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"I am Siggard of Bear's Hill, whose family and village you slaughtered. Know now that I died inside the day my wife did, and by soul is empty of all but a lust for revenge. I will have my vengeance upon you, for you fight a dead man this day!"

Siggard(src)

Siggard was a soldier of Entsteig.

He was a large man, well grown, with a full brown beard and gray eyes. He did not consider himself to be superstitious, though had faith in the existence of gods, and believed that a curse would befall anyone who defiled an unbroken grave.[1]

BiographyEdit

Early LifeEdit

Siggard arrived at Bear's Hill with his father when he was a young boy. The two did quite well together as farmers. The two travelled down the Queen's Road several times, and his father showed him burial mounds where ancient kings were buried. While at Bear's Hill, he met a girl named Emilye at one of the village dances and it was, in Siggard's words, "love at first sight." The two later married and owned a farm set outside the village proper. Siggard promised that he'd always protect her.

At times, they would go hunting for deer, and whenever they could, they would pick mushrooms in the countryside. This remained true even after Emilye became pregnant, despite Siggard's concerns that she was pushing herself too hard. Eventually, their daughter was born. However, two weeks afterwards, with the girl still unnamed, Siggard received a summons to march in the army of Earl Edgewulf. He told her that he'd return home, and they'd name their daughter then.[1]

BlackmarchEdit

Siggard fought in the Battle of Blackmarch as a shield-man. Much as he was loathe to leave his wife and newborn child he marched alongside Edgewulf's forces. At the site of battle, he stood alongside his friend Banagar as they waited for the demon army of Assur to arrive. Alongside all the earl's other men, he fought against the army. It came to a point where it looked like they might win, but then Assue himself emerged. Moments later, demons attacked the Entstegians from behind. Siggard fought desparately, but the men were crushed together, and Siggard found that he couldn't move. In the last part of the battle, he was stabbed in the back by a Hidden. However, he returned to life, as his soul was so powerful that death could not claim him. However, when he awoke on the side of a road, he was left without the memory of his final moments, or the details of the battle. He knew that he had taken part in the battle, but against whom, he could not say. He knew he had to rejoin his fellow though. With little idea of how to get to Blackmarch, he picked a direction and started walking, before eventually falling asleep by a fire.

When he awoke, he found himself in the company of a stranger. The stranger told him that this was the Night of Souls, and that his name was Tyrael; a servant of the Light. Siggard told his story of his fighting at Blackmarch, but that he couldn't remember what happened to him in the final moments. Nevertheless, he had to get back. Tyrael warned him not to go, and advised him to head to Entsteig instead. Siggard glanced down the road Tyrael had referred to and thanked him for the advice, but when he turned back, found himself alone by the fire. The following day, he wondered if Tyrael had been a ghost, or perhaps simply a figment of his imagination. Whatever the case, instead of following the stranger's advice, he took the road to Blackmarch.

As he headed north, he noticed a wrongness in the nearby forest—it smelt of decay. After a full day's walking, he settled down again, where he was approached by another man—the Wizard Sarnakyle. He told him he was headed for Blackmarch, and Sarnakyle said that he had heard terrible stories of that place. That this was the second man who had spoken ill of Blackmarch didn't do Siggard's state of mind any favors, but regardless, he found peaceful sleep this time. However, the following morning, as Siggard pressed to leave, Sarnakyle revealed that a battle against a demonic army had taken place at Blackmarch. The men there had been slaughtered, with less than ten survivors. Aghast, Siggard stated that he had to get to his family. Sarnakyle deduced that the demons were heading for the capital, and they set off together.[1]

HomecomingEdit

The two made good progress as they headed for the King's Road, from which Siggard knew he could get his bearings. Reaching it, Siggard declared that they should set out from Brennor, from which they could head to Bear's Hill. They smelt a nearby fire, and while Siggard thought it might be a harvest festival, it was in fact the smouldering remnants of a destroyed village. Investigating it, they found that the demons had slaughtered every inhabitant, and even all of the livestock, leaving a pyramid of severed and decaying heads behind. The two pressed on to Bear's Hill, but found that it had met the same fate, alongside the same macabre display. Sarnakyle suggested that Emilye might have made it out, but Siggard found her severed head in the pyramid, staring out at him with dead eyes, the flies consuming her flesh. He fell backwards, weeping, knowing that if the demons returned now, he wouldn't have the will to defend himself.

