The Many Years of Anguish were hard on the nation of Zakiim. Drought, famine, and disease plagued the population and poisoned the soil, and it would be 13 years before the country would be able to begin recovery. In dark times, some people search for solace in insidious places. Such was the case of the cleric known as Xierhan, who became increasingly convinced that his nation's plight was punishment from the gods; retribution for the sins of the ruling Solar Council. Over many months, Xierhan consulted with the God of Pestilence and Anguish, and for his devotion he was rewarded with power that he could previously have only dreamed of. But the God of Pestilence is vile and manipulative, and while Xierhan leveraged his charisma to develop his own cult following, his mind began to fray under divine influence. As he circled the whirlpool of insanity, Xierhan became fixated on bringing a finality to Zakiim's suffering: a noxious, contagious disease that would threaten all life in the nation. Xierhan and his followers built the Vault of Pestilence, hidden away in the sweltering southern jungles. It was here that Xierhan conducted appalling experiments in an effort to produce new toxins. It was here than Xierhan became convinced that by offering his own life, and the lives of his followers, he would be granted the privilege of acting as patient zero for the most virulent plague the world had ever seen. It was here that Xierhan was wrong. Because the God of Pestilence is vile and manipulative.
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