of Farland:

The Lord of Greed

Greed


Axxtyklysstykor [AXE-tie-KLIS-ta-kor] was born almost at the dawn of the world in the second spawning of dragons; he was sired by a powerful red who was created directly by Tanarus. From his inception, Axxtyklysstykor exhibited an exceptionally fiery spirit. He fought tooth and nail with his mother until he was driven from her side to make his own way in the world. Losing size by the year, the wandering red desperately sought out metals and minerals to feed his power. Then, in a recently-extinct volcano, he happened upon exactly what he was seeking: rich loads of ore and ample veins of minerals, all close to the surface. This was an un-worked horde large enough for Axxtyklysstykor to grow to a huge size. Yet there was one problem, for the young dragon's own sire had claimed the treasure as his own and currently lay upon it. Most chromatic dragons, creatures of evil though they are, would hesitate to attack their own parents, for doing so would be an insult to Tanarus, the real parent of the race. Yet Axxtyklysstykor did not hesitate. Before he lost any more power, he treacherously attacked his own father while the latter slept, maiming him and wounding him terribly. But the larger dragon awoke and fierce battle was joined. Axxtyklysstykor was hard-pressed, but the initial blows of the battle proved telling, and slowly, with much bloodshed, he overcame the larger dragon until he had his sire at his mercy. But he showed him none; he tore out his father's throat with his fangs as the latter begged for mercy. Reveling in his new-found treasure, Axxtyklysstykor settled in to absorb the power of the metals and minerals he had won, burrowing into the thin crust of the volcano's crater to get closer to the ore load.

For hundreds of years, the dragon slumbered, growing larger. Then without warning, his sleep was interrupted. Small creatures, long of beard and short of limb, attempted to take up residence in the extinct volcano that he called home. They mined and built, their hammers ringing through the crater and making it impossible to rest. And worse, they too coveted the rich ores and minerals of the volcano, setting up complex operations to extract them. This insult Axxtyklysstykor could not bear, for had he not fought and shed his own blood for the treasures of the mountain? He rose in anger, bursting out of the floor of the crater and rising on his great wings to the high workings of the small creatures called dwarves. He fiercely attacked these nuisances, slaying many within the blink of a dragon's eye. The dwarves were surprised and at first offered little resistance to the dragon's attack; instead they fled into the small tunnels they had already constructed. Yet Axxtyklysstykor used his breath to fierce effect, filling the new burrows with gouts of flame such that the dwarves came to call this fierce beast "Firefight." Eventually, however, the dwarves rallied, and under the direction of the wily Agralin, they managed to drive off the dragon, causing him to flee his home for the first time in centuries.

Greed for his treasure stirring in his breast, Firefight swooped over the lands around the mountain that would later come to be called Wawmar. Ever treacherous, he mounted attack after attack against the busy dwarves, seeking to drive them from the mountain, but they were stubborn. Finally, Agralin could stand it no more, and he mounted a hunting party to venture into the wild lands and slay the beast. This venture was nearly the end of Agralin and of the settlement of Wawmar, for Firefight perceived that if he could slay this hunting party, he could reclaim his horde. He put up a fierce fight and nearly won, slaying many brave dwarves, but he proved to be no match for the tactics of Agralin. As he tried to flee, Firefight was slain on the outer slopes of Wawmar. Agralin recognized the malice that burned within the heart of the dragon, and he ordered that a low cairn be built over the creature's corpse. He forbid any dwarves from dwelling near the dragon's bones, for he new that the oppressive evil of Firefight would curse the spot. And indeed, nothing would henceforth grow on that locale. Indeed, so impressed were the dwarves by the power and evil of the dragon that had originally called Wawmar home that they recorded the early battles in their histories, immortalizing the name of Firefight. This act would prove to be their undoing.

Millenia passed, and the Dweller in the Vale worked insidiously, unlocking the secrets of the Book of Seven. Finally it became clear to this fell being that the Book contained the secret to the long-sought conquest of Farland. The secret was to recruit seven Lords of Sin and imbue them with a dark will such that they could control vast hordes of otherwise chaotic dark folk. Because of the particulars of the relic, each Lord had to embody the sin of his namesake. And the Dweller, whose spies had even infiltrated the mighty Wawmar and gained access to its libraries, understood that there was one creature in all of history that best represented greed tinged with hatred. The Dweller knew that it would be the task of the future Lord of Greed to conquer and inhabit the dwarf kingdom of Wawmar. The legendary Firefight was the perfect candidate for the Lord of Greed, then, for the long-dead dragon possessed a special hatred for the dwarves of Wawmar as well as a burning desire to reacquire the treasures of the mountain. The Dweller then mounted several abortive attacks on the forces of Wawmar, but these assaults were simply distractions to allow the powerful clerics of the Dweller to access the cursed burial cairn of Axxtyklysstykor. The evil priests raised the dragon from the dead, and in its small and weak state, they transported it to the horrid Nameless City in the Wintervale and into the Frostspire itself. There the Dweller imbued Firefight with the power of a Lord of Sin. The Dweller in the Vale also allowed him to rest on its own great treasure horde until he grew far larger than he had ever been. The fell being promised the new lord of Greed that if he served it well, he would come to possess the bulk of the treasure. The greed in his heart clouded his judgment, and he was convinced, for he wanted to believe.

Thus the Lord of Greed flew forth at the head of an army of dark folk and assaulted the dwarven stronghold of Wawmar. For three years his army weakened the forces of the dwarves, until, one fateful night in 7801 F.R., he personally undertook a treacherous and unexpected attack. And this time, the assault was a success. Firefight bypassed Wawmar's still- formidable defenses by flying over the rim of the volcano while bearing several powerful troll warriors. While the dragon rained hell on the city, drawing forth all of the defenders, the war trolls crept forth and opened the east gate to a regiment of oluk orcs and trolls. These dark soldiers then invaded the fortress, but by the time they reached the crater, there was little need of them: Firefight had wrought havoc on the unprepared dwarves, at long last gaining his revenge. The oluks and trolls set to hunting the dwarves that had gone to ground in the deep passages of Wawmar. Luckily for the legacy of the folk of Mar, many dwarves managed to flee out of the southern gate during the assault. Firefight then set about to rule his ancient home. Yet ever the vast treasure of the Frostspire burned in his mind, and he sent word to the Wintervale, requesting that the Dweller honor its end of the bargain and send him his due. But the Dweller put him off, promising year after year to send the reward, but always putting more and more conditions on its acquisition. The Dweller allowed small bits of its horde to trickle to the Lord of Greed, swelling the already large treasure he had acquired from the dwarves, but these pieces were only enough to stoke the greed of the dragon. And Firefight shrunk slightly, as his new horde could not support the great bulk he had obtained while siphoning energy from the vast treasures of the Wintervale. Thus loathing for the Dweller grew in the heart of Axxtyklysstykor, but he also feared that fell being and its captain the Lord of Wrath. Thus as of 8170 F.R., he dwells still in Wawmar, greed and hatred burning in his breast, and one day he swears he will possess the horde of the Frostspire. He aims to combine it with his own somewhat smaller horde until he is the most powerful dragon ever to walk upon Núrion.