By Jamey Martin
From Elversult to Unther
There they remained for nearly a month. As was promised, their more grievous wounds received healing, Hector having his fingers regenerated at a local temple of Lathander, and Corwin being cured of his idiocy. Likewise did they receive the promised training, Hector under the tutelage of Drexle himself, the agreed upon pay for the Lost Valley mission, a fair bonus for their troubles, and finally the offer to accompany Bry'th to the far off and exotic local of Unther. This offer seemed good, though Tyros still voiced his disapproval and attempted to sway the band west, to no avail.
Thus did it come to pass that, rather late in the year, the band headed north to Pros where they met a captain by the name of Grusk, boarded his ship the Waverider, and set out for Unther. En route, Corwin took the opportunity to learn Untherese from Bry'th, as did Hector, who continued to question deeper and deeper into the Cult's nature and goals. Naturally, they also heard much of Unther, it's oppressive and tyrannical god-king Gilgeam, the masses of poverty stricken and suffering found within the streets of the lands major cities, and of the CoT's long struggle to overthrow Gilgeam's tyranny.
After a long voyage that saw many stops in-between, the Waverider at last put into port at Unthalass, the sprawling, chalk white, three ringed capital of ancient Unther. Much as Bry'th had told, it's streets were found to be teeming with droves of desperate and starving folk, some looking little more than walking skeletons, and both suffering and exploitation could be seen everywhere. Even Tyros of Cal aunt had to steel himself against the outrage.
They lingered little more than a day in Inhales before once again boarding the Waverider and sailing up river for the Untherite city of Ethluk. This place looked like little more than a smaller replica of Unthalass, with it's three concentric walls and central ziggurat, and Bry'th told how it was modelled upon the divine pattern laid out by Gilgeam's father Enlil long ago. As such, all the great cities of Unther look the same.
Unlike all of the other ancient cities of Unther however, Ethluk was the home of a great underground temple of Tiamat. And it was within this temple that both Hrek and Hector swore their oaths of loyalty to Tiamat and her clergy, taking their places beside the likes of Yolandra and Glistra as "champions" of the Chaos Queen.
When the worshippers of Tiamat at last rejoined their companions (Corwin, Tyros, Harmoth, Airovistus) at the inn Bry'th had set them up in, they brought news of yet another job. On behalf of the Untheric Church of Tiamat, the band was to accompany Bry'th to the old temple of Tiamat in the ruins of Uruk and there retrieve some old religious artefacts. The catch of course was that the ruins of Uruk had long been declared off limits on pain of death by the God-King Gilgeam. And not without reason, for long ago a great battle was waged in the region between the Marduk Enlil and Tiamat. And such were the powers that were unleashed in this clash that the land was scorched and blighted and blackened, never again to support life or produce fruit. And more than this, the veil between this world and the lower planes was damaged, such that during the hours of darkness demons pour through the ruptures and reign supreme across the Plain of Black Ash. Such is the fate that awaits those foolish enough to violate the will of immortal Gilgeam.
And so it was that the band accompanied Bry'th even further up the river, trespassing into the crumbling ruins of Uruk. All went well as they penetrated the old temple, but it finally came to pass that, late in the day, as they prepared to depart, the band was ambushed by a troop of Untherite soldiers led by a naked silver skinned being with birdlike wings and wielding a flaming sword. According to Bry'th this being was called a Ninshubu, created long ago by Enlil to enforce the laws of the God-Kings of Unther. Knowing the fate of all trespassers upon the ruin, the band saw little choice but to scattered into the ruin, and maybe play hit and run until an opportunity to escape presented itself.
Ultimately, with night almost fallen, Bry'th found Hector, Hrek, Glistra, and Airovistus, and headed east for the safety of Ethluk.
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