Artha the Foul
Artha is a powerful being from the Abyss, the product of the union between aspects of Takhisis and Chemosh. Artha represents sloth, though like the god Hiddukel, greed is quickly becoming part of her portfolio. She is a monstrously obese creature that plagued parts of Ansalon in the years between the War of the Lance and the Chaos War. She, and her consort Khardra, were thought to be dead, but have recently resurfaced in the years following the War of Souls.
Artha is a morbidly obese ogre-like creature, usually seen shrouded in dark fog and dressed in black silk shreds. Her skin is milk-white and pocked with horrid scars, boils, and open wounds, and the stench of rotting meat perpetually surrounds her. She can unfold two broad, tattered black dragon wings if she desires, and her hands and feet end in vicious claws, but she is sluggish and usually resorts to the use of spells.
Disowned by her father, rejected by her mother, Artha has been cast out of their Abyssal courts. Chemosh refuses to have any part of Artha. Takhisis had hoped that Artha would show more ambition and join her in conquering the world, but Artha's greed and laziness proved her undoing. Takhisis rejected her as well. Artha seeks her mother's approval, while also seeking a way to ascend to godhood.
Artha also has a great desire for wealth and power. She is, however, too lazy to acquire it herself. She often utilizes others to do her bidding for her. Only when she is forced to does she act on her own, relying first on her spells, using physical force only when absolutely necessary.
Though Artha is not a god, she longs to be one. Since she can have no divine followers, she has sought to emulate the act of granting power to a cleric. As such, she has begun to grant a portion of her arcane power to warlocks who make an infernal pact with her. In return, they pledge their eternal servitude and devotion. Artha believes that if she reaches the right number of warlock servants, she will be able to ascend to godhood.
Allies and Followers
Artha's greatest ally is her mutated aurak draconian consort, Khardra. Artha has crafted an arcane ritual by which her spirit and that of Khardra may "blend." In the process, Artha leeches off a portion of Khardra's innate arcane power, while Khardra gains physical might from the bond. Khardra serves as Artha's consort and protector.
Artha has, from time to time, made alliances with individual black dragons. Why the dragons listen to her is unknown, though there is some connection from the pair of black dragon wings she has on her back. There are tales that she may have absorbed the power of a black dragon and that no black dragon has the courage to fight her. The truth of the matter is unknown as of this time.
Artha makes use of a trio of black dragonspawn known as the Night Whispers, who function as her personal assassins. Artha has also employed several monstrous servants, including eyewings and various forms of undead.
Among the enemies of Artha are other powerful entities, rivals who also seek ascension to godhood. Chief among those is Jiathuli, the Handmaiden of Takhisis. Artha is fearful of Jiathuli, though, and far too lazy to have direct physical contact with her.
The Wizards of High Sorcery, in particular the Red Robes, are considering taking action against Artha as the source of forbidden renegade magic. They realize that, while lazy, Artha is an extremely powerful being and should not be attacked lightly.
Artha has been a disappointment to Takhisis and completely ignored by Chemosh. They are content to leave her be for now, but they will seek to destroy her if she gets in their way.
Many kender tales have surfaces around Artha. Some bear a hint of truth; others are far from it.
A favorite kender tale is that she was part of an assault upon the moon of Lunitari. While the validity of this tale is suspect, it is true that Red Robe wizards consider her an enemy. Further, Artha grants arcane magic to those warlocks who would make a pact with her. The source of this magic is unknown, though some claim it was stolen from Lunitari.
A rumor had surfaced at one point that Artha's true father was, in fact, Hiddukel in disguise. This seems highly unlikely, as not even Hiddukel has the power to deceive a powerful goddess such as Takhisis. Hiddukite clerics contend that the rumor was started by clerics of Chemosh to disassociate Artha from Chemosh. Strangely enough, Artha has been seeking the favor of Hiddukel of late.
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