This is my expansion and collation of the extremely obscure Demon Lord Siragle. This is mostly my own content, but it draws from the odd sentence I have been able to find in other people's stuff on the Abyss, especially from the quite amazing crew that write Horrors of the Abyss at Dicefreaks. Feel free to add anything else you might have on Siragle here too.
“United we stand, divided we fall.”
The sudden glint in the eye of the dullard…
The sardonic smile that flickers across the lips of the trusted retainer…
The sudden moment of doubt at being abandoned...
The unspoken fine print added hastily to the peace settlement…
The subtle glance between cheating lovers…
The unswerving faith that our way is right…
The grit in the gears…
The Thorn Within
Siragle embodies hidden knowledge, and its potential for sin. He is the erosion of morality through the obfuscation of truth. Siragle knows that true power comes from holding all of one’s cards close to the chest. The greatest weapons of all are those that the enemy never even suspects to exist. Siragle delights in the revision of histories and the muddying of important truths within pointless traditions and hegemonies. He is the secret handshake and the backroom deal. The Lord of the Secret Oath revels in discrimination and elitism. His followers sow discord between companions, nations and faiths through concealing and perverting truth itself. He knows that even the closest of companions will inevitably come to outlive their usefulness and in time they must be replaced, for relying on others in anything but lip service is to invite weakness upon oneself.
An ancient and inscrutable being, Siragle the Ineffable is often mistakenly numbered amongst the Tanar’ric Lords in those rare instances that he is mentioned at all. In truth, he is far older than even the Demiurge himself and he defies such simple categorization. Iggwylv’s writings suggest that Siragle is a unique demon who arose spontaneously from the Abyssal soup back when the Obyriths were the rulers of this Plane. Neither Tanar’ri nor Obyrith, the Ineffable is simply that which he is; an anomaly neither one thing nor the other. Some Demonologists speculate that in essence Siragle is the basic embodiment of one aspect of entropy and wickedness, and that he has no connection to mortal souls or belief at all.
Siragle appears as a humanoid crocodile with majestic stag’s antlers. He seldom speaks except when he has reason to, preferring for his equals and superiors to disparage him as a brutish cretin. One of his eyes is an empty socket. The other is a heavy-lidded red orb whose bucolic simplicity belies the mocking intellect that Siragle conceals. He has a long and vicious tail that ends in a yellowed ivory stinger. In battle he often fights with a wicked-looking glaive.
The Cult of Siragle has actively sought to purge all mention of their Lord from every reputable lorehouse in the planes over the last two centuries. Accordingly, even Sigil’s available copies of the standard go-to texts on Demonology, such as the Demonicon of Iggwylv, the Liber Maleficarum and the Black Scrolls of Ahm are surprisingly sparse on this subject. Much of what has been compiled herein comes from two sources of concedingly dubious credibility. One is an account by Soloth Ashwalker; a Gehennan lich of Mungoth who claims to have read the Book of Vile Darkness itself. Additionally, the Madhouse of Pandemonium has long boasted its share of Demonologists, and one of whom; wishing only to be referred to herein as the “Thin Man”, asserts to have successfully made a divine Communion with the ancient Obyrith Lord Dagon; that fell Abyssal seer of the Shadowsea. The Thin Man’s testimony is simply his muttered interpretation of his own recurring dreams of ancient Abyssal horror; which he admits have been plaguing his every sleeping hour since the completion of that dread ritual.
In the Age Before Ages, Siragle fought as one of the mighty knights of Chaos at the behest of the tentacled Obyrith Queen. Siragle’s might in combat was nigh on legendary, and he laid waste to the Justiciars and lawful elementals he met in battle with his accursed glaive and wicked sorcery. Always though, the Ineffable One sought to conceal his true nature from his comrades and superiors, posing as just another powerful simpleton and following even the most demeaning of orders unquestioningly. During his long campaigns against the forces of Law, the demon was stationed predominantly upon the Elemental Plane of Earth, where he repeatedly led the charge in battle under the direct command of the rebel Archomental general Ogremoch. Secretly, Siragle delighted in the ideological schisms that were wracking the denizens of the Plane in the light of this titanic war, and he took every available opportunity to sow discord and distrust within the beings around him. Eventually he was able to secure the confidence of an elemental lieutenant of Ogremoch named Unguliustuk. Under the secret tutelage of the demon, Unguliustuk began to chafe under the tyrannical decrees of his Prince of Elemental Evil Earth. Siragle managed eventually to coax Unguliustuk to betray his own General at a critical point in the war. Unguliustuk’s coup caused the entire Earthly front of the Chaos horde to crumble beneath a sustained assault by the forces of Law, and before they could recover, the Tanar’ri had likewise begun to throw off their age-old shackles and hurl themselves at their Obyrith masters. Ogremoch hates Siragle the betrayer bitterly to this day. Unguliustuk is rumoured to have survived the war as well, but he paradoxically remains a powerful and fanatically loyal agent of the Ineffable One within the Inner Planes. His current whereabouts however are unknown.
