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    Iuz the Evil, Part 1
    Posted on Thu, November 08, 2001 by Dogadmin
    Man-of-the-Cranes writes "Iuz The Evil, Part 1

    A Tale Of Dauntless Heroism And Catastrophic Tragedy

    Author: Man-of-the-Cranes

    Iuz The Evil, Part 1

    A Tale Of Dauntless Heroism And Catastrophic Tragedy

    by Man-of-the-Cranes. Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.

    "There in the darkness many a demon sits and smiles. He grows rich and lazy and fat as the years pass, and there seems no shortage of fools to challenge him and make him richer and fatter. Well, why wait ye? Open his door and go in!"

    Irigoth Mmar, High Sage of Pitchfield
    Lore of Aerdy
    561 CY

    A Prologue

    19 Wealsun 595
    The Company found itself huddled within the confines of their light, dwarfed by the immensity of the cavern deep beneath Dragon Mountain. The cavern itself was over half a mile long and tall enough to have built a cathedral within. Their combined divinations and scrying had led them near to the centre of this cavern to the lip of a pit, thirty feet in diameter, carved into the sides of this pit spiralling down into the darkness was an ancient stairway.

    The necromancer Mort thought he saw eyes in the darkness of the pit, he half-imagined unwelcoming shapes flitting past the innumerable stairs they were about to descend.

    This was where their adventure would end. Under a mountain conjured and bound by the evil sorceries of their foes bitch-mother, in an abyssal pit of wickedness older than the great City of Greyhawk, and darker than Death.

    The Soul Husks of the Old One.


    Part One

    18 Wealsun 595

    Donal Darkbane heard the soft laughter, mocking and evil, echo from the
    walls around him, and he knew that he was doomed.

    He heard himself hissing, and knew that his face the blackened and burned face that he had not seen for years was twisted, eyes reddening, sharp corner teeth bared.

    Somewhere, in the tunnels nearby, an unclean rat was squeaking as it devoured the weakest of its young. This tunnel he had come to, this stony and dirty spot deep beneath the Howling Hills, was a filthy place. It was late afternoon outside, and although entombed beneath hundreds of feet of rock, the vampire was still slowed by the sun, otherwise his beyond-the-grave reflexes may well have saved him from his fate. Instead he saw the granite block descend towards him and barely had the time to scream.

    (An adventure! This is what it had seemed when his old companion Michael Torgrim, eyes ablaze, had recruited him in the Caverns of the Obelisk beneath Greyhawk City. The vampire had only arrived back on Oerth less than three weeks before that fateful day, originally intending to betray the whole insane plan to the Old One himself, but his plans had been reversed after the enigmatic meeting with the Man of the Cranes. Longevity brings a heavy burden of tedium. Donal, suspended eternally between life and death, since his corruption by the Fang of the Nosferatu, had been willing to do almost anything to give some purpose to his otherwise empty but extended unlife. Willing and just insecure enough in his own decisions to abandon his chosen course of action completely and join the fools in their insanity. Just as Mort was willing to do anything on Oerth that could increase his learning and personal craving for power; or the dwarves Piper and Hornfel would do for gold and the glory of their race; or the priestess Bethany of Istus would do anything for her uncaring Lady of Fate; or the scarlet Elder Brother Grigiel would do for the mysterious agenda of his own nation; or the dragon Mizaab for his bitter revenge; or the powerful Jallarzi Sallavarian for her precious Balance. And Michael? What was Michael Sword-Knight and shamed paladin willing to do almost anything for? An adventure! A quest! The stuff of ballads and myth, of legends and tavern tales. Now, with so many dead behind them, and himself to be crushed before he could again blink his eyes, Donal was less certain. Now their business here seemed just a nasty, messy job of murder. A nasty, messy life; an immortal life had to be ended, but murder it still was. He himself, Donal now realised, would simply not be there to witness it.)

    These were the vampire s last thoughts before the block hit him. A simple mechanical device that fell from the ceiling and smashed the unlife from the not-dead warrior-mage and then retreated back into its egress.

    Howling with laughter the kobolds emerged, hawking phlegm at Donal s dead face, and dancing on his smashed body. The kobolds barked at each other in triumph in their high-pitched dog-like language. They cavorted and leapt about, in the darkness. More than one beginning to urinate over the defeated warrior who could have bested any fifty of them on an open battlefield.

