Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Faiths of Sublanarya: Mal-Dorig the Dread Conqueror

Among the gods, there are mortals who rose to prominence and challenge the dynasty of Grimnir Blue-Cloak for dominion of Narya itself. The story of one such god, a god whose name and story inspires ambition, cruelty and tyranny, began in the Wyrd Wars of the First Epoch.

Not much is known from the first epoch, as much of the history and lore were lost and the gods that reigned are either dead or do not linger on the memory of it, but the final era is known to have been a time of endless war. Empires rose and fell, conquering and destroying each other, mortals became gods and even immortal gods met their demise, the landscape was torn apart by magic and the bones of men littered the and, eventually, human civilization was left in cinders. The greatest conqueror was Mal-Dorig.

Mal-Dorig was born a slave of an old serpent empire that once covered southern Sublanarya.

His people, the Mal, were enslaved long before he was born and trained as foot soldiers for the reptillian's endless conquest. The reptillians usually preferred their slaves docile and transformed, but Mal-Dorig's people were valued for their ferocity and cleverness and were resistant to transformation. Mal-Dorig was the result of generations of breeding to create the perfect warrior but the yuan-ti created their own end. Mal-Dorig noticed his masters, naturally cold and calculating, had become fat, decadent and lazy, and, when a slave of Mal-Dorig's caliber notices that those who wield the whip and lash have grown weak they make their move. The serpents were recovering from the celebration of Mal-Dorig's latest victory when he led the Mal to raze the imperial capital and slay their old masters.

Mal-Dorig then led his army of slaves, of the Mal and all the others freed from the serpents, across the realm. He conquered most of Sublanarya and beyond, freeing slaves from their inhuman monsters but also enslaving/slaying all who resisted, razing cities to the ground. Many temples and libraries were annihilated.  It was the latter act that destroyed many records of this age. In place of the worship of the old gods and histories, great monuments were built to the conqueror. His arrogance grew and his designs on the world did too. He gathered power, conquering enemies, and sought to conquer the world. Eventually, he came to blows against enemies he could not surmount and was wounded in battle. He lay dying on the battlefield and feared an end to his conquest.

That was when he was visited by the worse half of the trickster god Puck, his beautiful and terrible shadow, Darkheart. Darkheart schemed, endlessly, to defeat the gods and bring about the end of the world. It was to this end that he helped Mal-Dorig to achieve godhood and to repay him as a general in some divine war to come or in the end-times.

He led Mal-Dorig to a dark forge in the bleakness of Hades, where he had taken Brigid the Smith hostage, forcing her to pour her talents into building a helm and suit of armor the likes of which the world had never seen. It was made from the void shadows itself. Mal-Dorig donned the armor and was changed. His cruelty, malice, cunning and strength multiplied.

He became a god.

With monuments already built in his name and legions of warriors at his beck and call, his return was given divine recognition by his armies and they followed him without question. His armies redoubled their efforts and the last of his enemies fell before him. It seemed none could touch the conqueror as his army swelled with new followers, picking up demons, devils, giants, elementals and all evil beings who wished to follow his conquest over the forces of good. Thanks to the armor built by Brigid the Smith, it seemed that Mal-Dorig was unstoppable, and his forces overwhelmed countless heroes and gods alike. He was unstoppable.

Eventually, Mal-Dorig led his army to the gates of heaven itself and laid siege to the home of the gods. It seemed all was lost but, even in darkest times, there is hope. A light in the dark. For as Mal-Dorig and Darkheart concerned themselves with conquering Heaven, they left their dark forge in the underworld unguarded.

A young hero, Zyghardt, mentored by the hero god and the godling sons of the fire goddess Pyrra, Strata and Nimb, made their way to the dark forge. There they freed Brigid the Smith, the sister of the twins, and she set to making weapons that could harm Mal-Dorig. For her brothers, she finally crafted for them great bolts of lightning to smite their foe and the brothers became the new masters of the storm. And, for the young hero, Brigid the Smith forged a sword called "Dawnbreaker".

The storm twins first set out against Mal-Dorig. Nimb threw lightning bolt after lightning bolt and Strata shook the dark Armin with his thunderous voice. Their onslaught set the army into disarray and forced Mal-Dorig to enter the fray. He tore the brothers down from the sky and would have slain them a moment later if not for the intervention of the Zyghardt wielding Dawnbreaker.

The hero swung his blade, the light reflected from it shining in Mal-Dorig's eyes, causing him to stagger back for a moment before turning his attentions to the hero. The two fought, brutally, before Mal-Dorig knocked Zyghardt to the ground, placing his foot upon him, and demanding his submission. He offered the hero a place in his court after he conquered heaven.

In defiance, Zyghardt struck Mal-Dorig's foot, piercing his armor, even as the dread lord crushed him beneath his boot. Mal-Dorig was crippled by the blade, his armor pierced, and for a moment he was vulnerable. The brothers renewed their attack and their blows tore his armor apart.

The battle recommenced for seven days and seven nights, but eventually the forces of good won the day and the Mal-Dorig was defeated.

Before they could take him prisoner, Darkheart whisked the injured villain away and Mal-Dorig vowed that the next time he lay siege to heaven that it would fall.

As long as there are those wishing to rule their world, Mal-Dorig will inspire cults and temples across Narya. They pray to him for guile to outsmart their rivals and strength to defeat/conquer their enemies.

The Dread Conqueror, The Black Hand, The Unbowing God, The Dread Lord, Heaven's Bane, The Crippled God

New Gods

Power Level
Greater Diety

Lawful Evil

A black gauntlet or claw smothering light

Nine Hells

War, fear, destruction, hatred, tyranny, fire, ash


Warriors, mercenaries, soldiers, warlords, tyrants, dictators,

Favored Weapon
The scimitar and the mace

Holy Day(s)

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