Meet the Villains—Emil Kovkorin

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The countdown to the Hell's Vengeance Adventure Path continues, as we reveal the next iconic villain that will appear in Paizo's first Adventure Path for evil characters! Today we present the iconic assassin, Emil Kovkorin. Check out Pathfinder Adventure Path #105: The Inferno Gate for Emil's full stat block, and keep an eye out for the upcoming Hell's Vengeance Player's Guide, which contains all of the new iconic villains for use as pregenerated characters!


Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Emil became the source of great scandal when he was born to a pair of affluent merchants in the Andoren capital of Almas. Normally a tiefling in Andoran wouldn't raise many eyebrows; however, Emil's parents were former nobles who had refused to face exile and instead grudgingly capitulated to the growing zeitgeist that gripped Andoran during the People's Revolt. Though they had never roused enough ire to warrant a visit from the Eagle Knights, the Kovkorins were quite vocal about their dissenting opinions on the eradication of the aristocracy, often clashing with their nation's lofty, democratic ideals.

Emil's parents tried to hide the boy's fiendish nature from the public, but the young tiefling's distinctive tail—and the smoke that poured out of his differently colored eyes whenever his emotions got the better of him—made their attempts futile. Convinced that the old money in Andoran took part in seditious practices against the government, rabble-rousers pointed at Emil as proof that the former nobility were truly loyal to themselves, House Thrune, and even Hell itself. Enemies of Emil's family used the boy as a rallying point for those who shared their views about Andoran's overthrown class system, and fingered the family for being part of the Seven Houses, a conspiracy of one-time nobles who still used their wealth to influence the nation.

In truth, Emil's parents did indeed belong to the Seven Houses, and had recently accepted a large sum of money and promises for security from House Thrune in exchange for swaying votes in the People's Council in favor of laws that might benefit Cheliax and delivering information on Eagle Knight activities. At first, these accusations hardly mattered to the furious noble couple, who had faced the same opposition before. However, they saw their Hell-spawned son as a political liability and locked him away in a cellar beneath their impressive manor house. But when the Eagle Knights finally came calling to their estate, Emil's parents chose exile over death, and abandoned their 8-year-old son along with their other gifts from House Thrune.

The estate fell to the government, and a few weeks later, the bureaucrat who came to catalog the new assets—an elderly minister of trade and commerce from the Demarchy Assembly—discovered Emil in the basement, sitting in a cloud of smoke and tears. Whether in an act of egalitarian charity or wily foresight, the minister adopted Emil as his ward, taking the boy back to his home.

For the first time in his life, Emil freely walked the streets of his home city, though he soon learned that his noble heritage attracted as much negative attention as his fiendish one. He quickly became deft with disguises—much more so than his parents had been. He found that he enjoyed the feeling of power that came with anonymity and a changeable identity in these undercover excursions, though he struggled to find an identity that fit him. Under various guises he fought in brawls down in Portside, spied on the logging operations in Timberfell, and snuck in to performances in the Theater District.

He also had a taste of his parents' former high-class lifestyle, thanks to his mentor. The old man groomed the lad for a landscape of political intrigue, paying for a swordfighting trainer and bringing Emil along to dinners, balls, and other high-society functions in Almas. Emil never wore a disguise at these events, at his mentor's request; the crafty politician liked how the tiefling's eerie eyes unsettled his political opponents.

Emil delighted in this as well, and soon began finding other ways to subtly advance his mentor's agendas—in secret, of course. A rival politician might lose an important document, for example, or an uncooperative union organizer might get in a fight with a stranger on the street and end up with a broken jaw. Emil never cared much about the actual politics involved, but thrilled to see his power displayed in his targets' suffering. With each misdeed, Emil's schemes grew increasingly cruel, vindictive, and enjoyable.

