Paldemar's Journal

It's all over; now all is made plain

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…I was summoned to the darkness of my Master’s chamber. He told me that an unprecedented opportunity had arisen that would bring glory to the Ashen Covenant and our Lord’s ascent to Godhood. They wanted me to be the dark spear of vengeance that would bring the ultimate change of this world. But to do that they needed me to recover something which was lost – The Rod of Ruin!

I met with the Holy One. Indeed had he faced our Lord’s presence, his eyes were rotting wounds of maggots, crying tears of blood. He told me what he had found when trying to raise an undead army from the graveyard of a long forgotten temple. The irony of his finding must have made even our dark lord smile – one of the corpses had been a paladin of an abandon¬ed temple of Bahamut, and the secrets he had carried to the grave were given life anew by our Lord’s necrotic powers. The paladin had been among the humans that had salvaged the Rod of Ruin from the War of Sorrow. The Knights of Bahamut had sworn to guard the Rod of Ruin with their lives, hiding it where it would never be found. But what is a secret in life, is our Master’s knowledge after death.

My research into the Rod of Ruin has been most rewarding. I have found evidence that the mighty tiefling wizard Karavakos used it to open a great rift to the Shadowfell during the War of Sorrow, not far from the small town of Winterhaven. From its depth he called hordes of undead and demons to the world of the living. Some historians even claim that he dealt the Empire of Nerath such a wound that they could never recover, ultimately leading to the empire’s fall. I will send my loyal servant Kalarel to lead the work of reopening the rift to the Shadowfell for the hordes of our Master which will once again plunge the world into darkness and undeath.

I think the Great One has seen fit to guide my very steps because I have found a secret, long forgotten in the mist of time; a secret unknown even to the Ashen Covenant. I have decided not to disclose it to my masters. Instead I will follow this path myself and revel in its glory. The Lord of Blood will guide my way. I will become the vessel through which he brings undeath to the whole Nentir Vale!

The barrier between worlds can be thin. Sometimes the darkness breaks into the light. The Nentir Vale seems to be such a place, closely aligned with the Shadowfell. How could one otherwise explain the existence of such a huge rift? The legends speak of a Sea of Shadows buried under the Thunderspire Mountain, its water black as death and reeking with shadows.

My Lord fills my dreams with visions. The Secret lies within the twisting tunnels of Thunderspire Labyrinth. I will have to infiltrate the Mages of Saruun to learn the real truth about what happened to the minotaurs of Saruun Khel. Maybe that will lead me to the Sea of Shadows.

My expeditions down to the Halls of Silence have given me great insights into the fall of Saruun Khel. I have found proof for the Blood Lord’s involvement in their genocide, but more importantly I have learnt about the exact site of the Shadow Sea as well as the nature of the Bronze Wardens. Those foolish Mages of Saruun never guessed their true purpose. They have used them only as enforcers of their will, to gain control of the Seven-Pillared Hall and make themselves rich and powerful. They will soon find out the true purpose of my Master’s machinations, but then it will be too late. Very much too late!

The scene is set and all the players dance to my tune, unwitting of the true purpose of their commissions. The Bloodreavers were easily convinced to supply the Grimmerzhul duergar with fresh slaves in return for the promise of their slave trade being allowed back into the Hall. The duergar diabolist has been eager to pay for the slaves with mining work, taking on the task of clearing out the collapsed stair tunnel down to the Sea of Shadows, believing it just another underground lake. The Blackfang gnolls were the hardest to get on my side, but after helping them breach and loot the Chasm Fort, they were more than eager to enter into the Well of Demons and despoil the shrine of Baphomet in the name of Yeenoghu – the rabid dog. They only thing I asked in return was the Silver Key, guarded for centuries by the traps of the Inner Sanctum and few loyal Baphomet followers that still remained within Thunderspire Mountain.

