Unwanted, Creature of the Labyrinth

Background

The Labyrinth is the madhouse of the dead. It lies beneath and around the Underworld, as the Wyld surrounds Creation. It shifts and changes to confuse those within it, and like the Wyld it has natives that are hostile to all living creatures – and to the dead as well.

One of these creatures is called Unwanted. Long ago it was born as the impossible child of ghostly parents, and left outside for the spectres in fear and disgust. Strange, animalistic gods from the Labyrinth found it, took it in, and raised it as one of their own. This may be the truth, or it may be one of a dozen lies that it tells to gain sympathy. Regardless of its accuracy, this tale suits Unwanted. It has all the morals of a vicious child.

Unwanted plays cruel games with its prey. It leads them in circles with its childlike voice, laughing or crying as it thinks will work best. And the end of this path? Pits in the darkness, dangerous animals, ghosts mad with the pain of a thousand years. Its favorite game is to pit mortal enemies against one another, helping first one side, then the other, until both are bleeding to death on the ground.

Some time ago, Eight Eyes Ending fooled Unwanted at its own game. It was furiously embarrassed. Unwanted believes that if any word of this failure were to spread, its fun would be ruined for decades to come. Eight Eyes Ending promised to keep the secret if Unwanted would serve it from time to time. Its tasks here are to keep the battle moving, to ensure that the competitors find one another, and to pick off stragglers before they have the chance to regain their feet.

Appearance

Unwanted 500

Unwanted hides in walls and buildings. It is audible as a child’s voice, always slightly distant, as if just beyond the next corner. It is only visible in the dark, where it peers out from the walls as a pale-skinned child’s face with green eyes. It is most terrifying when in a closed darkened room, where it can appear with a dozen faces on every wall, spread monstrously huge across several walls, or peer in through a window like a giant. This is all illusion. Its true form is, indeed, a small and pale child, with dirty hands and a permanent maniac grin.

Demeanor

Patient, clever, and sadistic. it will build up intricate stories about being a lost child or a trapped ghost – anything that might need rescue. If its victims survive the first trap, it will laugh at them and taunt them onward into the second trap. Unwanted is very good at being shrill and aggravating. At its heart, though, it is a coward, and it wants nothing to do with a fair fight. If forced into material form it will run.

Unwanted would like nothing better than to escape from underneath Eight Eyes Ending’s blackmail. However, the plan will have to be pretty good. Unwanted knows just how powerful a deathlord can be.

Intimacies: “Bright light” (Defining, Negative), “The Joy of Treachery” (Defining, Positive), “Being found out” (Major, Negative), “Those whom my master hates” (Major, Negative), “Messing with people” (Major, Positive), “I wish to be free of Eight Eyes Ending”

Capabilities

Unwanted is naturally immaterial. It can appear during the day in Creation, but only by possessing buildings. It can cast its voice from anywhere within the building, and see everything happening within. It can project its face on the interior walls. It can leap from one structure to another if they are touching, or travel easily through the air at night. Destroying a wall or a door has no effect. Destroying the entire building would force it out in material form.

In the end, Unwanted is just a voice and a spiteful intellect. It has no real skills or talents beyond that. When material, it looks like a child of six or seven years.

Supporting Characters

  • Intaveloa, a spectre who ran across Unwanted years ago in the Labyrinth. Curious, talkative, oh so very hungry.

Questions

  • Would Unwanted bow to necromantic control in order to escape Eight Eyes Ending?
  • Is Unwanted’s story about its origins true? If not, what is it?
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Peleps Rithra, Ghost

Background

Peleps Rithra grew up in the Imperial City, surrounded by the politics of the Chosen. When she had time to think, she found it overwhelming. She rarely had time to think. Like most dynastic children, she was put through a rigorous training regimen, and held to expectations far beyond those of ordinary children. She was continuously compared to children from other families and found wanting.

One of those children was V’neef Ethaa. “Look at what V’neef Ethaa did today,” her parents would tell her. “See what she accomplished.” “You should have heard her sing.” “You could learn something from her.” Rithra hated Ethaa, and knew that she was hated in return.

