training promising local followers of the Witch-king in the art of Dark Magic. Mardrash was a human of Variag descent; all his acolytes were of Dunman origin, however. Mardrag was not particularily fond of his students; he doubted they held the same reverence for the Dark Master that he held. Mardrash was even more disdainful of the Orcs of the village. He disliked Orcs anyway and hadn't found any reason not to dislike these as well. It was difficult to see why Mardrash dislike Orcs; he was uncouth, unkempt, foul-mouthed and ill-tempered — all qualities he shared with them. He managed enough of a veneer of civility to keep relations with Shardakh cordial. He did appreciate the added security the village provided his temple.
In his position as a priest of the Dark Religion, Mardrash possessed a rod and amulet of power, both bearing the sign of the Eye. The amulet had to be worn on the forehead while using the rod for it to exhibit any sign of Black Magical power. The rod acted as a spell power enhancer for all Black Magical spells. The use of these artifacts, or, indeed, the use of black magic spells, had a corrupting effect on the user. Any adventurer who retained these items and used them to cast Dark spells found his actions and his attitudes affected, slowly being seduced to the lure of evil. These items had great resale value, though, fet-ching upwards of 1200 gp apiece if the seller patiently searched out an appropriate buyer (a Lord who secretly wanted to skill himself in the Dark arts, for example).
- MERP: Trolls of the Misty Mountains