Hujal Nazan

(18th July 2006 - 5th December 2006)
Initial Sheet
Notes Page

"Nadir we
Victors still"

A Lionian Nadir from the steppes south of the Drenai, Hujal was brought up a typical Nadir warrior, hard-riding, hard-drinking, a slayer and a plunderer. All this was turned on its' ear when the tribal shaman told him that his real talents lay in the wielding of magic.

This proved the case, and Hujal knew that the pursuit of his art must take him from the steppes forever; no sorcerers of worth existed within his tribe. So, bidding farewell to his elder brothers with caution and his younger siblings with a swift kick, he travelled into the lands of the Drenai to seek mastery of the Nine Arts.

Falling in with a small band of interesting people centred on a noble named Malathrax - a fellow sorcerer and, impossibly, a Menelothian, he became involved quite cheerfully in the doings which led to the capturing of one of the strangest pleasure-houses he had ever heard of. He'd left the steppes to get away from that sort of thing after all.

One of Malathrax' other companions was a priest named Nyrond, a follower of Malakar, and the path of this new God appealed to the young Nadir; it seemed thankfully lacking in all the self-denial and altruism that made other religions seem a bad idea. He declared that if Malakar managed to deliver plunder, women and riches, he'd follow him.

It soon became apparent that Malathrax' schemes around the peculiar business they'd acquired had catapulted them into the midst of the war of espionage being waged between Malakar's Rosen and the Willowstar-sympathetic Drenai. Much of the twists and turns of the spies and priests and nobles was a blur to Hujal, but the opportunites for wreaking mayhem with his spells were plentiful, and he was more than happy to ride along. He missed most of the Massacre at Karsus, arriving only in time to help fell the very last opponent and burn the Tree gifted to the Drenai by Illyanth, but was instrumental in the capture of the female spy Meela later, achieving one of his three desired goals before Nyrond sacrificed her to his dark God.

His progression into the Malakaran cult was upset by the subsequent death of Nyrond at the hands of raiding bandits, but he kept the shrine operational and held the dark rites as best he could, until the war finally started. During that time, he selected Power Words as his specialty within the Art Magic, and learned the Word of Destruction.

A wandering Malakar priest named Nilthar arrived and performed some sort of dark ritual in the shrine, and a day or so later a vast black sphere grew into place inside it. This turned out to be a teleport gateway to Rosengrad, and Malathrax and Zavien, exploring it, discovered a vast army poised to invade the Drenai. The occupants of Chateau Malathrax hid themselves away in the bunker created by Nyrond while the army passed through it, and then emerged to find the place largely destroyed by their foraging.

Moving away at some speed, they reached the Lannik Pass where Drusor Luckwarden and a handfuil of Drenai were preparing to hold off a horde of Rosen at a fortified narrows. For reasons of his own, Malathrax chose to ally himself with the Drenai rather than the Rosen, and almost before he knew what was happening, Hujal found himself in battle with the forces of Malakar, and wondering why. As Rell and Malathrax said, though, they were mercenaries.

The Word of Death

The siege went well at first, with a mixture of melee and magic throwing back the Rosen time after time. Hujal used his Word of Destruction to slay a commander in the enemy ranks, and later a Word of Death to winnow the ranks during an attack. This attracted unwelcome attention, and a sorcerer on the opposite side targeted him with a Lightning Bolt which disabled him for the rest of the siege.

[This is a way of putting it that I missed a session! See Chappie's Logs for what happened next]

The capture of the Marraq Veldus left the party feeling vulnerable, as the chances were high that he would be turned to the service of Malakar - at which point their own lives would be short indeed. So, a daring rescue was mounted into the enemy encampment. A shapechanged Malethrax distracted the guards long enough for Veldus to be rescued, while Hujal and Skurm kept watch on the commander, Sadrak.

Sadrak was drunk, and attended only by a valet, and it occurred to Hujal that more could be achieved here if luck was favourable. He slit a hole in the tent, and slew the valet with a Magic Missile, before charging the sodden general. His physical stroke at the man failed to penetrate, but the Word of Death that he channelled along the Dagger of Asgar slew the enemy commander where he sat, decapitating the Rosen army. Grimly satisfied, Hujal cut the man's heart out with the dagger as he'd seen Nyrond do in the past, and held it aloft, empowering his next Word with the soul of the enemy commander. "Death to all Rosen," he grated softly, and felt the power flow with a fierce joy.

Leaving the tent, he was guided to his companions by Skurm the rat, and they moved swiftly through the camp. The others kept commenting on how still it was, how deep the soldiers slept, how the guards were absent... Hujal smiled a secret smile. Ten thousand Rosen troops lay dead in their camp, and the next morning the army of Malakar gave the siege up and left the field.

