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The subject of this article appeared in Call of Duty: Black Ops III. The subject of this article appears in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 The subject of this article appeared in Zombies mode

"You can hear us. We can feel you. We... crave destruction. But pain... we are in great pain!"
— Apothicon Elder God Blood to Victis.

The Apothicons, known in Apothicon as Ozzoth (lit. Changed), were a faction of ancient Keepers that were corrupted by the Dark Aether and were banished there as a result. They serve as an antagonistic force within the Aether Storyline, but are ultimately instrumental in the final goal of breaking the cycle.

They are first introduced in Call of Duty: Black Ops III Zombies in the map Shadows of Evil, continuing to further appear across the game. They return in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 beginning in the map Blood of the Dead, making sporadic appearances throughout the rest of the game.



The Apothicons were originally a small faction of Keepers, residing with the rest of their kin in Agartha. What set them apart, however, was their willingness to experiment with the Dark Aether, the realm outside of their own - with this faction eventually calling one who would be known as the Shadowman a member. Due to their experimentation, this faction became "corrupted" by the Dark Aether, eventually setting out to build a device of ultimate power - the Aether Pyramid, which allowed its user to control reality itself. This seemingly triggered an ideological schism between the majority of the Keepers and this small, corrupted sect, and a Civil War ensued - known as the War of Agartha. Understanding their defeat was imminent, the Aether Pyramid was hidden on the moon of Earth - a planet housing a gateway to Agartha - with meteorites of Element 115 also being sent there. As punishment for their transgressions, the Keepers banished their corrupted counterparts to the very realm they had sought to harness - the Dark Aether - in the hopes that they would remain there eternally.

Banishment in the Dark Aether[]

While it is unknown how these banished Keepers interacted with the innumerable warring tribes and clans of the Dark Aether, the eons spent there began to mutate both their minds and their bodies, eventually becoming unrecognizable when compared to the species they originally belonged to, and developing a hive mind - all the while, wanting nothing more than to return to Agartha. The Apothicons would remain in this realm until the Late Thirteenth Century CE, where thanks to human meddling with Element 115 in Northern France, the Apothicons were able to breach the Dimensional Veil and finally arrive on Earth - in the hopes of accessing Agartha there. This marks the start of one of several events commonly known as The Great War. Despite outclassing the human crusaders, Four heroes known as Primis arrive, seemingly out of nowhere, and alongside the Keepers, aid the crusaders in fending off the Apothicons while wielding four Elemental Staffs. This results in the Apothicons being sealed away once again.

Original Timeline[]

In the Original Timeline, the first modern contact with the Apothicons is by Ultimis Richtofen. Having volunteered to be the first human test subject for Group 935's matter transference device, Richtofen found himself in front of the Aether Pyramid where, after touching the device, would begin to hear "the many voices of corruption", including that of the Shadowman.

In the 1960s, a corpse of an Apothicon Elder God - the most powerful among their ranks in the hierarchies common to the Dark Aether - is discovered by the Ascension Group at the bottom of the ocean, where it's blood was thereafter captured and brought aboard the Soviet ship known as the Tugarin. The Ascension Group experimented with the blood, including the injection of it into injured monkeys, until the Blood eventually broke out of containment and started an outbreak, killing many of the personnel and causing the vessel to crash. This blood would vanish after the crash, existing instead in a pocket dimension of the Siberian Facility.

Dimension 63[]

In Dimension 63, the Apothicon's influence is notably first felt by the Warden of Alcatraz. Being an occultist and an alcoholic, the Shadowman was easily able to convince the Warden that he was the Dark Lord that the Warden had sought out, and began giving him instructions - specifically involving the fate of four souls in his custody: Albert Arlington, Salvatore DeLuca, Billy Handsome, and Finn O'Leary. The Warden is to orchestrate the deaths of these four men, and then finish with his own death, in order to create a purgatory-like pocket dimension. The mobsters would repeat the same cycle on repeat until Albert Arlington would eventually win - triggering the next phase of the Shadowman's plan and the Warden's duties: the capture of Primis.

