Nightlord Society

While I understand why Palladium would choose not to go into more detail about how many Nightlords there are, where they are, how many troops they have, etc, I wanted to give myself some more concrete guidelines. So, I put together the following summary to provide myself with a better understanding of the scale of the Nightlord invasion and the interactions between the invaders. Your mileage may vary.

Ruling Class

Although Moloch is largely based in the Americas, the majority of Nightlord forces will actually be concentrated in Asia and Europe, both because of the large percentage of human population in those regions and because of the historical development of both humans and Nightlords originating in the Middle East and expanding outwards.

Thanks to the US Census Bureau I was able to put together a list of human cities in the US large enough to spawn a corresponding city in the Nightlands. From working on that list, and picking out references in the source books, I decided that there were approximately 60 Nightlords in the US. Other references seemed to indicate that, while the most powerful Nightlords might have many avatars who directly rule additional cities on behalf of their source, most Nightlords do not maintain large numbers of avatars and control only a few cities each. Also, some (but not many) Night Princes are trusted enough to run their own cities on behalf of a master in a pseudo-feudal system. Based on these references, and the number of cities (about 210) that could sustain a Nightland equivalent, and the number of Nightlords, I decided that there are around 90 avatars and 50 princes who independently rule US cities on behalf of a Nightlord master.

Expanding those numbers to include the rest of the world, and assuming that Asia and Europe will be the most populous (both high human population density and ancient civilizations), I came up with the following:
Location Viceroys Nightlords Avatars
(who rule a city)
Night Princes
(who rule a city)
Asia 6 200 300 150
Europe 3 120 180 100
North America 4 60 90 60
Africa 2 40 60 40
Central America 1 20 30 20
South America 1 20 30 20
Australia 1 10 15 5
Total 18 450-500 700+ 400

Servants of the Rulers

Each ruler will have aides and servants to help. In the case of Nightlords, the most important aides are obviously their Avatars, followed by Night Princes. The books also distinguish between Night Princes and Night Squires, who are effectively the same RCC but the Princes are higher level, more experienced, and given greater authority. Given these groups, I've worked out a chart to show how many lower-ranked servants each NPC lord should have working for him.

In this chart, a Squire represents a low-level member of the Night Prince RCC who has not yet been given any permanent duties or authority, but are studying under a master while acting as his/her agents and trying to prove themselves. Many Squires are assigned to an Avatar or Princes, while others are chosen by, and directly serve and learn from, a Nightlord. Technically, those who serve an Avatar or Night Prince are equal in rank to Squires who directly serve a Nightlord, but in practice they receive less respect. Even Princes and Avatars have occasionally had to give in to a Squire who is acting as the agent of a Nightlord, especially if the Squire serves a very important Nightlord. Squires are the villains most often encountered by Nightbane resistance forces, since they are the "hands" of their master and are most often in charge of any routine missions.

Princes are more experienced members of the Night Prince RCC who have proven themselves in service to the Nightlord and have been given some additional authority and responsibilities. Often they will be in charge of large numbers of troops, run the slave pens, act as ambassadors to other Nightlords, etc.

Rank or Influence of the Nightlord Number of Avatars Number of Princes Number of Squires
Viceroy 3d3 2d3+2 3d3
Major 2d3 2d3 2d3
Average 1d4 1d3 1d4
Minor 1d3-1 1d3-1 1d3

Rank or Influence of the Avatar's Master Number of Squires Rank or Influence of the Prince's Master Number of Squires
Viceroy 1d3-1 Viceroy 2d3
Major 1d3-1 Major 1d4-1
Average 1d3-1 Average 1d3-1
Minor 1d3-1 Minor 1d2-1

If an Avatar or Prince is assigned to rule a city, increase by +1 the number of Squires directly serving him/her.

NOTE: I decided that since Princes are often in charge of large administrative tasks, a powerful Nightlord may have the luxury of assigning the Prince a large number of Squires to help with the administrivia, while the Avatars of that Nightlord may not get as many Squires because the Avatar has less need for the large staff. If you disagree, you can alter the die rolls appropriately.


