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Lawful Entropic Immortals

by Rodger Burns

Alignment in D&D is supposed to be pretty subtle. Lawful isn't always good, chaotic isn't always evil, and the Sphere of Entropy, like Thought, doesn't favour any particular alignment. And yet the canon Entropic Immortals are almost all Chaotic lunatics. Well, no longer. In the interest of equal time, some Lawful* Immortals of Entropy.

(*ob disclaimer: May be equally as lunatic as their Chaotic counterparts.)

Skarcyk (The Caged One, The Unknowable). Celestial, Sphere of Entropy. 16th-level Immortal; AC -18; hp 240; HD 30; MV 150' (50'); #AT 3; D 3d6+9 (Punch); AM 60%; Save IM16; AL L; Str 44, Int 30, Wis 22, Dex 18, Con 50, Cha 24. Powers: Detection Suite, Dragon Breath, Height Increase, Improved Saving Throws vs. Physical Attacks. Armour: Mek-plating granting -10 to Armour Class.

Followers: Neutral or Lawful; clerics must be Lawful. Clerics receive a +1 bonus to saving throws vs. Poison or Death Ray, and a +1 bonus to saving throws vs. Paralysis or Turn to Stone.

In mortal life, Skarcyk was a Rockhome dwarf, a Prince of the royal family and a daring adventurer. Unfortunately, his boldness and his family enemies combined to expose him to an unusual and terrible magical curse - his spirit was pulled from his body, drawn to the forgotten depths of Mystara, and trapped within the form of a strange alien construct - a mek. Though Skarcyk was able to retain his will and sanity even in the face of such trauma, his circumstances nearly caused him to succumb to despair - he had lost home, family and future alike, and faced the prospect of eternal half-life in a nerveless metal body. Eventually the Immortal Masauwu contacted Skarcyk, and offered the lure of Immortality as a way for Skarcyk to escape his prison. Skarcyk accepted, and ruthlessly overcame the trials set before him - but in the process became utterly dependent on the raw strength and durability of his mek body... just as Masauwu had predicted.

As an Immortal, Skarcyk sometimes adopts the form of a broad-shouldered, dark-haired dwarven warrior. More often, though (and always in any situation where danger might present itself) he manifests as a steel-skinned insectoid mek. In either shape he is tightly controlled, lacking in empathy and social graces, coldly efficient and openly scornful of pain or similar weakness. Skarcyk is careful in his plotting, building in redundant backups for any given task or subgoal and never directly involving himself if he can avoid it; his plots often take a long time to build to fruition, but are very difficult to derail without exceptional effort.

Skarcyk's attitude towards machinery and engines is somewhat schizoid. He approves of them up to a point - they can be efficient and reliable tools for accomplishing an end or preserving a valued location. He demands absolute predictability from his machines, though - animate constructs, robots and thinking machines are anathema to him, and deserving only of a quick destruction. In Skarcyk's view, sapience is properly a property of the living, and granting it to nonliving constructs is a dangerous blurring of the rules.

Skarcyk has few real allies; even his fellow Entropics are generally dismayed at his cold, humourless manner and penchant for ruthless, controlled efficiency. His patron, Masauwu, sometimes uses Skarcyk as a foil or straight man in his schemes; younger Immortals such as Yagrai and Jammudaru sometimes seek his assistance to patch holes in Plots or predict the actions of dwarven heroes. Oddly enough, the Immortal Ka is willing to extend Skarcyk at least some grace, though the two are hardly friends. Skarcyk’s main foe is Rafiel, who considers the mek-Immortal's willingness to meddle with machinery and work from hiding to be a serious threat to his own long-term goals.

Skarcyk's followers are manipulators and fringe elements - the usefully deformed and the genetic supermen. Their normal goals are to hide within their home culture, secretly manipulating its social order to attain positions of safety and privilege and to stifle possible threats or innovations that could upset the status quo. They will oppose any outside individual or force that seems to be able to attain leadership on merit or noble deed, unless of course such a person can be co-opted into their brotherhood or brought under their control. As they sometimes have access to devices or information provided directly from their Immortal patron, these cabals can be quite dangerous.

Al-Safidiyah (The False Pasha, The Terror of the Skies). Empyreal, Sphere of Entropy. 24th-level Immortal; AC -22; hp 450; HD 38; MV 300' (100'); # AT 3; D 3d6+11 (Punch) or 3d6+33/3d6+29 (falchion +5) or 2d4+34/1d6+33 (hand axe +5); AM 70%; Save IM24; AL L; Str 60, Int 39, Wis 27, Dex 72, Con 44, Cha 51. Powers: Height Increase, Increased Movement Rate, Swoop, Weapon Mastery. Weapons: giant-sized falchion (two-handed sword) +5, +10 vs planar monsters; giant-sized hand axe +5 (returning).

