The Beastlords are a long standing noble family that lies just outside of the control of the Emerald Elysium. They have used strange magic to transform themselves into bizarre beastmen. Virtually no one in the family looks alike and they certainly do not look human. They create and are protected by hordes of beastmen making them unassailable by even the armies of the Emerald Elysium.
All those odd beastmen running around causing trouble, the Minotaurs, the Satyrs, the Kenku, the Gnolls, the Rakasha, the Centaur as well as countless odd hybrid creatures were all originally creations of the Beastlords. No one knows what species the members of this house originally were, but through strange wild magics they have taken on all sorts of animalistic characteristics. Even siblings within this house no longer remotely resemble one another and some look truly nightmarish indeed.
The House is currently run by two brothers, the Ram and the Raven. The Ram is perhaps the strongest and most feared warrior throughout the world, said to have the raw physical power to topple a giant with a single blow, to be swift enough to outrun a lightning bolt and to be so invincible that the concentrated power of a tsunami could not bring him to his knees. Yet, he is by no means uncultured and being within his regal presence is enough for even the most wild of beasts to bow their head in respect. Although beastmen generally follow their own whims and desires, the Bull alone has the power to rally and lead them.
His younger brother is the Raven, a very young man whose wit and intellect are legendary. He cleverly manipulates events within the Emerald Elysium for often seemingly no reason but to prove that he can. He is treacherous, mischievous and deviously brilliant, all despite being incredibly young for a man of such prestige.
With such a pair leading the way, the Beastlords are responsible for almost endless waves of war and strife within the Emerald Elysium. There is scarcely a day that passes by that one of their creations does not run wild, maiming and killing people, requiring heroes to rise up to destroy them. The armies of the Elysium would destroy the Beastlords if they could, but they have failed for millennia to bring a halt to this source of monstrosities within the world.
Adventurers & The Icon
The creations of the Beastlords are not really disciplined or controlled in any meaningful way. Most have been completely free for generations. This means that when the Beastlords want something done, and it most often does, that they do often look to non-beastmen to carry out their goals. Also, many adventurers look to the leaders of this house as paragons of sorts. Those who try to earn their respect and favor often can do so and will find friends for doing so.
The creations of the Beastlords often serve the Forest Mother, able to go where her own servants cannot. For this reason, she views them as a force positive for the good of nature and gives them some measure of help and protection from their enemies.
The Beastlords tend to be easy marks for the Puppetmaster. Although they should oppose his desires and goals, their creation of violent but intelligent monsters and their general desire to spread chaos serves the ends of the Puppetmaster.
The Queen of Fear and the Troll King also seem to be one with the Beastlords in terms of general cause. All seek the removal of the current order of the world and all of them help fill the world with hordes of monsters in an attempt to overrun the Emerald Elysium. It is not uncommon for the Beastlords to be working quite closely with either one of them.
Finally, the Rebel has been known to turn to them for support as out of the forces that oppose the Fair King, they are the only one that does not seek to impose a new order nor wipe out the people of the Elysium and are generally reliable and reasonable. The Beastmen are often used to help bolster the rebellion against the Fair King.
The Beastmen are seen as a blight upon the Elysium, although they may not generally be quite as bad as other monsters, they nonetheless end up helping the enemies of the Elysium more often than not. The Beastlords find themselves in constant conflict with the servants of the Fair King.
The Guildmaster also does not care for the Beastlords, their creations are too chaotic to be any good for market stability, are often not intelligent enough to engage in proper economic activity and often provide the Forest Mother with troops far more destructive to those serving the goals of the Guildmaster than her own would be.
The Church of Light has sought out to destroy the Beastlords ever since the first ones rose up, seeing their use of dark magics to alter themselves and others as a terrible abomination that defies the plans of the gods. The Church of Light fights a bitter crusade against the Beastlords.
Since the Beastlords are almost always on the side of injustice, the Sapphire Knight opposes them-- often personally. Previous Beastlords have been slain by the Sapphire Knight in the past, a score the Beastlords would love to even.
Finally, for whatever reason, the Beastlords and the Sisters of Sin are bitter, nasty rivals. Almost any time there are Beastmen and Devilspawn in the same place, it ends with violence and death. This feud goes back generations and shows little sign of stopping. The single exception to this is the Raven and the Queen of Daggers who enjoy playing the game that is terrorizing the weak together, but even they have a friendly rivalry about it.
The Beastlords are very new. The previous one was known as The Lion. He ruled for nearly two centuries. The House was actually fiercer and better organized at those times; it is now filled with strife due to the inexperience and selfishness of his sons. It is not quite certain what the future holds, either the Emerald Elysium might be able to end the Beastlord lineage or perhaps the ambition and complimentary abilities of the two Beastlords to become a threat as it never has before.
The Real Threat
All will be fine, so long as the Beastlords are idle and the Beastmen usually follow their own agendas rather than that of their creators. However, if the Ram and the Raven find some way to control the Beastmen…