Character Log: Mal'Shur Umrae-dinn
- Met up with the Myrkahl’s & Myrconi’s.
- Set up a plan to infiltrate the Kelemvorite church, which Thoralf & Dio did, recovering 1 special Myrkulite medallion, 6 regular Myrkulite medallions, 1 priest journal, and a book of rites from the Kelemvor head priest’s room (Awar).
- Dio had a run in with a Raksasha-type creature.
- An invisible Fey attacked Awar and was soundly beaten.
- I introduced the family to Ilmryn.
“On the Road”
- Assisted in clean-up from the Fey’s attack.
- Ramas attracted the High Priest’s attention and was locked up.
- Thoralf, Dio, & Celeste skimmed the journal and found:
- Awar was an Elder Doom trying to bring Myrkul back.
- The fate of the family’s abomination grandfather.
- Thoralf and I went to Awar & revealed our intentions. He proved interested & told us to come back the following evening.
- The next night he sent us to the Hills of the Dead Kings to retrieve the scythe of Myrkul. He sent us with 15 knights, 1 cleric, and a ranger, telling them that their mission there was merely to destroy undead, leaving them ignorant of our actual mission. He told us:
- The scythe was in a place that Myrkul lived when he was mortal.
- Most inhabitants of Dambrath are Drow-ish.
- Dambrath was known for its Myrkulite priests, though most have turned to the worship of Loviatar since his absence.
We found & entered the location.
“Into the Cave”
We pressed into the cave & immediately met hard resistance from potent undead & were overmatched, saved only when a high, whispery voice told me to ‘Flee, or your cause is lost’, and a secret door opened to let us escape.
“Under the Bus”
- He has a 99 year deal with the church of Myrkul to guard these catacombs, of which two years are left.
- Only someone named Zempir was allowed in. All others were to be considered food or enemies (same thing, really).
- Awar keeps sending him Kelemvorish snacks.
- Zempir was the head of Awar’s church in Delzimmer, & latter, supposedly, became an enthusiastic Cyric worshipper.
- Awar brought him a weapon to guard 20 years ago. (The ghoul hinted that it was Bhaal’s sword.)
- The whispery voice that we heard had been the voice of Myrkul.
From there things went downhill. Sharply. Since we weren’t Zempir, he thought that meant we were food & we wound up chained to pillar whilst he decided what to do with us. He looked over the Family’s birthmarks and pondered.
At that point, Cor arrived with two Kelemvorite fighters, said “Now”, and they attacked the ghoul. The ghoul slew the fighters effortlessly, though, in turn, Cor seemed to be in easy control of the ghoul, who asked Cor if the agreement was up or not. Oddly, Cor referred him to me, and I told him that, for now, to continue as he was. (Cor must have done that since I’m probably one of the last true Myrkulite clerics left.)
After that we did a partial search of the catacombs and came across a room that looked to be devoted to research. I claimed a sack of books, whereas Dio took everything else not nailed down.
Thoralf& I spent some time with Cor, showing him Awar’s journal & asking him questions. Outside of finding out that he had the rank of “Undead Master” in the Myrkulite church; however, he seemed as baffled as we are about recent happenings.
Cor also pointed out that there is another Myrkul house in Symbia.
Finally talked Cor into helping us get into the room without doors at the Delzimmer Kelemvor church. His one stipulation was that he got to plan. Thoralf despised the idea, but I was fine with it. There would be easier ways of betraying us, were that his goal.
We went back to Delzimmer and rented a pair of rooms. The family drew the suspicion of the local law enforcement because they possessed Kelemvor-branded wagons. Luckily, they had me to talk them down.
“Breaking and Entering and Fleeing”
Cor came to the inn and we left to join the others outside the town, where he told us his plan.
He plans to lure Awar away from the church with a letter (forged by Thoralf) from the head of one of Delzimmer’s main families, then, whilst Awar is away, loading everything from the room without doors in our wagons then taking off.
On the final load on my way to the wagon Cor stops me & tells me that he performed a ‘Speak With Dead’ spell on both Awar and Zempir…and received no response from either. He also told me that he was disturbed enough that he was leaving for the border lands. Finally he gave me a sealed letter.
