Campaign of the Month: November 2007
Le soldat bleu
No one knows what Hepatica looks like or what he’s capable of. If he indeed existed, it was in a time before man dared walk the earth freely.
Long ago, before time was recorded on calendars and sundials, there existed many races of demons in the world. Man cowered in fear of these monsters who were bent on his destruction, and the demons in turn came to rule the world and sap its mana dry every single day.
One such race of demons were the Fomor, huge monstrosities in a cross between a ram and a bear. The fomor invented ships that they might travel to other places in the world and destroy their human settlements, because they had driven humans in their own areas to extinction. Every man and woman feared the fomor, for their bloodlust was unquenchable.
One day, a young man came wandering into the countries where the fomor lived. He was still very youthful, only barely a man, but he wore beautiful armor and bore a gigantic sword, both of the most brilliant cornflower blue.
When he arrived, the young man puzzled at the lack of humans to greet him in this strange country. He spake on the wind: “Since there is no one to ask my name, I will tell you, wind. I am Hepatica.”
Hepatica built a cottage in the countryside near a dying forest and began at once his exploration of this new place. He found what used to be huamn settlements laid to ruin in the dust, long abandoned or destroyed. At once he knew it was the work of demons. Returning home, Hepatica prepared for battle to avenge all those lives lost to the fomor.
That night, a knock came on Hepatica’s door. He answered it, opening the heavy wooden thing to see no one standing on the other side. Finding this most curious, Hepatica stepped outside to get a better look. It was then that he heard the voice of the wind.
“Hepatica, run inside. Don your armor that you would fight. He has come for you!”
Hepatica darted inside and at once put on his armor and wielded his azure sword. When he rteurned ourside, there stood before him a creature as none he had ever seen. It was a giant, thick with fat and covered in fur. Two huge horns as a ram’s darted out from an ursine face with angry eyes deep-set, and bulging muscles marked the length of two arms that ended in paw-like hands. The creature stood on cloven hooves that barely looked to support it, and it had a tail that began as a normal appendage but split into numerous serpents that hissed incessantly. The creature held a rod in one hand and a scourge in the other and wore a malicious grin.
“Traveller,” it spoke in a rumbling tone like thunder. “Why do you trespass on the land of the fomor?”
“I trespass nowhere,” Hepatica said in response. “This world is too young for boundaries.”
“In any event, this land is mine,” the demon continued. “I am Focalor, king of the fomor. Are you prepared to die?”
“I never die.”
With the wind at their backs, Hepatica and Focalor fought for eight days and nights. their battle changed the entire geography of the land of Fomor, levelling the rough mountains and craggy cliffs and bearing lush valleys and verdant forests benath them as though a butterfly crawling out of its cocoon. Finally, on the last minute of the last night, Hepatica struck down Focalor with a mighty blow that rent the creature in half. The wind carried away his remains, the serpents of his tail still hissing madly.
On the day that Focalor’s remains were taken to sea and dropped into the deepest trench to be forgotten, all the fomor disappeared from their kingdom. The green valleys and lush forests revealed during Hepatica’s battle brought their thanks to him on the wind, but he was nowhere to be found. He left a note scrawled on his door in a language only the wind would understand:
“This age will soon be a memory of the earth, and so I should depart so as not to confuse her. Cherish what you have, children of man, lest it be taken from you and given back to the darkness.”
Thus the continent of Fomor was made habitable and its land was given to the people of Moregnon. The cabin where Hepatica once lived still sits on the edge of a forest now vibrant with life. The legendary man’s message still finds itself scrawled on the front door. Strangely, when one stands close enough to the cabin, the wind seems to pick up and whisper through the nearby trees, as though it were trying to speak to you…