In The Temple of Maanzecorian in Oryndoll, City of Loretakers, Ilix'Ith, High Priest of Maanzecorian, went about his daily rituals with joy. He was no longer young, but he was content. Sometimes he longed a little for the adventurous life he'd led and he fondly remembered his time with Uru Drowbiter and his little band of misfits. He had seen and done so much more than most illithids would ever be privileged enough to do. He had lived through the death and witnessed the glorious return of his god. He had gone from outcast to high priest. But he was far more grateful for Maanzecorian's return than for his own advancement. Some compared his devotion to that of Sos'Umtu Baenre towards Lolth, but he was uncertain as to whether that was a compliment or an insult.
There was a rustling of cloth behind him, "Ilix'Ith." The voice was deep, melodious and familiar. It was the voice of Maanzecorian.
The Philosopher-Savant had once again appeared to his faithful servant. Ilix'Ith knelt as his Lord and Master hovered before him. The illithid had gone completely mad with grief when his god had died, and was nearly mad with joy when Maanzecorian had been resurrected by Ilsensine's beneficence.
He was a glorious sight. No matter how many times he saw him, Ilix'Ith could not help but be overcome with awe. The god was a 10' tall ulithirid with two highly polished yellow tusks jutting from either side of his six tentacled maw. He was dressed in sumptuous lavender and black robes with fine gold trim. His mauve skin, mottled with green, glistened in the light of The Savant's Crown, which hovered over his smooth head. Maanzecorian hovered several feet above the polished marble tiles of the temple. "My high priest, you alone remained faithful during my. . . Incapacitation." There was something more, he knew. . . "As a reward for your faith I want you to observe this. To share in my triumph."
The vision filled Ilix'Ith's mind.
It was a vision of the palace of Everlost on the the icy realm of Thanatos, deep within The Abyss. A foul, bloated demon with the head and legs of a goat, the horns of a ram and the wings of a bat sprawled lazily upon a throne of bones, only peripherally watching the seductive succubi dancing for his perverse pleasure. Orcus, Prince of The Undead, was considering recent events that had shaken The Abyss to its core. Lolth, The Demon Queen of Spiders, was dead. While he had no sympathy for the fallen demoness, it represented a major opportunity for enterprising powers to seize what remained of her realm and followers. Her idiot grandson Selvetarm had destroyed her Divine Portfolio, feeding it to that bloated, gluttonous toad Laogzed, forever robbing him of the chance to seize her divine power. As for her realm, The Demonweb Pits lay in ruins. Ityak-Ortheel had destroyed much of The Spider Queen's lair and The Dark Seldarine and various demons fought like vultures over what items Lolth had left behind. It was unlikely that he would find anything of value, if he bothered to search at all, but one never knew. He decided to send some of his servants to discreetly discern whether a gem or two was left hidden amidst the rubble.
He wondered idly if any yochlol had survived the death of their mistress, but doubted any of the Handmaidens could survive without Lolth.
Orcus began to feel a sharp buzzing vibration in his skull. The buzzing grew and grew, building in intensity until it seemed as if his head would burst from the agony. An emerald glow filled the room, and the succubi began to scream. Green turned to black as the pain overcame The Prince of The Undead.
Orcus awoke with a start. He had no idea how long he had been unconscious. The succubi were gone. His demon slaves, his palace, even the plane itself had vanished. He was suspended in his throne upon a vast expanse of endless fog. The vibration had turned to a pounding like that of a hammer upon an anvil, wave after wave of mental assault. He had a good idea of what was happening, and for the first time in a very long time, Orcus felt true fear. He tried to rise, to defend himself, but he could not move.
Two figures appeared from the haze and suddenly he knew, he knew that he was truly damned. One was Maanzecorian, that weak, stubborn illithid deity he had slain years before during his search for his Wand. The Philosopher-Savant was so inconsequential that Orcus had almost forgotten his existence and he had not even noted his resurrection. He was now certain he would come to regret that.
His companion was the one who struck fear into Orcus' undead heart. The demon lord could easily kill Maanzecorian again, but he stood little chance against that vast, brilliant emerald brain, who even now stretched its two great tentacles out from its wrinkled bulk towards him.
Ilsensine. The God Brain. One of the most powerful deities in all the multiverse.
Through the agonizing pounding in his mind he thought of Diinkarazan. The derro god had been captured by Ilsensine while stealing from The Caverns of Thought. The god had been chained to his throne and imprisoned in The Abyss to be forever tormented by illusions of his greatest fears.
