|Old Man Franks|
|Guild||Alea Iacta Est Verendus|
Old Man Franks stands somewhere between 5' 8" and 6' tall. Whatever his appearance was in life, in undeath his skin has turned a pale white and he is now completely bald. The skin around his mouth and jaw has rotted away, leaving only dead muscle tissue and teeth showing. His face has a permanent scowl etched into his brow, and his eyes glow with magical light.
Days as a Simple Farmer
Long ago, in the days when undead were a mere nuisance created by the occasional rare insane wizard studying forbidden arts, in the lush countryside of Lordaeron, there lived a simple old farmer. This farmer lived alone, as his wife was long gone and his only son had died long ago in the war. This old man was mostly content with his lot in life, though. Farming came easy to him after many years, and most people left him alone, which is how he liked it.
His only irritation in life was the presence of the nearby village's children and their constant persistence in trespassing on his lands. These he chased mercilessly with all manner of farming tools, driving them off. Over time, his age, isolation, and legendary temper garnered much legend about him, and many parents warned their children never to go on his land, lest they meet some terrible fate. Which of course, as children are curious creatures, drove the brave and stupid to trespass on his land all the more often, and making the farmer all the more angry. In his old age, he really couldn't ever catch them, anyway.
This continued on for a number of years. Until one day, when he went outside to chase down what he thought was the same children he was always having to deal with...and found himself staring at their animated corpses instead. The zombies easily killed him, and their necromancer overseer soon raised him up to join the ranks of the dead.
Time passed. What activities the old farmer took part in are lost to all but the records of the Scourge, if such records even exist.
The next thing the old farmer recalled was waking up inside a crypt in Deathknell. He soon had to come to grips with the fact that he was a free-willed undead, a member of the Forsaken, and that he owed fealty to Queen Sylvanas now. He was expected to serve her and the best interests of the Forsaken and the Horde, so he did the only thing he knew: He tried his hand at farming again. His land, however, was tainted and useless for farming as a result of the Scourge. What farmlands were available were either overrun with human survivors or had been doled out by the Banshee Queen to other farmers of the Forsaken to supply their people.
Lost, confused, and very angry, the old farmer shambled around the Undercity, his new home, seeking employment, seeking some way to serve the Forsaken, and seeking some way to once again be left mostly alone.
He found mostly odd jobs in that time, never anything permanent. These jobs took him to random locations throughout the Undercity, and he often found himself passing by the Magic Quarter. He watched in passing as the many mages within practiced their craft, but for reasons he could not explain, the presence of the casters referred to as the “warlocks” amazed him. He did not understand it at all, but some part of him knew that it was unusual for them to be in the open. He wondered why the authorities were not hunting them down for this, all the while also pondering why he felt this way. It intrigued him, one of the few things in his new unlife that did.
Starting down the Dark Path
Eventually, during one of his starker periods of unemployment, he decided to simply approach them. He asked them about this feeling that he did not understand, and why the warlocks were able to practice their craft in the open. The warlocks whom he spoke with understood, and explained that his feelings were probable leftovers from his former life. As humans, yes, they had been forced underground, to hide their craft from the ignorant and foolish who did not truly understand it. But Queen Sylvanas was not so foolish. She knew they were powerful weapons that could be used to wage war upon the Scourge, and she would permit them to learn and teach others their ways
The old farmer felt something stir in his mind, urging him on. This path held promise and purpose. It held power, and he should take it! If the farmer had stopped to think about it for a moment, he might have realized that that voice he imagined hearing was not so imaginary, and the sound of it sounded very little like his own voice. But he dismissed these thoughts as the foolish thoughts of a child, and immediately asked to join them, and learn the ways of the warlock. Surprised and amused at his boldness, they agreed to provisionally accept him, provided he demonstrated his ability to learn, and quickly. If not, he would be...unwelcome.
