The Ringmaster is a demon, but not one that most people have dealt with. His name is unknown to all but Dar’Orgath, his lord. The reason the Ringmaster has the moniker that he does is due to his home - The Cursed Carnival.
Background / History
Dar’Orgath needed help with his cult, and needed someone he could trust to deliver energy and power to him. He found the one in a creature called Bargorl. Bargorl was a demon who, unlike his kin, relied more on intellect and cunning and illusion rather then raw power. Dar’Orgath saw in Bargorl a kindred spirit, a demon who was more like him then the others, and when he found out Bargorl’s unique abilities, saw a use for the creature. And so Dar’Orgath made a proposal to this creature. He would assist Bargorl in reaching the prime plane, in exchange for his fealty and his oobedience Bargorl agreed, eager to bring his brand of mayhem into a new dimension. Dar’Orgath instructed Bargorl to assist his cultists in finding new members, and collecting life energy to be used in assisting with Dar’Orgaths escape from his otherworldly prison.
Bargorl agreed to this, and Dar’Orgath contacted his high priest, and gave him the knowledge to summon Bargorl. As Bargorl was summoned into the prime plane, an idea formed inside his insidious mind. He would use something that normally brought joy and laughter into the world to instead bring sadness, misery, and ttorment He would start a carnival.
When Bargorl crossed over into the prime plane, he introduce himself to the High Priest as simply The Ringmaster, and explained his plan. He would take a group of cultists, and teach them the ways of the Carnival, and then wander the world, capturing souls and life energy, as well as providing a mobile base for the cultists to use and spread the faith. The High Priest agreed, and selected a group of cultists who had previously been entertainers. After several months of training, and practice, The Ringmaster and his troupe left the island by portal and appeared with their carts and animals and other trappings on a vast plain. Bargorl then took on the shape of a human male, and they began their journey.
The Ringmasters Wagon
In the center of the Carnival one would find the Ringmasters Wagon. Crafted to his specifications, Bargorl’s wagon is in fact a doorway to a pocket realm of his own creation. A world where he can command the very fabric of it. Generally, he maintains the illusion that it is in fact a normal wagon, until one actually steps over the threshold. Then they find themselves in a maze where the walls move, change, and sometimes just vanish. It is in this realm that Bargorl keeps the ones chosen to be sacrificed to Dar’Orgath, in a special prison section. The attributes of the realm allow it to be molded by anyone who has the willpower to do so, so even the PC’s could change the realm…if they knew that is.
When in his natural form, Bargorl appears as a skinny, boney, green humanoid. His face is feral, and is hairless. He has a shock of bright blue hair on his head, with two horns poking out of it and slanting towards the back of his head. He has yellow eyes as well. His hands have 4 fingers on them, and are clawed. He stands around 7 feet tall. However, he is generally found in his "human" form, that of a middle aged stately man, wearing a red coat, black pants, and white shirt. He wears a bright red tophat as well, and carries a cane, which is in fact his weapon. His eyes remain yellow however, but he tells people its just a trick of the light when they see them.
Bargorl is a master of illusions, and necromancy and can cast just about any known spell that may exist for those schools. However, he does not use his powers in a conventional way. He prefers to manipulate and torment people with vision, and feeds off their misery. He is not as strong as a normal demon, and is in fact barely stronger then a regular human, and about as fast as a normal human well. He has skill with other magics as well, and when in his natural form, his teeth and claws secrete a potent venom which paralyzes those who are afflicted by it.
Bargorl also has 2 very unique and powerful abilities. Mind Wipe and Enslave. They are generally used in conjunction with each other, and these powers are what make him the perfect spy, recruiter, and gatherer for the Cult.
The Mind Wipe power allows Bargorl to remove from people the memory of another person or persons. This ability works similar to a bolt of lightning, jumping from person to person until it can no longer jump. Bargorl can choose to not effect certain people. The target of the Mind Wipe is removed from the memory of anyone within range.
The way the spell works is it first wipes the memory of the target, and then it jumps to every living being within 500 feet. It then removes the memory of the target from those people, and jumps again. In this way, it eradicates the memory of the target from everyone within its range. When the spell can no longer jump, it ceases. Bargorl collects people from each village he visits in this manner, with the usage of both Mind Wipe, and Enslave.
The target of the Mind Wipe will realize that they no longer can remember who they are, but they cannot speak of this to anyone. This causes most people untold amounts of despair, which helps feed Bargorl.
The second ability, Enslave, is used in conjunction with Mind Wipe. Enslaved is generally cast on the same target as the Mind Wipe. It causes that person to be forced to do anything Bargorl or another of his choosing (generally the cultists in his employ) asks. The person is aware that their free will is no longer their own, but cannot speak to anyone of this enchantment nor can they stop themselves. This causes even more despair, which in turn feeds the demon. The person will do ANYTHING asked, even commit suicide, so strong is the enchantment. However, Enslave takes an hour to cast, so it cannot be used during a fight.
Neither of these abilities can be broken, save by the death of Bargorl. If Bargorl is killed, all the memories will flood back into anyone effected by Mind Wipe, and all Enslaved will be freed.
As a demon, Bargorl is immune to most mundane weapons. Magical weapons can harm him, and he is weak to cold.
Bargorl has with him a special cane. This is the Staff of Madness, a weapon crafted by Bargorl and with which he is very proficient with using. Beyond that, Bargorl carries no other items.
The Staff of Madness
The Staff of Madness is a special item that Bargorl alone can use. It is magical and deals the normal amount of damage one would expect a quarterstaff to deal, but is used one handed like a sword. What makes it dangerous however is its power. On contact, the staff causes the person touched to become confused and crazed, liable to attack anyone within his vicinity, use his powers, or just sit there gibbering like a loon. The effect is temporary, but each strike of the cane can cause it to lengthen. The effect can be avoided by sheer willpower however.
Bargorl enjoys messing with peoples heads. Whether its frightening the carnival goers, tormenting the enslaved, or even tormenting the cultists, Bargorl lives to amuse himself. The only people he fears are the High Priest, the Fist of Dar’Orgath, and Dar’Orgath himself. Bargorl is vain, and has a huge ego and believes he is smarter then any mere mortal. If challenged to a contest of wits, Bargorl will happily accept, but is not above cheating if needed to win.
The Carnival is in Town!
- The PC’s visit a town where the Carnival is being held. The PC’s meet someone (perhaps a love interest or even the person who offered them a job), and leave the village for a day of adventuring. Upon their return a day or so later, they return to find that the person they remember is gone, and no one else in the village recalls that person ever existing. Later on the PC’s can run into the carnival at another town and catch a glimpse of the person, but when confronted the person does not remember the PC’s and cannot confirm who he/she is.