Location: Nektar’s Cauldron
Timeline: Sixth Age of Substance, 44th Year,Winter
As I waited for the spy Pesties to be brought before me with my prize, my mind tarried back to past events – recalling how I first heard of The Grim and all that I’d been doing to find that magical little blade…
You may recall that I used the Drrukka as my pawns in The War of the Ghast in an effort to find out where that cursed bone dagger Dagaal was (1). My plan at the time was to use the the war as a ‘machine’ that would provide me with untold scores of dead bodies whose remains I could then use in my death communals as a means to secretly learn about Dagaal. The crux of this plan was my creation of The Ghast – that god-filled weapon of mass destruction that I gifted to the Drrukka Kon-Herr Hacktor Derkillez.
Little did I know that other immortals were aware of my plans and meddled with them behind my back – too late did I learn that Rhokki and Myndoz had added their <abilities> to The Ghast I had previously inspired Hef Fastuz (2) to forge, or that my rivals had also secretly instructed that Drrukka weaponsmaster to create The Grim – an unassuming black dagger that looked so commonplace as to be a mistake and which my pawn Hacktor quickly pawned off to an uncle in a far-away land (3).
Meanwhile, you’ll remember that Hacktor was all too happy with The Ghast and followed my inspiration to create his War of the Ghast. With Drrukka and Derkka dying by the thousands in battle, I (foolishly) believed things were going according to my plans. It wasn’t until the end of The War of the Ghast – and the near destruction of my fellow godlind Gwar – that I realized something was wrong (4). Although Gwar survived, the strange circumstances of the whole ordeal left me to wonder. However, I didn’t let my mind tarry on Gwar’s troubles too long – for I had more important things to attend to – recall that I was the one who ended up with The Ghast!
When once I was in possession of The Ghast and brought it to my labs to study, I immediately recognized that this magical blade was far different than the weapon I had planned it to be. It didn’t take a genius to figure out that it was imbued with additional <powers> beyond what I initially planned for it and I guessed that Michael or Myndoz might have gotten involved behind my back (5).
So enamored did I become with The Ghast, that I totally forgot about Dagaal. Very quickly then did I put my heart and soul into understanding The Ghast’s powers – for I became convinced that The Ghast held within it certain secrets that, if I could unlock them, might well be the keys I needed to discover the Truth about Life, The Universe, and Everything! (6)
Unfortunately, you’ll remember that I didn’t get too far in unearthing The Ghast’s secrets because, in a moment of foolish desire, I made the mistake of actually touching The Ghast’s blade — and nearly lost my life in the process! You know the story – that careless mistake caused The Abyss to open up, me to fall into it, land at Lucifer’s feet, lose The Ghast to my evil master, be tortured for 100 years while begging the Evil One not destroy me and instead replenish my <hellfire>, and finally be cast forth onto The Stairway of Infinity and forced to make the long trek back up to Terra.
When once I finally returned to your world after this debacle, it was in the time period known as The Fifth Age of Substance (7).
Still hungry for knowledge about The Ghast, but unable to study the blade any longer, I did the next best thing: I went to my secret labs, deep within The Cauldron, and conducted an extended search for more information about the creation of that drrukka weapon – hoping to find something, anything, that could help.
Since I wasn’t at liberty to work upon the battle axe itself, and since Hef Fastuz was long since dead, I turned to one of my favorite pastimes: Necromancy – a handy little talent I was the first to invent upon your planet…and the first to perfect (8).
To conduct my experiments, I had my Vizigobs go to the killing fields around Oz (that former Drrukka capital city that was now long since under my people’s control) and The Blackwood Forest (the site of Hacktor’s Last Stand) and instructed them them to collect the bones of all Drrukka warriors whose remains still littered those two sites. Two decades of fighting had contributed to layer upon layer of death at each location, thus proving the one and only true fact about war: Death is the only true winner in war.
In Oz and Blackwood, my slaves were able to collect many thousands of remains of deceased Drrukka warriors. Sometimes they had to dig and scar the earth to uncover their prizes, but often the legacy of this place was still visible – for little had the land recovered despite the passage of a century since the last fighting.
Threatening any who didn’t follow my instructions to the letter, I had my servants place the skeletal remains of each warrior into its own wooden container – so as not to mix up any of the bones. (9) Afraid to disappoint me, my slaves loaded all the bones, armor, and weapons they could find into large wooden carts, and then hauled it all back to my Cauldron. There other servants were waiting in crude assembly lines to open the containers, clean the artifacts, and ship them into the mountain, where still other goblins were waiting to take them down into the designated storage rooms I had them build. The result: I quickly had an abundance of fodder for my death communals.
