Messemprar

Size: City

Population: 10,000 (60% Human – Mulan, 40% Human – other), plus 20,000 slaves (85% Human – Mulan, 15% other humanoid), plus 5,000 transients at any one time increasing to 10,000 transients during summer)

Ruler: An-Unaki (Evil, Human – Mulan, Expert 7). An-Unaki is the titular Ul’Aen (High-Lord) of Messemprar but in reality in 1357 DR he controls only the Palace district of the city.

 

Overview

Messemprar is the second largest city in Unthalass, and at various time in Unther’s past it has been the largest city. Today it is the main route for all sea going trade coming into Unther; ships from Sultim and Bezantur arrive here frequently, it also has a sizeable portion of land based trade with caravans from Chessenta and Threskel passing through the northern gateway of Unther.

Messemprar is at present a city on the brink of collapse. The unpopularity of Gil-Geamesq’s rule is felt most keenly here where the people can see how those citizens from other lands fare when free of the Will of Gil-Geamesq. What they see is prosperity and freedom and they want it.

The slaves are in revolt, led by the most famous gladiator in Unther; Dama. The rebels have seized the Port District and are stopping all ships from Unthalass from docking here, they have also beaten back the resident masate of Messemprar and imprisoned the High Lord of Messemprar in the Summer Palace in the Royal District. Meanwhile a secretive order from Threskel; known as the Northern Wizards, are in secret control of the Gate District and are holding back the gurmasate of Unther.

 

Life and Society

Life in Messemprar is busy and chaotic, as caravans from Chessenta and ships from Thay and Mulhorand arrive to do trade with the rich noble houses of northern Unther. Lately a touch of danger has been added as the city is divided into districts each controlled by powerful groups that wish to secure their control over the entire city.

Palace District: The northern Palace District is controlled by Ul’Aen An-Unaki and the noble An’Ular houses of the city who reside there. This district is the least affected by the troubles in the city, the house masate keep order on the streets of this district and secure the city and district walls against the incursion of the rebellious slaves. Caravans from Chessenta and beyond still reach the Palace district with regularity depending upon which forces control the North Gate.

Gate District: This large district is overtly independent of the warring factions in Messemprar and is home to the vast majority of citizens of Messemprar. All the services one would expect in a normal city are still running in the Gate District (run by the An’Ulae houses on behalf of the nobility of the city), however the southern gate and the walls are controlled by the rebels that have taken over the Port district, and these are secretly bolstered by a secretive order of magic users known as the Northern Wizards.

Together the slaves and Northern Wizards have restricted access in and out of Messemprar from Unther so that no caravan traffic can leave (cutting off the noble’s trade with the rest of Unther) and no soldiers from Unther can enter to reinforce An-Unaki.

Port District: When the rebellion began it was in the Summer Arena, Dama and a number of gladiators fought their way out of the arena and released over 60 gladiators from their masters. The masate of Messemprar spent 2 months searching for the fugitives and fighting them in the streets of Messemprar before the gladiators attempted to seize a ship and flee to other lands. Unfortunately Gil-Geamesq had sent 4 of Unther’s best ships to reinforce Messemprar and they blockaded the port, ending the gladiators chance of escape.

In response Dama’s growing rebellion of gladiators and freed slaves seized the entire Port District and fortified it against entry from land and sea. The Port District has remained a chaotic battleground ever since, as Dama and his men lead raids into the Palace District and try to defend against similar raids from An-Unaki’s men. For most of the rebellion, Dama and his men have been in firm control of the southern gate, while control of the northern gate fluctuates between control of the slaves and the nobles almost daily.

 

Politics

Messemprar was, as the second greatest city in Unther, a hotbed of political intrigue. Now that there is a full scale rebellion in progress, political intrigue has only heightened as the nobility seek to gain favour with High Lord An-Unaki or replace him by ending the rebellion and delivering Dama’s head.

