The Deadlords are powerful entities which reside within the borders of Stygia. These beings draw their energy from the inherent necrotic energies of Stygia, which are anathema to life but invigorate the undead. They hunger for the living. The Deadlords would love to gain Su-Lan’s power over the flow of souls, but given her strength as a Greater Goddess and having this unique power, they must instead share the energies of the plane they exist within. Their followers can gain these powers as well, although living followers may not be able to benefit from all of them.
Titles: The Mournful Maiden, Mistress of the Bone Labyrinth
Symbol: A woman with a veiled face, haloed by a circle of thorns.
The Maiden is one of the most ancient of the Deadlords and has been coined the ‘Mother’ of many others of her kind. She claims rulership over a large portion of Stygia covered in the ever-shifting and changing Bone Labyrinth. The Maiden appears as a pale undead creature wrapped in a decaying white dress. For a Deadlord, her immediate appearance is almost demure or peaceful. Her eyes are most often seen downcast, not fully raised to look directly at another. It is said that meeting her gaze is enough to drive a mortal to madness and that viewing her true form is able to cause instant death.
Titles: The Dark Knight, Warden of the Lightless Citadel
Millennia in the past the Deadlord Ra’zael was not quite so grand, working service to ‘The Maiden’. He showed resolve and strength beyond what other of her thralls had ever achieved and for many long years was her sword; commanding her forces when she had need to unleash them from her labyrinth. As the Sword of the Maiden, Ra’zael found purpose as he found himself hunting down those that would break their oaths to the Maiden. As a hunter of Oathbreakers, his power flourished and at some point, Maiden released him from her services. The specifics of the deal struck between the two Deadlords is not commonly known but Ra’zael’s Lightless Citadel was constructed on the Southern border of the Maiden’s domain. Over the years he has strengthened his hold, though the Citadel lands have not expanded outward; it has grown by delving further and further into the depths of Stygia.
The Deadlord is proficient in a variety of combat forms and rides a horrific Stygian mount into battle or when he is hunting souls. Despite his personal code, many souls that come to Ra’zael are not hunted by the Deadlord himself. At his disposal Ra’zael has a full brigade of Death Knights, most of whom were once mortals that drew his attention through their own moral codes and need for vengeance. Each Death Knight is proficient in combat and powerful in their own right.
Titles: The Drowned One, Lord of the Grimval Throes
Xanthus controls the Grimval Throes, a winding waterway that flows through and touches almost every corner of Stygia. He can use his mastery of them to facilitate or prevent passage between Stygia, Lorithandar, and other planes where their waters meet and bleed into one another. He has been known to steal the souls of pirates and those who enter his waters uninvited, regardless of their intentions. Known for his strong attachment to the former Banshee Queen, Issanrael, upon her death he took up control of her subordinates and began the search for a soul powerful enough to take the place of his companion.
Titles: The Banshee Queen, Lady of the Garden of Discord
Issanrael, now deceased, was a powerful Deadlord who created the Garden of Discord along the banks of the Grimval Throes. In the heart of the garden, there is an intricate fountain depicting the Lady Issanrael in all her glory. Those who drink of its waters may be be transformed into Stygian creatures and under the control of The Banshee Queen or, currently, the Deadlord Xanthus who has temporarily taken on her role.
Titles: The Diseased, The Carrion Crow
Ignelithan is a former demon of pestilence that fled from Pandemonium to Stygia and into the service of a Deadlord millennia ago. He was largely unknown before suddenly gaining the title and power of a Deadlord from his predecessor. Due to this, Ignelithan is viewed with significant distrust by other Deadlords, who believe that he destroyed his predecessor to take up the mantle of Deadlord.
Titles: The Portent of Doom
Sai'thul is considered to be the most enigmatic of the Deadlords, and little is known about them or their motivations. Even their name was assigned by the other Deadlords, when Sai'thul refused (or was unable) to share a name with them. Sai-thul is something of a recluse among the Deadlords and only appears rarely to interact with them. However, they seem to know when a natural disaster or otherwise unpredictable event which may cause mass sentient death is going to happen, and will frequently appear nearby with time to spare. In the chaos of so many souls departing the mortal plane, Sai'thul collects as many mortal souls as possible before they can escape to Su-Lan's realm.
Titles: The Bloodgod
Jaggeth is a master of bloodshed and destruction, and takes joy in the pain and suffering of others. His cults tend to be few and far between, as well as self-limiting, and have been known to sacrifice the blood, flesh, and souls of their enemies - and sometimes their own - to him. He has also often been found on the battlefield, reaping souls in the aftermath of whatever brutality has occurred. Jaggeth is known to have a particular fondness for those few Elari who choose to follow him, as they are known for ritual consumption of their enemies among other things.
