The Laughing Man
“If you can’t have justice, at least make sure you have the last laugh.” -The Laughing Man
A criminal mastermind based in the city of Marn, The Laughing Man has worked to seize control of all illegal enterprise from Marn to Ellsport with a ruthless efficiency, brining everyone under his thumb from the wealthiest fence to the lowliest street gang. Try as she might, Nina Barron and her outriders were unable to stamp out his empire, and the Laughing Man himself remained nothing but a ghost, dealing with his associates entirely through his assistant, a stuttering gnome named Gurdy.
Recently, The Laughing Man was contracted by Daved Lusker to kidnap Eabha Melusine. In return, Lusker provided him with an assassin capable of striking Nina Barron with a deadly poison, crippling her hold over Marn. The minions that The Laughing Man sent to capture Eabha were foiled by the survivors of the raid, and they set about tracking down the man responsible for their village’s destruction. Their only crew were the orders that one of The Laughing Man’s minions possessed, signed with the seal of a grinning mask.
In Ellsport, the survivors tracked down the ship that had been present at the raid, and learned more of The Laughing Man’s plans before the ship caught fire and sunk into the harbor. They booked passage to Marn, where they were enlisted to find a cure for Nina Barron’s poisoning. They succeeded, but returned to find Marn overtaken by the rebellious Merchant Princes in league with the forces of The Laughing Man. They infiltrated the palace, where they finally confronted The Laughing Man and learned the truth about him.
The lowly Gurdy was in fact The Laughing Man himself, a gnome consumed by hatred for humankind after the Inquisition’s wholesale slaughter of his people. He had plotted for years to destroy the government of Marn in retaliation for their deaths, hoping that it would be the first step toward destroying the human nations entirely. The party defeated him and the assassin that Lusker had loaned him, and he was thrown into the dungeons of Marn, where he awaits his sentence.