The Way of the Wicked - It's Good to be Bad
Drud’s story begins about eighty years ago when House Darius rose to power. Thomas Barca, a cousin of King Jaraad’s, was an acolyte in the church of Asmodeus in Ghastenhall at the time of the Battle of Tamberlyn. When the Darius forces crushed the Barca armies, Thomas’s father was among the dead Griffon Knights. And when Markadian I issued the edict that all nobility must now bow before his goddess Mitra, he was still in mourning. Thomas was given extra time to make his decision by the Victor, but he did not need it. As the rest of his family bowed before Mitra, Thomas turned his back on them and they on him.
Thomas had a daughter named Faith 17 years after he gave up his name. He raised her to become a devoted priestess of Asmodeus. Faith spent her time ministering to the poor of Ghastenhall, providing healing and guidance in exchange for loyalty to the church of Asmodeus. There she fell in love and married a half-orc. They had a son and named him Gorotar.
When Gorotar was twelve, the purges began. He was forced to watch his grandfather, then Ghastenhall’s high priest of Asmodeus, burned at the stake in the center of town. His mother was captured five years later, and many poor half-orcs of the city died in the riots that followed. Gorotar was left leading an underground cult of Asmodeus among the poor quarter, shuffled from house to house in order to avoid being caught.
Nine years into the purges, Gorotar had a son named Drud. When Drud’s mother was pregnant with him, the family was hiding in the sewers under Ghastenhall and Gorotar was constantly having to call upon his god’s power to ward off diseases. It was quite a relief that the child was born in perfect health.
Drud grew up a strong and proud boy, entranced by the tales of his ancestors, especially the Barca side and dreamed of being a knight like his great-great grandfather. However, Gorotar wanted Drud to become a priest of Asmodeus. Drud was forced to study his father’s worn and well read copy of the Asmodean Monograph, something that gave him headaches and generally confused him. He was forced to practice the movements and incantations for several spells, but never gained the talent to cast any. At the age of fifteen, Drud grew too frustrated with his studies and enlisted in the Talirian army. After a brief training, he was sent north to the Watch Wall.
About a year later, Drud discovered that his father had been burned for heresy. He worked out his frustrations on the bugbears in a border skirmish and decided that all would be well.
Two more years passed before his fort was visited by a group of Gryphon Knights. Drud struck up a conversation with one of them in the mess hall and the two were getting along well until a squire overheard Drud express his old dream of joining them. The squire told Drud that he would “sooner die than ride beside some low-born orc.” Drud replied that that would not be a problem because “you would be riding behind me instead.”
That night, Drud found a note under his blanket saying to meet at the training field at midnight if he wanted to join the Gryphon Knights. There he found the squire waiting for him with a pair of longswords. The squire then proceeded to mock Drud’s childhood dream and his ancestry as they took their stances. When the squire started to attack his masculinity, Drud charged him and began to slash wildly at the squire. The squire tried his best to block and parry, but Drud kept up an unrelenting offensive that quickly wore down the squire’s defenses and then split his head open. Unfortunately, the noise attracted more than a few of the night watch who quickly apprehended Drud and chained him up. Now Drud sits in Brandescar prison awaiting his execution.