Planeswalker Dossier: Dantalion
Dantalion (The Infester; Despoiler of Ythol; Great Father; God of Monsters)
Dantalion’s core form is similar to a black flatworm or perhaps centipede, about two feet in length and capable of agile, swift flight despite the lack of an obvious mechanism. Its head is narrow and presents a rasping, lamprey-like mouth and sharp-edged “nose” that can easily cut through flesh. Dantalion can, like all members of his species, infest the bodies of mortals (dead or alive) and thus remain out of sight, or given time form a semi-living “body” in a number forms, which he can then pilot. These self-formed bodies are much like shells to a hermit crab: useful, but ultimately dispensable. The basic forms are “Infestation”, a form similar to a massive version of his core form that could fit inside a stolen skin; “Manipulation”, a form like a headless humanoid, possessed of four arms with opposable, taloned digits; “Combat”, a form like a gigantic crab; and “Travel”, a form like a gigantic fly. All these forms appear to be made of thick, black resin or chitin. Only the general patterns are provided, as cosmetic details change each time a shell-body is produced.
Dantalion’s species reproduces by parthenogenesis. They have innate potency with black and white magic but can use no other kinds of magic – even Dantalion cannot touch blue, green, or red mana. Some planeswalking scholars suggest Dantalion’s race is an offshoot of the licid, a species of symbiotes that also existed on Ythol as well as other planes.
Dantalion is a charming, manipulative creature when it wishes to be, but has little patience, no empathy for other living things, and only the vaguest ability to express any interest in matters beyond getting what it wants. In particular, Dantalion hungers for power above all else. Any form of power will do, but magical power is best. Even as a Planeswalker before the mending, Dantalion was not satisfied, always lusting for more.
Dantalion is a member of a nameless race of horrors that existed on Ythol. Dantalion ascended itself after infesting the body of a planeswalker, who purged it into the blind eternities. Abroad in the Multiverse, Dantallion hunted for new sources of power, and created a cult following of his offspring on several planes.
Dantalion returned to Ythol after centuries abroad in Dominia and there masterminded the creation of the Ythol Annulus by inhabiting the soulless but still living body of a respected, powerful sage. The Last King, or Tattered King, whom the sages served and whose seemingly immortal state was a necessary stepping stone for devising the Annulus, eventually realized that Dantalion would use the Annulus for his own ends and not those of Ythol and its King, but when he did it was nearly complete, and Dantalion utilized several of its offspring to infest and control the bodies of great mages, so as to be able to harness other forms of mana. The King was banished alive into the Netherworld of Ythol, and Dantalion and his progeny worked feverishly to complete the Annulus.
However, the Planeswalker Ilyria, who had clashed with Dantalion in its time away from Ythol, herself ended up on the horror’s trail, and pieced together with the help of one sage who escaped Dantalion’s grasp the nature of the Annulus and Dantalion’s plans. Ilyria gathered other planeswalkers to aid her, mostly ones Dantalion had somehow wronged in the past. They began to hunt down Dantalion as Dantalion completed and began the process of using the Annulus. In the end, Dantalion’s foes were triumphant, but much of Ythol had already been ruined, its mana-lines for green, blue, and white mana utterly burned out by the Annulus. They took the Annulus and separated it into three parts, hiding them in the multiverse while imprisoning Dantalion amidst the ruins of Ythol.
Dantalion is best referred to as “he” or “it”. “She” might be technically more correct (parthenogenesis considered) but Dantalion’s mental voice and preferred host skew male and Dantalion’s nature is certainly inhuman enough to qualify for “it”.
Phantoms of the Past (First Appearance)