"This old man's eyes glow with a gold-red luminescence, as does the latticework of tattoos covering his forehead and face. Bald and weathered by the years, Ammon Jerro's booming voice is commanding and determined, one comfortable giving orders to captains, generals, kings - and demons. While he occasionally displays a wry smile or frustrated sneer, his face is never relaxed and his brow often furrowed in thought. Power radiates from Ammon's body, and when he's angered (a common occurrence) the air around him smells of smoke and blood."
Ammon Jerro is the last companion you can acquire in the Original Campaign, soon after the beginning of ACT III. He starts with STR 10, DEX 14, CON 14, INT 16, WIS 12 and CHA17 (point buy 41) and will automatically increase his CHA at level ups. While it is technically possible to acquire Ammon Jerro as early as level 10 (a nearly impossible task), doing so requires foregoing completion of several non-essential plot stories and severely hampers your ability to advance in level in ACT III, where opportunities to earn experience are scarce in comparison to ACT I and II. Somewhat more realistically, he can be recruited at level 11 and there's little point in getting him earlier - just a minor savings in skill point allocation.
Should you somehow manage to acquire Ammon before level 12, consider the following feats instead of the ones he will automatically choose on his own, indicated in parenthesis below. Doing so will allow an increase of at least 8 in his base AC and fully compliment his role as a spell-caster who has few qualms about getting directly involved in close-quarter combat (this assumes he will carry a mithral heavy shield):
- 1 Strong Soul, Weapon Proficiency - Martial
- 3 Battle Caster
- 6 Armor Proficiency - Medium
- 9 Combat Casting
- 12 Combat Expertise (Spell Penetration)
- 15 Improved Combat Expertise (Greater Spell Penetration)
- 18 Shield Proficiency (Toughness)
A high armor class for Ammon is quite prudent, given his role as an offensive spellcaster and his ability to use a True Name Scroll. Both Zhjaeve and Ammon Jerro can use their copies of the True Name Scroll (acquired from Sydney Natale) to negate the undead immortality of the Shadow Reavers, allowing them to be destroyed once the recitation of their true names is completed. This recitation takes about 5 rounds to complete and if interrupted for any reason must be re-started. Therefore, it's advisable to have the Shadow Reavers distracted while this relatively lengthy process is completed. It bears repeating then, that their armor class and spell resistance should be as high as possible to prevent spell failure and assist with achieving this salient goal. Consider the following improvements to AC (up to 45 at level 17+) Ammon can make use of at all times, without additional spells or other temporary enchantments, where the first two can only be fully realized if he is pressed into service before level 12:
- Heavy Mithral Shield +5: +7 shield bonus
- Improved Combat Expertise: +6 AC bonus (unarmored bonus)
- Mithral Full Plate: +8 armor bonus (there is no point in enchanting Ammon's armor from +1 to +5 if you use the +8 Bracers indicated below)
- Bracers of Armor +8: +8 armor bonus
- Amulet of Natural Armor +5: +5 natural armor bonus
- Boots of the Sun Soul +5: +5 dodge bonus
- Cloak of Protection +4: +4 deflection bonus
- Belt of Agility +2: additional +1 DEX bonus (+3 total dodge bonus from DEX when used with Mithral Full Plate)
- Tumble skill base rank of 10 (at CLVL 17): +1 dodge bonus
Also, due to the bugged nature of many Warlock invocations, it may be advantageous to increase Ammon Jerro's CON at levels 12 and 16 (or 16 and 20, depending on when you get him) - for up to 20 extra hit points and an increased fortitude save & concentration skill check, instead of bringing his CHA to 22.
Although there's tangible value in acquiring Ammon Jerro at much lower levels than one normally would, there are several strong arguments to be made for not playing this way. Primarily among them:
- The game only has three acts and minimizing XP through more than half of the game to get Zhjaeve and the Construct at level 7 is punishing enough.
- Minimizing experience for the tailoring of NPCs has diminished value after you finish ACT I. By ACT III this strategy benefits only Ammon who, because of his class type, can readily change his selection of available invocations and doesn't need or benefit nearly as much from early level tailoring; the main advantage is his bonus to AC.
