Gendin’s Journal – Acosadora Mul, the Stalkers of Dorane

a page from the journal of Gendin, son of Arissa and Temone of the dwarven Clan Gilderlo

Author’s note: Continents such as Trivana are considered “worlds” by their inhabitants, while the world is referred to simply as GeKeb. The point of view of Gendin is limited by his people’s concept of the term world, and his understanding of what GeKeb is.


Acosadora Mul, the Stalkers of Dorane

March, 1444 AWR

My first awareness of the Acosadora Mul, commonly referred to as the “Stalkers of Dorane”, was as a tween in Sathea. For those note familiar with them, the Stalkers are a small sect within the worshipers of Dorane, a sect focused solely on the destruction of undead.

Dorane has a special hatred for undead, and while he is normally a compassionate god, his hatred for undead is legendary. Various stories persist regarding the source of his hatred, and the one that appears to be most likely based in fact is that prior to his ascension to godhood, his wife and children were killed by a vampire and transformed. Not only did he lose his family — he was forced to slay the undead forms of his loved ones.

That hatred fuels his clerics, as they have superior ability to turn undead and extra zeal when fighting them. Part of their clerical training regards understanding the nature of undead, and the best techniques to destroy them.

That’s the normal clergy. Members of the Acosadora Mul are without fail all fanatically zealous beyond reason when it comes to undead of any form, and this extends to those who manipulate or consort with undead.

Note: Acosadora Mul supposedly translates as Society of Hunters from Dorane’s original language, which has been a dead language since before the first War of Rendelshod. A few stories say that Dorane’s original people were destroyed in a war with undead; however, the more personal stories about his family seem more likely.

Behavior

All undead, and anyone or anything creating, consorting with, or even allowing undead to exist are the enemies of the Stalkers. They constantly monitor for undead, waging a relentless war against any they find. They target the so-called “death masters”, clerics and wizards who produce and control undead. This includes creatures of the Negative Material Plane, the source of energy for undead.

The Stalkers’ behavior is single-minded, and they do not take prisoners except for questioning, and very few survive that questioning.

My first awareness was when I was about twenty (circa 1166 AWR). The Stalkers discovered that several government ministers were using animated skeletons for defense of their homes. The Stalkers kidnapped the ministers, their families, and some servants — who were “questioned” to find the identities of those who raised the skeletons. None of the ministers and few of their families and servants survived the interrogation.

The Stalkers then raided a temple of a minor demi-god of death. Every single person at that temple was slain, including several merchants who were present as they were selling food to the temple. From the Stalkers’ point of view, anyone doing business with the temple in any way was just as guilty.

The city guard was unable to act against a temple, so the Sathean king mobilized the militia who surrounded the temple of Dorane in Sathea. The general in charge demanded the surrender of all Stalker members as well as the senior clerics of the temple. The alternative was that the temple would be razed to the ground and all failing to surrender would be put to the sword.

The cleric-first of Dorane was forced to make a difficult decision, as he was responsible for the lives of all within the temple grounds, and the loss of innocent lives in the melee would be high. He had no prior knowledge of the raid, although one of his cleric-thirds did.

The Stalkers present in the temple were stunned, bound, and presented to the militia for arrest, and all senior clerics surrendered for interrogation. The trial was a short one, as the Stalkers were proud of their actions and felt justified, so by their own statements they were guilty of kidnap and murder. All were executed as was the cleric-third who sanctioned them, their bodies burned as is commonly done for criminals.

Later rumor had it that the cleric-first was informed that all clerics in the temple would be treated as “resisting arrest”, giving him more incentive to surrender. It was also rumored that a significant percentage of the Stalkers had already fled the city and escaped prosecution.

The weregild paid by the temple to the city and the families of the slain was bankruptcy level. The government was determined that this type of atrocity would not happen again, most especially attacks upon government ministers.

Following the executions a bounty was placed on the Stalkers, and that bounty is still in place today. Current rumor has it that the cleric-first must report any time even a single Stalker enters the Empire of Sathea, and that the cleric-first, cleric-second, and cleric-thirds must submit to questioning when asked. Failure to report Stalkers will result in the temple being razed to the ground.

Current Events

In the nearly two centuries since the events of my childhood, the bounty on Stalkers in the Empire of Sathea has remained. The current government, a constitutional monarchy, does not dictate to any of the temples how they function nor what they believe, but holds each temple’s leadership responsible for radical groups within their worshipers. This has prevented similar atrocities, and has also resulted in a few minor temples being driven from the city of Sathea.

Additionally, this practice spread to the kingdoms of the Grav-Lach Mountains so in eastern Trivana the Stalkers of Dorane are effectively an outlaw group. They have never been permitted to exist within the demi-human kingdoms, since while their overall goals are admirable, their methods are not.

Note that since the Empire of Mathailda and the Pahkian states worship the Pyung pantheon, the Stalkers have always been outlawed since Dorane is an Anaxios god.

The end result is that that Stalkers exist as a completely separate group that worships Dorane. Their presence and activities is hidden from mainstream temple leadership, and the relationship between the two is adversarial. The Stalkers continue to act in a fanatical fashion, and are hated by all excepting the worshipers of a few minor demi-gods whose mantra includes hating undead.

It is believed that Dorane’s hatred of undead prevents him from disbanding the Stalkers. Instead, he forbids them from attacking his other worshipers and expects Stalker leadership to exercise far better care in selecting targets for their ire. He probably dislikes that his main clergy must inform on his pet killers, but understands that it is necessary to maintain his temples, since the secular governments and other temples have suffered from the rabid zeal of his stalkers, so he has no allies in this regard.

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