The Gong Show
Blacktree seems to be the most obvious villain of the campaign so far. In Session 2, we were attacked by an aberration which we tracked back to his town home. In his town home we found a Residuum Bomb capable of destroying most of Sharn and our first fragment of The Prophecy written in old Riedran, along with some goons (which included a Dolgaunt).
In the investigation we learned the following interesting bits of data:
- Likes to be called “Lord” Blacktree, but no one knows if he is actually some kind of noble
- Is wealthy
- Beneficiary of the Kaluun Trust
- He had recently liquidated all of his property holdings in Sharn, except for a Kaluun Steelworks
- Hired a gang called The Tyrants to abduct and beat Ghnem for information about us
- The Tyrants also likely provided the muscle that was in his town home
- The prior resident of the town home was a “Magnus” Blacktree
We are assuming that “Magnus” Blacktree is the same guy as our “Lord” Blacktree and checked into that identity:
- He fought in the Last War for Cyre under Colonel Bren Ir’Gaden
- Magnus Blacktree died about 30 years into the last war
- Magnus had the family “birthmark”
- The birthmark appears to actually be a large scar across his left shoulder and torso which looks like something large tried to eat him
- Bren has never met any other Blacktrees
- Magnus was very jaded and cavalier about life “as if he were an old man”
- A spell was developed that would teleport fallen soldiers off the battlefield after death as a counter-measure to some thing Karrnath was working on
- Body would be teleported to the location of a stone slab unique to each soldier
- Each slab is somewhere around 6′×3′×2″, made of slate and platinum
- The slabs were located in Cyre
- The magic of the spell slowly killed the people it was placed on
- Bren’s unit was one of the few experimental units the spell was placed on
- Magnus was beheaded by Karrnathi soldiers after being captured, for a later speak with dead ritual (a ruthless, but effective means of interrogating prisoners).
- Magnus’ body teleported away 5 minutes after death as would have been expected
- The body would have been interred as customary for any falled soldier
- Magnus had requested to be in one of the special units that had the posthumous teleportation spell placed on them
- Magnus was not Cyrian, and appeared to have a Sarlonan accent
Assuming our Blacktree is the same individual as Magnus and has one of those slates, he must have had the slate with him in Sharn when we killed him, because he then had to flee it on an airship.
It seems likely that Blacktree is Arandis Kaluun, given his undying nature, all the references to Kaluun connected to him and his Sarlonan accent.
Another curious analog worth noting — Lord Halas Tarkanan destroyed a large part of Sharn at the end of the War of the Mark. Tarkanan sheltered Kaluun for some time before this. Blacktree also tried to destroy Sharn. Coincidence?
In this segment of The Prophecy:
[The Five] shall meet the Abomination in his final days. Should they prevail all his efforts shall be for naught.
It seems likely that “the Abomination” refers to Blacktree, and that he knew this referred to him. That is why he was so keen on finding and killing the “the five” (the party) — if he did not, they were prophesied to ruin his plans.
This would also indicate that Blacktree is over as a major threat, or is on the way out. However, that still leaves the mystery of what his plans were all about.