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Immortal Devotee of Kelemvor
I awoke in the land of Impiltur. I learned this by asking a fellow traveler on one of the land’s roads. The look he gave me told me all I needed to know of what he thought of my question. I remembered little of what had happened before my awakening. I simply was here.
Impiltur was a land of death. It seemed to be dying before my eyes. Death. I was oddly comforted by it’s presence. It’s people viewed me with a mix of suspicion and fear. I had seen this look before. Death was feared by nearly all people in Faerun and I was no exception. Death was my purpose, the reason I walked this land of demon worshipers and those they terrorized.
The world had changed since I last walked it. I learned of this change in Lyrabar. The town had built a new dock due to the changes that had occurred in the level of the sea. The people spoke of an event called the Spellplague. It had altered the world a century ago. No such event existed in my memories.
I traveled to Akanul, a place that did not exist to me when last I roamed the world. Here I met a dragonborn, a creature from another plane called Abeir. They were new to this world as well. Was nothing the same? I soon found my answer, death still stalked all living beings. That constant was all that I needed.
A stroke with my axe that would have failed if not for an adjustment at the last moment. My muscles seemed to have memories that my mind did not share. Though, when failure was avoided thanks to this hidden store of memories, a flash would assault my mind. That was when I would remember brief moments of my old life.
She was young and beautiful. Her auburn hair flowed down her back. Her mischievous grin always brought a smile to my face.
It was her memory that I recalled first, each time I was reborn. I knew that now. I had been reborn numerous times to fulfill a purpose. Only when my life was in danger, when death was my close companion, could I regain the memories of my lost lives. A journey to Cormyr revealed why I died.
The Battle of Helmgrove was the cause of my demise. We were named the Shield of Myth Drannor but what good is a shield against the tide of the sea? Demons swarmed about us and tore my companions to ribbons. My anger was of little aid against their might. My last memory was of her and my hope that the mythal would protect her from the fiends descending upon our home had faded.
A return to Akanul brought even more memories.
The Fugue Plane. I stood before a new lord. His visage was not one of horror, but one of life. Kelemvor he was called. I would be sent to Faerun to do his bidding from this point forth. Death was to be explained as a natural end to life, not an event to be feared. Those creatures clinging to undeath were to be destroyed. The reign of Myrkul (Was that my old lord?) had come to an end.
We were then in Thesk. I had followed Lyria, Elisanada and Boden to this land. They sought a vessel for a halfling patron. It was clear that the town of Phsant, leagues inland, would not be the location of a ship. We found ourselves at a funeral for a leader of the orcs that lived in this area. These orcs understood death enough to celebrate the life of their elder. There was little grief and much rejoicing. During the festivities I found myself caught up in the celebration and agreed to enter the wrestling event taking place. Someone thought it humorous to pitch me against multiple halflings. They were emboldened by alcohol and as I dealt with several of them from the front, one dove into the back of my knee. With a smack we all hit the ground and I was soon overwhelmed, pinned by their mass briefly. As I struggled, I saw another time and place.
Myth Drannor, stood before me, at least what of it remained. All that I had fought and died for was ruined. I felt profound sorrow and anger. Others had told me of the fate of my home and even warned me against making the journey there but I needed to see for myself. Heartbroken, I felt I must find my love. She had not survived the attack and I had to see where we had lived, and I even dared to hope that I would find her and perhaps even lay her body to rest.
I entered a place filled with demons and worse. I had known the city well and made it to the avenue that led to our home before I was discovered. I ran to our home, hope still abounding that I would find my love. Little was left of the structure and I was soon surrounded by foes. Determined that I should die defending my home, rather than far away as I was during the Weeping War, I took up my weapon and fought. Foes came at me and died. The weight of all the combatants was too great for the structure to support and we fell into the lower level. Bodies pressed down upon me and I could not move. Barbs, claws and stingers bit into my flesh while slowly and agonizingly my life ended.
Suddenly I was on my feet and small bodies were all around. I held one over my head and nearly brought it down over my knee until I recognized the funeral of the orc leader. I was proclaimed the victor and made my way to a secluded spot where I slumped against a tree, emotionally drained.
