Viskill was a gnome. A gnome with a somewhat troubled past, and like a lot of mages, found fascination in the arcane arts that may seem unsettling. Necromancy wasn’t necessarily a crucial part of his upbringing, but when he came of age, Viskill was expected to study the arcane arts. His parents hated the idea that he would be studying Necromancy, and in defiance, he left his homeland to study under another master who taught him everything he wanted to know.
Now having a firm grasp on the undead and how to channel the required energy to cast such spells, Viskill began to seek employment as somewhat of an adventurer. He had done minor mercenary work, but he eventually met a group of dwarves that gave him an offer he could not refuse.
Kadyn Blackaxe was a dwarf. He was young, having just reached adulthood, and his newest hire seemed to be promising, even if he did dabble in the darker side of the magical forces. The Blackaxe clan had left their home of Northridge nearly a century before, fleeing from something unknown. The dwarves were children at the time, and only four had made it out alive. All they remembered was the sound of screams, loud crashes, and one of their elders telling them to escape through a mining tunnel. Nearly a century had passed and they had never gone back.
They often thought about returning. It wasn’t long after that a sudden realization came to Kadyn, the youngest of the four, that dwarves seemed to be nearly extinct. Surface dwarves were seen from time to time, but they often kept themselves hidden. Dwarves typically were only seen on the surface if they abandoned their homes, or worse, were exiled from them. Northridge was the biggest kingdom in the continent, with so much power in the weight of their military forces and having a small fortune, that every single clan of dwarves had joined the Kingdom and furthered their resounding growth and appeal, with the clan Blackaxe as the most royal of all the clans.
Not many dwarves had been seen in the last century. This realization made most think they were taken over and killed. It was hard to imagine what force could drive out such an army. It was unknown. It was terrifying.
Viskill accepted the offer from the dwarves to journey north and discover what became of their old kingdom. The promise of riches was more than enough to sway most, but it was the knowledge of legend that appealed to the gnome.
In the city of Dolinde, the capital city of the humans, also known as The Throne of the Gods, Viskill entered a secret fighting pit known as Shifting Sands. Groups of slaves were often brought here and forced to fight to the death. The last standing was bought by the highest bidder. In this case, there were seven slaves to be entered into the bout.
Three humans, a tiefling, a half-elf, a goliath, and an orc. One of the humans, a warrior named Sangar, the tiefling, a mage named Balzal, and the goliath, a warrior named Drax’t, were forced into one cell, while the rest of the slaves were in another. As custom would have it, all potential bidders were forced to watch from within the arena, so Viskill, the only interested party on this particular day, watched from a perch just above the cells.
The doors opened and the fight began. Each combatant was naked and unarmed, adding to their humiliation of being slaves. Gladiator slaves were respected, but respect was earned through victory, and continuous victory. Each slave in this fight was new and fresh.
The tiefling began creating hellfire as if from nothing, and the overseer of the arena commanded weapons to be thrown in for the other combatants, if only to lengthen what was sure to be a quickly over fight. When the fight ended, Viskill, Sangar, Balzal, and Drax’t murdered the overseer, throwing a spear through his chest, pinning him to the wall.
Viskill offered the group of slaves freedom and employment, to join him on his quest north. They then walked about the city, replenishing supplies, weapons, armor, and other necessities. Upon speaking with one of the shop owners, an old blind Alchemist by the name of Krist Woodwhisk, they learned that the supply of herbal ingredients for the shop had suddenly stopped coming. The only thing the shop owner knows is that his usual supplier had a deep voice and had a regular trade route between Dolinde and the gnome capital of Tumunzir, also known as The City of Oaths.