It seems that the upper echelons of Mulmaster may be dealing with or possibly are undead. This is troubling news from the famed Moonsea city that has already been the target of elemental cult infiltration in recent years. In this time of rumors of war with masters of undead and nobles jockeying for positions of power in Mulmaster, are there new enemies to the people of Faerún secretly being added to their ranks?
There are reports that several groups of adventurers from the Moonsea region have reported that they encountered undead when dealing with high ranking Mulmaster officials. As far as we know, the more public officials from the Tower of Blades are still being seen with regular occurrence, but several noble families have been reported suspiciously absent from normal day activities without any explanation.
We talked with one Mulmaster such family, the Von Finklesteins, who are a Mulmaster name primarily engrossed in trading, about the rumors. Our reporter met with Milben Von Finklestein, a head of the family, to discuss the matter. He seemed rather tired during the meeting, as if he had not slept in some time. The reporter was ushered into a sitting room in their family manor where a large scattering of children’s toys had been obviously quickly moved to the side.
Thank you for meeting with me, Milben.
The pleasure is all mine.
To get straight to business, you’ve heard the rumors about the Mulmaster nobility, correct?
(Milben gave an amused chuckle at this question.)
What is it this time? Consorting with demons? Giants? We’ve got a secret elemental bomb ready to unleash on the world? Take your pick.
I mean regarding the rumored undead infiltration in the noble houses of Mulmaster.
That is a new one to me, although not surprising, given the increased Red Wizard presence. Let me dispel that one immediately: Thay has no more influence on this family or anyone I know than they did before they established their embassy in the city. Despite the declarations from some of the other branches of Mulmaster government, not everyone stands behind their presence.
It’s not quite that accusation. There are rumors that intelligent undead have actually been replacing or converting Mulmaster nobility.
Hm, no, I don’t think that’s the case. Believe me, we keep a close eye on anyone who holds any type of power at all in Mulmaster. That’s how we keep everyone in check. I could throw a stone out my window and undoubtedly hit several people who are watching what goes on in this manor.
We’ve had four separate reports that a vampire has been spotted in the area and driven off. Unconfirmed rumors, but they’ve all been around this area.
Vampires? That’s quite a leap. I certainly think not. You must understand that we do have wards and other protections against such things. You might have noticed that I never invited you inside when you arrived.
That’s true. Your guard did seem to go through several different steps to identify me as well.
Indeed. We take the proper precautions as one would around this area of the world. Everyone – including the undead – want a piece of our grand city.
Does everyone around here do the same? Is it enough?
Yes, we do. There are other magical wards here that I won’t bore you with their details, but rest assured, we take all sorts of precautions against undead – especially with the company that is sometimes kept in the city. Everyone is well-versed in the proper ways to identify, protect against, and remove all types of undead from their property. Even our hired guard know the steps to take when determining if a visitor is not among the living. Again, I assure you, we’re well protected.
The company inside the city. You are speaking of the Red Wizards and their undead?
Despite being confined to certain districts, there is the fear of them becoming uncontrolled or the more autonomous ones roaming outside the city walls. It’s something you just have to do – especially with little ones around. One time it did happen: a zombie somehow got away from them or just happened to wander into this district. It was quickly dispatched and of course the Red Wizards denied it was one of theirs, but ever since then, we’ve kept an ever sharper eye out.
There was other information presented, such as the increasing booming trade industry that their family was involved in. It seems that the rebuilding of Mulmaster has done much to bring in business and they confided in our reporter that they were opening up several remote offices in towns around the Moonsea. Although the issue of undead infiltration was pressed further, he didn’t have any additional information and continued to press that the people of Mulmaster go above and beyond to protect their holdings from any undead that may be roaming around the area.
Our time was cut short as it was becoming dark and Milben wanted to retire for the evening. It seems that he might have had another appointment, however, as our reporter barely made out in the lantern light red-garbed visitor hurrying to the gates of the manor. It should be noted that secret visits are very common among the officials of Mulmaster.
While I was there, Melbin advised me on several different easy-to-use methods of detecting and defeating undead. We focused on vampires specifically, as that is what the reports had mentioned:
- Never invite someone in to your house who you suspect of being a vampire. They cannot enter otherwise. Look for signs of reluctance to enter without being formally asked to come inside.
- Always require guests to expose themselves to the sun before they enter. The sun burns a vampire’s skin. Beware of cloaked figures in the day (for a variety of reason.)
- Build a river-fed moat around your manor. Vampires loath to cross water from rivers. This also can raise your land value quite a bit.