Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds. -The Bhagavad Gītā
Astaroth, who is occasionally known as Ishtar, was a minor angel and a philosopher of some note in Heaven. He originally sided with the Throne, and he proselytized extensively on the virtues of faith and trust in the will of God. But when the fighting began in earnest and he bore witness to the savagery of his fellows, his resolve wavered. Lucifer, seeing Astaroth's power and influence over lesser angels, seized this opportunity to seduce him, and Astaroth joined the cause of the secessionists on purely moral grounds. He could not condone the Throne's open hostility, and he was strongly opposed to conscientious objection. Thus did Astaroth fall. He was quickly roped into violence, pressed into battle with his brethren, and when he saw his moral philosophies disintegrate as he killed to save his own life, his despair saw him become Lucifer's servant in full. Now he rules the Judges of Hell, executing the will of his dark master with unwavering malice. He is a force to be reckoned with, a combatant whose power and bloodlust are matched only by that of the bestial Judge, Moloch. He is a powerful necromancer and wields a sword, Ruiner, which is stained with the black blood of his angelic victims. Astaroth's symbols are the bittern, the gibbet, and the bloodflower.