- If you acquire Ammon Jerro before level 15 (a much more reasonable expectation) you can still increase his base AC by up to +6, giving up only the feat of improved combat expertise or shield proficiency. If you skip the shield proficiency feat, he can still use a Brooch of Shielding to obtain a +4 shield bonus to AC - a loss of 3, if he would have otherwise used a +5 Mithral Shield. Although unlike a shield, this bonus can be dispelled. In addition, you can still increase his constitution score by two (at levels 16 and 20) to 16.
- As ACT III is the shortest of all three in the game, opportunities to earn experience there are scarce in comparison to ACT I and II. Therefore, should you choose to recruit Ammon Jerro before level 12, the only opportunities to obtain unlimited experience and have all party members level 20 (or any other reasonable level for that matter) by the end of the game are as follows:
- Grinding for experience while you are in Vale of Merdelain, which is almost the end of the game anyway
- If you are playing a Hellfire Warlock, you may grind for unlimited experience at any point once (s)he is able to make use of the use the Summon Baatezu feat.
- Use a character editor or the in-game console to hack your XP. However this makes little sense because, if this is your playing style, you are likely better off gaining experience normally throughout the game, manually reducing your companions to level 1 and re-leveling them as you see fit.
Plot and Background Information
During Ammon Jerro's research, he learned of an imminent threat called the King of Shadows. He warned the council of the threat but many of the nobles were too busy squabbling with each other to pay any attention, so he sought allies elsewhere among the devils, demons, and even the githyanki. He eventually learned from the fallen wyrm Nolaloth that githyanki silver swords are capable of harming the King of Shadows. He traveled to the Lower Planes, where Gith was last seen, and sought the aid of the Still Lord of Baator, Prince Levistus, in locating the Sword of Gith, Gith's own personal silver sword. Through Levistus he also gained an ally in Mephasm, one of the Still Lord's servants. He was able to retrieve the Silver Sword but found no trace of Gith herself.
With the devils and demons to aid him in his fight against the King of Shadows, Ammon managed to convince the Lords of Neverwinter to join him in the war. He made his last stand at West Harbor where he engaged the King of Shadow's avatar and fought him to a standstill, each unable to land a killing blow until Ammon was distracted by the cries of an infant (none other than the PC) which caused him to lose his concentration and allowed the Shadow's avatar to shatter Gith's Sword. One of the pieces from the shattered silver sword plunged through the PC's mother who was protecting her infant and became embedded in the chest of the child, thus setting into motion the events that would later send the PC on his/her quest. The shockwave from the sword banished the King of Shadows back into the Shadow Weave. Although Ammon had survived the battle, he was immediately recalled to the Lower Planes and spent the next 15-20 years being tortured in the Hells, perhaps as a part of a contract he made with the Lower Planes. Many of his friends assumed he died at the battle of West Harbor and his surviving family moved to Highcliff, living as simple farmers. Ironically, because of Ammon's association with demons and the lack of records of what transpired at West Harbor, his deeds were forgotten and those that do remember him mistook Ammon as being the King of Shadows.
Years later when Black Garius was researching on how to harness and gain the powers of the King of Shadows for himself, he summoned Ammon back from the Nine Hells in order to learn more, inadvertently freeing him from his suffering. It is unknown what Ammon did after that, but it is assumed that he somehow left/escaped from Black Garius and returned to Neverwinter. He hunted for the silver shards in an attempt to restore the sword and along the way rectified some perceived injustices while there; namely, he was responsible for the murders of several nobles within the Blacklake District in his quest for the shards. The PC later learns from the sage Aldanon, an old friend of Ammon who believes that Ammon was dead, that Ammon Jerro once possessed a Silver Sword and his research located in his haven might prove useful to the PC concerning the shards. Unfortunately, nobody knows where Ammon's haven was and their only lead was Ammon's last living descendant, Shandra Jerro (whom they had met earlier on her farm). Ammon later summons a horde of demons and launches an attack on the Githyanki stronghold to claim the silver shards from their leader Zeeaire. Unfortunately, he was beaten to the shards by the PC who was there to rescue Shandra Jerro, Ammon's granddaughter, although unknown to him at the time because he had assumed that all his kin had been killed in the first war with the King of Shadows.
Ammon then sets out to complete the Ritual of Purification, created by the Illefarn Empire as a way of undoing the King of Shadows. Ammon completes one of the five steps in the ritual (The Web of Purity), at the ruins that housed the statue of purification, located near West Harbor. The PC is able to complete the other four steps, but not the one Ammon completed before Garius and his Shadow Reavers destroy the final statue.
