Hathir Cloudbeard is an unmistakeable figure. As the name suggests, his facial hair is tremendous. It flows out of his face in wisps and curls of grey smoke, slowly billowing into a great nimbus surrounding his face. Somewhere beneath this is a wrinkled smile, and capping it is his mountain top nose. His eyes are a bright blue, and although they are greeting, they look as it they have perhaps seen too much for one human’s lifetime.
Once inside, you see that Prof Cloudbeard has essentially started using his house as an office. Every surface is covered with some form of arcane apparatus, there are books strewn all around, and curious coloured puffs of smoke sporadically appear, smelling of cinnamon, raspberries and damp moss. Also, somehow, there are bookshelves on the ceiling.
You may talk to Hathir about anything, the workings of the Arcane Academy, Karog’s underworld, Baron DeByrne etc. You may also discuss Vampires and The Cult of Gulthias with him. He can tell you that vampires can only be killed by wooden stakes or weapons, specifically by ancient Irontrunk Stakes.
Legends tell of a vampire named Gulthias who worked terrible magic and raised up an abominable tower called Nightfang Spire. Gulthias was undone when a hero plunged a wooden stake through his heart, but as the vampire was destroyed, his blood infused the stake with a dreadful power. In time, tendrils of new growth sprouted from the wood, growing into a sapling infused with the vampire's evil essence. It is said that a mad druid discovered the sapling, transplanting it to an underground grotto where it could grow. From this Gulthias tree came the seeds from which the first blights were sown.
Awakened to an endless night, vampires hunger for the life they have lost and sate that hunger by drinking the blood of the living. Vampires abhor sunlight, for its touch burns them. They never cast shadows or reflections, and any vampire wishing to move unnoticed among the living keeps to the darkness and far from reflective surfaces.
Whether or not a vampire retains any memories from its former life, its emotional attachments wither as once-pure feelings become twisted by undeath. Love turns into hungry obsession, while friendship becomes bitter jealousy. In place of emotion, vampires pursue physical symbols of what they crave, so that a vampire seeking love might fixate on a young beauty. A child might become an object of fascination for a vampire obsessed with youth and potential. Others surround themselves with art, books, or sinister items such as torture devices or trophies from creatures they have killed.
They are extremely powerful foes, and should not be taken with a light heart.