Evil in Every Color
Evil comes in many shades and colors across the multiverse and while we may be able to find a villain in each of the five colors within magic it can be hard to create our own. Why would we do this, well a good villain can hold a story together and provide motivations for your characters, but can be difficult to design.
On this website and over on my YouTube channel we have spent a considerable amount of time designing characters for d&d and creative writing using the color pie, in conjunction with the classes of dungeons and dragons, but we never stopped to provide those heroes with a worthy antagonist. In this article I will be doing just that, designing five villains that you can lift straight from this article and apply to your own games or stories, and make sure to stick around till the end where I will discuss the way in which I put these characters together. With that let's start as we always do at the top of the color pie, and design a villain who is White aligned.
There have been a string of seemingly random and cruel murders that have been carried out across the region, with no real sign as to the cause. You have been tasked with finding what has been happening. The trail of death leads you to a small village. Nothing seems to be out of place, that is except for a large gathering at the town center. A man in a white robe is speaking to a group of onlookers, with other people in similar ashen colored robes at his back. He preaches of purity in a dark time his voice filled with conviction. You have seen a lot of things in your travels and this sort of sight isn't out of the ordinary, though the leader does strike you as being above the common
doomsayers and mad puritans you've come across. There is something gripping about his words, and what frightens you most is how much people are receiving his message with focus and intent. Its as if he has pulled them with a spell, but you detect nothing. You do notice an emblem on the hoods of the those gathered around the speaker. A candle with a flickering flame.
In the coming adventure you learn that this mans name is Cavitus, and his group of followers are the order of the pure flame. They are a cult who believe that the world has descended into darkness and preach words of purity at all costs, and wherever they go there is guaranteed to be a death and a new follower. None of the violence can be traced back to him directly and yet it follows him like a shadow. It turns out his words are so strong that his message seems to stick with a member of every village they pass by.
That individual is then stricken with the desire to seek out the person in their village whom they deem to be part of the problem. A woman who speaks out is deemed a witch and put to flame, a banker who is portrayed as greedy is stuck with a dagger, or a crook is executed in a cruel manner. The only way to understand more is to make your way into the cult. The problem is that the words of Cavitus are so captivating you have trouble distinguishing from the truth when you are around him. It is genuine that his words are a spell and even though you don't agree with his message you find yourself drawn to him. What will happen next is up to you.
This villain we have created here is one who leans into the side of White that has a sort of moral superiority. They believe anything outside of purity is a sin to be punished even though they themselves insight violence wherever they go. Cavitus knows exactly what he is doing but can rationalize his actions by stating that the world is a better place wherever their feet tread. The cleansing flame is but a candlelight now but will engulf the world and through the ashes the pure of heart will cultivate that world a new.
There are beings out there who hide behind the façade of humanity using the faces of those you know as a mask to hide who they are. Our blue villain is one such fiend, a shape-shifter. This nameless one has lived many lives, none of which were their own. Some say this entity has been present on this world since its creation, as if it is a part of some grander ethereal force. There are tales of the shifter spanning time and language, from ancient elven tomes, dwarven tales to human scrawling's. It goes by many names, the faceless one, skinwalker or Baldraush, the latter being the oldest name and perhaps the true one. None the less it is a being who is spoken of in tales but rarely seen.
It is a being who is driven by a curiosity of mortals, as if it itself is a blank slate who wishes to fill that void with the lives of those unfortunate enough to cross its path and spark intrigue in them. This nameless one consumes the body mind and soul of its victim, in turn becoming them in nearly every way, that is until it is either bored or found out and slain. Unfortunately its form is an immortal one, or at least it is said, and so it moves on, finds another victim and the cycle continues.
While travelling through a large coastal city you and your party feel as if you are being followed and yet there is no particular person doing so, but from time to time you see an inquisitive eye trace your movements through the city. Its not to unusual to feel like your being watched, adventurers tend to stand out, but this is different. It all comes to a head one morning as you and your and your party rise to start your day when you notice something is off with one of your travelling companions.
It's not quite obvious and nothing they say is out of the ordinary, but something isn't quite right. The rest of the party decides its best to move on, and so you do. What you don't realize now is that with you travels the faceless one, Baldraush, it seems that you're party has sparked its interest and the guide you came to the coastal city with is present no more, its façade and soul consumed by the ancient one.
This villain in Blue is based off of two aspect, one is a curiosity to learn and the other is an indifference to the impact its action can have on another when its goals are its focus. It spends its eternal life looking to fill some sort of void in itself by consuming mortal ones, as if by turning the next corner it will learn its own purpose. In some ways it could be seen as lost and hopeless being, but its actions have dire consequences.
Whispers around town are full of talk about the Baron. Something has come over him as of late. His gaze is distant, his actions cruel and his breath the constant scent of spirits. It's not like he wasn't always a strange man with a bit of harsh edge to him, but its as if something in him finally cracked and yet he is more successful than he has ever been. You see he wasn't always the Baron of these lands. He was a man of some wealth sure, with a family line which held sway in these lands for a long time, but they were never truly the ones in charge, just aristocrats of the region.
Everything changed when the previous Baron, a kind man, went mad himself, and in turn appointed Var Sikosk as Baron and fled the land. Ever since then there has been a darkness over the town, and a wailing coming from the Barons homestead at night. The villagers beg you and your party to do something about it, to investigate. What you come to learn is that Var, a man of Greed and excess, wanted more for himself beyond what his family line had afforded him. Not one to work for what he wanted and a bit of a brat at a young age, Var Sikosk used the aid of a witch to call upon his ancestors from beyond death and bind them to an amulet.
