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Guardians of the Lost Tyrant
By Jared Rascher
The following information assumes a fairly important event in recent Realmslore has occurred in a manner that has never been related in any source that could be considered canon. The assumption is that the god Xvim did not actually die. Instead, he falsified his death by telling all of his clerics, that, upon pain of death, they would convert to the worship of the “risen Lord Bane.”
According to this alternate theory of how the “Return of Bane” occurred, Xvim not only generated more fear and reverence from his own worshipers, but also generated power from the fear and respect that non-worshipers harbored for the late, dreaded Lord of Tyranny.
According to this theory, not only does the Realms, as a whole, not realize that Xvim is still alive but has claimed the full mantle and name of Bane, but not even “Bane's” Chosen, Fzoul Chembryl, nor any of his other followers in Faerun realize the deception that the Godson has perpetrated.
What follows is a description of an organization, conceived and supported by Xvim (now known as Bane), which was created to aid in the conspiracy that the new Lord of Tyranny has given birth to.
The Guardians of the Lost Tyrant
The Guardians of the Lost Tyrant are a secretive order of worshipers of the god Xvim who have been tasked with the holiest of all tasks. They guard the floating corpse of the Lord of Tyranny in the Astral Plane. However, the body they guard is not that of the Godson Xvim, but is actually the corpse of Bane, the Lord of Tyranny, still among the Lost Gods of Faerun.
Any worshipers of Bane that set foot upon the body of the fallen god will immediately realize what deception has been perpetrated, and this is where the Guardians of the Lost Tyrant have focused most of their work. With the help of Xvim himself, the corpse of Bane was moved deeper into the Astral, among gods that died much earlier in Faerun's history, so as to cloak the dead god as a fallen god of antiquity.
The second task that the order has set about undertaking is in creating a false corpse as the body of Xvim, and sowing the seeds in Toril of where the body is, so that any followers that might wish to see evidence of the death of Xvim will be able to see the body. In truth, the body that they have constructed is actually a huge clay construct that Xvim allowed to be permeated with his own blood. The body will feel “sacred” to a worshiper of Xvim that might be sensitive to such things, but it is not a true godly corpse.
Briefly the followers of Xvim were using the corpse of a fallen orc deity slain by Shaundakul during the Time of Troubles. Originally the thought was that the corpse would be unidentifiable, as few orcs would be likely to journey to the Astral, and of those, even fewer would be former followers of the slain deity. Unfortunately, a strange orc planar traveler who once worshiped the orc power did find the corpse, and fled the keepers of the corpse before he could be silenced. Currently, the Guardians of the Lost Tyrant have agents in Faerun and various other planes trying to find this orc.
The Guardians of the Lost Tyrant have two main bases of operation. The first is a veritable fortress built on the body of Bane. This is the primary fortress of the order, and is heavily guarded and manned at all times. From here the leaders of the order scry the planes for any comments that might let slip the secret of the order.
The second fortress is the smaller “hermitage” that is completely adorned as a memorial to the “fallen” god Xvim. The monks here mourn their lost god, and say long prayers to Bane hoping to enter the favor of newly risen Lord of Tyrants. Of course, most of the monks here know exactly what is going on, but play the part for any travelers from Faerun that might want to view the “corpse” of Xvim. The body is a giant clay construct, infused in places with the blood of Xvim himself. Inside the body are more followers of Xvim, ready to exit and deal with any visitors that become too curious about the nature of the dead god they have visited.
The Keepers of the Tyrant's Whisper
(Leaders of the Guardians of the Lost Tyrant)
There are three leaders of the Guardians of the Lost Tyrant, known within the order as the Keepers of the Tyrant's Whisper. They are detailed below:
Ghadaharst Ruld, Grand Master of the Tyrant's Whisper, LE male half-orc, Clr 8/Ftr 5/Blackguard 5
Ghadaharst Ruld was a half-orc mercenary that worshiped Bane casually for years, hoping that someday his veneration of the Lord of Tyrants would guide him to control a land of his own. Eventually, Ghadaharst had a bit of a crisis of faith, as he was competent as a mercenary leader or adventurer, but could not rise to any form of power outside of military context.
A cleric of Bane eventually had a deeply moving talk with Ghadaharst about the nature of Tyranny, explaining to the half-orc mercenary that he is not just a worshiper of Bane, but is a servant of the Greatest Tyrant, and that even if he only supports the rule of a greater tyrant, he is doing the will of Bane. He also posited to the half-orc that perhaps Bane wishes Ghadaharst to serve under another tyrant until the half-orc himself was ready to rule.
Ghadaharst has never revealed who he might have worked for during this time, but it is known that he served many “tyrants” as a bodyguard and strike force commander for years, trying to learn all he could and trying to prove to Bane his worthiness to rule.
When Bane died, Ghadaharst converted to Xvim quite readily, since the god was a former conquerer in his mortal life. He continued to work as a quiet but effective agent for tyrants in various corners of Faerun, unti, a few years ago, he received a direct vision from his god about a special, secret mission he wanted the half-orc to undertake.