Sarnakyle didn't give in to emotion as readily, and cautioned Siggard that three strangers were watching them. They revealed themselves, and Siggard recognised one of them as Tylwulf. Sarnakyle was uneasy, more so as Tylwulf relayed his story of how he and the others had fled when the demons arrived. Tylwulf revealed that Siggard's daughter was dead, as were all the other children of the village. Tylwylf offerred the pair lodgings at his farm, to which Siggard accepted.

Tylwulf's wife, Camylle, served them dinner, but Siggard barely ate. He and Siggard retired to a single room, and Sarnakyle warned him that there would be trachery tonight. How, he asked, had Tylwulf and the others survived? How had Tylwulf known he was of the Vizjerei? Third, why were there no graves? Siggard and Sarnakyle stood in wait, and indeed, Tylwulf and his wife attempted to kill them in their sleep. However, having planned ahead, Siggard easily overpowered Tylwulf, while Sarnakyle put a dagger to Camylle's neck. Tylwulf revealed that he and the other survivors had pledged themselves to the demons ahead of time, and had been spared while everyone else was slaughtered. Furthermore, he had consumed Siggard's own daughter. Enraged, Siggard killed Tylwulf, Camylle, and headed outside to confront the other eight traitors. He killed all of them, but found it brought him no joy. Sarnakyle told him that based on what they had seen, an archdemon was leading the demonic army. Siggard swore to kill the baron of Hell to avenge his family.[1]

BrennorEdit

After treating Siggard's wounds, the two headed for Brennor, as Sarnakyle reasoned that it was better to wait for the demon to come to them than seek him out. To this end, they headed down the Queen's Road. They arrived at an inn Siggard had once stayed at in his youth, but that too had been burnt down. To take shelter, they headed into a nearby burial mound, and inside, found a sword forged by Velund. Sarnakyle stated that Velund's swords were forged to pick their wielders, and that this sword had chosen Siggard. Taking it, the sword 'sung' to Siggard, telling him tales of armies of angels and demons, before giving him its name—Guthbreoht. As they slept, the sword continued to 'sing,' and Siggard was able to recall more of the battle at Blackmarch.

At midday the next day, they arrived at Brennor. Entering the town, they headed to Earl Edgewulf, Reaching the castle that served as Tilgar's seat, they were met by Hunfirth, Steward of Brennor, who revealed that Edgewulf had been slain at Blackmarch, and that his son, Tilgar, had succeeded him as earl. Hunfirth was disinclined to let them see Tilgar, and less inclined to believe their stories of a demonic army. He accused Siggard of being a deserter, having survived Blackmarch, but unable to explain how. He told Siggard and Sarnakyle to get out. They headed for an inn, Siggard suggesting that they try tomorrow. However, the demons laid siege to the town, and the two joined the town guard in fending off the attack. Afterwards, they were met by Hunfirth and Tilgar, the latter of whom telling them to meet them at his castle tomorrow. The two headed back to the inn to get some sleep.

The following morning, they met Tilgar in his office. He introduced them to Hagan, Wulfgar, and Guthwulf. They discussed their strategy for defending the town, Sarnakyle informing them that their only hope was to slay the archdemon who led the army. They helped prepare the defense, before Tilgar sent them a letter, informing him that his scouts had confirmed that the demonic army had destroyed all the surrounding towns and blockaded the roles, cutting off Brennor from the outside world. Furthermore, the army was estimated as being 3000–4000 strong. Siggard and Sarnakyle were stationed at the eastern wall, and come night, the demons approached the town. Sarnakyle recognised the archdemon who led the army as being Assur; favored baron of Diablo. Siggard counted the army as being 5000–6000 strong, but according to Sarnakyle, the battle was already lost. The two of them headed to see Tilgar.

