7/31/2014

Icons of the Ashen Coast: The Devil and The Elven Baron

The Elven Baron believes the cults of The Devil are responsible for the death of his family members. The Devil is in no position to deny anything. 

The Devil was the main villain in the second part of my last D&D campaign. He had corrupted a respected dwarven merchant and had him unwittingly working for the hated enemy of the dwarves, the duergar! The players eventually tracked the devil down to where he was attempting apotheosis and, rather than simply banishing him, cleverly trapped him within a statue of his own master. It made sense that he would want to escape, and I had a couple of players mention they'd like to see him return as an Icon! 

Icon from game-icons.net and by Lorc

THE DEVIL
Trapped within a stone statue of his lord Mammon, the arch-devil of avarice, the Devil Vikair now plots his return and apotheosis. Secret cults work in the shadows, determined that this will pass and that they will know untold riches. 

Quote
'In gold and gem we trust. The blood price is such a small one to pay for such riches.'

Usual Location
The location of the vessel statue is ghostly Cutter's Isle. There it is guarded by the powerful wraiths that call it their home. Combined with the magical mists that protect the isle, the statue is safe from the hands of the cults that would release the Devil... for now. 

Unfortunately, the cults are everywhere. That rich merchant you just traded with could be a member, so could that nobleman suddenly come into his position through a vast wealth. Or they could simply be lucky with money. Perhaps it is the down and out, the one who has lost it all, that you should suspect? The members of the Cult of Mammon are everywhere, and are taken from all walks of life. It is easy to be paranoid. 

Common Knowledge
Some years ago adventurers defeated the Devil's plan to transform himself from a mere vizier devil into something much more terrible. The Cult of Mammon believe that this plan was merely stalled, rather than defeated, and that even now the Devil is metamorphosing within his prison. If they can recover the statue, they can help complete this transformation and be justly rewarded. 

The Cult is everywhere, but the cities of the duergar underneath the Coast are its strongholds. Some believe that every town has at least one coven that meets in secret within its walls. Most terrifying of all are the hellish servants of the Devil himself, many of which have secretly worked their way into positions of counsel for some of the Coast's most influential figures. 

Adventurers and the Icon
Many adventurers work for the Cult without even realising it, performing seemingly innocent acts that ultimately favour the Cult's goals. Others, particularly wizards and rogues seeking a quick route to wealth and power, are members themselves. None would risk stating it openly, however. 

Allies
The Red Dragon's followers will often work with the Cult of Mammon, although their shared love of greed means this usually ends in conflict. There are also rumours that at least one of the Wizards of Thrinn is a member of the Cult; whether the others are are aware of this, or if this is even true, is another matter entirely.

Enemies
The duergar elements of the Cult strive to conquer the lands of the High Thane of the Dwarves and take the vast riches that lie there. Before he was imprisoned, the Devil was working directly against the High Priestess. 

History
A vizier devil in service to Mammon, the Devil Vikair worked to corrupt dwarven trading from within, seeking to turn the greedy dwarves. This was just a small part of a greater conspiracy that involved replacing several high ranking politicians across the Coast with undead replicas so that he could secret their real counterparts away and, where possible, turn them too to the worship of his dark master. Yet even this was just the beginning of his plan to ascend to a greater form of devil and dominate the coast himself. He was defeated during his ascension by an intrepid group of adventurers and trapped within a stone statue of Mammon. 

The True Danger
Everything will be alright as long as the Devil's statue remains hidden and guarded. 

The Elven Baron was part of one of my players background in my 4e D&D game. The Elven Baron was his characters brother, and he was tasked with finding him so that he might return and rule the Barony. Evidently, he has succeeded - but things have perhaps not turned out how he might have wanted. 

Icon from game-icons.net and by Lorc

THE ELVEN BARON
The Elven Baron rules over the Elven Barony of Carrodale, a loose collection of wood elf communities in the eastern forest. He struggles to balance the needs of his people with his desire for revenge.

Quote
'This is not a responsibility I take gladly, but I will not question the will of the gods. I am their instrument and I will defeat this hidden evil; for the Barony, and for my family.'

Usual Location
The small elven settlement of Belrath Revar, the seat of the barony, deep within the Forest of Carrodale.  

Common Knowledge
The Elven Baron is a former paladin of Carriellana, the goddess of elves, music, and freedom. It is said it must pain him greatly to be constrained to a single place, even though it is amongst his own people. Far from being a free spirit, full of life, he has become reclusive, and is rarely seen outside the barony council chambers or his ancestral manor. 

He seeks the killers of his mother and sister, but is keenly invested in forging Carrodale into a great regional power. The elves, he says, have watched the Ashen Coast idly for too long. Enemies move against them, and they must be rooted out and destroyed before it is too late. 

Adventurers and the Icon
High and wood elves both live in harmony in Carrodale, although most settlements are predominated by the sylvan kin. Many are keen to see their Baron's ambitions fulfilled. A smattering of gnomes and halflings live within the forest, and are likewise called into the Barony's service. Paladins, elven and otherwise, are often in the service of the Baron, seeing it as an honour to aid him in his quest for justice.

Allies
The Barony is allied with the Kingdom of Thun and maintains close ties with The Lady of the Woods. The Paladins of the Order of the Platinum Shield would like to see the Baron as an ally, but many are unsure of his motives.

Enemies
Rightly or wrongly, the Elven Baron believes the followers of The Devil are responsible for the deaths of his mother and sister, and he pursues them with a vengeance. As followers of the evil gods, the Tenebrae Council is also a target of the Baron's wrath. 

History
Tragedy has haunted the noble family of Belrath Revar for so long many claim they are cursed. First his father was killed in a goblin raid, then his mother was murdered in mysterious circumstances, and his sister shortly thereafter. There is a dark shadow that hangs over the family.

Before reclaiming the Barony he was a paladin of Cariellana, wandering the world, bringing light and music wherever he could. 

The True Danger
Everything will be okay as long as Baron continues to place the needs of his people above his need for justice - or rather, revenge. 

So, what would your icon relationships be with the Devil or the Elven Baron?