In the days when The Goat, Devourer Of Good, raised the glaciers and sent His slaves crashing through the Daylands to extinguish the light and enslave humanity, Muggar, the White Despiser, was his lieutenant, and wore a human form as beautiful and cold as the icy peaks of the Nightland. In the reckoning-books of the Daylanders, the White Despiser is shown nude, his body painted with signs of The Goat in blood, tall and well-formed, as pale as milk with hair like spun gold that hung to his calves, with great black antlers sprouting from his brow. He was said to have a voice like a woman, but with the force of thunder, and a strange power over the animals of the wilderness. He possessed eyes as deep and black as a tomb, and a face so hypnotically beautiful that it was terrible to look upon. Proud, cold, and inimitably evil, he was the most feared of the Sons of the Goat, a creature so black-hearted that the very touch of his footsteps caused Lightborn soil to turn grey and cold and seep with tar.
When the gods of the Daylanders helped the people of the Light to drive back the armies of The Goat and banish His evil to the Nightland once again, His lieutenant, The White Despiser, was captured by the Armies of Vengeance gathered by King Baitung (seeking to avenge the memory of their slain oracle, the god-elk Ha Meshar) and he was tortured by the Daylanders on the Field of Ikoril. Muggar’s limbs were hammered and bent, his white skin blackened and suppurating from the touch of the Day, his antlers shattered, his hair torn out, his voice become harsh and croaking through pain, fear, and rage, and his inhumanly-beautiful mask scarred away to reveal the foul soul beneath. Left crucified as a blackened seeping godcorpse in the Field of Ikoril to burn in agony in the light of the Day, Muggar’s cries of pain drove the creatures of the surrounding land mad and they rushed to tear each other apart and to devour the flesh of men. For a century, the Fields of Ikoril became a wasteland of blood and frenzied predation. So the Sage Burubuz Subhaar sent a doomed mission of sinners into those lands to bury the living corpse of the White Despiser, and only one survived, his mind bent and broken, but the deed done. Muggar lay buried deep like a curse in the ground beneath the Fields.
However, with the passing of time, all these things passed into legend. The Goat became nothing more than a frightening name, a force of darkness banished in the past, and men began to go about their lives unmindful of the evil of the Nightlands. Likewise, the fate of His unholy lieutenant, the White Despiser, passed into myth and fearsome legend; deep beneath the shunned Fields, where no man would go for fear of a curse whose provenance they no longer remembered, the festering unliving corpse of Muggar poisoned the land around it with its boiling ichor. The Fields of Ikoril were slowly covered up by the shifting sands of the Desert of Forgetting, and even the legend of the White Despiser was obliterated.
Then, at the close of the Year Of The Black Flowers, travelers who had passed near the Desert of Forgetting began to speak of the White Tower.
At the edge of that waste of white and black sand, shimmering valleys baking with heat, and desolate wind-sculpted rock, there rose a tower, set amidst the canyons, seeming to grow from the very stone itself. Shining and white like new bone, covered in strange images and writings in languages of unknown provenance, the White Tower was at first only an inexplicable curiosity.
But then, from the edges of the Desert came raiders and marauders, cruel, deformed murderers who terrorized the lands of the clay-house people on the western edges of the desert. Whole villages were raped, decimated, burned to the ground and their people enslaved, taken back to the White Tower for purposes that none knew.
Caravans passing through the badlands surrounding the desert began to be attacked and destroyed by these marauders; travelers found no succor in desert’s-edge villages, and all the wells poisoned. The shrines and temples were desecrated with blood, the images of the gods cast down. The bloated carcasses of needlessly-slaughtered animals lay rotting by the cartroads; fields of bodies were crucified and impaled along hillpaths. Filled with terror at the sight (or the rumor) of this senseless carnage, traders and travelers shunned the dry lands. Communication and commerce between the kingdoms along the rim of the Desert of Forgetting dried to a trickle and then ceased almost completely.
In this land, newly made destitute by the depredations of the marauders of the White Tower, there arose a new religion among the few who survived in the desert, a cult which soon began to draw the outcast, the young, and the misfit from the kingdoms in the surrounding lands. This new religion, calling themselves the Believers of the White Tower, gathered in the badlands by the Tower, seemingly unharmed by the misshapen bandits who had so ruined the desert roads. They worshiped the White Tower, and the being who they said dwelt within; those who spoke to these strange souls (whose numbers swelled seemingly without cease) said that the Believers held that the Tower and its Master were the true Gods of this world, and that the attacks of the marauders were simply the first of many cleansings to purify the world of the false gods who had infested the hearts of mortals.
