Into the Breach
Power Hungry Dark Elf
The Rise of Pontius Glaw
Pontius was adopted by House Glaw at age 4 when his parents perished during a Drow invasion on the surface. House Glaw at the time was one of many smaller powers in the Drow society, a nation fragmented into opposing noble houses and merchant families, with a ruling class determined not by bloodline or right, but by might. Like many other war orphans, he was given shelter with the premise he could repay his house in the future.
From birth his fate was sealed, being born into the weakest gender of his people meant that he would be limited with what he could become. Females being inherently more powerful than male Drow, they were permitted to train in any class. Those females who showed great promise and skill had the option, unlike the males, to train and become clerics, one of the most symbolic and important classes in Drow society. Unlike his sisters, he and all other males were destined to be a fighters or magic-users, should they survive the rigorous training during their youth. One similarity shared by all genders was that failures served no purpose and were put to death.
Social station has always been the most important thing in Drow society, making ascension to greater power a Drow’s ultimate goal. With this in mind, 50 years prior to Pontius’ birth, House Glaw followed other groups in the pursuit power. Whist its competition generated power through dirty politics, advancements through resources competition, House Glaw was infamous for exploring forbidden and forgotten knowledge for its benefit. Through exploration of lost lore, over time it uncovered power that other powers didn’t know about. With enough solid evidence in regards to a specific lore, the matriarch of House Glaw sent an expedition force outside of the Underground and into the Feywild, its purpose to retrieve something that could help rise the House’s position in the Underdark. This team of elite warriors was sent to scavenge for a specific legendary blood magic ritual that was in possession of a nomadic clan of people known as the Vistani. The adventurers of House Glaw, 21 in total, ventured out of their homeland, the Underdark, and once again walked the lands their ancestors once lived on.
The Underdark was now the home of the exiled, a result of being on the losing side of the Great Civil War between two rival factions of Elves. Perceived by the others Elves as following the path of evil and chaos, the defeated were driven far from the world’s forests and into the bleak, lightless caverns and tunnels of the Underdark. Despite it being a vast subterranean realm inhabited by many strange and sinister creatures, a place where few civilised creatures ventured in and from where even fewer returned, the ancestors of the Drow persevered and were able to place roots in new realm. The Underdark extends well past the dungeons made by surface dwellers, encompassing all the myriad caverns, tunnels and complexes that exist for all intents as a parallel world beneath the surface. Bizarre creatures and ancient races populate it, nearly all of whom are of hostile nature. In this underground the exiled Elves changed over time, both in appearance and culture, and eventually became one of the strongest forces in the Underdark.
The Feywild was not unknown to the expedition force, as many veterans have ventured here whilst raiding or trading. The Vistani, a group of various nomadic creatures resisted to forcibly teach House Glaw’s expedition the ritual, with dire results. In the aftermath, the Drow were defeated, and the few survivors decided to try attempted another strategy: to go in search for outcast members of Vistani, in the hope that they could more easily be persuaded to share their blood ritual. The remaing Drow sent a message back to the headquarters with an update of their mission status, then the three split into different directions in hope of one of them finding the long sought prize. As it happened one of them did just that, returning with the gift given to her by a Vistani prisoner during her incarceration in an Eladrin dungeon. She convinced the Vistani castaway to share the ritual, so that the prison riot can be a success and they could all escape. In the end all that mattered was that she escaped, the other prisoners being a distraction, and she was able to return to her House with a precious gift. So it was, that House Glaw gained the evil eye of the Vistani as a power. Due to the House Glaw’s high echelon wanting to keep their new power a secret, only the most loyal members were allowed to master the Vistani Blooding ritual and know how to perform it.
In this world of darkness arose a Drow by the name of Pontius Glaw. An invoker by class, whilst not as honourable as a cleric, his potential in thinking outside of the box qualified him to receive the blood ritual. Soon after his ascension, powerbrokers’ in favour of a change in the balance of power started a bloody conflict that touched the entire Underdark. House Glaw chose to side with the rising merchant family that started this insurrection, but the newly formed alliance was no match for the ruling Drow elite …
As the broken castle was burning down and the last of his companions were resisting whilst others were trying to escape, he knew what he had to do. He ran back in, saving a few tomes with secret lore gathered over the eons, and then Pontius activated his precious invisibility armour, an item he knew would be priceless someday, and run without looking back. Whilst the conflict was far from over, the result of this war didn’t matter to Pontius for House Glaw was no more. Knowing that his allegiance would mean that he would be a wanted man in the Underdark until the end of his days, his only option for survival was self exile.
At the same time as his journey to ascension from the darkness and into the dreaded Feywild finally came to pass, he came to an exhilarating yet frightening realisation: His fate wasn’t written, so his birthright as a man and a Drow should not limit him. House Glaw’s ability to gain an external power was all the proof he needed. With the stories in his tomes of lore speaking of mere mortals achieving ascension into immortality and beyond, he knew was his ultimate goal was: First, to gain immortality, for what is the point of attaining great power only to lose it all in death. Then, to eventually gain great enough power so that he will not need to borrow and channel the power of his deity, but to use his own, without limits. To achieve this dream he will have to relinquish any beliefs that can hold him back, be that may morality or honour.
As he climbed higher, whilst hid body got more tired, his spirit felt lighter, no more being held down by the notion of House or Drow loyalties. He was free. After spending the first day getting used to the light, he found a chapter in one of his tomes describing how a litch with a soul stealing crown once ruled in the mountain a day’s walk from his location. Without wasting time, he ventured off to his first quest.
He went back to the town, then when no one was looking he went to the cemetery. As someone who had defiled enough graves to guaranty him a tour through all 7 hells when he dies, looking for necromancy relics, he no longer feared the dead, and knew it would be the best place to stash his few possessions while he adventured about. It was the living he feared!
After a wild dream (maybe given to him by his goddess … dun dun dun) he wakes up early and resumes getting ready to leave the town. He first goes to town and collects his gold, then goes to spend it all on the passing by merchant ship.
As he goes back to his temporary base, a semi demolished ancient mausoleum in the long abandoned old part of the cemetery, no overrun with wild feral trees, and dogs , he is encountered by the old groundkeeper and grave digger that takes care of the hollow site. Eventually he finds out about the old man’s story, a former pirate who couldn’t tame the sea no more.
Glaw stays at his cottage which is nearby to the cemetery and at the edge of town, were he notices a few armature protection marks on the old man’s house. Glaw then repay’s the old man’s hospitality by casting barriers against the undead around the old mans house.
The next day Glaw visits the blacksmith, and asks him if he can make a specific chest for him. He doesn’t care how pretty it is, as long as it is very durable and well built for heavy duty.
Galw returns to the cemetery, to practice his new rituals when he stubbles on an idea. He goes back to visit the old man, and asks about a particular mausoleum which seamed intact, lost almost the ancient burial places of the ancestors of this town.
Glaw: ‘is anyone using it?’
Pirate: Not any more I guess, never seen visitors … Seams forgotten, Glaw says.
The old pirate just says “let me check my books”, and walks to find his records …