Who Really Rules: An-Unaki is the appointed ruler of Messemprar by the God-King Gil-Geamesq. Since the early months of 1357 DR however, An-Unaki’s control of Messemprar has dwindled as his typically brutal treatment of slaves has only inflamed the rebellion against his rule. At this moment in time An-Unaki is only in control of the Palace District.

Dama is the head of the rebellion, which he calls Free Unther, and controls the Port District of Messemprar.

Shu-Urlasq is the head of the Northern Wizards. This secretive order hails from Mordulkin and is dedicated to keeping the northern coast free and independent. The Northern Wizards are based in the Gate District and have agents well placed in a number of rich and prominent An’Ulae and An’Ular households so they are able to manipulate most politics in the Gate District and have influenced the An’Ulae lhouses into remaining independent of other factions. The Northern Wizards are also infiltrating Dama and the Free Unther movement and now have agents on his inner circle.

If anyone can be described as “ruling” Messemprar it is Shu-Urlasq and the Northern Wizards, although this hold is tenuous at best.

Nobility: Messemprar is home to a major presence of every An’Ular house in Unther, as the major trade gateway into Unther it is the primary place to buy and sell goods to merchants from other lands.

The largest noble houses in Messemprar are the Houses of Gil, Ish, Ram, Shu, An, and Teu. Each of these houses controls a large and opulent (often walled) estate within the Palace District which are guarded by their personal house masate. The nobles rarely leave the Palace District, and are much less likely to leave now that much of the rest of the city is in open rebellion.

Freeholders: There are hundreds of An’Ulae households in Messemprar (an indication of the strong historical presence of noble An’Ular houses in the city that have sired many bastard children with their slaves), this ever changing mix of families are responsible for running the vast majority of services within Messemprar (on behalf of the An’Ular houses, usually the ones they are related to).

The An’Ulae households were spread throughout the Gate and Port Districts (they were only allowed into the Palace District on invitation, and never allowed to live there), although today they are mostly concentrated inside the Gate District with only a few openly supporting the Free Unther movement and remaining in the Port District.

Slaves: Messemprar is home to a large concentration of slaves, many times greater than the free population of the city (not including foreigners). An-Unaki was particularly brutal in his treatment of the slaves of Messemprar, often sentencing randomly encountered slaves (never his own) to fight in the arena against impossible odds in mimicry of Gil-Geamesq’s punishments.

The slaves of Messemprar despise An-Unaki almost as much as Gil-Geamesq, so when Dama and the gladiators escaped from the arena they found innumerable hiding places among the slave population. Following Dama’s aborted escape from Messemprar and subsequent seizure of the harbour, the slaves in the Port District rose up in support of Dama and fought to secure the entire District.

Slaves from the Palace District and Gate District regularly attempt to escape and join the Free Unther movement (those in the Gate District are sometimes set loose by their freeholder masters) and there are 8,000 slaves currently aiding Dama with more arriving every day. Dama has sent runners out across Unther (although only a few have made it past the Esba’Tahar of the North) to spread the word that Messemprar means freedom to all slaves that make it to the city.

 

Defence

Messemprar is protected from without by 30 ft high granite walls with large towers and thick gates of solid bronze on the north and south wall. The walls are in surprisingly good condition compared to the rest of Unther, maintained by the nobility to ensure its outward appearance to foreign merchants coming to trade here.

The districts are separated inside the city by a low stone wall (6 ft) able to stand one man, with gaps where the districts meet (these gaps have now been barricaded using old caravans, wood and masonry debris).

There were 200 masate from the Esba’Tahar of the North stationed here permanently to protect the city and train new recruits for the army (It’s headquarters located in the Port District). However, all but 37 of these masate have been slain by Dama and his followers and the remaining (mostly officers) are stationed deep in the Palace District where they help coordinate the defence of An-Unaki and the Summer Palace.

