Return of Hadrach
Legend of Hadrach
Legend of Hadrach, the last Warrior-King
As a child of a union between the god Temur and a mortal woman, Hadrach was denied a place at his father’s side until he could prove himself to be worthy of ascending to godhood. Hadrach’s life as a child was marked with tales of his prodigious strength, great wisdom and dedication to study and work. When Hadrach was old enough to set out on his own, he chose to claim his destiny and his birthright. Temur was impressed with his son’s industriousness and ordered the other gods to create four magical items and bestow them upon him as gifts. The gods paired off under Temur’s instruction and created four items; a sword to bring law, a shield to defend the innocent and righteous, a warhorn to summon friends and allies, and a lodestone to bring luck to his endeavours. Each item was fashioned and imbued by opposing gods, thus the powers contained within would be kept in balance. It was in this way that these mighty artifacts, touched by gods, could also be wielded by a mortal.
Hadrach set forth to bring the disparate tribes and nations of man together under a single banner; a nation of justice and honor, forged in the fires of courage, quenched in the blood of the corrupt and weak. It took decades to create his nation, and when he was not leading his armies to victory, he was using his wisdom and knowledge to make laws and create a just nation. Of course, not all people would thrive in the world Hadrach was making – A cabal of Sorcerers bent on seizing power for themselves opposed Hadrach, raising armies and plotting against him.
After decades of battle and statecraft, Hadrach was able to force a final confrontation between the armies of his new empire and those who opposed it. Arrayed against him was a broad alliance of goblinoids, creatures, monsters and dark warriors, led by Sorcerers and their Infernal allies. Facing them, Hadrach led a disciplined, organized force, empowered with honor and dedicated to their purpose. At dawn, the battle lines clashed and thousands died while the fate of humanity hung in the balance.
As the fighting became more and more desperate, Hadrach the Warrior-King and his royal guard stepped forward. With his gods-touched artifacts, Hadrach smote tens of his foes with each sweep of his blade. None could stand against him as he crushed his opponents by the regiment. Finally, the Sorcerers brought forth their mightiest champion, a massive demon called Keziah, its hide made of molten rock and wreathed in shadow and smoke. As the two faced each other, the nearest soldiers stopped their fighting to witness the duel of these these mighty warriors. With a deafening war cry, Keziah charged, raising one of his titanic fists to strike at Hadrach. The Warrior-King raised his gods-touched shield in defense. The thunder of Keziah’s blow shook the entire valley, a massive concussion which sent clouds of dust and shards of stone into the air. As the dust cleared, all could see that Hadrach stood firm. The two champions then launched themselves at each other and the battle ground to a halt to watch the confrontation. All knew the battle would turn on this single duel, and with it, the war.
The two fought each other for hours, circling, charging, striking, dodging away, only to start over again. As the sun reached midday, Hadrach had finally struck a solid blow against the demon Keziah. Hadrach pressed his advantage, beating down Keziah’s defenses and driving him to his knees. Hadrach prepared a final blow, but it was at that moment the true treachery of the Sorcerers was revealed. The Sorcerers had struck a deal with Murgle, god of the Underworld. At the moment of Hadrach’s victory, Murgle stepped out of the underworld and stood before the sun obscuring it from the mortals on the battlefield. As day became night, Murgle opened his hungry maw, swallowing up the sun’s life-giving magic from the world for precious moments. As the power drained from Hadrach’s artifacts, Keziah stood and looked down on the now powerless Hadrach. Keziah then leapt upon Hadrach and tore the gods-touched sword and shield away. Keziah tossed them aside to mercilessly beat Hadrach to death.
Of course, Palenon was enraged that Murgle would dare to steal the the light of the sun and its life-giving magic from the world of man. Palenon’s rage made the sun burn ever brighter, pushing back the night. Being of the Underworld, Murgle was unprepared for the heat and power blazing before him. Wreathed in the flames of the Palenon’s wrath, Murgle howled in agony as his body burned and his robes smoldered. It wasn’t long before Murgle forced to flee back to the underworld, his charred flesh falling away and robes turned black from the heat of the sun.
As magic and light were returned to the world, the power of Hadrach’s gods-touched artifacts were likewise restored, but it was far too late for him. The demon Keziah stood over the shattered Warrior-King. Hadrach’s armies looked down upon their broken king, then surged forward in rage, crushing the armies of the Sorcerers in mere hours. Unfortunately, nothing could be done for the Warrior-King Hadrach, and he died on the battlefield long before the last of the Sorcerers was dispatched.
So great was Temur’s rage and sorrow at the loss of his mortal son that he cursed Murgle to suffer the pain of his treachery forever. Now, whenever Murgle begins to heal, he must stand before the sun and relive the burns he suffered on that fateful day. However, every action has a consequence, and the life-giving magic of the sun absorbed by Murgle seeped into the underworld. This magic, turned by the bitterness and spite of Murgle, flowed into the hate-filled spirits of the underworld, giving them enough strength to return to the world of the living. It is because of this that undead walk Yerth today.
The empire Hadrach had forged through blood and statecraft splintered as his generals and statesmen tore at each other, as each tried to claim the artifacts and declared themselves the true rulers of Hadrach’s broken empire. The artifacts vanished, becoming popular items for forgery and fraud – and occasionally, if bard’s tales are to believed, surfacing from time to time… but that is a tale for another day.