The Needlekin

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The Needlekin
Shield-needlekin.png
Deity Lilith the Night Hag
Domains Darkness, Death, Destruction, Evil, Law
Races Any
Classes Clerics
Alignments Lawful Evil
Holy Days Nights of the New Moon
Place of Worship Altars of Pain
Holy Symbol Needles
High Priest Theban
Major Temple House of Pain (Teufeldorf)

The Needlekin are the clerical followers of Lilith, Mistress of Pain. While some find physical pain the most effect method to coerce information from the unwilling, others find it a means of pleasure and excitement. In addition, psychological pain - like that of anger from envy or anguish from loss - can be equally effective at influencing the actions and thoughts of the wealthy and powerful. The Needlekin are masters of pain in all its forms.

The most valued relics of the order are Lilith's set of Second Age adamantine needles rumored to be able to kill a person in excruciating pain while they beg for more torture - the line between pain and pleasure being razor thin. Clerics of the order are presented with various needles as they progress in expertise - each providing a new path to mastery of pain. While always working in secrecy and darkness, the Needlekin are formidable players in the machinations of the Reaches.

Those interested in joining the clerics of Lilith - the Needlekin - should approach Theban at the House of Pain in Teufeldorf.

Legend of Lilith the Night Hag

By all accounts, Lilith was a Second Age courtesan in the Old Kingdom court of Overlord Eldrick XIV. Some legends hold that she was "discovered" by the Overlord during a midnight raid on the castle larder - where Lilith held the lowly position of spit turner for the meat and game that was constantly roasting in the hearth. Others say that Lilith was not human at all - her thin, youthful countenance and dark hair being a disguise to hide a more sinister form. Whatever the truth, it is part of court records that Eldrick took a fancy to Lilith bragging that she had magical abilities to inflict pain in such a way that it drove him to ecstasy multiple times each night. Her instruments of choice were a set of adamantine needles - some ancient and ensorcelled with runes, others created by artisans of the court specifically for the Overlord.

In time, Eldrick began to ignore his wives and other prostitutes - exclusively spending each night with Lilith. Soon, the Overlord began to skip court and other official duties altogether. Even when in court, the Overlord's decisions were often at odds with his traditional rulings. As rumors grew, the courts of Rembia were sent into chaos. Almost as suddenly as she appeared, Lilith left the court - some say she was murdered, although a more plausible explanation was that Lilith was bribed to leave. Records show that a thin, young woman dressed in black purchased a ship, filled the hold with large chests and crates, and departed the Old Kingdom en route to Teufeldorf. In the Old Kingdom, stories are still whispered of Lilith the Night Hag and the pain she inflicted on the unwary Eldrick. Two weeks after Lilith's departure, Eldrick killed himself under mysterious circumstances - flayed by one hundred self-inflicted dagger wounds.

The first reports of Lilith's needles appearing in Teufeldorf were in the early years of the Third Age. While the wielder was now a comely, blonde named Ivana - a prostitute of no small skills and a favorite of the court - the descriptions of the needles and their effects matched perfectly those of Lilith. Ivana was also wealthy, although without any legacy to her wealth. Rumors flew that she had discovered Lilith's hidden treasure including the magical needles. Soon, Ivana founded a small group of clerical followers of Lilith - students of her methods of pain, torture and pleasure. Her clerics are called the Needlekin, and their temple is the Hall of Pain.

In time, the Hall of Pain has become an institution of some renown - fascinating for some, terrifying for others. For almost five hundred years the Hall has survived, despite the efforts of many to destroy or discredit it. With patrons drawn from all ranks of the nobility and merchant classes, the longevity of Lilith's following and the Hall of Pain seems certain.