Kostchtchie, the Demon Prince of Wrath

Kostchtchie is another tanar’ri prince who is a true success story. Once a mortal human, he has risen to the rank of Abyssal lord and beyond, to become a true divinity. He is a hateful power of violence who lives in a realm of harsh ice and snow. He has attracted worship from the most violent and power hungry amongst the frost giant race through promises of wizardly magic, power over dragons, and priestly magic. Enjoy!

Kostchtchie (PDF Version)
(Prince of Wrath, the Demon Prince of Ice, the Wrathlord)
Demipower of the Abyss, CE

Portfolio:  Strength, violence, wrath, destruction through cold, conquest
Aliases:  Koschei the Deathless
Domain Name:  23rd Layer/the Iron Wastes
Superior:  None
Allies:  None
Foes:  Baba Yaga, Graz’zt, Mars, Thrym, Tiamat
Symbol:  Hammer
Wor. Align.:  LE, NE, CE

Kostchtchie (KOSS-chuh-chee), Prince of Wrath and Lord of the Iron Wastes, is a hateful and spiteful being who revels in the strength and destructive power of ice. His fury at all those who oppose him is unending and unbreakable, and there are few beings of power indeed who do not oppose him in his eyes. As a powerful Abyssal lord, the Demon Prince of Ice can draw upon hordes of lesser tanar’ri, but instead prefers frost giants as his thralls, having long identified himself with that race despite once being a mortal man. In turn, he has increasingly been embraced by the most violent and malevolent members of that giantish brood.

In the distant past, Kostchtchie was a mortal human named Koschei; in what land and on what world even he no longer remembers. Legends say he was a malicious and hateful warrior, and in pursuit of his desire to gain great power and slay all who oppose him, he made a bargain with the immortal witch Baba Yaga. She trained him in the use of magic and sealed his soul away in a series of enchanted objects, rendering him immune to the ravages of time and the weapons of his enemies, whereupon he became known as Koschei the Deathless. Unfortunately for him, there was a weakness in his invincibility, exploited by an astute young warrior-maiden with the unwilling assistance of Baba Yaga herself. His hatred and evil was too strong for death to quench, however, and his spirit found itself reborn on the vast plains of the Abyss as a lowly tanar’ri. Unlike most other evil spirits who find their way to the Abyss, however, Koschei retained all of his hatred and much of his memory. Taking the name Kostchtchie, he used his hatred to advance through the ranks to that of an Abyssal Lord quite quickly. To this day he blames his death and fall on Baba Yaga in particular and women in general, which has spread to the deep misogyny practiced by his followers.

As with a number of the more powerful tanar’ri lords, Kostchtchie has no interest in the politics or warfare of the lower planes, at least not for the sake of the goals espoused by the fiendish factions. His minions enter battle in the Blood War for the sake of bloodshed and battle training and little else; even then, such occasions are few and far between. In fact, his hatred extends even to the vast majority of his brethren; he has no allies amongst the other tanar’ri lords, and not a few of them are counted as full-blown enemies. Graz’zt holds Kostchtchie’s greatest ire for a political maneuver in which the Wrathlord was made to appear quite foolish where a female tanar’ri was concerned.  Kostchtchie has yet to make any sort of move against Graz’zt, but few doubt he is waiting for an opportunity to unleash his fury. Overall, the Prince of Ice keeps his focus on the Prime Material Plane, slowly siphoning off frost giants from Thrym’s worship. Kostchtchie despises the Glaciallord, seeing him as a weak fool, too wrapped up in the affairs of the Aesir to pay attention to his followers, and too eager to partake in drink, celebration, and song when there are battles that should be fought. While for a long time he was wary of retaliation from Thrym, he has recently become more open and aggressive in his efforts to convert frost giants to his service, even to the point of sending followers to Ysgard to preach his faith. In particular, he brings the most intelligent to his citadel in the Iron Wastes where his tanar’ri servitors train them as frost mages. What the Prince of Ice’s long term goals for these frost mages is, no one has discerned, although many have been sent back to the Prime Material Plane to evangelize and convert more tribes of giants to his service.

