Rise of the Runelords
Ravings of a madman
The runeforge pool awoke! I first took this as a sign that Runelord Xanderghul had risen. When I arrived at the pool to investigate, it seemed that the others had come to the same conclusion. The foolish Wardens of Envy thought to disrupt the recrudescence, and with the aid of Azaven, Ordikan, Athroxis, and that lovely creature Delvahine, we were able to defeat them utterly. Their Abjurant Halls lie in ruins. Our treaty was short-lived, though. Azaven absconded with the bodies and that treacherous wench Athroxis nearly burned me to death before I made it back here.
I was mistaken. Runelord Xanderghul still slumbers. It is that monster Karzoug who quickens and nears rebirth. Damnation! He must not be allowed to precede Xanderghul into the world, for he would rebuild Thassilon in his own inferior image, a testament to his own greed rather than one of pride in the work. He must be delayed or defeated!
I have managed to escape this place, to a certain extent. By astral projection I can explore what the world outside has become. It is a brutish place, yet it pleases me to see Thassilon’s mark endures in the shape of our monuments. Still, the wilderness of the world vexes me. Gone is the empire I know. Karzog’s city of Xin-Shalast is now hidden high in the mountains, and when I finally discovered it, I found the spires where his body is hidden to be inaccessible, warded against astral travelers by the occlusion field around the peak of Mhar-Massif. As long as his runewell is active, I fear even a physical approach would be impossibly deadly. I must determine a way to pierce these wardings, and to send an agent in my place. No need to risk my own life before my clone is ready.
I have taken steps toward an alliance with Delvahine. She may be able to escape this place, for she was not of the original blood. At the least, she can call upon agents from outside, and perhaps through them we can secure servants in the outer world. She seems uninterested in Sorshen’s return; all the better for Xanderghul, that.
The runeforge pool is the key. As I suspected, the occlusion field around Karzoug’s fortress in Xin-Shalast has a flaw. His lack of knowledge of the intricacies of Sorshen’s and my own lord Xanderghul’s powers have left an opening. My agents must use components infused with our lord’s virtues, extract the latent magic within these components, and then anoint their chosen weapons with this raw power. The runeforged pool seems to have enough reserves to enhance no more than half a dozen or so runeforged weapons, but those enhanced with enchantment and illusion magic will be most potent against Karzoug’s defenses. They may even be pivotal in his defeat. For my own part, fragments of any of the mirrors in the Peacock’s Hall should suffice for a component. Delvahine’s…equipment…should suffice for enchantment, although one might be wise to cleanse them before they are handled.
The search for an agent goes poorly. Delvahine seems more interested in her own lusts than aiding me. Worse, the lapses and fevers are increasing. I fear that I will be forced to see to Karzoug myself, in which event I will need to use to use the master circle I built into the Halls of Wrath to escape this place. Yet first, I must set aside my work on delaying Karzoug’s return and turn back to the final development of my 205th clone. I only hope I have time to finish before the dementia takes hold…