Vadd Maldon, Tyrant of Clavicle Pass
Once a god, now merely mortal, he seeks revenge against the powers that humbled him.
== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ==
Vadd Maldon, Tyrant of Clavicle Pass, level 16
Goliath, Barbarian, Stonefire Rager
Feral Might: Rageblood Vigor
FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 24, Con 20, Dex 12, Int 11, Wis 11, Cha 9.
STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 18, Con 14, Dex 11, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 8.
AC: 29 Fort: 30 Reflex: 24 Will: 22
HP: 125 Surges: 14 Surge Value: 31
Intimidate +12, Perception +13, Endurance +17
Acrobatics +8, Arcana +8, Bluff +7, Diplomacy +7, Dungeoneering +8, Heal +8, History +8, Insight +8, Nature +10, Religion +8, Stealth +8, Streetwise +7, Thievery +8, Athletics +16
Level 1: Weapon Expertise (Heavy Blade)
Level 2: Markings of the Victor
Level 4: Weapon Proficiency (Fullblade)
Level 6: Brute Force
Level 8: Markings of the Blessed
Level 10: Wintertouched
Level 11: Lasting Frost
Level 12: Legacy of War
Level 14: Weapon Focus (Heavy Blade)
Level 16: Reckless Rage
Barbarian at-will 1: Howl of Fury
Barbarian at-will 1: Howling Strike
Barbarian encounter 1: Resurgent Strike
Barbarian daily 1: Tyrant’s Rage
Barbarian utility 2: Shrug It Off
Barbarian encounter 3: Brutal Slam
Barbarian daily 5: Frost Wolf Rage
Barbarian utility 6: Laugh it Off
Barbarian encounter 7: Curtain of Steel
Barbarian daily 9: Flying Serpent Rage
Barbarian utility 10: Spot Weakness
Barbarian encounter 13: Storm of Blades (replaces Resurgent Strike)
Barbarian daily 15: Thunderfury Rage (replaces Tyrant’s Rage)
Barbarian utility 16: Primal Resistance
Adventurer’s Kit, Badge of the Berserker +3, Frost Fullblade +3, Horned Helm (heroic tier), Belt of Raging Endurance (heroic tier), Frost Handaxe +2, Iron Armbands of Power (heroic tier), Boots of Eagerness (heroic tier), Gloves of Ice (paragon tier), Potion of Vitality (paragon tier) (3), Climber’s Kit, Crowbar, Marauder’s Darkhide Armor +4, Trail Rations (20)
In the age before history, the age where the Dead God still stirred in his slumber, Man arose.
Man was at first a simple and brutish thing, clad in rough skins, gripping sharpened sticks for defence against the wild beasts of the dark and the scavenger demons that descended from Beyond to feast on the dread Carrion-God Hetheldar’s rotting divinity. Though even the wisest elders of this savage age were blind to the cosmic truth – that their home was once the cruel Lord of All Things’ End – of one truth were they certain: that the earth below lived. And knew hate.
Thus, the elders and priests of the tribes did forbid the use of stones of the accursed earth. The superstitious men of old did as they bid, for generations relying on naught but stake and fire to hold back the savage night.
In time, a great chieftain arose from among the tribes of Clavicle Pass. Vadd Maldon was his name, and with blood and fury, he forced all the chiefs of men to bow to his rule. Vadd’s conquest of the tribes of man and the tale of his rise to All-Chief form the first cycle of the epic poem the Vaddsaga.
As All-Chief, Vadd rankled under the restrictions of the elders and priests. Who were these old cripples and fools that they dare to deny the All-Chief the power of stone? For the stone of the Age Before was yet alive in dread Hetheldar’s death-throes, and bore much of his power and spite.
Yet unprepared to challenge the power of the old men, Vadd crafted in secret a knife of flint and malice, the first stone blade ever wielded by mortal hands. This was the first Relic of Stone. When the blade was complete, he left his tribe on a great quest. Through the cruel Manubrial Peaks he ventured, slaying many men, beasts, demons, and monsters. Vadd’s stone blade became indelibly stained with the blood of the mighty. In time, the great warrior arrived at Sternum Rift, where, at the twilight of the Age of Myth, fair Semireth’s spear forged of love and hate pierced dread Hetheldar’s heart. Seated the mouth of the Rift, Vadd hewed the second Relic of Stone – a hand – from the still-burning rock of Sternum.
