Dark Obsessions

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Dark Obsessions

Gamemaster: Archmage

Relevant Characters

Corrigan Heavensent
Myrnal Shalienza
Bixby D'Angelo
Yadali Volpecula


Elaith Thenswick
Hakaril Silvar
Ardam Elmine
Zeke Mazuo
Darin Prentiss
Karisuma Heru
Dawn Valerian


Link to Myrnal's campaign diary goes here, as it's the only in-progress record that was made.


As told by Isaac Abriani.

"The story I have to tell you is about a man named Elaith Thenswick. He was a brilliant young man, and as it turns out a very very distant direct descendent of our god of death. He was easily quite a handsome young fellow, being the epitome of tall, dark, and sophisticated. However, the unhealthy pallor of his skin and the.... unsettling intensity of his gaze made his appearance more alarming than alluring. He was human, but had been cursed with an aura of death that killed whatever he touched. Small animals would suffer its effects and die, and Elaith even left footprints of withered grass in his path."

"His father was on Gunnir Academy's administrative council, and the elder Thenswick was involved in all sorts of questionable activities. Finally, the academy had had enough of his pacts with demons, horrific experimentation and plots to overthrow the council, removing him from the administration."

"The boy Elaith stayed at the academy a while longer, eventually taking a fancy to a young lady by the name of Genevive Sarith. She was a fellow student there, and decidedly uninterested in him. You see, the girl herself was a necrophobe, and suffered a profound fear of death and all things related to it. This young man was a horrifying example of everything she despised. Not only did he kill everything he touched, and not only did he reanimate the bodies of the dead for his own purposes, but as his education continued so did his depravity."

"By the time Genevive met Elaith, he was an enthusiastic and open necrophiliac."

"You can imagine that his advances were not welcome. He did not understand the meaning of "no" and repeatedly harassed the girl, stalking her and trying to impress her with his self-described genius. Genevive would not be persuaded by bouquets of dead roses, the sight of his experimental undead, or his threats to kill any other lover she dared to take."

"Eventually he resorted to kidnapping her in order to show her how powerful he was, that no one else was worthy of her love but him. Of course..." Isaac paused to interject a sigh of annoyance. "As we can all predict, telling a young woman that you would be nearly as happy with her dead as alive is not the best way to win her affections."

"Eventually Elaith himself was expelled from the academy for attempting to overthrow the council. He retreated and was not seen for quite some time."

"That is not to say, my friends, that he was never seen again."

"What happened to Genevive? Well, finally Elaith had what seemed to him to be a much better plan. A perfect plan... in his mind."

"After a good deal of research, the man came across legends of the orbs of dragonkind. These could be used to command armies of dragons. 'Here,' he thought, 'is the answer.' So he tracked down the two most powerful orbs. With them he could command dragons so powerful they normally existed beyond the material plane. Surely then Genevive would see that he was worthy of her, that no one else was going to literally offer her the world."

"The dragons themselves were not pleased with this, but there was little they could do. He already had one orb, with an army of prismatic dragons and animated undead at his command. Someone had to step in."

"Hakaril Silvar, a military leader and powerful wizard in his own right, called in a group of mercenaries to check the situation out, see if anything could be done. He found a young ninja, a Myrnal by name, a dark knight named Corrigan, a sorceror named Rildyn, and one who had been sent on this mission not by the wizard who hired the rest, but by the god of freedom, Kazeros himself. This particular deity found enslavement of any kind disturbing, and Ardam agreed to assist."

"One by one, the heroes faced down Elaith's subordinates. They fought angels and dragons and even the undead Illithid who helped Elaith command his zombie forces. In the course of their travels, Ardam left them to pursue their foes on his own. In his absence, Corrigan turned on his allies, attacking them in the night. He nearly succeeded, but thanks to quick thinking from Myrnal was put down like the treacherous villain he turned out to be."

"Having lost an ally to treachery and unsure of the fate of their warrior-cleric friend, the others had no choice but to journey on, continuing their mission even when the enemy contacted them... mocking them with the alleged death of their friend Ardam."

"Elaith moved his operations to a frontier continent where he would be more difficult to track and control. Once again he hunted down his lady love, and brought her against her will to his new base of operations. These young adventurers followed him there, short one ally and friend, but firm in their resolve to defeat this monster of a necromancer who had caused so much suffering."

