Thursday, May 7, 2015


To get the full story on Lorthact, you’re going to need the Inner Sea Bestiary—essentially he was a consigliere to several archdukes until the Whore-Queen of the erinyes caught him plotting above his station, and now he hides out in Korvosa.  It’s no question that his influence is one of the things that make Korvosa such a dark mirror of the agathion-blessed Magnimar, and in particular you can feel his stain all over the dark teaching methods of Korvosa’s magic college, the Academae.

But if your campaign’s not set in Golarion even his generic stats paint a picture of a pretty terrifying opponent.  His party piece is that he can steal spells and even school abilities from wizards.  (Not only that, but the school abilities remain stolen as long as Lorthact retains them!)  He also exists somewhat out of the time stream, making many divinations useless against him.  And time stops?  He ignores those.  (#sorryaboutit)  Add to that a host of spell-like abilities (many of them empowered or quickened), his ability to drain intelligence with every weapon strike, and the usual risks of taking on an infernal duke, and your adventurers have one hell (ouch, sorry, even I’m wincing at that one) of a devil to face.

In a standard campaign, Lorthact could make for an amazing final encounter—the devil whose behind-the-scenes influence has been making the party’s life a living hell (there’s that word again) since their very first adventure (or maybe even earlier, if any of the PCs were once wizard’s apprentices).  In a mythic campaign, he might be the third-party spoiler that robs PCs of crucial abilities at just the wrong time, when whole worlds hang in the balance.  Either way he’s the devil you can’t know…until it’s too late.

There has never been a senior mage able to “complete the Pentagram”—a term for casting gate, prismatic sphere, time stop, power word: kill, and then releasing a previously prepared wish (in other words, 20th level)—in the history of the Emerald Academy.  This is because the Chair of Shadow Magic is actually a thrall of Lorthact, and together the two ensure that no mage ever reaches that august level of power.  (Archmages are identified and eliminated even sooner.)

The Intelligent Artifice behind the inevitable race, the Mōnarch has diverted the crafteries into forming siege weapons and strange constructs instead of inevitables.  When queried, the Mouth of the Mōnarch replies that “all is progressing in accordance with the Plan.”  The author of that plan is Lorthact and the infernal consigliere is putting his new patron’s resources to good use.

A nation imprisoned in ice.  The Holy City ripped from the ground and sent into the sky.  An elven queen crucified on her own Throne of Thorns.  And the fey queen who has engineered it all promises to reverse everything in a heartbeat the instant she is handed Lorthact’s crown.  The fact that Lorthact’s crown is formed from the very horns of his head is a detail she’ll leave adventurers to wrestle with.

Inner Sea Bestiary 26–27

Lorthact’s stats come courtesy of Jason Nelson.

Remember this photo?  The episode Mike was filming that night airs tonight at 9:00 PM Eastern on CNN.  There’s a tiny chance you might see me poolside!  But you won’t.  #iamnotphotogenic

(Also if you actually live in Baltimore, check out the front page of The Baltimore Sun where my coworker Aaron and his son Noah make an appearance.)

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