Ephrim

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Lord Ephrim, the Baron[note 1], formerly the Immolator, is a human with the power to control fire living in post-Erasure Hieron. He is one of the Eternal Princes of the Creed of Samothes, a group of high-ranking followers who are outside of the typical hierarchy, who act as faces for the church and spread its word.

Appearance[edit | edit source]

If there was an encyclopedia in Hieron with the word 'prince', his picture would be next to it.

Ephrim is an exceedingly pretty boy in his mid-twenties with smoldering eyes, perfect skin, imperious bearing, and a crackling voice. He always has some mark of Samothes on his outfit. Though he first shows up during Winter in Hieron, his connection to and power over flame means that he does not require the same sort of heavy, cold-weather clothing that most others would.

Ephrim carries a glowing crescent blade strapped inside a steel case at his side.

Before leaving Rosemerrow for the New Archives, Ephrim buys some ornate leather armor with markings of Samothes on it and fox fur around the collar. He also wears a cloak, which he tears a piece off of to bandage Jeremy's arm.

Over the course of the beginning of Spring in Hieron, Ephrim's right hand has been completely eroded away by the flame of the Heat and the Dark that burns within him. He is now in his early thirties, and more tired than he used to be.

Personality[edit | edit source]

Ephrim is flamboyant, confident, and carries himself with a condescending intensity. He is surprisingly prone to nostalgia, looking back with fondness on places and things from his youth.

Alignment[edit | edit source]

Ephrim's alignment is Neutral. He receives experience by increasing the prestige of himself or his stronghold.

Ephrim's previous alignment was Chaotic. To receive experience, he had to "Spread a dangerous new idea: I am the only thing that can stop the coming winter and should be worshiped for it."

Bonds[edit | edit source]

Old[edit | edit source]

  • The sun has been more reliable these past few days than Lem has.
  • Fero doesn't think before he acts, but I trust his instincts.

Current[edit | edit source]

  • I owe Hadrian and his family for bringing his son back to this dying world.
  • Throndir helped me get where I am today, and I owe them for it.
  • Fero is always welcome, but never expected.

History[edit | edit source]

At a very young age, Ephrim's flame powers manifested and he was recognized as having been specially chosen by Samothes[1]. He spent much of his youth in eastern Hieron, rarely staying in one place for long. For much of his life, Baron's Gate was the farthest west he had ever been, and he felt affection for its role as a constant in his life. Unlike the settlements to the east, which always seemed to be changing, Baron's Gate was always similar to the last time he had seen it.

Ephrim has been fascinated since childhood with folktales; his mentor preferred those with Aesop-esque moral lessons, but Ephrim's favorites are those in which a heroic figure triumphs over a great threat[2]. To this day, he carries a small book of fairytales with him everywhere, and often doodles in its margins[3].

After Exarch Alyosha left Rosemerrow for Velas to lead the church there following the death of Prelate Lucius, Ephrim arrived in Rosemerrow to lead missionary work in his stead, and was remarkably successful in spreading the faith within the city, in no small part due to the value of his powers in a land struck by a sudden and unprecedented winter. He took part in the Mountain Party's museum heist looking for an artifact of Samothes which he believed would help him end the winter.

Ephrim took a glowing crescent blade from the meeting house below the Old Museum, and after emerging into a land stricken by a perpetual eclipse, believes there is something he can do with it to bring the sun back to Hieron.

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This section contains spoilers for Winter in Hieron 29.
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In the Mountain Party finale, Ephrim combined the blade with the hilt that Lem had stolen from the Cult of the Dark Sun, creating the blade that Samothes had made for Maelgwyn to stab him with on High Sun Day. Not only was this blade a sun that returned light to the sky of Stratum 0, but upon combining the two halves, Ephrim had a vision in which he met with the Dark Son, who ordered him to destroy it. Ephrim refused and stabbed his god with the sword instead.

Following the events of Winter in Hieron, Ephrim has begun practicing swordfighting with a normal weapon, rather than one of living flame[4].

Abilities[edit | edit source]

Baron moves[edit | edit source]

As a leader of the reestablished settlement at the Last University, Ephrim has both powers and responsibilities.

  • Master of Your Domain: Along with Corsica Neue, Ephrim lays claim to the Last University and its surrounding lands
  • Castle Builder: Ephrim can embark upon long-term projects to add features to his stronghold.
  • Loyal Retainers: Ephrim has a group of four Stalwart Guards who serve as his retainers and protect him in battle. This group includes Highwater, who has served him the longest.
  • Hold Court: When holding court and hearing the problems of the people, Ephrim may learn of opportunities within his domain.
  • Everyone Wants Something: When parleying or trying to discern someone's intentions, Ephrim is particularly skilled at identifying what they desire or value.

Immolator moves[edit | edit source]

Samothes gifted Ephrim with power over flame, but this gift is one he no longer uses lightly.

  • The Devouring Flame[note 2]: When Ephrim summons fire with any of his moves, it is replaced it with the Heat and the Dark. This fire ignores armor. Using any of these moves burns away at his soul, harming him permanently.
    • Burning Brand: Ephrim can conjure a weapon of pure flame, which takes a form of his choosing.
    • Fighting Fire with Fire: When Ephrim takes damage equal to an odd number, he can reduce the damage, add charges to his burning brand, or take points forward to summoning a new brand.
    • Hand Crafted: Ephrim may use his hands in place of tools and fire to craft or destroy metal objects. He has great difficulty working with Ordennan steel.
  • Give Me Fuel, Give Me Fire: By gazing intently into someone's eyes, he may ask them "What fuels the flames of your desire?" and they must answer truthfully.
  • Zuko Style: He may bend flames to his will. Ephrim can use this ability with natural flame that exists in the world around him without being harmed, but cannot shape this fire into a burning brand.
  • Lore of the Forge[note 3]: Ephrim may stare into a source of fire searching for answers. Previously, he would have received guidance from Samothes himself; now, he might instead make contact with the new person working at the forge.
  • Firebrand(does he still have this move?): Ephrim may introduce a new idea to an NPC and, if successful, they will believe it to be their own and take to it with fervor.
  • Moth to the Flame: Ephrim may tempt a weak mind with his inner fire, causing them to follow him and do as he desires. As he does so, he has a greater air of confidence than normal and his eyes take on the same color as the flame he wields; not glowing, but with a faint captivating quality.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. This playbook comes from Peter Johansen's Dungeon World Secrets and Sorcery Pack.
  2. This is a modified version of the Immolator move From Hell's Heart.
  3. Originally known as Lore of Flame.

References[edit | edit source]