The City of Fogdown (Eberron)
Vig spent the first years of his life fighting for scraps in the filth of Rhukaan Draal, the capital city of Darguun. Born into a small tribe of the Ghaal’Dar clan, Vig’s early life consisted of fighting off his numerous brothers, sisters, and cousins in a hovel in the shadow of the Khaar Mbar’ost. He was a small and weak child, even for his malnourished family, and he learned early to strike first when he thought he could win and hide when he thought he could not.
The life of most goblins is violent, cruel, and short. The violence which chased Vig our of Rhukaan Draal, however, was shocking even for that wicked capital. Vig awoke one night to find his mother stalking around their ramshackle hut, a knife in hand and a crazed look in her eyes. The screams of the first child she found quickly awakened the rest and Vig watched as she howled out as she chased and mercilessly butchered her own young. Vig was able to slip out in the middle of the chaos and fled out into the cold night.
Vig was old enough to know that a young goblin all alone was an easy target for slavers. The only thing he knew of the greater world were stories of his tribesmen who went off to Fogdown, a human city that they said was as ruthless as Rhukaan Draal. With little knowledge of the wide world, Vig set off to find this island city.
After many months of begging, stealing, and hiding Vig eventually made his way to Fogdown. He even found his tribesmen. But after hearing his story and seeing his weak state, they proclaimed him cursed and worthless like his father, bound to die some pitiless death. Laughing, they left him to die in the filthy street. Utterly lost, Vig curled up and waited for the Keeper to come and take him.
Much to his surprise, however, when he awoke it was not in some alley, but a warm bed. To be sure, the room where he lay was not much cleaner than the street but it was warm and, it seemed, safe. As he sat up he saw a slim goblin enter the room and smile at him with a toothless grin. As the goblin gave him a bowl of warm gruel, he explained that he was Sut and that he had overheard his story. He was impressed that he made it all the way to Fogdown at his young age. Sut was a beggar, and being without kin, decided to take Vig in out of pity and make him an heir to his ways.
Over the next years, Vig learned much from Sut. He learned how to beg, how to stay unseen, and how to take things that were supposed to remain hidden. He also learned of the glories of the goblin race, of how there had once been a great goblin empire that reached over the horizons. He learned that clashes amongst the goblin tribes and clans had brought that empire crumbling down, and how those same clashes today kept the goblins weak and forever under the boot of the other races. Sut also taught Vig the ways of the Dark Six, and of the folly of the goblins for forgetting the power of the gods.
Sut regaled Vig with stories of his past. Sut had once been a mighty adventurer, travelling with other, weaker races, but always for the glory of the goblins. Vig was shocked to learn that Sut knew the Lhesh Haruuc personally and had even helped the Lhesh, with his companions, cast Cyre out of Darguun. Sut had apparently fallen out of favor of the Lhesh; although he always grew quiet when Vig attempted to press him about it.
For the years when Vig lived with Sut, he would often awake to find Sut gone. He could be gone for days at a time and would reappear as silently and suddenly as he left. Sut would be in a foul mood for weeks after these disappearances, mocking him mercilessly for the slightest mistakes and lashing out if Vig tried to find out where he had gone. Over time though, Sut would become his old self again and once again find joy in telling Vig of the goblin’s past glories.
One night, Vig was awakened by Sut. He asked Vig if he wanted to know his true calling. Although frightened by the intensity of Sut’s stare and the empty sound of his voice, Vig agreed. Together, they travelled to a strange part of the city. As they set up for the day of begging, Vig heard Sut mumble something and then watched has he disappeared. The next few moments were a blur to Vig, but he was able to make out as a grey shadow appeared next to a well dressed human on the street. The human was suddenly covered in swirling black shadows as the grey shape stabbed into the human again and again. As the man fell towards the ground, Sut appeared once again next to Vig. He appeared the same as before, but Vig felt that his features were sharper, his smile more cruel, and his eyes held no light. As they slipped down an alley and into the sewers, Sut revealed to Vig his true nature.
He was a shaarat’kbesh, a slient knife, of the Khesh’dar clan. They were inheritors of ancient Dhakanni rites that allowed goblins to make pacts with the Dark Six. Sut had been looking for an heir to these rites ever since he was cast out of Darguun so many years ago. He believed he had found that heir in Vig.
Over the next few months, Vig and Sut prepared for the ritual. Vig did many cruel deeds along the way; deeds needed to please the masters of the endless night; The Mockery, The Keeper, and The Shadow. But once all the proper pieces were collected, the heart of an innocent, the bitter tears of betrayal, the desecrated holy symbols of a faithful Vassal, Vig traveled deep underneath the city to offer up a part of his soul to the endless night. As he returned to the foul air of the city night, he found that the shadows no longer held fear and that the cries of the helpless brought forth no pity.
Sut explained on how to fight the darkest temptations of the shadow within. That although the call for violence was of a siren, allies were needed to bring back the Dhakanni, and that betrayal was the reason it all fell in the first place. Vig tried his best to listen, but the shadow surged within his soul calling forth his most primal emotions. He was Fury at the slightest anger, the Shadow when he felt the kill near, and Mockery as he reveled in the blood of his victims.
Sut was worried at completely losing Vig to the shadow in his soul. So they traveled away from Fogdown, to the cities of Darguun and to the front lines of the Last War. As they moved through the land as beggars, they watched for those who fought against the goblin cause during the day and lashed out at them as shadows during the night.
Sut and Vig were near the Darguun border with Cyre, hunting down slavers who sold goblins to the human empires, when the Mourning struck. Awed by it’s devastating power, and emboldened by the blow it struck to the remaining kingdoms, they traveled back to Fogdown hoping to rally the goblin tribes to take the island while the humans were weak.
Feeling that now was the time, Sut became impatient in his quest to unite the varied goblin tribes of the island. He told wild tales of a Dhakaani artifact hiding under the island to anyone who would listen. He began to speak openly of the rising of the goblin empire. He mocked any tribal leader who did not agree with his passion and vision. He began to disappear at night and goblins that disagreed with the old beggar one day turned up in the river the next.
It did not take long for the powerful goblin factions to tire of Sut and his vision of how they should act. One day, a strange clockwork package came from a powerful goblin warlord. The courier claimed it was advanced mining machine, one that would help Sut search out his artifact. Sut, excited to see what use clockwork could be to his cause, accepted the gift and began eagerly to examine it. Vig begged Sut to destroy it, or at least return it, but Sut, blind to the danger it might hold, refused him and sent him away.
When Vig came home later that day to find a smoking crater where his house stood, he was not shocked. The boy who fled his mother so many years ago perhaps would have wept. But the shaarat’kbesh, who pledged his soul to the endless night, felt only the slightest stirrings of sorrow for his lost friend as knelt and picked up a charred rapier from the ground. As he turned and left the only true home he had even known, he once more felt the shadow rise in his soul.