After traveling with the party for a good length of time, Cuthalion was killed at the hands of bugbears while exploring the ruined Yuan Ti city. A year later the party was hired by Lolinder, Cuthalion’s father, to retrieve his body for resurrection. Having handled Tharizdun’s relic, an item the party had recovered from cultists, a piece of the Dark God’s insanity was resurrected with Cuthalion (also raised after handling the relic were Grishma and Katuso). It seemed that by handling Tharizdun’s relic, meant to imbue a host with the dark gods avatar, their souls became intertwined with the avatar’s. The longer that the person remained dead the more affected they seemed to be. Grishma, dead the shortest length of time, became “lost”, oblivious to the needs of others and began a strange quest for the blue pebble. Katsuo became cruel towards those he called friend and student. His rage seemed to be focused on his student Jinjiro. Cuthalion, no longer with the party and dead for over a year, was feared to be the most affected.
Cuthalion’s madness has led him to murder his father and countless others. He has been pursing the party to steal the small bit of Tharizdun’s essence that was carried by Grisham and Katsuo. He successfully captured Grishma and performed a ritual to wrench the evil from Grishma and add it to his own. With the death of Katsuo he now seeks to find a piece of Katsuo’s remains with which he can resurrect the warblade and complete Tharizdun’s avatar.
Since being resurrected as Tharizdun’s avatar, Cuthalion has taken great pleasure in tormenting his former companions, often placing them in precarious positions that force them to choose between two evils. For your reading pleasure I present to you some of his finer moments:
- Cuthalion murdered his father, Lolinder, and carries his head in a dirty burlap sack so that they can always be “close to one another.”
- After capturing Grishma and absorbing the Half-Giant’s fragment of Tharizdun Cuthalion wanted to play a game with the favored soul. Namely he wanted to see “how much pain a true believer like yourself can endure before Kord chooses to show his greatness.” Grishma managed to escape but even healing magic couldn’t repair all of the wounds that were inflicted.
- After the party hid the then still living Katsuo, Cuthalion drugged Joselin and took him somewhere private to have a little talk. When Joselin awoke there was a burlap sack over his head (Lolinder’s rotting head within as well) and he was in a secluded party of the city. Cuthalion removed the bag and was lying on top of Joselin. Cuthalion prattled on about wanting to be friends with Joselin and how he wanted Joselin to know what it was like to not be “whole.” All the while groping the paladin’s body and grabbing at his face. Then Cuthalion violently snatched Joselin’s face and drug his filthy dagger down it leaving a hideous wound. Before releasing him Cuthalion said that “people will die, everyday, if Katsuo isn’t turned over to him.” From this point forward Cuthalion began to number his victims (at 19 by last count but that was nearly a year ago). Joscelyn tried to have the wound healed and scar removed but Cuthalion murdered the priestess who performed the service and held a family hostage if Joscelyn didn’t replace the wound by his own hand. In a rage, Joscelyn dug a dagger into his face and threw it aside.
- Cuthalion frequently enjoys using his “incite riot” ability while in crowded streets or buildings. This is especially true when the party is near.
- Cuthalion followed the party to Musasir in the hopes of capturing Katsuo. Musasir had been completely overrun by a hive of “demonic” beasts who battled the Children of Zugtmoy for control of the city. While there, Cuthalion formed a “friendship”, as he liked to put it, with the Hive Queen of the colony. In exchange for his assistance against the Children of Zugtmoy the Hive Queen promised to help capture Katsuo. While the party searched for survivors the following exchange took place:
After slaying the hive demon that almost made off with Katsuo one of the inner courtyard doors to the Oasis opens a crack and you can see a human hand waving you over. “Quickly!” the voice says in an excited voice. “Get inside, more will come. More always come!” The party shuffles its way through the door where you see four dirty humans. “I am Aiden,” a tall, probably Merethilian, male says. “This is Ahenna,” he points to a young Hirkonan woman keeping watch through a spyglass. “Blanks,” He points to a man who sits and seems to just stare at the floor and rarely blinks. “we call him Blanks because since we found him he hasn’t said a word and all he seems to do is have this blank stare on his face. Lastly, we have Majirra.” As he points to a small, probably 10 year old Ohtaran/Hirkonan mixed girl crouching next to Blanks. “Welcome to our latest burrow, as they go by. The beasts have a knack for sniffing people out so we have to move regularly. I must say that we are relieved to find survivors. Especially well armed ones! It must be a week since we saw anyone else and they were being drug away by the beasts. How have you survived this long? You don’t look too worse for the wear. Where have you been hiding?” Just then Ahenna interrupts, “Aiden! you have to take a look at this!” He runs over to the spyglass “what is the fool doing?!” Rushing to his side you have a look through the spyglass. There you see Cuthalion in the outer courtyard dancing with a corpse. The desiccated corpse seemingly dancing along elegantly as if through some magical means. “Joselin my friend, wont you join the party?” Cuthalion says with a grin. With that, Cuthalion takes his dancing partner and sits next to the Oasis’ large fountain and waits.
