There is no lack of creatures of nightmare for the mothers of Teleria to scare their children into obedience. Skavag the Loathsome, the Lizardmen from the sewers of Arnoc, and the vile Serpent of Krokhan are all said to have a taste for misbehaving children. Still, among the young nobles of Kaerok, nightmares take a very different shape.
Gaius the Gleeful, a deathless assassin in the guise of a fool, is credited with the destruction of no less than thirteen aristocratic families over the past centuries. Sometimes, he appears out of nowhere in the middle of the night and unleashes joyous slaughter in castles and manors that were thought impenetrable. And sometimes, he leads a ghastly circus troupe, whose performances always end in blood.
Though many heroes claimed to have ended Gaius’ carnival of doom, he always reappears years later to claim another victim. It was even rumored that an entire guild of elusive murderers operates across Teleria under the motley harlequin guise. The truth is both simpler and more terrifying. Gaius is a master assassin of the clandestine Knights Revenant Cult – a being of ancient rancor and prowess whose spirit had been bound by magic beyond the reckoning of most mortals. Should he fall in battle, there is no lack of willing or unwilling hosts who would give their bodies to bring the Cult’s favored tool back to the world of the living.
There is little Gaius remembers of his origins save for the seething hatred he holds for the so-called nobles. Some three hundred years ago, he lived a life of merriment and plenty, traveling the lands with a close-knit troupe of performers. His family and he were beloved by the common folk and oft invited to carnivals or fairs that brightened the routine of peasant lives.
Alas, in one such performance, Gaius had unwittingly insulted a proud and cruel Duke with a jest. Enraged, the town’s ruler ordered the entire troupe seized and thrown into the dungeons, there to await trial. Many found their death on the gallows in the days that followed. The Duke wished Gaius to suffer, forced to see his friends and loved ones die as penance for the perceived injury to his honor. But he knew not the doom he had created.
Desperate and driven to madness, Gaius implored the higher powers for strength and vengeance… And Siroth answered. When the dawn of Gaius’ death arrived, and he was taken to the gallows, he was a man changed and twisted. With beastly strength and dark magic, he overcame the guards and unleashed a slaughter the likes of which that sleepy town had not seen before or since. The Duke and his cronies died screaming when the mad jester descended upon them in a hurricane of blades, and a great fire consumed the town square.
How Gaius found his way East to the Stormwind Wastelands, this story does not say. But his mastery and his malice were of great use to the Knights Revenant who took him in. From that day, Gaius the Gleeful was free to unleash his retribution upon Teleria.