The number of Nightlords have clearly increased over the centuries, as well as the number of servants they use. Presumably, the new members come from humans and dopplegangers who get "promoted" through the ranks. I decided that was one of the reasons why the Nightlords form Cults of the Night, and that Priests of Night form the pool from which new squires are drawn as existing squires die or get promoted to prince. However, I did not want the Priests of Night to be taken directly from working on Earth to becoming a Squire, so I added an intermediary step, called an Acolyte.

Each Squire who serves a Nightlord, Avatar or Prince will himself have 2d3-2 Acolytes to act as aides and servants. These acolytes can be treated as the Priest of Night OCC, but are working directly with a Squire instead of forming and running a cult on Earth. Traditionally, due to the number of new acolytes required by this system, enough humans could not be enticed and 90% of all current Squires are actually dopplegangers who were awakened and proved suitable. In recent times, leading up to and especially after Dark Day, the percentage of Acolytes coming from humans is increasing.

Population Summary

Putting all these numbers together, the total population of the Nightlord society can be determined as follows:
Rank or Influence Number of Nightlords Number of Avatars Number of Princes Number of Squires Number of Acolytes
Viceroys 18 of 500 108 108 648 1,296
Major Nightlords 100 of 500 400 400 1,400 2,800
Average Nightlords 180 of 500 450 360 1,080 2,160
Minor Nightlords 200 of 500 200 200 600 1,200
Avatars ruling a city   (already included above) 0 750 1,500
Princes ruling a city     400 800 1,600
Total 500 1,158 1,468 5,278 10,556
NOTE: The Avatars who are in charge of a city do NOT increase the population because they have to come from the limited pool of Avatars that each Nightlord can create. When given a city, however, they are also given one extra Squire, so the number of Squires goes up by 750. When a Nightlord gives a Prince a city to rule, he can replace the Prince and has no need to reduce the size of his direct entourage. For this reason the 400 Princes who I decided would be ruling cities are "extra" Princes and not part of the die rolls given above, and each of those Princes has at least 2 Squires.

The books seem to indicate that due to territorial disputes between Nightlords, constant spying, and earning the displeasure of a master, Princes and Squires will occasionally die. If you accept the population numbers above, and make some assumptions about how often a Squire or Prince is killed, you can figure out how many promotions there are per year. For example, if a Prince dies on average after 1,000 years, that means only one or two Squires will be promoted per year (1,500 Princes / 1,000 years each). But if Squires, who are much more actively leading dangerous combat missions and other "special projects", have an average lifespan of maybe only 250 years, then at least 20 Acolytes will be promoted into the nobility per year. And if the average, mortal lifetime of an Acolyte is 100 years (humans less, dopplegangers more) then they also need about 100 new Acolytes per year in addition to the 20 promotions.

While that meant, historically, most Acolytes had to be found among Dopplegangers, since Dark Day it has been much easier to find human Acolytes and their numbers are climbing fast. Combining the added resources needed to manage an endeavor as complicated as the invasion of Earth with the increased rate of fatality among Acolytes, Squires and even Princes since Dark Day, the Nightlords must be trying to recruit new Acolytes as fast as possible, and are promoting them into the nobility as Squires at a much faster rate than ever before.

Slave Pens

For general purposes, such as feeding, most Nightlords maintain a slave pen of humans - not dopplegangers. The source books indicate what size some of these pens are, but in order to understand how important finding new slaves is and to know how many dopplegangers must be awakened to serve as food, I needed to know how many human slaves could be killed per year without shrinking the slave pen population. In order for the slave pen to be self sustaining and not diminish over time, the Nightlords can only "harvest" human slaves as fast as they can produce new slaves. If you assume that the Nightlords will kill 4 out of 5 male children, and the remaining males and females after they've passed prime child bearing age (say 30 - the time scales are more medieval than modern so they start earlier), and that the females bear 5 children on average, then each year the Nightlords can feed off of 6% of the total population in the slave pens.