With a sigh of resolve, Joscelyn says, “Bar the door behind me. Whatever you do, don’t let Katsuo come out. No matter what happens, keep Katsuo away from Cuthalion.” With that he cautiously walks out the door, sword in hand. His eyes are scanning the area for more hive demons, but he does not take his sight off Cuthalion for more than a second here and there. He approaches within a few paces of the fountain. “Why did you call me out here?”
You see Cuthalion, sitting with the arm of the corpse slung over his shoulder. Stench from the corpse permeates the air as you approach. “Why so serious?” Cuthalion says in a playful voice. “We are friends are we not? You wouldn’t have invited me to play your game if we weren’t.” Cuthalion releases the corpse allowing it to flop to the ground. “now granted i took a few liberties. Cut a few corners but that shouldn’t concern two elder statesmen such as us now should it?” Cuthalion slaps his hands on his knees and stands. His clothes are still unkempt but he has taken to pulling his long greasy hair back exposing his pale blood stained face. “Oh by the by I love what you have done with your face. It makes us that much closer doesn’t it?” Cuthalion starts shaking his finger at the barred door to the Oasis “The rest of them, they don’t get it but you…”his voice drops to a low scratchy level “ooohhhh…you get it don’t you.” As he stares you can see the corners of his lips curling to form a devilish smile. “You and I…we could have so much fun together…change the world. Do you really think I want to end it all? I have no interest in bringing HIM back! What fun would there be in that? No no no no…” shaking his finger he approaches you. “Come, lets talk about Katsuo.” he tries to put his arm around you.
Joselin shrugs Cuthalion’s arm off his shoulder.”I don’t know that I can be your friend Cuthalion. I set forth the rules to my game and you cheated right away. Now does a friend cheat? If I can’t trust you to abide by a few simple rules, how can I trust what you are telling me now? How can I trust you with Katsuo?”
Cuthalion gives a little chuckle as you push his arm away. “Me cheat? No No No…” Cuthalion said looking at you from the corner of his eye. “You are not the only one who gets to make rules for our game. I waited, over a year I waited for you to return and I am not waiting anymore!” his voice dropping to an unnaturally deep level. “Give me Katsuo and then we can begin.” Cuthalion’s lighthearted voice returns as he continues “We are on the verge of a great evolution. You can fight this change but it will come regardless of what you do. I can already sense it in you. A growing darkness…can you smell it?” Cuthalion clenches his fists, rolls back his eyes and takes a deep breath “Its absolutely intoxicating! Embrace it Joselin! Take it, make it yours, join me and we shall ride this wave of change and shape it to our will. Give me Katsuo!”
“You know I can’t do that. You know I won’t do that. So now what? Will you kill me where I stand. I have no doubt you probably can, but I will not submit to you. Sune turns her back on you and I shall follow her.”
“No I wont kill you! You are too much fun! But….” Without taking his eyes off you Cuthalion points behind him with a serious expression of his face “These little critters are absolutely ravenous.” Looking past Cuthalion you see that perched on the rooftops and peering around corners are dozens of hive demons and infected gaunts. “I had an interesting conversation with their mother. If you do not want to be my friend she most certainly does.” Cuthalion begins to walk slowly in a large circle looking at the ground. “I was hoping it wouldn’t come to this…it shouldn’t have to come to this! You know I used to think it was Katsuo who was my best friend. But everyday that passes I feel closer to you. I feel that spark inside of you growing. That desire to” Cuthalion throws his arms in the air and clenches his fists “CUT LOOSE and do the things that Sune tells you not to. The finer sensibilities do not suite men like you and me. We are men of action and we both will do whatever it takes to see the job through. We are alike you and I. We should be able to work this out. Come now…give me Katsuo. Save the life of that little girl..whats her name? Majirra? Give me Katsuo and you can take the rest and leave.” Cuthalion is now staring directly at you expressionless. His head is down but his gaze is upon you as he waits for your response.
