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|“||Know this name our enemies have draped upon you - this Kalach-Cha - its sound travels far, even reaching the ears of my people.||”|
The Kalach-Cha, also known as the Knight-Captain, was an adventurer who, among other major feats, battled the King of Shadows. The name Kalach-Cha, which is a nom de guerre, was coined by the Kalach-Cha’s githyanki enemies, in whose language the words Kalach-Cha mean "shard bearer," referring to the close connection between the hero and the Silver Sword of Gith.
The Kalach-Cha was born in the village of West Harbor in the Mere of Dead Men shortly before or during the village's destruction. His/her mother, Esmerelle, was killed during the battle, while protecting him/her from the blast resulting from the destruction of the Sword of Gith in the battle and both were impaled by a shard of the Sword. Although the Kalach-Cha was badly wounded, the injury healed rather quickly and miraculously, sealing the shard behind it. Suspecting that the shard was the cause of this recovery, no one dared remove it.
Unfortunately, Esmerelle was not so fortunate and she died from her wounds. Before she did, she entrusted her child with a close friend and former adventuring companion named Shayla. However, Shayla also died from wounds inflicted in the battle, leaving the care of the child to her husband, a wild elf named Daeghun Farlong. Daeghun was deeply affected by the loss of his wife, and rarely showed emotion towards the child throughout his/her upbringing.
The early life of the Kalach-Cha would not be easy, the Mere of Dead Men having a perilous reputation well-deserved. However, in spite of the troubles, the Kalach-Cha would rise to become a strong individual capable of making their own decisions, in part thanks to the care of Daeghun, though due to other factors as well. Unbeknownst to themselves or those around them, the Kalach-Cha was aided by the shard within their chest, which empowered them, granting them an edge over others in similar tasks. Additionally, the druids of the Circle of the Mere secretly watched and aided the Kalach-Cha, curious as to the effects of the shard. In particular, the wood elf Elanee would keep a close eye on the child, subtly steering them away from peril.
The Kalach-Cha would rarely step far from his/her home in the Mere and as a result the village of West Harbor would become an inseparable part of their childhood. The Kalach-Cha would form several strong relationships with other Harbormen, some for good and others for ill. In particular, the Kalach-Cha formed a strong bond with Amie Fern, a wizard’s apprentice, and Bevil Starling, a member of the local militia, with whom they participated in several activities, such as the annual Harvest Festival. They would, however, also make enemies with the Mossfield brothers.
Departure from West Harbor and early adventuresEdit
|This article or section is about elements from the game Neverwinter Nights 2.|
|Video games are considered canon unless they contradict content in some other Forgotten Realms publication.|
Roughly a generation after the near destruction of West Harbor, peril returned to it again on the night after the year’s Harvest Festival. After participating in the contests of the Festival the Kalach-Cha awoke to find West Harbor under attack by a band of duergar and bladelings under the command of the githyanki Sword Stalker Zeearie. Although the Kalach-Cha and the village militia were able to eventually push back the invaders they were unable to do so quickly enough to prevent the village’s devastation and the deaths of many of its number, including the Kalach-Cha’s friend Amie.
Immediately after, as the Harbormen tried to uncover the reasons for the sudden and inexplicable attack by extraplanar forces, Daeghun would call his foster child to him. Suspecting that the attackers had been intent on claiming the shards from the earlier battle, Daeghun confessed to the Kalach-Cha the existence of a silver shard that he had hidden within Illefarn ruins near the village, although he did not tell the future hero of the shard within their own chest. Believing this to be what the githyanki were after, Daeghun asked his foster child and their friend Bevil to recover the shard. Though Bevil was reluctant, the Kalach-Cha agreed and together they reclaimed the shard from a group of lizardfolk who had taken up residence within the ruins.
When the Kalach-Cha returned, Daeghun dismissed Bevil and told his child about the battle and how he suspected that shard held great, unlocked power. He commanded the Kalach-Cha to leave West Harbor with the shard, fearing that the seemingly insignificant piece of metal would draw more githyanki to the village. He told the Kalach-Cha to bring the shard to his half-brother Duncan, who the Kalach-Cha had previously never heard of and who resided in Neverwinter, who might be able to get help in uncovering the nature of the shard and its history. He also recommended that the Kalach-Cha not take Bevil with him, a request that Bevil honored, believing himself unready for adventure. With little choice left to them the Kalach-Cha departed West Harbor, the place of their childhood.
In order to buy his child some time, Daeghun deliberately misled the inhabitants of West Harbor about the path of the Kalach-Cha. However, this would ultimately fail and the githyanki would soon be on the trail of the hero once again.
The path to NeverwinterEdit
The Kalach-Cha would head along the High Road, heading towards Highcliff in order to charter a ship by sea to Neverwinter. Along the way the hero picked up three companions. The first of these was Khelgar Ironfist, a shield dwarf intent on becoming a monk whom the Kalach-Cha met outside the Weeping Willow Inn, about to get into a brawl with several of the inn’s patrons. After aiding the dwarf, either inadvertently or purposefully, the hero attracted the respect of Khelgar, who proposed that, since they were both headed towards Neverwinter, that they travel together. Before the Kalach-Cha could answer they discovered that they had not evaded their enemies after all, a band of bladelings and duergar bursting into the inn and hissing the words “Kalach-Cha!” During the ensuing fight, Khelgar and the Kalach-Cha would cement their bond, traveling together soon thereafter.
Shortly after the fight at the Weeping Willow the Kalach-Cha and Khelgar would approach Fort Locke, an outpost of Neverwinter’s Greycloaks. Shortly before entering they would come across a tiefling girl named Neeshka and prevent her from being lynched by a group of corrupt Greycloaks and Neeshka would quickly become the Kalach-Cha’s second companion. This encounter may have led to the Kalach-Cha’s intervention in the troubles of the fort, whose commander had disappeared to be replaced with the corrupt Lieutenant Vallis and whose patrols had come under attack by increasingly bold bandits.
Regardless of whether they intervened in the affairs of Fort Locke or not the group would soon head further north along the High Road, where they were ambushed once again by bladelings and duergar. This time, however, they were assisted by the sudden appearance of Elanee, who had been tracking the Kalach-Cha since his/her departure from the village. Although suspicious of the druid’s motives, the Kalach-Cha was grateful for Elanee’s help and agreed to her offer to guide the group through the Maiden’s Glade, away from the eyes of the their pursuers. However, they would discover this path fraught with danger as well and the Kalach-Cha would have ended up fighting the transformed Kaleil, a druid who had gone mad by some dark magic corrupting the Mere. The path would, however, provide them solace from the githyanki, who they would not soon again encounter.
After traveling through the Glade the heroes would at last arrive at Highcliff. There, the Kalach-Cha would discover that it was impossible to obtain a ship due to constant sabotage and attacks by enraged lizardfolk, who had begun encroaching on Highcliff’s land. Forced to deal with this crisis before proceeding the Kalach-Cha would find a way to deal with the lizardfolk, possibly by peaceful means or possibly through assassination of their chieftain. Whatever the means, these efforts put the Kalach-Cha in contact with shadow priests in the service of a dark being known as the King of Shadows, whom the hero was forced to fight.
