The tavern is crowded and raucous. Celebrating your latest victory, the group enjoys a hearty meal served by stunning barmaids who are happy to keep the ale flowing as long as the coins keep coming. Relishing the moment, it’s hard to keep from retelling personal moments of greatness among all members of the party.
Suddenly an elderly bard, who looks more worn than your trusty treasure map, sits down at the table and tosses a few coin into the pile. He slops some food onto a plate, and smiles at everyone.
"Kids," His voice is reminisce of dust in a bowl, "let me tell you the story of Olfan Damerre" a sincere grin crosses his wrinkled face as he chuckles.
It was only four thousand years after Pelor, Obad-Hai, Boccob, and Faren created the mortal world. Magic was still pure and thick in the world, and every moment was an event. The world was alive then, and the urge to explore and adventure ran deep through those called to this sort of life.
Olfan Dammerre was one such person called to a life of adventure. His heart wished for riches and splendor more than anything. At the age of sixteen, he left his simple life as a blacksmith and set out for adventure. Surprisingly, sneaking and hiding came almost naturally to the boy. His hands were well-suited to handling a pick, and his fortune grew.
A lover of good times, Olfan spent most of his wealth on wine, women, and song. He managed to make some steadfast friends in two brothers; Henry and Hector.
Both were fighters by trade, but occupied opposing viewpoints on how to do battle. Henry was just and valorous; Hector was brutal and back-handed. The three saw much of the world, and grew close as death was faced on a regular basis.
The trio encountered a young witch, sorceress of unsurpassed power. Henry knew that she was wicked, but Hector protected her. For his brother, Henry swore on his honor that he would not harm the sorceress. He never trusted her though, and Olfan agreed that her methods were darker than he liked.
To oppose the witch’s wicked ways, Henry hired a young cleric named Michael of Cuth to travel with the group. Michael was lawful in nature, and very swift to punish anyone he caught breaking the law. Olfan resented the self-righteous cleric, who insisted he not steal.
However, the group was strong and very capable. Ever they sought more challenging ventures, each driven by their own need. Henry and Michael relished in vanquishing evil, whereas Ruby (the witch) and Hector delighted in the blood of their enemies. Olfan was simply grateful to ply his skills and reap the benefits of a deft hand.
After a time, the group was approached by a notorious Vampire named Kas. Though Michael and Henry refused to deal with the “bloodthirsty demon”, Hector and Ruby persuaded Olfan to hear the proposed deal. Kas was lieutenant to the Necromancer Vecna. In spite of his parasitic nature, and being undead himself, Kas was repulsed by his masters dealings and sought to undo him.
It was difficult to convince Henry and Michael to deal with such things beyond the boundaries of law and virtue; but Olfan’s argument of “Ends justify the means” finally won them over.
While Kas snuck Ruby in with him as a whore for the night, Olfan was busy penetrating the defenses of Vecna’s stronghold. Hector swiftly dealt with the guards, while the other three headed to the Necromancer’s personal quarters.
The lock was astounding, and of nigh incomprehensible design. Olfan had never seen anything so intricate, and spent an hour carefully picking it.
By the time the last tumbler had fallen into place, Michael, Henry, and Hector had begun to doze off to sleep. As the door opened, Olfan let a small bell fall to the floor among his resting companions. He had slipped into the shadows, and they awoke to the open door.
The warriors strode into the strange laboratory, boldly calling out to the Necromancer. He met them with strength unforeseen by the adventurers, and challenged them like none ever had before. Even with Olfan’s rapier striking his organs as he leapt from the shadows, Vecna’s defenses stood strong. His body showed little sign of wear, and the group feared that they had finally met their match; but Kas and Ruby entered the room from a secret door.
The additional power finally tipped the balance against the Necromancer, and they pushed him back against the wall. In a fell blow, Kas cut Vecna’s left hand off at the wrist. Seething, the Necromancer swore his vengeance and began to invoke a dark spell pulled from the secret depths of the Abyss itself. Even as Kas’ sword carved his eye from the left side of his head, the vile Necromancer was able to complete the dark spell.
His soul had been ripped from his body, and torn into five pieces. Each part of Vecna found a home in the adventurers, granting them boosts of power and eternal life.
Henry gained Vecna’s drive and became Heironeous; the god of justice, valor, chivalry, and honor.
Hector gained his dark intent and became Hextor; the god of war, conflict, and destruction.
Ruby gained the Necromancer’s secret powers and became Wee Jas; the goddess of death and magic.
Michael gained Vecna’s indomitable will and became St. Cuthbert; the god of retribution.
Olfan learned of his secrets and secret ways, and he became Olidammara; the god of rogues.
Kas, the traitorous lieutenant, had his soul forever locked into the cursed sword that had taken Vecna’s hand and eye.
Vecna himself was as immortal and powerful as all five combined, but existed only as a shadow. Never again could he enjoy life or the benefits granted to the living; never again would he feel anything beyond the cold of the grave.
The Lich king was born, god of secrets and things best kept unknown.