Way of the Wicked
Maltorus currently wears a breastplate, carries a heavy steel shield and wields a morningstar. He wears a silver circlet on his brow.
He was born the youngest of nine children and fifth son of a wealthy merchant. At birth, there was some talk that a star-like birthmark on his neck, near the collar bone was an evil omen, but his mother quickly silenced such talk with a baleful gaze and a sharp tongue. Even as a babe, he won his mother’s and sisters’ hearts and was protected by them vigorously. In his mother’s eyes, he could do no wrong and she defended him no matter what the accusations or the evidence. Being fawned on by the women of his family, Maltorus developed a way with women and he came to expect being served by them.
Growing up the privileged son of a wealthy merchant, Maltorus was well-educated and excelled at reading even in his early years. He was made to learn the family trade after his short formal education. Accounting bored Maltorus to tears, but he showed a keen understanding of the ramifications of contract law and quickly became one of his father’s, Ashmedai’s, key advisors in contracting at a ridiculously young age. Maltorus found great glee in slipping onerous provisions into contracts and driving his father’s competitors into financial ruin. He also found great personal satisfaction in spotting such provisions when aimed at his father and negotiating to eliminate those provisions during contract negotiations.
He observed Ashmedai’s business practices and concluded that his father used humans like capital, mere labor to be exploited or expended for profit. In fact, his father even engaged in illegal slave trade. Maltorus hated having his free time limited, and he eventually resented being used much like the slaves were used. However, Maltorus’ observation was flawed in that he was always well-rewarded for saving the family business money…to the point where his older brothers came to hate him. They loathed the fact that Maltorus was young, smart, handsome and protected and favored by his parents.
While Maltorus disliked business overall (he’d much rather be idle!), he certainly enjoyed the fruits of trade…and he learned he enjoyed dictating to others to meet his needs and make him comfortable. When he came of age, Ashmedai and Maltorus’ brothers used the female slave stock to, “make him a man.” He developed expensive tastes, revelled in conspicuous consumption, and if it weren’t for his rapacious exploitation of female slaves, one might have taken his fopishness and love of luxury for femininity. Some whisper that Maltorus even engaged in incestuous relations with his elder sisters, but nothing was ever proven and the allegations were vehemently denied. However, his sisters did seem to compete for his time and attention.
After Maltorus was technically a man in the eyes of society, but was still too young to take over the business, his father was killed by Talingardian soldiers because he was overseeing one of the family slaving operations and resisted being captured. While his elder brothers insisted that they had no knowledge of Ashmedai’s illegal dealings, fines imposed by the state and negative public opinion nearly ruined the family.
To maintain his lavish lifestyle, Maltorus borrowed money. Unfortunately, Maltorus was unable to pay the money back since the business was struggling no matter how hard Maltorus tried to craft favorable contracts. On one evening after a night of carousing, Maltorus was confronted by thugs demanding that he pay what he owed the moneylenders. His location was betrayed by, and his identity confirmed by, one of his brothers for 30 pieces of silver. Maltorus did his best to talk his way out of the situation…even offering to sell his drunken female companion to the thugs, but nothing was going to save him from a beating. Before the thugs could land their first blows, cloaked figures beset and murdered the ruffians.
The leader of the cloaked figures revealed himself to Maltorus. Much to his dismay, the man was one of Ashmedai’s employees, with whom Maltorus had grown up working with in the business office, Aeshma. Aeshma explained that he had been observing Maltorus for years and believed that it was time for Maltorus to join the cult of Asmodeus, that Maltorus was the perfect recruit. It was an offer Maltorus couldn’t refuse since Aeshma made it clear that if he didn’t accept, Maltorus would be the evening’s live sacrifice. Maltorus joined with little compunction…he thought if business was not offering him a life of luxury and power over others, the church just might. It was a new beginning to Maltorus’ mind.
Maltorus quickly rose through the ranks in the local cult and the star-shaped birthmark, which had grown and become more defined as he aged, marked Maltorus as favored by Asmodeus. Aeshma argued that being the fifth son represented the 5 points of the unholy symbol of Asmodeus, a red star. Aeshma said that the fact that he was the 9th child of 9 represented the 9th layer of Hell, Nessus, from whence Asmodeus hails. Maltorus ran with all the power offered him, and became the lead acolyte, second only to Aeshma. He grew the church, increased it’s income. Maltorus performed so well for the growing church of Asmodeus, that Aeshma ignored the fact that Maltorus seemed to espouse some non-canonical views. Only when Aeshma realized that all the members of the church were going to Maltorus for advice and direction did Aeshma turn on Maltorus. On the night that Aeshma determined that Maltorus would undergo the ritual to become a fully vested priest of Asmodeus with his own church to lead, Aeshma charged Maltorus with desecrating a cathedral of Mitra.
Maltorus gleefully lead a group of acolytes against the cathedral. At midnight, they started murdering the priests sleeping in their beds and capturing the nuns. They defaced holy iconography by smearing blood and feces all over them, tore and burned sacred tapestries, shredded Mitra’s scriptures, broke idols, pissed in sacramental wine, dented and scratched the altar service set, and made a mess of the cathedral. The desecration’s final acts included murder of the high priest on the altar of Mitra and then Maltorus took the youngest, virgin nun on the altar. What made the scene all the more unholy is that the nun seemed to like what she got. The two collapsed in each others’ arms when they were done. The rest of the acolytes of Asmodeus scattered when Maltorus finished. In the morning, Aeshma betrayed Maltorus to the city guard. Maltorus awakened to heavily armed and armored guards bursting into the desecrated cathedral and dragging him, naked, off to Brandescar Prison. The naked nun tried unsuccessfully to keep the guards from taking Maltorus away. Eventually she gave up, sobbing that she’d testify in Maltorus’ defense at his trial.