THE CIRCLE OF LIGHT
Cadaver Queen in Parlainth's Eastern Catacombs
Roughly two hundred years after the initial deaths of the cadaver men, a t’skrang cadaver named Twiceborn assumed the throne. She died on one of many dangerous journeys into the other areas of Parlainth, where the Horrors still waged the falsemen wars. On a previous trip, she discovered various tomes on Theran etiquette, and her mastery of these gave her sufficient social standing and authority to depose the cadaver queen and take her place.
Twiceborn’s Kingdom since the Return
The return of Parlainth to the world seemed at first a great boon to the cadaver men. With the rest of the ruins largely emptied of Horrors, Twiceborn thought herself master of the entire city. Then the explorers came, treasure seekers who invariably attacked the cadaver men on sight. Twiceborn withdrew her forces into the central portion of the Eastern Catacombs, which they were experienced at defending. Soon the ranks of the cadaver men began to grow for the first time in centuries, as adventurers died and the remaining Horrors reanimated them. Those who made their way to the Eastern Catacombs found themselves welcome in the Kingdom of the Dead, and the horrors used their blood magic to keep the new arrivals “alive.”
Loyalty to Twiceborn among the dead is greater than ever. The old social hierarchy system gave way to a personality cult centered around her, and it seems unlikely that even a corpse with a superior grasp of Theran etiquette could depose Twiceborn now. Even if her charisma failed to sustain her followers’ loyalty, Twiceborn’s control of access to the life-sustaining Horror magic might still allow her to keep her grip on power. Whether the cadaver kingdom could survive the loss of its queen seems uncertain; certainly, any successor to Twiceborn would need to determine the t’skrang cadaver’s exact relationship with the Horrors and duplicate it.
Twiceborn and her cadaver men tightly control most of the Eastern Catacombs. The cadaver men appease the few Horrors or creatures that they fear with offerings of food left in the passages those Horrors and creatures call home. A pack of hungry ghouls controls an area in the northernmost passageways, and they often fight with the cadaver men. At the moment, an uneasy truce exists between the two groups of undead.
Twiceborn has survived and prospered for more than four centuries by being a shrewd, calculating ruler who realizes that her best interests coincide with those of her people. She desires only greater security for the Kingdom of the Dead, and adventurers dealing with Twiceborn should suspect her actions when she seems to act from any other motivation. Twiceborn does not allow desire for revenge or any other emotion to interfere with her decisions, nor does she carelessly risk the not-lives of her followers. Instead, she cautiously examines the risks of any course of action before embarking on it. Difficult to fool, Twiceborn is adept at deceiving others. Her name inspires both shudders and grudging admiration among the adventurers of Haven.
Twiceborn was born in 1010 TH to a crew covenant on the Serpent River. Her unusual name came from a dream of her egg-parent which suggested that the new hatchling was destined to become human. Twiceborn clings to the notion that she will become human one day, fulfilling the prophecy behind her name. She refuses to accept that the second birth her name refers to is probably her reanimation. Twiceborn would betray her people without a second thought if given the opportunity to become human, but would need to be convinced that the transformation would truly happen before abandoning her kingdom.