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References to Hule, The Master or Hosadus

by Ricardo Matheus

I've been thinking about running X10 (and maybe X4 and X5 as someone suggested somewhere in this forum) and I´m trying to get as much info as possible on the master so I can decide what will be my take on this guy.

So far I found X4, X5, X10 and a quite superficial touch in Wrath of the Imm. (is that the place where Loki is established as the Master's immortal, by the way?)

Has someone ever compiled a list of references (canon, or otherwise) to Hule, The Master and/or Hosadus?

If not, who´s feeling in the mood to help me do it? (no need for specific pages or descriptions, I will hunt for those, a simple "I remember reading about it in ..." will do)

************************************* SPOILER ALERT (if you ever going through the modules as a player)

Reference list (so far, will be update as I find more)

Canon Sources (in approximate order of publication):

X4 - Master of the Desert Nomads: "The Master" is mentioned all the time, but barely appears (only as a "man in black", taunting players through a magic mirror). No write up on him. Called: "He Who Is Not Named" and "The Servant of Death"

X5 - Temple of Death: The Master is at the same time the Highest power in Hule and the leader of the official religion. Very few know, but he is one of the "holy men" worshiped in the country, called Hosadus. He owns a Flying Ship and is actually "living" inside a crystal casket as an old and wrinkled corpse/mummy (a kind of undeath) and projecting his thoughts to an "avatar" (the man clad in black armor everyone call The Master) - see pg 21. If the casket is destroyed, Hosadus and his avatar are destroyed. Hosadus has a "sidekick" wizard, called Alrethus.
Scant details about the life of Hosadus are given, only hints and legends, for instance:
   pg 12: a statue of Hosadus: "The statue on the altar is of a badly scarred young man. In one hand he holds a mace set
   with small bits of mirror (to represent a magical weapon). The other hand clutches a bat by its feet. Around the base of
   the statue are carved Hosadus’s name and a date. This date is about 400 years in the past."
   On the same page there is a very cryptic collection of panels telling his life history.
Other pieces of history can be found on pg. 13 and 15
The climax of the module is the fight with the avatar of the Master, on pg 25 (if the players only kill the avatar, the dead body in the casket reanimates for future revenge). Statistics are given for a level 14 Cleric.

X10 - Red Arrow Black Shield: Assumes X4 and X5 have already happened, but the Master still exists (probably because only the Avatar was destroyed). He found another strong body and a magical gem (artifact?) called "Soul Gem of Thanatos", now owns a few flying ships (four appear at once) and is now invading the Known World. He is much more powerful (invulnerable in fact) and on a quest for Immortality. The only way of destroying him is through the destruction of the "Soul Gem of Thanatos", which can be done by using the "Crystal Dagger of Cymorrak" (pg 32).  Once this happens, the present Master´s incarnation begins to age and dies (screaming at some higher power for help - which one is left unspecified). If this is the death of yet another avatar or the real thing we don't know (the tone of the whole thing suggests a permadeath)
Full write-ups for The Master (pg 41) and Alrethus (pg 42) are given. The Master is now a level 30 Cleric. No details about his past, but it does say he is probably very old and has prolonged his life by stealing bodies. Also:
   "The Master has long sought world domination, first for it's own sake (as chronicled in
   X4 and X5), and more recently as part of a search for Immortality in the Sphere of
   Entropy, a mysterious concept not readily understood."
If the "Soul Gem of Thanatos" and the  "Crystal Dagger of Cymorrak" are artifacts, no details on powers and uses are given on them besides what is strictly necessary for the module (the Dagger damages any evil person trying to hold it. The Gem demands living sacrifices. The Dagger destroys the Gem on contact, which also destroys the Dagger.)

Wrath of the Immortals: suggests re-setting X10 to AC 1005-1006, and says the Master´s master is Loki (in the guise of Bozdogan). Atzanteotl is "borrowing" the Master for the invasion, so he could be the one he screaming at on the finalle of X10. [I fell that I´m missing more references in WotI, let me know].

Poor Wizard's Almanac I (AC1010): Hule in mentioned in the entries of Darokin (pg 27) and Sind (pg 77). Adds little to what is established in WotI. Assumes X10 happened during the war in WotI, the Master was pushed out of Darokin (with help from Karameikos, Five Shires, and Alfheim), but remains in control of Sind. Blames the Master for the meteor that struck the Darokin/Glantri border (implying he still exists). On the year events, mentions desert nomads becoming pirates (pg 194-195) under control of the Master still.

Poor Wizard's Almanac II (AC1011): There is an specific entry for Hule (pg 38-40), its armies (pg 102), its taxes (pg 163 and in Sind pg 164). It is also mentioned in many other entries: Darokin (pg 23), The Great Waste (pg 35), Sind (pg 68), Ulimwengu (pg 76), under the King of Sind (pg 140). Re-asserts what is said in PWAI and WotI, the main Immortal of the country is Loki, under the guise of Bozdogan.  Sind is still invaded. Mentions the Master had fights with the Karimari in AC 1006, and plots their destruction (pg 76).
First mention of "In Hule, lies are holy things". Details the depredations of the Master´s army on the Great Waste (specially Graakhalia). Extensive History of Hule (for the first time too, AFAIK). Hosadus appears in 1270 BC to save the country from a goblin horde by deceiving them, and again in AC 600 (re-incarnated) using similar tricks against barbarians. Implies he is still in charge (the guy is OLD): "Since Hosadu's return, Hule has managed...".

Non-canon Sources:

James Mishler´s take on Hosadus: makes him some ancient Taymoran Mummy, generally more powerful than the modules' version (specially his true "casket" body). More details here

James Mishler's history of Hule. [I would love to know what is compatible with canon and what is not. Is Hule explored in the Savage Coast material?]

Robin's update on the 8 mile/hex map of the Great Pass (that allows entrance into Hule from the Desert, through the Black Mountains), incorporating descriptions of the region given in X4 and X5. More details and maps in this thread