Random Encounters05/31/2004

The Cult of Tharizdun

The Witnesses of Tharizdun

The high priests of the god of entropy are known in many temples as the Witnesses of Tharizdun. They oversee the operations of the temples, ensure that their actions remain secret, and lead the faithful in the dark ceremonies, which they believe brings their god closer to freedom. They are dark souls who, unlike those at lower levels of the organization, understand that if Tharizdun breaks free of his prison he will destroy everything in existence, not just the society that may have oppressed them earlier in life.

Witnesses of Tharizdun rise to the top of their clergy due to certain common personality traits that ultimately allow them to recruit and lead others within the cult. Though they don't all fit the following description, most have many, if not all of these traits. They possess a superficial charm that attracts people toward them rather than the message that they promote. They come across as soothing and reassuring, despite their utter contempt for their subordinates. Their own emotions run shallow, and they cannot experience love, shame, or guilt. They are highly egotistical with a grandiose sense of self, believing that they are entitled to the finest things life has to offer. Before joining the cult, these individuals commonly have been bandits or societal leeches, living off their own misdeeds or the charity of others. They often wander from place to place, reinventing themselves as the situation demands until they find a welcoming harbor in the cult of Tharizdun, which relies upon all of these traits to promote itself.

Many of the witnesses of Tharizdun are truly insane. Their motives are not clearly understood by their peers or sometimes even by themselves. Some fail to fully comprehend what it is that their god wishes to do. They are hateful, malicious individuals, but they have also found inner fulfillment with their deity and his baleful designs. To them, life is neither sacred, nor valuable unless it serves to promote their own agenda. Followers beneath them are to be lied to and deluded until their lives have become so intertwined with the religion that they can no longer extricate themselves from the organization.

Damargath is a witness of Tharizdun who leads a temple of fifty-five members in the sewers beneath the city of Verbabonc. Most regions of the Flanaess are not friendly toward the cult of Tharizdun. Damargath's temple goes to great measures to avoid the First Army of the Church, which patrols the streets of this city because they know that these zealous warriors would take it upon themselves to hunt them if they knew that they were operating in this area.

Damargath had once been one of the high priests of Tharizdun in the city of Greyhawk, but he left along with ten of his most trusted henchmen to create a new division in this city. He has found numerous malcontents here who are not satisfied with their lives because of the usually sunless weather, or those who are dissatisfied with the leadership of "His Noble Lordship, the Viscount Langard of Verbabonc, Defender of the Faith." Damargath, posing as a noble from Greyhawk, has befriended his lordship and has become a member of the court. He continually worms his way closer to becoming an advisor, and he plans to one day make a play for leadership of the city, which would serve to subjugate all the people of the city under the will of Tharizdun.

Damargath, Witness of Tharizdun: Male human cleric 10/fighter 5; CR 15; Medium humanoid; HD 10d8+30 plus 5d10+15; hp 117; Init +6; Spd 20 ft.; AC 24, touch 12, flat-footed 22; Base Atk +12; Grp +15; Atk +16 melee (1d12+5/x3, +1 unholy greataxe) or +16 ranged (1d8+2/x3, +2 longbow); Full Atk +16/+11/+6 melee (1d12+5/x3, +1 unholy greataxe) or +16/+11/+6 ranged (1d8+2/x3, +2 longbow); SA rebuke undead 6/day; AL NE; SV Fort +14, Ref +6, Will +11; Str 16, Dex 14, Con 16, Int 13, Wis 16, Cha 17.

Skills and Feats: Climb +11, Concentration +16, Craft (weaponsmithing) +6, Heal +11, Intimidate +10, Jump -3, Knowledge (religion) +14, Knowledge (the planes) +14, Spellcraft +6; Blind-Fight, Brew Potion, Cleave, Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Craft Wondrous Item, Great Cleave, Improved Initiative, Improved Sunder, Power Attack, Scribe Scroll.

Cleric Spells Prepared (6/5+1/5+1/4+1/3+1/2+1; save DC 13 + spell level): 0 -- cure minor wounds, detect magic, light, mending, read magic, resistance; 1st -- bane, cause fear, curse water, entropic shield, obscuring mist, protection from good*; 2nd -- align weapon, darkness, desecrate*, make whole, sound burst, undetectable alignment; 3rd -- cure serious wounds, dispel magic, magic circle against good*, obscure object, searing light; 4th -- discern lies, dismissal, restoration, unholy blight*; 5th -- dispel good*, slay living, true seeing.

*Domain spell. Deity: Tharizdun. Domains: Evil (cast evil spells at +1 caster level), Knowledge (cast divinations at +1 caster level).

Languages: Common, Infernal.

Possessions:+5 mithral breastplate,+1unholygreataxe, +2 longbow, quiver with20 arrows, amulet of natural armor +2.

Bringing the Parts Together

Damargath and the other witnesses of Tharizdun represent a dire threat to the surrounding region. If the PCs must take action against the cult, they will ultimately face Damargath, or another like him.

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