Sunday, September 9, 2012

Hell's Hoods: Two-Faced Politician

Dispater rules the infernal metropolis of Dis, but he likes to stay behind the scenes. The day to day operation of the city is overseen by an elected mayor.  For centuries that post has been held by Bifrons.

Bifrons serves as the Dis family underboss. Though publically he keeps a bit of distance from the activities of the Hell Syndicate, the damned are not fooled. They also know that whatever candidates may rise and however fierce the campaign, Bifrons is always re-elected when the ballots are counted.

When greeting his constituents and pressing the flesh, Bifrons appears as man with a moon-shaped head and a wide, benevolent grin.  He dresses in a gold business suit.  He speaks largely in political platitudes delivered in a convivial voice.  If there were genuine babies in Hell, he would probably kiss them.

In private, he reveals more of his true nature: he’s two-faced--literally.  The two faces are sagging and ill-fitting on whatever lies beneath.  They face to each side and are stitched together in the middle with rawhide. The face on Bifrons’s right is something like his public face, but ill-fitting skinned makes his appear sunken and shadowed, his sagging grin is grotesque and idiotic. The face on his left is that of snarling monster: pale green with a mouth full of crooked teeth, and irisless eyes lolling in their sockets under bushy brows.

In either form, he smells of a bit too-thick cologne. His shadow flickers and jitters like a silent movie image.

Combat: Bifrons prefers to avoid combat and talk his way out of things.  When he’s unable to do so, he prefers the personal touch: He’s an adept wrestler, as strong as a [stone] giant. For quick resolution to problems, he can backstab like a 10th level thief with his gleaming gold letter-opener, should the opportunity present itself.

Diabolic Abilities: Bifrons can charm at will. Through his oratory, he can perform various bard-like abilities, including suggestion and inspire.

Pacts: Bifrons is willing to help those dealing with issues of politics or involved in elections. He can also reveal the damaging secrets of any politician or political leader, if they exist.  A evocator must put on formal clothes and stand in front if a mirror, practicing a speech in which calls to Bifrons have been inserted. The devil will appear in the mirror in place of the person's reflection.

Bifrons may gift his suit to a mortal.  Though it’s appearance changes depends on who wears it, it always brings success and public acclaim--for a time.  Eventually, ruin and scandal are its rewards..


Roger G-S said...

Prez'll take care of him.

Canageek said...

Suddenly, I want to see a plot where this guy loses, throwing Dis into chaos, and the party has to investigate what happened.

As they do the investigation Dis falls apart. Rioting, followed by clashes between factions, and finally open warfare.

How did he lose? Machinations by another faction in the Hell Syndicate? A young up-and comer within it whom managed to bribe the vote counters just a bit more? Interference from an outside source?

Will the party help restore order, or let Dis collapse until Dispater intervenes?

The Angry Lurker said...

"Ruin and Scandal" are my middle names lately!

Gothridge Manor said...

I'm not sure if that makes him any different from the other politicians. Although the gold suit...I'm surprised Kreskin hasn't tailored one up for himself yet.

Chris C. said...

stitched together in the middle with rawhide -- great image!

I would soooooo love to see the candidates wear gold business suits in the October Obama-Romney debates.

Trey said...

@Roger - We can only hope. :)

@Canageek - That sounds like the makings of an excellent adventure!

@Tim - Might be too monotone for Kreskin.

@Bard - That would be good--or frightening.