Thursday, March 21, 2013

Campaign Design - The Lords of Hell: Darmas


War Leader of Hell; The Great Slaver; The Scourge of Battles; Demon Lord of Tyranny, Conquest, and Duergar

Alignment: Lawful Evil.
Domains: Combat, Command, Competition, Conquest, Tyranny, Weapons.
Summon Monster: Darmas' clerics and favored souls can summon axiomatic and fiendish creatures using summon monster spells.
Symbol: A pair of mummified severed hands.
Favored Weapon: "The enslaver" (waraxe).
Related Prestige Classes: Order's Tyrant.

Darmas is the general of Hell's armies, a menacing figure clad in black plate armor with a helm that covers his face, and bearing a black waraxe inscribed with red runes. He rides a massive fiendish beast that has matted black fur, fangs that drip acid, and claws of steel. Legend holds that neither Darmas' face nor any other part of him has ever been seen, and some maintain that the suit of armor is merely an animated shell, and the beast that it rides is actually the embodiment of the god. Others holds that the suit of armor is empty, but that the armor itself is Darmas. Others scoff at such notions and call their proponents heretics. No matter the truth, Darmas is the very embodiment of the cruelty and horror of war, demanding that his followers be remorseless and ruthless in battle. He is also the unyielding and pitiless tyrant, ruling over all he can reach with an iron hand.

In some myths, Darmas is said to have once been devoid of armor until, aided by evil dwarves, he stole into Wünd's workshop and absconded with his black armor and axe, earning the enmity of the Lord of Smiths. Darmas' priests say that this is a lie concocted by the Celestial Lords to smear the name of their patron out of jealousy at his imposing and awesome presence. All agree, however, that Ishi inscribed the runes of power upon his cruel axe head, which enchant the blade to inflict terrible wounds that never heal upon those it strikes. During the War in Heaven, Darmas severed the hands of the sleeping Heim, and now wears them on a chain around his neck as a trophy. Darmas led the armies of Hell on the field of battle, raising his red and black standard on the battlefield to defy the Lords of Heaven.

Darmas was the last of the Infernal Lords to be swept from the field of battle, standing against the combined might of Vali, Þunor, Tiwas, and Forseti, before Wünd took his hammer and Heim took his vengeful sword to the Tyrant Lord and sealed his fate. When he was cast down, the fall shattered his body, scattering the pieces across the underworld. Woda enchanted the parts of Darmas with magical concealment so that they could only be found with great effort, and his devoted duergar followers spend much of their lives hunting for the scattered remnants of their lord Darmas.

Darmas' worshipers are found among evil warriors, tyrants, unjust rulers, and especially duergar. He is also honored among those worgs who bother with such things, who hold fervently to the belief that Darmas is, in fact, the great beast. Darmas holds a special hatred of Wünd, a sentiment his devoted worshipers share. Among duergar, Darmas is regarded as the unyielding ruler of their race, demanding total obedience in exchange for his favor.

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