Knights of the Unclaimed North
Prince Melikus Harduk of Amcherak
Cunning gnome smuggler hiding from his past.
He dies, but he gets better.
Once a cruel despot of a faraway kingdom, Melikus now makes a living off of the underside of Narrows.
Circumstances lead him to become a hero, of sorts, but not before a detour down a very dark path…
The desert of Amcherak is a wild a desolate place. Stretched across its rolling dunes are countless small tribes of nomads, roving bandits, rampaging ashworms, fierce gnolls, and other indescribable horrors; as none have lived who have set their gaze upon them. Two thousand years ago, it was much different.
2000 years ago
The Amcherak Empire was both mighty, and ruthless. Their territory stretched to the very edges of the desert, and their will was unchallenged. The Emperor was a cruel and merciless Whisper Gnome, who ruled through fear and brutality. This cunning ruler had forged an alliance with the Stingers of the desert, to act as the Imperial Guard. Few would stand their ground when they saw the mighty stingers; half man, half scorpion, bearing down upon them. His seven sons were trained in the secret arts of the Scorpion Heritor to act has the Emperors assassins and spies, and as a tradition; all heirs became so trained. The Empire stood for nearly seven hundred years, with its subjects treated as slaves, and all they owned of value being taken in tribute to the current Emperor.
1300 years ago
One day, the people of the desert unified, and decided that a small chance of freedom was better then a life of slavery. They rose up against the Empire, and would easily have been destroyed, were it not for their planar allies. The desert people had a longstanding tradition of bargaining with the Djinni for food, water, and anything else that was in short demand in their oppressed lives. When they decided to rise up against the cruel and tyrannical Empire, the elemental Djinni; Genies of Chaos and Good, were there at their side. The Empire fell to the rebellion, and the current Emperor was executed. The desert people tracked down and eliminated all the heirs to the throne, though one can never be sure.
The Scorpion Clan, until recently, was a feared group of bandits who roamed the Amcherak desert, preying upon the settlements therein. Those who were victims of their raids felt they were being robbed by thieves and brigands, the leader of the bandits felt differently. Melikus Harduk was the only living descendant of the last Emperor of Amcherak, and by his lineage; the rightful Prince. In his mind, tradition stood; all who made their home in the desert were his to rule, and all they had was his to take. And so he took. His men had recently discovered what were thought to be the ruins of the Empirial treasury, still sealed and warded against opening by all but a true heir. Before he could make the journey to uncover the riches and power that lay within, the Scorpion Clan’s encampment was laid to siege by the Ashworm Dragoons; self appointed defenders of the people. With superior numbers, and powerful beasts at their command; they slaughtered the bandits, leaving the Prince with little choice but to flee from the desert.
With wrath in his heart, and retribution on his mind; Prince Melikus has set out into the far reaches of the world in search of power. Whether that power be his own, or in the hands of loyal allies or servants; he will one day return to the desert, purge the Dragoons from their sands, and reclaim his rightful place as the Emperor of Amcherak.
This was 30 years ago. In the meantime, Melikus has progressed further and further north, usually just minutes ahead of assassins and crusaders who might force him to face justice. He has established a small criminal enterprise, taking advantage of the post-war strife in the Inland Sea region to build up a power base. He is constantly at odds with the do-gooder half-orc Grat.
But circumstances now force them to work together, much both of their chagrins.