Rabbitt's Basement: Rise of Vecna
Nixero the Cold
"For the Pack"
“For the Pack”
It doesn’t really matter who I was when I was young. Where I lived, how I was raised, who my family was. None of it. All that matters is who I am now. But I suppose a little context would suffice, just enough to begin to understand the man I am, and the Pack I run with.
12 years ago I was a snot nosed punk running with a measley street gang that thought it could be a mercenary company. We started our “company” so we could survive the tough streets of The Southern Boulder. We were a bunch of kids who thought we were tough and cool, so we named ourselves the “Death Blades”, we weren’t, obviously. We started our illustrious career roaming the streets, kicking puppies, and scaring old women, talking about how we were gonna rule The Southern Boulder someday and make things great for all the poor and weak. Eventually, someone got annoyed with our antics and decided we needed to be taught a lesson. Twenty five veteran mercs from the second biggest company in the town, armed with clubs, cornered us in an alleyway and gave us the worst beat-down of our lives. Of the twenty of us, aged thirteen to eighteen, six died. The mercs just chuckled and left, leaving us to deal with the corpes of our friends. That event changed all of us. We decieded, that if we wanted to change the city; We needed to be strong first, and dreamers second.
A few years later, the young boys of the “Death Blades” were now young men. A small distinction to be sure, but an improtant one. We had grown in both strength if not influence. Though we did scrape up enough goodwill to set some things straight. The second biggest guild “The Legion of Steel” was having trouble with some of their own men. A squad that had built up a reputation of being very cruel. They were bullies, really, they had even killed some kids in a alleyway because they were being too loud. I recieved a note that gave be this information and job offer; “Kill them and you take their place in the Legion”. The cruel look of grim satisfaction on my face when I read it was clear to all of my friends as I reread the letter to them. We all desired their deaths, and we desired to do it ourselves. We never thought we would be able to get away with it, the Legion would have retaliated. But, now we had a chance at revenge, and then we become first class citizens overnight, it was perfect!
Our plan went off without a hitch, plain and simple; we killed them. No speeches, no declarations of justice, we killed them all in an ambush and they didn’t even know who we were. And that was it, we avenged our friends and closed the book on our time as small time peasant boys playing at mercenaries, we were men now. We didn’t waste any time settling into our new status in the city, we renamed our squad because we weren’t idiot children anymore and we wanted people to take us seriously. Thus began the rise of the “Steel Wolves” squad of “The Legion of Steel”. A few more years later, we had just sucessfully assasinated a high ranking noble of The Southern Boulder. The man had only been dead a week when the Legion gets a strange request. The job is to go to the most northernmost point of the continent, past the Dolastrad holdings and pacify a dangerous creature that has become a nuisance to the Dolatstrad family and their lands. It is by far the biggest payout we have ever seen, only, it didn’t make any sense. Why contact the Legion? Why our squad specifically? Why not another mercenary group, perhaps not on the other side of the continent? Leadership assured us that this job was legit, sent by a Dolastad courier with the proper seals and identification, everything. I was concerned, the rest of the squad reminded me that ten thousand gold per person is a lot of money. It was a convincing argument.
Our journey was long and boring, but we did get to see many new things along the way. We finally make it to our meet up point with what was supposed to be a liason for the Dolastrad family. The meet up point was a week out from the canyon that this creature was supposed to live, a cozy little traveller’s lodge for people coming from and going to the north. We waited two days for our contact. He was going to give us a full description of the beast, verify we killed it, and then pay us. He never showed, we got impatient, and we left to kill the creature. At this point I just wanted to kill it, and then deposit it’s corpse in the entryway of the Dolastrad Manor and demand extra pay for making us travel the additional week, BY FOOT, to get to the manor from the canyon.
We make it to the box canyon called “The Frozen Cauldron”. There is only one entrance and it’s a narrow, icy passageway through the ring of impassable mountains known as “The Devils Teeth” that leads a winding path into the “Cauldron”. The mood of the group dips sharply when we finally make it inside. As far as the eye can see is white, all encompassing pure white extending on for what seems like forever. With the mountian and the pass behind us, it looked like we had made it to the end of the world. A ledge that we stand on and can view the emptyness of the white void of non-existence. Our awe was cut short as a deafening explosion from inside the passageway rocked the mountain and sent us to our knees. Terror ripped through the men and I as we rushed to check the damage. Our fear was well founded; the pass had collapsed in and blocked our only way out of the canyon. With no gear for digging or hauling rocks, we would be reduced to using improvised digging implements. The situation was grim; low rations due to not getting a resupply from the liason, no decent winter survival gear, no tools for digging, no escape, and no hope for rescue. We all knew we were dead, so we all agreed that we were going to kill this creature for some measure of catharsis, or perhaps to assign some meaning to our deaths, who knows.
The deaths piled up as we trekked inward, trying to locate the beast. But there was no sign anywhere. A blizzard kicked up almost as soon as we set out, as though mother nature herself was trying to end us as swiftly and mercifully as possible. We continued on watching friend after friend, and brother after brother die to the merciless blizzard. Each gust of wind, tearing at our exposed faces and freezing the exposed parts of our metal armor to our skin. We searched for…days?…weeks?…hours? Regardless of how long it took, twenty five men became four.
