Crypts of the Barrowmaze
Acanthus Rho, "The Bloodthorn"
Vizier to Lord Rana and patron of the adventurers
Tall, gaunt, of indeterminate age. Hairless. Eyes, hands, cheeks marked with kohl and henna. Wears black silk robes with scarlet lining. Smells of exotic oils. Speaks the common tongue with the lilting accent of Myrindor. Intense and imperious.
This sorcerer came from the Water City along with Lord Rana 3 years ago to claim Castle Blackmoss and reestablish the Duchy of Helbend. His origins are unknown, although his accent seems Myrindish and his garb and name are typical of the Red Court of Blackmire. He is no vampire, however – that much is certain, for he is often seen abroad on the crumbling battlements of Castle Blackmoss, peering out at the swamps to the east through a curious device with many lenses and brass tubes.
His power is also not in doubt. The slave gangs at work on the Castle and the viaducts all obey him without question – not out of fear, but with an uncanny eagerness to please and subservience that speaks of enchantment. There are also rumors that one of the adventurers he recruited attempted to steal some tome or artifact from him. The next day, the thief was nowhere to be seen, but Rho’s salon now housed a ludicrous bird with a long colorful beak in a formerly-empty gilded cage.