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Just SurvivingSeverence [Burg – Othrys]Copyright © 2000 by Rasgon

CharacterAs if all of a hydra's heads were ganging up on its tail, the outward forms you show to others have been set free. They're coming for you.

RulerThe yagnoloth Lakerus, a sadistic bastard known for cutting pieces off his enemies, controls the most powerful faction in the city. Lakerus has fallen on hard times of late; his arm has been replaced by a mechanical thing of greensteel and a living retriever. Half of his head has been replaced by an enormous obsidian eye from the City of Glass and Vine.

Behind the throneThe supremacy of the yugoloth overlords was challenged several decades ago by a slave uprising. By means of an artifact called the Five-Armed Prism (crafted by the eladrin known as Dancing Lord) the slaves managed to cut away what the city's populace was from how it was perceived. Ruling suddenly became much more difficult as the yugoloths were confronted by doubles representing what they meant to their slaves. After many cycles, the city has stabilized into uneasy balance between the competing factions. The slaves have been able to scratch out a bit of status for themselves by playing their multiple masters off of each other. Another advantage they have is the assistance of the servile toadies the yugoloths saw in them. They can't be trusted, but they can be bossed around by anyone, including their more dynamic doubles.

DescriptionA city divided between the yugoloths and their human slaves, between signifier and signified, what is and the endless hunter reflections of meaning. Severence is a port city on the Styx and receives and benefits from trade throughout the Lower Planes, although most do not stay long for fear that the many faces they wear will try and kill them. Severence is in Othrys.

MilitiaSeverence is patrolled by mezzoloths, slaves not being trusted with weapons. The problem is each major rival for the throne has his own army (each army consisting of up to 30 groups of three). It's fortunate that mezzoloths don't have much personality, or there'd be more. There are about half as many dergholoths, and about twelve piscoloths running the various armies. There were once more, but those aspects whose troops didn't duplicate with them were executed.

Spymaster Targa was nicknamed the Many, even before the Severing, because of her masterful use of disguise in keeping order within the city. Though created a nycoloth, she managed to convince the populace that she was (variously) an arcane, a tiefling, an imp, a shator, a babau, a human revolutionary, and a slaad. Rooting out trouble and manipulating the various leaders and upstarts was child's play for this sly cutter, and promotion seemed assured.

Frustrated as all her carefully created identities were stolen by living facades ignorant of her plans, she tried to create new personas only to have them become real, separate entities as fast as she killed them.

Furious now, Targa spends most of her time hiding in the shadows and killing random passerby, grateful that almost no one knew of her real persona (even Atrophus, since she was appointed by the ultraloths). What she e doesn't know is that even now the murders she commits in her silent rage is creating a rival serial killer, one even more silent, and more invisible than Targa herself.

It's ironic that the human Jacquie, (pl/Female human/T14) who was a brilliant revolutionary when she was actually Targa, has grown even better since then. The current Jacquie is the primary leader of the human resistance, and it's beginning to look as if she might win. Even the most overblown exaggerations of her prowess have so far been evaded, allowing the rebel leader to continue her work with relative efficiency.

One aspect of Jacquie that hasn't changed since she stopped being a nycoloth spy is her dislike for Paul, the mastermind who found the Prism. The original Paul has been dead for some time now, replaced by one more amicable to Jacquie's schemes.

ServicesThe rewards of having the perfect alibi are tempting enough that many brave the city's violence and unrest to collect aspects of themselves. If it weren't for the duplicates' murderous dispositions, even more would, due to the trouble Severence is having with its organization.

Current ChantFarrow, a shadowelf from Sigil, has been making inquiries about Severence, believing that it might help him with a problem he has.

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