Outside Messemprar are nearly 1,100 troops from the Esba’Tahar of the North that were dispatched by the Will of Gil-Geamesq to quell the rebellion in the city. They are besieging and blockading the city, preventing all movement south to and from Unther, but as yet they are unable to breach the walls of Messemprar and have suffered heavy casualties (300 masate are currently wounded to varying degrees, some fatally) in each of the three attempts made so far to storm the city walls.

Palace District: An-Unaki has commandeered all the house masate of the An’Ular houses in the Palace District to defend this region of the city from attacks by Dama and the slaves. He currently has 487 masate at his command, all of whom are well equipped and highly trained, often possessing steel armaments which are rare for soldiers in Unther.

Port District: Dama and the slaves number over 8,000, all of whom are prepared to fight and die for their freedom and the cause of Free Unther. However very few of the slaves have ever seen actual combat, many are poorly nourished and hampered by mutilations visited upon them by their masters, finally the equipment carried by these men is very poor and limited to what they can scavenge from those they slay. This means that at any one time there are likely less than 600 combat ready individuals spread across the Port District and the southern walls.

Despite these limitations, the slaves have proven to be highly efficient at defeating the masate of Unther, this is due to a solid core of 50 veteran gladiators that are specialised in fighting in close quarters and killing their opponents quickly.

 

Trade

Messemprar is the primary trade hub for those seeking to trade with foreign merchants (usually those from Chessenta, Mulhorand, and Thay), in the current century it is now a trade centre to rival Unthalass (which primarily dealt with trade within Unther and with caravans from the Shaar and more southerly lands) as food is now regularly imported from other lands with a sizable portion from Thay.

The nobility of Messemprar are more vigorous than their cousins in the capital and still maintain tight control over the markets of Messemprar to further enrich their pockets. They often employ freeholder families to act as agents between merchants but in the end the decision of buying and selling ultimately lies with the nobles.

Trade goods of all variety arrive from Mulhorand via ships that dock in Messemprar every week. Food barges and slave ships (to sell food and slaves and buy more slaves) from Thay are a regular sight as are smaller, “independent” ships that come bearing curios and artefacts dug up from battlefields in Thay (some are even magical and many are of ancient Untheric origin). Chessentan caravans bring in goods from nations all around the Sea of Fallen Stars to trade for Untheric craft goods that are increasingly popular in Westgate and Cormyr. Gladiator troupes and mercenary companies also visit Messemprar regularly to sell their services.

 

Magic

Messemprar is home to the largest concentration of magic users in Unther outside of the secret headquarters of the Enclave.

The Summer Palace is in part a large temple to Gil-Geamesq that boasts at least 10 magic users of middling ability (up to 5th level) who are all ensi of the God-King.

The noble An’Ular houses of Messemprar usually hire a magic user of some skill (although at least 2 of the house wizards are con artists that make use of herb lore, gem lore and a magic item or two to impress their employers while employing spies and agents of their own to accomplish tasks via more mundane methods), or have sent promising family members to study under magic users and are now skilled in their own right.

Finally Messemprar is home to the powerful and secretive order of magic users known as the Northern Wizards. This order is some 30 members strong led by Shu-Urlasq, who is arguably the most powerful magic user in Unther (E-Simud of the Enclave being unknown to any outside that order).

 

Religion

Messemprar used to be home to as many temples as Unthalass (although that was over a millennia ago). As Gil-Geamesq persecuted and destroyed the rival godkings and their religions that displeased him and his mounting paranoia, the temples of these godkings were torn down or repurposed.

Today there is only one legal, active temple in Messemprar and that is the Summer Palace of the Heroic Victor, dedicated to Gil-Geamesq. The temples of Ram-Manu and Ish-Tarri in the city both suffered seemingly random acts of sabotage during the last 2 decades that rendered the temples unusable and they have not been rebuilt since.

