Zurimoh, of the Spell Storm
Shock and awe wizard trying to save the worlds from extraplanar threat before his own powers burn him out!
Zurimoh was a bright unassuming boy of the northlands orphaned in the bitter cold by an orc raid. He was found by Aodh Nehr and taken on as a new apprentice. The man was an adept of the magic arts and began teaching Zurimoh some tricks along with his other pupils: Brehla and Matain. Not content with the parlor tricks he had mastered thus far though, Aodh traded fortunes to obtain a ritual to open a link to the far realm in the hopes of forging a pact for greater power. Unfortunately, he succeeded and a far realm entity reached in to the world. Zurimoh memories of the event are fractured and jumbled. At some point he passed out and when he woke up he was greeted to the sight of blood and organs strewn about his form. Everyone else was gone. The twelve year old sat in amid the blood and gore in shock then the howling began. Desperately, he ran from the hut and into the woods finally stopping when he found a cave to bunker down. The howling kept getting louder and louder, painfully deafening him as it grew more insistent. That’s when he realized it was coming from within. Cautiously, Zurimoh entered a trance like he’d been taught and gazed inward. Immediately, he found himself in a roiling maelstrom of sentient power that had taken root. It tried to consume his spirit so that it could ride his skin. Zurimoh lashed out against the beast. For 7 days he sat there in silent confrontation neither eating nor drinking as he fought the monster. Eventually, Zurimoh emerged the master. The beast was chained, his powers at Zurimoh’s command to fuel his arcane formula.
Five years passed. Zurimoh was recruited by Fyrwind and was introduced to his peers. Others who had managed to gain the lost power of wizardry. Zurimoh spent some time in their company and learned from them, especially a mighty academic named Xarxax who possessed an unrivaled mastery of mudra roots. Secretly though, zurimoh was apprehensive. As his powers grew, he could also feel the powers of the creature within growing. Eventually, they were dispatched to Lokeville to place the high bid on the journal of Alexander Copeland who is credited as having killing the Lich King. There, he grew increasingly disquieted. Firsthand, he saw an area corrupted by the touch of the Far Realm. Worse though, he began to suspect that there was a high price for they who traffic with the eldritch. Those who swore faustian deals inevitably came to bad ends, and even his companions seemed to be growing morally corrupt, as though they were starting to lose some essential part of what makes a man a human.
Eventually, their business in Lokeville was concluded and Fyrwind sent Zurimoh out on another mission, this time to retrieve the lost notes of Dramij, erector of the Barrier so that they could figure out some way to bring it down safely. Zurimoh assembled a team to help him accomplish that: A lockpick named Serene; Durzan a hearty dwarven warrior, and Aiel the half-elven mercenary strategist on retainer. The band traveled across the continent delving ruins, fighting giants and dragons, and bartering with the nobility and sages for scraps. It was hard going, they moved on rumors and guesses, and the world was drawing lines as armies prepared to go to war. Slowly though, they were making headway and they had already gathered enough to generally know Drawmij’s process, plans, and fears. The quest ended when they found Brehla. The group was travelling through the defunct towns of the midlands and had stopped at a tavern for the night when Zurimoh heard someone call his name. He looked over, and there, unmistakably, was a slightly older Brehla. Zurimoh was understandably happy to see his childhood friend but at the same time curious. Brehla told him that when whatever it was tried to come through the portal, the ritual allowing it access failed. The resulting backlash teleported Brehla hundreds of miles away. That night everyone got to drinking and in due course the group’s mission came out. Brehla mentioned that in her studies she’d read of a sphinx to the south that had a piece and of a baroness who had another. The group was excited to hear that and the very next morning (after a lot of coffee) the group headed first to the baroness, and then to the lair in the south.
