- This article is about the Infernals Guild. For other uses, please see Infernals (disambiguation).
- "Deathknight" redirects here. For the elite Underworld guard, see Death Knights.
The Infernals, initially known as the Deathknights, were opened by Sartan in 230 AF as a Guild of knights devoted to Evil. Housed within the Iron Citadel of Ashtan, the first Guildmaster appointed by Sartan was Ekary Lucoster. Shortly after declaring war on Ashtan in 301 AF, the Guild was officially dissolved and the Iron Citadel destroyed by an angry mob.
Due to the rigid structure adhered to by guilds, the growth of the Infernal guild was tied by necessity to that of the Infernal class. The first stirring combinations of Necromancy and Chivalry arose in the practices of the former Guild of Knights member, Lord Odysseus Rani, within Succession-era Seleucar (c. 400 BF). The dissemination of Necromantic techniques among the Knights was encouraged by Rani, though regarded as distasteful by the guild as a whole. Odysseus Rani would later put his theories to practice in the Tournament of Blades against Princess Catarin deSangre, though the noblewoman's Sentaari training won out in the end. It is unknown whether or not Lord Rani held any successors or proteges to inherit this Necromantic knight proto-duality; the former Knight kept no letters that have fallen into the public eye, and any affiliations or alliances have yet to arise into historical light.
Centuries later, in the year 224 AF, Lord Sartan openly proclaimed the formation of what he called the "Deathknights." Controversy immediately arose over who would lead the new guild of evil knights, and scandals erupted at the revelation of corrupt Templars having applied in advance. Six years later in 230, the guild of the Infernals was formally established with Ekary Lucoster, the Sinistar as its first guildmaster and Sartan, God of Evil its natural patron.
During the Death's Heart Saga in the early 240's, Sinistar extended his aid to the Quisalar to further the aims of Death's Heart. However, the revelation of the Quisalar's opposition to undeath, the driving force behind the Infernals' Necromancy, causes the Sinistar to rescind his support. Along with increased efforts from Druids and Sentinels, the withdrawn forces of the Infernals guild proved catalyst enough to tip the scales in the Quisalar's disfavour.
In 245 AF, the Infernals offered to serve as the enforcement arm of the Serpent guilds' cartel on the venoms industry. Two years later, guild conflicts between Ekary Lucoster and the members of Twilight's order culminated in the ousting and city enemying of the Sinistar based on a breach of the Serpent cartel's policy on illegal venoms. Controversies ran rampant over whether Lucoster was the victim of a complex plot concocted by the followers of Twilight, while others attributed mortal arrogance on the Sinistar's part. He eventually regained control of the guild. Sinistar later claimed to enter a state of undeath and built a mausoleum for himself near North of Thera, resigning scant years afterward.
A short time later, Raajin Lucoster formed the Exodus Battalion in an attempt to found a new splinter group of Infernals apart from Ashtan. Among the grievances cited were philosophical differences with Sartan and thus the Infernals guild. Khejian, Raajin's second-in-command, abandoned the Exodus Battalion at the last minute in favour of Ashtan and the Infernals. With this untimely blow, Raajin's faction was sent into exile and persecuted by both former city and guild at every turn.
In the year 295 AF, the leadership of Ashtan cited long-standing differences between city and guild. Overseer Deven Lucoster and the rest of Ashtan's leadership council offered to let the Infernals leave Ashtan if that rang true to their desire. However, the city warned that the Iron Citadel's transportation was not a guarantee. Furthermore, action would be taken against the guild if they continued to encourage their members against the interests of Ashtan.
In 297, Ashtan managed to oust and declare enemies of the entire Infernal leadership. The Infernals, for their part, accused Ashtan of trying to force the guild's religious hand by coercing worship of Aegis, then the city patron of Ashtan. With the turn of the century and Malaclypse's succession as leader of the Infernals, Overseer Deven Lucoster accused the newly appointed guildmaster of plans to overthrow the city government.
It was in the midst of the year 300 that the dam broke. In an unprecedented breach of protocol, the Infernals guild declared formal war against its home city-state of Ashtan, Bastion of the North. Shocked by this domestic treachery, Ashtan quickly amassed a force composed of everyone from the stiffest-collared nobles to the lowest common denominator of the proletariat, led chiefly by the philosopher Epicurus and the Dowager Eliza Montagenet. Bearing torches and pitchforks, the generally unseen majority of Ashtan marched to the Iron Citadel and, with singular mob mentality, razed it to the ground. Dacian, Martial Master of the Infernals was dragged out in a flurry of contempt. He was promptly beheaded by the city executioner, the tutor's head left to rot on a pike before the ruins of the former guildhall. Many who were present noted the ethereal wail of the Infernal Oversoul as it passed unto the hereafter, marking the literal, official, and formal death of the guild.
Former Infernals remained stoic about the affair, vowing resolution. They organised what came to be known as the Interim Battalion, assembling a temporary base of operations in the small dwelling northeast of Hashan called the Blood Keep. Internal strife managed to tear through the once-loyalists, causing questions of motive and rationale to arise, and many abandoned their fellows in an attempt to make amends with their home city.
Two years later, with the creation of Mhaldor Isle and the release of Sartan the Malevolent from His imprisonment beneath it, the disgraced Infernals were bestowed the newly appointed guild of the Maldaathi Knights. Dwelling within the blackened rock of Baelgrim Fortress, they now uphold the mantle of the fallen Infernals guild in servitude to the Seven Truths of Evil.