Lucif Koller (449 b.S.-384 b.S.), also called "Legendary Luke", was a notorious rogue of the ancient kingdom of Tharania. Born in Chondra, southeast of New-Santhala in the year 449 b.S. during the Age of the Blood, Legendary Luke was raised among a small farming community that inhabited the region along the river Mashdai, fed by the Mithral Mountains. In and amongst his boyhood friends, Lucif was always a leader, always had to be the kingpin. After serving his King and country as a soldier in the Royal Guard, he started up a rag tag group called Legendary Luke and the Mashdai Men. Soon, though, the purpose of the group, to do good and see justice, became obsolete as events unfolded and the young men turned to more exciting and much more lucrative practices. Together with his men he ravaged the lands and their people, for 25 years he went where and when he pleased. After betrayal by an underling, Lucif Koller was arrested in the town of Voldar, but before he could be taken away for judgement and a proper hanging, he was whisked away by his men. Shortly afterward, he established himself in Koller Manor, a fortified estate located at the northernmost point of the Forbidden Zone in the Ashamarian Lands, just east of the Mountains of Despair and west of Ebony Lake on the Peninsula of Kr'uul. Luke remained there until his death in exile, date unknown. This single man, for twenty-five years, had power rivaling the most powerful Lord or Baron. Households cursed his name across the lands, and itís this cursing and hatred that made him famous, a legend in his own right.
Picture description: Portrait of Legendary Luke when he was still a Knight of the Flame. Pic drawn by Quellion.
Lucif was not extraordinary in any way, physically. He stood just under 2 peds,
and weighed no more than one and a half pygges in his prime. He had night black
hair and sea green eyes which always had a tired, pleasant stare to them.
Stories say his eyes never closed, even for sleep, so as not to let his women
sneak away, as the tale goes. During his soldier days, he wore the uniform of
the Knights of the Flame, which consisted of a white tunic with the emblem of a
flaming sun on the chest. This was worn over everything, from bloody battle
armour to church attendance garment. After leaving the Guard, he wore a new
uniform, one that every member of his gang was absolutely firm in the belief
that the cloak brought them luck. This is why they wore them everyday, so fierce
was their love for the Mashdai Men and their cause, the fact that failing to
wear your "coat" meant death was moot. As Luke aged, his mannish good looks
faltered, and his black hair receded and turned to a mottled grey. By the age of
65 he was blind and demented. The once proud ruler of an army reduced to a
drooling, babbling fool.
Biography. Lucif Koller's life was full with death, revenge, betrayal and "adventures". His life can be recounted as follows:
Birth and Childhood. In the fall of 449 b.S., Margret and Hendrik Koller added to the family with another son, which took the named Lucif. The third of four sons the mother would bear, this one was smaller and quieter than his older brothers, and even the younger one was often mistaken for the elder of the two. Luke grew up learning to do good and always help the unfortunate stranger, with no reward expected or accepted. The boys of the village were all strong farm boys, and willing to fight, but with all the commotion about Tharania in 482 b. S, there was no imminent need for young men to be recruited so the boys grew restless.
Member of the Tharanian Guard. At the age of 17 Lucif joined up for training to become a Royal Guard. He made a big salary, and was trained well in warfare. After 3 years of service, he returned home to his little farming village. He hadnít remembered it as being this boring, and he grew restless quickly. It was his need for adventure and adrenaline that made come up with a scheme to add adventure and heroism to his and his neighboursí lives. He drew up a plan to use all their fathersí armour issued to them when they were soldiers, and become civil protectors. In the beginning it was just he and 6 friends with white cloaks over the father's rusty armour, chasing off would be robbers, and chasing down escaping thieves. This was not a well-paid endeavour, no more than a hot meal and a few San, or whatever the grateful peasants had to spare. Lucif needed no more, and asked for less. He was happy with his men, his job, and his life.
Murder of Lucif's Family. But as it turns out, he made a few enemies along the path of goodness. Lucif began calling himself Legendary Luke and his group became the Mashdai Men.
A man whom had thrice been foiled by Koller, Pallok Chivel, had had enough of the cocky do-gooder. The black haired vagrant had saved too many caravans and old women, and Chivel hated him for it. He hatched a plan that would strike into Kollerís heart, mind and pocketbook. He got back at him in the most effective, safest and easiest way.