He then used the magic of this amulet to manipulate them into facilitating his greed. Through this artifact he is able to command their spirits to act on his behalf, the issue is that this control is not perfect. Having been torn from the underworld, the ghosts of his ancestors are angry at their return and subsequent servitude. So while they heed his command, they still lash out at him whenever they can. Making it hard for him to sleep or think, driving him further into drink and cruel madness. He often lashes out on those around him, having innocent people locked up, and even at times executed for the most minor of infractions. The townsfolk beg you to do something about this and you know you can't pass on to the next town without helping.
Being a Black aligned villain Var is driven by his greed and desire for power all without the desire for the actual work it requires. This drives him into taking a shortcut which has dire consequences. This is why he is all to willing to desecrate his ancestors graves for a little taste of power, with no moral hindrance when faced with his own Greed.
Long ago lived a General whose vicious campaigns were so brutal that the span of her lifetime is often referred to as the Blood Age. This General went by many names, the crimson commander, mistress of massacre or simply the butcher among many others. It was said that her campaigns were less focused on taking strategic points and more a result of her desire to stain the lands red with blood. As she pressed further and further out from her homeland she would kill many and recruit the rest.
Most of her army were made up of these conscripts but the core of those in her service were die hard loyalist who saw her less as their leader and more of a god. Of course no campaign can last forever and she was finally defeated by a larger accumulated force. The moon was full and the fight was brutal, so much so that it's said that even the sky turned Red that night. It has been one hundred years since that fateful evening and something has begun to stir, the Butcher has returned, signified by the blood moon. Tales of ghastly marauders led by a fierce warrior cloaked in red mist are beginning to spread across the region, the attacks seemingly random, the results are absolute carnage.
Those who were alive during the Blood Age are wracked with the same fear they had in those days, something must be done, by why and how, has she returned? Could the underworld not hold her rage and blood thirst, has a god of war unleashed her upon us to test our mettle. No one knows, the only thing they do know is that when the moon turns Red the crimson commander is on her way and death follows after. This is where you come in.
For our Red villain I decided to apply Reds potential for blood lust and carnage, a villain who is driven by the simple pleasures of war and its brutal outcomes. The motivations of the mistress of massacre are just that, massacre. She is followed by some loyalists who return with her to land of the living, as if tied to her cause, bound her through rage.
Pressed against the bounds of an ever encroaching civilization lies an ancient wood, one that has sat undisturbed for longer than humanity had every been in the region. Of course humans don't heed old folk tales for long and they do little to stay the hand of progress. So it wasn't long before a small settlement popped up at its border. Anyone who truly listens to the words of old tales would know this was a bad idea but all those settlers only saw the endless resources within, which in turn blinded them to its dangers. The horror began on one warm and windy night, as the parents slept the children rose from their beds and walked barefoot out into the forest, not a word passing their lips.
In fact there was no sound other than the wind in the air and low deep moaning coming from the woods. A search party would be sent in to look for the children once the village noticed they were gone that morning. With the sun barely up they made their way inside. They had been on the outskirts of the forest before, chopping down trees and doing some hunting but never had they stepped foot so deep inside. At first they heard the moaning, then they saw the faces.
The search party dropped to their knees in horror as they looked upon the expressions of their children frozen in twisted shapes, their bodies like trees planted to the ground their limbs like branches. Then the moaning sounds ceased in an instant, the silence followed by large creaking footsteps and from the brush rose an entity of ancient horror. A visage of the bramble and bushes, with eyes that glowed Red. It would soon be over for the search party as well, a small handful would manage to flee but the rest were doomed. It would not be long after this event that your party comes across the village and what is left of the villagers who stayed behind.
For the Green villain I wanted something of an ancient horror, almost cosmic style horror. In some ways it is the protector of the forest and in other ways it is the dark heart of it. There are many motivations we could pull from Green to create a villain but for this one I wanted something more thematic of the color rather than philosophical.
As you can see the color pie is a useful tool when designing characters, worlds and in this case villains. Ones that you can use not just for Magic, but for your own Dungeons and Dragons campaigns, stories and more. What makes the creative process even more interesting and I would say fun is the system I used to come up with these villains. You see what I did is looked through my Magic cards until I found the first one that struck me in each color, I tried to not look for a specific card, I wanted it to be a bit of a challenge. Then when I had my five, one for each color I built a villain around them in some way.
Not necessarily making them into villains but rather gaining inspiration from them. The cards which inspired this article were Alharu, Solemn Ritualist for White, Undercover Operative for Blue, Malevolent Noble for Black, Blood Age General for Red, and Yedora, Grave Gardener for Green. As you can see some of them are very close in inspiration while other tend to drift. If you use this system to make a villain or even a hero, then don't worry if your ideas drift that just means you had a spark of creativity. Creativity is an amazing thing we all have inside of us but sometimes we need the right tools for the job and in that way I believe the color pie is just that tool.
Thanks for reading this article, if you like this sort of thing then check out more articles on this website or consider becoming a site member that way you will get notified when the next one goes live. With that friends I'll catch you in the multiverse bye.
DiceTry SOCIAL MEDIA -------------------Follow me everywhere ------------------------------------------
YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/c/DiceTry
Patreon - https://www.patreon.com/dicetry