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Pentheus, “The Mad King”

Pentheus is a tragic figure in Greek mythology, known for his arrogance and resistance to the worship of Dionysus.

By WolfgangRieger - Marisa Ranieri Panetta (ed.): Pompeji. Geschichte, Kunst und Leben in der versunkenen Stadt. Belser, Stuttgart 2005, ISBNΒ 3-7630-2266-X, p. 366, Public Domain,, Pentheus
By WolfgangRieger – Marisa Ranieri Panetta (ed.): Pompeji. Geschichte, Kunst und Leben in der versunkenen Stadt. Belser, Stuttgart 2005, ISBN 3-7630-2266-X, p. 366, Public Domain,
  • Alias – The Mad King
  • Gender – Male
  • Race – Human
  • Occupation – King of Thebes
  • Religion – Worshipper of Dionysus
  • Allies – Thebes’ military commanders, his royal court, his subjects
  • Enemies – Dionysus, Bacchants
  • Abode/Base of operations – The royal palace of Thebes
  • Nationality – Greek
  • Languages – Greek
  • Alignment – Lawful Evil
  • Affiliation(s) – Thebes, House of Cadmus
  • Significant others – His wife and children

Pentheus is a proud and ambitious king, ruling over the city-state of Thebes. He is a tall and muscular man with sharp, angular features and piercing eyes that seem to see straight through people. He wears his dark hair short and prefers simple, practical clothing that allows him to move freely.

Pentheus is driven by a fierce desire to bring glory to his kingdom and cement his place as a great leader in the eyes of his people. He is a shrewd politician, always thinking several moves ahead and willing to take calculated risks to achieve his goals. He is also a skilled warrior, having trained tirelessly since childhood to hone his physical abilities and develop his tactical prowess.

Despite his many strengths, Pentheus is not without his flaws. He can be stubborn and prideful, often refusing to listen to the advice of his advisors or the warnings of the gods. He is also prone to bouts of anger and impulsiveness, which can lead him to make rash decisions that endanger himself and those around him.

Pentheus’ ultimate goal is to establish Thebes as the preeminent power in the region, and to secure his legacy as a legendary king who will be remembered for centuries to come. To this end, he is constantly seeking out new allies, expanding his army, and seeking out opportunities to gain fame and fortune on the battlefield.

Pentheus is a tall and muscular man with broad shoulders, dark hair, and piercing blue eyes. He carries himself with a confident and imposing presence, often dressed in fine garments adorned with ornate jewelry.

Despite his lofty ambitions, Pentheus is still a mortal man, subject to the whims of fate and the machinations of the gods. As he rises ever higher, he will be forced to confront his own limitations and grapple with the consequences of his actions.

Pentheus, King of Thebes

Pentheus, King of Thebes

Medium humanoid (human), Lawful Evil

Armor Class: 18 (breastplate)

Hit Points: 225 (30d8 + 90)

Speed: 30 ft.

20 (+5)14 (+2)16 (+3)10 (+0)12 (+1)16 (+3)

Skills: Athletics +11, Intimidation +9

Saving Throws: Str +11, Con +8, Wis +6

Damage Resistances: None

Damage Immunities: None

Condition Immunities: None

Senses: passive Perception 11

Languages: any two languages (usually Common and one other)

Challenge Rating: 15 (13,000 XP)


Multiattack: Pentheus can make three attacks with his spear.

  • Spear: Melee Weapon Attack: +11 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 12 (1d8+8) piercing damage, or 14 (1d10+8) piercing damage if used with two hands.
  • Javelin: Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +11 to hit, reach 5 ft. or range 30/120 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (1d6+6) piercing damage, or 10 (1d6+8) piercing damage if thrown.
  • Shield Bash: Melee Weapon Attack: +11 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (1d4+8) bludgeoning damage, and the target must succeed on a DC 19 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone.

Legendary Actions:

Pentheus can take three legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time, and only at the end of another creature’s turn. Pentheus regains spent legendary actions at the start of his turn.

  • Parry: Pentheus adds 5 to his AC until the start of his next turn.
  • Command: Pentheus targets one ally within 30 feet of him. The ally can immediately use their reaction to make one attack.
  • War Cry: (Costs 2 Actions) Pentheus lets out a mighty war cry. All enemies within 30 feet of him must make a DC 19 Wisdom saving throw or become frightened for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.

Regional Effects:

The region within 6 miles of Thebes is warped by Pentheus’s divine presence, creating one or more of the following effects:

  • The area is filled with the sounds of battle, even if there is no battle happening.
  • The area is frequently visited by warlike creatures such as orcs and gnolls.
  • The dead rise from their graves and wander the area as restless spirits.
  • The sky above the area is constantly overcast, with thunder and lightning frequently striking the ground.


  • Bronze breastplate, Bronze helmet, Bronze greaves, Spear, Javelin (3), Shield

Currently in the World

Pentheus strides confidently through the streets of Florence in the year 1450, his mind focused on his next move. The city is alive with activity as the Renaissance takes full flight, but Pentheus pays little attention to the bustling crowds around him. Instead, he is consumed with thoughts of power and control.

As a demigod, Pentheus has always been aware of his divine heritage and the potential it holds. But it wasn’t until he witnessed the rise of the Medicis in Florence that he truly understood the extent of his abilities. Inspired by their political savvy, he has spent the past several years building a network of allies and supporters, carefully positioning himself to take advantage of the chaos and upheaval of the times.

Pentheus is a master of manipulation, adept at reading people and anticipating their actions. He uses this skill to his advantage as he works behind the scenes to secure his place as a key player in the political landscape of Florence. He has carefully cultivated relationships with the city’s most influential figures, using his charisma and charm to sway them to his cause.

But Pentheus is not content to simply hold sway over Florence. He sees himself as a potential ruler, one who can bring order and stability to a world torn apart by conflict and strife. To achieve this goal, he has begun to expand his influence beyond the city’s borders, building alliances with neighboring states and leveraging his divine powers to intimidate those who would oppose him.

Despite his ambitions, Pentheus remains cautious and calculated. He knows that his divine heritage makes him a target for those who would seek to exploit or eliminate him. But he also knows that his power is unmatched, and he is willing to do whatever it takes to achieve his goals. For Pentheus, the 1450s represent a time of great opportunity, and he intends to seize it with both hands.

In myth

In Greek mythology, Pentheus was a king of Thebes and a grandson of Cadmus, the legendary founder of the city. He was known for his fierce and arrogant personality, as well as his hostility towards the god Dionysus, who had recently arrived in Thebes with his band of wild followers.

Pentheus was determined to resist Dionysus’ influence and maintain order in his city, even if it meant suppressing the god’s worship and punishing his followers. However, his opposition only served to anger Dionysus, who sought revenge on the king.

In the end, Pentheus was lured into a trap by Dionysus, disguised as a mortal, and was torn apart by his own mother and aunts, who had been driven mad by the god’s power. This tragic ending was seen as a warning against the dangers of hubris and the importance of respecting the gods.

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