Age of Worms
According to Doctor Filge, the Age of Worms is the Waiting Age, an era of catastrophe that lurks in the shadows of every tomorrow. Scholars obsessed with apocalyptic visions claim that its advent signals an interminable period of suffering in which the cosmic scales shift disastrously toward evil and light fades from the land.
Alistor Land, deceased, ghost
A boy of Diamond Lake who died in the Whispering Cairn some thirty years before the party’s arrival there. He remained as a ghost, living in a particular room where he died. He offered to let the party through the opposite door of the room if they would but bury his bones besides those of his father on a farm in the outskirts of Diamond Lake.
Allustan Neff, prominent wizard
Brother to Governor-Mayor Lanod Neff, probably the smartest man in Diamond Lake. Rumored to be a powerful wizard and a former adventurer of note. Allustan has a strong interest with the history of the region and its tombs.
Auric (ORE-ick), gladiator adventurer
Auric hails from the Free City of Greyhawk and is a member of the trio investigating the Stirgenest Cairn, along with the elven archer Tirra and the wizard Khellek.
Balabar Smenk, Mine Lord / Merchant
A corpulent elemental of corruption and bad taste, Balabar Smenk lords his political clout over everyone in Diamond Lake save the governor-mayor and garrison commander. Smenk has wrestled four mines into his possession in the last 10 years.
Chaum Gansworth, Mine Lord
Diamond Lake’s youngest mine manager is also its most cautious.
Chronicles of Chan
A book, falsely attributed to a princess of elemental air, which records a full roster of the Wind Dukes present at the Battle of Pesh and a general record of what took place there between the cosmic forces of Law and Chaos.
Ebon Triad (cult)
Enigmatic cult holding secret ceremonies in the Dourstone Mine. The party learned the following upon infiltrating the mine:
- Cult worships a bizarre mix of Erythnul, Hextor and Vecna.
- The three sects of the cult do not always seem to get along and there may have been conflict between them.
- Discovered evil pool of black slime
- Battled hostile cultists, some of whom seemed to be local townsfolk dressed in religious garb, accompanied by large men in ornate, spiked armor, many of whom appeared to be tieflings. Some cultists seemed to enter a fanatical religious rage or ecstacy as the battle went on, and the most zealous levitated and then exploded in showers of gore when killed.
Sermon: Heironeous is the Trickster, a false deity whose lies art spread like flies. Only the Weak believe the trickster’s lies.
Offer thy unfailing obedience to Hextor’s mastery, beg that he may grant thee mercy should thou be found worthy. Then shall the Truth be revealed to thee.
Hextor is the Strong Hand, Hextor is Rightful Respect, Hextor is the Cleansing Scourge, Hextor is Discipline, and Hextor is the Herald of Order.
Only Hextor’s divine Order can create perfect Justice for all. The End shall justify the Means.
Knight-Patriarch Theldrik is Divine because he is the Gifted embodiment of Hextor’s Divinity. So too shall those who are Strong and Obedient become Divine, as Theldrik.
The Weak who will not or cannot heed to Hextor’s Divine Will shall serve his Faithful, and in so doing create perfect Justice.
Those who have Spurned thee and thus Hextor’s Will shall suffer, and in doing so create perfect Justice.
Bring forth the Offering and thine own Offerings, so that the Herald may be pleased.
- Furyian recognized one of the hooded cult leaders as “Red Jack” (a.k.a., The Snatcher, The Peregrine, The Pure), a murderous religious fanatic and fugitive from Greyhawk wanted for setting several priests of various religions (including Heironeous and Pelor) on fire. Red Jack appeared enraged at Furyian and Azeren and attempted to stab Furyian and set him on fire.
- Eirene recognized Red Jack’s voice as that of Tom Shingle, a freakish contortionist who works with her at The Emporium. Eirene tried to convince the cultist to give himself up and asked why he was doing such evil things. Red Jack/Tom seemed to lose his bloodthirsty rage for a moment and seemed emotionally anguished, citing that he was always treated as a freak and only got respect and power from the cult, and that he always had feelings for Eirene. However, he quickly fell back into his zealous rage and had to be killed along with the other cultists, and exploded in an ecstatic shower of gore upon dying.
- Slew Theldrik, the high priest of Hextor and discovered his journal entries:
Excerpts from Theldrick’s Journal
Praise Be to the Scourge of Battle,
The Faceless One grows increasingly concerned. That addled beast Grallak Kur has yet to provide new insights into the Overgod’s nature.
The crude missives he sends speak of the worms, of a slumbering power that must be awoken, but nothing more. I wish he would go back to the black pit that spawned him if he has nothing more to offer.
