Legend of the Ghoulfist

Dreyfalin Ghoulfist, Deathlord

Remember the legend of the Ghoulfist, child, lest the shadows take us all. Remember how our great priest, Dreystal Vitsarvi, was once a noble healer and protector. Recall from old memories a more dangerous time when the pale mender held attackers at bay, always searching for a more formidible method.

In those days, before the damnable Saurians appeared, our greatest fear were the artificers and their infernal devices. Always would they come amidst fire and lightning, the pounding footfalls of the golems as the answering thunder. The artificers wanted power, the life's blood of Gaiea. Vitsarvi answered with living golems of his own creation and the summoned forces of the powerful elementals of the wood and the land defending home and life. It was not enough.

Determined to drive the invaders out, Dreystal, the Kind, sought out the most ancient lore. All was nearly lost. None of the elders at the Battle of Moraxwen Glade can ever forget the sight. Dreystal Vitsarvi blazed with primordial energies as he brought even the most fatally wounded warrior back into battle again and again... Truly, Vitsarvi, the Kind, was a healer without match that day in the elders' eyes. But the longer the fighting continued, the more they realized just how wrong they were and they shuddered as night fell upon the field of battle.

He was not healing the dying, but raising the dead!

Suddenly, the Once Kind found himself the prey of two armies, with the artificers crushing one flank and his former elven allies tearing through their own battle lines to slay him. "Dreyfalin," they cursed in the old tongue. "Dreyfalin," they cried, damning their once-hero as a traitor to life.

With a certain sadness, the fallen druid cried into the darkness for all the terrible things of night to aid him. When the chaos had passed, two armies had been routed, the necromancer having vanished down a tunnel none dared enter.

The artificers would return in less than a season and take Moraxwen Glade from us.

Since that day, the dreyfalin has only gotten more powerful. It is said he is a Deathlord now, a creature so deeply tied to the eternal void that their very nearness sucks one's life away.

Remember, child. Remember the Ghoulfist, as they call him now, for the Deathlord shall someday return to reclaim his home: Moraxwen Glade.

Ghoulfist.

It was a name intended to inspire fear, a feat it accomplished very well. To the children of the sprawling metropolis that filled the valley at Moraxwen, the Ghoulfist was all the shuddering terrors of night's eternal mysteries. At once gruesome fairy tale and lore of a more ancient time, the story of the ghoulfist haunted the hearts of Moraxwen's industrious citizenry for five generations. Each one spoke brave words, held safe behind the massive walls and automated ballistae. Each one gazed in wonder at their mechanized utopia and not the utterance of a doubt in the manifest destiny of the Nation of Artifice could be heard. But in the deeps of midnight's hush, when the gates to imagination are thrown wide, in his heart of hearts, each one *knew* the Ghoulfist would one day come to make good on his promise to return to the sheltered valley and reclaim it as his own.

Moraxwen, at once the name of the valley, the city, and the verdant woodland that once occupied the area, is tranquil even in its most troubled times, now, but such was not always the case. A keen observer might find evidences of the mighty conflict that took place here a century ago in the remaining vegetation, the strategic layout of the city, even the land, itself. The history primers distributed amongst the children spoke briefly on a long-ago war that won the Nation of Artifice independence but expounded voluminously on the manifest destiny of the artificers and the unnamed evils overcome to claim their piece of the world. They speak not of the indigenous peoples nor the sacrifices they made attempting to keep their home their own. There is no mention in any of the modern historical texts, written by the victors, of the exiled Valori who built their enchanted city far from the oppression of the elven lands.