Eventually, the crisis in Highcliff was solved and the Kalach-Cha obtained the ship they required, using it to sail along the Sword Coast North to Neverwinter.
Troubles in NeverwinterEdit
Although the Kalach-Cha managed to at last reach their destination it became quickly clear that all was not well in the Jewel of the North. Duncan was unable to help his wayward kin, telling the Kalach-Cha that he knew no more about the shard then Daeghun did. He was able to give the hero another shard and enlist the help of Sand, a local wizard, but the moon elf also proved ineffective, finding the shards resistant to his attempts at scrying them. The only alternative that seemed to be left was to enlist the help of the aged wizard Aldanon, who lived in the Blacklake District, recently closed off by Neverwinter's City Watch due to the murder of one Lord Dalren by an unknown and magically empowered assailant.
Determined to find the answers they desired the Kalach-Cha began searching for methods to enter the Blacklake and took up residence in their uncle Duncan’s inn, the Sunken Flagon. Fortunately, the city’s troubles proved a boon in this case as Neverwinter's Docks District had become the battleground in a covert war fought between the Watch and a gang under the leadership of a Shadow Thief named Moire. Helping either side would provide the means for the Kalach-Cha to enter Blacklake, either legitimately or by stealth. During this time the Kalach-Cha encountered an arrogant sorceress named Qara, who Duncan would shame into aiding the Kalach-Cha.
The Kalach-Cha’s aid would prove instrumental to either side, swinging control of the Docks neatly over to either the gangs or the Watch. In the process the Kalach-Cha would be dispatched to Old Owl Well to deal with the disappearance of an ambassador from Waterdeep, an event that does not benefit both the Shadow Thieves and the Watch. There the Kalach-Cha would meet and enlist the aid of the paladin Casavir, a hero devoted to fighting the orcs who’d taken hold in the Sword Mountains there, as well as the eccentric rock gnome bard Grobnar Gnomehands.
The rescue of Shandra JerroEdit
After helping the Watch or the Thieves gain control over the Docks, the Kalach-Cha obtained entrance to Blacklake, enabling them to meet Aldanon. The wizard proved helpful, though he did not have all the answers the hero sought. He was able to determine, however, that the shards were fragments of a githyanki silver sword and that the hero’s possession of them was likely the cause of their attacks. He also gave the Kalach-Cha a shard of his own, which he believed to be from the same sword and recommended that they seek out information on the deceased wizard Ammon Jerro, who had once possessed such a sword.
The Kalach-Cha agreed and sought out such information in the Neverwinter Archives. However, as it turned out, the githyanki were one step ahead of the hero, raiding the Archives for the information themselves. Ultimately, the Kalach-Cha would uncover the information he needed, about a secret haven of the wizard as well as the existence of his sole descendant, a farm girl named Shandra who the hero had encountered while in Highcliff. Realizing that the githyanki were likely headed towards the village to try and kill her, the heroes left at once and managed to arrive just before the sword Stalkers, although not in time to prevent the destruction of Shandra’s farm.
With Shandra rescued, the Kalach-Cha and their companions returned to the Flagon. There they began to ask Shandra about her grandfather Ammon’s haven and what she knew about the shards. As it turned out, she knew almost nothing and proved mostly unhelpful, as well as angry at the Kalach-Cha, who she blamed for her home’s destruction. Ultimately unsuccessful, the group rested for the night, only for Shandra to be kidnapped right under their noses by the githyanki, who laid assault to the Flagon. Although the heroes prevented the Flagon’s destruction they were unable to prevent Shandra’s capture.
Knowing that the githyanki probably intended to interrogate and kill her, the Kalach-Cha departed north in pursuit, taking with him at Duncan’s insistence a ranger named Bishop, whose knowledge of the lands around Luskan would prove useful. With Bishop’s help the Kalach-Cha proceeded quickly and upset a githyanki ambush at the village of Ember, before reaching the githyanki base within some Illefarn ruins near Luskan. There, the Kalach-Cha would confront and kill the sword stalkers’ leader Zeearie and rescue Shandra, though not before discovering the truth about the shards and the existence of the one in their chest, which Zeearie revealed would kill the hero if it was ever removed.
With Shandra now comfortably in their care, the Kalach-Cha and their companions returned to the Flagon and uncovered from Duncan the truth about the events surrounding their birth. Additionally, Shandra begged the hero to stay close to her and protect her, while training her in the use of a weapon. The hero agreed, and Shandra would spend much time beside the Kalach-Cha, learning to become a fighter.
Rise to prominence in NeverwinterEdit
Shortly after their return from the north, the Kalach-Cha would be charged with the slaughter of the entire village of Ember by agents of Luskan, whose sovereignty extended over the village. Demanding justice the ambassador Torio Claven asked for Neverwinter to honor its treaty with the City of Sails ending the Luskan War and allow the extradition of the Kalach-Cha. This was irrefutable according to Neverwinter law, which required that inhabitants of common origin, subject to “Low Law,” comply with this request.
However, with the help of either Nevalle, leader of the Neverwinter Nine or Axel, Moire’s employer, the Kalach-Cha would acquire protection from this clause by becoming the squire of a knight in Neverwinter’s service. This officially made the hero a member of the nobility, putting them under “High Law” and therefore exempt from extradition. Realizing this, the Luskans secretly dispatched a band of assassins from the Circle of Blades to kill the Kalach-Cha during his/her ritual of solace, though this attempt at usurping justice would prove unsuccessful and the Kalach-Cha would survive, becoming a squire of the knight.
Trial in NeverwinterEdit
This would not spare the Kalach-Cha, however, as he/she still would have to face trial in Neverwinter. In order to prove their innocence, the aid of Sand was enlisted once again, this time as an investigator and attorney. Together, Sand and the Kalach-Cha would depart north to search for clues in Ember and the nearby town of Port Llast, which sat uncomfortably along the Luskan-Neverwinter border. After recovering this evidence and perhaps aiding the locals in some troubles within the Duskwood, the hero returned to Neverwinter for their trial.
During the trial, several witnesses were called forth and evidence provided by the defense under Sand’s direction. Torio, the prosecutor as well as Luskan’s ambassador, proved adept at twisting words and turning the Kalach-Cha’s arguments against them, though who ultimately won the trial is unsure as well as unimportant. The losing side inevitably invoked the right of Trial by Combat, which allowed the defense to challenge the prosecutor to combat, where it was believed Tyr would allow the virtuous to prevail. For this Torio would call to her side Bevil Starling’s long lost brother Lorne as her champion. The Kalach-Cha may have fought themselves, or one of their companions (Khelgar, Qara, Casavir or Bishop) would volunteer to fight on their behalf.
Ultimately, the defense would prove victorious and Lorne would be killed. As a reward, Lord Nasher would not only exonerate the Kalach-Cha of guilt but promise them a title and land of their own, though this would not be awarded until much later.
