NPCs:Lord Nelthrope

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Lord Cornelius Nelthrope was the most powerful lord in northwestern M'Chek. He assumed control of the Nelthrope family lands in AOD 1789 when his father passed away. Nelthrope's lands bordered T'Nanshi and he was one of the most vocal proponents of the M'Chek/T'Nanshi War. Nelthrope opposed the formation of the Blandenberg Protectorate because it forced him to relinquish control of some of his ancestral lands; he blamed Lord Dunster, leader of the Equalizers, for "infringing upon my sovereignty". He did not hide his hatred of elves; many have attributed this loathing to the rumor that his daughter fled to T'Nanshi and married one, but Nelthrope hated elves even before the war.

The M'Chek/T'Nanshi War raged for roughly 150 years and somehow Lord Nelthrope lived through it. Once he reached middle age he seemed to stop getting older; many believe that he was drinking some sort of potion of longevity to extend his lifespan. Regardless, as time progressed Nelthrope gained power and influence; other nobles were loathe to oppose him because he had lived so long he knew first-hand many of the dirty secrets of their families.

Nelthrope was always a proponent of "M'Chek First," and his nationalism garnered him many loyal supporters among his subjects and other citizens of the nation. Relations between Nelthrope and the War Commissioner, Lord Chasworth, cooled as a result of arguments over Nelthrope's lack of commitment to the M'Chek/Drotid war which Nelthrope thought was not in the best interests of the nation.

Nelthrope ruled his domain for almost five centuries. But in AOD 2262 he began acting erratically. There were rumors that he would attack T'Nanshi with ancient weapons of war, secede from M'Chek, or both. Already a private man who was rarely seen in public, Nelthrope stopped seeing visitors, which fueled rumors that he had grown ill. A few months later Nelthrope's subjects began worshiping Thrope, a five-headed dragonlike creature which Nelthrope's battlemages - many of whom had converted to priests of - claimed was a herald of "The Five Gods of M'Chek." Who exactly comprised the five gods was always left to the worshiper's interpretation. It soon became known that Lord Nelthrope himself had transformed into Thrope.

As his subjects began to worship him, Thrope grew in power and gained immortality. Prime Minister Deth seemed to be doing nothing, so many adventurers took it upon themselves to oppose Thrope and his army of priests, soldiers, and reptilian minions. When Thrope tried to annex western Blandenberg adventurers aided Equalizers and Avengers who repelled his attack, but Limonay "Lemonade" Dunster, the Seaqualizer of Mikon and nephew of Lord Dunster, was slain by Thrope in the battle. Lord Dunster exercised an ancient right of M'Chekian nobles and declared a Private War against Lord Nelthrope as a result.

In AOD 2263 Lord Dunster waged a massive attack on Nelthrope Keep. He was aided by a coalition including Drakehall Keep, Chasworth Keep, Champions of O'Ma, avariel from House Silverstrike, and a large group of adventurers. Marie the Confounder used an alchemical compound she and others developed which reversed Thrope's transformation and revoked his immortal status. Lord Cornelius Nelthrope was finally slain.

Chasworth committed most of his forces to the attack, leaving his keep only lightly defended; the dracolich Excenamentraxious - grandmaster of the Order of the Shadow and herald of Zhitaril - and his undead monks left their underground monastery in the Lost River Cavern and overtook the keep. They have since kept it, and the fort is now known as Shadow Keep. Since Lord Nelthrope had no heirs, the M'Chekian government decreed that Chasworth take over his lands; Nelthrope Keep and the mine below it are now known as Chasworth Keep and Chasworth Mine, respectively.