All this came to a head one day when Emil returned home to find his mentor fretting about international trade negotiations. A Drumish diplomat apparently had some incriminating evidence against Emil's patron, and threatened to expose everything unless Druma received extraordinarily generous terms. With sudden inspiration, Emil excused himself calmly and walked down the hall to his chamber, his eyes wafting trails of smoke in barely contained excitement.

Later that night, a half-elven Eagle Knight approached the Drumish embassy—which had once been the mansion of Emil's parents—with an urgent message for the diplomat to be delivered to his hands only. The earnest young Eagle Knight was granted an audience, and as soon as he and the diplomat were alone in the mirror-trimmed parlor, the disguised Emil pounced, driving a dagger up through the man's jaw. As the would-be blackmailer bled out in the tiefling's arms, Emil caught his reflection in one of the large silver mirrors on the wall. Smoke coursed from his eyes—one black, one red—and the warm blood flecking his skin made his sharp-toothed grin all the wider.

As he dropped the lifeless body to the ground, he realized he'd been searching for this identity all along, the mask he would wear forevermore: he would be the face of death in Almas.

Since that night, Emil has claimed dozens of unsuspecting lives—sometimes for gold, sometimes for fun. He has never lost the thrill of walking in public disguised, knowing he possesses the power to end the life of any person he meets on the street unnoticed. Nor has he forgotten the exhilaration of watching a victim die, not even when he took a bag of gold from a Lumber Consortium officer to end the life of his adopted father.

Emil doesn't frequent state events anymore unless he is working, but he is intimately familiar with the already-rotting underbelly of the ruling class in the young nation of Andoran, and takes contracts from government officials as often as from those with more private interests. Each time he kills, he lingers to watch death take hold of his new victim before vanishing back into the night, leaving nothing more than a few wisps of smoke.

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!

Joe Homes
Contributor

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Emil Hell's Vengeance Iconics Meet the Iconics Pathfinder Adventure Path Wayne Reynolds

sweet, a tiefling iconic villain, love the backstory


1 person marked this as a favorite.

An interesting iconic I was sympathizing with until the last few paragraphs. I'd personally peg him as a slayer, though I imagine he's to be their 'rogue iconic'. All of the villains have turned out wonderfully so far - I look forward to the rest.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Very nice but how he's supposed to join up with the other bad guys in Cheliax?


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

so is he a slayer or a rogue?

Shadow Lodge

Rogar Valertis wrote:
Very nice but how he's supposed to join up with the other bad guys in Cheliax?

Letter of recommendation/request? "Word of your exploits has reached our ears and we have a proposition that we believe you will find most intriguing, if you'll just come out this way and we can perhaps arrange something..."

Shadow Lodge

zergtitan wrote:
so is he a slayer or a rogue?

Probably a rogue, I imagine they'll tend to stick to core classes.

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

AT LAST A VILLAIN


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
zergtitan wrote:
so is he a slayer or a rogue?

he has at least a lvl in assassin, i'd guess he was a rogue first


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Vigilante seems possible as well, even if it is slightly early for that.


Biztak wrote:
zergtitan wrote:
so is he a slayer or a rogue?
he has at least a lvl in assassin, i'd guess he was a rogue first

The assassin entry requirements are embarrassingly easy for pretty much any class.


10 people marked this as a favorite.

Well, he's not my kid.

I hope...


Asmodeus, Prince of Darkness wrote:

Well, he's not my kid.

I hope...

you know he's your great....great grandson


8 people marked this as a favorite.

Awesome art, also every notice 6 fingers on those hands, such a fun detail!

Silver Crusade

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
ChrisLKimball wrote:
Awesome art, also every notice 6 fingers on those hands, such a fun detail!

Feets too!


yeah no doubt this black hearted scoundrels a proper villain through and through.


Awesome!


Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

I'm not sure if this is intentional, but his last name bears more than a passing resemblance to Kevorkian.

Shadow Lodge

When will the pewter mini be available?

Shadow Lodge

j b 200 wrote:
I'm not sure if this is intentional, but his last name bears more than a passing resemblance to Kevorkian.

