Postfest III: Sir Anton Palmirian
Date: Sat, December 11, 2004
Topic: Rogue's Gallery
Laws are like cobwebs, which may catch small flies, but let wasps and hornets break through. – Swift
Sir Anton Palmirian
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Sir Anton Palmirian
In the year 592 CY, Sir Anton Palmirian is a Director of the ruling Oligarchy of the Free City of Greyhawk, as well as the Guildmaster of the Guild of Lawyers, Scribes and Accountants, the most powerful guild in the city. While he is a city judge, Sir Anton rarely arbitrates in court. He instead spends much of his time advising the Lord Mayor and Directing Oligarchy on legal matters. Normally, it would be unlikely that such a high-level official, far removed from the street-level bureaucracy of the city, would ever cross paths with adventurers. However, two adventuring parties would offer warnings against doing so, were they still around. In 582 CY, the Albino Croc Crew was hired as bodyguards by Judge Porthos, during the night of the Oerthian eclipse of Celene. Allegations were filed the next morning with the Constable’s office implicating Sir Anton in the murder of one Arkalyne Tostoni . The adventuring party could not be contacted for further investigation, however, and the matter was dropped. In 591 CY, a group calling themselves Jendda’s Legacy (rumored to have been responsible for saving Greyhawk from the Doomgrinder) filed charges of extortion against the Governor-Mayor of Diamond Lake, then Lanod Neff . Shortly thereafter, Lanod Neff disappeared and Sebah of Ceshra, a middle-aged Baklunish warrior from the same company that filed the charges, was appointed the new Governor-Mayor with backing by Sir Anton. Six months later, Sebah also disappeared, and none of the other members of Jendda’s Legacy have been seen since. In truth, Sir Anton Palmirian has a long and sordid past, and he does his best to keep it covered up, along with many of his current endeavors. Any group of adventurers that happens to stumble upon one of his secrets would do well to keep such knowledge to themselves.
Anton started out as a street rat in the Old City. The Horned Society was newly formed, and agents had been sent to infiltrate Greyhawk’s government and militia . Part of this infiltration force was a devil-worshipping priest who had been sent on a mission of sedition. The priest started formenting unrest in the native populace by abducting orphans and children that had strayed from adult supervision for use in his diabolic rituals. Anton was one of these children. When the agents of the fledging Guild of Assassins eventually tracked down the secret lair of the priest, they found that the man had already been dispatched by a blood-soaked and horrified 12-year-old boy. The agents and city rulers were so impressed with the story of this brave sole-survivor of tragedy, that he was knighted as a member of the Order of the Rook, a non-military order of knights who have performed some exceptionally great service toward the betterment or protection of Greyhawk. He was considered a ward of the city, and was taken in by one of the assassins.
Sir Anton seemed to possess a relentless drive to better himself and get as far away from his humble origins as possible. His guardian was an alma mater of the School of Clerkship , and had arranged for Anton to attend when he was old enough. After completing the school’s enscription program, Anton continued on with advanced work in journalism. His teachers were very impressed with his determination, unfailing memory, and his ability to grasp subtle and complex concepts instantly. Upon graduating, he applied for guild membership in the Guild of Lawers and Scribes. The scribes filled all positions within the extended bureaucracy that translated the Directorship’s rulings into action, and Sir Anton turned his ambition towards learning the machinery of government and advancing within the guild.
As he began climbing the ranks of the guild, first as court reporter, then legal aide, lawyer, judge, and finally Chief Judge of Greyhawk, the young knight managed to acquire sole interest in a small mercantile empire. He very shrewdly married into a wealthy merchant family and took over the family business from his ailing father-in-law. Over time he managed to replace family members in key positions with new management and increased the profitability of his business substantially by burning the midnight oil. When the time came to divorce his wife so that he could do the whole thing over again, his burgeoning knowledge of the law allowed him to maintain complete ownership of his budding cartel. At 50-years-old, Sir Anton could have easily retired to live comfortably on the profits of his business, with the respect due a former judge of the city, but his ambition seemed to know no bounds.
Whether the source of Sir Anton’s supernatural drive is, in fact, supernatural is not known. What is known is that when he had been abducted by the priest of the Horned Society as a youth, he had joined the priest as a willing disciple in order to save his own skin. After having participated in multiple child sacrifices to a diabolic power, he was offered the chance to sell his soul in exchange for a life of wealth, power and success. He signed the contract, illiterate and dubious of the existence of a soul at the time, in an effort to appease his new master. When a later ritual sacrifice was interrupted by the forces of Greyhawk storming his master’s secret lair in the sewers, Anton seized upon the distraction to gain his freedom by shoving a sacrificial dagger into the back of the perverted priest. For years after, Anton was never sure if his newfound success was due to the contract he had signed or not. What he did notice, however, was that concurrent with his increase in success was the increasing frequency of terrible nightmares. In these nightmares he was eaten alive by a horned, fly-eyed fiend that made demands upon him to stave off total consumption. At first he wrote these off to a guilty conscience inflicted upon him for some of the nastier things he had had to do in his youth, but the dreams would get worse until he actually heeded the demands of the fiend. It was largely his attempt to avoid the dreams that kept him working through the night when he was younger. As he aged, Sir Anton no longer fought with the nightmares, but simply used his wealth and influence to produce results that made them subside.
Now, at 71-years-old, with long white hair and beard, pince-nez, and failing health, the Chief Justice of Greyhawk fears that the time may be coming to make good on his contract. In addition to using his wealth and influence to heed the occasional demands of the devil in his dreams, and to cover his tracks, Sir Anton expends considerable resources into seeking a means of achieving immortality that does not involve the loss of one’s soul. He anonymously funds arcane and alchemical research in the area, frames individuals rumored to possess life-extending magic items so that the items might be seized in payment of fines (with help from Glodreddi Bakkanin), and sends adventurers on quest for legendary items through third party fronts.
1 City of Greyhawk Boxed Set, Greyhawk: Folk, Feuds, and Factions, p. 92.
2 The Doomgrinder, pp. 22-23.
3 The Adventure Begins, p. 60.
4 The Adventure Begins, p. 99.