We continued, hoping to find a woman who was venerated in Phsant as a savior. She had repulsed numerous hoards of undead unleashed on the area by the nation of Thay with a radiant gift bestowed on her. Sibbya, she was called and she had been taken by orcs. We were given their location by one of Sibbya’s friends, a lover of one of the orcs. We fought our way through the orcs, finding Sibbya in the midst of birthing a child. We fought like those possessed to reach her, as it seemed her delivery was not going well. Orcs opposed us and the battle was pitched. The Fugue Plane already had several new inhabitants and we were determined to add more.
Finally, the foes were defeated and I rushed to aid Lyria who was struggling to calm the woman, ease her pain and deliver the child. I reached the platform where the woman lay and there was so much blood. I could see the child, it’s feet coming out of the womb first and knew I had to act. As I approached the woman, I became immersed in a memory.
The woman that I loved lay on a bed, her belly swollen with a child. Our child! She was covered in sweat, her hair plastered to her head. She whimpered as she struggled to bring our child into the world. The elf that served as our midwife was at the foot of the bed with a grave look upon her face. She plunged her hands into a bowl of fresh water and then began working to turn the baby so that the head could be drawn out. My love, her voice hoarse from the cries, the screams of earlier, found her voice yet again and her anguish was horrible to hear. Finally, with a shudder the child was birthed and gave a week cry. That was the only sound the child ever made.
Raziel found himself looking at Sibbya. Her breathing was heavy and her face streaked with tears. Lyria was holding her head, soothing her and Raziel could see that the head was first. He told the pregnant woman to push on his word. With death all around him, Raziel nodded and called, “PUSH!” He then cradled a child covered in blood in his bloody arms. A devotee of the god of death had brought life into the world.
I wandered west, upon a ship then a road and aboard a river barge. Then I traveled to a city where two suns shone and law was honored above all else. I quickly left that place, keenly aware that laws created by mortals are inequitable. To Baldur’s Gate I wandered, far from those with whom I had traveled to Thesk. Their presence would have interfered with the contemplation brought about by my last memory. I had begun to dream of the birth and death of my child. I could not understand the images they brought, unbidden, to my mind. I would walk until fate saw fit to give me another foe to pit myself against. Conflict and the proximity it put me and foes to death seemed to trigger my memories.
South through Amn and Tethyr and east on to the Lake of Steam, I walked. At Ankhapur the road came to an end. I gazed upon the lake in the mid-day sun, it’s mirrored surface reflecting the great yellow light and was moved. Mayhap here would be the place to recall a detail of my life.
Unsurprisingly, I needed little time to find someone willing to pay me to go into harm’s way. A trading company needed guards for its representative to tour camps searching for pearls in the lake’s depths. After half of a tenday, we came to a place called Camp 15, which was obviously in need of aid. Lizardfolk had attacked their camp and various locations of their operation. The lizardfolk were not here when the camp was established so it was suspected that something had occurred to lure them to this location.
Their trail was easy enough to find. Raziel led the way for the ragtag band with whom he had been assigned to travel. They looked green and afraid of death. Mortals. The trail led to an abandoned work site. Abandoned by people that is. Lizardfolk were rummaging through the remains of the camp looking for food. As Raziel and his group broke cover from the forest the lizards assaulted them intent on tasting their flesh!
The battle was pitched with the lizardmen possessing some rudimentary magic. A cloud of toxic bog gas enveloped the group, causing them to cough and keeping them from focusing their efforts. Other lizardfolk swarmed them, eager for their feast. Raziel set about the task of sending their souls to the Fugue Plane. He had learned a new trick on his long journey and as he stepped he phased out of this plane briefly. As he traveled into this new state of being, a memory came to him.
The battle was underway. Elves and Eladrin fought against a horde of horrors. He knew this place. It was Cormanthor! He fought among the good fey in an effort to make their way to Myth Drannor. They had come from Evermeet in a crusade. Demons and elves who had become corrupted by demonic forces were their foes. The Fey’ri they were called. The elven version of tiefling they were. Elves and demons fell but there was a Fey’ri protected by demons that was raining arcane fire down on his allies. She needed to die.
