There is an important pair of fraternal twins. Possibly minor dieties, sorcerers, or maybe just an important pair of nobles. One is evil and one is good. The thing is, the one who looks evil at first glance is the good one, and vice versa.
There is a person who has a well-known reputation, probably involving something illegal. But this person is either very clever and crafty, or really like his or her privacy, for no one knows who this person actually is. As an added twist, perhaps this person is of an age that would noramlly be wildly inappropriate (say, a child is a much-feared bandit) or maybe not the expected gender or even race.
One of the most wanted assassins in the realm looks exactly like an important person (local nobility, PC, etc.) This may or may not be common knowledge.
There are those as rich as kings but dress as peasants and worry not about funding. To visit their true homes one would see wealth of untold value scattered as dirt is in a hut. They know the monetary value of their possessions but they have long lost any true value to their owners. Experience is their currency and their curse. They dispense secrets of the ages as if discussing the weather. Few things have they not experienced so that very little gives them joy. They are the lost ones looking for new life while humoring the mortals around them.
To Dougles Nye money is power, a powerful wizard only newly into lich-hood
Originally the son of servants to a noble family, yet he found that life humiliating. "How could anyone stand to serve another?" he often wondered. His father, was a greedy man who offered an explanation one day “It’s all for the coin, every demanding, humiliating thing. It’s for the coin, boy."
So when Dougles began developing the potential for magic, he found a way out of a life of servitude. Learning magic though stolen books, he made his escape. Taking the all the possessions of the lord’s vaults with him. He set out to gain as much money as possible.
His gifts for magic allowed him many advantages other merchants could only dream of. Capitalized on the use of deviation magic, allowing him to always having what the city he is in needs most, whether that is wheat or weapons, poison or drug doesn’t matter to him.
Some would say he follows war, disease, famine, and political strife like a vulture looking for a nice carcass to claim. What they don’t know is he has a hand in the conflict he supposedly follows. Assassinating ruler to incite wars, casting spells that decimating crops, acting as an information broker to both sides in a conflict. Dougles is known as a man who can get what you need to some, to other a monster who capitalizes on the suffering of others.
The lich know as Dougles Nye, prefers the title ”The Merchant of Death” for that shows just how much power money has earned him.