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9/04/2014 2:07 pm  #1

The Masters of Elemental Evil

There is an evil power (so they say) that craves dominion over the four elements, a mysterious and hidden order that wields tremendous elemental power and will tolerate no rivals. Many an adventurer or scholar has come upon some ancient item or forbidden lore of great elemental power, only to be found slain the next day in some inexplicable way: drowned on dry land, burned to death though nothing around him was touched, crushed as if by unseen boulders, or stripped of flesh as if great winds were somehow blowing indoors. And the elemental item or book of lore was gone, vanished into the cryptic darkness that surrounds the Masters of Elemental Evil…

No one knows the origin or true identity of the Masters of Elemental Evil. They are believed to be four sorcerers of great power (12th level) who have willingly bound themselves to evil elemental spirits in order to become mightier still. They lust after any magic involving the four elements and will go to any lengths to acquire such, should they learn about it. Though they will take personal action if the prize is great enough, the Masters of Elemental Evil prefer to act through their apprentice sorcerers (ranging in power from 4th to 8th level) and the monks of the Order of Elemental Evil (mostly ranging from 1st to 4th level due to high attrition). All those who serve the Masters are utter fanatics who will die without hesitation for the cause. In addition, the Masters make use of conjured or summoned creatures, as well as hired assassins and other mercenaries. The Masters demand utter obedience and loyalty, and will destroy any follower or hireling who fails them in any way.

All the Masters are Lawful Evil in alignment. Each is linked to a specific element (Air, Earth, Fire, or Water) and has certain advantages and disadvantages specific to that element. A Master will make all saves against sorcery involving his or her element at +4 and will suffer no damage if the save is successful. A Master will make saves against the opposing element (Air/Earth and Fire/Water are considered opposed) at -4 and suffer maximum damage possible. The evil elemental spirits inhabiting the Masters have made them immune to aging (they are believed to be centuries old) and the sinister vitality of these spirits grants the Masters d8 hit dice rather than d4. A Master will seek to use magic related to his or her element whenever practical, and can never use magic of the opposing element; in addition, each will have an arsenal of magic items associated with his or her element. A Master is almost never encountered without an entourage of lesser sorcerers and a legion of crazed monks. For a Master of Elemental Evil to act alone would require the lure of a very powerful item related to his or her element (such as an artifact or relic) and the utmost necessity. The fanaticism of their followers notwithstanding, the Masters themselves are cowards and will always seek to flee and fight another day if they appear to be losing a combat.

Aeolos, Evil Master of Elemental Air – Aeolos is tall and slender, with a pale complexion, white hair, and shining silver eyes. He dresses in robes of sky blue with silver trim. He is particularly cunning and prefers to use traps and stratagems rather than brute force. Whenever practical Aeolos will use magic related to air, wind, or gas. He may never use magic related to earth, stone, or iron. His monks are called Winds and his apprentices are known as Griffins.

Terra, Evil Mistress of Elemental Earth – Terra is short and voluptuous, with a dusky complexion, long dark tresses, and glittering black eyes. She wears brown and green silks that don’t hide many of her ample charms. She prefers to use seduction and false promises to convince others to do her dirty work. Whenever practical Terra will use magic related to earth, stone, or iron. She may never use magic related to air, wind, or gas. Her monks are called Rocks and her apprentices are known as Gnomes.

Ignos, Evil Master of Elemental Fire – Ignos has a medium size and build, with a ruddy complexion, copper colored hair, and gleaming amber eyes. He dresses in orange robes trimmed in red. He is very impatient and prone to anger and impulsive action, and of all the Masters he is the most likely to do something reckless. Whenever practical Ignos will use magic related to fire, heat, or light. He may never use magic related to water, ice, or cold. His monks are called Flames and his apprentices are known as Salamanders.

Thalassa, Evil Mistress of Elemental Water – Thalassa is tall and willowy, with sallow skin, silvery hair, and stormy blue eyes. She wears flowing sea green silken robes. She appears very calm until the moment she flies into a sudden unexpected rage. Whenever practical Thalassa will use magic related to water, ice, or cold. She may never use magic related to fire, heat, or light. Her monks are called Waves and her apprentices are known as Hydras.

Although they are Lawful and belong to the same Order, the Masters are more rivals than allies; the Masters representing opposing elements are particularly hostile to each other. It might be possible for clever opponents to turn the Masters against one another, especially if a source of great power linked to more than one element is at stake. Given their personal sorcerous power and plethora of servants, that may offer the only realistic chance of vanquishing any of the Masters.

Michael Sipe 1979-2018
Rest in peace, brother.

9/04/2014 4:15 pm  #2

Re: The Masters of Elemental Evil

Very nicely done, Blackadder23.  Seems usable in any campaign, but I'm wondering if this is the basis for your next game? ~ cartography, writing, game design
Author, Forgotten Fane of the Coiled Goddess

9/04/2014 6:08 pm  #3

Re: The Masters of Elemental Evil

Great concept, Ben! When can we expect the full adventure manuscript?

A couple of thoughts from a game-balance standpoint: I might limit the save adjustments to +2/–2, rather than +4/–4, just to avoid bonus inflation. Also, for saves against the opposing element, I'd specify maximum damage if the save is failed (normal half rolled damage on a successful save). Just being the rules editor that I am... love the idea, though!


9/05/2014 5:10 am  #4

Re: The Masters of Elemental Evil

Yes, what DMP said.

Fantastic job! Really sparks the imagination, BA23!

Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea - A Role-Playing Game of Swords, Sorcery, and Weird Fantasy

9/05/2014 7:36 am  #5

Re: The Masters of Elemental Evil

Thanks guys!

Michael Sipe 1979-2018
Rest in peace, brother.
     Thread Starter

9/05/2014 8:07 am  #6

Re: The Masters of Elemental Evil

Agreed - very inspiring stuff! 

Blackadder23: Insanely long villain soliloquy, then "Your action?"
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face

9/08/2014 8:56 am  #7

Re: The Masters of Elemental Evil

Very nice!


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