Detailing the Eldritch
by Abraxas Silvermane
based on knowledge gained from Akkamas Mohaiva
Durathor, a name many have forgotten, yet a name I believe deserves to be remembered. Theirs was a family at odds. Their internal struggle pitted tyranny against justice, law against chaos, and of course, light against darkness.
Records on the tiefling Heron Durathor’s early life are all but nonexistent, as he and his people came from a land that is to this day unexplored and unknown to the masses. But the Iron Golem Bael Norn has in recent years provided some insight into the matter.
Norn had served as a soldier in the unknown empire across the sea, and fought alongside Durathor, watching the warlord surpass all others in battle. Norn claimed Durathor was a Mystic, powerful beings capable of using their minds to achieve spell-like effects. Durathor is said have slain his first master in favor of another, more powerful lord, who spoke of Albatheos and its wealth, and that with psionics the empire would rule two continents.
Durathor and his new emperor traveled across the sea in their Illithian vessels, eventually reaching the shores of Stahlkrahe. Conveniently for the emperor, the efforts of the Blood Brotherhood of Drakkarsys had rendered arcane magic inert for a time, granting the perfect opportunity for the Mystics to unleash their wrath.
Stahlkrahe fell in weeks to the psionic might of Durathor’s master, whilst the black skinned tiefling proceeded to conquer many of the orc tribes to the south-east, all in the name of the ‘Emperor of Stahlkrahe’. With the orcs now following Durathor loyally, he turned his gaze southward to Angor-Jin.
The army of Orcs and Mystics under Durathor’s command crushed Angor-Jin’s military, leaving only the God-Lord of Angor-Jin left to contend with. In an epic confrontation Durathor beheaded the God-Lord, claiming Angor-Jin in the name of the Emperor and Stahlkrahe.
In the proceeding war with the Border Kingdoms and Hammerhall, Durathor came into contact with the red dragon Malconflagrant, consort of Tiamat. Malconflagrant offered limitless power to Durathor, an offer the Mystic never refused. He continued the conquest of Albatheos faithfully, though treachery was in his heart from then on.
The time of betrayal arrived at last when the Emperor asked Durathor to prove his loyalty and place his own soul inside a magical gem. Durathor, at the behest of Malconflagrant, placed Bael Norn’s soul in the gem instead, thus the warrior became an Iron Golem.
And now we escape what has spoken of around campfires and in inns and taverns across Enochia, and we look to what is known for true. Durathor returned from his quest and slew the Emperor just as he slew his first master, claiming the entirety of the empire for himself.
Durathor ruled the empire of Stahlkrahe for five years. During that time he married the powerful Wizardess, Ocasta, and fathered a son, Hellbat. The boy was quickly taken away from Albatheos by his mother, who, after learning all she could from the elder Durathor, sought to destroy him.
Hellbat was raised in Drakkarsys, where he traveled as a warlock, stealing his own father’s power in a fiendish pact. Hellbat waited for Heron, as he knew, one day, the black tiefling would come for his child.
Hellbat wasn’t wrong.
Stahlkrahe overextended, eventually going to war with the kingdom of Caliburn in Drakkarsys, a war that ended with the destruction of the Blood Brotherhood’s Reliquary, and the death of Heron Durathor at the hands of his own son. Hellbat went on with Ocasta to Crescentia, where they began to slowly liberate Albatheos from the rule of Malconflagrant, who took Heron’s place as Emperor.
Hellbat slew Malconflagrant as well, finally liberating those in the Stahlkrahe Empire, and ascending to rulership of the nation, helping to heal its people and show them a new way, one without cruelty and vengeance.
For the next twenty five years Hellbat worked to fix the broken kingdoms left by his father, exiling most of the dragon cult to Thulasia yet again, as well as popularizing the Warlock pact of the Fiend. It was after many more great deeds that Hellbat seemingly faded into obscurity, eventually disappearing entirely; perhaps he thought the world no longer needed him.
The strange tale of the Durathors speaks to us on many levels. In Heron, we see what comes from greed, disloyalty, and treachery. He was powerful, but his arrogance and his pride were his downfall. He thought he deserved wealth and glory, but in the end his greatest treasure was the one who slew him.
It is in Hellbat we see ambition in its more positive light. In him we see the will to do good in the world no matter the cost. But there is something more, for we see in Hellbat that just because one is born of evil, or use its power, you are not inherently so, and can achieve greatness, if only you would look outside your world for just a moment…
Lair of Ocasta