Saturday, August 3, 2013

For Kid Icarus

Last night I was talking with Kid Icarus about an upcoming Greyhawk campaign he would be playing in and I wanted to share a bit of his concept with the world just so other people could appreciate his creativity as much as I do.

Kid Icarus wants to play a wizard that uses evil to fight evil. He had a name for the class but damned if I remember what it was. At any rate the thing that made me enjoy this concept so much was the part he needed my help for, his back story.


The Story

Kid Icarus' character was an orphan who was raised in a temple of a good god, possibly Pelor. For years he grew up there learning the faith and growing to adulthood. Then one day a wondering cleric joined the church and slow things began to change. The good men and women who had raised him seemed in a daze and muttered darkly to themselves. The teachings of Pelor seemed to be altered, at first subtly and then more substantially till one day he found himself in line to be sacrificed before an alter in an obscene perversion of the faith. It was then that the vile cleric revealed himself as a follower of a dark god and summoned a demon to kill the entire congregation.

Kid Icarus escaped from the blood bath and has sense spent his life tracking down the murderer of his friends and family.


Now where I come in is the Kid is looking for a location for his character to be born and a couple of good gods to throw in there. So here are my suggestions:


For events such as those in Kid Icarus' story to occur he's going to have to be a nation where such things could easily go missed. I'm thinking that the best nations would either be the Great Kingdom, the Wild Coast, or the Pomarj.

The Great Kingdom is the mostly likely source for such a tale of woe. It has a large volume of land where this could occur without outside influence; a corrupt kingship that consorts with devils and all sorts of diabolic forces; and enough of a vengeful streak in its populace to serve as a cultural touchstone for his character. As for the city I'm thinking that a repurposed Jalpa would suffice.

If that doesn't really strike a cord the Wild Coast would allow him to call the settlement an old pirate outpost and he could just make up any name he wanted which would answer why no one knew of it and why they were undisturbed during the events of his story.

The Pomarj would work by in a similar manner to the Wild Coast with one additional detail: he would have to be a refuge from the Orc and Goblinoid uprising on that blood soaked peninsula.

Evil Gods

When it comes to evil gods in the Greyhawk setting there are really only two or three that work in this story: Incabulos, Iuz, and perhaps Wastri.

Wastri is the least likely of the three vile gods to be of any real use to this story, but if Kid Icarus' character, and the majority of people in his temple, are of any race other than human then it would not be beyond the scope of a cleric of Wastri to do some sort of foul corruption upon the land as Wastri holds pretty close to the line "If it ain't human, it's dead." The problem with using Wastri is that he's pretty pathetic as an overall enemy. Sure he can cause problems, and his clergy are no joke, but when you think about evil frogs are not exactly the first thing you think about and that's really what Wastri is about: frogs, bullywugs, and amphibians. He's the creepy kid that used to harangue you about his amphibian collection and smelled of spoiled chili.

Iuz could work in this situation as the vile god responsible for the cleric, corruption, and the later murder of the temple's populace but I would be hesitant to use him. Where Wastri's motive is easy to discern Iuz is a bit more difficult and would really require the Dungeon Master to participate a bit more in the backstory than I think Kid Icarus is comfortable with. You see, Iuz is like the Stalin of Greyhawk: evil, massively powerful, and power hungry. He won't risk his clergy on an evil act just for evil's sake. There has to be some sort of underlying intent whether that's an expansion of his boarders or some sort of payback from a perceived slight is up to the Dungeon Master, but it is a question that will need to be answered. Also, unless I were to want a heavily combat oriented cleric I just wouldn't want to use Iuz.

Iuz is responsible for so much visible evil in the world of Oerth (the Greyhawk setting's name for the planet) that a character bent on revenge would be constantly rushing off to fight. That's okay if you love combat as I do, but it could really put a cramp in your ability to develop a more nuanced character as the Kid is prone to do.

No, for my money the best evil god for this situation is Incabulos. His clergy is secretive and they love to corrupt others in their nefarious plots. But more importantly is Incabulos' relationship with the major forces of evil in the universe. He is feared by both good and evil, so much so that ". . . he is feared by even the princes of Hades and the dukes of Hell . . . (Dragon 71, pg 53 Gygax). That fear alone could make demons and devils do the bidding of his clergy without the usual caveats. That's a huge bonus in crafting the story that Kid Icarus has in mind for his character and presents a situation where revenge becomes a quest - unlike with Iuz where his followers are quite literally everywhere.  I guess what I really like about Incabulos is that using his clergy as the evil focus gives Kid Icarus a situation where he has to use all of his cleverness and creativity in order to find, kill, revive and kill again those vile bastards that destroyed the lives of everyone he has ever known and loved. Those are the sort of situations  where Kid Icarus really shines and where he makes a Dungeon Master better - because if you can't keep up with him once he starts rolling then you're going to look like a complete hack incapable of even tying your shoes let alone running a game of Dungeons and Dragons.

Good Gods

Now while Kid Icarus has a pretty good idea who he would like to use as the gods his character would be following I would like to make the following suggestion: Trithereon.

Trithereon, is the god to whom I would join if my faith in Pelor were shattered and someone had to fucking pay for the vileness that had been done to me, my family, and my friends. He is the god of retribution, individuality, freedom, and self-defense - and he's aligned with Pelor which is easier to rectify than some of the other gods. By following him I would be free to fuck up the people responsible for my temple's destruction without worrying about a bullshit alignment shift (which is a worry with the Dungeon Master Kid Icarus is going to be playing under).

Further, I would have access to the domains Chaos, Good, Protection, and Strength which is a pretty good selection and for my money better than Boccob's set of Knowledge, Magic and Trickery (the Kid is leaning toward Boccob from our last conversation). Also, my choice of weapons is far better as my deity's favored weapons are the shortspear, longsword, and greatclub; whereas, Boccob's favorite weapon is the fucking quarterstaff. Trithereon gives me some kick ass options, lots of room to grow, and if another cleric doesn't like the way I'm praying, fuck him. This is a god of individuality and freedom I can do as I want.


No other god gives me as many built in protections for the sort of acts I would lay at the doorsteps of those responsible for the evils that have been visited upon me. No other god will respect the hell that I bring against those evil and vile fuckers and still hold me close to his bosom.


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