There are numerous shrines to Gil-Geamesq, Ram-Manu, and Ish-Tarri throughout all districts of the city, although only the shrines of Ish-Tarri are manned (the ensi of Gil-Geamesq only pass by their shrines to make sure people are paying their required respects, otherwise they remain firmly in the Palace District with the nobility).

Beneath the city of Messemprar, lies a strong presence of the Cult of the Queen of Chaos. These followers of TiaMa’at are working to inflame and support the rebellious slaves in the city, helping slaves escape to the Port District and sabotaging the efforts of An-Unaki and his masate to quell the revolt.

As the northern gateway of Unther, Messemprar is the most cosmopolitan of its cities (although at best it can be considered unfriendly to foreigners). A variety of churches from the rest of Faerun have long sent their preachers to this city under the guide of visiting merchants. Before the riots these preachers attempted their conversion in secret, but with the decline in the authority of Unther in the city following Dama’s rebellion, many of these foreign preachers are acting openly in the Gate and Port Districts, taking advantage of the chaos.

The Church of Ish-Tarri: The Church of Ish-Tarri once had a grand temple in the Palace District of Messemprar, however, the Ford of the River collapsed suddenly in 1353 DR killing all ensi inside. The Church of Ish-Tarri now has a much smaller but more active presence in Messemprar hidden in the Port District in a temple known affectionately as “The Soiled Pearl” which assists the Free Unther movement in administering to their wounded.

The Church of the Sky Father: The church of Gil-Geamesq has seen its influence decline significantly in the city since Dama seized the Port District. The ensi of this church are virtually trapped inside the Palace District, even if they leave under armed guard they usually never return. The An’Ular of the Palace District still perform their daily visitations to the Summer Palace of the Heroic Victor and make the required sacrifices to the God-King, but even their obedience is beginning to waver as An-Unaki’s position looks increasingly precarious with each passing day.

The Cult of the Queen of Chaos: This cult is very strong and very active within Messemprar. The birthplace of the cult, it has always had a large following within the underclass (slaves) of the city, but now that the slaves have seized the Port District almost every slave is trying to join the cult and escape their servitude to freedom, even some of the An’Ulae households are voluntarily freeing their slaves to try and topple the current regime and in the hope they will be remembered if the revolutionaries win (and during the reprisals that will follow against their former masters).

The True Church of Bane: This church of Bane is centred on Mourktar, with a small but growing presence in Chesenta. The True Church of Bane has long desired to expand into Unther but has always been hampered by the totalitarian regime of Gil-Geamesq. Now that there is a chance Gil-Geamesq’s rule may not be eternal, this religion of Bane is seeking to aggressively expand the faith of Bane during the chaos and in the potential new country that will follow. Travelling priests are actively converting as many to the faith of Bane by showing what a strong and lawful  society would look like with a codified set of laws and appropriate punishments for crimes (rather than the chaotic whims of a mad tyrant, or the chaos of anarchy).

 

Important NPCs

An-Unaki (Evil, Human – Mulan, Expert 7): An-Unaki is the reigning Ul’Aen (High Lord) of Messemprar, and like most of the High Lords of Unther he spends his days in Unthalass at court with the God-King. Since the problems with the Free Unther movement, An-Unaki has been forced to return to Messemprar to deal with it personally and swiftly. An-Unaki is an accomplished schemer and well trained in the art of torture, he practises both on his enemies at every opportunity.

Ass-Hurat (Good, Human – Mulan, Magic User 8): Ass-Hurat is a quiet and unassuming wizard with a great empathy for other people. She carefully considers all angles before reaching any conclusion and has thus far concluded that unless an extraordinary event takes place, their mission is doomed to failure. Ass-Hurat is thus far deeply unpopular among the other Thrones of the Northern Wizards and so is considering entering into negotiations herself with the authorities of Unther.

