The Hands that Move the World
Mordakhesh the Shadowsword
Rakshasa prakhutu, or honoured servant, of the demon overlord Rak Tulkhesh, the Rage of War.
Rak Tulkhesh’s chief disciple among the Lords of Dust is Mordakhesh, a rakshasa dread knight who served as the Rage of War’s warlord in the Age of Demons. Mordakhesh is a superb combatant, but his greatest weapons are actually his brilliant grasp of strategy and his superhuman charisma. As a gifted shapeshifter, Mordakhesh has had a hand in many of the bloodiest conflicts on Khorvaire. He helped the Dhakaani smiths forge their first swords, advised Malleon the Reaver when he was slaughtering the goblins, and watched with a smile as the towers of Dorasharn crumbled in the War of the Mark. He has followers in virtually every army in Khorvaire. Some of these cults know whom they serve. Others he manipulates by playing on patriotism, faith, or the desire for change. His agents often begin as good people, but their martial nature leaves them vulnerable to the power of Mordakhesh and his master, and they are twisted into merciless killers. Mordakhesh’s overall goal is to encourage conflict, both in open warfare and in less structured strife among civilians. It is when hatred drives mortals to inhumane behavior—when war turns humans into fiends—that his master gains strength.
His actions are guided by the Draconic Prophecy, as interpreted and sometimes bent by the rakshasa seers of Ashtakala. He knows that Rak Tulkhesh can’t be freed until the correct elements of the Prophecy come together, and this fact has held him in check in the past. In recent years, though, the signs became promising. Mordakhesh began manipulating the Prophecy into causing events to fall in place like dominoes, spurring mass wars across the continent and threatening the start of the “Next War”.
The Eclipse Collective has had many brushes with Mordakhesh, whether they have been aware of it or not. Baelin Bronzesmith was assassinated by Mordakhesh in disguise. It was Mordakhesh who kidnapped Derli d’Kundarak and separated his body from his soul. He killed Durnnam Droranath during the crisis with Raldar d’Kundarak‘s “Clan Raldarak” in the Mror Holds, and impersonated Morrikan d’Kundarak, though the party caught him this time and stole his ring.
Hunt for the Rage Shards
When the world was beginning to reach sufficient levels of violence to trigger the Prophecy that would bring back his master, Mordakhesh sought the Rage Shards, the fragments of his master’s prison, to free the Rage of War. He has also acquired an extremely powerful ally in Tavarthax the Desecrated, a half-fiend red dragon whose agenda was unknown. To his ends, he broke into the Eclipse Keep and seized the Rage Shards kept in the vault there, and though he died in the process, he was soon after brought back. The party hired Vice Harbringer to aid in finding him and killing him for good, although the assassin became distracted in trying to kill Jaela Daran, which he considered to be of paramount importance.
Mordakhesh resurfaced in Newthrone where he attemped to trap Derli in a House Kundarak vault before disguising himself as Derli and taking his place in the party. Conlon’s witch-sight saw through the ruse, and the party ambushed the disguised Mordakhesh in King Sebastes ir’Kesslan’s castle. Beaten to an inch of his life, Mordakhesh teleported away, replacing himself with the tortured and killed corpse of Prince Oargev ir’Wynarn just in time for Sebastes’ men to arrive. The Collective put the body on their airship, which Mordakhesh later stole, disguised as Stahlstrauss. In this disguise, he threw the corpse on the floor of the Brelish Parliament to frame the Eclipse Collective for the prince’s murder.
He soon after was responsible for leading Derli d’Kundarak to his fall by tricking him into killing nearly three hundred innocents in Korth, and lured the party to Rekkenmark for an entire day while he worked on stealing the Eclipse Keep and relocating it to a different plane, along with all of its inhabitants. This was apparently a buildup to the opening of the long-sealed palace of Zenzatun, which contained one of the Rage Shards that proved inaccessible to immortals, as mortal hands were required to open the vault within. Though he was not successful in acquiring the shard from within for another year afterward, it was still freed from the palace, and as a direct consequence of its opening he managed to obtain two more Rage Shards.
Mordakhesh next resurfaced in Metrol as part of his (ultimately successful) efforts to spur war between Eros and the Magebred Imperium. After that, he showed up to the party in order to fulfill his promise to give aid against the atropals, bringing in Hektula the Bloody Scribe to assist in uncovering the necessary ritual.
He finally managed to acquire Zenzatun’s Rage Shard by tricking Kaleth into accepting a whip that was capable of scrying on its surroundings, giving him a glimpse into the time-plane it was contained in and gaining him access. He also kidnapped Treona, a “living Rage Shard”, with the help of Tavarthax, leaving only one piece: the Shard used to imprison Zelishkar of the Bitter Flame after their last duel in “Sphere Valley” in Shavarath.
Zelishkar, who became Horseman of War after Derli surrendered his warlock powers to the Millennium Emperor, forged the prison shard into an axe, which Mordakhesh manipulated him into believing would be the only weapon that could kill him. Zelishkar mounted a raid on Dragon’s Crown and attacked Mordakhesh, killing Tavarthax the Desecrated before being brought down by the rakshasa.
Defeat and Death of Rak Tulkhesh
With all of the pieces of the Rage of War’s prison acquired, and the Prophecy in place, Mordakhesh began the process that would free his master. The Eclipse Collective broke into Dragon’s Crown and confronted him, nearly losing to him in combat before Derli finished him with a lucky stroke. This allowed Zil’dejin to at last claim the Shadowsword that killed Baelin Bronzesmith, and provided a clear path to Rak Tulkhesh’s inner sanctum.
As Mordakhesh is immortal, he may return. However, since the Collective managed to actually slay his Rajah, this may not be a possibility. Only time will tell.
- Risia II: Elemental Chaos
- Mror HoldsII: Magic Bullet Theory
- Mror Holds III: In Bed with Everyone
- Mror Holds IV: Goradra Gap: Fall In
- Promise of Fire I: Misstep
- Blood Ties II: Family Tree
- Blood Ties III: Filibustering
- Blood Ties IV: Loss
- The Coming Storm VIII: Zenzatun — Revelations
- Ascension II: Mythic King
- Deepest Darkness I: Choices
- Judicium Mortis I: Difficult Decisions
- Judicium Mortis V: Decay
- Total Eclipse III: Heavy Metal
- Total Eclipse IV: Noise (apparent death)