Kostchtchie cannot send his avatar to the Prime Material Plane under his own power; only if gated in or through the use of his amulet of the planes can he make an appearance. He makes frequent but short excursions to other planes if there are rumors of powerful magic items or artifacts, especially if they are related to planar travel. On one such excursion decades ago, he discovered a shard of Tiamat’s Shell. Using this artifact, he was able to bind Svafnir, the Chromatic Dragon’s current white dragon consort at the time, to his service. This artifact has also granted his followers additional power of white dragons. While Tiamat doesn’t care about the loss of her consort, the idea of another power has such an artifact fills her with rage. It seems likely she may one day mount an attempt to retrieve the shell shard. He also sends his avatar to random worlds on the Prime Material Plane for no reason but to cause death and destruction; on one such world he stumbled across the winter encampment of a military expeditionary force. His slaughter of most of the soldiers caused their patron, Mars, to appear as an avenger and led to direct combat between the two for a short time. Since that time, priests of Mars have made a point to ensure no cults of the Wrathlord exist in any lands they hold sway over.

Kostchtchie’s Avatar (Fighter 29, Wizard 18)
Kostchtchie appears as a stunted cross between an ogre and a frost giant with short, deformed legs and sallow skin. His muscular body is completely hairless, except for his thick, bushy eyebrows. He rarely wears anything besides a rough bear fur kilt and collar. He can cast all cold-based wizard spells, but no others.

AC 0; MV 9; HP 195; THAC0 −8; #AT 5/2
Dmg 6d4+15 (maul +3, +10 Str, +2 spec. bonus in maul)
MR 20%; SZ L (10 feet tall) or H (18 feet tall)
Str 22, Dex 12, Con 19, Int 19, Wis 18, Cha 18
Spells 5/5/5/5/5/3/3/2/1
Saves PPDM 3; RSW 5; PP 4; BW 4; Sp 6

Special Att/Def: Kostchtchie wields Winter’s Fury, an enormous cold-iron maul +3 inlaid with silver and nickel. Those struck by this weapon take 6d4 points of damage, and must make a successful save vs. spell or be stunned for 1d3+1 rounds. He can exhale a numbing breath (as the spell listed below) at will, in addition to any actions he takes other than spellcasting.

Kostchtchie can issue a command at will, and cast darkness, 15′ radius, poison, protection from good, 10′ radius, bestow curse, and dispel good three times per day each, and once per day he can cast harm and speak an unholy word. He is always accompanied by Mroz and Zlost, a pair of large leucrotta (49 hit points each) who never check morale in his presence. Sometimes he appears with a small retinue of 1d3+1 frost giants if he feels he needs additional power on his side. If the situation is especially dire, or he feels he needs to make an especially impactful appearance, he may appear riding Svafnir, a great wyrm white dragon (152 hit points) who is firmly under his control. Once per day he can gate in 1d4+1 bar-lgura (65%) or 1d4 babau (35%), with no change of failure.

Kostchtchie, as a tanar’ri, is immune to poison, electricity, and weapons below +2 enchantment, and he suffers only half damage from gaseous attacks. Unlike most tanar’ri, he is also completely immune to cold and ice, but takes full damage from any fire-based attacks.

Other Manifestations
Kostchtchie uses manifestations fairly often, especially when doing so will demonstrate his power to potential frost giant converts. He is able to grant a non-priestly frost giant the ability to cast any common wizard or priest spell up to 5th level that concerns ice or cold once per day for no more than one week. Frost dragon (see below), cone of cold, and ice storm are particular favorites of his. He is also fond of causing his followers to enter an enraged state; while enraged, they gain a +1 bonus to Strength (to a maximum of 24) as well as a +1 bonus to initiative (−1 to the initiative die roll) and a −1 penalty to Armor Class. The arm muscles of those affected by this rage noticeably bulge and their eyes become bloodshot. The effect expires after 1d6+4 rounds.

