Author Topic: Hastur the sagacious (player Q&A)  (Read 8066 times)

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Hastur the sagacious (player Q&A)
« on: September 29, 2009, 01:07:00 PM »
The wizened phizog of Hastur the sagacious belies the perspicacious, erudite and expansive knowledge he is able to discourse in loquacious manner on all subjects.

(this thread is for player questions on any subject and for the ocasional resource post as they are available)
« Last Edit: February 01, 2012, 03:24:34 PM by 50 »

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Re: Hastur the sagacious (player Q&A)
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2009, 03:03:25 PM »
With assiduous colleagues to ameliorate his deferential prose, Hastur will impart the imperative rudiments pertaining Uma

(Here's some background stuff about the setting for my players to have a look at and get thinking about characters, be warned before you click - 11 page PDF.)

Oh and to save people searching the rest of the site here's the NosterPyrax Gazzette as well.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2012, 11:06:59 AM by 50 »

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Re: Hastur the sagacious (player Q&A)
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2009, 08:03:13 PM »
...As he continues to talk about the people and places of Uma, Hastur uses a long cane to point at areas of the huge map painted on the wall behind him.

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Re: Hastur the sagacious (player Q&A)
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2009, 09:09:43 PM »
Hastur, that is a huge map.
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Re: Hastur the sagacious (player Q&A)
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2009, 03:37:12 PM »
What of the Gods Hastur?
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Re: Hastur the sagacious (player Q&A)
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2009, 08:27:57 AM »
Ah... now a fascinating subject you bring up.
 
The gods of Uma are many and varied and each of her peoples consider their truth to be correct, whilst I could discuss any of these theologies in more intricate detail for now I will describe each of them simply:

Battari:
These people take their name from their fiery god Battar, they are aggressively monotheistic and religion figures an almost all aspects of their lives.

There is only one God, and the sun is its Avatar… The desert is the forge of Battar, where the Chosen (the Battari) are shaped into his holy army… All must acknowledge the power of Battar, for when the world is united in its devotion, God will bring paradise to the world…

Dromal:
This ancient empire rid itself long-ago of the notion of unknowable gods, now an atheist people they instead they embrace a complex philosophy; the belief that the universe is made up of many finely-balanced forces known collectively as planar energies.

They believe the future can be divined by watching the interactions of these cosmic forces, which manifest through a variety of omens such as astrological and weather changes, and the behaviour of daemons. A group known as Planologists act as ‘priests’ of this philosophy - divining, counselling, and the like.

Uru:
These peoples have a particularly interesting opinion on the gods, they believe that in the beginning of time “savage gods” walked the earth causing ground quakes and tidal waves and thunder. When man finally came to exist he had to hide away from these terrible deities until they eventually became bored of the world and flew up to the sky.

The first women of the world flew up into the sky and tricked the gods into eating drugged fruit and thus to slumber. They then returned and taught the Uru the songs that would keep dreams in the minds of the sleeping gods and distract them from the world (though to the rest of us I’m sure these ‘songs’ sound more like wailing and screaming). 

Raphaelia:
The Raphaelians believe in the divinity of the twin Gods, Vertex - god of life and magic, and Soltaire - god of the sea, and also in a small number of spirits and godlings imported from foreign parts, such as Href and Thrain (originally Whitelandish gods), who are revered as the first humans to be created (the pair are mainly worshipped by the common folk, and aren’t popular in the cities).

More recently Raphael the Founder has been deified by the church as the god of geomancy.

Yura:
Earthpower is the overwhelming and dominant force throughout Yerwian society and they believe that magic stems from the power of the Goddess Yura, the Earth Mother. The Goddess has three aspects (or “daughters”) called Mabend (“birth”), Denab (“life”), and Fjavd (“death”).

They do not visualise her as a human, or some larger-than-life goddess, but the Living world itself – bountiful and sometimes seemingly cruel, but always essential for the cycle of life and death. They say Yura is not uncaring however, and constantly tries to teach mankind the secrets of prosperity. She speaks most clearly through her druids, but anyone can hear her wisdom if they are prepared to listen.

