Aggah-Shan kept detailed notes on his magical research, hidden in the accounting ledgers of his businesses. When a special leaded ribbon bookmark is placed in one of these ledgers the pages turn "inside out", revealing this research. Though the journals are organized chronologically, the following outlines what can be learned from them in a more organized fashion. Each category contains two columns, one with in-game facts found in the journals and one with metagame commentary on those facts. (The campaign recap may shed more light on some of these references.)
Path to Lichdom
- While human, Aggah-Shan was a necromantic researcher in the land of Uraq.
- Originally, his research focussed on trying to understand the creation of the world.
- He started sliding into instability when he uncovered a hidden secret of the world: when creatures like demons or angels are summoned into this world, they never actually leave. Interviewing both demons and angels, he discovered that they can't leave. They are trapped here.
- He went a bit nuts when he uncovered the mechanism causing this: an uber god, Præmus, the Creator, constructed the entire world to be a prison.
- He became obsessed with finding out why Præmus did this and searched for decades, getting more senile as time went on. When magical means of extending his life to keep up the search began to fail, he became a lich in order to be immortal.
- Once a full lich, his thinking becomes a lot more clear, but it still takes him centuries to find the answer to his question.
- The entire world was created as a trap for a set of chaotic beings known as the Galchutt. Once lured to the world, the Galchutt found they could not leave. This really pissed them off, and they railed against their cage for quite a while.
- Præmus seems not to have cared that He sealed countless races of innocents in the prison with the Galchutt. This really pissed off Aggah-Shan, and colors everything he's done since.
|Uraq is a desert land, with a feel similar to ancient Egypt or Persia.
Neither you, nor anyone you know, has ever even heard of Præmus.
Most have not heard of the Galchutt, but you have. Raising them from sleep was the point of that ritual you stopped: the Night of Dissolution.
- The magic that keeps the world a prison is manifested as something called the Seven Chains. These chains are guarded by powerful angels on the Vallis moon.
- The point of the Night of Dissolution is thought to be that, once the Galchutt reawaken, they will break the Seven Chains and unlock the prison.
- Aggah-Shan has come to believe that this idea is nonsense. If the Galchutt could have broken the Seven Chains, they would have done it when they first arrived. Consequently, he views those obsessed with he Night of Dissolution as pawns and idiots.
- He was really stunned when the Valis moon reappeared, as he considered Wuntad to be a moron.
- Aggah-Shan really wants to kill Præmus.
- Aggah-Shan has come to believe (though, to an objective reader, his reasoning is a bit thin) that in order for the prison to be as strong as it is, it must be a part of Præmus. As such, if the world could be dominated by necromantic energy, the world (and, therefore, part of Præmus) would die.
- Only two beings have come close to dominating the world with necromantic energy: Eslathagos Malkith (the Dread One) and Ghul. While Aggah-Shan respects their power, however, he considers both of them fools, because they spent their efforts on military conquest. Still, while not rolemodels for how to use power, they certainly provide a good road map for acquiring it.
- The key to the Dread One's power was the book of inverted darkness, which Aggah-Shan has been trying to find.
- The key to Ghul's power was the entropy sphere, which Aggah-Shan has also been trying to find.
|The Vallis moon is the magical moon that briefly reappeared during the ritual you stopped.
Wuntad is the demon-like boss guy running the ritual you stopped.
You will recall that Eslathagos Malkith, before he became evil, created the Banewarrens.
Ghul is a kind of "mini-me" version of the Dread One, who claimed to be his son (though he wasn't). He was still a badass, though. Among other things, Ghul twisted elder and shoal elves into harrow elves.
The Book of Inverted Darkness
- The book of inverted darkness is responsible for corrupting the man who became Eslathagos Malkith (the Dread One).
- Aggah-Shan wants this book very badly, as he believes it was the key to the Dread One's power.
- Aggah-Shan sent a team into the Banewarrens to find the book. They failed.
- Since it was not in the Banewarrens, Aggah-Shan is fairly certain the book must therefore be in Jabel Shammar (see below).
|Almost everyone knows that the Book of Inverted Darkness corrupted the Dread One, but no one you've ever met has much to say about what it actually does.
The Entropy Sphere
- Though Ghul harnessed the power of the entropy sphere, it is unlikely he created it.
- Aggah-Shan wants the sphere badly. Not only is it powerful in its own right, Aggah-Shan is convinced it can be used to enter Jabel Shammar (see below).
- The sphere can be reached through Goth Gulgamel (see below).
- Access to the sphere is controlled by a powerful guardian, a sleeping thanatotic titan.