The kidnapping of Aldanon and assault on Crossroad KeepEdit
After the Trial by Combat, Aldanon would send a message to the Kalach-Cha, telling them that he had uncovered more information about the shards which he desired to share. When the Kalach-Cha left to meet with the wizard, however, they discovered that his home had come under attack by agents of Garius and that Cormick, a childhood hero of the Kalach-Cha and a fellow Harborman, had been taken hostage. Ultimately, the Kalach-Cha was able to break in but not before Aldanon was successfully whisked away to Garius’ base at the ruins of Crossroad Keep.
However, the Kalach-Cha did rescue Aldanon’s assistant, who was able to reveal to the hero what Aldanon had intended on telling them – namely that the victims of the recent murders in Neverwinter were all individuals who possessed a shard. As such, it became apparent that the next such victim would likely be Tavorick, a noble in Blacklake who possessed such a shard. Knowing that they had to stop whoever was organizing the attacks from obtaining another shard, the Kalach-Cha rushed to Tavorick’s defense and successfully slew the fiends that attacked the noble’s home. However, the Kalach-Cha learned too late that a woman named Melia who was posing as Tavorick's lover and in reality a member of the Neverwinter Nine, had taken Tavorick's shard and fled to the Moonstone Mask as part of a diversion plan and that their enemy had discovered this.
The Kalach-Cha rushed to the Moonstone Mask to prevent Melia’s death but came too late, just in time to witness a mysterious arcanist taking the shard from Melia’s corpse and teleported away. On the other hand, the establishment's proprietor Ophala Cheldarstorn and many of her employees survived the attack. Defeated and with seemingly no option left but to accept their failure, the Kalach-Cha was surprised when Sydney Natale, the new Luskan ambassador, offered information as to Garius’ location. Revealing his base to be within the ruins of the abandoned Crossroad Keep, Sydney gave the Kalach-Cha and the Many-Starred Cloaks a chance to rescue Aldanon and perhaps defeat their enemy.
Together the group laid their assault on the Crossroad Keep, overcoming the defenses raised by Garius’ wizards through an underground passage and interrupting a ritual in the midst of its casting by Garius and his minions. As a result, the ritual killed Garius and the others preparing it, as was likely intended by the manipulations of the shadow priests, according to the journal of one Arval, giving victory to the Kalach-Cha and allowing them to rescue both Aldanon and another prisoner, a githzerai named Zhjaeve. Although still no closer to obtaining more shards or defeating the King of Shadows, the mission proved a boon as Zhjaeve was able to provide many answers upon swearing herself to the service of the Kalach-Cha, including the origin of the name the githyanki had given them.
The search for AnswersEdit
The capture of Crossroad resulted in the promise of Nasher to the Kalach-Cha becoming fulfilled. As a reward, Nasher bestowed the keep to the Kalach-Cha and gave him/her the rank of Captain within the Graycloaks, giving them the task of rebuilding the Keep and fortifying it for the coming war against the King of Shadows. The Kalach-Cha would carry out this task to a reasonable degree of success, whilst also hunting for further clues.
In time, the Kalach-Cha’s search would bring to Arvahn. There, the Kalach-Cha would uncover the truth of the King of Shadows’ origins as a construct of Illefarn as well as a way to defeat him, through the power of the Ritual of Purification. However, they required five statues to complete the ritual and only found four, the fifth hidden behind a song portal leading to West Harbor. Going through the portal, the Kalach-Cha discovered their home destroyed utterly, its inhabitants slaughtered to a man, and no sign of the attackers. Realizing the King of Shadows was likely on their trail, the Kalach-Cha departed for the Illefarn ruins near the village and arrived just in time to see Ammon Jerro complete the final fifth of the ritual before mighty shadow reavers, agents of the King of Shadows destroyed it. The Kalach-Cha defeated the shadow reavers, though only temporarily, and fled.
It was after this that the Kalach-Cha realize there was only one avenue left to them in their search for a method by which to destroy the King of Shadows and that was to seek out Ammon Jerro’s Haven, with the intent of reforging the sword he had once wielded. Shandra was reluctant to assist but agreed and the group departed for the Haven. Upon entering after completely several trials Shandra was teleported away. Proceeding through the Haven in the hopes of finding her, the Kalach-Cha met several demons and devils within the Haven, who may have helped in several ways or merely proved a hindrance.
Eventually, the Kalach-Cha reached the laboratory of Ammon Jerro, whom they confronted, believing them wrongly to be the King of Shadows. They were nearly killed in the attempt, in spite of apparent success at first, only to be saved by Shandra, who sacrificed her own blood to break the bonds holding the power of the Haven’s inhabitants to Ammon. Enraged, Ammon killed the weakened Shandra only to discover her true identity as she died. Guilt-ridden at killing his last surviving kin, Ammon turned himself over to the Kalach-Cha who spared him either out of mercy or a sense of utility before the warlock teleported them back to Crossroad.
Knight-Captain of Crossroad KeepEdit
Shortly after the Kalach-Cha’s return from Ammon Jerro’s Haven the hero was summoned to Neverwinter by Nasher to reconized for their efforts, and made a knight of Nevewinter.In the midst of Nasher’s speech a group of assailants burst into Castle Never, trying to kill the inhabitants. With the help of the Nine and the Kalach-Cha, who flanked the shadow reavers by using a secret passage, the attacks were repelled, however, and, in gratitude, the Kalach-Cha was knighted by Nasher and offered a place in the Neverwinter Nine, which the hero may or may not have accepted.
Regardless, the Kalach-Cha, now a Knight-Captain, was ordered to strengthen the fortifications of Crossroad, who Nasher believed would become an invaluable asset in the Shadow War. For some time afterwards, the Kalach-Cha would do precisely this, building up the fortifications of the keep while also recruiting agents to enhance both Crossroad’s military strength as well as its mercantile capacities. For this purpose they might have recruited such individuals as his old friend Bevil, the farmer Orlen from West Harbor, Jalboun of the Two Blades, the deva mercenary Light of Heavens, or many others.
During this time the Kalach-Cha would also seek out allies for Neverwinter amongst its neighbors. Such an alliance might have been formed with Clan Ironfist, had they regained control of their ancestral home. Another possibility was the lizardfolk of the Mere, if the Kalach-Cha was able to dissuade them from once again attacking Highcliff and holding its villagers hostage. The Kalach-Cha may have also followed through on Grobnar’s unusual recommendation to seek out the help of the invisible Wendersnaven, though this would not have proven as useful as the other possible alliances. The Kalach-Cha may also have attempted to form an alliance with the remnants of the Circle of the Mere, though as it turned out the Circle had become corrupted by the King of Shadows with the exception of their leader Naevan, whom they had trapped in the form of a tree. The Kalach-Cha was forced to slay them and was unable to receive the aid of Naevan, who took to mending the dying Mere.
Eventually, the Kalach-Cha would be approached by Khralver Irlingstar, an agent of Sydney Natale. Sydney would offer a Scroll, a list from the Hosttower records in which was contained the True Names of the shadow reavers, required for the reavers to be killed permanently. However, in return she asked that the Kalach-Cha come only with Zhjaeve and Qara as companions. Though they suspected a trap, the Kalach-Cha and their companions could not refuse the offer and so accepted. Although it did indeed prove a trap, Sydney had come with the Scroll as promised and the Kalach-Cha was able to defeat both her and the animus elemental she had summoned to kill Qara.
