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by Rodger Burns

LEPTAR (The Groaning Fiend; The Seeker After Corruption)

Among his fellow immortals, Leptar has a reputation as a dull-witted brute whose only interest is in causing pain to others in the simplest and most direct manner possible. Nothing could be further from the truth. In actuality, Leptar is cunning, ambitious, power-hungry and selfish; he's also smart enough to realise that pursuing his ends too openly is just likely to get him some serious opposition, and so adopts the public persona of an Alphaks or Bagni Gullymaw while pursuing his real aims more discreetly.

Leptar has two main interests - suborning the loyalties of other Immortals' clerics and convincing them to serve Entropy, and finding Artifacts and other items of powerful magic so he can twist and corrupt their power. He's subtle and discreet in both areas - he'll seek to tempt promising young clerics rather than established leaders, for instance, and makes his case indirectly via carefully-planted ancient manuscripts and mortal mouthpieces (that *could* be acting on their own, not directed by their obviously-too-stupid-to-care Immortal patron) rather than openly manifesting or offering power directly. Likewise, he seeks out items that have been long-lost or nearly forgotten, not the latest hot prize, and after finishing his rewiring he's content to abandon them in some tomb or dungeon where they won't be found again for years or even decades. This limits his possible gains, but also means that most of his potential targets don't even suspect his involvement - even when they do note Immortal activity, they assume it to be someone like Atzanteotl or Masauwu using Leptar as a blind. Which is just the way Leptar likes it.

Leptar has no real allies - even his fellow Entropics generally view him as a tool and muscle, not as someone worth plotting with. Thanatos, though, has begun to realise Leptar's hidden depths, and will sometimes give the younger Immortal a discreet assist (which Leptar himself doesn't realise and wouldn't particularly appreciate). Leptar's chief enemy is Chardastes, the Immortal who's most often been the target of Leptar's plots; Leptar deliberately threw the fight during his only direct confrontation with Chardastes, and so the other Immortal considers Leptar to be less of a threat than he actually is.

Leptar's most common Manifestation Form is of a wingless Groaning Fiend, often covered in long, tangled black fur everywhere except the hands, feet and face. He sometimes adopts alternate Manifestation Forms on the rare instances when he wants to intervene directly but disguise his identity; the most recent example of this is a slender, androgynous humanoid form made out of swirling multicoloured pure energy, but he is unlikely to keep using this for very long.

Leptar's plots can trouble mortal PCs of almost any experience level - he meddles in the affairs of talented novices as often as (or more often than) he involves himself with the movers and shakers of Mystara. Some of the servants that Leptar recruits are defeated quickly, but others survive and gain great power in their master's service, working from the shadows - and any of these could emerge after years of patient plotting, to trouble the affairs of the powerful.

Clerics of Leptar must be Chaotic (he generally has no non-clerical followers). They can use swords and longbows, and once per day can cast locate object.

Game Statistics: Celestial, Sphere of Entropy. 16th-level Immortal. AC -7; hp 240; HD 30; MV 150' (50'); #AT 2; Dmg 3d6+8 (punch) or 2d6+13 (longbow); AM 60%; Save IM16; AL C; Str 36, Int 44, Wis 25, Dex 17, Con 33, Cha 40. Powers: Call Other, Control Undead, Detection Suite, Groan. Weapons: Longbow +5, +10 vs. spellcasters.