The trapped ex-lich

Background
Everybody knows of the Ruler of the Undead and Unholy, the lich of the west. The king that rules from his necrotic land of walking corpses, reanimates and ghastly horrors. Something as simple as touching the rotting ground with your feet may result in death, or worse. That's why you'd take the long way around.

One day, a fat pigeon takes flight from the mouldy green castle placed in the centre of the land - high seat of the undead king. It heads directly in the direction of the nearest larger settlement, with a carefully folded letter tied around one of its fat legs.

A furry, one-eyed bone behemoth watches the pigeon disappear into the horizon. Birds make great stew, the behemoth thinks before returning to its black cauldron of unmentionable flesh.


The letter

To you: have you ever rescued a trapped KING? Follow the directions of the map. Find me, get me out and to SAFETY, and I'll REWARD you greatly. But HURRY!
The rest of the small letter is covered with a crude but surprisingly accurate map of the undead land, with notable land markings and suggested short cuts ("purple pit = good hiding place", "bone behemoth patrols here and here", etc.).




Potential hooks
  • The players stumble upon the oversized, dead pigeon on the side of the road. It has a letter tied around one of its legs. Animals avoid the pigeon because of its necrotic state.
  • The pigeon finally loses it and starts attacking the party until it is killed, revealing the letter. A brain parasite changed its otherwise friendly nature.
  • The pigeon is taken and eaten by a farmer's cat, letter and all. During the night, the cat is affected by magic residue left on the pigeons body, rendering it hairless the morning after. The cat is later taken by an eagle, and fed to its chick, who after the feast loses all its feathers.Two days later it falls out of the nest, hitting one of the players.
    Examining the little bird reveals that the left wing holds the letter, while the right wing holds the map, very much like a tattoo.
    (yes, this one is pretty far fetched...)


So what's the deal with this guy
Before turning into a king of all things undead, George William was a bored nobleman living in the city. He spent his days dabbling with potion making and torturing vermin.

One late evening, after losing a bet to his drunken friends, George William swallowed down a strange concoct of past days experiments, turning him into a powerful but undead version of himself: the Ruler of the Undead and Unholy, the lich of the west.

Not being recognized any more, he fled and took refuge in a deserted piece of land no one seemed to care about. Over the course of the following hundred years, he slowly shaped it into his own liking of death and decay. The undead inhabitants of his new kingdom were bred from captured farmers forced to drink his experiments.

He built his green castle and surrounded himself with strange beasts to protect him. He was untouchable, like a baby in a cradle of bone.

But one morning, the king of the undead awoke to a mirror reflection he hadn't seen in years. He had reverted back to his former self; a normal, pale 17 year old nobleman with blonde hair. He even got his pimples back.

But now he was stuck in a necrotic land inhabited by hollow monsters, that lived to serve and protect the green castle where their beloved frightful ruler up until yesterday lived.

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