Avid char Solmeszk “2nd Elevation Magus” (Evil, Rakshasa, Magic User 4): Avid is a trader from Durpar who arrived in Messemprar over a year ago with a caravan full of precious spices and proceeded to buy real estate and influence in the Gate District and then set up his own trading coster. Avid has inflamed anti Gil-Geamesq attitudes among the traders of Messemprar, claiming his father was slain by the God-King and his birthright stolen. Avid has restrained the merchants from siding with the Free Unther movement for now, hoping to use his allies and influence for greater things, such as entry to the Northern Wizards.

Borsipa (Evil, Human – Mulan, Magic User 2): Borsipa is a slave girl with some magical talent. Originally part of the Free Unther movement, she has been inducted into the Northern Wizards as a Familiar (on the suggestion of Dama), but in reality she is an informant for An-Unaki and the forces of Unther.

Dama (Neutral, Human – Mulan, Warrior 7): Dama is an old gladiator, over 40 years old by his reckoning, who has been fighting in the pits since he was 14. An escaped slave from Dalath, he ended up fighting in the arena of Messemprar for over a year before he finally escaped from the fighting pits and founded the rebellious Free Unther movement. Dama may have only been in Unther for a few years of his life, but he despises its nobility and its ruler. He will do what he can to put and end to Gil-Geamesq and his cruelty but he secretly feels his rebellion is doomed.

Ish-Chana (Neutral, Human – Mulan, Expert 3): Ish-Chana is the last survivor of the former temple of Ish-Tarri in Messemprar (known as the Ford of the River) which collapsed suddenly 5 years ago. Ish-Chana has spent years hiding among the slaves of Messemprar and has now established a makeshift temple amid the Port District controlled by the Free Unther movement.

Kal-Azum (Neutral, Human – Mulan, Magic User 2): Kal-Azum is a young and idealistic wizard from the small town of Ungreth in Threskel. He travelled to Messemprar upon hearing of its rebellion and tried to join Dama and his Free Unther movement, instead he was recruited by the Northern Wizards and now performs minor jobs for them while he continues to learn about magic. Kal-Azum wishes to see the land of his ancestors free of Gil-Geamesq’s tyranny and longs to perform some heroic act to help achieve this dream, although he is not above performing less than heroic acts (larceny, assault, etc) if needed.

Nin-Imrud (Neutral, Human – Mulan, Magic User 8): Nin-Imrud is one of the Thrones of the Northern Wizards, he is idealistic and principled and firmly believes that Gil-Geamesq must be stopped for Messemprar to survive. Nin-Imrud is becoming jaded and pessimistic at the slow and secret progress the Northern Wizards are making so far.

Ruduk (Evil, Human – Mulan, Magic User 6): Ruduk is one of the Red Wizards of Thay, he is in service to Lauzoril; the Zulkir of Enchantment, and has been tasked with destabilising Unther so that Thay might profit from a new government that is more well disposed towards the Thayans. Ruduk has infiltrated the Free Unther movement and is trying to infiltrate the Northern Wizards through Dama. By using his Thayan connections to “discover” information leading to wealth, weaponry, and information that would aid either ally he improves his standing amongst them and helps the ultimate goal of Lauzoril by keeping Messemprar free of Unther.

Shu-Larse (Good, Human – Mulan, Magic User 9): Shu-Larse is the confidante and friend of Shu-Urlasq, one of the Thrones of the Northern Wizards, and although he does not know for sure of the true mission of the Northern Wizards he has made an educated guess (correctly). Shu-Larse will always back Shu-Urlasq’s vote in a meeting of the Inner Circle, but is happy to confront his friend privately if a mistake has been made (and has caused Shu-Urlasq to change his mind on at least 2 occasions.

Shu-Urlasq (Good, Human – Mulan, Magic User 13): Shu-Urlasq is the leading member of the Northern Wizards in Messemprar. He is a trusting man that believes in his friends and allies, but he is no fool. Shu-Urlasq is dedicated to fulfilling the mission Hercubes Jedea entrusted him with, to free Messemprar from the rule of Gil-Geamesq and create a city state to counter the rising threat of the True Church of Bane in Mourktar.

