strokesRPG: Gray Vale
About 30 years ago, a dwarf warlock named Draigdurroch came to the Gray Vale. Draigdurroch was part of a cabal of warlocks, and his particular research dealt with the creation of new types of eldritch pacts. He believed that the Dire Wood contained a particularly potent source of untapped energy—the remains of a failed deity. Thousands of years before the Spellplague, a Netherese city called Karse stood in the area, and the demigod Karsus was its patron. Karsus tried and failed to ascend to full godhood, dying in the process, and his city (along with the rest of the ancient Empire of Netheril) fell not long thereafter. Draigdurroch’s research suggested that the petrified remains of Karsus yet lie beneath the forest’s heart. Draigdurroch hoped that he could tap into the latent energy that Karsus had accumulated and use it to power his new pact. The dwarf warlock built a tower about a mile outside the Dire Wood and began his experiments in earnest.
Draigdurroch’s hunch turned out to be correct. A powerful nexus of magical energy is beneath the heart of the Dire Wood. However, the fey spirits who dwell within the Dire Wood have long been aware of how dangerous the remnants of Karsus could be if the demigod’s power fell into the wrong hands. They have appointed themselves as guardians to ensure that no one tampers with the failed deity’s resting place. When Draigdurroch’s efforts began to bear fruit and the dwarf warlock drew upon the latent echoes of Karsus’s power to form a dark pact, the fey approached him and warned him to cease his meddling. The warlock was confident in his powers and ignored the warning. For his temerity, the fey punished him. Draigdurroch was imprisoned within the Feywild and his tower was sealed in a block of magic ice as a warning to others. The fey set a powerful gemstone holding a spirit of winter to act as the keystone holding the icy barrier.