Alloces

From Greyhawk Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Greyhawk Deity
Alloces
Title(s) Butcher of Nessus; Prince of Beasts; Father of Monsters
Home Plane Baator (Nessus)
Power Level Duke of Hell
Gender Male
Class(es) n/a
Alignment Lawful evil
Portfolio Monster creation
Domains n/a
Alias(es) None
Superior Asmodeus

Alloces, called the Butcher of Nessus, the Prince of Beasts (a title also claimed by Baphomet), and the Father of Monsters, is a Duke of Hell, and a kennel-master to the lords of Baator.

Description

Slightly taller and thinner than the average human, Alloces has pale, hairless skin and a slightly predatory look to his features. His fingers are abnormally long. He wears a priest's cassock of heavy, whispering leather, worn so tightly it looks like it might burst from his thin frame. He has the power to twist the flesh and rend the souls of his victims.

Relationships

Alloces once served Geryon exclusively, but now operates as a freelancer, keeping herds of monsters for Bel, Fierna, Glasya, Mephistopheles, Asmodeus, and many lesser dukes. The only two archdukes who never use his services are Levistus, who doesn't trust Alloces after the Father of Monsters' abandonment of Geryon, and Baalzebul, who spawns monsters of his own and is too paranoid to make use of one of Asmodeus's trusted minions. Alloces' ironclad rule, however, is that he will never sabotage the beasts of one duke on behalf of another.

Asmodeus is his greatest ally. The Overlord of the hells considers the Butcher of Nessus to be one of his less important vassals, but still Alloces keeps many herds of Asmodeus's mounts and hounds, and can occasionally call on his master for a boon. Alloces is also considered a close ally, or at least employee, of Bel, who makes use of Alloces' talents to continually add new forms to the infernal armies. Glasya, who status as an archduke is very new, appreciates the trusted, experienced hand of Alloces in managing her beasts.

Alloces also frequently creates beasts on spec for various pit fiends and war devils, including a devil of unspecified rank called Stalos. Alloces occasionally meets with Beleth to discuss interrogation techniques.

Vassals

Alloces is a comparatively minor power in the Nine Hells, equivalent to a lesser duke or powerful baron. In his estate, he has bred more potent breeds of chimeras, nightmares, hellfire scorpions and other creatures for use as mounts, weapons, hunting hounds, and beasts of burden. He maintains herds of Nessian hell hounds and abominations created from melded souls: beings with names like creeping teeth, damned choirs, carpets of flesh, vile hosts, seraphic golems, and shrieking steeds.

  • Kromastes is an elite ice devil who acts as the head of Alloces' household security.
  • Machalos, the Sutured Fiend, is a former pit fiend servitor of Geryon who is now housed in a hideous patchwork body created by Alloces. He is currently Alloces most loyal servant. Some of Machalos's current organs were taken from angels and trolls. His loyalty to Alloces has begun to thin a bit, however, as he has begun to wonder of Alloces has the ability to create a more powerful body for him but has deliberately chosen to leave him in a weakened state.

Realm

Alloces rules over a single, enormous estate—thousands of acres in size, but minor compared to the fiefdoms of the great dukes and princes—on the edge of Asmodeus's domain in Nessus, the ninth and deepest of the Nine Hells. There, fences of black iron and hellfire keep his herds of monsters from escaping the grounds. In his great stone manor, Alloces keeps thousands of laboratories and well over a hundred stables.

Dogma

Unlike most of his colleagues, Alloces is not interested in ruling or dominating Baator; rather, he desires only to continue his work experimenting with flesh and life, creating new forms and breeds of monsters and aberrations.

Worshippers

Alloces lacks the name recognition of the greater archdevils, as well as the broad appeal that devils of temptation, lust, and sorcery enjoy. Instead, he concentrates on a narrow band of potential cultists who seem especially likely to respond to his command over monsters and their creation. Alloces earns many of his souls from these cults and cabals, earning the rest through trade with other devils.

The most numerous of Alloces' faithful are primitive members of beast cults who worship monsters in the wilderness as emissaries of the gods or embodiments of divine wrath. Alloces secretly inspires and grants powers to them in exchange for their souls. Many of these belong to savage races such as lycanthropes, lizardfolk, and giant-kin. Sometimes more civilized towns also house such cults, either because they are the descendants of primitives or because old superstitions have returned due to such events as plagues of lycanthropy.