After she was Chosen, she had the chance to leave the Imperial City and be apprenticed to her aunt. Rithra took the opportunity. She traveled to the northwestern Blessed Isle to live with a lesser-known branch of the family and learn the trade of the All-Seeing Eye. Even here she could not escape Ethaa. Their town was the closest on the shore to the Heptagram, where Ethaa continued to be adored and amazing, and Rithra saw it each time the school let out. Ethaa said nothing to her. Her eyes said it all.

When her apprenticeship was complete, Rithra disappeared from the official rolls of her house. She became a one-woman Wyld Hunt, seeking those who must be removed silently and without fanfare. She served the All-Seeing Eye as an assassin in all but name. Finally free from the scrutiny of others, Rithra excelled at her job. The Eye provided her with a paralytic agent that she used to bring her targets back to the Realm for justice. The silence of her victims suited her just fine.

In Wu Jian, things took a turn for the worse. Rithra was pursuing a target there, someone who should have been an easy mark. She was to return with him so that he might stand public trial. Instead, she found him dead in an alleyway, the huntress Kiri standing over him. Kiri had not only killed him, but seemed to expect thanks for her actions. Rithra was furious. The two fought briefly; Kiri fled after a scratch from Rithra’s poisoned needles left her arm paralyzed.

Rithra could feel the shame on her face each morning. Her very name was in jeopardy. She sought out the local representatives of the Eye and explained the situation. They assured her – though their assurances fell on deaf ears – that such things happen to all operatives. They sent her farther West, with a new quarry. The ship never made it.

Rithra arrived instead at Athanor Isle. She survived the shipwreck, but those who come late to the event (the players’ circle) will find her body on the beach. She will have been dead for two days when they arrive on the island. They will likely find her ghost not long after.

Appearance

Peleps Rithra 500

Rithra looks very young for an agent of the Eye, let alone for an assassin. She has pale skin with peach undertones. Her hair is long and black with henna at the tips. Her dark eyes are typical of the Blessed Isle. Her clothing is dark, with subtle purple patterns. She bears a plain katana that shows little sign of use. As her essence was always somewhat weak, she shows no outward signs of being Dragon-Blooded.

As a ghost, she bears a stab wound that matches her own sword. All her belongings except her clothing and the sword have been removed.

Demeanor

Quiet and brooding. When she was alive, she kept her eyes down and her ears open, the better to pass through crowds and cities. Rithra as a ghost is actually more forthcoming than she was when alive – she believes (perhaps correctly) that her existence will end soon, and (quite incorrectly) that nothing can harm her any more. She is glad to talk about the message sent by Eight Eyes Ending, and will even talk about her life as an assassin. In death she has gained a certain emotional distance from her previous life, and can speak of her motivations as if she had been merely acting a part in a play.

Rithra claims to remember nothing of her death – just a flash of darkness, a pain in her chest, and endless darkness. She remembers the claim that those who die will serve in the underworld, but feels somehow that this is not her destiny. Time will tell whether or not she is correct.

Intimacies: “V’neef Ethaa is a horrid bitch” (Defining, Negative), “Kiri stole a life from my house” (Major, Negative), “Once I had duty; now I am free.” (Major, Positive), “My family” (Positive), “My aunt” (Positive)

Capabilities

Rithra lacks the refined social bearing of most Dragon-Blooded. She’s an excellent social observer and analyst, and highly intelligent, but things somehow fall apart when she tries to use these skills in social environments. She chalks this up to not being a fast thinker. Rithra is graceful, having excelled at dance and acrobatics as a child, and knows how to play several instruments. She’s good at any disguise where she doesn’t need to talk much. She can move without a sound. If she takes a moment to alter her bearing, she can approach people without triggering any sense of alarm or fear.

As a newly “born” ghost, Rithra has little control over her essence. She can sense the general health of those with whom she speaks, but not much more. If she’s forced into a fight, she’ll probably lose, unless she has the opportunity for an ambush.

