The Man

No one knows where Algamesh first came from, or how long he's been adventuring. The stories say anywhere from him being hundreds of years old due to magical or divine intervention, to him actually being a succession of clever, heroic shapeshifters.

Those who remember him from his time in and around Sundered Valley, however, describe him as seemingly never out of his fifties, wearing a flowing cloak, long black hair and a permanently unshaven chin. In one hand he held the legendary longsword "Death's Domain," supposedly taken from a brutal necromancer within the Arcane Lands and in the other the shield "Ivory Grace," granted to him by a former king of the Kingdom of the Ivory Sea for saving him from a lizardman assassin of the Black Ring.

He was short of words, preparing action to talking and leaving the negotiations to his party members, but never shirked from stepping in first when something evil or someone unjust needed to be vanquished. It was common for him to simply show up and save people, then leave without taking the time for rewards or thanks, apparently knowing that he would soon be needed elsewhere.

The Story

The first reliable record of Algamesh is from the Kingdom of the Ivory Sea, it claims that he was once a soldier of the Ivorian armies who struck out on his own after a campaign against the Bleak Marshes. He was joined by the pardoned rogue Francine and a wandering cleric of the Ivory Lion, Roul. Together they adventured across the entirety of the Ivory Kingdom, into the Barrier Mountains, Sundered Valley and even beyond the Ivory Sea.

These records, however, are well over two-hundred years old, and soon disappear altogether until he is mentioned again, this time in Sundered Valley, defeating the black dragon Onyxwrath in the village that would later grow to become Algamesh's Stand. Apparently having taken a liking to what was, back then, a rough frontier between the squabbling Arcane Lands and the still-expanding Ivory Kingdom, Algamesh and his band defeated many threats to the valley, eventually defeating a necromancer who lived in the castle Algamesh would later take for his own.

When the Ivorian Crusades came to the valley, Francine, Roul and Algamesh negotiated that they would pass through without harming anyone there, and when the Arcane Lands pushed back the crusaders, they once again ensured safety for the people of Sundered Valley.

Between the crusades and administrating the lands around his keep(a task often left to Roul and Francine), Algamesh still adventured. He even once ventured into the wastes east of the Arcane Lands, returning with a new ally, Aziz Bahram, a gray elven archmage whose respect Algamesh had apparently won. This is one of the verifiable parts of the story, having happened only twenty-five years in the past.

Soon after Bahram joined the party, however, they seemed to be gripped of a fey mood and all four ventured beyond Sundered Valley, travelling beyond the Ivory Sea, south of the Bleak Marshes, into the forests of the Wood Elves and once again to the wastes of the Gray Elf kingdoms. For almost twenty years they weren't seen in known lands, except as occasional glimpses, even when an Ivorian Crusade swept through the valley again(twenty years before the present day). But eventually they returned and settled into rulership of their lands. Though they only owned a small part of the northern Valley, they were often asked to arbitrate in legal matters, assist in mystical ones and help out when the village militias and the like were unable to hold their own against raiders.

It was a decent time.

However, peace couldn't last, and eventually the crusades came once more, but when the Ivorian vanguard arrived in the valley, Algamesh, Francine, Roul and Bahram were gone. Arcane mages swept forward and claimed their keep, destroying the defenders, and it was ravaged as the Ivorian armies sought to conquer it(and eventually they did). The crusade ended as was usual, many dead on both sides, and no gains made into the Arcane Lands, Sundered Valley looking a bit more trampled… but Algamesh and his party have not returned since. This was five years ago.

The Party

Francine is, as far as anyone knows, a pure human, which makes it puzzling how she seems to have lived as long as Algamesh(as if his own age was not a mystery already). Several paintings portray her as an athletic lady in leather armor(though it's rarely portrayed as looking particularly practical) and a dagger in each hand, presumeably they were her weapons of choice. She is said to have been less scrupulous and direct than the rest of the party, often the one to demand recompense for their assistance and to take underhanded ways to victory.

Roul was a faithful of the Ivory Lion, though less outspoken in his hate against arcane magic than many of his brethren. He also considered using his divine powers in the service of smiting the unholy, unnatural and downright evil to be acceptable, and as the Ivory Lion never took away his granted gifts, it seems he was correct. He was already old when Algamesh met him, of graying hair, but still spry. In paintings he is portrayed as wearing pure white plate and wielding a massive maul or sledgehammer. Along with Francine he tended to be the most vocal of the party and the face of their interactions with the citizens of Sundered Valley.

Bahram's story, exactly why a gray elf of all things would trust a human, has never quite been elaborated on, nor the exact extent of his powers. But it is worth noting that the party's unusual behavior began almost immediately after he joined, many Ivorians have taken this as proof that the corrupting influence of his arcane magic drove them all mad or turned them evil. There are few records of him, but one painting does hang in an inn in Algamesh's Stand that portrays him as wearing flowing, multi-coloured robes and a crown of blue-white steel(mithril) along with a metal staff of the same substance. In recorded stories, he and Francine are the ones who tend to propose the most direct and brutal solutions to their problems, even if a few innocents would get caught in the crossfire.

The Enemies

Few of the foes that Algamesh's party faced over their many years are recorded as having survived, but there are two that have not been completely verified as dead.

Cimmerwing: When Algamesh slew Onyxwrath he earned the rage of the dragon queen's brood, and fought many of them over the years. The lone survivor to have escaped a battle with the party was the youngster Cimmerwing, and the dwarves of the northern Barrier Mountains claim to have seen a black dragon among the peaks over the years.

Gabr Murtaza: This mysterious person fought Algamesh and his allies many times, supposedly hounding them ever since Algamesh recruited Bahram. The stories are unclear except on two points: Gabr Murtaza wields arcane powers and is undead, elven or both.

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