What’s nastier than one demon lord? How about … two, including one of the oldest and most nefarious in Dungeons & Dragons history.
The massively multiplayer online role-playing game Neverwinter gets The Maze Engine, its ninth expansion, on March 15. This builds on the free-to-play PC game’s Underdark release, where the heroes took on the demonic threat of Demogorgon, bringing in two of the beloved role-playing game’s more infamous villains — the demon lords Baphomet and Orcus. Expansions are crucial for online games, which depend on updates to keep players engaged (and find new ones) and to sell in-game items and currency.
The update is just for PC at this time — but like other Neverwinter expansions, expect it to hit the Xbox One in the future.
The Maze Engine is a clear reference to Baphomet, as the Horned King is the Prince of Beasts and draws Minotaurs as his worshipers. He and his minions guard a magical device, one that “can warp the very fabric of reality,” as a canned statement from publisher Perfect World reads. Orcus is the Prince of Undeath, and he’s taking over Castle Never and bringing foes from the past back from the dead (and hence the return of four regular dungeons and one epic delve, all with new content).
It makes sense for Perfect World to link Baphomet and Orcus, as both have played roles in the Forgotten Realms for a long time. Orcus was one of D&D‘s original demon lords (first appearing in 1976). Each appeared in the finale of H series of pen-and-paper modules in 1988, The Throne of Bloodstone Pass. There, the Horned King served as more of a lackey to the Prince of Undeath, who would eventually be killed by a group of heroes (with his return spawning a fantastic Planescape campaign setting adventure, Dead Gods, in 1997). Baphomet is also considered a god among some of Faerun’s evil giants.
The Maze Engine also brings a new campaign, a new way to customize mounts, and a better queue.