The Doomed Man

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Created On 22 October 1997
Last Updated On 22 October 1997
Copyright (c) Simon E. Phipp 1997

When the Cult of Thanatar was created from the Cults of Atyar and Tien it was made poorly because the two cults had diverged considerably from when the original god had been Severed. What the new Cult needed was a focus to keep it together, to join Head and Body into one, it needed a Neck. The founder of the cult was to be the Neck. However, he was none too keen and managed to HeroQuest to free himself from the Cult. This meant that the cult was becoming unstable and was about to break up unless something was done.

One of the worshippers of the new god decided to sacrifice himself for the good of the Cult and gave up all his life to become the Neck and hold the cult together. He became the First Doomed Man. Of course, he lived and worshipped in the land of Dorastor and made that land the site of the Doomed Man ever since.

After several centuries, the Doomed Man became weary and looked for someone else to take on his mantle. He managed to trick somebody into taking his place and was freed. However, he had earlier gained the enmity of Ikadz the Torturer and was dragged off to Ikadzí Halls for an Eternity of Correction. The Doomed Man, in the meantime, lived on.

There were several people in the role of the Doomed Man, all of whom had been tricked into the position, even the original, but all of whom accepted the position voluntarily, otherwise they could not have assumed the role. All of whom hated the Sultan of Vanch for he was the cause of their suffering. Fortunately, Thanatar Cult Policy meant that they could plot and plan against the Sultan of Vanch with impunity, so most of their energies were spent towards achieving his downfall. All failed, of course.

Then the Party met the Sultan of Vanch and became his number one enemies. They tried many times to kill him and failed each and every time - he was just too good for them. So, they tried to weaken him and to strike at his power bases. First they attacked him in Vanch, then they attacked him in Dorastor and went to his Thanatar Temple. There they met a Hero of Thanatar who had access to many stolen spells and much knowledge and could not be killed by weapons or magic. Eventually, they found out that he could not be killed while in a Thanatar Temple and could only be killed by being replaced. Brankist decided to take his place so that they could kill him. Thus, Brankist became the Doomed Man.

What this meant was that this Orlanth HeroQuestor (and soon to be Hero) was also a Thanatar Hero, a strange situation. It also meant that Brankist was the titular head of all the Thanatari in Dorastor. This was even better as Brankist use to be a member of Lhankor Mhy until he left because Andrew thought I disliked the cult. Many Thanatar Temples were uncovered to the cults of lhankor Mhy, Orlanth and Storm Bull in that year. Then Brankist thought of something new. Why not use the cult of Thanatar to destroy other chaos and thus weaken Chaos in Dorastor?

A cunning plan which worked and worked well.

The first thing he did was to challenge the leader of Ralzakarkís Humakti to a duel, as Brankist, Sword of Humakt. Once honour was satisfied, he offered to lead the Humakti in an attack on the Thanatar Temple in Fort Wrath, as he knew that ralzakark had been trying to take control of the Temple for years. He managed to persuade them that he knew a secret way in and that he could achieve victory quickly. He then went to the Thanatar heirachy as the Doomed Man and told them of the attack, arrangiong a series of devastating ambushes. The Humakti lost over half their troops and made no headway at all. This was purely honourable as they were broos and were not proper Humakti at all.

He also lead the Thanatari against Cacodemon, Krarsht and Ralzakark, spending vast numbers of cultists in futile and dangerous attacks not caring if they succeeded or failed. He became quite reckless and daring, often leading the Thanatari into battle with his head floating several inches above his body (The Doomed Man had to have his head severed in the creation ritual and it remained severed when within a Thanatar Temple. Derak threatened on many occasions to bring in a Thanatari Artefact midway through an Orlanthi ritual and watch Brankistís head rise from his shoulders. Itís good to have powerful friends.)

The Doomed Man had several powers:

This was a man who as a Lhankor Mhy Priest regularly paid people not to burn libraries and once, when called a wimp, declared that he was not a typical Lhankor Mhy cultist whereupon the accuser told him to burn a book to prove it. He took a book, cats ignite on it and then was seen stamping on it before the cover became black. Then he becomes a Thanatar Hero. Strange really.

Brankist remained the Doomed Man for a number of years and only gave up the Title when he became King of Dorastor, in the Holy Country Campaign. Basically, he led an attacking army to Fort Wrath, killed the defending broos, caused the Thanatari to attack Ralzakarkís forces at the same time and then gave up the position to a Krarsht Cultist who had volunteered for the post. After all, he had been friendly with the cult of Krarsht and could think of nobody else trustworthy enough to take on the Position. As I said, Brankist had some strange ideas. As soon as he became the Doomed Man, the Krarsht Cultist cast Shake Earth on the caves and collapsed all the tunnels leading to the Thanatar Temple, catching King Brian and his Thanes as they came to attack the Temple. "What a pity, I never expected them to do that and kill most of poor King Brianís men" said Brankist, having sent Brian to attack the Temple and having earlier checked the feasibility of collapsing the tunnels in the event of an attack by Ralzakarkís army. Politics is a strange game.

Well, that is the Doomed Man, a most amusing NPC and a good windup for Andrew over the years. He hated being a Thanatar Hero but could not bring himself to give up the power that it brought him. In fact, things got so bad that he married a woman who had been a Thanatar prisoner and who had almost been decapitated - she could take off her head under certain conditions and the two of them could sometimes be seen kissing, their heads on the mantelpiece and their bodies walking nearby, hand in hand. Of course, it had its advantages, she could be doing the housework while her head sat on his lap, for instance, I think Stuart thought that one up and it had to happen and Derak had to walk in on them.