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Titles The Whispering Tyrant
Alignment Neutral evil
Race/Species Human (Varisian) mythic lich
Class Necromancer 20 / Archmage 10
Gender Male
Homeland Ustalav
Organization Whispering Way
Died 896 AR
Destroyed Imprisoned in 3827 AR
Images of Tar-Baphon

Source: Mythic Realms, pg(s). 62-63

Tar-Baphon was a powerful wizard-king who ruled central Avistan at the end of the 9th century AR. Killed by the god Aroden himself in 896 AR, he rose as the lich known as the Whispering Tyrant in 3203 AR, and ruled the country of Ustalav for centuries. He was finally defeated by the Shining Crusade in 3827 AR and imprisoned within his capital of Gallowspire.[1]


Rise of Tar-Baphon

Born nearly four millennia ago, much of the early life of the infamous Tar-Baphon is shrouded in myth and mystery. What is certain is that he lived in the 9th century AR and was widely known as a powerful necromancer, and eventually attracted the attention of the god Aroden himself. Tar-Baphon sought immortality and possibly looked down upon the Last Azlanti for not having ascended to godhood on his own, but for having relied on the power of the Starstone. Whatever the true cause of their disagreement, the two came into conflict that ended when Aroden killed the wizard-king on the Isle of Terror (at the centre of Lake Encarthan) in a mighty battle in 896 AR.[2][3]

Return of the Whispering Tyrant

In 3203 AR,[4] Tar-Baphon used the power of the Whispering Way to return to undead life as a lich. An ancient tome, the Whispers of the Immortal, purportedly written by a disciple of Tar-Baphon, documents his transition into undeath. There are, however, significant doubts about its authenticity.[5] The newly risen lich sought Aroden's attention in order to gain his revenge, but for unknown reasons the deity did not take up the challenge.[6] Having renamed himself the Whispering Tyrant, Tar-Baphon instead united the orcs of Belkzen under his rule and used them to conquer Ustalav, taking the city of Adorak as his capital.[4] When his troops, or those of the enemy, fell in battle, he simply brought them back to unlife, greatly bolstering the strength of his armies. He continued this for over five centuries, holding much of central Avistan in his skeletal grasp, and tolerating no threat to his rule.[3]

Shining Crusade

Centuries later, in 3754 AR, Taldor sought to oust the Whispering Tyrant, giving rise to the drawn-out conflict that became known as the Shining Crusade. The forces of Taldor were aided by the dwarven kingdom of Kraggodan (in the modern day Five Kings Mountains), and the Knights of Ozem.[7] In 3801 AR,[4] the crusaders finally established a beachhead in the (then) Ustalavic town of Vellumis, and began the slow and brutal process of advancing to the Tyrant's capital of Gallowspire.[7] In 3818 AR, the Knights of Ozem summoned Arazni, the Herald of Aroden, to aid them in the war. However, in 3823 AR, the Tyrant killed Arazni.[4] In 3827 AR, the crusaders at last reached Gallowspire in ruined Adorak. The Taldan general, Arnisant, fought the Tyrant and, using the artifact known as the Shield of Aroden, was able to withstand the lich's magic. When the shield eventually shattered, it burned the lich with holy fire, weakening the Tyrant enough that the crusaders were able to imprison him beneath Gallowspire, using a powerful magic ward known as the Great Seal. The province of Lastwall (now an independent country of the same name) was then established forever to watch over the Tyrant's prison.[8]