The Necromancer was a mysterious yet undoubtedly overpowering figure, the extent of whose influence was hard to fully grasp. His physical form was that of a terrible suit of black armour, formed from and covering an endless mass of worms and other vermin. He has been called by some a wizard, others a monster, and by some a god.
While details about him were scarce, his powerful influence had spread across the land, even across the wall and into the town of Willowdale. At one point his forces, known as the Dead Nation, held a degree of power over the orcs of Sawtooth Vale and the members of the Blackened Sun. Considering the places known to be under his forces' command, it could be inferred that his empire at various times controlled great swaths of land in the west, including the Western Rainforest, the Sawtooth Vale, the Wyrm's Teeth, the Whaleback and for a short period the Ravenswood. The center of his holdings was the ominous Bone Ziggurat in the Western Rainforest, and the building itself was an extension of his body and power.
The forces of the Necromancer were implicated in the deaths and imprisionments of several high-profile persons, including Prince Bytor, the Arch-Druid of Ravenswood, Rathbone the Red and Baron Firth. It was learned that he could subsume the souls of people whose bodies he could gather, and this was the case with most of these people. He also subsumed a number of less high-profile persons from Willowdale, including, in his final days, Sheriff Colquhoun, the Reverend Mother, Sosostriss, and Leão.
Following a large and terrible battle, the Pathfinders were victorious and destroyed this being utterly, releasing the thousands upon thousands of souls that he had imprisioned over the millenia.
Visions of HistoryEdit
In ages long past, in what may have been only myth, three men tred across the many planes, searching for power and glory. By their hands in a place where infinite sky met infinite sea, a dark and ancient god was slain. The third man drank of the dead god's blood, in an attempt to take its power for his own. The other two, seeing this, betrayed the man and struck him in the back. They claimed the power of the god, splitting it amongst them both and leaving nothing but the old god's wretched anger and hatred, which sank to the very depths of the endless ocean. The two men, now gods themselves, went on to bicker and contest each other and the mortals of the planes for ever after.
Thousands of years before the current day, a rich and vibrant city covered all the lands of Laurasia, from Rheic to Tethys Sea. During this time, a robed man crept through the streets, his identity and intent shrouded, plotting death and destruction for the far land of Rodinia and his eventual dominion over both countries. When fire rained from the sky, the product of a war of his own creation that obliterated all that the Laurasians had built, his charred and broken body dragged itself from the wreckage, barely alive. A black and wretched host of hate-filled vermin, the remains of what once was a god, came to him from the destruction and overtook his form, swallowing it and feeding on his knowledge and power. The entity took the shape of a man and covered itself in mighty armour before walking out amongst the flaming ruins. He discovered another survivor; he placed his hand over the kneeling human man, who became the armoured one's First.
A hundred years passed. A woman with a bow struggled to survive in the broken remnants of a failed civilization. She knelt before the armoured one, who placed out his hand, and she became the Second.
Four hundred years after the apocalypse, when the God-Emperor of the Decadent Empire marched his armies across the land, one general of great power and bloodlust led his men to many victories. This general knelt beneath the hand of the armoured one, and he became the Third.
A long age passed; the vestiges of the ruined civilization were reclaimed by the spreading forests and jungles. The barbaric peoples of the north moved across the lands, driving the Decadent Empire to ruin. A powerful warrior priest shepherded these men to many great battles and led them with conviction. He knelt to the armoured one's hand, and he became the Fourth.
Centuries passed, and the world became that which many still remember, the time when a prince rode out into the wilds beyond the protective wall. A great tribe of orcs who lived in a vale shouted and scorned and rejected one of their own, battered and covered in blood. The exiled one was thrown from a waterfall, and the armoured one waited at the bottom to pick him up, and with his outstretched hand, the exile became the Fifth.
A mere five decades ago, a bard of the highest caliber consorted with lords and charmed the people of New Luxberg, loved and adored by all who heard her voice and looked upon her beauty. When she vanished, it was one of the greatest mysteries; people suspected spurned lovers, addictive habits, and cloak-and-dagger plots, but none could guess that the cold hands of liches were what dragged her from her home uninvited, and took her to the armoured one to become the Sixth.
The Dark OmenEditA "dark omen" occured on the Eve of Eleint the 2nd, wherein every citizen of Willowdale, including the Pathfinders, succumbed to terrible nightmares and restless sleep. Many of these nightmares, besides being of a personal and horrifying nature, contained imagry of probing, prismatic eyes. Of the Pathfinders, it seemed that Jura, Dr. Haiduc, and Erevis Greyblood were less affected, seeing visions of other places rather than personal nightmares. This was perhaps because they were awake at the time of the disturbance, or perhaps their mental fortitude was enough to resist the dark event. Conversely, Rinzler, who was several days away from Willowdale at the time, and Sir Roswell, who was located weeks away at Highcombe, also experienced the nightmares, suggesting that whatever magic was used was focused on more then just the border town.
The morning following the dark visions, a group of Pathfinders and important Willowdale citizens met to determine the cause of the disturbance. At this meeting, a Commune spell was cast, which indicated that the originator of the effect was undead, and was acting as "one, through many." According to the spirits, the caster was looking for "dark magic," and speculations were made that the presence of the Pathfinders in town somehow drew his attention. The spirits were unclear on whether the caster was someone the Pathfinders could, as a group, defeat. However, they suggested that clues could be found at Ur-Nahash and "beyond the rivers," a location likely refering to the Bone Ziggurat.
When asked about the Necromancer, Sosostriss held that he, the Elder Wizard, was in fact a respectable mage. She and the Pathfinders agreed to pay him a visit through his portal to have a brief conversation, in order to reassure them that he was in no way sinister. They were met there by the disciples, with whom they had a brief and highly unsettling conversation before they announced that the Necromancer would meet with them. With that, they were met by a giant, terrifyingly armoured being of absolutely overwhelming power, whose prismatic eyes mesmerized them to the spot. It was only through Alejandra's will that they managed to flee back through the portal, escaping the Ziggurat.
From the discussion with the disciples, it was believed that the Necromancer was responsible for the death of Rathbone the Red, and that he had developed ill intentions towards Sosostriss. Later information proved that he was indeed Rathbone's murderer, and that he now possesses the archmage's body.
Battle of WillowdaleEditDuring the scouting mission three days prior to the Battle of Willowdale, it was learned that the hobgoblin forces had signed a non-aggression treaty with the forces of the Necromancer, as well as with the orcs of Sawtooth Vale. During the battle itself, the lich known as the First arrived, asking for the immediate surrender of those who had trespassed in his master's domain. The Pathfinders refused his terms, and so an undead contingent joined the fray, lead by all of the Necromancer's first three disciples. The body of the First was destroyed over the course of the night, although not his phylactery, as well as the wyvern mount of the Second. The Necromancer himself was not physically present during the battle.
Well after the battle's conclusion, it was discovered that the druids of Ravenswood had gone missing. Physical evidence, including an undead-summoning trap placed on the stone circle itself, strongly suggested that the undead forces of the Necromancer had attacked the circle while the Battle of Willowdale was occuring.
- Ascent of the Bone Ziggurat - Complete