Tundric-The Enemy Within
Faces of the Enemy
__From the desk of Scholar Aspirant Malcolm Herngir, of the University of Altdorf in the Two Thousandth Fie Hundred and Twenty-Sixth Year of the Empire:
As so many of my fellow scholars, I had earlier embarked on research into the happenings of that great event, the Storm of Chaos. It was during such research that I came across an unrelated story that was all the more interesting and macabre. There can be little doubt to those of us who were matured in the years before the Storm to ignore the fact that Chaos had seeped its way into the Empire long before. The depredations of evil men, foul cults, dark magics and plain bad fortune had plagued the Empire for many years prior to the Storm. In fact, the Storm itself, I fear, was only another symptom of an unending wave of malevolence that stretched forth its dark hand over our lands.
In my research, I had learned of yet another string of occurrences, a series of events that, with the blessing of hindsight, one can now look back and see the origins of our Enemy. This research was long and dangerous, its results will be shocking and scandalous, and I mean this in no way to engender interest. I have not all the pieces but I will narrate those I do possess with as much integrity as is possible. My sources are many and my notes confusing, such is the purpose of this manuscript to shed light on the full array of events that happened a decade prior to our most recent troubles. For in my learning, it appears that catastrophe was only narrowly averted in the decade before the Storm by powers beyond our reckoning.
I trust this knowledge to you and beg forgiveness if I may have filled in the blank spots with some historian’s privilege, bordering on creative license, to shed light on the whole sordid subject. However, I feel you will not be disappointed.
It would seem that the story first began outside the town of Delberz with a small group of folk. There was Kettle Thorsson, a thug in the manner of those brutish louts that plague the streets of Nuln. His origin is a bit more nebulous as he bore the golden locks of the Northlands with an Imperial accent. As witnessed by many, his one ornamentation being a golden ring set within the nostrils. A Halfling, bored of hawking newssheets on the streets of Delberz and far from his home in the Moot, Tallas, was also a party to these events. Down from the mountains, a dour and brooding Dwarf, Wilbur Tunnelcrafter, joined in. He bore teeth that could snare steel cable, crooked and unsightly. A lass, although barely so, Cricket Worthingtonshire, also made up part of this group. She was a strong and sturdy specimen, at home running coaches in the Empire before deciding to take up the life of adventuring. Another oddity, but not the last, was Gaylord Galadriel an effeminate yet unrelenting Elven Hunter from the Laurelorn Forest, there has been little said of his reasons for being there but his smile was clue certain that dentistry was a lost art amongst the Fair Folk. The last addition, a forerunner of things to come, was Vander, the quiet and disturbing Initiate of Morr from the Temple in Delberz. Not yet ordained, his order had released him into the world for reasons yet unknown.
As Magister Weir pointed out, this was a most strange gathering of folk to be banded together. I can only reply to such a statement with an academic shrug and mysterious cast of the eyes as my old tutor once covered his ignorance. Truly, a more mismatched group could have been found… but it was not a far cast by any means. As yon reader turns the pages, you will doubtless be less than surprised at the turmoil such an odd group caused in their journeys._