The Faceless One tells me this ties into an ancient figure, a being of great power. Of course, he tells me little else. He enjoys keeping his secrets, but he forgets that they flourish only behind the protection of Hextor. His latest taunt is a scroll that he tells me contains all the
answers I seek. Of course, the fool wrote it in a cipher. Were it not for the dictates of the Ebon Triad, I would lead my troops into their damnable labyrinth and kill every last bird and wizard within it.
Grallak is the key. Thank the Scourge that he trusts me and not the Faceless One. Otherwise, I doubt the Faceless One would bother imparting anything to us. We cannot trust these mages. When the Overgod arises, I think it will be time to settle some old scores.
Under the Herald’s Watchful Eye We Conquer,
Grallak Kur has finally yielded a useful clue. I personally delivered it to the labyrinth, and the Faceless one giggled like a blood=addled berserker when he saw the message. Grallak spoke of the worms again, of course. He says that even now they stir and writhe.
The world is like an apple infested with them. All seems well for now, but soon they burst through the skin and swarm across the land.
Still, part of this vision troubles me. Grallak spoke of a great power behind them, but the Ebon Triad teaches that these worms will awaken the Overgod. Is there some other power at hand here that we cannot see? Is it friend or foe?
The Faceless One knows more, but he of course has little to say. Perhaps Grallak has invented everything. His monstrous kin are few in number and battered after their pilgrimage through the Underdark. If he is an imposter or trickster, we may need to root him out of this place. In that case, our agents must make another supply run. Six coils of rope, and perhaps bows and more arrows, should do the trick. With the petitioners leading the way we can uncover any ambushes they have within the cliffs.
- Discovered the remains and belongings of several of Gurukk’s fellow barbarian tribesmen in the cult section devoted to Erythnul and guarded by savage beastmen with the heads and legs of goats.
- Heard a telepathic, sibilant voice whispering secrets of each character’s past which no one else knew about. The voice attempted to sway the party from going further, citing that the cult had done nothing to them, and only sought important knowledge. Those who answered to the voice recieved this response:
All knowledge comes with a price. Do not touch the walls and sacraments of this place, or harm those who tend them. They hold the secrets to the universe. Leave us in peace, and let the knowledge be unlocked and shared with all. It will spare a great many from undue suffering. You have made an honest mistake by coming here. It is not too late to undo it.
- Discovered a strange maze guarded by teleportation traps and humanoid crow-headed men in black robes.
Ellival (ELL-eh-voll) Moonmeadow, Mine Lord
Regulars at Lazare’s gaming parlor know this reclusive elf as “The Prince,” since he is a minor
noble from the distant elven realm of Celene, a land so fabled it might as well be imaginary as far as most of Diamond Lake’s residents are concerned.
“Doctor” Filge is a twisted, syringe-wielding necromancer employed by Balabar Smenk to research the strange green worm found in the cultists area beneath Dourstone Mine, as well as the legend of the Age of Worms and the ancient god Kyuss.
Flagellants are practitioners of an extreme form of mortification of their own flesh by whipping it with various instruments. Jierian Weirus and many of his zealous followers of St. Cuthbert are flagellants. A line of black-hooded flagellants (assumed by the party to be St. Cuthbert followers) were spotted chanting and marching through the hills north of Diamond Lake.
Garavin Vesst, Mine Lord (deceased)
A deceased mine lord who branded his miners and treated them as little more than slaves. When he died, most of his miners went to work for Balabar Smenk. The albino half-orc thug Kullen and most of his gang used to work for Garavan Vest, and now work for Smenk.
Gelch Tilgast, Mine Lord
Ten years ago, the aging Gelch Tilgast held the reins of Diamond Lake’s ore trade, a position he’d enjoyed most of his life. Then Balabar Smenk and his boundless ambition came to town. Since then, Tilgast has been in decline.
Icosiol (eye-KO-zee-all), Wind Duke
A Wind Duke slain by Miska the Wolf-Spider in the final cataclysmic conflict between Law and
Jierian Wierus (JAIR-ee-en WEER-us), cleric of St. Cuthbert
Leader of the Church of St. Cuthbert in Diamond Lake.
Khellek, wizard adventurer
Khellek hails from the Free City of Greyhawk and is a member of the trio investigating the Stirgenest Cairn, along with the gladatior Auric and the elven archer Tirra. Yorgan noticed that Khellek wears a Seekers ring.
