The Traitor Generals
“I like my music like I like my weapons: HEAVY and METAL!”
Quest Synopsis: Locate & defeat all 5 Traitor Generals.
- Mordekaiser 1/1
- Pantheon 1/1
- Morgana 0/1
- Shaco 1/1
- Warwick 0/1
Quest Initiator: The party encountered and defeated Mordekaiser in Fortress Firegate. Days later in Caprigan, Temulin bought a book detailing the Traitor Generals.
Quest Timeline: none
Quest Progress: The party located and defeated Pantheon in the fields outside Ithyaspar, gaining Aegis and the King’s Hand items as well as a key to the village. Ominously, as Pantheon fell he uttered “The Deathsinger must not be freed.”
This book is an academic examination of the nursery rhymes of stories of the “Traitor Generals”, stories told in Harantium and northern Seren to frighten children. The author makes note of the seriousness of the topic, and wonders frequently how such dangerous monsters became something people used casually to ensure compliance in their children. The book covers the basic information known, and references several uses of divination magic, as well as discussion with extra-planar creatures who might be in the know about the topic (as they were alive at the time). It makes the following basic points:
1) Around 800 years ago, Harantium and Seren were a single unified country called “Somavita”. Excerpt: Unfortunately, the Dwarven purges led to the loss of much of the ancient records kept about Seren’s formation. We know that even in Velen’s time, the land was called “Seren’dal” and was seen as a region by it’s people. This tells us that despite their petty wars and squabbles, they viewed the region as contiguous, and suggests a previous unification in the past. (Also supported by a shared written script between Seren and Harantium.) Since it was the nobility who maintained these records, we may never know exactly how Seren’dal was formed, except that it does definitely seem the Azurok river was a geologically recent addition. Chugalyoth, a particularly unpleasant fellow whom I had summoned, indicated that when the Elves summoned him in ages past, the river was not there and what we call Harantium was not separated by a boundary of water.
2) A religious sect in the north of Harantium was formed in a rural area, primarily in tribes of sheep-herders and farmers, centered around the worship of “Oa” the “one god”. As a symbol of his “covenant” with the people, he created an Avatar named “Aua” who was born as a human to a family of farmers.
Excerpt: The emergence of Oan worship among a large disparate community of people whose lives revolved around herding sheep is not surprising. Indeed, they often refer to themselves as Oa’s “flock”. What is surprising is that they believe that Oa is the only “true” divinity. Furthermore, we can verify that Aua was indeed a real person, and demonstrated what we would identify as magical talent. In other words, a sorcerer claimed to be the incarnation of their god and the people believed it. Indeed, still believe it today in Harantium (and would likely have me burned for suggesting their god’s avatar was a mere sorcerer).
3) Suffering under extreme religious persecution from the established religions, the Oans appealed to Aua for guidance. He commanded them to cast down the “wicked state” and establish a more perfect union. There is conflicting views that Aua intended a non-violent overthrow of the ruling system, but in the end a violent uprising is what occurred.
Excerpt: Here I quote the Witness, holy book of the Oan faith. This is part of chapter 12 and recounts a famous speech Aua gave to a group of followers from a “high hill”. “And said the avatar: ‘Only through the acquiescence of the people can the unjust rule. By tolerating the rule of the wicked, you give them your implicit consent to commit the heinous acts they perpetrate upon you. Man is bound only to follow the word of the Lord, Oa. Any King, any Queen, and other figure whom does instruct you to act against the will of the Lord shall be disregarded. if you wish a better lot in this life, then seize it. Suffer not the tyranny of wicked men, but go boldly to meet it and in meeting it, overcome it.”
4) The “Governor” (name lost to history) who was in charge of this northern region converted to the worship of Oa, as did 60% of the army over several years. Seeing the possibility that his country would be taken over by this “avatar” and it’s followers, the King “Hegrun III” sent out a call for allies. He found and pardoned some of the most dangerous and ruthless villains in his lands, in hopes that they would be able to bolster his diminished army.
