Lions Den VIII: Jonathan Moeller

The Pulp Writer throws Frostborn: The First Quest into the Den and takes a decidedly different approach in introducing it to everyone here. If you’re interested in being one of the book’s three reviewers, shoot me an email. You may also be interested in noting that both his Demonsouled and Child of the Ghosts are free downloads today.

Today I am going to tell you a story about the dangers of opening doors.

Long ago, before humans ever came to my world,
before humans even existed, the high elves ruled this world. We
believed that God had put us here to care and maintain this world, for
God had indeed created it for a purpose. A great darkness had been
imprisoned within the skin of the world, inside a place the humans would
one day call the Black Mountain. Our responsibility was to guard the
prison and serve as the world’s caretakers.

And so we did.

For spans of
time so vast that no human tongue has the vocabulary to describe them,
the high elves kept watch over this world, dwelling in great bliss and
splendor as they went about their task.

But for some of us, that was not enough.

of us with wisdom and courage, those of us with the strength to cast
aside old ideas and grow beyond our purpose, used our spells to examine
the Black Mountain, to consider the darkness sealed within as a bored
child might pick at a scab. In time the darkness spoke to us. At first
we spurned it, but we came to see that it spoke wisdom, words of
strength and power.

And the darkness reached out and possessed one of
us, and we fell to our knees and worshipped him as our new god, the
bearer of shadow, the teacher of new ways.

high elves turned against us, the shortsighted fools. They called us the
dark elves, but we were the true elves, the stronger elves, for we
alone had been brave enough to cast off our shackles and make ourselves

They made war upon us for millennia, and we laid the
world waste. Spells beyond the capacity of the human mind to understand
shattered the land, and mountains crumbled and deserts froze and
forests burned. Yet for all our power, the high elves had the mastery,
and drove us back mile by mile.

But the bearer of shadow walked among us, whispering
his secrets into our ears. He taught us spells of necromancy, of
shaping flesh and bone into weapons of death. And he taught us the
secret of opening doors between the worlds. For there are as many worlds
as there are stars in the night skies, and as many kindreds that live
upon them. Our wizards opened the doors between the worlds, and brought
forth new kindreds to serve us as slaves and soldiers.

The orcs were the first. They made superb slave
soldiers for our armies, and we brought hundreds of thousands of them
through the gates. Then came the beastmen and the manetaurs. They were
harder to control, but served well as shock troops. Halflings were too
weak for battle, but made useful slaves. The dwarves proved impossible
to control, and soon rebelled and sided against us, but they were a rare

And one day, we found the urdmordar.

had never seen anything like them. They wore the form of spiders, yet
wielded great dark magic. They disdained the use of tools and weapons,
yet had intellects of genius, and dominated lesser creatures with ease.
They feasted upon living flesh like any rude predator, but were so
cunning and so clever that they remained hidden and their victims rarely
knew their true foes.

What slaves they would make! With their power, we could at last crush the high elves.

And so we opened the door to their world and brought the urdmordar to ours.

Fools, fools, fools.

For the urdmordar were too powerful to control.

swarmed the gate, and devoured the wizards that sought to bind them. We
were the rightful masters of this world, mighty in sorcery and wisdom
without peer, but the urdmordar saw us as only one thing.


Within five years
the dark elven kingdoms had been enslaved and forced to serve the
urdmordar. Our armies of slaves transferred their allegiance readily
enough. The high elves briefly rejoiced, thinking they had found an
ally, but the hunger of the urdmordar was insatiable.

One by one the high elven kingdoms fell, until only Cathair Solas remained.

And then the urdmordar met a new kindred coming up from the south.

humans, the exiles of Old Earth, the heirs of Arthur Pendragon, fleeing
through a magical gate from the fall of their realm. Heedless of the
ancient conflicts of their new world, they blundered into the path of
the urdmordar.

There is danger in opening doors…but there is also opportunity.

For in the humans, after long millennia, I see the key to my freedom.

The Warden of Urd Morlemoch