Viscount Taviny zaKozrad – the Villain of the Piece

29 August, 2019

Viscount Taviny zaKozrad

A worthy foeQuote“A pleasure to meet you at last.  Please help yourself to some wine.  You may pour a glass for me and I will drink first if that puts you at ease.”

“We have much to discuss.  Please, let us talk first, they will be opportunities for swordplay later if that is your desire.”

Description: zaKozrad is slender and not unathletic but not overly tall (5’9″/1.75m), he carries himself with a noble air.  His black hair is worn in whatever the current style is in the local court and his dark eyes are alert.

He wears suitable clothes (with a mail shirt underneath when practical) tending to dark color.  He is always armed when local custom allows and when it does not, he has at least a knife or two concealed.

: While from a minor noble family, his mother was successful in court and she raised her son to build on her success, imparting her skills and ambitions to the boy.  Well educated among the children of the nobility, he is a social chameleon, finding friends and allies among all the classes and looking down on no one due to the circumstance of their birth.  zaKozrad is a loyal servant of the High King of Laccini, seeing to advance his nations cause (and his own) by whatever means necessary.

Presenting this Character
: zaKozrad is charming and stylish, well read and philosophical but most of all, an obvious villain.  He represents a Kingdom known for its expansionist agenda and use of necrourgy, he leans into all of the classic villain tropes.  His role is to focus the attention of the rivals to his kingdom by being the obvious, and even comic if that is required, villain.  His plots are obvious, overly convoluted and almost always not quite illegal.  Such as helping a local noble build up their private army or providing necrourgic magical support to a faction.

He is not a terrible person, he does not enjoy cruelty or murder for its own sake, but he is very ambitious and openly willing to do what is needed to advance those ambitions.

What can he do?
: zaKozrad is a competent personal combatant especially if he is acting in support of a group of henchpeople.  He is very aware of escape routes and will not let himself be cornered.

His strength is plotting and finding conspiracies to attach himself to, he is the obvious villain for whoever need such help and can advance his plans.

Who might know him and why: zaKozrad quickly becomes well known in any court he is assigned to and he is happy to talk with servants and guards as well as nobles and courtiers.  He works hard to maintain his contacts and corresponds with many people across the Sea of Stars.

Anyone who was posted to or grew up in the court of Laccini could have known him as a younger person as well.

Plot Hooks
: zaKozrad is designed to be a foil to the player characters, the person obviously supporting bad Prince A while the heroes want to see good Prince B take the throne. Wherever an obvious villain is needed,, he stands ready to step up into the role.

Equally, he could hire the characters for a lucrative, but obviously shady, job to advance one of his many agenda.  if they success, he will hire them again for a slightly dirtier job and so on.  He is happy to work with the tools to hand . . . and try and blackmail them later if they did work for him at any point.

Viscount Taviny zaKozrad

Medium humanoid, neutral evil

Armor Class 15 (mail shirt) or, if prepared for battle, 16 (breastplate)

Hit Points 66 (12d8+12)

Speed 30 ft.

11 (+0) 16 (+2) 13 (+1) 15 (+2) 14 (+2) 17 (+3)

Skills Deception +9, Insight +5, Perception +5, Persuasion +6, Stealth +9

Saving Throws Dex +6, Wis +5

Senses passive Perception 15

Languages Imperial Tongue (common). Low Draconic, Dwarven (Ruby dialect), Elfin

Challenge 5 (1,800 XP)

Cunning Action: On each of his turns, zaKozrad can use a bonus action to take the Dash, Disengage, or Hide action.

Sneak Attack (1/Turn): zaKozrad deals an extra 10 (3d6) damage when it hits a target with a weapon attack and has advantage on the attack roll, or when the target is within 5 feet of an ally of the spy that is not Incapacitated and zaKozrad does not have disadvantage on the attack roll.


Multiattack: zaKozrad makes two melee or missile attacks.

Rapier: Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d8 + 3) piercing damage.

Thrown Dagger: Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, range 20/60 ft., one target. Hit: 3 (1d4 + 3) piercing damage.

Either of the above attack can have a minor poison added to them if an additional challenge is needed.  (Serpent Venom (Injury) is a good choice. A creature subjected to this poison must succeed on a DC 11 Constitution saving throw, taking 10 (3d6) poison damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.)


Parry: zaKozrad adds 3 to its AC against one melee attack that would hit him. To do so, zaKozrad must see the attacker and be wielding a melee weapon.

Notes: He should always have access to an entourage, a skilled veteran as a bodyguard, possibly some knights as fancy muscle (possibly armed with Bloodthirsty Swords) and a swarm of guards and thugs to protect him and harass his enemies.  While they are all mercenaries, he has their loyalty well in hand with his Minion’s Coin.  The Villain’s Cloak and Deflecting Dagger are also designed for his use.

The “za” prefix is for “son of” in the highlands of Laccini where his family is from.

Painting to represent him is a Portrait of a Spanish Nobleman, painted by Antonis Mor van Dashorst (Circle of), from the National Museum of Sweden and is in the Public Domain.


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