He raided Chondra and the area surrounding. Lucif was away north, in Carmalad at the time, so rescue was not possible, even if he had known well ahead and had time to prepare. But, upon news of the sacking, he came south, back home. His parents and remaining brothers were all killed, then defaced and hung from the big oak tree that stood by the gate into the farm. Lucifís makeshift hidden coffer had also been opened, and emptied. Not even Luke would warrant a guess at his own loss. This was all done swiftly and quietly, without arousing even the local sheriff, whether or not that would have done any good.
The Hunt for the Murderers. Lucif was forever changed, and it was a change for the worse. He became dark, broody, and said little more than necessary. He scared his men most of all, although they still loved him and believed in everything he spoke of. He forgot the helpless, unarmed public that he had served for no more than pride and for the name for justice. He now felt hatred and rage for the time, and it was too much.
He set forth on blood hunt, with no thought in his mind other that hate and vengeance. For 7 months, Lucif and his entourage pursued the cutthroats, over land and sea, ice and desert. The quarry laid quite a trail, and it took elven trackers, hired by Koller personally to find the gang of thieves.
The Great Hunt traversed all corners of the southern continent of Sarvonia, and the adjoining islands. From Marcogg to the Ashmarian Lands down to the southern most tips of Strata and back up to the Isles of Ram. It was perilous, and of the handful group that set out after Chivel, only Koller and four Mashdai Men found the man who killed Lucifís family. The pain couldnít last long enough to appease Lucif, and Pallok Chivel finally succumbed to his injuries and gave Koller a little peace of mind. But this was not the end of the Luke's madness, but only the beginning.
The Evil Side of the Mashdai Men. Although it took more woe and death than any 5 men should endure in a life to get him to turn to evil, once he got the taste for it, Lucif Koller was like a dolpholk in water. At first it was small time pillaging, a farm here, an old woman there, but eventually as the group got confident and their skills grew more effective, the group decided they needed organization. They turned for help to their ever-present leader, Lucif.
Lucif began the careful selection of recruits, picking those best suited for the life of a murdering, robbing vagabond. From the beginning 7, in only 6 years from the time they left their sweaty lives on the farm, there were 24 members in the group. It was about this time that they took it to the next step, and Lucif went to the seamstress. He came back with blue tunics, each with a blazing sword on the chest, and the words, "Legendary Luke and the Mashdai Men", on the back. They finally had their very own army. Now whenever they looted a caravan or held up a carriage full of aristocracy, they knew whom it was that was taking their belongings. The years went on, numbers grew, influence spread, Lucif was in the back pocket of a few key government pieces. He was on top of the world. Soon after being looted, traders would find him to strike up deals on buying back their own merchandise, at a slightly more than fair price. At one point, Lucif controlled more trade routes and cash flow then any other 50 lords or traders. Over 100 men belonged to his gang, and they did his bidding, no matter how fanatical it sounded. But alas, again, in the hearts of menÖ
The Traders' Revenge. While the blue dressed entourage was staying in Cemphiria, scouting and looting the neighbouring cities and towns, a man representing a very high-class group of men approached one of his younger loyal Knights, Hintin Iramon. Hintin wouldnít even listen to the messenger for a minute, but slit his throat for blasphemy. It was when the next message came the following week that Hintin stopped and paid attention. While he slept, a group of large, dark men climbed silently into his room, and gagged him and cut off his fifth toes on each foot. They left a parchment nailed between his bloody hands, sealing them shut. This was done as a sign of secrecy, and sincerity. After Hintin pried his hands apart and wrapped his bloody appendages, he read the note. It said:
have been selected as our solution.
Lucif Koller must be stopped, we cannot allow him to
continue ravaging our land and people.
Every week we will come and remove another set of
digits. Count your toes now, and you will get
That many chests of gold and jewels if you help us,
every week, that number grows smaller.
Get Lucif to Voldar, we have goods arriving every Sunday.
We will visit every Monday until we have him,
Or until you cannot count to two on your feet."
-- United Traders of Santharia
For one week Iramon kept his
secret, and did nothing. When asked about his hands, he made up an excuse about
letting his dagger slip in practice, cutting his hands and severing a toe.