    Their sadistic cries of victory ended in a shocked silence as their victim's body suddenly collapsed into mist spilling those currently balanced on the vampire's chest to the floor.

    The mist, the mindless and soulless remnants of the vanquished vampire's spirit coalesced violently into a ball scattering the kobolds every which way. It then thinned even more as it probed the walls of the tunnels, spreading thinner and thinner as it sought an escape, oblivious to the kobolds as they screamed in panic and fled. Fled slamming the ancient and airtight dwarven doors behind them sealing the vampire's tomb once and for all.

    Finding not even the tiniest crack through which it might escape, the mist returned slowly, reluctantly once again into Donal s physical body. Donal complete again had travelled not thirty feet from the falling block and lay prostrate and dead at the foot of the sealed door.

    Studying Donal s corpse was a tall and proudly regal man in his early 60's. He stood in the solid darkness, his eyes twin points of twinkling red intelligence; in his right hand he held a naked falchion sword. The man was dressed only in coarse brown robes such as might be worn by a monk or a druid.

    The kobolds of Clan Black Death had been aware of Donal's silent and stealthy progress the moment he entered their domain, but none had noticed this one. And none witnessed him now as he squatted on his haunches peering down into Donal s lifeless features with a look of sadness and resigned acceptance.

    "The Balance is served Mother," spoke the old man softly, before he decapitated Donal's corpse with a single strike, lightning quick with the falchions blade. "Johydee will be served."

    As Donal's burned and hairless head came to a rest against the door that had barred his escape, the old man drew the vampire's own falchion sword and his cursed dagger from where they lay bundled in the warrior-mage's pack. He spoke a few melodic syllables over the blades causing them to glow with an eldritch blue light before vanishing from the Mountain and the Empire of Iuz.

    Nodding his satisfaction the old man threw his long braided silver pony-tail over his shoulder and continued on unseen and unheard through the depths of the mountain.

    Continued in Part 2.

    Note: Iuz, Campaign Log"
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    Re: Iuz the Evil (Score: 1)
    by grodog on Thu, November 08, 2001
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    I remember liking this piece the first time I read it on Greytalk last year. I'm looking forward to reading more.


    Re: Iuz the Evil (Score: 1)
    by Bellack on Thu, November 08, 2001
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    Is this all there is? I only see one page.

    Re: Iuz the Evil (Score: 1)
    by grodog on Thu, November 08, 2001
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    I just double-checked the text against the latest GT post from 11/5/2001, and its the same, so there's nothing missing.

    I'm sure that Ian will post parts two and three in due time (based on the number of his posts last year; perhaps there's more now :-)


    Re: Iuz the Evil (Score: 1)
    by Man-of-the-Cranes on Sat, November 10, 2001
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    OK, I have emailed 'Iuz the Evil' in its entirety to canonfire rather than fuss about splitting it into sections. If the folks in the know decide to post it, it should hopefully be up soon enough.


    Man of the Cranes

    As Grodog rightly suspects, as this was written early last year, I have written a lot more. Largely what I have written is the beginnings of Michael's backstory, but also some of what happens after the attack on Iuz, to both Michael and Donal, who is a lot harder to kill than that. Depending on the level of interest I may be able to get some of these posted at some time in the future.

    Re: Iuz the Evil (Score: 1)
    by bucksboogie on Fri, November 16, 2001
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    Destroy all bloodsuckers! I'd like more of this.

    Re: Iuz the Evil, Part 1 (Score: 1)
    by Mort on Wed, January 23, 2002
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    More more more about Mort!! How vain am I!! I my self would like the story telling from the very start of the adventure to Dragon Mountian! If old Crane brain would like I may start this work my self. As Im sure the old man knows it may not be in the same spirit as the rest but non the less Im sure it would make good reading. Anyway I supose I should ask to hear more about the 1 eyed, 1 Legged and no brained fool I saved that day. As Im sure much more will be told. If I have to I will go to Micheal himself. As for Donal if he needs somewhere to stay he knows I still have the old caravan in which we had many good trips. Anyroadup I'll have to press on.
    Yours Mort(Master of the dead, killer of God and controller of the Deck!!)

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