He surprised them all, picking up the basics quickly. Even the old farmer was amazed at how easily and quickly he took to casting spells of shadow and flame, to channeling the fel energy of the Burning Legion for his own ends. Within weeks, he had learned all that he could without an apprenticeship to a more experienced warlock. He was infuriated to learn that he would have to wait, as there were none available to accept him as an apprentice. He angrily reminded them of how quickly he had taken to the path, how he had gone from an aimless old farmer who knew nothing of magic at all, to one of the top students in the Undercity! How could no one be available to teach him?
His teachers told him, matter-of-factly but with a hint of steel in their voices, that they were sure that any warlock would happily take him on as a promising apprentice, once they finished training their current ones. He would have to be patient. It’s not as if he aged anyway, what should time matter to him?
Patience was not among whatever few virtues he had, but he forced himself to accept their words. He continued studying on his own, what little he could do, as warlocks do not share their secrets likely. He heard other students whispering of a master warlock who lurked within Undercity’s caverns, and he immediately questioned them about it. It was told that this Grand Warlock, Evrae, was among the first of the Forsaken’s warlocks and was immensely powerful. The story also said that after a long career as an adventurer, Evrae had returned to the Undercity, built a secret lair somewhere within its walls, and holed himself in to conduct his own research. He had been seen extremely sporadically since then, and always in the presence of Sylvanas, seemingly advising her on matters only they knew.
Upon hearing this story, the old man felt an old feeling stir in his mind again. A familiar voice whispered that here was a teacher who could instruct him! He deserved to learn from the best! He immediately announced his intention to seek out the Grand Warlock. His teachers were amused. He was not the first neophyte Warlock to seek out Evrae. Many had before him, and none was successful in their goal. Two apprentices had never returned, and after their disappearance, Evrae had come to them and informed them that he had no time for appretinces, any who disturbed him again would be used as fodder for his experiments.
The old farmer was not dissuaded, his thin patience at its end. His teachers shook their heads at such a waste, but made no move to stop him. He began scouring the Undercity for any sign of the lair of Evrae, driven on by that old stirring voice in the back of his mind that he continued to attribute to himself and his desire for a purpose in unlife. It took months of looking and speaking with various Forsaken, but he finally heard of an Orc Warlock who had located Evrae, but was dismissed summarily instead of killed by the Grand Warlock. He journeyed to Orgrimmar and spoke with this warlock, one Neeru Fireblade. Eventually, Neeru gave up the location.
The Dark Master
The old farmer returned to the Undercity and finally located the Grand Warlock. Sensing the great power within his undead frame, he knelt before him and asked to become his apprentice. The old warlock laughed at him, informing him that he had not taken a single apprentice in years, and asked what the farmer thought he had that so many others who begged him for this very same honor did not. He had no answer for him, and could only kneel in silence. Lord Evrae yelled in anger, calling him an arrogant fool, and turned his magic on him, draining his life away. The old farmer slowly resisted, eventually breaking the spell with one of his own, draining the strength Evrae had taken back into himself. Once he was restored, Evrae broke the spell with ease. Laughing, he pronounced the farmer’s efforts impressive, and agreed to take him as his apprentice. He asked for the farmer’s name. The farmer looked at his new master and responded that he could only remember part of his name from life, Franks, but he also remembered that most simply called him the Old Man. Evrae laughed and told Old Man Franks to rise, as they had much work to do.
Old Man Franks continued his training under the Grand Warlock, often sent out on missions by the Dark Lord which furthered the cause of the Forsaken, the Blood Elves, and the Horde as a whole, all of which continued to refine his skills. Soon the day came when Kazzak, the demonlord, reopened the Dark Portal leading to Outland and left there to rejoin the Legion. The Horde and the Alliance would soon follow, to end the threat of the Burning Legion once and for all. Evrae informed Franks that he was sending him to Outland to serve the Horde, and that he would not be going alone. Evrae was sending him with an old friend from his days as an adventurer: the troll Archmage Dahkar and his companions, a tauren druid named Grothi and another troll named Durnnit.
