Darklords are the seed of evil at the heart of many domains, but few denizens are aware they exist. Heroes have no infallible means of detecting who or what is the darklord of any given domain. Some darklords control their domains openly, acting as political rulers, while others skulk in the shadows, their very existence a secret. Indeed, the very concept of a “darklord” isn’t one that the average citizen is aware of.
Most domains are inhabited by a single darklord, though on rare occasions the Dark Powers may grant a single domain to a small group of evildoers. These darklords are usually linked both by blood ties and their crimes.
Mindless slavering beasts do not become darklords. Mere evil is not enough to earn a domain. Despite their corruption, darklords share their same motivations as countless: they hope for love, crave respect and even yearn for acceptance. Yet, darklords are not poor, misunderstood souls damned through no fault of their own. Their selfish natures pervert simple wants into obsessive lusts, and they earn their domains through committing horrid crimes. Darklords are all the more monstrous for the empathy one might feel for them, not in spite of it. Even when forced to face their transgressions, most darklords remain obstinately blind to their own failings, lashing out at the world for perceived wrongs.
A darklord is both the warden and the ultimate prisoner of his domain. A darklord can trap others in his domain by closing the borders, but he can never leave. Some darklords have spent centuries striving to escape from their Mist-veiled prisons, to no avail. The curse that binds them to the land offers them little rest. They are tormented by their greatest desires.
Should a darklord be destroyed, their domain ceases to serve a purpose. If another evil creature in the domain has earned damnation, the Dark Powers may appoint it the domain’s new darklord. Lacking an obvious ruler, a domain in a cluster may be absorbed by its neighbors, expanding the prisons of other darklords. If neither of these events occurs, the Mists will overtake the domain effectively absorbing it.