The Communion of Horns

Here within find recorded those words of the undead Bard Ha’er’Dalis DaggerSong, Ancient Knight of the Undead Lords of the Realm

This evening a brutish squire I believe is called Sarcan paid me some homage in the form of a small gold bar, a passing trifle compared to his contribution to Myrkul’s coffers. Yet it seems that Our Dark Lord’s Hand guided this particular item to my learned possession. For it was my own Strange and Deathly Eye which spied the delicate spiderweb seams which marked where the lid would rise from the box and the etchings so lightly scored that none could read it without the gift of natural darksight or the aid of the Hunter’s Moon. “NWN” I traced my fingertip across the pattern and heard the satisfying “snick” of the mechanism released. The Bar, very much in the shape of a book, feels more so now as the “cover” lifts along the broader edge and a fragile parchment is revealed inside. The lining of the case is the bloodiest red not yet black and the crumbling document is held suspended by a Petrificus Totalus charm. It would appear to be the oldest written record of what we now call a knighting ceremony. This may very well have been the Rite of Initiation used by Zerackus the Bane to expand Myrkul’s influence on the Forgotten Realms by recruiting knights to his side. He may very well have been the first to don the Crown of Horns since the Time of Troubles and Myrkul’s own mortal demise. Speculation for another tome. Below find my translation as best I can make it from the Infernal dialect of Mulhorandi.

Myrkul Bey al-Kursi, Crown Prince of Murghôm, Lord of Bones, Lord of the Dead, Reaper of Souls!
Your most ardent Zealot, Zerackus the Bane, calls upon you God of Hades!
We cry out unto thee, most fearsome Butcher!
We pray thee Lord of Darkness to join our Black Mass!
We beseech thee to accept another Horned Harbinger of your Relentless Tread!
One Comes now to speak on his behalf

Behold me, Lord of Bones, I am your servant Ripper and I have served you Long and Long.
I have gathered to me a Squire of good faith and service, who I would offer to you as sacrifice, O Reaper of Souls.
He hath served me Long and Long and through toils of labor and spoils of war proven his worth.
Blood he has gathered. Blood he has spilled. Blood he has sacrificed.
And now he comes to pledge his life to the Inevitable.

Behold me, Lord of Bones, I am your servant Terror, and I have served my Lord Ripper Long and Long in your Name.
Willingly I come as a sacrifice, that in Death I may serve Eternal.
My mortal coil has been cleansed by ritual, water, and flame. It is prepared for thee, God of the Dead.
But first I beg of the Lords of Undeath, allow me to touch the Crown of Horns, that Myrkul may accept me into thy Kinship.

By what Rite do you seek Knighthood, Squire?

By Rite of Honor and Fidelity

By What Rite do you seek the kinship of our Coven, Squire?

By Rite of Blood and Sacrifice

By What Rite do you seek Myrkul’s Grace and Immortality, Squire?

By Rite of Souls and Service

Then let it be so. Touch the Crown at my brow and be undone, mortal.

Make certain daily that all fear and respect the Lord of Bones–who cannot be evaded, hidden from, or shut out. For the dead are his subjects and the slide into death his pleasure and his domination. Perform your duty as a Doom-Bringer, those moved by Myrkul to bring death, delivering souls to the one who shall have them all in the end, the mighty and the low-born, the cloaked in proud art and those barely able to speak. You fear nothing, for to harm you is to die.