From Lab Journal 34151 – L. Gottlichmetzger
Entry 11566: This morning I completed the tests on subjects 144372 and 144378. I think I am finally close to determining which area of the brain should be burned, to leave a warrior who is calm and controlled until the relevant command is given, turning them into berzerk killers. Subject 144372 reacted well to the treatment and fought on against multiple opponents only stopping when he ceased to live. 144378 showed sign of promising rage but when tested on basic intelligence proved to be lower than the Kobolds which clean the latrines.
After lunch, my brother, Katarina, Louis and I were summoned to an audience with Iuz himself.
Iuz is in possession of Godslayer, and is close to activating it to it’s full power. According to the legends, Godslayer needs to be fed with the Blood of a God, the Blood of a Traitor, and the Blood of a Martyr. It has already taken the blood of a God.
The Paladin of St. Cuthbert known as Brannigan is within the city and Lord Iuz has tasked us with finding him so he may be sacrificed to Godslayer.
Later in the Black Rose chambers we discussed ways of finding Brannigan. One of his old companions, Brant Umber now resides in the city having realised his errors and defecting to Iuz.
We tracked him down to his quarters, where we found him in a state of inebriation. He knew Brannigan would be down among the sick and needy in the 6th Circle and in particular a street named “The Sadness” and so we decided that would be our starting point.
Entry 11567 :
This morning it was decided that we would head down to the 6th Circle and make some enquiries as to the whereabouts of Brannigan. I summoned Uchka to ready 200 of the Orcs and then we rode out into the streets.
We arrived in the 6th Circle, and selected a street. The Orcs were sent door to door dragging the occupants from their hovels into the street. Upon questioning most of the residents denied any knowledge of Brannigan and St Cuthbert, but after some pressure was put on them, a loyal subject pointed out one of them. We frog marched the man to his home and searched it. Inside we found pamphlets promoting the word of St Cuthbert and a stash of weapons.
We rounded up more of the sympathisers and took them back to the tower for further questioning.
The questioning proved to be ineffectual.
Entry 11568: Katarina had spoken to a contact who mentioned that the leader of the Thieves Guild in that area may be able to shine some light onto our investigations, and we once again went back to the streets with the orcs to search more of the streets.
After a brief altercation with some of the locals, we moved our investigation towards the Thieves Guild. We arrived to find that everyone in the guildhouse had been slaughtered, including Jorg Duden, the Thieves Guild leader we wanted for questioning.
We gathered as much evidence as possible and retired back to the towers to discuss our next course of action.
It was decided that we’d go for a Shock and Awe approach combined with turning the populace against themselves would be the order. I would need more troops and so I will need to go and request this from the Archmagi in the morning.
I paid a visit to Archmagi Erich Nichol this morning. I requested that I be allowed to summon a large horde to my tower, and he granted this to me. I believe it helped that he clearly is attracted to me. He has offered me a position of Dean of Necromancy when Greyhawke University is fully established. This is something for me to ponder on as I like my work in the Black Rose, but with the facilities of the University behind me, I’d be able to really push the boundaries with my experiments.
After visiting the Archmagi, I returned to my tower and set about creating the correct environment for the summoning rituals. by the end of the day I was physically and mentally exhausted but I had called around 2000 orcs from the nearby tribes to my tower.
Entry 11570: We reconvened in the Black Rose Chambers ready to move on the plan to use brute force and shock tactics to find those harbouring Brannigan. The plan was simple, we would take one of the informants from our previous raids and reward them publicly. The street they are from would receive immunity while the neighbouring streets would be searched thoroughly. We would then appeal to the locals that we will reward those with information.
Our tactics worked and now Ernst and I are sitting in an old inn, with a steady stream of residents coming to us with information. Much of the information is either so out of date it is useless, or blatant lies designed to try and pick up rewards. Katrina and Louis were keeping an eye out on us from across the road.
