Meet the Villains—Lazzero Dalvera

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The countdown to the Hell's Vengeance Adventure Path begins today, as we reveal the first of six iconic villains that will appear in Paizo's first Adventure Path for evil characters! We start with the iconic evil cleric, Lazzero Dalvera. Check out Pathfinder Adventure Path #103: The Hellfire Compact for Lazzero's full stat block, and keep an eye out for the upcoming Hell's Vengeance Player's Guide, which will contain all of the new iconic villains for use as pregenerated characters!


Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Lazzero Dalvera, the eldest child of an officer in the Molthuni army and a priest of Abadar, was born under an auspicious moon with a full head of bright red hair. Everyone assumed he would earn respect and fame as an army officer like his mother. His training began as soon as he could walk, and he attended the best military academies to which his parents' money and connections could win him entrance.

But the boy was not a strong child, and he lacked the temperament to hone his martial skills. Instead, bullies perfected their own abilities at his expense, both in formal sparring matches and between classes. Rather than retaliate with violence, Lazzero kept tabs on the children who picked on him, recording their secret transgressions—cheating, lying, petty theft, and other such behaviors common among privileged youth. When he had amassed a sufficient amount of dirt on his rivals, he ensured his teachers found it—anonymously of course—and laughed to himself as the bullies got their just rewards for their wrongdoings.

Despite his skill at countering his rivals, Lazzero still didn't excel in his martial studies, and by the age of 12 had washed out of every military academy in which his parents had placed him. With their hopes in their son dashed, they sent Lazzero to be trained by the Abadaran clergy, who counted his father among their number; if he couldn't fulfill his destiny as a military commander, he would do so in service to the Master of the First Vault.

In this endeavor Lazzero finally succeeded, for he found prayer and contemplation came naturally to him. Now among the top initiates in the Abadaran monastery, Lazzero took on the role of bully and tormentor. He didn't need to study as much as his less studious peers did, and could use the time not spent poring over religious texts making life harder for those weaker than himself. In addition to overt hazing, Lazzero maintained even more thorough records of his enemies' activities, which he took pride in turning over to his superiors—publicly this time—so that they would receive punishment for their transgressions.

While he couldn't ensure that justice was served, Lazzero believed he was doing Abadar's work. How, he asked, could his peers expect to teach Abadar's ways if they couldn't themselves follow his laws? Was he not complicit in their wrongdoing if he allowed their crimes to go unpunished? With such justifications, Lazzero convinced himself that what he did was right, that it would set him apart from his so-called equals in the eyes of his teachers and Abadar. He didn't recognize, however, that he had started down a slippery slope that would ultimately lead to his fall from grace—for Lazzero had begun to twist the law to meet his needs. The law was now a weapon he used to keep those he didn't like beneath him.

By graduation, Lazzero had distinguished himself as one of the most gifted acolytes, though he had made no friends and garnered his share of enemies, many of his teachers among them. For his apprenticeship, Lazzero traveled from Canorate to Cettigne—an inglorious posting not befitting his high marks and honors. Lazzero was to serve as the acolyte at the local temple along with a fellow graduate, a woman named Laureth. The pair were highly competitive, each aspiring to rise in the ranks of the church quickly and find a permanent placement in a more prestigious temple than Cettigne's.

Although Lazzero was the more talented cleric, Laureth was more favored, receiving a prominent position within the temple and taking on greater responsibilities. Unwilling to accept a position beneath his rival, Lazzero began plotting and spying on Laureth in the hope of catching her falling short of the high standards expected of Abadar's clergy. Laureth provided him no opportunities, however, behaving as a paragon whom all faithful of Abadar should aspire to emulate.

Frustrated and bitter, Lazzero prayed for a means of turning the law against Laureth, but Abadar provided no guidance. Rather, a different voice echoed in the recesses of Lazzero's mind, offering honeyed promises of providing all Lazzero could imagine and more. It spoke of deceptions and lies as a means to an end, of the weak serving the strong, and of always having the upper hand. Lazzero liked these words, and though he knew he would no longer be true to Abadar if he were to follow them, he did so anyway. He would see Laureth humiliated, no matter the cost.