Joselin’s stomach turns as Cuthalion speaks. He knows he should fight for the greater good. That he might have to let more people die to prevent the great evil within Cuthalion have it’s way. He fears that some of what the sickening elf says may even be true. The horrid, self-inflicted scar on his face. The lives that he has led to their death. Can Sune even still look upon him. The anger that consumes him, even at this moment. How he wishes to simply cut down Cuthalion and even Katsuo for having the evil inside him. “Do you really think that you can keep HIM at bay Cuthalion? He has already changed you dramatically. What makes you think you can hold back a god?”
Cuthalion chuckles, “Keep him at bay? He is already imprisoned and HE needs ME to free him!” his voice lowering to unnatural levels. “it will never happen! I wont allow it! Join with me Joselin and there will be such a reckoning! Imagine bringing our power to bare upon those who oppose you! That fool Drubal thinks he can manipulate you and simply walk away. Give me Katsuo and we shall show him the true meaning of power. The pathetic fool pining away for a love lost. Even Sune knows that you should not love any one thing too much which is why you are to find love and beauty in all things. Is this not so? Give me Katsuo and we can put an end to Drubal. End his wars…” You find that Cuthalion has moved very close to you only looking at him now the once pale blood stained face is now fair and clean.
Joselin pushes Cuthalion. “Away from me. Do not be such a fool as to think your foul conjurations will seduce me. Nor will I allow you to twist Sune’s words in such a way. You have destroyed so much that is beautiful for the sake of your ‘game’. I will destroy Katsuo myself long before I will hand him over to you. And send that which is in him into nothingness.”
“pity we couldn’t come together but it matters not because i will have my prize. And as for you, I promise you will live to see it.” with that Cuthlaion lifts his hand to his shoulder and with a flicking motion points to the Oasis. An explosion of activity erupts around you as you can hear the howl of countless infected and the hiss of the demons. A virtual avalanche of beasts begin to descend upon the hotel as a grinning Cuthalion walks backwards out of the courtyard eying you the entire way. “By the way, they know to leave Majirra for me.” Cuthalion finishes with a cackle……
Joselin runs back toward the building in hopes to protect those within. “Get Majirra and Katsuo away now. Protect them both at all costs.” With one last thought he adds. “Do what must be done to keep Cuthalion from getting his hands on Katsuo.”
- Later after Jinjiro assassinates Katsuo, sending his corrupted soul to the Abyss, the party learns that Malchenthet had come into possession of Katsuo’s soul and was enamored with the twisted piece of Tharizdun that was attached to him. Hoping that Katsuo would be sufficiently out of Cuthalion’s reach in the hands of a powerful demon the party traveled to the 9 Hells in hopes of finding a way to rescue the trapped soul of Hans Drubal and end Ravage’s hold on his body. After arriving in Hell the party found Cuthalion waiting for them:
Unkempt and with an odor that would challenge even Sveta, Cuthalion came down the stairs with a little spring in his step. “My friends! It has taken ages to find you!” he said with a stained toothy smile. Cuthalion moved about the room rambling as the stunned party looked on. Finally, after a lengthy speech about friendship and the many games he enjoyed to play he asked the question that the group knew was coming, “Where is Katsuo’s soul? Which demon lord was holding it?” Everyone knew that if Cuthalion recovered the soul and united with the evil within it that it would spell doom for everyone and everything. Joselin finally broke the silence, “we have nothing to say to you.” Cuthalion nervously began to fidget as his eyes darted around the room. Several of the party could feel his attempts to pry at their minds but they stood fast. “Friends do not treat one another this way Joselin,” he finally said. Joselin looked around at the faces of his comrades. Each of them knew that Cuthalion was more than a match for them. His eyes coming back to Cuthalion, Joselin replied, “Your actions are not that of a friend and I do not consider you such.” Cuthalions famous smile returned as he waved his thin finger at Joselin, “You see! Do you see! Only a friend could be that brutally honest!”
