"That'ss the thing. Lying is sso beautiful. The truth is sso ugly. You wouldn't believe the lengthss people would go to hide it." ~Hassrad
Hassrad is a secretive member of Alivast's criminal underworld and a peddler of information on nearly everyone in the city. He is known to have blackmail on even the mighty Brorc Bronze-Fang. Hassrad and his brother were members of a local crime syndicate, but fell out of favor when Hassrad sold information on the crime ring to the Alivastian Council.
His primary method of gathering information involves communication with the myriad of snakes he speaks with, though he also trades for information he cannot acquire with this method. Less savory still, Hassrad also uses the practice of 'fishing' on occasion, directing his snakes to aid in causing some manner of trouble in an effort to coax persons of interest out into the open, among other possible uses.
Back in the jungles of his homeland, Hassrad, his brother, and their sister were priests of a dark Yuan-Ti snake god and performed human sacrifices to summon that god to the material plane. When his sister became high priestess, sacrificing all the priests was necessary to continue the ritual, and Hassrad and his brother fled to Alivast. Apparently, Hassrad's sister still pursues him, and now that he has used forbidden magics (see Meryl relationship below) he estimates that she will find him in three years. To distract himself from the stress of this, Hassrad has started taking up more jobs outside the tavern. He is currently working on getting blackmail on a potentially corrupt politician. He returned some time later after briefly considering leaving the continent altogether, deciding it was better to use what he knew rather than start somewhere else fresh.
He likes to maintain a standoffish and mercenary image, and makes a show of displeasure when people praise him for kindness or tell him he's done the right thing. His interactions with Meryl and her siblings give the impression that he values the innocence of childhood.
Hassrad holds himself as being loyal to no one, preferring to work only in deals rather than showing any preference to anyone and relying on his extensive information network and contacts to keep himself protected from possible threats. Hassrad admits openly that he is not a fighter and seems to prefer using blackmail and the promise of information as leverage on people. That said, after taking up residence in the shed behind The Sweet Dragon, he has given assistance by sending one of his snakes to kill an intruder who had injured Luistrog and offering private lessons to Meryl while her school is closed.
Hassrad is employed by The Unexpectables as their information broker. He openly stated that while he works for them, he is not loyal to them, though hinted that he might sell his loyalty for enough coin. However, Hassrad has been more protective of the bar and its staff recently, on one occasion using one of his snakes to poison an intruder. Task also walked in on him giving private spelling-lessons to Meryl. Task has thanked him for being the bar's "guardian angel," a sentiment Hassrad physically cringed at, justifying the action as payment for a place to sleep.
Hassrad holds sway over Brorc through blackmail. It is unknown how many others Hassrad has blackmail for.
Despised by Avryman for exposing them to the Council. At some point in time Avryman killed Hassrad's brother. For this reason, he is terrified of Avryman.
Greckles is distrusting of Hassrad, and suspects that he will sell information about him, his companions, and their employees to someone who is out to kill them. Hassrad, however, has already pointed out that he's not above doing this and that it was made clear when he was first hired.
"What the fuck is a Tubbs?" - Hassrad
Borky hired Hassrad to find information on the ship that brought Borky to Alivast as well as its captain so he can start figuring out where he is from. He also asked him to help him find Tubbs. Hassrad didn't know who he meant, but Borky settled for getting information on Taylor's location.
Meryl has recently started taking private lessons from Hassrad while waiting for her school to re-open. It is unknown how this agreement was struck given Hassrad's tendency to keep to himself and Meryl's fear of snakes, but Hassrad seems to be doing a decent job as a tutor. Hassrad and Meryl have developed an almost sibling relationship, helped along by both of them placing a certain value on family and Meryl reminding Hassrad of the relationship he had with his own sister before she turned on him.
When Meryl's friend was killed, Hassrad used a magic bowl that was his last remaining material tie to his estranged sister and conducts a blood magic ceremony to bring the boy back to life. The ceremony came at great personal cost as not only was vitality (hit points) required to perform the magic, but also a permanent sacrifice (in the form of ability score loss) which Hassrad and Greckles bore. Hassrad appears to place a lot of value on the Quiltin siblings' happiness and performed the ceremony despite the steep personal cost.
At some point during the five-month time skip, Hassrad was attacked by a large snake warrior. After this attack, Hassrad decided to put some distance between himself and the Sweet Dragon with the implication being that he didn't want to put Meryl into harm's way.
Hassrad is served by snakes of various types and sizes. They are his eyes and ears and collect information throughout the city as well as sometimes performing other tasks like bringing him apples, or taking notes. Some of his notable snake friends are:
- Banana - a giant yellow boa
- The snekcretary - a ball python that takes notes. Meryl admits that he is one snake she likes.
- Tim - a snake having problems with his girlfriend that comes to Hassrad for relationship advice
- Harold (a.k.a. Pocket Snake) - a small corn snake that helped Hassrad distract a winter wolf and protect Meryl and her siblings. He was a bit of a jerk, but deep down he had a broken snake heart. He died a warrior's death.
- Talking Snake - A tiny snake that had a conversation with Greckles.
Hassrad's Sister Edit
Hassrad and his sister are on extremely bad terms, with Hassrad having gone to great lengths to hide himself from her. Hassrad has implied that if she ever found him again she would kill him and with the arrival of a well armed yuan-ti warrior apparently sent to assault him, this fear seems to have been well founded.
- Hassrad told the Council of Alivast about Avryman's existence and as a result was banned from the Underbelly.
- Hassrad moved into a shed at The Sweet Dragon, but left shortly once Tiengo had 'marked' the establishment. He returned to the shed once the “hit” blew over.
- In a deal he made with the Unexpectables, he asked four questions about Abacus.
- First, which hand does she write with?
- Second, does she use magic?
- Third, what type of magic does she use?
- Fourth, does she love anyone?
- He doesn't have a tail, but people are welcome to draw him with one. His appearance (not his stats) is based off of the Yuan-Ti Mind Whisperer from Volo's Guide to Monsters
- When he performed the ritual to revive Lee, he chants "Quetzalqueen, please guide my faith. Quetzalqueen, guide my hand. Quetzalqueen, guide my magic," and the bowl was broken to complete it. In mechanical terms, Hassrad permanently lost 2 points of dexterity and Greckles permanently lost one point of constitution, and the party lost a collective 89 hit points. He also mentioned that Lee might experience some side effects, but it seems that Greckles has experienced some as well.
- His favorite food is any dish with rabbit.
- Anyone who can guess how many snakes Hassrad has wins a prize.
- Hassrad absolutely hates the cold and if forced to go out in snow will wear a ridiculous amount of clothing to keep himself warm.