- Aggah-Shan discovered this titan is named Kadavalus, and was somehow pulled out of the Abyss by the Dread One, and bound to guard the sphere.
- Knowing how potent titans can be, Aggah-Shan sent minons in as probes. They discovered that saying his name wakes him, but he goes out of his way to destroy the person who wakes him before even recognizing the presence of anyone else there.
- In order to use the entropy sphere, Ghul must have come to some deal with Kadavalus, but Aggah-Shan has not figured out what that deal was. Knowing that titans sometimes crave worshippers, the lich sent envoys to offer creation of a cult to him, but they were all destroyed.
- Aggah-Shan's efforts have been somewhat hampered by the fact that Kadavalus seems to find the undead irritating.
|The Entropy Sphere is said to be the creation of the Dread One.
- Jabel Shammar was the fortress of Eslathagos Malkith (the Dread One).
- Aggah-Shan believes that using the banewarrens key and the entropy sphere, he can get inside.
- Aggah-Shan is convinced the book of inverted darkness rests within.
- Aggah-Shan uncovered rumors of a magic item (or items) called an orrery which predicted the orbits of some type of invisible objects orbiting Jabel Shammar. He found one of these items at one point, but couldn't find these objects. He lost the orrery not long after.
- Later rumors suggest that these objects are gates of some kind, but not into Jabel Shammar itself. Suppposedly, they only become visible to those wearing a set of magic items called an illitor.
|Everyone knows that Jabel Shammar rests at the very top of the spire that overlooks Ptolus. It is a thoroughly evil place, said to be impenetrable. Even flying too close to it is considered a bad idea.
- Goth Gulgamel was the fortress of Ghul (the Skull King).
- Aggah-Shan believes that the entropy sphere can be reached from here.
- Aggah-Shan has been inside Goth Gulgamel, which is not as impenetrable as rumors suggest.
- Goth Gulgamel is much larger inside that it looks from the outside. Aggah-Shan believes that once you pass through any of the main doors, you are actually inside an extra-dimensional space called the Utterdark.
- Other extra-dimensional spaces, such as bags of holding, cannot be accessed within Goth Gulgamel.
- It is not possible to teleport into or out of the Utterdark, though you may teleport within it. From the outside, only some key outdoor landings are reachable though teleportation or flight.
- When Ghul was defeated, an elven wizard named Khelaeson helped clean out Goth Gulgamel, severing many of its connections to the Utterdark. This cast whole sections of the fortress adrift in the Utterdark, lost forever. Certain corridors inside lead directly into the cold pitch blackness of the Utterdark.
- Khelaeson claimed that he lacked the ability to sever all the connections to the Utterdark. Aggah-Shan found some of Khelaeson's personal letters proving that this was a lie. He had the ability to do so but, had he used it, the entropy sphere would have been lost and Khelaeson wanted it for himself.
- In the same letters, Khelaeson admitted that he later discovered that one of the chambers he cut loose into the Utterdark likely contained the staff of the magi. Aggah-Shan assumes the chamber still exists, adrift in the Utterdark.
- A big fan of gambling and dice games, Aggah-Shan is fairly certain that the knucklebone of fickle fortune was possessed by Ghul and likely lost in the Utterdark as well.
- Aggah-Shan found one of the cards of the pandemonium deck in the remaining rooms of Goth Gulgamel. He suspects more cards may also be lost in the Utterdark.
- Most mentions of Goth Gulgamel are found in the most recent journal. It is clear that Aggah-Shan was spending a good deal of time there, some of it in the Utterdark itself.
- One of the rooms the lich discovered was a vault, containing lenses that allow him to see in the Utterdark, but blind him in any other light.
|Everyone knows that Goth Gulgamel rests half-way up the spire that overlooks Ptolus. It is a thoroughly evil place, said to be impenetrable.
When you were in the Banewarrens, you were inside the spire, and managed to get almost half way up.
At the height of Ghul's power, the Utterdark had been drawn into the real world and covered Ptolus and beyond for two centuries.
The name Khelaeson is revered even now in Ptolus as being instrumental to the defeat of Ghul.
The staff of the magi is a potent arcane artifact. You know that the Church of Lothian claimed they destroyed it during the inquisitions against arcane casters supporting the Edict of Deviltry.
The Dark Reliquary
- Aggah-Shan spent lots of effort researching the Dark Reliquary and its inhabitants.
- His research suggests that the Dark Reliquary is built over the site of an ancient temple where some of the Galchutt actually rest.
- While powerful demons reside in the building, security of the catacombs underneath it are comparatively lax.
