Bone Collectors - What's the story?

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Big Mac
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Bone Collectors - What's the story?

Post by Big Mac »

I've been looking through the Classes/Prestige Classes in the Ghostwalk book. They all seem to have a tie-in the the storyline of a local region, except the Bone Collector. Here is the first paragraph of the blurb from the book:
Ghostwalk page 21 wrote:A bone collector is a person who draws personal power from the destruction of undead. Bearing tokens and trophies of her kills, the bone collector is often mistaken by the ignorant for a common necromancer, when in truth most oppose necromancy and seek to undo its works. A rare few are parasites to necromancers, using cast-off bits of discarded experiments in undeath to increase their own power.
There is more to it, but it seems to mostly be mechanical stuff (telling you what classes take the PrC and what don't. I don't see anything tying them into something like a religion. So this kind of feels like a stand-alone thing.

There is a picture of a bone collector in the Ghostwalk Art Gallery:
Image

That's fairly useful, as it looks like a dark-skinned lady to me.

I suppose she might be Bazareen or Tereppek, as they both have brown skin, but I would like to nail the Bone Collector down if possible.

Has anyone seen a mention of Bone Collectors anywhere else in the book (or on any of the other content that goes with Ghostwalk)?
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
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Re: Bone Collectors - What's the story?

Post by Big Mac »

Big Mac wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 1:07 pm
I've been looking through the Classes/Prestige Classes in the Ghostwalk book. They all seem to have a tie-in the the storyline of a local region, except the Bone Collector.
I'm not sure if Sean K Reynolds wrote the MU containing the Bone Collector, but he gave this awesome answer over in the Ghostwalk group on Facebook:
Sean K Reynolds on Facebook wrote:It's just the Ghostwalk version of the "use the power of your enemies against them." Like the demon hunter class in World of Warcraft.

If you're looking for a point of origin for them, it could be refugees from Inuitea (now Xaphan) who escaped before the undead took over the entire island and enslaved all of the remaining living population.
I don't think I've noticed demon hunters inn World of Warcraft before, but there is a demon hunter article on Wowpedia, that gives information about them. Here is the blurb text at the start:
Demon hunter at Wowpedia wrote:Demon hunters, the disciples of Illidan Stormrage, uphold a dark legacy, one that frightens their allies and enemies alike. The Illidari embrace fel and chaotic magics—energies that have long threatened the world of Azeroth—believing them necessary to challenge the Burning Legion. Wielding the powers of demons they’ve slain, they develop demonic features that incite revulsion and dread in fellow elves.

Demon hunters made a pact, long ago, to fight against the forces of chaos using their own terrible powers against it. They ritually blind themselves in exchange for spectral sight that enables them to better sense their prey. This enhanced awareness, together with their great agility and magical prowess, makes demon hunters unpredictable adversaries. They wield demonically charged warblades in battle and call upon demonic energies to augment their formidable combat skills.
Obviously, if I've not heard of demon hunters, I've also not heard of Illidan Stormrage. So here is the blurb text from the start of the Wowpedia article about him:
Illidan Stormrage at Wowpedia wrote:Illidan Stormrage, commonly known as the Betrayer, is the first of the demon hunters, the former self-proclaimed Lord of Outland, the former ruler of the Black Temple, and the original leader of the Illidari. He is the twin brother of Malfurion Stormrage and was, like his sibling, in love with Tyrande Whisperwind. Originally a powerful night elf sorcerer, Illidan officially betrayed his people by defecting to the demonic Burning Legion during the War of the Ancients, though his reasons for doing so were noble as he secretly aimed to repel the Legion's invasion. He eventually returned to the side of his fellow night elves, but his creation of a second Well of Eternity at the end of the war caused his people to name him "Betrayer" and imprison him in the Barrow Deeps below Mount Hyjal. There he remained for over 10,000 years, watched over by the warden Maiev Shadowsong and her Watchers.

When the Legion invaded Azeroth once more during the Third War, Tyrande freed Illidan from his prison in order to have him battle the demons once more. He subsequently consumed the fel energies of the Skull of Gul'dan and transformed into a demon in order to defeat the dreadlord Tichondrius, an act for which he was banished by Malfurion. After the Legion's defeat at the end of the war, Illidan decided to feign allegiance to the demon lord Kil'jaeden by agreeing to destroy Kil'jaeden's traitorous creation, the Lich King, as a way to learn more about his true foe: the Burning Legion. Although he amassed an army of servants in the form of the naga led by Lady Vashj, Illidan's efforts were stopped by the night elves and he was forced to flee to the shattered realm of Outland. There he and his naga gathered new allies in the form of the blood elves led by Kael'thas Sunstrider and the Broken draenei led by Akama, and with their aid he overthrew Outland's tyrannical ruler Magtheridon to claim the broken realm for his own. Illidan later traveled with his allies to the Lich King's stronghold of Icecrown for one last attempt to complete Kil'jaeden's mission, but he was eventually thwarted and nearly killed by the Lich King's champion, the death knight Arthas Menethil.