Most Viceroys will have a slave pen of 4d6x10,000 humans, major Nightlords will have 3d6x5,000, average Nightlords will have 2d6x5,000 and minor Nightlords 1d6x5,0000 slaves. World-wide, this adds up to 18 million humans in slave pens in the Nightlands. While this sounds like a lot, they have been accumulated over millenia and could be much higher except for the difficulties involved in feeding them. Also, since each Nightlord and all their Avatars, Princes and Squires need to feed frequently, it is necessary to have as many as can be supported. By choice, each Nightlord, Avatar and Prince would kill 3 humans per day, and each Squire at least 1 human per day, so world-wide they could kill nearly 15,000 per day or 5 million per year. With a total of only 18 million slaves, they can only afford to kill 1 million per year while maintaining the slave pens, so prior to Dark Day only Nightlords could always feed on humans, and most Avatars and Princes would be able to do so at least half the time. It would be a rare treat or reward for a Squire to receive a human slave. Since Dark Day, of course, the availability of human slaves has risen dramatically but even so most Squires must still feed exclusively on dopplegangers and many Princes still need to supplement with doppleganges.

Hound Production and Slave Usage

From the books, it is known that Moloch commands at least 250,000 Hounds. It is also known that some (perhaps 2% of all Nightlords), primarily Viceroys, can each command up to 50,000 or more. I assume that the next 10% have perhaps 10,000 each, 25% have 5,000 each, 50% have only 2,500 each and the remaining 13% have only around 1,000 Hounds each. In addition, there are smaller numbers of Hounds in the services of each Prince and Avatar who have been chosen to rule a city, ranging from 10,000 for some of the most powerful Avatars to only 100 for the weakest Prince who rules a small city. Putting it all together, there are perhaps 4 million Hounds, total, between the Nightlands and Earth. In addition there are Hunters (perhaps 400,000) and Hound Masters (perhaps 250,000), and Great Hounds (perhaps 4,000).

If, prior to Dark Day, a Hound could "live" for an average of 100 years before being destroyed in battle, and Hound Masters and Great Hounds were more likely to survive perhaps 250 years on average, that means the Nightlords have to be able to produce at least 40,000 new Hounds per year, 4,000 Hunters, 1,000 Hound Masters, and 16 Great Hounds. Each day they must produce 125 Hounds/Hunters/Masters, and every three weeks they must produce 1 Great Hound. That is a significant number of supernatural creatures, but it also means that under the stresses of long term conflict the Nightlords probably could not replace their servants as fast as they would be destroyed.

According to the books, there needs to be raw ore to produce Hounds, and much of the ore has been used up over the millenia in Europe and Asia, so North America currently produces a disproportionate number of Hounds (about 40%), and Magog seems to be the largest single producer of Hounds in the world. However, in addition to ore, it requires at least a dozen human or awakened doppleganger life forces to forge a Hound, which gives the larger, more established Nightlands cities in Europe and Asia a bargaining chip. Given the value of human slaves as breeders and food supply, it has historically been almost entirely dopplegangers who have been sacrificed to create Hounds. Thus there is a constant flow of doppleganger slaves (who won't be awakened until they reach the forge) from Europe and Asia to the Americas, and a similar (if smaller) flow of Hounds and Hunters returning in the opposite direction. I decided that Typhoon produces 10% of the total new Hounds, and the rest of the midwest US another 10%, Doom's Harbor 2% and the rest of the northeast US 8%, the southern US 2%, the Rockies 5%, and the west coast of the US 3%, Africa builds 20%, Central and South America builds 15%, Asia 15% and Europe 10%.

Society in Typhoon

I will go into some detail about how Typhoon operates in my version of the Nightlands, and it could be used as an example for other Nightlord cities.

Magog is Viceroy of the Midwest and among the elite of Nightlord society. He is also insane, paranoid and distrustful. He has seven Princes in his direct service, who have 23 Squires between them. He dislikes Acolytes, and while he sees them as a necessary evil in small numbers, most Squires in Typhoon are only allowed 1d3-1, of which 99% are dopplegangers (he hates humanity). Since he doesn't really trust anyone, he requires each of his Princes to give him one of their Squires to serve him directly, in addition to the 8 Squires he always maintains for himself.

Central to the wealth and power of Typhoon are the forges. To maximize the efficiency of his forges, the Prince that Magog has placed in charge of the forges have organized his resources as follows. Each day they must acquire at least 225 new slaves (human or awakened dopplegangers), which are organized into 15 groups of 15. Each group will be responsible for gathering sufficient ore in the wastes, hauling it back to Typhoon, and then forging one Hound. At the end of the process they will then be sacrificed to activate the Hound, and the sacrifices have to be the same group that gathered the ore and did the smelting since the process makes use of the way the ore becomes attuned to the life forces laboring around it.

