A Thrall is a terrible and wretched creature, made of equal parts corruption, power, and cowardice
What is a Thrall?
A Thrall is a generic term for a constructed creature that serves the Dark Gods, Evil Lord, etc. Examples of Thralls include the Ringwraiths from Lord of the Rings, the Myrdraal from the Wheel of Time, Dementors from the Harry Potter setting, and so forth. They are artificial, or were created through corruption, and as such completely and fanatically serve the side of evil. They cannot be turned to good, and they cannot be turned against the dark power that created them, but they can easily and often willingly turn on each other, and those who serve the Ruinous Powers, be they friends of evil, dreadlords, or even other Thralls.
A Thrall can pass for human at a distance, and up close so long as they keep their face covered and a hood drawn up. On very close inspection, there is no hiding what they are. A good Thrall should have some sort of tell, or witch's walk that gives them away, such as causing animals to snarl or break out of sweats and panic. Children should cry in their presence, milk should curdle, and anything already rotting or decaying should rapidly accelerate in it decomposition.
All Thralls have the natural ability of projecting an aura of fear around them in a five to ten foot radius. Fighting them hand to hand takes tremendous courage and willpower, and they cannot hide in a crowd unless it is a crowd on the verge of rioting. They also have the basic ability to lock eyes (even those lacking eyes) with a foe, and force a willpower check, failure causes the foe to freeze, typically long enough to be taken prisoner or cut down like wheat. The physical stats of a Thrall are high, but not beyond human limits, they are strong and incredibly tough, but they are still mortal, can be damaged, and slain. Some will be reincorporated by the Gods of Darkness, but this is on a case by case basis, and not the norm. Thralls are very specifically NOT magic users, and despite their evil allegiance and origins, they do not have the ability to be clerics, nor any branch of magical study, no mages, no sorcerers, and no wizards. Finally, all Thralls are sterile, and many are functionally genderless, part of their corruption and breaking from what they were before. They are neither male nor female, but it is common to assign them the masculine gender, and when taking equipment, they will favor gear made for men over things made for women.
All of the Thralls are presented with names, and some characteristics, but it is important to remember that Thralls, when not actually killing and gutting, are passive by nature. They are voyeurs, observers, almost clinically detached from their environment until its time to command their allies, draw blood and kill, or defend themselves. Most never learn the name of the Thrall they serve, and few know this piece of information beyond those who are very high in the Dread God's service.
1. Craiken Trollbow
An uncommon Thrall, Craiken, more commonly known as the Trollbow, is known for carrying a bow made of trollhorn. It is a powerful and fearsome weapon, and the Thrall is known for using poisoned, barbed arrows, so that even non-lethal hits can cause festering wounds requiring amputation lest the death of the limb kill the host. Unlike most Thrall, the Trollbow prefers ranged combat.
2. Xhudam, the Hound of Shadows
Xhudam is remarkable for two facts, the Thrall is the master of a pack of shadow hounds (or insert some other fearsome shadowspawn canine) and despite frequently moving on all fours, sniffing the air and ground, is decidedly feminine, even lacking external traits such as visible breasts. Xhudam is mute, never speaks, and only keeps the company of dark hounds, and other canine creatures, including canid based demi-humans like Gnolls.
3. Aifrit, the Cloven
Aifrit is an elder Thrall, having existed for several human lifetimes, and even more than one Elfin lifetime. The creature crossed blades with a legendary hero of old, and was struck through the face, its skull split by the blow. The creature survived and the wound healed, but not before leaving a gash through it's face, a frightening sucking smear of scar tissue splitting where an eye would have been and twisting the side of it's mouth into a permanent rictus. Even among Thralls, Aifrit is cruel and callous, taking pleasure in the suffering of others, and as such is very good at torture, and causing fear in it's foes. This is indeed a creature that a hero of decades or even centuries past could not slay, what hope do the current heroes have?