I hope they somehow all come to learn about my masterful betrayal and their own folly in helping Paldemar – the Bringer of Change – when the flood of necrotic shadow water drowns them all, tying their souls to the Blood Lord’s cause and bringing them back to unlife as empty husks in Orcus’ new glorious undead army – all hailing Paldemar, the Undead Horde Master of Nentir Vale!

The Blood Lord has spoken to me in my dreams. He is sending me a great shadow on wings to protect me from interference. Hail to the Dark One!

Maldrick Scarmaker delivered on his promise. His gnolls managed to get past the traps and guardians set by Baphomet to prevent anybody to enter the Inner Sanctum. He handed over the Silver Key to the secret chapel of the Palace of Zaamdul – The Shrine of Undeath. I can hear my Master’s voice calling to me from within, promising me dark secrets of the Minotaurs of Saruun.

Glory to Sjach’haurach, ‘Shadow Fate’. He arrived in all his majesty from the Shadow Sea, promising his service in our Lord’s cause. He said he had been sent by his mother Urishtar, the old shadow dragon master of Nightwyrm Fortress in the Shadowfell.

Ninaran has reported from Winterhaven that my covenant brother Kalarel has failed. Some stupid freebooting adventurers outsmarted and killed him. Our Master does not appreciate failure. I will learn from his mistake and be prepared if they make the connection with Thunderspire. I have fixed my crystal orb on the Seven-Pillared Hall to learn if anyone starts asking the wrong questions.

So this is what caused the end of the minotaur kingdom, Saruun Khel! I have walked in the footsteps of my predecessors. I feel my Master’s presence behind this unknown entity they took for Torog: ‘the Patient One’, that the minotaurs found in the depths of the Thunderspire Mountain. The Blood Lord took their high priest onto the track of doom. When the rest of the minotaurs finally found out my Master’s plan for the priest’s followers, Baphomet’s anger must have been endless – in the end leading to the genocide of the whole of Saruun Khel.

Today I found something interesting – a reference to something identified only as the Pyramid of Shadows. It appeared as an omen in the sky at the end of the War of Sorrows and then disappeared. I will have to look deeper into this one…

Praise to the Demon Prince! The Secrets of Undeath and eternal life will soon be mine! I am on the path of Necrotic Mastery! Yesterday I tried to find this Pyramid of Shadows through the crystal orb of the Shrine of Undeath, and to my great surprise my probing was answered. Karavakos spoke to me across dimensions and told me of secrets that the rulers of the Feywild and the Nentir Empire had tried to hide away in this demiplane called the Pyramid of Shadows at the end of the War of Sorrows. He promised me the Secrets of Undeath and eternal life if I would breach the old rituals that kept the demiplane barred from the living world. I will step up to the challenge. I feel it is my destiny!

I have mastered the ritual that will bring the Pyramid of Shadows back across the dimensions. I will use my former ‘masters’ – the Mages of Saruun – as the foci for the ritual, channeling all their arcane energies across the dimensions and use it to weaken the old fey ritual that keeps the pyramid locked away in its own pocket of reality. It was such fun to trick my credulous ‘betters’ down to the Sea of Shadows, promising them everything from knowledge to the pleasure of the body, in order to have them taken by my Shadow Binders at the Shadow Vortex. Their arcane powers and the energies of the Shadowfell are now under my control. It will not be long until the Pyramid of Shadows will be sighted again in the world of the living!

Finally! The demonic machine of the minotaur high-priest Tzaruum’ze is in my control, and with it will come the hundreds of Bronze Wardens within Thunderspire Labyrinth. I have already ordered the first few into position at the Shadow Vortex in the middle of the Shadow Sea. As soon as I figure out how to start the Song of Breaking all within Thunderspire Mountain and the surrounding lands will learn the true meaning of fear and my Master’s power!

Those meddling adventurers whom the folk of Thunderspire are calling ‘heroes’ are threatening all I have achieved. I must stop them – eliminate them once and for all – before they learn too much.

All kudos: Myrhdraak

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Paldemar's Journal

The Fairy Ring in the Nentir Vale Osric_of_O Osric_of_O