Malethrax and his companions left Dros Goran, and almost immediately came at odds with Caldron, the Malakar priest/sorcerer who had hired them to slay the tree in Karsus. After fighting one violent encounter with the man himself and beating off several demons, the group met with King Rufus of Drenai, who praised them, thanked them, re-equipped them and sent them off to deliver a letter to the King of Myrid, Viator Varkos. In this they were to be aided by Raven, a dark-haired beauty and the King's niece.

On the way to Dros Yali, however, Caldron ambushed them again and abducted Malethrax to the Abyss. Hujal, using the Word of Creation, had made the Soul Compass - a free-spinning needle that would point to whomever it was asked to - and used that and a Created gate to follow the Menelothian. He and Zavien - Elkin and Danat elected to remain behind in safety - went to rescue their friend from the Castle of Morash, Caldron's base in the Abyss. Hujal was also captured, but Zavien remained free and managed to slay Caldron and rescue the others.

Various items of Caldron's were taken, and Hujal took a small, wriggling bag. This turned out to be a spectacular mistake, because it contained Varajas, Caldron's familiar and one of the Seven Malakarian Familiars. Varajas immediately started trying to take Skurm's place, and to persuade Hujal to serve Malakar. Once aboard the ship provided by the Lord of Dros Yali, Hujal Created it a prison and threw it overboard, but it Teleported back and killed Skurm. It took all the efforts of the companions to kill it after that.

Malethrax, meanwhile had not been getting on very well with the crew, and a very bad-tempered duel culminated in him casting the very nasty Caldron's Decay on the ringleader. Strangely, this didn't defuse the situation and things became ugly. Losing patience, Malethrax caused a Water Elemental to draw the whole ship under the water, drowning all the crew, all the horses, and all the rats; and very nearly Zavien and Hujal. After restoring the ship to the surface, Malethrax combined his powers with Hujal and they bound an Elemental permanently into the rudder, creating a shattered scow that was completely unsinkable and able to travel faster than any normal boat without sails or oars.

Retaliator Strikes

The Festival of Rakshasha had now arrived, and with Malethrax' powers magnified many remarkable things were wrought. It also became apparent that Veldus had, now, been turned, and was gunning for Malethrax after a futile attempt to persuade Hujal to kill him. He loosed an arrow at the Menelothian, but Hujal managed to warn Zavien in time for the other to achieve a miraculous catch of the hypersonic arrow to save Malethrax' life. Seconds later, Malethrax drew the ship below the waves again - this time enveloped in a bubble of air - to safety.

This set Hujal thinking, and at the end of his consideration he uttered a Word of Creation and brought into being perhaps his finest creation, the pistol crossbow Retaliator. Described as 'having the range of a Marraq bow', the weapon in fact proved to have been made from Mara wood. It performed as intended, although its' range was limited to the perception of the wielder; for non-telepaths or non-clairvoyants, this meant line of sight. But....

Raising the ship, Malethrax deliberately exposed himself to Veldus' arrows, while Hujal cast an ESP on the Menelothian, linking himself to Malethrax' mind. As Veldus touched Malethrax with his telepathy, ready to fire at him, Hujal siezed the link, targeted on Veldus' mind through his own telepathic link, and loosed a bolt. Flashing across unknown miles, the quarrel - tipped with a deadly poison brewed by Zavien - struck home and Veldus was slain.

Unmolested, then, the group landed, and moved inland towards Van Myrid. On the way, they met and killed a Malakar priest, and discovered that Raven - who had abandoned them after Malethrax murdered their ship's crew - was following them.

They stayed in wayside hostelries as they travelled, and in one of these they encountered a Black Knight of Malakar, the Bretonian Vrostar. He and his six men-at-arms were pursuing Raven, whom they believed to be carrying the letter to Viator Varkos, and they enjoined Malethrax - who had given them a false name - to hunt her down for them. The first day they parted on good terms, but the second night the atmosphere was subtly tense and different, and things were brought to a head by Vrostar's sudden and deliberate use of Malethrax' real name.

Knowing the game was up, Hujal went for a lightning draw of Retaliator, hoping to get a shot into the Black Knight before he could react. However, most of those seated around the table had quick reactions, and Vrostar had already carved Malethrax' left leg off before Hujal got his shot off; it missed anyway. The bar exploded into violence, and Hujal was halfway through a Shield spell when a blade arced out of nowhere towards his face. He tried desperately to dodge it, failed, and was slain instantly.

So died the Wordmaster Hujal.