of Undeath Portals
By Ramon Arjona
Tam, the current zulkir of Necromancy, is among the most powerful liches
ever seen in Thay. But he is not the only Red Wizard to aspire to lichdom.
In DR 927, five short years after the Thayans threw off the chains of
their Mulhorandi oppressors, a powerful necromancer called Zzarka Tuzarr
(LE female human lich Nec13/Red5) took the final steps along the path
key to a lich's survival is the security of her phylactery, which is the
repository of her life essence. So long as the phylactery remains intact,
the lich is assured that her existence will continue forever, even if
her physical body is temporarily destroyed. If the phylactery is destroyed,
however, the lich herself is also extinguished.
understood this well even before she became a lich, and she took extraordinary
precautions to hide her phylactery away from her many rivals. She created
a series of strongholds in the most inhospitable parts of Faerûn, along
with a secret network of portals to connect them. Zzarka would
frequently change the location of her phylactery. She would sometimes
entrust this task to her tightly controlled undead minions; sometimes
she would undertake it herself.
these safeguards, Zzarka Tuzarr has not been heard from in over a hundred
years and many presume her, and her phylactery, destroyed. Even if some
question whether the lich herself continues to exist, the strongholds
she created and the portals that link them still do. Five of these
strongholds are detailed below. All of Zzarka's strongholds have been
magically sealed against teleportation. The only way to reach them is
via mundane means, such as walking, or via Zzarka's portals.
Zzarka herself knew the locations of all of them, however, and there are
almost certainly more.
to the DM: It's up to you to decide where and when the PCs face Zzarka.
Suggestions will be provided within each portal description, though you
should choose between ones that may negate other possibilities before
you start utilizing these portals.
Brave the hazards
of five of Zzarka's portals:
Masters who wish to utilize these portals in their campaign may wish to
have these books on hand:
Arjona is originally from Hawaii. He now lives in Washington State with
his wife and two cats. His work has appeared in the Hawai'i Review,
the Absinthe Literary Review, and Strange Horizons. He plans
to become an 18th-level software developer so he can get the bonus feats.
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