The PC eventually locates Ammon's haven, but in doing so also learns Jerro blood is required to gain access; thus Shandra is required to shed her blood to open the door. However, upon entering the Haven, Shandra is separated from the PC and his/her group. As they explore the haven they discover a number of powerful Baatezu and Tanar'ri are bound to summoning circles which collectively grant the master of the haven great infernal powers. When the PC and his/her party meets Ammon in his central sanctum he attacks them for intruding, intending to claim the PC's shards, and Ammon quickly gains the upper hand. Shandra, who was psychically linked to those in the haven due to her lineage, sees her friends about to be killed by her grandfather. She then learns from the fiends trapped there that the warlock they were fighting was not the King of Shadows, but her grandfather. They tell her that if she wants to save her friends she would need to weaken Ammon, and in order to do so she had to set them free by spilling her own blood, thereby disabling their binding circles. As the bonds of Koraboros, Zaxis, Blooden, Baalbisan, Hezebel, and lastly Mephasm are broken, Ammon is progressively weakened to his defeat at the hands of the PC and his/her allies. Furious at who had set the fiends he had bound loose, he manages to track down Shandra as Mephasm is being set free, and assails her with a barrage of spells in his rage. As she collapses from her blood loss and his magic, she apologizes to her grandfather for what she did with her dying breath. Unaware of what he had done and confused by her dying words, Mephasm explains to Ammon he has just murdered his own granddaughter in blind rage, and reminds him that only one of Jerro blood could have opened the door to his Haven. As Mephasm departs, the party emerges from a portal and confronts Ammon in front of Shandra's body. Horrified by Mephasm's revelation at what he has done, Ammon uses the last of his power to teleport the PC and his/her companions to safety as the haven collapses around them.
Back in Crossroad Keep, Ammon is a bitter broken man, realizing that he had just killed what he had tried to protect when he first waged war with the King of Shadows. Having nothing left to lose, he decides to join the PC in fighting the King of Shadows, as together they would have all the parts of the Ritual of Purification. Some time later, he travels to Shandra's farm to look for something he left there many years ago. Before he can find it, Koraboros appears with vengeful intent, coldly telling Ammon of Shandra's childhood and stating what he showed Ammon of her her now was a punishment he could never have inflicted in Baator. At that point, the PC and company arrive looking for Ammon. Koroboros then attacks the party and is destroyed. If the PC has high influence with Shandra and decides to tell Ammon of the adventures they shared, Ammon eventually breaks down and shows remorse for killing Shandra, begging her for a sign of forgiveness. At that moment a ray of sunlight illuminates Shandra's pendant that was among the debris of her ruined home. If the PC has low influence with Shandra, Ammon will instead casually unlock a box that he had hidden at the Jerro farm and take out a dire mace that he had hidden there years ago.
After the meeting with Sydney Natale, Ammon confirms the Truename Scrolls should be capable of preventing the Shadow Reavers from being resurrected, and uses one on Black Garius when he confronts the PC in the courtyard, forcing him to flee. Later, at Merdelain, Garius tries to get Ammon to turn on the player with promises of being able to restore Shandra, but Ammon steadfastly refuses (regardless of the PC's influence) to join his enemy. In the end, if the PC decides to side with the King of Shadows, Ammon is killed and corrupted into servitude. If the PC decides to fight against the King of Shadows, Ammon stands by him/her and goes MIA along with the PC upon defeating the King of Shadows.
Mask of the Betrayer
In the Mask of the Betrayer expansion campaign, it is revealed Ammon had pursued the gargoyles that abducted the PC into the Plane of Shadow. On the other side at the Veil Theater, he was confronted by Nefris, who knew of him from his studies at the academy. Seeing the threat he posed to their plans, she quickly subdued him. The Founder had him contained in the infirmary of the academy, and his soul was removed and was given to two pit fiend merchants employed by the Red Wizard academy.
When the player eventually arrives at the Academy in search of answers to the spirit eater curse, he/she finds Ammon at the infirmary in the instructor's lounge. The two pit fiends will offer to trade Ammon's marked soul in exchange for three souls (or two, if the PC or Gannayev haggles with them). If the player purchases his soul back, Ammon can be restored.
