Kostchtchie in Monster Manual II.
|Power level||Demon lord|
Kostchtchie made his first appearance in the first edition module The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth. He later appeared in the first edition Monster Manual II, and on the cover of Dragon Magazine #119, battling two Roman soldiers on a snowy field in Britton, painted by Daniel Horne.
In 3rd edition, he was the focus the "Demonomicon of Iggwilv" article in Dragon #345; according to this article, Kostchtchie's name was inspired by Koschei the Deathless of Russian folklore. He also appeared in Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss (2006).
Kostchtchie was detailed in the fourth edition book, Demonomicon (2010). In 4th edition canon, it is Iggwilv who gives him the power to become a demon prince.
Kostchtchie appears as a bandy-legged, yellow-skinned and hairless brute (other than his eyebrows) who carries a magic hammer with which he squashes his victims. In the game's first edition, Kostchtchie was a mere seven feet tall. In third edition, he is now more than 20 feet tall.
Kostchtchie is a demon lord who is so hateful and hideous that all other demons despise him. He himself hates most everything, as befitting his title as the Prince of Wrath. Even though he is a tanar'ri himself, he wanted to destroy the tanar'ri race as he never saw himself as one of them. Toward this end, he has tried to form an alliance with Obox-ob. Three of Kostchtchie's most hated rivals include Graz'zt, Malcanthet, and the frost giant deity Thrym.
Kostchtchie resides on the 23rd layer of the Abyss, called the Iron Wastes, a realm of mighty glaciers and plunging temperatures.
Kostchtchie started life as a hideous mortal human whose physical ugliness was matched only the ugliness of his soul. Rejection and derision from his own people only served to ferment his hatred. Kostchtchie eventually met the legendary witch Baba Yaga, who gave him a strange container of nested skulls into which to store his soul. As long as the skulls remained hidden and unharmed, Kostchtchie was invulnerable to death. With his newfound immortality, Kostchtchie wreaked horrible vengeance upon all those who wronged and ridiculed him. Even then, his anger was not satiated and he went on to amass a huge army to spread more misery and destruction. Finally, a celestial paragon intervened and struck him down, sending his soul into the Abyss. There, it became lodged in the eternal ice of the Iron Wastes, a place as cold and pitiless as himself, and Kostchtchie began life anew, eventually becoming a demon lord.
Cult of Kostchtchie
Although Kostchtchie himself was never a frost giant, he identifies himself as one of them, and works to subjugate the entire race to his worship, which puts him into direct conflict with the frost giant god Thrym. Kostchtchie's cult are for the most part males, and certainly none of his thralls are women. Any women in his cults have marginal roles as he is misogynistic in the extreme. Frost giant tribes under Kostchtchie's rule often increase their numbers not by reproduction but by raiding other tribes who are not worshippers of the demon lord.
- Gygax, Gary. The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth (TSR, 1982)
- Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual II (TSR, 1983)
- Sargent, Carl. Monster Mythology (TSR, 1992)
- Jacobs, James. "The Demonomicon of Iggwilv: Kostchtchie." Dragon #345 (Paizo Publishing, 2006)
- Jacobs, James, Erik Mona, and Ed Stark. Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss (Wizards of the Coast, 2006)
- Mearls, Mike, Brian R. James, and Steve Townshend. Demonomicon. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2010
- Green, Scott; Peterson, Clark (2002). Tome of Horrors. Necromancer Games. pp. 81–82. ISBN 1-58846-112-2.
- Jacobs, James. Book of the Damned, Vol. 2: Lords of Chaos (Paizo, 2010)