DM Tools - Campaigns - The Jaidor Talisman - The Siege of Myranor
When the characters arrived in Myranor, the authorities there gave them the satchel carried by Ahtmarak. Athmarak was one of Rukemia’s best spies. He had been deep under cover in the Citadel of Duthelm. He abandoned his post there to carry a satchel full of documents to Myranor. He gave his life so that these documents could make it to Kitar and Rukemia. So, as you can imagine, these documents must be pretty important.
The players may check the contents of the satchel immediately or they may wait until after they get out of the city. Either way, this page details the contents of the satchel.
Inside the satchel are the following items:
The map is black ink on vellum. It looks to be recently penned. It shows a map of the continent of Aggradar. It also shows a dashed line meandering across the continent… perhaps detailing a specific route. Finally, a number of locations are marked on the map. Strange words in a foreign language are next to these locations. None of the players can read the strange letters.
The letter reads as follows:
To General Gravus of the Kitaran North Army,
I am writing to warn Kitar and the Empire of recent events in the Citadel. The dark lords of Duthelm have recovered a treasure which may lead them to a weapon of vast and terrible power.
Allow me to educate you in much of the ancient past that is not widely known.
During the Great War, the ruling nobles of the Irenni League sought greater and greater weapons to use against the Thullian Empire. And so they turned to their most gifted sorcerer, the archmage Jaidor. He worked for seven months on the development of a weapon which would win the war. It was to be his greatest single creation, the crown jewel of a long and illustrious career. And thus, he named it for himself. The Jaidor Talisman… a talisman of potent energies. This device was kept so secret, we still do not know what it looks like to this day. We only know this glyph appears on it:
He took fifty of the League’s finest warriors. Using the device, he called forth dweomers such as none had seen before. With these energies, he ensorcelled the men. And they began to change. Before the eyes of those present, the 50 men lost all form. Their bodies melted to nothingness and then rose from the void as shapeless, wailing things. When the spell was done, they were no longer human. They were… shape shifters. And so the first generation of morphians was born.
When Jaidor unveiled the morphians to the nobles of the League, they were pleased. The morphians were powerful. They could assume any shape. They could get into any building to obtain any information or slay any foe. They were the perfect thieves, spies, and assassins. The nobles eagerly paid Jaidor for the use of these creatures and sent them forth on many errands of chaos and bloodshed. It did not take long for the morphians to become known to the empire. They were greatly feared and they struck terror into the Empire for years into the war.
History records these facts: that the Irenni League sorcerers created the morphians and that the man most directly responsible for their creation was a mage named Jaidor. But few people know of the nature of their creation. Few know of the Talisman.
And fewer still know the relationship between the shape-shifters and Talisman.
The Talisman granted its user control over the shape-shifters. The morphians obeyed the power of the Talisman. They obeyed the master's bidding. They were unable to resist. In some ways, the morphians were little more than slaves. No… they were less than slaves. They were puppets. Mere extensions of the Talisman.
To ensure that the morphians would never attempt to destroy that which held them in slavery, Jaidor bound the Talisman to the morphians in life and in death. He enchanted the Talisman such that if it were ever destroyed, the entire race of the morphians would die. With this enchantment in place, the morphians were helpless.
As the war progressed, the nobles demanded that Jaidor use the Talisman to create more of the shape-shifters. Not wanting to sacrifice their own soldiers, the nobles used criminals and prisoners of war for the procedure. Many nobles were given tokens from the Talisman which let them control their own morphians without having to rely on Jaidor and the Talisman. Although it is widely believed that Jaidor would never have sacrificed complete control and that the Talisman superceded any such tokens.
As the Thullian empire began to crumble, conflict arose over the spoils of war. In order to capture more of the wealth flowing into Irenni coffers, many nobles started using their personal morphians to spy on each other. This was the beginning of the end of the Irenni League. As the League began to crumble, there came to be a morphian who was not bound to the Talisman. His name was Aracles. Many historians have proposed explanations for his unique quality. Some suggest the aberration of Drellis caused the magic in his creation to go awry. Perhaps Jaidor foresaw the nobles feuding and this was his answer. The truth is, no one is sure. It does not matter any more. What matters is that this one morphian was able to resist the influence of the Talisman. One morphian. But in the end, it only took one.
This morphian used his advantage and shape-shifting abilities to free a dozen other morphians. They returned to the Irenni League and started a rebellion. In a terrible battle, many Irenni nobles and military leaders were slain. And they beheaded Jaidor, the father of their race and the man who had made them slaves. In the end, they had captured the Talisman.
Aracles knew that their victory was a precarious one at best. His group of free-willed morphians was small. There were many other morphians, but these poor souls were bound to their masters' tokens. And try as they might, Aracles group could not comprehend the arcane spells involved with its control.(The morphians had been forbidden to learn magic).
The Irenni nobles who held tokens would soon be fighting over the Talisman not wanting to relinquish control of their shape-shifters. And as long as the Talisman existed, the morphians faced the possibility of losing their freedom. But he could not destroy the Talisman without destroying his brethren. Although they could not control the Talisman themselves, they could ensure that no one else did.
It was decided that the Talisman would be taken far away. Further than any spell could track. Beyond the scrying of mages. Beyond the sight of gods. It was to be hidden for all time where none would find it.
Aracles assembled a company of volunteers. With the blessing of their brethren, this fellowship took the Talisman and sailed east. They intended to hide the Talisman away from the world, to bury it deep in distant lands. To surround it with spells and traps such that no one, morphian or otherwise, would ever be able to retrieve it. They did not return. Although some Irenni nobles set sail in a desperate attempt to find the Talisman, nothing of Aracles or his followers has ever been seen since.
That is, until now. Three weeks ago, a floundered ship was found off the coast of Dregan's Isle. It bore strange letters of an unknown language upon its hull. Its main sail markings were likewise queer and unfamiliar. Citadel soldiers searched the wreck. In the cargo hold, they found a great oaken chest and within, amongst other treasure, they found a map sealed with the glyph of Jaidor. The officers and soldiers knew not the value of this simple parchment. But a mage with them did and explained to the officers what it was that they had found. A single rider was dispatched to bring word to the Citadel. Upon hearing of this news, Queen Sillar ordered a legion of troops to rush to Dregan's Isle. The wreck was quarantined on her order. She also sent several Black Sorcerers went to investigate. Shortly after that, the map was brought back to the Citadel to be translated.
Because of my position, I was able to study the map and make a copy of it. I have asked Akmarath to bring you the copy of this map and this letter. Lord Caramus believes that this map does indeed lead to the final resting place of the Jaidor Talisman. I also believe that the map that Duthelm holds is authentic. They are amassing a number of ships to sail to Aggradar and retrieve the Talisman.
Duthelm must not be allowed to recover the Talisman. If they acquire it, Lord Caramus will be able to locate and control every living morphian. An army of shapeshifting assassins would be at his command. I would not presume to dictate a political or military response. I will leave such matters in the hands of Kitaran and Rukemian authorities. I would advise a course of action, the only course of action available to us. Rukemia must send its own ships to Aggradar and retrieve the Talisman before Duthelm is able to acquire it.
This website was last updated November 16, 2021. Copyright 1990-2021 David M. Roomes.