|Images of antipaladins|
Source: Advanced Player's Guide, pg(s). 118ff.
Where the fighter represents the pinnacle of martial combat, and the paladin blends martial skill with devotion to a righteous deity, cause, or organization, the antipaladin seeks to bring ruin to the holy and tyranny to the weak. They are villains who actively seek to bring death and destruction to ordered society, caring nothing for anyone or anything but themselves. They embody corruption, disease, and cruelty.
Antipaladins are extraordinary individuals who embrace evil, hate, and corruption to a degree few mortals can match. They are either the product of a paladin who has fallen from grace, or else are trained from a young age to take up this mantle.
All paladins follow a strict moral and behavioral code dedicated to upholding the power of just rulers, while championing good and honor, and protecting the weak. Those who willfully commit an evil act or who violate their code of conduct lose access to their divinely-granted powers, and must seek atonement, either through the appropriate spell or via another means, in order to regain them. Most do so, but there are a few who fully embrace the wicked path they have already begun, and turn their back on all they once held dear; only these corrupted individuals become antipaladins. They become the opposite of what they once were, consorting and drawing power from fiends, killing the innocent, and putting themselves and their desires before all else. This fall from grace is very rare, and many are lured or tricked into following it. Once the moral transformation is complete (often after a complex ritual that involves blood sacrifice), the new antipaladin finds that she has the same level of divine power she once held as a servant of good.
Not all antipaladins achieve their position through conversion. Some are trained in the martial skills from a very young age, and are taught to embrace hatred and cruelty, generally through mistreatment and pain. They grow to become living examples of evil, to disavow compassion and loyalty, and spread their gospel through pain and suffering.
Code of conduct
An antipaladin is required to follow a debased moral code and risks the loss of all of his divine powers should he ever willingly commit a good act. This code requires him to consider his own needs before anyone else's, to take advantage of others when possible, to punish the right and the just, and the impose tyranny on the helpless. He is not allowed to ally with good creatures, unless it is to undermine them from within their ranks, but even that is extremely rare.
If an antipaladin ceases to adhere to the causes of chaos and evil, commits a truly selfless act, or otherwise violates his personal code of conduct, his blasphemous gifts cease to function. He may only regain his powers by having an atonement spell cast on him, or otherwise regain the respect of his chosen cause. Even more rarely than paladins, antipaladins may shift entirely to the cause of good, gaining holy powers.
Antipaladins worship dark deities in the same fashion that paladins worship deities of goodness, but this is no more a requirement of the antipaladin than of the paladin. Some evil gods known to attract antipaladins include:
Calistria, Besmara, Hanspur, and Hei Feng are the only known non-evil deities whom antipaladins venerate, presumably because of their more destructive, vengeful, and anti-authoritarian tendencies.
The following demon lord are known to recruit antipaladin followers: Angazhan, Baphomet, Deskari, Jezelda, Kostchtchie, Mazmezz, Mestama, the Nightripper, Nurgal, Orcus, Pazuzu, Shax, Sifkesh, Treerazer, and Xoveron.
- Azothinaktus: a vrolikai devotee of the demon lord Kabriri who lives in the Darklands city of Nemret Noktoria
- Bugark Zomash: an orc antipaladin of Zagresh affiliated with the Defiled Corpse tribe in the Hold of Belkzen
- Dason: the legendary first antipaladin of Urgathoa who wrote her unholy text Serving Your Hunger
- Lord Malyas: one of the most famous antipaladins in the Inner Sea region, Lord Malyas rules Castle Kronquist in Ustalav
- Luersa: a former paladin of Iomedae, Luersa serves the erodaemon, Anobaith, from her provisional home northeast of Cassomir in Taldor where she plots to humiliate her former church.
- Urgraz: a duergar who worships the demon lord Mazmezz
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- Urgraz is illustrated in the infobox above.