Campaign of the Month: March 2016
Ptolus, City by the Spire
Fall of Darkness
A history book that tells of the Ghulwar 800 years ago
An ancient tome, bound in an unknown hide.
The man (or creature) known as Ghul claimed to be the son of Eslathagos Malkith and some dark, unnamed demon goddess. He called himself the Half God and claimed the Spire as his birthright. He built his fortress, Goth Gulgamel, halfway up the Spire. So did Ghul admire the Dread One, he even assumed his symbol of a black skull and took from it the name “Skull-King.” Most historians don’t even recall that the symbol originally belonged to the first master of the Spire.
The paths within Goth Gulgamel stretched to points that magically joined with warrens that his servants quickly carved out of the living rock surrounding the Spire, all the way to the sea. These burrows provide the basis for most of the underground labyrinths that lie under Ptolus today. In these chambers, Ghul constructed breeding pits and laboratories where he created all manner of foul creatures that became part of his so-called “Squirming Horde.” It was here, too, that Ghul tortured and twisted Elder and Shoal elves into Harrow elves as well as into the elves that became the Urthon Aedar (the latter a fact not widely known).
By 288 BE, Ghul drew the Utterdark out into the normal, physical world. This darkness covered the lands for almost two centuries, until an elf wizard named Khelaeson finally banished it. Khelaeson was instrumental in Ghul’s eventual downfall, as he also helped engineer the Pact of Brightfather’s Day, wherein a unified army of elves, dwarves, humans, and halflings gathered to fight against the Squirming Horde.
Eventually, the unified armies were victorious and laid siege to Goth Gulgamel. A group of heroes known today as the Great Seven pursued Ghul who, upon seeing that his defeat was imminent, fled into the Jewels of Parnaith. It was there they slew him.
With Ghul dead, champions of the unified armies entered Goth Gulgamel, slaying every creature they could. Khelaeson used his knowledge of the Utterdark to sever many of the branching corridors from their anchors within the darkness, sending them to be lost forever in the void. Some of them, however, he left, claiming it was not within his power to destroy all of the fortress.
When Khelaeson and the other champions had finished with Goth Gulgamel, they left nothing alive (or undead). The place still reeked of evil, though, and the Brightfather armies did not want to risk another dark lord arising from the foul puissance of the Spire. So, under the guidance of the dwarves, they built Dalenguard in the year 40 BE to protect the location from intrusion.