Followers: Any alignment; clerics must be Neutral or Lawful. Clerics receive a bonus of +30' (+10') to all natural movement scores.

Al-Safidiyah was a djinni hero in mortal life, and fought bravely to defend his people and establish a glorious reputation that would last for all time. After his greatest victory, though, his defeated enemies arranged to communicate to him a prophecy that all his subjects would be destroyed by a dread and malevolent force from the other Elemental Planes, and that nothing he could do would stop it. Al-Safidiyah was determined to protect his tribesmen and their memory of his greatness, and so left his homeland behind to journey the Elemental Planes; he threw aside all qualms and studied magical arts and forgotten lore from the sshai, the hydrax and even the efreeti. When he returned home, though, he found that most of his tribesmen hated and feared what he had become, and despised the bargains he had made to acquire his unique abilities. In the end, Al-Safidiyah's homeland was torn apart by a civil war brought on by his own quest for irresistible power.

It's not clear, centuries later, whether Al-Safidiyah's Immortality was gained through the events that devastated his homeland, or was acquired later once the djinn noble had nothing to live for save his own pride and pleasure. What is certain is what Al-Safidiyah is now - a patron of self-discipline and personal excellence, to be sure, but also a dedicated Entropic who advocates climbing to success over the bodies of one's rivals and acquiring power at the expense of everything else. He is also a patron of forbidden knowledge and malicious prophecy, and greatly enjoys poisoning the lives of mortals in the same way as his was twisted; he is a common opponent of Immortals of the Sphere of Thought.

Most of Al-Safidiyah's plots focus on the Elemental Planes, not Mystara or the Prime. The False Pasha is smart enough to realise that Mystara has many artifacts and other prizes that can be appropriated to serve his needs, though, and so sometimes dispatches servants or armed parties to retrieve something of particular interest. He also sends followers to the Prime at the behest of his allies, though, or to distract a rival. On the Elemental Planes, he is a favoured patron of renegades, bandits, conquerors and tyrants; he demands personal discipline and constant devotion from his followers, and as a result they are often much more difficult to defeat than mere numbers would indicate.

Al-Safidiyah's closest allies are Loki and Talitha, who have a similar taste for mockery and vicious humour, and the dread Thanatos (Al-Safidiyah is perhaps the one Immortal that Thanatos doesn't need to trick or compel into his plots; the Terror of the Skies will willingly act on many of Thanatos's wishes just to make others' lives more miserable). His prime enemy is Korotiku, who is the polar opposite of Al-Safidiyah in many respects; he also hates and fears Terra, though the Hierarch of Matter is usually too busy to directly oppose the younger Immortal.

Jahkaerha (The Dweller in Darkness). Temporal, Sphere of Entropy. 11th-level Immortal; AC -8; hp 150; HD 25; MV 150' (50'); #AT 2; D 2d6+4 (Punch) or 1d8+5 (longbow +5); AM 50%; Save IM11; AL L; Str 21, Int 14, Wis 16, Dex 25, Con 19, Cha 13. Powers: Call Other, Enhanced Reflexes, Howl, Thief Special Abilities. Weapons: longbow +5, +10 vs spellcasters.

Followers: Lawful alignment; clerics must be Lawful. Clerics can cast darkness (reversed light spell) twice per day, and can sense anything inside the darkness as if they could see normally. This is a special power, in addition to normal spells granted; the spell cannot be reversed to cast light.

Jahkaerha was born a Jennite slave in the Alphatian kingdoms of Esterhold, some two hundred years ago. She proved to be strong, fast, tough and stubborn - capable enough to escape from bondage, flee into the wilderness, and begin a career of rescuing fellow slaves and staging violent insurrections against the foreign overlords. She was clever and tough enough to survive and make a difference in spite of everything the Alphatians could throw at her, and Tarastia soon prevailed on her ally Diulanna to sponsor Jahkaerha for Immortality... but the Entropic Immortals were watching the situation closely, and the would-be Epic Hero was soon suborned by the smooth lies of Masauwu. He managed to increase her hatred of Alphatia to fanatical levels, inspired in her a streak of megalomania, and guided her to Immortality in the Sphere of Entropy. She's been scrabbling around the edges of the multiverse ever since.

