Devil Guard

Once, long long ago, there ruled the great Lord Wolfgang, a mighty wizard-king of old Sosaria. His reign was peaceful and prosperous, and from the regal halls of his castle, situated on the northern edge of the Sea of Akalabeth, he bestowed much fortune to his people and the townes under his dominion. But his lineage was cut short one fateful night when he was brutally murdered by his own son, the evil sorcerer Mondain, in a grab for power and immortality. Before the good people of Lord Wolfgang’s Castle knew what had happened to their beloved ruler, the ill-begotten prince stole himself away to begin a reign of terror that was to become legendary.

With no heir apparent to the throne, a contingent of Lord Wolfgang’s kingsguard and advisers remained to govern and protect both the keep and the growing nascent community outside its walls. The remaining forces of the king’s army were dispatched into the wilderness to deal with Mondain’s growing threat. This was the first incarnation of the modern-day ranger. These noble men and women were essential in assisting the Stranger with the defeat of Mondain, and were primarily responsible for extinguishing many lingering pockets of evil in Sosaria following his defeat.

The final termination of Lord Wolfgang’s lineage and the continued absence of a royal family to rule from the throne lead the governing council to officially declare the end of the old monarchy. (The locals had for some time, perhaps tongue-in-cheek, referred to the throne’s persistent vacancy as the “Lost King”.) This was accompanied by a reformation of the royal military that would largely function much as it had during Mondain’s reign: as a distributed network of rangers. But the most significant difference was rather than loyalty to the crown, they were instead dedicated to a cause: to protect travel and trade in the open wilderness or otherwise assemble as needed by the council to repel the forces of evil.

The tenuous peace was not to last, however, and the rangers were soon to reassemble as the enchantress Minax made herself known to the world and unleashed her revenge. The Lost King’s stronghold served as a key front in the first battles against her minions of the underworld. This, and Minax’s unique contingent of horned devils quite fittingly earned the towne its namesake: Devil Guard.

In the twenty years of peace following Minax’s fall, Devil Guard had grown quite large despite the constrained geography, even extending the city and its fortifications southward atop the sea. The city was apparently quite a glory to behold by the time the Stranger returned to face the dark entity known as Exodus.

However, following the defeat Exodus, all of Sosaria faced a tectonic upheaval the likes of which has never been seen again. Land masses relocated, the Great Ocean flooded the countryside, and yet elsewhere seas drained entirely. The once great town of Devil Guard was unfortunately destroyed in this cataclysm. Where once was a peaceful towne center had been torn to pieces with the rise of a massive mountain range – the Serpent’s Spine. Furthermore, the Sea of Akalabeth drained to the west, with its only remnant dubbed Lost Lake, now high in the mountains.

And thus, with the sudden disappearance of their once thriving towne, the remaining rangers operated in a decentralized fashion, making their homes instead in the forests and open wilderness while still providing protection and guidance for travelers. Several rangers, inspired by Lord British’s call for unification and virtue, established a new and more humble settlement further to the west on the isle of Skara Brae. Unlike the opulence of a regal and fortified city, Skara Brae was open and modest, embracing nature rather than withstanding it. These folk have adopted for themselves, quite naturally, the virtue of Spirituality.

Today, in the silent peaks of the Serpent’s Spine rests a lone ankh monument, the only reminder of Devil Guard’s historic location. It was presumably placed by a returning ranger not only as a remembrance of their lost city but also as a symbol of how the rangers have transformed into the spiritually focused order of today. There are many other rumors regarding this area. Some say that there are caches of magical weapons buried beneath the surface, a lost treasure of the ruined city. But the most compelling, and perhaps the most fitting, is that it is here, perhaps planted by the same unknown ranger, where a prospective Avatar may find the lost white virtue stone of Spirituality.