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Jaheira (Baldur's Gate video game BG2) portrait

Jaheira


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

Jaheira (pronounced Jah-Hee-Rah) is a companion in the classic Baldur’s Gate video game, based on Dungeons & Dragon and released in 1998.

There are several other articles that may be useful for context :

  1. The Forgotten Realms setting primer explains the basics of Baldur’s Gate world. It’s the most recommended one before reading Jaheira’s profile.
  2. The Jet Foundling character profile explain the Baldur’s Gate story.
  3. The Old-School D&D Genre article and the Vance-Arneson-Gygax Magic article dive into technical aspect of Dungeons & Dragons and DC Heroes.
  4. The video game FAQ is the more meta article discussing character writeups based on video games.

As explained in the Forgotten Realms primer, these profiles are based on a modded playthrough. Notably, these add a fair bit of intra-party banter. In the baseline game, the companions receive less characterisation.

This profile, she’s got S P O I L E R S. Howbeit, due to time constraints, our BG companion profile only cover them up to level 5 for now. Or, in Jaheira’s case, Fighter 4/Druid 4.


Background

  • Real Name: Jaheira.
  • Marital Status: Married.
  • Known Relatives: Khalid (husband). Jaheira’s parents are presumably deceased.
  • Group Affiliation: Harpers.
  • Base of Operations: Mobile.
  • Height: 5’6″ Weight: 140 lbs.
  • Eyes: Light, greenish grey. Hair: Dark blonde.


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Powers & Abilities

Jaheira is a militant druid. She’s trained in both physical combat and nature-oriented divine magic. As a fighter she usually operates as a light skirmisher using a quarterstaff, sling and leather armour.

She’s strong, fast, tough and determined. However, she’s also rash, incautious and unsubtle.

Her early spells include buffs  and heals, a curse of unluck, and an entangling curse. The latter means that local vegetation animates to hold back everything that moves.

As a druid she also has fertility spells. For instance she mentions she’ll ensure that her first child will be a daughter. One imagines that she also has druidic stuff such as rituals to ensure rain, assist with cattle giving birth, bless soil to be bountiful, purify water, etc.. But this is not the sort of magic one uses on most adventures.

Jaheira is a capable physician even without magic. But this is primarily done using medicinal plants.

In this playthrough

In this playthrough, Jaheira mostly memorises healing spells. Since the party relies on her magic to erase wounds and keep going.

In this playthrough, Jaheira mostly provides sling fire to supplement the party’s ranged firepower. But she also trains to become a heavier fighter, so she can join the team’s heavies in melee without being picked as a weak link by the enemy.

As she works toward that role, Jaheira dons magical chain mail and wields a magical truncheon and tower shield (all this stuff is +1). So she’s not unlike a feudal riot control cop, I guess.

The eventual goal is for her to more fully train to wield a scimitar instead of a simple truncheon. For… reasons (regulatory capture by the National Scimitar Association ?), scimitars are one of the few metal weapons druids are allowed to use.

She’s also training to wear one of the party’s ankheg plate mail suits once one is available. Which would make her a much heavier fighter than her traditional leather-and-staff loadout.


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No menhirs here, Nemon

“Druids” in D&D games have little to do with Celtic history. Rather, they are a modern fantasy concept that usually mixes :

  • Divine spellcasting with a strong theme about nature, animals, plants, and growth.
  • A sort of militant environmentalist agenda about protecting, by force if necessary, pristine lands from deforestation and irresponsible settlement. They also refuse to use many processed materials, for being too removed from nature.
  • A specific-to-D&D philosophy of neutrality and balance. In particular they refuse to align with good or evil since nature is neither.
  • Ties with factions living in harmony with primeval forests. That includes many sorts of elves – and fey creatures (treants, unicorns, pixies, dryads, etc.).

True neutral

This curious creation has since spread to many heroic fantasy milieux, and become its own thing.

So, don’t expect stuff about Dagda and cauldrons and gaesa and horse sacrifices and repurposed megalithic sites and Alan Stivell’s harp or bombard (video) when hearing “druid”.

