The Ghostlord's Lair

The Ghostlord's Lair

Day 20, 08h30 pm, clear night sky

While you are with at Starsong Hill with Tiri-Kitor, you try to learn more about the phylactery you just found earlier. It happens that Jor seems to know a little about it as well as some of the high ranking elves within the Tiri-Kitor. So you finally learn that the necklace is in fact a phylactery for a lich, a mighty undead who can still use magical power from his/her previous life!

Before explaining the reason of his own presence here, the woodsman goes on with the story he knew from his early age.
JorWith the united knowledge of them, you learn that a once proud druid dwelt in the verdant plains south of Rhest and led several tribes of nomads. These nomads were said to have built a massive lion of stone in honor of this great druid, who taught them the ways of the lion and how to leave at peace with these proud creatures. Yet when dark times fell on Rhest, their shadow also fell upon the lion's plains.

It began when nobles visiting from Rhest arrived in the region. The nomads befriended the nobles but were betrayed by them when the visitors hunted down and killed a lion monarch for his pelt and claws. The nomads reacted with violence, slaying the visiting nobles to a man. Rhest answered in kind, and its army marched against the southern plains. The disorganized nomads stood little chance against Rhest's military might, and the tribes were slaughtered despite the fact that the lions rose to defend them. The warriors of Rhest confronted and slew the druid between the paws of his own massive stone shrine.

But the night after the warriors returned to their city, doom came to Rhest. Ghost lions prowled the streets, stalking and killing anyone they came across. When the dawn came, the entirety of Rhest's cavalry, including families, servants and squires, lay dead. Rhest never recovered from this night of terror, which marked the beginning of the decline of that once-proud nation. In the years since, the once verdant hills to the south have grown horrid and tangled. The Thornwaste is all that remains.

The leader of the Tiri-Kitor smiles as Jor ends his story. But she continues where the woodsman has stopped like it never happened.
Sellyria StarsingerIn fact, Urikel Zarl, the real lich's name, was in fact the leader of a cruel lion cult based in the southern regions of the kingdom. His people were not the noble nomads legend recalls, but feral cannibals who believed that in death their bodies would transform into lions and thereafter live forever. Zarl was their undying lord and master, who had long before turned his back on the natural world for tainted promises of eternal undeath. When the Rhestian lords sought to challenge his power and subjugate the region, their cavalry and the cultists destroyed each other; in the years to come, both Rhest and the Thornwaste fell to ruin as a result.

A silence then falls upon the council room where you were all gathered as information makes its way through your minds. Suddenly the other elf present, the bard Trellara Nightshadow, breaks it.
Trellara NightshadowYou have not many options from here. Either you destroy the phylactery and earn the lich's eternal enmity or investigate what kind of alliance was dealt between the Red Hand and Urikel Zarl. That are the only two choices you have now... and I don't need to remind you that time is of the essence with Horde traveling closer and closer each day to Brindol.

Pulling out the map, Boramin looked at the distance, "It is a fair distance to travel to visit this Lich's home. I would dearly like to know what deal has been done with the Red Hand and Urikel Zarl. It may be crucial to save the vale."
Clicking his fingers, as a thought materialized, "Honoured bard, Trellara Nightshadow. Would it be possible to loan some of your glorious giant owls to speed our passage?"

Daerwol patted Boramin on the shoulder. "The honorable Tiri-Kitor has already offered use of his feathered mounts to us, so long as we take good care of them."

The duskblade frowned. "I, too, am curious what deal has been struck between the horde and this 'Urikel Zarl', but I do not like the idea of dealing with a lich. They are foul creatures, and full of deceit. Even with its phylactery in our control, it will try to twist us to its own ends."

Enzo Toradi

"Maybe I missed something.", Enzo simply states. "There's this mega powerful undead guy. We have his Phil-something or other. He wants it for some reason."