Everyone in the group found it to be believable, and comical. They nicknamed him
Soap Fingers Suzie, and never looked into the matter. But, alas, whenever it
crossed his mind, he made himself ill with how much gold he guessed he was
turning down, and even sicker when he tried to calculate it. He would never even
see that much money in his lifetime, even working for his master, Legendary
Iramon fought a losing mental battle. The next Monday, on schedule, he was taken and punished for his loyalty, for he was useless in protecting himself. He was outnumbered and he could turn nowhere to help, for to admit he had had meetings with these men would be death for mutiny, even if the meetings were against his will. He kept telling himself they would get bored and give up, but he knew better.
Soon his mind and body though, could not take the pain and punishment. He started raving madly about the shipments of gold and jewels and silks and spices that arrived every week in Voldar. He raved so, until finally with an interested gleam in his eye, Lucif took the juicy bait in his craw, and swallowed it. He set out making plans, and sent Iramon with a small group to scout out Voldar the day before the attack. Hintin arrived outside town on a grassy knoll overlooking the settlement, and thatís where he left the others back to scout it out alone. He made the final arrangements with his new employers, and limped back to the knoll. He and his assemblage reported back to Lucif that he had found no resistance, besides a few sheriffs, which could be quietly dispatched.
Hintin's Trap. The very next day, Sunday, Legendary Luke and a few of his men rode off, with empty wagons and full smiles. They followed their guide Hintin into what Lucif later described by saying only, "hell hath no fury, like vengeful traders". Mercenaries, retired soldiers and bounty hunters were gathered and paid well to ambush the Knights two leagues outside the town, on a pre-selected trail marked by Hintin the day before on his scouting trip by a red feathered arrow jabbed in the dirt, pointing the direction they would come from. The men were outnumbered 9:1. They fought hard, like cornered animals, just as they were, but they could not withstand long. They were cut down in a swath, leaving only two men alive, and unscathed. At first Lucif couldnít understand how the young boy had fought so well as to not have been killed, let alone scratched. It didnít take long to comprehend the situation though, and his heart broke to realize what had taken place.
Hintin couldnít look at his master as he rode his wagon full of gold away from the trap, but the master watched the protťgť, as all his men were his trainees and friends. He waited for some sign, some hope of rescue, some little insignificant nod or wink that meant everything was going to work out, but he was let down. Hintin headed northeast with his hard-earned prize.
After a while he left his captain to the dogs of pain and death, Iramonís outlook changed. He got off the wagon, unsheathed his weapon and prepared himself to run onto his own sword, but, looking down, he saw the blazing sword that had meant so much to him and all the men he had betrayed, and he rose. He unhitched the team of horses and hid the wagons amongst some shrubbery, then mounted the fastest looking beast and rode hard, back south, towards Cemphiria. He didnít think it would work, but he didnít like his other choice that he had already made any better.
The remaining camp-bound men needed very little persuasion to mount up and ride out towards Voldar. They cried for blood, and none stopped to question as to why only this inexperienced soldier remained, they wanted only to save their leader and kill his captors. They rode at three times the speed as the first convoy of men that day, and were able to arrive just as the sun was going down. They didnít bother with a camp, or organization. They all knew their duties.
The Rescue. Some of the mercenaries were sent away, paid and happy, while they still kept 50 of the better, stronger warriors to guard their prisoner until the proper ceremony would be held in which Lucif Koller would be sent to his maker. Having run out of sunlight, his execution was set for dawn. 78 Knights, all counted, roared upon the sleepy makeshift prison camp just minutes after most of the lights went out. Surprise was not a concern, but it turned out to be an unexpected ally, as they were not in town to make a covert rescue, but to annihilate all opposed to their leader and their cause. This was achieved without a hitch. They slew and slashed, cut ant bashed across the yards. Women screamed and hid their children, men yelled for organization, reinforcements, medics. In the confusion and clamour of battle, it was Hintin who found Koller.
Tied to a beam in the loft of a side building, Koller was barely lucid or responsive. Beaten until unconscious, then beaten worse, Koller had a broken nose, arm and several cracked and split ribs. To be moved alone was apparently agony, and he passed out when Hintin picked him up to be hauled downstairs. He didnít wake up until the siege and massacre were over, and the sun shone in the eastern sky.
Lucif was bandaged and immobile, and didnít really understand what had happened, or what was happening. He knew his men had come, and he was still alive. His men informed him of the events in the last day, and that Hintin had rescued him. When he asked to personally thank the Knight, he was not in camp, nor was he anywhere that they could find him. The Mashdai Men never saw the traitor again, and their trackers did their best to find the one they called a hero. He was assumed dead in combat, and got a championís funeral.
