Cyneric son of Cedric king of the Westlund Seaxe
There are kings and then there is Cyneric son of Cedric the king of the Westlund Seaxe. His father was a brutal and ambitious man, and schooled Cyneric to kingship and swordsmanship from the moment the boy could walk. All agree he was the most promising of princes and most agree that he was possibly schooled a little too well when Cyneric put his dagger through his father’s heart when he turned fourteen.
His kingship was put to the test immediately as enemies within and without the kingdom moved against what they thought would be a weak and vulnerable untried boy. But the boy bested them on the battle field, out manoeuvred them in court, and survived enough assassins to wreak such a terrible vengeance on those who acted against him that none could doubt he was a power to reckon with.
Twenty years later and he is the undoubted most powerful man in Redwald. Westlund Seaxe has rich farmland, gold, silver, copper, and tin mines in the foothills of the western mountains, but none of that compares to the wealth Cyneric gains by controlling all trade into Redwald from the mountain dwelling Dwearogas and the distant fledgling empire of the Frisca.
He is mightily impressed by the wealth, culture, and power of the Frisca and has become obsessed with uniting Redwald under the banner of his gold Dragon and making it his own empire.
It’s rumoured by his enemies he has a wildling Wicce, a Scinlacce, and a Dweorgas Wyrdwebba in his service, but no one can bear witness to the truth of this. No one living that is.
Whether or not he has such supernatural powers at his command might be in doubt, no one doubts the power of his army, nor his own sword arm. Cyneric has no champion preferring to fight as his own champion. He likes to boast that there isn’t a king alive whose champion he hasn’t put in the ground. He especially likes to make this boast in the hearing of his fellow kings. He also likes to taunt them over the fact that it has been three years since any of them have dared waste the life of a champion by sending them against him.
Cyneric Cyning: Armour Class: -5; Hit Dice: 16+4; Attacks:3 Runic Brádsweord (1d6+4)or Woeful Wælseax or(1d3+3); Special: Very; Move: 9; HDE/XP: 18/2000.
Gear: Cyneric is king of Westlund Seaxe the wealthiest kingdom in Redwald, a wealth that he loves to flaunt and display. He can buy and sell lesser kingdoms. Not only that he is a great ring-giver; a generous lord to his fighting men. A fact that has swelled the ranks of his shieldwall with sellswords, Thegns, and Ealdormen from all across the kingdom, and even beyond. His family, Gesiths, Hearthweru, and Ealdormen drip with gold and gifts.
His personal war gear consists of the finest Dweorgas made Dragonscale armour, and a Runic broadsword made for him by the Dwarf King’s own smith.
His sword has been inscribed with the Rune Tir when using this sword in single combat victory is assured. Any damage that would have reduced Cyneric to 0 HPs or below is redirected at his opponent and even when he misses his to-hit roll he still does the +4 damage.
His warhelm is inscribed with the Rune Eolh warding him against malign magic (giving him a ST at +3 that if he makes it negates all the effects of the magic, and still halves the effectiveness on any magic if he misses it).
His belt is inscribed with the Rune Ur granting him an equivalent of a ST:18.
His Shield is inscribed with the Rune Ger in opposition causing his enemies a -2 to-hit penalty. If the optional fumble rules are used enemies fumble on a natural roll of 1-4.
His Wælseax is inscribed with the Rune Eoh anyone struck by it must make a ST or die of their wounds within the hour.
His dragon scale armour is inscribed with the Rune Beorc and heals 1d3 of damage a turn.
He has wildling Wicce amulets that protect him from the three types of Curse, the four types of Thorn Magic, an Ælfcynn’s Glamour, and a Scinnlæca’s Call of Fear, or Call of Kinship.
He has all the special powers associated with kings, and the champions.
Cyneric is designed to be the most powerful NPC in Redwald. He is much more dangerous (and more monstrous) than any of the monsters. No matter which kingdom a Redwald campaign is set in the players can expect feel his influence. He is the settings big bad.
As an enemy NPC he should be a tough challenge even for a large party of 3rd level PCs with their own warband, and the support of one or more kings. As a patron he should be almost as dangerous as he’ll ruthlessly use the party to forward his own agenda in conquering Redwald. Also he won’t be the type of patron that reacts well to failure.
He shouldn’t however be the Referee’s pet GMNPC, and shouldn’t be used to foil all the PCs schemes, make them look weak, swoop in and rescue them, or any and all of the other sins against Refereeing that can occur with powerful NPCs. And as either enemy or patron he shouldn’t be a direct problem for the players until they’re 3rd level.