Part 21: Wherein dubious decisions are madeSlightly later that same night…
: Every time I believe I am out…
: Hoar pulls me back in. In the Demanding One's name, then.
: He should not be far… the temple mentioned he would appear dressed in the same drab wrappings as the enemy he fights- aha! Septimund!
: I like your beard, by the way.
: I like yours!
: I mean not to brag but my Order sent me well equipped for this mission, so if you need to take shelter behind me-
: I apologize, friend. I could not hear you over the sound of the blessed unlife ender of my Lord leaving its' scabbard.
: …Not bad, I guess - I mean, uh, if you like blessed swords.
: (Ye gods I need one of those)
: The sky has cleared, though I know not why. Perhaps the gods smile on our endeavour.
: Hopefully not Hoar, then. In my experience he smiles only at private jokes and his sense of humour is shared by few.
: Wow, an abandoned cemetery.
: Of course. Here a dread necromancer is likely plying-
: No, I mean why abandon a cemetery of all places?
: What do you mean?
: Any determined teenager or the occasional gifted buffoon can turn a dead body into a lethal threat with a bargain bin scroll case! Why would any responsible population allow a cemetery to become abandoned?
: Perhaps they were forced to migrate, or the cemetery fell into disrepair after-
: It is equal to abandoning a fully stocked armoury in the wilderness then being surprised when heavily armed brigands start cropping up!
: Now that I think about it, why do we even have cemeteries at all? I have heard of no god that opposes cremation, even a secure graveyard within a city's walls poses a needless danger.
: Kelemvor teaches not to over think the thematic elements of what we do and to just get on with the smiting.
: Beware, undead have streamed from this place night after night. We may be set upon any moment.
: Fighting the undead would honestly be a refreshing change. You know where you stand with them, at least - one foot in the grave.
: A little late for that, don't you think?
: Hm? No, I mean do you think this is the work of our potential necromancer?
: It's freshly exhumed… possibly. Either that or the cemetery became abandoned right in the middle of a burial.
: The graveyard gate! And ghouls guarding the graves!
: Oh, I uh - sorry, there were these halflings… never mind.
: Behold, the light of Kelemvor! Return from whence you came, unnatural abominations!
: Wow! Your god actually responds to your appeals? With Hoar we are fortunate if he puts in an appearance on his own holy days.
: It was no great exertion, these are merely ghouls. They were probably attracted to the power of the necromancer but are not his direct servants. Watch out for more.
: Oh dear… that green cloud cannot be good for my asthma.
: So… does that power only work on the strictly undead?
: Why do you ask?
: Well, I do get a lot of pore-clogging dead skin and dandruff, which are kind of undead if you think about-
: I am sorry, Kelemvor does not offer that sort of cleansing power.
: Nobody does, apparently.
: More ghouls destroyed! Hopefully the last, they were becoming tiresome.
: This way is clear. Come, deeper into the cemetery. Watch your step for ghoul gunk.
: Raised skeleton warriors! This is true necromancy - a sure sign of an evil hand, likely nearby.
: There are plenty of evil hands, all quite nearby and gripping swords. Let us focus on keeping them at bay!
: Nngh! Not bad, considering they are dead!
: These men were powerful in life, and a fraction of their strength lingers in death. Kelemvor's light will not banish them.
: When without light, use might - a catechism applicable to war and getting locked out of the temple after dark.
: Surely these are the last of the necromancer's minions, we must be close.
: Close perhaps, but the last? I fear not. Another wave guards that rise over there.
: I was afraid you would say that - or would have been, were I not divinely prevented from feeling fear.
: Into the fortress of undeath!
: Through the excessively defensible sepulchre!
: Stand back, Septimund, and bear witness to the power of Hoar! My patron, I call upon your power to wreak your divine vengeance!
: …That is it?
: They're… better lit, I suppose.
: I'm going to call on the power of Kelemvor to banish these mockeries of life… but I want you to know I'm not doing it to make you feel inferior or anything.
: I know, it's okay. Lousy responsive deities…
: Wraiths! This must be the heart of the infestation, where the darkness is deepest. In this case somewhat literally.
: Holy wrath or not, determination counts. Right now, I am absolutely determined that a handful of ghosts in rags will not stand in my way.
: And with this blow struck… the menace is ended.
: I sense no more restless dead nearby. We may have actually succeeded.
: Looks all clear - which is a problem, we are short a perpetrator.
: Better double back and check.
: There, that ruined church! Exactly the sort of ironically appropriate place to find a dark practitioner.
: Your genre-reasoning is sound. Lead the way.
: Nya? What trickery is this?!
: Familiar with her, then?
: I am uncomfortable with this… trickery. We should not be pretending to help her.
: It is not trickery, Septimund - or at least, that part is not.
: Do you believe Nya truly strong enough to summon up and control all the undead we have seen so far? Some greater force is at work, and we must ferret it out.
: What about him? He strikes me as fairly powerful. Ghostly, green, a face that suggests he is haunted by such terrible memories of the past that he is bound to walk the world of the living…
: Yes… Kelemvor recoils from his glow, this is the figure we seek. We must attack!
: Hold, Septimund. Let us speak with him. His rise is natural, not necromancy. We must discover what troubles him.
: See Hoar's perspective, Septimund! See Adreum's! See mine! This spirit is not a result of violating the cosmic order, he is a reaction to such a violation!
: Kelemvor forbids all association with the undead, and what's more this whole plan reeks with political machination and false pretenses!
: Let Adreum seek his vengeance on those who threaten his people as he should have in life and balance shall be restored, justice and revenge sated.
: Justice will be served when this army of the dead is put to rest, as the cycle of life and death demands! Death requires impartiality, regardless of politics of Neverwinter and Luskan!
: Bah, my appeals fall on deaf ears. Know that whatever you attempt, I will stop you.
Lord Adreum IV's story is roughly accurate to the events of "Last Port"'s actual history. Not only that, but incidences of "Naturally occurring" undead have been documented sufficiently to give credence to the phenomenon. Although usually related to considerable trauma, emotional turmoil, and strong bonds to some place, person, or unfinished business there is yet to be a clear answer either arcane or divine for why some spirits return as ghosts.
Dying in some terrible manner, with tasks unfinished or revenge unachieved, is an incredibly common state of affairs in our world. Were every such incident capable of producing a haunting spirit the dead would likely be packed cheek to jowl over every available space, crowding out the living. Some scholars suggest there are some obscure requirements for becoming a ghost set by the first god of the dead Jergal. Being an esoteric creature, it is not unlike Jergal to keep such conditions a secret.
As for the church of Kelemvor's stance on the matter there is no special recognition offered to these "natural" undead or lost souls and present doctrine is to put them to rest as with any other undead. There exists sufficient flexibility, however, for a priest to choose the method of putting the undead to rest, which may include fulfilling the duties or needs that keep the spirit bound to the living world.
Of course, allowing an undead ghost to summon an army of its former household guard and besiege a port is generally seen to lie outside this leeway, and to this day the church of Kelemvor endorses Septimund's decision on the matter.
: Fairly sure Septimund and I already did that, sooo…
: I have faith that I am accomplishing what my god nags - er, guides me to. Still…
: I only hope I am doing the right thing.