An unpredictable and powerful necromancer.
APPEARANCE: Mort is a tall, long-limbed, slim man of advancing years. Mort’s hair is jet black and thick and glossy that it often appears to shine blue, he wears his hair long in a single braid that reaches down his back. Mort has a thin beard that is streaked with gray. Mort’s skin is golden brown and were it not for his piercing and unsettling gray eyes he would be considered quite the attractive gentleman.
HISTORY: Mort was born in 544 CY, his father was the Grand Vizier to the Sultan of the Sultanate of Zeif and as such his life was mapped out from his birth. Mort’s noble birth placed him on a path to become Grand Vizier after his father, the most important counselor and adviser to the Sultan.
Mort’s true name is Zacchar-ar-ben Mossoq and his early life in the Royal Palace is full of fond memories, but it is doubtful his tutors, instructors or family would agree. Mort was afflicted with a very strong rebellious streak and a too-inquisitive mind although he was a brilliant pupil gifted with a natural aptitude for history, politics and intrigue.
Instead of merely accepting his lessons on etiquette, the Church and the Sultanate, Mort questioned his teachers. His questions were always disrespectful and provocative but they were worded so cleverly as to avoid being dishonorable.
Mort was close friends with the Prince, who would one day rule with Mort by his side, and there were many who saw Mort as a bad influence – the pair were always causing trouble around the Palace.
In desperation the Grand Vizier apprenticed his rebellious son to one of the fiercest and meanest wizards in the much-feared Wizard’s Guild of Zeif. The Grand Vizier thought that if the Wizard’s Guild didn’t discipline Mort then no-one could.
Mort was 14 at the time and very excited at the prospect of becoming a wizard, but the reality was very grim compared to his pampered life at the Palace. The wizard’s were tough masters with no time for pranks or cheek. Mort was bullied and intimidated into towing the line and lived in fear of harsh beatings and magical punishments. Mort took well to magic, but hated the Guild and was desperate to escape his misery.
He was 16 when the opportunity arrived. Mort was on the beach, collecting spell components when he received the shock of his life. Mort watched as a small wooden hut – walking on grotesque chicken legs – emerged from the ocean waves. Fearing that he was about to be devoured by some unknown sea beast, Mort was even more surprised when the hut’s door opened and a group of foreign adventurers leaped out.
Led by K-os Bloodsword, these sellswords were returning from adventures on the Isle of Dread far out to sea. Although frightened, Mort was impressed by these strangers and immediately envious of their carefree lifestyles. Mort begged K-os to allow him to travel with them, K-os didn’t care and handed the teenaged wizard over to Zarr.
Zarr was a wizened, half-mad demonologist. He spent the evening in conversation with Mort was impressed enough with his skill and intellect that he agreed to take him as his own apprentice. But Zarr hated Mort’s name: Zacchar-ar-ben Mossoq, and so Zarr gave him the name Mort, to reflect his interest in the dark arts.
And so, Mort fled, abandoned his fate and life and ran away, returning with K-os and Zarr to their dungeon stronghold in the Perrenland. He never again returned to the Sultanate of Zeif and never again saw his family, although he has always maintained his friendship with the Prince (now the Sultan) through secret letters and communications.
Mort’s new life could not have been more different from the restrictive and repressive one he’d had in the Palace. Zarr taught Mort a great deal, especially about his own wild magic and Mort remained with group observing their chaotic and crazy adventures from the relative safety of the group’s stronghold.
Until the day that K-os convinced Zarr to summon a Demon Lord for him to duel with; never one to disappoint and always happy to demonstrate his power, Zarr did as asked as K-os was not only killed, but dragged off to Hell never to be seen again. The company disbanded and retired.
Mort was 21 and remained with Zarr as the pair wandered south. They had become good friends and enjoyed one another’s company. Zarr had amassed a great many spellbooks and there was many arcane secrets to keep them both curious – but Mort was most interested in the necromantic tomes and Zarr spent his time lost in books of demons of wild magic.
The two eventually settled in Sterich and established a tower-home outside of Istivin. The young necromancer and the elderly demonologist lived together in relative peace and quiet for 15 years, only occasionally disturbed by pious priests or witchhunters.
Mort was 36 when, by chance, he discovered the ancient and sorcerous portal that led Beyond the Glittering Veil and he traveled to the lost Suel city of Topaline. It was in that City of Shadows that Mort first met Donal and together they saved the shadow-necromancer who lived in the city. The two became as thick as thieves and fast friends – but they were not destined for happy times!
Mort played around with a deck of many things – never a good idea – once too many times! He suffered an irreversible alignment change becoming gleefully evil at the draw of a card. Mort and Donal parted ways, and Mort soon found himself heading north to offer his services to Iuz the Old One.
Mort’s considerable necromantic powers were received very gratefully by Iuz’s generals, and Mort spent the Greyhawk Wars raising undead legions to help conquer Iuz’s enemies. His Iuzian career was very successful for a couple of years until Donal and Kyrian eventually tracked him down. They persuaded Mort to betray Iuz and to help them attack the forces of Iuz from within. This brave attack failed miserably and they fled to Topaline where they ran afoul of Tuerny the Merciless accidentally discovering his secret plans to betray Darkstar and The Balance.
Panicking, Kyrian fled back to Greyhawk City to summon the Council of the Balance and Donal, now at a complete loss prayed to Beory for guidance. Mort accompanied the vampire as he made his pilgrimage east to find the Man of the Cranes.