Each group travels to a separate mining area in the waste surrounding Typhoon, and while out of they city they are under armed guard (6 Hounds and 2 Hunters) with a doppleganger overseer. The mine sites are an average of 3 to 5 days travel away from the city. The group spends 10 to 15 days gathering and/or mining the ore. The return trip usually takes 10 to 15 days because of the extra load that the slaves have to carry and because the slaves are usually much weaker after having spent a few weeks doing hard labor with little food or water. Usually one or two die in the process of returning to Typhoon, and their released PPE starts the process of enchanting the ore. Once they return, doppleganger overseers provide direction in smelting the ore and forging it into a Hound, a process which takes another 15 to 20 days and generally costs the lives of one or two more due to exhaustion, malnutrition or ill-health. Finally, an average of 50 days after the group was first organized, the survivors are sacrificed. If they were assigned to build a Hound, Hunter or Hound Master then the creature becomes alive. If they were assigned to build a Great Hound then this process only completes 5% of the total, requiring 19 additional groups to complete it.

In Typhoon there are 250 molds for Hounds, of which 215 are active at once, plus 30 molds (25 active) for Hunters, 25 molds (20 active) for Hound Masters, and 10 molds (6 active) for Great Hounds. Each mold must be at least 100' away from any other, to prevent mystic contamination by the life forces and the deaths of the other workers. A mold for Hounds, Hunters or Hound Masters is generally a building approximately 100' x 100' x 15' tall, and it includes the actual mold, materials storage space, ore purifiers, sleeping space for the slaves, etc. The mold for a Great Hound is over 200' x 200' x 25' tall. Together, the molds take up nearly a square mile in the western portion of Typhoon, and they produce over 4000 hounds, 500 Hunters, 400 Hound Masters, and 6 Great Hounds per year. In the process, they also kill over 80,000 slaves per year. Historically, the sacrifices were almost entirely dopplegangers (they have a number of torturers working every day in the Donjons to awaken sufficient dopplegangers), but since Dark Day an increasing number of humans (about 1 or 2 per group of 15) are being used in the forges.

Disrupting the forging process is a common goal of resistance elements in the Nightlands, since each group of slaves is only lightly guarded and the Prince in charge is reluctant to increase the number of guards since there are already almost 2,500 Hounds and Hunters committed to guarding the groups outside the city (8 per group for an average of 20 days outside Typhoon, 15 groups leave per day). In addition, the molds make extremely tempting targets for resistance forces (since they are MUCH harder to replace than slaves) so another 3,000 Hounds are constantly guarding the molds (6 outside and 4 inside each mold).

A key function in the daily "life" of Typhoon is provided by the Donjons. There are 13 of these huge fortress prisons in Typhoon (3d6 in most large cities, 2d6 in medium cities and 1d6 in small cities). They are in the same location as major police headquarters on Earth, and provide two functions. First, they each house up to 400 Hounds (and the 20 Hound Masters and 1 Warlord that command the Hounds), although there will rarely be more than 20 Hounds and a Hound Master present at any given time (they only "rest" for 1 hour per day). The remaining Hounds are gathering doppleganger drones to be awakened, patrolling the city, guarding important people or buildings, etc. Second, each Donjon can hold at least 500 or more slaves/prisoners, but most only actually have 150-200 at any given time. Only 10-15% of the inmates are humans, mostly those who are arrested (legally or illegally) by police or NBA agents on Earth and who were delivered to the Nightlands via a mirror in a guarded room in the corresponding police HQ. The remaining 85-90% of the inmates are dopplegangers intended to be awakened. A staff of 8-12 torturers, lead by one or more Acolytes, can awaken 50 or more doppleganger drones each day. The process of awakening a doppleganger takes an average of 12 hours of torture, but much of the process does not require constant attention so each torturer can be attending to five or six dopplegangers at once.

In Typhoon, each day each Donjon must send between 15 and 18 awakened dopplegangers to the forges to begin the process of forging a Hound. In each Donjon, another 7 must be awakened and sent to the Squires and Princes for feeding, and 4 more are provided for visiting nobles in the city. This totals to 125,000 dopplegangers per year, and does not include either the humans from the slave pens that are the preferred food of Magog, his Avatars, Princes, and important visitors, or the 20,000 dopplegangers and 2,000 human slaves that are sent to Moloch in tribute each year. Approximately 20% of the dopplegangers comes from local supply, 20% from tribute from other Nightlords who owe fealty to Magog, and 60% from other Nightlords around the world in exchange for Hounds.

