The Cult of Balthac
from the Mystara Mailing List posted 01 November 2002.
Balthac was a legendary warrior and dragon slayer from Darokin. He became a legend when he was killed in a fierce battle with Calor the Red, an evil dragon. Both opponents were vanquished in the battle. However, in the chaotic period known to some as the Wrath of the Immortals, or the Time of Wrath, the legend of Balthac was revived by the evil Immortal Hel, to further her own dark cause and to lure idealistic warriors onto the path of evil. She provided spells for clerics who while believing they were serving the benevolent immortal Balthac, were actually in the servitude of Hel herself. The main champion of this faith was a young man named Kelter Zerben. When Zerben learned of this fraud, he sank into depression for a long time, before eventually regaining his strength and returned to fight the Cult. The Cult was now under the leadership of Lillian Korrigan, a Vampire and priestess of Hel. To protect her servant, Hel revived the undead remnants of the Dragon, Calor, but Zerben and his allies fought back. In the battle Zerben himself was killed, but at that darkest hour, Balthac himself entered the battle. The Immortal Donar (Thor), had been investigating the matter himself and had raised Balthac into a Titan, an Immortal Servant and together with Zerben's allies, the real Balthac killed Calor and Lillian. Now the cult sprang into bloom again as it was proved that Balthac was real even though Hel had manipulated the priesthood. New leaders took place of the old ones and the Cult of Balthac became a religion of Warriors all over Darokin. Donar provides spells for Balthac's Priests, and the Cult of Balthac is in many ways a Subcult of Donar. The main teaching of the Cult is that of fighting evil. The Cult, due to its recent experiences, is very sceptical towards new religions and faiths where Immortals may be manipulating their followers. They are as such investigating the new phenomenon of the Faith of Gareth, recently establishing in Darokin.
Krakel, high priest of Balthac.
Krakel, is none other than Crackle, the Lightning Zombie from Korrigan Keep. Thor took a liking to this young adventurer when he opposed his mother Lillian and the Fake Balthac Cult together with Kelter Zerben.
Thor restored Krakel's humanity, but allowed him to keep his lightning abilities as Thor found them amusing. Now, now longer a child, Krakel takes his responsibilities as High Priest of Balthac very seriously, and uses the wisdom learned through his centuries as a Lightning Zombie in teaching new champions of the cult how to fight the many faces of evil.
Priests of Balthac can summon Balthac and Kelter Zerben, who are both now Titans of the Faith.