The Books of the Lawgiver

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The Black Trials [Book I, Jathiman]

Post by Red Ropes » Thu May 30, 2019 4:38 am

In the Age of Men among the Old Kingdoms whose great civilizations dominated the east of Faerûn there were three men: Prince Myrkul the Necromancer, Bhaal the Assassin, and Bane the Warlord.

The Necromancer and the Assassin swore themselves to the Warlord for they did fear his might, envy his cunning, and respected his will.

Over the length and breadth of the world they strode, seeking powerful magic and spells and defying death at every turn.

No matter what monster they confronted or what spells they braved, the three mortals emerged unscathed at every turn. It was then that the trio did travel through Low Netheril and among ruins there that they did discover destiny.

In the shell of a city that was called Jathiman was a coliseum and within it there were the bleached bones of one hundred and forty nine men. Their bodies laid around a dais at the center in the shape of an octagon.

The Necromancer did find a clay tablet and etched into it was a tale of these men who were called the Jathimites. This Cult of Jathiman believed that mortal men could overcome what they called the tyranny of the divine through force of arms.

Stabbed within the center of this dais was a dagger that looked simple and of iron. Each man took notice of these dead men and their history and knew it to be an artifact of some kind.

The Necromancer studied the blade and saw its power with his art. He could not remove it with spell or touch.

The Assassin, though he favored the dagger, could not pull it from its resting place.

The Warlord first grasped it with his left hand and it did not move. He then took it up in his right hand and it was freely pulled from the stone. He held the dagger above his head and gazed upon it in the setting sun.

"I wield now the Dagger of Jathiman and so Gods and Men shall tremble," said the Warlord. "I will be ruled by none but myself."

The trio then left the city of Jathiman and toward their fate.

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The Black Trials [Book II, Rezamark]

Post by Red Ropes » Fri May 31, 2019 3:54 am

It was in the Year of Boiling Moats that the Warlord, Necromancer, and Assassin wandered from Low Netheril and unto the southern shores of the Dragonmere. For five days and five nights as they made the approach to the River Reza it did rain.

The waters of the river swelled and inundated the lands around the Rezamark where many sought refuge from the chaos of Low Netheril under the protection of a topaz wyrm. The waters came to form a lake of bubbling, boiling mud.

This caused a terror among the Men of Rezamark who began to whisper that this strangeness was the return of the Angry God of Old, Borem. When the trio crossed the river and entered Rezamark they were met by their elders.

They told the trio that the wyrm had lifted its protection against this new threat. They pleaded for these strangers to come to their aid. The Warlord spoke then to them;

"I wield the Dagger of Jathiman. No god, man, or wyrm shall rule over me. If you pledge your loyalty to me then I shall enter the boiling mud and so deliver Borem." The elders of Rezamark readily agreed.

They entered the fetid swamp and boiling lake - eventually to disappear below its surface with the villagers looking on - some in doubt and others in awe.

Four days came - but on the fifth morning the boiling mud did go still and by the high sun had dried. Out of a fissure came the trio triumphant. The Warlord's right hand was enveloped by a great mass of reddish clay and it was pierced with the dagger of Jathiman.

In a booming voice the Warlord spoke; "Behold! The Heart of Borem." He shifted the pierced mass into his left hand. Upon his right now, dripping with blood-like mud was a dark gauntlet that seemed to glow with a red and terrifying aura.

"Know that BANE and his companions have saved you." He raised the gauntlet over his head as the crowd howled his name. "Do not betray the protection I have given you." The heart was then bore to Mezeketh Isle and buried.

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The Black Trials [Book III, Rystall]

Post by Red Ropes » Sun Jun 02, 2019 5:57 pm

It was in the Year of Sycophants that BANE, the Necromancer and the Assassin did come to lead an alliance against the being known as Maram in Rystall who dwelt within the Ziggurat called the Great Spear. BANE had come to know anger since the slaying of Borem.

Anger for this wild world where strife was sewn by petty powers.

By the same act the world had come to know his Black Hand. It had seemed the power of Jathiman was now upon his hand and so the Sorcerer-King Barze and the Artificers of Horreb did come to beg his aid against Maram whose slaves call him god.

So then as generals the trio did come to lead the Barzenites, Horrebites, and Vanites against the Great Spear. Though many did fall, through the cunning of BANE and with the power of his hand the creature was banished from Toril.

Within the halls of the Great Spear there was a shimmering pool and from it there was a voice. The voice named itself Tyranthraxus the Flamed One. It named itself as a prisoner to Maram and if set free it would serve BANE.

It was so agreed then that these companions would go and free the being Tyranthraxus from its prison in the wastes of Thar.

However the Sorcerer-King did hear this voice as well and it was then that he did reveal himself as a traitor and a minion. Barze was an outcast prince of Netheril and sought dominion over that realm for himself.

He named himself the slave of NAKASR the god of strife, death, and rule in that kingdom and that he would claim the Black Hand for his master. With magic and might he tried to subdue BANE and his companions.

"No god, man, or wyrm shall rule over me. I will have justice for your treason," Said BANE as he struck the mage five times.

"Your blows are like the bites of mosquitoes. My power and faith leave me untouched," the mage did boast.

"You are already dead," said BANE as the mage was then obliterated in brilliant light.

The trio slipped away from their treacherous allies and made for the east.

