Unicorn Operations Pty Ltd
Graydon – Those who cross paths or hear stories of his antics often ask of his mysterious life. When does a man learn to kill a roomful of soldiers without shedding a drop of blood to show for it? How does a mere Halfling seduce an Elven princess and steal her most prized and loved possession? Some even say that stories of Graydons affairs date back to more than 300 years ago, twice the lifespan of an average Halfling. Some believe this, some do not. Most are ignorant of his existence until they have an encounter with him, but tales of his victory are usually never told, because no one lives to tell the story.
Across the vast land, on the far side of the world lied a more untouched and unheard of land, a vast stretch of fields and mountains. As beautiful as it looked, it was not entirely a place of peace and solitude – the Mountains were home to an overabundance of loathsome evil creatures that constantly threatened the village of Halflings and its Neighboring town of Humans. While the Humans trained soldiers as a means of defense, so too did the Halflings. At the age of 9, a handful of specially selected Halflings were chosen to be taught an ancient discipline, one that would require a lifetime of devotion to fully master its combined complexities. This ancient style of combat had been passed down by dozens of generations of Halflings, it was known as Shadow Wielding. Beginning at the early age of 9, Halflings were taught to use their environment against their foes, manipulating their surroundings to give them a tactical advantage. They were also taught extensively in the use of the Short Sword and Short Bow. Their mentors trained them to use their control of the environment in conjunction with the use of their sword, allowing them to eliminate multiple enemies while remaining completely unharmed. Shadow Wielders were also taught in the art of the Short Bow, the ability to launch an arrow into critical areas of an enemies body became a Shadow Wielders second nature. While physical combat was essential training, the study of the mind was of equal importance. Shadow Wielders were taught how to converse and manipulate people, how to gain information without it appearing as though this was their intention, how to instantly examine someone’s’ person and use these observations as a way to befriend targets or potential enemies.
While Graydon and his peers trained, the evil that lurked within the Mountains only grew stronger. Both the Human and Halfling towns were constantly attacked by packs of rabid Goblins that dwelled within the Mountains. They would pillage, kill and kidnap Townspeople – the people of both towns knew action had to be taken to stop them. After one of the attacks on the Halfling town, a handful of the Goblins had been slain by swordsmen of the town. One of the elder Shadow Wielders noticed something on one of the Goblin corpses. There was a spark in its eyes, specks of light that danced around the creatures retina, the elder Halfling had seen this on only one other occasion in his life – he understood what it meant. The light was the result of a magical connection between the creatures mind and a sorcerer – the goblins that were attacking the town were being controlled. As more attacks on the Towns ensued, the Shadow Wielders did all they could to defend its people, but that was not enough, something had to be done at the very core of the problem – the lurking Wizard of the Mountains had to be killed, along with his Goblin minions.
A short time later on a gloomy day, the clouds turned black and heavy rain poured nonstop onto the earth. Some say it was the wizard trying to frighten the occupants of the towns – for this was the day that the Humans and Halflings would attack the demented occupants of the Mountain. The Humans had assembled several large groups of trained soldiers. The Halflings had several small groups of Shadow Wielders, Some were older and more experienced, and others were younger and had only seen battle a handful of times. Graydon had been assigned the most crucial mission of the forthcoming battle. He and his team were tasked with infiltrating the caves of the mountain, and assassinating the Wizard. Once a Shadow Wielder has shows exceptional skills in all of their individual training, they are allocated a group of three other Shadow Wielders to train with. They learn to behave like cogs inside a well oiled machine, to be able to cover every angle of the battlefield and not have a single blind spot in their attack formation. They could disappear in the blink of an eye; they were quick, efficient and made no mistakes. Graydons’ group had been training together for several years now, they were considered by the elder Shadow Wielders to be finest group of fighters they had ever seen – a perfect choice to assassinate the evil Wizard.
Both the Human and Halfling soldiers entered the Cave system of the Mountain from the Northern side. They were quickly met with hordes of murderous goblins under the control of the illusive Wizard. Swords swung, arrows soared – blood was spilt on both sides. It was a bloody battle that left the Humans and Halflings heavily outnumbered by the malicious Goblins. As the battle ensued, Graydons team of Shadow Wielders entered the Cave from southern side, hoping that the Wizard would have retreated from the Battle at the Northern end and was hiding somewhere on the opposite side of the Mountain. Graydons team infiltrated the Cave, carefully venturing deeper and deeper, gracefully slicing through the many Lingering Goblins that remained in the area uncontrolled by the Wizard. Even without the bewitchment of the Wizard, the Goblins were still murderous beasts, and were no match for a Team of Shadow Wielders. None were spared, all were slaughtered, a merciless payment for the pain they had caused the people of their town. Graydon and his comrades delved deeper into the soggy cave system, disposing of many Goblins on their way. Finally, they came upon a small chamber where the Wizard dwelt. The Wizard was old, his back was arched and all visible areas of skin were covered in scars and abrasion. His back was facing Graydons team as he hunched over a small hovering ball of light – he was caressing the ball with his long boney fingers, deep in concentration.