On the other hand, D&D has *also* scoured every shred of known ancient Celtic myths, creatures, spells, curses, imaginary lands, gods, etc.. And some of these were “plugged back” into D&D-style druids.


History

Jaheira hails from Tethyr , a nation in the South. Based on the sourcebooks, I’ve usually imagined Tethyr as a mix of Morocco (mostly), Turkey and Andalusia. But that’s just me. And Jaheira sports an Eastern-Europe-as-imagined-in-Hollywood accent so heh, who knows.

Southwestern Forgotten Realms map, centered on Tethyr

This map (from this site ) shows Tethyr and the surrounding realms. So you can clearly see Calimshan to the South (where Khalid comes from) and Amn to the North. If you squint, you can see at the Northern edge of the map (just above the Cloud Peaks) the city of Nashkel, which is about the Southern limit of the BG1 expanse.
Click on the image for a larger version.

Tethyr Humans tend to have dusky skin and light-coloured eyes. But tones change with latitude – there isn’t really a “Tethyrian type”.

Jaheira is an Half-Elf. This likely means an unusual family history. Tethyr is mostly Human, but there have been centuries of nastiness involving sacking Elvish forests. By the time of Baldur’s Gate, only two Elvish tribes remain in all of Tethyr, and their forests are death traps for intruders.

Our game stats *assume* that her mother tongue is Alzhedo, like her husband. Which would imply that she’s from Southern Tethyr, near Calimshan.

Talkin’ ’bout a revolution

Jaheira was the young daughter of a noble Tethyr family when the revolution occurred. This took place in 1347 DR (Dales’ Reckoning). That’s about 20 years before Baldur’s Gate.

The royal dynasty had ruled for roughly eight centuries. Its fall resulted in many years of chaos, and it had been preceded by a dozen years of war.

The family of little Jaheira had been supporters of King Alemander IV of Tethyr. But he was a tyrant oppressing the people, as well as a traitor. When the populace rose (with the backing of undercover agents from Calimshan), it was an explosion of hatred called the Ten Black Days of Eleint. Almost everyone in King Alemander’s castle was killed, and something similar happened to Jaheira’s family.

However, a servant girl grabbed Jaheira and ran. One imagines that Jaheira was very young, perhaps 3. If so, perhaps the servant couldn’t in good conscience let such a small child be slaughtered along with the rest.

Lost in a forest

Though the servant fled at random into the woods, she lucked out. She stumbled upon an enclave of druids. They agreed to let her go freely and to take care of the child.

Friendly Arms Inn (Baldur's Gate) game map

In-game view of the Friendly Arms fortified inn, where Jaheira and Khalid meet Jet and Imoen. Click on the image for a larger version.

Thus, Jaheira was raised by druids to become one of their own. She seems to be almost entirely a product of this culture. She likely was too young to remember anything about her biological family.

Jaheira grew up during the chaotic, bloody years of the interregnum . However, stout bands of adventurers — and, ironically, Elves — played an important role in restoring safety and freedom for the peoples of Tethyr.

The Company of Eight , in particular, fought hard for the common good. But Jaheira was just a teenager during the Company’s most famous exploits.

Again with the harps !

Jaheira’s druidic circle likely was connected to the secretive activist network, the Harpers . Though the Harpers are aligned with Good forces, a sizable part of their agenda is about defending nature. They thus have extensive contacts with Neutral druidic organisations.

This is likely how young militant druid Jaheira met Gorion the sage, a Harper agent from Candlekeep. She seems to have accompanied this mage on several adventures.

Jaheira also met a fellow Half-Elf named Khalid. He was a fighter who soon became her husband. When and how they met is unrevealed. But I got the faint impression that they met through Gorion.

The couple once travelled to Athkatla, the capital of Amn (they hated it). Khalid was also once captured and tortured by unidentified enemies (his wife blames the Zhentarim ). But Jaheira and Gorion rescued him.

