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Legend of Soolkhir

by John Calvin
Named the Anointed of Ssugath during that city's inception, Soolkhir is one of the more infamous figures in Mogreth history. Legend says that Soolkhir arrived from frozen lands far to the north, and raised the stones of Ssugath himself. Whether this is true or not, none can say, but with his disappearance and apparent death, Ssugath began to sink back into the ground from whence it came.

Soolkhir was obsessed with the Old Kings, and spent decades confined within his towers attempting to unlock their secrets. Knowing that he would be unable to accomplish this task in a single lifetime the sorcerer king delved into the mysteries of death... and life. Leaving just as abruptly as he arrived, Soolkhir's studies were fought over by jealous apprentices, and much of the knowledge that he uncovered was lost. Some of his work survived his disappearance however, much of it rumoured to now be in the possession of Mashgar, Sixth of the Circle.

Soolkhir's Incubatum
Black and charred, these devices can be crafted from the eggs of any animal. Held above the forehead of a dying individual while invoking dark rituals, the egg will capture the soul of the doomed, rejuvenating itself in the process. When it hatches, the captured soul is reborn in the form of the creature whose egg it was imprisoned in.

The true power of the Incubatum is that a trapped soul remembers its past life, even after its rebirth. Soolkhir's favourite practice was to capture the souls of his enemies and have them be reborn in the bodies of mundane animals. These he would keep around for years, tormenting them until they died a second time.

After Soolkhir's disappearance, it was rumoured that his apprentices created their own Incubatum using the eggs of sentient creatures instead of those of animals, in an attempt to extend their lifespans. The technique proved valid although it had a fatal flaw. Creatures reborn through the Incubatum progress through a normal development cycle and were thus vulnerable during their formative years. Many of Soolkhir's apprentices did not survive long after their first rebirth.

Soolkhir's Pheonitium
The pinnacle of his craft, Soolkhir's Pheonitium is a jewel encrusted Incubatum crafted from the shell of the egg of an unborn phoenix. Unlike other Incubatum, the Pheonitium is an empty shell, hinged on one end and sealed with an intricate clasp on the other. Any egg placed within it acts as an Incubatum, however the only soul that is transferred into the new body is Soolkhir's.

After predicting the downfall of the Second Empire of Mogreth in a torrential flood, Soolkhir created the Pheonitium as a phylactery to preserve his soul. Unlike a lich's phylactery, the Pheonitium provides Soolkhir with a living, flesh and blood body, to be reborn in. Only sentient egg laying creatures may be used to resurrect the sorcerer king - eggs of creatures with animal intelligence or lower will not function in the Pheonitium. Once placed inside the Pheonitium, the egg enters a state of suspended animation, awaiting only the opening of the artifact before hatching. Eggs encased in the Pheonitium can be sustained by the power of the artifact indefinitely.

Adventure: Soolkhir Reborn
The hand of Mogreth reaches out from the grave, even after three millennia. Before Soolkhir disappeared he accomplished the impossible - Soolkhir was able to find and acquire a viable Carnifex egg. He placed the egg inside of his Pheonitium before sacrificing his own life - the last act needed to complete the enchantments on the artifact. For thousands of years Soolkhir's soul has been trapped inside the Pheonitium, awaiting only for it to be opened in the proper place and at the proper time.

Not since the time of the Old Kings, has the Known World known a greater threat. Soolkhir, sorcerer king of Mogreth, has been reborn in the body of one of the kings of old, and the time of the Third Empire of Mogreth is at hand...