In Morg City, the Apothicons began spreading their influence through a fungal spore which fell from the sky, gradually infecting the city. This occurred in tandem with the Shadowman's manipulation of four souls: Jessica Rose, Jack Vincent, Floyd Campbell and Nero Blackstone. Eventually, using the shared guilt over the sins they were manipulated into committing, the Shadowman had these four souls inadvertently activate an ancient artifact, the so-called "Apothicon Rift Stone", allowing the entities total access to Dimension 63. Realizing their mistake, these souls aided the Keepers in an attempt to reverse the damage done to their dimension, eventually trapping the Shadowman's soul in the Summoning Key, however this process of restoration was interrupted by Primis Richtofen's theft of the Key, dooming Dimension 63 (and every living being within) to annihilation by the Apothicon horde.

Defeat and rebirth[]

After Primis' arrival at The House, Ludvig Maxis is manipulated by the Shadowman within the Summoning Key. Touching the Artifact, he is trapped within and his physical place is taken by that of The Shadowman. Now free, and with the most powerful object in all of reality, he frees the Apothicons from the Dark Aether and allows them into Agartha. The Apothicon Elder Gods begin sending Element 115 straight from its source in Agartha to all corners of reality.

After the defeat of the Shadowman at the hands of Primis, Maxis and Sophia cast themselves into the "Apothicon Sun", effectively resetting the Multiverse and seemingly vanquishing the Apothicons, banishing them to the Dark Aether. Monty, unable to wipe Primis from existence, would send Primis forward to the 13th Century CE in this new reality to do battle with the Apothicons - completing the cycle.

Broken Cycle[]

"Leesanatahn lu ahm... we now speak the tongue which is forbidden. Bring us the Seal of Duality... that we may cleave to our sworn enemy. We must restore that which was separated."
— Apothicon Blood

Shortly after gaining the Elemental Shard, Ultimis Richtofen (who became Undead Richtofen) awoke Victis from their cryosleep and sent them to craft the Agarthan Device. In Victis' quest to gain the Device, they were assisted by the blood of an Apothicon Elder God. According to the Apothicon Blood, the Seal of Duality allows them to "cleave to their sworn enemy", seemingly indicating a merging of Keeper and Apothicon once again.

After Primis and Ultimis gained the Agarthan Device from Victis, they used the interaction between it and the Summoning Key to permanently destroy the Aether, and banish all within it into the Dark Aether. The fate of the Apothicons following this is unknown.


The Apothicons possessed a complex language that can be found throughout Black Ops 3 and 4 Zombies.

The Apothicon Language

The Apothicon Language

Rules and Grammar[]

The Apothicon Language is Logographic, meaning a single character represents an entire word. The fundamental building blocks of the language come in the form of 35 written "radicals" (with two additional unwritten radicals that add tense and only affect pronunciation).

Apothicon Radicals can serve as words in their own right, but are predominantly combined to create compound words. These words are often pronounced as a linear combination of the names of the radicals (e.g. "Margwa" - composed of "Mar" - Shadow, and "Gwa" - Benefit, Gain, Ability). In some instances, radicals present in the word are not pronounced, but add important context to the word (e.g. "Ozzoth" - Apothicon, is spoken as the two distinct pronunciations of the radical meaning "Change" - "Oz, Oth", but in its written form appears to have the radical meaning "My, Mine, Our" - "Nog", a possible indication of the Apothicons' own conception of their hive-mind).

In the sole case of the radical "Nog" - "Our", there exist two conjugations: "Nool", meaning "yours", and "Yog", meaning "their". The pronunciation used therefore is context-dependant.





  • The Apothicons are known in the Keeper language as Kreegagra - the word for which is made from the Keeper Prime Word "Kreehahm" (meaning "Evil, Bad, Misfortune").
  • Despite being a Keeper, Dr. Monty's true form bears an extreme resemblance to that of the Shadowman.
  • The Apothicon language may be the original language of the Keepers as both the Summoning Key and the Kronorium feature Apothicon radicals, with the Summoning Key being described as "The First Creation".
  • The Apothicons take heavy inspiration from a multitude of Lovecraftian works, originally coined by H. P. Lovecraft.