Acererak was a powerful wizard who became a lich
Acererak was born of the union between a balor named Tarnhem and a human named Kecethri. Kecethri raised Acererak at the fringes of society, afraid of what might occur if the people of her town learned of her son’s half-demon heritage. But they did find out, and in his tenth year, Acererak could only watch as a mob lynched his mother and burned their home to the ground. Only Acererak’s inhuman nature allowed him to survive long enough to flee.
The events of his life between his childhood escape and his reemergence as a potent wielder of arcane powers are vague. Some claim that he began searching at a young age for a means of becoming undead, to escape the life he found so wretched. Other tales maintain that Acererak apprenticed with none other than Vecna himself, while the latter was still a Lich and had not ascended to divinity.
Whatever the truth, Acererak resurfaced as a worshiper of Orcus, using the cult’s resources to construct a number of lairs and tombs-the most infamous of which would become known as the Tomb of Horrors. Some sources claim that Acererak was using Orcus’s worshipers to complete his own schemes, and that he felt no true loyalty to the demon prince.
During this time, Acererak relocated to Bael Turath, finding some acceptance from the tieflings, who, though connected to devils rather than demons, were more accepting of those who had mixed and otherworldly parentage. He, in turn, related to them better than he did to any other race. due to their ability to appreciate his heritage. He dwelt among them, feeling at least partly at home, but he knew that this relative peace could not last. It was during that time that he first began studying the methods and means of becoming a Lich. Rumours surround his death, some claiming to have seen him fall from his tower, followed by two mysterious strangers. His body was never found – but his tower showed signs of a great battle.
Once he attained lichdom, Acererak ceased paying homage to Orcus, lending credence to the notion that his worship had never been more than a means to an end. He confined himself to his tomb, spending years in study and honing his powers to prepare for his ultimate triumph.