[Note: This Article first appeared in Issue #7 of the DFC dated August 26th, '92. Titled: The Lord of Deception.]
The room you are in is a cavern made of pure gold. Three chests sit on the floor in front of you, and your hands can't wait to open the first one. The only problem is that you can't see your hands. In fact, you can't see any part of your body. How did you get here, anyway? The last thing you remember is swinging at a guard. Then this little black bug flew in and... and... and blew up?
Well, all that matters now is that you are
here in this room of riches. But what is that? There is
movement from behind the chests. What is it? A walking statue
of gold suddenly rushes forward, swinging into the shadows of
the room. Is he looking for you? Thank Set that you are
invisible... er, at least you THOUGHT you were. The statue is
running towards you! Arrhhh!!!!! It hits you with the force
of a god, and you barely cling to life. It raises its hands
above its head, preparing for the killing blow. Then you are
where you left, bleeding but alive.
This same incident has happened to four of
the Spur's most prominent citizens in the past few weeks. But
this isn't the only strange happening. Dozens of people have
reported personal belongings changing into items that they
are not for a brief time - most notably Azzandra's sword into
a steel cigar and Faedriel's axe into a feather. A group of
adventurers in the Yellow Caves were abducted and placed into
a room with over a dozen aging yelicans. All but one was
slaughtered, the bodies of the defeated dropped into the Town
Square to be mysteriously regenerated a few minutes later.
The list of strange occurrences goes on and on, including
such strange things as giant crabs and floating mouths.
So what is behind all of these things, you
ask? The answer is simple; it is a devil known only as the
Lord of Deception. This evil monster started causing trouble
when he and Loa'Kass - the famous Ice Devil - made a bet that
LK could not marry a mortal woman within a year's time.
Loa'Kass then harassed the noble Heart Cleric Laurana Rian-Ferdain,
threatening her with many forms of torture and punishment (the
most dreadful being the loss of her channeling ability) until
she consented to marry him.
But before the wedding could be completed,
the Lord of Deception rent the fabric of our dimension and
kidnapped both Laurana and Loa'Kass. Although the Ice Devil
was banished into the darkest depths of the Underworld,
Laurana was imprisoned in one of the upper levels. Here she
awaited rescue, unable to use magick or prayer to ease her
suffering. A rescue team would later arrive, however, to
remove her from the dreaded depths of the Underworld.
Although it took much bloodshed - and, indeed, the whole
group's demise - all escaped. But so did the Lord of
Deception. From that day on he has grown in power, continuing
to terrorize the Spur.
Many wonder what the Lord of Deception really
is, or if there is any way to stop him. The answers to this
come from Garlidan, Spur's Riddlemaster. The retired fighter
told us that this malign being is one of the oldest and most
powerful Devils in existance. He loves to torment his prey
with illusionary assaults, most dealing in a personal nature
so as to unhinge the victim mentally. There is nothing the
Lord of Deception likes better than to slowly work away at a
strong willed person's mind, finally seeing the prey reduced
to a babbling madman.
Yet with all his power, there is at least one
possible way to stop him. If the Devil's name is ever
discovered, a hero can take the knowledge into the Underworld
and recall the Lord of Deception to his native realm. Here he
will stay for many lifetimes, until he can break free of the
Underworld once more. Yet no one knows this being's name, and
he certainly isn't polite enough to tell us. Will anyone be
able to stop him?
The governor is recommending that all citizens seek shelter whenever any sign of this Devil is seen. There is no way of defeating him until the Devil's name is learned.