Kostchtchie is served primarily by frost giants and specially trained frost mages. In addition, he is served by frost salamanders, ice dwarves (duergar adapted to life in the Iron Wastes), ice mephits, ice paraelementals, incarnates of anger, leucrotta, remorhaz, shadow hounds, tanar’ri (any least and lesser as well as babaus, but primarily bar-lgura), white dragons, and white puddings. The Prince of Wrath shows his favor through the discovery of white dragon scales, frozen corpses, and well as skulls and armor clearly crushed by heavy bludgeoning weapons. He expresses his displeasure through biting chills, sudden freezes that cause trees or other objects the split open with loud cracks, heavy localized hailstorms, and large chunks of ice that suddenly fall from the sky.

The Church
Clergy:                      Specialty priests, shamans, witch doctors, wizards
Clergy’s Align.:      CE
Turn Undead:           SP: No, Sha: No, WD: No, W: No
Cmnd. Undead:         SP: No, Sha: No, WD: No, W: No

All specialty priests, shamans, and witch doctors of Kostchtchie receive religion (giantish) as a bonus nonweapon proficiency. All priests of Kostchtchie must take proficiency in the maul.

Kostchtchie’s cult, while currently only rarely found amongst frost giants, is steadily growing in power. It is particularly attractive to the most brutish and violent of that giant race, using the power over white dragons granted by the tanar’ri lord to rule and conquer. They view the Thryman clergy’s exhortation of heroic deeds and skaldic poetry as weak and effeminate; strength and power are the only important measures of a leader’s ability and right to rule. Initial worship or the Prince of Wrath is usually done in secret, as the discovery of a cult within a community is sure to result in banishment or execution for all cultists. Once the Wrathlord’s clergy gain dominance of a tribe, they brook the worship of no other god, forcing all members to swear fealty to their lord or face death. Within tribes that follow Kostchtchie, the strongest member of the priesthood will always be chieftain, and privilege within the tribe is usually reserved for ranking members of the Wrathlord’s cult. A small number of other arctic tribes, primarily humans and ogres, have also chosen to follow Kostchtchie, although eventually most of these become thralls for a frost giant leader.

Temples of the Demon Prince of Ice are rare; the clergy are instructed to utterly destroy the houses of worship of other deities rather than co-opt them. When built, they are single-story fortresses of blood-mixed ice. Instead of temples, every tribe that follows Kostchtchie erects a pair of menhirs on the outskirts of the village that serves as a sacrificial shrine. These menhirs must be unworked oblong stones and stand at least 25 feet high once erected, although metallic rings may be place at various points to which victims may be securely chained. The menhir-shrines may also be erected near the lairs of large predatory arctic creatures such as remorhaz in order to heighten the fear experienced by chained victims.

Novices in the service of Kostchtchie are known as Irelings. Full priests of the Prince of Wrath are known as Furymasters. In ascending order of rank, the titles used by Kostchtchite priests are Blighting Frost, Smashing Hail, Crushing Ice, Scouring Glacier, and Slaying Blizzard. High ranking priests have unique individual titles. Advancement within the clergy is based on personal strength and power, as well as the number of frost giants slain who refuse to follow the Prince of Wrath. Specialty priests are known as wyrmkin. The clergy of Kostchtchie is composed primarily of frost giants (90%), although small numbers of ogres (5%), humans (3%), and other races (2%) also worship him. Kostchtchie’s misogynistic clergy allows only males into the ranks (100%), seeing women as nearly valueless and good for no more than producing the next generation of warriors. The Wrathlord’s clergy includes specialty priests (45%), witch doctors (25%), shamans (15%), and wizards (15%).

Dogma: Thrym is old, weak, and ineffective. Through the strength and might of Kostchtchie, ice will cover the world and crush all who stand before his chosen followers. Anger is power; feed it until it bursts into unrestrained wrath. Use this power to wipe away your opponents and everything they’ve created. Only frost giants are truly worthy of this power, and they have a destiny to rule the multiverse. Male might is righteous, and only they are worthy of the power granted by the Prince of Wrath; females are weak and useful for nothing besides breeding more males. Weak males are less than useless, fit for nothing but food for monsters.

