A Deathlord is one of thirteen mighty ghost-kings of the Underworld. Their power springs from their Neverborn masters and from their own great age and unmatched knowledge. The Deathlords are quite possibly the greatest threats to Creation in the Second Age.
The Deathlords are agents of Oblivion, powerful Ghosts of Solar Exalted of the First Age. The majority of the Deathlords were cut down during the Usurpation, with none existing beforehand. In death, they were offered power and the opportunity for vengeance by the sleeping Neverborn, and swore oaths of servitude on their own names, assuming the titles they now wear at this time.
The Deathlords are, to a man, former First Age Exalted, largely of the Twilight Caste, and with equivalent necromantic abilities provided by the Neverborn. They are creatures of incalculable power, and while some have been defeated (notably the Princess Magnificent With Lips Of Coral And Robes Of Black Feathers, by the Gods of Great Forks), they are the most powerful and constant opponents of Creation. The Deathlords are strengthened by death and its trappings, Necromancy, Shadowlands and Abyssal Exalted. The Deathlords are also arguably the most intelligent opponents of the Exalted, being former Exalted themselves, familiar with the power and technology of the First Age and with absolutely no humility ingrained in their character. The Deathlords plan big, and long, and violent.
The greatest weakness of the Deathlords is their total mistrust of each other, the various Deathlords plot against each other and squabble to prevent another from achieving supremacy. The second weakness is arguably their own despair; they are ultimately not agents of conquest, but Oblivion. The propaganda they feed even to their own dead is a sham, a mask to secure allies who would not so eagerly assist the final victory of the Void. Even now, some of the Deathlords despair; the Dowager of the Irreverent Vulgate in Unrent Veils seeks to leave Creation and the Underworld entirely, and others descend into madness and other distractions from their mission.
The greatest strength of the Deathlords is their obscurity. Three Deathlords are known in Creation: the Mask of Winters, the Princess Magnificent and the Bodhisattva Anointed by Dark Water. These three are arguably the weakest of the lot, with the Princess Magnificent having been defeated by some lucky Gods. The mightiest among them, the First and Forsaken Lion, is ordered by his Neverborn master, He Who Holds in Thrall, to rot in an obscure corner of the Underworld. Of course, given how much damage the Mask of Winters has done, that may not be a good thing to dwell on too deeply.
- The First and Forsaken Lion: Most powerful of all the Deathlords, although unknown in Creation.
- The Mask of Winters: Youngest and most ambitious of the Deathlords, the ghost of a Solar slain hundreds of years after the Usurpation.
- The Dowager of the Irreverent Vulgate in Unrent Veils: Creator of the Great Contagion.
- The Bodhisattva Anointed by Dark Water, also known as the Silver Prince: Lord of the Skullstone Archipelago and a power to be reckoned with in the West.
- The Lover Clad in the Raiment of Tears: The most powerful female Deathlord.
- Princess Magnificent with Lips of Coral and Robes of Black Feathers: Also known as the Black Heron; now a slave to The First and Forsaken Lion.
- Eye and Seven Despairs: Who has faked his own destruction as a test.
- The Bishop of the Chalcedony Thurible: Who follows his own mad religion.
- Walker in Darkness: Once a fellow-inmate of Larquen Quen (the future Mask of Winters) in the Invisible Fortress, now being used by the Mask and the mysterious Green Lady to further their own ends.
The other four Deathlords are left up to Storyteller interpretation.