Descent Into Darkness story
Parthyn is a town near the northern border of Wesnoth. Every summer when the mountain passes clear of snow, the orcs raid Parthyn seeking to prove themselves in battle. The townspeople repel the raids, but often at the cost of some of their lives.
When Malin Keshar was 10 a traveling mage sensed magical ability in Malin. His parents arranged for Malin to study in the magical community on the Isle of Alduin. Malin Keshar studied there for eight years but was expelled before finishing his apprenticeship. After being expelled, Keshar returns to Parthyn...
Malin returns home in the middle of an orcish raid. He sees his father killed by an orcish arrow. The orcs rallied on defeating the villagers leader but were suddenly repelled by an onslaught of undead creatures. The townspeople were amazed to see skeletons and ghouls pour from the forest to cut down the orcs. Then, as suddenly as they had arrived, the undead returned.
A short while later a robed man emerged from the woods. He said his name was Darken Volk and that he was the necromancer in charge of the undead who had turned the battle. He said that although necromancy was forbidden in the kingdom it was the only way for those on the border to stand against the orc menace.
Drogan, the captain of the guard, said they were grateful for Volk's assistance but they could not take up with a practicer of the dark arts. He would let Volk leave this one time but told him never to return to Parthyn on pain of death.
Drogan sends most of his soldiers on a mission to find the orcs before they attack. An orcish raiding party gets past the scouts and assaults Parthyn. Malin Keshar is charged with the defense of the city. Pressed against the wall he decides to summon the undead to the town's defense. Although he successfully repels the orcs, Drogan banishes Keshar for practicing necromancy.
A Peaceful Valley
Angry and bitter over his exile, young Malin roams the forest around Parthyn. He encounters Darken Volk, the necromancer who had summoned the undead to kill the orcs who attacked Parthyn. Darken pities the boy and takes him under his wing as his new apprentice. As the weeks pass, Malin Keshar learns more of the dark arts of necromancy. Together, they harvest the souls and bodies of a nearby goblin village to add to their growing army. Keshar realizes that he is not yet skilled enough to return to Parthyn and save them from the orcs with his powers. He continues to learn from Darken Volk and they continue to raid small goblin and orc settlements.
A Haunting in Winter
Darken and Malin seek shelter as winter surrounds them. They decide to make a cave their home. First they must drive out the bandits who are already using it. A group of dwarves lives within the cave as well. Malin Keshar seeks their help with the bandits but the dwarves will have nothing to do with a pair of necromancers. Together Volk and Keshar clear the cave of all its inhabitants.
Beginning of the Revenge
Malin Keshar spends the winter simmering with hatred for the orcs that killed his father and had him banished from his village. He also absorbs Darken Volk's lessons and his power grows.
Early in the spring Volk leads them through a mountain pass to a pair of orcish encampments. Malin Keshar's growing powers and the element of surprise allow the necromancers to defeat the orcs and set their sights on bigger targets.
Throughout the summer Malin Keshar, Darken Volk and their undead horde ransack orcish camps and prey on the orcs and goblins in the night. The orcs are harassed and forced by their foe into uniting. Keshar and Volk confront the massed forces of three chieftains. Even together the orcs are no match for Malin Keshar's burgeoning powers; he and Volk defeat two of the chieftains and rout the third.
Sensing Malin's strength, Darken Volk instructs him to chase down the last chieftain on his own. Malin Keshar's apprenticeship is nearly over.
Return to Parthyn
Following the trail of the last orcish chieftain, Malin Keshar comes upon Parthyn. Drogan tells him to leave or he will have no choice but to send his soldiers against him. Drogan and Keshar are interrupted by reports of an orcish war party across the river. Recognizing these orcs as the ones he has been pursuing, Malin Keshar tells Drogan to stand aside so he can eliminate the threat. Drogan senses a trap and refuses. Malin is outraged and strikes Drogan down.
Malin expects to be seen as a hero but the people of Parthyn, led by Malin's sister Dela Keshar, see his killing of Drogan as the embodiment of evil. Dela vows to defeat him at any cost. Overwhelmed, Malin Keshar flees.
A Small Favor - Part One
Malin Keshar reunites with Darken Volk. They journey to the city of Tath to retrieve a book that once belonged to Darken Volk. Malin has no qualms about attacking the people of Wesnoth as they have now rejected him twice despite his success against the orcs.
They cannot defeat the entire city guard but instead infiltrate the manor of Lord Karres by stealth.
A Small Favor - Part Two
The necromancers barricade themselves in the manor and search for the book. Malin kills the Great Mage Karres, breaking the illusion hiding the book.
A Small Favor - Part Three
Malin and Darken defeat the mages within the manor, take the book and escape the manor.
Alone at Last
Darken takes the book and abandons Malin to fend for himself. Malin realizes he was just used and manipulated to obtain the book. A fight breaks out between them.
Interrupting the necromancers, Malin's sister Dela and Sir Cadaeus, a paladin of Tath, attempt to kill them both. Taking advantage of the melee, Malin kills Darken, steals the book back, and retreats to the mountains in the west.
Descent Into Darkness
Malin reads the book he won from Darken Volk and discovers that to become a Lich, one must first die. The incantations for this ultimate step must be read with one's dying breath. This is what Darken Volk had spent so much energy trying to retrieve.
Malin hears about more orcish attacks on Parthyn and, in a rage, attacks an enormous orc army. He is badly wounded and retreats to a small cave. Dying, he creates a crude altar in which to sacrifice himself and achieve lichdom. Malin Keshar dies, but his spell works and he is reborn as a Lich, Mal Keshar.
The new lich hungers for life and warmth. He cleanses his new domain of vermin and trolls.
As the years pass, a pattern emerges. Every winter the lich builds his forces and in the spring sends them out to battle the orcs. Any human, dwarf or elf patrols that get in the way are collateral damage.
Occasionally a hero attempts to vanquish the lich named Mal Keshar in his mountain lair. None prevail. Eventually one will.