He rallied the few allies that were near him to his side and they charged. “CORELLON”, was the battle cry of his cohorts. He grinned in spite of himself. In another life, he would have made the same cry. He was the vanguard of this assault and the first demon was removed from his leg as the deva continued toward the spell caster, leaving the demon to those behind him.
He had gotten their attention. The demons converged upon him, surrounding him. He made his oath to slay their Fey’ri companion and stepped off of Toril briefly. The look of shock upon her face brought another grim smile to his face. She would be judged and that judgment was eminent. The blade came down as she lifted her arm for protection. It proved to be poor protection against the will of the Lord of the Dead.
He could feel the ground grow solid beneath his feet again and the lizardman who had conjured the bog cloud stood before him. It raised its crude spear to parry his axe. Poor protection indeed.
The fate of Camp 15 had been discovered and his employer’s interests saved. Mortal matters. Raziel wanted more answers, which required more memories. If he must fight, he may as well fight with mortals he knew. They would likely need someone to perform their funeral rites. Lyria would be with them and understand a Sending ritual well enough to respond. He could likely find someone to perform the ritual in Suzial and it was in a central location. Typically, she was doing something unexpected. She was not with her friends but mentioned they were heading to Highdale in the Dalelands. Very well, it would bring him close to Myth Drannor and he had yet to see his former home in its glory reclaimed.
He found them easy enough. Elisanada and Boden were an easy enough pair to find. They were with a new bunch of allies they had come to know. So be it. A school for noble born children needed their help. This would be interesting.
No mortals are more absorbed with their temporary existence than those who are no longer children and not yet adults. Raziel agreed to teach them theology. He was infinitely aware of the machinations of the gods. While searching for the source of drugs that had been distributed to the students, the group discovered that one of these students was missing. Upon learning where he was known to spend his evenings the group converged on this locale, a storage shed on campus.
Unexpectedly, two students were standing outside the shed being threatened by a man and a pair vicious dog like creatures. When the man saw the group he turned the dogs on them instead. Raziel ignored the beasts, setting himself upon their master. The force of his will propelled him into his insubstantial state and a near-euphoric surge overtook him as he caught another glimpse of a past life.
I walked amongst the trees of Cormanthor yet again. This place drew me back to it every time I returned to Toril. I was told there was one of few portals to Evermeet hidden nearby. I needed to know more of my situation and none seemed able to answer my questions. The Tel-quessir had been on Toril for hundreds of millennia and their sages were more learned than any in the Realms.
Finally, the portal came into view. It was truly as well hidden as I had been told. Without aid I never would have discovered it. As I had been also been told, the portal was guarded by elves. I strode forward and spoke to them in the language I had originally spoken. They were wary of me and reluctant to allow me passage. I told them of my struggle, my lives spent in the service of Myth Drannor. Eventually they agreed to give me passage to Evermeet to seek the knowledge I needed. Sages, libraries, tomes paraded in quick succession in my mind. None had heard of a mortal becoming immortal. None could explain my journey.
It was during this journey that the Fey’ri assaulted the island haven of the elves. The foul demonfey were repulsed and an army was assembled to aid Evereska against a similar threat. I took up arms with my brethren. It seemed another life was to be spent in the service of my people.
I stepped forward and dropped the blade of my axe into the grounds keeper, Brace. He had been compelled to serve another. The foes were outmatched and the children saved. They told us that Barlunien, the gnomish instructor of literature, was supplying the drugs. The race was on.
We finally found the gnome in a hidden laboratory with her thugs. Elisanada and I noticed her trying to hide and the elven archer dropped her with a hail of arrows. She is a heartless one but she knows how to kill. The threat eliminated, we took our leave of the school. The dean named me an honorary teacher of Arrowpoint. I hope my students take their lesson to heart.