Prompted by his mysterious new divine patron, Lazzero began committing minor crimes himself and staging evidence to point toward Laureth. Fabricated trade records for transactions under her jurisdiction, false testimony written in her hand, and unbalanced ledgers month after month with no explanation into the shortfall all built a case against his rival. Through subterfuge and sabotage, Lazzero ensured that Laureth could never be solvent in the eyes of Abadar's code. Best of all, he brought about her ruin through the very laws and regulations that had for so long kept him from achieving his own lofty goals.

When Laureth was convicted and sentenced to a life of servitude rather than clerical service, Lazzero said a prayer of thanks to the Keeper of the First Vault, asking for a blessing from his patron. Asmodeus answered in his stead, revealing himself to have been the orchestrator of Lazzero's revenge upon Laureth. In that moment, Lazzero knew that the path to his prophesied glory lay not in continuing in his father's footsteps in the temple of Abadar. The Prince of Lies had shown him the power of deceit and the means through which he could always ensure the law worked in his favor.

That night, Lazzero left Cettigne, his vestments and holy symbol left folded neatly on his modest cot, and headed south to Cheliax. He forsook all his Abadaran vows and proclaimed his faith in Asmodeus, and sought a church of his new patron. No longer did Lazzero worry that he would not achieve greatness. He was content to enter an Asmodean temple as a lowly adept with faith that his dedication would quickly raise him to the upper echelons of the church. Thus did Lazzero begin his true journey—a quest for power and glory achieved by following the Prince of Darkness.

Stay tuned over the coming months as we reveal more of the villains you'll see in the pages of our first evil Adventure Path, Hell's Vengeance!

Mark Moreland
Developer

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Tags: Clerics Hell's Vengeance Iconics Lazzero Meet the Iconics Pathfinder Adventure Path Wayne Reynolds
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Contributor

Exciting! I look forward to seeing more of these evil iconics.

Will their stats in the AP be presented at level 1?

Paizo Employee Developer

4 people marked this as a favorite.
donato wrote:

Exciting! I look forward to seeing more of these evil iconics.

Will their stats in the AP be presented at level 1?

The plan is to include 1st-level stats for them in the Player's Guide. They will also be in print in the volume where they are the cover figure, and they will have stats for a different level there.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Awesome art and story! ^_^

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This should probably be in the Hell's Vengeance forum, right? :)

That said, this guy's a right bastard.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I am not..truly happy with him:

the artwork
-at a first glance i tought he was actualy a she (but hey, that might be my eyesight!)
-those are not shoes fit for an adventurer. Maybe for a courtesan.
-the white thing around his chin..meh, looks like he's stolen it from a nun
+very asmodean!
+nice mace

the Background
-looks more like an Inquisitor backstory to me
-..so he broke the rules to make someone else be framed for something she didn't? not sure this is..'legal'
+loving the change of faith thematic

this is all in my humble opinion!

still..so very exited about the new iconics!

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.

He's so pointy! Wayne obviously took great pains to make him as pointy as possible. Asmodeans aren't really ones for hugs, I guess.


Will he be a vanilla Cleric of Asmodeus, or the Asmodean Advocate archetype?


18 people marked this as a favorite.

I like this guy, he's going places!


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Norin d'orien wrote:

so he broke the rules to make someone else be framed for something she didn't? not sure this is..'legal'

Nope, it isn't. Lawful isn't necessarily law-abiding, and doing that was Lawful Evil- using the law to bring suffering to another.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

15 people marked this as a favorite.
QuidEst wrote:
Norin d'orien wrote:

so he broke the rules to make someone else be framed for something she didn't? not sure this is..'legal'

Nope, it isn't. Lawful isn't necessarily law-abiding, and doing that was Lawful Evil- using the law to bring suffering to another.

This.

And remember... a character background details a span of time. An alignment is fluid and can change over time, and even within a single alignment there are great variations in how folks behave. Alignments don't have "codes" you follow that give you rules as to what you can and can't do. Furthermore, alginments don't define a character. A character defines his/her alignment.

