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    Canonfire :: View topic - The Toymaker and the Archdevil
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    The Toymaker and the Archdevil
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    Adept Greytalker

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    Fri Jul 15, 2022 8:39 am  
    The Toymaker and the Archdevil

    In Living Greyhawk Journal #2, p11, is described a toyshop known as the Grinning Mammet. The proprietor, Sen Thelamae, has become an expert artisan thanks to a pact with an unnamed "archdevil of the Nine", who, in exchange for his success, has forced him to carve secret symbols onto the toys he sells for an unknown purpose.

    I've never been able to distinguish the various archdevils from each other, in terms of personality, motivations, schemes, etc., but I'd like to decide which of them is the patron of this toymaker.

    For those better versed in diabolic politics than myself, which archdevil is the best fit here?
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    Fri Jul 15, 2022 3:20 pm  

    Have you decided on a purpose for the secret symbols? That could help inform which archdecil would be best suited to this scheme.
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    Fri Jul 15, 2022 4:13 pm  

    That's a good question and I don't know that yet. My inclination is that they make the children supersuspectible to temptation and/or corruption.

    When the party attacked Tolstoff Manor and killed the corrupted siblings there, they took as their loot Katarina's expansive slightly disturbing doll collection, which they haven't been able to sell anywhere.

    When I was prepping Greyhawk City, I noticed that, hey, there's a toyshop run by an 18th level Expert (!!) whose gained his skills via Archdevil pact. That is definitely where the party is going to try to offload that doll collection they're carrying around.

    So my thought right now is that this toymaker actually carved the Tolstoff's creepy doll collection and will immediately know where it came from. Once he verifies that the Tolstoffs are dead and can conclude that the party murdered them, he's going to attempt to extort money from them to keep silent.

    That's all I got so far.
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    Fri Jul 15, 2022 4:14 pm  

    Let's run down the archdevils. I'm not sure what point in time you're using, so I'll include the different ones across different editions.

    Tiamat - corruption of a mortal is not her style, she's more focused on dragonkind. Probably not unless these are going to be involved with dragons.
    Bel - focused on the Blood War. Pass.
    Zauriel - same as Bel. Nope.
    Dispater - mostly focused on the city of Dis, but also a knowledgeable and ancient devil. A possible candidate.
    Mammon - focused on greed. An unlikely candidate.
    Belial/Fierna - focused more on lust. Neither are likely.
    Geryon - too brutish for this. Pass.
    Levistus - he's a schemer. This could work, but he needs to get something out of it.
    The Hag Countess - she's trying to ascend to godhood. It's unlikely that this would help her.
    Glasya - she's a mixed bag general schemer. It's possible, but I think she looks to give items to corrupt others more than knowledge. I would choose another candidate.
    Moloch - like Geryon, this is too subtle for him. Unless it somehow relates to being independent of Baazebul, I would pass on him.
    Baazebul - he is the lord of the flies and lies like a rug. He could be behind it, but granting knowledge does not seem like his styel.
    Mephistopheles - he's the cunning, smooth one. This could be something that he or his consort would be involved in.
    Asmodeus - the devil of devils. It could be him, but this seems pretty insignificant for one of his schemes.

    I agree with Califor that deciding on the purpose will help you choose which one. In general, I would probably choose Mephistopheles, but (plugging my earlier posts) have you considered a consort of Hell instead?
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    Fri Jul 15, 2022 6:37 pm  

    Who's got the best motive for a long game?

    Simply making a connection to the kids, and making them more susceptible to temptation, may well be the the immediate goal. These sort of toys are not for common kids in general. They're for the kids of wealthy merchants and nobility; the future movers and shakers of the world.

    Get an early in with kids when they're still easily influenced, already being there in their teens when they become rebellious against authority in general and their parents in particular and you can get all sorts of influence or control in all sorts of interesting places.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Sat Jul 16, 2022 7:34 am  
    Re: The Toymaker and the Archdevil

    edmundscott wrote:
    In Living Greyhawk Journal #2, p11, is described a toyshop known as the Grinning Mammet. The proprietor, Sen Thelamae, has become an expert artisan thanks to a pact with an unnamed "archdevil of the Nine", who, in exchange for his success, has forced him to carve secret symbols onto the toys he sells for an unknown purpose.

    I've never been able to distinguish the various archdevils from each other, in terms of personality, motivations, schemes, etc., but I'd like to decide which of them is the patron of this toymaker.

    For those better versed in diabolic politics than myself, which archdevil is the best fit here?



    Mammet :
    (obsolete) A false god; an idol. [13th-17th c.]
    A doll or puppet; a lifeless figure, an effigy, a scarecrow. [from 15th c.]
    (by extension) A foolish person.

    Mammon ? "a Syrian deity, god of riches; Hence riches, wealth"
    Greed, cupidity
    "Mammon's influence on the Material Plane wasn't limited to lone scammers, for he also had widespread cults. Having gained exorbitant wealth from dirty dealings, coercion, and extortion, such cultists could be found at the peak of high society and in merchant or trade guilds."

    Glasya ?
    Plot with Mammon against Asmodeus.

    Jacques
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    Sat Jul 16, 2022 12:41 pm  

    Vulcan wrote:
    Who's got the best motive for a long game?

    Simply making a connection to the kids, and making them more susceptible to temptation, may well be the the immediate goal. These sort of toys are not for common kids in general. They're for the kids of wealthy merchants and nobility; the future movers and shakers of the world...


    -You beat me to it.
    Adept Greytalker

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    Sun Jul 17, 2022 11:29 am  

    Lareth, that list was exactly what I was hoping to get when I posted. Thank you so much for the thought and recommendations.

    However, my pathological love of etymology is going to make me decide to go with Docjaques' Mammon suggestion, because as soon as I saw it, it was obvious to me that's what the original author (Erik or Denis) intended by naming the place what they had. So Grinning Mammon it is, and a fiendish plot against Greyhawk City's wealthy children.

    Thank you, everyone!
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