One of my game’s earliest villains, or more accurately henchman to a powerful villain, is Selkirk Deathtree. A man as troubled as he is hungry for knowledge Selkirk is the archmage that befuddled several years of games with one outrageous scheme after another. But he was never lucky enough to be the primary bad guy. Always the bridesmaid never the bride. One could hardly ask for a more dangerous bridesmaid.
Selkirk was born in the chaos and evil of the sprawling dark elven city of Kaht-Medinhk to a family of lesser nobles. Typical of most males in drow society Selkirk managed to escape a large deal of scrutiny simply by staying out of the way of more powerful individuals, especially women. He did whatever he needed to do to further his own schooling in magical arts and kept his head down. Possessing a superior knack for spellcraft Selkirk excelled and began to accumulate more and more skill in the dark and mysterious magic of the dark elves. Soon the young wizard was known to the power players in Kaht-Medinhk and started to attract unwanted attention from the matriarchs that rule the underdark of the drow elves. It became clear to Selkirk that he would be forced to face “the Reckoning”. It wasn’t going to go well for Selkirk and as he didn’t like the idea of being transformed into a drider he took it upon himself to flee the underdark altogether.
He first popped up in the surface world in a forgotten corner of the Slothjemian Coreland not long after Slothjemia had seized a measure of self-determination and independence for itself. Safe for the time being from the wiles and schemes of the dark elves Selkirk began to resume his studies. The magic of the surface world provided the wizard with even greater opportunities to expand his base of information. Soon enough he was under scrutiny again, but this time from the authorities in Slothjemia. Gradually he began to find himself climbing the ladder of success within the bureaucracy of the goblinoid nation. It took decades to accomplish but Selkirk Deathtree eventually rose to the office of Lord High Warlock under the reign of Bolafras Eldenreich. This was the dream job for Selkirk. With hardly anything else to do he could devote his full energy to magical research and he had a small army of mages to help him.
Selkirk ran into trouble though under the reign of Bolafras’ successor, Manfriedreich IV. Never one to possess superior social skills, Selkirk quickly fell under the sway of the charismatic and ever-diabolical wiles of Boris von Drakkol, the Lord High Chamberlain. Playing along with Boris’ plans got the unwary Selkirk into hot water and facing even more dire punishment than if he had stayed in Kaht-Medinhk. Boris lost his position and died a broken man. Selkirk fled and after a series of misadventures ended up in the strongest prison in Slothjemia before he was broken out and he vanished again. The deterioration of his mind continued unabated and in due course he fell under the influence of yet another sinister mastermind; Evantha Silvermane.
Evantha is the epitome of everything dark elven. Thoroughly self-absorbed and dangerous, Evantha manipulated everyone around Selkirk to get what she wanted while quietly pushing the aging archmage into obscurity. Unlike Boris, Evantha wasn’t trying to overthrow a monarch. And unlike Boris’ schemes that involved bloodshed and violence, Evantha was interested more in self-promotion and luxury living. Not everything was bad for Selkirk, though. He now resides in quiet and calm in the holy city of Havre d’Anges. The attendants there are working tirelessly to help settle the mind of the archmage so that he can complete his journey to Arborea. Having spent so much time being mentally torn and shattered it has proven to be a difficult task indeed. Selkirk’s days of adding to the stories around him are far from over, though. Even sequestered as he is in Havre d’Anges he can still be a source of information. Freed from his beloved magic the ancient dark elven man has a number of insights on all manner of topics, both useful and idiotic. The only thing that is for certain is that nobody should ever be foolish enough to give Selkirk access to a spellbook again.