Figure Photo Of The Day: Orcus, Demon Prince of Undeath

Orcus, Demon Prince of Undeath

Orcus Demon Prince of Undeath, by Ridureyu

Three-part description: The character, the miniature, and then the ORIGINAL Orcus! And the original Orcs, too!

When you’re talking about the big bads of D&D, Orcus is one of the biggest and the baddest. One of the major Demon Lords, Orcus is equal to Graz’zt and Demogorgon in power and influence, and their rivalry is the main reason why demons don’t just swarm over all the planes and burn everything. But the thing is, he’s more than “just’ a demon lord, he’s also a god. Orcus was originally just a demon lord (which is like saying “Oh, he was just the emperor), until he was killed in a random struggle. Orcus responded to dying by coming back as undead, and taking the deomain of undeath as his. He then managed to graduate to full godhood, and even though he has shed his previous undead nature, he is one of the leading gods of undeath and reanimation. Ghouls? All his. Liches? A surprising amount give him alliegance. In 4th Edition D&D, the main quest series (going from 1st to 30th level) is all about discovering his plot to take control of the whole domain of death itself, and become Lord of the Afterlife. And the fight against him in the end is INSANE. Well… yeah. He’s a god, and all. They don’t go down easy. But let’s take a closer look. Orcus’s staff contains the skull of a dead god, and he can kill someone purely by touching them with it – in 4th Edition, it knocks you out immediately, and takes out half of your health if it misses, though after he uses it he has a 1/6 chance of being able to use it again next round. Just being near Orcus is deadly, as he emits an aura that instantly resurrects anybody killed as a ghoul under his control. And if you take hom down… he might not be dead. There’s a good chance he can just go back to his plane, recover, and take you down later.

This figure is really significant – the Gargantuan Orcus figure was going to be released (like some of the big dragons) for D&D miniatures, but then got cancelled. So cancelled, in fact, that they showed off the prototype at GenCon 2007 because they didn’t have to worry about NDAs anymore. But the response to THAT was enough outcry for Orcus to be put into full production. He’s kind of expensive, but VERY well-made and painted, extremely huge, and – get this – made of DURABLE MATERIALS. WOW. He’s mostly a soft plastic (that holds detail well) or hard rubber. orcus has a chance of not exploding if you drop him! And the PAINT is fantastic, outdoing pretty much any other D&D mini, even the COlossal Red Dragon that’s about twice his size (and same price).

And finally, a quick word on mythological origins – Orcus was the name of an ancient Roman death/underworld judge-god. After Christianity came by, Orcus got turned into sort of a devil figure (just like Hades!), and soon his origins were forgotten in favor of using his name for generic monsters and demons. This is where we get the word “Orc,” which predates Tolkien. And now you know!

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