The Soulforger

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Obtained from documents at least 10 - 15 years old.

Part 1

The old district constable leans back and lights a pipe. “Jaev Mekrazzar? Aye, I remember him. But why anybody would want to know about that man is beyond me. He’s scum, I tell you, a no-account charlatan.” He stops and flips through a few yellowed sheets of parchment, then continues, “We wouldn’t have taken notice of him at all if it weren’t for that, err, incident, between the Okeah Fanatics and the whores.”

“What’s that you say? You’re looking into some murders in Hillshire outskirts and want to know about Jaev? Hrumph. Murder ‘tis probably common as cucumbers over there, and we don’t usually get your type coming all the way to Davenport to ask about it.” The constable looks at you suspiciously, “Still, its none of my business what the Scarlet Cloak Halflings are up to...”

The old man sits up and the corners of his eyes crease a bit as he smiles. “Well, then, how Jaev came to Davenport. Now that is a bit of a story.” He draws from his pipe, flicking a stray ash off the arrest records and begins. “We only know this second hand, mind you, but it’s a hard tale to pull from one’s arse. Seems your Jaev was the son of a slave trader down in Calimport — father fiddling with the female merchandise and all that. Well, when Jaev was still a boy, his papa ran afoul of some crusading paladins and got himself gutted. The father cared for Jaev none too well, and damned if the paladins didn’t mistake the boy for one of the slaves.”

“As it turned out, they took Jaev North and set him up as an altar boy at a temple of Talyra. From what we hear, the head priest there was a bit, well, unstable.” The constable wrinkles his brow and looks briefly at the floor, “Seems he was a bit fond of the boy in, well you know, a physical way...” At this, the constable stops for a second, and the room is quiet.

A halfling assistant brings in more papers and, thanking him, the constable brightens and continues. “Now, none of this sat too well with young Jaev, you can be sure, and this is where it gets interesting. Seems the old priest and the boy were traveling to some religious gathering when their ship went down in a pisser of a storm. The old codger drowned, but he was so fat, you see, that he wouldn’t sink. Not having anything else to hold on to, the boy had to make do with the corpse. Well, they floated around for days like that, and by the time they washed up a few miles from here, the corpse was damn near rotten and the boy was madder than a Dwarf in a tree house, crazy as one too.”

The constable chuckles a bit, “On the beach, young Jaev, still dressed in his Talyran getup, mind you, picked up a piece of driftwood and began to beat the putrefied guts out of the old priest. It was a sight to behold, I’m told – brains, blood, whatever, all over the place. Well, a couple of fishermen were watching. They had seen the storm, and being superstitious fools, took Jaev as some sort of divine sign from Okeah. Not knowing what it meant, they brought Jaev to their temple in Davenport. Now, the Storm Master at the time was a right bastard, he was, but stupid he wasn’t. He knew that there was no divine hand at work, but he sussed it out straight away that the story would embarrass the Talyra folk and help with the tithes, so he took the boy in and spread the word.”

The constable pauses, and briefly looks again at the parchment. “For the next 10 years or so, we didn’t have much problem out of Jaev. Sure, a couple of bar fights, which is a bit unusual for a priest in training, but nothing major. Then, last year, working women, whores, you know, began turning up with their heads caved in. At first we thought it was random, or the work of some crazy Half-Orc, but then we noticed something strange. All the girls were Talyra followers who had been sick a few weeks before they were killed. That was strange enough, but a few days later, we come to find out that they had all been to see Jaev.”

The old man’s eyes narrow to black pits, revealing a hardness that must have been formidable in his youth. He continues, his voice tight, “We’ve never been able to prove it, mind you, but I’ll tell you what I believe. I believe your Jaev figured out that he could infect those poor girls with some devilish sickness, then cure them in return for a bit of work in the brothels. It was good money for him, it was, and when the girls tried to back out of the bargain — and remember these were all nice girls — BAM, Jaev would break their heads.” The constable works his jaw back and forth as he says this, looking as if he is about to turn violent, but then he pauses and relaxes a bit. “Like I said, this Jaev Mekrazzar of yours is scum.”

