Duulket Ariakas (312 AC - 352 AC) was a powerful Warrior and wielder of dark magic, who was the chosen champion of Takhisis, and the commander-in-chief of the Dragonarmies during the War of the Lance. He was described as being tall of stature and possessing an impressive muscular physique. A physically powerful man, Ariakas had long black hair and hooded black eyes. He was the darling of the Gods of Darkness, and Zeboim herself was infatuated with him. He also owned the unholy Great Sword of Drakmattha.
Duulket Ariakas was born in the wild lands of Khur, son of the powerful cleric of Takhisis, Kortel Ariakas. Kortel killed his wife in a rage, whilst Duulket was only two years old, allowing his son to witness the murder. The young Duulket grew up in Khuri-Khan and learnt the way of the warrior. When he was able, Duulket took revenge on his father and killed him, an act that earned him the favor of Takhisis. A tale began to circulate that his father was killed whilst serving in the Ogre Campaigns by the ogre Red Tusk, a tale, which Duulket allowed to spread so he would not be blamed for killing his father.
In 332 AC, he was given a locket by the merchant Habbar-Akuk, which contained the image of beautiful woman, who was supposedly a lady of Sanction. The warrior decided to make his way into Sanction, finding himself traveling through Ogre territory to get there. On his travels, Ariakas came across Oberon's Tower, which he infiltrated and befriended the Hylar Dwarf Ferros Windchisel. The warrior also discovered the woman in the locket was a supposed prisoner of the tower. Ariakas was able to remove all the ogres from Oberon's Tower with the aid of the dwarf Ferros, who served as a lure. The young warrior then stayed in the tower with the beautiful woman and rewarded him with all sorts of physical and worldly pleasures before asking Ariakas to kill her.
After using a magical sword to slay the woman at the women's request, her body vanished and was replaced by the goddess Takhisis. The Dark Queen told Ariakas that he she would grant him power and glory in return for his loyalty, however any woman he bedded would die within a year, the only exception was Kitiara. Ariakas begins his rise as one of the first champions of Takhisis, and follows the wishes of Takhisis in forming the Dragonarmies.
Corruption in the Temple of Luerkhisis
By 333 AC, Ariakas had arrived in the dark city of Sanction, where he met with Wyrllish Parkane, the High Priest of Takhisis and the priestess Lyrelee in the Temple of Luerkhisis. The priest informs Ariakas about a new discovery where a Zhakar Dwarf stumbled into a chamber filled with dragon eggs, and how the eggs started to mutate into strange abominations. He asks Ariakas to visit with the Zhakar trader, Tale Splintersteel to try and learn more about this. After a series of adventures, Ariakas discovers that he has been granted the use of arcane magic by the Dark Queen, and learns of the Zhakar mold plague and it's involvement in the corruption of the dragon eggs.
On his return to the Temple of Luerkhisis, Wyrllish and the Black-Robed Mage Harrawell Dracart continued to develop the mutation process in order to create strange warriors from the eggs. (It wouldn't be till somewhat later with the involvement of the Red Dragon Harkiel the Bender, that the process would be refined and proper draconians would be created.
Trying to gather more of the mold to aid the creation process, Ariakas journeyed to the dark kingdom of the Zhakar, where he petitioned the King of Zhakar Rackas Ironcog for aid in acquiring more mold. Rackas allowed Ariakas to journey into the plague warrens where he planned to kill the warrior and claim his magical sword. The Zhakar King set up an ambush, and whilst it claimed the life of Ariakas' companions Lyrelee and Ferros, the warrior himself escaped. During his flight, Ariakas discovered the red dragon Tombfyre who was being held captive, and freed the fearsome wyrm. Atop Tombfyre, Ariakas rained fiery death on King Rackas and the Zhakar dwarves, and earned the loyalty of the new king, Whez Lavastone who offered Ariakas whatever he needed in exchange for the dwarf's life and that of his subjects.
Ariakas returned to Sanction to further build his dark armies in preparation for the war to come. In 334 AC, the goddess Zeboim, who was already considerably infatuated with the warlord, visited Ariakas. The goddess bore Ariakas a son, who they named Ariakan, and returned to the Abyss.
The Formation of the Dragonarmies
From the early years in 332 AC through to 337 AC, Ariakas continued to build the armies under the banner of Takhisis, recruiting all manner of mercenaries and dark warriors, who were complemented by the fearsome might of the Chromatic Dragons who joined the Dragonarmies. In 337 AC, the decision was made to separate the five grand armies of Takhisis into distinct forces and to have a Dragon Highlord in charge of each, rather than have Ariakas continue to attempt to run all of the armies himself. Five Dragon Highlords were selected to run each army, and Ariakas presided over them all as the self-titled Emperor of Ansalon. Ariakas had already used his agents to draw the region of Taman Busuk and Estwilde under his control and did the same with Kern, Khur and the Blood Sea Isles in 337 AC, which resulted in an influx of ogre and Minotaur troops in his forces.
