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January 12, 2007, 12:49 pm

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Kanel Rull


With her gray hair in a grandmotherly bun, and wont to wear grey dresses with lace and floral brocade, few would suspect the kindly Mistress of the bakery and part time apothecary of being a child of dark magic…


Kanel Rull is an unassuming woman in her mid to later years, hair once dark brown having faded to a regal grey with silver highlights. She carries herself with an air of dignity but with the bustle of a busy grandmother attending her grandchildren on Christmas morn. She is unmarried, and has no paramours. Questions about her past are artfully brushed aside as trivial or dull.

She is most commonly seen wearing her apron and covered in flour up to her elbows, often with a brush of the white powder on her cheeks, or nose. Everyone knows she is a hard working woman, toiling hours inside her kitchen to make the loaves of bread, and pastries and pies that are the delight of the community.


Kanel Rull was initiated into the dark arts nearly two decades ago, making her on average twice the age of most PCs. She worked as an apprentice to a master baker in (Large Cosmopolitan City) and was an unhappy child, but a very beautiful one. She was involved with a young man who was a student of the dark arts who was first seduced by her buttery cinammon rolls and strong coffee, and she was seduced by his silver tongue and star-lit eyes.

She was an apt pupil, and learned the dark art quickly with some zeal. But this period of dark happiness was not to last, as the machinations of the coven of sorcerers was not go go on unchecked. A hardy band of heros broke into the organization, and caused a great amount of damage. The sanctum was destroyed, and many of the acolytes were placed into thralldom and the will of the King, who vehemently opposed the sorcerers. Her lover and teacher was not so lucky, and was not imprisoned but was one of those who was slain, his heart pierced through by the magical spear of a half-elven ranger.

Rull was never connected with the event, as she missed many meetings because she had to play the dutiful apprentice and knead the bread dough in the late hours of the night so it would have time to rise and be baked properly in the morning. This lesson was not lost on the woman and she embraced both sets of lessons with gusto.

She brought a womanly touch to the dark art, and also the painfully precise touch of an alchemist to the baking arts, both of which she excelled in. She was able to gain her ranking as a master baker and open her own small shop away from the main bakeries. Once freed of constant supervision, she was able to blend her two loves together into a more potent whole.

She started using magic in her cooking, enchanting rolling pins, and summoning lesser imps to knead dough with their hard bony hands. She brought out the best in her potions, knowing what was vital to the potion, and what was error and mistake passed down from master to student.

She lets on that she is a part time apothecary, and by doing so has made herself a small group of willing acolytes who learn from her under the aegis of being trained in cooking or herbalism. Who would suspect kind old Rull of being responsibe for the random acts of vandalism and other atrocities commited in the city.

She created an underground trade in potions and tonics of a less that savory nature in a very savory package. She sells potions that prevent pregnancy inspiring what would normaly be good girls to ‘go wild’ and embarass their families. She sells potions of enhancement to the boys wanting to be stronger, and faster to be picked for the sporting games, or to be chosen as squires in tournamnet. Who would suspect her apple tarts are the cause of adolescent rage, or that her cinammon rolls are the cause of such promiscuity.

Rull can maintain her shop in any sizeable city, especially one with a strong population and moderate law enforcement. She is very cautious and circumspect in her dealings, and expects the very same from her pupils. More than one lazy or sloppy student has failed to wake up after eating one of her Lemon Pies.

Roleplaying Notes:

Mistress Rull should be used with care, and upon discovering her deception, the players should be shocked that this kind old lady is really a machevelian beast who has caused so many problems and suffering.

Plot Hooks
Can you spare a cup of newt? - A PC mage requires a spell component, or reagent, or just a single potion or other magical draught and is referred to Rull since she is a part time apothecary and is privvy to sich things. She will evaluate the PCs and charm them if possible. The PCs might notice her coffee klatch has a less than savory clientel, with an emphasis on the ‘bad kids’ in town. She will dote on them as maligned souls just needing a little kindness.

The Doughnut of Death - An important local dignitary with a strong agenda against black magic users turns up dead. The last thing he ate was a lemon pie from Rull’s bakery. Investigation proves there was no poison in the pie, but if magic detection is used, it is discovered that the pie itself was an edible magic item. The Lemon Pie of death, so good it’ll kill you. The PCs must trace the pie back to its origin.

Raggamuffins and Blueberry Muffins - The local thieves guild has come in conflict with an equally shady organization, the eyes and runners of the Black Baker. They have decided to eliminate this competition by assassinating the Black Baker, but they are not sure who it is. The prime suspect, (I imagine the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld) is totally innocent despite being obnoxious and unpleasant. If approached, Rull will be shocked, and will offer to help gain evidence against whomever the PCs suspect is the Black Baker (Thieves plot)

Thanks to ShadowEagle for the Twisted Pendant, and to Ancient Gamer for Kanel Rull, its Norweigan for Cinnamon Roll. Tasty yet evil.

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Comments ( 7 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

December 29, 2004, 8:26
This is a very satisfying villain,a dark twist on the kind old lady that everyone loves.4/5
December 29, 2004, 18:57
Most devious! I like villains with style who are amusing still!
A cream pie fight might bwe much more perilous if the pies tossed by one side explode ;)
Surely better than some Archidreadmaster the Defiler of Worlds.
Two thumbs up.
Barbarian Horde
December 29, 2004, 21:59
Well, I don't know about that Echo. Every setting needs obvious villains along with more subtle ones such as this one. It is all a matter of presentation!

And Scrasamax, you are the master of presentation. Kanel Rull gave me a zillion ideas for use, although admitedly other kinds of plots appeared in my mind... Dark fantasy ones =)

Since you guys are all against archidreadmaster things, I wont mention the ideas of a town partially brainwashed by Kanel Rull's evil cookies, nor about the unpleasant nightmarish experiences I'll expose my players too. I wont mention that they will hunt the hidden evil from the only bastion of light, the only place where they get help (and cookies), the cosy bakery of Kanel Rull =)
December 30, 2004, 4:27
wtf? ROFL! While I like to use an ultra-evil boss sometimes, this just gives me the creeps... what if your potionsare laced with something, or Bubrudz the dwarf who forged your Holy Avenger Blade is in fact evil (evil, evil, evil) and uses it to influence you to do his bidding?
Voted Murometz
March 21, 2006, 23:45
The gray-haired cobra! A very original character. Supremely more effective than any grim warrior, bwa-haha-ing wizard, or ninja-like assassin in any campaign! I'll be using her. WELL-DONE SCRAS!
Voted Silveressa
January 9, 2011, 21:07

A great way to spice up an otherwise dreary township, and the kind of hidden in plain sight villain most players will never suspect. (or even believe when they find evidence incriminating the woman)

Voted valadaar
November 21, 2016, 12:03
This one is excellent and feels like she would fit in in a lot of the young adult modern fantasy fiction.

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