Her ghost carries a spectral sword that is missing from her corpse. More often, she worked through a poison that rendered any incapacitated victims into a state of suspended animation. That poison has also been stolen from her body.

Supporting Characters

  • Peleps Oana, her aunt and well-respected member of the All-Seeing Eye. Gracious, experienced, guarded.
  • Cathak Setriu, daughter of Cathak Remba, whom Rithra assassinated two years ago. Angry, pessimistic pious.

Questions

  • Who killed Rithra?
  • Is Rithra serving Eight Eyes Ending by telling newcomers about the rules of the game, or does the deathlord have some deeper plan for her?

Dead Galor the Never-King

Background

Prince Galor would never be king, and it rankled him.

He was regent, but this power alone wasn’t enough. Knowing that his distant ancestor could gainsay him on any matter was an affront to his pride. Galor wanted to be king, in name and in truth, and nothing would stand in his way.

He was reasonable at first, at least outwardly. He sought all manner of legal recourse – the courts denied him. He appealed to his family – they clung to tradition. He wasted money on alchemists who swore he would outlive Thenor – grey hairs filled his beard still. Eventually the matter consumed his every waking thought.

Galor gathered a few individuals, young, angry, and poor. He promised them silver and titles if they did as he said. Fortunately for ancient Thenor, one of them sold Galor out to his cousins. The regent and his conspirators were marched forcibly to the Glacier of Exile, where they died of exposure – and shame, as the story goes. The story of the “Never-King” was spread to remind people of the importance of tradition and humility.

The story is correct, but incomplete. Galor’s ghost returned fifty years later. This is no mere story with which to frighten children. The angry souls of Galor and his conspirators haunt the lands between the towns of Slumber’s Grasp. Since few people travel at night, they claimed few victims in the first years, and the story was slow to spread. Now the truth is coming out. The dead Never-King seeks to claim in death the throne he could never have in life.

Appearance

galor the never-king 500

Galor’s pale skin, once ruddy, is now darkened by death. His beard has just a touch of grey upon it. His black, ragged hair is tucked up into a war-helmet. He wears thick furs.

Demeanor

As one might imagine, Galor has a monomaniacal focus on his goal. Most conversations with him eventually come around to the kingdom, and then the throne, and then anger.

He’s not stupid, however. Galor has no intent of storming the castle directly. He’s not scared of the castle’s defenders (not even the automata), but he knows that the kingdom’s allies would never stand for a ghost on the throne. First he’ll need to either ruin those alliances, or find a suitable pawn.

Intimacies: “I was robbed of my chance to rule” (Defining), “I will have revenge” (Defining), “My daughter Athela” (Major, Positive)

Capabilities

Galor was a man of powerful personality when he was alive. Death has taken this from him. He may be frightening and compelling, but few would choose to listen to him. He remembers everything about the kingdom that he knew in life – which is a great deal – and has learned even more about the wilderness between the towns.

Galor has not been idle in the time between his exile and his return. He has gathered power from fell bargains and deathly manses. He can project a magical aura of terror and pull darkness from the ground to confuse and divide his enemies. He can read the flow of essence and see the boundaries of Creation.

His collaborators wield jagged weapons of unmelting ice. They are clothed in shadows and starlight, and weapons pass through them even as they kill. He himself has shaped a massive sword, Truth-Teller, from the night sky of the underworld. Its strange and shifting constellations slowly devour those it touches and cast them into the void.

Perhaps most frightening, Galor is capable of possessing the living, even those of strong will. He can hide himself within their bodies with little to no indication, save that his victim’s eyes reflect the moon strangely. All of his deathly powers remain accessible to him in this form.

Supporting Characters

  • Kitra, collaborator and ghostly advisor. Stern, tenacious, cowardly.
  • Pokka, collaborator and ghostly warrior. Taciturn, picky, disillusioned.
  • Varn, collaborator and ghostly scout. Opinionated, focused, weary.
  • Iqqo, witness to Galor’s recent movements. Elderly, conversational, addle-minded.

