The C'thai'ran Cycle
Foul Mouthed Tiefling Cultist
For as long as she can remember, Lily has been kicked around by the Red Wizards of Thay. Her master, Jilas Thul, never once told her where she was from, or how she had come to be in his service. Indeed, he really talked to her at all, apart from thrashing her occasionally, and forcing her to assist him in his rituals. Thul was somewhat of an outcast, and his area of research was considered extreme even by other members of the xenophobic guild. Nevertheless his experimentations continued, shifting gradually from ever more ambitious demonic summonings, which Lily often played an integral part in as her innate resistance to flame was often necessary, to more mysterious conjurations. Towards the end of her slavery, Thul would beat Lily relentlessly, talking incessantly about the truth among the stars, and the Old Ones that lay in the spaces between them; strange, amorphous things that had been lost and forgotten about for longer than he could say. However, his inability to summon one of these creatures was a constant source of frustration to him.
Eventually, however, the breakthrough. Some years ago, Thul had purchased a book from a travelling tradesperson, so old that merely opening it had to be attempted with great caution as the pages were falling apart with age, and the spine of the book was badly scorched. The trader claimed that it had been bought from a Githzerai trader, who had herself obtained it from another unknowable source. For years Thul had tried to decipher the ancient text and failed, but one night, he was met with sudden unexpected success. Frantically, Thul roused Lily with the crack of a chain across her back and forced her down to the summoning chamber. Lily could tell immediately that this time was different from the failures of the past, as soon as Thul began chanting the dread passages, an evil wind swept through the chamber knocking over arcane instruments, felling bookcases, knocking books to the floor. Then, suddenly, darkness. Lily looked up and found that even her eyesight, normally keen even in pitch darkness, could see nothing. However she could sense an enourmous presence filling the summoning circle, and had a sense of movement, as though thousands of colossal tentacles were writhing ponderously through the dusty air. She could hear Thul excitedly gibbering questions to the thing in the same ancient language. Then there was a pause, and then the thing replied in a voice so loud that the very foundations of the tower shook, and yet Thul’s tortured scream was clearly audible above the noise. Lily tried to stand but as she did so, she felt her head touch something slimy, yet oddly insubstantial. Shuddering, she sank back down to the floor and closed her eyes.
When she opened them again, the room had returned to normal. Whatever Thul had summoned had gone, and taken him with it, as there was no longer any sign of him, or the thing, just some scuff marks on the floor and a heavy silence. Lily inched over and picked up the dread book. The front cover only had a few readable letters remaining, what appeared to be part of the title “NEC…” and part of the author’s name “Ab…hazr…”. Opening it to find a host of alien letters that seemed to writhe under her gaze, squirming away from her even as she tried to read them. Lily snapped the book shut and gathered her scant possessions together. This thing had touched her, left it’s mark on her, she could feel it even though it had left no physical trace, and she would not rest until she had found what it was, and what it wanted. Quickly, she escaped the now vacant tower and smuggled herself out of Thay, determined to find the answers she needed.
Since then Lily has travelled the length and breadth of Faerun, consorting with cultists of the most depraved, despicable nature in the hopes of finding out anything about the fiendish book, but has been met with failure after failure. Still, she has not given up, indeed she finds that she CANNOT give up, and so whenever there are rumors of odd supernatural occurences or extraplanar events, Lily is always one of the first on the scene, book in hand.