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The Black Trials [Book IV, Thar]

Post by Red Ropes » Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:17 pm

It was in the Year of Stale Ale that BANE, the Necromancer, and the Assassin would enter the wastes of Thar. It was said that their betrayers in the lands of Barze and Horreb celebrated the act and forgot their service against Maram.

This swelled the Anger within BANE and it focused him towards the deed of freeing of the one called Tyranthraxus. The evil men of Barze, Horreb, and Vane would need to be punished.

The god that was NAKASR would answer for its meddling against BANE and so be humbled for its challenge to the heir of the Jathimites. BANE would see that the tyranny of the gods would be returned fivefold.

In a field of ash was set a great and radiant pool where the beasts of Thar dared not tread and within it was the essence of Tyranthraxus. BANE looked upon the prison and pool and knew its securities were against a fiend; an agent of punishment.

"I will set you free, daemon, but your liberty shall be as promised and at my command," said BANE as he drew a pentacle over the pool with the power in his hand. The fiend was conjured and its body was essence and flame.

"What is thy bidding, my master?" spoke Tyranthraxus whose form genuflected before BANE.

"You will go now to the lands of Barze, Horreb, and Vane. You will bring upon them judgement and it will be with solitary mercy; that those who kneel and curse the name of NAKASR shall be spared," said BANE.

"You will go to the forest of Rystall and destroy the Ziggurat that was the seat of Maram and its treasures you will store for me. You will then go west to Netheril and burn five temples to the power NAKASR," he finished.

"So shall it be," the fiend answered. "I shall go in your name and by your will. I shall call four servants from Hades as my generals, five destroyers from among the Tanar'ri, and five Baatorians to punish."

"Evil shall be repaid in evil," decreed BANE. It was then that the trio explored the radiant pool for it was both prison and a gateway between worlds.

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The Black Trials [Book V, The Isles of the Cursed]

Post by Red Ropes » Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:48 pm

It was in the Year of Lost Regalia that BANE, the Necromancer, and the Assassin did find themselves in the second gloom of Hades; what some would name Niflheim among worlds. Anger guided BANE towards satisfaction.

He would find entry from this shadowy realm and into the world of Oinos and thus the great Bone Castle of NAKASR. But the first gloom was not to be found. Instead the trio would be confronted upon the The Isles of the Cursed.

"Hear me here, wandering three," spoke a gentle voice. "I am Camnod who shall be seen as ARAWN. I am the servant and friend of NAKASR. You are known to me, BANE, and with your Hand I shall be seen by the Men of Toril."

"In my Hand is the Will of Jathiman. No god, man, or creature shall rule over me. Instead I demand you show yourself and you may yet know mercy," said BANE.

"It will not be so. No eyes mortal or god will see me until I have come to the world as ARAWN. In your blood and that of your companions lies my vengeance against the Winter Court. Prepare to meet your end," said Camnod.

So battle began against the trio and Camnod. Shadows wreathed them, blows were struck, and the spirits of the doomed ringed them. Though invisible, BANE still could feel the coming blows of the fey lord.

He endured five strikes from this Camnod and within him grew his Anger. BANE came now to understand the depth of his grudge with NAKASR. In his Hand was deliverance and so a fatal blow was struck.

The essence of the would-be god was dripping from the Hand and so it was that BANE took up a cloak from the fey lord and bore it upon his shoulders; black as shadow and streaked with blood.

In this immortal raiment was a measure of insight and so the Bloody Cloak gave to BANE the knowledge he sought; this path to NAKASR laid in the mortal realm.

"You died for nothing and so that is what you shall be," said BANE as he lifted the fey lord and then threw him into the dark seas. "You shall forever be Camnod the Unseen."

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The Black Trials [Book VI, Grong-Haap]

Post by Red Ropes » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:47 pm

It was in the Year of Craven Words that BANE, the Necromancer, and the Assassin did return to the mortal realm. The Anger in BANE guided him to the southern shore of the Sea of Dragons.

Here a clan of Men did rule and they were called the Mulmaster. They had come under the yoke of the foul King-Priest of Grong-Haap. This Minotaur had ruled a vast realm for six hundred years - well beyond a mortal life.

From its seat of power in the Ironfang Keep it established around itself a cult of divinity and with its powers bound to its service a great evil from beyond the veil: Hargut of the Grey Pestilence.

Together they took life and worked strife, living as avatars of sick, death, and toxic. So too did BANE know by the insight of the Bloody Cloak that these beasts belonged to NAKASR.

Anger and the oath of the Mulmaster Clan demanded their demise. So then the trio marched alone against the keep, ripping and tearing through chimeric beasts that ringed that place.

As BANE came as the doom and slayer of these beasts - so came the howling horror called Hargut to fight him. The beast was mighty but the Hand of BANE was mightier. As it lay dying there came a challenge from Haask.

"BANE! You are bold. You are one to teach the gods their limits. I hope the bards will praise the glory of your death in song," so Haask called as he ran toward the trio and delivered heavy blows.

But with five blows Haask was struck down. Through the bloody mud the beast and its master were dragged within what was the seat of their kingdom. "You slaves of NAKASR shall be punished for your deeds against my people," said BANE.

With the power of his Anger BANE did fuse the two into an abomination and then bound them to keep itself.

"You now shall have the wit of the beast; Haask, Voice of Hargut," said BANE as the undying beast howled endless agony. So then the trio left the keep through a gate beyond mortal ken.

