Thursday, May 23, 2019

The Wraith King of Asmorgar

The Wraith King of Asmorgar

Pazuran-Sin was the provincial governor of the city of Hasna-di-kifo on the Western border of the Necrogarchy of Leng. A successful garrison leader and cunning magician, he was called before the secret masters sealed beneath the capital city of Pi-Atum three hundred and twenty years ago and ordered to prepare a mighty army for war.

Pazuran-Sin had only ten years to organize and plan for his undertaking and by recruiting and slave raiding throughout the wilderness called the Outlands of Dust, he was able to raise any army of a hundred thousand warriors.

The army of Pazuran-Sin was one of three great armies of the Necrogarchy of Leng which were readied for a full scale invasion of the Kingdoms to the West. Immediately before the invasion, Pazuran-Sin was rewarded for raising such a significant force by being granted the undead form of a lich and the title of Necromaster of Hasna-di-kifo.

The army of Pazuran-Sin was unleashed against the three central Kingdoms of Daria, Etruria and Kyrene. The marching of the armies of Leng into the Dragonsmarch, the violation of the Xianian frontiers of Iranam and the invasion of the Griffonwild began the most devastating period of warfare in the written history of Chimera.

The Nightshade war raged across almost all of the Eastern and Central kingdoms and territories of the known world for one hundred and fifteen years.

Pazuran-Sin suffered a significant defeat at the hands of the Guild Mages of Kyrene and Daria when the Great Weatherstone of Icegale tower was purposely shattered. The destruction of this powerful artifact resulted in the death of most of the Guild Mages involved, the explosion and ruin of the Guild's primary magical fortress in the area, namely Icegale Tower and the plunging of a wide region into a permanent winter.

Fully half of Pazuran-Sin's forces were present at the battle of the Icegale and most of these were flash frozen when the artifact was shattered.

Pazuran-Sin managed to barely escape the disaster but realized that his failure would not escape the punishment of the secret masters of Pi-Atum. Instead of returning to Pi-Atum in chains and in disgrace, Pazuran-Sin fled into the West, protected by a hand picked bodyguard of a hundred of his best troops.

Ultimately Pazuran-Sin left his old identity behind and wandered from place to place until finally arriving by ship in the territories of the Northmen, roughly two hundred years ago.

Once he established himself as a warlord within the barbarian lands of the North, Pazuran-Sin adopted the persona of the Wraith King and successfully subjugated the lands which are now the Kingdoms of Sorthvik, Zavdir, Hraedir, Ostvick and Western Morgwen. All of these lands fell under the red banners of the Kingdom of Asmorgar.

Pazuran-Sin ruled over the Kingdom of Asmorgar under the disguise of the Wraith King for just over a hundred years.

During his reign, Pazuran-Sin managed to seduce roughly half of the Druidic groves in the North into abandoning their devotion to the spirits of nature with promises of immortality and a greater domination and eldritch might wrought from the black void between the stars.

He used the evil spells he was taught during the Nightshade war to impart a supernatural strength and endurance to those warriors who swore to serve him as his Captains. The Wraith King's promises, of course, always came with a hidden cost and while long lived and powerful, all of the Captains of the Wraith King ultimately slipped into the shadow realm of undeath, being cursed forever to dwell as wraiths, entombed and imprisoned by their own master.

The Wraith King always carried with him a massive battle axe, which would have required two hands to wield by any mortal. Pazuran-Sin was so powerful in his Lich form that he could wield the weapon with a single hand and either leave his left hand free for casting spells or use it to bear a shield.

Pazuran-Sin's axe was named Soul Grinder and the blade of the axe was made of a single enormous and faceted red gem. As a lich, Pazuran-Sin was required to secure his own soul within an object and he chose the unlikely location of his primary weapon to serve as his phylactery.

Fifty years into his conquest of the lands which became the final extent of the Kingdom of Asmorgar, Pazuran-Sin embarked upon a crusade to hunt down and kill all of the Druids who had resisted his overtures and who remained loyal to the spirits of nature and to the welfare of the common folk living in the free Warholds of the North.

These were the Ragged Cloak Druids, who were also lycanthropes, shape shifters and skin changers. It is interesting that a part of the process of joining Pazuran-Sin and becoming a member of the Druids of the Henge, was the curing of the lycanthrope disease which each of the Druids carried.

Pazuran-Sin hunted down as many of the Ragged Cloak Druids as he could find, often personally, like a wealthy lord might run down a fox using hounds and mounted hunters.

Near the end of his reign barely a dozen of the shape shifters were left and all of these were isolated to the lands of the Kingdom of Skyerga, the territory controlled by the then young and beautiful Queen Gerrid.

In fact, it was Queen Gerrid herself who organized an ambush of the Wraith King, using one of her shape shifting brothers as bait to lure Pazuran-Sin into a hunt and eventually cornering him somewhere within the Ogre's March Hills.

A vicious and bloody battle was fought. The Wraith King was destroyed. His mighty enchanted battle axe Soul Grinder was shattered into four pieces and the North was finally free from the tyranny of that undead monster.

Queen Gerrid kept one of the four jagged pieces of Pazuran-Sin's enchanted battle axe. Aided by her friends among the Dwarves living in the settlement of Two-Beards Delving, Gerrid had the shard fashioned into an enchanted dagger.

Gerrid's enchanted dagger is named Dark Splinter. It is a +2 enchanted dagger to both attack and damage. It contains none of the artifact powers once possessed by the battle axe Soul Grinder, except that it can slice through any unenchanted material with a single, strong blow.

Example: If Gerrid is confronted by an enemy carrying a two handed steel great sword, she can draw forth Dark Splinter and slice straight through the blade of the great sword as if it were constructed of paper.

Yet, final victory was not to be handed to Queen Gerrid so easily.

The Wraith King's allies among the Druids of the Henge arrived just on the setting of the sun on the day when Pazuran-Sin was slain. Before the Queen could grind and burn the bones of the Lich to ash and further destroy the fragments of Soul Grinder, the evil Druids arrived in force. They managed to drive off Gerrid and her shape shifting allies and secured the skull of Pazuran-Sin along with all three of the other fragments of his enchanted great axe, Soul Grinder.

Because his skull was not destroyed, and because the magical weapon used as his phylactery still exists, albeit in several pieces, it is possible, that the Wraith King could be returned to his Lich form.

If this were to happen, Pazuran-Sin, The Wraith King of Asmorgar would almost certainly desire to rain down horrible retribution upon all those who had contributed to his defeat. He would almost certainly attempt to rebuild the lost Kingdom of Asmorgar.

It is equally true that the Druids of the Henge would immediately rise to serve at the side of the Wraith King.

Pazuran-Sin was defeated and destroyed a little more than a century ago. While all of the former towers and strongholds of the Kingdom of Asmorgar have been pulled down or otherwise exist only as ruins, the Warholds which once were contained within its territory have only known freedom for a few short generations.

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