Aesperus, also known as the King in Copper, was a lich wizard dwelling near the city of Hulburg on the Moonsea. Aesperus was known as "the King in Copper" because of the enchanted copper bands he wore on his body.
Aesperus was a human necromancer and former ruler of the short-lived kingdom of Thentur circa 1050 DR. He was deposed in a rebellion led by Lathander's clergy and his own kinsman, Rivan Hulmaster. Upon his death, Aesperus transformed into a lich and held dominion over the undead in eastern Thar.
By the mid-to-late 14th century DR, a different tale of his origin had spread. This story claimed that Aesperus was a wizard fighting in defense of Hulburg in its earliest days. During a battle, he was knocked unconscious and buried alive beneath a pile of corpses. He was eventually interred in the Vault of the Dead beneath the city, as part of a mass burial. But Aesperus had survived, after a fashion: he had become a lich and was driven insane.
Aesperus dwelled in a subterranean chamber in the Vault for several centuries. By 1368 DR, he plotted his vengeance against the surface world, aiming to animate the thousands of corpses in the Vault and send the undead horde to march across the northern coast of the Moonsea and slaughter and destroy everything in their path. Instead, he would end up striking a bargain with Angar Hulmaster to ensure that the city's dead remained exclusively his domain, and in exchange he would bring no harm to Hulburg.
- The level is roughly equal to the Hit Dice of the lich.
- Richard Baker (Nov 2010). Avenger. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0786955759.
- John Terra (January 1995). “Reference Guide”. In Allison Lassieur ed. The Moonsea (TSR, Inc.), p. 45. ISBN 978-0786900923.
- Richard Baker (May 2008). Swordmage. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0786947881.
- Richard Baker (January, 2010). Realms of the Dead ("The King in Copper"). (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0786953632.