In the land of Nazaria there was a seemingly endless golden age in the Holy City, one that had lasted for three kings reigns and is going on a fourth. Something seemed odd about this kings reign though, something looming over everyone; though no one would dare speak of it in fear it would spread. The king continuously put on a face, one that showed no worry and no care for this mysterious force. Those that knew him though saw a different face, one of weariness and distress though he would protest should anyone confront him about it.
One day things changed in a big way, the King's financial branch leader Leondise unexpectedly lost his entire wealth including his estate. There was no explanation to how or why this happened, and due to this unexpected fall from nobility the King could no longer justify using him or his family. This took a toll on the King as Leondise's family had worked with the Kings for generations and had always helped the kingdom prosper; some would go as far to say they were a big reason for the never-ending golden age. This was not the end to this bizarre entry though as soon after Leondise's fall from nobility, he committed suicide due to his pride being demolished. Actually, it seemed as though the entire family had been shamed and slowly started killing themselves or dying in accidents. That is to say, all but the blood child of Leondise himself Arengar.
It had been fourteen years and Arengar was now thirty four years of age. His eyes seemed to be a dark pit of blue, perhaps stained by the pool of tears he shed for his family or the sorrow that had been sewn into his heart. His face was still that of a nobleman's feature, it was hansom but aged and tired. He was forced to live life in a way he hadn't even known existed and it had it's toll on him. The only thing that hid these features were his raven black hair that seemed to flow down to his sturdy shoulders. Where he once wore clothes fit for a King, he now donned the rags of a peasant. Through the rips and tears of the fabric you could spot light scarring across his chest. Most likely these scars had been awarded to him during his fourteen years of living on the street, but it was a rare occasion anyone would dare to ask. Though Arengar used to be a Noble it was clear at first glance that he had picked up a set of skills that would frighten a well trained knight; and the dual saxe knives he carried at his side did much to help the feeling dig in.
Not much is known about Arengar now and the King lost interest in his family quickly after they fell from grace as was normal. Some say that Arengar had joined some sort of cult or guild, one that stole for their own needs whatever those may be. Others had speculated that he had become an assassin and that his family was murdered with his soul purpose being to find the assailants and give them due justice. One thing was certain about this beaten and bruised man though, he was sneaky and despite his age very quick. Some had reported he was able to snag a coin purse and replace it with a decoy without anyone even seeing his hands move.
Another land, that seemed like a lifetime away, had far worse problems than a noble's misfortunes. In Jorfsdarl, the viking's "capital", a darkness seemed to spread through the lands. This darkness was bold and even had some of the vikings go so far as to say it scared them. The Oberjarl of the vikings, Bjarke, had originally laughed it off telling his people that they were being superstitious. It was not until Gunnar, Bjarke's son, noticed a forest of death just north of Jorfsdarl. While he was walking he saw corpses rotting in the moss under the evergreen trees. Intestines were hanging like curtains from the branches. Blood painted the ground and the base of the trees with a crimson red. As he walked further through the forest the smell worsened, it was worse than anything he had dealt with before. As he walked further into the nightmare he saw a Viking brother eating the corpse of another Viking. Gunnar called out to him but when he turned around what he saw shocked him. The young viking looked into his fellow Norseman eyes and a wave of dread fell onto his very soul. He froze both in fear, and in shock. The only thing he could do is run, run and tell his father what he had seen.
The Oberjarl sent a team of eight scouts to investigate the area. When only two came back his worry set in and a cloud of seriousness dropped over him. Muttering and shaking, that's all that the Oberjarl was able to extract from the two survivors. They had lost their minds, and their eyes seemed void. Vikings were a tough breed of men and women, for six of them to not return and the two that did to be fallen so low, it had to have been something big. The Oberjarl thought, perhaps, that the King had finally gotten tired of the raids and had sent his army to wipe his people out. He had heard that the King had started to dabble in magics and wondered what horrors his men had thought up. Bjarke wouldn't go down with his sword sheathed though, he would fight!
Bjarke created a defensive perimeter around Jorfsdarl for the next five days. This gave the vikings plenty of time to get ready for whatever impending doom had wiped out their comrades to the north. On the fifth night, however; they lay witness to something that was change their people for life. Bjarke and Gunnar were awoken by the ear splitting screams of the guards they had stationed on the wall around their city. They quickly grabbed their gear and got ready for the battle of their lives. Gunnar went to alert the rest of the men and women with a call to arms and Bjarke ran straight to where the sounds of the screams were coming from. After Gunnar had rounded the last of his people to join the fight he charged with a group of them towards where Bjarke had run.
The party hadn't gotten halfway there before they were greeted with more vikings running the opposite way in a frenzy. Among this group was the Oberjarl himself, he was clearly in a blood-rage but even through that he managed to tell his son to gather the remaining vikings and to sail to the Holy City of Nazaria. He instructed Gunnar to find the King and warn him about what was coming. Gunnar wasn't sure what was even attacking the vikings, what he did know was that it was not of this world. There was no way the Kings men could have formed such monstrosities with magic alone. He regrouped with the remaining vikings and set sail for Nazaria, their misfortune did not stop there. The sky seemed to be swallowed by an unnatural darkness and the air fell silent. In the distance he could see his comrades ships being sunk by what seemed like nothing. He could see it happen before his very eyes and yet he could hear nothing, not the cracking of the ships hall and not the screams of his brothers and sisters. The ships seemed to just cease to exist and sunk so unnaturally fast. In a panic, he instructed his rowers to row as fast as they could and set the sails at full mast.
Three ships. Three ships are all that remained of the once thriving viking community. Gunnar knew not what to do, he had lost his people and his father as well as the lands they called home. They were now stuck in a foreign land that was not hospitable to the likes of vikings and they had little to no supplies with them. He knew they must make way to the Holy City to meet with the King, but how was he meant to get an audience with him when they were hated by these people?
Gunnar was still very young and had much to learn at a ripe twenty years old. Gunnar was tall, as was most vikings. Though he was still of youth his body was riddled with light scaring, which rippled his skin like waves on the ocean. Though he was still muscular and brutish, there seemed to be something different about Gunnar. His head was shaved but his braided beard accented the giant Tree of Life that rooted itself on his chest. Gunnar seemed to have an aura of wisdom about him, he knew how to use his mind to get what he wanted; his muscles made sure his fists would succeed if his mind were to fail.