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Yaqub

Written by KoshcheiBessmertnyi

Yaqub has been the main villain of the After the Raid campaign. He is a zilant serpent, over 15 feet in length, with grey scales, avian legs, bat wings, golden-tinged extremities, and a long, clubbed tail. His face radiated an evil intelligence. In human form, he resembled a bearded Rakhman man with a hard, noble, and canny visage. In both forms, he was apparently capable of breathing fire, and possibly, of using other magics as well.   For most of the campaign, Yaqub remained in the shadows. He was initially mentioned as 'my father' by Zbigniev Dragutinovich, the Vladykino miller, after he was taken prisoner by the party. The mill was the sole surviving structure in the village. Zbigniev's invoking of his father was meant as a threat, for he said that his father would kill the party members for doing imprisoning him, and capturing his treasure, though it was not clear at the time who his father was. Zbigniev did display the capacity to breathe fire, and showed a propensity to use other forms of magic as well. He bore some serpentine characteristics (like sharp teeth).   Subsequently, the party learned from the nomads that a 'lord Yaqub' had paid them to sack Vladykino, and to transfer all the young women captured in the village to his domain, on the other side of the Udena river.   On route to the lair, the party discovered that Yaqub had numerous servants and guards, including what turned out to be psoglav warriors. After arriving at the lair, the party learned that he also had a serpent-wife (name unknown), and serpentling children, who were all slaughtered. He also had half-serpent, half-human children (including Hakim and Nuri), whose task was to watch over and cater to the human captives, who had become his concubines. He used some magical water to get them to forget their previous life, and to identify him as their master and protector. There were also other servitors, including a small reptilian humanoid who guarded Yaqub's library, and a nechist bathhouse gremlin (or bannik) who watched over the captives' bath.   Yaqub apparently possessed various magical powers, including taking human form, and some sort of ability to change his location. He may have possessed the ability to manufacture other items, such as a mirror that allowed the lair denizens to see him wherever he happened to be (and vice-versa), and some ointment to remove burns. It is also possible that he acquired these items from elsewhere. He seems to have been interested in artifices, magical or non-magical, of various kinds. He possessed a magical mill that grinds bones into coins (as did his son Zbigniev). He also had a clockwork with animated figures that embodied the Seven Deadly Sins. Among his other items are cauldrons, traps, a chess set that opened a secret portal, and a set of pipes operated by levers. His library (now destroyed by a fireball cast against the party by his son Hakim) contained volumes about artifices and organizations from distant lands.   Yaqub had far-flung relationships with a variety of creatures and people, both proximate and distant. He had burnt down a nearby village, and subsequently, subjugated the chwee that had moved into (it is not clear what function they had, but they were clearly terrified of him). He also terrorized the village on the opposite bank of the river from Udyn. Nuri claimed that Yaqub owned the river in Udyn's vicinity, and that the city's residents used its bounty only at his pleasure. He may have had an understanding with the local vizier, who did what he could to keep the party from entering Yaqub's lair. Whether he worked for Yaqub is uncertain - he may in fact have been genuinely worried about what the serpent would do to the city if his lair was entered by adventurers. But somehow, Ilyas ibn Umar seems to have been aware of the serpent's (or perhaps his wife's) comings and goings, since one captured soldier told the party they intended to clear out before dark, when 'the serpent' returned home. Yaqub may have figured in a prophecy by Princess Botagöz, who stopped laughing because she saw the city being destroyed by fire. The vizier interpreted that vision to refer to Yaqub, though Botagöz never mentioned his name explicitly.   Yaqub also had some sort of relationship with the Emgen Clan, who sacked the village of Vladykino to drive off captives. Zhuldyz Sholpankyz told members of the party that Yaqub paid for the raid, and had the nomads transfer the young women into his possession upon their return. Yaqub's purpose for doing so isn't entirely clear, but he was clearly using captives to reproduce, and his half-human children lived in various distant locales (or at least his son, Zbigniev Dragutinovich, had a mill outside of Vladykino that he operated).   In addition, Yaqub was very interested in artifices, and seems to have traveled the world in search of various curious items. He had books in the Irii, Friazin, Rakhman, Garip and Norik tongues, and seems to have had an interest in the Knights of Ritterheim as well.   He also frequented the steppes, where he caught large animals, some of which he brought back to his lair (probably to be eaten by his serpent-wife and their children).   Yaqub was only encountered in the flesh only once. He had seen party members through the magic mirror in his lair, and knew exactly where to find them. He did not count on being attacked by poisoned weapons, which paralyzed him. Though he seems to have been under the effects of a spell that allowed him to change locations, and did manage to breathe fire in his human form onto Lokan, he was cut down, changed into serpent form, and then was slaughtered before he could act. Yuri shoved his spear through the monster, and then removed its head as black blood seeped onto the floor.   Yaqub is dead, and his mutilated body is in the fountain courtyard, in the lower part of his lair.   He appeared in Chapters 20 and 21.

Current Location
Yaqub's Lair
Species
Zilant
Circumstances of Death
Paralyzed and then slaughtered by Yuri, Lokan, Alden, Agapia, Augusta, and Zinovii
Eyes
Black
Hair
Black, graying (human form)
Height
6'3"
Weight
170 lbs. (human form)

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