Life for a magically animated object is strange. Sharing in countless adventures to which they never agreed nor understand, those who are forced to do the bidding of their masters continue on serving until they are no longer required.
Such was the life of the Shield Guardian that now finds itself in the care of Loic Gwawr’llwyd.
Our story began with the forging of an amulet.
Deep within the bowels of the forges below Gracklstugh, great smiths and mages worked tirelessly to produce a series of amulets. These beautiful trinkets took the form of diamond shaped rubies housed within a golden cage. Each amulet was created to be paired with another inanimate object.
In a dark room a dwarf named, Turfeck, walks around the room raising a necklace out in front a series of alcoves recessed into the wall. As he passed each one he paused for a moment to reflect on the gem inside the amulet. Purpose lined his furrowed brow as he meticulously passed the amulet around the room over each alcove, wondering if their task had been completed one more time. Time after time he raised his hand then lowered it again, apparently unhappy with whatever outcome seems to be happening each time. As he nears the last alcove, hope of completing his task begins to fade and be replaced with fear that the mages had failed yet again, to get the pairing done correctly. Turfeck steps up toward the last of the alcoves and before he is able to raise his hand towards it, the gem begins to vibrate slightly. Could it be? Did it work?
He stands and stairs into the alcove as he lifts the amulet forth, in an instant the amulet bursts out with a briliant red light revealing the contents of the alcove. It was a Shield Guardian, and it now had an activation amulet. The hulk of metal and cloth stands up and steps forward for its first time towards its new master.
Together Turfeck and the Shield Guardian had done impressive work in the city of Gracklstugh. Turfeck was a miner and he was immediately grateful of the gift bestowed upon him by his father. The Shield Guardian served its purpose every day. It carved its way through rock and stone on behalf of Turfeck and with an incredible pace was able to create new mines and increase the haul of each expedition 10 fold. Stoically the Guardian looked on as it pushed forward to serve it’s Master as he was created to do.
Years go by and Turfeck and his Shield Guardian had become more bold in their endeavors to explore new regions below the great mountain that was their home. Turfeck began going on expeditions alone, except of course for the companionship of his Guardian, for he felt that others would slow him down and the Guardian can protect him well enough. They dug deeper and deeper into the dark the Guardian following all the orders given to him to perfection each time.
As Turfeck dug deeper than any dwarf before him, he broke through to a large cavern which seemed unnaturally rich with gold and mithral. Excitement filled his soul as he realised how much wealth and power this haul would bring him. Immediately his thoughts turned dark, “I must ensure that no one but me finds my treasure!” The thought never crossed his mind to wonder why the vast amount of riches before him were just sitting there at the base of this cavern. His excitement completely hid the fact that he didn’t have to mine and dig for any of the gold as if it were placed there on purpose.
The Shield Guardian looked on without command to drive it as something large moved into view. Silently this dark red creature began to stalk the dwarf as he poured over his new found wealth. As shadows begin to stretch from the beast out towards Turfeck the Guardian simply watched as his Master was destroyed before his eyes. Moments after the creature attacked the amulet that was worn around Turfeck’s neck was thrown across the room, and the magic that gave life to the Shield Guardian dissipated.
Without life, there is no awareness. Without an awareness, there is no knowing how long the Shield Guardian lay down in the dark abyss waiting to be activated again so it could serve the measure of its creature once more.
It started as a tingle in the centre of the Shield Guardian’s chest. Life was being restored. Someone was attuning themselves to the amulet once more.
Before the Guardian stood a fairly old man with flowing blue robes and a long grey beard.
“Hello, new friend!” The man speaks, “My name is Lord Zelraun Roaringhorn, and we are going to be very good friends.”
The cavern looked different now, a great shadow dragon lay on the ground amidst a great horde of wealth. The body of Turfeck was nowhere to be seen, probably long gone now.
Zelraun was a good Master to the Shield Guardian, though he used the Guardian more for companionship than anything else. The magics that were at Zelraun’s disposal meant that he rarely performed manual labor and with the new increased wealth he had acquired, found little reason to go adventuring anymore, so was rarely in danger.
Zelraun shared his stately home in the city of Waterdeep with the Shield Guardian and even gave the Guardian his own quarters, though the Guardian had no need for anything other than to accomplish the tasks Zelraun set for him.
The wealth surrounding Zelraun began to disappear, it was being expended at an alarming rate and nothing was being made in return. The Shield Guardian’s Master began taking him to various locations around town on a regular basis. Unlike the oppulent home that Zelraun shared with his companion, these places were more run down. Liquid dripped down the walls in dark corridors as intoxicated individuals were rushed from room to room and given strange liquids to drink. The sight of a man returning the liquid from his bowels in a mariad of ways was not uncommon in these places. Zelraun would spend time and money in these places and leave with more money than he went in with.
Gambling became a regular occurance in the life of the Shield Guardian in the care of Zelraun. Often the magician would find himself in high spirits from earning more and more gold, while other times the Shield Guardian was called upon to protect the body of his Master when games apparently hadn’t gone in the mages favor.
Zelraun travelled far and wide with the Shield Guardian in tow. Working with friends and finding himself in wonderous new places. There came a time when Zelraun was called upon by a friend to head to the city of Gracklstugh where he was to meet a group of adventurers and enquire about aiding them in a quest in the name of something called ‘Harpers’.
As with most visits to new places, Zelraun regularly found himself playing games for money with the locals, though this time was different.
Zelraun was playing a game of chess against a Drow, and the stakes were not money instead they were the amulet that Zelraun wore. Zelraun kept a smile across his face all the way until he removed the amulet from his neck. Once again, the life that had animated the Guardian faded away into nothing.
When the life returned and recognition began to kick in the Shield Guardian saw himself stood next to a half elf male and in the company of the Drow who had beaten Zelraun at his game. Another Master to serve. Another Master to be passed on to. Another Master to outlive….