“What’s that? Where is he now?” The constable furrows his brow and rubs his gristly chin. “Don’t rightly know. We tried to investigate, of course, but the Okeah folk here have got powerful friends and got wind of it. Mekrazzar was sent away before we could pin anything on him. Last we heard, he was headed to Mount Ran, as a junior missionary to some newly-wealthy fighters guild, or some nonsense like that.”

The constable stands and stretches his back. “What else do I think? Nothing, really, except I hope the Scarlet Cloak, if that’s who you work for, find him and cut off his legs. Now good day, madam.”

Part 2, 10 years after

The very same constable, now aged and marked of time opens the door. After recognizing the visitors he smiles.
“So, you are back? I may be older now, but I never forget a face, isn’t that right Molinir?” The halfling assistant nods, without lifting his eyes from the paper he’s reading.
“If my memory doesn’t fail me I met you about ten years ago when you were here looking for information about that scum Jaev Mekrazzar, and I can tell you that there’s been a lot of notes in his records since we last met.”

The constable turns around and limps towards his desk. He puts on some reading glasses, and starts looking in a journal the Halfling gives him.

“Let’s see.. Well, it looks like Jaev quickly found himself a spot in the sun as a fighting mercenary, travelling across Arkon. He quickly got a name as a dangerous opponent, always dressed in red, fighting with blades. Strangely enough, many people found his company benefittable. His true greedy cause and his search for his own welfare must have tricked his followers, I can tell you.”

He clears his throat and continues.

“For some reason it seems that Jaev and some of his minions along their killing spree made enemies with the Dwarves of Dilinar. Not very surprising, since the Dwarves have a good reputation of being fair in trades, but a tendency of being greedy. Jaev obviously wanted their treasure, and launched badly planned attacks on the city on at least two times as we know.”

“They were defeated and had to flee, but this is where it gets interesting”. He looks fixedly at the paper.
“The time of Chaos came, and the whole realm of Arkon were mad at the time. Murders were common, fights erupted everywhere, and it was a real mess. At this time, Jaev and some allies launched yet another attack on Dilinar. Two of his followers have been identified, it was Mill Kenemen, a Blackguard, and the legendary Sinistra Nepheratis also followed him. Someone also mentioned a good cleric, definitely easily fooled. Brand Reyn was his name, and he had some strange alliance with Jaev. He was also spotted in Dilinar when this happened.”

“Yes, I see that you know Sinistra’s name, but then you see what a dangerous threat this was to Dilinar. Sinistra, the Matron Mother herself supported Jaev’s cause. Anyway, the Dwarven forces were unprepared for this attack, and this evil bunch fought their way into the city core. They even reached the Temple and tried to assasinate Nather Benesen, the cleric. The elite defenders of Dilinar, led by Nather himself stood up well we were told, and Nather cursed Jaev in Khardum’s name. I was told that Jaev screamed out loudly, and fled out of the city, never to be seen again by a mortal. We are not really sure what happened there, but clerics has told us that Khardum himself decided to listen to Nather’s prayers. Khardum spoke to Talyra, and now Jaev, in order to gain repentence, forges souls in a place called The Purgatory. It is a place between life and death, and there he stands until the End of Days”

The Halfling assistant looks up with a pale face and eyes wide opened.

“One could think that this scum Jaev Mekrazzar finally got what he deserved” The constable chuckles, and lightens his pipe.

“I’m sorry if this isn’t the news you’re looking for Madam, the Scarlet Cloak would rather see him dead, I am sure. But to me this was the best that could happen. Even though I don’t believe all the nonsense the clerics have to say, he is obviously not around anymore. The crimerate has been lowered, and that’s all I care for. Now if you excuse me, I have some work to do.”