"The villain razed much of the continent, his armies of withered corpses marching over the lives of settlers and natives alike. The young heroes came to a forest much like this one, inhabited by druids sympathetic to their cause. There they came face to face with their old friend Ardam, not only alive and well, but still fighting the good fight."

"After their reunion, they found that Corrigan, the dark knight betrayer they'd previously defeated, had joined up with Elaith's forces and been embraced by a vampire. He was now more than ever... their enemy. Worse still in the mind of the ninja Myrnal was that Corrigan was accompanied on the battlefield by Elaith's apprentice Sakhiel, the very man who had taunted and manipulated them with his reports of Ardam's death."

"The battle was fought in a ruined temple, the very earth and trees around the altar soaked with evil and the malice of the god who was honored there long ago. The sight of her enemy drove Myrnal into a rage, and even killing the betrayer Corrigan could not slake her bloodlust. She turned to the wizard's apprentice. Ardam himself was the one who ended Sakhiel's life, but that was not enough for her. She thew his body onto the altar, cutting out his lying tongue and burning his body right there."

"The god honored at that temple was Nikumu, unfortunately for Sakhiel and perhaps more unfortunately for the girl who had called him up. He offered her power in exchange for her service. After her repeated refusals, the dark god retreated. For the time being."

"The young heroes continued in their journey, hunting down Elaith's subordinates and forging alliances where they could. When they left the druid village that had sheltered their friend, they were followed by one of the druids. She did not make her presence known for some time, keeping to the shadows and following them at night."

"Elaith rallied his army. Hordes of undead under his command were joined by wicked humanoids of every variety. Our heroes tracked an unnamed subordinate of the necromancer to a subterranean drow city. These drow, like many of their kind on our world, were devout followers of Nikumu. Engaged in combat with a unit of warriors and Nikumian clerics, our heroes cut them down only to be faced with a full army of warriors, wizards, clerics, and enslaved combatants. The room was still for many long moments."

Isaac paused for a breath, allowing the taut stillness of this standoff to bleed into the air between him and his audience.

"Their leader stepped forward, a cleric. He turned to Myrnal. He apologized for the actions of his men, and as a gesture of his reverence for one who had, as he put it, 'seen the face of God,' he and all his army knelt on bended knee. He apologized that she was attacked, but for her companions... no apology."

"What could they do? Upon her reluctant acceptance of his apology, the army withdrew, leaving Myrnal shaken and her friends confused."

"These drow were harboring the unnamed subordinate of Elaith Thenswick, and eventually the party found their way to him. Their passage was somewhat eased by the fact that one of their number was an object of some reverence because of her contact with their divine patron."

"They found themselves face to face with Sakhiel. He explained that his plan had been to offer up to Nikumu a fine sacrifice: several young heroic warriors. The altar had been for them. He had wanted the attention of the god of hate for himself, and more disturbingly, had wanted the power of the god of hate for himself. It had been his plan to gain Nikumu's favor and blessing, to be used to overturn the dominion of his master. Myrnal had rejected the very thing that Sakhiel had been counting on: the power to defeat Elaith Thenswick."

"After his death, Sakhiel had been claimed by the god of hate, and it took Elaith a great deal of propitiation and ingratiation to persuade the god to relinquish his prize. Eventually Sakhiel was brought back, but his plans to supplant his master had not left his mind. Disgusted by his master's obsession with this woman, Genevive, and certain that Elaith was incapable of realizing the potential of the orbs, Sakhiel wanted them for himself."

"He offered the party his assistance in stopping Elaith, provided both orbs were turned over to him when the battle was done. As you can imagine, the party was largely uninterested in this plan, as Sakhiel was likely to be at least as serious a problem as his master."

"There was no deal. The party left, and one of their first actions was certainly a credit to the twisted humor of adventuring young people. They wrote Elaith a letter, suggesting to him that he keep an eye on his apprentice. Their only reply was a short note, the words 'thank you' written in blood."

"The young adventurers, keen to beat Thenswick to the only other orb as powerful as the one he currently possessed, tracked down the dragons guarding it. Unwilling to hand over an item so powerful and so easily-abused without assurance of the group's character, the dragons divulged information regarding the current location of Elaith's new apprentice, a half-dragon that had been chosen to replace Sakhiel. If they could bring his head to the guardians of the orb, and it would be considered a worthy gesture of goodwill."

