|Stronghold of the Drowned|
Stronghold of the Drowned
|Location||Stronghold of the Drowned, Stygian Expanse|
The Stronghold of the Drowned is an ancient fortress built beneath the sea by the stygians. Pluton, King of the Drowned, rules over the stygians from his throne here.
Once a vrykul warrior, Pluton was driven from his village by his enemies. He fled across the sea with his injured wife, who was heavily pregnant with his child, in an effort to escape a murderous pursuit. Pluton braved a raging storm to evade his hunters, only to find in the midst of the hurricane that his wife had perished along with their unborn child. In a rage, Pluton cursed the spirits of all who yet lived while his family had died. He cursed the Makers who had left the world in such an unjust state. He cursed his own wife and child for leaving him alone. And he cursed himself for his fate.
Taken into the depths, Pluton died, his body carried on the waves, his spirit bound to his drowned flesh by his bitterness and hatred. He found himself wandering the ocean floor, slaying any living thing that crossed his path with his sword. For centuries he wandered, until one day he came across a great city, sunken to the bottom of a black chasm. No vrykul city was it... nor night elf, nor naga, nor any race that lived in the depths of the sea.
Within the countless temples in the city, Pluton beheld idols and images of ancient horrors, beasts from the oldest vrykul legends, tales of the great many-limbed giants of shadow and madness that lived in the darkest, deepest depths of the earth and sea, and Pluton knew he stood within one of their cities. Finding nothing but emptiness, he went to leave, until he spied a light in the distance. In one temple, held in the clutches of a statue of some tentacled monstrosity, Pluton found a large ornate lantern, wrought in blue-veined dark metal and glowing with ghostly light. Pluton felt compelled to take the lantern with him, and with it he left the city, which was swallowed by darkness behind him and never seen by his eyes again.
Pluton found that the souls of the dead were drawn to his lantern, and with it he could bind the dead to him, turning them into stygians that served his will. Using the lantern, Pluton traveled the ocean floor, bringing every restless spirit and lost soul he found under his dominion, forging them into the great Legion of the Drowned. With them Pluton built a sunken kingdom, raising fortresses and shipyards in the deep. Using the power of the lantern, Pluton built an army and a fleet to carry them. At last, he would have his revenge upon those he hated most - all that lived while he did not.
The fortress of the stygians, built long ago in the darkness of the abyssal plane. Pluton rules here, and has spent centuries amassing his forces for a war on the living. At last, his black fleet is complete, and ready to sail to war. If Pluton is defeated, it might spare the lands of Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms from the ravages of the Drowned - but the stygian king sits upon his throne surrounded by his mightiest servants.
Braeus, the Eternal Watchman
The mighty Braeus is the tireless guardian of the Stronghold of the Drowned, gatekeeper of the fortress of his lord and master Pluton. One of the oldest of the stygians, Braeus' body has almost completely deteriorated to bone and scraps, but his spirit is swollen with dark power and burns bright with ghostlights. When his ghostly lantern's light falls upon the living, his ancient bloodlust is reawakened.
Erinyes, the Grudge-Blade
Bearing the great sword for which she is named, the stygian Erinyes unleashes her resentment upon the living. In life she was a vrykul who was forced to wed the man who had murdered her brother, treated as nothing but a trophy. Outraged, she took up her unwanted husband's sword and cleaved his head off while he slept. Exiled for her act, she sailed a small boat away from Northrend, and was swallowed by fierce storms. Her hatred festered within her as she sank into the icy depths, and that hatred has made her mighty in undeath.
A colossal hydra that once menaced the cold seas of Northrend, prowling through the treacherous canyons of Howling Fjord and attacking hapless ships that attempted to navigate them. Slain by vrykul warriors long ago, the hydra's carcass was cast into the black depths of the sea. No living thing would feed from the corpse, as the baleful touch of the Old Gods pervaded it. Ocean currents drew the beast's body into the sunken pits surrounding the Maelstrom, where it was raised into undeath by the stygians. Rotten and horrific, Ogothagan retains some of its living instincts, making it far more dangerous than any ordinary undead beast.
Acheron, the Black Fathom
The mightiest magister among the Order of the Black Fathoms, Acheron has been granted dominion over the Stronghold of the Drowned in the absence of his king, Pluton. Acheron has mastered the art of dark water, channeling the elemental energy of water into necromancy spells, turning the very stuff of life into a black tide of death and decay.
The heroes seek to confront Pluton at his throne, but the King of the Drowned barely pays them any mind. Instead, he reveals that his great black fleet is ready to be launched, taking the bulk of his servants to assault the lands of the living. Bearing his lantern with him, Pluton departs, leaving behind his servant Acheron to deal with the heroes.
Though the heroes defeat Acheron, it is too late to stop Pluton's schemes - his armada has sailed and must be intercepted en route to have any hope of sparing Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms from invasion.