The Hell's Vengeance Adventure Path is here, and it's time to reveal the next iconic villain for Paizo's first Adventure Path for evil characters! Today we present the iconic antipaladin, Urgraz. Check out Pathfinder Adventure Path #107: Scourge of the Godclaw for Urgraz's full stat block, and download the Hell's Vengeance Player's Guide, which contains all of the new iconic villains for use as pregenerated characters!
Urgraz was born into a life that had everything a duergar could hope for—which isn't much. He was trained and tested throughout his harsh childhood, as are all duergar, and showed aptitude for both military duties and the mental rigors of the priesthood. But Urgraz hated the inflexible order of training and railed against the rule of ministers of Droskar, the god of his people.
Before long, Urgraz began instigating minor rebellions and sought to cause accidents for his fellow trainees. More than once, the young duergar was caught bending the rules for no other reason than to cause havoc and injure other trainees (which delighted him in ways that no other activity could). Some level of deception and treachery is expected among the faithful of Droskar, but such duplicity is expected to be in service of a plan to bring greater wealth or power. Urgraz quickly discovered that claiming to have a plan, no matter how complex or unlikely, to gain from the confusion he caused appeased his masters. As a result, they marked him not as rebellious, but simply shortsighted and slow-minded.
The elders of Urgraz's clan relegated the apparently unpromising duergar to guard duty on slave caravans to distant drow cities. Urgraz caused minor difficulties however he could, and amused himself by killing the occasional straggling slave in painful ways. When that grew dull, he began to trick and kill fellow duergar in accidents he staged. Thanks to his gifted talent for lying and his reputation of being dull-witted, Urgraz found such crimes easy to commit, and he soon grew bored once again.
Years passed, and the restless duergar struggled to find new ways to satisfy his urge to create chaos and pain. Urgraz acquired an oversized crossbow from an especially well-equipped cave giant that he could only fire by putting it down and then using his innate enlarge person ability, just because he liked the sight of impaled foes. He sold diseased slaves to spread plague, sabotaged the gear of fellow duergar, and even killed members of his own family by contaminating their food with virulent disease-laden ingredients. Such indirect efforts gave him a slight thrill, but could not sustain Urgraz's need for anarchy.
Through his family's slave trade with the drow, Urgraz struck up an acquaintance with a dark elf named Zaykira. Though the two were not friends, and certainly did not trust each other, Zaykira and Urgraz discovered they shared a mutual desire for destruction. Zaykira worshiped the demon lord Mazmezz, and showed Urgraz the power a demon lord could grant those willing to offer acceptable forms of obedience and sacrifice. Zaykira suggested the two form a team and pose as outcasts working as guides for surface dwellers exploring the Darklands. At an opportune moment, when they had lulled their employers into a false sense of safety, the two would turn on their charges and sacrifice them to the greater glory of Mazmezz, who would reward them both.
Urgraz agreed, and the two moved to the uppermost regions of Nar-Voth, where they began a modest business as guides and, as Zaykira had suggested, killed those who hired them. Urgraz discovered that anticipation of vile acts felt almost as satisfying as the acts themselves, and that if he feigned loyalty and friendship he could arrange far more complex and satisfying situations for his victims than any single act of torture or abuse. He learned discipline and patience, all in the name of achieving greater horror.
Zaykira continued to pressure Urgraz to swear himself to Mazmezz, and eventually Urgraz relented. They captured a dwarf to sacrifice to the demon lord, and shared a meal before the sacrifice… and that's when Zaykira suddenly became paralyzed. Urgraz explained to his partner that he had poisoned the food, and was himself immune to its effects. Before killing the closest thing to an ally he had ever had, Urgraz made sure Zaykira knew this day had long been coming. He had planned for it since they had first joined forces. He had just waited until Zaykira was far from home, support, and rescue, and lulled into a false sense of safety. It was Urgraz's greatest betrayal, and he expected to revel in it for years.
Urgraz took his time sacrificing Zaykira to Mazmezz, using everything he had learned from their study together. As he finished, a sense of dark power began burning inside him. He realized that not only did he wish to cause catastrophes and death and spread anarchy and evil, but he specifically wanted to hurt those who stood for better things. While he might desire nothing more than to rampage through the Darklands and destroy the entire duergar race, Urgraz knew he needed time to grow stronger. Until that time, he would remain on the surface, training himself for his eventual task.
When Urgraz found the world above, thankfully bathed only in moonlight, he followed a road that led toward Canorate, capital city of the nation of Molthune. The guards at the city gates demanded to know his business there.
"I am Urgraz, an outcast from Nar-Voth. I had to flee the realms below, for I did not fit the strictures of my people's society, and would have been killed if I had stayed. I am an able warrior, and seek employment."
Every word was technically true. For now, Urgraz would serve an employer. He would be patient.
He had learned the satisfaction of a betrayal years in the making, and eagerly awaited the misery and chaos he could cause in the surface lands.
Stay tuned for the reveal of our sixth and final iconic villain appearing in the pages of our first evil Adventure Path, Hell's Vengeance!
Owen K.C. Stephens