|"Death to gods and tyrants." | Image by Jake Perez|
|First Appearance||The Corrupter|
|Items||Godsword, Convoker Armor|
|Known Relatives||Emory Suresteel (Former Ally)|
At some point in the recent past, following the War of the Broken North, Arondel and a second Convoker traveled deep into the wilds of G'valt. In the process, Arondel ceased to be, and the former protector of Erenoth assumed the mantel of the Corrupter.
The Corrupter was immensely strong and resilient, and was capable of arcane magic. He rode a black griffon and carried the Godsword, an ancient weapon. His focus appeared to be the desecration of holy places and relics, as his troops burned and defaced the temple of Gefion in the town of Brook, and he demanded the box of soil from the Provokers.
The Corrupter's identity was unknown until Matron Elmira Marrowblade knocked his helmet off with a well-placed strike. It was revealed that he was a human man. Later, Aerdon Saroscient consumed trollweed tea and received a vision of a young Corrupter, then called Arondel.
The Corrupter had several lieutenants serving under him, including the late Migrog Oakfell and Una Strongsong, both defeated and slain by the Provokers. He also made alliances with several entities, including the orcs of Skull Ridge and a young dragon called N'Veryioth.
Early Life Edit
Very little is known about Arondel's early life, though scant details were provided by Emory, his former friend and ally. At some point in his young adult life, Arondel joined the Convocation of Aeras and was trained and mentored by Emory. It has been speculated that Arondel originated from Karn, but this has not been confirmed. Arondel had no known spouse or children, and was entirely devoted to the Convocation. At some point in his time with the Convocation, he became an Envoy, and brokered peace between many northern provinces. He may have been involved in the Blacktide and the Second Scourge.
The War of the Broken North Edit
Arondel and Emory both served during the War for the Broken North, and both were present for the Desolation of Alfheim, during which Convokers set the forest of Alfheim ablaze in an attempt to rout the armies of the Confederation and bring an end to the chaotic conflict.
Arondel, during the course of the war, became increasingly disillusioned and agitated with the state of things. Seeing wanton death and destruction, seemingly for no reason, resulted in him questioning the roles of Erenoth's rulers, and the decisions of the Convocation. The Desolation of Alfheim was the breaking point for Arondel – he was never the same.
Following the War of the Broken North, Arondel left the Convocation (along with many other Convokers) and traveled south. Emory, concerned for his friend, followed.
Becoming the Corrupter EditArondel and Emory journeyed into the wilds of G'valt. They found that some of the barbarian tribes of G’valt had taken to worshiping an entity they called the Corrupter – a dark force that manifested itself in visions. According to the seers of G’valt, the Corrupter was a being who would soon appear to the people of G’valt and lead them in a crusade to rid the world of false gods and reclaim the land that once belonged to them. Arondel became obsessed with halting this prophecy, and devoted himself to finding and destroying the Corrupter. After several long months of searching and investigating, Arondel and Emory discovered a ruined temple, predating even the Kasrin Empire, and found a shrine to an old, forgotten goddess.
Arondel was seduced by the presence of a dark entity within the shrine, and succumbed to its promises – to cleanse the world of evil men who would wage war with little concern for those who truly suffered. Arondel opened his spirit and allowed the dark power to take hold. Arondel ceased to be – his remaining humanity and sanity fragmented. Emory tried to stop him, and a great battle ensued. Arondel, fueled by rage and old magic, defeated Emory, mortally wounding his griffon and lopping off his sword arm (taking his Convoker ring in the process). Emory tumbled from the sky, surviving only through the sacrifice of his griffon, who wrapped its wings around him and softened the fall.
Arondel walked out of the southern swamp, assumed the mantle of the prophesied Corrupter, and united the tribes of G'valt through violent subjugation.
The War for the Western Southlands Edit
Gaining Followers Edit
The Corrupter spent the next few years conquering the scattered tribes of G'valt. It's said that chieftains who refused to join him were fed living to his griffon, and that uncooperative villages were burned to the ground. Many chieftains were seduced by the Corrupter's promises of glory and power, and joined him willingly. His army grew, soon incorporating ogres and hill giants.
At some point during this time, the Corrupter also brokered deals with Nosmir Stormhammer of Stone Rift, N'Veryioth the Black, and Hivor Blackbone of Skull Ridge. He also gained the allegiance of the Hellscreamers, bardic warriors of G'valt who used their voices as weapons.
