Day 14 of the 30 Day D&D Challenge!
14. Who is your favorite NPC?
My favorite NPC was the cleric Morgan Blackshield who was a long-running nemesis for my party and featured in their quest for a five part staff. Part of that tale can be found here.
In that game world the politics were dynamic, filled with wars and shifting alliances. Morgan served a powerful theocracy called the Instrumentality who worshiped beings from another dimension known as the 12 Gods. These gods were always spoken of collectively and their individual names and roles were close guarded secrets of the church, but their divine magic was mighty and they provided other advantages to their church. Through a dimensional rift they granted weapons and equipment from a much higher technology level, on par with what player might recover from adventures like Expedition to the Barrier Peaks. Comic book fans may recognize the source I used for the Instrumentality from the classic science fiction comic Dreadstar
Morgan was one of their most influential clerics and he traveled the lands hunting the clerics of the native deities and promoting the wars fought by the theocracy. He was a refined nobleman who was as at home in high court as on the battlefield and he was a consummate planner. He had the resources of an empire and he knew how to use them. Despite the efforts of the players he sealed an alliance with the high elven kingdom. He fought in the war against the powerful human monarchy and the northern wood elves. He had a bad habit of turning up at the worst times for the party. He was part Emile Belloq, part Inspector Javier, with a dash of Darth Vader thrown in for good measure.
Morgan was the kind of villain who developed a relationship with the players. He’d turn up as a fellow guest of a noble lord, leading to verbal sparring over the dinner table. He’d banter with them as their forces fought and killed each other. There was grudging respect between Morgan and the players and their blood feud had an almost gentlemanly quality to it.
There was never a final reckoning. As often happens the campaign drifted apart before finishing, though the players were gaining the upper hand in their struggle by that time. I don’t think things would have ended well for Morgan Blackshield, but I’m sure he’d have met his end with a spiteful smile on his face.