Rise of Nations
Undead Spirit of Vengeance
Davik Nettle was a retired Brevic engineer who ran a simple but profitable toll bridge across a narrow reach of the Shrike River. As this crossing was the only significant one to be had over the Shrike in the Kamelands, Davik made a fair amount of money for his hard work. Unfortunately, not long after he finally made enough to recoup the cost of building the rope bridge, the bandit king known as the Stag Lord rose to power on the north shore of the Tuskwater Lake downriver. When the Stag Lord paid a visit to the crossing and demanded that the men bearing his badge be granted free passage over the bridge, and also that Davik would pay the Stag Lord two-thirds of his monthly take in return for “protection,” Davik made a foolish error. He not only refused the Stag Lord’s offer, but ran the bandit and his men off with the aid of his three slavering hounds.
Later, in the dead of night, the bandits returned. They surrounded Davik’s house and lit the building on fire with flaming arrows. Davik awoke in terror as his dogs’ frantic barking alerted him, but as he stumbled out of his burning home, the bandits set upon him. More flaming arrows rained down, killing his hounds and wounding Davik. With his nightshirt aflame, the doomed bridge keeper tumbled down the path toward the river. After dousing himself with water, he clambered up to the bridge and tried to escape to the north shore. Unfortunately, the bandits had followed, and as Davik passed the midpoint of his bridge, the Stag Lord cut one of the ropes that held the bridge intact. The bridge immediately collapsed, plunging the shrieking Davik into the deep, icy water. By the time his body lodged downriver amidst the debris of his ruined bridge, he had drowned.
Onshore, the bandits watched, gleefully chuckling, their leering shadows dancing before the hovel’s flames as it burnt to the ground. The Stag Lord returned to his fort, leaving behind several bandits with the task of rebuilding the bridge and taking up the positions of toll takers. Yet one night later, Davik rose from the river, an undead spirit of vengeance. The revenant stalked out of the water and into the bandit camp, swiftly murdering them all and dragging their bodies into the water. The Stag Lord sent more bandits to investigate several days later, and when Davik rose again and killed several of them, three of the bandits escaped and fled back to report to their lord. The Stag Lord wisely decided to abandon his plans to rebuild the bridge, and in the months since, the site has lain slowly moldering, desolate and blighted.
The gruesome and decayed visage of Davik Nettles was enough to strike fear into the hearts of the stoutest men. His putrescent flesh hung in flaps, exposing rotted muscles and organs underneath. He clutched a dripping ranseur in one clawed hand, and an insane, unholy rage gleamed from the cloudy cataracts of his eyes. With the death of the Stag Lord, however, Davik has finally found peace and no longer haunts the waters of his crossing.