The Treachery of Tzaruum'ze

Vadriar's collected notes on the uprising of the Orcusite

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THE TREACHERY OF TZARUUM’ZE

by Taurus Zabath, high priest of Baphomet, Saruun Khel

“…We will never know exactly what happened. But I believe
Tzaruum’ze did not heed my warnings, but dug to deep. He found
something down there, something in the darkness that answered
back.”

“…Some of the minotaurs that followed Tzaruum’ze in his
explorations of Thunderspire Mountain said that they had come
upon some vast caverns, where they had found crude, forsaken
altars, left behind by some forgotten civilization. Some claimed it to
be sacred to Torog in his manifestation as the Patient One, a
horrible creature of eyes and mouths that waits in the darkness.
That may well have been, but it was not Torog that answered
Tzaruum’ze’s prayers down there in the darkness, that we later
became certain about.”

“… The Horned King, the Lord Baphomet, The Beast in Men,
grew angry. He gave me omens that warned me that his wrath
would be terrible if this following of Torog did not stop. I forbad
Tzaruum’ze to gather his flock around the altar of many eyes, but
he did not listen. So I ordered the Horned Guard to take them into
hearing. But instead Tzaruum’ze and his followers went into
hiding, ever growing their numbers. This showed to be a great
mistake as it sundered our proud kingdom.”

“…We heard little from Tzaruum’ze and his followers and
thought them to have perished in some unknown danger in the
halls of the Thunderspire Mountain. But later we started to hear
disturbing rumours. Talk of undead minotaurs and worse killing their
brethren. I should have known by then what we were facing, but I
did not see the truth. It was not until one of our patrols by chance
found a newly dug tunnel that lead into a vast dark cavern, filled
with dark waters and shadows we learnt the magnitude of
Tzaruum’ze’s treachery.”

“… It was not Torog that had filled Tzaruum’ze’s head with
dreams of power, promises of eternal unlife. No it had been the
Blood Lord all along, his whispers from the shadows behind the
idol of Torog. Cursed be the Prince of Undeath, may Baphomet
feast on his carcase.”

“In the bowls of the mountain we found the Sea of Shadows,
excavated by the followers of Tzaruum’ze. Like a black mirror it lay
hidden deep under the Thunderspire Labyrinth, its surface filled
with dancing shadows and the whispers of the dead. Tzaruum’ze
had built bridges spanning the immense stalactites to the centre of
the sea. There waited his army of bronze wardens, a mockery to the
minotaur race and our great lord – the Horned King. Tzaruum’ze
had initiated the most unholy ritual that would open a rift to the
Shadowfell – flooding the Thunderspire Labyrinth and all its
surroundings with shadow water and necrotic energies. He had
doomed his whole race to unlife and eternal servitude to the Blood
Lord. Cursed be the name of Tzaruum’ze for all eternity.”

“… The war that followed was fierce. Tzaruum’ze and his
followers had grown in size and had established unholy alliances
with other races from the depth. The battle for the throne of
Saruun Khel soon turned into a vicious civil war. The Baphomet
loyal minotaurs came to face the might of the high priest of Orcus
and his loyal subjects. Those who died soon returned as undead,
fighting its slayers. It was with great sorrow that I had to witness
the fall of the great nation of Saruun Khel. And I started to fear for
the survival of our once great nation. I turned to my Lord, but his
fury demanded me to just keep on fighting. But what help is it to
kill your enemy if he the day after comes back as a flesh-crazed
zombie? We had to find another way to fight this enemy, this
blasphemy to life and death alike.”

“… It was then I decided to turn to my enemy’s enemy. I called
out to the Lady of Fate, Death’s Mistress, the Raven Queen – and
she answered my prayers. She filled me with hope again. Guided
by her visions and dreams I started the bane of Tzaruum’ze and his
Master – the Orb of Light. With this new weapon, we managed to
turn the tide of undeath that was growing as a festering wound
inside Thunderspire Mountain.”

“… We were saved, thanks to the Raven Queen. Glory to her
name.”

Here the notes end, but another writer has added a further section:

“May the name of Taurus Zabath be forever cursed — the
betrayer of Baphomet, the defiler of Saruun Khel! — because he brought
the wrath of the Horned King upon us. The mindless fury is
spreading like a disease among the few survivors from the battle
against the traitors of undeath. Brother is slaying brother, father
children, mother sister. We are turning our hope to the Horned
One, asking for his forgiveness, sacrificing our children to quench
his thirst for vengeance. Our future not rest in the Horned King’s
care, praised is him who walks with the beast within. Cursed be the
name of Taurus Zabath forever.”

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The Treachery of Tzaruum'ze

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