The City of Fogdown (Eberron)
A Brief History
Kai Vakash made a terrible bargain that changed his life forever, and the darkness that follows him is deeper even and more threatening than most of his Kalashtar kin. As a child, Kai had dreams of violence and malevolence, and unknowable horrors whispered to him from the edges of sanity in the night. In spite of his terrible dreams, Kai kept stoic and withheld his suffering from those around him with the same mental discipline of all Kalashtar. Kai was a quiet and withdrawn child, and he often seemed tired, wan, and morose.
As an adolescent Kai’s dreams became more intense and searching. He awoke with screams of terror from a recurring dream in which his family was pulled apart by gibbering, many mouthed horrors from the dreaming dark. He often dreamt of scenes of incomprehensible violence and suffering. The dreams became an almost nightly torment for Kai, and echoing voices in Kai’s mind came to accompany the dreams. At some points they crossed the waking threshold, tormenting Kai with waking visions too horrific to describe.
Kai began to hear the thoughts of those that were not that there. Menacing voices whispering in his mind that belonged to phantoms he could not see. They spoke to him of an ancient well near the town of his Kalashtar keep. The voices told him that he must cast himself down the well, and that if he did not his family would die torturous deaths. Kai had dreams of walking to the well and falling in to plummet endlessly into darkness. Kai ignored the voices to the extent that he could. At the same time another voice began to whisper to him. This matronly, female voice soothed his nightmare-weary mind and told him that casting himself into the well was an escape from the dreams and an act of martyrdom, and that his family and people could live on in peace if only Kai would sacrifice himself. Rest and comfort awaited him. The two voices battled inside Kai’s mind, driving him past the brink of sanity on many occasions. His Kalashtar elders feared he could not control his dual soul and he would be lost to the madness of the realm of dreams.
Kai held out against the voices’ pull for more than a year, much longer than any human could hope to. Finally the voices lost patience with him. As if to punish him and show him the fate that awaited the town, the malevolent voice compelled him to the edge of a clearing near his keep. There he saw his sister, young Lharasa, strangled to death. The voice told him threateningly that a similar fate awaited his family and all of his people if Kai would not sacrifice himself to them. Kai, mad with rage and sadness, fled into the forest near the keep, finally passing out from exhaustion. When he awoke it was the dead of night, with a full moon high in the sky. The motherly voice coaxed him in a tender tone…the solution was simple and easy. All of his suffering could end and his family could go on safely. Sanctuary lay at the bottom of the well. Finally, unable to resist any longer, Kai stumbled through the town with tears flooding his cheeks, his robes a quiet flutter as he cast himself into the darkness below.
Kai knew only blackness for a time he could not tell. When he awoke a bucket had slammed into his head with a thud. He called out to the small circle of light above him, and soon he was being drawn out of the well with a rope. Several soldiers of the kingdom greeted him. They called him a “survivor” and said he was lucky that he had fallen down the well. The town and keep lay in smoldering ruins all around him. The soldiers recounted their story: from what they could gather, a kind of madness had overtaken the people of the village. They had attacked the Kalashtar keep like a people possessed, and pulled them out of the keep to face excruciating and slow deaths. They then raided another village across the border, slaughtering the families there without mercy and prompting a harsh retaliation from the neighboring kingdom. Even now, forces amassed at the border for war. Finally, the people of the village had turned their madness on themselves in some insane ritual, and had committed mass suicide. Kai was the only survivor. Kai ran from the soldiers in a manic fury. He had lost everything. Dropping to his knees in the smoking embers of his once peaceful town, he sent out a clarion call with his mind to whatever would answer. He vowed that if something would only give him the power to fight forces such as the dreaming dark, he would be their willing servant forever. After some time, a voice answered Kai, “the power is within you, it always has been. Seek the Cult of Seracus of Vol, and you will learn the power of your own blood.”
Kai set out immediately, a man changed, full of a cold determination for power. He found the Cult of Seracus without trouble, and when they saw his dispassionate conviction they welcomed him as a seeker. Kai’s cool dedication and telepathic powers made him a gem in the Cult of Seracus, and he rose through the ranks quickly, becoming a Priest in a little less than 2 ½ years. Abactor Vaclav took Kai under his wing, and Kai became his star pupil. Recently Vaclav has sent Kai, his most effective agent, on a mission to a crescent city known as Fogdown. Vaclav told him that Kai’s power has outgrown the smaller Cult of Seracus, and he must now make his way in the city. The cults of Vol in Fogdown require calm leadership and guidance as they attempt to unite, and Kai is perfectly suited to fill this role.
Kai is a young looking boy with a handsome but deathly pale face. He has a cleft chin, fine features, and bright, icy blue-grey eyes that seem to bore through whatever he sets them on. His gaze often unnerves those he speaks to, and he has little difficulty telling when someone is lying to him. His voice is nearly always calm, and he rarely if ever shows emotion. He gives the impression of being imperturbable to an inhuman degree. He is of medium build with jet black hair that he wears held off his face. He often wears crimson cloth vestments and a high collared cloak over his chainmail. His hands are sheathed in spiked gauntlets and he wears the symbol of the blood of vol in the form of a ruby ring on his left hand.