Kullen, albino half-orc barbarian
A pugilist thug who leads a small gang of thugs who hang out at the Feral Dog, and who were hired by someone called “Doctor Filge” to bring him bones. They considered grave robbing beneath them but needed the money. The small gang includes Kullen, the ranger Rastophan, the polearm fighter Todrik, and the wizard/sorcerer Merovinn Bask.
Kyuss (KAI-uss or KYUSS) (ancient god)
Not much is known of Kyuss. He appeared more than a thousand years ago in the Rift Canyon to the north. In a short time, he created dozens of new undead breeds and amassed a legion of creatures bound to his will. It is said that an undead dragon stood at his side as the general of his forces. Now, only strange green worms remain of his legacy. Legends say that once hundreds of these worms must have wriggled within the abscesses and orifices of powerful undead creatures called Spawns of Kyuss. Doctor Filge believed these spawn are probably the ‘unkillable’ zombies the Ebon Triad cultists mentioned to Smenk.
Lanod Neff, Governor-Mayor of Diamond Lake
Former commander of Greyhawk Watch (with a dubious record). Known to all in town as a lying, cheating philanderer. With his wizard brother Allustan Neff in town, most folks have decided they’d probably do better buying him off than go against him.
Luzane (loo-ZANE) Parrin, Mine Lord
As the yield of her mines faltered in the last decade, so faltered the fortunes of Luzane Parrin, inheritor of her mother’s proud legacy as one of the town’s wealthiest managers. First, a humiliated Parrin discharged her house staff. Then she scornfully sold her demesne to Balabar Smenk, who had rudely courted her for years despite the fact that she was married. Two years ago, her husband died mysteriously.
Mining Office (owned by Yorgan)
This old abandoned mining office an hour outside of town is in serious disrepair and will cost hundreds of gold to restore. Yorgan purchased the rights to this building. The party was kidnapped from this building by unknown forces, most likely using knockout gas globes such as those found in the mind flayer enclave.
Miska the Wolf-Spider, demon
A demonic entity that looks like a drider with four arms and a human head flanked by two wolf heads. Miska slew the Wind Duke Icosiol. Legend says that during the final battle between Law and Chaos, the Wandering Duke Qadeej impaled Miska with the Rod of Law, unintentionally creating a planar rift. As the Wolf- Spider, Rod, and Qadeej vanished into a planar rift, another Wind Duke named Icosiol was struck by a beam from Miska’s eyes and slain. The Rod of Law was said to be broken into seven parts, forming the legendary Rod of Seven Parts.
Nadroc (NAD-rock), Wind Duke
A Vaati name glyph found in the Whispering Cairn, apparently an architect of some sort.
Phylactery Sacrorum, religious relic of Heironeous
A small leather box containing religious texts on vellum, believed by worshippers of Heironeous to have powers that ward off evil in some way. It was stolen from the catacombs beneath the Shrine of Heironeous in Diamond Lake. Caretakers were slain and one was turned into an undead cold wight.
Queen of Chaos (evil demi-god?)
A powerful primal being with the form a tentacled horror from an age before ages. Against her stood the rigid legions of the Wind Dukes of Aaqa. She was allied with a demon called Miska the Wolf-Spider.
Ragnolin Dourstone, dwarf Mine Lord
Established several mining operations in the area, with the most lucrative centered in Diamond Lake. Seemingly involved with the Cult of the Ebon Triad.
Red Jack, cultist of Ebon Triad, pyro/arsonist
A.k.a, The Snatcher, The Pure, The Peregrin. Real name: Tom Shingle. By day, contortionist freak working at The Emporium. Secretly a cultist of the Ebon Triad and wanted for gruesome attacks and murders in Greyhawk. Originally from the city of Greyhawk, then fled to Diamond Lake after becoming a wanted man. In Greyhawk, he was called by various names, some of his own invention and some as cursed nicknames, though his true name was not known at the time. Committed numerous crimes, ranging from petty theft and muggings to blasphemy against Heironeous and Pelor and his worshippers. Wore a shabby, makeshift hood and heatedly argued with priests and clergyman about religious and political views. At one point he snatched away the liturgies of a clergyman of Pelor who was giving a public sermon and set them and the clergyman on fire. The clergyman lived but was so badly burned he now cannot speak or see, and can barely walk. Similar snatch and burn attacks were perpetrated on other clergyman of various gods in the city and were attributed to the same individual.
Rod of Law / Rod of Seven Parts
Legend says that during the final battle between Law and Chaos, the Wandering Duke Qadeej impaled Miska with the Rod of Law, unintentionally creating a planar rift. As the Wolf- Spider, Rod, and Qadeej vanished into a planar rift, another Wind Duke named Icosiol was struck by a beam from Miska’s eyes and slain. The Rod of Law was said to be broken into seven parts, forming the legendary Rod of Seven Parts.
