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Nicholas Maybrushby Belathauzer
I see Nick as a truly evil, two-faced SOB (I'm sure you're nothing of the sort in real life Mr. McComb). He has the potential to be an all-too-"human" Dark Lord. If anyone has read the Black Company series - I picture Maybrush as having some of Marron Shed's qualities. A pervert, thief, and killer - one who is even willing to go so far as to murder his own blood if need be. Nick should have some ties to the criminal underworld/Thieves' Guild of Melinir, perhaps even some people who know his "true secret" (Black Thomas?). Blackmail is a powerful motivator and can cause people to do drastic things out of desperation. I can definitely see some mob-style conflicts and back-stabbing going on between Nick and his crew & Black Thomas and the local Thieves' Guild.
I definitely see a lot of Al Swerengen from Deadwood in him too as Håvard put forth earlier in the thread. He's a man that definitely utilises his assets well and believes in living well as a result. Much like Al, I think he believes that he can pull the strings of Thunder Rift.
I like Firebee's ideas concerning Nick being involved with Keshute and the Wererats and Håvard's follow up regarding him being connected to controlling the trade road in and out of the Rift. In my campaign I have it setup that Nick was into slave trading (Iron Ring style) as well as banditry. The opening adventure was Escape from Zanzer's Dungeon, and still unbeknownst to the player's, it was Maybrush's bandit crew that jacked them and sold them to Zanzer to work in his mine. Maybrush's crew works the Melinir hills region too and uses one of the old mines as a hideout and loot cache. He is connected in many ways to a lot of the other villains in the Rift in my game - Keshute being one of them. He is definitely a contender for the BIG villain.