Instigating the Fall
As the forces of Chaos were drawn towards that fated final battle upon the Fields of Pesh, anarchy and rot festered within the legions of the Queen of Chaos. Four of the greatest of her servile demonic vassals met in secret deep within the Abyss, even as the forces of her loyal Tanar’ri General; Miska the Wolf Spider, were embroiled on all sides upon Oerth. Siragle did not personally care who ruled the Abyss nor had he the slightest interest in accruing political power for himself, but he did take true delight in the simple acts of degrading loyalty, undermining authority and sowing dissent for their own sakes. He colluded with four of the most ancient of the Tanar’ari, who at this time were generals and strategists for the Obyriths. The Book of Vile Darkness names these fiends as Abraxus the Unfathomable, Shaktari the Marilith Queen, Laz’bral’thull the Butcher and a klurichir simply known as the Guardian of the Gates. They met upon a primal layer of nightmarish swamps and cyclopean ruins so ancient that even the Obyriths held no sway there and were unable to scry its ancient depths; a place called Cogerron, the Pathless Nightmare (later listed by the Fraternity of Order as the 444th Layer of the Abyss). The details of this meeting are lost to history, but the day that followed would rock the very foundations of the Abyssal Plane, for the Tanar’ri suddenly rose up en masse throughout the Abyss, to fight against their own Obyrith overlords; slaying Obyriths in droves wherever they found them.
Decades later, in the aftermath of the War; after a new order of Tanar’ric Lords had fomented their own terrible rulership over the Abyss, and the surviving Obyriths had been driven into the deepest pits of the Plane, few demons could even remember who it had been who had instigated the revolt in the first place. The Guardian of the Gates lapsed into a strange amnesia; becoming fixated with carrying out inexplicable orders laid down by a long dead Obyrith mistress deep within the Grand Abyss. Conversely, Siragle, Laz’bral’thull and Shaktari all eventually found themselves set upon by the new Lords of the Abyss, and were overcome one-by-one by their younger successors and dragged into imprisonment within the Wells of Darkness. But Abraxus the Unfathomable simply vanished, and some planar scholars suspect that he chose to depart from the Abyss entirely on a centuries-spanning spiritual exodus. Abraxus, like Siragle, is an ancient and enigmatic demon of considerable magical power, and one who similarly prefers to hide his own presence and activities beneath elaborate arcane rituals and obscure secrets. Could Siragle then have met his match and been outmaneuvered at his own game?
Smiles in the Darkness
Even as Laz’bral’thull bellowed and raged against his prison in unending and unbridled fury, Siragle floated in sanguine calm. If any of his captors had taken the time to check, then they would have noticed that one of Siragle’s eyes was now gone. The Ineffable had removed his own eyeball and using the blackest of sorcery, had wrought it into an artifact of demonic power. A shred of his unholy will lies inside the Eye still, and this allows him to form pacts with other beings. The wielder of the Ineffable Eye is pact-bound in spirit with Siragle, and the scaled atrocity is able to mentally whisper to and guide his protégé to his own dark purposes in exchange for revealing forbidden truths and granting them bolstered magical powers. The Ineffable Eye found its way into an obscure Prime World where it allowed Siragle to vicariously pull the strings of the developing civilizations he beheld there during his long years of imprisonment. Indeed, the Multiverse was rapidly changing, and Siragle soon lost all interest in the Great Wheel and the Inner Planes as he became captivated with these new worlds of mortals. The Eye has passed from wielder to wielder across the millennia, and his cult; the Order of the Secret Oath, has in turn grown in both reach and influence.
Those who would presume to have betrayed this great betrayer had not reckoned with his deeper and more ancient nature. As Siragle’s name faded into obscurity, his body was slowly consumed by the Shattered Night that he was entombed within. Siragle sacrificed his own body and essence to be devoured slowly by the Layer that trapped him, feigning to have succumbed to a torpor brought on by apathy and despair. This agonizing millennia-long process would have utterly destroyed most beings, including even the greatest of the tanar’ari. Siragle though, had never had a mortal soul, and the essential core of his being was bound intrinsically to his Layer of origin. Even as he gave himself up to gradual disintegration in the inky void, he was already mystically rejoining with the Steeping Isle. The waters of the island’s central lagoon became gradually infused with their master’s will and presence, until the day when his slow consumption was complete, and Siragle the Ineffable, antlers dripping with black slime, emerged from their unholy depths once again. He had escaped from the Wells of Darkness.
