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by Marco Dalmonte

(Ivaldi, Menlil, Skorpios)
Patron of Corruption and Treachery

Level, Alignment and Sphere: 31st (Hierarch, NE), Entropy
Symbol: silhouette of a black winged viper
Portfolio: corruption (physical and moral), deceit, treachery, vengeance, destruction of life on the outer world, Azcans, humanoids
Worshipped in: Hollow World (Azcans, Schattenalfen), Known World (Tiger Clan, Shadowlands, Broken Lands, Northern Reaches), Immortal's Arm (Jakar City-states), Savage Coast (Nimmur), Davania (Jungle Coast), Graakhalia
Appearance: a charming elven adventurer with a shady outlook (pale complexion and sly smile) donning black clothes.
His second manifestation form is that of a jet-black feathered viper with elf's face and with two arms he conceals under the wings.
History: during his mortal life them, Atziann was the clanmaster of an elven clan settled in the region south of the Glantrian Highlands. In 1700 BC some elves found an ancient Blackmoorian artifact in that region, and they caused its explosion when they tinkered with it. The resulting radioactive rain and the nuclear winter that devastated the whole region turned it into the current Broken Lands, and the so-called Glantrian Catastrophe affected even the farthest reaches of the nearby Ethengar Steppes forming the Land of the Black Sand. The elven survivors dug underground to flee the disease and the destruction and they split. Atziann was the sole survivor of his clan, probably because they were responsible for finding the artifact and triggering its destruction, thus enduring the most losses.
After years spent wandering underground, an embittered and vengeful Atziann emerged in BC 1650 in the Azcan Lands and began to live under the Red Sun disguised by his magics. He became slowly fascinated with the Azcan culture, and after years passed living among the Azcans and building his net of conspiracy, Atziann finally left Azca when he made contact with one of Thanatos's Burrowers, who revealed him the path towards immortality in the sphere of Entropy. When he returned in Azca after his travels brought him all around the Hollow World, he used his extensive net of spies, thieves and conspirators to usurp the priests' and Emperor's power and to create a new religion that would have helped him ascend to the top of the Azcan pantheon once he became immortal. Thanks to his lies the cult of the new god, Atzanteotl, established a sense of unrest and rebellion among the lower castes and later got hold also of the hearts and souls of the more corrupted priests, who organised a true upheaval against the established rulers and forced the rightful Tlatoani, Atruatzin, to flee from the capital city. This event marked the peak of Atziann's power of corruption as a mortal and guaranteed his ascension to immortality in BC 1500. He immediately took the role he had tailored for himself, and under the identity of Atzanteotl he began to spread his words of hatred and strife in the world. But Atzanteotl had not forgotten his old enemy Atruatzin, and he tried to corrupt him with promises of eternal life and power. When the wise old emperor refused to side with him preferring to defend the ways of the old gods, Atzanteotl sentenced him to death for his insolence. So he sent his lackeys to Atruatzin's fortress of Quauhnauhac to capture him, and they massacred all the resistant forces trying to capture Atruatzin, who however managed to flee below the ground. Atzanteotl's priests silenced all those who dared speak against the new order and crowned a new puppet emperor in the name of their god. They also rewrote the historical records of the Azcans, thus obscuring the importance of the old gods in favour of the new one. Atzanteotl became the only true sun of the new Azcan era characterised by human sacrifices and brutal rituals.
However, when Atzanteotl found out that Atruatzin was still alive together with a bunch of allies, and that they had found shelter in the ruins of Aengmor (now renamed Mictlan by Atruaghin, the city of the dead), the former capital of Atzanteotl's elven kingdom in the outer world, he went mad with rage. He contacted a group of underground elves and led the unsuspecting refugees through the caves leading to the Hollow World, with the promise of a new homeland. The Schattenalf clan found Mictlan and they assaulted the citadel, killing all the humans living in the sacred temple of their new god, Atzanteotl. However, once again Atruatzin was able to flee and found refuge in Xochiquetzal's court, thus hidden from Atzanteotl's watchful gaze. Atzanteotl ordered the Schattenalfen to rebuild the city, and when they ended their task, he caused great earthquakes that killed many of his followers, forcing the survivors to move away from the city and find another place to settle. He then moved the city towards the surface of Mystara without destroying it, and placed it floating on a lava pool beneath the Broken Lands, where it was later discovered and inhabited by humanoids, who renamed it Oenkmar and converted to Atzanteotl's cult. Meanwhile the fleeing Schattenalfen emerged first in the caves of the Kogolor dwarves, beginning a vicious war against them. When Denwarf the golem was sent to help the dwarves and the elves were outnumbered, Atzanteotl guided the survivors to the grottos near the southern border with the Empire of Azca, beginning the eternal rivalry that turned into a perpetual state of war between the Schattenalfen and the Azcans, worshippers of the same immortal (something Atzanteotl enjoys beyond belief).
Atzanteotl was later the sole responsible for the bloody feud between the Sohktari (manscorpions) and the Enduks (winged minotaurs) of Nimmur, and he managed to convince the sohktari clerics to strike the old Enduk allies in their back, in order to drive them away from Nimmur and conquer the land for themselves. The Sohktari betrayed the Enduks and established Menlil (Atzanteotl's name in Nimmur) as leader of the new Nimmurian pantheon, thus earning Idu (Ixion)'s terrible curse that forces them to avoid direct sunlight or be burned to death.
Now Atzanteotl's master plan is the corruption of the whole Shadow Elves' and humanoid races. He wants to create a schism among Rafiel's followers and thus increase his influence among the inhabitants of the underground of Mystara, hoping that one day all the outcasts living underground will emerge unite under his banner to bring utter destruction to the creatures living above ground.
Personality: Atzanteotl is fascinated by the process of corruption and he especially loves to see how any kind-hearted person can fall into the abyss of Evil and regret thanks to his machinations, only to lose interest in that project immediately after and start looking for new ways to spread evil. His final goal is the complete annihilation of life on the outer world, and especially the destruction of all elves.
Patron: Thanatos (who now considers Atzanteotl a deadly rival)
Allies: none stable, sometimes allies with Hel, Idris and Loki for mutual goals
Enemies: Atruaghin, Rafiel, Ilsundal, Ixion, Ka, Karaash, Halav, Bartziluth, Djaea
Classic D&D Stats:
Followers' Alignment: Neutral or Chaotic; clerics must be Chaotic
Favoured weapon: short sword (allowed all bludgeoning weapons and the blowgun)
Clerics' skills and powers: clerics can Cause Light Wounds three times to the day (similar to 1st level clerical spell of same name), +2 bonus to ST vs Poison, +2 bonus to anyone general skill (not free) to choose among the following: Toxicology, Herbalism, Handling Snakes
Avengers' skills and powers: can Create Poison once a week (similar to the clerical spell of same name), +1 bonus to ST vs Poison,
D&D 3E Stats:
Domains: Entropy, Evil, Deceit, Destruction, Corruption
Preferred weapon: short sword
Sources: GAZ10, GAZ13, HW, HWR1, HWA1, WotI, OHP, Dungeon magazine # 20 (as Skorpios)