In 1368 DR, Jaheira was on the Sword Coast. She and Khalid had been summoned to meet with Gorion, waiting for him at the Friendly Arms fortified inn. Apparently, there was a problem with Gorion’s ward.

Furthermore, they had been tasked with continuing Southward ASAP, to investigate a problem in the Nashkel iron mines.


Description

Jaheira’s portrait in the Enhanced Edition of Baldur’s Gate is the one used here. It is the one that was first used in BG2. One gets the impression that the BG2 portraits were more based on the actual character concepts than the BG1 ones.

The resemblance with the original BG1 portrait of Jaheira is passing, though.

Her hair texture and upturned eyes *might* suggest Wild Elf  ancestry.


Personality

Jaheira is brash, opinionated and overbearing. She routinely assumes that she knows better. She is prone to taking rash initiatives and shouting orders. A young, overcharged druid, she’s looking for opportunities to violently defend natural areas against excessive exploitation.

Nashkel carnival (Baldur's Gate video game) map

The Nashkel carnival, a notable but not major game area. Click on the image for a larger version.

For everything that’s not her pet causes, Jaheira affects the fatalistic druidic outlook. Everything is a cycle, nature is sometimes cruel, people pass on and it’s all normal.

But despite her insistence on True Neutrality, she has obvious Good leanings. For instance, she will get angry (well, angrier) and physically intervene if she sees helpless people (especially women) being exploited.

La lumière, Jaheira !

Though Jaheira would like to be in charge, the party has a sort of democratic consensus. She also has a well-hidden respect for Jet, as Gorion talked about his ward and her great strengths on many occasions.

Plus, even Jaheira finds it physically unfeasible to throw her weight around the towering Jet Foundling.

Albeit Jaheira often looks like she’s irritated by Khalid and is bossing him around, she genuinely loves him. One suspects that she calms down when it’s only the two of them, plus perhaps some longtime friends like Gorion was.

Khalid reliably manages to get Jaheira to calm down when she gets angrier than her baseline, usually by making her feel loved or making her laugh.

Jaheira doesn’t like cities, due to the damage they cause to the environment (directly and indirectly).


Quotes

If a tree falls in the forest … I’ll kill the bastard wot done it !”

“I NEVER GET IRRITATED ! AM THE CALMEST WOMAN IN THE WHOLE OF FAERÛN !”

“This city is a blight on the landscape. Better to have let the land grow wild.”

(Getting worked up as she thinks of Gorion’s death) “I wish we had a tome of leather parchments made from the HIDES of the bandits who attacked you, to pay for our entry [into Candlekeep]. That of the one who had slain him shall be SAVED for the COVER.”

“Nature’s servant awaits.”

Jet Foundling: “Imoen, watch my back. Khalid, take position behind that tree, longbow. Jaheira…”
Jaheira (annoyed): “What now ? Need your pantaloons  pressed ?”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Jaheira (level 1)

Dex: 03 Str: 03 Bod: 03 Motivation: Neutral
Int: 03 Wil: 03 Min: 03 Occupation: Harper agent
Inf: 03 Aur: 03 Spi: 03 Wealth: 003
Init: 008 HP: 004

Powers:
Iron Will: 02, Sorcery (VGA): 04, Thermal vision: 02

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Iron Will is limited to sleep and charm magical effects.
  • Iron Will and Thermal Vision are Form Function.
  • Sorcery (VGA) has the Prayer Limitation (druidic spells).

Skills:
Accuracy (Doom spell): 06, Medicine (First aid, Treatment): 03, Military science (Survival, Tracking): 03, Weaponry (Melee): 04, Weaponry (Missile): 04

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Weaponry (Melee) is specialised in sticks (such as clubs and staves). Other melee weapons are at 02, to simplify.
  • Weaponry (Missile) is specialised in slings. Other missile weapons are at 02, to simplify.

Advantages:
Credentials (Harpers, Low ; Druids, Low), Expertise (Herbalism), Language (Druidic, Alzhedo), Slowed Ageing (Doubled longevity).

