In Arcane Game Lore, they're running a blog carnival about our favourite NPCs. I must say, it was hard for me to come with an NPC, because I don't have that many (although I really like the one that I do bring to the table). So, 18 days of thinking brought me to this NPC. Is it my favourite? I'm not sure, but she sure is on my top list...
Mellisa Lermondon wasn't supposed to be a major NPC, at the beginning. She was supposed to add a little bit of colour, maybe even be a part of a romance between one of the PCs and her. As it turned out, she couldn't end farer from that.
It was a D&D campaign that I've started a year ago and ran for 3 months, and the story was set in a post-apocalyptic fantasy world. The players wanted, as every normal player will want, to start a new village in the frontier. They have "forgotten" that it was the "Ezripold Daemon Forest". They have collected a group of peasants and adventurers to help them start this village, and among them she was.
Time has passed, and the village grew bigger and bigger, and her statues in the village rose as well. The characters, though, started to abuse her (and to treat her like an animal or property). That was the point when I said enough to myself, and started to think how to make her a little bit more important.
As the real Mellisa started to unravel, I've started to like the character more and more. It was a long time since I had a major villain, and Mellisa looked like the right one. I've made her a conspirator that came from a noble family that no one remembers anymore. I've made her a bitter wizard who served to defend the city of her grandfather, only to be shunned because she was a woman. Then I've made a little bit of background (it was before the time of the recipe), making her and the king of the goblins work together, and so it went on.
Then, to the next session, she came back. I started the session with describing the clothing of the NPCs that they've started to like. None of the players got the clue, and the session continued. They went to gather some resources for the village, the characters and her, only to find when they returned that the village was conquered. She, who was the strongest wizard there, used her magic to incriminate one of the other NPCs for opening the doors. They didn't wait to kill him.
After a "civil war" in the village, order was back in place, and they went off again. There she made her mark. Everything that they tried to do, she made them fail, using her illusion abilities to incriminate others. She was kept clean.
When they finally reached their spot, she made her move, and disappeared, leaving the characters far from home, going back to fill their subjects with poisonous thoughts while they were on their way back. They only received letters from her ever since and sometimes a riddle or 2 to tease them off.
One of the reasons that I so like her, I think, is that she didn't made any open move at all, 'till she left. Even then it was them who fought the village people, not her, and it was them who saw the collapse of the village that they worked so hard to raise because of their actions. She was a string puller, but most of the time they didn't know she was even her. I think that if they read this post, this is the first time that they get to know why the village collapsed.