Blackguard Champion of Tharizdun
The story of Hans Drubal is a twisted tale of sorrow, deceit, and murder. He was once a devout Paladin of Pelor, loving husband, and father. Admired and considered a great hero Drubal made many powerful enemies especially among evil outsiders. This was all hundreds of years ago and much has changed since then. It was on his daughter’s 8th birthday that Hans, his wife Lorellyne, and daughter Maya vanished. Drubal returned years later alone, a changed man carrying the unholy blade Ravage. He began to commit acts of unspeakable evil and entered into alliances with the demons Orcus and Lolth. He led demonic armies on the prime material plane until he was finally captured by a band of adventurers led by the hero Alaric.
Following his capture, Hans Drubal was separated from his sword and sentenced to death. However, even in defeat Drubal was able to confound his captors. Each and every method used to execute Hans Drubal failed. His executioners tried beheading but he would regenerate. He was given powerful poisons but drank them as easily as he would water. At one point Drubal was hung for a month straight until the rope finally gave way and snapped. After the numerous failed attempts to put the blackguard to death he was placed in prison. There he sat for nearly two hundred years. The wisest scholars had no explanation for his longevity. One thing was certain, he could not be killed.
After several lives of men even the most notorious villains fade from memory. Those entrusted with holding Drubal maintained a guard but the importance of their prisoner had been lost. The Barons whose duty it was to hold the Blackguard had become complacent and weak. This complacency was not shared by their enemies and after a well planned ruse Hans Drubal was sprung from the dungeons of castle Restenford by a group of bandits whose leadership seemed to have some affiliation with Drubal’s old alliances. However, shortly after escaping prison Hans Drubal vanished again. Only resurfacing to reclaim the sword Ravage and murder those who were guarding it.
What happened next is the subject of great debate. Some claim that during his long incarceration Drubal came to the realization that the only way to forever end his service to the demons who took him and his family was to destroy everything. It was widely believed that it was his intelligent sword Ravage that prevented him from ever attempting to recover his family himself. He was bound to the blade and it to him and they were both warded from ever entering Haagenti’s, the demon lord who held Lorellyne and Maya’s souls, fortress in Thanatos. It was the suffering of their souls in the Abyss that forced him to evil and ultimately to the cult of Tharizdun whose resurrection, Drubal believed, would destroy all of creation and end their agony.
However, another very different story has also been told about Drubal’s return and motives for serving evil. A lich named Mortebus revealed to a band of adventurers that the souls of Drubal’s wife and child were never taken by Haagenti. They had been murdered by Drubal, or rather Ravage, when Drubal was first taken. According to the lich it is Drubal’s soul that had been held by Haagenti and Ravage, a powerful demon who thrived on suffering and chaos, had been in control all along. Most scholars had always presumed that Ravage was an intelligence in the sword but according to this lich the sword, while an important link, was never intelligent. Mortebus again stressed that Ravage lived to spread chaos and pain and was a master of deceit. He never really intended to release Tharizdun but rather sought to revive his cult to spread the fear of what may come. Ravage knew that mortals could be more easily manipulated when they are frightened. It was through this fear that he finds his power.
There is strong proof that both stories are true but like most intriguing legends doubt lingers. Traveling to the outer planes seems to be the only way to, once and for all, solve this mystery.