Connections:
None.

Drawbacks:
Dependent (Khalid, 0 points), MIA toward Environmental Activism.

Equipment:

  • Quarterstaff [BODY 02, Enhance (EV): 01 (cap is 06), Descriptor: Bludgeoning].
  • Sling [BODY 02, Projectile weapons: 02, Ammo: 01] and a bunch of sling stones.
  • LEATHER ARMOUR [BODY 03, Blunting: 01, Damage capacity: 02, Enhance (Cold RV): 01 (cap is 05), Enhance (Piercing, Slashing, Bludgeoning RV): 01 (cap is 05), Bonuses & Limitations: Damage Capacity has the Full Recovery Bonus, Partial Coverage (Jacket)].

Design Notes

There’s no first aid skill in the game, but it makes sense for her to have it in-universe.


Jaheira (level 4/4)

Dex: 04 Str: 03 Bod: 03 Motivation: Neutral
Int: 03 Wil: 03 Min: 03 Occupation: Harper agent
Inf: 04 Aur: 03 Spi: 03 Wealth: 004
Init: 010 HP: 020

Powers:
Iron Will: 02, Sorcery (VGA): 06, Thermal vision: 02

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Iron Will is limited to sleep and charm magical effects.
  • Iron Will and Thermal Vision are Form Function.
  • Sorcery (VGA) has the Prayer Limitation (druidic spells).

Skills:
Accuracy (Doom spell): 08, Medicine (First aid, Treatment): 03, Military science (Survival, Tracking): 03, Weaponry (Melee): 04, Weaponry (Missile): 04

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Weaponry (Melee) is specialised in sticks (such as clubs and staves). Other melee weapons are at 02, to simplify.
  • Weaponry (Missile) is specialised in slings. Other missile weapons are at 02, to simplify.

Advantages:
Credentials (Harpers, Low ; Druids, Low), Expertise (Herbalism), Language (Druidic, Alzhedo), Slowed Ageing (Doubled longevity).

Connections:
None.

Drawbacks:
Dependent (Khalid, 0 points), MIA toward Environmental Activism.

Equipment:

  • Truncheon +1 [BODY 05, Enhance (EV): 01 (cap is 06), Descriptor: Blunt, Advantage: +1].
  • Sling +1 [BODY 03, Projectile weapons: 02, Ammo: 01, Advantage: +1] and a bunch of sling stones.
  • LARGE SHIELD +1 [BODY (Hardened Defenses) 05, Enhance (EV): 01 (cap is 05), Recommended STR 02, Descriptor: Bludgeon, Note: OV/RV bonus when using the Block Manoeuvre is 3 APs, Note: the OV bonus for the Shield Cover Manoeuvre is 3 APs, Advantage: +1].
  • Healing potions (x4) [BODY 01, Damage Transference (No Delay, No Damage Taken): 02, Grenade Drawback].
  • Elixir of health [BODY 01, Damage Transference (No Delay, No Damage Taken): 02, Medicine (Treatment): 07, Grenade Drawback, Limitations: Medicine is limited to toxins. But it is Combined With Damage Transference, takes place within a Phase and requires no equipment or conditions].
  • Jaheira maintains the largest possible stock of goodberries (see below) in a protective bag. On any day where there’s no genuine expectation for a fight, she’ll focus her spell memorisation on making berries.
  • HONORARY RING OF SUNE [BODY 03. This adds one spell slot per spell level. In the DCH version that’s likely means expanding the spell pool by 20% or so, but the spell pool size number isn’t set yet].
  • CHAIN MAIL +1 w/ NORMAN-STYLE HELM [BODY 04, Blunting: 03, Enhance (Slashing, Piercing RV): 02 (cap is 09), Power Loss (Blunting drops to 01 against non Slashing/Piercing damage), Enhance (RV against Critical, Devastation and doubles): 03 (cap is 08), Enhance (Unarmed RV): 03 (cap is 10), Stealth penalty 2/3, Drawback: Audial Perception rolls have +1CS to their OV/RV, Advantage: +1.]

