Stories & Legends
No, no, Scrubs, not the fungal disease that is caused by fungi entering through wounds in the bark to decay the heartwood, resulting in trees being structurally weaker and prone to breakage. That’s Heart Rot! What do I look like, a Druid? Oh wait… Yes, I may be a Druid, but not everything I talk about is about trees you know… Now, where were we? Oh yes…
Rotheart the Warlock!
That is the name many adventurers hear upon their first journey into the village of Ocirim… and in many cases, the last, because, you know, some just skip the tutorial and head on to the next village.
“Scouts recommend taking him on with four Adventurers between the third to fifth Ranks.” The earnest innkeeper there will tell you. Don’t be deceived. He is far more powerful than you’ll ever imagine! Why, I’ve seen him get cut down by many times before...and live. Warbands would slay him in his lair and leave with their spoils, but he somehow reappears to blight the woods outside the village again the very next day. I suspect he is god-touched, gaining his Warlock powers from the mysterious beings known only as the Gi’em.
Now, what makes him so dangerous you ask? He looks just like a tiny goblin is all, and only half a goblin at that... No wait, that’s actually his 1/10 miniature bust, he actually does have legs and is really bigger than that, but I digress *ahem*… The powers the Gi’em have bestowed upon Rotheart include the usual Warlock summoning and hellfire, but those are by far not his most dangerous ability. No, it’s something far more insidious - he is able to cloud the morals of warband leaders, and sow distrust and hatred among their followers. It is said that entire warbands sent after him have fallen upon each other after getting lost in the winding paths of this very Blighted Forest. All this, without so much as a single spell being cast in anger.
This is where he got his name; for he would rot the hearts of those who are pure.
How he does this, is something else entirely. At times, he uses subtle magiks to charm and dominate vulnerable individuals of a party, often without them knowing. Other times, he appears as a trusted individual among their ranks, to sway and mislead. Most often though, and especially when meeting warbands possessed of particularly strong will, he takes the form of a hermit druid that offers his service as a guide into the Blighted Forest…