With the Truenames the Kalach-Cha had a new purpose – obtain a few final shards of the Silver Sword of Gith and use them to reforge the blade. To do this they lured a shadow reaver into attacking them, though they quickly proved that with the true names to aid them the shadow reavers proved no more a threat than the King of Shadows’ other minions. Having obtained this one final shard, Zhjaeve determine that although they did not have all the shards it would be enough to reforge the blade. To do so, the group returned to West Harbor where it was shattered, where they were once again ambushed by shadow reavers. However, with the power of the Blade the Kalach-Cha proved more than a match, slaying their assailants and returning to Crossroad triumphant.
The Battles of Highcliff and Crossroad KeepEdit
Soon after the Kalach-Cha reforged the Sword of Gith the forces of the King of Shadow organized themselves and prepared for an all-out attack. Suspecting their first target to be Highcliff, Nasher and the Neverwinter Nine, with the possible exception of the Kalach-Cha if they were a member, departed for the village to defend it against the forces of the King. However, the horde of undead serving the King proved victorious and at least one of the Nine, the bold dwarf Callum, was slain and Nasher himself gravely injured.
Realizing the Crossroad Keep would be the next target and possible turning point of the war, the Kalach-Cha prepared for the inevitable siege. The bridges leading to the Keep were deliberately destroyed, which it was hoped would slow the advance of the army, which was travelling by night. Shortly before the battle, Ammon would depart for the ruins of Shandra’s farm, where he would lament over her death and be confronted with the pit fiend Koraboros who he had enslaved and who now sought vengeance. The Kalach-Cha would aid Ammon, banishing the devil from the Prime Material Plane and possibly convincing Ammon Jerro of the error of his ways. The two would return to Crossroad, ready to face the King’s army and await assistance from Neverwinter’s allies among the Lords’ Alliance.
However, the battle came more quickly than any had anticipated, the army being pushed to march under the harsh sunlight of day in spite of the damage it dealt, in order to give Crossroad as little time to prepare as possible. Early in the morning, as the Kalach-Cha slept, possibly beside a loved one, the army arrived and laid siege to the keep. Rushing to its defenses the Graycloaks and Neverwinter’s allies defended the fortress boldly, destroying many of the siege towers.
In spite of their courageous defense, the Kalach-Cha’s forces were betrayed by Bishop who, having formed a deal with the enemy, sabotaged the gates of Crossroad, allowing the army to enter. There, Garius, revealed to now be a shadow reaver in the service of the King of Shadows, summoned an aspect of the King, which attacked the group. With the power of the Silver Sword of Gith the Kalach-Cha defeated the aspect. Their morale broken and sunlight now beaming down hard on them, the army of the King retreated, as did Garius.
Assault on the Vale of the MereEdit
After the defeat of the King of Shadows at Crossroad the Kalach-Cha proceeded with the next task, taking the fight to the enemy. Through triangulation and scrying Aldanon, with Ammon and Sand’s help, was able to discern the location of the King of Shadows’ main fortress, deep within the Vale of the Mere. Although the Mere was filled with necrotic energy along its borders and lethal to most, Aldanon revealed that by some strange process the center of the Mere was almost devoid of this magic and that, with some effort, the group should be able to teleport directly into the King of Shadows’ fortress. The Kalach-Cha agreed and together they all of their companions were transported into the Vale.
Upon arriving, they discovered that Garius had prepared for them. Within a minute of their arrival, Neeshka was snatched out of mid-air and the group was assaulted by undead. However, through perseverance and teamwork the group proceeded further into the fortress, towards its bottom layer. Eventually, they came upon the inner sanctum, where they found Garius and Bishop, as well as Neeshka, whom Garius had tortured and exposed to foul magic in order to gain control over her. As the Kalach-Cha confronted Garius, the mage tried to turn their companions against them, playing on the bitter enmity between Sand and Qara, Bishop’s theft of the overrides for the Kalach-Cha’s construct, Ammon Jerro’s regrets, and the magic he had performed on Neeshka. Ultimately, Garius would be unable to win over Ammon but might have been successful in obtaining the loyalty of the others and certainly caused either Sand or Qara to betray the hero. However, the Kalach-Cha might have done the reverse in turn, causing Bishop to abandon Garius and run for his life.
Regardless of how successful Garius was in his attempt at inciting mutiny, the mage was defeated by the combined group following the Kalach-Cha and slain permanently. However, this came too late to prevent the King of Shadows from being summoned, who appeared shortly thereafter. With cold, certain purpose the King of Shadows attacked the Kalach-Cha, who he saw as an enemy of the long-gone empire of Illefarn. With the help of Ammon’s portion of the Ritual of Purification and the Silver Sword of Gith the Kalach-Cha slew the King of Shadows once and for all, ending its threat to Neverwinter.
Kidnapping by Nefris and LiennaEdit
|This article or section is about elements from the game Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer.|
|Video games are considered canon unless they contradict content in some other Forgotten Realms publication.|
The death of the King of Shadows would, unfortunately, not be the end of the Kalach-Cha’s troubles. The magic unleashed by the being’s destruction caused the walls around them to tremble and collapse, causing the entire fortress to crumble to pieces. The Kalach-Cha and their companions tried to escape the ruins, some successfully, others not. In the chaos, several gargoyles took advantage of the turmoil. Ceasing to be passive observers, they emerged from the shadows and snatching the Kalach-Cha from the ruins and knocking them unconscious before bring them through a portal which led into the Plane of Shadow. Although the chaos resultant from the battle did not give many of the Kalach-Cha’s companions a chance to witness this, Ammon Jerro did and quickly took pursuit.
The warlock would follow the Kalach-Cha through the portal and into an abandoned replica of the Rashemi city Mulsantir on the Plane of Shadow. There, Ammon was ambushed by two Red Wizards of Thay, who had sent the gargoyles to retrieve the Kalach-Cha for their own purposes. One, Nefris, was all too familiar with Ammon and knew his power, and determined to strike quickly and without mercy so the warlock would not have the chance to upset her plans. Once unconscious, Ammon was taken to the Academy of Shapers and Binders for his soul to extract whilst Nefris and the other wizard, a woman named Lienna, prepared another ritual for the unconscious Kalach-Cha.
While the Kalach-Cha slept, drifting in and out of consciousness, the wizards operated on the hero, withdrawing from their chest the shard that had preserved them since birth. Knowing that this would kill the Kalach-Cha they quickly transported the unconscious hero to a cave near Mulsantir in the Prime, placing them deep within its lowest layer, near a series of rune-inscribed pillars. Then they left the hero without further action. Lienna returned to Mulsantir to await the hero while Nefris headed to Thay and dispatched her daughter Safiya to fetch the hero, revive them, and bring them before Lienna, treating them as a dear and precious friend.
