“I don’t recall her face, but her figure rings a bell”

Always a treat for a Game Master to be able to reintroduce a foil or a villain to trip up the players in whatever endeavor they are engaged in. The longer you can go before such an occasion the more delightful it is, too. In this case they hadn’t encountered this particular femme fatale in months of real time and close to that long in game time. Their previous dealings with this particular NPC (non-player character) rogue resulted in the players having their belongings fiddled with (not actually stolen, just swapped around between the players themselves). But this past week’s game saw things get decidedly nastier.

The players had been working under the direction of a high-ranking NPC, the Duke of Lothringen, and had just arrived at his chateau to discuss the progress being made in the newly reclaimed land of Maelonbourg. After a productive meeting and a pleasant dinner the frequently suspicious players began skulking about the estate trying to make sense of some ominous clues I had scattered about. Low and behold they uncovered a plot to kill the Duke and his heir. In the course of uncovering this, they helpfully sped up the murder of the heir and one of the players got to watch in horror as the hapless fellow was devoured by magically enhanced ants that stripped the flesh off of the Duke’s son in a handful of seconds, leaving a pile of cleanly picked bones. When the Duke was alerted by still other players, they found he had been suffocated in his sleep by malevolent bed linens. Not as messy a demise, but hardly the way to shuffle off this mortal coil.

One of the conspirators happened to be the long-lost father of one of the players, a murderous elf that the player had vowed to kill to avenge her mother. She managed to take down the son of a gun with relative ease thanks to her rolling a natural 20 on an attack roll. Unfortunately this meant that the death of the evil elf amounted to be something of an anti-climactic event. To add insult to injury the player decided to stab her father in the chest as many times as she could before she was pulled off by the Duke’s guards. Turns out to have been quite a few times. I was afraid it was going to be over too quickly but the player was rolling too well to ignore her success. End result? One of the game’s villains has been removed from play and in the most violent way that his daughter could have imagined.

Now the players have a task ahead of them to sort out what happened and why. Might they have an all new opponent in the game? Perhaps somebody that can overturn their carefully constructed world with malicious glee and great evil? Let’s hope so! MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!