The Golden Wastes
Report on the Ghul Cult in Velos
A group of errant heroes reported to the Overlord their uncovering of a Ghul Cult in the city. Grand Vizier Simeon informed the party of the followinh at the same time the PCs told the Council of Velos what they had learned. The Ghul Cult is made up of despicable degenerates believe cannibalism is a religious rite. They are most likely linked to the cannibals you fought months ago at the slaughterhouse near the Brass Gate.
They first came upon a pack of ghouls who had entered the city to defile a family crypt inside the city walls. These ghouls were dressed in fine clothes and cloaks, and were discovered only by the favor of the Immortals. They were followed, and inside the crypt, these heroes discovered living men engaged in abominable practices. They had a strange elixir which they consumed prior to the eating of the flesh of the dead. This elixir served to transfer memories of the dead to the living. The ghouls were servants of these blasphemous men who would feast on the discarded bodies after this horrific ritual meal. These heroes destroyed or slew them, but captured one for interrogation.
We were told that these people – all members of the lower classes – were just one cell of a larger cult hidden in the city, and that their leader was a man called the Grey Lord. They dared claim their acts were of a religious calling, that they had renounced ordinary life to devote themselves to spiritual liberation. They had all fled from their obligations in life and pretended to be monks to live a life of poverty and abnegation. Being ritually dead themselves, they were not bound by the Law and could partake of other dead to learn from them. They believe life and death are the same, and that any distinction between the two is a lie. We have found other members of these cults haunting the charnel grounds and crematoriums, since then.
Consultation with the Sages Guild revealed that the alzabo elixir is a result of a secret necro-alchemical process that requires a gland from a quadruped creature called the leucrotta, a particularly vile and rare beast related to the bipedal crocotta.
Such creatures are rarely seen near the city, but match stories the local Bedouin have reported when they arrived in the city. There in the wastes did these heroes find such a creature. The story behind it is too terrible to tell, but it proved that these creatures are nearby, and that someone has been bringing in their glands to create this elixir. Upon consulting the head of the Alchemists Guild, Hydraxes the Wise, we are convinced it is not a registered alchemist who is doing this.
The creation of this elixir may be linked to the theft of various magical items throughout the city by a thief called Silken Shadow. Thanks to the best efforts of these heroes, Silken Shadow’s depredations have been stopped and several items returned. They were in the possession of a sorcerer who called himself the White Duke. Unfortunately, the White Duke escaped after a fiend from the Abyss attacked them.