The librarian looks at the pouch initially confused, but finally gives in to his baser nature and pockets the coins, he disappears into the stacks and returns later with a reply...
There are many such places apparently from the number of times such a happening is documented." He pauses before continuing "Though few are documented accurately..."
"I would suggest that such information might be best discovered in Netherese Libraries, they were far in advance of anything that we currently understand i believe."
He hastily adds "Though i am not an expert of course!"
While the librarians have no specific information (and in fact, explain they have very little written information on druidic rituals in general, due to the secrecy of such peoples, most information is second hand, or conjecture from none druids) one of the Librarians does remember hearing some adventurers talking about a special kind of axe they planned to use to chop down several Iron Wood trees, claiming they found the axe within a natural maze of some kind.
They also mention this same group of adventurers must have left the region shortly afterwards, as they never saw them again...
A librarian, desperate for purpose beyond reading farmer's almanacs and cantrip scroll catalogs, skims a few shelves. He manages to return with a tome, covered by a few month's worth of dust and abandonment.
"Submitted by some criminal or other, best left forgotten if you ask me, but Oghma makes trivia collectors of us all, hm?"
The Rise of House Manzahar
By Samantha Greyhalo
Special Thanks to Alesszhara, Damion Latok, Eso, Angelo, Manzian Grail and Hicksman.
Second Edition: 29th of Tarsakh, 1395
Thraesus Manzahar, as many knew him, was an unstable intellect possessing a near-dead body, so imbued with necromantic energies that it blurred the line between living and dead to all but the most scholarly of arcanists. His knowledge of the Arcane had moved his perspective beyond mortality thus marking his thought processes in a way that seemed insane to the casual observer.
Throughout the author's interviews with adventurers it seems that his rise to power is primarily marked by the misinformation surrounding who, and what, he was. Bits and pieces remain available through myriad sources, but the bulk of what was learned was indeed gathered from his closest cohorts and the man himself, when lucidity and bemusement struck him. Thus the documentation exists in as detailed chronological order as is allowed.
Prior to his death, Manzahar was a noble within the King's Swamp. All that is known of this time is that he was a powerful necromancer in life, and his crimes resulted in him being confined to house arrest by multiple War Wizards under direct orders by the King. It was there that he perfected the means to create artificial Myrkandite, known as death metal. What remains of this manor collapsed as of the writing of this tome, as it was exhumed by his retainers prior to the battle for Tilverton.
It is known that during his lifetime Manzahar had a wife, though the exact time and cause of her death are unknown. The archmage was consumed by grief at her death, however, and performed a rite to Clar Banda. The rite involved the ritualistic sacrifice of a dwarven woman before the observation of her husband. In exchange, the goddess took Manzahar's grief upon herself, thus ridding him of emotion towards his deceased.
After Manzahar's death, the timeline becomes clearer. He was slain by a war wizard, and when the Necromancer was killed he sealed his own soul away in a staff, the Aegis of Necromancy. Manzahar had intended to take over the War Wizard's body, however the staffcame into the posession of the Thayan Arena's armory. A wizard by the name of Wyrmlocke succeeded the trial in acquiring it, thus falling for the trap. Manzahar eventually subsumed all of the wizard's soul into his own, consuming it entirely.
Details are scarce of his deeds after this resurrection. He acquired the divine spark of a dead deity, granting him effective immortality and immense power. His experiments are ill-detailed, though it is known he pulled the soul from a dead consort from the fugue plane to empower a weapon used by his assassin, Grail.
Additionally many had been marked by him. The arcane sigil, a weathered and black raven, had effects beyond the obvious. The only consistent reason for this marking is that his minions can properly identify "untouchable" individuals, those he either deems important to himself or enjoys tormenting.
Manzahar was a devout individual, beyond the scholarly pursuits of necromancy typical of arcanists. He often pressured those in his employ and following to pursue rituals to the goddess, and would manipulate his enemies into supplication when possible. He considered himself to be one of her greatest lovers, a term internally denoted by the faith as a Pale King. It was clear from observation that he considered himself something of a messiah of her faith.
Ultimately, Manzahar's death was the result of a tremendous amount of factors. The forces of Tilverton, marked for destruction for reasons that remain unclear, were besieged by various undead of low intellect. This was a feint, as the Fallen House was attempting to stabilize the Helmlands and it's wild magic.
The ritual failed. Interviews after the fact suggest that it may be due to Tilverton utilizing the Aegis of Necromancy in it's defense, shattering Manzahar's concentration for a single second. Manzahar, wounded, retreated to his Island with his remaining forces. Victorious, and spurred on by the preachings of the devout of Tempus and Gond, the forces mobilized against the Undead Island.
As Manzahar retreated, expecting this retaliation, he turned to Baroness Winterblood, leader of the Court of Undeath, and custodian of Vorenthia's corpse. She denied him access to the castle of the island, expecting betrayal. She was correct, as the Count laid siege to the castle, killing her and the remains of the court, further weakening his own forces.
