View Full Version : Grade An Old Anti-Villain of Mine: Erebin Pullusia

2009-10-23, 02:42 PM
Well, this is a character from long ago, back when I first got into Dungeons And Dragons, just as 3.5 was nearing the end of it's life.

I was still learning the ropes then, so I really didn't know that sympathetic villan != Ravenloft Darklord, so some of it is an old shame.

That said, I like the character, even if I've started to think of ways to retcon his imprisonment.

Basically he's the ultimate Big Bad of an all-lycanthrope game which I still plan to run. He was meant to be an examination of what a Fallen Hero really would be like.

So, here he is:

Erebin Pullusia, The Moon-Sorcerer aka Stellan Lumanis, the Knightmage

Race: Afflicted Human Werefox

Class: Wizard.

Motivations: Anger, Sorrow, and Loss.

Intended Reaction: Initially Hatred (I assume the P Cs are going to initially despise their "curse", and his machinations are what give it to them), eventually Pity and Sympathy.

Story: Stellan Lumanis was born to a family of peasants. From a young age, the young boy displayed a talent for learning, and he was eventually sent to a local boarding school. There, he was known as the "little shaman" by his professors, due to his fascination with magic, and his aloof but mature demeanor. What he really was enthralled with were the paladins. He had always loved stories and myths of yore, and thought of the paladins as modern-day mythic heroes. After his graduation, he joined a prestigious order of Pelor, and although he never actually became a paladin, he became famous throughout the world as a noble and wise warrior who would defend all, regardless of race, creed, or class.

Inwardly though, the newly-christened Knightmage was troubled. His experience as a farmboy had taught him that all beings were created equal, but he saw things within his order that were inherently discriminatory. Particularly troubling to him was the priesthood's treatment of lycanthropes. They seemed to believe that somehow, being a werebeast, afflicted or not, made you inherently evil (Author's note: It is a house rule of mine that says that lycanthropy does not corrupt your original nature). And thus, he then unknowingly sowed the seeds of his downfall.

It was a clear night when he met Ellia.

On his way to his tower, Stellan came to a group of men assaulting a young dark-haired woman, who strangely did not put up any sort of protest. As he rushed to defend her, he saw that the men's weapons glimmered strangely in the twilight. Fighting off the men, he teleported both himself and the woman to safety. Patching up her wounds, he gently asked her why she did not fight them. The lady opened her mouth, but in horror and then to release a scream of pain as the full moon came over the horizon. She fell to all fours as her spine arched and her body grew. Her clothes ripped as her teeth became fangs and her nails grew out. Grey fur began to sprout as her ears became pointed and her feet and hands became paws. Her moans became animal whimpers as a tail grew out and her nose became black. Finally her face lengthened into a muzzle, and Stellan found himself looking at a beautiful shewolf. The hybrid sank to her knees as she tearfully explained that she had become a lycanthrope after eating a strange plant for food, and that the men who attacked he had been hunters sent by her village. Sobbing, she exposed her neck and begged the Knightmage to finish the job, and end her misery.

After getting over his initial shock at her transformation, Lumanis simply smiled and helped the werewolf to her feet, and asked, "Why is it a curse to you? You are still human, just with a...somewhat hard to control ability." The werebeast looked up in surprise. "You don't...hate me?" "How can I hate someone whose existence I didn't know until a second ago? Here, let me give you a place to stay." And so, Ellia (whose name he learned while escorting her to his tower) and Lumanis became inseparable, and then, the stories spoke of his companion as well. Within time their friendship blossomed into love, and they became married, though Ellia kept her lycanthropy a secret, for fear of disgracing her husband.

But their relationship, while beautiful, was to end tragically. For Stellan had enemies in the order, ones who objected to a member who seemed more interested in forgiving and redeeming their enemies then fighting them, let alone one who wasn't even a paladin. Although most kept their objections to themselves, there was one, a ruthless and jealous cardinal named Caelum, who had both the means and the motive to destroy the Knightmage. For Caelum knew that Ellia, the woman his enemy loved more then anything else in the world, was a werewolf, having obtained that knowledge from a contact in the priesthood of the god of secrets (justified, in Caelum's eyes).