Escape from the Bear God’s barrowEdit
When Safiya arrived, the Kalach-Cha was already beginning to awake. However, they found themselves unable to move, as if all their animating energy had been drained from them. And beneath that feeling of limp lethargy the hero also felt a deep and unfathomable hunger, caused by the magic infused into the walls around them, which Nefris and Lienna had counted on to preserve the hero’s life and imbue him/her with the Betrayer’s Curse. With Safiya’s arrival and help, the Kalach-Cha was able to stand, although they found themselves deprived of all but their most basic equipment, including the Sword of Gith, which Nefris had taken.
With no clue as to where they were or how they had gotten there, the Kalach-Cha had little choice but to follow Safiya, in spite of the tattoos and robes that clearly marked her as one of the infamous Red Wizards of Thay. Safiya proved trustworthy, however, helping the Kalach-Cha escape the caverns below Rashemen, evading for a brief time the telthors who made their home there and who claimed the hero was a danger to them and all other life. Ultimately, however, both Safiya and the Kalach-Cha were forced to fight the telthors in self-defense and in the process, uncovered the first major symptom of the Kalach-Cha’s condition aside from the gnawing hunger – the ability to consume the souls of nature spirits as the Kalach-Cha instinctually reached out and devoured the wolf telthor Nakata’s spirit.
During their attempts to evade the telthors the Kalach-Cha and Safiya may have delved below to journey through the hidden passageways of ancient Imaskari ruins. There they might have acquired a magical rod of ancient Imaskar as well as a golem. They may also have forged a deal with the ice spirit Orglash, to enlist his aid in defeating Okku. In either case, they were forced to deal with a blocked passageway, perhaps by blasting it open with the Imaskari rod or by appeasing the telthors within to let them past with ritual offerings.
Once past this barrier the Kalach-Cha and Safiya were confronted with Okku the Bear God, who had, after an ageless sleep, been awoken by the Kalach-Cha’s arrival. Sensing the Betrayer’s Curse upon the Kalach-Cha, the telthor condemned the hero as a spirit eater, in spite of Safiya’s protests. Faced with no alternative but to let Okku kill them or fight for their lives, the two managed to subdue the still waking Okku and escape from the barrow alive. From there, it was a short journey to Mulsantir, one of Rashemen’s most prominent cities, where Lienna waited for the two at the Veil Theater.
Arrival in MulsantirEdit
When the Kalach-Cha and Safiya, under disguise so as to avoid arousing suspicion amongst her people’s enemies the Rashemi, arrived in Mulsantir they wasted little time in heading towards the Veil. However, as they entered the door they were immediately confronted with another Red Wizard as well as four gnolls under his command, who were busy attacking the actors and audience and who proved no friend of Safiya’s, intent on slaying her and the Kalach-Cha both. Together the two were able to, either through force or intimidation, ward off the wizard. After this, Magda, a dwarven actor and director at the Veil, urged them to head into the back and depart through a portal into the Plane of Shadow, where she believed Lienna had fled only to be followed by more enemies.
Acknowledging this, the Kalach-Cha headed through the portal. There, the Kalach-Cha began to regain some blurry memories of the events that had transpired in the Plane of Shadow, remembering two women hovering over and pulling the shard out of their chest. However, the Kalach-Cha pushed these memories away for the task at hand and pursued the last Red Wizard, Khai Khmun, who taunted Safiya, telling her that her mother was dead. Together the Kalach-Cha and Safiya were able to defeat Khai, though only too late to save Lienna. With no answers left to them , the two were confused as to their next action and left through the door of the Veil.
Upon departing the theater the two were confronted almost immediately by three hathrans: the witches Sheva Whitefeather, Kazimika Vadoi, and Katya. The three revealed that Okku had gathered a spirit army and laid it around Mulsantir, proclaiming that he would not leave until the Kalach-Cha faced him, who he called out as a bane upon life itself. Although some of the witches, namely Kazimika, were suspicious of the Kalach-Cha or outright eager to hand them over to Okku, Sheva was willing to let the Kalach-Cha face the bear on their own terms, so long as they did so. With little choice, the Kalach-Cha agreed, knowing that they would have to fight Okku anyhow if they tried to leave the city by any land route.
In order to help them in the coming battle, the witches recommended that the Kalach-Cha seek out aid amongst others. Though they claimed few would be willing to help a spirit eater, they felt that the Kalach-Cha might have some luck with a few other outlanders dwelling within the city, such as the group of half-celestial doomguides known collectively as the Menagerie, or the prisons of the city. The Kalach-Cha did check the latter, finding within the prison block an unusually handsome hagspawn shaman named Gannayev or Gann for short. Offering the prisoner his freedom, the Kalach-Cha was able to recruit Gann to their side through engaging with the hagspawn briefly in wordplay.
The Kalach-Cha may well have also sought out the Menagerie’s missing member, a woman named Kaelyn the Dove. Having turned on her siblings’ faith, Kaelyn had converted to the worship of Ilmater, who she felt a more worthy god filled with compassion for life. As such, her disappearance was one of conscious choice, as she sought a way to open the Betrayer’s Gate in the Dead God’s Vault within the shadow twin of Mulsantir. However, the Kalach-Cha was able to dissuade her from this for the time being, since she was unable to discover a method by which to unlock the Gate. With Kaelyn found the hero might have been able to convince the rest of the Menagerie to aid them, although Kaelyn would not have approved of this, feeling concern for her siblings.
With supporters to back them up, the Kalach-Cha exited Mulsantir at last, confronting Okku. The bear god once again called out the Kalach-Cha as a spirit eater, although the hero did not yet know what this name meant. Demanding blood, Okku and his army attacked, although they were, in an upset, repelled by the few numbers led by the Kalach-Cha. With Okku at their mercy, the Kalach-Cha may have spared the telthor, who may then have joined the Kalach-Cha in an attempt to uncover the origins of their curse. Otherwise, the Kalach-Cha may have given into the increasingly strong hunger, devouring Okku’s soul and perhaps offering what little remained of the “bear god” to the creature known as One of Many that dwelled within the Dead God’s Vault, recruiting the undead abomination to their side.
Whatever the case, the Kalach-Cha now stood victorious, though at a cost. The truth of the curse plaguing their body was now revealed to the people of Mulsantir, who quickly went from cultural xenophobia to outright fear and loathing of the Kalach-Cha, who they began to call exclusively “Spirit Eater.”
The Betrayer's CurseEdit
When the Kalach-Cha learned of their curse, they realized they had to learn to live with it one way or another and find a way to either counteract its destructive effects upon them or, alternatively, find a total cure. No person had done such a thing successfully before and Sheva Whitefeather, as well as possible Okku, revealed to the Kalach-Cha that though there was a history of spirit eaters in Rashemen, none had survived their curse, eventually being consumed from within by it. In fact, the last such person to have attempted to find a cure had died buried within the Bear God’s Barrow, thereby revealing to both the Kalach-Cha and others that the curse acted like some king of magical disease, spreading from a previous victim to another in near contact.
