Once upon a time in alien Other World there was a God called Ugsharak. As a deity that lived outside of time and space, he could be called upon to provide magical knowledge and power. Ugsharak was served by a race known as the Gizoni, who in return for blood sacrifice received potent black magic from the god. When he took form in the world it was as a monstrous 30 foot tall giant skeleton whom the Gizoni called the “God Who Walks in Bone”.
Over a span of a thousand years the Gizoni home world weakened and became a desolation because of the constant need for blood for Ugsharak. In response Ugsharak decided to leave, gathering his priesthood into his mouth and traveling to a new world to start the cycle of pain and suffering again.
Upon reaching the world of Zarth he materialised there in his physical form. However disaster awaited him. His body materialised in the earth, an element abhorrent to him, and he became trapped in rock up to his neck. His soul escaped to a place in the Shroud helped by a the Gizoni. In time the Gizoni priests, made a bridge via an ancient crystal Black Monolith not far from his body, which had now fossilised and with only the skull above the earth. Thus the legend of Skull Hill was born.
In time humans settled nearby, refugees from one of Zarth’s devastating wars. They were simple farmers and a superstitious lot. When they found the Black Monolith at the edge of their lands, they started leaving some of their crops as an offering at Harvest time. One day the Gizoni came out from behind it, as they had gated over from the Shroud to make sure the Zarth end of the portal was still intact as was their wont from time to time. The locals prostrated themselves before these new gods and soon they were providing human sacrifices to the Gizoni at ‘Harvest Time’ who would take them to the slumbering Ugsharak in the Shroud. Tragically though within a couple of generations the nearby human settlements were deserted due the strain put on their populations due to the annual sacrifices demanded by the Gizoni to reunite their god’s soul with its body. Not only was it tragic for the local humans, whose lands became the deserted Lonely Place, but for the Gizoni who were only a few sacrifices away from having enough stored magic reuniting their god’s soul with its body and freeing it from the hill.
To be continued in the “The Secret of Skull Hill”. An adventure in From the Shroud #1 eta December 2016.