Cuthalion moved to the side of the front window and leaned forward to look out. The cries of many humans mixed with the guttural barks of the infernal tongue could be heard outside. “I have arranged a little game for us. The duke ruling over this area considers all mortals within Darkspine to be criminals and I have assisted in the capture of a few of the nastier rebels.” Sveta sprang to the window to see about two dozen women and children being herded to a wall that faced the front of the Pig n’ Poke. Six massive armored devils led by an Erinyes and bearded devil were driving the mortals into a tight group. “Tell me where I can find Katsuo or witness infernal law being carried out.”
Durge looked at Sveta, “This can’t be allowed to happen!” Cuthalion, leaning next to the window with his arms folded smiled and waited for your response. Raudrogdos, Sveta, and Joselin walked outside just as a massive armored devil grabbed a young boy from the group of “rebels.” Cuthalion followed as the rest of the moved behind. The only noise that could be heard was the cries of the children that had been captured and the wind that was blowing up the street.
Sveta whirled around and delivered a flurry of punches and kicks to Cuthalion who was sent reeling but began to laugh uncontrollably at the attack. Devils charged forward, some meeting Joselin and Raudrogdos, while others attended to more grisly matters. The Erinyes ordered the bearded devil away for help and took flight while she loosed arrows into Orek and Omar. Each of the party members were pressed to their limits trading massive blows with the devils while Jia and Grishma kept the party standing. After the last of the armored devils fell the Erinyes teleported away.
Joselin knew it wouldn’t be long before more devils returned and got the prisoners ready to go. Giving them what food the party had left he told them to flee, knowing full well that they had little chance of surviving for long. As the prisoners readied to leave Raudrogdos turned to Joselin, “This is where we part ways my friend. You and I both know they have no chance alone and I can’t allow that to happen. I hope me meet again.” With that, the giant who had struggled for as long as you knew him with finding his purpose became the guardian of the free people of Darkspine and left the party.
By this time Cuthalion and Sumaki had taken a seat inside the Pig n’ Poke. Joselin quickly realized that Omar was sitting and speaking with them. To make matters worse, Cuthalion was giving Omar a couple of items as Joselin approached. “What are you doing Omar?” Joselin asked. To which Omar replied, “Hey man, I’m getting out of here.” Cuthalion, Sumaki, and Omar rose from the table and headed for the door. Joselin blocked the door and raised his sword to Omar. “What did you tell him?” By this time the rest of the party had gathered around the front door. Omar, nervously put his hands up, “Hey man, I don’t want any trouble. I just want to go home.” Joselin firmly stood his ground, “What did you tell him?” Omar backed up still holding his hands up, “I didn’t tell him anything. He is taking me home.” Cuthalion quickly cast an improved invisibility on Omar, telepathically telling him to hide upstairs until he dealt with Joselin. Instead, Omar moved away from Cuthalion and fired an arrow into Cuthalion’s side. Joselin and the rest of the party engaged Cuthalion but he only seemed to become even more amused by your attacks.
What happened next changed everything. Cuthalion dismissed Omar’s invisibility and dominated the weak willed rogue. “Who is holding Katsuo’s soul?” Cuthalion said in an unnaturally deep voice. Omar blankly replied, “Malchenthet.” Cuthalion smiled, grabbed Sumaki, and vanished.
This was the last encounter with Cuthalion…so far
A wizened old woman sits on a crate repairing fishing nets. She doesn’t even look up as you pass by, but her aged voice caws out to you clear enough.
“If that blasted Lolinder Seastar doesn’t run all the other net and ropemakers out of business, I’ll be able to make a decent living for a few more years,” she states simply as she weaves the net back together. “They say his nets never break. Don’t know if it’s true, but I’ve never had one of his brought to me for repair.”
She smiles to herself, “They are a fine quality. I’ll give him that. And he’s a fine looking man, even though he is one of them bloody elves. At least I thought so when I was a little girl, and he hasn’t changed much. At least not on the outside.”