Questions

  • Where did Galor get all this power? With whom did he bargain?
  • Will Iko and Fia allow Galor back into the castle? Can they detect him if he’s possessing someone?
  • Where is Galor’s stronghold? Is he in the kingdom’s one shadowlands, or has he merely set traps there?

(The stars on Galor’s sword are from Globular Cluster M10. Cluster photo courtesy of NASA.)

Four Claws Red, Murderous Ghost

Background

Three years ago Tavar Vaspasian came to the Shores in search of a better life. Unfortunately, it was never to be. He was brutally murdered in a shadowlands north of Phaedros, his blood ripped from him by cultists of Serranos. Serranos saw potential in this act, and bade his worshippers conduct ancient rites that desecrated the young man’s soul. His hun rose from the bloodless body, angry and impotent.

Serranos kept this creature nearby, stoking its rage, enhancing its power, feeding it bits of the living and the dead alike. When he had worked his magic on it, the creature that was once Tavar’s higher soul was almost unrecognizable. Four Claws Red was born instead, and it listened to no one but Serranos.

Four Claws Red has been set against Serranos’ enemies in the hill-towns. Village witches that tried to bar Serranos or lay him to rest were torn apart. Guards who saw cults in operation were killed and dragged off into the woods. Four Claws Red is not subtle, so Serranos uses him as a weapon of fear.

In the past year, Four Claws Red has had only one target: Falqa Waspbane. She is often on the move, and while he has fought her three times, each time she has escaped before the fight could reach its conclusion. The first two times she assumed it was merely a hungry ghost; only during their most recent encounter has Falqa realized that she is being stalked by a single creature.

Appearance

Four Claws Red

Four Claws Red is a leering, grinning, wild-eyed ghost with dark skin and eyes. True to his name, his hands end in claws that constantly drip a glowing red. The resemblance between him and Otar is easy to see, though the way they carry themselves could not be more different.

Demeanor

Four Claws Red is one step away from being a hungry ghost. He has three modes of operation: restless waiting, utterly silent stalking, and the loud, vicious devouring of his victims. He speaks only when Serranos’ orders require clarification, or to scream angrily at his current target.

Intimacies: “I obey Serranos” (Defining), “I kill with joy” (Positive), “I will end Falqa Waspbane” (Negative), “I do not fear my end” (Major)

Abilities

Four Claws Red is a vicious hunting beast. He can smell blood at a distance of over a kilometer. He is a fearsome combatant, and every swipe of his claws brings him greater power, drawing essence from the blood that was once siphoned from him. Serranos has given him control over the void, allowing him to bend shadow and douse light, and over ash, allowing him to create choking gusts of ash-filled wind or to decay structures with a touch.

Supporting Characters

  • Alik Ten-thumbs, a victim of Four Claws Red who became a ghost himself. Fragmentary, accusatory, stationary.
  • Yuuken Jenash, who saw Serranos transform Tavar into what he is now. Fearful, stammering, on the run.
  • Ganango Carnelos, Four Claws Red’s handler when Serranos isn’t there. Boastful, daring, terrified.
  • Rika Folded-tongue, a village witch trying to stop Four Claws Red. Daring, cautious, powerful.

Questions

  • How many people know who Four Claws Red used to be?
  • Is there any way to return Four Claws Red to the ghost he used to be, or is it kinder to put him out of his misery?
  • What would Four Claws Red do if Serranos were killed?
  • How will Otar react to his brother’s plight?

Falqa Waspbane, Dead Hero

Background

When Amilar Valna arrived, she brought three score of veteran soldiers – “heroes,” as she touted them – to help clear the Shores of dangerous creatures. Falqa Waspbane was one of these. Like Valna, she does not discuss why she left the Seventh Legion, saying only that she swore an oath to House Amilar and cannot speak of it.

Falqa earned her name on the day she died, saving her queen from an enormous and terrifying wasp-creature. She was buried with the full military honors that Lookshy would have given her. She was not the first ghost to see her own funeral.

