Notable NPCs: The Marquis of Chute de l’Ombre

Any scholar well-versed in the history of Partum will tell you that there is no shortage of wierdos that have managed to somehow end up in positions far removed from even their most capable abilities. Men and women alike that have no business doing any task higher or more notable than court jester and yet find themselves holding sway over estates and even countries.

The Marquis of Chute de l’Ombre, Devious Maximus, is one such character. His court is closer to a gnomish polka party than anything else. He hasn’t got much of an army either. The gnomes that live in Chute de l’Ombre either in La Roche, the only city in the realm, or the Marquis’ infamous home, Castle Cambion, are devoted to their lord and will serve in whatever capacity they are able to insure his success. Rumors are that to supplement his gnome militia the Marquis will also employ dangerous assassins from faraway locales to patrol his overgrown forests and keep the peace in his court. Whispers also abound that the Marquis has other minions which he keeps hidden for just in case he needs them. Everyone know though that the Marquis isn’t from Chute de l’Ombre and a few know that he isn’t even from this plane of existence.

Nothing about the Marquis suggests he is human or even demihuman. His black, scaly skin is that of a reptile with plenty of pockmarks and scars. He has a shock of unkempt white hair that looks like a lop-sided mohawk is slowly sliding off of his skull. A large hooked nose and long pointed teeth add to his other-worldly appearance, and his ice-blue eyes glow brightly. His ears are even more pointed than those of elves. From a distance he might be mistaken for a heavily armored and well-muscled dark elf. However his shrill, cackling voice can’t be mistaken for anything even remotely faerie-like.

Devious Maximus wears the most terrifying plate armor anyone is likely to encounter. It has asymmetrical spikes jutting out here and there, and blades mounted on the forearms and lower leg pieces to enhance his ability to inflict “unarmed” damage. He wears heavy flowing capes because he likes the look whenever he strikes a dramatic pose. His primary weapon is a small two-tined silver snail fork that he keeps in a small metal sheath mounted on the breastplate of his armor. Whenever he engages in combat, or threatens to, he will draw the tiny fork out of its holder with a dramatic flourish accompanied by a sneering, overly dramatic quip such as “Looks like its go time!” or “Let’s dance, cupcake!” What happens after that point is a matter of speculation because there are rarely any survivors of these encounters that can tell the tale. Anyone not involved in the fight but witnessed its beginning will inevitably flee the area to avoid being an inadvertent casualty.

It isn’t well known how it is that Devious Maximus came to be in control of Castle Cambion in the first place. The building sits upon a known interdimensional portal so this might be how he got there. It certainly has a lot to do with why he stays and is spotted outside of the castle only on extremely rare occasions. People seeking an audience with the Marquis ought not to take anything seriously. The Marquis has a weakness for people that amuse him and will often reward them far and above what they would get from a more sober-minded lord of equivalent status.

11/26/21 Update: Following the forcible removal of Untote Druuna from Forêt Verte, Devious Maximus pledged his loyalty to the Archduke of Maelonbourg and the Wenigzustand with the stipulation that there would be minimal meddling in the internal affairs of Chute de l’Ombre. The Marquis refused to take another title, too, because doing so would mean having new stationery made.