Master of Khin-Oin and nominal ruler of the Blood Rift, Anthraxus the Decayed commands considerable power and authority. To the demons of the rift and the Wasting Tower, he is the Lord of Misery and Despair, worshiped in fear and revered as a god. Anthraxus appears as a gaunt, ghoulish creature draped in moldering gray robes. His skin is covered with ulcers and oozing pustules, and his eyes glow red from deep in their sockets.
Anthraxus was not the first master of Khin-Oin, and he has held control of the Wasting Tower more than once. Though he reclaimed the great throne known as the Siege Malicious only a century ago as of approximately 1479 DR, Anthraxus has ruled Khin-Oin for nearly three millennia all together, far longer than any of his predecessors.
Anthraxus was once an unenhanced ultroloth, but a coven of night hags transformed him into an altraloth, tasking him with destroying a crusade of paladins. Once he had fulfilled his contract with the hags, in approximately -1522 DR, Anthraxus violently wrested the Wasting Tower from his predecessor to become the reigning Oinoloth of the yugoloth race. His predecessor is rumored to have been imprisoned in the Underdark on the world of Oerth.
In approximately 1357 DR, an arcanaloth called Yrkhetep became unusually obsessed with the Vilhon Reach, seeking to usurp Anthraxus and take over the Siege Malicious of Khin-Oin through an artifact called the Infinity Train. To stop Yrkhetep's plans, Anthraxus subtly intervened on the side of Good. When he uncovered Yrkhetep's full plans, he lured the arcanaloth to his home plane to confront him directly.
Anthraxus was ousted by the ultroloth Mydianchlarus at some point between 1357 DR and 1369 DR not through violence, but by Mydianchlarus whispering a secret in Anthraxus's ear so profound and disturbing that he was compelled to leave Khin-Oin and move on. As of 1369 DR he was wandering the Fiendish Planes, petitioning the various gods of evil to serve as their proxy, using riches hidden in keeps and safehouses throughout the Fiendish Planes to finance his schemes, and hoping to employ a team of adventurers to force their way into Khin-Oin and keep Mydianchlarus distracted while he confronted the usurper directly. These schemes must have worked, because by approximately 1379 DR he had regained his throne.
Since resuming power, Anthraxus has worked tirelessly to complete two primary objectives: recovering a legendary artifact known as the Staff of the Lower Planes, and completing the construction of the Tower of Incarnate Pain on the boundary of the Blood Rift and Pazunia. A project started under his predecessor Mydianchlarus, the tower is designed to channel power between itself, Khin-Oin, and the ancient Tower of the Arcanaloths on the Plain of a Thousand Portals. This flow of abyssal energy is intended to trigger a planar nexus, channeling virtually unlimited power into the Siege Malicious.
Though he trusts no one, Anthraxus maintains a small circle of baernaloth viziers as his personal guard. Baernaloths are tall, gaunt daemons with horned heads resembling the skulls of rams or cattle. Their glazed eyes run with sickly yellow fluid and their gray skin is stretched tight across their bones. It was through their invaluable service that Anthraxus was able to discern the whereabouts and weaknesses of his most formidable enemies on his path to reclaiming the rule of Khin-Oin.
The forces of Khin-Oin are at Anthraxus's command, but the master of the Wasting Tower seeks any opportunity to face off against foes in direct combat. A paragon of sadism even among his own kind, Anthraxus commands his baernaloth viziers to spread their attacks around—inflicting maximum pain but stopping short of killing their opponents. Knowing that few creatures apart from deities and other daemon lords can challenge him, Anthraxus relishes using vile compulsion to command enemies to attack their own allies. A master tactic, the daemon lord always has backup forces and escape plans at the ready.
Anthraxus spent the better part of the last age hunting down and slaying those yugoloth lords he considered rivals to his claim for Khin-Oin, assuming the guise of other yugoloth lords to accomplish his assassinations. Amassing power as he went, the Lord of Misery then marched on the Wasting Tower and challenged its master, Mydianchlarus, for control of the Siege Malicious. Though Mydianchlarus was slain, Anthraxus was thwarted in his attempt to wholly destroy his hated foe. The Sepulcher of Mydianchlarus now lingers as a burning reminder of Anthraxus's broken reign.
As a hallmark of their faith, mortal servants of Anthraxus are afflicted with diseases that give them a ghoulish, disfigured appearance. Cultists gather in dark shrines called conventicles, where they perform rituals and blood sacrifices in their master's name. Anthraxus's cultists revile health, youth, beauty, and innocence, and creatures that possess such qualities are rarely found among the daemon lord's followers. Cult priests, known as degogs, dress in crimson robes with black hoods and sashes. The most favored of Anthraxus's mortal servants are raised to the station of archdegog, and they are occasionally chosen to serve as the vessel for one of Anthraxus's aspects.
Out of CombatEdit
Supplicants seeking boons or favors of Anthraxus journey to the Wasting Tower by the thousands. These faithful are dealt with by the daemon lord's archdegogs and viziers. His fear of challenge means that Anthraxus spends his time guarding the Siege Malicious, meeting with only a small circle of his most trustworthy followers. Other creatures that come face to face with the daemon lord find themselves engaged in combat in short order.
Anthraxus rules from the Siege Malicious, a gargantuan artifact-throne set at the tower's summit. Any creature that can mount an assault on the tower, fighting to the top past its daemon defenders, can challenge the current lord. The victor of such a battle masters the power of the Siege Malicious and assumes control of the mighty fortress. However, the great throne is possessed of fell magic, and corrupts whoever sits upon it.
Anthraxus's present rule over Khin-Oin has lasted only a century. But the daemon lord has been master of the tower before, and has ruled Khin-Oin for a total of three thousand years.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Mike Mearls, Brian R. James, Steve Townshend (July, 2010). Demonomicon. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 134. ISBN 978-0786954926.
- ↑ Colin McComb (September 1997). Faces of Evil: The Fiends. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 71. ISBN 0-7869-3430-1.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Gary Gygax (1983). Monster Manual II 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 30. ISBN 0-8803-8031-4.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Ed Bonny (1997). “Pox of the Planes”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon Annual #2 (TSR, Inc.), p. 104.
- ↑ Gary Gygax (September 1986). Queen of the Spiders. (TSR, Inc.), p. 126. ISBN 978-0880383219.
- ↑ Bill Connors, Christopher Mortika, Rick Reid, Scott Bennie, John Terra, Jay Batista, Roy Schelper, Rick Swan (May 1988). Swords of the Iron Legion. (TSR, Inc.), p. 2. ISBN 978-0880385596.
- ↑ The "present day" in Swords of the Iron Legion, when Anthraxus was still in power.
- ↑ The "present day" in Faces of Evil: The Fiends, when Anthraxus had already been ousted.
- ↑ Ed Bonny (1997). “Pox of the Planes”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon Annual #2 (TSR, Inc.), p. 105.
- ↑ Mike Mearls, Brian R. James, Steve Townshend (July, 2010). Demonomicon. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 134–135. ISBN 978-0786954926.
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Mike Mearls, Brian R. James, Steve Townshend (July, 2010). Demonomicon. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 135. ISBN 978-0786954926.
- ↑ Mike Mearls, Brian R. James, Steve Townshend (July, 2010). Demonomicon. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 88. ISBN 978-0786954926.
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