Falqa felt that she had dishonored her queen by dying in her service. For nearly a year she wandered the underworld of the Shore, unwilling to show her face. In the hills to the north she ran into a cult that worshipped Serranos, and she realized the truth – her job was yet unfinished. There was more she could do to protect her queen.

Falqa has constantly harassed Serranos’ forces, and come close to ending his existence once before being driven back by his honor guard. He doesn’t know her true identity. At this point, he has set Four Claws Red upon her for the past year and assumes that will be the end of it.

Ilsadoth knows who and what Falqa is, but not who she’s fighting. He just knows that she helps to keep down the hungry ghost population, and he approves of that, though he has encouraged her to move on to reincarnation. She refuses, convinced that she must earn Valna’s approval once again.

Appearance

Falqa Waspbane 500

Falqa has angular eyes, thick eyebrows, and a small but prominent nose. Her black hair is pulled back in a bun. She wears bright, colorful clothing when interacting with other ghosts, and dark hunter’s garb when in the wilderness. In both cases, a shirt of well-made chain is beneath.

Demeanor

Falqa was trained as a soldier in one of Creation’s finest traditions, and it shows. She’s stoic, orderly, and honorable. Stress rolls off her back like water off a duck. She’s a curt and direct commander, but not without sympathy – she knows that overworked soldiers lose battles.

Drawing Falqa our from this persona is difficult. The dead tend to stay who they were, and Falqa’s time as a professional soldier made a long-lasting mark on her. The fact that she does now in death what she did in life only reinforces that.

Intimacies: “I will see my queen safely to her end” (Major), “Duty binds us beyond death” (Defining), “Ilsadoth is an honorable man” (Positive), “I will end Four Claws Red” (Negative)

Abilities

Falqa is a powerful ghost with a firm control over her own essence and years of fighting experience. She is comfortable with a spear, bow, and knife, but primarily uses a long jagged obsidian blade named Frozen Wave, from which she draws deadly power. She’s a well-trained tracker, with sharp senses and quick reflexes. She’s not introspective.

Frozen Wave holds several powerful evocations that Falqa has learned to draw forth. Despite the effort of learning these, she much prefers them to the arcane powers that ghosts more typically employ. Frozen Wave enhances her fighting prowess, allowing her to cut into armor, slice through inanimate objects, send arcs of concussive force through the air, parry elemental or essence-based attacks, and create a devastating shockwave that throws her opponents in all directions. The sword’s power becomes stronger the longer she fights, but at a certain point that wave of power breaks, leaving her weakened until it rebuilds.

Supporting Characters

  • Rona Stonehands, the smith who forged Falqa’s mask and repairs her armor. Businesslike, testy, secretly romantic.
  • Utina Fire-eyes, a blind ally of Falqa’s who knows the secret of appearing in Creation during the day. Coarse, compassionate, frustrated.
  • Sperdan Quickstrider, one of Ilsadoth’s scouts who brings information to and from Falqa. Curious, quick-witted, professional.
  • Mehela Rumino, rival to Falqa, another of Valna’s heroes who ended up a ghost. Coarse, forceful, demanding.

Questions

  • What bonds hold Falqa to the underworld? Why has she not yet passed into reincarnation or oblivion?
  • What happened between Falqa and Rumino that made them contest against one another in the afterlife?

Serranos, the Ancient Evil

Background

Here on the shores of the Dreaming Sea, the Fair Folk invasion rewrote the fabric of the world like a tide. In its advancing and receding, the Wyld left pools behind. It was then, after the victory of the Scarlet Empress, as these last touches of chaos left the land and drifted back toward the Dreaming Sea, that Serranos rose to power among the Fair Folk of the Shores.

Power-hungry, charismatic, and desperate, Serranos led his people to a crafty assault on the Shores. Dozens of Fair Folk infiltrated the local population, taking on the form of refugees from distant lands. Within days they struck, murdering thousands and leaving hundreds more as dreamless drones before they were finally routed by local forces.