It was at the mouth of the Rift where proud Vadd Maldon first knew humility and first showed obeisance. Never before and never again one to honour the gods, Vadd cleaved off his left hand in sacrifice. He cast the hand of mortal flesh into the Rift, a chasm that dropped leagues below into Hetheldar’s wounded heart, still wracked with the agonies of fair Semireth’s poisonous passion. Vadd fixed the burning relic-hand he had crafted to his bleeding stump, fusing mortal flesh with divine stone and fire. Perhaps enough mind remained in dread Hetheldar to be amused by this mortal’s presumption. Perhaps enough wicked majesty had seeped into the stones around the Rift that any there could usurp dread Hetheldar’s power. No matter the reason, with his sacrifice, Vadd earned the Blessing of the Damned Earth. He was no longer a man. He had become divine.
Thus ends the second cycle of the Vaddsaga.
When Vadd returned to his tribe, all he had forged as All-Chief had fallen to ruin. Brother fought brother over scraps of food. The race of Man faced extinction from plague, cold, and marauding beast. When Vadd returned, none recognized him, yet all knew him. A head taller than any man he now stood, armoured in skin of stone and crowned with mighty horns. His relic-hand still burned with the fires of the tormented Earth, and his eyes blazed with terrible fury. The common tribesmen immediately bent their knees with but one glimpse of Vadd’s infernal majesty. The priests and elders pronounced him anathema, abomination, but Vadd swiftly slew the feeble old men, their piety aiding them naught. Not one warrior of the tribe made one move to stop the slaughter of the holy men.
Vadd hewed the third Relic of Stone, a great throne for his new empire, and placed it atop the bones of his enemies. Arming the tribe with weapons of stone and hatred, Vadd set out on a war of conquest. Vadd was more than a leader of men. He was an instrument of the earth’s fury. When he rode to war, beasts, storms, earthquakes, and avalanches rode with him. With the elements as his legions, Vadd Maldon was unstoppable.
The Frost Giants were the first to meet Vadd’s wrath. They were swiftly defeated, their champions slain, the few survivors retreating to their glacier fortresses to reminisce over their faded glory and plot revenge. Unarmed and alone, Vadd slew the Giant King’s divine hunting beast, a great tiger of ice and fury, by ripping out one of the beast’s sabre teeth and driving the fang through the monster’s crystal heart.
Demons were scoured from the earth, annihilated by the very power they craved. Entire flights of dragons were slain, their hoards plundered and piled at the foot of the Relic-Throne. Primordial monsters of elemental fury have not overrun the civilizations of our modern age only because Vadd Maldon hunted them to extinction in the Age Before. On his harem of untold hundreds, Vadd sired the goliath race who spread his empire across the lands.
As the fires of the primordial earth dimmed, so too did Vadd Maldon’s lust for conquest. Less and less did he venture forth from his mountain stronghold at Clavicle Pass, seemingly content to brood eternally on his throne of accursed rock amidst his vast vaults of plunder. Thus ends the third and final cycle of the Vaddsaga.
But Vadd’s story would continue.
The ages passed. Other enclaves of the young races flourished, learning the secrets of bronze, then iron, then steel ripped and forged from an earth whose rage had subsided. Cities rose and fell, empires spread and crumbled, uncountable mortal lives flickered by while the Tyrant rested on his throne.
At the dawn of the second Age of Heroes, a mortal man of ambition rivalling that of a young Vadd Maldon entered the world. His name was Angus the Trickster, and he would reawaken the fury that seethed in Clavicle Pass.
Like Vadd Maldon, Angus recognized the dread power that slumbered beneath his feet, and sought that power for himself. A bard of no small skill and repute, Angus knew well the Vaddsaga. He knew from whence the Tyrant drew his divine might, for he had sung the tale in feasthalls the world over. The Trickster distilled fact from legend, and began the journey to Clavicle Pass.
Over the eons, many would-be heroes had challenged Vadd Maldon in his stronghold, only to be dispatched swiftly and brutally. The Trickster would be better prepared. Surmising that Vadd’s power lay in the three Relics of Stone, the Trickster crept into the Tyrant’s treasure vaults and destroyed the flint knife with his magics. Vadd cared little for the blade, having acquired many finer weapons in his conquests, so Angus found it with ease. The trickster then began strolling the halls of Vadd’s fortress, strumming a tune of ridicule. Incensed by the mocking strains echoing throughout his vast chamber, Vadd Maldon surged from his throne room to find and slay the impudent intruder. Thus separated from the Relic-Throne, Vadd would prove vulnerable to a cunning foe. And Angus the Trickster did not lack for cunning.