Excerpt: And so King Hegrun III did the unthinkable, he took those who had been his enemies and made them instead his allies. Clever when you think about it. With a common foe to unite them Hegrun believed that he would be able to defeat the army gathering in the north and kill the upstart “avatar”. Hegrun pardoned the most dangerous killer in all of his lands, his own former court jester Shaco, responsible for over a hundred murders in a single year. He called forth Morgana, the infamous half-fiend and sorcerer to lead a cabal of wizards. He had the dark general Mordekaiser pulled back from the chill of the grave and gave him command of a legion of undead. He forged a pact with the Ithyaspar people of the mountains and their war-leader, the dreaded man known as Pantheon. And finally he captured the den mothers of the Werewolf clans of the great forest, binding their cubs into his service as elite shock troops under the command of the Alpha known as Warwick. With the dreaded 5 generals, Hegrun believed that he would emerge triumphant against the army assembled by Aua. He could have not been more wrong.
5) Hegun III gathered his army and marched north, intent on killing Aua and any who would not renounce the worship of Oa. Aua in turn ordered his army to march to meet them. According to legend, Aua ordered his forces to wait for a day while the enemy camped and rested. During this time however, the 5 “Warlords of Doom” turned upon Hegrun’s army.
Excerpt: But of course, Hegrun had failed to take into account one basic fact: the Warlords he had brought were not truly his allies. They served to benefit more from his death then from the death of Aua. The kings of Hegrun’s line were extremely powerful Wizard-kings, possessed of ancient magical bloodlines and extensive arcane schooling. Without the wizard-king, each of the Warlords would have a much easier life. And so they waited for the opportune moment and attacked Hegrun and his honor guard on the eve of battle, as the entire army was watching the horizon waiting for the followers of Oa.
6) The Warlords succeeded in killing Hergun, his wife, and both of his sons; permanently ending his bloodline and inadvertently ensuring the victory of Aua and his followers. As the life slipped from him, Hegrun III cursed each “traitor general” for their role in his murder:
• Mordekaiser, whom had once been the greatest General of the land, was bound to his armor and would find no death until absolved in combat by one both pure of intent, and born of nobility. He was thereafter known as Mordekaiser the Betrayer.
• Pantheon, who believed that his people were the greatest warriors in the world and saw no reason for them to follow a “lesser king” was cursed to wander the world seeking one who could best him of he would find no rest or solace. He was thereafter known as Pantheon the Arrogant.
• Morgana, who hated the wizard-king and all of his bloodline for her accursed creation, was bound to the world and cursed to forever see those who were her superiors in her dreams each night. She was thereafter known as Morgana the Malice-Bearer.
• Shaco, who delighted all with his wit and humor, but who secretly lusted for blood, was cursed to know neither joy nor happiness. He would be forever compelled to kill, and the spirits of those who he killed would haunt and torment him for all eternity. He was thereafter known as Shaco the Murderer.
• Warwick, who dealt the killing blow on the kings’ children, was cursed himself to hunt and kill all werefolk. So long as a single werefolk existed in the world, Warwick would find no solace and exist in sorrow and misery. Compelled to murder his own kind against his will, he became more beast then man and was thereafter known as Warwick the Bloody-Handed.
Excerpt: And with his dying breaths Hegun III summoned up generations of magical power of his bloodline, ancestors, gods, demons… he cared not where the power came from. He cursed the Traitor Generals to never find solace or comfort, to never know peace or respite. For each was a punishment suitable to their treachery and personality. The ever vain Morgana was cursed to dream of those more beautiful then herself. Warwick was compelled to kill and hunt his own kind. Shaco was bound to murder until the end of time, never finding the joy he once got, and forever haunted by his victims. Panthon was compelled to wander the world seeking strong opponents until one could best him. And Mordekaiser, once the greatest general the world had known, was bound to his armor and denied the death he had so sought.
7) Aua ordered his army to disperse, and turned to his own followers. He said the lands north of the river must be a land for the “exalted people, the holy people, those who follow the word of the Lord”, and that the lands to the south of the river must be for the “lost, the confused, those who have yet to see the light, and who must eventually come to know it, wait for them, they are your brothers, and one day they will be ready”. When his followers asked “what river?” Aua stood aside and a river had formed to separate the two war camps. Aua then told his followers he must leave, he had to “walk in dark places” and would someday return.
Excerpt: Of course, it’s impossible to validate the story. The Azurok river is enormous, one of the largest and deepest in the world I’m told. How would such a thing form without anyone noticing? The Oans of course say “faith”, it is their catch-all answer to everything. I am slightly more pragmatic though, and as most who have heard the story, I am inclined to say “magic”. This is where most of the tales end, so sadly it’s impossible to know what is true and what isn’t but some part of me wonders: Out there, somewhere, are the traitor generals waiting to be found? And if they are, gods help the poor fools who disturb them.