The relocated caravel Fiddler’s Prospect has been converted into a series of laboratories and small guest rooms. From this new base of operations, the necromancer Wendall Porvitz has gathered a society of like-minded individuals who are happy to practice their grisly trade on any creature hapless enough to cross their path. Wendall encourages the members of his club to experiment as they will and share their discoveries with fellow members. The hideout is usually quiet during daylight hours but is often filled with excitement and activity once night falls.
Joining the Ever-After Club. To join the Ever-After Club, a prospective member must, at a minimum, be able to animate a corpse as an undead, such as with animate dead. Only the most promising of candidates are allowed to join the group without also meeting other criteria. Wendall prioritizes applicants who have proven their worth to the community by either creating a new process, developing a more efficient method of implementing an established process, or creating a new form of undead.
In addition to technical skills, candidates need to prove their devotion to the organization as well as to undeath as a philosophy, usually by killing and animating a close friend or family member. Applicants who refuse to do so are added to the club in a different capacity: that of an undead minion.
What is Expected of a Member. Members of the Ever-After Club call each other explorers of the mystery, or explorers for short. The primary expectation of an explorer is to develop and refine new processes of creating undead. These processes are generally magical in nature, but some members prefer alchemy as a vehicle to undeath, and one member from Zobeck has designed a means to animate a corpse via clockwork, though other members debate whether the creature is truly undead or merely ambulatory.
In addition, explorers are expected to share their research with Wendall, if not with each other, and to assist their fellow explorers in the collective advancement of the art.
Order Axioms. The core beliefs of the Ever-After Club are as follows:
- Only through research, experimentation, and iteration can we perfect our fragile shells.
- Through the perfection of undeath, we few may rule while those who were less than we can serve our needs eternally.
- The worms will devour others, but they will never take us.
- Those who discover us become the fodder for our experiments.
Important Texts or Dogma. Several texts are important to the Ever-After Club:
- Divinis Mortiis. This tome, the parchment of which is made of the flayed skin of angels, details the physiology of various celestials and explains how humors and extracts made of angelic blood can be used to strengthen corporeal undead.
- A Chrysanthemum Unwound. This treatise on the alchemical properties of flora and their uses in creating undead was drafted by former explorer Zhang Deifong, before his failed attempt at lichdom.
- Bring Out Your Dead. A short but informative guide to graverobbing, as authored by the founder of the Ever-After Club, Wendall Porvitz.
Benefits of Membership. Being a member of the Ever-After Club has a few perks:
- When an explorer casts animate dead, the resulting skeleton or zombie has either 4 (1d8) extra hit points or deals 3 (1d6) extra damage when it makes an attack.
- An explorer can use an action to destroy one skeleton or zombie that they control and immediately gain 3 (1d6) temporary hit points.
In Midgard: The Ever-After Club at a Glance
Type: Society of undeath-obsessed spellcasters
Symbol: An unlit white candle on a black field
Disciplines Taught: Embalming, medicine, necromancy
Affiliated Weapons: Scalpel
Important NPCs: Wendall Porvitz (NE dwarf necromancer, see Creature Codex), Lote (LE ravenfolk blood mage, see Creature Codex, adding animate dead as a 3rd-level spell), Yandla Hübershear (NE undead dwarf corrupted graveslayer, see Creature Codex), Kieths Traumiulle (CE human priest of Chernobog), Poule Traumiulle (NE human mage, adding animate dead as a 3rd-level spell)
Primary Sanctuary: Fiddler’s Prospect
Major Sanctuaries: None
Hidden in the Fellmire, far enough from Maillon that it isn’t obvious, but not so far that procuring materials from the city is troublesome, is the mired caravel Fiddler’s Prospect. After the ship was cast onto the shore by unnaturally large waves, one of its surviving passengers, the necromancer Wendall Porvitz, animated the dead sailors as zombies, ordered them to kill the remaining live sailors, and then animated those corpses as well. With his new contingent of zombie laborers, he ordered his undead minions to haul the ship farther ashore into the muck of the Fellmire.
Allies and Enemies
The Ever-After Club has few friends and a long list of enemies, mostly do-gooders who take umbrage at their friends and loved ones being animated as zombies or otherwise experimented on in the name of necromancy. Notable foes include the following:
- Emperor Nicoforus the Pale. Agents of the Emperor of the Ghouls (see Tome of Beasts) have been spying upon known members of the Ever-After Club and reporting their findings back to their patron. The emperor has heard reports that members of the club have discovered the secrets of creating darakhul, and he wants them squashed before a rival kingdom can form in the west.
- The Ninemage Council. Necromancers are frowned upon in the Magocracy of Allain and the exarch’s inquisitors are ever watchful for practitioners of the art that allow their creations to run wild. Despite this, some members of the Ninemage Council are interested in the advancements members of the club have made and have tasked spies to discover the whereabouts of their hideout.
- Andress the Ageless. The leader of Maillon’s Guild of Master Chymists fears recent complaints of undead attacks in the Fellmire are an indication of some failed alchemical experimentation. When he discovers the truth, he will hire mercenaries to dismantle the club’s hideout, as well as its members and their minions.
- Wendall Porvitz. The founder of the Ever-After Club claims to have invented the monstrous ogrepede (see Tome of Beasts 2), though in truth he discovered the method of its creation in the manse of a necromancer he murdered. Wendall greedily pores over the work of club members, eager to discover a method by which he can have the eternal existence of a lich without having his soul chained to an item that could be discovered and destroyed.
- Yandla Hübershear. Yandla is Wendall’s lover, companion, and undead thrall. Wendall murdered her to prove to himself that a graveslayer could be corrupted against its former comrades. If Yandla ever discovers his duplicity, she will rain hell upon him.
The Ever-After Club can be brought into your campaign in a number of ways:
- Some of the mutated monstrosities that live in the Fellmire have been animated as zombies and threaten trade in the area. Maillon’s Guild of Master Chymists needs agents to determine the cause and put an end to it.
- Disappearances in the village of Fellmire lead to a pair of twins who operate out of a shack in the swamp. Further investigation indicates they have ties to a beached ship, the Fiddler’s Prospect, which is located near Maillon.