"Now why in the nine hells would we want to bring the damned thing closed to him? I say we break the thing and try to have the Red-Handers take the blame. Maybe spread rumors they have hidden the Philac-thing?"

After a moment of pause, the young man asks: "Say, mister Lich, would he know if something happens to his Phil-thing? Like, is he able to sense the item somehow? 'Cause if so, it might be not such a great idea to start taking it apart..."

Day 20, 08h30 pm, clear night sky

Boramin smiles weakly as Daerwol reminds him politely of the fact that the giant owl were already loaned for the duration of their mission. The speakers don't even seem to notice as they immediately stiffen at Enzo's comment about destroying the phylactery.
Sellyria StarsingerDestroying the phylactery would only get the lich madder, and probably setting course for a death mission upon those who would be the destroyers. The lich is not really aware of the phylactery location but it will do all it can to retrace the defilers. No truthfully I really think that keeping in one piece is better idea, especially if you are to investigate its own lair. It might even grant an edge when meeting Urikel Zarl.
The leader of the tiri-kitor then turns toward the bard who continues with more information.
Trellara NightshadowAs for the Thornwaste, it lies about three days of owl flight. Once there be careful of the wandering monsters, they may have a slight interest in your feathered mount as the honorable Daerwol called them, she says with a smile toward the duskblade. Just let them fly away and whistle three times to call them back once you will be done there!
Then Sellyria speaks once more,
Sellyria StarsingerWe will help you the best we can to equip you for the upcoming mission but the resources of Starsong Hill are a little restricted by these hard times. Look around and send me message about what you might need and I'll try to manage something for you. May the light of day shine on you, valorous adventurers!

"Messing with the undead? I don't like it one bit. Going right to their lair? I like it even less. If we really gonna face him, I'd rather do it on our terms then on his. Can't we set up to meet him in a consecrated place or something?"

"Perhaps we could make a slight diversion to Brindol on the way. Restock the bits and pieces we might need in dealing with undead and their minions." Boramin suggested pleased they had access to the giant owls.

Day 20, 08h30 pm, clear night sky

As Mellavin and Boramin voice their concern for confronting the undeads and their master, it is Jorr this time that comments,
JorrDrellin's Ferry has already fallen to the Horde, two days ago in fact. My guess is to reach the Thornwaste as soon as possible so stopping by Brindol isn't a good idea since it will add time on our schedule. In fact time is of the essence friends 'cause if we loose time, the Red Hand will reach Brindol before we can set up good defenses!
Sellyria looks gravely at the group as Jorr finishes his speech and then adds,
Sellyria StarsingerDealing with the lich isn't a good idea either, at least if you try to get him out of his lair. It looks very much like the Horde has some kind of hold on him and until he learns of its whereabouts, speaking of the phylactery, I think that the monster will not act foolishly. For the moment, both the Red Hand and the lich are not aware of the change of hand in the phylactery possession so we might use that to our advantage and try to turn Urikel Zarl allegiance around or at least break what is currently going on between them!

Enzo Toradi

Rehashing the information they gathered about the lich and its philactery, Enzo somewhat changes ideas. "Ok. I'm all for destroying the thing, but I think we are kind of stuck and much choose the lesser of two evils. Considering we're talking of a powerful undead, it's not quite reassuring. On the other hand, far as I understand, the thing has had many a centuries to expand on its evil ways, and has stayed to the general area of its lair. Meanwhile, the Red Handers are at the whole region full force."

"I say we bring the philacthingy with us and try to reinforce revenge in the mind of the lich. Far as I know, evil people are pretty high on the revenge factor. Only downside I can see is maybe we'll have to deal with the lich afterwards. Like I said, though, lesser evil...whatever that means."

"How do we know the lich guy is the lesser evil? Who knows how many undead are infesting the region? Enraging him at the moment probably isn't a good idea, but I still think just giving the philatrion is a bad idea. We can't expect something so vile to show gratitude once it gets what it wants."


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