Monday, September 1, 2014

Pelegar: Rise of the Cult of Vorsag-Null

For fun, I am posting some campaign notes from my last grand Pathfinder campaign in Chirak. It didn't get too far, due largely to the severe burnout I was starting to feel with Pathfinder, but the campaign premise was see below for some insight into the mad methodology of how I plot out story arcs in a sort of "open plot" format. Also, a case study in how ridiculously complicated/esoteric long running campaigns can get. Anyway, I use "plot poimt summaries" like this to keep track of the who/what/why as to what's going on.

"The Voice of Vorsag-Null"

The Fall of Pelegar campaign

Plot #1: Rise of the cult of Vorsag-Null

Vorsag-Null is an abyssal creature from Perdition itself, one of the original overlords of that ancient world, who succumbed to the temptation of power and chaos offered by Ga’Thon. Vorsag-Null was lost to time when he was supposedly slain during the Final War, but this was not actually the case.
Like many of the spirit lords and other immortals during the final era of the old gods, Vorsag-Null had been rendered all but impervious to harm through the power of his god. He was leader of an army of hundreds of thousands, slavering demons of Perdition who had crossed the bridge of time and space to assault the world of men in a bid for total dominance. He was first to set foot upon the Abyssal Rift created by Ga’Thon when he subsumed the feywild into his own mass…and first to claim one of the Abyssal layers for his own.

Vorsag-Null returned to the mortal plane to begin his siege, amassing his army through great rifts opening in the dominion of Pelegar, what was then known as Serevalis, a republic of elves who had been driven mad by the great wave of power which swept over the land; only the Elves of Taretos, who had sworn in secrecy their loyalty to Ga’Thon were spared the madness of the destruction of the Feywild. The abyssal armies descended upon the riven elven kingdom, slaughtering all they could, only to be surprised by the rise of the first elven undying. Amidst the battle Vorsag-Null and twenty other great demon lords observed from their fortress at Taretos.

Unexpectedly, Ga’Thon, who had transmogrified into a great and eclipsing mass in the sky with the intent of descending upon the westerlands to begin his geat absorption, was slain. The power of Akquinarios….or perhaps it was Pornyphiros….struck him down and the two gods in collision perished. The divine energy released at that instant swept over the land and eradicated most of the lesser demons and undying in a brief flash of destructive energy. Then the great mass of the dying god plunged to the earth and engulfed a vast swathe of land, Ga’Thon’s already moldering flesh decomposing into natural elements, forging the vast Cossarit mountains in one fell swoop. From his bowels erupted the disgorged contents of the feywild, which had been reduced to pure chaos and destruction; thus was the weeping wall formed. Amidst all this Mount Taretos, once the greatest single mountain in all the world, erupted instead from the fallen godflesh like a great pike through ga’Thon’s no longer immortal heart.

Vorsag-Null was not slain at that time as many thought, but with his brothers they forged through the arterial tunnels of the god in search of that heart, where they knew the Zodiac Stone which held his power must be located. The fight to this location was difficult, for the body of the god was already shifting to natural elements even as whole chunks of it broke off to become hideous atropal monsters, undead creatures of divine flesh seeking to carry on some sort of eviscerated half-life.
When Vorsag-Null at last arrived with his strongest brethren in the heart-chamber of the Zodiac Stone, it was to the sight of Ga’Thon’s divine spirit engaging in its last act of defiance against the Protector Gods which had laid it low. It shattered the stone even as it bound itself into the sacred artifact, and ten powerful shards pierced the chests of the ten surviving demon lords who had made it this far. The stones, driven by Ga’Thon’s will, called upon the demon Lords to each carry the stones to the four corners of the earth, where they would “hatch” into the children of Ga’Thon….the Thousandspawn.

Driven by the power of Ga’Thon’s spirit, nine of the ten demon lords found themselves driven to flee the land, to walk the four corners of the world where each in turn found that the shard within their chest, feeding upon their demonic essence, “hatched” and in turn brought forth one hundred miniscule shards, each with 1/1000th of the spirit of Ga’Thon; each shard imbedded itself within a suitable host, and that host became one of the Thousandspawn, a monster with a purpose: to heal the sundered spirit of Ga’Thon, and to one day reunite as the god reborn, to finish the job he had started.
There was one demon lord who did not follow this path: Vorsag-Null staggered out of the heart-chamber, realizing he had been infected with a dire disease unique to chaos-kin, and that he was being used by his former master to set about a three-thousand year cycle of regeneration and revenge. Uncertain that he wanted to sacrifice himself for his dead god’s greater will, Vorsag-Null sought out the only help he could imagine: the former seraphim, the angel who had fallen in battle during the final War and been inextricably bathed in the corrupting blood of Ga’Thon called Zeraphys, but later known only as Gloom.

