Vasbarghad

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Vasbarghad is a ruined fortress full of powerful undead. The name Vasbarghad refers to both the fortress itself and the vicinity immediately outside it. Only foolhardy adventurers would attempt to venture there.



Contents

History

In the now distant past, a conclave of mages started an settlement at the site now known as Vasbarghad. In the early days, the location was nothing more than a haphazard cluster of tents, but as the mages became more organized, they began constructing permanent structures.

With time, the tents gave way to wooden buildings, and then, stone. As the mages studied, they became more practiced with their magicks and began using their arcane power to augment the buildings magickally, and eventually constructing them exclusively with magickal power by gathering together and focusing their power into a single effort. This proved exhausting but the buildings that resulted were often quite spectacular, if slightly unpredictable in their final appearance, with each member of the conclave adding his or her own personal touches. The conclave began referring to themselves as the Vasbarghadi, and their settlement as Vasbarghad.

Over a period of years, the Vasbarghadi grew in numbers, but the mages became quite reclusive towards outsiders, wanting little more than to be left alone to their studies. It was eventually decided to construct a high-walled citadel to contain their colony and provide them with both defense and privacy.

After several months of study and preparation, on an evening picked by for its astrological auspiciousness, all members of the conclave gathered together in Vasbarghad's center. As they had done many times in the past, they joined in channeling a massive invocation to construct their fortress. Their powers fused together seamlessly, and the ground shook as their citadel began to rise from the ground itself, bending and twisting as it rose to the sky. As the spell continued, members of the conclave began to drop to the ground unconscious from exertion. The strongest and most studied members dropped first, presumably because they were contributing the most power to the invocation. After several minutes, all but a handful of mages were lying prone on the ground. A handful of neophytes held the spell's success solely in their hands. As the weight of the magicks shifted to them, they too began to drop one after another. The last mage standing was known as Tereko. Finally, he too collapsed in a heap, but not before the citadel was (mostly) complete, its majesty was the last thing he saw before he slipped into a deep coma.

With a start, Tereko's eyes fluttered open and he dragged himself to his feet. He felt decades older, his mouth dry, and his muscles unbelievably weak. Looking around, other mages still lay crumpled on the ground. Many were dead, and still others were completely catatonic. In the end, only six of them survived the ordeal with their minds fully intact. More than one hundred others were either dead or perhaps worse, alive, but only in the scientific sense.

The citadel had been completed, but at a terrible cost. The remaining Vasbarghadi realized that their numbers were too few to inhabit the castle, so they began a campaign to bring others to join them in the fortress. Over time, immigrants were drawn to the majestic citadel and its untapped potential. The Vasbarghadi lived for some years as the senior stewards of Vasbarghad, and their fallen brothers and sisters were revered, but not spoken of in open conversation. It was a sensitive topic that few was not acknowledged publically.

The fortress' population swelled over the years, with many tradesmen and merchants choosing to make their homes at Vasbarghad. Caravans would pass through as well. One of these was led by a radiant young woman called Andina, who eventually became familiar with Tereko on her many journeys through the area. They became close over time, Tereko confiding in her some of the unspoken history of the Vasbarghad and its founders. Eventually, they married and had a son, who they named Vereko -- the first letter of his name in memory of the Vasbarghadi.

Tereko, of course, was the de-facto leader of Vasbarghad, and so when his days came to an end, and his son was nearly grown to a man himself, it naturally fell to Vereko to inherit his father's position.

Vereko, like his father, had acquired an interest in, and indeed quite a talent in the magickal arts. While has father had been interested in architecture, alchemy, and astrology, Vereko's interests were more focused on the spirit world, though not in any malevolent manner. Vereko would attempt to commune with his ancestors, divine the future from the past, and so on. He was loved by the people who lived in Vasbarghad, and enjoyed somewhat of a celebrity status within the fortress walls. He found it impossible to venture outside without attracting a handful of children following him, and greeted both residents and visitors he passed in the yards and alleyways.

Having deviated completely from its original purpose, Vasbarghad had grown into a bustling miniature city, complete with shops, merchants, entertainers, and religion. It had a small, highly-trained garrison for defense, while some of the more scholarly residents studied the magickal arts, some of them under the tutoring of Vereko himself. The majority of the population lived outside the fortress walls, as there simply was not enough space. The garrison had a barracks inside the castle, and some of the scholars were assigned quarters within the fortress proper. Vereko himself also lived inside; his quarters were small but immediately adjacent to the library and study where he spent the bulk of his time.

It was rumored that Vereko and his students were researching a particularly difficult, but potentially marvelous project when the situation changed seriously for the worse.