4. Laldir the Gaunt
Another ancient Thrall, Laldir might be the longest surviving member of the twisted race. It's flesh is loose and sagging, and it has the appearance of a lean old man. Under its armor and robes, it is not much more than skin hung over a hardened skeleton. While this might make it seem weaker, slower, due to the weight of time it carries, this is deceptive. It is still fast, and terribly strong when it needs to be. What it has lost in endurance and raw muscle, it has gained in trickery, wisdom, and has risen high in the ranks of those that serve the Dread Gods. This Thrall does have a great desire to consume the blood of those hapless victims who are young, favoring children above all else, magic users above mundane, and never consumes anything other than human or elf blood.
5. Aavrot Zasniir
Aavrot is slightly anomalous among the Thrall. It it young, but full of something very uncommon among it's dark kin: self confidence. Aavrot is a Thrall with a can do attitude, and a poise that would be associated with a frat boy or military recruiter than a servant of evil. It is still most definitely evil, jovially and boisterously so, it just isn't brooding and silent. Aavrot likes have its servants carry horns and drums, carry banners of flayed flesh, and if the minions are strong enough, actually carry still living victims so that their screams of agony are part of it's entourage. It is also very brash and foolhardy compared to other Thrall.
6. Uggat, the Boil
Uggat is a large Thrall, with a prominent weeping boil on it's face. It is otherwise very much a Thrall's Thrall, being brooding and silent, lurking in near complete darkness, and taking a slight bit of pleasure in making everyone uncomfortable in it's presence. Uggat's preferred weapon is a great two-handed axe, and it uses this to terrifying limb removing, head lopping, mount slaying effect. It leads from the rear, and only wades into battle if it seems like it's host of fell creatures is not going to be able to crush their foes in swift order.
7. Makar Two-Knives
Makar is a solitary Thrall and never keeps a host with it. It prefers the company of friends of evil, where is runs cells of assassins and thieves, and otherwise keeps the shadow networks running crisp and efficient. It makes great use of knives, and it's preferred method of dealing with anything is either assassination, or arranging discrete conditions where it can draw heroes into one on one duels, trusting in it's luck, speed, and blades to kill any foe, regardless of what weapons they use. Makar is intimately familiar with turning its blades, and has slain a number of other Thralls, friends of the dark, and even Dread Lords who forgot themselves.
8. Czafar Czugga
Czafar is an old Thrall, strong and well into it's prime. It is no longer concerned with hunting bands of heroes, or seeking out children of prophecy. Instead, Czafar is a prince among Thralls and rules parts of the Dark God's blasted lands, with it's own fortress and armies. It is a mastermind, and does things like make sure the breeding pits are producing plenty of dark and fell monsters to serve the dark ones, and that the forges within the Dread Mountain of Fire and Doom have plenty of iron, and fresh bodies to quench blades. When fate or circumstance pushes it into the field, this Thrall appears in armor befitting a Nightmare King, carrying weapons laced with dread power, even relics of magical power, with a host to shatter kingdoms. If the Dark Ones have dragons, Czafar has dragons.
9. Velenos Bahra
A few Thrall set themselves apart from their kin by their very manner, some almost seeming to embody certain sins or vices. Velenos Bahra is one such thrall. The creature, slight and feminine but still not really 'female', Bahra is infamous, or famous depending on faction, for it's unrelenting love for fire. If something can be burned in service to the dark gods, Bahra will burn it to ash, and then smear said ash on it's face. Other Thrall are sent to win battles, or slay heroes, Bahra is sent to murder cities, turn villages into cemetery pyres, and fill the sky with black smoke and weeping.
10. Celgar Gahagnaris
Celgar would be royalty among the Thrall, if such a thing were possible. It is a strong, deadly, and highly capable Thrall with a certain weakness and fascination for wealth, especially gold and gems. Under it's flowing black cloak, Celgar wears burnished gold armor, set with gems of the underworld and a fearsome two-handed golden sword with a black diamond in the pommel. The Thrall has aspirations, a very rare thing among its kind, to become a king and rule over a part of the land, in complete fealty to the dark gods, but serving no Dread Lord, no Liche.
