Saturday, February 16, 2019

The Invincible Overlord

Who is the Invincible Overlord, whose vasthosts even now cross the Battleplain Gwalion to raid and burn the eastern portions of Viridistan?  Who is this man who commands Alryans, Altanians, Skandiks and Tharbrians alike?

Bjorn the Mighty was born in one of the Skandik settlements in Barbarian Altanis.  Captured as a slave by reavers of his own race, he was taken to the City State where he was sold as a pit fighter to one of the establishments in the Plaza of Profuse Pleasure.  After a team bout against a group of captured orcs, he and his companions were purchased by the magician Salassim.  Salassim offered him his freedom in exchange for the recovery of a number of artifacts from the Roglaras.  This Bjorn and his companions did, before going on to other adventures involving a dragon beneath the Majestic Fastness, the Dwarves of Thunderhold, and a strange group of invulnerable owlbears.

Once these tasks were done, his group of companions had grown in size and one of them suggested that the Skandik kingdoms of Croy and Ossary might be well played off against each other for a profit.  The group went to Croy, aligned themselves with its king, and eventually conquered Ossary with the aid of Odin himself. 

Returning to the City State, he became involved in whatever event caused the great calamity in the city which required its rebuilding.  This event also elevated him and his companions to a kind of demi-godhood.  With an army of Skandik allies at his back, he was able to fill the power vacuum left by the death of the previous Overlord during the calamity, and after rebuilding the city took on the title himself.

Bjorn's rule is arbitrary and erratic.  He is capable of great acts of generosity and cruelty, and he is subject to strange whims and flights of fancy.  However, for the most part he  rules with a light touch, leaving the day to day administration to his vizier, Balarnega.  An observer from another world would assert he was a "big picture guy" who makes sweeping demands and lets others figure out how to make them work.

While his presence in the City State can be chaotic, due to both his erratic leadership style and his insatiable lust for wine, women, and violence, he usually spends his time on campaign against his enemies and sometimes even his client states.  These campaigns are the source of the Overlord's power.  He cows his subjects, bloodies his enemies, and brings home looted treasures.  His martial prowess means both wealth for the City State and that any rivals will have difficulty overcoming him.  They say you can do everything with swords but sit on them, but if you have enough energy you never need to sit down.

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