Saturday, June 11, 2016

Greyhawk Liches: The Hexad

My post last week about the all female wizard group the Pentad was pretty successful and well received in the Greyhawk community, so I decided to follow it up with another arcane power group made up of canon NPCs. This one is even more potentially campaign changing as they are an all evil faction. Have a look at The Hexad!

Intro: The Hexad is an unlikely, loose confederation of six liches hailing mainly from the Flanaess' northern and western reaches. Their initial meetings have been rife with mistrust and uncertainty, but gradually common interests and enemies have caused these powerful undead to keep a steady truce. The Hexad has no leader, but it's accepted that Count Dahlvier is a chairman of sorts, organizing their conclaves in person or more discreetly through magic. Up till now the general public and indeed most clandestine organizations in the Flanaess have no idea the Hexad exists.
The Hexad's primary purpose is to avoid future depredations by other rival evil entities such as the near world-ending incidents involving the archlich Vecna and the worm-god Kyuss, or more local problems, namely the petulant demigod Iuz and his so-called empire of the north. The forces of Good might be consoled that evil plots against evil, but the Hexad only does so with their own long-range, coordinated plans in mind.

Count Dahlvier (18th level Lich, NE) This ardent follower of Nerull rules a territory near the western Fellreev Forest from a former elven citadel surrounded by bizarre landscaping and magical defenses. Dahlvier was a one-time ally of the Hierachs of the Horned Society but now pays no homage to either their remnants or the despotic, Iuz the Evil. Even though Dahlvier has a small army of undead and untold access to elven artifacts, he has remained isolated and neutral for the last couple decades. Secretly however, Dahlvier has been gathering allies and waiting for Iuz to make a mistake, before unleashing his own evil plans of conquest.
To this end he has been the initiator of this cabal of liches with his agents first seeking out the long dormant Lerrek within the Vesve Forest.

Lerrek (19th level Lich, CE) The fearsome Lerrek lurks in twin gargoylian towers within the "Iuz controlled" parts of the great Vesve. Lerrek is an older lich whose murderous exploits are forgotten to all but the oldest elves of the High Vale, yet he hasn't stirred from his towers in nearly a hundred years. As such, the lich became more of a local legend whose treasures and stolen relics are still highly desired by adventurers. Unfortunately for them, Lerrek's twin towers to this day have active magical defenses that prevent all from entering. 
Despite all this, Lerrek was successfully contacted by Count Dahlvier through other means and now the Terror of the Vesve has awakened again. Dahlvier presumably wants a compact with his colleague against Iuz. What personal ambitions chaotic Lerrek still has is open to debate with the Hexad.

Marquesse Maerynae (17th level Suel Lich, NE) Also known as the Queen of Ghouls and the Lady of Mysteries, power-hungry Maerynae was once the consort to Doresain the demigod King of Ghouls. Several years ago, surface raiders assaulted the Deep Oerth city of ghouls, and her body was destroyed in the conflict. Being a Suel-lich, Maerynae's essence managed to live on by possessing the body of her willing servant. Maerynae has now returned to the world above in order to rebuild her power while also seeking a vendetta against those who ruined the White Kingdom. 
Maerynae is very ancient, originating from the extinct Suloise Imperium, thus once she resurfaced from beneath the Hellfurnaces, her knowledge and skill quickly came to the notice of Count Dahlvier. Maerynae, needing allies in the Flanaess, was quick to join the Hexad.

Zhawar Orlysse (25th level Suel Lich, NE) The obsessive lich, Zhawar is insane in that he strove to copy and exceed the exploits of his rival the infamous Keraptis, This obsession went so far that he came to believe that he actually is Keraptis. Among surviving Suel liches however, Zhawar is possibly the most powerful with vast resources and fell henchmen. Zhawar was reluctantly brought into the Hexad by Maerynae once she learned that her ancient Suel colleague still existed.  
Delusions aside, Zhawar remembered the Lady of Mysteries even though both had stolen new bodies thousands of times since they were last mortal. The opportunity to collaborate with Maerynae again has given Zhawar a brief respite from building death trap dungeons in the Wastes. When in contact with the Hexad, the others call him Keraptis if only to keep his fragile ego in check.

Thessalar (20th level Lich, CE) This twisted lich recently moved to Oerth only to set up his monster breeding laboratory in the depths of Riftcanyon near the region known as the Wormcrawl Fissue. Thessalar allegedly claims to have created several popular magical beasts such as the owlbear and mimic, but his true infamy the many species of crossbred thessalmonsters that plague the material planes. Thessalar had an active interest in the worms of Kyuss and a more than passing interest in a lillend who once lived near his ruined tower.
After the heralded Age of Worms came to pass, Count Dahlvier sought out his new reclusive neighbor to add his unique talents to the Hexad. Thessalar was stubborn at first to respond, that is until he met Marquesse Maerynae, the new object of his sick undead affection.

Naubek (29th level Lich, NE) The Grim Vizier of Zeif lairs in the crypts of Kabir Kafez a traditional prison palace for the heir-apparent to Zeif. Active for "merely" a couple hundred years, the Grim Vizier is a sorcerer-priest of incredible power and respect in his homeland. Normally remaining inside his lair, to protect future sultans, Naubek has none-the-less stayed active in the Baklunish West, practicing his art and sending his spies to neighboring lands and beyond. The occasion of the Grim Vizier coming out in public is a dire portent in Zeif.
Count Dahlvier's personal audience with Naubek impressed the haughty lich. Reminding Naubek of the near ascendancy of Vecna at the Stone Circles of Tovag Baragu, Dahlvier managed to convince him to join the Hexad. The presence of two Suel liches bothers Naubek, but he sees his position in the group as a necessary evil to protect the interests of his culture.

Here is the sources for you to read more about these liches:

Count Dahlvier and Lerrek both can be found in WGR5 Iuz the Evil and the Living Greyhawk Gazaetteer.
Marquesse Maerynae is in Wolfgang Baur's adventure Kingdom of the Ghouls, found in Dungeon #70.
Thessalar made his appearance in Dungeon #134 for the Age of Worms adventure Into the Wormcrawl Fissure by James Jacobs.
Naubek can only be found in the rare Living Greyhawk Journal #5 article Zeif: Rock of the West by Fred Weining.


Jason R said...

These are superb! This could be the framework of a campaign in itself. Dredging Greyhawk material for these summaries sure saves us a lot of work. Thanks Mike!

Unknown said...

I built something like this in one campaign world, the Nightborn Council... They moved to a demi-plane (I called them half worlds) and then sent living emissaries out to further their goals, (IE making cash to buy components etc...) They are known to use two business tactics, 1) going to a large city they offer to deal with the unclaimed bodies that pile up on their streets.. (Makes great fodder for...) 2) Selling undead legions to would be warlords. (Skeletons and Zombies but more powerful undead can be ordered)

They NEVER make or condone the making of spirit undead (Ghosts, wraiths, etc) or hungry undead (Ghouls, Ghasts, Vampires) they're bad for business.. they can all make their own minions.