Inside the Klenta Abbey at midnight
Don't look now, but there goes Father Habdur.
The two priests fell silent as the visiting Abbot passed them, head bowed. Both priests watched him out of the corner of their eyes as his quick stride carried him past the cloisters and into the courtyard beyond.
I heard he's up for promotion.
You heard right, with a service record like his, who could overlook him?
He really is an amazing man... did you hear about his most recent Purging?
Yes, bloody awful business, I cannot imagine what it must be like to kill a possessed man with your bare hands.
Where do you think he got those tattoos?
I'm not sure; they certainly don't have any religious symbols on them.
Maybe they're for his exorcisms.
Yeah, that's probably it.
A rising star in the Faith of Naz, Narx Habdur stands at 5'5' with a pale complexion and perfectly muscled body. His head is shaved, as in accordance with the priesthood's wishes, but is also covered in intricate black tattoos that cover his neck and back. Despite being in violation of the Faith of Naz's requirements for priesthood, Habdur's non-conformity has been overlooked due to his enormous talent.
About two years before the present day, the Faith of Naz was in serious trouble. It owed massive debts to multiple banks left over from enormous construction projects, and there were allegations of embezzlement and corruption within the Faith's upper tier. At this turbulent time, Habdur was initially welcomed into the ranks of the priesthood because of his fervent belief in the Faith. He had some skill at preaching, but found it unrewarding, and he set off to find his true calling by journeying through the city. No one knows precisely what happened during his travels through the city, but he claims that while traveling by a house of ill repute, he received a vision from Naz Himself.
Inside this house, there is a soul whose senses have been ensnared by a demon most foul. I charge you with the sacred duty of banishing this demon- succeed or die in the attempt.
Wandering through the house in a daze, Habdur found his demon, and used a holy symbol and three pints of oil to drive it back to the Netherworld. The formerly possessed man was reduced to a gibbering mess, but that was a small price to pay for his soul's salvation. Habdur brought the man back to be cared for by the Faith, and set out again in search of more possessed. He was so effective at purging demons that the relatives of the formerly possessed gave huge donations to the Faith for his service, and the debt disappeared overnight. Once more, the faithful returned to congregations on the promise that demons could not possess them if they kept their hearts pure.
The only difference anyone noticed about Habdur was the intricate black tattoos that had manifested themselves after his revelation. However, most of the Faith's upper members have decided that he is to be promoted to bishop in the next month; they cannot afford to do anything else.
In a Secret Location Inside the Heart of the City
The smoldering ends of the pipes were the only break in the darkness that surrounded a plain wooden table. No one saw each other in the Hole; it was not acceptable. The two guards that stood outside the room stood to attention as the final member passed by them with a quick stride.
That guy gives me the creeps, one whispered to the other as the door closed softly.
I've heard the others talking about him, why's he so special?
Ohh, the guard shuddered, Don't ask, I saw what happened to one lieutenant who decided to keep a cut of the profit from him.
The lieutenant went stark-raving mad, that's what happened, came the terse reply. His face was cut up, and there was a holy symbol burned into his chest.
A holy symbol?
Yeah, that's where that boss gets his nickname.
The Priest. Well, that makes sense.
The Priest is one of the most feared men in the drug trade to date. A brutal gang lord, he wields the absolute loyalty of his enforcers, along with a frightening reputation for torture. Every drug dealer has had a lieutenant that tried to pocket money for himself, but the Priest hasn't had one for quite some time now, due to his treatment of the last one. All that was heard by his rival crime bosses were the screams from the man that had tried to cheat the Priest.
The Priest's career started with a surge to the top, as the man searched a whorehouse for one of the prominent crime lords, driving him to insanity much as he did with his lieutenant. The Priest immediately assumed control of the now-leaderless outfit, reorganizing and kick starting it. Even though the Priest only stands 5'5', his eyes burn with an intensity that terrifies most of the people who meet him, and his taut, muscled body is covered in pagan symbols for inevitability and death inked in intricate black designs.
Of course, the Priest does not only focus on his own organization, but has a predictable expansion plan that looks like it will soon encompass the entire city. The other crime lords are well aware of his movement, but are reluctant to take any steps against him. None of them have so far successfully checked his power and influence, but there is a secret cabal that is forming outside the Hole...
An Overdue Revelation
As you might have guessed, Father Habdur the exorcist is also the terrifying Priest. Both a powerful figure within the Faith of Naz and a terror inside a loose criminal alliance referred to as the Hole, he has a completely split personality. While Father Habdur runs an exorcism school that trains new recruits how to handle today's demons, the Priest deals in all of the Sinful Concoctions of the Mind and Body, using a highly organized and sophisticated operation. Interestingly, because of Habdur's fanatical focus on demons, the Faith of Naz has largely overlooked many of the other sins that feed the city's underworld. Neither the Faith nor the Hole are completely aware of each other, but they unconsciously work together to forward each other's goals- just like Narx's personalities.
Even those who suspect Narx's condition cannot pinpoint a specific reason for it. One thing that some members of both organizations have observed is that Narx retains a little bit of one world while living in the other- so it is possible that he or someone else will eventually draw the connection, but it is impossible to say exactly what will happen if someone does. Maybe he will just kill himself...
Whether the PC's interact with Narx through the drug trade or the clergy, they should feel a strong sense of nervous energy exerted by his constant attention to his job. If they are directly employed to him, he is a grueling taskmaster that doesn't take failure kindly, but rewards hard work and success. However, since he works alone and prefers to stay behind the scenes, they may never meet him at all, despite contracting for him on several occasions. Even if the PC's steer clear of him at first, his growing influence will likely encompass them.
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? Responses (6)
Interesting and complex character. I like some of the hooks he has. There is a plot hole or two that seems to be happening here, unexplained.
So where do the marks come from?
I know the answer, or my answer, His demon.
The Demon is a smart one. This plan is working perfectly. The Demon getting its hooks in high places, eliminating the demonic competition, plus generating misery at the same time though the drug trade. (Like that link by the way) His mount's position will soon be able to grant him greater influence upon things. Working both sides of the fence allows him to remove opposition in ways unavailable to anyone else.
The Priests should be able to spot the iconory on his back though. 'is covered in pagan symbols for inevitability and death inked in intricate black designs' If the guys down in the hole know it, some of the priests should too. This should be setting up red flags to a number of priests. Thus we have them vs the Charismatic and Powerful Narx Habdur.
I like it! The dual nature is very interesting and Moon's suggestion on possible explanation is quite cool.
Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease, when the cure for possession is a drug dealing psychopathic clergyman with a acute case of MPD (which is how it read it)
I echo Moon's thoughs, an interesting and complex character. Nice presentation, good description!
BUMP. I really like the presentatin on this one!
The whole Dont loook now, but thee comes Father Habdur thingy.