Returning to Outland, Illidan dropped all pretense of serving Kil'jaeden and mustered his army—the Illidari—to begin his true war against the Burning Legion. He trained an army of elven demon hunters in his own image and began preparing to destroy the Legion world of Argus, but his extreme methods and single-minded focus on his goal led to the alienation of his allies Kael'thas and Akama. Through the manipulations of Kil'jaeden, the Alliance and Horde invaded Outland and began dismantling Illidan's forces in the belief that he was no better than the demons he claimed to fight. Despite succeeding in destroying the demon stronghold of Nathreza, the Betrayer was ultimately cornered and struck down within his own sanctum by Akama, a group of Azerothian adventurers, and his vengeful former jailer, Maiev. Maiev subsequently brought Illidan's corpse to the Vault of the Wardens so that his spirit could suffer the rest of his eternal sentence. There it remained for years until the Legion invaded once more.

A struggle for Illidan's soul ensued between the Legion and the forces of Azeroth, including the remaining Illidari, culminating in Illidan's resurrection atop the Nighthold. The Betrayer subsequently joined forces with Azeroth's defenders as they battled the Legion across the Broken Shore and within the Tomb of Sargeras. During a battle with Kil'jaeden in the Twisting Nether, Illidan used an artifact known as the Sargerite Keystone to open a rift that brought the worlds of Azeroth and Argus together. Illidan accompanied Azeroth's champions as they traveled to Argus to battle the Legion alongside the Army of the Light, whose leader—the prime naaru Xe'ra—believed that Illidan was the Chosen One,[15] a hero of the Light prophesied to end the age of demons. Illidan rejected the idea of having his destiny forged for him and killed Xe'ra when the naaru tried to forcibly infuse him with the Light. The Army of the Light and their allies eventually assaulted Sargeras' seat of power, Antorus, and freed the captive spirits of the titan Pantheon, who imprisoned Sargeras at the Seat of the Pantheon for his transgressions. While the rest of Azeroth's heroes returned home to their world, Illidan chose to remain behind, becoming Sargeras' jailor.
If Inuitia is going to be the origin story of the Bone Collectors, it needs an Inuitian NPC to take the place of "Illidan Stormrage".

Re-reading the Xaphan part of Chapter 4, I'd say that we need an NPC that is:
  • In a position of authority that would help Xaphan the Harbringer defeat the Inuitian military and capture King Oryn,
  • Able to summon and/or create undead and
  • Willing to sacrifice the king, in order to get a shot at bringing down Xaphan the Harbringer.
A royal wizard, who is able to transform themselves into a lich, could be the perfect traitor and double-agent. If not that then a cleric of Soggelos or Wyst who converts to a lich, but a wizard who can appear to be a necromancer might have more luck.

As an undead traitor that opens up a weakness in the military defences of Inilith, they would make themselves above suspicion.

The traitor could use magic to slaughter the weak quickly, raising those who die as non-sentient undead and leaving those who live as the first wave of bone collectors.

The traitor could take the undead army they have raised and march off to the Liche War, waiting for the Piren Sedestadel to clash with the army, before they sweep in to destroy Xaphan the Harbringer, in the heat of battle, using their own undead to separate Xaphan from his lieutenants, so that they can take their revenge without being stopped.

Now that I think of the Piren Sedestadel, I wonder if their Horned Staff could be working with the traitor.

The horns on the Horned Staff look like an Artaaglith or Dread Ram, the first of which is a demon and the second of which is undead.

So maybe the Horned Staff was created on Inuitea and our "Illidan Stormrage" figure was "former member" of the Piren Sedestadel who heard about the cult of Neistrademos from the ghost of an Inuitian and who went to investigate the threat.
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
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Re: Bone Collectors - What's the story?

Post by Tim Baker »

Big Mac wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 9:24 pm
I'm not sure if Sean K Reynolds wrote the MU containing the Bone Collector, but he gave this awesome answer over in the Ghostwalk group on Facebook
That's fantastic that Sean Reynolds interacts with the community in this way and provided input/feedback. So cool!

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