Out of food and water, completely exhausted, and lying in the snow, we waited for our frozen executioner, the blizzard, to take us. Fading in and out of conciousness, I lay on my back as the blowing snow continued to cover us, as though we were being erased from existence by mother nature. I felt my life slipping out of my body and my soul disconnecting from my mortal being, and I knew this was the end when I saw a figure step out of the storm and stand in our midst just as I lost conciousness.
Going forward several years; the person who saved us had a shelter in that terrible canyon. That person saved our lives and taught us how to survive in the cold, and helped us rebuild. The four of us, the remainder of the “Steel Wolves” decided to stay with our saviour and start a new mercenary company with the one who saved our lives. Thus, the “Frost Wolves” were born. With the core tenants of family, brotherhood, and courage, we now live our lives “For the Pack”. We grew large with our leader’s wisdom and guidance, a full battalion of men and women, 800 strong. Our own village, with our families that run the blacksmiths and farms. We all exist to help the people around us, and better the world.
I have risen to the rank of captain and given a new name; Nixero, the name that is given to every Frost Wolf Captian. To differentiate, we are each given a secondary title. Mine is “the Cold” because I have a propensity for “cold, emotionless, efficiency when completing contracts”, as our leader puts it. Now I must investigate a group calling itself the “Silver Syndacate”. According to our informants, they posses a blue sword called Graveyard that is tied to necromancy and possibly demons. They have been making a name for themselves, and have done some extraordinary things. I am to ensure that they are going to destroy this sword, and assist them in doing so. I am also supposed to assess the members of the Syndicate as well. If they are as powerful and as unhinged as they sound, they could be dangerous to the local populace and may need to be put down. If they are not as bad as the rumors say, then they will be valueable allies.
The last thing is an unsettling task. I must kill the former captian for defecting. The former Nixero is a crazy man, mad with power, he intends to go south and take Graveyard for his own. When he left, he stole some things from me as well, including a sword he purchased for me as a gift when he was less crazy. It is a shame, but he must not be allowed to interfere with the “Silver Syndacate”, or get his hands on Graveyard. I never thought I would have to kill one of my own, but I will for the the good of us all. I’ll do it “For the Pack”, because that’s all that I have…
It was just a job. An important mission to safeguard the world from destruction. They were all just assests to use until the mission was a sucess; Arawn, Faust, Nulaff, Bishop, Marduk, Sagemon, Shemuel….and Sarin. I did not intend to become attached to any of them, going so far as to charge them money for keeping their perishable rations preserved with my aura of cold, much like the one I had around my heart. But, one by one, they each found a way to bypass my defenses, and I grew to like them.
We defeated each challenge as it presented itself to us, made it through situations we thought impossible. We triumphed over all opponents. We did it as a team, as friends…even if we didn’t always see eye to eye. I even plotted the death of a few of them, just in case they became a detriment to the mission. I did everything for the mission, and I stayed on task as best I could with the group of high functioning sociopaths I found myself growing to care about.
It was that night, after we had killed the mechanical dragon and destroyed his golem factory, that she burnt my tent down. It was that night, sitting across from her in her big red tent, nervously wandering what her intentions where when she started up such casual conversation for someone who just immolated a tent on a whim, that my life was changed forever. It was her eyes, so confident and pure with a glint of mischief, I saw my salvation in those eyes. I saw the promise of a future I never thought possible, the warmth of this person began melting my heart. The next week traveling to the Citadel of Clouds was so much fun. I regaled Sarin with my stories of my time in the Frost Wolves, the adventures I had been on, and my rise through the ranks of leadership. In turn, She told me stories of her childhood and her life before she was swept up in the affiars of the Silver Syndicate. I hung on every word, gleaning insight into this wonderful woman who literally rode a fireball into my life.
Mt. Nex is behind us all. We triumphed in our original goal to destroy Graveyard. But that only begets a new goal, a new journey, and surely, new heartache. We destroyed the sword and made a new one, releasing a slightly lesser evil than Vecna on the world.
He killed Sarin…he killed my love. With my mission complete I return to the Frost Wolf Strondhold where I will report in…and be reborn. I have amassed enough strength and power to begin the transformation that I have been preparing for. I find it interesting that Shemuel aspires to become a god, it requires a certian amount of hubris to reach so high, to challenge the gods in such a way. I am the same way, perhaps that is why we have come to such an understanding, and why we are such friends now. I too desire power unattainable by mortal men, but I will have it with the assistance of my Queen.
The name of the dragon that all the Frost Wolves serve. She is our Queen, she treats us well and gives us the tools and the strength to grow. Her personality is the reason that we have grown so quickly, she attracts those who want to be powerful and great to her, like bees to honey. Now she gives me the greatest of her gifts to date: Power. Power that no mortal man can possess normally, all at the small cost of servitude. As long as I remain loyal to her, I will be her Champion, gifted with incedible skills. Skills that I intend to use on Kas. I will destroy him and find a way to ressurect Sarin. I possess the reforged sword that was once called Graveyard and I will use it to utterly destroy Kas, and any other foolish evil being that gets in the way. Perhaps I will get the opportunity to kill some of my Queen’s rivals along the way. I will kill Kas, I will kill dragons, I will kill demons, I will save the lives of everyone who needs me, I will grow in power and even help create a god. I will do all these things “For the Pack” and For Sarin, My Only Love.