Whitelands:
The Whitelanders venerate a large pantheon of gods who they consider to be part of the same unruly family. These deities are depicted as giant humans with superhuman powers, but very human weaknesses.

Although they often interfere with mortals, they do not generally regard them with benevolence. In turn the Whitelanders themselves regard their deities in a very matter of fact way. The gods simply exist, and mankind is best to keep out of their way. They do call upon the gods, to smite their enemies, watch over them and their kin, etc, but do not extend this worship to anything resembling an organised religion.

Dummonii:
Ahh... the ten thousand gods of the forest folk, where to begin…
Religion in Dummonii is centred around a huge family of Gods and Goddesses, Lady Dummonii is the “High God” of the pantheon and the rest are arrayed into a ‘tribes’ of similar deities under a father/mother deity that rules them.

Each God governs something; A type of object, place, emotion, or circumstances. The broader the category, the more powerful the God or Goddess.  For example: Landerthall, Cheiftan of the Gods of Weather, is more powerful than his daughter Jasmen; Goddess of Storms, who in turn rules over her son and daughter, Salas and Zir, the Gods of Lightning. Local Gods and heroes watch over individual places or groups, such as a glade, waterfall, or local family.

Pelosia:
The Pelosians are another monotheistic people, they believe God is an unknowable, omnipotent, and truly universal force, unnameable and incomprehensible to mortal man. Only through the Codex (Pelo’s own words) and Coda (the Church’s log of acceptable interpretations) can his teachings be understood.

God is the creator and maintainer of the fabric of the universe, and the one who tamed Chaos to bring forth balance and with it, life… Once upon a time, the world was a garden, but mankind squandered their paradise through sin and consorting with daemons... A man was born who had an understanding of gods plan and divine guidance which allowed him to save humanity from destruction and lay the foundations of salvation.. that man was Pelo the Redeemer.

NosterPryax:
Here in the burning city you will find all the beliefs above represented somewhere. But we Pryaxians ourselves tend towards contemplation of the Alla-Pyrax and the Twin Powers of The Eternal Flame, Alla-Matt and Alla-Xull. Representing positive and negative principles (more complicated than mere good and evil), these ‘gods’ of the Alla sprang whole from the Eternal Flame and their spirit can be found burning in the heart of all men.


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Re: Hastur the sagacious (player Q&A)
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2009, 12:12:38 PM »
..."What of the local Umbruc?" you ask, well let me see...

They name themselves after Lethean (leth-ayn), the smaller moon of Uma - a quiet, pale orb, which is often not visible during the day, unlike her sister Mahjebe (ma-harbe).
Lethean’s cycle is only 48 days long (known as a Lune), and her influence is over the subtle, the quiet, and the secretive; she effects the whims of madmen, the bodies of kymaera, and those who plot for good or wicked ends alike.

Their territory covers the area between the Barge-pier and Forge Spills, including most of Mill Street and Copperdrop Canard ...here let me show you.

Their symbol is a crescent moon, though I have seen the Pyraxian letter L used as well.



As you would expect of a shadow cartel they are reserved on the subject of their membership and thus even Hastur's expansive knowledge is only sufficient to identify a few of them:

Alsune:Vinco (head of the Umbruc) by all accounts she has an easy manner but iron resolve.
Solange:Secus She is an Uriel and apparently a gifted healer.
Thegrin:Secus The son of a Zamite tribesman and a Whitelander.
Melis:Terto A heroine of the invasion repulsion, and exceptionally skilled archer.
Skafe:Quarti A rising star amongst the Umbruc, but some say he is a little too happy to talk openly about his cartel.

..."Where can I find them?" you enquire...

Well I would advise caution in attracting the attention of any shadow guild, but if you are determined then I believe they can be contacted at ‘The Silver Skrite’ a low quality tavern just off Candlewick lane. Ask the landlord Edes, or Nennia his daughter, they should be able to help

Anyway the night draws close and I have said all I dare, Hastur hopes he doesn’t need to avoid the little moons shadow for speaking out of turn…


« Last Edit: July 28, 2010, 10:34:08 PM by 50 »

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Re: Hastur the sagacious (player Q&A)
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2009, 03:34:09 PM »
...the organisation of the Umbruc itself?