What is a Death Communal?
I’m glad you asked because when I said previously that I was a necromancer, that is perhaps not the whole truth.
The fact is that I was The Necromancer.
For none other who has ever walked this earth has possessed my skill at communing with the dead. Remember, I am The God of Death and with death as my area of expertise, I’d long ago perfected a rather unique way to extract information from people – even from those who were long since dead.
My secret: I just asked them!
Thus it was that I soon locked myself in my labs and systematically began a extended search for the details about the creation of The Ghast. For more than a century I examined each individual Drrukka skeleton. The process was slow going because I so many of the bones were either mixed up with enemy combatants or weren’t even drrukka at all. However, analytical scientist that I was, I had expected this problem, and thus had a plan in place: I called it The Morgue.
Unless you know otherwise, I’m here to say that Death’s Morgue was the first such room in recorded history. It came about when I had my slaves dig out a series of interconnected caverns deep within The Cauldron. Inside each cavern wall, my Vizigobs then carved out what you might described as catacombs (10). Within each catacomb spot, I had my slaves place the individual remains of every body they harvested from the killing fields, along with the deceased belongings (armor, weapons, etc). All told, The Morgue contained the bones of over 102,000 Drrukka soldiers.
Within The Morgue I pains painstakingly labeled and categorized each skeleton based upon my review of the extravagance of their armor and weapons — for example, Common Soldier #25,102, Herr #4,559, Kon-Herr #5, etc.
Why did I classify the bodies this way?
If there’s one thing I learned over the years, it’s that humans are greedy. Perhaps the most greedy group in your history is the people once known as The Drrukka. Over the centuries, I watched Drok’s people develop a flaw which I named their Pride of Possessions — it was this flaw that I used to categorize the skeletons in my morgue, for I knew that the more spectacular the arms, the more high-ranking the Drrukka warrior.
Yet, it’s true that not every body I had was a complete skeleton, but I didn’t need all the bones to make contact across the spirit world; so long as I had an intact skull and one rib bone, I could conduct a death communal. Failing that, the process was harder – but not impossible (11).
Ever the multi-taster, I divided my time between classifying bodies in The Morgue and interviewing their spirits in The Necronomicon — my interrogation room for the dead!
The Necronomicon was one of my most secret places – second only to The Life Lab (12). In the Necronomicon, I spoke to the spirits of the dead by using their remains to call them back to this world, forcing them to answer my questions
Was it easy? No
Did it always go well? No
Then again, if it was easy, everybody would be doing it, right?
Additionally, I learned that the longer the time period between when a person died and the time when I tried to talk to their spirit, the more difficult the ‘connection.’ Because I spent so much time in The Morgue trying to separate and classify each skeleton, I knew I was actually making my necromantic efforts more tricky, but I looked at my time in The Morgue as an investment – my belief being that I’d get a a higher payoff on each communal if I had better raw material to work with – to wit, the more complete each set of remains, the easier the communication with their spirit. And, as usual, my theory was proved correct.
In short, my research too time and that was fine by me. After all, it was the final results that mattered, because above all else, I needed to know the answers to…
- What exactly did Hef Fastuz do to change The Ghast vs. my original plans and WHO inspired him to make such changes?
- Were there any other such weapons were out that might threaten me that I didn’t know about yet?
- How might this knowledge help me with my ultimate plans to become the most powerful god in the universe?
As for the actual work of necromancy, it’s not as sexy a task as you might think. In three and a half centuries I managed to commune with about 75% of the Drrukka in The Morgue. I started with the Kon-Herr’s first (13), then the Herr generals, and finally the common fighters (who comprised the bulk of my subjects).
I’ll be honest – most of my time in the Necronomicon was boring. The fact is that the vast majority of the Drrukka knew nothing I didn’t already know. Yes, they knew about The Ghast. Yes, they knew about Hacktor Derkillez. And Hef Fastuz. And the reason for the War of the Ghast. But nobody seemed to know much else.
Correction – fairly early on, I spoke with some miscellaneous royal page from Drrukka kingdom Kel-de-Kaba who seemed to allude the weaponsmith Hef Fazstuz possibly having made a second weapon at the same time he made The Ghast. It took me quite a bit of pressing, because the boy either didn’t know much or else was afraid to reveal his secrets to me, but under my ruthless torture, his soul revealed that the mystery weapon was some kind of smaller blade, possibly a dagger. Yet beyond that, no amount of force on my part could get him to reveal more – nothing about its description, nothing about its potential magic, nothing at all.
