ASHTERATH, Lord of Fang and Claw
Second of the Demiurges, otherwise known as ‘the Lord of Fang and Claw,’ or ‘the Lord Serapis’.
Appearance: most accounts depict Ashterath as a lithe draconic figure, with a muscular body covered in scales. A pair of large iridescent bat-like wings protrude from his back, expansive enough to grant his gigantic form unaided flight. As his moniker suggests, all four of his limbs end in powerful claws and his mouth is filled with sharp teeth, which complement his horned crocodilian head. His tail is long and serpentine, ending in a large barb.
Characteristics: though once a fair ruler, Ashterath became corrupted by the power of the Atramenta and the wicked influence of other more manipulative beings. He became sadistic, enjoying inflicting torment upon mortals.
Other Forms: Ashterath enjoyed the fear and awe that mortals felt when looking upon his draconic form and he did not often alter his form. Some think that he would sometimes disguise himself as a mortal traveller in a heavy leather coat who would torment those travelling alone.
Known Children: the children of Ashterath are the serapis. Mortals of reptilian form, cursed for their actions and those of their father to slither on their stomachs and be forever without culture.
Known Scions: Herensuege; and Suha, the Neglected One.
History: once taking great joy in crafting areas of barren beauty – badlands, stone windows, deserts, cliffs, volcanoes and so-on – Ashterath would spend much time in the quiet tranquillity of his domains of the primordial world, before the Demiurge’s blighted Elyden with their continued work.
Ashterath found himself pained at the loss of his contact with The Shaper after the Demiurges were punished for their hubris. He spent some time with his brother Vorropohaiah, but the two grew distant as their pain consumed them in different ways. As his strength waxed with the worship of his children, the serapis, he found himself craving more power.
Rachanael taught him the secrets of the Atramenta, and Ashterath quickly became corrupted by it, using it to inflict torment upon mortals, who he came to view as the root of his fall. He became a sadistic murderer, often leaving his children for great lengths of time as we went on killing sprees across Elyden and beyond.
Ashterath became Rachanael’s lieutenant and was sent to capture and interrogate his sister Achaiah who, it was claimed, had discovered the secrets of immortality. He chased her across eons, from one end of Elyden to the other Exhausted by the chase, she prayed to The Shaper for succour and was granted it at great cost. Hiding in a forest to evade his advances, she was turned into a tree, her secrets safe forever-more. Ashterath finally caught her but fell in love, seeing the error of his ways, escaping from Rachanael’s servitude.
He spent the following centuries in isolation, allowing his bitterness to overwhelm him, and turned his blame towards his brother Rachanael for his own descent into darkness and for the death of Achaiah, and vowed to defeat him.
He emerged from his self-imposed exile and found his body had become twisted and withered by his thoughts. He regained the loyalty of his children, which by then had spread far and wide in his absence. With them he declared war on Rachanael and his servants, starting the Dragon War in which the serapis committed many atrocities under the guise of their war against Rachanael.
The war ended with the Demiurge Talantehut cursing the serapis, twisting them into base creatures that would never again build cities or wander far from the suns gaze. Ashterath, she imprisoned in the empyrean between the material realm and the Otherworld, his body burning forever-more as the Dawn Star, still visible in the night sky. This ended Ashterath’s influence upon Elyden and ended the story of his children.