31 Days of D&D — Day 14

Day 14 — Favorite NPC?


After DMing for as long as I have, there have been more than a few NPCs that have stood out over the years: Thaddeus Sexton (bard), Pathfinder (ranger), Malesca (sorcerer), and, of course, Wulfram Norstrom (avatar). And there were others too, equally memorable, like Thun the Ogre and Soggybottom the goblin.

But favorite? That honor goes to Malhavok Mordae Gûl.

Malhavok started out as a player character back in 1985. I played him twice, both times with Shaun Keenan behind the DM screen. He began life as a 2nd Edition 5th level magic-user and 3rd level fighter. The adventure, as I recall, was our assault on a wizard’s stronghold, tomb-of-horrors-esque, and he fared well, all things considered.

I took a shine to him. Sure, he was lawful evil, but he was also loyal to his friends, and once I made him an NPC, he became a master manipulator and a true force to be reckoned with.

He has shown up in nearly every campaign I’ve run since his inception, sometimes as a villain, sometimes as an ally.

When we pulled together for our reunion game three years back, it was Malhavok who was the catalyst for the storyline that followed.

He has been my quintessential protagonist (and antagonist) for over 30 years now and I foresee him conspiring both for and against players at my table for many more years to come.


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