Deceptive Disciple
rating: 0+x

He that hath a Gospel
Whereby Heaven is won
(Carpenter, or cameleer,
Or Maya's dreaming son),
Many swords shall pierce Him,
Mingling blood with gall;
But His Own Disciple
Shall wound Him worst of all!

(from) The Disciple Rudyard Kipling

Basic Information

A Deceptive Disciple is an apparently devoted follower and subordinate of a leader of a religion, school, or other organization - but secretly he has his own agenda and plans to betray the leader. Perhaps he tries to usurp them, or perhaps merely steal their secrets. Killing the leader in the process is optional, but common.

Of course, in some cases, this may be expected of a disciple - in the Star Wars universe a Sith apprentice is expected, in the fullness of time, to kill and replace his master and, in ancient Rome, the Priest responsible for the Shrine to Diana at Lake Nemi had to be an escaped slave who had won his position by killing his predecessor.

See Also



Game and Story Use

  • A Deceptive Disciple who studied at the same school as one of the PCs makes for a good villain, since he is likely to be quite familiar with the capabilities of the PC - and vice versa.
  • If the PCs are dealing with a hierarchical organization, then discovering that there is a Deceptive Disciple among them and identifying him makes for a good investigative adventure - and the PCs might have a hard time because they are not trusted by the other members of the group if they are outsiders.
    • Alternatively, they might have to deal with the aftermath when a Deceptive Disciple has finally revealed himself and is running away with the secrets of the group - now it's a race against time to stop him before he can use those secrets for evil!
  • One of these in a Religion of Evil, on the other hand, can be a useful ally for PCs, or a Deus Ex Machina to save them from the consequences of a screw-up.
    • As noted, the fantasy religion of evil might well expect its followers to actively plot against one another … especially the "chaotic evil" variety.
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