Well Hastur is still unsure as to if this is an apposite subject for him to expand upon, but Hastur has a duty to edify so will explicate, albeit in constraint.

The Umbruc is arranged in a strict hierarchy of ranks, and like the government of our city they are a meritocracy usually with only a limited amount of individuals occupying each tier.

At the top of the organisation is the Vinco, the head and director of the whole cartel. Like all the other tiers it is a position occupied on merit, but it is quite unusual for a serving Vinco to be replaced in their lifetime and when it does happen it is usually the result of a bloody power struggle within the Umbruc rather than from voluntary abdication.

Just below the Vinco are the Secus, usually these people are the organisers and arrangers of the day to day undertakings of the cartel. Depending on the size of the Umbruc there may be up to a dozen individuals of this rank.
Each of them will be in charge of a different area of activity from protection schemes and guard duties to prostitution, gambling and robbery.

Every member of the Umbruc is nominally the responsibility of one of the Secus.
That does not mean that they will necessarily always deal with that particular Secus (as in fact they will report to whichever Secus is in charge of their current area of activity) but that that Secus is responsible for approving allocation and activity, and will be in charge of discipline and rewards.
Often termed in familial phrasing the “children’s” accomplishments reflect on their “parent” Secus and can often be the deciding factor when choosing a new Vinco.

Below this are the Terto, active members of the cartel who most often act as group leaders, planners, spies and instructors as well as in the more sedentary roles such as fence or record-keepers, there are often many members of the Umbruc who have risen to this level and in a large cartel they may number in scores.

Next in pecking order is the Quarti, the foot soldiers of the Umbruc, they make up the majority of the membership. They have many of the same duties as the Terto but are generally of a lesser ability and rarely left to organise their own activities, instead being placed where they are most able to provide some benefit.

Technically there is one more sub-rank in the shadow guild, the Probit – these are usually the new recruits who have yet to be confirmed as trustworthy and capable, and in these instances they will not yet have been assigned to a Secus.
Rarely an existing Umbruc member may be demoted temporarily to Probit either because of some major failure or because a question-mark hangs over the individuals loyalty for some reason.

..Hishh, did you hear something outside? I thought I saw a shadow move across the street...

..Hastur begins to feel unwell and must leave for his bed, come again in the morning if you have more questions (and if Hastur is still in continuance)…

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Re: Hastur the sagacious (player Q&A)
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2009, 12:13:02 PM »
…the creatures you see walking alongside the Merchant?

Ah... Well Hastur would suggest a common enough sight in most lands excepting perhaps the deserts of Drom-Battar and Uruwei.

In Pyraxian it is named a Zolt

As the one you see, Zolts are small, slim, quadrupeds built for running and hunting.
Some variation is found across Uma depending on climate and environment, but for the most part they stand about 2½ feet tall at the shoulder and weigh around 75lbs.

Their bodies are covered in short smooth hair and they have a ridge of short flattened spines running from the nose to the start of the tail, which stand up when the creature is agitated.

Zolts are carnivorous and natural pack animals, displaying considerable skills of cooperation which allow them to hunt and kill prey significantly larger than themselves.

Sages believe they are distantly related to Vraag, but were domesticated long ago, and are now often found as guard and hunting animals or just companions to man.


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Re: Hastur the sagacious (player Q&A)
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2009, 02:09:06 PM »
Dearest Hastur,

Which areas of mighty Pelosia have desert borders and are there any noteworthy towns or cities on these borders?
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Re: Hastur the sagacious (player Q&A)
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2009, 10:36:23 PM »
Well my friend, Pelosia itself is blessed with a fairly warm but temperate climate, so nowhere on its own soil could be classed as true desert.