The Steeping Isle
According to certain definitions of the term, Siragle is not a true Demon Lord in the official sense, because he lacks the power to reshape and control the basic firmament of his very small Abyssal Layer (the 493rd). Others argue that demons defy such simplistic categorization by their inherently chaotic nature, and that Siragle deserves the title of Lord simply based on his considerable powers, notable mortal following and the fact that no other entity claims rulership of this realm. The Steeping Isle is reputed to be Siragle’s original birthplace, and it is said to be the only place in the Multiverse where he can permanently be killed without eventually arising from its waters once again.
The Isle is several kilometers long and is mostly a series of barren rocky cliffs forming a closed curve encompassing a black lagoon. This inky black body of water shimmers and coruscates with magical glyphs and brief rippling images and visions. Siragle can command these waters to rise and fall as he so desires. A series of cages sit on pillars that jut from the water. Siragle’s thralls must sacrifice one of their past teachers or mentors to the Ineffable, and the ritual Planeshifts the victim on to the Steeping Isle where they are hunted down by a small group of loyal cultists who meditate here at all times. The Layer gets its name by the process that Siragle uses to inter his sacrifices. The sacrifices are bound within one of the cages, and then the waters are “steeped” in their memories and knowledge as the Lord of the Secret Oath commands the waters to rise and drown the victim. Siragle rewards his followers by allowing them to drink from his lagoon, which temporarily bestows bolstered intelligence and wisdom, the ability to undertake untrained knowledge checks and even to place random prepared spells into the being’s mind. Sometimes planewalkers attempt to sneak into the Steeping Isle in the hope of drinking from these waters themselves. Siragle is able to commune with the tarry slime that coats the bottom of the lagoon, and call upon it to take the form of mobile Oozes at his command (treat as Reason Stealers, MM2).
The Steeping Isle has few inhabitants beyond a large pack of scavenging Abyssal Skulkers which for some reason seem particularly at home in Siragle’s presence. The surrounding ocean eventually connects to the Soulless Sea. The waters here are infused with the amnesia-inducing properties of the Styx, though they are more dilute (the fortitude DC here is 14). This body of water is frequented by swimming Skulvyn demons.
Siragle himself maintains no special abode or stronghold here, but just sits supinely on the cliff side gazing into the waters of the lagoon and communing with the Prime through his Ineffable Eye. Though he is drawn to magical lore, Siragle is far too chaotic to catalogue or record anything he learns. There is no greater goal or purpose to his love of obfuscating truth and his seeding of complex and rather pointless ritual traditions. Anything that Siragle learns he will eventually relinquish, and even when he has the need to develop new arcane abilities he tends to forget them after he has employed them. His sorcerous powers are formidable though, and he is adept at scribing and using magical scrolls to wicked effect. Siragle is also a deadly melee combatant, and he delights in shows of physical savagery that distract his enemies from his more subtle nature. Implacable, deceptive and coldly patient – he is particularly renowned for never forgetting a grudge, and slowly and methodically extracting vengeance, sometimes even across many generations. Siragle is far too insular and sedentary to warrant much attention from the other Abyssal Lords, especially as he has no interest in their own petty internecine squabbling. Likewise, he has no armies of his own so lacks any real investment in the Blood War. With the exception of certain ancient demons of exceptional knowledge and memory, such as Dagon and Abraxus, most Demon Lords never think much about Siragle at all. Siragle though has been slowly but steadily growing in power since his escape, as his secret Cult has continued to spread across the Prime for the last two centuries
The Order of the Secret Oath
Siragle’s Prime cultists are most common within lawful societies, and he encourages them to seek high positions of influence. The devotees of the Ineffable are characteristically Grand Viziers, advisers, librarians, professors, druids and councilors. Their true goals are diverse and difficult to determine due to their proficiency at covering their own tracks and hiding and erasing all mention of the entity that they serve from any libraries nearby. The Order generally tries to weaken political ties between allied states, foster paranoia and xenophobia through the propagation of misinformation and to weaken the powers of Churches and their Gods through muddying authentic divine worship and belief with pointless ritualistic ceremonies and unnecessarily complex organizational structures.
When Siragle’s cultists meet in cabal they wear stag antlers on their heads and undertake complicated and drawn-out ritual ceremonies involving censer burning, secret handshakes and phrases and elaborate costumes and masks. Siragle demands that his aspiring Thralls sacrifice someone who had taught or mentored them in their past life; ultimately reveling in destroying and depleting rationalism in the world by replacing the most learned individuals with tedious and duplicitous charlatans.