Graydon and his Comrades had the element of surprise to their advantage. They crept closer to the Wizard, remaining hidden in the cover of dark. Each of them, hidden amongst the rock and shadows, fired an arrow at the wizard. However, despite his vulnerability, the Wizard sensed the arrows soaring towards his frail body and launched a powerful shockwave of heat from his ancient staff. The arrows evaporated into dust, and Graydon and his comrades were thrown back off their feat. The Wizard was quick, and now completely aware of their presence, time was of the essence. As he flew backwards through the air, Graydon unshiefed his short sword and hurled it at the Wizard. As the sword span through the air, the Wizard attempted to conjure another spell, but he was not fast enough – the sword sliced through his frail skin and stabbed him precisely in the heart. Graydon and his comrades’ rose to their feet, they saw a look of pure rage in the Wizards eyes. The Sorcerer removed the Short sword from his heart and threw it onto the ground, blood oozing uncontrollably, he was seconds from death. Just as Graydon retrieved his blood soaked sword, in the Wizards last breath of life, he unleashed one last spell against his foes. Blue light erupted from the Wizards staff and the entire chamber was consumed by a magical blizzard, freezing everything it touched – it was the Sorcerers final victory before he fell to the ground dead. Graydon and his party were frozen statues trapped in an Eternal Winter, a magical form of ice that is impervious to temperature and near impossible to melt.
Many years went by, and Graydon remained Frozen in his crystal cocoon of unbreakable ice. As the years seemingly flew by, explorers from foreign lands discover the remains of the neighboring villages – all they found were bones and ash, the aftermath of a bloody battle that wiped out both factions. Many Explorers investigated the great Mountain, and found the frozen statues of the four Halflings. Over the years, different adventurers and treasure hunters looted the Mountain and stole the frozen statues, thinking that they were items of some worth. Graydons comrades were taken to different corners of the world, their fates unknown. The statue of Graydon was taken by a gang of Pirate Tieflings, and placed onboard there ship as they traveled to another land with the aim of trading the statue. Traveling with the detestable group of Pirate Tieflings was a Master Alchemist whose job it was to melt down the dimes and nickels they found, and refine them into something that can pass off as valuable. The Alchemist has seen Eternal Ice before, and managed to create a potion that completely counteracts the ice. Be it an act of rebelliousness that would no doubt dismay the captain of the ship, the man defrosted Graydon with the solution. Graydon was awake and alive despite his confusion, the alchemist told him where he was and what the current date was – he had been frozen for 316 years. In an act of impulse and anger, Graydon took the remainder of the defrosting solution and attempted to escape the ship. Sword in hand, battling a dozen Tiefling Pirates, Graydon fought his way to the rear end of the ship, commandeered a small row boat and swam for the closest land.
Graydons entire life had changed, for him the entire world was different. He had to find the statues of his comrades, for they were the only living links he had to his old life –they were his only living friends. He roamed the land for what seemed an eternity, knowing that the statues would have undoubtedly been bought by the rich. While Graydon was exploring a foreign land, searching for clues, he discovered an establishment of High Elves – it was here he found the statue of one of his frozen Shadow Wielding brothers. The statue was located in a High Elven Princesses suite. After assessing the situation with ease, Graydon used his age old training and charm to seduce the Elven princess. Graydon was appealing and seductive, and the Princess was infatuated. One night, whilst Graydon and the Princess were sharing her bed, Graydon used the solution and defrosted the statue. The eternal frost evaporated into a haze of thick mist – Rodian, Graydons friend and ally was finally awake. Unfortunately, the plan did not go as smoothly as Graydon had hoped. To Graydons utter dismay, Rodian awoke from his frozen slumber shouting obscenities at the now deceased Wizard from the battle -the noise awoke the Princess.
Guards were quickly summoned by the Princess and both Halflings were apprehended by the High Elves. Graydons infiltration had been mistaken by the Elves as an assassination attempt – an offence punishable by death. Graydon and Rodian begged and begged, trying to explain the truth of the situation, but the High Elven council did not believe there farfetched story. They believed them both to be agents working for an enemy of the Elves. So in an act of mercy, the High Elves decided to only execute one of the Halflings for their alleged crimes – Rodian was sentenced to death, and Graydon was imprison. Graydon had finally reached the lowest point in his life as he rotted for weeks inside a cell, tormented by the death of his friend. He withered away in a dark cell, losing all motivation, on the precipice of losing his mind. That was until he remembered his training, the techniques he had been taught, the years of training he had received from Masters of Shadow Wielding – his determination was all that stood between the metal bars of his cell and the outside world. Graydon hatched a plan to escape the cell, a plan consisting of patience and surveillance, waiting for the opportune time to strike a guard and release himself. His plan worked perfectly, he escaped the cell and retrieved his Short Bow and Sword – he fled the land with haste.
Graydon roamed the land for some time after the loss of his friend, realizing that the chances of finding his other comrades were slim, but he never gave up hope. He continued wandering, partaking in dangerous errands for uncourageous folk, cheating and seducing his way through women, sometimes for their Gold, other times for his own pleasure. He traveled the land with a glimmer of hope that he would one day discover his other Halfling brothers. Until then, deception, shadows and fighting were the only things that Graydon ever knew, and it was the only way he could live long enough to find his friends.