"The party agreed to this, and before they could begin their pursuit, it became evident that the god of hate had not lost interest in the situation. He contacted Myrnal once more, demanding that she choose the power he could give her, or remain with the side of the god of freedom. She chose freedom, and the dark lord told her that she would only be given a choice until he got tired of waiting. There would come a time, and soon, when he simply made use of her abilities, whether she wanted him to do so or not."

"She decided that it was safest for the others if she left, drawing the attention of Nikumu away from her allies. Certainly she could not be trusted with the powerful artifacts at stake. She stayed for the battle with Elaith's new apprentice, and left them immediately afterward."

"They brought the head of the apprentice to their dragon allies, only to find that they had already given the orb away. One of Elaith's other subordinates had beaten them there, impersonating the one ally no one could account for: Myrnal. The chase was on to beat the imposter back to her master."

"They reclaimed the orb, and made contact with Thenswick. Mutual disdain was exchanged, and Elaith was secure in the knowledge that his enemies would never use the orb to its fullest potential, as they were allied with the god of freedom, and considered themselves above such means. Even if it meant defeating Thenswick, the orb was largely inert in their hands."

"Thenswick sent one of his enslaved dragons to wipe out his enemies, and the battle was... ugly. Blood and magic flew in every direction as the party was forced to fight their unwilling enemy."

"Onto the battlefield strode their mysterious stalker, an elf and her animal companion. Seeing the objects of her interest in such dire straits, she chose to assist. After the battle, she alerted them to the fact that she had been following them for quite some time. That was not enough of an explanation for the remaining heroes. They wanted to know her name, where she came from, why she was following them, what she intended to do... all questions you or I would ask."

"After much insistence from her quarry, the girl introduced herself. Her name was Yadali, and the fox was her 'nephew' Alex. She was following them for the simple reason that they were interesting, and she saw no reason why she shouldn't see what they were up to. Upon discovering that their mission was to take down a would-be dictator who was covering her homeland in abominable undead... she enthusiastically agreed to help. She and her people allied themselves with these foreign adventurers and their foreign gods."

Isaac had actually spoken briefly with Yadali on this subject, partly as an inquiry into the character of Holly's friends, but mostly as a way to hear more of the story. She'd been a good informant, if a somewhat erratic audience due to a rather short attention-span for what she perceived to be frivolous information. It had taken a good deal of conversation and a bit of recreational drug use to get her talking, but it was hardly the furthest Isaac had gone for the sake of his passion for storytelling.

"Yadali joined her new friends in their assault on Thenswick's base, using her shapeshifting powers to tear and maul her way through their enemies. The adventurers drove deeper and deeper into his fortress, and there they met up with their old friend Myrnal... though not as they knew her."

"Despite her efforts at diverting attention away from her friends, Myrnal had been claimed by Nikumu, and coercing her into his service, he sent her into battle against her former friends. Her first target in the battle was her friend Ardam, and she caused a great deal of harm before they were able to stop her. The sorceror Rildyn polymorphed her into a rabbit, and their new druid ally took Myrnal into custody until something could be done about her."

"Finally they were face to face with Thenswick himself. Seeing no recourse but to kill the man, they attacked. Struggling to keep each other alive, the young adventurers fought a battle of attrition with the necromancer. It was a contest of who could survive the longest, of who could remain standing long enough to deal one more blow. In the end it was Elaith who fell, and the gods of death and hate fought over the right to claim his soul."

"Upon Elaith's death, it was Reshtaha who claimed him. Despite the best efforts of our heroes, killing Elaith was not the end of the battle, as immediately after his death he realized his distant divine heritage and returned, the avatar of death itself."

"Kazeros stepped in to even the score, blessing his chosen warriors in their fight, and with his aid they finally prevailed. Freeing Genevive and ending Elaith's reign of terror, they... finally prevailed."

"Left on the field of battle with their enemies dead and one claimed by darkness, Myrnal's friends sought recourse for her with Kazeros. Dispelling her animal form to address her properly, he cleansed the ugly brand of Nikumu from her body and replaced it with a mark of his blessing. After the battle, when it was clear that the party could not destroy these artifacts of slavery themselves, their divine patron wiped them from existence to ensure that they would never be abused again."

"With that, the adventurers parted ways, Yadali returning to lead her people and the party to their own home on their native continent."

"There were consequences to Elaith's domination of this continent, and there were consequences to the assembly of Elaith's organization, and continued abuses of freedom by those he left behind. That, however, is a tale for another night."

For more information about the aftermath of this plot, see the From the Ashes article.