Adventures in Melthallow
Cleric of Odin. 34th Duke of Westreach, in absentia
Backstory and Play Reference Document (in case of discrepancy, this document has precedence over this page)
On the 21st day of the 3rd month of the year XXXX, the second son of Calum Yggæning, the 32nd Duke of Westreach, and þora, first daughter of the Earl of Goodcape, was born. The newborn, named Lander, was the second-in-line to the duchy and, as per tradition, was expected to become the Head Priest of the duchy. At that time, the Yggæning family was at a crossroads, with less power than other Dukes and with only a handful of landed members remaining.
From a young age, Lander resented the expectation of priesthood and fought against it at every opportunity. He jealously coveted the freedom he believed his brother, Valdemar, was afforded. Valdemar also chafed under the authority of their father and tried to reach out to Lander, who was too self-pitying to even see how much he was like his brother.
When Lander reached the age of maturity, his mother, whom he considered his closest friend and sympathetic to his plight, died suddenly when a plague that swept the kingdom. Seeing no way out of his duty, having lost his mother while his official temple training only a year away, Lander began to carouse like a madman. He shirked his duties as second son and instead slept with as many women as he could, spending extravagant amounts of money on receptions and parties, even with the common people. This was seen as a common behaviour among second sons and as such, his father let it go at first.
Inevitably his brother and father tried to rein in his extravagant behaviour, he lashed out and struck his father. As punishment long due, he was sentenced spent a week in the gaol of the castle amongst the common people. Humiliated and angry, Lander foolishly called a demon to make a pact so he could finally be free of his father’s expectations.
Unfortunately, his summoning failed horribly. He inadvertently summoned a Lieutenant of Azzagrat. The demon went on a rampage for hours, killing hundreds of people, including the Duke, until Valdemar sacrificed himself, after a valiant fight to stop it.
The demon, weakened immensely by the sacrifice of the shortest-reigning Duke, a noble spirit, managed to cling on to the Material plane and, none in Westreach knowing, went to nurse himself back to health in the mountains of W. It took over him 25 years to gain full power again but in that time, he has managed to gain a sizeable following, using it to terrorize the neighbouring population. Now back to his full power, he has set his eyes on conquering Melthallow for Graz’zt.
As for Lander, wracked with guilt, he vowed to find a way to redeem himself and get revenge on the demon. To do the latter, he needed to find the demon’s true name, a nigh-impossible feat for even the most perseverant of scholars. He joined the section of the sect of Odin focused on knowledge, also vowing to stay celibate and abstain himself from most worldly pleasures until his redemption. Seeing his resolve in redeeming himself and judging the self-imposed punishment appropriate, the king of kingdom offered full absolution to Lander if he managed to find the demon’s name while upholding his oath. The king’s Court Wizard would then summon the demon (not knowing it’s still in the material plane) and then banish it.
In the meantime, Lander’s sister, Gilda, his only surviving sibling, has been named Regent of Westreach. As per the ducal succession laws, her children will inherit the Duchy. As it was not expected she would inherit, she had been married to the young man Duke of a rival dynasty to secure an alliance. As per the marriage laws, their children are now of the husband’s dynasty. So after Lander’s death, the Duchy would not be under his dynasty anymore, a fact that bothers him immensely.
After graduating from the priesthood, Lander spent the better part of a decade hunting for the demon’s name, while serving Odin. After that research came out fruitless, he decided to join an adventuring party, hoping to find the information in ancient ruins. His first adventuring party were a bunch of incompetents and he barely survived their first encounter, the rest have been slaughtered. His second party expected him only to heal them and after they refused his help on a trap, they died horribly. His third party went around killing people for looking at them wrong so he eventually turned them in for the sizeable reward. His fourth and final party betrayed him and left him for dead in favor of joining yet another dark cult dedicated to reviving some ancient evil.
Feeling dejected after so many failures, Lander lost hope and around 45 years of age, took up the role of scribe for various noblehouses and guilds. When Nightsong was formed, he joined them as theirs and Lightshade’s main scribe. He has spent nearly all (except starting equipment) of his salary building Nightsong’s library of knowledge. Until recently, he had mostly lost the will to redeem himself and was only half-heartedly searching in the books for the hated demon’s name. He has inked the vast majority of Night song’s and their home city’s documents, including the Third Treaty of Lightshade.
But old age catches up to everyone and Lander was not spared time’s destruction. At 67 years of age, he had a sudden heart attack, which took a lot of his physical strength away. During the event, he received a vision of Odin’s raven telling him it was time for him to undertake his search again. The new generation of eager adventurers would be the perfect aid.