Friday, October 2, 2015

The King is Dead: Vicar Frosch, Hypocrite

Trigger Warning: child abuse, rape

Real-life scumbag Jeffrey Jones in Sleepy Hollow
(Also, Johnny Depp -- who I still want to play me in the movie)
Vicar Frosch
Villain

The creed of the Holy Panoptic Church could be summarized as “Might makes Right.” The vampiric conquest of humanity proves their moral superiority, worldly success is proof of divine favor, slaves deserve to be slaves because they are enslaved, etc., etc… Though even the most downtrodden farmer carries doubts in his heart that the world is meant to be so oppressive, he obeys because his village priest tells him he deserves to be unhappy. 

Marten Frosch is the vicar of Mittelham, a market town situated at the confluence of several farming villages. Every Sabbat night, farmers, fieldhands, and their families from a half-dozen villages troop through the twilight to listen to him rail against the weakness of the world and praise the vampires for saving humanity from itself. He gathers tithes of gold for the bishop in Thornburg and tithes of blood for Marquis Lothar Eligos von Stenzgard (who often does not even deign to send a dhampir to drink the tithe). Hundreds submit to Vicar Frosch’s moral authority.

And – like the vampires he devoutly serves – Vicar Frosch preys upon his flock. The vicar is a sadist and pederast, taking advantage of the children sent to him as altarboys and initiates, threatening them with damnation if they speak against him. Even in Malleus, the vicar’s behavior is considered a crime – it violates the parents’ right of ownership to their children and the vampires’ right of prima noctae – but who would dare speak against a man of the cloth? Indeed, isn’t his continued at hiding his secret life simply proof that Sathaniel loves him?

Vicar Frosch supplements his perverse desires with an astonishing collection of suppressed books: Remulan satyricons, Pariahic gospels (he enjoys the flagellations), and stranger grimoires speaking of congress with spirits fair and foul. Someone who discovered his secret could easily extort forbidden arcane knowledge from the vicar – or they could smite him down the way a just god would.

Attitude: As a devout (if hypocritical) servant of the Holy Panoptic Church, Marten Frosch is opposed to the revolution and Hostile to anyone he knows to be a revolutionary. Frosch happily plays the role of scholar and moral authority, and is Friendly to anyone of any race that seeks his aid in matters of faith. He is Helpful and obedient to any aristocrat or blood-drinker – and Helpful and subservient to anyone who knows his secret.
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d8, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Faith d6, Gambling d6, Intimidation d8, Investigation d8, Knowledge (Occult) d8, Notice d6, Persuasion d6, Riding d4, Shooting d4, Stealth d8, Taunt d8
Charisma: +2; Pace: 6; Parry: 2; Toughness: 5
Hindrances: Arrogant [Frosch is assured of his superiority to anyone except aristocrats and vampires], Dark Secret [pederast with library of forbidden books], Vow [serve the Holy Panoptic Church]
Edges: AB: Miracles, Gentry [while not a true landowner, Frosch’s position gives him influence and wealth], Strong Willed
Gear: Fowling rifle (Range 10/20/40, Damage 2d6+1, RoF 1), library of forbidden lore (+2 to any Investigation or Knowledge (Occult) tests to research non-vampiric monsters or Pariahism), riding crop (Str+d4-2, +2 to hit, +1 to Intimidation & Riding, AP -2), robes of office.
Special Abilities:

  • Power Points: 10
  • Powers: banish (invocations to Sathaniel drive out the devils of the Pariah), fear (fire and brimstone sermon)

GM Notes
While the central conceit of The King is Dead – irredeemably evil vampires rule the nation – is in place to give the heroes an excuse to cut off a bunch of peoples’ heads and suffer no moral qualms, it is still a horror setting – and there is nothing more horrifying than the depths of depravity to which ordinary people can descend. Frosch can be used to give the players a taste of the pervasiveness of evil in Malleus, or to present them with a difficult moral choice. Do they have the right to execute an ordinary human? Do they keep Frosch alive to continue using his library? Do they tip off the local magistrate and let the vampires enact bloody, horrifying justice?

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