War of the Lance
During the summer of 348 AC, Ariakas decreed that the Dragonarmies were ready to launch their invasion upon Ansalon and sent the Red Wing and Green Wing to Nordmaar, to quickly conquer the northern realm. His forces were successful in taking Nordmaar and he then directed the Blue Wing to capture Schallsea and the New Sea region. Whilst the Dragonarmies suffered the loss of the Highlord of the Blue Dragonarmy, Ariakas promoted Highmaster Kitiara Uth Matar to the role of Highlord, after she proved herself worthy by commanding the Blue Wing following the loss of Highlord Kartilann and secured the New Sea region. Whilst these first assaults were taking place, Ariakas also spoke with Lorac Caladon, leader of Silvanesti, and gave his assurances that the elven realm would not be invaded as long as the elves agreed to a truce of non-intervention in the war.
As 349 AC begun, Ariakas ordered his Green Wing to occupy Khur to solidify the alliance he had formed earlier in 337 AC. Initially his forces struggled and the Highlord was defeated, however the rise of Salah-Khan to the role of Highlord of the Green Wing, ensured that Ariakas' will was carried out and Khur was properly secured. The Dragon Emperor decided to renege on his agreement with Speaker Caladon, and sent the Red Wing into Silvanesti to wage a war against the elves. After a bloody conflict, which later became known as the Silvanesti Campaign, a stalemate resulted in the evacuation of the elves from Silvanesti, and the loss of a considerable number of Dragonarmy troops (and another Highlord) after Lorac used the magic of a Dragon Orb which ravaged the Silvanesti region with his nightmares.
In 350 AC, Ariakas had all of his five armies bed down in their respective territories and he underwent a review of his troops, in order to resupply and rearm his forces. The warlord assigned Highlord Verminaard to the Red Dragonarmy, and recruited vast amounts of troops for the five forces, as well establishing new supply lines and the assignment of specialized troops.
By 351 AC, the Dragonarmies were again prepared for war, and Ariakas sent his forces into Solamnia, Abanasinia, and Goodlund. The year was one of considerable gain in terms of conquered lands in Ansalon, however again Ariakas was faced with the loss of Highlord (losing both Verminaard and Feal-Thas in the fighting). Ariakas named the Hobgoblin Toede as the new Highlord of the White Dragonarmy, and decided to take control of the Red Dragonarmy himself.
In 352 AC, Ariakas sent a decree to Highlord Kitiara, that she was to claim the High Clerist's Tower at any cost, and committed the Blue Wing to the Solamnic front. As he tried to keep all five armies in check, the Dragon Emperor found that he was harried on all fronts by the Whitestone forces. In the spring of 352 AC, he summoned all five armies to return to his headquarters in the dark city of Neraka, to witness the return of Takhisis to the world. As the five armies returned, Ariakas was informed that Highlord Toede had been slain in Balifor.
In the Temple of Darkness at Neraka, Ariakas conducted a vast ceremony before his highest commanders to welcome Takhisis back into the world. His subordinate Highlord Kitiara, instructed one of her would-be officers Tanis Half-Elven (who was also a Hero of the Lance) to lay his sword before Ariakas and pledge his allegiance to the warlord and the Dark Queen. She secretly had told her half-elf former lover to strike down Ariakas and give her the Crown of Power in exchange for the life of his true love Laurana. Tanis ascended the steps of the Temple of Darkness, and with the magical aid of Raistlin Majere, he was able to penetrate the magic shield of Ariakas and cut down the Emperor of Ansalon.
Other Names & Titles
Ariakas was known by many names throughout his life, due to the various positions and titles he held. The most common titles for Ariakas were the Emperor of Ansalon or the Dragon Emperor. Some historical texts have referred to him as Ariakus, however this is a incorrect version of his actual name.
There is some discourse on whether Ariakas was a cleric or a wizard, and different texts list him as one or the other. In actual fact, he was truly neither. Ariakas was granted his magic directly from Takhisis in a similar manner as the Knights of the Thorn during the Summer of Chaos. Because of this, some folks mistook him for a cleric of Takhisis, however he was a warrior who was granted the use of arcane magic by the Dark Queen.
The origins of Ariakas are confused. In one account, he was the son of a dark cleric who saw his mother murdered by his father, and later avenged himself on his father. Whereas another account details that he was the son of a warlord, and his father was killed by the ogre Red Tusk, who Ariakas later killed in revenge during the Ogre Campaigns. Ariakan's past is steeped in mystery, however there are more accounts favoring that he did indeed kill his own father.
- Dragons of Autumn Twilight
- Dragons of the Dwarven Depths (PB) p. 345-346, 450-454
- Dragons of the Highlord Skies (PB) p. 16-26, 35-48, 124-139, 192, 332, 361, 448-449, 499, 565
- Dragons of Winter Night
- The Annotated Dragonlance Chronicles, Spring Dawning, p. 1013, 1018, 1054-1057, 1062, 1185, 1220, 1250, 1252, 1266
- Emperor of Ansalon (Novel), p. 1-5, 15, 35, 41, 87, 93, 99, 102, 109, 115-117, 157, 237, 291, 294, 303, 307
- Brothers in Arms, p. 36, 43-45, 48, 57, 61, 64, 171
- DL9: Dragons of Deceit
- DL10: Dragons of Dreams
- DL11: Dragons of Glory
- DL12: Dragons of Faith
- DL13: Dragons of Truth
- DL14: Dragons of Triumph
- Tales of the Lance: World Book of Ansalon
- War of the Lance (Sourcebook)