Adventuring with the Archmage and Downfall
Together, the group adventured across Outland, helping the Horde develop several strongholds along the way and fighting the legions of soldiers in employ to Illidan or the Burning Legion. He was present with his adventuring companions, who by then had become close friends and had brought him into the largest and most influential Horde adventurers guild, Alea Iacta Est, when they discovered that one of Kael's manaforges was supervised by demons of the Legion. The awful truth, that Kael had sold his own people out to the Legion, somewhat amused Franks. He threw himself against Kael's forces at the Sunwell with reckless fury, believing that as a Warlock of now-fairly substantial power, he could easily triumph over the legions of demons in their path. Without his master Evrae's guidance, he plumbed dark tomes of forbidden power, taking whatever he could use against the Legion. He discovered dark powers the likes of which horrified his companions, and was in part responsible for spreading their knowledge across the wider Azeroth: other warlocks soon learned of his powers and discovered them for themselves. His inadvertant spread of these was the final straw for Dahkar, Grothi, and Durnnit. After KIl'jaeden's defeat, Dahkar informed the warlock that he no longer would have any association with him. He was delving too deeply into demon magic, and no good intentions of using the power to help the Horde would save him from being just as damned as Kael'thas. At Dahkar's recommendation, AIE centurion Stigg removed his membership from the guild as well.
Cut off from his wider network of support and bereft of guidance following the Legion's defeat, Franks wandered alone. He was all but unwelcome among the allies he had built among the Scryers, none of the Blood Elves there wanted to associate too closely with a warlock, for fear of losing the favor of the Naaru. The warlocks of the Undercity no longer had anything to teach him, and most were jealous of the favor he had obtained from being Evrae’s apprentice.
He returned to his old master in Undercity, only to find that Evrae had disappeared without a trace. None within the walls had even noticed he was missing. With nowhere to go and nothing to fight for, Franks stayed within his master's lair, isolated with only books and his pet demons as company. This isolation, combined with the dark knowledge and powers he now carries within him, have driven him somewhat mad.
It took the assault of the Horde on Northrend and the Scourge to bring him out of his seclusion. Learning of the Forsaken’s presence in the Howling Fjord, and their attempts to develop a plague to wipe the Scourge out, he journeyed to their based in New Agamand to lend his efforts, for reasons only he could fathom. Over time, he began rebuilding old connections with former associates, though staying clear of Dahkar and his friends. Eventually, he was quietly readded to the Alea Iacta Est guild. Slowly his sanity returned, and his old gruff and grim personality resurfaced. The strange powers he had unleashed during the Sunwell fiasco had either been forgotten or become so commonplace that no one blinked twice at them, happy to have whatever tools could be thrown at the Scourge. He began anonymously sending gifts of crafted gemstones to his former friends, most of whom had not journeyed to the Howling Fjord.
Finally, Franks met up with his former friends in Dalaran and mended fences, so much so that Franks fought alongside his old compatriots within Icecrown Citadel. He was not present for the Lich King's death, but helped destroy many of his strongest lieutenants.
After the Cataclysm
After the events of the Cataclysm, Franks fought alongside the Banshee Queen against the Worgen within Silverpine Forest. After that battle was won, he resumed his life as an Adventurer, currently aiding the druids of Mount Hyjal against the Twilight's Hammer.
The death of the Lich King sparked a realization in Franks' mind. The mortal races of Azeroth have overcome forces they should have had no chance against. Demons, Old Gods, and now the most powerful demigod to Azeroth have all fallen to them. He believes it's only a matter of time before a confrontation with the Burning Legion's lords is both inevitable and winnable. When that happens, what will become of the fel power he has worked all of his unlife to master? He does not know, and thus he has institued a backup plan. He has begun collecting the bones of many of the Forsaken's greatest fallen warriors, and built a new body. Using a scroll of necromantic magic, he has been able to fuse the bones together into a working Forsaken body without a mind, an empty shell. He then developed a ritual to transfer his mind to this form. Shockingly, the process worked, and he is now able to briefly transfer his mind into his new warrior body, with many of the skills of the warriors that composed it intact. He now jumps frequently into this body to train his new skillsets, while perfecting the ritual to make the transfer permanent, allowing him to still remain powerful after the Legion falls.
Old Man Franks is played by User:Oldmanfranks.