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The Black Trials [Book VII, Oinos]

Post by Red Ropes » Sat Jun 08, 2019 6:44 pm

Into the first gloom of Hades did BANE, the Necromancer, and the Assassin did walk. In this realm of Oinos destiny would be made. Here the Anger of BANE and the Will of Jathiman would be fulfilled.

The trio travelled along the the rumbling river Styx, its waters of forgetfulness stained crimson with the blood of fiends and other beings that battled forever along its shores.

It would take them to the Castle of Bone - the seat of NAKASR and his Throne of Doom. Great was that citadel, ancient and dread. Its only entrance was a vaulted door of obsidian and warded with the spirits of the damned.

It had no walls; Baatorian, Tanar'ri, and other fiends were left to consume and take the dead as prizes which only further rose the Anger of BANE. This was a seat of a cowardly king and wasteful god.

As the trio moved toward the gate they were halted then by a great beast, bounding with thunder with the body of panther and the face of a fiend. The beast-thing howled; "I have long hunted you, BANE! Know that MALAR does this!"

BANE bounded back and fought the beast-god with his Hand, however, the Necromancer, and the Assassin would be swallowed whole.

"I have eaten your companions and you shall be next! Perhaps NAKASR will reward me with what you seek," snarled MALAR. But in the moment of the beast's boast did BANE take hold of MALAR's maw.

With Anger in his limbs BANE would force open MALAR's jaws and reach into the god-things' gullet to free the Necromancer and the Assassin. "You will have nothing on this day except for a choice," said BANE.

His arms moved to pin the beast. "To serve me or to perish," he decreed. The beast-god howled and struggled but was soon tamed. "I will serve and I do yield. Now and always I will call you master," MALAR answered with shame and fear.

"You will watch this gate and drive away any other who does arrive," demanded BANE and so the trio entered the Bone Castle and their place in destiny.

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The Black Trials [Book VIII, Bone Castle]

Post by Red Ropes » Sat Jun 08, 2019 6:48 pm

BANE, the Necromancer, and the Assassin then entered into the vast halls of the Bone Castle. An army of the dead watched them silently on their approach of the skeletal throne flanked sat on by NAKASR.

"I have come to take from you everything and leave you lord of nothing," shouted BANE as his companions readied themselves.

NAKASR arose from his throne with a weary expression and said, "The Throne is yours. I have grown weary of this empty power. Take it if you wish." He then knelt, lifting his iron coronet with magnificent stones toward BANE. "But in your mercy end me," he pleaded.

"You don't fear death. You welcome it. Your punishment must be more severe," said BANE as he approached the kneeling NAKASR and took into his Hand the coronet. The Anger within him flowed into the crown and joined Hate where it belonged.

"You have long tortured the mortal realms and terrorized them without purpose. You have inspired Hate in Men and worked Strife through them so that they might impose your Tyranny upon them: to Kill and to Die," BANE continued.

BANE took a dagger from the belt of the kneeling god and passed it to the Assassin. "Go now to Khalas and watch over my Throne of Blood," he commanded.

"Yes, my lord," spoke BHAAL and quickly he left the keep.

BANE took a scythe from beside the throne and passed it to the Necromancer. "You will remain here and watch over the dead. You shall build a Wall so dread that fiends and mortals alike shall tremble," he commanded.

"Yes, my master," spoke MYRKUL who then sent the army of the dead from the keep to defend it.

"Your evil name will be removed from the heavens and the earth. You shall be called JERGAL and you will serve MYRKUL in his duties here," said BANE to the kneeling god.

"Only when all of Heaven and the Worlds are brought to peace and all of the Old World is ashes will you have my permission to die," said BANE to JERGAL who remained quiet as the God-Tyrant left to walk his Kingdom.

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The Black Trials [Book IX, Shadow Keep]

Post by Red Ropes » Mon Jun 10, 2019 5:37 pm

So it was that BANE would walk the length of His empire. As it would be upon the world so it would be also in the heavens. From the ash and clamor of Oinos He did enter the second gloom of Niflheim.

Though He had once walked upon the isles of the cursed and the unseen it was His purpose to walk through all worlds and all realms and build the roads that would see His empire flourish.

With every step He took behind him formed a path of darkness; obsidian and immutable. Though other powers did dwell within this realm and though His rule was new He would ensure none would question Him.

In the grim darkness He could see a great keep that was hewn from the very shadows. Its tenant was known to Him through the scribe JERGAL. "You who would call yourself the master of thieves - know that BANE walks the land," spoke BANE.

The Lord BANE walked forward after this declaration and with each step His road grew longer and more secure. Eventually there came a great well of shadow and from its ill form was transfigured a MASK.

"All come to know you, BANE. Your triumph is a thing of envy and already are there schemes to take what you have taken," said the MASK in a voice as gentle as silk.

"All that was taken is now defended by my Hand. Evil done against me shall be repaid in Evil," warned BANE.

"I could not ever think to risk the touch of your Hand. What good is a thief who is dead? I admire what you have done, Lord BANE," said the MASK.

"This is why I speak now. Where you have taken so much, I realize, to stand against you is to have everything taken from me. I offer myself to you so long as I might keep what is mine," the MASK continued.

"What is yours shall remain so and to my people you will remain a shadow. But you will show me all of yourself and I shall know you in all ways," decreed BANE. He came to know what lay behind the MASK and so His concubine lived with His comfort. Refreshed He journeyed on.

