The Age of Hellfire is all but forgotten by the denizens of Teleria. It became myth, its grim truths twisted by time and ignorance as they passed from one generation to the next. Only the ancient sagas remain, and the memories of immortal Champions forged in the black flames of battles millennia past. The halls of Frostheim still remember one such saga, and old skalds sing of Hoskarul – a warrior of old who had fallen from grace yet found the strength to regain his honor.
His story began in the ice-shackled crown of the world – the legendary Winterlands, where the mighty Norr made their home in those dark years. The Warrior himself was one of the Jotun, and his people had sworn their strength to Lumaya. No living sage could guess what it was they protected amid eternal snows, but Siroth craved it. And he had sent his dreadful hosts to take that mysterious power by force of arms.
Again and again, the Jotun and their human allies clashed with the servants of Shadow. Many were martial deeds worthy of song, many were the heroes who had given their lives for Teleria. But not the Warrior. Alas! He lost his heart in battle and fled before the foe while his kindred fought to the bitter end. Disgraced and cursed, he left the Winterlands behind and journeyed south across the sea. There he made his home in the caverns of the Redspike Mountains and lived as a wretched beast, burdened by the great shame he had inflicted upon himself.
Years turned to decades, and the once-proud Jotun may have faded away, forgotten by all, had it not been for a chance meeting. One fateful morn, the Warrior beheld Norr longships landing on the jagged coast ‘neath his home; overcome by curiosity, he dared to approach. Though his appearance was ghastly and terrifying, he was but one hermit, and the Norr were many – they kept their courage and did not attack when he came to speak. But what he heard was as ghastly as he was: doom had befallen the Winterlands, and all who dwelled therein.
The demons were too numerous, they said, and no longer could the mortals hold their ground. Those who survived now fled southwards, seeking haven away from the rampaging monsters, though all knew it would not be long before Siroth turned his gaze to the rest of Teleria.
The tidings of his homeland’s fall had shaken the Warrior, but a new resolve kindled within his heart – he knew that he could hide no longer. He would fight and wash away the stain of cowardice with blood. And so it was that he forsook his shame and rose to face the tide of darkness in defense of mortalkind. He had discarded his past, taking on the name of Hoskarul to honor Norr huscarls, whose courage had so inspired him. Long had Hoskarul battled against Siroth’s minions, sparing neither foe nor himself, and with his selfless valor did he earn forgiveness.
Some skalds maintain he had earned life eternal in Lumaya’s halls and now waits for the Call to fight for Teleria once more.