In the city of Arrythe, a mere four blocks from the city’s main gate lies the Street of the Confectioners. It is a gay place, where the aromas of freshly-baked breads, pies, and other sweets waft gently through the air, pleasuring the noses of all who walk by. A favorite destination for schoolchildren, the street is perhaps the busiest in the entire city, certainly more so than, say the Ironworkers’ Street or Mason’s Boulevard.
And near the center of the street, rising gently over the neighboring shops, is the Piemaker’s Guildhall, actually in charge of all the confectioners and bakers of the city. This is where nobles send their servants to buy the city’s finest pies and breads. It is where children peer wistfully through windows at walls of sweets and pastries, counting their pocket change again and again, hoping that they miscounted it the last dozen times.
And it is the home of the Piemaster, the man in charge of the Piemaker’s Guild, whose perpetual smile and generous nature make him the hero of children with small allowances.
And when night falls, the Piemaster gently bids the children farewell and sends them home, before shutting the doors to get to his work. He walks to the backrooms, chatting amiably with his underlings along the way, before finally entering his office and pulling out his maps. And here, his true work begins - the operation of one of the world’s most sinister societies, the Rollers.
Here he reviews the plans he has been executing for dozens of years, looking over how his minions, spread throughout the kingdom, are succeeding or failing at their evil schemes.
And, when necessary, he sends them messages. In the forms of pies. A cherry pie means to become more aggressive. Blueberry symbolizes the need to lie low. Frilled edges indicate that someone important is coming, and that the flavoring inside indicates how they should be greeted. Using pies, the Piemaster rules one of the most secret criminal operations in the world, organizing heists, assassinations, revolutions, and other masterfully executed criminal plans.
When plans are successful, and cash comes in to one of these lesser organizations, the portion belonging to the master or the organization is used to buy pies at high prices, so as to redistribute the wealth among the organization.
The Piemaster is a man of moderately advanced years, with a balding head and a growing gut. When in public, he boasts a perpetual grin, and his eyes glow with warmth and generosity. When working his other business, he is cold beyond belief, chilling the souls of men who have stared down undead with his sheer disregard for life. He dresses richly, as befits his station, and is clean-shaven.
The Piemaster can often be seen sliding a pair of copper coins between his fingertips, a nervous tic which he is not even fully aware of.
In public, the Piemaster is jovial and generous - he makes large donations to orphanages, never complains about his taxes, and even donates large sums of money for the upkeep of the Watch. He enjoys speaking with those who can approximate his considerable intelligence, and seems never to grow envious or lustful.
Yet, in private, his geniality evaporates - he becomes cruel and calculating to those who fail him, unimpressed by those who succeed, and only tolerant of his most superior underlings. He plays men like others play instruments, manipulating to his pleasure, gifting a pie here, expending an entire branch of the organization there, all so that the one he hunts might make a mistake.
Perhaps surprisingly for one with his mind, the Piemaster is a poor player of games such as chess or go, preferring instead games with a large element of chance, for he enjoys shifting the odds, slowly but surely, but without guarantee of success.
And what is an evil mastermind without sinister henchmen? The Piemaster is no different - he may make the plans, but he relies upon others to carry them out. Note: These people may eventually become stubs, but not yet.
Only one individual has ever discovered the double-dealings of the Piemaster: a brilliant, if inexperienced, sorceress known as Tsanira Grey. Piecing together rumors she heard from adventurers, manuscripts from a Roller base she took out, and information from a summoned demon, Tsanira found out the Piemaster’s business and confronted him, not realizing just how far in over her head she was. Not surprisingly, she was captured. She is know forced to serve the Piemaster, using her magics to send those messages which must move faster than a pie can travel.
To prevent her escape, the Piemaster keeps Tsanira trapped in the forms of various animals, often a caged dove or a fluffy, white cat. Tsanira is sufficiently afraid that she will no longer use her powers to attempt escape, although if rescued she would prove very grateful.
The Piemaster’s Apprentice
The Piemaster has no apprentice. He’s far too confident too believe he needs to train someone to take over when he’s gone; asides from which, that just seems a surefire way to give someone a vested interest in seeing him disappear.
Operations of the Rollers
The Rollers have pulled off hundreds of operations over their lifespan, including assassinations, incitations of wars, and grand heists. In small communities, they often have ranking members in any sort of local thieves’ guild, and they run taverns throughout the kingdom, where disproportionately high percentages of wealthy customers never wake up. Nonetheless, the higher-ranking children don’t do anything stupid unless there is an opportunity for immense reward - or if the Piemaster ordered them to.
Really, the Piemaster is just a criminal mastermind. Need a hostile secret society? Put the Piemaster in charge.
Even if he is caught, enough children and nobles like the Piemaster to much to readily believe him to be such a fiend.