Titles: The Oracle, The Ever-Changing
Instead of stealing souls' power and destroying them as other Deadlords are known to do, Arnessaran is a strange entity that incorporates the souls it collects into a sort of hive mind, a repository of knowledge and secrets at its beck and call. Its outer shell shifts and changes as souls come and go; along with this, its physical attributes and abilities change. Arnessaran is known to have some oracular ability it can share with its devotees, though a person who wishes to utilize this runs the risk of of being overwhelmed by the hive mind and going insane or losing their own soul in the crush.
Titles: The Seneschal
Not overtly powerful in his own right, the shrewd Lord Zethiranaath maintains his position by cultivating influence with the other Deadlords. He has been known to offer his services as an advisor in any number of situations, currying favor among or otherwise influencing his fellow Deadlords. He rules Morvugh, a Stygian city with which the Elari most often interact, and has been cultivating ties and debts among them for millennia.
Titles: The Faceless Horror
Symbol: A sharp-edged mask with needle-like teeth.
Ancient and terrifying, Fahl-Gath’s consciousness is alien, to a point that not even the other Deadlords know what to do with him. He resides leagues below the surface of Stygia rather than in any one region, and has a sort of subtly corrupting presence. In the rare occasions where he breaches the surface, his actions have resulted in drastic changes to vast expanses of the Stygian landscape. If they aren’t keeping an eye on him he can cause problems by sending his power to the surface and taking control of entire regions. The other Deadlords do their best to avoid clashing with him. Fahl-Gath occasionally goes into a sort of hibernation, during which time those that have lost territory quickly attempt to regain it.
Titles: The Wraith Lord
One of the most ambitious of the Deadlords of Stygia, Ixalath has long had motivations beyond the borders of his realm. While many of the Deadlords content themselves with petty squabbles and intrigue, Ixalath has always looked outside of Stygia for opportunities. While Zethiranaath commands a great deal of power because of his alliance with the Elari, Ixalath sought less problematic allies and cultivated many mortal servants among the living on Lorithandar.
As a master necromancer, Ixalath was happy to share a way to obtain immortality with his underlings (in what is now known as Jaduun) in exchange for their service. It helped his plans that, to retain immortality, a persistent portal to Ixalath’s realm needed to be forged. This provides him with all of the allies he could desire, and easy access into the world of mortals. His long term goals have never been made clear but, over millennia, he has carefully expanded his influence and become one of the most powerful Deadlords.
Titles: The Scourge of the Wilds
Symbol: A hood and cowl made of gnarled, twisted roots frame an empty space where a face should be.
During the disaster at Kola Menaga, a powerful Earth Elemental who had served under The Lady of Thorns was pulled into Stygia before the opening into Lorithandar was closed. The energies of Stygia merged with and corrupted it, cutting it off from Kevalth. Instead of causing its death, however, Stygian energies quickly subsumed what life it had, twisting its very nature into something unrecognizable. The being was driven completely insane in the process and later took up the name of Lithen. Lithen now holds a terrible grudge against Wild Elves as a race, considering them (as the proponents of the disaster at Kola Menaga) as the cause of its horrific transformation.
Lithen is not interested in the squabbles of the other Deadlords, its main concern is becoming more powerful and eventually returning to Lorithandar to wreak its revenge upon the Wild Elves, the spirits who “abandoned” it, and anyone else who gets in its way. Its influence may be felt in the mortal realm on occasion, though any influence it gains in Lorithandar is often countered by the Lady of Thorns.
Titles: The Godling Queen
Lân is not a native of Stygia, but is the half-human Godling child of the fallen creature known as Darkness. Though her brother defied their father’s dark legacy and used his powers to help the mortal races, Lân followed her father’s path in search of power. After coming into her powers she offered her service to The Maiden, betraying her patron at the soonest opportunity and claiming a portion of Stygia for her own. Because of her treachery, she is universally hated by the other Deadlords. In spite of this, her power continues to grow. She is disdainful, cruel, and heartless, but her undead followers worship her with blind devotion regardless. Something about her calls to them, and they find it difficult to resist her control. Rumors have spread amongst the other Deadlords that if Lân is ever pressed too hard, she may discover a way to free her father, although she has expressed no desire to do so... yet.
Titles: Lord of the Fallen
Originating from the realm of Aaru, Apollion is a former Archon who reached too far into the realm of Undeath hoping to wrench away power for himself and was in turn corrupted by it. Though he attempts to put forth a face of pure perfection, it is merely a façade; true corruption lies beneath. Apollion commands a legion of fallen and corrupted angels, and his well-documented obsession with order is dangerous. Disordered things have been known to throw him into a chaotic rage.