= Aphod, Master of Unbidden Thoughts = http://hammerand.com/DeathlordAphod.jpg Deathlord ruler of the Hall of Chimes
Aphod is quiet, unassuming. Which makes him all the more dangerous. He sits on his throne, in black cloaks, towering over all who come to him. He listens intently, and replies with the wisdom and perfection due to one of his millenia. Woe unto those who deny his wisdom. It is by his suggestions that he rules. For the Master of Unbidden Thoughts is truly a master at planting the seeds of destructive ideas and nurturing them until they are fully formed. He knows charms that sap one's will to think on anything but his ideas. Those who do not come to him to seek his counsel still find themselves falling prey to his words, for they are sent as dreams or notions that do not go away and are more intoxicating than fine wine and slaves. So it is that even the First and Forsaken Lion fell under his influence, for Aphod was the first to turn upon his brother, and even now none suspect a thing.
Aphod was favored by the malfeans even before he died, and thus it was that he was able to take control of one of the true wonders of the first age. Forgotten by the Deathlords, Hidden from the Sidereals, and beyond the Dragonblooded to even conceive, the Hall of Chimes was a repository of knowledge that dwarfed even the Celestial City's great archives. Dwarfed because when records expired or were forgotten or just placed out of sight for an instant, they were hidden away to this enchanted hall, where ghostly poets and sages stolen from the slave barges of kings and queens were put to work scribing the knowledge of the first age into a respository that would last beyond all time. When something was deemed too dangerous to be recorded in official texts or too embarrassing to admit to the other celestials, records were entombed here so that future Solars could learn from the mistakes of the past, even if beyond its halls the things written in those pages were but myths.
The Hall is buried deep in the underworld, so deep that the labyrinth bleeds through the enchanted walls and augments the potent security devices. Although the Hall is a massive library, it is filled with a black mist that clings to any shadow and closes in upon light. Chimes hang at various places throughout the hall, and by ringing them and meditating upon one's goal, it is possible to move from section to section, coming to the place they need to be. If one tries to travel without one of these chimes, they become hopelessly lost, to wander without escape between the forbidden tomes until ultimately they perish and their ghost sucked wailing and screaming into the oblivion. Their only hope, to wander upon a chime left behind by someone who died from another one of the Hall's defenses, and were simply never found. But the hall attempts to avoid this, and will not lead them to the artifacts without the use of potent charms or sorceries.
The whispers of the malfeans are strong here and every ghost within its halls have heard them. Those mortals who meditate on the chimes here them as well. The automatons have heard it as well, as have the very walls. The solars who built it knew well these dangers and did not fear them, but listened to the secrets of the malfeans and recorded those as well. Thus, most of the books on the shelves are not filled with knowledge, but a terrible curse. Aphod reads them intently, memorizing passages to repeat later with effect as awful as any spell.
Aphod uses this knowledge to educate a small handful of deathknights, and remind himself of things forgotten after his pact with the malfeans. He was the first to realize that the malfeans were no longer sentient beings, mere whispers that ocasionally made logic. His plans pitted the Deathlords against him, simply so that he could own his one desire. When the Lion presents his Princess as a gift and swears fealty to Aphod, when the malfeans ghostly flesh parts like water before his own vile darkness, when he finally holds in his grasp the Foundation of Creation and binds the yozi in pacts more terrible than solars ever dreamed, then he will become the master of all thoughts and all things and he can truly rest upon his laurels.