For over half a century, Abon Duum ruled the city of Manshaka and its Arenas of Blood as a ruthless despot and crime-lord holding absolute power. In his intrigue-laden court served Ralan el Pesarkhal, together with his scribe, Abbas el Quaahl.
Some time before 1347 DR, a thief and con-artist named Conner approached Duum with a scam, in which he claimed that his young protégé Vajra Valmeyjar was the intended bride of Hoar, god of revenge. So impressed by Vajra that he was, Duum believed it—at first. But even after he came to doubt the tale, he still desired Vajra. Thus, when Conner's scheme at last went awry, he was forced to sell Vajra into slavery to Abon Duum, so that he could go free with their money. Duum placed Vajra with his stable of gladiators at the Arena of Blood, and she became the most accomplished and profitable of them. Meanwhile, six months later, Conner tried to rescue Vajra, but Duum's men beat him and left him for dead in the desert. Countless plans followed, all without success.
At some point, Abon Duum received a mighty and unexpected visitor: the Catlord, a minor god of felines. Mistakenly believing being respectable meant being civilized, the Catlord desired that Duum raise his heir, the kittenlord, and teach him the ways of civilization, and gave the boy over to him. However, Duum desired to corrupt and dominate the child and ultimately use a cat lord's power of planar travel to journey into the Outer Planes. Duum made a deal with Malar, a mightier god of hunting beasts, to keep the vengeful old Catlord off his back. In exchange, when he was done with the boy, he would give him to the Beastlord. Using the Claw of Malar, Duum even aspired to challenge the great Tyr, god of justice, and gain awesome power.[note 2] Learning of Duum's wicked intentions for the boy, the Catlord came and rescued him. Malar pounced on the Catlord as he fled, but Conner appeared and took the child to safety.
Meanwhile, after ten years, Vajra escaped on her own, seriously wounding several of Duum's best fighters in the process. Duum sent bounty hunters after her, seeking to punish and reclaim his champion gladiator; his bounty was incredible but was only half if she was killed. Vajra was forced to travel further and further north. Duum longed to possess her again, desiring her spirit more than anything.
Duum hired a trio of bounty seekers, who pursued Vajra to Waterdeep and ambushed her and her companions outside the city in the Year of the Prince, 1357 DR. They ultimately subdued Vajra and her companions, and intended to return her to Manshaka, back to Duum to fight for him again in the Arena. But the companions fought their way free and overpowered the bounty seekers. Vajra would remain at large. Eventually, Salabak, another of Duum's gladiators and Vajra's former comrade-in-arms, agreed to serve Duum: he would gain Vajra's trust and return her to him.
Later that year, a second trio of bounty hunters caught Vajra again and rode off with her toward Manshaka, before Salabak and Vajra's companions rescued her. However, meanwhile, more bounty hunters and Duum's pet mage Chancil Crystalheart rendered all the patrons of the inn unconscious and kidnapped the kittenlord, who was also staying there with Conner. Chancil kept the boy prisoner in his house in Memnon prior to delivering him to Duum—he briefly contemplated keeping the magical child for himself, until, from afar, Duum used his captive heart to torture him into obedience. Conner, Vajra, and Salabak made a failed bid to rescue the boy. Afterward, Salabak secretly knocked out Vajra and delivered her to Duum to collect the bounty himself.
In Manshaka, Duum had both Vajra and the cat child back in his power. He magically dominated the cat child so he would obey only him and would transform into more powerful feline forms. After threatening her with the cat, Duum gloated over Vajra, saying he would give all he'd won off her in the Arena if he could control her spirit as well. She spat in his eye, and he sent her to the dungeons and back into the Arena of Blood, watching her fight a troll with his acquaintance Allamon Sorn. However, unwilling to wait for the cat child to grow into his powers, Duum desired to have the elder Catlord in his grip too. Therefore, Salabak had an illusion of a manticore attack Duum in the stands of the Arena of Blood, allowing Vajra to escape. She was joined by the Catlord and the duplicitous Salabak, while Conner was apparently slain by the Catlord.
Vajra, Salabak, and the Catlord left Manshaka and hid in a swamp. In the night, Duum and his forces came and captured Vajra and the Catlord, and Salabak revealed his treachery, threatening the kittenlord to force the Catlord to comply. Duum went on with his scheme, demanding the Catlord take them all to the plane of Gladsheim, where he challenged the god Tyr with the Claw of Malar. However, what appeared to be Tyr revealed himself to be Conner, who'd faked his death with the Catlord's aid. Duum was too shocked to resist as the Catlord snatched the Claw. He ordered the kittenlord to attack Conner, but the boy broke free of Duum's magical control. The real god Tyr appeared, took the Claw of Malar, and sent the others back to Toril, while Abon Duum was left cowering before Justice himself, his fate unknown.
All anyone in Faerûn knew was that Abon Duum had disappeared in mysterious circumstances. Many claimed he was murdered by Vajra, while others believed that something happened when he sought to attain the power of the gods and he was killed or lost in the planes.
One of Duum's subordinates was the mage Chancil. Duum possessed Chancil's actual heart encased in a crystal and kept in his home in Manshaka, while a connecting crystal was embedded in Chancil's chest where his heart should be. With the heart, Duum knew when Chancil acted disloyally and punished him with agony as his heart beat more rapidly.
- ↑ Abon Duum was originally titled "Baron" in the second and third issues of the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons comics series, but, with the development of Calimshan, later sources gave him the title of "pasha". Although this suggests that baron and pasha are equivalent titles, it is possible that Abon Duum was both a pasha and a massatyr, the Alzhedo term for "baron", a lesser Calishite noble, as pashas very often had multiple titles. The sixteenth issue only calls him a "crime lord".
- ↑ It is unclear how Duum obtained the Claw of Malar, whether from the god Malar himself or separately. The actual details of Duum's plan are unknown, as are his aims. It is not known what power the Claw possesses or what Duum expects to gain from Tyr.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Michael Fleisher (January 1989). “The Bounty Seekers Of Manshaka”. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #2 (DC Comics), pp. 23–25.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Michael Fleisher (February 1989). “The Secret of Selûne's Eye”. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #3 (DC Comics), p. 1.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Steven E. Schend and Dale Donovan (September 1998). Empires of the Shining Sea. (TSR, Inc), p. 110. ISBN 978-0786912377.
- ↑ 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 Dan Mishkin (March 1990). “The Last Betrayal”. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #16 (DC Comics).
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Steven E. Schend (October 1998). Calimport. (TSR, Inc), p. 55. ISBN 0-7869-1238-3.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 Dan Mishkin (February 1990). “Cat & Mouse”. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #15 (DC Comics).
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Dan Mishkin (December 1989). “Shackles of the Past”. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #13 (DC Comics).
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Dale Donovan (April 1998). “Rogues Gallery: The Heroes of Selûne's Smile”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon #246 (TSR, Inc.), pp. 70–74.
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Dan Mishkin (January 1990). “Shell Game”. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #14 (DC Comics), pp. 11–13.