The Village of Eternal Night
This page contains major spoilers for the campaign as well as the Charwood quest in Neverwinter Nights.
The name of this campaign, The Village of Eternal Night, was taken directly from the name of the Charwood quest as it appears in NWN’s quest log.
Charwood, Castle Jhareg, and most of their inhabitants have retained their original names—changes were only made when characters didn’t have names (like Vixilia/“The Guardian” and Khardris/“Strange Man”) or when I wanted to replace a character (like Necerian/Lathander).
Elven names and terms are usually made by mashing together some vaguely appropriate prefixes and suffixes from here or here. Sometimes I combine things from both the Elf and Drow pages. Is this terrible? Well, probably.
The Jhareg Family
Quint and Karlat, the only two Jhareg siblings who appear in the final version of NWN, are both half-elves (shown in the toolset, as well as in Karlat’s statement that he “once had half-elven blood in [his] veins”). In this campaign, Karlat is the only half-elven member of the Jhareg family, and the other Jhareg siblings are technically “one-fourth-elves.” An explanation for this is in Karlat’s entry below.
Jardak Jhareg doesn’t exist in Neverwinter Nights, at least not outside of a few mentions in a couple of conversation files that were apparently cut from the final game. Quint’s unused dialogue refers to Jardak as his brother as well as “the burner,” which probably has something to do with a fire elemental whose unused file also mentions “Jardak Jhereg.” This elemental was apparently tasked by Jardak to guard something—most likely a plot item requested by Quint as part of an older version of the Charwood quest. With little information from these files to go on, I decided to make Jardak into a mostly-original character, only keeping his name and his sibling relationship to Quint.
Karlat Jhareg probably had the most drastic changes made to his character in the process of converting this adventure. A comment in Quint’s unused conversation file and a line of dialogue in one of Karlat’s cut files refers to Quint as Karlat’s son, not his brother (as he is in the game). The reasonable assumption here is that Karlat and Quint were changed from father and son to brothers at some point during development, but I decided to do the awful thing and have Karlat be father and brother to the other Jhareg siblings (which would mean that Karlat went full Oedipus and impregnated his mother three times). My campaign’s version of his character did this because he was hoping to create a suitable host for his life force—one with “pure” blood and the gift of magic—so that he could eventually swap bodies with them. (See my comment about Anchorhead down under Nari’s entry.) Unfortunately for him, Quint and Nari had no magical ability, and Jardak was born severely disabled as a result of both his incestuous origin and his mother’s failed attempt to abort him—and then Lady Jhareg took her own life, leaving Karlat without someone he could treat as an incubator.
But back to the original game: in NWN, the Guardian states that Karlat’s desire to become a baelnorn and guard his family was sincere, and that he really did have good intentions in spite of making a deal with a demon lord to accomplish his goal. Considering the fact that Karlat apparently summons an army of red slaads and fire elementals to destroy Charwood if the PC decides to give back his phylactery, this seems implausible to me (unless Lathander was wrong about Karlat’s motives, or Belial had a hand in his apparent change of heart). I chose to interpret Karlat as truly evil and power-hungry—the sort of villain who would rape his mother and sister, massacre all the village’s children, and make himself into a lich, all for the sake of cheating death to live forever. While he’s certainly willing to claim that he only ever meant well, that’s as much a lie as his canonical assertion that Quint is to blame for the slaughter.
Nari Jhareg has even less of a presence in NWN’s unused files than Jardak does. Quint’s cut conversation file is the only place her name is mentioned, and all the information that provides is that her name is Nari, she’s one of Quint’s siblings, she’s called “the builder” or “the constructor,” and she holds a plot item that you probably have to kill her to get. Like Jardak, I brought her into this campaign’s world as one of the Jhareg siblings and made her a part of the first adventure.
Nari’s unwilling incestuous pregnancy was inspired by the game Anchorhead, one of my all-time favorite works of interactive fiction.
Quint Jhareg is largely the same here as he is in the source material: a cleric of the god of the dawn who loved Charwood’s children, driven mad by the massacre that he blames and punishes himself for. However, his simultaneous appearances both in and outside of Castle Jhareg are an illusion and not actual bilocation—the Quint who speaks to the PC at the village’s entrance is a projected image that vanishes once the conversation is over.
The archdevil Belial is actually a powerful demon (specifically, a balor) in NWN. Fiendish Codex II, published four years after NWN was released, used the name Belial for an archdevil who ruled one of the Nine Hells, which is the biggest reason Belial was made an archdevil in this campaign. In the game, Belial gave Karlat Jhareg a phylactery to store his soul in, then lied and told him that he would need to kill the village’s children in order to do it, apparently just to be a dick. The PC can use this information to declare both of the brothers Jhareg innocent, because somehow, this makes slaughtering the children not Karlat’s fault.
Necerian is a significantly less powerful version of Lathander, the Faerûnian god of the dawn, worshiped by Quint Jhareg. In NWN’s original version of this quest, Lathander trapped Castle Jhareg and the village of Charwood outside the weave of time, awaiting the PC’s arrival so that they could stand in Judgment over the crime. The PC doesn’t interact with him—the statue in the castle’s shrine is said to be void of any divine presence—and he certainly doesn’t die.
In the source material, Vixilia is a divine spirit rather than a goddess in her own right. Referred to only as “the Guardian” or sometimes as “Lady Guardian,” she was sent by Lathander to guard Karlat’s phylactery, watch over Castle Jhareg, and provide some exposition for the benefit of the player. Her character and her cosmic significance actually weren’t changed for this adventure until after I ran the second session—I had been listening to Godsfall, and their worldbuilding inspired me to make Vixilia into Necerian’s daughter as well as promote her to a minor deity.
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