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The Black Trials [Book X, Ondtland]

Post by Red Ropes » Thu Jun 13, 2019 4:16 pm

The black road grew ever longer. The Lord BANE had entered the realm of Gehenna where he did visit his vassal BHAAL and sat His throne of Blood in Khalas. He continued then to deeper worlds and saw His lands in Chamada and His Throne of Hate.

His true purpose was to enter Mungoth, the third ring of Gehenna, and to find his Throne of Strife which was under the watch of LOVIATAR. Through the burning and bitter ice he did enter her home of Ondtland.

As the Lord BANE broke through a bank of bitter, biting snow he did glimpse the silvery haired goddess. "Only those who are worthy may approach," warned LOVIATAR.

BANE stepped forward and from her came a terrible crack as her scourge struck the Lord, but its teeth could not bite Him. "Only the strong may sit upon this throne," she again warned.

He took another step was met with another terrible strike, but His flesh endured. "Only the indomitable may know its power," she spoke.

With another step came another strike, but the Lord was not deterred. "Only the fearless can teach its wisdom," she roared as BANE continued to approach.

BANE was unscathed and the anger of the goddess was visible. With another step she struck Him and was left without satisfaction. With a fifth step she screamed and lashed out for the final time as the Lord BANE did take her Painbringer in His Hand.

In fear and awe the goddess was subdued. "You are worthy of this seat, Lord BANE, and in my tests I beg your pardon," she said.

"I cannot pardon that, goddess. Rise and allow me to gaze upon you," He spoke and so she did as commanded.

"Your beauty and daring cannot be disputed. Pain and Agony belong to you but they are married to Strife. Goddess, I shall have you as my Queen," decreed BANE. Their union trembled heavens and the worlds of mortals.

"My Lord, I tell you that my sister plots against me and would scheme against you," spoke His Queen.

"No longer," spoke BANE as He made for this sister's realm.

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The Black Trials [Book XI, Palace of Poisoned Tears]

Post by Red Ropes » Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:07 pm

It was upon the orbs of Cathrys - jungles floating through the void of Tartarus that Lord BANE sought the sister of His Queen. Through the feculence of this realm he did wade though it was draining.

He could not find sign of the sister who was called KIPUTYTTO. But in the distance he saw a great pyramid and palace; here he traveled and here he was quartered by the goddess TALONA.

For five days and five nights he was hosted. In this time BANE learned of TALONA and she did learn of Him. The dark haired beauty presented Him with gifts; five fierce naga who were taught to adore His name.

The Lord would send these naga to the mortal realm and they would spread His glory.

After this she did feast Him and passed him a chalice filled with sweet ambrosia which he did sup and He did see that tears streamed down her cheeks. "Lord BANE I have done evil against you," she sobbed.

"You have told me of this KIPUTYTTO and she does dwell in this realm. I have long served under her yoke - for she covets my poisons and would make them her own," she continued.

"My lord, I have poisoned you with my bitter tears as she has commanded so she would not take from me my place in heaven," she finished her confession. But the Lord merely smiled.

"I tell you now that you have poisoned me but death is mine to command. But you have indeed wronged me and thus you must atone," BANE decreed.

"To be pardoned of my wrath you shall go to the Mother of Plagues and with your beautiful hands you shall take from her everything. What you gain from that is yours to keep but you will find me and serve me," He continued.

"But that would mean to lose my youth and to become unclean by touching her," she wailed.

"Your beauty is mine to remember. With this done you shall have refuge in my home- I will take you to wife and my Queen shall have a new sister," said the Lord. So she did obey.

BANE left Tartarus and it was not long after that He was again married.

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The Black Trials [Book XII, The Black Bastion]

Post by Red Ropes » Sat Jun 15, 2019 3:23 am

The Lord had seen the vastness of His empire and was pleased. The end of the Black Road led to the interesting geometry in the skies of Acheron. There he settled upon his Throne World - an iron cube in the layer Avalas.

Here was the Throne of Universal Rule and the indisputable destiny of The Lord. For five days he labored in His realm.

On the first day He called forth the Beast that was MALAR and had it populate the lands with fierce hell hounds and beasts that were marked with the Black Hand, for he favored their vigilance.

On the second day He paved the the Black Road with the blackest sapphires.

On the third day He made a great divide in the land and filled it with the disloyal, wretched, and false - and placed baatezu there to castigate them in His Hell of Slaves.

On the fourth day He fashioned a terrible citadel of iron; The Black Bastion. He summoned forth Fanged Wyrms and Eye Tyrants to keep vigil over where his loyal vassals would dwell in Iron Paradise.

On the fifth day He was joined by His Queen LOVIATAR, His Plague Wife TALONA, the Cowled Concubine in the MASK, the Lord BHAAL, and the Lord MYRKUL. The Beast MALAR was at His feet.

Here He demanded of them - and his voice would ring out through the Heavens and the Mortal realm at the Midnight Hour. In Avalas He was heard. In Rezamark He was heard. Among the ruins of Barze, Vane, and Horreb He was heard!

"Serve no one but me," roared the Black Lord.

"Fear me always- and make others fear me even more than you do," spoke the Dark One.

"The Black Hand always strikes down those who stand against it in the end," He warned.

"Defy me and die-or in death find loyalty, for I shall compel it," He continued.

"Submit to my will, since true power can only be gained through service to me. It is the doom of those unguided by me to let power spill through their hands," He demanded.

BANE WAS HEARD! NO LONGER WERE THE REALMS OF MEN WITHOUT THE GUIDANCE OF A MASTER.

