Krys Runs: The Emerald Spire
A gentle summation of Nhur Athemon's Journal
Nhur Athemon was a prince of the ancient Azlanti Empire. Not being the heir, he set about researching magic and delved deep into the mysteries of the arcane. While he was studying the arts of magic in the finest Azlanti academies, he met a maiden scholar who shared a similar interest in magic. They hit it off famously and began an almost fairy-tale-esque relationship, or at least that’s how his journal describes it.
The pair enjoyed the finer things in life and did a fair bit of travel. A particular passage is mentioned where she gave him a beautiful music box for their anniversary, which you can’t help feel is probably the one you found Tragically, while they were visiting the continent that is now the one YOU’RE on, they had a terrible boating accident. Nhur barely survived and his lover drowned. His journal entries from here on get a lot less poetic and a lot more “research note-y”
Nhur Athemon returned to Azlant and buried himself deep in his studies, trying to find ways to bring people back from the dead without divine intervention. His studies inevitably turned to necromancy. At first he was quite ethical, asking for permissions, being respectful to people who donated their bodies… etc. But over time his studies began to get quite a LOT less ethical. He started to kidnap Azlanti peasants and perform truly monstrous experiments with them. It goes into quite a bit of detail about him trying to replace blood with magical ichor, drowning people in healing potions, keeping individual body parts alive… etc…
Though he got a way with a LOT of atrocities apparently (for a good 30 years), the journal takes a rather angry turn as his family turns against him and tries to arrest him. By now, he’s a wizard of such extreme power it’s almost child’s play to escape. He pops over to the mainland with his apprentices and followers in tow and goes deep into the continent, founding a city in the location that is now Thornkeep. (common sense suggests, the city fell to ruin and Thornkeep was built on top of them)
Nhur Athemon toiled and continued his hideous experiments. Without the Azlanti authorities hounding him, he made great strides in necromancy but ultimately found himself unable to bring people back to life no matter how hard he tried. As he was reaching the end of his natural life, Abraxas approached him one day and offered him immortality in the form of lichdom and great knowledge if he pledged his services. He did.
After becoming a lich, his powers grew and he discovered the Emerald Spire and began to construct a fortress in its depths. Gardens with succubi for his own personal pleasure, automatons to make a robot army/servers… all sorts of things. It was to be his personal domain. As you know though, the Azlanti knights eventually caught up with him. His apprentices, horrified by the atrocities and fearing retribution from the Knights of the Ioun star, betrayed his whereabouts and Nhur Athemon was slain.
Of course, he rose again later… The journal goes into a great deal of detail about the spire now. Nhur Athemon apparently started to spend decades in hibernation when his magical toils took too much out of him and his body needed to rest. Either way, his studies turned from Arcane to delving deep into the mysteries of the spire. For all its bizarre powers of planar magics and weird temperature manipulation, the spire did, indeed, have the power to create and sustain life. A LOT of life.
Figuring out ways to tap into it took endless amounts of experiments and these experiments took centuries. To break up the tedium, Nhur began to resurrect his old enemies and torture them, bringing them back with a bizarre, blasphemous form of life when he embeds shards of the spire within their chests. The last few pages recount how he managed to create true life out of the living crystal and how he hopes to some day abandon abraxas and use the process to give himself an immortal, but truly alive body yet again.
Ominously, a few of the final entries reference Klarkosh and how his “clumsy tampering” with the spire seems to be having “deeply adverse effects” on it’s root, which he cannot access due to the inevitables on the floor below.
Even MORE unsettling is a full page of notes on YOU in his last entry. Saying he’ll need to keep an eye on these interlopers but he’s confident his experiments will come to fruition long before you can become a problem.