Alt-Magic Campaign Lore: The Abyss (Parts 2 & 3)

Detailing the Eldritch:
THE ABYSS
Part Two of Three
by Abraxas Silvermane
with collaborations by his good friend
Kosmo Ralpartha

Orcus, Demon Prince of Undeath

Born a mortal, Orcus lived a dark and miserable human life, one that ultimately ended, as all human lives tend to, with his death. As a Manes demon, his chaotic soul entered the Abyss, and from there he fought to become a Dretch, and from Dretch to Rutterkin, and so on he fought through the demonic ranks to become a mighty Balor. And it was then from Balor to Demon Lord, and Demon Lord to true god. Orcus the god spilled vile death upon the world, seeking to destroy all life, and create a realm of undead.

In his might, he became lazy, he began to become bloated and fat, swollen on the souls he devoured daily. It was because of this that the drow goddess Kiaransalee was able to usurp his throne and slay him, from then on decreeing that his name be blasted from the cosmos, so no one would ever remember him, or resurrect him. But the God of Undeath was more powerful than Kiaransalee suspected. He returned with a new true name. As Tenebrous, not Orcus, did he rise again, slaying the god Primus with dread magic. He then launched assault after assault on his former realm, eventually retaking the realm of Thanatos from the drow goddess. Kiaransalee, seeing her life threatened, bowed to the might of Tenebrous, who reassumed the mantle of Orcus, Demon Lord (Not god mind you, that power was still lost) of Undeath.

orcus2

With Kiaransalee as his bride, Orcus fathered two children who championed his cause. The eldest was named Choronzon (Bertruz of Bloodhaven), the younger was Choronzen (Ernyi of Castle Black). With his demonic family, Orcus began his quest for true power, to regain his lost godhood and more, much more. He put in motion the chain of events that led to Redmon’s folly, when the great Occult Detective began his dealings with Bertruz, who warped the young Salazar Redmon to a point of one great misdeed after another, all the while leading Orcus to the Staff of the Archmagi.

Some said the staff could shape worlds, others that it could create them. In truth, the Staff of the Archmagi, one of the last artifacts of Moloquin Grey, could create all the wielder wished and more. But thanks to the efforts of the Blood Brotherhood (Ser Kwyx, Sardonis Gentari, Niblung Ankleshanker, Sephus Brananburh, Thaddeus Sexton and Salazar Redmon) Kiaransalee was banished and Choronzon imprisoned (for a time). Choronzen was slain, and, as the greatest act of heroism ever preformed in the last century, Orcus’ head was severed. It is said the imp Ser Kwyx of Caliburn wears the Demon Lord’s hide, reinforced with red dragon scales, as his personal armor of court, and we should be all glad for it. A mad goblin is better that a mad Demon by any stretch of the imagination.

.:.

Detailing the Eldritch:
THE ABYSS
Part Three of Three
by Abraxas Silvermane
with collaborations by his good friend
Kosmo Ralpartha

Graz’zt, Dark Prince of Azzagrat

The murky past of Graz’zt the Dark Prince is a legendary phenomenon, though a single theory has proved enlightened in concept, and for the purpose of this documentation, we shall consider it in truth. The tale goes that Graz’zt was once a powerful Archdevil, and rumored to be the son of Asmodeus himself. Graz’zt the Archduke of Hell was said to grow tired of the laws of Hell, unable to achieve the highest level of power so long as Asmodeus lived. The Abyss offered Graz’zt more freedom to chose, he could carve a large empire out of the Abyss and crown himself the supreme ruler of such an empire, and so he did.

Graz'zt_-_E._M._GistGraz’zt became the first and only creature to conquer three layers of the Abyss. From The Triple Kingdom of Azzagrat did the Dark Prince crown himself, and from that realm he became respected and feared as the most charming and intelligent of Demon Lords.

He soon was seen as a nightmare during the Blood War, driving back even the greatest of Archdevils in combat. Legend states he defeated Glasya, the daughter of Asmodeus herself in single combat.

Being the most charming and seductive of demonkind, Graz’zt is famous for his Cambion children, specifically, the Alu-feind Traxxia and the dreaded Rule-of-three. But it is the tale of his greatest son, Lord Iuz, God of Pain and Death,  is the one best known among scholars on Abyssal Lore.

Long ago the Witch Queen Iggwilv summoned and bound the Demon Lord of Charm, but he was wiser than she and Graz’zt seduced the Witch of Greyhawk, fathering Iuz, and unleashing he that would be called the Old and the Evil, and the Scourge of Worlds.

In recent years, Graz’zt has become distanced from the mortal worlds of Oerth, Toril and Enochia, some say because of his strained relationship with Iggwilv, but there is another tale that beg to be told, one that could shed some light on one of the Dark Prince’s greatest failures.

It was during a crisis of the gods on the world of Toril, and the goddess Waukeen was in dire straits. Waukeen and the pantheon to which she belonged had their power drained from them. She became mortal, and longed to return to her former glory. Her path led her to become the Goddess of Trade, attempting thusly to reach her realm in the outlands that she might build her power yet again, from a place of strength.

To see this through to the end, she made a deal with the demon Graz’zt. He would grant her safe passage through the Abyss, and she would pay him handsomely. But Graz’zt, being a demon at heart after all, had his servants descend upon the goddess when Waukeen came to his Argent Palace. He declared she would be his ‘guest’. Meanwhile, his daughter, Thraxxia, impersonated the Goddess of Trade in order to gain what power sh had mustered. Llirra, Goddess of Joy, saw through Graz’zt’s ruse and sent adventurers to save Waukeen. Graz’zt and his grand theme were thwarted. In the aftermath, the Dark Prince became little more than a shadow.

Aloof and cold, Graz’zt plots in secret, where no one can say for true, and that my friends, is more frightening than what can be expressed with mere words. Better a demon known than one that lurks in darkness. Out of sight, out of mind is a dangerous condition for one of demonkind.

So ends these tales from the Abyss. I have been hard pressed by Kosmo to get the facts right, and I believe I have done an adequate job of it. Even a little knowledge of such an evil place can save a man’s life. One must always be mindful of whispers told among the Vistani. Why, just last night, Felius shared with us a most frightening tale, that rumors abound of the Cult of Graz’zt and that they have been spotted near Helgen, but I’m sure it’s nothing but idle talk among the wagon-folk…

—Abraxas Silvermane
Helgen Encampment
Barovia Province

 

Gods, but I was an idiot child. I should rot in hell for my stupidity and ignorance… There are dark days ahead, darker than those I feared as a boy in that far off place. We are on an errand most foul, to recover an artifact as fearsome as any that demonkind did birth.

—Silvermane
Outside The Magical Child
Assayadin, Crescentia

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