The Subjugation of Morsma
Morn Blackwing, an extremely powerful wizard in the service of Mystra, Faerunian goddess of magic, decided to delve into the dark and forbidden arts of necromancy in order to search for immortality. He searched for many years, and as his body aged and his health began to fail him, he became more and more desperate. He discovered many ways with which to gain an immortal like state, such as through lichdom, but Morn was not content with such an illusion. He wanted true immortality, something which only the gods seemed to possess.
Seeing no other alternative, Morn determined that he would need to become a god in order to achieve his goals. Thus, he set out down a path that would ravage his plane of existence into nothing. Through the use of forbidden magic that stretched the very fabric of existence, Morn harnessed the power of the living soul. No longer did souls traverse through the planes of existence to reside on their chosen god’s home plane, instead, they were captured and fed into Morn himself, with each death making him more and more powerful, until only a god could match him in strength.
Kelemvor, god of death, was enraged at Morn’s actions. The dead were Kelemvor’s domain, and by subverting his power, Morn was in essence, challenging him for the right to maintain the portfolio of death, something which gave Kelemvor, a greater deity, the bulk of his powers.
With the aide of Mystra, Kelemvor led a great campaign against Morn, and after an epic battle, Morn was defeated. However, he had become too powerful to be killed; he had become the very nature of death, and as such, could not cease to exist without destroying the fabric of reality holding the planes together. Kelemvor and Mystra soon realized that there was no alternative except to seal him away for all eternity.
And sealed away he was, beyond the shadow weave in a universe of pure darkness. And it was there he would wait until he was discovered by one who could perhaps set him free. Gargauth, a powerful Archdevil discovered him on his journeys through the planes of existence and offered him a chance to escape his dark prison. Morn, in desperation and with little choice accepted his offer, thus allying himself in servitude to the almost godlike Archdevil whose power amongst the devils of the Nine Hells was only matched by Asmodeus, the King of Hell himself.
Unable to match both the power of Kelemvor and Mystra together, Gargauth was only able to weaken the seal on Morn’s prison, but it was enough for Morn to send a projection of himself through to find a way to further weaken the seal and destroy it. The Aspect of Morn, calling itself Morsma, traveled through the planes of existence for many thousands of years, amassing power and furthering Gargauth’s agenda until it came to the attention of Mystra. Fearing a second resurgence of the powerful Blackwing, Mystra sealed away the Aspect in her own Grimoire and attempted to destroy it. Even sealed away, Morsma still had some measure of power and used it to fling himself through the planes of existence, narrowly escaping death at Mystra’s hands.
Eventually the book settled into one of the many Prime Material planes where it was soon discovered by a young wizard apprentice named Vissith. When Vissith touched the Grimoire he was flooded with incredible power. Elated by his discovery, Vissith brought the book with him back home and continued his studies. With the book as his trump card, Vissith was soon heralded as the greatest wizard his world had ever seen. However, not all was well. With most of his power drained from his earlier flight from Mystra, Morsma could at first do little but watch and allow Vissith to draw from his stored power. However, as time went on, Morsma was able to direct a small amount of influence into Vissith in the forms of whispers and dreams, corrupting him from a wise and goodly man, into a corrupt and evil tyrant.
Vissith conquered and ruled his plane of existence for many years with an iron fist until a group of powerful heroes defeated him and banished away the source of his power, the Grimoire, Morsma’s prison, the book that became known as The Book of Vile Darkness, for whoever touched it was robbed of any good within their heart.
The Grimoire, though banished from Vissith’s plane of existence was discovered once again, and the cycle of corruption was started once more. This repeated many times throughout the millennia, until eventually the book was discovered by Gargauth once more. By this time, Morsma’s magic had become a permanent part of The Book of Vile Darkness. They had joined so that there was literally no difference between them. Morsma was the book. Garguath, seeing the usefulness (and limitations) of such an ability gave The Book of Vile Darkness to a powerful sorcerer king named Kaggon in hopes of allowing Morsma to influence him into worshipping Garguath to increase his power. It worked just as he hoped, and soon many were converted to the cult of Gargauth. However, other forces had become interested in the book, namely one, a god known as Akris. In exchange for a future favor (something which many would covet), Akris commissioned Corimyr, a demi-god of thieves, to steal the Book from Kaggon.
Soon the book lay within Akris’s grasp, and he built around it a great tower, using the Book to power a part of the tower’s defenses, but even more importantly, to capture the souls of those who died there. Gargauth was enraged when he discovered that his plans for Kaggon had been thwarted and vowed vengeance against Akris. And so, The Book of Vile Darkness waited within the tower for many millennia, awaiting another chance to free itself from captivity once again. With the recent murder of Mystra by the god Cyric, the seals guarding Morne’s prison have begun to weaken. Morsma knows that it is only a matter of time before he is free once again.