Jahkaerha was arguably at least a bit crazy even in her younger days as a mortal renegade - open defiance of one of Mystara's most powerful empires isn't something undertaken by the truly sane, after all. Her Immortal Path and ascension to membership in the Sphere of Entropy have only fostered these tendencies - she's cryptic, gnomic, and somehow simultaneously believes that she can inspire the Jennites to cast off Alphatian rule and create an independent, stable nation under her worship and also that death, destruction and misery are the natural and proper fate of all things in existence. She is truthful, honourable and chivalrous - in her own way; she is prone to fits of intense savagery in certain areas that Immortals from more 'civilised' backgrounds would consider off-limits, but doesn't violate the strictures of her own upbringing. At the same time, though, she is capable of extreme viciousness, considers almost no form of malice to be out-of-bounds if it'll intimidate or discomfit the opposition, and willingly abandons followers and would-be disciples that fail to live up to her standards. All in all, it's arguably surprising that she's achieved as much as she has.

Jahkaerha's followers are few and far between. She claims a few thousand worshippers hiding in cave-villages beneath the western mountains of her native Esterhold, an equal number of escaped slaves dwelling on the northeastern borderlands of the Milenian Empire, and a few other smaller groups of adherents in cavern-complexes or similar remote fastnesses scattered across and within Mystara. Her worship is notable for its arbitrary rules, pointless and often humiliating rituals, and rigid obedience to hierarchy and dogma - Jahkaerha believes (rightly or wrongly) that Alphatian wizards would love to infiltrate her followers, but that the strictures she places on the faithful are sufficient to expose their perfidy. As a result, Jahkaerha's worshippers are hidebound, coldly hostile to outsiders, naysayers and any other possible threat, and inclined to hide from or destroy anything new, unusual or unsettling. These congregations only maintain themselves because Jahkaerha is unusually active on their behalf.

Jahkaerha's only real Immortal ally is Atzanteotl, who considers her to be a useful foil for dissident groups among his Schattenalfen and goblinoid followers. Masauwu was her sponsor, but he has long since disowned the more dogmatic Immortal - something that sticks in Jahkaerha's craw. Tarastia, meanwhile, is somewhat conflicted - she's disgusted by Jahkaerka's present status, but still somewhat guilty over her role in the younger Immortal's fall to Entropy and would be interested in attempting a redemption if such seemed possible. As Jahkaerka's plots have been few, she has no real Immortal enemies - yet, but either Alphatia or Petra might start to qualify if Jahkaerha scores any serious successes in either Esterhold or the Milenian Empire.

Faust. Initiate, Sphere of Entropy. 1st-level Immortal; AC 0; hp 75; HD 15; MV 150' (50'); #AT 2; D 2d6; AM 50%; Save IM1; AL L; Str 9, Int 18, Wis 15, Dex 11, Con 14, Cha 17. Powers: Control Undead, Dragon Breath, Improved Saving Throws vs. Mental Attacks, Improved Saving Throws vs. Spell Attacks.

Followers: Any alignment; clerics may be any alignment. Clerics receive a permanent +1 bonus to their Intelligence scores (to a maximum of 18) and a +1 bonus to saving throws vs. Rods, Staves and Spells.

In mortal life, the being known as Faust was called Niccolo Juliano di Malapietra, and was the great-uncle of the current Prince of Caurenze in Glantri. He was a powerful and determined wizard, a close ally of Etienne d'Ambreville and - unknown to almost everyone - a master of the Radiance. He even managed to harness the Radiance's power in an attempt to Transcend Life Force and attain Immortality, but was defeated in the final stages of his quest by a nightshade dwelling upon the Adri Varma Plateau and his lifeforce was trapped within the Nucleus of the Spheres.

More than sixty years then passed without incident, and Niccolo di Malapietra was forgotten. Then came the Wrath of the Immortals, the alteration of the Nucleus of the Spheres and the disappearance of Rad... and Niccolo was freed, in the form of a fledgling Immortal of Entropy. He was quickly adopted by the Immortal Hel, who bestowed upon him the moniker 'Faust' and started honing the resentment engendered by six decades of entrapment and use by lesser mages as a magical power source. Unsurprisingly, Faust has taken to the attitudes of Entropy like one born to the cause.

As a very new Immortal, Faust's followers, methods and interests are still evolving. He is very cautiously acquiring followers in his native Glantri; Hel has also encouraged him to carefully proselytise in Heldann (as a patron of politics and treachery among the Knights and their followers) and among the Merry Pirate Isles (as a patron of arcane magic and destructive pillaging). Such efforts have only just begun but are yielding promising results.

Faust's primary ally at the moment is the Immortal Hel. He has no enemies at present, though Rad would become an immediate enemy should he ever return from his current exile, and Benekander is a likely candidate for a future opponent.