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Ward History

Chapter 10- Empire of the Damned


Centuries past, the scattered and broken Humans had lost much of their former glory and knowledge with eh fall of the empire. The darkness of the undead king seemed to loom in every corner of the continent. Roaming bands of undead traveled the countryside attacking unsuspecting villages, ever bolstering the ranks of the undead king. But all hope was not lost, for where there is darkness, there is also light. The constant threat of the undead king made infighting amongst the various human city states nearly non-existent, for no one was willing to waste the warriors on each other when the undead could show up at any time. The Humans began to understand the weaknesses of the undead and from that understanding a Holy Order devoted to the Old God grew. Their mission was to spread the word of the Old God and cleanse all demonic, undead, and any other creature they felt was a plague to society. They were completely devoted to the teachings of the Old God and rejected the authority of the nobility. One by one the influence of the Holy Order spread to the various city states. Civil wars broke out within many of the city states, ending with the removal of their ruling classes by force. The Holy Order would then lead these cities through the teachings of the Old God. In the beginning the Holy Order consisted of mostly human devotees. But the Holy Order spread far amongst Ward. They purged lands and converted new followers of many different races to the faith. The Old God directly spoke to the High Priest and issued him commands. These orders ranged from new settlements to convert, or even entire kingdoms to wipe out. All was done in his name, and his word was final.


For years the Holy Order grew in power and influence spreading like wildfire in direct opposition to the spread of the undead and for years the Holy Order only defeated small bands of roaming undead. But this changed when a proclamation was sent out across the lands. “Heed the call of the Old God and take up arms to remake the fabled empire of the Humans”. Thousands of warriors answered the call. Knights, squires, and common folk took up arms and gathered into a mighty host of Holy Warriors. They were tasked with retaking the Humans original seat of power, Westgard, and destroy the undead scrouge and traitorous Undead King.  

Unknown to the Humans, the Undead King had fallen into a dreamless sleep upon his throne of black stone. His thoughts had been scattered by madness centuries earlier. It was only his sheer aura of death magic that kept his undead legions moving. But the suddenness of hundreds of undead being destroyed by the Holy Orders crusade had sent a ripple through the winds of magic and awakened his mind.


The Undead King began mobilizing his armies. His long-awaited conquest of Ward had begun. He amassed every dead and unholy thing under his control and set forth from Westgard as the Empire of The Damned. Knowing the Holy Order intended to attack Westgard the Undead King set a trap. He sent a token resistance to engage the holy crusaders. Due to their piety and need to appease the Old God they chased down every last undead. But in doing so had separated their army from their supply wagons and support equipment. The Undead King attacked the supply wagons destroying everything. When the holy army returned, they found they had nothing. With nothing to eat or drink they began searching the local wilderness, but no scouts ever came back for the army of the damned was everywhere. The crusaders had no choice but to return and resupply. Sickness was the first to set in. The undead had gotten ahead of the crusaders and poisoned a natural spring with rotting plague infested corpses. Next was the hunger. The Undead needed no sleep or rest and instead of combat they hunted the forests clean of animals. For weeks the crusaders were harassed by the army of the damned, never engaging them in open combat; the holy army could do nothing but push on. Starving, dehydrated and sleep deprived, the crusader army was falling apart. Infighting began and some even resorted to cannibalism. By the time the crusaders arrived back only 1/3rd  of the original army remained, and of those that remained they were all starved and malnourished.


The Damned moved across the land like a horde of locus destroying everything. One by one every living thing in sight was killed and added to the Undead King’s army. Every sort of creature now called the Undead King master: Humans, Orcs, Elves, Dragons, and even Dinosaurs were now under control of the Damned.


The Holy Order continued to battle against the undead, but for every battle they won they lost three more. The undead seemed unstoppable. In an attempt to rally the general populous to the cause the High Priest even declared the Undead King the god of death. He claimed that they were not fighting to resort the greatness of the former Human empire. But for the very survival of the Human race and Ward itself.


Frustration began to set in with the Old God. His crusaders had been crushed and the influence of the Holy Order was beginning to wain with every loss. He could not understand how a mortal man, a man he lifted up to power, a man he appointed as king could attain so much power as to threaten his world. Furious, the Old God raged. Lightning cracked across the skies and the ground shook. He could not imagine the idea of another one of his great cultures falling to the madness of the Old King.


Seething with anger the Old God reached out across Ward. He searched for something, anything that he could use to put a stop to the Undead King and his Empire of the Damned. He searched the deepest depths of the ocean to the highest peaks, and it was there in the far off reaches of the craggy spires of the Visek Mountains laid the remaining Red Dragons. He appeared before them and promised to restore them to their former glory if they would but help him destroy the Undead King. A shadow of their former selves the Red Dragons of old agreed. For days the most powerful of the dragons and the Old God performed a ritual on the eldest of the Red Dragons. Arcane and fire magic swirled and combined together in a torrent of cosmic infused Arcane fire. The torrent hardened and the dragon inside screamed and thrashed. The wild torrents of the magical arcane fire solidified into a crystal of amber that glimmered with star light. For weeks there was no movement. The Old God and the dragons continued to pour their power into the crystal. But there was no change, the dragons became angry and threatened the Old God with killing their most powerful and wise elder. But just as things seemed to get out of hand the amber crystal cracked and then shattered to the ground, and what emerged was not the elder dragon who entered the crystal, but a draconic being who radiated with so much power it nearly drove the nearest of the dragons mad. From the cosmic ash of the flame, the eldest of the dragons was reborn with a power so great, that he rivaled the Old God himself and The Eternal Dragon was born.

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