Tuesday, 27 April 2010

let me tell you about my NPC: lloyd ap-hywll

This month's RPG Carnival has stopped at Exchange of Realities whose invitation to 'Let Me Tell You About My (N)PC" is too tempting.  Lloyd is a warning to those who believe all they see and everything they read. While his antics have been foiled on more than one occasion, he occupied the sweet spot of 'thorn in our side that's just too dangerous to safely remove' for over a year in one of my favourite campaigns.  Inspired by the Slavelords modules and the Mabinogion he ranges from foil to antagonist depending on your whim.

Lloyd ap-Hwyll, 10th-level illusionist (2nd edition AD&D).
Bastard son of a bastard son, Lloyd was born into a culture blessed with magical aptitude and cursed with an overestimation of warriors. Lacking the charisma to be a bard, his blood relation to nobility and resulting notoriety made him ill-suited as a thief. Adept at the written word, he became a scribe and travelled east to become a citizen of the empire where such talents would earn him wealth by careful penmanship, minor magics and embezzlement.

Lloyd travelled east and returned seven years later clad in shimmering plate armour etched with symbols of the eastern god of magic and glyphs of enchantment.  In his hands was a staff carved with glyphs. The warriors of his clan knew eastern warriors wore such armour and Lloyd was big enough to wear it. Wizards recognised the glyphs of the eastern god of magic and the magical staff he bore as a source of wizard's magic.  What wizard could wear such armour?  Even casual divinations corroborated the enchantments.

As the empire turned it's ambitions westward, they found evidence of treason among it's commanders in an Imperial hand.  Evidence of Imperial tactics are found by western heroes and the empire finds itself attacked without reason - or so it seems.  For it seems there's a double agent playing a dangerous game to prevent the empire's western outposts from going native.  Or is it someone familiar with the western nobles seeking to provoke a war they can only lose?

Lloyd's hatred of his own homeland is born out of the disdain shown to him by the nobles who shared his blood but not his standing.  His desire to humiliate the western nobles runs through every plot he incubates and every deception he creates.  Sometimes fools' gold will pay orcs to raid an Imperial trade fair, other times the plots are more elaborate and precise.  Lloyd is unpredictable in his methods yet such capriciousness hides a mind capable of giving a red dragon a fair game of chess.  Not that Lloyd is foolhardy, yet the hall he keeps on the northwest coast is rumoured to have a dragon's lair underneath it.

Lloyd's bitterness means he will seek companionship in ways to ensure he has and keeps control.  Pursuit by Lloyd feature drugged wine, transmutation magics to disguise himself and illusions.  He sometimes abducts a woman to his keep then turns her loose after three nights, wandering along the shore traumatised for pirates or worse to find.  They seldom find their way home.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Greatest Hits