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Karlach Cliffgate was a mighty warrior and unwilling champion of Zariel that fought for the archdevil in the Blood War on Avernus during the late 15th century DR.[1]

I was a prisoner, forced to fight in the Blood War—the eternal battle between bad and worse. Most souls in Avernus are just meat for the grinder. But not me.
— Karlach.[1]


Karlach had dark red skin, that was covered in scars, and black hair that she wore long on the top, and sheared on the sides. Her two black horns resembled those of a ram, though the right horn had broken in half.[1]


An energetic and joyful presence, Karlach had a great passion for life, appreciating it all the more after escaping the Hells. She deeply enjoyed simple, physical pleasures such as food, sex, and the thrill of battle. Karlach seemed to feel emotions strongly, sometimes descending into fits of screaming rage, wailing sorrow, or giggling joy, depending on the circumstances. As such, she had difficulty concealing her feelings, usually coming across as extremely earnest, almost awkwardly so. Still, Karlach was a courageous warrior and fiercely fought for what she believed was right.[1]


She wielded a great battleaxe and a crossbow in battle.[1]


Karlach was an exceptional martial combatant. Due to her time in Avernus, she seemed to possess an encyclopedic knowledge of fiends and how to fight them. Additionally, Zariel had Karlach's heart replaced with an infernal engine, enhancing her physical prowess and causing her body to burn like fire, especially in moments of great passion. This engine could be further enhanced by inserting soul coins. However, the engine was not made to operate outside of the Nine Hells, and threatened to burn Karlach alive if she remained on the Prime Material plane for too long.[1]


Karlach was born into the Cliffgate family to father Pluck Cliffgate and mother Caerlack Cliffgate. She grew up in the outer city of Baldur's Gate in west Faerûn. The Cliffgate family had language habits unique to them, such as calling loved one a "potato." Karlach had a happy life until she just became a young adult. Karlach's mother got sick and passed away before they could find a doctor. Few months after her mother's death, her father died in a road accident on the Risen Road. As the young woman tried to survive, she found a job as a personal bodyguard for Enver Gortash. However, in the Year of the Narthex Murders, 1482 DR, Gortash betrayed Karlach by selling her to Zariel, the archdevil ruler of Avernus. Karlach had her heart replaced by an infernal engine against her will to act a prototype for Gortash's steel watcher constructs and was forced to serve as a soldier to fight the Blood War for 10 years.[1]

In the Year of Three Ships Sailing, 1492 DR, Karlach witnessed a mind flayer nautiloid pass overhead on the battlefield of the Blood War while being chased by Wyll Ravengard, a warlock of Mizora who had been tricked by his patron into believing that she was a rogue devil. She saw the vessel as an opportunity to flee from her position as Zariel's champion, and boarded it as a stowaway. Unfortunately, she, like others aboard the ship, was implanted with a tadpole, albeit one that did not immediately begin the process of ceremorphosis.[1]

The nautiloid traveled the planes from Avernus to the world of Toril on the Prime. It plummeted to the ground in an area of Faerûn known as the Sword Coast, and several of the captives ― or in Karlach's case, stowaways ― passengers were left alive after the crash. Angered by the fact Karlach abandoned her post, Zariel sent a band of her agents led by Anders to capture or kill her. Karlach clashed with the band and managed to fight them off, but was injured in the process and was forced to rest by the River Chionthar where she was pinned down by Zariel's agents, who took up residence in a nearby tollhouse.[1]



Video Games
Baldur's Gate III
Card Games
Magic: The Gathering (CLB)


External Links[]

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the following links do not necessarily represent the views of the editors of this wiki, nor does any lore presented necessarily adhere to established canon.


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 Larian Studios (October 2020). Designed by Swen Vincke, et al. Baldur's Gate III. Larian Studios.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Codename Entertainment (September 2017). Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms. Codename Entertainment.


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