We return with another Grim Misadventures update! Last time, we took a peek at some of the upcoming [. Today, we return to the treacherous land of Ugdenbog, where many secrets are yet to be revealed.
As we explained [URL= http://www.grimdawn.com/forums/showthread.php?t=47168]previously](]Epic item sets[/URL), Ugdenbog is a nasty place, filled with deadly beasts and equally deadly flora. Why anybody would want to go there willingly is beyond imagining. But that is precisely why a small gathering of witches, known as the Coven of Ugdenbog, has made it their home.
In Ugdenbog, away from prying eyes and the scornful looks of the ignorant, the coven practices its craft, safe from the pursuit of the empire’s Luminari hounds. You could consider this to be the entirety of the tale, a persecuted people finding refuge in a desolate and foreboding territory to evade their pursuers, but there is much more to the Coven than at first meets the eye.
The Coven’s history reaches back several decades, when they were but a select group of powerful witches and warlocks, bound together by the pursuit of power and not from any semblance of loyalty or self-preservation. Together, they performed rituals that bent the laws of reality and reached for the gates of the eldritch realm itself. Their indifference for the rest of humanity naturally attracted the attention of the authorities, and the Coven found itself pursued by the Luminari inquisitors.
Forced to flee the confines of the empire, the Coven desperately evaded their pursuers, though not always without casualties. Jealously protective of their eldritch discoveries, the Coven never recruited new members, and the Luminari took their toll upon their numbers. Within a few years, all that remained of them were eight women. Beaten down and desperate, they reached the edges of Ugdenbog. None of them hesitated to enter the dreadful land before them. Even this seemed better than to be discovered once more by whom they called the Runesigned.
Ugdenbog proved to be the sanctuary they sought. For months, they did not sense even a hint of their pursuers. It seemed almost too fortunate. They could not shake the feeling that there was more at play within Ugdenbog. There was an aura to Ugdenbog that none of them could quite explain. Why is it that a place seemingly abandoned by humanity could emanate with such a dark aura? But the Coven were seekers of power and they could not simply leave such a mystery unanswered. Once they had secured a dwelling for themselves, the struggling witches began to explore their surroundings.
It was a witch named Rugia that first stumbled upon an overgrown altar hidden away deep within the bog. The raw arcane energies emanating from it were palpable. The witches gathered in unison, eager to dissect the secrets of the altar. Progress was slow at first as the magic within the altar was strange to the witches, ancient in origin and unlike any they had learned while living within Erulan. But gradually, over many years, they peeled back the layers of secrets within the altar, even learning some of its origins. It was known as the Altar of Rattosh, hailing from the forgotten Arkovian Empire, and it could pierce the veil between realities.
With the power of the altar at their fingertips, the coven began practicing rituals and spells that transcended beyond the rudimentary spellcrafting they had woven before. Some made themselves younger, others stronger, but even that was trivial in comparison to the full potential of the altar. The Coven reached beyond the mortal realm, binding spirits to their will and forcing them to divulge ancient secrets. But even that was not enough. They wanted more, and they knew where they could find it: the Eldritch Realm.
The Eldritch Realm is a strange reality, where the laws of the physical realm do not fully apply and magic runs rampant. The creatures within it are animal-like and yet not. Some are capable of rudimentary magic, some even speak in tongues man cannot fathom. But to the Coven, it was the source of their great powers. To tap into this realm would mean powers beyond imagining. But such arrogant pursuits do not go without notice.
It was on a full moon that the Coven gathered for what would become a life-altering event. Together, they were going to use the Altar of Rattosh and transcend into the Eldritch Realm. It began with words of power whispered by the three eldest standing equidistant around the altar. On command, the runes upon the altar began to glow and then…nothing?! The spell spontaneously expired and the witches were hurled back as a shockwave emanated from the center. Something had arrived.
Before them stood three horrifying to behold beings. Their mere presence was nearly blinding. Without a word, one of them snapped their fingers and three of the witches burst into eldritch flames. Their screams echoed across the bog for a few seconds before the flames claimed their lives. Another melted where she stood as a thousand eyes stared her down into nonexistence. A fifth tried to scream as a swarm of spiders enveloped her and crawled into her mouth, what remained was nothing but bones.
The remaining three were frozen in horror at the grisly scene. The many eyed fiend approached Rugia and it stared at the petrified witch intently. Her eyes rolled back into her head and she collapsed to the ground, convulsing from some unseen terrors. Without a word, the three fiends vanished from the physical realm, having left just three of the witches alive to spread their warning. Unsurprisingly, the survivors swore off all use of the altar henceforth. It remained there, abandoned, for decades to come.
The witches returned to their dwelling within Ugdenbog and pondered what they should do next. Rugia, having recovered from the ordeal, was never quite the same. She had become blind, but her sight could peer beyond things mortal eyes could see. Unfortunately when she spoke, very few could even make sense of the words. Together, the three survivors agreed that they could not repeat their mistakes, and future sisters would have to be taught the same lessons. They swore to turn their refuge into a respite for lost witches struggling to survive in an uncaring world. Over time, their numbers would grow, but always the lesson of the altar would be instilled within new members, lest their devastating mistake be repeated.
The Coven of Ugdenbog
To this day, the Coven of Ugdenbog had not been visited by the deadly Luminari. Perhaps the aura of the bog had shrouded them from discovery, or perhaps their blunted desires had made them unworthy of further pursuit. Whatever the case, they felt fortunate to have been, at last, left alone.
Yet, with the devastation of Cairn during the Grim Dawn, much has changed in a very short time. Will the Coven manage to remain secret? Or will dark tidings force them to reveal themselves to the world? You will have to find out for yourself.
The Coven of Ugdenbog is just one of four new factions coming your way with the expansion, and that’s not including the addition of Beasts as an official hostile faction. Will you greet these new groups with hostility? Or perhaps you will find that you need each other to survive the challenges of Cairn and any disagreements must be set aside?
Like knowing what is coming up next for Grim Dawn? Check back on 05/29/2017 for our next development update!