They found the earl with his commanders, including Tyrael, who had joined him. Sarnakyle informed them that they faced Assur, and Tyrael revealed that he could offer nothing more than advice, given his difficulty in manifesting upon the mortal plane. Sarnakyle explained that Assur possessed the Glyph of Invincibility, and ergo, Tyrael explained that their best hope was to simply defeat his army. If they failed, Hell could establish a foothold on Sanctuary in order to assault Heaven.

Siggard and Sarnakyle returned to the war, battling the demons which climbed over it. Two waves were launched, but the defenders held. In the aftermath, Assur gave the town an ultimatum—surrender now, and only half of them would die. Fight, and all of them would die. Tilgar refused Assur's terms, and in response, arrows were fired at the defenders on their own side of the wall, courtesy of Hidden. Tilgar ordered a retreat into the castle, before heading out a secret passage. Siggard refused to go with them however, declaring that he would head back into Brennor at nightfall to kill Assur. Sarnakyle and Tilgar pointed out that this was tantamount to suicide, but Siggard was undeterred.[1]

AssurEdit

"Everything I love is already dead. If I must perish trying to avenge it, then so be it. But one way or another, I swear that Assur will die at my hands by daybreak."

Siggard(src)

Siggard approached what was left of the gates of Brennor. He approached a dog-like demon and told it that it had come to serve Assur. The demon told him that he would take him to his lord. Siggard was brought face to face with Assur, who immediately deduced that the human had come to kill him. Assur laughed, telling Siggard that know living man could kill him. Not even a sword forged by Velund. Siggard nevertheless attacked the demon, and the two engaged in combat. Siggard thrust his sword through Assur's glyph and body, killing the demon. A possessed human attacked him, but Siggard cut him down, and proceeded to do the same for any demons left in Brennor.

As the sun rose, Siggard sat on a hill near Brennor. Despite Assur's death, he felt empty inside. Tyrael approached him, and Siggard revealed that he'd realized the truth. His missing days, his lack of appetite, the fact that he'd killed Assur...he was dead. He'd died at Blackmarch, a fact which Tyrael confirmed. However, it was not Heaven that returned him to life, but Siggard himself. Tyrael explained that rarely, perhaps but twice in ten millennia, there was a soul so full of life that death cannot claim it. Siggard possessed such a soul. All Tyrael had done was point him in the right direction. He further explained that Siggard was not undead, but rather trapped between life and death. Only if Siggard found a way to rest his incredible vitality would death take him. He stated that vengeance would not give him peace, but rather an act of life. He suspected Siggard would find it someday, though it might take centuries. In the meantime though, Siggard could be a valuable ally in the fight against Hell. Tyrael big Siggard farewell and faded away.

Siggard headed back to find Tilgar and his men. He had a long road ahead of him, but at least knew his first destination.[1]

LegacyEdit

Siggard remained with Tilgar for several years to help rebuild Brennor. He then began to roam the world, fighting agaisnt the forces of Hell. It was said that he fought battle after battle over the centuries. After 500 years, he disappeared from sagas and epics. Whether Siggard finally found peace or just grew tired of the conflict, none can say. However, it is still held among Entsteigians that if one goes to the ruins ofa certain village on the Night of Souls, one will see a lonely figure standing a silent vigil in the mist, seeking a glimpose of lived ones long gone to dust.[1]

TriviaEdit

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ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Demonsbane
  2. 2008-15-07, New Diablo Novel by Robert B. Marks?. Medievaldragon. Accessed on 2008-17-07
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