“Still…… I reckon my grandchildren won’t have to worry about that boy of his taking up the same trade. He’s a scoundrel that one. Nice enough I suppose, but he’s got the look of trouble about him. A bit too charming, if you get my meaning. Mind you, his da was a different sort of man when he first came to Freeport. At least that’s the way they tell it.”
She raises her eyes to you for the first time since she started speaking. “Sit down and I’ll do my best to tell the tale as best I know it.”
Many’s a man who might ask why an elf would leave his home in Tenraishima to come to Freeport. But Lolinder Seastar came bold as can be. He brought with him his pretty wife. Gilraen she was called. Slender she was, but for the bump of that boy, Cuthalion, in her belly.
Lolinder was a seafarer and an adventurer. I’ve heard tell that there was a time he was considered one of the fiercest pirates on the sea. He was first mate on one of Drak’s vessels. There are some that believe he’s the one that opened up Drak’s eyes toward the end of those glorious days. But I get ahead of myself.
Anyway, Lolinder was a pirate. A damned good one. Despite him being an elf (which may be why he was never made a captain) he was well liked and trusted. Some say he had a bit o’ magic about him, but folks say a lot of things.
Lolinder would go off a pirating and Gilraen would take care of the house. A few months after they first arrived Cuthalion was born. My gran was a young woman at the time. She says that Gilraen was a fine woman. More than one local learned that she had a knack for medicines. She would speak of their older son, Cormanthyr, who was a fine sailor like his father. She said that he had reached his manhood before they left the Elven Isle and desired to stay behind and be a part of their navy. She was very proud of him.
Time passed and they were prosperous and the boy grew. Then things changed. The time came that Drak led Francisco into that trap. Some folks round here didn’t take to kindly to the whole thing and more than a few thought that Lolinder was behind the whole thing.
Lolinder was away at sea and Gilraen was home alone. Where the boy was, no one knows. By this time he’d started messin’ with gambling on the docks with sailors and the lot. At any rate, a group of Franciscan loyalists, maybe 4 or 5, had been drinking and grumbling about the betrayal of their beloved Captain. Some got it into their head that they should get their revenge on that “pointy-eared bastard” what put the idea in Drak’s head.
They broke into the Seastar home. Lolinder, of course, was not home. However, Gilraen was. And in their drunken stupor, she was as good a victim as any. They say that you could hear her screaming from three streets away. It’s told that she was raped repeatedly and then butchered. No one knows why help didn’t come. It was a tense time in Freeport and I suppose there could be any number of reasons. None of them strike me as good ones.
Two days later Lolinder arrived home to find his wife murdered and his son hidden away by some Drak loyalists. It’s said that his mourning was very quiet, but that a light that had always been in his eyes was suddenly snuffed out, never to be seen again. He disappeared for two full days. When he returned, every man that had been responsible for the tragedy of the Seastar home was dead. No one ever saw anything and many believe that Drak’s influence kept things very quiet.
Lolinder never returned to sea again. He barely came out of his house for years and years. It’s said that his prosperity from piracy kept them fed for several decades before he finally came out and started his trade in ropes and nets. Even now you can watch him down by the docks at his trade. He sits, his eyes almost never leaving the water as his hands weave the most perfect bindings that you may ever see. His wares are lighter weight and stronger than any other I’ve ever seen. They cost a bit more, but most captains like the peace of mind knowing that they’ve got Seastar rigging on their ships.
Now as to that boy. Cuthalion has grown into a man by elf standards. He’s still a bit thin and frail, but he’s got an edge to him. Like a beautiful knife. Light and deadly. He’s been known to work with this gang or that as it pleases him. He’s a gambler and a talker, both of which usually work out for him. I’ve heard he’s even managed to pass himself off as a human when it suits him. His da doesn’t seem to pay much attention to the boy and it seems as though their home is simply a roof over Cuthalion’s head when he’s in need of one.
Lately, I hear tell he’s been hanging out at Doran’s Well. Some say he’s looking to start a career of adventuring as he’s become bored with Freeport. Other’s say he’s a bit too fascinated with that Selia who works with Doran. Either way, I’m sure he’s heading for trouble. Just has that look about him.