And I quote, "The use of magical items makes one weak, as one becomes dependent upon them and less dependent upon their own mind and skills."
This does not mean he does not have an occasional item around for emergencies or to make certain plots work (most common is anti-scrying circles).
Scarabomantus is not the most impressive of figures. He is shorter than average, slight of build, and bald. His skin is tanned and weathered from his youth. He is not handsome, but has a presence… a charisma that is notable. His eyes are his most distinctive feature: they are brown, sharp, and shine with an intelligence that is somewhat unnerving.
(Google some images of an older Ben Kinsley when he is not playing Ghandi, if you want a better feel for him.)
Scarabomantus started life among the nomadic peoples of the harsh Aviansis region. He and his tribe moved among the great ruins left by the Aviontix, a once proud civilization, one of the first Human civilizations on the planet. His people often raided the caravans that crossed their lands. Like many of his people, Scarabomantus became well read, reading the many books and buying more (The nomads have a history of scholarly pursuits). Unlike many of his peoples, he travelled beyond the boundries of his Kept (tribe) and into the cold lands.
This started him down the road that made him what he is today. He saw the best and the worst of the rest of the world. He saw new art and learned new things. He saw nobles, priests, and rich peoples oppress their poorer laborers. To finance his journies, he traded goods… starting his economic empire.
After a time, he was sickened by what he saw happening in the world. Even spending his considerable personal fortune on alieviating the woes of the world would not solve the problem. The problem was the society itself. He needed to act against the very structure of things. Knowing that those in power would be against such changes, he had to act secretly and with great cunning.
Over the years he had befriended many. Some were those he had aided. Some were those who were of a like mind. Others were agents who he paid to carefully watch his competitors. Utilizing this web of people, and honing their agentcraft, he began to wield them to make changes. Utilizing them, some hired minion, and a garish costume, he tried his hand at villiany. While it was not successful, it was very enlightening. He now realizes that he is playing chess on the scale of the world.
For decades now, he has plotted, planned, and excuted a number of "campaigns". Each one centered on overthrowing/ disrupting existing oppressive societies/ governments/ religions. He is doing all this for the "good of all people", to liberate and improve the life of all peoples. Only under enlightened central guidance can the woes of the world be resolved. He will conquer the world (while possibly destorying a small part of it) to save the rest.
An Epic Villian. If the players encounter something less than an epic plan, they must of encountered a small random element of a plot.
Note: Most of his plots are political/ social in nature. Every now and again, robbery/ crime is the motives. He then funds his other activities through those and gives the rest to the poor.
Scarabomantus enjoys Chess, Go, and Krymosi (a chess like game played in his homeland). He does not find the game itself that interesting, just what it reveals about the thinking of his opponent. He of course is a master in all these games. He is an master tactician and stratician. His plans are well thought out, intricate, and he has planned for 98% of all contingencies. He always has an escape route and a distraction around to prevent heroes from following him. If something goes off plan, he will often abandon a plan, retreat to safety, and plan anew, rather than risk proceeding foreward.
His intellectual prowess and noble purpose has allowed him to create a web of agents using espionage related ideas and techniques undeveloped before the early 20th century on our world. Blind Drops, Cypher codes/ embeded messages, double blind recruitment, and so on are commonly used. (I recommend GMs read some works on spycraft before running him). Normally his agents are minimally involved in any scheme, as hired minion are used.
No one ever sees Scarabomantus, or can connect him to anything. Normally his orders are sent by messenger (pigeon or trusted agent through a blind drop). If he is present, he often takes on the role and guise of a masked villian, often a meglomaniac (The Dark Hood, The Green Claw, or some pulpy sounding villian name(He is a careful plotter, not a fantatic. If one aspect goes south, he retreats to along well planned escape route, drops clues that shows the blame on others, and walks away, to try again another day. The mask villian his minion know is normally a meglamantic facade, carefully crafted to hide his identity.
Sometimes he has a trusted agent be the Masked Villian, as they are bigger, stronger, and more impressive than Scarabomantus.
PCs should never find him or catch him. It would be like stopping The Batman or Sherlock Homes/ Professor Moriarty. They can continue to stymie his plans. If they do so arfully, he will sometimes send them letters (under the masked psuedonym) or holiday presents. If they are in a personal crisis, he will sometimes send condolence letters and tell them that he is putting his own plans on hold until they can put their affairs in order (which is a lie, but it sounds good). Sometimes he will play a game of chess with them by post. Of all things, Scarabomantus is unfailing polite.
He is also passionate about his beliefs. He believes that all men should be treated fairly. That food and goods should be more evenly distributed, that a large gap between "classes" is a crime against the people. He does give wealth and assistance to the poor though his personal and ill gotten wealth. He is not so naive as to think that common people will not be harmed in his scheme. However when compared to the number of downtrodden and oppressed who die every day due to scarcity and the greed of the upper classes, it is nothing.
"Ah Mastern Lorning, it is nice to see you again."
Here is a foe who has cunningly disrupted a number of his plans. He gets yueltide presents sent to the winery, which freaks out the entire Hand organization.
The Don of Caraguis is a man he actually respects. While he appears to be a well meaning dupe of the elitist and empowered elite, the man has a great intellect and courage. He has stimed his plans any number of times, even connecting several seperate plans back to him. The man has retired from the game now, desperately hiding from his ex-foes. As not to worry him, Scarabmontus no longer sends presents.
Additional Ideas (0)
Plot idea: I was just thinking about Scarbmontus being approached by Order of Serpenthia. He would be torn. He would see the advantage of being immortal, yet he could see these ancient self centered puppeteers keeping the status quo. He would not attack them directly, after all he would like the secret. But could he manipulate some waundering types (i.e. player characters) into fighting them for him? Perhaps he will set the PCs up to fail, so he can swoop down and become a hero in the order. And if he fails, then his ideals are served. It is a win win. I do know, once he achieve immortality, he would turn on this organization so fast... destroying all those ancient corruptors... and utilize the technique for the "superior good" of humanity.