However the farthest southern towns of Bayview, Polis, Marinus and Pelosby do become dry and scorched in the summer months, when winter greenery gives way to dusty orange plains.
 
Still, even in the harshest years tough Yellowgrass clings on in tenacious clumps across the parched pampas and the hardy brown Lira tree survives clinging where it can to rocky outcrops. Not to forget the short twisted Fica bush, which produces the shrivelled fruits that so famously belie such a sweet taste.

The common folk from the three coastal towns survive mostly on the crop of Fica, the bounty of the sea, and good trading positions.
But above them, it is the inland town of Polis that is most prosperous - not quite big enough to become a city-state of its own right, it is as wealthy as many of them. It draws its fortune from its renowned Lira terraces, man made ledges cut high into the surrounding hills where row upon row of ancient trees are carefully tended so that their bitter black berries can be harvested and pulped to make the oil used so ubiquitously across all Uma that trades with Pelosia.

Of course Hastur has yet to refer ‘Pelosia in extremis’.

The theocracy has a few far flung colonies, settlements, and trading towns scattered far to the south across the gulf of Londis, among the baking and exotic isles of the Leonis Archepeligo.
Also, Hastur has been informed that Clovono IIX has recently loaned legion troops to the Dromish city of Al-Arista! Ostensibly as good will to further diplomatic relations between the two empires...
But Hastur would infer that the Grand Prelate would only risk exposure of his Legionnaires to that daemon-saturated place because he needs soldiers trained in true desert warfare.
Hastur thus further construes that mighty Pelosia has eyes on the almost unimaginably distant shores of strange Uruwei (now that a route has been found past Leonis by sea) and thus Raphaelia’s monopoly on the export of misery to those blasted shores may be soon to end.

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Re: Hastur the sagacious (player Q&A)
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2010, 03:26:23 PM »
...you have been speaking to a Zamatine and have been unable to understand some of his slang?

Well Hastur can surely comprehend why you might find it difficult to discern meaning from the clipped speech of our tribesmen citizens, but as to the words you couldn’t understand most are general Pyraxian slang... Hastur will divulge some insight:

Bruc      Shortened form of 'Umbruc'
Busy    Workers and tradesmen; possibly shortened from 'business' or referring to the physical act of industry
Cender   Daemons; derived from the belief that Daemons ascend and descend from the various Dæmon realms to Uma
Dumner   Dummonii folk living in NosterPyrax; usually refers specifically to the ‘partisans’ that engage in violent assaults against Pelosians within the city
Lowsun   Shortened form of 'Pelosian', intended as insulting
Nards   Shortened form of 'Canards'
Scourge   The Zamite name for the faceless Ulema.
Scuffer   Tremmalu; slightly insulting, comes from the sometimes perceived tolerance of the authorities to Tremmalu ‘scuffing’ out the bits of the cities charters they find inconvenient. 
Long swim   Slang term for being murdered, comes from the number of bodies found floating face down in the canards of a morning (e.g. shut yer mouth or yer fer the long swim)
Hacen   Pronounced Hay- (like straw) -sen (like send). Refers to pyraxians with a noticable amount of Daemon blood in their ancestory - from Ha(lf) Cen(der)
Karlee   Unskilled labourer; from the Raphaelian word 'Karjlie' meaning 'to haul'
Uman ..Not really slang and not to misconstrued as merely a dropped 'h', This is actually a Dromish term referring to a creature (man, animal or other) who's species is native to Uma rather than some other plane. In Pyraxian now though this is usually used to refer specifically to full blood humans born and native to the world of Uma (as opossed to Cenders or Hacen)
.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2013, 12:44:40 PM by 50 »

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Re: Hastur the sagacious (player Q&A)
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2010, 03:51:49 PM »
Hastur, what can you tell us of the Whitelandish pantheon?

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Re: Hastur the sagacious (player Q&A)
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2010, 11:18:35 AM »
Hastur, what can you tell me of the Dromish homeland?
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Re: Hastur the sagacious (player Q&A)
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2010, 01:18:14 PM »
Hastur, what can you tell us of the Whitelandish pantheon?