As the night drew in, the quiet of the evening was disturbed by the noise of a rabble and a mob had gathered outside, and were attacking the building. I cast a stinking cloud among them which seemed to disperse them a little but we could see a Drow female in their ranks who looked altogether more deadly. Katrina and Louis were already moving to engage her and the mob. Ernst and I went to join the fight but before we could make an impact she had made her escape by deftly scaling the building and heading to the rooftops.
We followed the same protocol as yesterday, knowing that we were close to Brannigan now, that someone was out there trying to protect him with vigour. Tonight we all stayed at the inn together, and by mid evening there was a bang on the door. A Paladin of St. Cuthbert was standing outside demanding entry. Katrina tried to question him before opening the door, but the Paladin simply smashed the door down. He claimed to be Brannigan and he offered no resistance to us and allowed himself to be shackled. We brought him back to the tower and locked in a cell, before informing Iuz.
Iuz demanded that Katrina was to bring Brannigan before him tomorrow and as the 1st Paladin of Iuz she would have the honour of activating Godslayer with the blood of the Martyr.
First we needed the blood of the Traitor and so Brant Umber was brought to the chamber and stood against the post. Umber seemed resigned to his fate and accepted the blade through his heart without resistance. As the blood flowed from him into the blade, I suddenly remembered all.
Memories of a time when I was small, Ernst, Katrina Louis and myself all being brought into the city together, by Brannigan, Umber and Kal Cutter. Ernst and I were placed in the orphanage. Visions of Umber returning over the years to check on us. The sons and daughter of Brannigan and Cutter, placed into the heart of Iuz and trained to be their best. Is this some foul trick by Umber? Is it test of faith from Iuz.
We all returned to the chambers, apparently all seeing the same visions. Katrina was racked with emotion. This morning we knew our path and it was unwavering. Now we are all struggling with which path we have to follow.
I came back here to the tower, but for the first time in my life, I don’t have the heart to carry on with my normal experiments. Tomorrow we would all have a difficult decision to make, and we must all hope that we stand together.
This morning I am suffering a bad sleep. I can’t help think of the visions that Brant Umber implanted in my mind.
I tried to cast them from my mind, and I dressed myself accordingly for the ceremony that I was to be part of.
Just before midday I made my way to the grand hall and took a seat beside the Archmagi. Shortly after, Brannigan walked in closely followed by Katrina.
Iuz gave the signal and his adepts performed the rituals which would show this scene in every major city on Oerth.
Brannigan refused to be shackled and took his place against the post. Iuz commanded Katrina to take Godslayer from the plinth. Katrina moved towards Brannigan, and pushed the sword through his heart. Godslayer pulsed with power in her hands, and Iuz commanded the sword to be brought to him, Katrina made her move and attacked. With one swing of Godslayer Iuz’ head was separated from his body and the remaining avatars started to stir.
Our path was chosen and we knew what we had to do, what had been implanted in us and planned from the day we were brought here. I turned on the Archmagi and burned his flesh from his skull with flaming hands, before unleashing a blast of chain lightning which arced round the room through each of the Avatars in turn. Katrina, carried on engaging the Avatars while Louis and Ernst defended her. Within minutes, the room was littered with the remains of fighting. Outside we could hear the sounds of further fighting and we readied ourselves to engage the guards that would no doubt be pouring in, but as the doors opened, instead of the guards we were confronted with demon calling himself Sewermouth. He was claiming the throne and the city for himself. We took the bodies of Umber and Brannigan and left the chamber, heading out into the streets. When we got there we were confronted with the drow assassin we’d encountered previously in The Sadness. This time, we recognised her for who she was, Shadow, Brannigan’s widow, and mother of Louis and Katrina. She was waiting with horses and so we mounted up and fled the city.
I now face the future with some trepidation. I am travelling to a city and to a people that I have believed to be my enemy for almost 2 decades. I have helped to engineer troops to send into battle against them. I have cursed my own parents whenever I have read of their victories. But was it really me that was carrying out these acts. All I know is that whatever happens I will face it with my brother and my friends, and with my true born name, Cutter.