Serranos himself escaped… but he escaped alone. He lived, if one could call it that, huddled in a tiny pocket of Wyld beneath a broken manse in the northern Shores, too weak to survive on his own, too terrified of his ancient kinfolk to brave the Dreaming Sea. He created pale, weak shapes that were the shadows of those he had known before, and treated them as compatriots, the way a child might speak to a puppet.

Five years ago, Serranos made another bid to conquer the Shores, driving his puppets before him as if they were a great war-host. They were not. The effort was doomed to failure from the first; he may even have known that. Amilar Valna and her consort Ilsadoth scattered his pathetic forces and put an end to him in a shadowlands, and that was that.

Or it should have been.

Serranos’ shade rose five days later in the underworld. He struggled – oh, how his existence has been defined by strife and struggle – but his struggle has borne fruit. Ixar leads a cult that funnels him essence and the goods of the grave. He has followers and supplicants, such as Shimmering Hope, who allow his dark essence upon their souls all unknowing. Victory is all but assured. Now he need only watch from his lair beneath a crumbled manse and wait for the Shores to come tumbling down.

Appearance

Serranos

Serranos wears a silver mask with elaborate engravings that draw the eye. Some of his clothing is black; the rest displays all the range of a colorful bruise. His hair, constantly in motion, flies out wildly from behind the mask.

Demeanor

Serranos is, at heart, a walking stereotype. He is the cackling villain: plotting, pacing, ranting, lashing out. Those who would secretly observe him in his home would see a monster in human form. He cares for nothing but power over others, and it shows in how he treats those who serve him.

However, before Ixar, his other cultists, and any whom he feels might be a threat, he is a portrait of magnanimous reason. Soft yet firm, daring yet reasonable. He reveals his madness only when he grants power to his followers, a strange anima flaring around him and echoing his mad laughter. For this reason, he does this only in private, or when surrounded by loyal servants.

Serranos cannot abide mention of Ilsadoth by name. In his particular religion, that despised ruler is The Repulsive One, and his consort in the land of the living is The Murderess.

Intimatices: “I will rule Creation from a throne of pain” (Defining), “Ilsadoth and Amilar Valna shall be my slaves” (Negative), “None must know my of coming before I am ready” (Major), “Reward fools; they are easier to control” (Positive)

Abilities

Serranos is a master manipulator. His soft words and canny observations worm their way into his targets’ minds without the need for essence. He is physically weak and has little to no skill in combat, relying on his followers extensively for travel and protection. He believes that he understands much about the underworld, but in truth he has only power, not knowledge.

That power is enough, though. Serranos can “gift” individuals – both living and dead – with powerful mutations to their bodies and minds. Gifting power leaves Serranos weakened for an hour or so. Those whom he makes grow strong and swift often have visible manifestations of this power, such as bulging muscles and shimmering dark outlines behind them as they move. Those who are granted more esoteric capabilities, such as control over the elements of death (blood, bone, ash, pyre-flame, and void), show only the slightest physical indications of their new-found glory. Instead, the power twists their minds, letting Serranos nudge them in subtle ways, and eventually take over their minds in total. Even with Ixar he is far from this level of command, but only because she does not yet feel worthy to join with her god.

Serranos is not truly a ghost. Necromancy, at least at its lowest rank, has no hold on him. He is still more of the Wyld than of the underworld, though that may change in time if his existence continues.

Supporting Characters

  • Jun and Sav, the interchangeable footmen who carry him about on his litter. Silent, stoic, suicidally brave.
  • Kra, an undead raiton with a glimmer of human intelligence, who advises Serranos from atop his throne. Loud, sarcastic, cowardly.
  • Fu Efa, ash-breathing bodyguard. Suspicious, needy, brutal.
  • Zeni, swift ghostly messenger who brings Serranos’ word across the Shores. Confident, clever, laughing.

Questions

  • Where does the power than Serranos grants come from? Is he as powerful as he believes, or is he someone else’s puppet?
  • Is Ixar the only priestess of Serranos, or does he command others?
  • What treasures and artifacts has Serranos obtained from his cults?

