:!In a land where the forces of magic, the sharpness of steel, and collective of variant races inhabit, many tales and stories unfold. Some are of good fortune and heroic deeds others are of misfortune and gloom.
In this land known as Griffin Wood a new story is slowly unfolding. It begins in the Southern Kingdom where the noble and wise King Norvelle reins. This Kingdom is prosperous and its people are happy to serve the king. There is no hunger or poverty and the people are well protected by what may be the best trained , largest and loyalest army. Many covetous armies and warlords have laid siege and full out attacked the Southern Kingdom, but none have prevailed, but now a new threat looms in the shadows and this new threat could accomplish what no other has been able to do...bring down the Southern Kingdom and dethrone the good King Norvelle.
In the Black Mountains there lies an old dungeon stretching far under the mountains. A hundred years ago this was known as the Deathtrap Dungeon and was used to house the worst of the worst. Dark mages and sorcerers whose power were so strong they needed to be place into the special cells and guarded over by holding spells and strong practitioners of magic, warmongers, murderers, assassins, and the like that were so powerful and sly that they had the capacity to bring down armies single handed, were put in the cells of the inescapable dungeon. The dungeon was watched over by powerful mages, sorcerers, battle priest and an array of skilled warriors. It went on housing prisoners for two hundred years and soon was taking in creatures such as trolls, goblins and the occasional dragon or other beast that had gone mad and was terrorizing the land. When a war broke out the dungeon was caught in the melee and it as then discovered that secretly some of the guards had been recruiting and experimenting on the prisoners. This was soon brought to a halt when a band of noble warriors invaded the dungeon and did what they called a purification. This as merely a title to justify the killing of the prisoners, guards and all who stood in their way.
Years passed and the dungeon and purification was forgotten and lost in time, or at least thought to be lost. Now a force lies inside the dungeon, plotting, training, growing stronger and soon this force will be unleashed against the Southern Kingdom, King Norvelle, its people and all of Griffin Wood.
Deep within the Deathrap Dungeon amist the light of torches, in a room with beakers and various bottles filled with different colored liquids. A fire blazed inside a ring made of rocks, hanging above this ring suspended by a chain attached to the ceiling was a black cauldron. A man about five foot six stood over the cauldron stirring its contents with a large stick, His worn hands gripped the stick tightly, his wrinkled face dripped with large beads of sweat the hung from his brow and formed a fe droplets in his full gray beard. He stared into the frothy liquid as it bubbled, focusing his mind and gazing for a few moments. Suddenly a yellow and black toothed grin passed his lips, he let out a chuckle,”good..good...time is upon us, time for my followers and minions to come to me and set forth to do my bidding and bring down that smug King Norvelle....his Kingdom and all the land will be mine” he laughed maniacally and turned from the cauldron and began to look up and scream,”all ill bow to me I will be your ruler, your king I will be your god...the god of all god all will chant my name.” he continued laughing as all across the land mages, sorcerers, mercenaries, and creatures began to move in the shadows and away from the view of others making their way to Deathtrap Dungeon.
A large horde of over one hundred minotaur may their way across the sea answering the mad mans call. Groups of trolls no less than eight feet tall move from their dark dismal places and through the Black Mountains. Goblins by the hundreds tear a path through the forest armed with their clubs and swords, Warlords and marauders make their way to the dungeon bringing dozens of men, armed and willing to spill blood in an instance. As they gather the mad man works his magic over the cauldron sending out and summoning those individuals that are powerful, deadly and willing to kill any and all that stand in their way. Theses types were the reason the dungeons were built, now the dungeon will serve as their haven not their prison.