Day-to-Day Activities: The primary goal of Kostchtchie’s followers is to completely dominate all territory they can access and convert all frost giants to the Demon Prince of Ice’s worship. Those races that refuse to pay fealty to the Wrathlord and his chosen followers must be destroyed. This goes doubly for frost giants; the idea that any would pass on the power granted by the Demon Prince of Ice is outrageous to the true believers. Any creatures who voluntarily convert, without resisting, are taken back to the tribal lands, with frost giants being added to the community, while all others become nothing but slaves and battle fodder. Frost giant children are always brought into the tribe if they have yet to mature; they are then aggressively indoctrinated into the cult.

Tribes that worship Kostchtchie prefer to take what they need from others than create it themselves; needing food or other items is just another reason to attack the enemies of the tribe. Any work that needs to be done around a cult’s settlement is done by slaves that have agreed, or been forced, to swear fealty to the Prince of Wrath and women, who in reality are little better than slaves. Women are expected to produce more male children than female children; those that do not meet expectations are often sacrificed to the Wrathlord.

Important Ceremonies/Holy Days: The Cult of Kostchtchie does not hold any regularly occurring ceremonies. However, they do make frequent but irregular sacrifices to the Wrathlord. Favored sacrifices are frost giants who have resisted conversion and been captured in battle. Such giants are chained to the tribe’s menhir shrine, and given the choice of swearing allegiance to the Prince of Wrath; if they do, they are immediately killed with an enormous maul, sending their spirits to the Iron Wastes in the Abyss, where Kostchtchie taunts them frequently. Those who continue to resist are left to suffer the elements, with the priests returning at regular intervals to once again ask if they wish to convert; this typically reoccurs until the sacrificial victim converts (and is slain) or dies from the elements. If the shrine is placed near the lair of a monstrous creature, the victims are frequently killed and eaten before they can succumb to the elements, but the clergy believes this is a satisfying end to the Wrathlord. Female tribe members deemed unfit, due to inability to bear children or not bearing enough male children are often sacrificed in much the same manner, although they are usually asked to plead forgiveness and proclaim their lack of worth. As with other sacrifices, if they refuse to do so, they are left to the elements. Victims who are not frost giants are rarely asked any questions at all, and dispatched after the priests intone a plea to the Prince of Wrath to feast on the suffering of the sacrifice.

Major Centers of Worship: There are no known major holy sites dedicated to the Prince of Wrath, although this could be more due to his cults’ penchant for slaughtering those who do not follow their lord. There is at least one extremely aggressive tribe of frost giants in the Corusk Mountains on Oerth believed to be recent converts to the teachings of Kostchtchie.

Some decades ago, a gate mysteriously appeared on the world of Armistice, bringing a tribe of frost giant worshippers of the Prince of Wrath to that world. The gate closed shortly afterward, stranding them in the hostile elements, but they quickly set about enslaving a tribe of ogres, and have solidified their territory. What the future may hold for them is unclear at this time.

The Giant’s Crown Mountains, located in the northern reaches of the world of Golot, is home to a small and growing force of frost giants in the service of the Prince of Wrath. They currently have grand plans to subjugate the local humans and white dragons, and eventually raise an army powerful enough to take on Emperor Vulkaran himself. While ambitious, the lack of organized resistance is one of the reasons the Vodoni Empire has been able to dominate the world; as of yet, the Emperor is unaware or unconcerned of these cultists’ plans.

Affiliated Orders: The Cult of Kostchtchie maintains no martial orders, as every male member of the tribe is expected to participate fully in combat.

Priestly Vestments: Clergy members of Kostchtchie wear very little when performing ceremonies, embracing the wintry cold that heralds the destruction their lord brings. They prefer simply-made leather or bear fur kilts and high leather boots; they often sew bits of metal and jewelry trophies into the kilt as well. Cloaks of bear fur are sometimes worn as well, but this is uncommon. All priests also shave their heads in emulation of the Wrathlord. The holy symbol of the priesthood is either a pendant in the shape of a hammer or the maul the priest uses in combat.