When Vadd tracked the mocking tune to its source, Angus continued to play the fool. Further enraged, Vadd seized the Trickster by the throat, demanding to know who had written such a slanderous song. Yet Vadd had underestimated Angus. A quick blow from Angus’s enchanted axe severed Vadd’s hand of living stone. All his relics lost to him, Vadd’s mortality quickly returned. He was at Angus’s mercy. But Angus was as cruel as he was cunning. He let Vadd live, laughing as the fallen Tyrant staggered back to his throne. When Vadd was mere paces away from his seat, Angus strummed a magical chord of awesome power, rendering the Relic-Throne to dust. Thus humbled, Vadd collapsed on the floor of his stronghold as Angus snatched up the severed hand and strolled off into the mountains laughing.
The elder races soon heard of Vadd’s fall. A mortal minstrel who blithely faced the dangers of the Pass spread the word the icy halls of the dragons, the giants, the creatures for which there are no names for their mere presence destroys language and reason – the races that remembered. Soon, they ventured down from the highest peaks to reclaim their lands stolen eons ago. With no primal demigod to oppose them, they swiftly arrived at the gates of Vadd’s stronghold to find him already fled.
Defeated, crippled, and humiliated, the once-again mortal Vadd had gathered up a blade – the ice-tiger’s tooth he had claimed in his first wars of conquest – and what few riches he could carry with one hand and fled overland into a world he hardly recognized. After weeks of travel, of being forced to remember feelings of pain, cold, hunger, and exhaustion, Vadd arrived at the city of Sternum.
The chasm where Vadd had made his sacrifice had long since healed, and a great city of mortals had arisen in its place. In his torpor, Vadd had barely noted its presence, only infrequently demanding it pay him tribute. Vadd arrived at Sternum’s gates a ragged and starving beggar. Once again, Sternum would be the ground where Vadd would learn humility.
For years Vadd hounded the ruling council of Sternum to supply him with an army to retake his homeland from the giants and dragons and to hunt down the Trickster. Unimpressed with the fallen god’s impotent bluster, the subtle politicians of Sternum managed to perpetually deflect his petitions. Vadd was treated as royalty in exile, but he became increasingly frustrated with Sternum’s refusal to comply with his petulant demands.
And so Vadd remained until the Great Exodus. Locked in his gilded cage, Vadd was as ignorant as all others of the death of the Colossi and the gradual stirrings of dread Hetheldar in his death-slumber. The cataclysm, the Exodus, the resettling in the Astral Sea all passed by the broken Tyrant. Even the revelation of Angus as the herald of the dead god’s rebirth only made Vadd seethe in impotent fury.
Vadd’s inaction would end with a chance encounter fighting at the side of the heroes of Sternum, those for whom the Second Age of Heroes is named. The battle reawakened in Vadd stirrings of power, of fury. Remembering Vadd’s former glory caused his seething rage to boil over, resulting in Vadd’s final humiliation. After drunkenly demolishing a district of Sternum, Vadd awoke in the stocks. Such a public disgrace would destroy his political ambitions, had he still harboured any. But now, Vadd was filled with singular purpose. Tearing himself free of the stocks, Vadd marched off into the city to find the heroes he had met the previous day. The heroes were already sworn enemies of the ascendant Angus, and Vadd saw in them great power. With such allies, he reasoned, he would have a chance at vengeance.
Still a skilled warrior, Vadd was quickly accepted into their band. Vadd accompanied the heroes of Sternum on their quest for allies, mortal or divine, to stand between dread Hetheldar and the destruction of all things. Before the gates of the Raven Queen’s castle, Vadd and his companions clashed with Angus, he in his new, terrible, angelic aspect. Overcome with rage and lust for vengeance, Vadd rushed headlong at dread Hetheldar’s favoured servant, wounding the angel. As the tide of battle turned against him, Angus fled, but not before seizing Vadd and appearing to snap his neck before blazing across the sky to the Raven Queen’s citadel.