AD&D Greyhawk Homebrew
Paladins of Koth
The Paladin’s of Koth
Translated and condensed from the ancient oral traditions and recounted by Arrus, High Shaman of the ice isle of Bos.
a heroic champion; a defender or advocate of a noble cause
A hearty and long lived race of men hailed from the now lost isle of Koth, known as the ancients. Said to be the final remnants of the elder race, the first race of men to come to being on Oerth. Legend eludes to their emergence being that of elven decent, others point at their creation by the god of light, Lothar. One thing is known for certain, the men of Koth lived for hundreds of years, were blessed with great strength, tireless endurance and a quickness that pared with the elves. Few in number, their stock replenished slowly. Over the millennia, their numbers waned and failed until only a handful remained due to war and breeding with the plethora of “lesser humans”,
the ancient Flan. Their ancient relics scattered to the wind and their tremendous architectural achievements crumbled to the ravages of time. The men of Koth were rivaled only by the elves in their accomplishments.
They worshiped the god of light and virtue, Lothar. He inspired them to reach for all that was good and virtuous in life. The men of Koth viewed the world through unyielding stained glass which saw only black and white. Right and wrong. Good and evil.
Their mages were gifted with immense talent, mastering the elements and magics of all spheres known and now forgotten. Fashioning artifacts and structures of impossible power, no feat was beyond their ability. Limited only by their imaginations, their artifacts encroached upon god-like power incarnate.
Their warriors were known as the Paladin’s of Lothar, and their battle prowess was an unstoppable whirlwind of courage and valor.
Self styled guardians of all that was good and just on Oerth, the race rose to great power, walked the many planes of existence and eventually in their arrogance waged war on the demon lords of the abyss, the horned ones and Incabulous, god of death and disease. Believing they were virtuous and true to the point that nothing evil and unjust could stand before them, nor should be permitted to exist, they sought to rid existence of all things foul. This slowly and inevitably over centuries of warfare, bloodshed and butchering, brought about not only their ultimate demise, but that of the ancient Flan as well whom they championed. For the horned ones are eternal in life, memory and numbers. No slight is forgotten, and no goal left unachieved.
Evil knows no honor, and evil knows no quarter. The men of Koth were betrayed from within by Lord Mordan, a Paladin general of great courage and might. It is said that ‘he who shall not be named’ captured and tempted the Paladin himself through torture, brutality and madness until his humanity and sanity were fractured beyond repair. Lord Mordan turned from his mortality, all that was just and good, and embraced the macabre and depraved. ‘He who shall not be named’ imbued his new lieutenant with a power never before seen on Oerth. The power of the death knight. Turning his vassals to his cause in similar fashion, Lord Mordan raised and led an unholy campaign of destruction and desolation across all the lands for hundreds of years. With the children of Lothar being slaughtered daily, the god became weak and vulnerable. The horned ones and the god Incabulous, sought out the god Lothar and smote him on his home plane of existence, leaving no hope for his return. Eradicating light and hope from the world.
In the final days of the great conflict between good and evil, there were but eight remaining men of Koth. Defeat was imminent and the forces of darkness were poised to prevail. To ensure that their eight remaining artifacts did not fall into the hands of evil, there were eight false artifacts forged and left in the hands of the defenders of the sunken city of Elonirihem where the ancient Flan made their final stand against the horned ones. With their cause lost the eight paladin’s of Koth each went to a different and remote location on Oerth to safeguard the artifacts, leaving the horned ones to believe they had removed the final power of the ancients from Oerth.
With the god Lothar slain, and the ancient Flan decimated to fragments of a broken civilization, the horned ones returned to the abyss in victory over those who began a war in pride and arrogance. Taking thousands of conquered slaves, plunder and the false artifacts with them.