Sheva Whitefeather suspected answers might be found in the Ashenwood north of Mulsantir, where an ancient nature spirit known as the Wood Man dwelt, a being who had once dealt with other spirit eaters. Sheva recommended this with caution, wary of the Kalach-Cha due to their now dangerous and parasitic nature, though she was more forgiving than Kazimika, who outright condemned the Kalach-Cha, seeing them as nothing more than a bane to be ridden of. However, in spite of these prejudices, Sheva offered the Kalach-Cha the use of one of the city’s magical “witchboats,” enchanted vessels that would bring their passengers to any location that was requested.
Before departing, or perhaps after their return, the Kalach-Cha might have searched for answers in the Death God’s Vault within Shadow Mulsantir. There they might have discovered ancient texts describing the tale of the Akachi, known also as the “Betrayer” who infamously turned on his patron deity, the death god Myrkul in order to tear from the Wall of the Faithless a woman whom he loved. Although this was the root of the Betrayer’s Curse and the spirit eaters in Rashemen’s history, the Kalach-Cha would not immediately form the connection in their head, nor would any of their companions. There, the Kalach-Cha would also possibly uncover a false replica of the Silver Sword of Gith and uncover a startling truth – that the Betrayer had, himself, wielded the Silver Sword, during his assault on the City of Judgment.
The Kalach-Cha might have also, during this time, accepted a summons to the Wells of Lurue by a girl named Ku'arra, who insisted her family might be able to help the Kalach-Cha with the Betrayer’s Curse. If this were the case the Kalach-Cha would have discovered Ku'arra and her father U'juk to be uthraki who were interested not in curing the Kalach-Cha but either venerating or eating them, depending upon whether they felt the hero “worthy” of the spirit eater “gift.” The Kalach-Cha might have accepted U'juk’s offer to teach them how to devour the souls of all living creatures and not just incorporeal beings like nature spirits or ghosts, in exchange for a “gift of blood” – that is to say, a family of Shou merchants. Alternatively, the Kalach-Cha might have killed the uthraki, either in self-defense or malevolence.
If the Kalach-Cha went to the Wells of Lurue they may have encountered ancestors of Okku, the Bear King. The spirits, realizing the Kalach-Cha’s status as a spirit eater, would try to slay them though they would prove unsuccessful, though they might reveal to the Kalach-Cha what had happened to the previous spirit eater, who had befriended Okku in the bear god’s previous life. After this battle, the Kalach-Cha may have drank from the Wells of Lurue and descended into a hazy vision with the Plane of Dreams, where they encountered both the previous spirit eater, in the form of an old man, several shadows, a shadow reaver, and a young boy who called himself Araman and claimed to be the brother of Akachi. From the boy the Kalach-Cha would have received a small mask fragment, which would still be with the hero when they were roused from their slumber.
The corruption of the AshenwoodEdit
After the Battle of Mulsantir Gate and their possible search for answers near the city, the Kalach-Cha would head north along the Lake of Tears by witchboat, hoping to find answers from the Wood Man in the Ashenwood. Upon arriving at the wychlaran outpost along the lake’s shore, however, the Kalach-Cha and their companions discovered that the fort had come under attack by several creatures of the wood, who appeared to have gone mad with rage, such as telthors or treants and were attacking Nadaj, an ethran or low-ranking member of the wychlaran.
Nadaj explained that there seemed to be no purpose to the creatures’ attacks but that her superior, a high-ranking hathran named Dalenka did not trust the Kalach-Cha and would likely not let him/her into the Ashenwood to speak with the Wood Man during the crisis. The Kalach-Cha tried to convince Dalenka regardless, but made no progress. However, believing the outpost to be in grave danger Nadaj allowed the Kalach-Cha to enter the Ashenwood and seek out the Wood Man, telling them that recent events had corrupted and diseased the Ashenwood, possibly weakening the Wood Man gravely and hence explaining the madness of the Ashenwood’s spirits.
When the Kalach-Cha investigated, they found that three problems plagued the forest – a blight which had taken a hold of the Ashenwood’s trees and treants, an invasion by frost giants, and a wildfire stemming from the Burning Grove. To deal with the first problem would require solving the latter two, which would result in the Kalach-Cha fighting the frost giants, either expelling them by killing them or ritually challenging the jarl for leadership, and either vanquishing the spirit known as Shape of Fire causing the fire from within the Burning Grove through the aid of a bheur or aiding it in burning down the rest of the trees there.
As for the blight, the Kalach-Cha would find a treant named Gnarlthorn, who would tell them how to end the plague and restore the forest. To do this, he would require a magical flask of holy water, or alternatively the blood of a paragon beast, from the area the frost giants had occupied, bark cinders from the Burning Grove, and Gnarlthorn’s own diseased leaves. Once these had been gathered, the Kalach-Cha left, at the advisement of Gnarlthorn, for Immil Vale, where they mixed the ingredients into a potion that they drank, before praying to Chauntea or Malar, if using the blood of the paragon beast. In return, the hero was granted either the Toxic Plantbane of the Beastlord or the Blessed Salve of the Earthmother. The Kalach-Cha used one of these solutions, either killing the blighted trees and treants or curing them, with the exception of Gnarlthorn who, no matter the Kalach-Cha’s choice, perished.
While at Immil Vale, the Kalach-Cha may have slept under the shadow of a landmark known as the Mosstone due to rumors of its magical power. Once asleep, the Kalach-Cha would shift into the Plane of Dreams, where they would encounter a mysterious group of four. The group was intent on killing a red-robed woman, who the Kalach-Cha initially thought was Safiya only to discover she was not and who identified herself merely as a “memory of love.” Forced to slay the men in order to protect the woman, the Kalach-Cha was thereafter given a small fragment of a mask, which the hero found to still be with them when they “awoke.”
Once these three problems were dealt with the Kalach-Cha returned to the witches’ outpost. There, Nadaj told the Kalach-Cha that one problem yet remained – Dalenka herself, who Nadaj claimed was secretly a durthan, or heretical witch who had been banished from the domain of the wychlaran. The Kalach-Cha may have believed Nadaj. Alternatively, they may have suspected treachery and reported her claims to Dalenka. Whether the Kalach-Cha slew Dalenka or not, Nadaj would turn on them and set her berserkers on the hero, claiming they were the true traitor.
The Kalach-Cha would managed to stay alive to pursue Nadaj into the Ashenwood, where they discovered that Nadaj had become possessed by the “fury, the outrage, and the vengeance” of the forest. Forced to fight her and the corrupted Ashen Tree within which the diseased Wood Man dwelt, the Kalach-Cha would ultimately succeed in slaying Nadaj and the other creatures serving the dark spirit of hate occupying the Ashenwood.
Once this had been done, the Wood Man appeared to the Kalach-Cha, revealing his pain and offering little clues to the mystery of the Betrayer’s Curse, merely reiterating what others had said – that all who had suffered it had perished completely. He was able, however, to uncover that the nature of the Kalach-Cha’s curse was divine, hinting at the truth of the Betrayer’s Curse. This was, unfortunately, not enough and the Wood Man was unable to discern which god had laid the Betrayer’s Curse upon the Kalach-Cha, only sure that it was not a god of the natural world. After learning this, the Kalach-Cha may have devoured the Wood Man’s spirit or they may have cured him of his corruption, struggling to fight off the hunger of the curse through sheer willpower.