- The angel Raguel leads the demons and devils (who call themselves "the Fallen"). After the Galchutt were trapped, Præmus made him ruler of Hell. Eventually he balked at this and, two hundred years ago, voluntarily entered this prison world to escape his duties, bringing many demons and devils with him.
- Raguel is thought to possess Parnaith’s mirrored sphere. Aggah-Shan doesn't know much about what this item does, but is certain it is connected to the entropy sphere in some way.
- Allied with the Fallen are "the Forsaken", a loose collection of people (mostly humans) with an unhealthy obsession with death and undeath.
|All Ptolus residents know to stay away from the Dark Reliquary in the Necropolis, as it is home to demons and devils.
You have heard some of the Knights of the Pale mention the Fallen, who the Knights do not trust at all.
Pretty much everyone in the city hates the Forsaken, considering them disgusting necrophiles, necrophages and necrophiliacs at worst or, at best, emo goths.
The Keepers of the Veil (the anti-undead group who contributed many of the fighters for your raid on the White House) absolutely cannot stand the Forsaken.
- Aggah-Shan discovered historical references to a banewarrens key, which was capable of passing the seals of the Banewarrens.
- Many decades later, he learned that the key was actually the severed hand of the Dread One.
- Recently, he discovered House Vladaam held the severed hand of the Dread One, though they apparently didn't know exactly what it was.
- Aggah-Shan sent a team to recover this key.
- The team was then sent into the Banewarrens with a primary objective of locating the book of inverted darkness. This failed.
- The team's secondary objectives were to recover three other items: the malady lock, the osseous redoubt and the remnant crown. They found all three.
|Most people (including Cassiadora) thought that the return of the Vallis moon is what caused the seals on the Banewarrens to fail. The journal makes it clear that Aggah-Shan entered even before that happened.
The team Aggah-Shan sent was the team you dispatched in the White House, led by that deathknight.
Aggah-Shan was wearing the remnant crown when you defeated him. The other items were nowhere to be found. Nor was the banewarrens key.
The Remnant Crown
- The remnant crown was placed in the Banewarrens, held inside the osseous redoubt.
- The crown is a potent magical item, capable of "branding" undead to gain control of them.
- The crown also enhances necromancy.
- Aggah-Shan was most interested in this item because it would allow him to control many more undead at once.
|You recovered this crown from Aggah-Shan's body.
The Malady Lock
- This malady lock was placed in the Banewarrens, connected to a normal box.
- The lock has the ability to contain a necromantic disease called the Malady.
- When infected with the Malady, a victim becomes nearly mindless, with a constant need to feed on the flesh of the living. Bites from such victims pass the disease to others.
- If the disease is locked up in a box by the malady lock, anyone who opens the box will release the disease in a necromantic burst and is almost certain to die.
- Aggah-Shan fooled an ambitious member of his team into opening the box, getting rid of a potential threat and unleashing the disease onto the world at the same time.
- Aggah-Shan went out of his way to infect members of the Balacazar crime syndicate (which he can't stand) with the Malady.
|You quickly recognize the Malady as the zombie infection that is raging through Ptolus.
The description of the lock is very thorough, with detailed drawings.
The Osseous Redoubt
- The osseous redoubt was placed in the Banewarrens without a true understanding of its capabilities.
- The true purpose of this box is to hide and enhance a lich's phylactery, making Aggah-Shan's interest in it obvious.
- If his phylactery is within the box when the lich dies, he regenerates in a matter of hours instead of days. Further his new body is enhanced in various ways.
|Reading this, you realize it is likely that Aggah-Shan may have already regenerated and may be more powerful. (On the other hand, loosing the remnant crown and some of his other magical items will weaken him.)
The Pandemonium Deck
- Mentions of the pandemonium deck are scattered throughout the journals.
- Over his long unlife, Aggah-Shan has located twenty of the cards of this deck, the most recent one in Goth Gulgamel.
- Several centuries ago, Aggah-Shan's body was destroyed by another group of adventurers while in possession of 14 of the cards, which were taken by the adventurers and have since been scattered.
- The six cards he has left are: Diplomat, Soldier, Rite, Waves, Watchman and Windfall.
|The decktet is a deck of 45 cards used by fortune tellers, similar to the tarot deck. Nearly all such decks are perfectly mundane, but have a reputation for strange power (again, similar to tarot cards). Unlike tarot cards, the decktet is also widely used for numerous games, most favored by gamblers.
- Aggah-Shan's phylactery is a platinum amulet, depicting a planet in three dimensions, being crushed by a seven-fingered hand.
