Fancy Bastard Scales of War
As a child, Sarshan was a victim of an arcane Shadowfell plague that left him orphaned and badly scarred. The shadar-kai became an outcast among his kind, forging his own path with blood and steel as the leader of an elite mercenary company called the Black Arrow.
One beneficial side-effect of Sarshan’s scarring is that his gray shadar-kai complexion and black eyes naturally pale whenever he spends time away from the Shadowfell. This allows him to easily disguise himself as a human or half-elf in the world. He has come to the Happy Beggar as a crippled veteran (a guise he adopts frequently in Overlook), seeking Modra with the intent of executing him slowly for his betrayal. Sarshan overheard the Fancy Bastards asking questions about a dark creeper. He also recognized Reniss from a previous near-encounter and guessed why the heroes had come there.
After some careful questioning, Sarshan deduced that the Fancy Bastards were hunting Modra for themselves and decided to let them try their hand at the job. His need to maintain secrecy was absolute, and with the damage Modra had already done to his operation, he was happy to let someone else eliminate the dark creeper.
The shadar-kai arms dealer Sarshan has grew wealthy and powerful through his shadowy dealings. Over many years, Sarshan built up a vast, invisible mercantile empire supplying weapons, intelligence, and mercenaries to anyone with sufficient coin. Sarshan’s success (and continued survival) hinged in equal part on his clients’ discretion, his duplicitous nature, and his ruthless cunning.
Sarshan was cautious, and his desire for anonymity was such that he had walked away from numerous deals that presented an unacceptably high risk of exposing his operation. However, one of Sarshan’s trusted lieutenants, the dark creeper Modra, betrayed his master when he supplied the orc war chief Tusk with arms and equipment for his attack on the folk of the Stonehome Mountains. Tusk’s subsequent defeat brought the Fancy Bastards into direct contact with Sarshan’s operation for the first time.
Subsequently, in the Shadow Rift of Umbraforge, the treacherous Modra attempted to slay the heroes. Pursuing their assailant to the Shadowfell, the party discovered the shadar-kai’s fortress — the isolated citadel of Umbraforge. Its resultant destruction earned the adventurers Sarshan’s relentless ire.
In the aftermath, another of Sarshan’s schemes was stymied in the Temple Between. The githyanki war leader General Zithiruun, a valued client and ally of the shadar-kai, was slain attempting to capture Overlook. Sarshan had worked with the disgraced githyanki for some time, funneling troops through the network of portals scattered across Elsir Vale and coordinating the assassination of troublemakers. The relationship was a profitable one for Sarshan, and its loss irked the shadar-kai greatly.
These setbacks had badly damaged Sarshan and his carefully built operation. In an effort to salvage what he could of his power in the world, the shadar-kai decided to destroy all evidence of his association with the githyanki.
Sarshan had become aware that Megan Swiftblade, leader of the Freeriders, had discovered his association with General Zithiruun. Assassins sent by the shadar-kai attempted to silence the Freeriders, but succeeded only in forcing Megan to flee to her home village of Talar, near the town of Brindol. There, she threw herself on the mercy of an old family friend, the sage Falrinth. As the heroes set out to recover Megan, Sarshan’s servants had caught up with her and were about to unleash an indiscriminate assault on the village.
When his servants were soundly defeated, Sarshan retreated to his fortress in the Elemental Chaos where he had been researching blood chaos. The Fancy Bastards caught up with him on the top level of the tower, 200 feet above ground. After a protracted battle, a well placed Magic Missile by Markas sent Sarshan careening over the edge of the tower. Miraculously, he survived the fall and dragged his broken body toward the Sea of Fire, where an escape portal awaited him atop an earthmote.
Thinking fast, Sirkana Embersight performed a teleportation ritual that transported the party to the very location that Sarshan was attempting to use to escape. The adventurers made short work of him there, leaving him to burn in the Sea of Fire.