Classic Dungeons and Dragons and Old School Gaming

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"Heir to a crumbling summit: to a sea of nettles: to an empire of rust: to rituals' footprints ankle-deep in stone."

-Mervyn Peake

"...and that, my liege, is how we know the Earth to be banana shaped."

-Sir Bedevere in Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Lords of the Underworld

Who are the Lords of the Underworld?

Many are demons.

Some are Gods, all but forgotten in the Sunlit Lands, clinging to the whispered prayers of a few dying cultists.

Some are long dead wizards, kings and emperors from the World We Know; despots and madmen undefeated by death, now vying for power in the Court of the Black Citadel.

The High Court of the Black Citadel
The lords of the high court are the most powerful beings in the Underworld. Each of these lords has a domain of their own, but they can often be found at the Black Citadel.

Alterius the Tryptarch is a ghost who inhabits three bodies simultaneously. The bodies change but one is always brutal and murderous, one is conniving and genteel and one is craven and kind. Alterious has divinatory visions but disagrees with himself on their meaning.

Baltagour is a god worshiped by patrician merchants and nobles long since corrupted.
The upper half of Baltagour is an obese shave-headed man with tattoos that float off of him like whisps of smoke. The lower half of his body is made up entirely of many long thin arms.

Ulzen is a beastial demon lord, a trusted general of the Lord of the Underworld himself. He commands a massive army of demons and beastmen who travel the Dark Sea, not in ships, but astride giant ghoulish mammoths who wade through the Dead. Ulzen sleeps with Heskatta, but secretly adores and spies on Elmeria.

The Four and Eighty Princes are skeletons who ride about the Dark Sea in caravels and knarrs made entirely of bone. They are petty and greedy and quite powerful with their bony hands in many and varied  machinations throughout the Underworld.

Hunhd is god of the centipedes. She moves with exacting precision in the unfolding of stratagems the goals of which are completely alien to human minds. She dwells in the decaying body of another god.

Muhlhaladred the Red Sultan often brags of the murders committed in his name. A few hundred years ago he was a bandit king who conquered half the world. Of all the high court Muhlhaladred perhaps has the most knowledge of and interest in if not influence over the World We Know.

Elmeria is the daughter of the Lord of the Underworld. She is pale, beautiful and raven haired. She longs to see the World of the Living but this is forbidden by her Father. When angered she may transform into a giant blue naga.

Morderex Pentefax is Lord of the Underworld and God of the Dead.
Morderex has many forms but he most often appears in the High Court as a giant man, strange and beautiful with long white hair and high cheekbones. When angered or feeling warlike his skin will turn a brilliant blue.
He may also appear as a robed skeleton, or a giant floating skull wreathed in shadow and flame and belching snakes. Morderex is a convivial host and enjoys conversation. He is also a psychopath who fancies himself beyond good and evil.

The Lower Court of the Black Citadel
The Lower Court are the lesser lords, would-be lords, servants, schemers and companions of the High Court. They are all almost always found at the Black Citadel.

Ijahel is a vampire. He is cursed and must remain in the Land of the Dead. He is weak, starving and desperate for blood at all times. He tends a flock of demon goats who know a path to the World We Know. Ijahel is the Hayward of the Black Citadel, in charge of the hedges, twisted and ruined as they are.

Heskatta is a sucubus and Madame of the courtesans of the Black Citadel. They are generally bored, the dead are not very randy.

Zelasnian is a Lich. Long ago he was a great power in the Underworld and longer ago than that he was even more powerful as a Lich Lord in a great necropolis in the World Above. A very very long time ago he was a great wizard but he no longer remembers that time and now is a servant of Lord of the Underworld.

Pelawaque is a witch, a living woman disguised as undead with glamour.  She is queen of the Crows.  worms appear to crawl about beneath her gossamer gowns.  She hopes to seduce the Lord of the Underworld.

Hourcloth is a demon and a cook. He has a small army of goblin scullions and servants who help him make rare and extravegant feasts from the dreams of the dead.

Jimilshirk the Barber is obsessed with esoteric knowledge and objects. Being the cheif doctor of the Black Citadel he is an expert of undead maldies and medicines. Jimilshirk is a brain in a jar with many mechanical appendages.

Grom is the Lord's favorite hound. He is pitch black and bigger than a horse. He is keen eyed and sharp fanged. He runs the stables of the Black Citadel.

Venal Jim is the ghoul chief of pages of the Black Citadel. He lurks constantly.

Augerschwartz and Wigglewoorst are lean and red-eyed. No one knows what they do.

Schloosch is the Undine ewerer of the Black Citadel. She loves bawdy jokes.

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