With the troubles of the Ashenwood solved, the Kalach-Cha departed, heading back to Mulsantir. Their return would be either greeted with disgust or apology, depending on whether the Kalach-Cha had proved themselves a slave to the curse or not.
Seeking out the Slumbering CovenEdit
From Magda the Kalach-Cha received a possible lead for uncovering more truth about their condition and the possibility of a cure. Magda told the Kalach-Cha that shortly before her death and the Kalach-Cha’s arrival in Mulsantir, Lienna had sought out the advice of a circle of night hags known as the Slumbering Coven, who dwelt in the sunken ruins of an Imaskari city now known as Coveya Kurg'annis. The Coven were reputed to be unparalleled seers, capable of seeing truths that were hidden to others and glimpsing into the minds and hearts of all through the dreamscape of the Plane of Dreams. The dwarven thespian would recommend that the Kalach-Cha seek out the aid of this Coven, in the hope that they might bestow some of their unusual wisdom.
The Kalach-Cha would follow this advice, heading towards Coveya Kurg'annis. Once there, however, they would find others already head of them in line and intent on seeing the Coven first. This was made worse by the fact that the Coven did not seem to be seeing any more visitors, having closed their doors and refusing to see anyone. Eventually, the Kalach-Cha would be forced into the Skein, either through force or by choice. In the flooded complex the Kalach-Cha would have to deal not only with malevolent elemental spirits but the maddened night hag Gulk'aush, Gann’s mother. There, the Kalach-Cha might have encountered a group of prisoners led by a figure known as the Sleeper, destroyed an earth elemental on behalf of the dao Fentomy, or reactivated several devices within the Skein. Eventually, the Kalach-Cha would be forced into a confrontation with Gulk'aush, though they may have spared her life.
Once out of the Skein, the Kalach-Cha would find the Slumbering Coven who were, appropriate to their name, sleeping though, unbeknownst to the hero they were fully aware of their environment. With little choice but to play their game, the Kalach-Cha slipped into their collective dreamscape. There, the Kalach-Cha would have to pass a series of tests, each located within a dreamscape version of a real place.
The first of these tests revealed a little of the Kalach-Cha’s condition to the hero, as it placed them on the stage of the Veil, where Magda attempted to get the hero to play the role of Akachi in a reenactment of the First Crusade, hinting once more at Akachi’s connection to the Kalach-Cha. Another of these tests included the Kalach-Cha’s encounter with the spirit of Bishop who, after perishing in the Vale, had been condemned as one of the Faithless and interred in the wall. Oddly, Bishop did not seem disturbed by this and welcomed his oblivion, though not before giving the Kalach-Cha a small mask fragment and claiming that he’d seen the Kalach-Cha’s own spirit within the Wall. Other trials included a game of “Hells” with a bard named Durler and a confrontation with the mind flayer Gud-bugh-ach, which could either end in the mind flayer’s death or rescue from being lost forever within the dreamscape.
Once this confrontation was through the Kalach-Cha returned to the Prime, where they learned from the Slumbering Coven of Nefris and Lienna’s collaboration and kidnapping of him, showing the hero a memory of the two, as they asked the Coven if there was a cure for the Betrayer’s Curse. The Coven answered, as they then reconfirmed for the Kalach-Cha, that the god Myrkul was to blame and that they should seek answers from him, although he had died during the Time of Troubles. The Coven then told the Kalach-Cha that they should head to the Academy of Shapers and Binders if they desired to uncover the truth, following the path of Nefris and Lienna. The Coven would also tell the Kalach-Cha that a door within the Shadow Mulsantir version of the Veil would lead to the Academy at its location in Thay.
With at last the hint of a cure for their condition, the Kalach-Cha may have thanked the Coven and left or alternatively attacked them, either out of vengeance for Gann’s twisted mother, sheer malevolence, or the desire to consume their souls. If this were the case than the other patrons as well as the hagspawn in the service of the Coven would have also been slain by the Kalach-Cha, unwilling to let the vaunted Coven be destroyed.
The truth of the Betrayer’s CurseEdit
After discovering from several sources clues that helped to piece together the root of the curse plaguing the Kalach-Cha, the hero would return to Mulsantir. There, they would enter the Plane of Shadows and through the twin of the Veil located there, teleport to Thay. They found the Thayans prepared for visitors, several gnolls manning the guard towers of the Academy which, when entered, was revealed to have been almost entirely deserted, a fight for control having erupted between Nefris, who was the Academy’s headmistress, and a quiet and seemingly unassuming professor named Araman. One of the few professors still claiming to be loyal to Nefris, who seemed to have perished, Djafi, would approach and greet the Kalach-Cha and Safiya as they entered the Academy, promising to aid them and help them get to Nefris’ room so that they could see if the headmistress’ attempts at finding a cure had been successful.
The Kalach-Cha would find their way to the Headmistress’ Tower, only to find a mysterious door with a lock that required the use of four souls to open it. In order to gain entrance, the Kalach-Cha would have to deal in the trading of immortal souls with two pit fiends. The Kalach-Cha would also require an artificial soul housed within the dying body of Bebtu, a faithful servant of Nefris who had allowed his own soul to be removed temporarily so that he could store the “item.” They may have also taken a soul from Artesh, a student at the Academy,
The Kalach-Cha may also have bartered from the pit fiends the soul of Ammon Jerro, repaying the warlock for their attempted rescue of the hero, although the Kalach-Cha was unaware of this role that their former ally had played. If so, Ammon would have related to the Kalach-Cha the fate of their companions from the Shadow War, so far as he knew in any case, and perhaps also have pledged his aid. He would also reveal how he had come to be trapped by Nefris, hinting also at his former tutelage at the Academy. The Kalach-Cha might have alternatively fed upon Ammon Jerro’s soul to sate the hunger of their curse.
With the souls collected, the Kalach-Cha headed once more into the Headmistress’ Tower, only to be betrayed by Djafi, who had been, in fact, setting up the hero to be captured by Araman and his loyal wizards. Araman would briefly confront the Kalach-Cha, calling them “brother,” in spite of their actual gender, and then departing after ordering his minions to attack. However, though the Kalach-Cha would be forced to kill most of the wizards, they may have succeeded in turning Djafi to their side, aiding them in the battle. After this confrontation, the Kalach-Cha departed through the door, which led into the Astral Plane.
There, to the Kalach-Cha’s surprise, the god Myrkul, or rather his drifting corpse, would be waiting for them. Myrkul, dead but not quite undone, glimmered with the faintest bit of life, preserved by the memory and fear his name still invoked in mortals. He would tell the Kalach-Cha about the Curse, which he revealed to be his punishment of Akachi who, after his defeat, was interred within the Wall of the Faithless for his soul to be consumed. However, out of cruel sadistic rage the god of the dead had pulled Akachi from the Wall right at the last moment, then lashing the dead priest’s soul to the mortal world, where it became the Betrayer’s Curse, consuming the souls of the living. The Kalach-Cha may have unveiled more, uncovering the fact that beneath sheer hatred for Akachi there lay another motive for Myrkul’s cruelty, as the dead god used the Betrayer’s Curse to extend his life, each soul destroyed feeding the dead god’s essence just a little more.