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Cool breastplate, very traditional and bulky, not the form-fitting stuff with sculpted abs that shows up occasionally in fantasy art. Love the pentacle-shaped buckler as well.

Cleric of Asmodeus is pretty much the number one with a bullet character anticipated for this AP (along with Hellknight), so it's probably best to get that out of the way, before we see anything less predictable, like a Kuthite Monk or Druid or Illusionist/Shadowcaster, or a Molthuni Ranger, or a Chelish Summoner, or a Bekyar Ranger or Rogue (from Sargava).


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It never occurred to me that this AP would not use the usual iconics...but I am glad it is not and am looking forward to seeing the rest!


As if I needed more help coming up with my Asmodean cleric. I wonder what the others are like.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Norin d'orien wrote:

so he broke the rules to make someone else be framed for something she didn't? not sure this is..'legal'

Nope, it isn't. Lawful isn't necessarily law-abiding, and doing that was Lawful Evil- using the law to bring suffering to another.

This.

And remember... a character background details a span of time. An alignment is fluid and can change over time, and even within a single alignment there are great variations in how folks behave. Alignments don't have "codes" you follow that give you rules as to what you can and can't do. Furthermore, alginments don't define a character. A character defines his/her alignment.

I understand your point of wiew(or at least I hope I do)

I don't think that using the Law makes someone 'Lawful'per se, especialy if you are breaking it, (while if you twist it in your favor or find details and exeptions to the rules or you create rules yourself, you definitely are Lawful)..it only shows that you were cunning to use an unusual weapon.
I agree on everything else.

Please note that I only expressed what felt odd in my head, I am totaly looking forward to read more about this pointy cleric!
(specificly,a re those spider-walk slippers? please tell me they are..)

Shadow Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

For reasons, I'm wondering how Lazzero pronounces his name.


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>_>

<_<

*Villians*

Dark Archive

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Asmodeus, Prince of Darkness wrote:
I like this guy, he's going places!

I remember this lad from seminar. We shared desks for years, but we never shared any compliments. Then he tried to frame me for being a Pathfinder. Cunning bastard.

*sigh.* Good times. We still never talk sometimes.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Yay for Molthuni background!


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Disappointing and a true let down by a company I used to admire heavenly. If this ends up going to far then I'll find another company or rpg system to use.


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Berselius wrote:
Disappointing and a true let down by a company I used to admire heavenly. If this ends up going to far then I'll find another company or rpg system to use.

...well, *someone* has to bite, I guess...why?

Shadow Lodge

cannon fodder wrote:
Berselius wrote:
Disappointing and a true let down by a company I used to admire heavenly. If this ends up going to far then I'll find another company or rpg system to use.
...well, *someone* has to bite, I guess...why?

Bers has been very vocally unhappy with the existence of an Evil AP.


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Orthos wrote:
cannon fodder wrote:
Berselius wrote:
Disappointing and a true let down by a company I used to admire heavenly. If this ends up going to far then I'll find another company or rpg system to use.
...well, *someone* has to bite, I guess...why?
Bers has been very vocally unhappy with the existence of an Evil AP.

Well, to each their own I guess. I personally don't see why them putting out an Evil AP is necessarily a bad thing. After all, they have people who'll buy this because it'll be fun for them. There's absolutely nothing holding a gun to his head and forcing him to buy these books, after all. Let Paizo make their money and provide people with the entertainment they desire. If all else fails, he can ignore it like I ignore Iron Gods.

As for this guy's backstory. Eh, guess some people just can't play the honesty game good enough. Who knew that bureaucracy could be so cutthroat....


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Orthos wrote:
cannon fodder wrote:
Berselius wrote:
Disappointing and a true let down by a company I used to admire heavenly. If this ends up going to far then I'll find another company or rpg system to use.
...well, *someone* has to bite, I guess...why?
Bers has been very vocally unhappy with the existence of an Evil AP.

Reminds me of all the moral high horse backlash against the Book of Vile Darkness.

Also I'm amused that the first evil iconic for this book is a ginger. I got to "born under an auspicious moon with a full head of red hair" and I went, "okay, yeah, he's evil."


i was born with red hair...