Orcus tried to break away, but he realized, to his horror, that his body was physically melded into the throne. He could only move his head as The Tentacled Lord's touch drew near. "I have knowledge!" He shrieked in desperation, "I have great wisdom to give you! Spare me and I will give you all I know!" "Oh, I shall have your knowledge, Orcus. And my revenge." The God Brain's thoughts were overpowering and ripped at his mind like a tiger tearing apart its prey. Ilsensine was not here to negotiate. He was here to punish.
Orcus knew what was coming next. It can't end like this!
"No, Orcus, this is not an ending. This is only the beginning." Maanzecorian's pompous, condescending voice rang through his tortured brain as Ilsensine's tentacles lightly brushed his horned, goat-like head. The Blood Lord screamed in agony and terror as his deepest fears emerged from his skull, and, given form and substance, fell upon him in a frenzy. "No one takes what is mine." The impossibly powerful voice of Ilsensine tore at his mind as the horrors tore at his flesh. "For this, you shall feel my wrath, forever."
Maanzecorian watched the screaming, tormented demon lord with deep satisfaction. This served a purpose far greater than crude vengeance, however. With Lolth dead and Orcus imprisoned for all eternity two of the most powerful forces of The Abyss were effectively removed from the picture. Slowly but surely the forces of their enemies were falling, whether by illithid hands or their own. It all served The Great Plan to restore the illithid empire to its former glory.
Still, even the coldly logical Maanzecorian could not deny taking some pleasure in helping torment his own murderer.
He reached out and placed a slender hand gently upon the fiend's brow, that soft touch viciously ripping free every iota of information the demon possessed and adding it to his own incalculable intellect.
There was yet one final blow to make his vengeance complete. "There is one last thing," The god held out a long rod tipped with a humanoid skull. "Last time we met, you wanted me to find your Wand. Here it is." He touched Orcus bloated belly with the skull and a pain coursed through his body which almost matched the agony coursing through his tortured mind. Maanzecorian gave the closest semblance of a smile an illithid was capable of. He then took the Wand of Orcus in both hands and, with unnatural power, snapped it in two. He tossed the pieces casually into the nothingness that surrounded them. "Enjoy eternity, Orcus. It will only get better from here." There was a note of bitter sarcasm in The Philosopher-Savant's voice, but Orcus was in too much pain to notice.
The illithid gods vanished, leaving Orcus alone in the misty void, trapped with the horrors of his own mind.
Ilix'Ith felt great joy at this vision. He had long hoped to see Orcus punished for his crime against his Lord. Ilix'Ith was by no means sadistic but to have the privilege to witness the righteous vengeance against the one who had caused them both so much pain and suffering was almost euphoric. He exulted in his god's vengeance and glory and the knowledge that Orcus could never again harm his beloved Lord.
In some unnamed, unknown corner of The Abyss, Orcus still screamed, his voice growing weak and hoarse. His eyes were frozen wide in terror, and drool ran down his chin as all of his worst nightmares came true. He wept and begged the gods for the mercy of death, but none came.
Eternity is a long time. And he would feel every moment of it.
I have really, really wanted to bring Orcus/Tenebrous to a nasty end for killing Maanzecorian. And, I wanted to bring back my most neglected 'hero', the crazy illithid priest Ilix'Ith. Here I do both. Maanzecorian was, (and still is), Lawful Evil, but I like him for some reason. Perhaps it's my fondness for illithids.
Ilix'Ith is literally addicted to knowledge, the sensation of gaining information from his master makes him 'high'. He is insane, but the god favors him for his unshakable loyalty.
Maanzecorian is an extremely arrogant being and views the victory over Orcus as his own even though Ilsensine did most of the actual work.
Outside of Orcus, the main characters are all either hermaphrodites, (Maanzecorian and Ilix'Ith), or completely without gender, (Ilsensine). I use male terms to make it easier to read and write.
After reading The Planescape book Dead Gods and getting an idea of what happened to Maanzecorian and his servants, I have no sympathy at all for Orcus. They are evil, but still, it was very unpleasant to read. Of course, Orcus killed several other gods as well. Ilsensine also resurrected Maanzecorian's servants, including Hananolith and Dleiniacorus from Dead Gods.
Could a yochlol survive the death of Lolth? When Maanzecorian died, his proxies died horribly, so I doubt it.
This ties in with my other D&D stories and are not even close to canon. Maanzecorian was resurrected in Heroes and Lolth died in The Broken Web.
All characters and concepts except Ilix'Ith are copyright TSR