Khirlak

From World of Charun

642 III -

Contents

Devil-Lich

Khirlak with a host of dead
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Khirlak with a host of dead

Hans Kludgen of the Three Isles spent his life assisting the necromancer and arch-mage Khirlak, who also was a devout follower of Gesanis. Hans travelled for many years during the 7th century of the Third Age across Charun to hunt for arcane components to assist Khirlak in the necromancer's many rituals. Khirlak rewarded Hans one fateful day by decapitating the faithful assistant and through a rare ritual, transforming the former servant's skull into this powerful mask. Hans -- always the dutiful assistant -- had delivered his final components to his master.

Khirlak was finally slain in a epic battle by five high elven mages. They cast a disintegrate spell on his corpse, thus making sure that the necromancer would never be brought back to life. It did not go as planned though. Without anyone knowing, the skullmask withstood the disintegration spell, saving the head of Khirlak.

Through some strange mishap, the skull of Khirlak ended up in Hell, with the soul of the necromancer being caught in between the first layer of Hell and the realm of Gesanis in an ethereal form.


Back from Hell

With the skull being intact, it would be possible to bring the arch-mage back from the dead - in theory that is. It would require that someone retrieved the skull of Khirlak from Hell and possessed the power of bringing such an ancient soul back. Someone did in fact manage to do just that. Logan, a dwarven paladin of Whitebeard was tricked by a servant of Khirlak to entering Hell and retrieving the mask and the head within. The paladin was devastated to find out that he had not hindered the rise of a Khirlak, but instead enabled it. Khirlak was back - a Champion of Leviathan, Lord of Stygia...an undead devil with powers greater than any mortals.

In 907 III Khirlak unleashed his wrath and powers upon Elmwood Keep through raising an army of undead, most of them casualties in the Mogaroth War that had taken place just the year before. The attack failed and Khirlak disappeared, until 912 III when he returned with a vengeance. He began terrorising the small settlements that Elmwood had broken into, sided by his two servants, a dracolich and a demilich who some say were projections of his own persona. If it had not been for a handful of famous and powerful adventurers, Khirlak could have very well succeeded in bringing death and destruction to the region.

The lich was finally found after an epic search through various pocket planes of Hell by a number of adventurers, among them Ruxellius de Larmenius, Amunhet and Eothewar. After fierce battle the devil-lich was defeated and the body destroyed. However, the skullmask resisted destruction leading to an arch-mage of tremendous power sealing it behind magical barriers in a pocket plane. The legend claims that after being sealed, the mask began weeping fresh blood, and soon the shape of Khirlak had appeared behind it – first in shadowy form and finally as a very detailed statue, unable to take it’s true shape due to the magic surrounding it.


Escape

Adventurers managed in 360 IV to locate the entrance to the plane where Khirlak was kept imprisoned. It is said that the entire chamber was knee-deep with blood and an insane, howling scream echoed constantly within it's walls. Further in one could see the shape of Khirlak behind a barrier, semi-materialised and holding his mask in a posture revealing great pain. Two years later, in Airin 362 IV, it is reported that Khirlak had vanished, but that the barrier still remained. How he managed to flee is unknown to this day, but his motives would soon be revealed.


A New Servant

In Haerius 362 IV reports of an increased number of undead began circulating in the Old Land. Rumours heard from brigands in the region told of a dark figure armed with a great blade attacking them, after which they would rise again as undead merely days later. It was a terrible creature known as Lord Raze, a death knight brough from Hell by Khirlak to serve him. Raze had in life been a punisher of Garagor who fought in Abbadon's Dark Crusade in the Third Age. Khirlak had once again found a servant of great power.

Only weeks later, on the 24th of Haerius 362 IV, the risen undead were led by Lord Raze in an attack against Nyhavn, where the wedding of Randvar Leikrson and Kathleen was held. King Eirikur Ivarson of Ulvhavn, one of the greatest Northman warriors, challenged the death knight into a duel outside the gates - only to die to the creature's blade moments after. Weakened from the fight, Raze retreated, leaving his host of zombies to be slaughtered by the furious Northmen.

Few could connect the death knight to Khirlak at this point, and with the ongoing conflict with the Eagle's Ruin threatening the stability of the region, few had time to ponder on the matter.

The death knight proceeded with carrying out his master's wishes, which included killing the hero Eothewar who had partaken in Khirlak's own demise in the Third Age. The murder took place in an ambush in Saindar 362 IV arranged by the Eagle's Ruin - a fight that was believed to have destroyed Raze as well, something that later was confirmed by captured members of hte Eagle's Ruin. This was also the first indication of Khirlak working together with the Eagle's Ruin.


Final Move

It is believed that Khirlak had not fully regained his powers after escaping his prison, since there had been no sightings of the lich. It was apparent that he needed a powerful servant to carry out his wishes - a servant that now had been destroyed.

Khirlak's last known interference with the mortal world came in Randine 363 IV at the execution of Josephine Babineux, leader of the Eagle's Ruin. He managed to summon Lord Raze for a period long enough to enable the escape of Babineux. After killing 14 knights, the death knight vanished in a flash of lightning back to the depths he was summoned from. Babineux and her associates were chased down the sewers and further into the Cave Ways, where she was slain by the pursuing adventurers.

Khirlak has been absent ever since. Sages believe that his initial summoning of Raze required about all the power he possessed, and summoning him a second time could have drained him. They suspect that he is caught in near-ethereal state, lacking the power to fully restore himself.


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