Portrait of a Villain: Immeril Lithos

Written by Quinn Murphy
Illustrated by James Keegan

Oh, I know, wasn’t that a wonderful experience? I shall have to try it again.

Please sit down. I want this to be as painless as possible and you getting riled up is going to spread the poison faster. Please friend, sit.

But we are friends! I think I may have been a bad friend, though, a dreadful companion…I should have told you that the spry young Immeril before you comes at a terrible cost. I have made a deal with…well, that’s not important. What you need to know is that I am under the employ of strange powers, and those powers require me, to sometimes, make them an offering. I’m afraid I have little choice on who they pick…I certainly wouldn’t have picked you. But when they call, I must answer. Underneath this vibrant facade I am a terrible weakling, you see. Unable to walk on my own power, almost.

It’s easy to take what is happening to you personally, but please, listen with your heart when I say I hold your friendship in the highest of regards. And….don’t tense! This will hurt so much more if you do.

Immoril Lithose by James Keegan

Immeril Lithose by James Keegan

Background

The eldest son of Rykos, Lord of House ithos, Immeril was to inherit the rule of the house and all the responsibilities extending from it. Birth robbed him of the very destiny it had offered him. Immeril almost died as he emerged from the womb, and lived constantly at the border between life and death for the first two centuries of his life. Barely kept alive by his house’s considerable magics and herbalist treatments, his father deemed him too weak to command. Immeril found solace in the great Library of Lithos, reading voraciously under the tutelage of Caquel Lithose, his uncle and mentor.

Immeril learned a great deal about the outside world from books. He became a formidable scholar yet remained unsatisfied. The knowledge absorbed through years of reading left him with a hunger to see that which he read about, to experience life, to taste the world. He had grown sick of words, but what else remained to him? His father Rykos refused to allow the anemic scholar to venture further than the library, for fear of embarrassment to the house. Without sanction from Rykos and the entourage of physicks and healers that kept him alive, Immeril wouldn’t last more than a day satisfying his curiosity.

It was this very confinement that lead to the solution of his problems. Spending all of his days reading, Immeril had cleared the Blueleaf and Greystag Wings of the library. Ready to explore the wing devoted to magix, the Brightstar Wing, Imerril found something that could be of use -The Book of Unbidden Rituals. An ancient text, Imerril recognised this as an artifact from the Furum, a time even before the gods, dragons, and elves. Though he could not read the text, he devoted himself to translating and decoding the book.

Throughout the decade following his discovery of the book Immerill discovered rituals and magic that he could wield because, unlike normal magic, none of his vitality was required to wield this magic. The rituals and magic had various functions, but one in particular, Whisper of the Fel Rose, gave him the tools to live. The right incantation and a mere pin prick to the neck of the assistant, meant that the ailing scholar could share that person’s vitality. The fawning chain of medics and healers could be replaced with Immeril’s best friend and mentor Casquel.

Casquel, fatally, set aside his skepticism and reluctance to the discovery; offered his neck and died wordlessly, in so much pain that no sound came forth. The specially prepared pin drained the elf of blood and soul in seconds. Blooming from Casquel’s corpse was a flesh coloured rose. Its petals were adorned with images of Casquel’s face forever affixed in that look of dread surprise. As the ritual instructed, Immeril broke the fleshly stem, lifted the rose to his face, and inhaled its fumes. Life surged through his body for the first time ever.

The once frail son concocted a story explaining Casquel’s absence. The elder had grown tired of his weak pupil and the boredom of his life. He left, Immeril explained, to find new adventures. If anyone disbelieved the now-healthy son of Rykos, none dared to challenge him. Brimming with strength, in a few months Immeril erased centuries worth of weakness. He demanded his rightful place. His energy combined with staggering intelligence and charm quickly established his place in the house, to the delight of his father. He could advance in strength towards his destiny as a prince, then as a lord.

However, the strength attained from others does not last. Immeril would have to slay again, and slay he did. But the kingdoms of elves are not so large that it could go unquestioned for long. He also realised that by becoming king he would see even less of the world. Nobles and attendants would fawn over him and isolate the scholar from the world he long desired to see.

Immeril appealed to his father’s arrogance. It had been too many years since the glory of Lithos was clearly seen by the lesser races. Would it not be prudent to send forth an emissary to those lands, to bless them with grace of the elven people? Rykos’ arrogance could not resist the temptation. He would send forth the source of Lithos’ great pride (once its damning shame) forth to these unfortunates to give them something to aspire to in their short, brutish lives.

Immeril went forth into the world with the blessing of Rykos, the power of House Lithos, and the seductions and voices of the Furum entities.

Motivations

Immeril wants to see the world. His role as an emissary is largely self-defined. He goes on “diplomatic” missions to any place he wishes see. He enjoys meeting new people, tasting new cuisines and experiencing places that he came to know about through his centuries of exile in the Library of Lithos. He seeks to display Lithos’ greatness through charitable works, aiding those his father sees as “lesser” as much as his resources allow.

To travel, Immeril must take victims and inhale the fumes of Fel Roses. As he left the borders of his homelands, the Furum entities made themselves known to him as voices in his head. They choose for him those who are to feel the soul-wrenching fury of Immeril’s pain. Increasingly, they have chosen those with whom Immeril befriends. Immeril does not know what the Furum entities ultimately want, but it is clear that they seek him to be isolated and alone. Immeril is fighting that fate as best he can, but it’s hard to make friends when you keep on killing them.

Organization, The House Lithos

Ever since he found his strength and voice, Immeril has had the complete backing of his father. The once-prodigal son is, nearly, incapable of any wrongdoing in Rykos’ eyes. Immeril travels with the a cadre of elite warriors, the Visha, who are as capable with magic as they are with a sword. He also travels with numerous attendants of various sorts. Those who travel with Immeril feel that there is something odd about him, but none dare question too closely, fearing Rykos’ wrath.

Immeril has performed many great works for the villages and towns he has visited. He has used the magic and might of the Visha to fix bridges, heal the sick, defeat monsters plaguing the people and more. His joviality and good cheer has lead to him being dubbed the ‘Smiling One’. No one seems to notice that a few people go missing when he is in town. Every once in a while, a Furum entity demands that it be let loose in the world to feed. Immeril will either summon it as he is leaving a place, or he will free it and slay it after it has satiated itself, in order to overt any suspicion.

Plot Hooks

The Emissary has No Clothes

The Smiling One has visited a poor village. He has given comfort and aid to it’s people. The Visha even summoned rain to alleviate the drought. A few ruffians in the town have gone missing, but they’ll not be missed. One person does however, notice.

A Friend of Immeril’s….

The party gets to know Immeril in his role as a diplomat and become friends with him. They work with him to solve one of his murders. As he knows how to generate red-herrings, he neatly avoids any suspicion being cast in his direction and they allow him to see more of the world with ‘friends’ in tow. Pleasant, jovial and helpful, Immeril makes a great recurring NPC who can aid the players.

One day however, the Furum entities will call for the PC’s souls, and Immeril’s pact and true nature will be revealed.

Combat Tactics

Immeril rarely fights. He has no practical magic that he can risk revealing to his attendants or bodyguards, so always defers to the Visha whenever fighting occurs.

The Visha work together as a team. They will take turns on the offense in melee, weaving defense in the back-lines and co-ordinate deadly traps for their foes.

If faced alone, Immeril carries with him a few fel roses at all times. He can use the roses to summon Furum entities for a brief period of time. Furum entities are abominations of ever-burning flesh that attack anyone, but Immeril with mindless savagery.

Creative Commons License

Immeril Lithos by Nevermet Press is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.nevermetpress.com/contact.

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