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This article title refers to a topic contained entirely within another campaign setting for which there is an established wiki. To avoid duplication of effort, this article contains only a short overview. For a complete article, see Arkhan at the Forgotten Realms Wiki.

Arkhan the Cruel is a red-scaled male dragonborn paladin, and an evil champion of Tiamat. He inhabits Arkhan's Tower, a massive black fortress in Faerûn protected by an army of undead.

Arkhan is noted for wielding the Hand of Vecna. His title "the Cruel" is shared with Halmadar the Cruel, a warlord of the World of Greyhawk who once wielded both the Hand and Eye of Vecna. Arkhan also carries the legendary axe Fane-Eater and wears obsidian flint dragon plate armor.[1]

His minions and servants include the manticore Chango, the minotaur Torogar Steelfist, twelve white abishai, and the chimera Asojano.[2] He is also allied with Krull, a tortle priest of Tiamat.[3]

Arkhan's name is pronounced "AR-kawn".[4] He shares this name with the rulers of Raumathar, who bore the title Arkhan, and a pet tiger owned by Lucilla Germanicus, Lady of the Mists.[5]

Publication history

D&D 5th edition

Arkhan the Cruel first appears in the adventure module Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus (2019).

Arkhan made an earlier cameo in a cartoon drawing in Waterdeep: Dragon Heist (2018), p.18-19. He can be seen at the left of the well opening.

Creative origins

According to the credits page of Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus (2019), the character of Arkhan the Cruel is the property of actor Joe Manganiello, and used with permission. Manganiello portrayed the character in the RPG web series Force Grey: Lost City of Omu and Critical Role in 2017.


  1. Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus (2019), p.111.
  2. Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus (2019), p.113.
  3. Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus (2019), p.110.
  4. Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus (2019), p.4.
  5. The Lady of the Mists, Dungeon #42 (Jul/Aug 1993), p.11.