Dead Struggle

pawns of Thasmudyan
Typedivine lore

Priests, necromancers and even some monsters have the divine or arcane power to raise the dead, create undead, and destroy undead. The ability to raise the dead is carefully watched, if not opposed, by the gods Hades and Kebechet. The creation of undead is the domain of Thasmudyan. Hades and Kebechet oppose the making of sentient undead. There are two reasons for this opposition to undead creation, firstly, it is viewed as a foul curse upon the soul of a mortal, secondly, it draws the soul away from use by others.

In a period of history called the Gloom Years (prophesied in 1269) , the gods Thasmudyan and Hades pitted their minions against each other. Thasmudyan sought to spread the undead upon Bal-Kriav like a plague. Hades desired to maintain the segregation between Life and Death. He also needed the dead to enter the after-life, where their spirits would be employed in the armies of the gods. His position in influencing and controlling this facet of theology and divine politics makes him rather important. To gain an understanding of how Hades and Thasmudyan came to oppose each other, we must review the distant past.

In the Year 390, a rebellious Khazarkar priest named Thasmudyan, quit praying to the god Kebechet. When he gave up her dictums, he became a fallen cleric. His reason for doing this was an insatiable desire for power and control. This desire of unabated power led to a search for secret lore which in turn led to pacts with fiends. To secure certain tomes found on Necrocrypt, Thasmudyan plotted the destruction of the main temple of Kebechet. The capture of Miruk-Nalbêth would allow him to enter Îbendîllûn. This place held maps and secret words that would be required to enter some of the secret areas on Gathrot.

In 409, during an event called the Zenith of Darkness, when Deaths Kindle is its most dire, Thasmudyan struck the temple of Kebechet. He summoned three maralith blackguards, beseeching none other than Demogorgon for this aid. Demogorgon, always seeking some pawn to spread his Abyssal might, eagerly sent these three vile creatures, all members of his crack personal guard. These demons along with mercenaries, aided Thasmudyan in destroying Miruk-Nalbêth.

In 410, Thasmudyan travelled to Gathrot and entered the Spire of Molakh-Búle. In this place, he increased his understanding of the dark arts and made off with tomes and other Horgon relics.

The years to follow saw the rise of Thasmudyan. He was very charismatic, and his intelligence rivaled that of an illithid. Thasmudyan espoused radical ideas of prolonging life through necromantic practices. Villians of society flocked to his Black Banner (a name later taken by the adventuring group Black Banner which in turn became the First Dead Council). He carried on all manner of activities to gain treasure to aid in spreading his influence and power. Extortion, briberies, assassinations, robbery, slave-trading, and in any other foul enterprise were used by Thasmudyan and his followers.

By the middle of the First Epoch, Thasmudyan was a power to be reckoned with in the lands of Gulimbor. His followers numbered in the tens of thousands and were growing. Thasmudyan was unmatched in personal power and his undead armies were becoming a threat to the living. Many of his flock began to revere him as a saint.

Seeking to maintain harmony in the world, and wanting a counter to the influence of Kebechet, the watchful eyes of The Balance voted to raise Thasmudyan to divine status. On the 13th day of Witchrite, Year 1001, and during a cycle of Deaths Kindle called the Zenith of Darkness, the mortal Thasmudyan was ascended to godly status.

Thasmudyan, now raised to divine status by The Balance, turned his minions against those of Hades. His Cult of Worms subverted a number of Hades cults, most notably the Pale Brotherhood and the Death Guards. Those that resisted the lure of Thasmudyan's power, and "gift" of undeath, were killed and raised as zombie soldiers.

What they refuse or are so reluctant to do in life, they will carry out obediently in undeath.

- Caliguworm, "Service in Life, Service In Death"

During the Grim Harvest Crusade (1462 - 1464), the minions of Hades were beset by the undead and goblin armies of Thasmudyan. This evil army was the beginnings of the Black Tide of Thasmudyan. The Black Tide smashed the last major bastion of Hades at the Siege of Gravestone Gates. In the Year 1464, the citadel Gravestone Gates was occupied by the undead and goblin armies of the Black Tide. They renamed the city, calling it Ugidreth. It became a shadow of evil, that spread its gloom across Hells Womb and into the Land of Purity. Devastation and death soon followed with the Black Tide War (1465 - 1504).

In the Athenian Crusade (1539 - 1551) and the Artery War (1546 - 1554), the Black Tide were driven out of the Lands of Purity and then out of Hells Womb. The remnants of the Black Tide fled Brucrumus and sailed for Necrocrypt. Since the fall of the Black Tide, the minions of Hades have come out of hiding and are steadily gaining influence among people with a long history of war with the undead armies of the Black Tide.

The story of control of what happens in the after-life of souls does not end with the Black Tide of Thasmudyan. When the First Khazarkar Empire migrated en-masse from Gulimbor, and settled in a northern region of Brucrumus. A war for control of the government followed between the priests and the magocracy. The Eldritch Civl War ended the magocracy and replaced it with a theocracy. The followers of Set took complete control of the Khazarkar Empire and established one national religion under Set. All other religions were prohibited. This created separatists in the empire. Many of the followers of Kebechet, Bahamut, and Geb went south into Miradelgûn and established the settlement of Khimilêth. Most of those that worshiped Phalgas, went across Morwuld Briin and became citizens of Shounejo.

Khimilêth rose in power in the Sands of Hell, and with it, the influence of Kebechet. This city-state with its religious sects to Bahamut, Geb, and Kebechet have also suffered their share of power struggle. The Order of Pallid Bone, a sect devoted to Kebechet, have steadily gained power over the other churches.