Okay, I’m piecing together a 5e homebrew campaign right now and want to see what tumblr thinks of the big bads that the party will be up against.
Iona Maleficarum - The White Queen.
(Lvl 20 Oathbreaker Paladin [DMG])
The leader of a hoard of undead minions who has declared war on the gods themselves, loosing her minions to raise every temple to every deity that she crosses and putting every order of holy knights and paladins she encounters to the sword.
Iona’s father was a mighty warrior in his own right, but even the greatest swordsman can do little against the ritual necromancy of the Wizard Chrom Maganti. As he fell, he struck a bargain with the mage, voluntarily allowing himself to become Chrom’s undead skeletal protector in exchange for being allowed to watch over his daughter, a girl of only seven and now with no living family. Iona’s childhood was unorthodox, to be sure, but she had her loving (although rather skinny) father and the surprisingly doting “Uncle Chrom” who gave the inquisitive youth free reign over his library and lavished her with praise when she managed to create her first undead friends. Everything continued without any major incidents until an order of Crusaders laid siege to the Wizard’s tower. After Chrom fell to the invading knights, Iona’s father begged the soldiers to leave him be with his little girl and swore to do no harm to any living creature, but to no avail. An attending cleric burned him to ash with a burst of divine radiance and “rescued” Iona, taking her back to their encampment for a victory feast where she poured their wine. Before sunrise every last one of them was choking on death from the poison she had laced their toast with. Ever since, orders of paladins and war clerics have found themselves harried on all sides by the fearsome White Queen of the Undead and her legions. The few survivors of her massacres tell of an immensely powerful woman who seeks nothing less than the undeath of every man and woman who raises their blade in the name of the Gods.
Illuyankas - Ancient Blue Dracolich
Once a majestic blue dragon, Illuyankas ruled a caliphate that spanned for hundreds of miles of desert with an iron fist. Vassals from near and far paid tribute to their great lord (or were made to, depending on their disposition) and the dragon’s Sapphire Palace was truly a site to behold; however, as his time drew near, the great Wyrm felt fear for the first time in his life. A millennium and a half of accumulated power was difficult to part with, even in death, and Illuyankas quite literally spend mountains of gold to research means of extending his lifespan. In the end desperation drove the beast to undergo the rites to become a dracolich, even if it meant blaspheming against his draconic herritage and proud bloodline. During his transformation his palace was obliterated in an eruption of arcane brilliance that was released when the great dragon’s soul was forcibly ripped from it’s mortal coil, forcing his attendants to hurriedly hide his remaining treasure hoard and still-transforming body to a remote cave carved into the desert cliffs. To add insult to the injury of losing his grand home, his former vassals banded together under the banner of Bahamut, God of the Metallic Dragons, and laid siege to Illuyakas’s refuge. When it looked like the former Lord was due to be laid low though, an army appeared atop the mountains in which the dracolich’s lair was carved… an army led by a severe young woman in glittering white armor. Lady Malificarum’s legions of the undead cut through the Bahamutian forces who were caught unawares until not one was left standing. When Iona entered the dragon’s cave, Illuyankas was so moved by his rescue that he pledged fealty to the White Queen, even going so far as to entrust her with the fist-sized black sapphire that serves as his phylactery. Now the former Lord serves at the Lady’s right hand and she wears his soul gem set in mythral on her breastplate over her heart.
Domina Shadowchild - Mother Domina
(Lvl 18 Tiefling Wild Magic Sorcerer)
Something of an oddity among the Legions of the White Queen, this Charcoal-black tiefling is less interested in the destruction of religious military organizations as she is in toppling the caste system and feudal governing methods that lead to a very small Noble class with obscene amounts of wealth compared to the meager pickings of the poor and working classes. Since these same noble houses finance the same pompous knights that Iona is scouring from the face of the earth, the women have chosen to work together. Domina personally has nothing against the concept of religion and has made sure that the White Queen knows her position, but the influential sorceress’s vast network of spies and assassins has proven invaluable time and again in eliminating particularly elusive targets. One thing both women agree on is the practice of keeping collateral damage to a minimum and neither woman will willingly harm a child.
When she is not actively hunting down unscrupulous plutocrats, Domina uses funds stolen from wealthy estates to finance a string of orphanages and soup kitchens that can be found in virtually every major city for a thousand miles. Aside from affording the unfortunates in society some modicum of comfort, these places also serve as a recruiting ground for potential operatives in her growing band.
Okay, sorry for wall-o-text, but if any of you who made it through all the reading have thoughts or comments on any or all of these three, please leave comments! I want to make a compelling cast for my players to go up against!