darkluke (darkluke) wrote in rhyfelwyr,

'Mad Zack' - Aka Zachary Von Gribblefaust

Beyond the Ruins of the Deciever, past the Hellish Oubliette of the Prophet, within the Terrible Chamber of Words; a treasure of great power was kept.

Tattered scrolls penned by ancient hands told of a talisman that holds the key to immense power and life everlasting. Scrolls that fell into the grubby hands of a certain half-fae explorer one balmy night. The merchant imparted a word of warning with his wares, that to seek the Talisman was to invite destruction of not just the self but the soul as well. Were it to a saner man, his warning may well have been heeded but Captain Zachary was plenty more than eccentric. Barely pausing long enough to stock the Sanchez and raise the anchor, they set off to the furthermost reaches of the world.

Their craft was lashed by terrible storms and beset by the elements. Supplies were spoilt and the sails wrecked before the end of their journey was even in sight. The crew, his trusty friends, began to wonder if their Captain's already weakened grip on sanity had finally been released. After weeks of rain, winds and fierce sea creatures they finally came across the lost Cityisle of Mu. As if exhausted by the journey, the Sanchez began to break apart the nearer they drew to the island until she was nothing more than debris washing against the shore and the drenched survivors came inland. Vast spires of twisting stone and glass, impossibly vast to navigate and yet on Zachary led through this strange place. His charts told them the route to the centre of the alien isle, the pride and joy of the long-dead civilisation and a day of wandering finally led them to their goal.

What came next Mad Zack only speaks aloud in fevered whispers during his worst nightmares. Creatures made from flame and hate, the city itself sinking and always, always the aquatic slumber of something terrible they almost awoke that day. Where the crew of the Dirty Sanchez set foot on Mu, only their captain would leave it. When his creditors found him, more than a month later, he was a solitary wreck of a man adrift on a raft of wreckage. His fine red coat was in tatters, the famous green hair now sporting a mane of white and his once-handsome face, now horribly burnt. The crew could draw no sense from him nor could they pry his hands open to release whatever it was he clutched to his chest. He was returned to the lands of Erin, his debts repaid from his family chest and he was to be placed in the custody of the local Healers.They had hoped to repair his shattered mind and body, but he vanished the very next night.

Months passed as rumours of a scarred figure passed through the villages. He would enter a town, request to see their archives and private libraries and devour all the information he could find, never sleeping and rarely eating before he moved on to the next place. His gold was always good though he kept no company, instead often muttering to himself and holding a strange necklace he wore. One maid in a village he stopped at heard him talking to himself, promising to 'make it up to them all'. When she asked him who he was talking to, Zack fell silent and gave her such a look that she never felt as sorry for someone as she did him that day.

His journey gave him nothing he sought, only more questions. Whatever it was that he had taken from the island had brought him nothing but pain and regret and yet he could not part with it, lest his friends loss be in vain. Night after night he pored over ancient scrolls in forgotten languages to no avail until eventually, he gave up. His fortunes exhausted and his heart broken, Zachary retreated to the moutains of Teutonia, living in the ruined halls of his family manse. None of the locals had dare approach the estate since the fateful explosion almost a century ago that had claimed his father and brother, leaving him alone with the ghosts of his past and present.

Yet legends of his knowledge had spread far and wide, reaching the ears of intrepid explorers and treasure seekers alike. It wasn't long before someone came looking for him...
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