This post needs a little bit of clarification. As much as possible I try to avoid two characters having the same name in my campaign world. It happens often enough in real life and in real history, but it easily confuses people (Just try and explain the Norman Conquest of England to someone). Unfortunately, I couldn’t avoid having two people with the same name in this case because one of my players wanted to name their character after an imagined hero of the past. I’m getting around to filling the gaps and now that hero of the past has his own story below. This post details Amalgami the Hero of Old, not Amalgami the Betrayer.
Amalgami the Hero was known as the Lightning Knight. He joined the other heroes of the Dragon War in casting down their draconic oppressors. He was a son of Zeus and his father gifted him with power over lightning and storms. Amalgami made friendships easily and if it weren’t for him the heroes of the Dragon War may never have worked together to accomplish their great deeds. At the conclusion of the war he slumbered along with the other heroes to return when the world needed him again.
Zeus found himself attracted to Brina, a priestess of his wife, Hera. Zeus will be Zeus, so he had his way with Brina and then left her to the anger of his wife. Infuriated that one of her own clergy would betray her (regardless of Brina’s own wishes in the encounter), Hera decreed a similar punishment that was given to Leto, the mother of Apollo and Artemis. Brina would never deliver her child on dry land.
Nine months later, Brina entered labor but found herself unable to give birth. She wandered from place to place, but no dared risk Hera’s wrath by offering Brina aid. She began crossing the Jenarild River, hoping to reach a village on the other side, but she collapsed from pain while fording the waters. The river god took pity on Brina in her sorry state. He lifted her up and held her within the river, easing the aches and pains that wracked her body. As Jenarild lifted her up, Brina was no longer “on dry land.” Her son came shooting out of her! Enraptured with Brina’s beauty, Jenarild married her. They raised the child together and named him Amalgami.
As the boy grew he voiced a wish to follow in the footsteps of his elder half-brother, Heracles. He wanted to be strong and a hero to all the people of Cimmeria just like Heracles had been a hero to all the people of Greece. Everyday Amalgami trained with spear and shield and sword, preparing himself for his future adventures. His mother and adoptive father supported him and rendered whatever aid they could.
When Amalgami came of age he put on his armor, packed his bag, and took up his spear and sword before setting off into the world. Traveling downriver he encountered a few bandits and gnolls. His trained arm allowed him to slay these foes, but not without some injuries of his own. Amalgami arrived in Phoenix and stayed awhile to nurse his wounds.
As a son of Zeus he was allowed into the court of King Delain. When his eyes fell upon Queen Stasia he was instantly pierced by Cupid’s arrow. King Delain who spent more time with his mistress, Stofara, than with his Queen. Stasia felt ignored and the attention from Amalgami was most welcome. Amalgami tarried in the city long after his wounds had healed and in time their liaisons resulted in Stasia becoming pregnant. Fearing Delain’s reprisal should the babe look more like Amalgami than the King, Amalgami fled Phoenix, traveling further downriver towards the Caspian Sea.
When he reached the Sea, Amalgami was surprised to see a ship out in the water. Amalgami had always heard that the waters of the Caspian were infested with monsters and that no ship could sail upon them, and yet…there it was. The young son of Zeus jumped and waved his arms at the sailing vessel. The flamboyantly dressed captain signaled for Amalgami to swim aboard if he wished. Amalgami dove into the water with his weapons, armor, and all his possessions and easily reached the ship where a line was waiting to pull him aboard.
“Greetings!” the captain said. “Me name be Captain Jovy. And this ‘ere be me first mate, Cecilia the Salt Champion,” the captain indicated a woman armored in fish scales that stood next to him. “What be your name, sonny?”
“My name is Amalgami, son of Zeus, and I would like to join your crew!”
“What’dya say Cecilia? Should we let this one in our crew?”
“I don’t see why not. He seems fit enough.”
“Then it’s settled. Welcome to our merry bunch, Amalgami!” Captain Jovy slapped Amalgami on the back.
Amalgami sailed with Jovy and Cecilia during their scouring of the Caspian, killing monsters alongside them and their crew of magic sailors. He never slew a sea monster by himself, but he learned much from watching the two more experienced heroes in action.
When the time came, Amalgami quit the boat for new adventures. He consulted an oracle of Zeus for guidance. The oracle told him that he must climb to the top of Doom Peak in the western Terror Mountains where the white dragons make their home. Amalgami headed west towards the mountainous heights. As he scaled Doom Peak Amalgami was attacked by white dragons. He slew one after another as he got closer and closer to the summit. At the top, Amalgami was struck by lightning. He fell off the mountain and blacked out during his descent.
