Julia and I went to the market after we had settled in at the palace. The room I was put in was as large and lavish as the gallery in the Followers Guild hall. While walking around, Julia said that a revenant had been following us for a while, so I stopped and waited for it to catch up and tell me what it wanted. He had been a rather wealthy man in life and was very put out that a ghoul had stolen his organs. When we examined his grave, we found a network of tunnels underneath the cemetery with multiple desecrated graves. Following the tunnels, we found they let out in a caravan area. One of the caravans was operated by a ghoul lord who was using the ghouls to collect body parts for sale.
Julia dispatched the ghoul lord very quickly. Which was shocking. Not because I expect less of an Unfailing, but because I am so used to backing out of that kind of situation and getting several people to help. It’s very strange to be able to handle things so neatly with only the two of us. With the ghoul lord dead, it only took a moment to grab control of his underlings and lay them to rest.
After taking care of the revenant’s lack of organs and laying him back to rest, I dug into the ghoul lord to see what was keeping him from descending into mindless hunger. It seemed that his brain had been replaced a few times, a new one inserted after the old one started to rot. Since that was entirely too suspicious, Julia and I went through the caravan logs. The caravan was being paid to supply parts to an unnamed buyer and was about to make a trip into the desert to gather some very rare sand giant parts.
Thinking that the unnamed buyer might be a proxy working for Teivryn Vayne, or the man himself, I checked the ghoul’s brain to make sure that it was not rigged to explode or go to mush if questioned before placing it back in his head and reanimating him under my own power. The ghoul said that he was helping a man who matched Teivryn’s description in exchange for keeping his brain from rotting. He went into depth about the trade routes and that Teivryn wanted Giant bones and parts. But specifically the bones.
In exchange for Akram’s (the ghoul lord’s) help on the trade routes, I took care of the rotting brain issue permanently with an artificial brain. And a positive energy bomb in case I need to end him quickly. If he behaves himself, I might put his head back on his body. In the meantime, I have significantly altered his body in order to make him much easier to have around. The ghoul stench is gone along with the fever attack. He won’t find dead bodies a delicious dish anymore and I augmented his ability to disguise himself as human. The real test will be to see if Belle (the paladin) or Braithwaite (the kind-of necromancer) notices.
I miss being able work in flesh so freely and Akram is a fine specimen. It’s not often you get an intact ghoul lord. Though I’m sure he felt off a brain or so back. Vayne wasn’t exactly meticulous in cleaning out the skull when replacing the brain and I found bits that were obviously a woman’s brain. The extra material speeds up the decomposition process, so it was likely left there to do just that and keep the ghoul lord on a short leash.
Everything from Vayne looks like it comes right out of Jaquard Von Slythe the Younger’s medical textbooks. Which is strange when you consider that they are 200 years out of date. From what Marcy’s said, Vayne had the money to afford more robust books and even professional training. Is he just relying on raw talent or does he have access to something that makes him discard/disregard newer materials?