Thursday, June 6, 2013

Campaign Design - The Lords of Hell: Ishi


The Red King; The Oathbreaker; The Ruby Sorcerer; The Soulblighter Demon Lord of Evil Enchanters, Dark Magic, Pride, and Treachery

Alignment: Neutral Evil.
Cleric Domains: Betrayal, Demonic, MentalismMind, Pride, Spell, Treachery.
Unholy Warrior Domains: Magic, Pride, Treachery.
Summon Monster: Ishi's clerics and favored souls can summon anarchic, axiomatic, and fiendish creatures using summon monster spells.
Symbol: A ruby scepter.
Favored Weapon: "The rod of rule" (warscepter).
Related Classes: Unholy Warrior.
Related Prestige Classes: Champion of the Dark Seven, Servant of Ishi.

In legend, Ishi appears as a huge man with heavy features wearing rich crimson robes. His head is balding, and he wears a trimmed goatee style beard of black whiskers. He is the lord of dark magic and those who seek to dominate and rule over others. Ishi carries a great ruby scepter as tall as he is, representing his claim to suzerainty over all others, a claim disputed by even the other Demon Lords. Ishi hates all things, and seeks only personal power, seeing others merely as tools to serve his ends. Despite this, Ishi always displays a calm and genteel manner, never showing anger or contempt and always acting with scrupulous politeness, which makes him all the more dangerous. Before the War in Heaven, it was Ishi who negotiated the deal that led to Aíne traveling to the infernal realms to negotiate Rúadan's release, and it was Ishi who broke the oaths that he had sworn to give her safe passage, although Ishi claimed that Aíne was actually a spy sent in bad faith and so his actions were justifiable. In legend, stories in which a mortal makes what they believe to be an ironclad a deal with Ishi only to have him come up with a loophole that later allows him to justify reneging are common. Ishi always scrupulously follows the letter of any agreement, but always twists the words to suit his purposes.

Ishi claims to be the true ruler of Hell, and claims suzerainty over all of the other Lords of Hell, although most of the other Lords regard this claim as being specious at best. On those rare occasions in which he has actually tried to assert his authority, the results have been mixed to say the least. In the War in Heaven Ishi challenged Woda's mastery of the mystic arts and sought to supplant him as the divine ruler. Woda's knowledge proved to outmatch Ishi's, as Woda was willing to make the personal sacrifice necessary to gain a deep understanding of the arcane. While Ishi is perfectly willing to order or compel his minions to sacrifice themselves to his ends, he would never extend himself in such a manner, being, at the core, a coward. Although the battle was magnificent, Woda overcame Ishi, and cast him down from Heaven where the Demon Lord was imprisoned with mystic bonds that hold him motionless. In the councils of Hell, Ishi had a great rivalry with Darmas, with the Lord of Conquest asserting that rule over others is best accomplished by means of physical violence, while Ishi asserts the superiority of intimidation and enchantment for that purpose.

Ishi's followers are often enchanters who seek to dominate and control others. Many evilly inclined alvari honor this deity, calling upon him to fuel their own efforts to dominate others. Ishi's priests rarely act directly, usually serving the ends of their infernal master through a network of minions and intermediaries. His followers favor red clothing, and red equipment. Most of his priests use specially crafted ruby-colored warscepters as their holy symbols, blessing them by beating a slave to death with the weapon. Officially, his priests assert the primacy of their faith over all of the other Lords of Hell, although in practice they only press this claim when they are in a position of unassailable strength. To the extent they acknowledge the Lord of Hell, the Hallitsijainen are said to hold this deity as their patron, and the priesthood of this faith holds an honored position within Isakoti in particular.

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