Level 1 spells from Jaheira’s repertoire

Armor of faith (Abjuration)

Cost: 12
Power: Damage capacity: 02, Duration: 04

Bless (Conjuration)

Cost: 5
Power: Duration: 03, Enhance (Spiritual RV) (Area of Effect 1 AP): 01 (cap is 05)

Cure light wounds (Necromancy)

Cost: 7
Power: Damage Transference: 02
Bonuses and Limitations: No Risk (+3), No Time (+2).

Detect Evil (Divination)

Cost: 4
Power: Detect (Evil alignments): 03

Doom (Alteration)

Cost: 7
Power: Slow (EQ) (no AV): 04
Notes: A rare spell with no AV, which is instead governed by the Accuracy (Doom spell) Skill (BC 5, FC 1). However, this skill can have twice as many APs as the AV of a fighter of a similar level in our power scale discussion.
Example: Lvl 5 fighters generally are capped to an AV of 05. A lvl 5 druid could thus have 5×2=10 APs of Accuracy (Doom spell).
Notes: This spell causes a feeling of doom to overwhelm the target. Remarkably, there is no saving throw.

Entangle (Alteration)

Cost: 10
Power: Duration: 04, Glue (Area of Effect 2 APs): 02
Bonuses and Limitations: Some form of plant life must be present to get animated and hinder the persons in the area.

Shillelagh (Alteration)

Cost: 12
Power: Duration: 03, Claws (+1 Bonus): 04
Note: This replaces the caster’s weapon with a magical cudgel for a little while. If using Descriptors, the Claws has the Bludgeon Descriptor.


Level 2 spells from Jaheira’s repertoire

Barkskin (Alteration)

Cost: 19
Powers: Blunting: 02, Damage capacity: 04, Duration: 10, Enhance (Physical RV): 01 (cap is 05).
Notes: This has been adjusted a bit from the Baldur’s Gate manual to be more coherent with the comparable Armor wizard spell.

Charm person or mammal (Enchantment)

Cost: 18
Powers: Control: 03, Duration: 04
Bonuses and Limitations: Control only works on humanoids and mammalian animals (-1).

Find traps (Divination)

Cost: 8
Powers: Detect (Traps): 02, Duration: 06

Flame blade (Evocation)

Cost: 9
Powers: Duration: 03, Flame Project (Touch): 04
Notes: Creates a blade of fire that the caster can wield without penalties even if they can’t use normal blades.

Goodberry (Alteration)

Cost: 9
Powers: Occultist (Create Artefact): 04
Notes: Occultist (Create Artefact) is taken with a Specialization in creating goodberries. It’s thus essentially useless for anything else. For simplicity’s sake, assume the creation of goodberries is always successful – don’t waste time rolling.
A batch of goodberries has BODY 01, Damage transference (No Duration): 02. They are five berries imbued with healing powers. Goodberries can retain their enchantment for a good while, so essentially this spells creates a small, free healing potion.

Know alignment (Divination)

Cost: 6
Powers: Mind probe: 04
Bonuses and Limitations: Mind probe is restricted to reading the target’s alignment.

Resist fire and cold (Abjuration)

Cost: 7
Powers: Cold immunity: 01, Duration: 04, Flame immunity: 01

Slow poison (Necromancy)

Cost: 10
Powers: Systemic antidote (poison only): 04
Note: If the poison doesn’t attack every Phase, the enhanced RV will come into play during the poison’s next attack.


Level 3 spells from Jaheira’s repertoire

Zone of sweet air (Abjuration)

Cost: 5
Powers: Air control: 05
Bonuses and Limitations: Air control is limited to repelling volumes of air, which cannot inflict damage. This lowers the Power to BC 10 FC 2, including a +8 Special Volume Bonus. This is usually used to flush away toxic gasses, though it will not be sufficient if the gas keeps being pumped in (say, a green dragon’s breath).

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Baldur’s Gate computer RPG.

Writeup completed on the 16th of August, 2019.

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