Searching Fathers (of Dundaria)

Steel Realms

When Dundaria fell, most of it fell quickly. The curse of the shadow mist took those that fell to the Lich Lord’s minions and brought them back – in service to those that killed them. A few lord’s love of and dedication to their family was so great that while they were reborn as undead, they served not their new Lich Lord masters but rose in a quest to find and safeguard what was left of their family. As the curse spread, more of these revenant-like creations arose, dozens. As the curse went west and lords and ladies stayed behind to fight, they sent their families south. As the Searching Fathers (and mothers as well) formed, more and more were seen. As their nature was understood, they were left to their devices – searching for their families. They had an uncanny sense of smell for their own blood – like a bloodhound. For most, they were killed as they went south – misunderstood or simply not tolerated. The few that found the way to their families died in the arms of their loved ones or died protecting them, escorting them to the safe lands of Kaald or beyond the mountains. A few even rooted out enclaves of dark-followers and fay-born as their heirs had been kidnapped and they followed. Several had ballads written about them – more fanciful than true.

Lord Henry Cazsadearn (Searching Father)

The Cazsadearn family held a river bridge in the west of Dundaria. It was rumored that him (Henry), his wife (Hillfyl), and their servants all died to the last, defending the bridge so that the country folk could flee west (though most were taken by the blood mist in what few recordings survive). While not of high noble blood, they tale gets more interesting than most as he and his wife both became one of the Searching Father figures. They had tracked their daughter to the hills in southern Rhyl and followed her to the quiet refuge of Ungerfell – where the fay-born had created a refuge deep, deep in the earth right under the noses of Menzhal Drac, the hall of dragons and home to the bortherhood and enclave of the Scale Breakers; A Ducateon cult of dragon worshipers and followers of Mizras. Hillfyl died fighting the Ducateon and Henry killed dozens to get through and lead the cult to discover the fay-born enclave beneath them. What really happened after that is unknown – Henry was never heard of again and the Drow and Ducateon killed each other – wiping out both sides completely. In tales, Henry frees his captive daughter and takes her south, where she marries a ‘good and honest son of a woodcutter’.