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Origins of a senile old lich

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((This story is written as told by Malebrignon to the Decimators and any who’d care to stop by the inn at Brill and listen. It’s totally off the wall and disregards all WoW lore I’ve read until the end. Please keep an open mind ‘cause this old Spelljammer has wanted to tell the story for quite some time.))

It ain’t too hard to find someone more powerful than me, but you’ll be hard-pressed ta find somebody as old. As best I reckon I’m aboot 1,500 years old. Don’t look a day over my fourth eon of existence. One might think that would make me wise, but I can only shake my head at the few snippets of my former lives I can remember. Anyways, here’s my tale as best I can ‘member it.

I was not born on this world. My homeland is long forgotten by all but myself. I have a vague recollection of the suppliers of seed and egg, but they disappear from my memories quickly when I try to concentrate on them. They dubbed me Cyrus Cobratiis III after the man I assume was my father. Our society favored arcane studies above all things, so I was trained in various forms of magic from birth. A child prodigy, I challenged the Archmage at the age of ten. After his defeat, I used my knowledge of dark rituals to drain his soul and absorb his magic. I’d previously done this to three of my instructors, so it was old hat by now. It wasn’t enough, the desire for power consumed me. I repeated the process over and over. My nobility protected me from the outrage of those who felt the practice barbaric. Eventually, there were none to stand before me. I began to kill the general populace; first for sport, later for purpose. The bodies I left behind started to rise of their own accord and walk with one purpose: destroy the living. I became known as The Malebrignon. Loosely translated into Orcish it means “all-consuming monster”. By my 15th year of life, I had consumed my small world and all life within it. I mustered my undead servants and ordered them to board a great ship my family kept at sea. Using magics previously unknown on my homeworld, I caused the ship to leap from the planet and sail amongst the stars…..

Okay, stop it. I see you all staring at me like I’m crazy again. See the green hood? Means I’m not “off-my-rocker” at the moment. It really happened like this!

So, me and my undead army floated through space. We killed everything we found, but it wasn’t enough. Eventually, I observed the universe enough to discover that life was linked to stars. Indeed, they are the ultimate life-givers above whatever gods you may believe in. So, I picked a star and set sail for it. What I found was not a star at all. I found a portal!

Yes, it was a magic portal. Keep quiet, child. Your elder is speaking!

So, as we got closer to the portal I realized that it was huge! More than adequate to accommodate my ship, so why not sail through? Magic never harmed me before, it wasn’t going to hurt me now. Or so I believed….

I passed through the portal into a realm of scintillating colors. Prismatic light assaulted my senses from all sides. It wasn’t the only thing to assault me. Great ships, much larger than my own, seemed to be waiting for me. They hailed me in an elven tongue, but did not wait for my response before launching volleys of catapult and ballista fire at my vessel. The ship and my army took a pounding, but held together long enough for me to throw great blasts of flame at the enemy ships. The flames exploded much larger than expected and quickly got out of control. The air itself seemed flammable. Both my body and my ship were consumed in the blaze. I drifted into blissful unconsciousness and remained that way for a length of time still unbeknownst to me. I was thrown from the wreckage and left to drift endlessly in that hellish realm.

Yes? What? No, I really don’t know where I was. Let me tell the story, dern yas!

I really don’t know how long I drifted. I don’t even remember my awakening. My next clear memory of awareness was opening my new “eyes” in what appeared to be a throne room. Even here, a large window showed me the swirling brilliant energy that surrounded my new domain. A bit of exploration showed me that I was in what appeared to be a flying pyramid stocked full of undead servants. By now I was comfortable being alone amongst corpses. Chancing across a mirror, I discovered my own corpse-like state. My magics had sustained me beyond death! Excited like never before, I began to enact powerful magics to remove myself from my prismatic prison. All my attempts met with failure. The magic answered my call, but could not overcome the energies surrounding my vessel. Frustrated, I commanded the crew to move the ship. After days of skeletal busywork the ship began to move “forward” at a painfully slow speed. That speed never got faster for the entire time I resided in the pyramid.

We weren’t alone in our prison. My skeletal crew occasionally sighted a vessel, but were always quick to harvest the bodies and destroy the ship before I could make contact with other sentients. I recorded the passing of more than a thousand years before I sighted a portal similar to the one I’d came through. My crew turned on me when I tried to exert my will upon the ship and move it towards the portal. A great battle ensued as hundreds of my minions descended upon me, but I was able to destroy them and take control. Passing through the portal, I knew freedom once again.

My joy was short lived, though. I found what appeared to be a habitable world and crashed the pyramid down. The great structure crumbled to dust upon impact, as if my will was the only thing holding it together. I came upon some primitive beings, which I’d discover centuries later were called Troggs, and used my magic to destroy them. I then cast the spell that should raise them as undead minions only to have it fail. Vexed, but not shaken, I covered my obviously undead body with their ratty, flea-ridden garments and continued to explore. I found many of my magics no longer functioned, or functioned differently, but I was still able to fade from sight and skulk around to learn more of my surroundings. All skulking got me was buried. Stupid dragon saw right through my magic and knocked the side of a mountain down on me.

Many more years passed. I was vaguely aware of great battles being fought near my latest prison. Many more passed before I saw light again. When I did, it was due to a great explosion I’d assume now was the fault of gnomes. Scavengers plucked my body up with a great many others and threw me on the death cart to be returned to their homeland. I was now amongst familiar beings like humans and dwarves, but lay silent and still, knowing that undead are never welcomed amongst the living. I let myself drift off into my dreams again and stayed gone for too long. When next I awoke, I was packed beneath freshly dug earth with many other bodies. Lacking both the strength and the will to dig myself out, I decided to sleep some more. An inhabited world is ever changing, so I knew I’d eventually be released again.

And so we arrive at the present. I rose from the mass graves of Lordaeron, though I was never one of it’s citizens. I found welcome amongst the Forsaken first, and then amongst all the Horde. My powers have waned to mere shadows of what they once were, though I recover more of them daily. My mind is still quite addled due to my prolonged removal from society, but I thankfully have moments like these where I’m fully in control of my mental faculties. Hundreds of years of imprisonment and loneliness has taught me one thing: Never underestimate the importance of friendly sentients. Lack of conversation can and will drive you insane.

Of course, that’s only if you consider someone guilty of genocide to ever have been sane…

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