The forces of Cormyr and Tilverton made landfall on the Island and swiftly breached into the castle. They expected a protracted, devastating siege but were instead greeted by open gates. Two followers of Manzahar, who the author was unable to document, threw open the gates and used magical artillery to cut a path directly into the keep. The forces of the crown immediately breached, and slew the entirety of the House.
Manzahar, utilizing his own knowledge of Soul Magic, abandoned his mortal form to inhabit the undead Vorenthia. This soul-bound Demi-lich was ultimately bested by the combined forces of Cormyr, Tilverton, and the two nameless Betrayers.
The island, cursed by Clar Banda for it's failures as said by some, sunk into the ocean. The remains of the undead Court, the Forgotten House, Vorenthia, and indeed Manzahar were unaccounted for following the successful siege.
The Wykem-Tree is a very rare tree that grows in areas where many people have died and their bodies have been left undisturbed for decades. As the tree matures it produces thin stalks along it's trunk which can be harvested for their potent sap which has curative properties.
The older the tree, the more potent the sap found in these stalks. The only known Wykem Trees left are jealously guarded by Fey, for their rumoured connection to the tree's wooden stalks.
The librarian kindly explains that no War Wizard openly speaks of their research subject in such a manner that a library would have it written down, instead the Librarian advice the officer to seek a Mystran for advice.
She finds a passage in a book of old mythologies...
The Earth Mother saw an empty world, and filled it with forests. It was lacking in beauty, so she breathed into life the first unicorn.
The Earth Mother saw deep canyons, and filled them with oceans, so that life may live in its depths, and she molded from clay the first whale.
She saw her children starve, so she took their bones and molded the first wolves, to hunt prey and let them remain healthy.
Content, she rested, sleeping deep in the Moonshaes, protected by her first children.
She finds no mention of a fourth.
The Transmutor finds few records of the Shadovar, their chance of survival or even any records of any undead Shadovar. Soldiers scoff at the very idea, proclaiming non could had survived the fall and those whom were on the ground were defeated by the Cormyrian forces.
All in all, it appears Cormyr lacks true research material into the Shadovar and what is know by the Crown Forces is well guarded.
After pondering for awhile and debating how much he should reveal he settles on his questions
"Do we know anything about life on Glyth? Do we know anything about what might circle it, much like Selune circles us? Is it possible for one of the sages with their viewing scopes or magic to see if something might have left Glyth and headed towards Toril?"
////Since it seems the solar system in realmspace is common knowledge can I assume cannon for at least things like maps of the solar system, and basic planetary information? Didn't want to assume as nothing was listed here.
[A rather wispy and used up fellow of a librarian comments that it's possible, maybe likely the third mysterious god was Midnight or Mystra or Mystryl, but who can know with the gods being how they are? He mutters as he shuffles off about the silliness of women, divine or not...]
She tells him, "An officially recognized shrine would need an officially recognized church member in good standing to even begin the paperwork." Then she reminds him that she's a librarian, not the Herald's personal secretary.
Apparently either un-phased by the Librarian's lack of interest or just plain naive, Gali goes to add another book on top of his first one still sitting on the desk. Before setting it down he wipes the dust off the first book, sets down the second one, smiles at the Librarian, and takes his leave
The Celestial Summoner: Second Circle
The Rhek by Galianard Von Amerstein
The Rhek actually originally hail from somewhere on our very own Material Plane. Rheks try to impose order upon a chaotic multiverse, doing their best to crush evil wherever they find it. As such, when the Plane of Arcadia's third layer dissolved, a planar faction called the Harmonium reached out to the Rhek. Thus the Rhek were willingly brought to Arcadia and helped restore order in the wake of such a cataclysmic event. Meticulous in seeing that everything is kept in its proper place, the Rhek have a low tolerance for unpredictable beings. They enforce order through violence, but they are not bloodthirsty.
Appearance and Personality
The sight of the Rhek is one of a a hulking humanoid which combines the features of a human and a rhinoceros. Gleaming armor tends to cover their leathery, pale-gray hide, and all Rhek have a great black horn jutting from the middle of their forehead. They typically stand 7 feet tall and weigh 350 pounds. Rhek are actually able to speak the Common language as their ancestors originate from the Material Plane. The Rhek I bounded with, Grandark, has a beat up evil, no time for small talk type of personality. When he does speak, it's typically in short sentances if not one word answers.
Abilities with Which to Confront Evil
In combat, the Rhek will charge halberd or horn first at the nearest enemy and then try to overpower their opponent. If they are not in the thick of the melee, it is only a matter of time before they are.
Forming the Summoner's Bond
Summoners interesting in forming a connection of their own with the Rhek and thus being able to summon them to their side should explore a connection to the celestial plane. There are books within Arabel that speak of the exalted deeds our celestial companions are capable of and would serve as a suitable connection.