I think Pennarin is asking about an example of an NPC with a familiar instead of tables and whatnot. I asked a similar question about elemental advanced beings in the past. There are rules for them in Dragon Kings, but as far as NPCs in the setting goes, they do not exist.
I remember. Egendo’s cohort. The 3.5e version of elemental apotheosis was not quite the transformation into an advanced being.
Anyway, I can’t think of any examples of familiars in relation to NPCs. Since they most certainly exist, I’ll suggest that many (most?) Athasian wizards take ACFs (in 3.5e terms) that eschew a familiar in favour of some other benefit.
How about this.
Eschew Familiar (ACF)
You give up having a familiar in order to conserve spell components.
Benefit: You do not get a familiar at 1st level. Instead you get the Eschew Materials feat.
There’s a guy in…the Year of Priest’s Defiance adventure (i think) that has a Jarbo that accompanies him. I don’t recall what he is mechanically, but the Jarbo definitely fills a familiar/ animal companion-type roll.
I found one! The founder of Urik’s Veiled Alliance was a preserver named Vintalus. The Veiled Alliance book says he was one of the council members of Tyr’s Veiled Alliance whose familiar tipped him off that he’d been identified by Kalak’s guards. So Vintalus fled to Urik and established an alliance there. No details on what creature it was though but a canonical reference to someone having a familiar! (VA, p. 79)
This thread being laid to rest, sure, but not the discrepancy. The thread has demonstrated that, out of those that participated in the discussion, there is no clear explanation for their general absence.