 

Important Sites

The Dark Cellars: Like all cities of Unther, there are no sewers beneath the city (nightsoil is simply buried in the dirt and covered lightly with soil where it is baked hard by the heat of the sun), nor do the people of Unther bury their dead beneath the ground (nobles are buried in ornate ziggurat tombs while freeholders are burned and slaves are fed to livestock). However, beneath the city of Messemprar is a vast network of connected cellars that are home to many who wish to remain lost.

Large and important buildings (like temples, noble estates, barracks, etc) often have storage cellars and secret hideaways beneath them. As buildings are knocked down and new buildings constructed atop them, the ancient cellars remain. Messemprar was sacked 3 centuries ago during the founding of Chessenta when Tchazzar himself led his armies into Unther and demanded tribute and recognition of his title as Emperor of the Mulan people. As a result of the usual rebuilding and the sacking of Messemprar, there are vast warrens of disconnected chambers a hundred feet below the city that nefarious or desperate people have found and connected via tunnels.

The Dark Cellars are the home of a large cell of the Cult of the Queen of Chaos, many gangs of escaped slaves (and people descended from escaped slaves), carnivorous lizards the size of a lion with vestigial wings, and many other strange creatures that have found their way into the cellars and become trapped.

The Ebony Tomb: This “tomb” is little more than a cavern dug into the earth with a huge stone bier erected at its centre. Carvings of images depicting death and destruction are etched into the surface (featuring the dark skinned Turami in various stages of death and decay). It is unknown who or what is buried in the tomb, but it has been the home of the Cult of the Dragon, on and off, for some 300 years.

The cultists here serve Alasklerbanbastos; the Great Bone Wyrm, and have spent many centuries trying to create new draconic lifeforms (that breed and develop faster, but with intelligence enough to obey its masters). Success has been limited, and the scaly afflictions of some escapees have given rise to rumours of plague in the city above numerous times.

Cult activity has increased since 1317 DR, when the Dragon Plague mutated many sufferers into strange reptilian beasts. The cultists expended much effort in securing as many of these plague victims as possible and have been experimenting upon them ever since, their most successful hybrid is blue skinned and humanoid in shape, possessing exceptional strength and aggression, they have termed it “the godslayer”.

The Lady’s Earth: This small series of chambers and cellars is located inside the Port District beneath the cellars of an abandoned warehouse near the dividing wall between the Port and Palace Districts. The warehouse itself has a fell reputation as being haunted by the previous slave inhabitants who disappeared to a man some 70 years ago. Those who bed beneath its roof often disappear or run screaming into the night from some half seen terror.

The Lady’s Earth was previously involved in smuggling items and people of value out of the city (and on to Niz’Jaree), since the rebellion it has switched its focus to supporting the Free Unther movement by helping to smuggle slaves out of the Palace District to swell the ranks in the Port District, and to provide an independent strike force that attacks the masate of Unther as the opportunity arises.

The Soiled Pearl: This temple to Ish-Tarri is hidden in the cellars of a long abandoned and ruined An’Ulae warehouse. The temple serves as a makeshift hospital to the warriors of the Free Unther movement (who helped build it), and has room for 200 injured if needed.

The temple is attended by 7 very inexperienced ensi of Ish-Tarri, led by Ish-Chana, the only survivor of the collapsed of the Ford of the River (and herself an inexperienced priest). The ensi of this temple are much more militant in their resistance of Gil-Geamesq’s rule and have actively sided with a rebellion against the godking, but their very existence is a secret from the rest of Unther (for now)

The Gate District: This district has long been the business heart of Messemprar, where visiting merchants would stay, and where a vibrant service industry has grown seeing to the needs of those merchants. The An’Ulae houses lived in this region, with modest houses and business premises and the occasional slave to clean and cook for them.