11. Golex Vak
Golex Vak is in many ways a very normal Thrall, save for two features. Golex has a black bladed spear as its preferred weapon, and a Bone Stitcher as a companion. The Thrall likes to give victims to it's companion so it can take them apart, and put them back together to suit it's whims, and to reward its faithful minions with fresh mutations and spliced on body parts. As such, the entourage of Vak can look more like a traveling horror show than the vanguard of a dark host.
12. Vezgamid, the Twisting Maw
Vezgamid is a terror of a Thrall, it's face deformed by an oversized mouth, with a jaw it can unhinge like a snake. It is a normal Thrall, with the usual array of weapons, and command over lesser minions of evil. It's preferred tactic is to paralyze a foe with it's unnerving stare, and then literally bite their head off. If the head is too large to bite, the Twisting Maw will instead tear a ragged chunk out of the face, or tear out the throat like an animal. It has an innate ability to glean a few tidbits of knowledge from a victim, but eating a brain is a terrible way to learn what it knew.
13. Isim, the Librarian
Isim is a singularly unique Thrall. It is scholarly, highly intelligent, and analytical to the point of almost being machine like in it's thoughts. The Thrall is the collector and archivist of it's kind, dissecting mortal magi, and immortals, flaying fantastic beasts and even taking its own kind apart to understand how they work and why they cannot access magic. If pressed, Isim is deadly with knives and the sword, and as an archivist of the Dark Gods, has access to magic items, and other things that let it work around the fact that it cannot cast the slightest spell.
14. Kordress Mol
Kordress Mol favors poison and contamination, rather than direct confrontation. This Thrall, thin even among it's own kind, can easily pass for a woman, or an older child. It's preferred method of attack is to infiltrate a target and poison water supplies, contaminate food stocks, and sow dissension. Once a besieged city is choking on poisoned water, tempers worn thin because the flour rations were soaked in lamp oil, and every hand turned against it's fellow, Kordress Mol will then unleash it's forces, riding with them swing sword and shouting commands, giving signal for friends of evil to unleash their own deceits and sabotage.
15. Tel Nirax
Tel Nirax would be known as the Great Deceiver, if anyone other than a few Dread Lords and the Dark Gods themselves knew what it was. Tel Nirax is a Doppleganger Thrall, and can imitate other humanoids, appearing as them for short amounts of time. It's voice doesn't change, and it's tells and aura of fear aren't altered by this, but usually by the time a mortal has figured out that the creature in front of them, in their captain's armor, isn't their captain, Tel has already run them through and unzipped their entrails like a hog hung for slaughter. It's mimicry is limited to the last mortal that it slew, and it can only hold a humanoid appearance for a few rounds, less than a minute even under the best conditions.
16. Kulroc the Butcher
Kulroc is a normal Thrall that has a penchant for flaying the skin off of it's victims and wearing it like a shroud. This grants no special abilities, magical or otherwise. The desecration of a corpse, can trigger some people, causing them to lose morale, or become enraged enough to overcome their own fear. After combat, Kulroc collects the heads of foes it slew, and will wear them as trophies, ignoring the stink and rot of the flesh mortifying in it's presence.
17. Tangatax the Lord Fulminator
Tangatax is a superior sort of Thrall, somewhat larger, stronger, and more capable and competent than the average Thrall. In it's presence, other Thralls kneel and know their place, and even Dread Lords are uncomfortable around Tangatax and similar Thrall Lords. Aside from being a good bit better stat wise across the board, Tangatax is relatively unremarkable. It refuses to ride, and favors the largest of weapons that can be offered, two-handed greatswords are preferred, but great axes are acceptable. Tangatax enjoys cutting foes literally in half, not just heads and limbs.
