Melkor-Morgoth and Kevin – Identities of the Manifold

   Melkor, later called Morgoth, second in might and glory after Eru Iluvater the Omnipotent All-Creator, granted a share in all the powers of the other Ainur by Iluvater, originator of the strife of music amongst the Ainur, father of all evil. Descended into creation to either dominate or destroy it, manifesting as a mountainous figure with vast elemental powers akin to the legendary titans of chaos. The immortal and eternal master of all evil. A universal shapeshifter capable of reshaping worlds and destroying stars on a whim.

   Melkor was drawn to terrible extremes and violence. The bitter cold of the void between the stars, the scorching heat of exploding suns, the shaking of the earth, rendings, unmakings, and breakings, utter darkness, and burning light. In the beginning, his power was so great that the massed might of the Valar was unable to restrain him. Creation did not achieve a stable form until the Vala Tulkas descended to tip the balance.

   In the early days, Melkor shattered the world more than once – but later on he infused much of his evil power and dark will into the substance of Creation. His presence and will would be corrupting and inescapable as long as Creation endured, not to be either purged or redeemed until the end of days – but his personal manifestation would be far more limited, weakened to the point where heroes could injure him and he could be exiled from the world. Thus he became the first among the Ainur to know fear and incompleteness – a void and hunger that would drive him to seize the Silmarils and will torment him in his exile to the darkness, where there is nothing to feed his endless hunger, until the end.

   Just as it is for Marty and Sauron, that’s a rather… cosmic role for Kevin to drop into. Still, the same limits apply; mankind’s dreams and tales may take on substance within the quantum flux Manifold, but they are still ultimately just dreams and tales. Such roles are always limited to the realm in which they came into being.

   Perhaps unfortunately, while the power of a role is limited by the ability of the person taking it to channel the massed power of belief, Kevin is a god – a focus and channel of the massed power of the race – in his own right. His potential for channeling power is vast – enough to serve as a full embodiment of the role of Melkor-Morgoth. His incredible charisma, coupled with the strength of the roles and identities of Tolkien’s world, will give the role of Melkor-Morgoth a very powerful hold on him indeed.

   Tolkien, of course, portrayed Sauron, Melkor-Morgoth, and evil in general, as ultimately futile and decaying. Noble and valorous foes could inflict unhealing wounds on evil spirits, and – over the ages – their limited power was gradually expended upon their dark works and dissipated. So Melkor went from an entity that manifested as a mountain-sized creature and reshaped entire continents on a whim to a dark lord that powerful men and elves could face in battle. That’s a bit awkward simply because role playing games in general (and d20 games in particular) generally don’t work that way; characters tend to grow and improve over time rather than slowly decaying. Fortunately, however, roles are inherently short-term (rather than lasting for many ages), and so we don’t need to worry about that aspect of the setting.

   So what is typical of Melkor-Morgoth?

   Well, much of his later influence seems to be based on seducing others to his side and corrupting them afterwards, so I’ll assume a monstrous level of Charisma – again, like Kevin.

  • Despoiler of Creation. Major Privilege (6 CP): Melkor-Morgoth may command the lesser creatures of darkness across Middle-Earth and strongly influence (+6 to any required rolls or -6 to their chances to resist) greater creatures of darkness (fallen Maiar, dragons, and similar entities) and any creature that has turned to evil without being born to it.
  • Heart of The Eternal Void. Channeling (Negative Energy) with +(7x Cha Mod) Bonus Uses, Specialized in Conversion Only (24 CP), and Conversion to a set of four ninth level spells (33 CP):
    • The Malice of Morgoth: Produces any Malediction effect of up to level seven. Morgoth can lay mighty curses, twist creatures, and wreak terrible vengeance upon those who oppose him.
    • Dark Union with Creation: Produces any elemental manifestation of up to level six. Thanks to Morgoth’s infusing much of his power into the physical world it’s elements will obey his commands.
    • Beyond The Physical: As per Shapechange. While Morgoth can no longer transform himself with the innate ease of many of his minions, his body is still made up of the physical elements of the world – and so is subject to his power.
    • Transmutation of the Will: Produces any transmutation effect of up to level six. He usually uses this to gradually twist creatures to his will by small, progressive, instantaneous changes.
  • The Black Radiance Of The Night. Dominion, with Landrule, Ears of the Wind, Curse, Manipulation, and Sphere of Influence (Evil) (30 CP).
  • The Twisted Song of the Ainur. Finesse (uses Charisma in place of Constitution for the Glory ability, 6 CP), Improved Glory (12 CP), and the Amplify, Area, Lacing, and Persistent Metamagical Theorems (24 CP). Calling upon his ancient powers, Melkor-Morgoth can expand the effects of his powers to cover vast areas, centuries of time, or to extraordinary levels. Thus he overthrew the lamps which gave light to the cosmos, destroyed mountain ranges, and devastated lands.
  • The Dark Glory of Morgoth:
    • Add Cha Mod to BAB (12 CP). Melkor-Morgath is still a creature of extraordinary power, and stands foremost amongst the Ainur. While warfare has never been the focus of his power, his strength is great in that field as well – and would not diminish until his poverty of spirit was very great indeed.
    • Add Cha Mod to all Saving Throws (36 CP). Few other powers can affect Melkor-Morgoth, most failing even to penetrate the aura of power which surrounds him.
    • Spell and Power Resistance of (10 + Level) (12 CP).
  • The Dissonant Tongue. Mystic Artist/Oratory, Distracting, Disrupting, Stunning, Maddening, Banishing, and Shattering (Path of Dissonance) (42 CP). Melkor-Morgoth primarily uses the Synergy abilities, with sidelines in Manipulation and Inspiration.
  • Overlord of Shadows. Leadership, with the Exotic, Strength in Numbers, Horde, Born Leader, and Emperors Star modifiers (27 CP): Melkor-Morgoth commands Balrogs, Dragons, and a horde of other creatures of vast power.
  • The Cloak of Arda. Cloaking (6 CP): When Melkor-Morgoth so chooses, he can conceal himself amidst the background evil of the world, making him nearly impossible to locate by mystical means.
  • The Tongue of Heaven. Mindspeech (6 CP): OK, I just can’t see Melkor having much trouble with language barriers.
  • Voice Of Darkness. Privilege (3 CP): Melkor-Morgath can summon his minions across very long distances and address vast multitudes.