Sargoth, mind flayer enclave
The underdark mind flayer enclave where the party was briefly imprisoned.
A group of unscrupulous archeologists and pseudohistorians who seek knowledge regardless of the cost. Their symbol is an eight-pointed star. Several decades old corpses with Seeker emblems were found in the Whispering Cairn, and Yorgan noticed the wizard Khellek wears a Seeker ring.
Sisters of Mercy (organization)
A somewhat famous but isolationist group of healers who worship Rao, god of peace and serenity and St. Cuthbert. They dwell within a secluded abbey a day and a half ride north of Diamond Lake, next to the Monastery of Montenegro.
Spheres of Annihilation:
Spheres of annihilation were holes in the continuity of the multiverse, and that anything they touched was destroyed utterly. After the Battle of Pesh, legend holds that the Wind Dukes scattered them to the corners of the Great Wheel. Far more numerous are the talismans that were said to grant their owners some measure of control over the spheres.
Tirra, elven archer adventurer
Tirra hails from the Free City of Greyhawk and is a member of the trio investigating the Stirgenest Cairn, along with the gladatior Auric and the wizard Khellek.
Twilight Monastery (Thain)
A three-towered monument to an obscure philosophy of the Distant West (Xan Yae, Baklunish goddess of Twilight, Shadows, Stealth, Mental and Physical Mastery of Mind over Matter). Two score monks dwell within the monastery, dedicating themselves to a litany of exercises meant to perfect the body and spirit. They are led by the shadowy and feared monk Izenfen the Occluded. The dwarven archer Thain dwells within this monastery.
An ancient glyph-language, which some unorthodox scholars consider the original written form of Auran, the language of elemental air. Vaati glyphs were found in the Whispering Cairn on a strange broken mirror-like apparatus, on a sarcophagus, and in other areas of the cairn. The glyphs represent names, with each referring to a single individual. The glyph on the arcane apparatus probably represents the seal of the most important or highest-ranking of the three found in the Whispering Cairn. The glyph in one of the underground areas seems to pertain to an architect of some kind, by the name of “Nadroc.”
Valkus Dun, cleric/fighter of Heironeous
Leader of the Shrine of Heironeous in Diamond Lake.
Velias Childramun (CHILL-dra-mun), fatherly cleric of Heironeous
A priest of Heironeous at the shrine in Diamond Lake. One of Azeren’s superiors along with Valkus Dun.
An ancient tomb outside Diamond Lake, rumored to be filled with treasure and ancient arcane lore. It is believed to be the tomb of the Wind Duke Zosiel, who fell at the Battle of Pesh during the battle between Law and Chaos.
Originally celebrated as Samhain (“Oidche Samha”), or All Hallows Eve in Geoff, the Ulek states, and Druidic areas. The borders of the spirit world grow thin this night, so people traditionally dress as spirits and cavort all night as faeries are always depicted as doing. The hope is that true spirits will not recognize them as mortal and thus not harm them. ‘Soulcakes’ are begged of passerby, and some larger cities also have a great mummers’ play in which everybody dies at the end but then resurrect themselves.
Sophisticated and cultured air elemental lords who served Law and fought the Queen of Chaos and Miska the Wolf-Spider in the ancient battle of Pesh, where the Rod of Law was broken into the Rod of Seven Parts, and a demonic creature used a sphere of annihilation to destroy the Wind Duke Icosiol. The Whispering Cairn is most likely the tomb of Zosiel, designed by the Wind Duke architect Nadroc, and may also pay homage to the Wind Duke Icosiel.
Zalamandra, madame of The Emporium
Proprietor/madame of The Emporium. Wants Eirene to come back to work for her, as the White Witch of Diamond Lake.
Zosiel (ZOSE-ee-ell), Wind Duke
In the Whispering Cairn tomb of Zosiel, a bas-relief on the wall near the sarcophagus depicts Zosiel as a bald, androgynous warrior wearing a simple ancient garment and wielding a mighty longsword. To the warrior’s left stands a cloaked demoniac figure with two long curved horns tipped in darkest red. The horned figure holds a device composed of a handle and small loop, seemingly using it to control a globe of absolute blackness about two feet in diameter. This globe touches the bald warrior, who raises his arms in surprise. The warrior is depicted as if fading from sight. A slim diadem upon his brow bears an elaborate ovular glyph identical to one carved upon an amulet worn by the figure on the sarcophagus lid. It is believed the globe of blackness is a sphere of annihilation.