Hmm.. well as Hastur expounded earlier the Whitelanders venerate a large pantheon of gods who they consider to be part of the same unruly family. These deities are depicted as giant humans with superhuman powers, but very human weaknesses.

Although they often interfere with mortals, they do not generally regard them with benevolence. In turn the Whitelanders themselves regard their deities in a very matter of fact way. The gods simply exist, and mankind is best to keep out of their way. They do call upon the gods, to smite their enemies, watch over them and their kin, etc, but do not extend this worship to anything resembling an organised religion.

To detail in intricacy? ...then Hastur supposes whilst many minor gods and goddesses have sprung up in Mythlore all across the Whitelands, It is the legends of Orag their chief deity and his family that are central throughout the religion so Hastur will explicate on that.

It is also worthy to note as Hastur begins that usually each God possess dual personalities and powers, encompassing the positive and negative aspects of its nature and portfolio.

As to the Whitelanders view of the beginning of the Gods their myth is fairly simple, as Hastur knows it is as follows:

The world was once a desolate place of bare rock. One day, a fleet of ships arrives from the sky, each baring a God proudly on its prow.

Each God attempts lay his mark upon the world, but is apposed by his brothers. Mighty cataclysms shake the land until Orag rises to dominance, killing all his brothers. Ice covers the world.

The God is lonely. He crafts statues from the ice to amuse him, but they do not possess true life. A wandering God called Travwyn offers his service to Orag, pledging the secret of steel.

Orag and Travwyn argue, and then fight. Travwyn taunts him, and Orag becomes so angry that he sweats fire that melts the hall around them. As the steam rises, it takes the form of a woman, the Goddess Hrefna.

Orag cripples Travwyn and imprisons him to work the forges of his icy palace.

Orag and Hrefna become lovers. They bare five children: Thrain, Lorgan, Kraine, Angor, and Serna.

After a terrible argument, Hrefna departs to build her own Hall. The world thaws, time passes, the Gods marry and have children of their own…


So to elucidate Hastur will conclude with some detail on the specifics of the main deities:

Orag Tundraghavek Also known as the High King of the Gods; God of Ice and Steel, Patron of the Whitelandish Lords. He dwells in the far frozen north, spending his time brooding in a hall made from unmelting ice, called Isborgalf. He carved Whitelanders from blocks of ice, though his wife breathed life into them.

Orag is married to the Goddess Hrefna, although their relationship is intermittent and tempestuous. He epitomises the beauty but harsh and cruel cold of nature, the iron fist of leadership and despotism, and the law.

Hrefna of the Thaw Orag’s wife and Queen of the Gods, she is the sun that warms the frozen land, and patron of hearth and fire.  But she is also spiteful and vengeful on those she feels have wronged her, and is renowned for her curses. Hrefna warms Orag’s heart, but during their arguments frequently retreats to her own hall high in the sky, where it is so hot that any visitors without her protection would melt! This is called Klargetsvik, or ‘The Shining Hall’

A sensual and passionate deity, she is also credited with burning all the hair from humanity as an act of revenge. She works closely with her daughter, Serna. She was born from Orag’s fiery sweat as he battled Travwyn, and was already pregnant with the God Lorgan.

Travwyn of the Peaks The God of Stone, Smiths, and Metalworkers. A traveller, he came from a far off land and exchanged the secret of steel for Orag’s protection, so that metal is no longer under this God’s domain. But he was tricked by Orag, who struck the God in the knees and hobbled him, making him a slave in the forges of Isborgalf.

With the aid of Serna however, Travwyn escaped and fled to her halls, creating the magical metal of Grimstone to make up for his loss of steel. Orag was outraged by this, but the God pays him a levy of swords and axe-heads in the material to sooth his temper. He still fears that Orag has not forgiven him however, and when the Tundraghavek visits his daughter’s hall, Travwyn hides away in his smithy, a hollow mountain lined with lead and tarndown that Orag has never been able to locate.

