Prior to Olaesta in the year 5100
I cannot tell you how many times now I have been asked, "Who is Thurfel?" So I'll begin at the beginning (always the best place I am told) by providing a bit of a historical perspective into the wizard himself and the events revolving around him which occurred before the logs I have transcribed here.
The Story of the Council of Ten
This story of the history of IceMule was originally told by the merchant Uxbri. I am retelling it in my own words, as well as adding some knowledge which has been gained through recent events...
Now after the battle in the landing which left Talbot Dabbings a hero, but a dead one nonetheless, many halflings located there decided to found a town of their own where they might possess the kind of freedom they desired for themselves. They set out into the wilderness and upon a glacier found a spot they considered a good choice for their new home.
Once they had settled upon the spot, the first thing they built was a grand tomb to house the remains of their dead hero, Talbot. And the second thing they set about constructing was the Great Temple of IceMule.
Initially the temple was only intended to contain chapels for the gods of Liabo. But a group of ten halfling wizards -- powerful mages all and all followers of Luukos so the story goes, and seemingly more directly of a cult of Amasalen -- protested this approach. Calling themselves the Council of Ten, they argued that, since those of their race had left the landing to find true freedom, such freedom should also be granted in the religious sense to those of all beliefs.
The elders agreed with their reasoning, and chapels to the Lornon Arkati were added to the construction of the temple. Soon after the structure of the temple was mostly complete, however, the town elders would come to regret their decision, for no sooner had the temple been opened for prayer when the town was visited by a stranger.
This stranger was most odd in appearance. He had the slitted eyes and forked tongue of a serpent, as well as scaled skin. This serpent-stranger demanded the town submit itself fully to the sway of an unnamed source of darkness (one can guess at its origin, however). The elders, stating the founding tradition of the town on tenets of personal freedom for its citizens, stoutly refused, the members of the Council of Ten being the only dissenting voices.
The powerful wizards of the Council saw this stranger as a possible messenger from their god, someone not to be trifled with, and someone who as well was offering great power to the town if it would but submit. Thus they tried to convince the elders of this particular logic. When the elders refused to budge in their initial resolve, the serpent-stranger took his leave after telling them they would all regret this greatly. Not long after his departure, IceMule was assaulted by a great horde of undead. Many were felled as the streets ran red with determined halfling blood.
While the townsfolk were busy binding their wounds and burying and mourning their dead, the serpent-stranger returned to their midst. He again made his demand for submission to the sway of unnamed darkness. This time the Ten were more adamant in their stance the town elders agree to the stranger's demands, but the elders stubbornly stood their ground. Thus did the serpent-stranger repeat his prior threat, and once more departed the boundaries of the township.
Again the town was beset by hordes of undead. Even more fell in the battle, and again as the townsfolk were binding their wounds, burying and mourning the dead, the serpent-stranger returned for a third time. His blunt words calling for submission rang out once more, and one IceMule citizen in particular had heard enough.
The eldest son of Talbot Dabbings, Talvon by name, leapt from hiding and attacked the stranger, beheading him instantly. Immediately the Council of Ten took it upon themselves to retaliate for the death of what they presumed their god's messenger as they cast upon Talvon and slew him.
Then chaos reigned as the powerful mages of the Ten took to casting at the angry townsfolk. Their magic was strong and they killed many with ease. Yet the halflings stood firm, refusing to be bested in this struggle. As the wizards stood in the center of town casting at all and sundry, the warriors of the group staged a last-ditch attack.
Together as one, these soldiers strode toward Town Centre and, standing upon the very bodies of their own dead to gain a high point vantage, the brave halfling fighters en masse threw their claidhmores down upon the casting magicians. As the Ten ducked to avoid this rain of death, others of the townsfolk were able to rush them and then bind and silence them.
Some judgment had to be made regarding how to handle the ten traitors to IceMule Trace. Now many wanted them killed for their perfidy, but the widow of Talbot spoke up against this idea. She reminded the halflings that killing of their own kind was no answer and that, if they fell to such a level of behavior, they would themselves be "no better than the fool elves". Reluctantly most agreed with her point, but what to do with the ten?
At this stage of the sentencing process, the baker Leaftoe's wife reminded them all how they had always trusted in the spiritual protection of Talbot himself over their new town. All nodded their assent to this widely-held notion. So then Ma Leaftoe suggested they let Talbot himself protect them from the further wiles of the ten.
The townsfolk agreed with this compromise, and the ten were taken to the mausoleum of Dabbings and were placed alive within the tomb of Talbot. Twelve seals -- six physical and six magical -- were set upon the tomb itself seemingly by the auspices of Talbot.
Now as to why only nine of the Council yet wait under the watchful eye of Talbot...
The most powerful of the Council we now know was the Lord Thurfel. We know this not only from what Thurfel -- who spoke openly of having a symbiosis with Amasalen -- has always claimed himself, but from the words of Yfa and also from those of the essence which now resides in me, as well as in several others.
