Csenge of Netheril (the Diabolist) controls fiends and tampers with forces even the Archmage avoids. She likes her victims screaming and her chaos pure while claiming that the demons she summons would otherwise overwhelm the Great Gold Wyrm who seals the Abyss. There are two differences between her and her demons: First, she likes keeping destruction personal rather than universal. Second, she’s capable of kindness, so long as it comes as a great surprise.
“Station is the paradox of the world of my people, the limitation of our power within the hunger for power. It is gained through treachery and invites treachery against those who gain it. Those most powerful in Menzoberranzan spend their days watching over their shoulders, defending against the daggers that would find their backs. Their deaths usually come from the front." — (Drizzt Do’Urden) R.A. Salvatore, Homeland
Confederacy of Tolaria > Ombratenere (Shadowkeep) > [Ombratenere Enclave]
The longer she lives, the more the Diabolist looks like one of her demons. The stories are that she was once a dark elf, but you’d be hard-pressed to prove it.
The Diabolist leads a remnant of the once-mighty dark elves of House Netheril. Their loyalty to her borders on worship. In turn, she alternately exalts them and brings them to ruin. With her help they learn occult secrets, master unspeakable magic, and gloat over the destruction of their enemies. The Diabolist lacks the focus and discipline that define the Crusader. She is in it for herself, and she indulges even her petty whims. If she remained on-task the way the Crusader does, things would doubtless be a lot worse. Unless indulging her whims is actually part of a subtle plot that none can guess at until it is too late.
Adventurers & the Icon
Too many adventurers accept missions on the Diabolist’s behalf, often because they are reckless. Still, a few lucky adventurers have profited mightily from her sponsorship, and they love to show off the remarkable weapons and talismans they have acquired in consideration for their services.
Samdhya of Angathil (the Elf Queen) is figuratively her half-sister by virtue of their elven blood. The Diabolist and Knieža Kazimieras (Prince of Shadows) are said to work together. Everyone hopes they’re going to betray one another.
Ertai of Tolar (the Archmage) seeks to end the threat posed by the method of the Dominium’s invasion. Sálmælikvarða [Soulscale] (the Great Gold Wyrm) wards the Archipelago against incursions from the Abyss.
Csenge was born with a gift for magic, and soon became the youngest arcanist ever to create her own floating enclave, Ombratenere.
Lacking the necessary discipline that comes with hard work and research, she founded a cult of magic on her enclave and encouraged the attendance of radical thinkers and those interested in taboo projects. Her writings on the exploration and exploitation of other planes, such as the Shadowfell, garnered initial criticism from Netheril scholars but were eventually embraced as the key to an infinite source of shadow-creatures as slave laborers as well as a dumping ground for unwanted garbage.
When the portents heralding the coming of the Dominium became known, Samdhya of Angathil (the Elf Queen) urged the Court of Stars to unite against the invaders. She was voted down. Csenge and her growing cult agreed, for a price, to assist Samdhya in a rebellion against the Court.
Believing she was shouldering the responsibility for preserving civilization, Csenge finished creating a spell that she had been developing for years. The spell would steal the power of a demon prince and transfer it to the arcanist that cast it. Csenge believed that with the power of a demon prince at her disposal, she could destroy the Dominium and unite the elves of Aerenal, Angathil and Netheril. But when Csenge cast the spell and chose Erek Hus, the Prince of the Undead, as her target, she underestimated the might of her foe. Erek Hus bound the Diabolist to his will. The flying enclave of Ombratenere plummeted to the earth.
Samdhya interceded on Csenge’s behalf, sacrificing herself in exchange for Csenge’s release. Erek Hus agreed to Samdhya’s terms and severed the link. As a result, Samdhya was killed and transformed into a lich.
Csenge’s attempt had other consequences in the Archipelago. The terms of Samdhya’s bargain with the Prince of the Undead forced the Undying Court of Aerenal, which was powered by rituals of undying, to turn towards the Shadowfell for sustenance or be destroyed. As a result, the Aerenal’s magic was much depleted when Samdhya returned to subjugate the Court of Stars, and they were nearly wiped out when they attempted to resist.
The True Danger
There are those who believe that the Diabolist either remains in the grip of Erek Hus, or was driven insane by her bondage to his will.