EarthDawn - The Age of Legends
Kai the Betrayer
Avatar of Vestrial
The Ork known as Kai The Betrayer has long since lost track of his real Name. As a devoted servant of Vestrial, he has engaged in so many plots, schemes and lies that he has lost track of himself. For a time he took the Name Kai Longwind, but that was his twin brother’s Name and not his own. Eventually, Vestrial Named him Kai The Betrayer, for his numerous betrayals of both friends and foes, and granted him great power.
The Passion’s Champions first met Kai in Parlainth, when he joined them in a battle against a group of brigands sent by the Denairastas to stop them from meeting with Charcoalgrin. His friendly nature and willingness to help them endeared him to the Passion’s Champions, and they adopted him as an ally and friend, little knowing he was a Questor of Vestrial.
Over the years of their adventures, Kai fought alongside them valiantly, facing Horrors, brigands, Adepts and evil cultists. In the mean time, he regularly sent back reports of their activities to Mara Corovan, who thought he was a loyal spy of Iopos. Many of his reports contained misleading information or outright fabrications, but Mara consistently took his word over that of her other spies because of his closeness to the PCs.
Finally, Mara received word that Denairastas wanted the Passion’s Champions brought to Iopos in chains for “conversion”. Kai, who had left the group to join the Throalic Guard, joined them on their trip “for old time’s sake”, and poisoned their food with a paralysis powder allowing the Iopans to capture them without a fight. Later, when they were escaping from Iopos, they encountered Kai at the city gate, where he declared to them his true nature. In a final act of betrayal, Kai opened the city gates to allow them to escape, betraying the Denairastas, but also summoned the guard to come pursue them, further betraying the Passion’s Champions.
When the PCs returned to Barsaive, they found they were not well received by most people. There seemed to be a black mark on their Names, which they first assumed was the doing of their alternate selves. However, they finally discovered that it was Kai who had been slandering them everywhere he went, using his Questor powers to destroy their reputation and blacken their legend. During the Battle of Iopos, Kai had taken up the appearance of one of the Throalic Generals, using his powers to misdirect the Throalic forces and create chaos. The Passion’s Champions caught him out right in front of the King, and chased him from the camp before he could do more harm.
After escaping the battle, he laid low for several years, watching the changes unfold in Barsaive. Eventually, he started a cult of Vestrial in the city of Kratas, masquerading as a mercenary company. After the fall of Thera, the t’skrang House K’tenshin hired some of Kai’s mercenaries to explore the Mist Swamps in search of the ruins of Yrns Morgath, which were guarded by the Great Dragon Aban. Instead of avoiding Aban, the mercenaries attacked the Great Dragon, angering her and causing her to attack K’tenshin’s city on the Serpent River. The city was completely destroyed by Aban and her summoned elementals, and Kai was finally given his great reward promised by Vestrial – he was driven completely insane, convinced that the abandoned kaer he had taken up residence in was a kingly realm, and the piles of dirt he surrounded himself with were piles of gold.
When the Passion’s Champions finally discovered him, he was completely lost and insane despite Trostlos’ best efforts to heal him. Nazeer granted him the peace of death, but when Trostlos attempted to summon his spirit to give it rest, his spirit was snatched away by some unholy power, and is now lost for eternity.
Kai is portrayed by Danny Trejo.
Kai was another long-term baddie, although the more subtle kind – the friend that stabs you in the back. I did a lot to engineer a need for Kai’s presence in the group, making him seem invaluable to the players. I did not expect them to take to him like they did, but they really liked Kai a lot, making his task in the game even easier to do. I regularly dropped hints about his spying and duplicity to the gang, but they trusted him enough to let these slip, or even create their own explanations of what he was really doing. That made his betrayal on the road to Iopos sting even worse, because they had stuck up for him multiple times. Of all the bad-guy NPCs I’ve made, I think they want to kill Kai more than any other, not just for betraying them, but for getting in so close before he did.