Tag Archives: gargoyles

It Figures: The Dread Lord Ebann

Because in the end you need to show, not tell.

Another week, a new figure, and quite a story to tell, really for the first time. Ebann is, in many ways, the antagonist who got away.Created with Nokia Refocus

{Don’t forget you can click on each picture and see the image really large, then click Back to keep reading.}


The Dread Lord Ebann was an anchoritic sorceror living in the Hills Hunchant west of Mon-Crulbagh. Due to the inattention of its previous lords, he was able to carve out a small, non-human foef in that forbidding terrain, cowing a tribe of gargoyles into servitude to dig him a subterranean fortress and laboratory,Created with Nokia Refocus where he delved in the earth for gems and minerals used in his experiments. No one suspected his existence until the new knight of Mon-Crulbagh, Qerlak Barleybane, came through with an adventuring band known as the Tributarians, on the Dreamquest chronicled in The Plane of Dreams. They left the place a mess…


First of all, look. Just look at this guy. Quintessential evil or what? I can almost hear the theme music from The Empire Strikes Back. Ebann was always one of the most evocative villains I observed in the Lands. To this day I have no idea where he came from; turns out he was humCreated with Nokia Refocusan, so I assume he was a cast-off from the Mages Guild, somebody who went too far even for the tastes of the day under the previous emperor, Viridian. The barony of Dargor where Mon-Crulbagh is located turns out to have been a nest of Demonbenders, and Qerlak’s overlord Beryllian has his hands full even now trying to weed that out. But I sense that Ebann wanted to be alone even if his practices had been welcome above ground. The layout of his under-rock fortress, or lair, suggests a strong streak of paranoia. He expected attack someday and was surprisingly well prepared. Ebann’s helm allowed him to see through the magical darkness and shadow spells he could produce. Other defensive enchantments included a battery of alchemical weapons. The key turning point came when Qerlak and the Tribs bargained to give his gargoyle-thralls their freedom once the Dread Lord had been defeated. Only a few of Ebann’s closest bodyguards stood by him at the crucial moment: so even with his traps and gas-bombs (sleep, of course), he had no chance.

I almost regret his defeat because it left me so little time to really examine Ebann’s history. His horrid talisman the Skullcun had some kind of hypnotic power that fortunately never came to bear (the dwarf Solo smashed it the instant Ebann fumbled the thing). Did he obtain it from the Plane of Dreams? There was a blackwood staff that Ral Partha forgot to include, but the raised fist, I admit, really makes the character so all is forgiven.

When I chronicled The Plane of Dreams, I turned aside from a more standard treatment of the battle and the bad guy, because the nature of the Dreamquest itself seemed to demand it. As interesting as Ebann’s methods, lore and tactics were, the really important development took place only after his defeat. The party, exhausted by several days without sleep, foolishly helped themselves to their adversary’s wine. And since Ebann was a recruited vassal of Nightmare, his final trap was sprung from beyond the grave. That’s the perspective of the tale, as seen by Solo, and as for how it came out… I urge you to read it and see!Created with Nokia Refocus

It would be very interesting to go back and study his earlier days, learn some of the things I don’t yet know, but trust are there. Then again, so much of what the heroes encountered on the Dreamquest seems to have vanished on their return. Folks like Elias Fennet and the peasants of Mon-Crulbagh did not remember why the adventurers went into the swamp and hills in the first place. Maybe it was all a dream… and Qerlak has been too busy, in the months since, to send an expedition to the site of Ebann’s fortress. But the Dread Lord had unearthed many gems, some of which were quite useful to the Dream Seer Galethiel in her researches. Perhaps Sir Barleybane will attend to that someday, after this unpleasantness with neighboring Pritaelseran is past.


The Nokia Refocus lens is working marvelously now and I am on balance very pleased with the range and resolution I can achieve. I shot most of these against a blood-red background (thanks to my good friend Bruce Leddy for the tapestry! actually the back Created with Nokia Refocuslining of the tapestry you gave us as a wedding present lo, these many years ago). I only have one decent figurine to show the gargoyle-guards Ebann suborned: they were strong enough to wear chain and carry full shields without encumbrance, which in combination with a stony skin made their deaths a tough sell for the invading heroes. Always wanting to improve the value of the shots, I added some architecture pieces which give the flavor of the Dread Lord’s subterranean chambers- everyone except Solo became a bit claustrophobic before the end, but then they were exhausted at this point in the quest. Created with Nokia RefocusFor an added bonus, I present a good fig of the nearby Trolls who were the party’s last obstacle before accessing the Chamber of the Troll-Kings and thence the Plane of Dreams itself. Note how everything he’s previously fought becomes a new part of him- armor bits, spike shields, mangled weapons. Trolls- like the undead- are a daunting proposition- either beat them or quite literally join them.troll3


Feedback is always welcome; I hope you enjoy this tale-still-untold and that it will inspire you about what you write in turn.

Ar Aralte! {Hope Forever}