The Typhoon military has 57,000 Hounds, 5,800 Hunters, 3,800 Hound Masters and 132 Great Hounds. It is organized around squads of 20 Hounds commanded by a Hound Master, then battalions of 20 squads commanded by a Warlord, then a division which is 20 battalions commanded by a Squire. In addition to the Hound Master in charge of each squad, there are 4 extra Hound Masters in each battalion that act as aides for the Warlord. Within each division are 4 extra Warlords that act as aides to the Squire, plus several Ashmedai and/or Namtar staff. The troops in the military are divided into 5 groups: the Dark Guard, Nightland Operations, Earth Operations, the General Army and Forge Guards, listed in order of importance.

There are 3,500 Hounds, 175 Hunters, 350 Hound Masters and 100 Great Hounds in the Dark Guard, who act as Magog's personal guard and palace guards. They are all among the toughest and most experienced troops, and are lead by Warlords hand-selected by Magog.

There are 8,000 Hounds (1 division), 1,450 Hunters, 570 Hound Masters and 32 Great Hounds in the Nightlands Operations group, under the command of the senior Prince who acts as Magog's right hand (remember, Magog doesn't really trust even his right hand!) within the Nightlands. They are used as bodyguards, agents and messengers who are used to support and protect Night Princes, Ashmedai, etc. There are disproportionate number of Hunters, who are used as messengers both within the city and between cities.

There are 8,000 Hounds (1 division), 870 Hunters, and 760 Hound Masters in the Earth Operations group. They are under the direct control of Magog and his avatars on Earth, and are responsible for all activities on Earth. They have a disproportionate number of Hound Masters due to the need for greater intelligence and stealth abilities.

There are 4 divisions, 32,000 Hounds, 2,700 Hunters and 1,950 Hound Masters in the General Army. The commander of the General Army is a Prince, and his Squires act a generals of the four divisions. They are responsible for defending the city and patrolling the waste throughout the midwest, as well as tracking escaped slaves and/or resistance forces. The first division is primarily responsible for guarding the city, with 100 squads patrolling within 1 mile of the city (1 team of 5 every couple of hundred yards in the downtown region), 200 squads guarding the slave pens, important buildings, donjons, etc, and the last 100 squads patrolling from 1 to 10 miles away (1 team of 10 every few square miles). The second division is assigned to the overall defense of the region and tracking resistance cells. It patrols from 10 to 100 miles away with 1 full squad per 100 sq miles. The purpose of the third and fourth divisions is actually to enforce Magog's will over his less willing vassals, as opposed to day-to-day defense of the region or searching for malcontents. The third division controls from 100 to 250 miles away, with one battalion-sized group per 10,000 square miles. The final division controls from 250 to 1000 miles away, but generally only within the area actually claimed by Magog, with one battalion stationed every 50,000 square miles.

The final and least desirable post is in the Forge Guard. Although actually a very important position in current times, prior to Dark Day and the resistance it was looked down upon and only the worst troops assigned to it, and that attitude has not yet changed. It has the 5,500 Hounds and Hunters that guard the molds and the slaves while out of the city mining.

Politics in Typhoon

Magog has 15 Nightlords that are his vassals, each controlling one or more cities in the midwest, and 18 Night Princes have also been given direct control over a city. He is very paranoid when it comes to his subject Nightlords, with some reason, and is constantly investigating their actions. Of the 15, 5 Nightlords are true allies and actively support him. Another 6 are neutral towards Magog and would either support him or betray him as circumstances require, but they don't actively conspire against him (at least not more than any evil noble might). The remaining 4 are actively hostile, although they try to hide it so Magog may suspect it but has no proof yet. They are behind quite a bit of trouble within Magog's viceroyalty.

