Jainkoa the Eternal Death of the Teramyt Empire, died for the second time after fifteen years of rule.

He had been holding court, speaking to a new group of necormancers and hedge wizards he had invited to work on his great project of life extension. Unbeknownst to him, an assassin was in their midst, having waylaid and murdered a wizard and taken their name and robes. Bitter over Jainkoa’s murder of his brother, and convinced that a sane ruler could lead Teramyt to a new golden age, the assassin Zalehilt took the opportunity to plunge a concealed sword into the god-king’s abdomen.

The entire delegation of sorcerers was murdered shortly thereafter, while Jainkoa, mortally wounded, lay on his second deathbed. Advised by his remaining magicians that he could not be returned to life a second time by the same process which had saved him many years before, he ordered them to do what they had to in order to preserve his life-force.

Thus, when he succumbed to his wounds, Jainkoa entered a state of living death—a dead body inhabited by a tainted spirit. Decay set in immediately, as it always does, which he tried to counteract with an even more rigorous routine of daily treatments and enchantments.

Giving up any pretense of keeping his youth or a semblance of fair appearance, Jainkoa pushed his magicians again and again, severing their heads when he deemed it necessary, until his body had been essentially embalmed. Terrifying in visage but fragile, he withdrew into his throne room, settling into a specially constructed seat that helped to maintain his crumbling form.

This first assassination opened the door to a new period of terror, as Jainkoa mercilessly pursued enemies real and imagined. Anyone who was known to have spoken to Zailehilt, as well as the entire Zailehilt family, were rounded up for death. Informants abounded, turning in imagined conspirators as petty revenge for various slights. Jainkoa’s agents ran wild, and his purges had killed half of his noble supporters and half of his generals within a year.

It was around this time that he began to be known as Heriotza the King of Murder, both in baleful whispers among his own people and to foreigners. Legend has it that Jainkoa himself grudgingly approved of the monicker, and did not murder those he knew to use it. But perhaps that is only because he knew his entire kingdom would have to be put to the sword.

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