Following Dama’s rebellion, the Gate District is home to those An’Ulae displaced from the Port District, and any visitors that have become trapped in the city. Ship trade has all but ceased, and visiting caravans from Chessenta are dependent upon who controls the North Gate. The refugees are running out of money, the inns are full, new coin is running out and the strain on the local economy and people is starting to show with crime and homelessness on the increase.

The Chimaera’s Head: Part of the Grey Chimaera chain of inns owned by Esh-Nin-T Jehokim, this inn rarely has a vacant room (thanks to the Northern Wizards renting the entire upper floor under the names of various An’Ular household representatives). It is a busy inn and tavern, with moderate fare and prices, although many residents are now beginning to pay with credit, using valuables as collateral.

The Palace District: The home of the An’Ular house of Messemprar, and the location of the Summer Palace; former home of Gil-Geamesq. This district is luxurious and opulent, with trees on every street corner with masate guarding beneath their shady boughs, the streets are meticulously cleaned by slaves, and the buildings shine in a variety of striated rocks. Signs that nearly half the city is in revolt rarely reach this district.

The Ford of the River: This former temple of Ish-Tarri was ruined spectacularly when the building suddenly collapsed one night in 1353 DR, supposedly killing all inside. The temple was never rebuilt and no search of the rubble (for survivors) or cleanup operation was ever attempted, leaving a mass of broken stone on the outskirts of this district. Masate of the Palace District keep a watchful eye on the ruins to make sure no-one disturbs the ruin, but slaves in this district are slowly excavating the ruins from beneath using adjoining cellars.

The Summer Palace of the Heroic Victor: This palace was constructed for Gil-Geamesq, his household, and the government of Unther following the Great Flood of Unthalass in 108 DR. The building was originally a temple to Gil-Geamesq and was greatly expanded to almost 5 times its original size.

The Summer Palace is a gigantic courtyard style mansion typical for Unther with a series of connected rooms that form a square shape with an empty quad in the centre. At the centre of this quad is the four story ziggurat that was the original temple of Gil-Geamesq. The royal chambers are located at the top of this ziggurat and are now home to the Ul’Aen of Messemprar. Other levels of the ziggurat are home to the senior priests of Gil-Geamesq, while the outer buildings are given over to local government functions. The whole building is constructed of white marble and at one time was decorated almost as grand as the Ziggurat of Eternal Victory in Unthalass.

There are rumoured to be many levels of cellar beneath the Summer Palace where Gil-Geamesq stored some of his more prized possessions (and victims), many whisper that An-Unaki is using these cellars to exact his own personal revenge (torture) on those Free Unther sympathisers that are captured.

The Victor’s Pride: Named in mockery of the God-King of Unther, this headquarters of Cult of the Queen of Chaos operates out of the cellars of the Summer Palace of the Heroic Victor. The entry to the cell headquarters is in an unadorned room with an unusual floor mosaic that if viewed in a mirror resembles a dragon curled up.

The slaves of the Summer Palace have excavated a series of tunnels that secretly link with the cellars of most An’Ular houses in Messemprar and as far as the dividing wall with the Port District. Through these tunnels they are able to steal away prized items and smuggle slaves out of the estates and into the Port District where they are picked up by a different cell (no personal contact is ever made between the two cells) and used in aiding the rebellion or smuggled out of the city.

There are cult sympathisers from this cell within every An’Ular household in the city.

 

Important Organisations

The Cult of the Dragon: Hidden in the deepest, darkest parts of the Deep Cellars is a cell dedicated to spreading the rule of undead dragons across the world, in particular one undead dragon the Great Bone Wyrm Alasklerbanbastos. The cultists in Messemprar are hidden inside a great tomb to some long forgotten being of significance to the Turami who dwelt here long millennia ago, here they experiment with other dragon forms that they unleash upon the masate of Unther to test their new experiments.

