The Bridge Burners
The Diabolist controls fiends and tampers with forces even the Archmage avoids. She likes her victims screaming and her chaos pure while claiming that the demons she summons would otherwise overwhelm the Great Gold Wyrm who seals the Abyss. There are two differences between her and her demons: First, she likes keeping destruction personal rather than universal; second, she’s capable of kindness, so long as it comes as a great surprise. The longer she lives, the more Eclavdra looks like one of her demons. The stories are that she was originally a human woman, but you’d be hard-pressed to prove it.
If Eclavdra has overarching goals, they are obscure. What’s clear is the delight she takes in wielding power and unleashing chaos. Her enemies say that she may be nothing more than a slave to the vast powers she dares to command, but as long as she’s smiling she seems to have the upper hand.
The Diabolist leads a scattered and half-mad crew of fiendish cultists. They adore her with respect that borders on worship. In turn, she alternately exalts them and brings them to ruin. With her help, they learn occult secrets, master unspeakable magic, and gloat over the destruction of their enemies. No cultist knows the extent of the cult or its ultimate goals. It is certainly more widespread than the imperial authorities admit to publicly.
Eclavdra lacks the focus and discipline that define the Crusader. She is in it for herself, and she indulges even her petty whims. If she remained on-task the way the Crusader does, things would doubtless be a lot worse. Unless indulging her whims is actually part of a subtle plot that none can guess at until it is too late.
Adventurers & the Icon
Too many adventurers accept missions on the Diabolist’s behalf, often because they are reckless. If adventurers knew what was best for them, they would probably have chosen safer careers than adventuring. Still, a few lucky adventurers have profited mightily from her sponsorship, and they love to show off the remarkable weapons and talismans that they have acquired in consideration for their services.
Adventurers who work for the Eclavdra for long suspect that her chaotic whims and petty vendettas are cover for howling insanity. There are ranks of fiendish cultists hidden behind the gloating cultists who are easy to spot and kill. The deeper you go the more disturbing and insane the experience becomes.
The Diabolist and the Prince of Shadows are said to work together. Everyone else hopes they’re going to betray each other. They hope that a lot.
The Crusader is the Diabolist’s worst nightmare, and she’s no big fan of the Great Gold Wyrm, either. The Priestess protects good people from corruption, making her a real annoyance.
It seems there’s always a Diabolist or at least someone who claims the title. Each of these twisted villains has been different from the ones that came before them. Embracing chaos amplifies a mortal’s personal traits, making each Diabolist unique. Usually a Diabolist is something of a rumor and a mystery, more a legend than a force to be reckoned with. Unfortunately, the current Diabolist has proven herself to be much more than a story to frighten children with she has endured nearly as long as the Archmage himself.