Next up: the ambiguous icons in Lingusia's Age of Strife. There are more of these than heroic icons....hmmmm....
The Lich King – Laikhanamen (Ambiguous– TN)
The Lich King was once the greatest wizard of the realm but fell to the passions of the Unseelie Queen centuries ago, such that he was driven to seek out immortality that he would be “alive” for the time of her mortal return to the world. That time is now, and the Lich King is as much a pawn to the Unseelie Queen as he is an agent of his own necromantic self interest in the current era. The lich king has little interest in the current field of politics, but craves power and the expansion of his personal empire of undeath.
If you serve the Lich King: you are either obsessed with death or the darker passions of the soul and admire the Lich King for what he offers….or you are a poduct of necromancy, doomed to obey him forever more.
The High Druid – Zama (Ambiguous TN)
Zama was an elder druid who became hierophant during the last great war against the Crusader a century earlier. The war devastated his homeland in the Niras Forest, and motivated the druids of Niras to grow wary of outsiders and the threats they pose. Today, Zama’s influence as grand hierophant of his order is to create a sense of seclusion and remoteness in the forestlands of his dominion, and he relies on his agents to insure that any threat to the wellspring of the forest, which is the very embodiment of the god Niras’s spirit, be protected from outsiders.
If you serve the High Druid: you are a druid yourself, or a simple elf, gnome or other denizen of the Niras Forest, who has felt the calling of the High Druid or the spirit of the woods and felt a need to protect the land from those who would ravage it. You might be a ranger or other agent of the Knights of Kom’Huandyr, a dedicated order of rangers in the woods who seek to defend the realm of the empire and specifically the province of Niras which encompasses all of the woods from outside invaders.
The Unseelie Queen – Corrigan (Ambiguous – CN)
Corrigan was believed to be destined for resurrection by her elite cabal of unseelie elven knights, but it was in fact the schemes of her paramour, the Lich King, that allowed her to be reborn. Corrigan walks the land again, a dangerous threat as she weaves her enchantments to lure dark elves and vile feykin into her web of control. She is barred from entry into the heart of the Weirding by the Court of Titania, and her unseelie agents are left deep in the mirelands and the briars of the outer Arboreal darkness, where the feywild touches the shadowfell.
If you serve the Unseelie Queen: you felt the call and your fey blood could not resist. If you are no fey, then you are attracted to what she stands for, the liberation of the spirit from the rules of the world. The unseelie queen is a mysterious force in the age of strife but she stands against both order and chaos.
The Elf Queen – Mithrielle (Ambiguous – NG)
Mithrielle rules Sylvias in the south and seeks to make her empire strong against the many forces of evil and chaos in the world. She is half-sister to the empress Phyxillus, but feels an unreasonable level of rivalry for her successful half-sister in the north. Under Mithrielle the elves have attained great power, but their enmity toward other lesser races is at an all time high. Actions in the name of the Elf Queen are to secure of the elven empire and its many outlying tribes and cities in the world, even at the expense of the lesser races.
If you serve the Elf Queen: you stand not only against the enemies of the elvish kingdom, but against those who would seek to destroy the venerable lineage of the world itself in the name of power. You are likely either a selenic knight in the elven courts, a preservationist working in secret in foreign lands against the enemies of elvenkind, or a huntsman knight on the frontiers of Sylvias defending the outlying cities and tribes of all elves, both silver and wood.
The Great Gold Wyrm – Drakon Shaikor (Ambiguous – CG)
The great gold wyrm of this era is Drakon Shaikor, the most powerful of the gold dragons of the eastern clans. His influence is deep among dragonkind, and many say he has the ear of the Council of Wyrms itself, a secret society of the eldest dragons in the world who still remain free of the controlling machinations of the Wyrmlords. As may be expected, Shaikor and his allies revere Bahamut first and foremost.
If you serve the Great Gold Wyrm: dragons alone do not serve the Great Gold Wyrm. Wizened sages, sorcerers who envy the gold’s power, dragonborn who wish to ally themselves with the agents of Bahamut and others will readily offer fealty to the Great Gold Wyrm.
The Prince of Shadows – Wormie Vellsoth (Ambiguous – CG)
The enigmatic guild master of the Black Lotus gang and avatar of the the god Hermes is the undisputed shadow prince of the Age of Strife era. Wormie as his friends call him (because his enemies are all dead, as he says) is a wood elf of roughly two centuries in age who has become the master of secret lore and information in the land, and his agents are tasked with gathering such esoteric knowledge to greater purpose. Despite his nature as a thief and grafter, Wormie uses his agents to further the interests of the pantheons of order and death over chaos; there is no profit in chaos.
If you serve the Prince of Shadows: you are one of the thieves, burglars, scoundrels and grifters of the world with a heart of gold, looking to your local thieve’s guild or possibly even THE thieve’s guild of the Prince of Shadows himself, the legendary Black Lotus Guild. From there you have earned enough trust and cred to find your services as a gatherer of information and protector of the civilized world to be useful to your liege.
The Assassin - Celiobantes Astiriate (Ambiguous – NE)
In many ways Celiobantes Astiriate is like Wormie, though the two are unrelated. Clawing his way up through the ranks of the Fire Knives, Celiobantes is a master of assassins and chief high priest of the assassin god Haro. Like the Black Lotus, the Fire Knives still commit to a dedication to order, albeit through murder as a tool of conflict resolution. The Fire Knives are usually regarded as agents of chaos by most…and they have been known to side with cultists of chaos, which their dark god is ostensibly one of, but true scholars of Haro know that the god considers himself above the petty cliques of the pantheons.
If you serve the Assassin: a few independent operators exist who worship Haro, but universally if you serve the Assassin then you belong to the Fire Knives. The Fire Knives are expansive, with tendrils stretching across two continents and even into the Planar Realms, conducting murder in the name of their vile god. So if you hold this icon as your liege, then you must of necessity be proficient at murder most foul.
Next: the villaonous icons at last!