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This character started out in my AD&D 2e campaign. I'm not certain he ever had a name, and if he did, I never wrote it down. He was a Yuan-Ti Pureblood, so looked quite human, but had slitted eyes and fangs like a snake. I may have been inspired by a similar villain appearing in a Dungeon magazine adventure I'd run at the time, but how much I'd taken of that and how much was an original creation, I couldn't really say... I can't seem to find the magazine in my collection.
I did quite like the drawing, despite the fact that it doesn't really measure up to my newer stuff, and at one stage I decided to re-purpose the character as one of the antagonists in a novel that I very briefly considered writing. In this incarnation he was a human being, and an assassin for the cult of Slith, a mysterious bunch of crazies that worshipped snakes as gods, were formidable martial artists and had a certain fondness for the use of poisons. Their "religious ceremonies" consisted of seeking out "sacrifices" and ritually murdering them. This was at least partly pragmatic, as the victims were seldom random strangers and were generally people who had caused trouble for the cult or got in its way. The murder ritual would always involve a duel between the victim and assassin, with the victim being given a weapon if he had none of his own. If the victim did win he would be allowed to live because the cultists believed their serpentine gods had favoured him. This was an exceedingly rare occurrence, however, because the assassins were highly trained and exceptionally skilled with their swords and, as I said earlier, were very fond of using poison on their blades.
The Kev's Lounge Friday Character Portraits is a weekly feature on this blog where I take a bit of art that I've created somewhere along the line for some or other purpose and present it along with a little bit of back story for you to use as in role playing games as hand-outs, or as inspiration for characters or NPCs. Here are some more in the series:
1. Town's Guard Captain
2. Female Rogue
4. Pit Fighter
5. Skeleton Pirate
7. The Gambler
While you're here, you might also want to check out our new set of paper miniatures!