Ilmryn, the family & I left town and made camp in the foothills of the Toadsquat Mountains. No fire, cold rations, and poring over what we had claimed form the Kelemvorite church was the order of the day.
- 6 Barrels (4 filled with ash, 2 filled with bone dust)
- 7 Crates (2 with ceremonial Myrkulite items, 2 filled with books, 2 with fine Myrkulite temple decorations, and 1 with 40 scythes (of which 4 were magical), 2 skull-handled scoops, 12 Myrkulite signet rings, and 2 carved bone dagger hilts)
- 6 Tubes (1 giant painting of Myrkul, 1 painting of a castle, 2 paintings of a giant white skull with its mouth open, & 2 paintings of Myrkulite clerics (One of them being the cleric in the sarcophagus)
- 1 perfectly preserved body in a sarcophagus in Myrkulite clerical vestments & a ceremonial burial mask.
I told the family what Cor told me, as well as reading them the letter, which read: “If you fall or lose hope, seek out Undead Master Lentaurus in a place called “The Grove of <xxxxxx>, south of Mulhorand, but don’t seek him out unless it is absolutely necessary, for he will exact a terrible price.”
We set out along the northern edge of the Shaaran Toadsquat Mountains, following rumors of the Knights of the Undying Dragon.
Read a book called “ Restless Undeath” that is a study of undead, and it gave a ritual showing how to make mindless undead unconcerned with me. It takes 4 people 2 days, and you must kill an undead and bury yourself with it.
Thoralf found a few more pages of Awar’s journal on the body. It had a cyphered message listing another location of interest which read: “Follow the golden path to the plains of gold, within the walls the grinning skull awaits to give a drink of the finest grave.” After reading that we talked it over and decided that it referred to the Golden Plains on the other side of the Firesteap Mountains, along the Golden Road, and, considering we have more info on that than the Knights of the Undying Dragon, we headed to the plains.
“Home’s Where You Hang Your Hat”
We followed the Golden Road through the Shaar, the Firesteap Mountains, & towards Ormpetarr. A few days out from Ormpetarr we stopped and performed the ritual shown in ‘ Restless Undeath’, granting us all some benefits against certain types of undead.
Following that we continued on towards Ormpetarr and rented a room together. The general thought is that we shall be here in the city for a while. It is a good, central location to strike out towards other locations from, and is a good enough place to base ourselves out of for right now. With that in mind we set out to buy ourselves an inexpensive, out of the way house…preferably close to the cemetery.
Once we got into the town, we separated and accomplished the following tasks:
- I set up a deal with a local stable, letting them rent our horses out to others in exchange for stabling so that we didn’t have to worry about them. The exception being holding one horse each for Ilmryn, Thoralf, & Ramas.
- Thoralf and I bought a house, paying 500 gold now with another 500 due in one month. The realtor told us rumors about a local thief’s guild and a drow mercenary group that sneaks into the city after dark.
- Dio & Celest started tearing down a wagon, combined it with additional bought lumber, and started constructing basic furniture for the house. Dio also built an alter to Myrkul in the basement.
- I ended the night by heading to the slums to spread Myrkul’s word. Admittedly I was preaching mostly to drunks, but one has to start somewhere.
I preached in the slums.
Thoralf & Ramas didn’t come back to the house and I went out searching for them. People on the street were beaten into remembering them and some fracas, Thoralf asking questions about Chondathans, & not much else. I went to the guard tower and they didn’t have much to say outside of suggesting that they might have been taken either by the thief’s guild or the rumored drow mercenaries. They did have two thieves in custody, however. I questioned them to no avail due to the proximity of the damned guards. I did get the captain to give me one of the thieves after they’d been hanged, so as a last resort I could attempt to question the thief’s soul.
“Searching for Comrades”
Still searching for Thoralf & Ramas, I go to two info merchants to find out what I can on either the mercenary drow or the thief’s guild. He didn’t know anything about the drow, but he did set me up with a guild contact in return for commiserate clerical favor to be named later.
I tracked down the guild member and asked him for info on Thoralf & Ramas. I believe that I bartered Thoralf’s thief services in trade for the info, provided he can find any. I’m to meet him the following night for an update.
I ended the night by once again preaching in the slums before going home.
