The Hellfire Lord Goramesh, one of the most infamous villains of ancient legend. His reign of terror began approximately five hundred years before The War of Destruction, in the kingdom of Rinnelda, in a small farming village near what is now Dannenvale. One night, in the dead of winter, a figure surrounded in flame—or, according to some, composed entirely of it—rose up from the very earth itself and, with a roar rivaling the ferocity of an angry chimera, he commenced to burn the village and all of its inhabitants to cinders.
This creature—referred to sometimes as a demon, but more often a devil from the depths of the Fifth Hell itself—summoned up flames with only the power of his will and turned the fires of ovens and hearths into raging conflagrations which consumed the homes in which they had once obediently burned. Soon, the devil’s firestorm had consumed the whole town, leaving but one lone, terrified survivor. This man, he spared and sent to the next village with this message: “The Hellfire Lord Goramesh has risen, and it is the destiny of this world to be incinerated at his hand.”
People did not believe the warning at first, believing that it may be a hoax or the result of some drunken frolic gone wrong. Unfortunately, they soon learned the truth of these words in tragic fashion. Village after village, town after town was engulfed in Goramesh’s flames. The local lord, seeking to put a stop to the chaos, sent his personal soldiers to dispatch the rampaging killer…only for them to be completely slaughtered by the fiend. When their bodies were found, some were charred down to the bone while others had been dismembered, decapitated, disemboweled, and even impaled with severed limbs. Among the scorched and desecrated corpses lay a note scrawled in blood upon one of the men’s shields which read, “The lives of all who stand against me are forfeit!!”
The carnage continued, with local regiments, teams of highly skilled mercenaries, and powerful mages who dared to do battle against the Hellfire lord all falling to him in the most gruesome of ways. The matter eventually reached the King of Rinnelda himself, who dispatched an army of five hundred armed men to finally put a stop to the slaughter. However, even five hundred men were not enough to subdue the beast. In a matter of minutes five hundred men became five, and the survivors all told the same tale: of how no matter what they threw at him—blades, spears, maces, arrows, spells—none of it was able to even scratch this devil, and all the while as he was burning their comrades to ashes and ripping them to shreds…he laughed.
Rinnelda soon fell to the rampaging destroyer and the kings of nearby countries amassed armies of their own to do battle with him. Their fates were the same as all others who stood against that devil.
For six years, the Hellfire Lord ravaged the land. Cities burned, armies were crushed, heroes fell…It seemed as if Goramesh was completely unstoppable. Then, one day the King of Alslada—having grown desperate after losing so many soldiers and civilians to this horrible fiend—sharpened his blade, donned his armor, mounted his mighty steed, and rode forth to hunt down and slay The Forbidden One by himself.
Along the way, he crossed paths with three Sages who were passing through the kingdom on their way to Avalonia. As the hour was growing late, they all made camp together and the King told the three Sages of his desperate mission. Horrified at the revelation that the terrible rumors that they had been hearing were true and heartbroken for the victims of the Hellfire Lord and those who were still in danger from his wrath, the Sages came together and offered to help end the bloodshed—but only on the condition that the King return home and allow the three of them to handle Goramesh their way.
The King agreed and began riding back to the palace the very next morning. As for the three Sages, they first headed west toward the Drowan colony of Nalluda. There, they approached the colony’s magistrate and respectfully asked permission to use the caverns at Mount Teratos in order to set a trap for the Hellfire Lord. The Magistrate thought it over a moment, then solemnly agreed to the Sages’ request. Once that was taken care of, the Sages headed up that treacherous mount and prepared within the caverns a sacred circle which would douse his flames as soon as he could conjure them and laid the foundation for a sealing spell.
Now, surely, with the power the three possessed together they could have easily killed the Hellfire Lord. However, in return for the enhancement of their natural magical abilities that Sages receive for joining the order, they are bound by a sacred magical oath against killing any living thing. Even a devil born of the flames of the Fifth Hell is protected from death at the hands of a Sage by the power of that oath.
When all had been made ready, the three Sages descended from the mountain and sought out Goramesh himself. It did not take long, as the Hellfire Lord was anything but subtle. All that one had to do to find him, it is said, was to follow the trail of scorched earth, burnt-out villages, and rotting, horribly dismembered corpses. The Sages followed that trail to a town which was still under attack by the devil and caught him in the act of—of all of the most clichéd acts of villainy to be caught doing—burning down an orphanage.
The Sages immediately doused the burning building with water spells and appealed to the devil to cease his attack. When he asked why he should bother to do such a thing, they told him that they wished to challenge him to a battle—his flames against their magic—but they would not fight him unless he first ended the assault against this town. Intrigued by the prospect of a fresh challenge, Goramesh extinguished the rest of the fires left burning in the town and asked for further details, at which time the Sages gave him the place and time for their fateful encounter: Mount Teratos, in one fortnight. The Sages then returned to the mountain and made their final preparations.
Upon that fated day, the Hellfire Lord entered into the cavern which had been prepared for their battle. His eyes glowed like bonfires with anticipation as he approached the three Sages who lay in wait for him in the center of the sacred circle. With his first strike, he attempted to summon up his unholy flames against the Sages…only for them to flicker out just as soon as he could conjure them. Confused and frustrated, he continued to attempt to call the fires of the Deep to him, and the Sages took that opportunity to land their first blows. Enraged first by their trickery and then by the fact that he had actually been hit, the Hellfire Lord lifted up a great bronze statue—some thirty feet in height—over his head and threw it at them with all of his might, only to miss miserably.
The battle raged on for days, with the Sages hammering away at the Hellfire Lord with their most powerful spells as Goramesh attempted time and again to kill them with his bare hands…and any other random objects that were close at hand. Eventually, though, the Fire Devil was finally subdued. Too weak to resist them any longer, the three Sages brought him to the place where they had prepared their sealing spell and locked him there in eternal slumber, never again to terrorize the world with his flames.
After they had done this, the three triumphant Sages came down from the mountain and traveled to the capitol city of Alslada to report their success to the King. Impressed with their great deed, the King knighted the three of them and proclaimed that, from that day forward, they would be known as The Three Sages of Truth. The Sages gracefully accepted the honors bestowed upon them by the king, and there was much rejoicing throughout the lands.
…Or, at least it would be if a certain fledgling werewolf and his companions hadn’t come along roughly fifteen hundred years later and let this sealed evil out of its can! Will the meddling of Wolfsbane and his comrades cause The End of the World as We Know it? Or has this bloodthirsty killer learned his lesson and decided to turn over a new leaf? Find out in the upcoming adventure Wolfie Star-Runner Plays with Hellfire! But, until then, be sure to catch up on how the whole adventure started in The Rebirth and Awakening of Wolfie Star-Runner, available now on Amazon.com (print and ebook) and createspace.com! Also, join us next week when we’ll begin our three-part series on lycanthropy with “Part 1: Becoming a Werewolf!” Until then, this is Danielle Freeman, signing off. 😉