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Who is Gareth?

by Hervé Musseau

There is basically not much difference between this possibility and the previous one (i.e. Gareth = Loki). In both cases it is an Entropic Immortal setting up an alternate identity to wreak as much as possible, both on the Prime and among Immortals.

Let's see which Entropics could possibly set up such a scheme, why, how, and what the consequences are for each of them.

4a. Gareth = Thanatos

Well, Thanatos is definitely used to such plots. Manipulating mortals or immortals to ultimately wreak chaos and destruction is his way. And he's not beyond impersonating (like impersonating Atzanteotl in HWA* to manipulate the SE, or impersonating that Hattian leader to manipulate the Storm Soldiers). Also, he's not beyond mounting big hoaxes to put his fellow Immortals off tracks (again, the HWA trilogy), thus the Vortex stuff. Since the failure of his plot in HWA, Thanatos certainly can devote himself to new plots, especially since he's now back the Hierarch of Entropy. He has many plots running here and there, slowly growing until they can become useful (a Hattian here, a Nithian there, a Burrower yet somewhere else...), and thus adding a new one in a new region isn't bad at all.

4b. Gareth = Hel

Hel has lost a lot of status (Hierarch) and power in the WotI. She certainly wants revenge and is setting up new plots. During WotI, she often used the trick of creating new churches based on some lesser heroes, gaining priests and followers that were powering her, yet believed in a very different theory. She found that useful in some cases, as these dedicated followers would sometimes do tasks her regular followers wouldn't, though this has never been too successful in her attempts so far (i.e., those churches were either short lived, or of minor use). This time, she added a new twist to it: she created a new immortal altogether, maybe basing its philosophy on some of those heroes she usurped the id some time ago. By adding some weird elements (the Vortex claim) and carefully bringing back from her realm a dead child on the DoD, she was successful in creating a new faith just like she was trying for so many years.

How she will use it remains to be seen (any ideas?) but it bodes ill for those who countered her during WotI, for sure (i.e., the PCs, Benekander, and others).

As an additional complication, Sitara might be the (evil) reincarnation of some past distant figure of Sind that Hel brought back to lead this church.

Why would Hel start her alternate faith in Sind, where she already has incarnations? Well, Gareth doesn't hit on her true following as much as he does on Ixion's (and others'). Besides, the fact that it worked out so well in Sind is maybe just luck; she has started many petty churches just about everywhere, it's just coincidence that this one worked out better.

4c. Gareth = Atzanteotl

Good old Atzanteotl is always present when there is mischief to do. However, I think Atzanteotl is already quite busy with his numerous plots running wild everywhere, and he's a bit too neurotic and impetuous IMO to come up with such a plan. I prefer Loki over him. Besides, many humanoids worship him, and Gareth's faith has spread into some orc tribes in the Black Mountains. Atzanteotl is known for letting his followers kill each other for his glory, but subverting his own followers?

4d. Gareth = Masauwu

Though never mentioned before, this association is worth mentioning IMO. Masauwu is a lesser but important immortal of Entropy whose goal is to find new recruits for his sphere. So far, it was his only attribute; but diversification is always possible.

By setting up a new id and a new faith, he creates favourable conditions for his prime goal.

4e. Gareth = another Entropic wishing to diversify Some other Entropics, which are generally held subservient to their sponsors, might have gained in power and be willing to break their chains a bit. Setting up new followings is a good means of achieving this. If they want to keep that hidden from their sponsor, creating a faith under a new system of values might work. Especially if they want to erode their sponsor's base. Sponsored by Loki, maybe? That would work especially well since they are probably themselves champions of mischief, and what better than beat Loki himself? Anyone knows of an Immortal sponsored by Loki? Other Immortals that may work: Danel Tigerstripes, ...

4f. Gareth = some neurotic evil entropic These are definitely bad choices, as they don't have the patience nor the brains to set up such plots. Immortals in this category include Orcus, Alphaks, Demogorgon...

4g. Gareth = yet another entropic

There are few left, but let's see.

Nyx: I don't see her doing that. Her interests are darkness and undead, and I can't see how this can be related. And she's not the kind of entropic to set up plots miles away from her true goals just to win (better Loki or Thanatos or Hel in that role). Talitha: Hmm, what's her field already? Is it revenge? If anyone can remind me what's her goal maybe I could come up with something. Anyway, those lesser known entropics sometimes can be up to something when no one is expecting them...

Other: Did I forget some nasty bad guy?

When playing on the Gareth = an evil immortal paradigm, I prefer to have him be Loki, as it's the one who works best in that role. However, individual DMs may have other arch-enemies for their PCs in their campaign (I remember some have Hel being heavily infiltrated everywhere especially in the DDC, for example; I'm sure some have Thanatos), in which case they can easily assign their favourite big bad guy as the one masquerading as Gareth, in yet another plot for these damn PCs!