Warning. This post contains spoilers for The Enemy Within campaign.
This is a continuation of my list of favourite WFRP adversaries that began here. In third place….
THE PURPLE HAND
Everyone’s favourite Tzeentchian cultists had to have a place in the list.
The Purple Hand were supposed to be just one of a number of underground cults all working to related but slightly different ends – a sort of SPECTRE for the Warhammer world; probably never the focus of a scenario, but always there in the background to complicate life for the PCs.
– Phil Gallagher, Graeme Davis’ blog
They are the sinister organisation trying to overthrow The Empire. They have cells in every city plotting to bring about the Time of Changes.
Yet they are also oddly comic. When they aren’t making silly hand gestures, they are killing each other because the left hand has no idea what the right is up to. As supervillains go, they are actually quite ridiculous, even Pythonesque. Nobody expects the Purple Hand! Our chief weapons are fear, surprise,
The cult seems to have been based on the Black Hand, the Serbian revolutionaries behind the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand. Aside from the similar names, both organisations operated in cells, maintained extreme levels of secrecy and used cyanide pills. The Purple Palm is surely inspired by the Black Spot of Stevenson’s Treasure Island.
The great shame is that more was not made of the Purple Hand, and their storyline petered out in The Enemy Within. Still, they are iconic and deserve their place in this list.
The next post in this series follows here.
Internal art by Martin McKenna. Images used without permission. No challenge intended to the rights holders.