The Priests of Chaos and the Caves of the Unknown
Date: Wed, December 28, 2005
Topic: Mysterious Places

Monster-infested caves, a besieged keep, and some novice adventurers. Many campaigns have begun with the Keep on the Borderlands, but what happens when the adventure is expanded? More tales of the servants of the Fhoi Myore from the County of Ulek campaign.

The Priests of Chaos and the Caves of the Unknown
By: MerricB
Posted with permission. Do not reopst without obtaining prior permission from the author.

Let it first be known that the Priests of Chaos represent the forces of evil far more than pure chaos, but that their distorted beliefs that the unravelling of the cosmos will exalt them has made them a greater threat now than in previous times.

It is known by those who have fought them that the Priests were first discovered on the pass through the mountains that separates the County of Ulek and is guarded by that outpost often known as the Keep on the Borderlands, although the true borderlands are now many miles distant.

Nevertheless, it is certain that monsters and vile folk do make their way into those mountains, some from the Pomarj and seeking to infiltrate the lands of Ulek, and others merely to seek profit from those caravans that seek a shorter trade route between Ulek and Celene.

The Caves of Chaos were the first place their presence became known. That foul place, a lodestone for the twisted creatures of the mountains, became an annoyance to the folk of the Keep and adventurers were charged to clear out the area. It became quickly apparent to those heroes that there was something unnatural about the way all the humanoids of different races, normally enemies, coexisted in a state of relative peace. The explanation for this became more clear when the first of the Priests was seen, administering aid to the foe.

The enchantments of the Priests are subtle; they have the understanding - obviously due to human minds - that greater Chaos tomorrow can come from surpressing Chaos today. This is no simple philosophy!

When the Priests were braved in their lair, thought to be as simple as the caves of the other humanoids, then their darker schemes started to be revealed. Far from being a small complex, a long winding passage led to another greater set of caverns, those generally referred to as the Caves of the Unknown.

The original adventurers who braved this place discovered one of the ancient artifacts of the Suel people, a Rainbow Portal. It activated as they attempted to disable it, and only after many adventures were they able to return to Oerth, and make the first warnings about the schemes of the Priests.

In that time, the Priests infiltrated agents into the lands of Ulek, seeking to recover artifacts that were important to their cause. Their thefts alerted the authorities, who contracted another band of heroes to investigate.

In this time, the first real exploration of the Caves of the Unknown began. Here, under many deceptive illusions, was found the great City of the Fomorians, preserved and abandoned since their defeat in the war hundreds of years ago.

The Greater Temple of Chaos, sacred to Balor of the Evil-Eye, was here, and the priests plotted his return to Oerth from the demiplane in which he was imprisoned with his kin.

It is now several years since these investigations were attempted, and the Priests have been quiet since their last plans were foiled. However, a madness has begun to infect those of the Keep. Those in states of great distress - grief, depression or anger - have become irrational and unable to shake off their emotional despair. Although the Castellan of the Keep has attempted to care for them, several have escaped into the wilderness, where they roam and occasionally attack travellers.

A band of merchants also report sightnings of zombies to the east of the Keep, but these undead are not slow and shambling, but quick and deadly.

If my suppositions are correct, then the Priests of Chaos have unwoven some of the bondings that keep their masters, the Fhoi Myore trapped, and are now receiving instruction from them in the darker arts. A new expedition must be mounted to stop them before we of Ulek face a greater darkness.

This article comes from Canonfire!

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