Lassiviren The Dark: Ruthless Assassin

On September 1, 2004, Posted by , In Campaign Workbook, With No Comments

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Lassiviren The Dark Ruthless Assassin NPC Portrait Robert J Schwalb Character Al Hammack D20 DND Pathfinder RPG Dungeon Magazine 114

Lassiviren The Dark

Of all the figures antedating the Greyhawk Wars, few are as mysterious as Lassiviren the Dark. His obscurity is intentional, for as a ruthless assassin, he prefers anonymity. Those who know him do so by reputation only.

What little is known about this merciless killer comes from his associates, who claim Lassiviren grew up in the Bandit Kingdoms. They say the killer rarely speaks of his parents, and when he does, it is always with a ill-concealed hate. His parents, a prostitute and a dangerous drunkard, were both addicted to liquid agony and other dangerous narcotics. From a brutal childhood he learned the value of protecting himself first over anything else.

At age 14 he murdered the man who claimed to be his father, vowing never to take his abuse again. His mother reported the murder to the bandit king, who favored Lassiviren’s father as one of his best thugs. Lassiviren was

forced to flee into the wilderness. Somehow, he survived and found himself in Molag, a brutal city of hobgoblins enslaved to the dark lords of the Lower Planes. The young Lassiviren honed his skills as a killer there, disguising himself as a goblin while he lived in the slums and dodged dangers by hiding in the alleys and sewers amidst the trash and detritus of human and hobgoblin squalor. In time, Lassivirer’s notoriety grew powerful enough that he was able to discard his goblin disguise and leave Molag.

He traveled the Flanaess, eliminating marks wherever he stayed, assuming a myriad of pseudonyms and personas such as Lakajan, Jahleel, and Nerivissal, while myths sprung up around the world, naming him the Anemic, the Evil, or even the Demon of Darkness. He eventually established a network of spies and assassins, each posing as the lord of assassins and spreading the mystery of his actual identity. Lassiviren evaded the many attempts by the Scarlet Brotherhood to kill him, avoided capture by Bladestorm, a Headhunter of the Church of Trithereon, and murdered several high-ranking officials during the escalation leading to the Greyhawk Wars. His time as a maverick killer ended when Turin Deathstalker (then Guildmaster of Assassins in the city of Greyhawk) prevented his assassination of Ner of Gasgal, Lord Mayor of the City of Greyhawk.

Lassiviren spent the remainder of the decade in a Greyhawk prison, forgotten while his network continued to operate even though the head of the organization languished in a darkened cell. Lassiviren escaped his cell in 587 CY, fleeing south to plot his revenge. His time in prison ruined his health, and he’s now plagued by a persistent hacking cough. Despite his decrepit condition, he is still one of the the world’s most skilled killers. It remains to be seen whether he reemerges into the modern world, or spends the rest of his days in hiding. But many fear, if he does return, there will be no one to stop him.

Lassiviren The Dark Appearance

Lassiviren could be anyone, man or woman, human or elf. He blends into societies with ease, changing his appearance to suit his purpose. Even when among his own people, he hides his appearance beneath the cowl of his long and heavy black cloak, casting his face in shadows. The only thing those who have seen him can agree on is that he stands about six feet tall and wears dark clothing.

Ring of Flying Magic Item

On command, this ring allows the wearer to fly, without having to maintain concentration, as if affected by a fly spell. He can fly once per day for up to 5 minutes Faint transmutation; CL 5th; Forge Ring, fly; Price 8,000 gp.

Lassiviren The Dark’s Tactics

Lassiviren prefers attacking with surprise, concealing himself with invisibility or using his natural skills at subterfuge and disguise to hide his intent, while studying his enemy for the requisite number of rounds before using his death attack ability. If prevented from surprising his opponents, he retreats using both of his rings, one to hide and the other to provide an unexpected form of movement. When forced into combat, Lassiviren assigns the enhancement bonus from his +1 defending shortsword to his Armor Class (this bonus is included in the stat block) and fights with full Combat Expertise (this bonus is not).

Lassiviren The Dark’s Development

Lassiviren is an ideal *power behind the throne,” a perfect manipulator of grand events throughout your campaign. Since Lassiviren is so adept at assuming different identities, you can introduce him at any point in your campaign, revealing his role in past adventures when he may have posed as important NPCs, guiding the heroes to serve his own ends. In worlds other than GREYHAWK, Lassiviren can serve as the leader for any similar world-spanning organization of assassins, thieves, or other criminals.

In Faerün, he could be one of the leaders of the Shadow Thieves or the Night Masks.

In an Oriental Adventures-based game, he could be an expert called in from foreign lands to serve a ninja-clan.

And in EBERRON, he could be a favored agent of the Order of the Emerald Claw, or even posing as a high-ranking family member in one of the Dragonmarked House.

Lassiviren the Dark

Male Human
Rog4/Ftr4/Asn7
CR 15
Medium humanoid (human)

HD 9d6-9 plus 4d10-4
HP 44
Init +4
Spd 30 ft.
AC 20, touch 16, flat-footed 15

Base Atk +12; Grp +14; Atk +19 melee (146-6/17-20, short sword of life stealing)
Full Atk +17/+12/+7 melee (1d6+6/17-20, short sword of life stealing) and +15 melee (146-3/17-20, +1 defending short sword)

SA death attack (DC 19), sneak attack +6d6, spells
SQ evasion, improved uncanny dodge, poison use, trapfinding, trap sense +1, uncanny dodge

AL LE
SV Fort +8 (+11 against poison), Ref +16, Will +7
Str 14, Dex 18, Con 8, Int 14, Wis 12, Cha 17.

Skills: Bluff +21, Climb +12, Craft (alchemy) +8, Diplomacy +12, Disguise +12 (+14 acting), Forgery +9, Gather Information +11, Hide +32, Intimidate +23, Knowledge (local) +8, Move Silently +22, Sense Motive +8, Sleight of Hand +22.

Feats: Combat Expertise, Dodge, Improved Critical (short sword), Mobility, Spring Attack, Two Weapon Defense, Two-Weapon Fighting, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus (short sword), Weapon Specialization (short sword).

Languages: Common, Elven, Halfling.

Assassin Spells Known (4/4/2; save DC = 12 + spell level): 1st— feather fall, jump, sleep, true strike; 2nd—cat’s grace, darkness, invisibility, spider climb; 3rd—deep slumber, deeper darkness, non-detection.

Possessions: Short sword of life stealing, +1 defending short sword, +1 glamered studded leather armor, ring of flying, ring of chameleon power, cloak of protection +2, 3 doses purple worm poison, 5 doses giant wasp poison.

BY ROBERT J. SCHWALB
BASED ON A CHARACTER CREATED BY AL HAMMACK