High Priestess Chironsa, the undisputed ruler of Umru Zashrah, was almost always in a foul mood. Today she was in an even more tempestuous state of mind. One of the highest-ranking matriarchs of the House of Khenvra’Borga had gone missing from her exiled location in the backwater settlement of Dhesabro. Chironsa suspected that her disappearance was somehow orchestrated by the meddlesome surface dwellers who had managed to slip through the trap that Chironsa had set in order to exact her own revenge for them imprisoning her sister Charon, the former High Priestess of Umru Zashrah. A lot had gone wrong in the last couple of days and now Chironsa wanted answers. Nothing her minions and spies had reported had given her the satisfaction she sought, and so she turned now to consult her god.
Deep in the interior of the ziggurat that sat in the center of the grand metropolis of Umru Zashrah was a small sacred room with an altar and a life-sized statue of a goat-man hybrid with the tail of a dragon. Making sure the chamber was sealed to prevent any intrusion into her dark and sinister rites, Chironsa began the chant and lit the ceremonial incense. Soon the room was filled with the heavy fragrance of the incense. Kneeling before the statue, Chironsa continued chanting and bowed down with her arms extended towards the altar.
Her voice was bold, and yet restrained in reverence. “Hear the pleas of your humble slave, great Stalker of Shadows! Father of Deceit and Devourer of Souls, command your loyal minion as to what I should do! Avenge my anger! Sate my appetite for the blood of my enemies!”
The jeweled eyes of the statue began to glow a deep red color, and a low hiss began to fill the room as if mingling with the hazy cloud of smoke. Chironsa kept her face down, her forehead touching the cold stone floor. She knew better than to look up when her god was manifesting in this unholy place.
The voice didn’t seem to come from the statue, but instead seemed to emanate from every corner of the chamber. It was masculine but with a sort of feminine inflection that suggested an ambiguity that was neither reassuring nor comforting. “I have heard your pain, Chironsa. Your wrath will be unleashed for my glory. Send an army to Dhesabro and retrieve all that reside there. Bring them in chains to my ziggurat, and upon my dark altar sacrifice them all. There is only one that you are to spare, and that is Qehedru the Pale, for I have other plans for this wretched priestess. All others are to perish upon my altar! Gather their blood and in the cauldron of the fiends pour it and let it sit for three cycles of the clock in the heart of Umru Zashrah. Upon the passage of this time, you and your priesthood will drink of the blood and then follow my commands. Only by obedience will you have your revenge upon the surface folk.”
The High Priestess remained in her kneeling position and replied without looking up, “How will we be avenged, Dark Lord?”
The disembodied voice chuckled with a deeply disturbing rumble and said, “I have seen the weakness in your enemy. They have one glaring fault that you will take advantage of in order to lure them back into the underdark. They will react savagely, and with reckless foolishness. You will strike at their most vulnerable point and draw them to you that they might be destroyed.”
“What is this weakness, Master of all Forbidden Lore?” cried out Chironsa, her impatience growing with her anticipation.
The voice replied in a terrifying hiss, “Their children. You will strike at their children.” The laughter of the voice echoed off of the chamber walls, and Chironsa felt a shudder of fear wash over her.