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The Black Trials [Book XIII, Yurani the Hated]

Post by Red Ropes » Fri Jun 21, 2019 9:35 pm

It was in the Year of Stern Judgement that Yurani of Marsember swore oaths to the petty power of TYR as a paladin and as an admiral in the Cormyrean fleet. Along the coasts of the Dragonmere she did patrol fighting pyrates that plagued these seas.

Her victorious deeds and her handsome features won her the adoration of the royal court of Marsember, of the people, and of a merchant marine. In Love she believed she had found the purpose of Justice.

The Love of Nation, the Love of the commons, the Love of the Heart. But in her delusion she was manipulated by the merchant marine- for he had been of the pyrates she did battle with and had been telling them of her plans.

So her victories became defeats and then her Love of the Heart became betrayal. Her betrayal became shame as the people saw her a fool and so reviled her. Her reviled self was then forgotten and exiled by the Nation.

Yurani of TYR was then made the blame for these defeats and evils. She would learn that Justice was not within the realm of Love. Justice could only be taken and it could only serve those who Dictate it.

Within her grew a boiling Hate which guided her to new purpose. With this new understanding and in great fear the petty power of TYR abandoned her cause which now was true Justice. In her own hands would be swift Punishment.

Yurani would find the merchant prince who betrayed her. In his blood she was reborn and from it she formed a new covenant.

"Mercy is for the weak. Terror will defeat reason. Justice can be dictated. With this wisdom I recognize the Lord BANE as my master. In contempt I shall have justice," she cried.

With this wisdom and this power she set out into the waters she once patrolled and made for herself a kingdom among the pyrates who feared her wrath and so bent the knee.

From her new kingdom and as a Queen she ruled the waves and none dared nor could dispatch her. In fear of her the shores submitted and thus was born Yurani the Hated.

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The Black Trials [Book XIV, Yurani the Black]

Post by Red Ropes » Fri Jun 21, 2019 9:36 pm

It was in the Year of the Unshriven that Yurani would wander the world doing many deeds. Her greatness rose above the pyrates of the Inner Sea. In the name of God she did travel and battle with His contemners.

One of these battles was with Khazalm the Proud; an Eye Tyrant who believed that his gaze could rule over any godly servant. He named the Lord his enemy and so it was Yurani who came to humble him.

"My gaze shall make a slave of you and your god," boasted Khazalm.

"Hate is God. I hate you creature and you will rue your words," spoke Yurani.

So they did meet eyes and for five months their contest did last. The will of Khazalm was impressive but it was monstrous and deformed. Sustained by her faith Yurani endured.

Upon the twenty fifth day of that fifth month Khazalm did blink and the creature overwhelmed by being defeated by a mere human and fearful of its punishment to come ended its own life in cowardice.

In triumph she traveled and walked the deck of every ship from Waterdeep to Ulgarth, and sunk every one that did not meet with her approval. Those that did were given her mark; a notch upon the upper mast.

It is said that all ships that bear this mark were then also protected by BANE and that not even the Bitch Queen of the Seas dares sink them for fear of the Lord's retribution.

In these days and deeds she was known by the Lord. He gave her audience and companionship and taught her many things beyond the ken of lesser men.

"You are the greatest of my servants and so deserving of great reward. There comes a great evil to the world and so I will leave to you the means of its dispatch. In your womb lies my Avenger," so said the Lord.

The Lord did lay with her and gave youth eternal in the body of a black wyrm. "There are no martyrs to my cause. My will is living - go now to fulfil it Yurani the Black," demanded BANE.

So it was that the Living Saint did go into the world to live His will forever.

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The Black Trials [Book XV, Iyatchtu Xvim]

Post by Red Ropes » Fri Jun 21, 2019 9:39 pm

It was in the Year of the Toppled Throne that Yurani settled upon a mountain where long ago Shanatar shattered Nedeheim. Here she left an egg of emerald and within it was the Will of BANE.

When she had gone from the place and after five days it did shatter. Within its ruins stood the body of a perfect man. "What is my purpose," he cried after his first breath.

"You are my son and you are my Avenger. I name you Iyachtu Xvim and you shall obey my commandments," demanded BANE in the darkness of the cave - two great flames stood as His eyes.

"When I walked this land long ago there were men who made a covenant. These men swore that they would remember their salvation by my Hand and so I would protect them," the Lord continued.

"But they have broken this covenant and so have lost my protection. They have built a throne for mortal kings there and have named it Westgate. You will go to this city and in my name humble them," finished the Lord.

A black, taloned hand leapt from the darkness and settled upon the Son of BANE. Within its chill touch was Fear and with this gift the Son took up a shard of the egg that bore him.

He marched down the mountain and passed the River Reza. As he made toward the city he was visited by a servant of his father; the Flamed One. This being gave to him a host of tanar'ri and their spawn.

Together they brought ruin to the godless men of Westgate. Those who knelt before the Son were spared and all that remained besides them were black dogs, green eyed black cats, bats in the night and vultures in the skies.

Over the city loomed clouds of powdered carnelian which lingered like stains of blood.

"I have brought the judgement of my father upon thee men of Westgate. You broke your covenant with Him and so you are now punished; I will remain for a time and wait for His sign," said the Son of BANE.

Born on a mountain, raised in a cave - to serve his father is all the Godson craved.

