Ob Nixilis was a human warlord and tyrant who became a planeswalker when he discovered that he was manipulated by demons to be the sole survivor of a world that only knew war.
“Morality is just shorthand for the constraints of being powerless.”
Centuries ago, Ob Nixilis was a ruthless human tyrant on a hellish plane of unending war. No tactics were too merciless—and no magic too dark—to secure his ascendancy. By the time he was forty years old, he had dominated the entire world. With nothing more to conquer, he was left without purpose…until his Planeswalker spark ignited. Infinite worlds opened to him, undreamed-of vistas just waiting to bow before the vast new power he had unlocked. Soon, however, he learned that there were others like him—other Planeswalkers—whose power and ambition equaled his own. To best these new rivals, Ob Nixilis would do what he had always done: betray any trust, commit any blasphemy, and pay any price for power. He thought himself invincible, but then he suffered a cruel defeat. He sought to seize the power of the legendary Chain Veil for himself, but instead suffered its curse, which stripped him of his humanity, transforming him into a monstrous demon. At last, he found a price he was not willing to pay.
In search of a cure for this curse, he made his way to Zendikar, a world of powerful but unpredictable mana. Before he could begin to draw on this power, however, he was met by Zendikar’s self-appointed protector—the Planeswalker Nahiri, the Lithomancer. As the creator of the hedrons that covered the plane and kept the Eldrazi in stasis, Nahiri kept watch over Zendikar to make sure no Planeswalkers’ meddling would awaken the titans. And she bound Ob Nixilis with the same magic, placing a hedron in his skull and suppressing his Planeswalker spark. Trapped on Zendikar, powerless, Ob Nixilis became obsessed with recovering his spark and escaping his imprisonment. He schemed and scraped to acquire the relics he needed to unlock the merest fraction of the power he once wielded, nursing a fury toward Zendikar that grew over the course of centuries. Eventually, Nixilis began channeling dark magic even other demons feared. After years of plotting, he was finally able to remove the hedron that bound him to the plane. Now, Ob Nixilis is unshackled, and he’s directing his energies toward his next goal: rekindling his spark.
In Dungeons & Dragons
Having been manipulated by demons and been in contact with the Chain Veil, we’ll assume for the purpose of this section that Ob Nixilis is the kind of demon you can turn into if you die because of the “Onakke Spirits Within” feature of the Chain Veil, as we created for the “L is for Liliana” article in this series. We’ll use the Nalfeshnee as a base creature, changing the following features:
- Remove Truesight from senses and Telepathy from languages, adding Common.
- Remove “Horror Nimbus” and “Teleport” from Actions.
- Add the following Oathbreaker features as found in the DungeonMaster’s Guide, page 97: Dreadful Aspect, Aura of Hate and spellcasting.
Have you customized a demon or any other creature in the Monster Manual in order to relate it to a character? Let us know in the comments!