Alloces is often bargained with to bring aid to victims of plagues, crippling injuries, or deformed births in areas that lack clerics in sufficient power or numbers. Sometimes the desperate will sell their own souls to the Father of Monsters if, in exchange, he uses some semblance of his powers to twist flesh into monstrous shapes to heal those with no other recourse. Sometimes severely ravaged towns have given themselves over to Alloces entirely, sometimes spawning long-term cults and sometimes being entirely "harvested" by the Butcher of Nessus after a single generation, their bodies and souls stripped down to their fundamental parts in order to fuel Alloces' experiments.

While the bulk of Alloces' faithful are either primitive beast cults or desperate cripples seeking to make their bodies whole again, some are sages, surgeons, vivisectionists, and wizards who share Alloces' obsessions, seeking to create new forms from the raw materials of life and undeath. Often educated, urbane, and entirely amoral, these cultists often wield a great deal of power in local governments and universities.

History

The Age Before Ages

Alloces was once a powerful but relatively unimportant angel in the Age before Ages. He was an angel of punishment, dedicated to inflicting suffering on those who drew the ire of the gods. It is believed, but cannot be proven, that Alloces slew even his fellow angels when they accused him of acting against his alignment in his zeal for crueler and crueler punishments.

After the rebellion of Asmodeus, Alloces initially remained on the side of the gods, battling Asmodeus's hosts in the name of the divine. This changed after the Battle of Blood-Dimmed Stars, when Alloces and his comrades captured on of Asmodeus's officers alive. Alloces argued that the captive be tortured, partly to satisfy his own bloodlust, but partly for the valuable information this might provide them. The others demurred, saying that such vile acts were beneath them, and executed the prisoner instead. It was then that Alloces became convinced of two things: that Asmodeus would inevitably win his war, and that the particular skills of Alloces would be more welcome among Asmodeus's legions than they would be among Asmodeus's foes.

Alloces soon defected. Asmodeus placed the treacherous angel under the command of Geryon, then one of Asmodeus's most potent generals. Geryon made him his chief inquisitor, and though his torments gained substantial intelligence, far more damaging to his foes was the damage the tales of his hideous sadism did to their morale. Eventually Alloces was reassigned to the direct command of Asmodeus himself, where he became part of the rebel's elite team of interrogators. During this time, Alloces grew fascinated by the nature of life, and with the malleability and resilience of flesh. He became less focused on his interrogations and more on his experiments in surgery and vivisection. By the time Asmodeus had installed himself as the ruler of Hell, Alloces was thought of as an unreliable interrogator more interested in his personal projects than in gaining useful information.

Baator

As a devil in the newly founded realm of Baator, Alloces hired himself out as a freelance interrogator, working for such luminaries as Geryon, Mephistopheles, and Asmodeus, promising to get them valuable intelligence on their rivals. During this period he ended up working, at one time or another, for most of the dukes of Hell. This was also when he started creating his first monsters, chimerical abominations fashioned by recombining organs from angels, devils, and other denizens of the Outer Planes. On occasion he was hired not as an interrogator, but as a breeder, creating new monstrosities to a client's specifications or to shepherd or herd existing populations of beasts. Still, it was only after mortal souls began pouring into the plane that Alloces began to rise in stature.

Noting the value of souls as both a power source and a raw material for building, Alloces began releasing monsters into the Prime Material Plane, and claiming credit for the creation of other monsters he had nothing to do with, including the nightmare, the chimera, the manticore, the first half-fiends and the first lycanthropes. He is also credited with inspiring the creation of the first flesh golem, and this last claim is given some credence where the others are not. Soon cults sprang into existence dedicated to worshiping monsters or seeking to create new monsters, and Alloces established himself as the power behind both these movements, granting boons to the cultists in exchange for souls pledged to him after death.

Alloces began to rapidly rise in power, spending many years as the kennel-master to Geryon and, as Geryon's influence began to fade, abandoning the Wild Beast to offer his services to any who could afford them. Today, he keeps herds of nightmares, dragons, and melded souls for Bel, Fierna, Glasya, Mephistopheles, Asmodeus, and many lesser dukes.

See also

Bibliography

  • Marmell, Ari. "Codex of Betrayal: Alloces, the Butcher of Nessus." Dragon #373. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2009.