Monthly Archives: February 2013

SOW Chapter13: Vimak the Warden of the North


Vimak the Warden of the North

Vimak
the Warden of the North


Vimak was a tribal chieftain in the untamed northern range of the Giant’s Shield
Mountains with his small family, his woman, Nalla and their son



Ramok
,
but he did not spend much time at home, as a Guardian of the North. Vimak spent
most of his time alone in the wilds, the place he really called home. He revered
the mountains, drawing strength from the stone, firm of demeanor a mountain on
to himself. He was a local living legend, as he patrolled through these crags as
hard as the land itself; so much so, his son learned more about his father from
campfire stories than the little time they actually spent together. The times
they did share were most often spent hunting both for survival and to eliminate
any dark creatures that might pose a threat to the family or the tribe. 
Although they lived in a former troll cave (forcefully cleared out by
Vimak), Nalla had made it a warm and nurturing home. 


Vimak was a tireless warrior whose strength and courage made him both famous and
hated.  Nearby Dwarves and Elves
appreciated Vimak’s efforts and traded with Vimak and his family and tribe, or
simply dropped off gifts as offerings, hoping for safer passage and the
protection friendship with Vimak represented. 
In return, they knew that they could count on Vimak to help them with any
trouble, but when one hunts for trouble sometimes the trouble follows you home.


 Vimak returned late from one of his
walkabouts, to only to find his wife dead, and his son missing. Who or what had
attacked his family wasn’t immediately clear, but evidence did reveal that Ramok
had escaped, but Nalla was still lying in the mouth of the cave, dead, and it
was clear she had died fighting, most likely defending their son. What could
have been responsible was not clear at all, and Vimak was in no mood for
puzzles. He saw one set of large footprints, a troll, a large one, but the
prints set at an even pace, not rushed, and they showed no sign of struggle,
making Vimak certain that this troll had not been responsible, and Nalla’s face
was frozen in a mask of horror; they had faced trolls many times in their lives
and Vimak had never known time to cause her such terror. Her body was bruised
and cut, the wounds edged by dead rot, and the only blood present was her own,
and it was sparser than it should be. No, Vimak couldn’t determine what had
killed her, but he knew then, he would make her killers pay with blood of their
own.  


Distraught
he called out to his son, his powerful voice echoing through the mountains. Soon
his call was answered from the same path his fleeing son had taken. A large
shadow moved through the trees. Ramok? He thought hoping that he son had
returned … Hopes dashed when the troll appeared,



Tornak

the Troll King. Tornak was no ordinary troll; the self-proclaimed King of the
Trolls, and his troll “court” were also something of a local legend. He had
raided nearby settlements for years, using tactics that were remarkably complex
and disciplined (for a troll, anyway). His raiders had evaded or brutally
destroyed any forces sent to combat them. Many a brave and righteous hero had
set off into the mountains to end this scourge; all had met their end at
Tornak’s hands.


All this Vimak already knew, what he didn’t know and what he couldn’t understand
was the ancient, black iron crown beaten into the flesh of the troll’s head had
the power to bind the spirits of those Tornak killed bending those unfortunate
spirits to Tornak’s will thus preventing any final rest for his victims while at
the same time granting Tornak arcane powers far beyond the reach of a simple
troll.


Vimak cried out a challenge to the troll, his voice thundering. A mile away
Ramok heard his father’s cry and ran towards the call as fast as he could, but
the cry of challenge, was quickly followed by sound of sheer horror, his
father’s wail of pain was more than Ramok could stand. He had never heard a
sound so filled with revulsion, loathing and even fear.


As dread over took hold of Ramok so powerful he turned away and fled quickly
away from his father grief stricken bellow, and Ramok never to saw his father
again, and he never found out what had caused the terror in his father’s voice. 
   


The terror had not been caused by Tornak, not directly; rather it was the impact
of the attack of Nalla’s tortured spirit. Tornak tormented Vimak by sending his
wife’s spirit to attack him; Vimak could not bring himself to face her. Instead
he fled into the night almost certainly saving his own life in the process, but
he ran not in fear, but due the horror caused by his wife’s ravaged visage, and
his inability to fight against her, regardless of her form. Feeling that he had
failed his family completely Vimak lost himself in the mountains, where he
wandered alone for several years until he was eventually befriended by a pack of
friendly shifters, led by an especially heroic member of their tribe, Notaku the
warden. It was Notaku, who eventually avenged Nalla on Vimak behalf, killing
Tornak at the climax of the Battle of Overlook, but Notaku ultimately paid a
heavy price when he himself was corrupted by the king’s Crown of Fallen Heroes,
but that is a story for another day.


Today, now, even in the distant, almost uninhabited mountains that Vimak calls
home, word has traveled of Tornak’s demise. Needing to confirm the troll’s death
for himself, Vimak journeyed to the dwarven city, Overlook, where Vimak also
heard many tales of his son’s heroism and eventual



death

in the fight against the invading githyanki.  


Having been lost for such a long time, both on his own and now within Overlook,
Vimak suddenly started noticing a stirring, a consciousness that spoke to him of
a hidden purpose, an agenda, directly within his inner mind. It spoke of a need
to restore the githyanki to their proper place and a need to release them from a
Dark Queen’s clutches. Vimak was plagued with disturbing thoughts, visions and
dreams all of which led him to seek out a deva named a famed



Amyria
,
the leader of the Coalition united against the invading githyanki. Vimak somehow
knew she waited for him in Thiradith, a Northern Outpost of the City-states of
Klarn. Vimak faced heavy resistance as he traveled alone to this distant
fortification, and asked to meet with the well-protected deva, but when she
heard of Vimak’s request she welcomed him immediately, giving Vimak thanks for
his son’s heroism and sacrifice on the behalf of the Coalition. Vimak somehow
knew she could grant him transport to Tu’narath, and soon she did explaining he
would need to find transport to the githyanki city within the Citadel Mercane;
and there find the means to complete the task his son had begun and bring an end
the githyanki invasion at its source, the githyanki throne the source of Vimak’s
obsession.