The Baroness was all too happy to trade away a (to her) valueless page for a portion of the riches of Fyrwind. The sphinx however, was more complicated. She was powerful, clever, and majestic. She claimed to have no need for riches. She could sustain herself on the hunt, and the only currency of value to her was knowledge. She said she’d be willing to trade the information, but demanded in exchange that she be given a curiosity of equivalent value. She’d accept either Zurimoh or Brehla. The group refused, making the sphinx very sorrowful, unfortunately, the group had already seen too much and if they weren’t willing to trade she had no other options. She attacked. The battle was hard fought, but in the end the party emerged victorious. Her lair was designed so that only one could go forth into its deeper recesses. Brehla suggested that Zurimoh be the one to go since he was the one most likely to be able to solve any other riddles held within. The chambers beyond were indeed trapped and dangerous but Zurimoh won through eventually returning to the main chamber with the missing piece. He heard screams and shouting. He hurried his steps when the doors exploded inward as the body of Aiel slammed through like a ragdoll. Zurimoh realized the sphinx had been playing possum and began whispering a spell to destroy her as he rushed around the corner. Instead he saw Brehla slicing the neck of Durzan with a finger while a long tongue sticking out of a gaping maw in her stomach pulled a struggling Serene inward. It snapped shut with a sickening crunch. Zurimoh thunderwaved. Brehla slowly snapped upward from the ground, her alien physiology reknitting itself as she began explaining to Zurimoh that if he wouldn’t mind she really needed those notes and she’d prefer it if he wouldn’t cause too much of a fuss, she didn’t want to bruise him. Zurimoh looked as his former friend with a master’s eye recognizing the signs of invasive Far Realm interference. He took a step to the side readying himself, as he did so he asked Brehla what was really going on here. Brehla refused to go into details but briefly explained that she had been honest before, just not 100%. It turned out that when the ritual failed in the presence of the Elder Evil all those years ago realities collided. The group phased out of existence, and were rubbed against the Elder Evil. He-She-It prodded them like a child might prod a worm it’s never seen before. Screaming, they were stretched across the world and watched the ages unfold, helpless. The Elder Evil took His-Hers-Its full measure, and, when the being felt the time was right, they were dropped back into reality at various placed and various times. That’s when they discovered, some of It had rubbed off on them.
“But you already know all about that don’t you old buddy.”
Zurimoh took a step back and to the side, “What are you talking about?”
“Ha, I think you know. Moving on though, please give me the manuscript, we have need of it.”
“Then why not just steal it? Why kill my friends?”
“My Master has Her reasons, and whatever She wants He gets.”
“You talk to it?”
Brehla laughed. “Of course not, it’s not even in our world. How would I talk to it? You are such a hoot you know that? Now, if you please.”
“We both know that’s not going to happen, but before I take another action I just want to let you know without reservation, how very sorry I am.”
The fight was long, but eventually Zurimoh killed her. He looked at her broken body oozing strange fluids out of the charred hole from the magic missile that had ripped through the center of her chest. He needed to know what she knew. Grimly, he cut off her head, preserved it, performed the incantations, and burned everything else.
Z had made a decision. He went back home, to where it began. It snowed everywhere else in the Northlands, but here, it rained, and the red clay ran like blood. The blasted ruins of the house sagged in the wind, and in its center was a shadow that looked like a door. Nothing cast the shadow. Z laid out his components, burned the incense, and breathed of its vapors. His gaze contracted inwards. He saw the maelstrom beast. As he had grown it had grown. He had kept it caged up and controlled, but now, he loosened his grip. He needed to be able to see it clearly so that he might pull it out. It raged against him knowing his intent. With every attack he learned it, with every defense he mapped it. Eventually he found its root but when he did he almost pulled broke the link. It was him. Zurimoh let it wash over him so that he might know the rest. The maelstrom was his inner strength made manifest. When the Elder Evil brushed against them, burning survival instinct melded with arcane potential in a desperate attempt at defense, and as it stood against the being beyond, it was given its own semblance of life. Zurimoh sat in contemplation of the beast for a long moment, and then he released his hold on it. He emerged from the ruins bearing a staff of living lightning as a symbol of the new accord he had struck.
His affairs in order, Zurimoh sent his senses outward, to see what events had transpired during his long meditation. He found the world hand escalated from a hard simmer to war. The death god Nerull, long believed dead, was returned and his armies were conquering nation after nation. Zurimoh battled his way south slaughtering hundreds as he made his way back to the lair of the dragon Fyrwind. When he got there though, Nerull had already attacked and the academy sacked. He spread information of himself through contacts in the world of crime and then traveled to a stronghold in the north to plan his next move. While there, the rest of his former group of wizards encountered him. Together they traveled to Lokeville new capital of the dark empire of the death god of justice Nerull. There, they brought down the barrier, killing the death god, his primordial partner, and stopping the world from being utterly disintegrated by a trap set by the an extraplanar empire of mind flayers. Now Zurimoh sits in an asteroid field of his former world with scattered survivors. Scavenger predators have already attempted to raid them for resources. Zurimoh is tired of cthonic powers interfering with the day to day lives of common man. He now intends to use his powers to rid existence of these parasites and establish a new utopia. He’s running out of time though, his powers are growing and though he has established a truce with the beast within, there is only so much his body can take before it burns out.