We received word that Lyria and Paithen requested our presence in Myth Drannor. The coronal sought brave souls to perform a task for her. Again I would serve the interests of my original home. A place once known as the Windsong Tower held a portal into the City of Song that was malfunctioning and causing a fluctuation in the restored Mythal. The Windsong Tower was known to have demons imprisoned within it during the time of the great crusade to retake Myth Drannor over a century ago. To allow them to deactivate the portal causing the fluctuation in the Mythal, the eladrin needed the group to go into the Windsong Tower and secure it by slaying as many of the potential threats as they could in only one hour.
Entering the tower through a portal was a moving experience for Raziel. He had fought in the crusade to take Myth Drannor back. This was a place still under the occupation of those same demonic forces he had fought. The group moved through the tower first locating the portal out. With only an hour before the Mythal would be restored, they wanted to find the exit quickly.
That accomplished, they entered a room formally used as a kitchen. An eladrin who must have been imprisoned by the demons was painting a picture using his own blood. Boden reacted poorly to this disturbing scene, moving forward and throwing a hammer at the foe. Surprisingly, tentacles erupted from a nearby painting and pulled the dwarf into it. The battle was joined.
Raziel rushed forward and took on the eladrin in Boden’s place. A statue in the room erupted to life when Lyria joined him in the room and overran them both. Knocked to the ground, the avenger was forced to stand, slip to one side to avoid an attack from the bronze statue and then he left this world while approaching the mad eladrin.
He saw himself dressing in a room with his beloved. She laid, her belly swollen with their child, watching him dress. He drew the blue robe over his head. Blue was his color now, having replaced black. He then drew the silver symbol from the box that had first held it. A star, the symbol of the First of the Seldarine was the symbol of his god. His beloved had given it to him and he smiled as he lifted the chain holding the symbol over his head. He walked to the bed and placed his hand upon the woman’s belly, “Mayhap today shall be the day. Corellon’s blessings be upon us.” She murmured, “Let us hope. “ He placed a kiss upon her forehead and took up his staff as he left their home.
“She worries,” he thought to himself, “She won’t tell me but she feels something is wrong.” His hand went to his holy symbol. Corellon would give them a thing a beauty, a perfect child to symbolize their love. He entered the temple of Corellon and the beauty and majesty of his lord allayed his fears. His duties took his thoughts from his pregnant wife until a young girl entered the temple, breathless. “My child is coming?” She nodded and he allowed her to lead him to the birthing chamber. “Slow down, child,” he called after her, “The beauty of Corellon will not be rushed.”
The axe bit into the eladrin who howled with a mix of delight, pain and fury. There was nothing beautiful here. The ghastly paintings continued to draw in Paithen, Boden and Gunder. The canvas the eladrin was using when they found him was a blood stained mess. Evil was at work here and death was surely a fate preferable to the one the eladrin currently suffered. The blessing of Kelemvor was placed upon the eladrin and they finished their work in the tower, dispatching demons and Fey’ri that had been imprisoned there. His brief service to Myth Drannor done, Raziel accepted Lyria’s invitation to her family home within the town.
There was a small quest that required his service at Lyria’s home. That task completed, his companions resolved to make their way to East Rift. Raziel had no desire to see a giant hole in the ground. He had seen Suzail, Baldur’s Gate and now Myth Drannor. There was one last place to go, the place where he and his beloved had met. Odd that two elves from the same place would meet so far away from that home. He gathered his things and traveled northeast to the legendary city of Waterdeep.
He once again traveled with strangers. The city was cloaked in fog when they arrived and the town was eerily quiet. The travelers made their way through abandoned streets. The sound of bones cracking caught their attention and they found the cause of the city’s quiet when they saw undead rats feasting on corpses. Looking to his left, Raziel saw zombies approaching them in the tabards of the Waterdeep city watch. There was now no wonder why their entry into the city had gone unmet. There was a furious fight which resulted in the end of the undead abominations. Kelemvor’s will was done.
The sounds of more fighting brought them to an abandoned market square where more undead were attacking a mage and attempting to break down barricades behind which common folk had taken cover. More of the city watch had been slain and raised as undead. These had a huge undead with them who was bashing down barricades. Once again the mockeries of death were sent to their final rests.
