Dark Lords (Old tongue; رب الظلام) are creatures conceived by one of the Gods to be the most powerful beings in the mortal realm, with the Avatar of Darkness at the top of the pyramid of power. Unlike with the Avatar of Darkness however, their personality doesn't suffer any direct change as a consequence of the transformation itself.
These extremely powerful entities are created out of ordinary creatures by consuming the blood of the Avatar of Darkness. The process of turning into a Dark Lord may or may not alter its appearance. There are cases of drastic transformations while there's other cases of creatures not going through any change at all, and there is no common physical traits to visually identify them, to the point some Dark Lords look roughly the same as a member of their original race.
At any given time, only 24 Dark Lords (not including the Avatar of Darkness) may exist, and female Dark Lords are infertile to ensure that this number never goes up. If an Avatar of Darkness wishes to make more Dark Lords, it must kill off some of the existing Dark Lords to make space. This limitation in numbers was placed by the Gods to avoid the forces of the Monster Realm to grow so powerful that the conflict with the other races devolves into a boring slaughter fest. Male Dark Lords are capable of impregnating other living beings, but this is an exceedingly rare occurrence and the child born from the copulation is not a Dark Lord but an empowered member of the mother's race.
Additionally, Dark Lords do not age, and unlike the Avatar of Darkness, who only get their powers for 1000 years each, an ordinary Dark Lord would remain a Dark Lord indefinitely. They can be killed but this is typically an extremely difficult task, as they are the most powerful living beings in the world after the Avatar of Darkness.
Despite the scary name, not all Dark Lords are destructive or evil, infact, quite a number of them are capable of compassion and sympathy, while some are completely apathetic or have no interest in violence. Even though the Avatar of Darkness is a savage and vicious monster with nothing but hate for the forces that rule the world and Dark Lords are forced to obey his/her orders, that doesn't mean they have any personal dislike for humans or such, and quite a number of them are willing to help people in need, though some of them are highly destructive and/or sadistic. Overall, the actions and personality of Dark Lords are largely dependant of each individual member. Dark Lords are largely infamous and feared among humans, and all of them are in their history books and studied by the common citizens, to the point that most of them can be individually identified by those that are well-informed.
Those who become Dark Lords have their maximum potential increased exponentially. They are immensely powerful and even the weakest Dark Lords are on par with the strongest humans in history. They typically have either extreme physical or magical power (sometimes both), and they tend to have several unique and powerful abilities of their own.
Furthermore, all Dark Lords are covered by an Invincibility Field 100% of the time, protecting them from harm by ordinary means. No matter how strong an attack is, if the Invincibility Field is not broken first, the Dark Lord won't receive a single scratch. Currently, only the following may dispel or ignore the invincibility field to harm or kill a Dark Lord:
- The Holy Sword Blitzkrieg.
- The Corrupted khakkhara of Methodius.
- The Guardian Hero of the World when at least 30% of the races are dead.
- Other Dark Lords (including the Avatar of Darkness).
Additionally, even if the Invincibility Field was pierced, Dark Lords are extremely durable creatures. They can easily take wounds that would be mortal for other living beings and they have high regenerative properties, allowing them to recover in faster periods of time than humans do. Usually, it is unthinkable for a human besides the Hero to even dare face a Dark Lord in a 1 on 1 combat, even for skilled and experienced warriors. Defeating a single Dark Lord is usually a very challenging encounter that requires a large group conformed by several extremely talented people, and that's assuming at least one of them has a sacred weapon in their possession.
Powerful Magic Seals can seal a Dark Lord for a long period of time and is the safest way for humans to deal with Dark Lords. Magic by the mortals cannot directly harm or damage the Dark Lords, but it can isolate them in a secluded field. Some rare magic items may be able to temporarily restrict a Dark Lord as well. However, these methods usually work only on the weakest Dark Lords, as any moderately powerful is perfectly capable of rendering these mechanisms useless.
In the odd case that a Dark Lord is successfully slain, instead of simply dying, it turns into a glowing red pearl called Demonic Blood Soul. This crystalyzed gem is a Dark Lord's last mechanism for survival. If the Blood Soul is merely left alone, the Dark Lord will eventually be resurrected naturally, though the process takes several centuries and the period of time seems to vary depending on each Dark Lord. The Blood Soul can also be consumed by another living being. When this happens, there are two possible outcomes.
- The Creature will overcome the will of the previous Dark Lord and become one himself, effectively replacing the previous one in the process.
- The self of the original Dark Lord will take over and resurrect immediately, and the individual that consumed the Blood Soul will simply dissappear.
The Avatar of Darkness can also re-absorb the blood soul back into the his/her body and it's the only way to permanently erase a Demonic Blood Soul. The safest way for humans to deal with them is by sealing them with powerful Magic, preventing it from reviving through natural means.
Due to the powers of the Avatar of Darkness in their blood, Dark Lords are unable to disobey the Avatar of Darkness. Even if the Avatar of Darkness who created the Dark Lord dies, the Dark Lord would still be absolutely obedient to the new Avatar of Darkness.
Beneath the Demon King are the Four Elite, four Dark Lords that are older, more powerful and more experienced than most of the other Dark Lords.
Dark Lords can also form and command a Demon Army, usually to attack large human countries, as they have absolute command over Monsters.
Similar to how a Avatar of Darkness may use its blood to create Dark Lords, a Dark Lord may give its blood to other creatures and create Apostles. There is no limit as to how many Apostles a Dark Lord may create, but the Dark Lords' power gets spread thinner as the number of its Apostles increases. Also, the more Apostles a Dark Lord creates, the weaker the control the Dark Lord has over them.
Like the Dark Lords, Apostles are immortal and have no limit on life span. However, they do not have the invincibility field and can be killed by normal means. The demands of their master are aboslute to them, and they cannot disobey. If the Dark Lord dies and the Blood Soul is consumed by another being, the authority of the Apostle moves along to the new Demon.
There is also another subset of apostles refered to as the Lesser Apostle. They are being that are not actually bound by the sharing of blood, but rather, a servant loyal simply by an oath of loyalty. They don't have any special ability for it.