Paizo Employee Developer

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I don't want anyone to badmouth Berselius for his preferences.

Even though I'm excited to see what we can do with an evil Adventure Path that explores things from a wildly different point of view than we've shown before, I sympathize with him. He's been in the community for a long time and has always stated his case when we dip too much into moral gray areas or do things that seem pretty damn evil. I respect that. It's good to have those folks around as a barometer.

However, we announced this a while back and knew that it wouldn't flip everyone's switches. We knew it was a risk, but we also knew that a lot of people would be receptive to it. I'd hate to see someone completely bail on the work we do at Paizo just because of one Adventure Path.

So, I feel like I need to say...
If you aren't interested in running a game for evil PCs, this might not be the Adventure Path you are interested in. I'll also add that if you are interested in the minutiae or the politics of Cheliax, this Adventure Path might be something you're interested in regardless of the alignment issues in this Adventure Path.


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Cap'n Yesterday, Evil Overlord wrote:
i was born with red hair...

I was born left-handed, but that doesn't make me sinister.

No, that left hand was leftovers from my brother, Jonas Toenibbler Jr, whom I ate in the womb. That makes me sinister. In goblin humor, "She has her mother's eyes" or playing the I've-got-your-nose game take on completely different meanings than with you pinkskins.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So this AP won't feature bad guys getting redeemed halfway through and becoming a Desna/Arshea worshipping swingers club? Damn....


Gorbacz wrote:
So this AP won't feature bad guys getting redeemed halfway through and becoming a Desna/Arshea worshiping swingers club? Damn....

What AP is that? With the mention of Desna and Arshea in the same context, I'm guessing Wrath of the Righteous.

Sorry about getting off-topic, I just had to ask.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

There's no AP like that. He's painting a very rosy picture, though...


8 people marked this as a favorite.

Yeah, Gorbacz has moved into his "Bob Ross phase" of painting.

Silver Crusade

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

That's a nice term for a hangover there, Ambrosia Slaad.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I actually like the artwork for the shoes, very medieval-clergy-like looking!

The rest is OK, too, I guess.

Ruyan.

Sovereign Court

Hold up... There's some clearly Baphomet inspired notes in that shoulder plate. We all know big B stole some of Asmodeus' mojo for his squeeze Lamashtu. I'd think a bulls head would be verboten on an infernal cleric, no?

--Vrock, Paper, Scissors

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

So douchebag #1 has been revealed... poor Laureth... and I hate Abadarites!

Here's hoping we at least get a Daemon *cough*Szuriel*cough* worshipper in the mix.

@King: It might be a goat, which would make sense as that's Azzy's sacred animal

Sovereign Court

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Norin d'orien wrote:


-the white thing around his chin..meh, looks like he's stolen it from a nun

I think it's a ruff, which seems pretty Chelaxian to me.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.
FedoraFerret wrote:
Will he be a vanilla Cleric of Asmodeus, or the Asmodean Advocate archetype?

I would be pretty ecstatic if he were an Asmodean advocate (because I designed the archetype), but I think all iconics are vanilla.


Pillbug Toenibbler wrote:
Cap'n Yesterday, Evil Overlord wrote:
i was born with red hair...

I was born left-handed, but that doesn't make me sinister.

No, that left hand was leftovers from my brother, Jonas Toenibbler Jr, whom I ate in the womb. That makes me sinister. In goblin humor, "She has her mother's eyes" or playing the I've-got-your-nose game take on completely different meanings than with you pinkskins.

I'm left-handed...


The shield is a bit too much though. Asmodean star-shaped weapons and shields looks real goofy


yeah wayne is back and his lovely and unique artstyle :3


3 people marked this as a favorite.

If this was a pulp villain, he would have a star shaped car.


While I am more on Berselius side of the fence about this whole thing, I understand why it is being attempted.

I do like the fact that the characters are not being called Evil Heroes or Anti-heroes but Villains.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Very well done! Will a daughter of the golden eryines be in this AP?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Lord Mhoram wrote:

While I am more on Berselius side of the fence about this whole thing, I understand why it is being attempted.