The mage indicated that she thought the undead were rising due to a disturbance at the abandoned temple of Mystra. Raziel led the group to this locale with grim determination. There they found an older man in the garb of a priest of Mystra. Apparently some had refused to give up their belief in the long dead deity. He told them between sobs that his son had died and that he, “didn’t mean to do it.” Unable to glean more from him than the fact that his son was located down a hole in the floor, the group descended.
There they found yet another undead horror. The flesh of someone looked as if it had been removed and now writhed and slapped at them. This abomination was an insult to Kelemvor himself and Raziel’s axe was guided by the Lord of the Dead to slay it. Even as it enveloped him and attempted to steal his life force, the deva hacked it to bits. It lay still.
There was a passage that led on, through the basement of the temple. Here they found the true threat. A man in robes stood with a harpy. We asked him if he was responsible for the rise of the undead in Waterdeep and he gloated that the will of Orcus was being done. Raziel ended the conversation by vowing that the man would die. The harpy screeched and clawed but her association with a priest of the Demon Prince of the Undead was soon punished. Gritting his teeth against the horrible noise in his head made by the harpy’s scream, Raziel stepped back into his familiar phasing form. As he made his way toward the priest between worlds he there was no memory. Odd. As he stepped back into this world he brought his axe in an arc that clove the priest’s head from his body. That was when the memory assaulted him.
He was back in Waterdeep at the moment he had first seen his beloved. He caught a glimpse of her from across the market. She was the most beautiful thing she had seen. Of course, the length of his ever was rather small. He had only recent memory of his life, wandering the plains outside of the city. His blue skin and distinctive markings had amused him when he had seen himself in a shallow pool. As he approached the city, his purpose became better known to him. He had walked the world for millennia serving the Lord of the Dead. What he saw in her seemed a reason worth living.
Her name was Minyacairwen and she must have seen something in him. Her smile at his awkward greeting was testament to that. He was something different. They were quick companions. He longed for information and hung on her every word. He smiled each time she came into view. He knew this was different from the lives he had led. Eventually, they fell in love. Minya took him back to Myth Drannor, where they were married. He had given up the mantle of Myrkul and taken up the worship of his beloved, Corellon. The persistent memories of his former lives began to fade as he established this new life.
The zeal he had once displayed in his adherence to Myrkul was transferred to his worship of Corellon. The elven priests were surprised at his faith and his desire to join them. Once he had proved himself to them, they took him as one of their own. He and Minya lived happily in Myth Drannor and her pregnancy came as a great surprise. Alas, the child did not survive.
Decades later the deva would volunteer to lend his divine might to the defense of Myth Drannor at the Battle of Helmgrove, where he would die. He returned to the Fugue Plane and was met by a furious Myrkul. The deva had abandoned his very purpose for love and worse yet, he had worshipped another deity during his last life. All he wanted to do was return to Toril in time to stem the tide of demons sure to converge on Myth Drannor. Myrkul was willing to allow him to return but the god of death was willing to neither forgive nor forget.
The price of his betrayal would be to wander the Realms without memories other than those of pain or death. He would be a harbinger of death until he succumbed to it. Then he would be sent back to experience suffering yet again. Yet something had imprinted itself upon the servant of the Lord of the Dead. His memories, halting and confusing always led him back to Myth Drannor. He would do the bidding of his master while being haunted by the memories of his most recent lives.
This memory was a revelation. He found himself on his knees, the body of the priest of Orcus laying before him. His companions looked at him with concern but he waved them off as they attempted to help him up. There were more memories to come.
He saw himself pursuing the life he had lived with Minya with only the few clues he had been given. He had returned to Myth Drannor, had traveled to Evermeet and had returned to Cormanthor in the crusade to defeat the Fey’ri. Now he had defeated a priest of Orcus, one of the great enemies of Kelemvor. The flood of memories and the emotions they brought, were a reward for this service. The new Lord of the Dead did not harbor the grudge of his predecessor. He would not torment his own servant. Raziel had been judged by the Judge of the Damned and was now being released from his punishment. He heard a final whisper as the memories came to an end, “Your fate is now your own”.