The Traitor, the Loyal

(Planar molydeus tanar’ri [he/they] / CE)
Lair: Abyss / Pazunia / Sonu-Aar’ri / Council of Despair

Axian is the cutter holding the reins at the Council of Despair, a place where the movers of the Abyss come to shake. This elusive moleydeus tanar’ri rules the council chamber in the notorious burg of Sonu-Aar’ri on Pazunia.

Now Axian is a right peculiar sort, playin’ the roles of both traitor and loyal with a practised finesse. Some see him as the utmost loyal protector of the tanar’ri lineage, a beacon of fierce determination; while others whisper that he’s a backstabbin’ traitor who’d sell his own mother for a handful of jink. Between you, me, and the dusties, I reckon it all depends on the day and who’s askin’.

This double-faced wonder didn’t pop up out of the blue; no, he’s been a-lingering in the shadows for centuries, maybe millennia. We’re talking ancient history, with plots so tangled you’d need a Guvner to sort ’em all out. It’s said he was once one of the finest warriors amongst the tanar’ri, a proper bruiser who could give a pit fiend a run for its jink. His rise to power? Now, it’s whispered that in his early days, Axian served under one of the powerful Abyssal lords — but which one? Ah, that’s a matter of debate, cutter. Some say it was Graz’zt, that old slyboots known for his cunning and deceit. Others reckon it might’ve been Demogorgon, the two-faced Prince of Demons himself. Whoever it was, Axian was a loyal servant, learning the tricks of the Abyssal trade, mastering the arts of manipulation, treachery, and, let’s not forget, the knack for ruthless violence.

But it wasn’t long before Axian started to feel the itch, that age-old tanar’ric desire for more power and control. See, in the Abyss, it’s always about climbing higher, grabbing more power, no matter who you have to tread on to get there. He began gathering a cadre of like-minded berks, those hungry for change and willing to backstab their own grandmas to get a taste of power.

Now, the turnin’ point came when Axian orchestrated a coup — a proper bloody revolt that saw the rise of new powers and the fall of the old guard. The details are hazy, lost in the midst of Abyssal politics — or more likely the details have been covered up by the establishment — but what’s known is the result. Axian carved out his own niche in the Abyss, a little slice of hell to call his own in the burg of Sonu-Aar’ri.

Yet despite his vicious nature, this slippery fellow harboured a dream, a notion most bizarre and contrary to the brutal norms of the Abyss. He dreamed of a place where the power players of the Abyss could come together, parley and forge uneasy alliances. So, with his newly acquired territory, he formed the Council of Despair, with the naive (or perhaps visionary, depending on who you ask) aspiration to foster some semblance of cooperation amidst the chaos.

This council, it ain’t like Sigil’s Hall of Speakers, where the faction high-ups might bicker and argue but have some common ground. Abyssal politics involves heated arguments, threats of violence, enchantment magics, bribery, treachery and literal backstabbing. Yet somehow, amidst the death threats and assassinations, some manner of order emerges, a delicate balance forged in fear and mutual distrust. And at the centre of it all is Axian, the ever-changing face of loyalty and betrayal, orchestrating the grand dance of power with the skill of a seasoned maestro.

Source: Jon Winter-Holt,

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