When Amalgami awoke upon the valley floor beneath the mountain he found a new power coursing through his veins. He could fly! And lightning and thunder were his to command! He took up his spear and threw it at a tree. As the spear flew, it turned into a thunderbolt. The tree exploded into splinters when the electric attack collided. Amalgami smiled and conjured a new spear of lightning from the air. His father had given him an extraordinary gift and he would use it to become a great hero.
Having had his fill of going west, Amalgami set off to the east back towards home. Along the way he stopped at Greshendale. There he met with Tentineh helped him defend against some of the smaller troll attacks upon the town. Amalgami visited with his mother and adoptive father by the Jenarild River. He was happy to see that they had given birth to twins while he was gone. Amalgami got to know his half-siblings before his wanderlust called. He set out towards the southeast.
Amalgami slew more monsters and bandits until he reached a temple in Zeus’s Canvas. There he made a new friend in Toffoun, the Dwarven priest of Ares. Toffoun challenged Amalgami to a duel with wooden weapons. They landed telling blows on each other at the same time, resulting in a tied duel. They dueled again and again, but always the engagement ended in a tie. After many bouts Amalgami laughed and invited Toffoun to leave the temple with him on the morrow. The temple’s high priest gave his approval and soon the duo were on their way.
Along the sea the pair slew many ogres, trolls, bandits, and a foul necromancer. Righteous violence became their passion and all seemed right with the world. Toffoun and Amalgami followed the western side of the Aral Sea and then back south along the eastern side. As they came down the eastern seashore they saw a great dust cloud to the southeast. Amalgami went to investigate and returned to Toffoun with grave news. The goblins were organizing once more and at their head was a half-dragon. The law against armies would never apply to one of the dragons’ own. This army would not be broken by dragon fire. It would be free to sweep over Zeus’s Canvas and ravage every village east of the Black River.
Toffoun and Amalgami turned west and warned every settlement they could. They told the villagers to take weapons and armor to the Dirt Plateau at the center of Zeus’s Canvas. There the people met up and prepared for the goblins’ coming. Each man and woman of fighting age was given a weapon and whatever armor could be scrapped together. Halfling slingers, dwarven heavy infantry, and human longbowmen awaited the goblins when they approached the Plateau. The goblins were repulsed and their half-dragon leader slain by Toffoun and Amalgami.
The death of a dragon’s relative was not without consequence. Toffoun and Amalgami knew that retribution would come soon. Amalgami recalled that his powerful friend in Greshendale, Tentineh, also opposed the dragons. Perhaps he could be persuaded to help. Amalgami went off to Greshendale to get help from the mage. Toffoun stayed behind and awaited the dragons.
Amalgami the Lightning Knight flew to Greshendale and found it under attack by a large clan of stone and mountain giants. Tentineh defended the city, but not alone. Hundreds of citizens fought alongside him shooting arrows and bolts of magical force at their huge foes. Amalgami joined the fray, striking giants with lightning and piercing them with his electric spear. When the thunder receded the giants had fled. The people of Greshendale rejoiced.
Tentineh approached Amalgami after the battle. “Thank you for coming to our aid once more, my friend. How can I and my city ever repay you?” said Tentineh.
“In truth I did not come to help you, but to ask for your help in defending the city of me and my friend. The dragons and goblins of Zeus’s Canvas attack it even as we speak.” Amalgami continued telling Tentineh of how he met Toffoun and the goblins’ advance.
At the end of his tale Tentineh agreed to help in whatever way he could. “In fact,” said Tentineh, “I have already begun organizing the heroes of this land for an even greater purpose. I mean to free the people of the fractured Conclave and throw down the dragons once and for all.” Amalgami could tell that he had come to the right man for help.
Amalgami and Tentineh soon returned to Toffoun to defend the Dirt Plateau. The attacking dragons and goblins were repulsed. The Dragon War began in earnest soon afterwards. Amalgami proved extremely useful during the Dragon War with his experience slaying the white dragons of Doom Peak. At the close of the war, Amalgami sealed the copper dragon matriarch, Blathorwa, into one of Tentineh’s Orbs. Amalgami entered the long slumber along with the other heroes of the Dragon War, ready to return if the Copper Orb ever broke.
Hundreds of years later, while Amalgami slept, a young merchant’s son ran away from home to go on an adventure. The merchant’s son was named Anatolios Halkias, but he took another name for himself, Amalgami, in honor of his favorite hero. Anatolios would grow up to soil the once proud name that he now bore. Amalgami the Betrayer he was called. The now tainted legacy of Amalgami would never be the same.