Adventuring Garb: While priests of Kostchtchie can wear any armor they choose, they often prefer to wear none at all, trusting in their fury to protect them. Similarly, while they can wield any weapon, they generally stick to mauls.

Specialty Priests (Wyrmkin)
Requirements:          Strength 18, Wisdom 9
Prime Req.:                Wisdom
Alignment:                CE
Weapons:                   Any
Armor:                       Any
Major Spheres:         All, chaos, combat, necromantic (reversed), war, weather
Minor Spheres:         Elemental water, healing (reversed)
Magical Items:         As clerics and fighters
Req. Profs:                Maul
Bonus Profs:             Animal handling (white dragon) or animal training (white dragon), survival (arctic)

  • Wyrmkin must be frost giants.
  • Wyrmkin who capture a hatchling or very young white dragon can spend one full week in prayer, binding it much as a wizard does with a familiar. The wyrmkin gains no extra hit points from the binding, but does lose Constitution if the dragon dies. The binding is also much more controlling; the dragon can never directly contradict the orders of the wyrmkin.
  • Any subduing attacks made by wyrmkin against white dragons are done with a +2 bonus to hit and damage. In addition, white dragons suffer a −2 penalty to all saving throws versus non-damaging spells cast upon them by wyrmkin.
  • Once per day, wyrmkin can enter a state of fury, gaining a +4 to damage, but suffer a −2 penalty to their attack rolls and a −4 penalty to their Armor Class. While in this state, they attack any creatures within sight other than followers of Kostchtchie, white dragons, or leucrotta. They focus their attacks on a single target, ignoring all others until that target is dead; they then focus on the next nearest. They may not cast spells while in the state of fury, and the fury remains in effect for four rounds plus one round per level, or until all available targets are slain, whichever comes first.
  • At 2nd level, wyrmkin can cast crushing blow (as the 2nd-level priest spell) once per day.
  • At 5th level, wyrmkin can cast ice hammers (as the 3rd-level priest spell) once per day.
  • At 8th level, wyrmkin can cast charm monster (as the 4th-level wizard spell) once per day. This spell can only be used on arctic monsters (yeti, remorhaz, etc.). If cast on a white dragon, the creature suffers a −1 penalty for each age category below mature adult. Dragons above this age category are immune to this spell, and any who age into age category 8 (Old) immediately break free from the spell. This ability fails if cast on a white dragon that is bound to a wyrmkin or one that has been subdued by a wyrmkin.
  • At 11th level, wyrmkin can cast frost dragon (as the 5th-level priest spell) once per day.

Kostchtchite Spells
In addition to the spell listed below, priests of the Prince of Fury can cast the 1st-level priest spell ice walk, detailed in Powers and Pantheons in the entry for Ulutiu.

1st Level
Numbing Breath (Pr 1; Conjuration/Summoning)
Sphere:                    Weather
Range:                     0
Components:           V, S, M
Duration:                 1d6 rds.
Casting Time:          4
Area of Effect:         20-ft. long by 5-ft. wide cone
Saving Throw:        Neg.

When a priest casts this spell, he exhales a cone of icy vapor 20 feet long by 5 feet wide at the base. All creatures within this area must make a saving throw vs. paralyzation or suffer numbness in their limbs. Creatures affected by this numbness suffer a −2 penalty to their attack rolls and armor class and moves at only two-thirds of their maximum rate. As contact with skin is required for this spell to function, bundling up in thick or winter clothing grants a +1 to +4 bonus, as decided by the DM based on the type and thickness of the clothing, to the saving throw, and the vapor cannot curl around or penetrate barriers, including large shields, walls, or windows.

The material components for this spell are a handful of wintergreen leaves and either a chunk of ice or a quartz crystal.

2nd Level
Crushing Blow (Pr 2; Alteration)
Sphere:                    Combat
Range:                     0
Components:           V, S, M
Duration:                 1 rd./3 levels
Casting Time:          5
Area of Effect:         The caster
Saving Throw:        None

When a priest invokes this spell, they gain the ability to swing a bludgeoning weapon with considerably greater force than they could before. With every successful strike, the weapon deals twice its normal damage. This does not include magical bonuses, but it does include strength bonuses. However, the casting of this spell makes the weapon much slower and more unwieldy during combat. In effect, the weapon speed is increased by 3, and all attacks are made with a −2 penalty.