Ghadaharst was visited by the Voice of Whispers, the baatezu that Xvim had entrusted as his spokesman in his new, secret endeavor. The Voice of Whispers told Ghadaharst exactly what Xvim required, and eventually the pair began to find suitable members for the new, secret order. The Voice and Ghadaharst also arranged the “deaths” of many members of the order, so that there would be no record of their whereabouts in Faerun, or concern over their disappearance.
Ghadaharst's greatest concern at the moment is finding the strange orc ranger that visited the false hermitage that once stood on the body of the fallen orc god, as well as keeping tabs on all of the information given to him by his seers, trying to find any potential threats to the secret he has been entrusted with.
Ghadaharst is a half-orc with a fairly standard appearance. Tall and heavily muscled, his eyes do appear to hold a degree of intelligence and cunning. In truth, the Grandmaster is very intelligent and wise, and a good choice for the administration of the order. Ghadaharst is thrilled that he has control of such an important, if unknown, post, and is very devoted to Xvim, whom he is slowly getting used to addressing, even in his private prayers, as Bane.
The Voice of Whispers, LE male cornugon Sor 1/Fiend of Corruption 6
The Voice of Whispers is not actually one of the three leaders of the Guardians of the Lost Tyrant, but he is the intermediary between Xvim and the order, and is often remanded to Ghadaharst to aid him as the Grandmaster sees fit.
While the Voice is definitely intelligent and powerful enough to lead a group of his own, for some reason he is bound to serve Xvim. None know the devil's name beyond his title, nor his history except his binding to the god Xvim. Many have surmised that the fiend could be very dangerous to Xvim it ever it slips is bonds.
Nouvareem Yargreesht, Hearer of Whispers NE male human div 14/arcane devotee 5
Nouvareem loves secrets, and loves being in charge of those that bring him secrets. He uses secrets to consolidate power, and uses power to find more secrets. Currently, Nouvareem is seeking to find out secrets about Ghadaharst and the Voice to use against them, without weakening the order itself.
Nouvareem delights in lording power over the mages that serve under him scrying and summoning spies and messengers from various planes and the corners of Faerun, and many of his underlings would love to slide a knife into his back, except that Nouvareem knows too much about them, and has played nearly all of his underlings against one another, so that they cannot fully band together to act against the Hearer of Whispers.
Nouvareem's origins are not well known, but he was recruited by the Voice and has some sort of tie to both the Iron Throne and the Zhentarim, but more than that no living being has managed to dicern. While a talented and skilled wizard before entering the service of Xvim, the Voice apparently aided Nouvareem when he joined the group allowing him to greatly increase his talent in the Art.
Boulund Xharkest, First Mourner of the Lost, LE male human monk 15/assassin 3
Boulund is in charge of the second fortress of the order, the false corpse of Xvim, which not only poses as a hermitage for former monks of Xvim in mourning over their lost lord, but also serves as the training ground for the assasins of the Guardians of the Lost Tyrant. Boulund's assassins are sent on missions with Nouvareem's wizards and Ghadaharst's warriors and clerics to eliminate threats to the order and its secret, and Boulund's spies are sent where Nouvareem's wizards find those in need of “guidance” by the order, usually those former followers of Xvim who were not divine casters, that Xvim wishes to convert to the worship of Bane. Boulunds monks will find a reason to bring the former Xvimist to the body, and will do their best to ease the transition to the worship of Bane.
Boulund, despite being the most trusted member of order's leadership, harbors the deepest secret of them all. Boulund still dreams of Bane's resurrection, and constantly looks for ways in which Bane might be resurrected, something complicated by he fact that former Banites are now willingly submitting to the will of what they believe is Lord Bane. Boulund is frustrated by his lack of knowledge of the Art or the Power, and seeks someone powerful enough that he can confide in (or manipulate) to aid him in resurrecting the true Lord of Tyranny.
The orc that managed to find the corpse of his former master is still alive and wandering the planes. Given a magic item from his new master that allows him to roam the planes, he is a curious soul that, while willing to defend himself or even get into a brawl now and then, is not a bloodthirsty warrior, but simply an explorer.
Ruugreesh the Traveler was more vicious in his youth, but the death of his god made him introspective, and eventually he wandered into ruins dedicated to the slayer of his god, Shaundakul, and there he found that item that allows him to travel the planes. Ruugreesh slowly began to warm to the worship of Shaundakul, but wanted some kind of closure from his former life, and sought out the body of his slain god.
Ruugreesh (and through him, Shaundakul) knows that something is not right, and that a sect of former worshipers of Xvim claimed the body of a fallen orc god as their base of operations, setting up a temple to the god on the orc god's body. Other than this, neither Ruugreesh nor Shaundakul have any idea what was going on in the Astral, though they mistakenly believe it has something to do with stealing power from the bodies of lost gods.
Ruugreesh travels the planes often, but still travels to Toril from time to time. A few times members of Guardians of the Lost Tyrant have found Ruugreesh, but so far he has managed to deal with the assasins that have beset him.
Ruugreesh the Traveler, CN male mountain orc Rgr 5/Horizon Walker 7
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