Tenser smiles at Siggut's uncouthness. "I appreciate your eagerness, but you must know what you face and why you face it. In my experience, knowledge is power. Ravarel, you are gracious to lend your aid, but Raknian is but a small part of the danger. Yes, you are all needed, I also believe it was fate that brought you together..." Tenser pauses for effect and walks over to one his cabinets and pulls out for all of you to see a transparent jar in which lies a green worm suspended in viscous liquid. "For you five must prevent the Age of Worms. The Age of Worms is foretold in a prophecy that speaks of a coming apocalypse, an age of death and writhing doom. Normally such rumors should be dismissed—doomsday prophecies are typically the product of nothing more sinister than madness. This prophecy is different. It can be traced back, through various incarnations in books, tablets, and carvings on walls, for over two thousand years. It does not change in content during this time—it has not evolved through clumsy attempts of fanatics desperate to reword its predictions to support their agendas. This alone would be enough for it to merit further study. But even more interesting is the fact that in the last few years several of its predictions have actually come true. In one prophecy, it predicts the ‘ruin by fire of a city built in a bowl in the spire’s shadow.’ Just last year, far to the south, the city of Cauldron—built in the caldera of a dormant volcano only a few miles from Kyuss’ one-time home, the Spire of Long Shadows—was nearly destroyed by a volcanic eruption. Other prophecies speak of the recrudescence of the worm-eaten dead, the recovery of potent artifacts from ancient tombs, the destructive manifestation of an immense demonic tree in a distant city across the sea, the arrival of a ‘Fane of Scales’ amid a storm of wind and fire, and the cleansing of an evil taint from a city besieged in the past by giants, the appearance of a city wreath in shadows. These events have all come to pass, and quite recently. In fact, there are only two prophecies remaining to be fulfilled. The first of these mentions the reunification of a tripartite spirit—I assume this is a nod to the goals of the Ebon Triad. The second remaining prophecy reads: ‘And on the eve of the Age of Worms, a hero of the pit shall use his fame to gift a city to the dead.’ I believe this last line may have been speaking of Loris Raknian (certainly a hero from the gladiator’s pit) and his attempt in the Arena. It remains to be seen if your actions actually made a difference or not, but it would be foolhardy to assume that those who are trying to fulfill the prophecies will abate their efforts.”
Tenser pauses to take a sip of his wine before continuing. Agath, serious and silent throughout the meeting, is looking intently at each of you, as if measuring your reactions to the news you are hearing for the first time. He did soften at Kaydanna's introduction, but only for a little while.
Thak, you feel as if Tenser is being transparent and worried at how you will react at the responsibility he is putting on your shoulders.
Tenser continues, as he studies the jar. "This is a Kyuss worm. If it makes contact with your skin, it will burrow inside and try to make its way to your brain, where it will drain your intelligence. Once it does that, you become an undead follower of Kyuss. Divine magic in the form of Remove curse or curing disease will destroy the worms should they ever burrow inside of you. They are named after an obscure deity of undead. Kyuss is an enigma—what we know of him is sparse. We know that he was once a mortal, a powerful priest who ascended to godhood. He ruled a city named Kuluth-Mar far to the south, and was famed for the creation of undead. A former companion of mine, a wizard named Balakarde, made an extensive study of Kyuss and his ways. You might even say he was obsessed with Kyuss.”