After a few weeks this mad mans forces had finally amassed. With now over ten thousand under his rule he sent out the first wave. It was a moonless night when the warlords with their forces set out. The engaged and began to lay siege to the Kingdom. Then they rolled out heavy catapults pulled and pushed on to the field of battle by the strong trolls. Rocks and balls of flaming death pelted the walls and crushed and burned many soldiers and people. The strong minotaur forces rushed the front gate with a huge battering ram. Slamming into it repeatedly. The door held strong at first, but slowly began to give way. Archers of the kingdom delivered volley after volley of arrows into the on coming force. This battle would continue through the night and by the light of dawn the front gate and the first area of the kingdom was breached. The goblins and other footmen engaged the soldiers in a ground batlle. Many lives on both sides were lost but the strong forces of the Southern Kingdom drove them back. The mad man issued a call of retreat as he watched the events through his cauldron. He chuckled to himself,”Good now old Norvelle knows this is serious and that the hounds of war have made themselves known. Now I wait for him to send out his troops where I will crush them and feats upon the flesh of their dead.” The mad man laughed maniacally as he watched his forces retreat and return to the Deathtrap dungeon.
In the days that followed King Norvelle regrouped his troops and had the kingdom under repair. His plan of action was to march his forces out and meet this mad man head on. After his scouts found that the enemy was hid away in the Black Mountains the king's general led a massive force toward the mountains. As the forced marched along soon they were encountered by a horde of minotaur and hundreds of blood thirsty goblins. As they stared each other down tension and hate filled the air. Each side remained silent, until arrows whizzed through the air and rained down on the Southern Kingdom soldiers. Each side rushed at each other colliding in an array of clanging steel, gurgled cries, and blood. The soldiers fought bravely not backing down, but the strength of the large minotaurs and the tenacity of the goblins prove more of a formidable match. The soldiers numbers was falling and the bodies of both sides stack up on the field. A loud horn sounded a retreat and the soldiers of the Southern Kingdom had to pull back and flee a losing battle. The minotaur and goblin warriors cheered and taunted them as being weak and cowardly.
Shame was in the soldiers hearts and they felt the heaviness in their hearts of having been bested, as the made their way back to the Kingdom and informed the king a sadness fell over the kingdom. Now knowing that this new threat was more that just a bunch of angry mercenaries that could easily be squashed, but a force with a purpose and a leader intelligent enough to manipulate and use these strong hate filled beings to his advantage. King Norvelle knew if his kingdom fell then the rest of the land would fall like dominoes behind them.
As small skirmishes happen between the King's soldiers and the mad man's forces the batlle has slow dwindled down the Southern Kingdoms forces to a mere skeleton force. In these time anyone was accepted into the army, lowly stable boys, orphans and the homeless from other tons and kingdoms, before this females were frowned upon as soldiers, but now they are accepted and armed.
Feeling distressed and knowing at any moment if this mad man wanted Southern Kingdom he could take it, but for now King Norvelle felt as if this man was toying with him, making him watch as each day passed another soldier, another life, and another piece of the Kingdom he so loved was taken. In his heart King Norvelle suffered greatly, but hid it well from his people. An idea he had been mulling over for a few days played in his mind, he didn't want to do this, for being seen as weak, but he had no choice. He gathered his messengers and sent out a plea for help to the Great Elf Kingdom of Redoak, Hammerforge the dwarf kingdom, and he sent notices to the elders and leaders of the towns and villages asking for reinforcements and for any that would take up their sword and bring their skill and help the Southern Kingdom, for if it fell then the rest of the land would be in peril.
King Norvelle sat in his throne room and tossed in his bed as this seemingly growing force posed a bigger threat each day and he wondered and worried if any would come to his aid. Being a once prominent Kingdom, King Norvelle had distanced himself from the other kingdoms and was thought of as arrogant by them. His need to stand alone and show that he could lead his kingdom to prosperity without aid or others interference, might be a small part that could lead to his kingdom and his demise. The King sat on his throne weeping and regretting the few mistakes he had made as king. He hoped and prayed that one of the Kingdoms would send help or some battle ready skilled warriors would arise and lend themselves to help his kingdom.
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