Sir Edmund Verney
On the surface, Sir Edmund Verney is a very good man, deeply loved by most citizens of Karnivhal. He is a war hero, knighted on the battlefield,a curer of diseases, and one of those who purged the country of evil mages. However, he himself has a deeply hidden secret life, that he wants very much to keep hidden by any means nesscessary...
Sir Edmund wears the black and gold encrusted silken robes of a Karnivahl Court Mage, the eppulettes of a Colonel, and on one sleeve the symbol of the Upright Society of Civic Wizards, whilst on the other sleeve he wears a golden band encrusted with jewels that he earned for defending Karnivhal during the Battle of Ovark Pass three decades ago.
His hair, once a deep black ,is grey with age now, and his blur eyes have the look of someone who has cast too many spells too often. He appears to be the type who would not crush an insect, and would be unable to defend himself.
Sir Edmund Verney was the son of one of the trusted Court Mages of the country of Karnivhal, and at the age of only nine his father taught him his first cantrip. He really enjoyed learning magic and in his early twenties, he went and saved a community from a rogue mage who was extorting money from them, and won the fight with only a slight burn on one arm that healed within days.The rogue mage ended up dead, his chest burnt badly from a well aimed fireball.
When Queen Yocasta turned a minor trade dispute into a war and sent her army to force the pass into Karnivhal, he was chosen to command the battle-mages. Their spells were potent but would tire them quickly and so could not be used too long for fear of injuring their minds or their bodies.
If he had given the order to strike too soon, then it would not be enough to win the battle, if the order came too late, then it would not make enough of a difference to prevent the battle being lost, and the vital pass from being forced. He chose his moment well and unleashed his squadron at just the right time during the Battle of Ovark Pass to break the morale of her army and send it fleeing back the way it had marched so proudly hours before. For that, the Doge himself knighted him upon the battlefield.
He also found a full or a partial cure to many of the diseases that plagued the region, and his status rose still further when he helped set up chapters of the Upright Society of Civic Wizards in Karnivhal, which drove out, converted to good, or on occasion executed the powerful lone wizards who refused to obey the laws or pay their taxes and endangered those who lived nearby.
After this he could do no wrong in the eyes of the Doge and many of his citizens, so when he asked to tour the prisons and try and convert the inmates to good, he got permission at once. And it was then that his secret slide into vice began.
One of the prisoners happened to be a middle ranking gangster who had gone just a little bit too far for his own good and was near the end of a ten year sentence for attacking a City Guard.
Through him, Sir Edmund Verney let it be known to the criminal underworld that he was willing to fence stolen items and provide forbidden magic items, for a price. They were rather slow to trust him at first, but he proved to them after a few low level deals that he could indeed be trusted and soon the illegal *jobs* came rolling in.
He acted as a false alibi witness on more then one occasion, helping senior underworld bosses walk free from court. It is rumored that he used his magic at least once to kill a rival gangster from Vallermoore who was trying to intrude and take over the rackets in Karnivhal. With the permission of the criminal bosses, he became a loan shark.
One of his favorite tactics to make sure people paid their loans promptly was to cast a slow acting rotting spell upon them of his own making, that only he could cure. Providing they paid up quickly, very little damage was done, but if they could not pay up then they rotted whilst still alive and died a very painful death.
Rumors have been leaking out about him for many years, but either the Doge and his government are unable to believe the rumors are true, or they are ignoring them for their own personal reasons.
Being both a Court Mage and a member of the Upright Society of Civic Wizards, Sir Edmund can openly carry many amulets, wands and other magical items that are deadly weapons, as he has licenses to carry them which very few people have. His favourite weapon is a steel wand which, when triggered by the right word, projects a beam of red light a foot long, which can cut through all non magical weapons and most forms of armour.
He is in his sixties however, and in combat will nowdays prefer to use potent and deadly spells. Generally he will nowdays avoid violence unless attacked first or greatly angered. His spells make this old man much more of a threat then he appears to be.
The reason why he turned to the dark side is as a result of a spell-the wound he got in his twenties was from a spell that awakened his dark side.Not even he knows this.
A New Broom
The old Doge has died and the new one distrusts Sir Edmund and has sent the PC's to see if the rumours are true, and, if they are, to arrest him and bring him in for trial. Much easier said then done.He has made it clear that evidence of wrongdoing is needed before they arrest such a popular and trusted figure.
Going to the Matresses
The PC's are criminals who have been ordered to assassinate Sir Edmund, either on the orders of a rival mob boss or because he has broken the unwritten laws of organized crime.
Doing a Favour
Years ago the PC's allowed Sir Edmund to do them a favour.Now he wants them to pay it back with interest and bring him a powerful magical artifact that he would love to get his hands on.
Time is Ticking
The PC's took out a loan from Sir Edmund and must pay it back within X number of days before their bodies rot whilst they are still alive. How they get the money is up to them.
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? Responses (9)
It's good, you' never suspect such an innocent-looking man of crime connections, it's a nice twist, it just doesn't have much of an exotic flare to it.
Exceptionally done. The character has a great deal to commend it, it is very useful and easy to apply to a game.
Very good. I liked it a lot but kept thinking, 'Why would he turn to evil?' But then you explained it and it went from good to very good indeed!
Plot hook - the PCs witness a crime but, for whatever reason, do nothing. Perhaps they have no evidence, just decide not to get involved, are trying to investigate but haven't got anywhere yet. A week or so later, they hear that Sir Edmund is acting as an alibi witness for that same crime. They know he is lying. If they try to speak out, they will likely be discredited, distrusted and gain a powerful enemy. They may have to leave the kingdom. On the other hand, if they keep quiet, there actions for much of the rest of the campaign will be affected by the fact that they know Sir Edmund is not all he seems to be.
Good one, Cheka.
*Much applause and fanfare*
Good job Cheka. I enjoyed the story alot.
Yes, very enjoyable story. The plot hooks are also handled well and Iain's contribution enriches them. You could paste it in there with a small note.
Excellent background and I absolutely love the idea of this powerful mage that has done so much for the kingdom to be secretly (yet obviously and unable to prove) working with the crime lords. Great conflict.
I was disappointed by the change to evil though. Was such an opportunity there to do more background but you sort of copped out and almost as an afterthought made it the result of some magic. You are better than that Cheka! :)
A good character, though I agree with Strolen.
Such a major transition needs to be a focus, not an off-hand detail.
Great character, and I like that this great mage of morality and duty is both evil and cursed by magic. The drama of this guy's blind spot or hypocrisy (depending on your perspective) is great. Great character.
I would have preferred few a more personality details and the prose is little stunted and blunt in the first few paragraphs. It reads like list not a story: He did this, he did this, he did this.