Song of Sadness
“A hollow, overly formal greeting.
An explanation. A request. A promise.
A shimmer, a flicker of movement in the corner of your eye.
The heavy thud of hooves. The almost musical sound of bones rattling.
A mocking hoot from that intolerable owl.
These are the ways in which The Ghost-Caller is encountered.”
An excerpt from A Fools Errand: Preparing to confront a Wizard on Thaele Duskwalker.
A plague mask, a red dragon scale robe, an animated skull staff.
A smallish rune inscribed blue stained leather pouch attached to his belt.
Dark reddish black boots, the color of dried blood, made from Fire Slug hide.
A ritual book, with leather covers, the spine of which appears to be a literal spine, hangs from his right side, hanging from his belt by a bit of chain.
Lemadia of the Highest Tower, Cleric of Ioun, fell in love with one Thelendril Duskwalker, a silversmith who, while not of Noble birth, was so skilled at the craft, he ended up in noble circles. The two of them married, lived in moderate wealth, and had a child.
That child would one day be thought of as a Scourge, bringer of blight, but first, he was a child.
Thaele Duskwalker grew up with comfort. He had no siblings, and took more after his mother than his father. He studied meticulously, and for much of his life, intended to become a cleric to Ioun like his mother.
At 90 years old, Thaele met a beauty, a human woman named Selriana.
Lust, love, a tryst, marriage.
10 years together, and then, tragedy-
Thaele doesnt remember what happened. The day, the week is gone.
Her body, blood, the mess of it. The smell of it, those he remembers.
Thaele tells of the plague, of how a third of his village was wiped out.
The Clerics of Ioun could not heal anyone, and could not revive her.
Thaele spent so much of his parents’ wealth in his attempts that they eventually had to cut him off. They grieved for the loss of their daughter in law, and the loss of their son. Thaele was changed by the experience, and though they’ve made attempts to know him, it was like talking to a stranger.
After his funds were cut off, Thaele became almost comatose in his grief. He would stare into space for hours or days, barely ate.
Then, one day, he realized- there are others who have command over death.
The Undying Hand, the least trusted and least populous of the Arcane Coalition.
They saw death as just another obstacle to be overcome.
Thale became the apprentice of Trogdor the Ever Burning, a Necromancer with little reputation outside of the Undying Hand, who had somehow managed to cast himself alight with an unending flame. Few students wanted to work with him, as his flesh was in a fairly regular state of melting off and regrowing, but Thaele saw it as an opportunity to get more direct attention than is normal.
Once Thaele was ready, he set out on his own. To prove his worth to the Undying Hand, Thaele set to work on the creation of a unique magic item. Commonly referred to as his Bag of Ghosts, more respectfully referred to as the Soul Bag or Soul Pouch, it is based on the soul bags used by hags, but with alterations made.
When a tooth, bone shard, bit of flesh, etc of a recently slain creature is held near the Bag for enough time, it traps the Animus of the slain creature.
It was remarkable in that it contained no trace of the soul, the part of a creature that makes up the self, it was only the spiritual energy that animated them.
The Bag of Ghosts earned him a proper spot in the Undying Hand, and there, he has flourished like few others within the order.
The creation of the Bag took a toll: Thaeles skin because a nearly translucent shade of pale blue, drained all the color from his hair. Other effects are unknown. Thaele has kept the exact nature of the ritual used to create the bag a well guarded secret, having memorized it rather than written it down somewhere.