The visage of Arrkrash is well known, a giant of a demon and a Arch-Duke of the Nine Hells. Most accounts agree that the demon stood 22 feet tall and his body, covered in supple yet livid blue skin, was heavily muscled. Seemingly the avatar of a Barbarian Blood-God, the demon has massive horns that continually drip blood and gore from their wickedly pointed tips. His face was a leering thing, with thick warthog-like tusks and eyes that burn like fire-diamonds.
Yet this Arch-Demon was slain by mortal means, a fate only slightly worse than death, but a bit better than being devoured by another demon. Now, the restless shade of Arrkrash appears as a smoldering shadow, the head and upper body rather well formed of necrotic ectoplasm. The ends of his arms, and his lower body billow and sputter as the necroplasm bubbles and seeths from his residual hatred and rage.
As an Arch-Duke of the Nine Hells, Arrkrash was well accustomed to the trappings of opulent luxury and power. At his command were some 50 legions of imps and lemure demons, and another legion of succubi served as his palace slaves and harem. He was seldom far from his preferred weapon, the legendary Blade of Flame, or from his Axe of Woe, a weapon forged for the sole purpose of slaying other demons. It seemed that like the other Lords of the Hells, he would have all of eternity to plan his assualts on the higher realms.
This all changed after he was summoned by a cabal of mortal sorcerers to the material realm. Torn from his home by the summons, he materialized before the Cabal and they had a battle of wills. Confined within a Orichalcan Elder Seal, the Arch-Duke could not extend his powers to slay those impertinent enough to summon him, yet neither could he depart of his own will. The Cabal discovered that they could not yoke the Prince of the Nine Hells to their collective will and rather than release the vengeful demon they gathered their power and did the unthinkable. Arrkrash, who had lived for millenia, Arrkrash who threw down the gates of the Mephiloth Empire, was slaughtered like a lamb on an altar.
The Cabal claimed his Axe of Woe and his Sword of Flame as theirs by right of conquest. His body was severed, dismembered, and rendered to it’s base ingredients for use in sorcerous rituals. So desicrated, and enraged was the soul of Arrkrash that the demon awoke to it’s third and final life as a restless ghost. Driven by black hatred and blind rage the spectre fell upon the Cabal that had summoned him and slain him. Magi died by the score as their sorceries, so effacious against demons, were almost useless in the face of a ghost.
As a lingering spirit, Arrkrash was divested of his demonic powers and immunities, exchanging them for the considerably weaker powers of the incorporeal undead. He is barely able to affect objects in the material world, but he can manifest himself to a person or group of people and slay them with his withering touch. This touch drains a mortal of their life essence, and in the case of Arrkrash, rather than one at a time, his touch can affect as many people as he can reach at a time.
He is also significantly more limited in movement as well. While no longer affected by demonic words, he is fully vulnerable to necromancy and operates as a great form of undead. This galls Arrkrash’s shade to no end. Where once he stormed the gates of his brother demons, he can now be stopped by a superstitious peasant sprinking a line of salt across his doorway, or be warded away by strong holy symbols.
The Architect of Betrayal
The Cabal had long been feed information about the ranks of demonkind, their strengths and weaknesses, their powers and vulnerabilities. Most of this information was rather specific for Arrkrash and the lesser demons that made up his legions. After his corporeal demise Arrkrash discovered that the architect of his betrayal was none other than one of his most powerful and hated rivals, Ma-O.
The Great Demon of the Ocean had whispered Arrkrash’s true name to the Cabal, and told them of the one way that the Demon-Prince could be slain if he could not be made a slave. Moments after Arrkrash’s fall, the watery legions of Ma-O rose up and crashed across the plains of Arrkrash’s Infernal Fortress. Without their leader, the demons loyal to Arrkrash were scattered and slain. The fortress was captured and the once sulferous peaks and sand blasted bleak vistas of his home realm within the Nine Hells was flooded. Volcanoes became sputtering islands, the great mesas frosted over into vast salt-flats, and the lowland areas became thick and sluggish swamps as Ma-O flooded into the new realm.
- Zhorrsj, The Axe of Woe - This hand and a half battleaxe looks as much like a cleaver as a proper axe. The length of the metal blade is etched with demonic runes that give the giant weapon the ability to cleave through infernal and celestial flesh and armor with ease. Meant as a tool to keep his lieutenants and other minions in line, it eventually became a symbol of his undying will to rule all of the Nine Hells. Before it’s demise, the Cabal was able to hide Zhorrsj away from his shade.
- The Sword of Flame - A kris-bladed hand and a half sword, this weapon glows with a perceptible limn of flames. Much like more common Flaming Sword, Arrkrash’s blade could ignite at will and with concentration could gather it’s blazing essence and launch it as a missle. While not very effective in the Nine Hells, the sword was devastating against mortals and demons and devils hailing from icy layers of the Hells. Now as an undead, simple proximity to this burning weapon causes Arrkrash’s shade blinding agony.
- The Hexakosioihexekontahexacron - A book of blackness and vile sorcery, this work exists in large part to Arrkrash. While his spell-like powers and control over flame ended with his demonic existance, his knowledge of necromancy and infernal sorcery remained. These avenues of magic were closed to him, being a ghost, but he was able to manifest them in the form of this book. Creatures slain with the Damnation spell are actually devoured by Arrkrash’s shade, which feeds him and slakes his emptiness..
Arrkrash is dead, a shadowy reflection of the staggeringly powerful demon he once was. Flickering between bestial rage and arrogant denial of his condition in death, Arrkrash remains dangerous despite his state. He is now bound to the ruins of the Cabal’s fortress and cannot leave sight of the walls. This was part of Ma-O’s plan as the Demon of the Ocean, being a master of Moebian Logic knew that the Demon-Prince could be slain but not completely destroyed. Now, as an undead, the shade of Arrkrash has an unbreakable leash, and Ma-O is free to carry on with it’s own designs.
If summoned, the shade of Arrkrash will attempt to slay the magus who summoned it. Unless bound by a protective circle, the demon ghost will likely accomplish this end. If properly restrained, the Shade will alternately gibber and snarl like a feral beast, bellow and make demands like a brutal dictator, or quietly burble to itself over the seeming paradoxes of its condition, ignoring the PCs altogether. If it can be drawn into a semi-lucid conversation, the shade can be compelled to answer questions and as a former Demon-Prince and Arch-Duke, the shade is incredibly intelligent.