The Cult of the Queen of Chaos: The cult has a strong presence in Messemprar with two cells operating independently in the city. One is based in the Palace District, right under the nose of An-Unaki, while the other is based in the Dark Cellars beneath the city.

The cult cells in Messemprar have separate aims; one is tasked with aiding the rebellion of the Free Unther movement, while the other is to gather resources (including recruits and sympathisers).

The Free Unther Movement: This army of escaped slaves and gladiators is dedicated to overthrowing Gil-Geamesq and his rule of Unther. It has existed for less than a year, and only has a presence in Messemprar, but its influence is potentially much greater. If word reaches the rest of Unther about this movement then slave rebellions may spread and since Unther has a much larger population of slaves than citizens, the consequences could be revolutionary.

The Northern Wizards: A new organization in Unther, using the moniker of an ancient military order of wizards. The Northern Wizards seeks to gain independence for Messemprar and are secretly supporting the Free Unther movement as part of this plan. They have agents in many An’Ular households in the city and a number of foreign visitors (who are now trapped in the city) as part of their membership. They operate in secret out of the Chimaera’s Head inn.

The Red Wizards of Thay: The Red Wizards of Thay have only a small presence in Messemprar, limited to a single agent known as Ruduk. The Red Wizards may have a small impact, but their plans are ambitious and Ruduk has been given the task of destabilising Unther by any means that do not reveal Thayan involvement.

The True Church of Bane: This church of Bane (there are several churches that serve this fractured religion) has spread into the city of Messemprar from Mourktar in the last few decades as King Theris ages and his rule of Mourktar fails and the True Church of Bane becomes increasingly bold and expansionist once more. The visiting priests of Bane are sought out by the law abiding to solve disputes using a codified set of laws and appropriate punishments, showing that life under Mourktar’s rule is better than the chaos of rebellion or the Will of Gil-Geamesq.

 

Important Items

Lash of the Death Dance: This item is a two tongued whip with a large and wicked claw at the end of each lash. The whip itself is made from animal hide and is unexceptional in craftsmanship except for the two claws at the end which come from the Ash Dragon of Unther and were enchanted by Ass-Uraqn.

The Lash when brandished will attack any creature in front of the wielder independent of any action he performs. The claws whip backward and forward stripping layers of flesh from the victim until he ceases to struggle. While brandished the whip may perform 3 Attack Actions; whenever an opponent takes an action, as Immediate Actions that do not reduce the wielder’s number of Immediate Actions, nor do they apply the usual penalties to the wielder for performing Immediate Actions.

Enhancement Level: +3

Slot: Weapon

Magical Properties: Attacking (x3); Uses (Permanent); Activation (Use Activated); Range, 2 squares; Cost, 204,000 gp

 

Local Lore

The Flying Corps: Murals from millennia ago depict the godking Amar-Du’uk leading soldier into battle on the back of winged, feathery creatures with elongated toothy maws. The An-Esba’Tahar (Sky Legion) was slowly disbanded during the First Empire sometime after the dragons in Unther were all slain (or went into hiding or fled), but remnants of their existence can still be seen in Messemprar.

The towers along the walls of Messemprar are still known as the aviary towers, and they all have a large flat platform at the top which locals say were for flying creatures to land on. There are whispers of petrified eggs the size of a human head found in the cellars beneath the Aviary Towers. Occasionally the skeleton of large winged creatures will be excavated during building works in Messemprar and there are whispers of winged monsters preying upon the homeless during warm summer nights.

What few realise is that the winged creatures of the Esba’Tahar of the North still reside in Messemprar but in the Dark Cellars beneath the city. There are reptilian creatures the size of lions living in the tunnels and cellars beneath the city, these predatory creatures are descended from the same mounts used by the flying forces of Unther in ages past and related to the tuura of Threskel (descended from the Untheric word for flying lizard; tuul).

 

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