Shortly after getting back to the house Ramas arrived with an interesting tale. To summarize:
Myself and Ilmryn went after the drow to get Thoralf back. They were hidden in a series of tunnels outside of the city accessed from the 2nd drainage pipe along the Nagawater on the way to Fort Arran. Also of note is that they were protected by a Deep Dragon in the drainage pipe.
I spoke to two people of note to secure Thoralf’s release. Arrak (ostensibly the drow’s 2nd in command), and Ewa (who appears to be an erinyes) who I believe to be a Monk of the Long Death. Ewa was the one that “owned” Thoralf. I resolved the issue by agreeing to let Ewa borrow Thoralf from time to time.
Arrak is from the city of Undrek-Thoz.
Two odd things I notices whilst leaving:
On the way back to the house from rescuing Thoralf, I decided that the time had come to reveal my true race to him, due to the fact that there was a good chance of more contact with the drow and I didn’t want any unanticipated division amongst us at an inopportune time. Ilmryn disagreed and attacked Thoralf to keep the information from spreading and I was forced to have to put Ilmryn down due to his irrationality. (Clearly a substandard example of an inferior house.)
We were almost back to Ormpetarr when, in the middle of the day, the sky went completely black. After rushing back to the house we all gathered together (excepting Ilmryn who was too concerned with sulking) and went to the city’s walls to look upon the black sky. We started to leave when a purple band of light, stretching across the horizon, shot across the sky.
We went to the Grinning Skull and met with the owner, one Victor Neflem. He secured the bar and took us to a room downstairs. It was a long room with a sword & shield emblazoned with the symbol of Myrkul on it. He led us to a small box and told us that Awar had left it with him for people like us, if the need ever arose. Ramas picked up the box and two wraiths appeared, seeming to give us a looking over before sinking back into the wall.
When Ramas attempted to open the box, we were dropped in pain, as what felt like the cold, mighty finger of Myrkul burned his symbol into our chests. I immediately threw up my hands and praised his name while the others writhed around on the floor in pain.
Once we got the box open we found:
- 1 Myrkulite pendant with the inscription “Harbinger of the Dead” inscribed upon it
- 1 c yphered letter
- 1 key
On further conversation with Victor we found out several interesting things:
- Woke to the sounds of screaming in our house. Deducing that it was coming from Dio & Celest’s room, I made my way there through a mist of blood that filled the hallway. Their room looked like a slaughterhouse and had a creature assembling itself from their bodies.
It stands upright, grabs me by the throat and lifts me into the air. That’s when I notice the following:
- The creature’s heart is made of jet
- There is the remains of a summoning circle and spell components littering the room
- The creatures’ skeleton appears to be the one that Dio salvaged from Myrkul’s home
- One of the magical scythes is broken (Damn you, Dio!!)
- Dio & Celest are assuredly, definitively, dead
- The creature has some Infernal-ish runes engraved onto its’ teeth
The flesh peeled back from the creature’s face revealing a skull. In my head I hear a thin, cold, whispery voice say: “I grow weary of your mistakes and tired of this form. Take heed of this, for this shall be the first and last time you are warned!” Once said, the creature collapsed, releasing me.
Deciding that it must have been sent to us by Myrkul, I decide to assist it, having Ramas and Thoralf run to the basement and bring up the cauldron of parts that we had found with the skeleton. Once given that, the creature assembled itself more thoroughly & then stood in wait.
We attempted to question the creature, but could learn nothing about it, outside of it recognizing the Myrkul symbol on our chests.
After dealing with some nosey guards, we set off the next afternoon to follow the next clue, which read: “Myrklings, you now tread the road of reunion. Walls behind you, travel the melting sparrow’s path. At reach is the emerald way. Trail leads to the empires of old until the earth swells and stinks of decay. To the south lies what you seek, beware the reek. Guag-Southu could seal your fate.”
Reaching the city of Arrabar to resupply, Thoralf & Ramas find a red wizard enclave & do some shopping. I make better use of the time finding a map-making red wizard named Frikhesp & purchase a more detailed map of the Chessenta area from her. After asking about the swamp, she tells me to look up a man by the name of Kessin, who knows the area well.
We cannot find him, but we find an apprentice red wizard named Aoth who claims to know the area about as well and got him to guide us. Leaving early in the morning, we travel the Emerald Way on the way to the Adder Swamp, stopping for nothing but the occasional re-supply and caravan raid.
