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Maben, the High Priest of the Temple of Justice, was a servant of Sauron sent out from Dol Guldur about TA 1340 to infiltrate the power structures of Dunfearn. Enslaved by Sauron through one of the lesser Rings of Power, he was originally a Númenórean nobleman from Umbar.

The Ring increased his lifespan, but like the other Rings it also deteriorated the flesh. Since this was a Lesser Ring, the effect was not intense and could be warded off by regularly bleeding energy from other beings. If he not was able to obtain this energy, his flesh would dissolve over a course of six months until he became a minor Wraith, similar to but much less powerful than a Nazgûl. To hide this process from his followers, Maben drained prisoners about to be executed or sacrificed. Regular execution/sacrifices were held every three months to teach "enemies of the Dunmen" fear. Only priests and the victims attended these ceremonies; they did not realize what was really happening. Once a year, the execution/sacrifice was held publicly on the Day of Retribution. The sacrifice was supposed to symbolize the revenge that the Dunmen would one day achieve. If prisoners were not available when he needed to feed, Maben left the temple by the secret way, took his true form to kill and drain anyone he found (he looked like a Dúnedain). Besides these ceremonies, Maben delivered regular sermons at the Temple for the guards, priests and acolytes. He also gave public speeches from the top of the temple to the crowds gathered below. He was not limited to the temple and often made trips to nearby towns, villages, and clan-holds; where he made passionate speeches to the people. Maben was a consummate orator and was quite dramatic in his presentations. He had been known to tear his clothes and anoint himself with blood to illustrate a point or to draw attention. He played to the crowd's emotions and could cause riots. This could be particularly unhealthy for the Dúnedain and their allies. Through this policy of persuasion, Maben had attracted many people to the ways of the Temple and had more new recruits volunteering than he could use.

Maben appeared as a tall (6'3") Dunman with long white hair and beard. He was strongly built and had deep set bright green eyes that looked somewhat wild. In his true form, he was a 6'6" tall Black Númenórean with black hair, deep-set gray eyes, and a perpetually menacing look. Upon seeing his true form, most knew know that he was evil.

Maben was a skilled fighter with the long sword, short sword, spear, staff, and bow, but he used magic first in a threatening situation. If confronted in an open area with others present, he used use his powers of persuasion to incite the crowd to attack his adversaries. When away from the temple, he was armed with a staff, and a concealed short sword.

Maben suspected that the old Dunnish Bard Strunthor was not who he seemed and was plotting to find out his true identity. He had had reports from spies that the Daen Coentis clans were harboring the Drûedain in Caerdh Wood. He had considered a raid into the area to destroy them, but did not know their strength. Maben had an agreement with Turukulon to appear on special occasions at the Temple as "The Spirit of Dunnish Anger". These occasions were on dark nights so that Turukulon could glide down off the hill behind the Temple without being seen. Then he could flame up the area behind the temple. Of course, no one was allowed behind the temple during these ceremonies.

References

  • ICE MERP #3600: Dunland and the Southern Misty Mountains
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