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The Black Trials [Book XVI, Godswar]

Post by Red Ropes » Sat Jun 22, 2019 7:16 pm

It was in the Year of Shadows that the Lord BANE did walk the world of Toril. The mad goddess MYSTRA who had in the age before brought ruin to Netheril and herself planned to usurp every throne she could through fell ritual.

She would bind the gods for a mortal year to their avatars and so attempt to slay each and make herself supreme. But the Lord knew of her villainy and with his brothers in MYRKUL and BHAAL prepared for the war that would be.

BANE would find the Godson and tell him of the evils that would come. The Godson begged his father to walk with him and to battle his foes. But the Lord instead would hide him in a MASK of darkness where he would await destiny.

Next the Lord would ensure the gaze of the HELM upon the goddess - and when her fell rite did occur this god would escape it. He would watch from the Heavens while the Lord and his brethren walked willingly into her scheme.

For the Lord was the Master of Death and JERGAL did tell him that the skeins of Fate indicated it would come to many - gods and mortals alike. His own name would join the great lists of those in eternal slumber.

But it would not remain.

So it came the hour of her magic and a shadow was cast upon the world as the gods for the whole of the year were bound to their avatars but for HELM who watched and awaited the perfidious goddess.

The Lord and his brethren sat the thrones of their mortal kingdoms and assembled armies to battle with the evil goddess and her hordes who wilfully plunged the worlds and heaven into anarchy.

From Mulmaster, Phlan, Thay and elsewhere did the Lord's people assemble outside of Zhentil Keep and prepared for the punishing confrontation. Here there would be retribution and vindication for the goddess assembled her minions in Shadowdale.

"Goddess you have wronged me and done evil. Evil is repaid in Evil," said the Lord to the multitude of his followers and there was much rejoicing. So came the God to make Peace.

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The Black Trials [Book XVII, Shadowdale]

Post by Red Ropes » Sun Jun 23, 2019 4:34 pm

So it was in Kythorn that the Lord BANE and His people began their march to Shadowdale to confront the forces of the mad MYSTRA. It was not long before the forces of the God ringed the town.

Though the goddess had prepared in her schemes by hiding gateways to the heavens in the mortal realm, in her hubris she did not expect any would know of them. The choice of battleground was that the Lord knew of her gate in Shadowdale.

As the soldiers of God ringed the dale the goddess felt despair. Rather than commit her forces to resist she sent them to die against the Men of Righteous Hate. She would try to flee through her gate there.

She opened her gate then as the battle was committed and the Lord did come for her. But the Lord would not reach her then for HELM had seen her and had been waiting.

HELM steadfastly refused to let her pass and gave her fair warning. Furious, she attacked him with bolts and beams of energy, fire and ice, mystic blades, and dread creatures with fangs and claws, coils and maws, wings and tentacles.

HELM held firm, absorbing or brushing off each of her assaults. Weeping blue-flame tears of anger and frustration, she grappled with him and fire leapt from her mouth. He held her off with one hand and raised his visor.

As their gaze met, MYSTRA let out a terrible scream heard across the Realms for she saw her doom written in his face. HELM drew back and punched his gauntleted fist through her chest and her body exploded in a blindingly hot flash of devastating power.

Thus the battle was ended and this gate closed. But the Lord had followed the goddess' movements and saw her essence retreating toward Waterdeep, defeated, but unvanquished.

Among what remained of the goddess' followers the Lord gave ultimatum and mercy. Those who would join with the God in his battle against this goddess would be spared.

So it was that he came to be served by the mortals Cyric the Coward and Kelemvor the Sick.

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The Black Trials [Book XVIII, Tantras]

Post by Red Ropes » Sun Jun 23, 2019 10:46 pm

It was in Eleasis that the Lord revealed His plan to go to Tantras and retrieve a relic He had left there - the Black Hand. He had sent His brethren in BHAAL and MYRKUL to pursue the mad MYSTRA to Waterdeep.

He alone would go to Tantras, the city and seat of the petty power TORM. The dutiful fool had been convinced by agents of the goddess MYSTRA that the Lord sought to destroy his city and his people and so he readied to battle BANE.

The Lord planned instead to send Cyric and Kelemvor into the city as He did battle with TORM so that they would bring the Black Hand to His brothers who would then give it to the Godson to destroy the remaining essence of MYSTRA.

Cyric the Coward was born as a bastard of cuckoldry. The Lord saw his every weakness but knew his ambition could be used. For the promise of power he would serve under Kelemvor the Sick.

Kelemvor had a mortal ailment and desired only to be released of it. The Lord delivered him from this and so he swore to retrieve the Black Hand.

The Lord led His army toward Tantras and walked before it as an obsidian giant. So dreadful was His appearance that among the Tormtar ranks many took their own lives. It would not be armies that would clash at Tantras, but avatars.

BANE advanced against TORM who took the shape of an abomination: half-man, half-lion. Battle raged, turning Tantras and its harbor into to ruins. Kelemvor and Cyric entered the city while the Lord wrestled TORM.

BANE had beat his adversary into submission, but before the final blow was struck MYSTRA herself manifested as a terrible clamor and with both avatars off-guard washed them in her fell magick.

"You shall find that your victory will have defeated you! I am the Master of Death and I will conquer it," cried the Lord as he and TORM were seemingly destroyed.

When news reached the Lord's servants some fell to despair. Kelemvor kept to the task, but Cyric began to Pretend.

The Godson was suddenly washed in Hatred.

