In the stinking bogs of Minauros, Lilith, the Lady of Torture, ruled her Rotted Hall in Jangling Hiter, the City of Chains, where she plied her talents on any who dared defy her lord Sagirsa. Naturally, she worked against the archdevil herself, offering reports of Sagirsa’s plots and deceptions to Mammon, the overlord of the Third Hell.
It was into this world, echoing with the shrieks of Lilith’s victims, that Azazael was born, the offspring of a succubus and a dominated paladin, another of the Lady’s countless subjects and slaves. When he was not administering–or receiving–Lilith’s tortures, Azazael stalked through the foul swamps of Minauros, hunting the Unspeakables there, first with blade and later with bow. As he grew, he learned that he could gather the twisted magicks of the place, breathing them into his barbed arrows, making them burst and making them burn.
With the right threat in the right ear, he turned his coven of slaves against their Master Torturer, slaying the chained devil and forging his bow Holocaust out of the creature’s spine. Upon hearing of this, Lilith did not punish the half-devil, as all–including Azazael–had expected, but was delighted, and laid claim to him, placing him among her consorts. He thrived in this role, menacing and manipulating all others until assuming First Consort, Lilith’s most trusted bodyguard.
Azazael served in this way for almost fifty years, putting down any rebellions in the Rotted Hall, killing assassins with swarms of flesh-eating flies or tearing them apart with clouds of razored thorns, all of this pouring out of his greatbow like in a tide of dark energies. It wasn’t long before the other consorts grew weary of Azazael’s successes, or for Lilith to grow concerned about his abilities. Working with her Second Consort, Xaphan, Lilith captured Azazael, wrapping him in Sagirsa’s unbreakable chains and shattering Holocaust, and then dragging him to Avernus, the surface of Baator, where he would burn alive for all eternity.
This is where Bel, Avernus’ pit fiend ruler, found him, and seeing a potential ally, granted Azazael access to the Lake of Despond, where the half-devil could ride the searing winds up through the funnel storm cloud and out into the Astral Sea. From there, he rode with Githyanki pirates, helping them battle a tentacled abomination with a borrowed bow, and discovered he could still harness the energies from Minauros with his shots. Grateful for his assistance and respectful of his powers, the Gith took him through a color veil into the material world, where Azazael plots his return to the Rotted Hall and his vengeance on the Lady of Torture who betrayed him.
Image by Claudio Pozas