And so, Caelum hatched a plot.

There was a crescent moon that fateful night. Stellan was in his study, researching a new spell, while Ellia was the tower's bedroom, newly expectant of the couple's first child. Suddenly, the Knightmage heard his young wife shriek. Rushing to the bedroom, he saw Ellia, in hybrid form, desperately fighting off a group of attackers. Attackers with silver weapons. Lumanis fought valiantly, flinging arcane magics left and right, and following up each volley with a mighty strike from his sword. But these attackers were well organized, and unbeknown to Stellan, he had been poisoned with a powerful drug. Within time, it worked its effect, and even the Knightmage's famed resolve could not hold off one of the attackers from getting past his defense of his wife, and so a silver sword met Ellia's heart. Dropping his weapons instantly, Lumanis rushed to her side and attempted to heal her, but by then, not one of his magics could save her. Ellia survived only long enough to tell her husband that she loved him, and she died in his arms. Enraged, Stellan lashed out with a newfound strength, and by the time he was done, only the leader of the murderers survived, and that was only because he had stayed outside the window of the tower while this was all going on. He looked at the exhausted Knightmage straight in the eye. "So always to monsters.", he said, and made the holy symbol of Pelor in the air. Stellan gathered up his remaining strength for one final spell, but by then, the attacker had disappeared. Defeated, distraught, and grieving, Lumanis fell to the floor, the reality of Ellia's death slowly sinking in.

Ellia's funeral was one of the most tragic, yet beautiful, events in the order of Pelor's history. Many admirers of Stellan had come, and all felt the pain of their hero. Friends of Lumanis came as well, and they were brought to tears by the sheer amount of loss that he felt. Even a few enemies of the Knightmage had come, and even they were moved by his sorrow. Yet none could match the sheer agony of the widower himself, who did not cry himself, but all who saw him knew instantly that that was only because he was so numb from his own grief. When the wake ended, Stellan slowly got up and left. Caelum, the only one not to be touched by his nemesis' suffering, inwardly smirked. The so-called Knightmage had lost his will to live, he thought, and all because of a disgusting shewolf. But Stellan had other plans in mind. For he had recognized the prodigy of one of his enemies at the funeral as the assassin who had escaped him. And in a dark epiphany, he realized who and what had killed his bride.

Moreover, he knew exactly how to enact his revenge.

It was raining when the cloaked man came to the village where Ellia once

By then, the town had long since gotten over it's hatred of lycanthropes, long having known of the stories of the werewolf they had once run off their land as a heroine. So that was why no one was suspicious when the cloaked man asked for the identity of the mysterious herb that had given her lycanthropy in the first place. He did say he was a druid after all, and it would be natural for one to wonder about such things. So an elder brought him into the woods, and showed him a flower not unlike a lily that grew on land.

It was this plant, the elder explained, that would cause the man who ate it to become a werebeast corresponding to his "totem animal", the beast that his soul was most like in nature (When the cloaked man asked how he knew this if Ellia was the only one to eat it, the elder replied that after his village had gotten over it's fear of lycanthropy, some of the villagers decided to "give themselves a boost" to their hunting skills). The cloaked man thanked him, and left.

That evening, Lumanis, now without his cloak, went back to that same spot in the woods. He took of a sample of the Moon Lily, as he had come to call it, and crushed it into a powder. Right before the full moon came up over the horizon, he swallowed it in one gulp.

The pain was excruciating. Although Stellan had expected the first transformation, willing or not, to be the most painful, even he was not prepared for this. For those few, agonizing minutes, it was as if the world went white. When he did come to, Lumanis looked at the world as never before. New eyes picked out every detail of the world with but a glance, including the luxurious silver fur that now coated him. An enhanced sense of smell allowed him to pick out detailed emotions of the conversation he had had with the elder hours before hand. Conical ears swiveled unconsciously around the new lycanthrope's head, easily hearing the sounds of the woodland creatures in the area, curious about this newcomer into their midst. A vulpine tail swished serenely about the hybrid, allowing him to easily keep balance on his new, black-furred feet. Quickly using his abilities to find more Moon Lilies, the werefox that had once been the Knightmage went under the cover of darkness to his tower, where he decided he would need a new identity in the shadowy world of conspiracy.

