Carrion Crown: Kyle's
Codes of Corruption
Just as the forces of good and law find their champions in paladins, so do the forces of chaos and cruelty find leaders in the antipaladins, great warriors and destroyers of civilization. Their dismissal from holy service or upbringing in the halls of the wicked makes them mighty
foes, for they have a keen understanding of warfare and serve their dark gods with a zeal and a fervor beyond all others. While antipaladins in general have offered their services to corruption as an ideal, those who pledge fealty to gods often abide by additional codes that guide their rage.
Antipaladins are not all cut from the same cloth. Some are straightforward warriors, cutting down foes with terrible alacrity. Others are strategists, sending minions to die in their stead as they pursue longer games. Still others are murderers in the night, their missions more personal
but no less deadly. Though they epitomize the dark side of chaos, they are not necessarily random in their persecution, and are often terribly purposeful in their degradations. Though antipaladins may be deeply cynical and unscrupulous, each hews to an individual code of conduct, a purpose that helps elevate him or her above the common chaotic evil warrior. That code is largely one that increases their personal status and power, but it may also seed a deep devotion to a god. This worship is not one of convenience, but rather is based on a deep-seated connection. Below are some sample codes by which antipaladins sworn to specific gods live, breathe, and destroy.
Antipaladins of Calistria are bright and flighty, fickle and vengeful. They do not demand great things of others, but rather seek to be like the Savored Sting in their manner. Most are women; their ranks are filled with those devoted to bloody vengeance and the shining lusts that spark it. Their code is that of an angry hedonist—they demand honesty for themselves, and deny it to others. Its tenets include the following adages.
• My life is my path, and none will sway me from it.
• I devote myself to the pursuit of my passions.
• I take what I desire, by trick or by force. If others resent my actions, they may attempt to take vengeance against me.
• All slights against me will be repaid tenfold.
• I am the instrument of my own justice. If I am wronged, I will take vengeance with my own hands.
Antipaladins of Gorum are warlords and strategists, as well as instigators and warmongers. If there is no call for war, there is no need for Gorum, and if there is no need for Gorum, his faith vanishes. Thus, his servants stir the pot of resentment, building rage in leaders who can commit their people to war. Their code is a martial law, and its tenets include the following adages.
• Peace is death. Conflict is life. I will not let anyone take the easy way out.
• Battle defines me. Without battle I am empty. I make my purpose with blade and brand.
• I will bathe in blood and breathe in iron. Where there is no conflict, I will create it. Where there are skirmishes, I will make war.
• The sword is the answer to any question.
• If there is peace ahead of me, I leave struggle in my wake.
• Poison is for the weak. Ambush is for the cowardly. Plague is a consequence of slaughter.
• Aggression is not foolishness. If I cannot stand against a foe, I will find another, and mark the first for later.
The leaders of Lamashtu’s children are proud of their deformities and rage against civilization. They seek to tear the blinders from the eyes of the world and show them the nightmare of nature, the writhing and endlessly fecund truth. Their code is one of bloodshed, rape, and howling madness. Its tenets include the following adages.
• All things are monstrous, and only the weak hide their marks. I show the world as it is.
• I will bring the outcasts in from the cold and teach them the taste of victory.
• I fill the wombs. I birth the children. I teach our enemies why they fear the night.
• I bring madness to the cities, that in their blood and fear they may understand the chaos of the world.
• I will spread the Mother’s seed. If the blind cannot be taught to see, their children can.
Those antipaladins who serve Norgorber are secretive and cunning. They prefer to strike from shadows, even when the odds are already in their favor. They rely on traps, tricks, ambushes, and poison to weaken their foes. Their code is a cold and honest assessment of the human condition, and its tenets include the following adages.
• Innocence is ignorance, and ignorance is weakness. I will seek to shed my own ignorance, and encourage ignorance in my enemies.
• I do not take credit, nor do I accept blame. I work in the shadows.
• A fair fight is not worth fighting. I will take every advantage I can. No tool is beneath me.
• Cold eyes, cold heart. My enemies can expect no mercy.
• Everyone is expendable, and I will sacrifice them as necessary.
• Each life I take shapes the future to my lord’s desires.
Antipaladins who choose the path of the Destroyer choose a life of destruction; they do not wear finery, but rather slouch in uncured hides. The antipaladins of Rovagug seek the Great Awakening, and bend all their efforts toward the eventual decay of the prison that holds their god. Their code is simple, brutal, and direct, and its tenets include the following adages.
• All things must be destroyed, but the tools of destruction will be destroyed last.
• The beautiful die first. Their loss wreaks havoc in the hearts of those who love.
• All is vanity before the tide of destruction.
• The world is a lie. The only truth is oblivion, born of storm and horror.
• Torture is a needless delay. My gift is the mercy of a quick death.
• I will die standing.
The antipaladins of Urgathoa are creatures of the night. They are the generals of undead lords, the champions of decay. If they are mortal, they are greater than other mortals, self-assured and ravenous; they know the darkness and will come to it on their own terms, in their own time. By their code, they are plague-bearers and bringers of death, seeking to spread Urgathoa’s gifts by the sword and by example. Their tenets include the following adages.
• The grave opens to us all. We hasten the living on their inevitable path.
• The deathless are the true expression of existence, for they are beyond life and death. I will emulate their ways and destroy those who defile their timeless perfection.
• I have no duty but to my hunger and my goddess.
• Existence is hunger. Both life and death feed on life. I am an instrument of transition.
Like their masters, antipaladins of demon lords are varied and fickle. Their primary desire is spreading the word of their patrons, but they are far more aggressive and prone to physical combat than clerics. Each has a unique code based on patron and personality, but all who draw power from the creatures of the Abyss live for measured brutalities. Shared tenets include the following adages.
• Through my actions, I open the door for my lord.
• As I become great, so does my lord become greater.
• Small acts have small results, but great cruelties bring minds into focus and tear the world asunder. I will not be distracted by petty goals.
• The world is a plaything. Its people are insects. The truth lies beyond.