Friday, February 7, 2014


It’s no secret I’m a fan of good and neutral PCs.  That doesn’t mean PCs have to be boring or a goody two-shoes—Han shot first, after all—but at the end of the day I want to save the princess, not sell her into slavery.  So even though Bestiary 4 gives us stats for the empyreal lords, I think it’s a bad idea to start fighting them.

That said…well, if you want to set up a throw-down between PCs and one of the empyreal lords, Vildeis is an excellent place to start. 

After all, this is a being so horrified by evil she tore out her own eyes rather than suffer seeing it.  Good she may be, but that doesn’t mean she’s stable.  And martyrs are not renowned for their appreciation of nuance or shades of gray—being uncompromising tends to be a prerequisite of the breed.  Vildeis as written understands that not all goodly creatures can live up to her example, but Vildeis in your campaign might be less forgiving…and if pressed, she might whip out her bloody knife against even chaotic good PCs, let alone neutral or evil ones.  When an empyreal lord cannot even reliably keep followers due to the strengths of her tenets, imagine what she might do to those she considers heretics… 

Finally, there’s also the matter of her blade: PCs who cross swords with her will likely not appreciate having a geas carved upon their flesh, and the maker of this blade—put into the hands of a celestial not an hour old—is still unknown.  Maybe someone wanted her to never see with clear eyes…

Adventurers learn of a powerful ritual against one of the Great Old Ones—just in time to stop an even fouler rite from being set into motion by eldritch monstrosity’s cultists.  Unfortunately, even their comparatively benign ritual involves summoning as aspect of the Old One into the mortal world.  To Vildeis, this is an evil act, no matter what the rational, and she sends her martyrs and peri servants against them before wading into the fray herself.

Adventurers dispatch a protean choir and find they guard a treasure beyond comprehension: the Tears of the Martyr, a vessel which holds Vildeis’s actual eyes suspended in the tears she shed before ripping them out.  The Tears offer great power for good, but Vildeis will hunt down anyone who possesses the artifact.  With the eyes in hand the heavenly powers could restore her sight, and that is a temptation the Cardinal Martyr fears more than any sin.

The Allfather carries a secret—the original sin at the heart of all magic.  Before he hung himself on the tree to learn the secrets of the runestones, he first offered up an innocent human sacrifice in his place.  The sacrifice was not accepted, and in his shame he hung himself and thence had to fight his way back from the Lands of the Dead.  But the original sacrifice was witnessed by three angels, whom he commanded to hear, see, and say nothing of the evil he did.  The one who said nothing became the first norn, measuring the fates of men with no comment.  The one who heard nothing became the first psychopomp, deaf to any pleas of mercy from the souls she collected.  But the one who was told to see nothing defied him, saw the crime, and could not unsee.  Ripping out her eyes, she fled and become the first rogue empyreal.  She has guarded the innocent every since, and hates the Allfather—and all runecasters and arcane spellcasters—to this day, even those of good hearts.

Chronicle of the Righteous 27 & Pathfinder Bestiary 4 92–93

I love riffing off of Norse myths.  It’s no accident that Marvel made Thor a superhero—the Æsir are familiar enough people recognize them, but they give you room to play in a way Greek and Roman myths just don’t seem to.  I’m almost never tempted to write anything about Poseidon, for instance.  But give me a fjord and I will fill it with gods and giants and blood…

Sorry, no stats for Vildeis—I can’t find them in any legit source—but they’re there in full color in the Bestiary 4.

1 comment:

  1. Great adventure seeds for Vildeis, Wes Schneider himself would probably have a hard time doing better.

    The real reason I'm here, however, is to plug a thread where I discuss my concerns and complaints about Vildeis' stats (among other things):