And so, from the depths of darkness and despair, Erebin Pullusia was born.

Comfortable in his new identity, Pullusia, who now called himself the Moon-Sorcerer, began to formulate his plan. Erebin set about first to recruit the dregs of society, the minorities, the misunderstood, the scapegoats. Wooed by his dream of a world where they could be accepted by society, they joined him in his vision. Calling themselves the Moonlords, they used their quickly growing influence to take control of a small city. Taking a bit of his wife's DNA (Did I mention that the world that this villain lives in is relatively advanced in science, if not technology?), and mixing it with his own, he then created a "daughter", Edena. Although dismayed to learn that Edena was a completely different person then that of Ellia, she was loyal to her father, a necessary requirement for his plot. His preparations complete, he ordered the Moonlords to stage a small, and utterly faux, rebellion. With the power of their master's Moon Lilies on their side, they easily succeeded, and Pullusia's ex-order moved to defeat the guerrillas. After being secretly allowed to do so by them, the order had a feast in celebration of an apparently hard-won victory, to which Erebin made sure all of his unknowing enemies, including Caelum, were invited. They dined, unaware of their vengeful rival watching in fox form from the bushes outside, nor of the powdered Moon Lily that Edena, in the guise of a maid, had put in their food, or that the Moonlords had specifically manipulated the feast into taking place on the day of the full moon.

Then, the celestial object inevitably rose...

It was utter and complete havoc. The order, now confused and upset lycanthropes, tried to escape the feast hall, only to run into the magical entrapments that the Moonlords had secretly placed around the exits. Unaware of the outside influence on their condition, the guests turned on each other, believing one of them to be responsible for their fate. All this was watched with vindictive pleasure. Finally, Erebin thought, they will now know what being a werebeast is like! Then one of the guests, an ally of the man who became the Moon-Sorcerer, unknowingly made eye contact with his former friend.

It was like a blow to the face for the once-Knightmage.

Erebin had convinced himself that the only people who would attend the doomed feast would be racists, or at least, people who needed an experience from the "other side of the fence", as it were. And yet here was an innocent-a friend, no less-who had been caught in the crossfire of his scheme. And even then, Pullusia realized, what was the point? He had told himself it was to further the cause of the lycanthropes, but what was it really? An act of petty vengeance-a vendetta that, ultimately, was more about his dead wife more then anything noble. He had put the Moonlords-people who trusted him, people who loved him-in danger for a selfish plan that would hurt more than it would help. As it turned out, Erebin Pullusia-Erebin Pullusia, the Moon-Sorcerer, who was once Stellan Lumanis, the Knightmage-was, in a sense, exactly like the men who had murdered his beloved Ellia. Erebin sank to the ground in horror, bitterly weeping for his lost innocence. But his pleas for forgiveness were too late. For the Mists of Ravenloft had felt the magnitude of his deed, and self-pity and regret for a deed already done means nothing to them. They took Pullusia, his daughter, and his most loyal Moonlords into that accursed land...

But their impisonment was not to last...

In the the that dark, sad dimension, Erebin was made Darklord of Fastidio, a nation divided by bitter and secret conflict, as it's master was divided in turn by his own inner demons. But Pullusia was not like other Darklords. For one, he was unable to seal his land in any manner, even to the point that even after other Darklords sealed their domains, passages to Moon-Sorcerer's sorrowful land still appeared. Second, Erebin himself was not bound by the borders of his domain, although he was only able to enter other lands in an ephemeral form, unable to do anything other then further his manipulations. Thirdly, and most importantly, he was able to perceive the bonds holding him to the Demiplane, and was even able to touch them at times. Although this last power gave him no amount of grief, being an eternal reminder of his punishment, it gave him hope...A hope for freedom...

