Into The Mystic
Player Thaddeus
Class Cleric
Title Vicar
Alignment Lawful
Languages Common, Ancient Language of the Enemy
Abilities
Strength 16 mighty
Intelligence 8
Wisdom 7 foolish/insightful
Dexterity 11
Constitution 15 tough
Charisma 10
Combat
Armor plate & shield
Weapon silver-chased mace
Magic Items
Cloak of the Grey Company
Special Ability
Level 3: Great resistance to the touch abilities of the undead
Level 4: Once a day can activate his ritual tattoo to become unnoticable by undead. Lasts 1 turn.

Random Developments and Carousing
Into is an honorary member of the Rockhead Clan, Drum Coggo.

Background
MORE THAN ANYONE WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT INTO, THE MYSTIC

Man, ascendant

Back a thousand years, as the age of chaos waned and the age of man’s ascendancy was beginning, a puissant, chaotic, undead sorcerer-god was weakened, contained by magical barriers, and guarded. But it was too powerful to be destroyed outright by men; sages and wise men feared it would slowly regenerate in its tomb and someday sunder its bonds. They hoped the powers of men would grow enough over time to eliminate the threat.

Cult of the Open Eye

A band of holy men devoted to a mystic god of vitality and life swore an oath to forevermore watch over this evil, so when it regained will and strength there would be warning enough to rally the forces of order to defeat it once again. These men secreted themselves in the desert and spent centuries studying the nature and origin of this undead foulness, developing rituals and communing with the spirit of vitality to discover secrets that would aid in the fight to come.

Alas, over the decades, centuries, and generations, the discipline required to keep the cult focused on this one task bred hierarchy, rules, mindless routine, and lack of curiosity. Secrecy, once a way of protecting the cult from distraction and infiltration, became an end in itself. The Open Eye turned its view inwards, and was no longer focused on its true end. The rituals needed to combat powerful undead were revealed to members of the cult as they gained ability and the maturity to master new powers. But over time so too did knowledge of the exact purpose of the cult come to be concentrated among the senior members.

Eventually a group of clerics within the cult became alarmed – almost a decade had elapsed since the last expedition had gone to the place of binding to check the wards, and the senior-most Patriarchs of the cult were reluctant to let even a small group leave. An argument raged for weeks between the “Closers,” who argued that further fiddling with the wards would only weaken them and expose the cult to outside interference, and the “Openers” who argued that the original purpose of the cult required building alliances in the world and maintaining watch on the wards.

Fortnight of Dead Patriarchs

Before the schism could be resolved a series of bizarre accidents befell every senior member of the order over a fortnight. Every patriarch, lama, and bishop died. The senior-most patriarch (The Eye) drowned in his shaving dish. Lighting struck the cult library and archives, burning them to the ground and leaving corpses of the five bishop-librarians, charged with preserving the history of the order. The four lamas in charge of training initiates were crushed when the training sanctuary collapsed. A group of vicars was trampled to death by a stampede of camels. The Patriarch of the Watch fell down the stairs of the gate tower and broke her neck, and the Patriarch of Waiting, along with many curates, was incinerated when the olive oil supply exploded.

In the aftermath of the Fortnight of Dead Patriarchs, it was discovered that no remaining member of the order knew the location or exact nature of the evil nemesis the cult was dedicated to watch over.

Schism

The remaining members of the order were split between the leadership of the two remaining curates. One counseled vanishing into the desert to focus the cult’s strength. She insisted the cult hide its purpose and thus remain safe to build a group of priest-assassins who would be able to better fight the ancient enemy when it next revealed itself.

The other curate suspected the evil may, in fact, have already revealed itself, and she argued the remainder of the cult should actively seek to discover which ancient enemy, exactly, they were supposed to be opposing. Accordingly, she wanted to establish a new headquarters for the order, and send initiates on pilgrimages in search of… evil.

The two curates could not come to agreement, and the order split. The secret group in the desert has spent the last hundred years harassing the group devoted to exploration, trying to discourage them from stirring up further trouble or awakening further remnants of the past age.

Into’s mission

Unfortunately, the public cult suffers terrible attrition. No one knows for sure if this is due to the way members actively seek out powerful forces of evil or if the ancient enemy has further targeted members for destruction. Since the terrible Fortnight of Dead Patriarchs there has been no member of the cult who has survived past the age of 70, and the highest ranking member of the cult is currently a lama.

Younger members of the order are typically sent looking for rumors of great or emergent evil, and they investigate these rumors with zeal. Those who survive to the level of village priest are generally given the task of investigating a particular known menace to determine if it is the specific one the cult was designed to oppose. (Presumably this will become apparent from the undead nature of the threat, finding some clue, or divine revelation.)

Into is charged with investigating rumors of the chaotic origins of the lost city, and any other evil forces he discovers along the way; he has been successful so far in that he has not died, and has managed to confirm that there are several thousand-year-old evils in the vicinity, all candidates for nemesis-hood.

The other, smaller splinter of the cult has remained hidden in the desert, where they intensified their training and have labored to become more powerful foes of the undead. In an attempt to become more powerful, they have quickened the pace at which they advance initiates through the rituals. As a result they are covered in tattoos, glow in the dark in the presence of the undead, and wield special rune-covered truncheons at all times. They occasionally emerge to harass or thwart members of the public cult, stealing resources and trying to prevent the other cult from waking ancient evils.

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