Charon (pronounced: /ˈkærʌnKÆR-un[4] about this audio file listen or: /ˈkrʌnKAY-run[4] about this audio file listen), also known as Cerlic,[1] was a major altraloth[1] and the boatman of the River Styx, who ferried souls down the River for a steep price.[5]

Description[edit | edit source]

Charon's appearance was that of a skeletal man with glowing eyes in a haggard face. He typically wore royal robes or ermine and silk. Charon was about 6 feet (1.8 meters) tall,[6] and weighed almost 240 pounds (109 kilograms). His hands were bony claws and his feet were webbed. No-one alive or dead had ever seen Charon without his hood up.[3]

Personality[edit | edit source]

Charon was the lord of the Styx, from its beginning to its end. He despised any outsider, particularly wastriliths, who dared interfere with his river and hunted them down. He also exacted payment from all who made use of the Styx to travel the planes. Charon was deceitful and cunning, and utterly self-serving, usually operating only to benefit himself.[3]

As defender of all marraenoloths, Charon would come to the aid of any of the fiends who called for his help. However, he charged a stiff price, usually on the order of hundreds of thousands of platinum pieces. As a result, some marraenoloths would rather die than call for the Stygian Ferryman to save them.[1]

Realm[edit | edit source]

All of the River Styx was considered Charon's realm, but he was rumored to have a secret fortress in which he hoarded the fees he collected for his services. A planewalker who came to Sigil from the Astral Plane once claimed to have found a stronghold built entirely of black ice staffed with "raft-riding skeletons." It was believed that this might be Charon's rumored fortress.[1]

Followers[edit | edit source]

All marraenoloths were considered followers of Charon, but they were independent agents who acted on their own. They served Charon of their own free will, not because they were bound to do so.[1]

History[edit | edit source]

Many ages past, the marraenoloths were besieged by repeated attacks by demodands under orders from their master, Apomps. Though the skeletal fiends sought aid from the greater yugoloths, their entreaties were rebuffed, for they couldn't afford the exorbitant prices asked by the ultroloth masters of their race. In desperation, the marraenoloths turned to the night hags. The night hags agreed to use their magic to create a champion, an altraloth, from their number in exchange for free and unrestricted ferry service across the Styx, for all time. With no other alternative, the marraenoloths agreed, and so one of them was transformed into Cerlic, the altraloth champion more commonly known as Charon. With his greater, hag-enhanced powers, Charon was able to stop the demodand attacks so thoroughly that the demodands never bothered the marraenoloths again, though exactly how he did this has been kept secret from other races.[1]

Powers[edit | edit source]

Charon was connected to the Styx and all life, and therefore he couldn't be destroyed. If he was defeated in combat his essence returned to the River's source. Twenty-four hours later, Charon returned and relentlessly pursued those who defeated him. As long as there was at least one living creature in the Multiverse, the River would continue to flow and Charon could not be destroyed.[3]

Appendix[edit | edit source]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Novels

Further Reading[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Ed Bonny (1997). “Pox of the Planes”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon Annual #2 (TSR, Inc.), pp. 107–108.
  2. Gary Gygax (August 1983). Monster Manual II 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 28. ISBN 0-88038-031-4.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Wolfgang Baur (August 2007). “Enemies of My Enemy”. In James Jacobs ed. Dungeon #149 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), p. 84.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Frank Mentzer (January 1985). “Ay pronunseeAYshun gyd”. In Kim Mohan ed. Dragon #93 (TSR, Inc.), p. 26.
  5. Gary Gygax (August 1983). Monster Manual II 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 28. ISBN 0-88038-031-4.
  6. Gary Gygax (August 1983). Monster Manual II 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 28. ISBN 0-88038-031-4.
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