Lorgan of the Waves Also known as Lord Bluebeard, the wild and unruly God of the sea. He makes many promises, but often breaks them, and his rages are terrible to behold. Once he raged and spat so much that his spittle has yet to cease falling down again (and thus was rain created).

Lorgan is the husband of Serna, and travels the oceans in a ship made from Ice, but often leaves them behind when he returns home (these are called skip-hossr, or icebergs). He has had many mistresses, many of which were transformed into Phoca when Serna petitioned her mother Hrefna for revenge against him. Despite this, he is filled with anger and suspicion about his wife’s fidelity (and frequently accuses Travwyn of being her lover). Thus no man is safe upon the seas.

When he was young, Lorgan sided most often with his mother, so one day Orag took his axe and struck him right down the middle. Hrefna healed both halves but could not put them back together. The other half became Orag’s younger son, Angor. He wisely sided with his father.
 
Eela of the Flows Lorgan’s daughter is the Goddess of Rivers and Freshwater. She is happy and free, taking many lovers including her uncle Thrain. She can grow jealous however, and drowns those who inspire it. Courting near rivers is strongly advised against!
 
Thrain of The Axe Orag’s boisterous son is the Patron of strength, warriors, and the common man, but he is also frequently stupid, stubborn, and reckless.

His many adventures are the stuff of Whitelandish folk tales. Of all the Gods, he is the one who notices and is helpful to mankind most often, although this ‘help’ often creates its own problems. He is the some-time friend and sometime enemy of Marnun.

Serna of the Winds Goddess of the magic and the Sky, and the most common source of Godverkes in the world, which she dispatches randomly as she leaps from cloud to cloud across the sky. She generally travels the world invisible, blessing and cursing based on the moment she sees.

Serna is the Goddess of weather and the sky, and lovers. She is the wife of Lorgan, although their relationship is filled with secret trysts. Serna’s temper creates terrible curses, an ability that she gave to all women long ago. Frietsis, her mountaintop ‘Hall of Freedom’ is her home, as well as that of her lover Travwyn.

Angor of the Snows When he was young, the God Lorgan sided most often with his mother, so one day Orag took his axe and struck him right down the middle. Hrefna healed both halves but could not put them back together. The other half became Orag’s younger son, the blind god Angor. He wisely sided with his father.
 
Angor is the God of snow, blizzards, and the night; but he is also the Lord of celebrations, merrymaking, and patron of the Godfest. The son of Orag and Hrefna, he is a reclusive God who prefers the amazing comforts of his Forbaustborg, the ‘Hall of Wonders’ but he also widely abroad each spring and summer, and those who encounter him at this time can earn great boons.

Wild Genla of the Claw God of all beasts that roam the land, he was once an Ursa that Serna transformed into a man at Marnun’s urging, in order to trick his sister Kraine, but Genla and Kraine fell in love. Their numerous children filled the world with beasts and plants, which some say was Marnun’s true aim.

Genla appears as a bestial, hairy brute, but can be kind and noble. Although savage, he serves Orag loyally and allows his children to be consumed by mankind, although he is allowed to eat a certain number of people each year to balance the scales. He and his wife dwell in a humble cave.

Kraine the Green Crowned Kraine is the Goddess of trees and plants, and wife of Genla. A quiet and serene goddess whose medicinal skills make her the healer of the Gods. She turns swiftly to poison if angered however.

Marnun of the Deeps Marnun is the God of Caves and Deep Places, including beneath the sea and the hidden heart that holds secrets. While all appreciate his cunning, few really like him for long.

The son of Lorgan is a twisted creature, but can assume more pleasing forms to trick his enemies (especially Thrain, who he always manages to persuade to be his friend after each trick). He is the lord of cunning and deceit, used for both good and ill. His thorpe is called hemmilghet, the Place of Secrets, and home to monsters created or lured into his service.
 
Ascerak, Grandfather Vraag The first, largest, and most savage Vraag ever to have lived, an ancient creature born of Genla and Kraine but wild, evil, and ravenous. Now serving Marnun, he acts as the Deep One’s guard, assassin, and emissary.