Secrets of the Saruswathi
Long ago, a powerful wizard called Hesdeus discovered that beneath the Vofoti River of Hana there slept ancient minds whose terrible
knowledge included things from realms not understood by mortal ken. To tap the power of these slumbering geniuses, he began to erect
three monoliths. With the first one finished he was able to persuade followers to his cause and his cult, the Rise of the Third Moon, spread
through Hana. A second monolith was erected and his power again trebled throughout the
Hanois Peninsula. Then, before his cult could finish the third monolith, the armies of the Dark God swept down upon Hana, destroyed the
cult, and slew Hesdeus. The spirit of Hesdeus became trapped in the great proto-mind of the monolith and lived on. His followers took the
two completed monoliths and placed one hidden on the Isle of Sepras, the other was
taken north, to be hidden in the swamps and far from the reach of the Dark God, but it was captured in transit by a cadre of
Moredwraiths and then completely lost when a sinkhole
opened beneath a battle and consumed it.
In the present day, the Tsochar
have learned of the sleeping minds of the Saruswathi (ancient Aboleths)
which Hesdeus imprisoned. The same monoliths which created the proto-mind of the Saruswathi also protect their hidden lair from attack.
The Tsochar fear the mind of the Saruswathi because their strange energies make it cause the psychic bonds which hold mature Tsochari
strands together unstable and fall apart. Thus the Tsochar seek to destroy the Saruswathi, first by destroying the magical pillars that support
the proto-mind of Hesdeus and then by slaying the Saruswathi that rest below the river.
In their first attempt, the Tsochar used magic to attack the powerful wards which are empowered by the
monoliths and the proto-mind, but the proto-mind was able to defend against these too easily. Having failed, the Tsochar seek to grow their
power-base in Hana until they are able to command an army against the Rise of the Third Moon cult, destroy the final magical pillar, and then
raze the hidden sanctuary of the Saruswathi. Such plans take time, allowing the Saruswathi to invade the minds of local
Vofoti district populace.
Since the Tsochar began their attacks on the Saruswathi, two things have happened. First, the sleeping
Saruswathi began to awaken as the magic brought against them and their protective wards roused them from their ageless sleep. The
Saruswathi then began to call out with their powerful psychic minds, summoning guardians to watch over their resting place and to
conduct rights to further awaken their minds from the bonds of slavery placed over them by Hesdeus. Possessed participants in these rites
gain an insane insight into the desires of the Saruswathi and created something of a cult of lunatics, devoted to serving their mental master's
will. They call themselves The Awakeners of the New Age; their leaders are alienists who are insane enough to understand the alien wishes
of the awakening Saruswathi. As the Saruswathi awaken and grow in strength the psychic noise of their minds spreads throughout the Vofoti
district, causing headaches and subjugating the weak willed.
Second, interfering with the wards alerted the proto-mind of the Monolith and the spirit of Hesdeus. From
the Isle of Sepras came servants of the Third Moon, inspired by the Monolith to defend it and to eradicate the cult which is awakening the
Saruswathi, likewise, they would act against the Tsochar, but the sly Tsochar have eluded discovery so far. The current cultists of the
Third Moon are a lycanthrope worshiping cult, which ritually scar themselves by carving the likeness of an eye into their foreheads. They
are a motley collection of murderers, brutes, and insane wizards who crave the dark knowledge that Hesdeus has claimed from the vast minds
of the Saruswathi.
Most recently, the Awakeners of the New Age cult were able to recover the second Monolith which had
been lost near the Dhaal Swamps. They brought it back into the City of Hana and in a ritual they were able to destroy it. Immediately, the
Saruswathi began to awaken further and redouble their mental powers over the weak minded of the Vofoti District. Alarmed, the proto-mind of
Hesdeus has begun directing the Eye of the Third Moon to attack any who visit Kafaa Ravaar.
That the adventuring heroes of the Four Pillars have become caught in the middle of this conflict pleases
the Tsochar immensely. Either way, with the distraction of the Cult of the Third Moon, the destruction of the Saruswathi, or the destruction
of the heroes of the Four Pillars, the Tsochar win something they want.