When the essence was first released in me from the sphere, the voice which was part of it seemed to be one of the Council. The possessor of this voice harbors a great resentment toward Lord Thurfel because it considers itself abandoned, along with its brethren, by the firemage.
Why is this so? The essence explained, when pressed, that Thurfel had been released from the tomb in a special combining of power by all to release the one. The Council knew it had the power to release one, but only one. Where this power came from we can only surmise, but 'tis likely from Amasalen or Luukos directly. In any case, the strongest was chosen for release with the stipulation he come back to free the others. The chosen one, the strongest, was Thurfel.
Time Line Prior to Log Transcripts
Ivastaen 5097: Discovery of the Relic -- early on in the transcripts ye will note mentions of "the relic", "the purple stone" and "the Heart of Amasalen". These are all references to a fist-sized irregular-shaped rock I came across in a hidden room in the caverns under the town well back when I was fresh in IceMule from sylvan community. For more details on the relic, I am going to refer ye back to my tale "The Haunting". Thurfel's interest in the relic has long since waned. At one time he did believe it could "ease" his way into the tomb by helping him overpower the magical seals. But currently Thurfel seems to think the relic no more than "an old wives' tale". Take it from one who touched it and felt it pulse with power, it was indeed much more than that. Whether it will surface again in this struggle with Thurfel, only time will tell.
Charlatos 5099: Thurfel Burns IceMule -- Thurfel first returned from wherever he had gone into hiding after the capture and entombment of the other members of the Ten for the very first time about a century after the incident. He came into the town of IceMule Trace, went into the westernmost old magic workshop, accused those within of invading his house, and proceeded to kill them with fire spells. He proclaimed himself a member of the Council of Ten...
"I am Thurfel Morpholik!
Member of the Council of Ten!
I do NOT appreciate this welcome!"
"You forget your places!
SOON...I come to take my town BACK!"
He also showed to several a deed, the significance of which has never been fully understood (or yet anyway). Thurfel raged through the town casting meteor swarm at the residents and firestorming the buildings...
[Temple Burrow, Oleani Way]
The street ends in an ivy-covered building. Small herb gardens grow in the window boxes, tickling your nose with pungent aromas. A small wooden sign hangs from the roof of the building, suspended by bright gold chains twined with creeping vines. Geckos no bigger than your little toe crawl through the vines, catching insects happily. That, and the shop is completely engulfed in flames.
These fires were put out by the resourceful townsfolk with cups and cups of tea. Many of the stores in IceMule were destroyed, later to be rebuilt, the last evidence of the fires not eliminated until 5102. Thurfel also at this time made his first attempt at opening the tomb of Talbot. The physical seals yielded to his fiery magic, but the magical seals held fast. The firemage then vanished again into hiding.
Jastatos 5099: Messenger Speaks of the Dark Gate -- a strange messenger came to speak with me about what she described as "the dark gate". This "dark gate" was something she explained dreamers of Ronan were seeing in visions. Also these dreams apparently included a sight of the relic being given by Luukos himself to one of the members of the Council of Ten as a sign of favor. Now at the time I took the dark gate to mean that room in the caverns whence I found the relic, that room which imploded upon itself. And I took the vision in the dream she spoke of as being of the past. Honestly now I cannot say my assumptions were correct. The dark gate may be the entry to the city beyond the tomb which Thurfel now seeks. And the vision may actually be a prophecy, a foretelling of the future. I cannot say for certain.
Eoantos 5099: Ilvane Reveals Her Dream -- Ilvane first revealed her dream vision after she heard the tale of my messenger. The dream she had was of a scale-skinned, forked-tongue man standing laughing over the corpses of the dead as the streets of IceMule ran red with blood while a voice rose above the chaos telling her "Do not be afraid." She believed the man in the dream to be the immortal Amasalen, and the voice that of the Arkati Ronan. Also at this time Armaxis first made his way to IceMule and the struggle between the Luukosians and Liaboists in this battle began.
Eorgaen 5099: Thurfel Makes Several Brief Appearances -- about this time Thurfel began to make quick appearances to individuals here and there. While invisible, he whispered things about burning IceMule to some, moved furniture in rooms and made great commotions when about others, and finally -- while fully visible -- argued with a youngster in the caverns and killed him with a fire spell.
Lormesta 5100: The Relic Commune -- an attempt was made, under my organization, to try and commune with all four gods/immortals involved with the relic and seemingly with the Council and Thurfel -- Lumnis, Ronan, Luukos and Amasalen. The commune failed, but it did result in the Luukosians considering the attempt to summon the serpent-god in conjunction with those of Liabo as an act of blasphemy and heresy, and commencing open threats against various Liaboists in this regard.
Fashanos 5100: Thurfel Appears at the Tomb -- making his first appearance at the tomb in nearly two years, Thurfel began to assess how much power was needed to undo the seals. Armaxis made himself known as an ally to the firemage at this time.
Charlatos 5100: Thurfel Cracks the Tomb -- using a serpent talisman he declared blessed by Amasalen himself, Thurfel proceeded to call to life a live serpent which managed to crush a small crack within the stone of the tomb.