18. Critarc Gar, the Lord of Entrails
Critarc Gar is a Thrall Lord that is impatient and calculating, alternating between flurries of activity and long periods of being passive and still to the point of vanishing. It eschews melee weapons, and favors using its hands and claws to grapple foes and rip them apart, twisting limbs out of sockets, ripping open bellies and tearing out throats. As with other Thrall Lords, Critarc Gar causes fear and unease in it's own allies, and even Dread Lords will take a knee rather than raise the ire of Gar. It is worth noting that Thrall Lords very specifically CANNOT work together, and if they come into proximity with each other, they are drawn to fight each other very much to the death. It takes the interdiction of a Dark God to stop the bloodshed, and this only lasts so long as the god maintains their focus.
19. Uriss Nuns, the Red Spiral
Uriss Nuns is a terror to behold, a Thrall Battle Lord, and near demi-god of death. Uriss wears heavy Shadowforged armor, rides a fearsome fell beast bred specifically to serve it as a war mount, and carries the most dangerous weapons in the arsenals of the Black and Burning Lands. The Dread Lords are often known to bicker amongst each other, with machinations and schemes, but Uriss Nuns is the fantasy version of the Angel of Death, and it's hell beast mount, Rax Soq, is it's pale horse.
20. Gekhon Ko Azza
Also known as the Laughing Thrall, Gekhon is a Thrall Lord of tremendous power, having a number of gifts granted to it by the Dark Gods themselves. It has robes and accessories that mark it as the inversion of a great emperor, a staff made of fused spinal bones, capped with a skull. It also has relics such as a Midnight Crown, set with gems of power, and a cloak that allows it to become magically invisible. Most of the time, Gakhon is in a sort of hibernation, communing with the Gods of Death of Evil, and is generally only roused when the Dread Lords have reached a point of mutiny and contention such that only a thing as wicked and sly as Gekhon can fix the situation without killed all of the Dread Lords and starting over.
21. Tippiloth, Dancer of Chains
Tippiloth is a regular Thrall, and is very commonly found as an adjutant to either a powerful Dread Lord, or Thrall Lord. It's specialty involves chains, especially chains with hooks or knives attached to them. Tippiloth can grapple at a distance, skewer foes and pull them close, and perform other tricks and actions with it's chains that borders on supernatural control over the blackened steel. There is a perverse rumor that of the Thralls, Tippiloth is a very rare submissive, submitting itself to the Dread Lords for their entertainment, a treat they view with no small amount of reserve and consternation.
22. Dolar Chax
Dolar Chax is a deeply disturbing Thrall. It has survived a number of intense battles and it's body is a mass of scars and reattached limbs. It's face is almost completely ruined, and as such, Dolar wears a mask, though the mask is made of teeth taken from predatory animals, and gives it a leering appearance. When pressed into battle, Chax isn't a swordsman, its a berzerker, fighting with axe, hammer, and whatever it can get its hands on, and revels in highly chaotic situations, and is a master of improvised weaponry. Chax is a butcher and enjoys causing pain and suffering that is on the far side of sadistic, and as such, is a favorite of the Dark Gods.
23. Zalas Saaxos, the Impaled
Zalas Saaxos is a peculiar Thrall in that it is currently impaled by a singularly important weapon (insert whichever holy sword, vorpal sword, magical sword, etc relevant to the setting). Retrieving this weapon will require heroes to fight Zalas Saaxos and overcome it long enough to drag the blade free. This will be no small task as Saaxos' bones have grown around the blade, and the wound it long healed. Saaxos is able to draw some power from the blade, enhancing it's abilities as a Thrall.
24. Vykkok Snyggas
Vykkok Snyggas is a runt of a Thrall, smaller than its kin, even those that can pass as children or women. Vykkok can barely pass muster as a goblin, or a true child not long weaned from it's mother's teat. Further, it's body is twisted, with a clubbed foot and a deformed leg, and one arm shorter than the other. This has lead Vykkok to become clever and shrewd, as it would very likely be cut down in a one on one fight with an experienced fighter, let alone considering the unnamed princes masquerading as rangers, or youths not knowing their magical heritage. Vykkok is known as the Impling among other Thralls and they enjoy punishing it.