The War Begins Edit
In 2014 AGS, the Corrupter and his horde struck. The first casualty of the War for the Western Southlands was the farming village of Brook, which was sacked and burned to the ground before the army continued on, splitting up to attack Bilton and Aldimeer. Bilton, too, was destroyed by Migrog Oakfell and his giants, while Aldimeer would suffer under siege for the remainder of the war.
The Corrupter's attack on Brook was answered by four heroes: the Provokers. Stirred to action by the survivors of Brook, including Turl Loam, they journeyed to Brook and cleared the barbarians from the ruins. It was at this time that the Corrupter first encountered these four adventurers. Taking them for simple glory-seekers, the Corrupter engaged them alone in combat, but was overwhelmed and was forced to flee.
The Battle of Demeter Edit
It is unclear where the Corrupter was between encountering the Provokers at Brook and appearing in the aftermath of the Battle of Demeter, but it can be assumed that he was attending to battles elsewhere in the Western Southlands, as well as continuing his relations with the orcs of Skull Ridge. He did journey to Demeter following the battle there involving Migrog Oakfell, the rangers of Stone Rift, and the Provokers. Recognizing Aerdon's distinctive arrows, the Corrupter ordered Una Strongsong of the Hellscreamers to pursue and kill the Provokers on his behalf.
The Godsword Edit
It was around this time that the Corrupter received the Godsword from the orcs of Skull Ridge, who had stolen it from its resting place in Grimbark Barrow. This mighty, ancient blade was wreathed in dark flame when the Corrupter unsheathed it. He would wield this weapon for the remainder of the War for the Western Southlands.
The Massacre at Shade Vale Edit
The Corrupter would soon encounter the Provokers for a second time at the elven settlement of Shade Vale. Attacking with orcish bat-riders, the Corrupter wielded the Godsword against the heroes, but was again routed when Matron Elmira Marrowblade knocked his helm from his head, revealing his human features. Regrouping, the Corrupter attacked Shade Vale once more while the Provokers were away, destroying the city and murdering Matron Elmira.
The Final Battle at Falhast Edit
The Corrupter oversaw the converging of his forces on the city of Falhast, at the mouth of the Broken Pass. He dispatched N'Veryioth to aid the orcs of Skull Ridge in their siege of Fulgrim, but the battle was lost when the Provokers arrived with reinforcements from Bloodhoof Steppe. The Corrupter launched his final assault on Falhast, and retired to a nearby oasis to meditate. There, he was set upon by Deurgen, Brasswick, and Aerdon of the Provokers, and they battled for a third time. The Corrupter left abruptly when the Godsword appeared to react to something, glowing more vibrant. The Corrupter told the Provokers they were "already too late," and fled into the Sonnegeist desert on griffon-back.
The Provokers teleported reinforcements inside the walls of Falhast using the Ring of Three Strides and rallied the forces of Falhast, turning the tide of battle and ending the War for the Western Southlands.
The Crumbling Pyramid Edit
The Corrupter fled to a ruined pyramid in the heart of the Sonnegeist desert, and there began a ritual to open the Bleak using the Godsword. The ritual was interrupted, however, when Deurgen threw Storm's Reach and shattered the Godsword. The explosion of arcane energy resulted in the Corrupter and his griffon fusing together, creating a bestial abomination. The Provokers, along with Emory, fought with the Corrupter atop the floating pieces of the destroyed pyramid, and finally defeated him for good when Deurgen hurled Dice's staff like a spear, impaling him through the heart. The Corrupter fell from the sky, and died amid the black dunes of Sonnegeist.
The Corrupter, while unsuccessful in completing whatever ritual he intended to carry out at the crumbling pyramid, nevertheless brought the Western Southlands to its knees. His war resulted in the death of several prominent leaders, including Nosmir Stormhammer, Elmira Marrowblade, and Temur the Undaunted. It also resulted in the destruction of Brook, Bilton, and Shade Vale; and irreparable damage to the settlements of Aldimeer, Fulgrim, Hummock, Akaran, and Falhast.
It can also be assumed that his failed ritual at least weakened the walls holding back the Bleak, as bleakstorms have become more regular occurrences in the decades since the war.
The Convocation's reputation suffered further as a result of the Corrupter's actions.
- Arondel Dawnbringer was inspired by Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader (Star Wars), Arthas Menethil (WarCraft III), and the painting "Death Dealer" by fantasy artist Frank Frazetta.
- Matt Click had the image of the Corrupter and his griffon fusing into a single creature since Session 3.
- Even though the Corrupter is the campaign's chief antagonist, the Provokers only physically encounter him four times over the course of 17 sessions.