Ilsadoth, Consort in Shadow

Background

Ilsadoth is a ghost. It has been over one hundred years since his death, and still he clings to the land where he lived. He was about forty-five years old when he died, murdered by Serranos during a bid to take over the Shores and bring it into the Wyld during Calibration. Ilsadoth’s victory over Serranos and his forces five years ago (with Valna‘s aid) is one of the proudest moments of his existence, and not just for the sweet taste of revenge.

Between his death and Valna’s arrival at the Shores, Ilsadoth made a reputation for himself by uniting the scattered ghosts who lived in the area. He was more chieftain than king, and more advisor than chieftain, but he was respected, and his words carried weight. He settled disputes both petty and weighty. He organized scouts and messengers to warn his citizens about dangerous hungry ghosts.

His people watched Amilar Valna for some time before deciding to reveal themselves. Necromancy gives even the weak initiates tremendous power over the dead, and Valna was no mere initiate. Ilsadoth eventually overruled his counselors, who would have preferred to hide themselves and their loved ones from her until she passed from the world. He approached Valna and offered the services of his network in exchange for the protection of ancestor-worship in the Shores. She agreed to that and more.

Now Ilsadoth serves at Valna’s left hand where Kellen should be her right. He has only minimal influence in Creation, but has a more-than-equal share of their rulership in the underworld.

Appearance

Ilsadoth 500

Ilsadoth is a rugged-faced, dark-skinned man with several scars. His eyes are lions-mane gold. He dresses primarily in the somber robes that were common when he died decades ago.

Demeanor

Ilsadoth on the throne is everything one would expect from a ruler of the dead: impassive and wise, a bringer of justice. He is compassionate, but unafraid of difficult solutions. He defers to Valna’s rulership, but she defers to his judgement in matters of death.

When he takes off his crown of pearls, Ilsadoth is a softer man. He sees himself as a guide to the “restless departed,” as he puts it. He’s patient, compassionate, and persistent, with a great deal of empathy for those who have recently arrived in the underworld. He remembers being angrier and more passionate in life, but prefers the calmer, quieter self that he became after his death. He’s done mourning for his old self.

That’s what he’d like to believe, at least. His anger dwells within him still. Serranos brought that out when he reappeared. Ilsadoth believes that this was merely a relapse of sorts, but secretly he knows that the mindless rage of the hun soul is something he’s still capable of.

Intimacies: “My Queen is my love” (Positive), “Speak quietly until the time for rage is come” (Major), “Reincarnation is the true path – the dead should seek it eventually”, “The restless dead have unfinished business – they should finish it” (Defining), “Kellen Sky-Eyes” (Negative)

Abilities

Ilsadoth knows the pathways of the underworld, its people and customs, and how to read its stars. His role over the last century gives him an unmatched network of allies, messengers, and ghostly warriors, which he has made an ally to the Shores.

Comfortable in his own essence, Ilsadoth can float softly through the air, manipulate shadow and sound, and see in the deepest darkness. He can see both the living world and the underworld, and manifest in the living world at night. He can even track, repel, and tame hungry ghosts, though he knows not to underestimate their power. Ilsadoth has not learned necromancy – he associates its use among ghosts with the influence of the Neverborn, and worries what their whispers might do to his mind and soul.

Supporting Characters

  • Kheroth, his chamberlain and confidante. Stuffy, clever, kind.
  • Old Huno, one of the Contagion Dead, oldest ghost in the Shores and occasional advisor to Ilsadoth. Canny, earnest, unhinged.
  • Oraisa Dark-Eyes, ghost-talker and medicine woman, Ilsadoth’s link to the mortal world before Valna arrived. Busy, talkative, disappointed.
  • Phrassa the Inquisitive, leader of Ilsadoth’s many scouts and messengers. Reserved, grumpy, anything but curious.

Questions

  • Ilsadoth knows much about the underworld and its workings, more than he could have learned from simple observation. Where did he learn this?
  • What does Valna see in Ilsadoth? Why did she take him as consort?
  • What is Ilsadoth’s plan if Valna turns on his people? Does she have a plan if he decides to betray her?
  • Who was Ilsadoth before his death? Why did he cling to existence?