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A non-player character in the Errant Road on-line free-form role-playing game. He doesn't exist in the Poe-verse, which is just as well, there being too many disagreeable characters there already without him.

This sinister man puts in his first (and, as far as we know, only, at least in the game) appearance in the smugglers-den town of Nautkia in southern Veracia, but at least at first appearance, he isn't one of the smugglers himself. He shows up looking enigmatic and sneaky at the banquet that corrupt Father Nestor (of course he's corrupt; almost everything around Nautkia is), head of the Reformed Veracian Church in town, throws when PCs SIster Rose, Argus, Lillith, etc., come calling as they search for renegade priest Father Egbert. He isn't named yet at the banquet, but he's suspicious-looking enough that the party takes notice of him, name or no name.

Their suspicions prove well founded, as after the banquet ends prematurely owing to the tragic(?) death of Brother Kelso, one of the church's priests, Nikolai accosts Argus in his room and blackmails him into an attempted assassination mission. Two interesting relationships emerge from their "discussion:" first, that Nikolai works for Argus' nemesis Captain Kitaura (which provokes puzzlement, as Kitaura, as disagreeable as he is, is a noted straight arrow who wants nothing to do with smuggling except to destroy it); and second, that Lillith is Argus' daughter, a fact previously unknown to either of them (indeed, how Kitaura and thus Nikolai found out about it is a mystery that's never solved). Nikolai makes it quite clear that Lillith's well-being is tied to Argus'successful completion of the hit. A further complication is that it turns out that the ship that Argus is supposed to sink is skippered by Father Egbert's sister, Lucy Kankaniel, and is the means by which Egbert, who's fleeing from something awful but not (yet) described, will be bugging out of town to somewhere in the Northern Confederacy. These things together make it pretty much impossible for Argus to say no, and most of the rest of the thread is tied to the party's desperate attempt to balance all the forces converging on them, preferably without deaths and also without Nikolai learning that he's been deceived. They more or less succeed, except that Egbert commits suicide right in front of a horrified Rose.

Incidentally, while all this is going on, PC assassin Cithule (or "Cit") is being contacted by one of the other smuggling outfits in town (there are many) to execute a hit on -- Nikolai himself. However, Cit "wanders off somewhere," as they say (possibly a victim of nasty Peregin Bauti, since Cit is a half-elf), before this plan can come to fruition, and Nikolai escapes this thread with his life. We never see him again in person, but much later, in the long and complicated Goriel thread complex, Argus gets an unwanted message from Kitaura that makes it clear that Nikolai is still out there, and still threatening.

All in all, a shadowy, unpleasant character, and one can't help but have a certain amount of sympathy for the forces in Nautkia that want him rubbed out.

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