- Though extremely well crafted, the phylactery is not, in itself, magical.
|You didn't find this object anywhere in Aggah-Shan's sanctum under the White House.
- Aggah-Shan has gone through a number of arcane bonds during his life and unlife. Some were made to replace those stolen, lost or destroyed, but some were intentional upgrades of earlier versions.
- Most recent versions have been amulets with a skull motif, enchanted to protect against spells and other effects.
- The journals make it pretty clear that Aggah-Shan stores a backup amulet with his phylactery, allowing a quick ritual to rebind to it once regenerated.
|Binding to an item like this is a choice all wizards can make. It provides benefits, but has drawbacks if lost.
You found the most recent arcane bond on Aggah-Shan's body (giving a +3 profane bonus to saving throws).
- The journals might be one of the largest libraries of information about chaositech in the world.
- Aggah-Shan clearly developed an large number of chaositech items.
- The full blueprints of the "Mrathrach Machine" fill a book. Its intent was to capture the randomness of the game Mrathrach in Aggah-Shan's casino, amplify and store the energy for later use.
- Aggah-Shan's most recent chaositech design was a set of strange, semi-organic chains, designed to feel around in the Utterdark and attach to what they find.
|You recognized designs of some the funky magical technology that has been grafted onto to the bodies of some of the people and creatures you have fought.
You recognize the multi-leveled machine as the one you destroyed.
- In his research into the Galchutt, Aggah-Shan discovered that when they first arrived, they tried to summon large numbers of demons; however, since it had been demonstrated that, once summoned, the demons couldn't leave, most demons refused this summoning. To bolster their forces, the Galchutt created a race of "earthbound" demons.
- These rhodintor were thought to have been exterminated long ago, but recently some of them have been seen.
- A few rhodintor made contact with chaos cults and, through them, Aggah-Shan. From them Aggah-Shan learned that hundreds of the creatures sleep in a sealed vault under Ptolus, along with a huge storehouse of chaositech items.
- Aggah-Shan allowed the rhodintor to work on his multi-level chaos machine with the understanding that, when the rhodintor got what they wanted out of it, they would reveal the location of the vault. Unfortunately for Aggah-Shan, some of the living smashed the machine and killed the rhodintor.
- In trying to find out where the vault was on his own, the lich discovered that the rhodintor currently active in Ptolus may have been accidentally awakened by the pathetic Forsaken, of all people.
- The rhodintor follow two "spiritual" paths. The Kraven focus on the body and physicality, while the Sarycal focus more on external arcane force.
|The rhodintor are the goat-headed demon-like creatures you have encountered several times, most recently during the fight in the White House. But you also killed a number of them on the chaos machine, as well as the one working with the Shuul team in the Banewarrens.
The rhodintor are not really demons, or even outsiders. In game terms, they are monstrous humanoids. By default, they are roughly on par with sixth- or seventh- level characters, but may add additional class levels (usually in sorcerer or fighter).
- Venom-shaped thralls are a by-product of chaositech, a process of Aggah-Shan's own discovery/invention.
- Aggah-Shan used the thralls to gain influence over the chaos cults. He gained a source of willing and unwilling subjects for chaositech experimentation, and the cults gained a weapon that would transform people that were in their way (or, really, anyone they didn't like) into strong, unquestioning soldiers to the cause.
- The original venom for the transformation comes from a tiny creature, the mutated result of Aggah-Shan's experimentation with chaotic energy. While existing venom-shaped thralls can infect others, the potency of the venom weakens with each generation.
- Recently, Aggah-Shan increased production of the thralls, particularly on large creatures (making them huge when transformed). The idea was to release them along with the malady, with the purpose of destroying barricades and other barriers separating the infected from healthy citizens.
|You will recall the venom-shaped thralls as the creatures that came out of those cocoons, most recently in the raid on Aggah-Shan's sanctum, also previously in that apartment building and on the chaos machine.
You recognize the drawing of the source of the venom as the creature in the cage, killed almost as an afterthought during the fight in the cocoon room. Along with the destruction of the cocoons there, the death of this creature effectively dooms the venom-shaped thralls to extinction.
- Aggah-Shan hated the chaos cultists, considering their clumsy, brash efforts not only useless, but actually dangerous because it raised the attentiveness of authorities.
- While pretending to be an ally, he succeeded in intentionally making nearly all of the cultists the first victims of the Malady.
|All of the chaos cults you have heard of (the Crimson Coil, the Tolling Bell, the Brothers of Venom, the Ebon Hand) have been basically wiped out, some by your efforts, but most because Aggah-Shan used them to spread the Malady.