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Balcoth, the Groaning KingD&D Insider Article
Lords of Chaos
by Peter Schaefer

The deadly primordials have all been slain, caged, diminished, shattered, or otherwise warded away from the world. Balcoth, the Groaning King, is one such primordial, but he is unlikely to remain so bound for long. The Dawn War ended with his severed head immured in a dungeon for all time, but his mastery of arcane mysteries sustains him and calls allies and servants to serve his pursuit of freedom. As his power grows, he becomes more likely to reunite with his body—raging headless through the Elemental Chaos—and reclaim his seat of power.

Balcoth’s head, as large as a man, sits on a stone pedestal in a stone chamber. His face is the black of just-cooled lava covered with cracks that appear as if magma is threatening to break through. His obsidian eyes gleam with intelligence. Lava drips from his head in thick rivulets resembling hair, disappearing before they hit the floor. Space and distances around him bend and twist unexpectedly.

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    About the Author

    Peter Schaefer is a challenge to explain. It is analogous to the blind men and the elephant: no one person sees enough of Peter Schaefer to truly describe him. One person says Peter is a nerd. Another person calls him a scientist’s mind with a child’s perspective. Some say Peter works as an RPG developer on such books as Adventurer’s Vault 2, The Plane Below, and Player’s Handbook 3, in addition to numerous D&DI articles. Others describe him as like a rope or a snake. Such folk see only one side of a thing.

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