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The Black Trials [Book XIX, Waterdeep]

Post by Red Ropes » Tue Jun 25, 2019 6:19 pm

It was in Eleint that Kelemvor and Cyric parted ways by command of the former. Kelemvor would make for Waterdeep and join MYRKUL as he readied his forces. Cyric would bring the Black Hand to BHAAL who would then bring it to the Godson.

But Cyric did not do this. The Coward had become fascinated with the artifact and coveted its power for his own. He would meet with BHAAL and greet him as master and commander.

But when the brother of BANE turned his back, the Coward donned the Hand and struck BHAAL down. As blood flowed into Winding Water, the Coward who Pretended to be God made his way to Waterdeep.

By the leaf-fall of Marpenoth, Kelemvor had been received by MYRKUL who had tasked the mortal to command his legions. From the Lord's kingdom they had marshalled vengeful spirits of the god's people.

When the Godson and the MASK of shadow did not arrive in the company of BHAAL there were questions that could not be answered for the fell goddess MYSTRA and her forces within the city were beginning to grow. Despite their absence they decided to strike.

Battle began and the city of Waterdeep was filled with its sound. The Nightriders of MYRKUL were led by Kelemvor and the deluded sycophants of mad MYSTRA were cut down. MYRKUL fought her spell-to-spell.

MYSTRA, sensing her imminent defeat, began to retreat up the Mount Waterdeep where her final gateway was maintained. As MYRKUL readied to end the cowardly matron of magic he was startled by a new voice.

"BANE comes to end thee, MYSTRA. I am your doom," spoke the thin-limbed, sickly figure who was the PRETENDER. The goddess used this distraction to strike MYRKUL down and scatter his remains.

But fear that the true BANE stood before her had her retreat into the heavens with the PRETENDER just behind her, the gate closing soon after. Kelemvor retreated with the host of MYRKUL to Hades.

The lesser gods soon after returned to their ruined homes- but in the darkness the Godson boiled with Hate.

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The Black Trials [Book XX, Upheaval]

Post by Red Ropes » Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:16 am

It was a new era and there was a terrible Upheaval in the wake of the Godswar. The PRETENDER and MYSTRA battled throughout the empty realms of the other gods still trapped, laying waste to the heavens.

The goddess forged new realms for her pawns to settle within and the realms of mortals remained scarred by her distraction and neglect.

The PRETENDER claimed the Bone Throne for himself and fashioned its city as a capital: his City of Strife. Those who had once served the Lord BANE had distanced themselves from this false god.

The Queen and Plague Wife fell to Loss and Despair. The Beast roamed wild. But the MASK cast a shadow over the legacy of the Lord. The PRETENDER had began to know the MASK as an ally, but this was a great Intrigue.

The PRETENDER sought out his great fears and the threats to his regime of Lies. The MASK taught him the way to seize control of Illusion and so create the idea that he was secure and mighty.

He desired most, however, to know two things: where the Godson was and where the army with Kelemvor did go. Both of these things were kept from him by the MASK who sent him seeking many places but never with the truth.

Fear consumed him and ruled him. The city of the dead overflowed with neglected spirits and the evils of NAKASR returned.

It was in the Year of Maidens and in the mortal realms that the PRETENDER spread false doctrines proclaiming himself the heir of Jathiman. Strange twistings that BANE, BHAAL, and MYRKUL had all had been him and now was an era of new Truth.

The priesthoods and those who truly feared God saw through this Lie, but cowards began to preach it and those who would not were hunted and slain. The villainy of the PRETENDER made him Hated by the godly and the heathen alike.

In the mortal realms the Godson grew stronger from this Fear and Contempt.

Kelemvor worked quietly within the City of Strife and readied for the battle to come.

The MASK shadowed them both.

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The Black Trials [Book XXI, City of Strife]

Post by Red Ropes » Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:20 am

In the Year of the Banner the jealous PRETENDER resumed the genocide of those who would not name him their God. Wherever godfearers did settle in the world his minions tried to break their faith with Lies and Illusion.

In Zhentil Keep his followers began to eat themselves as they tried to mark who was a believer and who was not, but the PRETENDER did not care for he had been lost to selfish Madness.

So depraved was he that he struck bargain with the Eater of the World, DENDAR, who slithered through the bowels of Hades. He promised he would set her free if she would aid him in the destruction of the Godson wherever he might be.

The MASK would encourage his madness and would lead the PRETENDER toward what they believed a trap. In the shattered lands of Gehenna and near the Bastion of Hate there lay the prison of KEZEF the Chaos Hound.

This ancient evil was locked away by other powers for it craved the souls of Gods and Mortals alike. So planned the MASK to feed the PRETENDER to this beast. Yet it would come that, like the Serpent, the PRETENDER promised it freedom.

He let it smell a piece of the egg that bore the Godson and when the beast put its attentions upon the MASK he turned and tore the cloak from around them. The hound could smell the son of BANE upon the MASK.

In a great and terrible bellow it told the PRETENDER that the Godson lay below Zhentil Keep in the mortal realm. The PRETENDER wrapped the cloak about his neck and let the terror loose with the promise that it could eat the MASK.

So it gave chase and so the MASK fled, sending shadowy warnings to both Kelemvor and the Godson.

In the City of Strife did Kelemvor begin a revolt and thus placed a new banner upon the keep.

But the False God had journeyed to the mortal realms and brought a terrible host of inhuman creatures to siege a city of his own people. A great and terrible rumble brought the walls of that city down.