   Ok, that should cover most of his more blatant abilities. To provide some basic bonuses, I’ll use the same package as Sauron got.

  • Inherent Magic: Innate Enchantment, all abilities unlimited use-activated, personal-only (x.7 cost) where applicable. Normally Spell Level Zero (½) or One x Caster Level One x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated. 15,000 GP base value (16 CP).
    • +2 Enhancement Bonus to Each Attribute (8400 GP).
    • Warding Rune (1 + Caster Level/3, +4 max, resistance bonus on saves, 1400 GP).
    • Detect Magic (1000 GP).
    • Fast Healing 1 (up to a maximum total of 18 points of damage per level per day, 1400 GP)
    • Skill Mastery/+3 to Intelligence-Based skills (1400 GP).
    • Resist Energy (resistance 10 to all energy forms) (1400 GP).
  • Immunity/Stacking limits when combining innate enchantment effects with external effects (Common, Minor, Trivial – only covers L1 effects, 2 CP).
  • Immunity to Dispelling and Antimagic (Common, Minor, Legendary, Specialized and Corrupted, only covers inherent magic, and only those “racial” powers given above, 8 CP).
  • Immunity/the normal XP cost of Innate Enchantments (Uncommon, Minor, Trivial [only covers first level effects at caster level one], Specialized/only to cover initial racial abilities, 1 CP).

   The “real” Melkor would also have high-level Returning. Like any spirit, he was truly immortal, and could not be destroyed – and, as one of the Ainur, he possessed the power to create a body when he needed one. Roles, however, don’t need Returning; roles are a part of the structure of the worlds in which they apply, and – when abandoned – will simply continue in the plot of that world until they’re temporarily claimed by another visitor.

   Not that there are too many visitors capable of claiming this particular role, given that it has a base cost of 300 character points.

   Fortunately for would be Melkor-Morgoths, the limitations look a lot like Saurons. This identity comes with…

  • A powerful urge to dominate and possess – and, if possible, to corrupt – things of beauty, noble individuals, and the entire world.
  • Random adventurers – as well as Wizards, supernatural champions, armies of Elves, Men, and Dwarves, and the occasional Host of the Vala – who turn up at inconvenient moments to try to put an end to such vile evil.
  • A vulnerability to beauty and purity of heart. Melkor-Morgoth must make a will check (at a DC set by the GM) to avoid allowing such individuals to affect or manipulate him.
  • An inability to repeat himself. If Melkor sinks an empire, and successfully eliminates most of his enemies, he cannot use that tactic again. He’ll just have to come up with a new one. (Once, again, this seems to be a common limitation on most of the inhabitants of Middle-Earth).
  • Being an Outsider. Even in Middle-Earth Melkor-Morgoth is vulnerable to relevant channeling powers, mystic bindings, and banishment.
  • Melkor-Morgoth is easily detectable, scares pretty much all normal forms of life, and tends to corrupt the physical world by his very presence – twisting plants and animals into vile forms and the very landscape into a deadly volcanic maze.
  • It’s addictive. It will be quite difficult to give up this identity – and even after you someone does, it will tend to echo in their lives later on.
  • Large numbers of corruptible men, orcs, goblins, and other foul creatures tend to show up looking for you, often at the most inconvenient times.
  • Being subject to occasional strokes of really bad luck.
  • The Vala are willing to fight him directly if necessary.

   That’s probably enough to make the whole thing Specialized and Corrupted, at least as a short-term identity. That brings the cost to down to a mere 100 CP.

   That’s still a level thirteen identity. Even with the +3 world law allowance, that will still require the ability to take on a level ten identity – which usually requires a Charisma of 28+ – which is one reason for basing most of his abilities on Charisma; it ensures that no one can take the role who isn’t capable of doing it justice. Secondarily, it also explains Melkor-Morgoth’s incredible craving for the (Charisma-boosting) Silmarils… Unfortunately for him, Kevin does indeed have sufficient Charisma to become Melkor.

   Now, as an independent character, Melkor-Morgoth could be expected to have quite a lot of the standard base abilities – hit dice, saving throws, skill points, base attack bonus, proficiencies, and so on, as well as Godfire and quite a selection of secondary abilities. I could probably build most of that on another one two hundred and fifty points or so – making him somewhere around level twenty or even low epic. That’s powerful enough (at least in the beginning) to deal with pretty much anything else in Middle-Earth, which is – after all – a rather magic-poor world. Of course, as Melkor-Morgoth suffered the Charisma-decay which apparently goes with being evil in Middle-Earth, his powers would weaken until he was little more than a shadow of his ancient might and malice.

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