|“||So speak now; what is your purpose in coming here? Do you seek to steal my knowledge? Thwart my thwarting? Do you intend evil in your master's name?
- Shahrukh, before the party can get a single word in edgewise.
Sharukh is an NPC from the Temphere campaign universe. The Garden Party met him during the events of their first adventure, and he helped them to level up to level 2. As with all of the Temphere NPCs, Shahrukh is played by Tiger.
Liadon Manor Garden
Anwyse asked the party to speak to Shahrukh, in order to acquire some of his venom to poison the arrows of her warriors. When the party reached his lair in a cave behind a waterfall, they were treated to a rather unusual puzzle involving the use of their own strengths and weaknesses before finally reaching the naga in a lair rather like a massive library.
Shahrukh revealed that the puzzle was designed to tell him all about the capabilities of any intruders in his domain, and haughtily monologued at the party for a while about how he knew all their abilities and tricks and so they would not be able to take him off guard. Anther , irritated that they were being confronted this way before they were able to get a word in edgewise, retorted that they just wanted his venom, Cree clarifying that the river sprites send them for it. Unmoved, Shahrukh demanded to know which sprites sent them, and Dahlia explained that it was Anwyse. Shahrukh was confused, claiming he just gave Anwyse some venom not long ago, and the party realized that deep in his lair he wasn't even aware of the chaos going on in the garden. They explained what was going on, and after pondering it the naga agreed to give his help.
After backhandedly insulting the party as "not the weaknest creatures I've ever met," he gave them special artefacts that would bolster their strength (leveling the party to level 2) and allowed the spellcasters to search his books for new magic. He then gave them the requested venom, and stated that he planned to come with them in case there was a spirit naga behind the darkness in the garden. At that moment, however, thralled satyrs invaded his lair, and Shahrukh sent the party out while he remained to deal with the problem.
The naga later showed up again to help the sprites hold off the army of satyrs that wanted to prevent the party from killing the monster rose. He then accompanied them back to the manor after the rose was defeated. He wasn't seen for a while after that, and was presumed to have returned to his home in the Feywilde.
The Feywilde Ball
The party finally encountered Shahrukh again at the Feywilde ball, where he predictably quizzed them as soon as he saw them to confirm that they were who the appeared to be, and not villains shapeshifted or the like. Once satisfied he was genial- he admitted to knowing little about both the thorn and deep scions, but when the party described the adversaries they'd been facing to him, he eagerly agreed to attack them on sight if he happened to run into any.
Shahrukh was in the background for much of the remaining ball, mostly hanging out in the ballroom where he could stare longingly up the grand staircase towards the wing of the palace where the library was- a wing that was off limits by order of the queen. He complained that he'd asked time and time again to be allowed into the library only to be denied. This bit of trivia became problematic when the party themselves needed the queen to allow them into the library- she didn't want Shahrukh to see what was up and try to force his way in. Upon her request, Anther and Hush split from the rest of the party to distract the naga. They were able to lure him into a side room by dramatically retelling the story of the Black Claw Gang and the Silvertongue Staff, allowing the rest of the party into the library.
Shahrukh's personality can best be described as theatrical. Everything he says is an impassioned declaration, and every new person he meets a potential nemesis to be vanquished. Once his trust is earned he is quite helpful, though in a condescending sort of way. He is quite confident, to the point of arrogance, and his only reaction to enemies breaching the arcane defenses on his lair is mild irritation.
- Shahrukh is the reason the party made it a point to keep a directory of all of the campaign's named NPCs, when he demanded to know the name of the sprite who sent them to him and no one could remember it.
- Medea implies in conversation that melodramatics and talkativeness are fairly common traits in nagas, joking that a battle between a guardian naga and a spirit naga must take at least an hour just for the banter.