp
Bane Bane ()

Up to 3 creatures receive a D4 Physical.png -1d4 penalty to Attack rolls and Saving throws.

CHA Save
 Range: 9 m / 30 ft
Confusion.webp
Confusion Confusion ()

Befuddle a group of creatures, causing them to attack at random, wander around aimlessly, and occasionally skip turns in the stupor.

WIS Save
 Range: 18 m / 60 ft
AoE: 6 m / 20 ft (Radius)
Darkness.webp
Darkness Darkness ()

Create a cloud of magical darkness that Heavily Obscures Heavily Obscures and inflicts Blind Blind to creatures within. Creatures cannot make ranged attacks into or out of it.

 Range: 18 m / 60 ft
Fear.webp
Fear Fear ()

Targets drop everything and become Fearful Fearful: they have Disadvantage Icon.png Disadvantage on Ability Checks and Attack Rolls.

WIS Save
 Range: Self
AoE: 9 m / 30 ft (Cone)

Notable loot[edit | edit source]

  • Raven Gloves - quest reward if Madeline is stabbed or called a coward

Related quests[edit | edit source]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]