Please enjoy the third submission for our latest contest: Your Best Worst Villain! See the rules and prizes here!
A “brief” aside – Feste’s introduction to the players: This was my first campaign with this group, and I had my best idea yet. Since these players planned to play for a long time together, I could string together a few campaigns for them to eventually fight a creature that threatened to destroy the omniverse, universe by universe (a la Adventure Quest). However, I needed something to introduce an interesting character, and bring the group/party together. So, Feste got his own campaign for this. In the long run, he is not strictly a villain, and in fact helps the party a lot, although this hasn’t happened yet. He’s chaotic neutral, and really enjoys the universe being in existence. It’s a regular DnD 3.5e game in a high-fantasy setting, however there will be high-tech stuff, and it’s the same realm as a chronologically later shadowrun campaign. Bear with the backstory, all will be explained…
In an unknown time and an unknown place within the realm, there lived a great Pit Fiend, who held much power and respect among the devils of Baator, whose name is likely unpronounceable and has not been recorded. He met an old doppelganger whose name was known not even by herself, as her experience was vast, who masqueraded as a Succubus quite successfully. Unfortunately, by some anomaly, this nameless Doppelganger became pregnant with the child of the Pit Fiend. She felt ashamed, and revealed her true self to the Pit Fiend, who, enraged, had her locked away for eternity. When the child was born into slavery, the father was equally so ashamed of him, and had him thrown into a strange pocket dimension outside of time itself, to never again meet him.
The nameless child was hideous. In his true form, he had grotesque half-formed wings, horns in the wrong places among his face, and a mixed skin tone. He felt truly tortured and alone in his empty and tiny infinite. After a couple hundred years, this sad immortal realized that what he thought was his imagination was actually the world around him; that he had essentially become his pocket dimension. His mind had such control of the miniscule universe that he became overjoyed, and had much fun creating meticulous and compelling plays about character of his own invention. After a few joyous centuries honing his skills which transferred to sorcery specified in illusions in the real world, he discovered a spell that could transport him into the material plane, using a sustained portal.
This being found himself in a vibrant and beautiful universe, enthralled with the complexity and fantastic detail and look and feel of all of this real stuff! The being discovered the only control he held in this plane was over his own appearance, so he made himself look like a regular human at the time. A regular human at the time, of course, was tall dark and handsome, clean-cut and with entrancing red eyes. He wore a tux, top hat, and cane, as was the style in this time period. This was after the fall of magic, so humans were all that there was to be seen. This man discovered much about the civilized world, including that one needs a name. Unfortunately, one did not find him right away.
He soon discovered the theatre. It was joyous to see that others shared his love of creating lesser beings and forcing them to interact with each other for his own entertainment, and it was popular for others to come and watch! He would become obsessed with the works of William Shakespeare, and watched The Twelfth Night many, many times. He became utterly enthralled with one character, a genius in disguise, like himself, forced to act a fool so as not to draw attention to himself. He began to call himself Feste, after Shakespeare’s clown. After training himself in the arts of a jester, he became an experienced entertainer, playwright, and user of knives. Soon, an old god complex born of living in eternal lucid dream and being the son of a regal devil took hold of him, and he longed for a real stage.
His old pocket dimension bored him so, as he couldn’t get the backdrops and details right, and his countless sculpted operas were both predictable to him, and unseen by others. He decided once again to enter the real world, in his favourite guise, and use people as characters, playing them against each other as an entertainer to himself, caring little for his playthings themselves, and only for himself. He found himself at the cusp of the height of Magic, in the beginning of the medieval age, where he rose. His great leadership gained him a following of chaotic doppelgangers, who lived within the universe he created for them, and in return, they aided him in his plays, and he would influence the world for centuries, forever content creating beautiful drama through illusions, deception, and the mind of a writer.
Feste is a gentleman, and always plays fair. His specialty is to stay true to his word 100%, tricking people without blatant lies, but instead through tricky wordplay, as he is a master of the Common language. Most of the time his players know not that they are in a play, and they get very distraught. His favourite playthings, however, know they’re in a web, but never to what scope. These are the minds that can fight back, that present a challenge, that are fun! And so he comes to meet our players in a dungeon filled with demons, trapped by a powerful wizard. He killed the trapped demon, and manipulated his room to provide a true mental challenge far above any that are presented in the dungeon, including the seeming forced murder of half the party by the other half, illusory elementals and faked entry into elemental planes, and an epic fight against a real hydra he had laying around, which to this day is by far the best encounter my party has faced. This party, who survived this deadly game, were lead to his pocket dimension, where they managed to best him in a game of chance (well, a mental dice game) after exploring his mind through exploration of his playground, all the while guessing who among them were doppelgangers.
It is thanks to this worthy adversary that this party will one day be ready to face the Devourer of Realms, but that is a story for another day.