Last Time On...
Why Hack joined the party
Hack was sitting alone in his dimly lit study reading an old dust covered book, the only light source was a small lantern on the desk. Hack had buried himself in this book for the last several weeks. The book was a detailed history of the Eladrin race. Hack had very little contact with other Eladrin, and those he did see when he ventured out from the monastery, tended to shun him. They couldn’t understand an Eladrin who wore his hair black, and did not embrace the color and vibrancy of life that they did. Hack had gotten over being ostracized from his race long ago, but he did still yearn to learn of their history to have some sense of belonging.
Hack was beginning to turn the page when he felt a cold chill breeze through the room and heard a familiar voice say in a mocking tone. “Poor, poor Harktharion, still yearning for knowledge about where you came?”
Hack looked up to see the apparition of the Raven Queen walking around his room. It had been some time since she had paid him a visit. He had been the Queen’s Hand for just over a half century now, and could count on 2 hands how many times she had paid him a visit. Since there were no other Queen’s Hands around, or even alive, Hack had no one to ask if this was normal or not, he just had to assume it was. The Raven Queen normally spoke through the high priest. It was this priest that usually conveyed to Hack the Queen’s wishes, unless it was something really special that she wanted accomplished. The last time she visited him, she had given him the task of killing her high priest. The man had become extremely corrupted by power, and was selling the souls of the dead to an unknown necromancer. Hack had also tried to hunt down the necromancer, but was unable to find much of a trail other than a few lackeys who wouldn’t talk and whom he quickly dispatched.
"Harktharion have you noticed anything out of the ordinary in your travels lately?" She was still wandering around his room, not looking at him, but studying the books on his shelves. "No of course you haven't." she answered for him. "Your ability to focus on the task given you is one of your greatest strength, it makes you nearly unstoppable when it comes to accomplishing your missions. But it also is one of your biggest weaknesses. You have very little understanding of the current world around you. You read all these books of history and legends, but you need to understand what is happening in the NOW!" She emphasized the last word so strongly that it shook Hack a bit inside. "Your mentor," she continued. "understood these things. Milos was very attentive to the current state of the world. I could trust him to keep a tab on things that concerned me. That is why he made a better Hand than you." The last statement was stinging. Hack had done everything that was ever asked of him. He had accomplished his "missions" with such veracity that even the Raven Queen was impressed with him.
"Harktharion, there is darkness coming to this world. There is a great army of undeath being gathered by a powerful necromancer. He has his ways of cloaking himself from me, so I cannot see much of what is happening, but I can feel it. The souls of the dead are screaming out in anguish." Hack blinked, he had never seen so much as an emotion from his Queen, but here she had expressed this statement as if she was in pain. He knew that necromancy was the greatest crime against the Raven Queen. Unnaturally prolonging life when death should have come was bad, but raising the dead from their resting place was blasphemy. Hack had dispatched many a necromancer in his time in the Queen's service.
“What would you have me do my Queen?” Hack would do whatever she asked. He would travel to the ends of the earth to dispatch whatever darkness she spoke of. He had never failed her, nor would he start now. He would show her how good of a Hand he could be.
She looked down upon her charge, he was a good Hand. There was none better in dispatching her enemies. When she had made the decision to promote him to Queen's Hand to supplant his mentor Milos Thresh, she had many questions about whether that was a wise decision. She really had no other choice though, she had tried to promote two others before him, but both had been dispatched by Thresh. Harktharion was the only one she could think of to take out the rogue Hand. He had proved his worth tenfold after that by obediently taking care of every task set before him. She would have to trust that he was up for this next task, for it would be the greatest one she asked.
“There is a group gathering in Torun to discuss the assembling of an army to combat this threat from Shokahn. I need you to travel to Torun and stand as my representative. This group that has been gathered I fear may become corrupted, or may already be. I can feel something is wrong. They are not strong in will like you and if these heroes don’t succeed…” she paused.”well then Harktharion I fear for the world of the living and dead both. You and your particular skill set are needed to help combat this evil. I fear that this is such a task that you will not be able to accomplish it by yourself, but with your help, these heroes of the world have a chance. You need to be strong in will Harktharion, I may ask some things of you that you do not understand the reasoning behind, but know that they are for the good of all the world.”