The Lost Seas
Magmasoul genasi star-pact warlock primordial adept of Vezzuvu
Most genasi communities exist on remote islands in the Silt Sea, but K’Tek’s community of genasi—a mixture of embersoul, cindersoul, magmasoul, and firesoul genasi—has a small village on the slopes of the Smoking Crown volcano. His community of genasi are worshippers of Vezzuvu, the primordial spirit residing in the Smoking Crown volcano. At some point in history, the death cult known as the SMOKING CROWN INITIATES became the dominant form of belief in his village. This is the atmosphere he was raised in. However, as he grew older (and became one of the few people in his village to learn to read, and to study history), he eventually realized that he had been born into a cult of religious fanatics. Though he knows how evil the defiling sorcerer-kings are, and how poorly they treat their slaves and the common people, and are angry that King Hamanu of Urik has raped the Smoking Crown for obsidian…he’s not really sure about the murderous aspects of the Smoking Crown Initiates, such as regular human sacrifices to the volcano and fiery terror attacks on Urikite civilians. Though he was born decades after Urik’s miners had been driven off the slopes of the Smoking Crown, he is aware that Urikite companies will sometimes swoop down and raid Smoking Crown Initiate villages, killing women and children as well as fighting men.
K’Tek studied the rare few books that passed through his village (many on their way to the Smoking Temple, the enormous pumice temple inside the Smoking Crown itself, where the SCI death cult is based) and learned to strike pacts with forces beyond the stars, even as he became more and more uncomfortable with the religious fanatics chanting and killing around him.
A few weeks ago, a party of Smoking Crown Initiates stopped by the genasi village and demanded assistance as they headed off to raid Urikite mines in the lower mountain ranges. K’Tek reluctantly went along. Of course he hates Urik, but it wasn’t exactly ideal to fight alongside these fanatics.
Over a couple of weeks, K’Tek made his way through the burning ash and blackened rock of the landscape to one of the most distant eastern mines. His party attacked a gang of obsidian miners coming back through the hills with a load of chipped-off obsidian. Unfortunately, the gang’s escort was surprisingly robust, and many Initiates were killed or driven off. K’Tek was captured and brought to the mine—BLOODYFOOT, a mine of the merchant House Kish.
K’tek was a bit of a curiosity—genasi had been seen from time to time, but were uncommon. He downplayed his considerable warlock abilities and impressed the camp leader, Uday Kish, with his useful elemental powers. Minor elemental spirits of fire and stone are always harrying miners; Uday made K’Tek speak to them and get them to back off (he didn’t like it, maybe, because he doesn’t support mining…but he was a slave and had to do what he was told).
K’Tek maybe could have fought back, escaped, burned his keepers, but where would he go? Back to his village of fanatics? He wasn’t really sure, and was kind of spinning his wheels. Then a group of Tyrians showed up and he saw his chance.
While cowering during the battle against Fa’ar the hungry halfling at the Lake of Golden Dreams, K’Tek mysteriously transformed himself into a pile of kank dung.
Dreams in the Lake-House
You are wandering the burning black mountains of the Smoking Crown range. The air is choked with ash and everything is suffused with a red glow from the volcanoes that line the horizon.
On a mound of cinders sit two men. One is weeping, his shoulders shaking. The other is staring up at the volcanoes with his face set in an emotion that combines stern determination and peace. You suddenly realize that they are both the same man.
The ground shakes, and one of the volcanoes erupts with a thunderous boom. Lava pours down its slopes, rushing toward you. You suddenly realize that you are no longer in the black and ashy mountains; instead, you stand in a clearing in a much more peaceful, cooler mountainous area. There are industrious miners emerging from caves heaping material into carts, but you see that it is not obsidian—it is iron. But looking back up the slope, the lava is still pouring down towards you—an enormous, wide swath of it. The miners now seem to see it, too, but instead of running or attempting to protect themselves, they fall to squabbling. The lava wave consumes it all and you are enveloped in an ash cloud.
The cloud clears and you find yourself standing on the rim of an enormous volcano—the Smoking Crown itself, you realize. On one side you can see down into the caldera, which glows a furious red; the ancient Smoking Temple sits above the level of lava. On the other side of the rim, the volcano slopes downward, past camps, past Makla, out into the desert, past Urik, and beyond. You can see the whole world here, spread out before you, from your vantage point.
A city with a rainbow ziggurat is aflame, a firestorm consuming its buildings; another city rises from a plain dotted with steaming, foul pools of water and palm trees. It is overrun by centipedes. Between the cities, a river of silt trickles; an enormous silt crocodile is visible cruising just below the surface, its eyes and back scales protruding from the silt; several of its scales are crusted with gems. Its yellow eyes blink lazily and focus on you.
Then you are nowhere, and you see an ocean of frothing water. It smells fresh and salty, and it is so loud—birds scream overhead, and in the churning waters you can see brilliantly-colored animals and plants in a thousand bizarre forms. The ocean swells, and it begins to flood over plains, mountains, deserts, and cities, rushing through the streets and subsuming the buildings and people.
Then it dries up, leaving a salt crust behind on everything. Nothing moves, nothing is alive, just white salt-covered structures. The drying and withering continues, and the mountains and trees and buildings crumble to grey ash, blowing away in the wind, until there is nothing left but black defiled plains as far as the eyes can see.