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Jaroo Ashstaff, Druid of the Grove, is a druid best known for his association with the village of Hommlet.[1][2]

Appearance and personality

Jaroo is an old human who wears padded armor and a cloak of protection. He carries a magic scimitar and a staff of the serpent and has a ring of invisibility.[1]

Jaroo is dedicated to the destruction of evil. He readily helps those in need and collects donations for the poor from visitors to his sacred grove.

He is cautious, and follow suspicious individuals at a distance to judge their intent. He readily uses his spells and abilities to help adventurers, but prefers not to under

Religion

Jaroo follows the Old Faith, a traditional animistic religion common to many druids in the world of Oerth.

Abilities

Jaroo Ashstaff has the typical abilities of a seventh level druid, including the ability to cast fourth level spells. He has a huge black bear companion who is rarely seen,[1] and a brown bear named Tanak.[3]

Home

Jaroo made a home in a cottage in Hommlet. It is a low-roofed wooden beneath great oaks located within a well-tended sacred grove. The home contains a cellar where Jaroo stores his treasure. The grove is tended by assistant druid Yundi.[3]

Treasure

Jaroo has stored considerable treasure in his cottage, including a scroll of weather summoning, a potion of invulnerability, a decanter of endless water, and a stone box containinng thousands of gold pieces worth of gems.

Relationships

Jaroo is an agent of the druids of Gnarley Wood. He opposes evil and supports the destruction of the Temple of Elemental Evil. He is friendly with the people of Hommlet, including militia captain Elmo and woodcutter Tarim.[3]

History

Visit to Hommlet

Jaroo Ashstaff came to the village of Hommlet to keep an eye on the Temple of Elemental Evil. Twenty-five years later, he was still there, maintaining a sacred oak grove and hoarding gemstones.

Death

Around 591 CY, Jaroo was murdered and replaced by a doppelganger working for the cult returning to Temple of Elemental Evil. This infiltration was highly successful and allowed the cult to conceal their activity from the settlement.

Publication history

AD&D 1st edition

Jaroo Ashstaff first appeared as a 7th level druid in the adventure module T1 The Village of Hommlet (1979), and again in T1-4 The Temple of Elemental Evil (1985).

D&D 3rd edition

Jaroo returned in Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil (2001).

Creative origins

Jaroo Ashstaff was based on a character played by Tim Kask in a TSR playtest.[4] In 2011, Tim recalled:[1]

"When we were testing Hommlet, he was not called Jaroo. He was known as Tim, the lusty druid. They made up bawdy songs whenever I could not make a session (I lived with my family 11 miles away in Delavan; for a while we had but one car and my wife and I shared it with the childcare duties for our toddler daughter), they made up new lyrics, always more scandalous than the last. If half the rumors and lyrics were true, there would be an enormous number of little NPC's running around that shared my DNA. (We won't go into what they sang about my supposed fondness for several species of animals.)"

The song "Tim, The Lusty Druid" is referenced in the editorial to Dragon Magazine #4 (1978), of which Kask was editor. However, he declined to print the any of the bawdy song's lyrics.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 T1-4 The Temple of Elemental Evil (1985), p.12.
  2. Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil (2001), p.16.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil (2001), p.10.
  4. The Curmudgeon in the Cellar YT4, 31'22"