Seeing no error in his plans, since even the end of the Curse with another crusade against the Wall of the Faithless would preserve his memory, Myrkul felt no qualms in helping the Kalach-Cha, opening a portal to the Founder’s Sanctum, where he indicated the Kalach-Cha would find their final answers. However, the Kalach-Cha may not have simply accepted Myrkul’s help but instead chosen to end Myrkul once and for all, either by devouring the god’s spirit with the Betrayer’s Curse or using the Curse as a means to more peacefully put to rest the god’s essence, ironically using the god’s punishment as the means for his end. If One of Many travelled with the Kalach-Cha and was allowed to eat the god, the essence of Myrkul would become the One among Many, replacing the Child that had previously held the position.
Seeking out their final answers, the Kalach-Cha would enter the Founder’s Sanctum, where they would find Araman once again waiting for them. The aged wizard, apparently Akachi’s brother and a doombringer of Myrkul, told the Kalach-Cha that he could not allow them to succeed in undoing his brother’s punishment but must perish. However, the Kalach-Cha was able to defeat and kill Araman, gaining entrance to the Sanctum.
There, they encountered a woman dressed in red, who revealed herself to be the Academy’s founder and the lover whom Akachi had launched the First Crusade to free from the Wall of the Faithless. Now alive again, though nearing the end of her second life, the Founder had spent decades plotting, hoping to save her lover from the punishment Myrkul had forced on him. For this reason she had split her soul into four fragments – her own, Nefris’, Lienna’s, and Safiya’s – the latter three of whom were replicas of her own body and aspects of her psyche. It was also the reason why she had watched the Kalach-Cha from afar and kidnapped them after the battle with the King of Shadows, taking the Silver Sword of Gith from them, bestowing the Betrayer’s Curse, and awaiting their inevitable arrival patiently.
Although the Founder knew the Kalach-Cha had every reason to loathe her, she did have all the cards and selflessly gave the hero the Sword, which they would need to open the Gate of the Betrayer and launch their assault on the City of Judgment to free their own soul, which due to the curse had taken Akachi’s place in the Wall of the Faithless. The Founder also offered her own life in payment for the cruelty of her acts, though whether or not the Kalach-Cha spared her or killed her is unknown, though if not she perished soon after from natural causes.
With all the answers they needed and a clear course ahead of them, the Kalach-Cha had no choice but to launch the Third Crusade of the Faithless, assaulting the City of Judgment in an attempt to reclaim their soul and perhaps free those of the Faithless as well.
The Third Crusade of the FaithlessEdit
With the Silver Sword of Gith in hand the Kalach-Cha departed for the Death God’s Vault once again. There, using the Sword as a key the Kalach-Cha was able to open the Betrayer’s Gate, creating a portal between Shadow Mulsantir and the Fugue Plane. Then, with their companions, the Kalach-Cha would pass through the gate, coming before the Supplicants’ Gate of the City of Judgment. There, at the entrance to the City, the Kalach-Cha encountered three powerful beings who had served as Akachi’s generals during the First Crusade – Zoab, a solar-in-exile who wished to see the Wall of the Faithless destroyed, Rammaq, a power-hungry demilich who sought to become a god, and Sey'ryu, a blue dragon bound to Akachi by oath.
The Kalach-Cha may have led these creatures in the Third Crusade, launching an assault upon the City and doing battle with the new death god Kelemvor’s faithful and the False who served in the City, among whose number was counted Araman himself, having come to the Fugue Plane after being slain, or they may have instead, hoping to gain favor from Kelemvor or out of faith, turned on the Crusade and helped in their defeat. Regardless of the case, the Kalach-Cha was able to determine the location of the Wall and seek it out and the Crusade was vanquished, never truly having any hope of defeating Kelemvor or his servants on the Fugue Plane where his power was greatest.
Seeking out the Wall, the Kalach-Cha met the god Kelemvor himself, who showed sympathy for the hero's quest and permitted them to remove their soul from the Wall. However, Myrkul had left one last trap in the Wall, not eager for the Curse to end anytime soon, which trapped the Kalach-Cha within their own mind, where they were forced to do battle with the twisted soul of Akachi, personified as the “Faceless Man.” Had the Kalach-Cha acquired the three fragments of the Mask of the Betrayer, they would have received the aid of Akachi’s memories of the Founder and Araman, who protected the Kalach-Cha from the Faceless Man’s necrotic magic. The pair fought valiantly, but in the end Akachi was defeated.
At this point, the Kalach-Cha was offered a choice – to restore Akachi's humanity, permanently ending the Betrayer’s Curse through the use of the Mask, to relinquish the hunger but selfishly allow the curse to remain, or to devour Akachi and become the ultimate embodiment of the spirit eater, capable of devouring gods. If the Kalach-Cha chose the first option, they would have left the Fugue Plane, eventually returning to the Sword Coast where they may have married Safiya or Gann. If the Kalach-Cha chose the second option, they might have remained behind and become a guardian of the Wall of the Faithless alongside Kelemvor or traveled back to the Sword Coast. In the case of the third, the Kalach-Cha would have become a bane of the gods, killing several and wreaking havoc on the Fugue Plane.
Behind the scenesEdit
Like Gorion's Ward or the Hero of Neverwinter, the Kalach-Cha is a fully customizable character within their original appearance in Neverwinter Nights 2. There has not yet, as in the case of Gorion's Ward (Abdel Adrian), been an official identity assigned to the character.
However, a few things can be determined. The campaign of Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer, for instance, determines that the Kalach-Cha opposed the King of Shadows rather than joining him and was therefore likely good or neutral, rather than evil, though not necessarily as the King of Shadows has been opposed in the past by evil characters, such as Ammon Jerro. It does not determine either whether the hero was lawful or chaotic or whether they sided with Neverwinter or the Shadow Thieves in the city's gang wars.
A few other things can be determined more through inference than anything else. It is clear, for instance, that while the game allows a player character of the elven or similarly long-lived races, these do not fit with the game's backstory. Although no clear date is ever set for the first destruction of West Harbor, the age of several characters who participated, such as Dalren or Daeghun Farlong, allows for it to be inferred that the battle took place sometime within roughly twenty or thirty years. This makes any race with a substantially longer lifespan than humans, such as elves or dwarves to be ruled out as a race for the Kalach-Cha, who was born during or shortly before the battle.
The PC in Neverwinter Nights 2 and Mask of the Betrayer is, in both cases, canonically the Kalach-Cha. However, none of the PCs in Storm of Zehir are and the story takes place concurrently with Mask of the Betrayer. Nor is the Kalach-Cha in the original Neverwinter Nights nor any of its expansions.
- Neverwinter Nights 2
- Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer
- Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir (mentioned only)