Name: Ulric "The Necromaster", High Priest of Velsharoon's Shrine
Submitted By: Hargrid Tenslayer
Ulric is of medium height (5'11"), having black hair, extremely pale skin, piercing emerald green eyes, and sharp facial features. When seen in the city, he always wears a dusty-grey robe and cloak of Velsharoon clergy, and carries an iron-shod staff. He also carries an iron morningstar hidden under his cloak. He is a man of 26 years, carries himself with a sense of purpose, and likes to believe people can sense an aura of sheer power emanating from him. His staff acts as a "Staff of Withering."
Ulric was born to a pair of necromancers, both very dedicated to their work, and both being very good at what they did, made them a perfect match. As a result of his parents, Ulric himself was exposed to death and the undead from an early age, and quickly became used to it, even fascinated by it. To his parents dismay however, Ulric's magical aptitude, as well as his desire to learn wizardry, was less than satisfactory. His desire to learn more about undeath however, grew with each passing season, and so his parents convinced him to join the ranks of the church of Myrkul. When he turned fourteen they sent him to the Skullspire in Tulmon to further his beliefs.
Ulric served Myrkul faithfully, quickly rising in the ranks of the clergy. Whereas most of his peers raised their status to gain more power for powers sake, Ulric would have preferred to stay as a simple priest, but realised that the higher up in the clergy he went, the more resources he would have to study the undead and death in general. During these years, he became a Grey One (a specialty priest of the church), which granted him even more power. He often went on pilgrimages to different parts of Faerun to spread the word of Myrkul. Ulric always stopped in on his parents, who moved to the city of Balder's Gate in 1357, for a few days to exchange information on each of these trips.
With the Time of Troubles, and the death of his god, his research and his lifestyle came to an end. The church of Myrkul was left in total chaos, with many abandoning it for the new church of Cyric. There were a few cultists, however, that remained loyal to Myrkul, and Ulric was quick to join them. He then brought this cult back to the home of his parents as a temporary place to gain power before founding the new church.
Upon his arrival, however, he found the house completely empty, and judging by the state of it, had been for a number of months. Everything in the house was still intact, including the small laboratory that had been carved out of their cellar. The priests quickly set up home there, and began prayers to their god, in the hopes that the reports of his death were false. To their dismay, they received no answer to their calls, and one by one, they lost their faith. Eventually, they heard of a cult that was secluded in the Skull Gorge, who worshipped a god of death that was not Cyric or Kelemvor. The group loaded up everything that was movable, paid the city enough to cover the year's taxes, and left for the Gorge.
Upon arrival, they quickly found the shrine to the god Velsharoon, and slowly converted to his side. Ulric made the fastest adjustment to this new religion, and quickly became happy as a necrophant, continuing his precious work. He returned to Balder's Gate once more, to pick up a few the few things he had left behind. His life in the Skull Gorge was one that left him content, and he was often chosen by his superiors to go into the Fields of the Dead and bring back more riders for their ever-growing Order of a Thousand Nigphpares.
These trips took several weeks to complete, wasting valuable time and resources on the trip to and from the Fields. Finally Ulric approached the head the church about opening a shrine in the city of Arylon, which would put it closer to the Fields, and thus make any such venture easier with a place to stop and gather supplies. After long discussions, they allowed Ulric to build his shrine, and gave him a grant to do so. Ulric then moved into the city's Field ward, and bought one of the permanent structures from a merchant who was looking to move to Waterdeep in hopes of better profits.
Using the grant money, Ulric was able to hire some people from the city to help carve out a standard basement, but called in some priests from the Skull Gorge to finish the "additions", and bless the shrine in the name of Velsharoon.
Since the shrine's creation, Ulric has made many ventures into the city and gotten to know many of the city's prominent citizens. He uses the guise of a bone sculptor as a chosen profession, and always has some new trinkets for sale. Ever so often, he will take his acolytes out into the city, explaining to any who ask, that they are new students looking to learn from a master of bone carving. This response has satisfied most people, and those it does not have not questioned it.
Ulric is very vocal in Arylon, always willing to speak his mind, directly to the council if allowed, and always seeming to be on the side of the law, and always looking for the most devastating punishment for the lawbreakers, especially if that punishment is death.
Ulric eventually hopes to one day perhaps join the ruling council, where he will use that power to further his church, but until that time, he is content with playing the roll of the law-abiding, law-seeking citizen.
Most of his days are either spent in reverence to Velsharoon, keeping the shrine in excellent condition, or dissecting his latest catch. When not doing this, he is usually carving beautiful bone carvings from the bones of his latest dissection victim. Once every few weeks, he will go into the city's marketplace and sell them, so it looks like he has a way of supporting himself. In truth the church from the Skull Gorge fund his shrine and pay all taxes that are levied upon the property. Although it is a rare occasion, Ulric sometimes will go out onto the Fields of the Dead and in an attempt to find items of power or more bodies to study and/or raise as his servants.
Short term ambitions:
Ulric's next project for his shrine is to try to create a tunnel leading from one of his crypts to under the cemetery. Once there, he can enter the burial vaults from underneath, giving him an almost limitless supply of corpses to experiment on.
His overall ambition is to eventually transform himself into one of the most powerful undead known to exist - a lich. When the opportunity presents itself, he will pursue that goal until it has been reached.
He also has the desire to expand his small shrine into a massive underground complex that spreads under the entire city. His other ambitions include becoming the head of the church, and uniting the church.