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by Marco Dalmonte

Patron of Hatred and Vengeance, Patron of Medusas and Yuan-ti, Lord of Snakes and Poison

Level, Alignment, Sphere: 19th (Empyreal), CE, Entropy
Symbol: a green asp
Portfolio: vengeance, hatred, betrayal, poison, snakes and serpentine creatures (medusa and yuan-ti)
Worshipped in: Davania (Jungle Coast and Meghales Amosses), Hollow World (Milenia, Nithia), Known World (Ylaruam)
Appearance: a humanoid with serpents in place of hair, reptile yellow eyes and green scales covering his body, wearing an ancient Nithian tunic and the Pharaoh's symbols of power (Crook & Flail) tightened in his fists.
History: LIKELY THEORY: Apophis was the stepbrother of Chardastes (son of the second wife of Chardastes's father), and ruled a small Duchy north of the river Nithia, while the brother had been granted the by his father the richer part of the kingdom on the banks of the River Nithia. Apophis envied the young monarch's prosperity and fortune, and devoured by hatred and lust for power, he planned a conspiracy to usurp the throne and get rid of Chardastes. Apophis paid a secret sect of murderers and slavers from an oriental province in exchange for the kidnapping of his brother. In fact he did not dare to kill him fearing to bring down on himself an ancient divine curse. Apophis invited his brother to his palace to celebrate the anniversary of his rise to the throne, but during the travel the royal caravan was attacked by the hired bandits in the northern wildlands. Thanks to the undead summoned by the attackers' wizards, the assailants took the royal guard by surprise and the bandits managed to capture Chardastes. After he was sure that the brother had been carried away and sold as slave in a faraway land, Apophis marched on the kingdom's capital carrying the news of the onslaught of Chardastes. Armed with this information, he convinced the nobles and the army to support his claim to the throne in order to unify the two territories. Thus he became King of Nithia. Apophis ruled for five long years in constant fear of being discovered and exiled for his crimes. To prevent this, he created a rigid control over the nobles and bribed many generals, using his power to imprison or murder all those who opposed him. Moreover, listening to his Grand Vizier (a cleric of Thanatos), he began to create a secret army of undead warriors with the double purpose to defend the kingdom from any internal uprising and to declare war against the neighbouring states, gaining new lands and destroying potential threats to his rule. However, one fateful day Chardastes came back to the palace and demanded to be received by his stepbrother. When Apophis understood that his position was in danger, he declared the stranger an impostor sent by the king of a neighbouring nation in an attempt to bring chaos in Nithia, and he tried to imprison him. Learning from previous mistakes, this time Chardastes proved more clever than the evil Apophis, and succeeded to escape with the aid of his ally, Maat. In the following months, Apophis ordered a manhunt in order to find a jail his stepbrother, but his search was vain. Also, he understood too late that Chardastes brought with him more troubles than he expected. In a short time, Nithia was besieged by the armies of its neighbours supported by the magical troops supplied by the powerful Pflarr, who was helping Chardastes's rightful claim to his throne. Apophis mustered all the military might he had and decided to use his undead troops hoping to exploit the surprise factor. However, Chardastes had already been informed of this army and was prepared. In the final battle the troops of Apophis were scattered, many soldiers deserted and many conscripts refused to march against the frightening constructs of the mighty Pflarr. Apophis was besieged in the royal palace, and had to face Chardastes directly, who humiliated the usurper in front of all the court and the citizens. When he tried to flee, Pflarr himself confronted him, and after killing his Grand Vizier he tried to imprison the soul of the vile monarch. With one last spell, Apophis turned into a snake and in the ensuing confusion managed to avoid death at the hands of Pflarr. However, he did not escape Pflarr's curse, which disfigured him and turned him into a reptilian humanoid, half man half snake, a perpetual testimony to his double nature of traitor and worshipper of Thanatos. Apophis wandered across the Nithian basin asking the gods' forgiveness for his sins, but every time he was driven away or hunted down by the human tribes he approached. This poisoned his mind completely, so he started to pray the forces of darkness to give him the strength to survive and to exact his vengeance. Thanatos answered, and after exposing him to several trials to judge his loyalty, he gave Apophis demonic powers turning him into a vengeful creature he renamed Bachraeus. He then led Bachraeus to the southern continent, where he subjugated a large Neathar tribe and turned all his disciples into snakelike creatures like him (the first yuan-ti, medusa and weresnakes). This atrocity earned him a place in the sphere of Entropy in BC 1340. From that moment his cult took roots both in the Nithian Empire as Apophis, patron of betrayal and hatred, and in Milenia and the Davanian other civilisations as Bachraeus, patron of medusa, yuan-ti and snakes.
Personality: Bachraeus is sly, envious and vindictive. He enjoys bringing suffering to the living people as a sick kind of reprisal for all the grief he had to suffer. His extreme fascination with poisons and pain earned him a dreadful legend among mortals, and his followers try to imitate him in all his cruelty. He is the recognised patron of the medusa, the mysterious weresnakes and the yuan-ti of the Jungle Coast, having sired this breed during his exile from the Nithia. He is also patron of the venomous snakes, of the murderers and the traitors in several cultures, and remains the greatest enemy of Chardastes, Pflarr and Maat (who humiliated him in his mortal life), while he can count on Thanatos and Ranivorus to further his diabolic schemes and his plans of destruction.
Patron: unknown [likely: Thanatos]
Allies: Thanatos, Ranivorus
Enemies: Chardastes, Pflarr, Maat, Ixion
Classic D&D Stats:
Followers' Alignment: Neutral or Chaotic; clerics must be Chaotic
Favoured weapon: dagger (allowed all one-handed slashing weapons and the blowgun)
Clerics' skills and powers: clerics can Charm Snakes once a day (see clerical spell of same name), +1 bonus to ST vs Poison and Petrification
Avengers' skills and powers: avengers can Create Poison once every two days (see clerical spell of same name)
D&D 3E Stats:
Domains: Entropy, Chaos, Evil, Deceit, Revenge
Preferred weapon: dagger
Source: RC