Mordikhaan is a huge, anarchic country ruled by the enigmatic and feared leader, The Khul. She has created a society where survival is possible only through steadfast devotion to her rule and where endless backstabbing and ruthless competition abound. A player character living in Mordikhaan might well end up in one of the country’s countless prisons and ‘blood monasteries’ - former houses of worship that have been converted into torture centres by Mordikhaan’s queen. They might find themselves of Ogathraz, the Khul’s mountaintop prison fortress, where hunger and cold claim as many lives as the jailer’s lash.
The Krivian Tomes
Mordikhaan has a religion of sorts, known as Obsessionalism. It is a cult that seeks to destroy the truth, rather than to enlighten others and its founding texts are known as The Krivian Tomes, a set of dozens of slim, crimson volumes that are dizzying in their complexity. They are purposefully written to cause confusion, chaos, discord and to spread lies and half truths about the nature of reality and the five dimensions; anyone who reads them either finds them incomprehensible, or even worse, starts to understand and then believe what the original Krivian Acolytes wrote.
Mordikhaani jailers have little interest where items originate from, as long as they are effective in causing pain and suffering. The gripping flail is an item that originates from the Damnation, and was originally brought into the Mortal Realm by the shape shifting Skabbakh. The flail’s whips are embedded with hundreds of tiny metal ‘teeth’ and they cause extra damage by wrapping themselves around limbs and other parts of the body. The flail clings to its victims and the torturer can inflict an extra point of damage per round as they pull it backwards.
These small and revolting creatures are related to the Zsulg, a subterranean mass of tentacles and fangs, which is drawn to magic energy. The Buzsulg Grub simply prefers flesh and will burrow into the ear of its victim and attach itself using a sticky fluid that burns through the skull to the base of the brain. There, it will control the individual, slowly eroding their ability for autonomous action, unless it is burned out with a hot iron.
One inmate fortunate enough to receive a visitor is given a box of chalks, ostensibly to draw with to stave off the boredom and despair. When the user draws on the walls of their cell, their drawing becomes animated and grows to fill the entire wall, becoming a terrifying version of the simple sketch the user made. It will then talk to the user’s enemies or persecutors, threatening them and promising to reveal their innermost secrets to their friends.
The Khul’s most deadly helpers are the four vile hags she keeps at her fortress Kharis, known as the Norns. In order not to be consumed by horror and madness when looking upon these hideous entities, an enchanted iron face mask must be worn, which offers protection against magical fear.
The Alotricans are a secret society even within Mordikhaan, they are the followers of Altrares Alotric, the first of the Khul’s great spymasters and chief advisors, who was able to influence events across the continent. His followers wore an iron ring engraved with the symbol of the rat, with two small garnet stones for eyes. The Alotrican Ring is only worn openly by a small number of powerful Mordikhanni; other less powerful members of the Alotricans keep their affiliation secret as they seek to avoid the resentment of their fellows. Alotricans have far better living conditions than other Mordikhaani and see other subjects of the Khul as being expendable.
Map of the prison
Not all of the Khul’s prisoners have been completely broken mentally and physically. Some still yearn for freedom and long to escape, and have spent many solitary hours creating a map of the tunnels and passages in the great icy fortress from memory. This map is created from droplets of the prisoner’s blood, though whoever the prisoner was, the blood itself has extraordinary properties. When the command work ‘Nuhkai’ is spoken, the blood vanishes back into the cloth it has stained and the map disappears.
Gem of the madman’s wail
The Khul enjoys capturing the intangible, and in her realm, nothing is more fleeting and transient than pain. She created a series of stones, the Okhata, or ‘pain stones’ gems which capture the horrors of torture. Some, when activated using a power word emit the screams of the tortured, others reflect scenes of mutilation in the gemstone’s facets.
Bottle of liquor that you’d have to be insane to drink
Never drink anything that is served in a Mordikhaani prison, especially the alcohol. The jailers and torturers make the most horrific spirits in the Outer Kingdoms in order to stave off the misery of their own existences in the Khul’s terror empire. Normally they pass around a revolting sour black liquid distilled from mushrooms called ‘zeet’, which results in feverish hallucinations and is what passes for entertainment at Ogathraz
Falcrex - the executioners sword
Falcrex is not a blade from the Mortal Realm, it is a sword that was forged in Damnation and is not traditionally used for slicing through mortal necks (though this is the use to which it has been put by the head executioner, Razan Varid). It was originally the execution sword of the Prassus, the go betweens of Damnation. It resembles a bastard sword and its blade, when held by a wielder sufficiently merciless to be worthy of its malice, emits flecks of glowing red energy.