The Godson left the darkness.

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The Black Trials [Book XXII, Avenger]

Post by Red Ropes » Fri Jun 28, 2019 2:03 am

As battle overtook the City of Strife in the heavens, it became the Year of the Gauntlet in the mortal realm. Zhentil Keep had been put to siege and the Mad God had brought ruin to his people with foul forces.

All of this was to find the Godson. The grounds did tremble and the Contempt his own people had for him in his betrayal fueled terrible emerald flames. The False God surveyed the city from the skies and held the Black Hand over it.

From the depths of that ruination the Godson marched forth, naked and armed only with the Shell Sword of Yurani. He was empowered by the Fear of the False God who had trembled heavens and earth to try and end him.

He was empowered by the Contempt of the world for this Liar and Scoundrel, for though the Lord BANE was Feared, he was the Master of Hate and none dared curse him. As he burst forth and into sight of the PRETENDER there came a quiet.

"Theatricality and deception are powerful agents to the uninitiated, PRETENDER. But we are both initiated in such things," said the Godson, shattering the silence. The False God drew all attention to the Son of BANE.

The fires of Hate raged around them and the Fear of the Mad God was palpable. "Now is your reckoning. Here to end the borrowed time you've been living on," continued the Godson.

So the Son charged forth to battle the PRETENDER with the monstrosities scattering at the intensity. As the fire did rise so did the resolve of the Mad God weaken. The Black Hand would deflect each blow.

But its wielder could not know how to wield it.

"I was born of the Darkness. Molded by Him. I did not understand His greatness until this moment but it is binding," howled the Godson as his sword severed the arm of the PRETENDER.

Though he worked to end the PRETENDER, in that moment the creature had fled back to the heavens and from the earth. The Godson reclaimed the Black Hand and placed it upon his right. In that moment it glowed white hot.

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The Black Trials [Book XXIII, Tyrantfog]

Post by Red Ropes » Fri Jun 28, 2019 2:04 am

So the Godson was victorious and though the False God still lived he was diminished and left only with the Lie, the Illusion, of his power in the world. His demise would belong to another.

The Godson entered Hades and made for the Bastion of Hate. There he prepared for a Rite of Retribution. The PRETENDER had wrought havoc across the Heavens and the Worlds of Mortals and his minions poisoned everything.

Discord and Strife had been sewn and some had begun to forget his Father. Upon hearing of the defeat of the Mad God, mortals began to worship the Godson as an idol. Others had never believed at all and sought only power.

All of these degenerate forces would need to be corrected, for the Godson was the Avenger. In order to fulfill the Will of BANE he would need to scourge them from the earth, reminding them who was the true Arbiter of All.

So it was in the Year of the Tankard where many celebrated the defeat of the PRETENDER that the Godson revealed the next step of the Lord's master-plan. From the Heavens he sent down a terrible, oppressive fog.

This choking Tyrantfog enveloped all places where the Lord's people had lived. True believers felt comfort within it and were greatly empowered. The servants of the PRETENDER and the lip-givers were smothered in it.

For ten days and ten nights this affliction plagued the world. The weak would collapse, die, and then rise again as shambling-flesh eaters who sought others who had not yet perished by the pestilent clouds.

As the PRETENDER tried to extinguish the faithful, the Faithless had become oblation of the Son and so perished all heretics within the fog.

In the night hours of the final day the fog burst into bright emerald fires, destroying all homes of the heretics, the godless, and the lip-givers. The smoke and flames rose into the skies and took the shape of a green wyrm.

In the Heavens the Godson was wreathed in the essence of their end, crackling with that same green fire.

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The Black Trials [Book XXIV, Conquest]

Post by Red Ropes » Fri Jun 28, 2019 2:06 am

It was the Year of Wild Magic when the Godson put forth a call throughout the heavens and summoned forth the servants of the Lord.

First came His Queen and then her Sister Wife. Then came the Beast who snarled and snapped at being called. Finally arrived the Concubine in the MASK who was ragged and worn for they were chased still by the Chaos Hound.

The Godson was wreathed in green flame. Gone from him was his youth and he began to wither.

"My blood has never belonged to me. It has always belonged to my Father. We stand here as servants and witnesses to His greatest deed. Our master is not dead," said the Son of BANE as he lofted the Black Hand toward the multitude there.

"He rises now from this vessel. A man may have nothing but he can still give his life," finished IYATCHU XVIM as his flesh burned away. There came a great tremble in the ground and a roar that subdued the distant howling of KEZEF.

The skies darkened and took a bloody hue. The ground split in many places and from the depths of this barren world came the Palace of Poison Tears and the Burning Cold of Ondtland. The Bastion of Hate imploded upon itself.

From the black sands formed a great obsidian bastion. When the tumultuous storm had settled, it was witnessed by the Household of the Lord that He was returned.

In the Ashes of the Son stood the imperious figure of BANE.

"You have done your duty. You have survived by my Will and by my Guidance, with my Hand, I have conquered Death; this is not the only conquest that shall be," said BANE.

"This world has been shaken by my design. The schemes of lesser gods and the things that pretend are coming to an end. As it was in Jathiman it shall be here in my Iron Paradise and woe be those damned to my Hell of Slaves," He continued.

Heaven had been reordered. In the realm of mortals there was celebration among the godly but among the enemies of God there was only despair.

BANE HAD RETURNED ORDER TO HEAVEN.

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