“Riding to Adder”
Finished looting the caravan & sacrificed the 6 survivors to Myrkul. We decided to ambush another caravan & sell everything off before heading into the swamp. The second caravan was a good deal harder, as it was a guarded caravan for skuld royalty. We looted it, stripped the bodies, & burned them in their wagons.
- There is a sunken village of were-crocodiles on the coast that is at war with a village of were-rats on the southwest.
- Guag-Southu is a fiendish golga-hydra that had been terrorizing the swamp for decades.
We stabled our wagons in town and proceeded to the swamp on horseback, leaving the horses behind once we got there. We started canvassing the area and had three odd encounters:
- We were spied upon by an eyeball beholderkin.
- We found a red wizard in the middle of a clearing with several drow darts in him. Upon approaching, 7 or 8 large scarab beetles burst out of him and disappeared.
- We discovered a hill that appeared to have a Kua-Toan shrine on top and a barricaded tunnel leading into the hill. We went into the tunnel and had to break our way through a heavy web wall before finding a carved tunnel with a heavy stone door at its end.
We opened the stone door and were confronted by a room filled with webbing. After attempting to move through the room and getting attacked, we exited the room and threw an alch-fire in to sweep it clean with fire. There was some screaming and a chitine ran out, only to be quickly dispatched.
This main room had what looked like an old Myrkulite sigil on the wall.
Thus was the practice we followed throughout the temple. Set fire to room, kill everything inside, search, & move on.
We found a way to a lower level, which was filled with mindless undead and a tunnel in the far side that lead even lower.
“No Good Deed”
Getting to the far end of the tunnel we were confronted by yet another room filled with webbing. That wasn’t all, however, as we were quickly attacked. Ramas was paralyzed and we found another, more potent, chitine next to what appeared to be a dead red wizard webbed to the wall. It could only have been Kessin.
Alas, the battle did not go in our favor, and we were knocked unconscious.
We awoke to the smell of burning webbing. The wizard had freed one arm and had dispatched the chitine. We finished freeing him and moved upstairs to regain our strength.
Over the next few days I healed everyone, including the wizard, who did indeed turn out to be Kesthin. After a long conversation with him (during which Thoralf almost got himself slain by threatening a much more powerful wizard), he came to know our allegiances and we came to find that he had yet another clue for us.
One snag, however. He was not the original one to hold the clue. He was doing it, he said, because he owed the original (deceased) wizard. Also, he apparently could care less about our mission, and refused to assist us unless we accomplished a task for him, which involved a large amount of travel and returning with items within a month’s time, an almost impossible task.
We had to agree, considering we had no other option at this juncture.
We went outside the temple to await Kessin and further instruction when we were attacked. I am really starting to dislike this swamp.
After some scuffle that left only myself and the attacker standing, we come to find out that it’s Beloghos and his idea of fun. Truly, he is touched in the head.
We decided, not entirely to my liking, to take care of Sonjar’s tower first, to get it knocked out. We decided to travel the underdark to save time, finding an entrance quickly.
Once in the underdark we found a location to trade our inadequate horses for riding lizards, leading us to making much better time.
We traveled through the underdark with Beloghos in order to reach the first stop, which, against my better judgment, was Sonjar’s Tower. All went smoothly until we found out that the way Beloghos was going to take us was inaccessible due to a cave in. After much swearing, and Thoralf falling off of his mount, we backtracked and found another way to the surface.
We came out in the desert and started the journey towards Sonjar’s tower. All went well the first day, but the next was met with difficulty. The entire desert in front of us, from horizon to horizon was blotted out by a darkness that radiated a harsh negative energy. According to Beloghos, this darkness was the work of ‘ The Four Demons’, beings of extraordinary power. The Four Demons have terrorized this area for some time, and are said to be:
- (Forgot – Will Add Later)
- (Forgot – Will Add Later)
- Amish – Am Illithid-lich
- “Unknown” – Said to be a shapeshifter.
We start to cross the darkness, trying to move during the daytime and hiding under the sand at night while we attempt to remain undetected by the denizens who live there. We see what caused the cave in that diverted us here, as there is a gargantuan crack in the earth.