The material components for this spell are the priest’s holy symbol and a fragment of a crushed humanoid skull.

3rd Level
Ice Hammers (Pr 3; Conjuration/Summoning)
Sphere:                    Elemental Water, Weather
Range:                     10 yds./Level
Components:           V, S, M
Duration:                 Instantaneous
Casting Time:          6
Area of Effect:         1 or 2 creatures
Saving Throw:        None

By casting this spell, the caster conjures a pair of large hammers made of ice, that he can send flying towards a single opponent or two separate opponents up to 10 yards away per level of the caster. The priest makes normal attack rolls with a +2 bonus for each hammer; if they successfully hit, they deal 2d4+4 points of bludgeoning damage each, plus one point of cold damage per level of the priest. The hammers can strike those harmed only by +2 magical weapons or better.

The material components for this spell are two diamonds worth at least 20 gp each.

4th Level
Summon Leucrotta (Pr 4; Conjuration/Summoning)
Sphere:                    Summoning
Range:                     10 yds.
Components:           V, S, M
Duration:                 1 rd. + 1 rd./level
Casting Time:          7
Area of Effect:         Special
Saving Throw:        None

When this spell is cast, the priest summons one leucrotta (see Monstrous Manual tome) for every four levels of experience he has obtained. The priest must offer the creatures a living human or demihuman as food; if they do not, the leucrotta may leave or turn on the priest, depending on their whim. Otherwise, if the offering is accepted, the leucrotta serves as the caster directs, engaging in combat, luring travelers into a trap, or anything else it is capable of. The leucrotta stay until slain or the spell duration expires.

5th Level
Frost Dragon (Pr 5; Conjuration/Summoning)
Sphere:                    Summoning, Weather
Range:                     30 ft.
Components:           V, S, M
Duration:                 1 rd. + 1 rd./3 levels
Casting Time:          8
Area of Effect:         Special
Saving Throw:        Special

With this spell, the priest conjures elemental energy from the Paraelemental Plane of Ice that takes the form of a glittering dragon composed of tiny swirling, blue-white ice crystals. This mindless elemental force moves as the caster directs, up to 60 feet per round, and attacks as a creature half the level of the priest. It attacks with two claw-like appendages, dealing 1d6 points of damage each, and a biting force that deals 3d4 points of damage; each attack also deals an additional 3 points of cold damage to those not immune to such. The caster can also expend the remaining duration of the spell and have the frost dragon breath a cone of freezing ice shards 80 feet long and 20 feet wide at the base. This cone deals 2d6 points of cold damage for each round remaining of the spell’s duration (a successful save vs. breath weapon halves the damage); immediately after this ability is used, the frost dragon dissipates. The frost dragon also dissipates if it takes 24 points of damage, plus one point per level of the caster, from spells or weapons; however, it takes no damage from cold, piercing and slashing attacks, one point per die from bludgeoning weapons, half damage from lightning, and double damage from heat or fire.

The material component for this spell is a rock crystal about three inches long.

2 Responses to Kostchtchie, the Demon Prince of Wrath

  1. Alzrius says:

    Always good to see another entry from you!

    I had a question regarding the inclusion of “Mars” as a deity. Insofar as I’m aware, save for one or two instances in Dragon magazine, every reference to this deity has used his Greek incarnation, Ares. Why use the Roman appellation here?

    • AuldDragon says:

      Mars and Ares are very different in personality. Ares is somewhat villainous, while Mars is heroic and connected to agriculture in addition to war. They really should be different deities. Syncretism (applying the attributes of one deity to another and calling them the same) is responsible for the similarities, as well as the general lack of a detailed Roman mythology (and what there was being replaced by the Greek mythology). When I get around to the real-world mythologies, I’ll be separating out the Roman gods who are genuinely different than Greek counterparts.

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