Yeah, I had to do a double take on that first time around. Also, I say rogue, slayer does not get proficiency with hand crossbow.


That's probably the nastiest looking tiefling I've ever seen. In a good way.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I'm going to have to assume that the villian spelling is intentional after multiple occurrences.


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

And the villains continue to impress!

I like how it's so heartwarming... the poor, abandoned, unloved,neglected child, taken in by a kindly soul... AND LOOK AT 'EM NOW!

Dark Archive

5 people marked this as a favorite.

Oh hey, non core race representation, that is nice indeed

Sovereign Court

Samy wrote:
I'm going to have to assume that the villian spelling is intentional after multiple occurrences.

Yeah, that's weird.

Dark Archive

Starfinder Superscriber

This Blog post reminded me that I needed to start up my subscription for Hell's Vengeance. I have been waiting for an evil campaign from Paizo ever since Way of the Wicked ended.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

A non-core race iconic! This makes me so happy!


5 people marked this as a favorite.

This dude is so much cooler than Merisiel. Yes you heard me! I DON'T DENY IT!

#TieflingPride #DownWithTheElves

 

 

 

 

 

Aw man did I just go full hashtag? Never go full hashtag..

Dark Archive

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Rysky wrote:
AT LAST A VILLAIN

I dunno, I think he might be Lawful Good.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32

Along with the cleric, these villains keep turning out long and pointy.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Thank you you fine folks at Paizo Publishing for not taking this serial killing Tiefling too far. I realize your treading a very fine line with these evil characters and trying not to offend people who play Pathfinder but have relatives who have been assaulted themselves. So far the "evil" iconics you've portrayed are definately "evil" but not to an extent that it would offend a great deal of people and I for one thank you for your restraint.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

+1'ing a tiefling/non-core iconic, even if it is just for this AP.

ChrisLKimball wrote:
Awesome art, also every notice 6 fingers on those hands, such a fun detail!

Is there a Gravity Falls equivalent in Andoren or Cheliax?


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
FractalLaw wrote:
Vigilante seems possible as well, even if it is slightly early for that.

NE Vigilante is my guess.


mechaPoet wrote:
Along with the cleric, these villains keep turning out long and pointy.

Indeed, DiTerlizzi may have some competition.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Berselius wrote:
Thank you you fine folks at Paizo Publishing for not taking this serial killing Tiefling too far. I realize your treading a very fine line with these evil characters and trying not to offend people who play Pathfinder but have relatives who have been assaulted themselves. So far the "evil" iconics you've portrayed are definately "evil" but not to an extent that it would offend a great deal of people and I for one thank you for your restraint.

Naturally I can't speak for Paizo, but I imagine that their intent has been to keep these iconics within the same spectrum of evil as they normally portray evil NPCs in their adventure paths.

The fact that Hell's Vengeance is an Evil-focused adventure path doesn't mean that Evil automatically becomes more graphic. It seems to me that Paizo has a clear idea of how they wish to portray Evil, and I would expect an Evil-focused adventure path to adhere to that same clear idea.


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

Well, that, and iconics shouldn't be mindless cartoons of villainy. An Iconic, by their very nature, needs to have some staying power.

Dark Archive

6 people marked this as a favorite.
ChrisLKimball wrote:
Awesome art, also every notice 6 fingers on those hands, such a fun detail!

I do not mean to pry, but you don't by any chance happen to have six fingers on your right hand?


At last . . . An Andoran connection!


Who knew The Devil's Right Hand would have 6 fingers?

Makes sense :)

Am loving this group of iconics... kudos to all behind them.


Cool pic, but still prolly not gonna buy this one. Same as Way of the Wicked, I can totally see the reasoning behind the evil campaign, but when you sit down and actually write out evil things for people pretending to be evil to do....not my cuppa.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Adventure Path / Hell's Vengeance / Paizo Blog: Meet the Villains--Emil Kovkorin All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.