|“||So, uh... no questions about the giant hyena thing, huh?
Aelar is an NPC from the Temphere campaign universe. He is a half-elf from the town of Penvost who acts as the leader of the city guard, and something of an authority figure in general. He is best known for his defeat of a morally bankrupt spellcaster named Reirak who was turning people into giant animals. Aelar himself was turned into a giant hyena, but with the help of Brenryn and Ashten was able to modify the transformation to work similarly to lycanthropy. Like all Temphere NPCs, Aelar is played by Tiger.
Not too much is known about Aelar's early life. At some point, however, he was targeted by a spellcaster (presumed a wizard) named Reirak who had developed an obsession with turning people into random giant animals against their will. Aelar was transformed into a giant hyena. The exact conditions of the original curse are unclear, but it can be assumed to be similar to the spell True Polymorph since it was apparently permanent, and Aelar had to enlist the help of Brenryn and Ashton to gain any access to his old form back. They were able to modify it so that by the time the party meets him, it works "by werewolf rules." He can freely change between his half-elf and giant hyena forms, with full control of his faculties. However, either because the curse gave him the mind of a beast to begin with or as a consequence of penning up the power of he curse most of the time, once a month he involuntarily transforms and his mind is consumed by monstrous urges.
Either before consulting the monster hunters, or after, Aelar turned his hyena transformation against Reirak, killing him. Because of the reign of terror Reirak was presumably holding over Penvost, Aelar was lauded as a hero by the townspeople. A statue of his hyena form attacking Reirak was erected in the town's central plaza. Aelar himself became both a local celebrity and a prominent authority figure. He at least seemed to be in charge of the city guard, and apparently had the authority to promise city funds towards half of the cost of the party's purchases with merchants, which argues he might hold a post with some political sway as well.
Adventure 3: Into the Frostfell Edit
The party first encountered Aelar through his statue. It was captioned "Aelar defeats the monster Reirak," but at the time they didn't have enough context to realize he was the beast in the statue and the "monster" was the man. Dahlia and Hush examined the statue closely, but weren't certain what to make of it and didn't recognize the animal depicted.
The following morning, when another thorn was discovered in the woods, a member of the city guard asked the party to track it down before it caused problems. She offhand mentioned that "Aelar will probably send someone to help you once we have people available." This was the party's first clue that the subject of the statue was in fact still alive, and presumably associated with the city guard.
Finally, at the end of their adventure in the Frostfell, Aelar arrived in person through a gate opened by Brenryn to drive off the enemy forces chasing the party. Likely to help guard against the cold, he stayed in his hyena form the entire time the group was in the Frostfell. Once they got back, however, he shapeshifted back into his half-elf form. Aelar thanked the party for their help, and apologized for taking as long as he had to send backup. The party was initially too polite to ask him about the giant-hyena thing, but at his bemused prompting Anther finally asked for clarification. Aelar explained his history, seeming rather embarrassed about the statue in particular. At Anther's request for payment, he signed a document to allow the party to get half-off at all the merchant stalls.
Aelar seemed to be very polite, reasonable, and friendly. He held no hard feelings against the party for forcing him and his guards to follow them into another plane, and was grateful to them for their help. When Anther demanded payment for the party's services, he laughed instead of getting offended or annoyed. Everyone in Penvost seems to respect him, and despite his widely known were-hyena condition no one is afraid of him either. It has also been implied that Aelar likes and is good with children, as the shopkeeper Kevess noted that he is "sickeningly adorable" with them.