The last Overlord has been vanquished by the forces of The Shining Justice, led by a trio of champions – The paladins, Lady Clarissa the Vigorous and Sir Cedric the Cleanly, and a unicorn known simply as Sparkle. The actions of this group have created an encroaching plague of light known as ‘The Golden’ which cutifies and beautifies everything in its path. Now there are only a few pockets of evil left. One of these contains the minions of the old Overlord who, along with Minion Master Gnarl, have fled to the Netherdeep, below the ruins of the old Dark Tower. However, The Golden is following them and threatening their only sanctuary. Now only an influx of dark energy can help hold back the light.
After much searching, the minions located the Big Book o’ Evil. Under the chapter on Nefarious Doings, Gnarl finds an ancient ritual to create Netherghūls – champions of darkness, created from the remains of great evildoers. He sends some of his last minions out to find suitably evil candidates who have recently met their demise. The minions find four possible options – Inferna, the tough, lone-wolf fire warrior; Hakon, the devious dwarven rogue; Malady, the malevolent necromancer; and Cryos, the vengeful ice mage.
Cryos – The Ice Mage
Signature colour: Blue
Signature weapons: Quarterstaff
Signature Spell/Move: Ice Wall
Backstory: Unlike the rest of the Netherghūls, Cryos comes from an extremely privileged background as the youngest prince in a line of dark elves. Unfortunately he is also the last of his line and heir to a throne that no longer exists after the rest of his family were wiped out during the Shining Justice crusades.
Cryos’ family lived in the great ice caves of Nordberg and carved the ice and snow around them in into a shimmering fortress. Cryos himself used to use his powers over ice to freeze creatures together, creating great monstrosities which protected his family’s domain.
Unsurprisingly, their home was a prime target for the Shining Justice Paladins. But their ice stronghold was so impenetrable that the paladins had to recruit mercenaries to take them down. They chose to hire Hakon and The Utter Bastards for the task. They might be ‘technically’ evil, but like most dwarves the lure of sackfuls of gold outweighs who’s behind filling them.
During the battle Cryos’ family were wiped out and Cryos himself dies fighting Hakon, both executing killing blows on the other at the same time. This allowed the Minions to gather up two dark heroes at once. However, whether they’ll be able to put the circumstances of their demises behind them and become dark allies in the battle ahead remains to be seen. Gnarl hopes that their past fracas will only aid their determination to prove themselves during the Trials of Evil (™).
Hakon – The Dwarf Rogue
Signature colour: Green
Signature weapons: Hand axes
Signature Spell/Move: Dance of Hurricanes
Backstory: Before his death, Hakon (pronounced Hawk-on) was the leader of a group of infamous dwarven mercenaries known as The Utter Bastards. The Bastards are extraordinarily tough and ferocious, and also tend to leave utter carnage in their wake (if you’re lucky.) Hakon worked his way up through the group since he was a nipper, largely by being a more devious scheming bastard than his cohorts.
The Bastards have quite a robust approach to leadership which tends to be occupied by whichever of their number manages to survive in the position the longest. By far the greatest threat to any Bastard leader is being killed off by a member of their own crew.
And to those ends Hakon has been quite a successful leader in that he managed to survive for two years in the role, prior to his death. However, he had seen off more than two dozen assassination attempts by his own men. This usually resulted in their deaths or extreme maiming. Since killing one another off is pretty much seen as an extreme sport to the Bastards (especially if they can’t find anyone else to kill) they don’t hold grudges should an assassination attempt be thwarted. Therefore most of the Bastards are extremely scared and often missing eyes, ears and the occasional limb.
Eventually Hakon met his end after the Bastards were hired by the Shining Justice to help them take down Cryos’ and his dark elf family. Some of the Bastards weren’t too happy about working for Paladins, but the pay was good and it gave them an excuse to kill elves. Hakon and Cryos ended up fighting and both killing each other off, thus giving the Minions a two-for-one-opportunity for Netherghūl candidates.
Inferna – The Fire Warrior
Signature colour: Red
Signature weapons: Broad Sword
Signature Spell/Move: Abyssal Scythe
Backstory: Inferna comes from the Rubornian red desert lands. Although her people always had an affinity with fire, it was discovered that Inferna had the ability to summon fire from within her body – the living flame. This led to her being feared and eventually ostracised by her own people when she was just a child. Frightened of the powers she held within her, Inferna’s own father took her out into the deep desert and, to her horror, left her alone to die.
But somehow the young Inferna managed to survive the sandstorms, the burning sun and the desert beasts. When she emerged from the wilderness she did not return to her village. Inferna had endured the harshest trials of nature. She didn’t need any help from anyone. Instead she continued to look after herself, hunting and stealing what she wanted; the flames her only companions.
Inferna grew tough and resilient. She taught herself to fight and stalked the land taking down whatever stood in her path, determined to be as hostile and brutal to the world as it had been to her. Eventually she got such a reputation that baskets of food and drink were often left outside village gates just in case the “Red Death”` was passing so she might take the goodies and not attempt to singlehandedly destroy their homes.
Inferna eventually met her demise fighting a family of rock giants for the gem seam they protected. Whereupon the Minions that were secretly observing her recovered her shattered remains and brought them back to Gnarl, the Minion Master, who resurrected her as a Netherghūl.
Malady – The Necromancer
Signature colour: Purple
Signature weapons: Wand
Signature Spell/Move: Soul Devourer
Backstory: Malady was abandoned as baby on the steps of an over-crowded bakery-cum-orphanage run by the Ladies of the Blessed Beard – it was meant to be bread, but the sign carver was having a bad day. Whilst maintaining a veil of respectability on the surface these ladies (who used the orphans to man the huge bread ovens, knead the dough and sell the bread) were thoroughly unpleasant characters and brutal disciplinarians who would often beat and starve the children. Malady eventually escaped the orphanage when she was eight, but not before burning down the staff quarters, with the ‘Ladies’ inside – the first deaths wrought by Malady, and certainly not the last.
Malady escaped the city to the countryside and there was taken as an apprentice by Grimora, an elderly necromancer sorceress who lived in an old castle. There Malady learned all about the ways of necro-magic and the power of death itself. In fact she went on to prefer the company of the dead to the living. They are so much quieter and easier to control. Unfortunately, not everyone likes necromancers as neighbours and both the old sorceress and her ward were viewed with fear and suspicion by the neighbours who often accused them of every crime committed in the local area. In fairness they’d only committed about 50% of them at best.
This culminated with the local do-gooding paladins of the Shining Justice both arming up and riling up the local peasantry and causing them to storm the Necromancers’ castle. Grimora and Malady fought back, using all their known spells, but Grimora was killed by the rabble. Malady was horrified and fled to the darkest depths of the castle where she conjured up a terrible dark curse in revenge. She extinguished her own life and sent a wave of dark energy flooding through the ruins killing all the intruders.
Sparkle is the unicorn leader of the Shining Justice. He’s male (although may have a bit of a Mean Girl’s streak about him when he gets angry), speaks through telepathy, and has quite an annoying somewhat nasal voice. Sparkle is obsessive about making the world good and nice, to the point of being dictatorial about it.
Lady Clarrisa the Vigorous
Lady Clarissa is Sparkle’s right-hand woman. She’s a tough and dedicated to smiting evil. She believes that almost anything can be done under the banner of good.
Sir Cedric the Cleanly
Cedric is Sparkle’s other henchman and, as his name suggests really wants to clean up evil in quite an OCD way. Evil, he feels, lacks efficiency. It needs to be more focused and disciplined. Evil has got lazy.