Monday, June 13, 2022

Ull: Land of a Thousand Villains - Khafir the Slicer

Well met Greyhawk faithful! This week's entry to Ull: Land of a Thousand Villains is a baddie drawn from the original Fiend Folio. Despite the book's reputation for some of most vile creatures in all D&D fandom, let's see if this particular antagonist ends up being sympathetic to you and your players. This is Ull after all...  

Life in Kester is harsh, and tragedies are all too common to the point locals can become inured by its daily presence. This makes the back alleys of the city a haven for all manner of dangerous creatures”.

Khafir the Slicer (skulk, male)

   A few years ago, news of a back-alley serial killer known as Khafir the Slicer first spread among the rumor-mill of Kester. The Slicer, nicknamed by fearful beggars who discovered his eviscerated victims, has allegedly never been seen, nor has his home been found. Despite this, locals know the Slicer as Khafir, because the name is often marked in a grisly fashion on his victims or on nearby walls. Another calling-card of the Slicer is broken mirrors, leading some to wonder if Khafir is a vampire, though no blood is ever drained from the deceased. The truth is even more strange, in truth Khafir lives among the commoners of Kester yet beneath their notice. The only person who has claimed to see the Slicer is a nine-year old street urchin that considers Khafir an imaginary friend and protector, much to the scorn of other street gang youths.

   DM’s Campaign Notes: Khafir the Slicer is a lone Skulk. (see Fiend Folio, AD&D, or Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes, 5E) The Slicer has been living in Kester for a long time now, thus he has advanced knowledge of the city’s roads, alleys, and shortcuts. Due to his natural “invisible” camouflage, the Slicer can move about day or night unseen by all but those with mirrors, or at times by certain small children. Lonely and generally paranoid, Khafir used to kill indiscriminately in order to survive, but he has now become skilled enough to inhabit the town without bringing too much attention. Khafir leaves his name scrawled at murder-sites not only to scare away troublemakers who get to close to finding his hideout, but also in hopes that another skulk recognizes this and makes contact.

   Khafir’s hideout changes as needed, and he has got exceptionally good at concealing his presence. His current home is in the shop of an apothecary, that according to signs hung on the entrance is either “closed” or “will return shortly”. All doors to the shop are locked, and the windows are dark and curtained. Persistent customers are directed by another sign to leave written orders with some payment through a slot in the door. So far, these rare orders have always been fulfilled, though no customer has ever seen who delivered the goods. In reality the skulk made the apothecary vanish and is now doing his best to keep up appearances as long as possible. The Slicer has no use for money, being able to take what it wants with ease. He has taken to watching over local street children, stealing them food and money and leaving it discreetly to be found. So far only one child has actually glimpsed Khafir. Surprisingly this development has now led the skulk to become protective of the kids, indeed more than a few adult thugs have met their end after harming these street youths.

   Khafir the Slicer makes an excellent villain for an urban-based murder mystery plot, as PCs follow the trail of bodies and clues to their inevitable source. The Slicer also makes a good foil for roguish characters who sneak about Kester at night or become too rich and arrogant. Given circumstances of the campaign, this villain could even become a valuable ally for certain character classes that are not so quick to judge.


Dick McGee said...

Never considered it before, but can skulks see each other any better than other folks do? Or are they largely invisible even to their kinfolk? That would certainly be inconvenient if it is the case.

Mike Bridges said...

McGee: That is a good question. I'd say no, cause I believe they are solitary creatures. But maybe they are good at spotting signs of invisible movement.