Thursday, 25 February 2010

darksea war: deep treason

In every war there are traitors.  Among races as cerebral and evil as the aboleth and illithid, treachery is instinctual and for some, betrayal of species is an expedient survival tactic. Though the rewards often include a painful death, those who pull it off have gained no small measure of infamy in the Underdark though whether life at any cost is worth it remains to be seen...

The aboleth view death as a failure, some succeed at any price.  Usligniq the Traitor surrendered  in return for it's life after the deaths of it's servitors and allies.  Now the overseer feasts on the remains of victims, treated like a living library by the illithids, confined to a brine tank dark with slime and attended by servitors. There have been numerous attempts to destroy it by poison and assassination. Yet Usligniq survives under the watchful eye of the illithid and dispenses secrets to them in return for a continued existence and the chance to enter reveries without the rivalry of it's fellow aboleth.  Usligniq is accompanied by an illithid mastermind and a clutch of servitors pandering to it's perverse whims, only four servitors are permitted by the illithid.

In a quest for power and understanding, some illithids mutate themselves with Far Realm energies. Khavqa was a curious mind flayer that learned healing then wizardry as the other illithids mocked it as an eccentric mutant obsessed with repairing thralls.  Yet over time Khavqa chose seclusion from it's fellows and eventually ate the brain of a dying aboleth slime mage.  The resulting insights allowed it to learn certain secrets for the small price of insanity and following certain rituals and practices is now something more and less than a mind flayer.  It justified it's practices by the maxim 'know your enemy'.

Now Khavqa hides inside concealing robes for it's eyes are dark and fishlike, it's arms now long raking tentacles capable of near-human dexterity, it's powerful legs and tail let it swim swiftly and naturally.  It's mind is erratic, yet in battle it's mutations, mental and magical powers make up for tactical deficiencies brought on by madness.  Yet more disturbing is the small army of mutant thralls Khavqa has, devoted to their master and showing signs of experimentation to adapt to the aboleth environment.  Khavqa plans on taking an abandoned lake-city and the aboleth have made overtures to the evolving creature that appear to be being reciprocated.

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