Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Scum and Villainy

"She had to remind herself that he was not much more evil than most evil men."
- Fritz Leiber, "The Cloud of Hate"

Here's a hand full of villains involved in criminal enterprise from the streets of Terminus, last outpost of the fallen Thystaran empire, in the south of the continent of Arn:

Pnathfrem Lloigor: Vintner and boss of dives on the east of the city, between the River Fflish and Lion Street. He’s immensely fat, and balding, but also a dandy, given to dressing in ostentatious silks and gaudy jewelry. His high-pitched voice leads to rumor that he is a eunuch, but it’s an affectation. He enjoys putting off visitors of both sexes with leering glances, and suggestive quotes from his extensive collection of Zycanthine erotic literature.  Physically weak but shrewd, Lloigor might have long ago been displaced, except that he has a cousin in the Thaumaturgists Guild who has been known to come to his aid.

Sodmos Jasp: Bald, jaundiced, and skeletally-thin but for a pot-belly, he suffers from a metabolic malady no doubt caused by alchemical experimentation. He owns fourteen brothels and six pleasure dens on the west side, south of the river and north of Courtesan Street. His hated enemy to the east is Pnathfrem Lloigor. He made his start as a back-alley alchemist, and still carries on a side business selling cheap poisons, noxious contraceptives, and dubious aphrodisiacs. He is protected from enemies real and imagined by his dear, deadly, Saatha.

Saatha: An Amazonian woman in a silken veil and little else. The greenish tint to her skin and the vertical slits of her pupils in her jade eyes suggest otherwise. She wields twin, ornate scimitars which look like they're made of bronze, but are not. Their swift and deadly in her hands. It has been said that she is from a distance world--the Place of the Blood Red Sun, and that she has been bound to the service of Jasp. That's what rumors say. Saatha never speaks.

Tyrus Vaanth: Prominent slaver, and sophisticate. He's well-dressed, cruelly handsome--and just cruel. But never should it be said that he's impolite--unless one's at the end of his rapier. He's called "Whitehands" after the pristine white gloves he habitually wears. He fears contagion and sickness of all kinds. In times of stress he holds a perfumed cloth over his mouth to ward off miasmas. He seldom goes anywhere without his personal physicker, Doctor Panggiss.

Elrood Panggiss: Serves Tyrus Vaanth as both physicker and torturer. He's accent is foreign, but vague. He's rumored to be exiled from the court of some foreign potentate for unspecified crimes. His usually rigid and controlled demeanor hides a heart of sadist. He's addicted to analeptic zauphur which he carries in a silver snuff-box. His use of the stimulant feeds his growing paranoia, and fuels his cold depravity.  He's as proficient with a dagger (always envemoned with an exotic and efficient poison) as he is with scalpel, but considers it beneath him to use it except in direst need.

Handsome Sclaug: Half-ogre enforcer whose scarred visage is the opposite of his nickname.  He made a name for himself as a pit-fighter, but gave that up for for a more lucrative career working for various crime bosses.  He disdains weapons, preferring to use his ham-sized fists, augmented by (perhaps ensorcelled) cesti.  He does talk much, but is said to a pleasant singing voice.

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