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         Copyright © Randy Bowers. All rights reserved.


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.