Fancy Bastard Scales of War
When the githyanki set their invasion plans in motion, an obscure scholar named Kle’th suspected that the long-lost human device known as the Bitter Glass might be the tool they needed to organize their armies, even though it triggered evil dreams of self-reflection in those who encountered its psychic effluvia. The githyanki dispatched a subtle and accomplished spy named Telicanthus to the human city of Sayre, which was built over the ruins of Auger.
Telicanthus was soon able to ascertain that the Bitter Glass existed deep beneath the city, but it would take a major excavation to find and use it. He settled in Sayre for the long haul, using an unusual method for keeping himself safe in a human city. Uncharacteristically for a githyanki, he adopted the guise of a charming, aristocratic merchant, making himself well known and the center of the city’s social scene.
The process was calculated and effective. Telicanthus arrived with vast amounts of money, positioning himself as an exotic noble who sought refuge from the evil of his own race. He made sure that he seemed cultured, mysterious, and important. He gave beautiful gifts and threw grand parties with exclusive guest lists, spending his money freely on those who befriended him. Within six months he was the most well known of Sayre’s social elite, close friends with the governor, and a prized member of the city’s most prominent citizens. He used this influence to buy himself the privacy and security he needed to pursue his true agenda: securing the Bitter Glass.
Telicanthus then purchased the mansion sitting over the long-buried Bitter Glass and surreptitiously smuggled in githyanki to excavate Sayre’s undercity in search of the missing glass globe. He found it within months, and was unsurprised to find it shattered.
Socially secure and with most of the city’s elite convinced that he was above reproach, he quietly brought in Kle’th to put the Bitter Glass back in operating order. Unfortunately, rebuilding the Bitter Glass was beyond the capabilities of the githyanki scholar. But in his long and thorough research into the githyanki’s communication difficulties, Kle’th had also read about the powerful and ancient island nation of Nefelus, home to sages who had fostered a trading relationship with the city of Auger in ages past. Kle’th learned that the potent scholars of Nefelus had procured the rituals and secrets behind the construction of the Bitter Glass, and informed Telicanthus of his research.
A team of elite githyanki agents was assembled, and the group struck out for Nefelus. There, they managed to find some of the original plans and rituals behind the construction of the Bitter Glass, but Telicanthus’s strike team was discovered before they could gather everything they needed. They found that the Nefelese had since improved on the original design of Auger, but Telicanthus’s team wasn’t able to determine the specifics. Only Telicanthus himself made it out alive, but the information he brought back was sufficient for Kle’th to repair the original Glass and render it functional once more. The activation of the rebuilt Bitter Glass marked the beginning of the githyanki invasion.
At the start of the events of the Haven of the Bitter Glass, Telicanthus had the Bitter Glass functioning for six months. Kle’th had found a method for eliminating the astral backlash through a ritual that must be constantly performed, and Telicanthus stood at the center of a communication web that linked every single githyanki general (and several important spies) in the mortal realm.
As long as Telicanthus and the Bitter Glass remained unhindered, every githyanki army had near-instant communication with every other, allowing them to coordinate their attacks with deadly precision. If the mortal races wanted a hope of winning the upcoming war, they needed to discover and destroy this asset … but first they needed to learn that it even existed.