Vorsag-Null explained his plight. Zeraphys, driven mad by what the demons and gods had done to him, used his surgical skill to extract the shard from Vorsag-Null’s own heart, though the demon suffered terrible damage from the act and fell into torpor. Gloom could not destroy the shard, so he cast it deep into the mountains of godlfesh, and proclaimed that he would hearafter cut from the heart of any other god or lesser being the Zodiac Stones they might dare bring within his new dominion….he eschewed the gods forever after, and proclaimed only murder for their future.
In the mountains the shard rested without a host for weeks until a lone warrior of the Great War who had somehow survived, the Inadasir hero known as Caeledus, found the stone, and it force-bonded with him. Caeledus was not as resourceful as Vorsag-Null, and wandered the land for a year in search of a cure before the stone overwhelmed him and he became host to its seed. It was from Caeledus that the human-like Thousandspawn all descend.

Vorsag-Null rested in the ruinous catacombs beneath the war-torn land of the Great Pass where the city of Valen was built, a rift in the mountains which formed from the godflesh of Ga’Thon where he had been struck the mortal blow by the other gods which sought to slay him. His body, in torpor and unable to awaken, dreamed dark dreams, and learned of the ancient presence of Molabal which plagued the lands of Pelegar, an ancient word which had been used to describe the region even before humanity rose to civilization. In these dreams he learned of great power, and his astral form dwelt within the city of Nith. So did Vorsag-Null survive for centuries until a scant thirty years ago, when a man named Tenor Morain, a simple butcher and occasional grave-robber, on an excursions into the ancient catacombs beneath Valen, discovered the body of Vorsag-Null by accident.
Hearing the dream-like call of Vorsag-Null was what brought Tenor Morain to the catacombs, and he came prepared, sacrificing his unsuspecting companions to feed the body of the demon lord. As Vorsag-Null recovered his physical abilities, he nonetheless found himself intensely weak. He needed more blood…a great deal of it, in fact, from the murder of innocents and unsuspecting. He charged Tenor Morain with the acquisition of this blood, and in exchange would make him nearly immortal. Thus did Tenor become the vile Voice of Vorsag-Null, hunting those who the demon required to sustain and recover its flesh; this process would take decades, and require the blood of 1,313 souls sacrificed and fed to the god. After thirty years, Vorsag-Null is at last awakening in flesh as well as spirit, and with the pall of Molabal lifted, he is once more able to command power in both dream and flesh…


Vorag-Null is mobile, but to restore his full power he needs three final sacrifices, which must be three souls of great power or notability. He has decided that the three beings he must consume the souls of are as follows:

Lady Nexi Tinar, an exiled noblewoman and pure soul who has aasimar blood in her veins. She was saved some years ago by the avatar Mardieur Mardieux, and brought to her home city of Talosin. Lady Tinar is said to have the reincarnated soul of an ancient queen and wife to Pornyphiros from long ago.

Lord Alton Kandros, a chieftain of the Dalevar barbarians and rumored to be a pureblood descendant of the lost line of the Inadasir emperor. Kandros is regarded as the greatest warrior in the land.

Salin Zomastar, a human boy of 16 years who lives in Fartheren as a waif. The nature of his soul and why he is desired by Vorsag-Null remains a mystery, but the cultists are even now mounting an expedition to find the boy. Unknown to them, Salin is actually the son of the High Priest of Vagre, Gavel Zomastar, who himself is seeking the boy to finish initiating him into the fire cult. Salin has a natural talent as a pryomantic sorcerer, but rejects it for the life of a rogue.

Agents of the Cult:

Grommagon the Terrible – gnoll lord of the highmountain Giskos tribe, and firm cult dedicate to Vorsag-Null.

The Voice – once known as Tenor Morain, he is now a terrifying near-immortal killer who has spent three decades murding for his demon lord. A grotesque, fat beast of a man who’s flesh is all but impregnable, with cannibalistic appetites.

Yaros Eraskar – The drow noble of Taretos who is also an exile of his people, he has forged an alliance with the cult and offers his agents to their cause. His real motives are unclear, but some suspect he hunts for Vorsag-Null’s true name so that he may control the demon when it returns so he can exact revenge on his enemies in Taretos.

Yonadra Vespiri – Sabiri witch of the plains, she has consorted with Vorsag-Null for years and gained perpetual youth as a result, learning the secrets of murder and magic from him. She is a terrible witch who her people fear. She has allied herself with his cult and eagerly seeks to make her astral husband flesh.

Yonadra Vespiri

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