1. Mundane People

Mundane people can fall to the side of Evil, and do the bidding of the dark powers. They have nothing invested in it, other than ... this is what they do? It is the banality of evil, the people of a nation going about their lives while their own nations commit horrible deeds. Germans during the Holocaust are the most on-point example, but almost every major horrific event in history was done by governments and organizations, where the majority of the people involved were not themselves evil, but abetted it.

In fantasy this is common. The Wheel of Time has the people of Shara showing up covered in tattoos, with slavery as a basic practice, and they follow one of the most powerful of the Forsaken. No magic, no charms, no great allegiances to the Dark One, their nation is just on the other side. This is also seen in Lord of the Rings with the Men of the East. They were the furthest from the dominion of the elves, and the closest to Mordor, so when it came time to throw hands, the Harradrim hooked up their war elephants and went to kill Gondorians.

2. Friends of Evil

A friend of evil is a normal person who has gone a step beyond and they have pledged themselves to the powers of darkness. Their gain for their pledge is typically minimal, most are working under the notion that service to the shadow will grant them boons when the Everlasting Night falls and then they will be raised to be the new nobility. Most likewise are just complete boobs who will get nothing but everlasting torture when they die nowhere near the time of the Last Battle, or they are defeated before carrying out their great and nefarious task.

3. Dreadlord

The common mistake that most Friends of Evil make is that they think the Dark Powers will grant them powers. The vast majority get nothing because most FoE don't have much to begin with. A person who has wealth, power, influence, supernatural abilities, or something else to offer other than a warm body in service to evil gets to become a Dreadlord. What is a Dreadlord? It is a normal person who has the ability to command creatures and possibly monsters that are loyal to, or bound to Evil. As a Dreadlord proves their value and worth to the powers of Evil, they are much more likely to actually win powers and boons from said dark powers.

Hold Evil - This concentration based power allows a Dreadlord to force a creature or monster of evil to stay where it is. There is no honor or loyalty among those who stand in the shadow, and if a creature or monster of the darkness senses a chance, most will attempt to turn on a Dreadlord as they would any normal being. The strength of this power is dependent on the will of the Dreadlord using it, so a hesitant or weak Dreadlord is likely to end up serving some intelligent evil creature, while an iron-willed DL can gesture and force a Dracolich to heel.

Command Evil - This would be a sort of ranked power, if monstrous servants of evil have different levels (like undead and the clerical turning ability) so that Dreadlords have the ability to compel shadow creatures and monsters to do their bidding. Weaker willed spawn are more willing to serve, while elite shadowspawn require more focus and force of will.

4. Servitor Evil-Spawn

These are the basic foot soldiers of evil, the lowest common denominator. These are the orcs, the trollocs, or whatever sword bait exists for the heroes to fight. In the first act, a lone servitor-level Evil-Spawn is typically enough to threaten an entire idyllic farming community, and require the locals to all pull together and for someone to reveal a hidden suit of armor and a magic sword from a few generations ago. By the end of the grand saga, the servitors marshal in the tens of thousands, and the heroes fight and kill them while carrying on conversations like it's a run of the mill medical drama.

The Friend of Evil might have the ability to summon Servitors of Evil, but they have little if any protection from them. A wise person who calls the orcs down on a village needs to have leverage, otherwise they're just among the last to go in the cook pots. Dreadlords generally have little fear of servitors, being able to cow a single one easily, and commanding larger numbers of them with minor inconvenience.

5. Greater Servitor Evil-Spawn

The lieutenants and elite of the forces of darkness, the Greater Servitor is not just another piece of battle fodder, they are carefully created, trained, and armed so that when the time comes they lay waste to the idiotic forces of heroic good. These are the trolls, the Myrdraals, dementors, and other monsters that slaughter soldiers of the light by the company, and only bands of heroes can hope to stop.

Dreadlords have relationships with greater servitors. While they might command a host of goblins or gibberlings with ease, when it comes time to make a skull-headed forest horror do their bidding, its a request and not a command. The Greater Servitors are the officers of evil, and they are technically equal to most dreadlords in the great hierarchy. When there is a conflict of orders, and the host of umber hulks are given two sets of commands, the human shouting orders is going to be ignored in favor of the death knight cackling with evil.

6. The Chosen

As Jesus had the Apostles, and Arthur had his knights, the eldritch forces of evil have their banner generals, warlords, and demigods. These are individuals of great power and capability who turned away from the light to find power and prestige among the damned and the elder things. Greater servitors kneel before the Chosen, Dreadlords are their servants, and when they point, armies of lesser servitors boil up from the unclean parts of the world to wage war.

The Chosen are those who are given the absolute most power under the banners of evil, and they will be the ones that command armies, destroy nations, and with a gesture summon Dreadlords and greater servitors in numbers. These are the Forsaken from the Wheel of Time, the Ringwraiths from Lord of the Rings, the Death-Eaters from Harry Potter, the official ones.

7. Elite Monsters

Elite Monsters are generally unique and legendary creatures of evil. They are typically large and enormously powerful, and the rest of the world is their prey, they generally only answer to the Chosen or avatars of the gods of evil. Even Dreadlords are powerless against them. As the forces of good grow in power, the relative threat of evil also grows, and this is an area that unless rolling in a high power setting, there isn't a light side counter. The good guys can counter armies, non-humanoid race allies, their own domesticated and allied creatures, their heroes can fight Dreadlords, and the Champions of the Light can battle the Chosen. When the shadow plays its trump card and the great dragon takes to the air, cities burn, ships are sunk, and armies perish in fire.

Ungoliant, Shelob, Shaidar Haran, the Basilisk, Smaug, Mashadar.


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