And a plan to make dream reality.

Using Edena as an intermediary, Pullusia set up cells of the Moonlords throughout the strange Oubliette of Despair (Author's note: My personal name for Ravenloft. Kind of fitting, don't you think?). In Sourgane, a voodoo sorcerer called Jacob Bok answered the call of the Moon-Sorcerer, and his skills in the ancient mystical path served the Moonlords well, his loyalty ensured by his infatuation with Edena. Erebin soon saw talent in the young hougan, and he was made the werefox's apprentice. He would eventually become, along with Edena, Erebin's most valued minion.

Satisfied with his charges, Erebin, through Edena, commissioned a moonblade to be made in the secret forges of Verbrek. Unknown to the smith that made it, however, the "werewolf huntress" who had the sword made had added a trace of Moon Lily to the kild where the metal for the blade was being made, which caused the moonblade it spawned to cause any humanoid it struck to be as affected by the Moon Lilies inside of it as if he had eaten them, as well as tripling the sword's original power. Once presented with the blade, her father set about to bring the bonds that held him to the fabric of Ravenloft into true physical form. Using the darkest and most powerful of magics, he finally succeeded, and then, using all of his arcane and physical might, along with assistance from his minions, he brought the corrupted moonblade, Antumbra, down upon it.

At first, there was nothing. Then the first tear appeared.

It was small-no longer than a child's arm-but it was enough. String theory being what it was, it corrected this by turning the anomaly into a small, but stable, wormhole. Energy began to surge through it in the space it had created-and sought to expand. It was more then the weakened fabric of physical space and time around the wound could handle, and the space-along with the wormhole-widened. Soon, the forces were channeled through the now corporeal essence of the bonds ran into a new obstacle: the very fabric of space of the Demiplane of Dread. Eldrich forces tried desperately to mend the wound before it became a gate through which their plaything could escape, but even the Dark Powers couldn't cheat a force that existed before the Old Ones, creators of our universe, did. Soon, the force of the expanding quantum bubble became too strong for the Oubliette to contain, and it burst through-turning the wormhole into a portal, and consuming what was left of the bonds holding the Moon-Sorcerer. Although the Dark Powers moved desperately to fix the gap, by then its intended purpose was accomplished-Erebin and his followers had long since escaped through the gate.

Now the Moon-Sorcerer has returned to finish what he started...

And woe to anyone who gets on his way.

So...Any flaws you can see beyond the old shame part?

2009-10-23, 07:07 PM
All I can say is wow.....that's a really good story. Me likey!

2009-10-23, 11:40 PM
One thing: When you're using dashes, use two hyphens. Like so: -- It helps readers know it's not a hyphen. Haha that's the most I have to offer. Outstanding. :smallsmile:

2009-10-24, 08:42 AM
You are forgetting to mention setting details, or you are forgetting that death is a revolving door. You need to get a Barghest or Trap the Soul involved before you can have an entire order of paladins (who tend to have cleric friends) sorrowing at the death of one person.

The ending kills cat-girls... but in a way that works I think...

2009-10-24, 09:13 AM
You are forgetting to mention setting details,

It's focusing on Erebin, not the setting. I really didn't think I needed any.

or you are forgetting that death is a revolving door. You need to get a Barghest or Trap the Soul involved before you can have an entire order of paladins (who tend to have cleric friends) sorrowing at the death of one person.

Yeah, good point. I'll just say RULE OF DRAMA and move on.

Or, given that I ultimately want to have this campaign in 4E, that the sword that killed Ellia was enchanted to server the connection between soul and body completely, preventing resurrection.

The ending kills cat-girls... but in a way that works I think...

Unfortunately, that's part of the old shame. Ravenloft isn't something you can escape from without implicit approval from the Dark Powers, nor would they make someone who genuinely knows he did something evil a darklord.

Oh well, he's still good as a cursed Outlander.