This weekend was the first solo game of Ptolus; my wife’s character made it from her peculiar start to the city of Ptolus without much incident, although she had to rescue some children from a ravenous sewer rat within the first hours inside the city. Today I’ll be looking at my own rendition of the biggest of the big bads of the world of Praemal, the Galchutt, and some rough notes on the non-Galchut major villains I’ll be using for the solo game.
The Galchutt, at the most macroscopic scale, are the embodiment of entropy – destructive and disorderly, a malignant and sapient decay on the cosmos. It’s no wonder that Praemus, the creator of the world, decided to make a prison to ensnare them and keep them at bay from the rest of the multiverse. They’re literally toxic to existence itself, and even in making his prison Praemus knew it would one day fail if left alone. He created the mortal races as something of a counterweight, their creative and generative natures serving to dilute the corruption and destruction of the prisoners.
I aim to have seven major Galchutt, but they won’t be mapping to the familiar concept of the seven deadly sins; some of those sins simply don’t make sense when dealing with incarnate entropy. Instead, I’ll be isolating aspects of destruction to map them to. They all have lesser Galchutt serving them, and the qlippoth of Pathfinder serve as excellent ‘minor Galchutt’ races that became bound to Praemal along with their leaders.
As for those seven, I’m going with:
- The One Who Feasts Upon Ashes
- The Lord Of Dust
- The Queen Of The Desolate Wastes
- The Rot That Walks
- The Eternal Maw
- The Lady Of Dessication
- The One Who Drinks Light
These are, of course, mortal titles for the seven majot Galchutt; their actual names are unpronounceable and amount to alien voices screaming in endless blind rage. The titles are each a rough description of the central function of each of the major Galchutt; The One Who Feasts Upon Ashes is a thing of nightmare hellfire, burning everything before it into ashes that it sweeps up and consumes as it moves over them, while The Rot That Walks is essentially a sapient fungal infection seeking to turn everything into more of itself. All of them are united in their goal of breaking the cosmos down, but they fight over whose methods will be used and thus don’t really work together.
This being a solo play campaign, there’s no expectation that they’ll ever be encountered; they’re the kind of thing that a level 20/tier 10 party of six is likely to find a good challenge. Only the least of the lesser Galchutt are ever likely to turn up, and even they’re being of nightmarish power and destructive ability by the standards of mortals. They’re not villains, however – they’re forces of destruction. Even the villainous types might be persuaded to team up to keep them from getting loose in the city.
As for the actual villains, I have a few right now.
The Empress is the one who wants to make sure the Empire of Tarsis survives – under her rule, with her raised to the level of a deathless god-queen in perpetuity. She has her reasons for this, and ultimately her motivations are relatively altruistic, but her methods involve tapping dark and terrible powers best left undisturbed. Encounters with her will largely be obfuscated via dupes, minions, and thralls for some time.
The Elementalist is a villain in that he wants to gain a tremendous amount of power and twist the order of things to his own ends; his goal is to create a replica of what he thinks the structure of the multiverse is, within the dimensional space bounded by Praemal’s ethereal sea. He’s aware of the Galchutt and hopes that this replica will fool them into thinking that they’re free in the larger multiverse, while he spins off miniature worlds of elemental power that keep them busy while they can be destroyed. That this method involves creating what would effectively be miniature elemental planes feeding his power is something he’d downplay to make himself seem an altruistic hero.
The Mad Old Man has been alive for a long, long time and is very tired of existence. Unfortunately, he can’t die without a way for his soul to leave the plane, and Praemal’s structure has a land of the dead as well as a source of new souls. As such, he’s planning to try to crack open the dimensional barrier around the world so that he can finally die and pass on. This makes him alarmingly close to being an ally of the Galchutt, even if he doesn’t want the multiverse destroyed in his quest to get some rest.
There are plenty of lesser foes, as well, of course, but these three form the cornerstones of the plots that will be unfolding as we keep playing. I won’t be saying more, since I do encourage my wife to read this.
That’s all for today!