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ID: 3556


August 24, 2007, 2:15 am

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Oni, the Sorrow of Torment


"Some people call me a monster, and while that’s true enough, they don’t give me enough credit.  I am an artist, sir, in a criminally neglected art."


Oni appears as a pale young man of maybe sixteen or seventeen.  He has short black hair that is combed neatly back, and wears simple black clothes.  He smiles all the time, and that, coupled with his red eyes, gives him a very frightening air.


There are always fell wizards who summon demons and bind them to their service, despite the risks involved.  If a bound demon is not treated with the utmost caution, it will often escape and wreak it’s vengeance on the one who presumed to command it.

Oni is different, as demons go.  He has never been summoned, and approaches his masters on his own initiative.  He doesn’t care who he works for, or what their goals are.  He is quite happy to take a low ranking position.  Often, his master doesn’t even know what Oni’s true nature is.

The reason for all of this is that Oni’s greatest joy is causing pain, physical, emotional, and psychological.  He regards torture as an art form, and himself as a master artist.  He has centuries of experience in his chosen field, and knows how to cause the maximum amount of pain across the maximum period of time.  Oni’s playthings don’t die slowly, sometimes lingering at his hands for years.

He has extensive knowledge of the psychology, anatomy, and physiology of human(oid)s, and his understanding of medicine is unrivaled.  (He has, on very rare occasions, been persuaded to act as a doctor in addition to his normal pursuits, but those that ask him to do such a thing had damn well better make it worth his while, for their own sakes.) 

Of course, inevitably, some hero will eventually come and destroy Oni’s master.  When that happens, he simply leaves, moving on to the next despot, tyrant, madman, or evil wizard and offers his services to them.


Oni owns very little of his own, mostly relying on his current master to provide the equipment needed for his art.  At most, he carries a well-cared for set of knives, scalpels, and needles.  He perceives anyone who has to rely on actual torture-chamber equipment (such as racks, iron maidens, etc.) as lacking in imagination.  Of course, he will happily use whatever he has at his disposal.

At any given time, Oni will have anywhere from two to thirteen "pets."  These are people whom he has found to be remarkably resilient or hard to break, and he focuses his attention on them when he has nothing official to do, or if he’s bored.  They can be distinguished from his ordinary victims because each of them will have Oni’s personal symbol carved into their chest.  Depending on how long he’s had power over them, they will also exhibit various sickening injuries and deformities, and most are quite mad.  Disturbingly, there have been a few pets that Oni has had for so long that they can’t live any other way, and will not leave him if they can help it.

Roleplaying Notes

He’s best used in very small doses.  Torturing people is all he cares about, at all, and everything he does is in pursuit of that.  Being a demon, he’s extremely hard to kill permanently, so he may pop up more than once.  His true name is unknown: he gives whatever name amuses him.

He smiles all the time, is unceasingly polite, and creepy as hell.  Perhaps the PCs need to rescue someone who’s fallen into his hands, or they’re just trying to take down his current master.  He might even work in the dungeons of someone technically good- legitimate ruler, guardsmen/police, etc.

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Comments ( 13 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted MoonHunter
January 6, 2007, 18:16
Ah a wonderful character. Simple. Elegant. Totally Evil.

I could see various minions of the Evil Mastermind engaging with this demon. While he enjoys his work, he does not seem the slavering, laughing Evil, but the quiet, focused, calm evil. He might play chess, even drink tea, and discuss civilized things like art with great civility, with some of the more sophisticated minion. Of course, the psychopath and he would go their ways when there were duties to perform. However, it would make an interesting contrast scene for the "viewers at home" to see these two having a civilized discussion over tea, before going to slaughter a village and torture some people.
Voted Wulfhere
January 6, 2007, 19:47
Hearing the distant chimes of the temple bell, Oni looked up. "Please, excuse me," he told his employer as he put down his small cup of tea. "I have to turn the stakes, or they won't cook evenly," he explained, as he headed downstairs to the torture chamber.

Not a character with many uses... Rather a character with one use, that he fulfills very, very well. No moral ambiguity here.
Voted Murometz
January 6, 2007, 20:48
Moon and Wulf summed it up well, there is no 'gray' with him. He can play his role well, in any kind of game. Visceral and versatile.

the "Pets"- sweet!
Voted the Wanderer
January 7, 2007, 1:27
Actually, I could see this one as an arch villain, or the power behind one at the least.

Bravo! He is one I will have to use very soon...
Voted manfred
January 7, 2007, 6:22
Ow. I have this liking for baddies that are polite to their victims and enemies... and this one's quite a specimen. The "pets" are an especially frightening addition.

Disturbing all the way to hell.
Voted Cheka Man
January 7, 2007, 9:44
A really bad evil guy. 5/5
Voted kamina
January 7, 2007, 10:57
A wonderfully evil NPC that I would love to use as a GM (and would hate to run into as a PC).

He strikes me as the type that, after the police find the "torture chamber", the neighbors comment "but he was always so quiet and polite!"
Voted valadaar
January 7, 2007, 13:36

Great job Ria!
Voted Pariah
January 7, 2007, 22:35
I like him. Personally I think he's a very nice sort of chap. Probably even offers his "pets" a cup of tea on occasion.
Ria Hawk
January 9, 2007, 0:04
Updated: Added the part about Oni marking his pets.
September 16, 2007, 2:19
BUMPING my favorite Sorrow.
Voted Silveressa
May 17, 2008, 4:40
Delightfully evil, and best of all; he can work in nearly any setting that has a dash of the occult. An update to link to the torture implements codex would be nice small addition.
Voted WAR10CK
February 9, 2018, 14:43
Hmm. For his possessions I figured that he would have some sort of whip that he takes care of. As a demon of torment and ultimate sadist he must have a whip since that is a classic pain inflicting tool which is also extremely portable.

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