Horaktar Cathedral

Ominously rising before you, a gothic-style cathedral now lays in ruins.  Nature has nearly reclaimed it back to the raw materials it was built with, its roof long since rotten away.  Yet it is not entirely abandoned as you watch the front facade crawling with gray skinned humans, moving with incredible speed.  Resting but not asleep along the base of the cathedral on the ground are several two-headed devilish looking dogs.

It is a ruined cathedral that once was a central focus for worshiping God, existing miraculously without origin, but containing signs of God inside.  Clerics and clergymen took it as a sign and began using it for religious and medicinal means to those seeking aid.Upon the destruction of God and creation of the Dual-God Xxuthan and Koz, the cathedral was destroyed  and was lost and forgotten.

Stepping inside, much of the ground has been reclaimed by grass, the green blades jutting up almost to the seats of the marble benches that lay almost in two rows.  A few stone tile floors remain, but the eyes are drawn to a pedestal at the back of the cathedral, peculiarly facing away from the sanctuary.  It has a closed book resting on top.

The pedestal that once held holy books of clergymen still holds in secrecy a very special artifact left by the Assimar.  It radiates a strange aura unknown to any magic user, and it speaks out to them when touched rather than being read.  Reader's minds are taken to a location unknown to them where narration is given in full in a language they understand.

"A time ago far longer than mortal comprehension, this world was in its First Life.  We sought to save our kind, a pinnacle utopian life form, by searching the cosmos for what we were losing rapidly.  This world is the result of our searchings.  But the Great Devourer, Basatan was brought forth unto this world by Cherlindrea's essence to which it was gone in an instant.  Upon the Second World, another Devourer, this time in the form of Shub-Niggurath, removed the world's existence, leaving behind a reborn world to which we sought once again.  It is the Third World, and we seek to save our own for one last attempt before we are extinct.  Yet another entity stands in our way, not yielding to our desperate needs.  We have sought alternate methods that one day will result in the destruction of the entity and our kind will be saved by this world's core."

"Before this world knew life, we discovered its beauty.  Through sacrifice and patience, our world exists but thrives less.  We were slaughtered, callously rejected of the Devourer before our simple gathering could be completed.  Our time here grows short, our time home grows shorter.  Return we must to finish the gathering and assure our future is bright.  Another day."

After the vision, they are returned to the cathedral and stand before a book that appears to be of genealogy.  It begins with 5 individuals labeled in the book as "The Five."  Each page shows a progression of direct descendants of these five.  The final page, incredible as it sounds, shows Zaburk and Pickles' parents names.  As they stare at the pages, thin flames erupt an inch up and a burn pattern begins to take place, searing their names into the book.

Zaburk discovers his ancestor was a Dwarf named Flint Fireforge.  Pickles is related to Tanis Half-Even.  Tanis is listed with the title of Captain, leading to the understanding that the Half-Elf they met in Nanook City could be the same.

They realize they are not alone.  Appearing before them is an Assimar.  He wears clothes unlike typical fashion of Zatra, strange and alien in both design and colors.  He is holding a strange rectangular device in his hand and studying it for a second before looking up at the two.

"At last, I have arrived.  I presume you are Pickles and Zaburk?"

"My name is unimportant for I have very little time to explain.  My people have gone mad.  They now seek the destruction of Zatra if they are unable to extract the energy from the core that will keep my people alive for another million years.  They are dying and have grown desperately impatient.  While I support prosperity of my own kind, their rash decisions and methods are like that of this world's past failures that led Zatra to its current state of decline."

He looks over his shoulder as if looking to see if they are alone.  You two notice he flickers for a moment.

"I believe they have found me, but you must hear my words: do not use the Loc Nar to destroy us!  There are other uses more powerful that can help us all."

You see clawed, scaled hands appear from behind him and grab his shoulders, dragging him away from you.  He yells,

"Acquire the Horn of Vecna to awaken the Sleeping One where humans once called home!"


Horaktar Cathedral

Dungeons & Dragons Zatra