25. Naltagg Lok Lotra
Also known as the Black Rope, Naltagg Lok Lotra is a tall and thin Thrall that is functionally double jointed in every possible joint giving it inhuman flexibility. It can grasp a weapon with either side of it's hand, and it can functionally disarticulate its skeleton to fit through opening barely large enough for a cat to pass through. Stories about Fades and Thralls sliding under doors or squeezing through gaps in windows can be attributed to Lok Lotra, and other similarly flexible Thralls. In combat, Naltagg is highly erratic, using what would be considered a drunken style of fighting with knives and throwing weapons, if drunken fighting looked like an alien nightmare having a combination epileptic fit/Michael Jackson dance-off.
26. Ildaris Koth
Ildaris Koth is a curious example of a Thrall. It's equipment and abilities are completely within the normal range of Thralls. What makes it different is the face that Ildaris likes to take captives, and then make those captives perform for it, whatever they know to do. It likes making musicians play with broken instruments, bards tell stories where Koth makes the storyteller make quick changes to suit it's mood, and so forth. Those who are quick enough to keep up get to live another day, or a few more hours. Some might consider death and dismemberment for the dark host's cook pots preferable to being a private dancer for a Thrall.
27. Urzosoth the Fat
Fat is a word seldom associated with Thralls. They are generally devoid of vices like gluttony, sloth, or even lust. Urzosoth loves to eat, and it's preferred method is to see how much of a sentient being it can consume before killing it. The strange thing about Urzosoth is that Thralls dont actually have to eat, despite having all the equipment to do so, so its consumption of flesh and fat has caused it to become corpulent, as well as having the ability to create the literal worst shit in existence.
28. Gellangwen Gul
Gellangwen Gul is a terrifying Thrall. It is possibly the only Thrall that identifies as female, to the point of dressing in the courtly garb of a queen or a princess. This is a cosmetic choice affected by Gellangwen, as it is technically genderless, but it finds the effect to be more traumatizing on it's victims. Gul is a torturer by trade, and enjoys few things more than drawing secrets and screams from a victim who is more afraid of what Gul will do to them more than what it is already doing to them. When forced into the field, Gul is a very normal/average Thrall, and favors a one handed sword and steel buckler, and crippling foes rather than quickly killing them.
29. Adith Eglas, the Bloodless
Adith Eglas made a few choice bad decisions, and the Gods of Despair and Ruin made their own decision to make Adith an example to other Thralls. Rather than simply destroy Eglas, or rip it apart and put it back together in a new form, they decided to horrifically main the Thrall to remind the others that no matter how high they thought themselves in the Dark Hierarchy, they were all expendable. Adith Eglas has had its skin ripped off, and then bound to live. It can feel constant pain, its nerves and muscles exposed to the air and environment, always twitching and cramping in endless agony. When Eglas is sent to lead a raid or campaign, the minions that serve with it are reminded of how little the Dread Lords and the Dark Gods actually care for them, and only success will save them from a fate like Adith. The only respite from pain Eglas can experience is when it is causing pain and suffering in the name of the dark ones.
30. Cevoch Zonnack
Few are prepared to face Cevoch Zonnack, because for many heroes it is looking in a blackened mirror at their own twisted and corrupted reflection. Instead of a ravening monster, something depraved and wallowing in gore and misery, they see a Thrall that is only doing what must be done, nothing more, and nothing less. Cevoch fights like a man defending his family in his own home, furious and unrelenting, driven like a beast, the sort that tempts them to reach out, and try to make a connection, could Cevoch be the literal first Thrall to turn against the Dark Gods and join the light?
Zero. Fucking. Chance.
(Ideally Cevoch should be a mirror of the strongest fighter in the group, and have a similar set of feats and stats, just better, faster, and stronger. No flash, no dazzle, no horror, just black steel and blood, screams and Cevoch panting over the corpse of the latest hero trying to destroy its home, its family, everything that matters to it.
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