I do like the fact that the characters are not being called Evil Heroes or Anti-heroes but Villains.

Oddly, I'm having much the opposite reaction... I don't mind evil characters or campaigns, but I'm used to them being 'evil/anti heroes' rather than 'villains'. That is, I could see something like an evil character fighting to preserve Cheliax on the belief that order is preferable to chaos... but Lazzero just seems like a jerk. Mom and dad didn't understand him and other kids were mean? Boo frickin' hoo.

Sovereign Court

3 people marked this as a favorite.
CBDunkerson wrote:
Lord Mhoram wrote:

While I am more on Berselius side of the fence about this whole thing, I understand why it is being attempted.

I do like the fact that the characters are not being called Evil Heroes or Anti-heroes but Villains.

Oddly, I'm having much the opposite reaction... I don't mind evil characters or campaigns, but I'm used to them being 'evil/anti heroes' rather than 'villains'. That is, I could see something like an evil character fighting to preserve Cheliax on the belief that order is preferable to chaos... but Lazzero just seems like a jerk. Mom and dad didn't understand him and other kids were mean? Boo frickin' hoo.

...And he was tempted by an evil god...

But, yeah, I don't think we're meant to feel sympathy for him.

He's a villain!

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

GeraintElberion wrote:

But, yeah, I don't think we're meant to feel sympathy for him.

He's a villain!

I was explaining to my girlfriend that one difference between The Flash and Arrow I like is Flash's Villians aren't as sympathetic (Zoom, Reverse Flash, even Atom Smasher showed little to no 'sympathy points') as Arrow's villians can be (Merlyn, Deathstroke's descent into madness, etc).

I'm hoping the Iconics do have the same kind of mix of "Bad things happened to make me this way" and "Nope, just an utter bastard." Iconics.

Shadow Lodge

King of Vrock wrote:

Hold up... There's some clearly Baphomet inspired notes in that shoulder plate. We all know big B stole some of Asmodeus' mojo for his squeeze Lamashtu. I'd think a bulls head would be verboten on an infernal cleric, no?

--Vrock, Paper, Scissors

According to whoever runs Paizo's Tumblr account, it's a trophy of some sort.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Very excited to see that Wayne is doing the cover art for this AP as well, and that "evil" iconics are being released....can't wait to see the rest of them ;)


mechaPoet wrote:
He's so pointy! Wayne obviously took great pains to make him as pointy as possible. Asmodeans aren't really ones for hugs, I guess.

It's to cover his hair. You see, Lazzero Dalvera is an aspiring Pointy-Haired Boss (which, by the way, needs to be a prestige class . . .).

* * * * * * * *

CBDunkerson wrote:
Lord Mhoram wrote:

While I am more on Berselius side of the fence about this whole thing, I understand why it is being attempted.

I do like the fact that the characters are not being called Evil Heroes or Anti-heroes but Villains.

Oddly, I'm having much the opposite reaction... I don't mind evil characters or campaigns, but I'm used to them being 'evil/anti heroes' rather than 'villains'. That is, I could see something like an evil character fighting to preserve Cheliax on the belief that order is preferable to chaos... but Lazzero just seems like a jerk. Mom and dad didn't understand him and other kids were mean? Boo frickin' hoo.

I wonder how much GM work it would be for tweak this AP to make it amenable to non-Evil (not necessarily Good) characters that feel compelled to serve Thrune/Hell to avert something even worse. Sort of like feeling compelled to fight for Bashard Al Assad to keep ISIS/Daesh from taking over (not saying this is anything close to a good idea or even excusable, but I could see how somebody could come to that conclusion, and you can be sure that the Thrune/Order of the Rack propaganda machine would be working overtime to spin things that way).


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Lazzero's a dick! Objective achieved.

A great iconic write up. It almost has a plausibility, with the effects of bullying gradually snowballing into something terrible.

Who wrote this backstory? Mr. Moreland?

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Quote:
Meet the Villians—Lazzero Dalvera

So are these guys vaude villians, or some other variety? Perhaps bel villians?

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