The master of undeath, the Puppeteer lies as a dark threat from the hidden recesses of the Elysium. He plots slowly and carefully, knowing that everyone dies and when they do, they will all become his toys.
Very little is known about the Puppeteer. It is known that when a plague sweeps through a region, when the dead begin to walk and when whole towns suddenly vanish over a night into the mist, he is almost certainly behind it. He imparts his secrets to networks of necromancers, living secretly among the people and performing their terrible rituals in the dark of night. Vampire lords, great fearsome menaces in their own right, serve his agendas. Liches are ancient wizards that made a deal with him in order to extend their lives. And yet, only the most elite of his servants ever even lay eyes on him. No one is sure where he resides, his presence is suspected in every lost, abandoned and forgotten dark corner of the Elysium.
People have taken to using some extreme and unusual methods in disposing of their dead for the express purpose of seeing that the bodies of their loved ones do not become cogs in the Puppeteer’s master plans.
Adventurers & The Icon
The Puppeteer is a master of manipulation. Any mission that an adventurer undertakes could well be part of the Puppeteer’s plans, because it is rare that Adventurers ever undertake missions that don’t leave a nice pile of fresh, young, strong dead bodies behind them. The servants of the Puppeteer live in secret everywhere and are quite adapt at telling lies. Do they really know what that ancient Troll artifact they were sent to retrieve really does?
There are few people who would likely ally with the Puppeteer if they understood his full goals. And yet, he is clever and manipulative enough to have earned many allies to his cause. The Beastlords, the Sisters of Sin and the Troll King all engage in activities that result in a great number of deaths, which means more power and perhaps more undead minions for the Puppeteer. He lends undead to support their attacks on the Emerald Elysium on occasion in return for their services.
The Rebel is another unwitting ally of the Puppeteer. By placing agents near the Rebel, the Puppeteer has often been able to direct the Rebel's attempts to free the land from Sidhe control to those places which do the Puppeteer favors in exchange. In return, the Puppeteer has used his own minions to protect the Rebel from being caught.
There are only a few Icons both old enough or aware enough to have seen that the rising of the undead aren't merely isolated, disjointed incidents but part of a larger grand plan. While the Holy Father fights against the undead wherever they rise, for the most part he and the church are little aware of the Puppeteer's master plans.
The Emperor of Scales, the Fair King and the Forest Mother, however, are far more fully aware of the long term plans the Puppeteer spins and actually work to oppose him on fronts that make the execution of his plans far more difficult and keep him at bay. All of them stand to lose greatly should he succeed in transforming the world to one of undeath.
Finally, the activities of the Puppeteer weaken the bonds between the Emerald Elysium and the Nether realms. Because of this the Sorceress actively seeks to destroy the Puppeteer. Yet, after many millennium of trying, the Sorceress has never succeeded.
It is believed he is immortal and that for some reason he was researching how to bring the dead back to life. There are many stories about why he was doing this. Some say he was trying to bring back a previous Sorceress who has been killed by the Troll King, others say he was in love with a beautiful princess and she was poisoned by a bitter rival. He was apparently driven mad by his new found powers and continued his experiments, even turning himself immortal to do so.
The Real Threat
All is fine, as long as the world isn’t swept by a plague or by a war that would leave the land filled with dead to rise up in the Puppeteer’s services. However, the Puppeteer works to cause those very situations every day…