Greyhawk 636 CY: The Rise of Asmodeus

Dark History and Troubling Visions

Readying 4, 636 CY

Dearest Uncle and Cousins,

We’ve been busy in our investigations as of late, but were afforded the chance to visit the hometown of Marsys, the Halfling village of Elmshire. She introduced us to her family who insisted on throwing a picnic before we got to discussing less… tasteful matters.

I have not seen so much food since we were children visiting the Overking’s court in Kalstrand! They may be a small folk, but Marsys’s people are very fond of their food and drink and seemed to relish the chance to share it with us. The feast was a wonderful break from our travels, and her family was great fun. It was nice to share a meal with so many folks.

Once we were finished and the young ones sent off to play, the topic turned to much darker paths. Marsys’s mother, a paladin of Yondalla, and her father had a great deal to say about the disease they called “Yellow Eye.” Based on the fact it began at the same time as the disease in Skorane, “Night Terrors”, we are now certain these things are connected. Several new theories were proposed, such as the Vestige perhaps feeding on the souls of the people killed by the other diseases. It was also considered that reconnecting the elven souls it feasted on to their gods might serve as a way to disrupt the unholy monster.

Barnaby, one of the family’s cousins and a cleric of Urogalan, proposed we visit the cairns where the victims of the disease are buried so that we might speak with one of the souls. He was able to summon helpful individual who diligently answered our many questions. Evidently, not all the people who died went to their final resting place. Around ten percent, mainly youngsters, were missing. This brought up many disconcerting questions as well as reinforcing the theory about the vestige containing more souls than just the population of Skorane. We decided to press on to Oakvane to speak with the elves at the memory tree. Marsys’s family sent us off with a few, very useful, gifts.

Several nights into our trip, we were awoken by an attack. Undead flying drow, if you can believe it. They were easy dispatched, and we managed to capture a gnome cleric of Urdlen who was controlling them. Tulla cleverly managed to charm her into talking. She told us that Bartholomew had indeed sent her to either kidnap or infect us. He evidently has a fixation with elves and generates an aura of fear. The cleric also revealed she was based out of Greyhawk City and was working with the cult of Asmodeus. Distressingly, as she was drawing a map to the cult’s location, the sigil of Asmodeus appeared over her forehead and… well, it was an explosive decapitation.

Armed with this knowledge, we continued to Oakvane where the elves had many revelations for us. They were understandably reticent to discuss their disease, the “Severing,” with us, but relented when we told them what we had learned so far. There were more theories thrown about — including that the end goal might be to infect Beory herself with some kind of disease by manipulating the many souls of the vestige and their connection to Oerth.

They also told us of a disease called “Scalerot” that affected dragons. The thought of those wretches seizing even a single dragon soul was horrifying to say the least. Villius mused that the strength of a dragon’s soul could have been the power behind the creation of the vestige. It also would explain Bartholomew’s fear aura. Everyone also agreed that it made sense if there was one last disease to round out the numbers. Orcs seemed the most likely choice. With renewed resolve and plans to unearth more information, we returned to Greyhawk City.

Lastly, I want to mention the very strange dream I had. It seemed more of a vision than simply a dream — a recounting of the past:

I saw a woman with a book written in ancient Suel. She stood with a bunch of strange individuals and was performing a ritual. Apart from them was a man in rich dress bearing the symbol of Asmodeus. He took notes on what he observed, but the others seemed unaware of his presence.

As the ritual was complete, hell quite literally broke loose on Oerth. Devils streamed across the landscape, destroying everything in their path. The woman and her companions looked down with glee as they watched the Baklunish cities torn apart.

When I woke, I noticed the sword had a fading glow. This prompted me to seek out the active duty high priest. He was kind enough to discuss things with me even in the middle hour of the night. We both agreed what I had witnessed was likely the Invoked Devastation wrought by the Suel upon the Baklunish people. He recognized my description of the book as the Codex of Infinite Planes. Truly, this was a troubling revelation. The high priest considered that perhaps Asmodeus’s goal was to turn the Von Slythe’s tainted blood into a kind of disease that could be spread across the world and turn everyone into potential hosts for devils. At the very least, he would have a powerful army of mortal servants at his disposal.

There have been a great many worrisome revelations as of late, though I feel we are only scratching the surface of the vile plan our enemies are laying in place. I can only hope that we find some pieces of good news soon lest we find we are quite overmatched.

Yours devotedly,
Wihelmina Stalwarth

Credits: Elven tree image found at Fanpop


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