Dark Titan of Terror, the King of Conquest, the Sultan of Severe Headaches – few epithets of evil and despair haven’t been attached to this legendary ruler. The Overlord first came to power centuries ago, setting his throne atop the forbidding and somewhat volcanic Mount Krullmore. From this dark and isolated fortress he sent forth legions of evil troops (and also a few regular troops wearing scary costumes) to do battle with the other kingdoms, until one by one they either fell or were absorbed into his shadowy empire.
The Overlord conscripted his mightiest foes as Dukes, and they served as his ministers in the Court of Five Shadows. Naturally, they hated the Overlord’s guts, but since conspiring against him seemed somewhat suicidal, they contented themselves with conspiring against each other, jockeying for minor advantages and complaining about the whole thing via vicious anonymous letters to the editor.
As the years rolled on, the Overlord crafted tools of power – first the hideous Mageskull, then the unstoppable Doomsword, and finally the Iron Crown of Souls, which could bend the strongest of minds like taffy and looked quite dashing atop the Overlord’s fiery gaze. While these Artifacts were designed to strengthen the Overlord’s iron grip, which they certainly did, they also had the unintended effect of uniting the terminally fractious Dukes. Passionate greed for the Artifacts pushed the Dukes to overcome their jealousy of one another, their fear, and their common sense. In a moment of reckless abandon one day, they impulsively combined forces to shove their dark master into the seething lava of Mount Krullmore. It took all six of them to get the job done, and even so the Dukes might have failed if the Overlord hadn’t also tripped on his own voluminous cloak.
The Dukes were dismayed to realize that the Overlord had been clutching all three Artifacts of Power when he went into the lava. Without the Artifacts, none of the Dukes had a clear advantage over the others. They spent a while threatening each other before returning to their own fortresses, grumbling in bitter disappointment and muttering to themselves about lost opportunities.
The Artifacts may not be lost, however. They are pretty powerful magic items and it’s just possible that one or more could have survived the volcano. If any of them should reappear in the land, all bets are off.