The Shattered Hand had existed as long as people could remember. A giant stone hand that reached out from the base of The Trembling Mountain , veined with small rivers of glowing lava, warm to the touch, but frozen in time. Harmless and yet, it held an air of fear to it. Why had it been carved from the stone of the mountain? Who had done it and for what purpose? A dark presence surrounded the marvel, and as such, was left alone for centuries, lost behind an ever growing forest.
It was late in the rule of King Daruman that a man snaked his way into existence. Syrian Salder. A wicked man who lived for no other reason than to bring woe upon the people of the world. He stole, kidnapped, and murdered his way across the lands, unable to keep himself from his dark pleasures for long. He had been a dark spot on the lands for near thirty years, but it was as he was running from a group of sentries through a dark forest that he found his purpose.
Darting through the woods, he felt strange sensations. A longing, a yearning, a calling. He broke through the trees and was face to face with The Shattered Hand. It was massive and black, illuminated by the molten blood that no longer flowed. It reached out as it had for eons, but to Syrian, it spoke.
It whispered in his ears, putting a plan in his already twisted mind. He said not a word, but returned to the forest, melding into the shadows. The four sentries had just about given up on finding him and were working their way out of the woods when Syrian descended on them.
He tore the spear from the hands of the man in the back, crashing the wooden end into the poor man’s head, knocking him out cold. With unholy vigor, he twirled the spear expertly, dropping the surprised men with a series of savage strikes. Salder wasted no time dragging the men off while they were unconscious.
One awoke just in time to see the horror begin. He and his comrades were tied up with their own gear, strapped to the palm of the Hand, facing upwards towards the starless sky. Next to the man was a young boy. An apprentice hunter, he had been unfortunate enough to pass the group while stalking a deer before the sun had set, and Syrian had taken him as well.
Salder stood at their feet, perched on the stony fingers a knife gleaming darkly, reflecting the earth blood that seemed to be growing hotter under the man. The blade shone red, as did the crazed man’s eyes. He said not a word, but kneeled down and plunged the dagger deep into the gut of each man in turn, not hesitating when he saw the one sentry who had awoken, or when he got to the young boy at the end of their line. Nor did he hesitate as he stood straight and drove the weapon directly into his own person.
Their blood flowed freely, cries of pain mingling with the gentle rumbling of the earth. The lava grew brighter and began to flow again, seeping out of the cracks of the black hand and singing the ground underneath. The men caught fire, and bleeding, burning alive, wracked with pain, they watched as the solid stone fingers that had not moved since man had set eyes upon them began to slowly close around them, smothering the fires and their lives with a resounding crunch.
The mountain rumbled and fell apart. The Shattered hand gripped the ground, pulling through the smoke and rubble. As the rocks splintered and broke, a massive dark figure appeared. It was blacker than the night sky, spiderwebbed with glowing, dripping magma, its eyes the very furnaces of the earth. The Shattered Hand had pulled itself from its slumber, awakening the Shattered Man, a remnant of the early days of time, and the harbinger of the end of days.