Orcus (Demon Prince)

Orcus is the demon prince, and lord of the undead. Orcus is described as a “grossly fat demon lord” covered in goat-like hair, 15 feet tall, with a goat-like head and legs, and the horns of a ram rather than those of a goat. His arms are human, but “Vast bat wings sprout from his back, and his long, snaky tail is tipped with a poisonous head”. The book also notes that he is extremely intelligent, and mentions a number of magical abilities that he can use, such as being able to summon certain types of undead – “for he is their Prince”. His symbol is a mace with a human skull as the head.

Orcus resents Demogorgon and Graz’zt for their power and covets their realms.He makes outright war between his armies of undead and demons with Graz’zt hordes of monsters and demons, but uses assassination and sabotage against Demogorgon, as his and Demogorgon‘s armies are usually simultaneously warring with those of Graz’zt.

Orcus has many loyal servants such as Hacamuli, Khuul, Banak, Zhengyi, Ter-soth, Fyrilllicus the Abyssian dragon, Glyphimhor, Rotting Jack, Sleepless, Bleeding Setch, Eldanoth, Quah-Nomag, Acererak, Eldrua, Kauvra, Harthoon, Doresain, Xerivar, Gorguth, Elder Arantham, Holchwier, Mauglurien, Shonvurru, The Ashen Covenant, Vermiturge, Ghovran Akti, Hertud, Uganon and Gukat.

The realms of Orcus is manifold layers are populated with skeletal monsters, various sorts of zombies, huecuvae, shadows, sheet phantoms, vampires, and death knights. Orcus has a great palace made of bones, rising out of ground bone meal. His guards and servants are undead. From his empty halls Orcus rules many layers and is said to have conquered a number of Prime Material planes. His home layer is given as the 333rd layer of the Abyss. The Palace of Orcus is found in a deep valley surrounded by immense mountains, which are honeycombed with narrow passages. Other, smaller valleys found in the mountains contain encounters such as cities populated by undead. Thanatos, noting the ash-gray clouds that fill its cold back skies upon which daylight never intrudes. Its immense moon phases at random when covered by clouds, making it difficult to tell time. Cultits of Orcus reside in cities spread across the layer’s vast tundras, and thousands of undead roam the land outside the cities. The strongest thralls of Orcus attempt to dominate and command armies of these undead, to invade the Material Plane and the layers of rival demon princes. Remnants of the Dustmen, now a shattered faction, have outposts in all the layer’s cities and house themselves in the otherwise abandoned city of Vadrian, managing to “eke out a grim existence here after being exiled from the city of Sigil”. The Dustmen continue to offer their services as guides, although mortal Skull Lords and fiends often seek to attack parties led by Dustmen.

The Abyssian fortress of Orcus, a citadel which represents the focal point of his power. Because of its size, the castle is visible in glimpses from many points in the terrain, but on the last rise characters can get a good look at it.Lightning constantly flashes with varying intensity around the fortress, changing the color of the sky and places on the ground. Locations also seem to shift to appear closer or further, although all distances actually remain constant.

The Cult of Orcus is a loosely organized network of worshippers of Orcus. According to the Book of Vile Darkness, the loathsome yet identifiable portfolio of Orcus is what makes him worshiped as a god more often than most of the other demon princes, making him closer to ascending to true godhood than even Demogorgon.

The most important artifact associated with Orcus, the Wand of Orcus. Also called “the wand of death” or “Orcus’s Wand”, and is described as “a rod of obsidian topped by a skull. This instrument causes death (or annihilation) to any creature” by touching it to their flesh, except for creatures of like status to Orcus himself.

Domains: Abyss, Deathbound, Undeath, Sloth, Death


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