Lucif moves north. It took 7 months of healing, rest and quietness before Koller was allowed out on his own, and he quickly recovered after this. He was back in full force within a year and was appalled to see the collapse of his great force. Without his guidance, the men had lost a lot of influence, and they were down to less than half of their peak glory. This was the proverbial straw that broke the proverbial camelís back.
Lucif called his captains, and told them to disperse the men immediately, the Mashdai Men were no more. They were to take their wage, gear and belongings, and were to be gone in the morning. All of them were to disappear. It was only after this that Lucif Koller began the long trip north, stopping wherever he could find carpenters, masons, and ironworkers. He told them all there was work to the north, and to follow him for hard labour with heavy pay. He had accumulated such a gross sum of wealth that he didnít even count his followers, for the task ahead was to be the last chapter in his life.
Lucif's Tower. Lucif had long since had his eye on this spot, located past the Land of the Kuglimz, on the north east point of the Forbidden Zone, next to the Mountains of Despair and Ebony Lake. It was here that he set to work on his final resting spot, his home. The group of skilled human and dwarven builders got to work, carving stones and wood into a fence that would surround the compound. After this, they began to work on the four story tower in the center of the fenced off area. It was to be a tower, a 15 ped diameter round design, standing at 65 peds high. It was not beautiful, per say, or easily defended, come to think of it, but it was his. It took 7 years to complete, and at the end of it, Lucif Koller set himself alone, again. He released all 137 workers, and left none to serve him elf. He wanted one thing he really hadnít yet experienced, independence. It was a good, simple life for the mid forty year old man. He hunted when he needed to and he kept a garden around his tower, just enough vegetables and fruit to keep him happy. He was content to live out the remainder of his life in this small plot of land, in exile. He didnít need any help, until it arrived uncalled for.
The Hintin Irony. With an understanding for trade routes, Hintin in the meantime had invested his ill begotten reward in a fleet of his own, and he prospered. But the fact of his betrayal never left his mind, and he had been in a tavern in Carmalad, while his ship filled with bright coloured cloth when he heard a carpenter tell a tale to another patron. It was of a long ago crazy man who was hiring all skilled labourers on his way to the Forbidden Zone. He apparently asked no questions and answered none either. He paid well and dismissed everyone when the work was done. Hintin bought the man a fresh pint of ale, and asked more about this hermit. After he had accumulated enough information, he left the tavern for the docks, and sailed off north. Hintin kept his pace until the Skeleton Coast, where he disembarked alone and began the long, frozen journey towards the Mountains of Despair.
It was a perilous trek, and he arrived sick and frozen half to death upon Lukeís door. Lucif welcomed the feeble stranger, and fed him back to health. Once able to talk, Hintin explained who he was, and confessed completely to his master. He pledged allegiance again to serve his master until death without reward. Lucif refused his help, but the persistent Hintin won over the old brute, who was then in his fifties.
Lucif's Death. Lucif eventually forgave the man who had led to his downfall, and the two became best friends. They hunted and laughed with each other into old age and even after Hintin advised the declining Koller to stay home while he hunted, Lucif wouldnít hear it. He lived his life as long as his eyesight lasted him, and in the end it was a dark, dank tower indeed that the two friends would sit in and debate facts and acts long ago gone. They never parted, and finally, in 384 b.S., Lucif finally left the physical world, in his sleep. Hintin built a funeral pyre, and thawed the body of his master, which had been frozen in this land for over 20 years. Hintin never left the tower, and lore has it if you make the journey, survive the trek, you will see a set of bones, lying on top of a burnt and blackened stone spattered with the charred remains of a legend in his own right.
Importance. The life and times of Lucif Koller is important to tell because of his short lived monopoly on the trade markets, and his legendary organization and leadership. Even today, fathers complimenting their sons will call them Little Lukeís. Lucif Koller left his mark on Caelereth, and Hintin Iramonís trading company still stands today, as a tribute to the pair of men. It is also important to remind the people to watch themselves, because at anytime, one man with money can buy power, and that power does corrupt all. But the story of Legendary Luke also shows love, determination, and the power of loyalty.
Information provided by Ralhag