Within a few short turnings of the World-Wheel, the Master of the White Tower controlled the entire margin of the desert, establishing a strange kingdom on the western edges of the Desert of Forgetting. In this wasteland area, mobs of white-clad fanatics wandered the plains, intercepting travelers and caravans and demanding their conversion at swordpoint or butchering them and eating the bodies for sustenance. Strange misshapen riders galloped across the salt-pans giving off horrible cries. Bizarre monsters and insane animals filled the desert hills. Soon, the kingdoms became filled with tales of the horrible cannibal zealots and other evils of the White Tower. These lands became entirely shunned except by the members of the grisly cult which poured offerings of blood upon the alabaster walls of their Master’s dwelling.
Soon, the kingdoms of Mighor and of Red Sagrash, Brulurg and Darm Ulgho, and indeed, all the kingdoms abutting the desert and that evil reign, began to be swept by misfortune; plagues devoured their peoples and their borders were filled with the deformed heralds of the White Tower, riding amongst the villages as harbingers with wild and inhuman cries.
And so the kings and chiefs of those nations came together in a great War Council and combined their armies into one great force which sparkled under the hot sunlight, lifting the banners of all the kingdoms. But reaching the border of the lands controlled by the power on the edge of the desert, they became afraid. No man could bring himself to take the battle against the White Tower, fearing the curses and madnesses of that sorcerous bastion. Instead, the armies of the War Council waited, preparing for defense against the invasion which all thought to be coming.
But the power which rules the White Tower knew that Time alone could do more against its foes than any army of starving, white-clad fanatics, no matter how frenzied. And so it, like the War Council, waited, and waited, and let thene turning of the World-Wheel do its work. The armies which camped upon its borders soon became restive and unhappy; the kings began to bicker and then to argue in earnest. The peoples of kingdoms so long at each others’ throats became dissatisfied and mistrustful of the foreigners and enemies suddenly arrayed alongside them. And meanwhile, many turned to the White Tower and hailed the Master on the edge of the sands as the true deity.
It is the nature of men ever to struggle with himself, and this tendency soon expressed itself in an ironic fashion. The armies of the War Council, united to defeat their enemy in the White Tower, turned upon each other, and soon a confused and vicious war began. Kingdoms which had been allies now turned against one another, and the defensive armies skirmished with each other through the lands of their various nations. The wars became more and more bitter; no help came from distant lands, wary to involve themselves in the struggles of destitute desert sovereigns. Fields were burned and aqueducts toppled, temples profaned and cities sacked. As the gleaming tower watched on, the kingdoms slowly turned into anarchy, tearing societies apart, until nothing remained but a bandit-ridden no-man’s land with only desperate folk and warlords to people it. And to these desperate peoples came the proselytizers of the White Tower, speaking of a new Master who would provide for all…
In this way, Muggar the White Despiser (and who else did you suppose the Lord of the White Tower was?) extends his dominion. The enemy of all light, the Master is the leader and focus of a gruesome cult of starving fanatics and strange monsters, and seeks to extend his power to no end over the kingdoms of men by allowing the fear his presence and the presence of his worshipers to create the chaos that destroys.
Who can say what the White Despiser’s true plan is. Perhaps, like the Ghouls who were once captains of the Goat and now lead their own loathsome cults in darkness, Muggar seeks power over men in imitation of his master, the Lord of Darkness. Or perhaps, the lieutenant wishes to use his cult as a stepping stone to the revival of that ancient and immense evil which dwells even now amidst the glaciers of the Nightland.
The White Despiser exerts terrible power over his devotees, making them puppets to the suggestion (or the overt control) of his psychic voice. Within his domain he can speak to any individual through a subliminal voice that sounds like sand rustling through bones; any animal within the territory controlled by his cult is his creature. He knows many terrible and ancient spells (though in some respects, as you will see below, he lacks the physical ability to perform their rituals) and the completeness of his lore is awe-inspiring.
It has been many centuries since the White Despiser was seen outside of the horrifying, grotesque cocoon which he inhabits, an enormous armature composed of sheets of human skin and gristle, plates and shapes of strangely-glyped metal, glistening bones and organs of unknown and unknowable monsters, all moving, twitching, shifting, and also, putrefying. This throne of rot, lying at the heart of the White Tower, which is an extension of his bizarre corpus, encases his body, and its obscene pulses and flutters signal that some kind of alien, loathsome change is occurring to the body inside… though what change cannot be said.