Ammon will reveal everything that happened at Merdelain after the King of Shadows was destroyed, including the fates of all companions. Though he fulfilled his ultimate goal, he still has infernal pacts in effect and agrees to tag along with the player as a henchman. Though he parts ways after meeting the Founder, he agrees to bring some fiendish allies to help the player with the Third Crusade on the Fugue Plane, though the nature of the pacts only allow them to assist at the gate to the City of Judgement; they cannot set foot into the city. His fate after the Third Crusade is not revealed, though it is stated that when he dies, he will be sent to the hells, as pacts with devils for your soul supersede the Wall of the Faithless or joining with your deity (even if he had one).
- A scene removed from the final release indicated that Ammon did not actually destroy West Harbor. He and his demons only passed through the village. Deleted content indicated that everybody was still alive after Ammon appeared at the village. After the cutscene, the PC was supposed to be able to return to West Harbor where the people state that they all had a strange dream that night where they smelled 'fire and brimstone', and that Tarmas for some reason did not have any dreams at all that night but he had another dream several nights before.
Devils and Demons in his Service
Much of Ammon Jerro's great power, beyond that of normal warlock capabilities, was due to the fact he bound six powerful fiends, "some of the most dangerous in the Lower Planes" as he stated, in his Haven.
- Mephasm (Baatezu) - a pit fiend, polymorphed into the form of an exotic half-elf. The PC first encounters him at the Githyanki caves, where he is harassed by three succubi. Mephasm, initially identified only as a "Devil," claims he was set there by the githyanki, and asks to be freed with his "truename" Mephasm in order to shut off the force field. Upon departing, the field condenses into an "interdimensional sphere" that he gives to the PC, saying "we will meet again." This proves true as the party meets him again in the entryway of of Jerro's Haven. He admits that he was set there by the warlock in order to seal off the githyanki should Zaxis fail her task. He is far more cordial than the other five fiends, even to Ammon Jerro, and seems to show a special interest in Neeshka (suggesting he may be her grandfather). In Act III, he can optionally be summoned by the PC and Ammon in Crossroad Keep to make "bargains."
- Baalbisan (Tanar'ri) - a balor demon that has a strong disdain for females, possibly due to his issues he has with his own mother. He also has a certain dislike for the Baatezu, evident when he first meets Neeshka. It is revealed by Blooden that his mother is actually a lesser fiend.
- Hezebel (Baatezu) - an erinyes that is currently feuding with Baalbisan. She is trying to upset the balance of power within the haven so she can have an advantage over Baalbisan.
- Zaxis (Tanar'ri) - a Hezrou demon and, in a bizarre twist, Baalbisan's matron. The party first encounters Zaxis at the Githyanki caves, where she was unsuccessfully trying to breach the door to Zeeaire's portal. The PC can fight her or trick her in order to banish her. At the Haven, it is revealed by Blooden that Zaxis is not only female but is Baalbisan's mother, much to Neeshka's astonishment, and was once a marilith that got demoted due to her incompetence. Her true name is Bethshiva, which indicates that she is a lower level demon (higher level fiends have much longer true names).
- Koraboros (Baatezu) - a pit fiend, also known as the "one who sees plots within plots". He has an imp in his service whom he treats like a gopher boy. After being freed, he later appears to Ammon at Shandra's farm taunting and mocking Ammon for killing his very own granddaughter, and attacks the party.
- Blooden (Tanar'ri) - a Succubus and mistress of the Deep Crest, the breeding grounds of the Abyss. She seems to have an infatuation with Koraboros, despite the fact he's devil and she's a demon. She comments rather casually that she has mated with many mortal men, even those of Celestial descent, but none have survived her violent mating habits. If the PC is male, she will make suggestive comments, hoping the player won't "leave a mess" like all the others.
- Ammon is voiced by Murphy Guyer.
- While speaking with Ammon Jerro after Koraboros is defeated at Shandra's Farm, he erroneously refers to Shandra as his niece when she is, in fact, his granddaughter.
- It is mentioned even at the end of the game that he is still bound by contract to the Lower Realms.
- Although Ammon Jerro clearly is a powerful wizard, additionally to being a warlock, he only leveled as a Warlock in NWN2 meaning that he is far more powerful than displayed in the game