Because this death communal occurred in the first decade of my trials, as you might imagine, I was pretty excited – figuring I’d solve this riddle lickety split.
Alas that did not prove true.
No other spirit I talked to could shed any more light on that additional mystery blade. And even when I repeatedly tried to talk again with the page who did know something, I was never able to get his spirit to give me anything new.
Was I frustrated?
The decades flew by, yet, in spite of my best efforts, I couldn’t learn anything new.
If you must know, I wanted to burn The Cauldron to the ground – Morgue, Necronomicon, Life Labs, and everything else — and just find a quiet place for myself with a glass of Amorosi Red.
You thinking I’m joking about burning it all down? Think again. At one point I actually had a torch in my hand and was ready to set fire to the place.
That’s when I remembered a group of bodies I hadn’t talked to yet – The Unknown Soldiers!
“Azazel, you fool!” I admonished myself, as the flames flared in my hand. “Why, there must be over 10,000 of the Unknowns in The Morgue.”After a pensive pause, “Ah, but do these Drrukka merely hold more frustration or will they give me the Key I need to solve this puzzle at last?”
- Remember, Dagaal was the weapon that Lucifer fashioned from my missing rib bone. More importantly, The Evil One claimed it was the instrument via which I would be destroyed!
- That legendary Drokka crafstmans who was the greatest weaponsmith of all time, any time.
- Although I didn’t know it at the time, Hacktor sent The Grim to his uncle – the Kon-Herr of the Drrukka community in the Akka Mountains (located in the far northeastern portion of TerrVerde). Since I wasn’t aware of The Grim’s production and since Hacktor never mentioned it to me, I never knew about the magical blade – until it was too late!
- Gwar almost died when Hacktor, in a last gasp effort to achieve greatness, called upon the <POWER!> of He Who Has No Name and surprised Gwar by impaling the god with his dagger. Unfortunately for Hacktor, he misplayed his Moment of Truth because he used his grandfather Baldur’s awesome looking, bejeweled battle dagger instead of the unassuming little Grim which he got rid of long ago (and which, at the time, I still didn’t know about).
- I was right about Myndoz but wrong about Michael. Remember it was the lumenarc Rhokki who added the <Might> to The Ghast, not the Illuminati Michael. Perhaps Myndoz chose Rhokii as his partner because Myndoz realized that no mortal could ever hope to control the <Power of A’H> as that was an honor reserved for Michael The Mighty alone?
- Read: Granting me the power to overthrow all creation and turning ME into the God of All Gods!
- According to the Amorosi History of the Ages – the most accurate timeline of events among all the mortal races of your world. The year was 2942 BC on your calendar – but I merely provide that for entertainment purposes only since we both know that calendar is so far off as to be comical.
- Unfortunately the bones of Hef Fastuz were NOT available to me to consult with. Hey, nobody said it would be easy, right?
- Realistically, despite their best efforts, I knew my slaves would fail in their efforts to keep the skeletons of each combatant separated — for warriors rarely died alone. Inevitably the bones of one fighter ended up intertwined with those of another — especially because these same battlefields witnessed countless battles. Furthermore, it was as much a regular occurrence for my servants to pack up the bones of a Derk as it was for them to identify a Drrukka. For recall that, other than their size, the Derk and Drok clans had the same anatomy (since both were direct descendants of Kane), but moreover, because of the power of Hacktor’s Ghast, far more Derkka died during The War of the Ghast than Drrukka. As a result I had to sift through a lot of useless skeletons to find what I wanted – and my servants paid a heavy price for wasting my time!
- Catacombs are another invention I take credit for. Yet mine weren’t the haphazard messes you’ve seen in your modern day European and Middle Eastern locales. Instead my catacombs were more like catalogs – picture massive wall units with individual openings covered by a metal portal. Within each opening there was a metallic bed that I could slide in and out and thereby access the remains inside. Impressive? I know!
- Because of my obsessive compulsive behavior I never threw out anything – because, as any hoarder will tell you, you never know when you migth need something, right? Thus even those remains that I was unable to categorize I still kept and in fact, there were over 10,000 Drrukka bone sets that I was unable to classify — these I labeled Unknown Soldiers.
- Wanna know more about The Life Lab? Ha, I’ll bet you do! Sorry, no can do.
- Kon-Herr’s being the ‘kings’ of the Drrukka and therefore people I guessed would be in position to know the secrets I was questing for.