The library and study within the fortress were at the heart of its design, according to the original Vasbarghadi purpose for the citadel's creation. While it is uncertain what exactly occurred, those who escaped Vasbarghad claim that Vereko had been working late one night when a thick, muffling fog that seemed to originate from the very center of the citadel settled in on the area.

However, this was no ordinary fog. Its color was pitch black, and it engulfed the whole citadel from top to bottom. It seeped into every building through the most miniscule of cracks, and whatever it touched was either killed outright or turned into a twisted creature of undeath, a perverse mirror of its former self. Most people were asleep and had no chance to escape the silent death that had arrived so suddenly and so unexpectedly. The few that survived were peasants living outside the fortress walls. Their accounts are sketchy at best, but all claim to see the fortress shrouded in a thick, viscous black fog. By morning's arrival, the fog was gone, but the fortress was teeming with undead, and the scent of decay was thick in the air.


Location

Vasbarghad is located at (-18, 32, 0) in Visigonia (Global: (63, 113, 0)).


Spoiler warning: information below includes details, such as solutions to puzzles or quest procedures, that you may prefer to discover on your own.

Notable Personalities

  • Trader Pomkin - Pomkin is skaven who is one of the few living creatures one can find around Vasbarghad. He spends his time scavenging the dead for trinkets and lives in a hovel outside the castle where he performs alchemical experiments that most would shun. his hovel is located at -6, 14, 0. To go there from just having entered, go s, 6w, and to return, go 6e, n.
  • Vereko - The ruler of Vasbarghad in both its past and present. In life, Vereko was a well-respected mage known both for his research and for his generosity towards the common folk. He is now a lich, and may be ultimately responsible for the curse of Vasbarghad.
  • Lak'Shaa - Lak'Shaa was rumored to be both Vereko's best student and lover. A sekh, she hasn't been seen since before the curse, but if she was not killed outright, she's certain to be inside.
  • Deremog - In life, Deremog was a stoic thond reknowned for his skill with an axe. In undeath, he's much the same.
  • Fengu - Fengu was the nemesis of the townspeople in life, a skilled thief who had a knack for pickpocketing and knives alike.
  • Annihilis - Rumored to be some kind of demon, and further rumored to now be an undead demon, as if that wasn't bad enough.
  • Boyne - In life, Boyne was the captain of the Vasbarghadi garrison. He had a reputation as a skilled soldier who was a dead-eye with a crossbow.
  • Viktor Gravvas - Once the local holy man, he is now supposedly is orchestrating raids into the countryside to kidnap innocents and turn them into additional undead denizens of Vasbarghad.

Notable Attractions

  • Outlying Areas:

The curse unleashed within the fortress was strongest at its center, so some of the peasants living and working outside were able to flee the area. The area outside the fortress is mostly abandoned farmland, inhabited only by the tradesmen, merchants, and peasants who were not able to escape the curse. The curse was at its weakest in these areas, so while these peasants are certainly vicious undead, they are considerably less lethal than those found inside the fortress proper.

  • Fortress Walls and Courtyard:

These areas are primarily inhabited by the fortress garrison. Trained soldiers, these inhabitants are equipped with the weapons and armor that they used in life. Some basic services were also found in the citadel, such as a blacksmith, stables, some religious facilities, etc.

  • Inner Sanctum:

Vereko himself resides within the fortress proper. The library and study are here, the nexus of his power and the curse's corruption. Only the most seasoned adventurers should dare venture here. Other inhabitants were also afflicted with the strongest portion of the curse, and are thusly even more dangerous than the undead outside.


Notes

  • Area alignment:
  • Vasbarghad is populated now exclusively by the undead. The curse was at its strongest within the citadel itself, and so the undead soldiers, mages, and champions who were asleep or working within the citadel when the curse arrived are the most formidable.
  • The outlying areas most adjacent to the walls were also consumed by the curse, but not so completely. These peasants and tradesmen are now undead as well, but generally remain outside the fortress walls, just as they did in life. The remaining residents who were not afflicted have all fled the area.
  • Vereko himself still inhabits the citadel, but now as an archlich -- a highly potent undead mage. While nobody knows what his intentions are, he is extremely hostile towards any intruders, and should be considered dangerous to the extreme. A small number of brave adventurers have attempted to enter the castle and investigate, but very few have returned.
End of spoiler information.


Maps


Potential Quests

These days quests seem like an afterthought to most players, but they are still useful for certain guilds and are another way of adding depth and progression to the game. I plan to implement quests at some point, including:

  • Cure for Vasbarghad - While it may be impossible, rumors persist that a means exists to cure the curse of Vasbarghad.
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