Ranaris' Journal

This grimoire is written in the precise script of a scholar. It contains numerous necromantic treatises and notes regarding a few failed rituals, along with items of a more personal nature. Reading it reveals Ranaris to be a particularly depraved character, a Necromancer and necrophiliac both. He repeatedly bemoans the lack of proper experimental subjects and is clearly annoyed a having to constantly utilize goblin and hobgoblin corpses for his rituals.

Some entries of note:

“At last I find a challenge worthy of my own formidable intellect and cunning! Beneath the church itself I’ve found a warren of tunnels, and a peculiar door. It is made fast by powerful enchantment indeed and covered all about with glyphs arcane. I confess they are so obscure even I do not recognize them – something of wondrous rare potency must be hid beyond, why else expend the cost for such an arcane lock? A simple Knock ritual was insufficient to open it; something more subtle is perhaps required. I must think on this carefully.”

“Curse the frailty and lack of fibre of these damnable goblins; they are barely worth the components required to animate them. What I wouldn’t give for a steady supply of young, hale materials, particularly a few comely females.”

“Bah. I can strike Ectoplasmic Residuum from the list of components to fuel a ritual capable of opening that accursed, thrice-damned and despised door. I’d hoped that something sufficiently insubstantial might do the trick. Perhaps I am thinking of this in the wrong way – what I need is a hint of skill in the ritual. I wonder if perhaps some grave dust from a famous burglar might do the trick. Also, something about the glyphs on the door is vaguely suggestive – one symbol I think perhaps I once spotted in my old master’s study, before I burnt the place down around his ears. I must think on this carefully.”

“Ativex sent some of his own spawn to treat with me this time, rather than those pathetic kobold servitors! That damn demon-dragon will learn to threaten Ranaris the Terrible at his own dire cost, I swear it! I overcame them of course, though it pained me – my most recently raised goblins are all in pieces. No matter, the dragonspawn will surely animate with the proper adjustment to the ritual . . . perhaps a spot of adder’s venom, given the color? That or some potent acid, I should think, will do the trick. I must think on this carefully, wouldn’t do to ruin such promising materials.”

“What luck! A band of would-be heroes came calling. My lovely dragonspawn overcame them with some help from poor Captain Akmenos. I’ve buried them near the ancient shrine – whatever idiot tried to consecrate that spot to Melora would surely die from terror if he knew to whom it was truly sacred. Once in the grave for a cycle of the moon they will be ready for further preparation. And – double luck for me – one of them was a lovely, slight elf maid. I think I will elevate her to a spot of particular favor, once she’s sufficiently ripened .”

“My dreams of late are most peculiar. In them I see a host fairly beating down my door, in hopes of becoming my servants and consorts. That hardly seems likely, but I have struck on a plan. The ‘adventurers’ currently keeping so nicely near the shrine inspired me. I will lure a few more groups to ambushes of my own devising, and dispatch my most capable creations to deal with them. The cockatrice, I think, will do nicely, and of course Captain Akmenos as well. Soon enough I will have some fresh materials, and I can put aside the unworthy goblins and other lesser races.”

“That I, Ranaris the Terrible, could be thwarted by a thrice-damned bit of machinery fairly beggars belief. I am more convinced than ever that the portal must guard a secret of singular import. Why else would the ancients have poured so much effort into making it fast? I’m sure the solution is a combination of arcanery and mundane lock-picking. Perhaps – though I am ashamed to admit it – perhaps I should acquire some assistance. Some gullible “partner” to manage the mechanical aspect of the thing whilst I handle the arcane. I must think on this carefully.”

“Another stroke of luck, and my plans are put in motion. I was in Sunhaven recently to procure a few supplies – I think the gnome suspects something, I may need to devise a new disguise for my next trip – and met a half-elf that was as full of guile as a week old corpse is of maggots. He struck me as a furtive, evasive sort, and my interest was piqued. I worked the lesser ritual to dominate his mind and soon knew his secrets – and they happen to align nicely with my own plans. Even better – he is himself an accomplish burglar and thief. When I threatened to reveal him he was of course eager to cooperate. Soon enough his false maps will lead idiot adventurers into my traps, and between the two of us surely I can at last learn what secrets this place holds!”

Ranaris' Journal

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