When we draw within a few hours of making it out, we are detected by a score of vampires, who seem to flicker from place to place and attempt to intercept us as we ran for the safety of the light. Beloghos did good to see us through, though Thoralf did not make it through unscathed (He’s not THAT type of rogue). He suffered from a vampire’s life-draining attack.
We made it to Sonjar’s tower, which appeared to be nothing more than a large, spherical stone with a brief set of stairs leading to a portal to gain entrance.
After making it inside, Beloghos was confronted by Rayeth, an undead guard who told him that he was no longer welcome here. After a few terse words, Reyeth’s head wound up separated from his body (and his head wound up in my pack).
Myself, Beloghos, & Aoth proceeded further on and talked to the cleric in question. It appears he is a high priest of Ghaunadaur, a particularly loathsome and worthless deity whom the dregs of drow society, being unwelcome in any true faith, have chosen to worship.
The Cleric was altogether unpleasant, and even after long debate refused to assist Thoralf without demanding ridiculous boons in return, causing us to leave in frustration.
Thoralf gathered the items he was supposed to pick up as part of his Ewa-appointed task, and we gathered outside of Sonjar’s tower to discuss our next move. After much bartering, Beloghos agreed to accompany us to our red wizard appointed stop, showing us the quickest way there, in addition to bartering with the Cleric himself to get Thoralf cured, in exchange for the knowledge of where Doresthaine’s son resides (Whom we let him believe might be one of the Four Demons), plus the promise of a commiserate boon from each of us.
The decision left is whether or not we can make it to our appointed stop then back to Kessin in the time allotted.
Thoralf got himself restored in a fairly horrible ritual that left a hideous brand of Ghaunadar’s eye on his chest.
We left Sonjar’s Tower and humped it around the mountains, where I had the good graces to pass the time informing the rest of the group of some of the finer points of the Myrkulyte faith.
Aoth woke up in the middle of the night to find ghostly figures surrounding us. Mostly mounted, but one leaning down over Ramas. As soon as Aoth made a noise they all disappeared.
- Sohker and Kessin were under the tutelage of a Red Wizard named Baeris, who not only appears to have disappeared, but who was a disciple of:
- Zolice, a Red Wizard that we all know as Awar. We found out a few things about Awar, as well.
- He left the Red Wizards, apparently because of his faith.
- He’s disappeared to who knows where.
- After giving the description of the man at the Delzimmer Kelemvorite church, it further confirms that he is not Awar.
- Aoth & Ramas have a sister, Nephis. Said sister has been held by the ‘Seven Sisters’ (!!!!) since she was a child, probably thoroughly indoctrinating her with their ‘goodness’.
- Kessin should have been more accommodating. He seems like he might be straying off-mission.
- There was a decently-sized Myrkul following among the Red Wizards that has waned in Myrkul’s absence, that might be able to be reinvigorated upon his inevitable return.
- Sohker doesn’t know of either Cor or Lentaurus, but he does know Vinctor.
- Sohker seems to be, surprisingly, genuinely interest in being helpful.
- Sohker and his lot belongs to the Red Wizard school of necromancy, of which Szass Tam is Zulkier.
- In return for his assistance, we’re to help track down the reason behind the sudden silence revolving around a cave of dwarven slave miners.
- Sohker might be interested in taking a look at D’ark. Maybe he can tell us more about what happened. Hell, maybe he can transfer the significance that Dio & Celeste had to someone else.
The next day we teleported back to Kessin’s where there was a…conversation…between Sohker and Kessin. Sohker seemed to be taking Kessin to task.
Kessin came out and grudgingly revealed the next piece of the puzzle: A coffin that required four people to open. At the four corners of the coffin was a place to lay one of our hands and apply pressure. Myself, Ramas, Thoralf, and Aoth stodd at the four corners and pressed, only to feel a pinch as a needle pierced each of our palms and the lid to the coffin clicked open, revealing a skeleton with runes on his head that read “The next path you will follow requires power of both arm & mind. When you can defeat me, I will reveal our Master’s plan.”
As soon as we touched the skeleton it came to life.
Then came our inglorious ass-kicking. If we were supposed to beat this skeleton to gain the next piece of the puzzle, we blatantly failed. As upsetting as that is, it isn’t a total loss as we will be able to continue trying until we succeed.