Friends of Justice and the Eternal Struggle for Goodly Goodness!
The pathetic creature named Wretch watched his master’s crystal scrying ball, studying the intruder’s every move as they made their way up the tower. He had felt the master’s defeat a few days prior, and had prepared everything for his resurrection just as he had been commanded to in such an event. But he had not prepared for these five brave souls.
How could he have? Wretch hadn’t known they were coming. The master had his traps, and surely they wouldn’t get past them all, even if they were powerful enough to defeat Cali and his vampires. But now Wretch gazed into the viewing crystal as they silently opened the door to the master’s personal chamber; the door right behind him.
The 6 armed Vortigaunt, clad only in rags, turned as the group crept closer to him. They questioned Wretch, but to no avail. There were no answers he could give them to betray his master, no matter how much he yearned to help them and be free from the despicable Lich’s slavery.
The heroes searched the room ferociously, nearly tearing it apart. ‘This will be quite a mess to clean after the master inevitably disposes of this band,’ Wretch thought to himself.
But then they found it. The master’s Phalactory. Wretch backed away, cowering, for he knew the torrent of evil his Master’s presence, still alive in the apple, would bring upon the room. But the heroes fought back. They matched sword for sword as the skeletal minions were summoned.
‘Could they possibly do it?’ Wretch hoped, ‘could they destroy the master’s phalactory and free me?
After a fierce and long battle, it was finally done with. The undead minions lay utterly defeated, and his master’s essence was completely destroyed. Then the walls shook and floor trembled violently, and Wretch remembered. “Quickly!” He called out to the heroes in his akward voice. “Up the trap door to the roof. The tower was bound to the Master’s essence. It will fall!”
On the roof, as the tower collapsed, the group was trapped. But the heroes had shown Wretch his courage. They had freed him from his master’s evil hands, and Wretch, a Vortigaunt, was a creature born of magic after all. He took up each of the heroes hands in one of his six and leaped off the tower, dragging them all with him, but they did not fall. They floated harmlessly to the ground as the tower collapsed beneath their feet.
Wretch thanked the heroes and pledged them a debt of one thousand lives for saving him. He turned and walked into the distance, a free creature with the wind at his back and the sun warming his skin. It was the first time he had been outside since he could remember. A solemn tear crept down his cheek.
Some time later
Wretch sat at an indiscriminate inn, slowly nursing an ale (for he enjoyed the taste but hated intoxication) and reveling in the stories passing adventurers would tell him, when he heard the names of five such adventurers whom he owed his existence to. The story told of their deaths. Wretch could not believe it. He would not believe it. The Vortigaunt stood abruptly and walked towards the exit.
The barkeep asked Wretch where he was going, for this was indeed strange behavior for the regular who never missed a story of adventure from passers-by. The Vortigaunt did not even turn as he replied before leaving the bar, “To repay a debt.”