Magog demands 1,000 dopplegangers and 100 human slaves, plus their food supplies, per year from each of his vassal Nightlords and Princes. Also, to ensure the loyalty of all his vassal Nightlords, he requires that one avatar of each Nightlord must live in Typhoon and attend his court. Effectively, this is a form of the old human custom of noble hostages being held by a king to ensure the good behavior of the lesser nobility. This tactic is particularly effective against Nightlords because if Magog needs to punish one of his vassals he can first order the death of the avatar and then attack while his enemy is weakened. However, this means that there are always 15 avatars in Typhoon, in addition to Magog's own avatars and any other random visitors, and they are often involved in plots and schemes, as well as spying for their masters. The Prince in charge of Nightlands Operations on behalf of Magog is aware of their more obvious activities, and does his best to guard against significant treachery. Note that Magog does not currently require hostages from the ruling Princes since he doesn't feel the Princes pose sufficient threat to require it.

The avatar hostages of Magog's 5 willing vassals all live in palatial quarters, while the quarters of the hostages of the neutral and hostile Nightlords are very nice but not spectacular. The quarters are scattered around the downtown area known as the Loop in Chicago. The buildings are guarded by troops from Magog's Nightlands Operations group, but these guards are there to keep tabs on the hostages as much as to guard them, and they report to Magog who visits the avatars. In addition, each Avatar is allowed a personal honor guard (of their own choosing) of at least 6 Hounds, 2 Hunters, 1 Hound Master, and several aides/courtiers who may be Warlords, Ashmedai or Namtar (or Squires if the avatar is an ally).

Even though they do not have hostages present, most of the ruling Princes also keep quarters in Typhoon for their frequent visits. Magog frequently calls his vassals together (the Princes come in person, while the Nightlords usually send an avatar). They meet in the Assembly Hall, which is located where Chicago's City Hall is.

Business in Typhoon

As with Chicago, Typhoon is in a very strategic central location and has become a major business center in the Nightlands. Of course, business in the Nightlands revolves around Hounds, slaves, and food for slaves, and Typhoon is the largest business center in the Americas. Out of the total amount of trade in the America's, approximately 15% is between major Nightlords and little of it is done in Typhoon. However the other 85% of trade is between average and minor Nightlords, and a significant percentage of those deals are negotiated and struck in Typhoon.

There are approximately 100 Nightlords in North, Central and South America, and approximately 35 of them maintain permanent offices in Typhoon, usually with a staff of dopplegangers and some Hounds as guards. However, 8 have larger permanent offices with a Night Prince in permanent residence. Included in those eight are Lilith, Moloch, and Behemoth (* see below). The business agents are also, functionally, ambassadors and spies for their masters, and occasionally become involved in local plots and schemes.

In addition to the permanent offices, agents from most Nightlord domains will visit Typhoon at least once each year to make deals with Magog for Hounds or to negotiate with other domains on "neutral" ground. Typhoon plays host to more business being negotiated between agents of two other Nightlords than it has being negotiated with Magog's agents themselves.

The permanent agents stay in private manors while visitors stay in luxury hotels run by dopplegangers supervised by Magog's Nightlands Operations agents, but all of them are located in the area known as the Loop in Chicago. The business offices and conference centers are centered on a building that corresponds with the Mercantile Exchange on Earth, though many others have private offices in buildings that are the equivalents to the Board of Trade and Options Exchange on Earth. Magog's business agents are also based out of the building that corresponds with the Board of Trade. On and around the site of the Chicago Merchandise Mart is a huge, heavily guarded complex that acts as a trade location and warehouse. Visiting agents who bring goods or slaves for trade will store them here, bringing prospective buyers by to look at them. The resistance would love to make a successful raid on it, but haven't been able to devise a viable plan yet. If they could, it would not only free some slaves and disrupt trade, but might raise tensions between Magog and many other Nightlords, who wouldn't be happy that a not insignificant part of their "gross national product" was stolen from a building under his protection.

* Lord Behemoth is a creation of Laserbeak. Behemoth is a Viceroy in charge of the southern U.S. and his city Inferno (Atlanta) is a major transportation hub in the Nightlands slave trade. Take a look at the Shadows of the South netbook.

Palladium Books is a registered trademark owned and licensed by Kevin Siembieda and Palladium Books Inc. Nightbane, Nightlords, Night Prince, Nightlands, and other names and titles are trademarks owned and licensed by Kevin Siembieda and Palladium Books Inc.

This page is copyright © 1998 by Jim Stoner
Last Modified July 16, 1999