Janeko was born in Mithrilkeep, the easternmost of The Five Slaver Cities in the northeast, to a freeborn family of smiths. In his youth his bright mind showed clearly. After his took ill, he was sold to the Archmage Fuenwick of the southeastern colonies on the far continent as an apprentice. After serving him as student, manservant, and eventually catamite for a period of ten years, he was released at the age of 19 as a journeyman sage and wizard.
Levels 1 to 4: Pirates, Endhome, End of InnocenceEdit
On the ship home from the southeastern colonies, fate intervened. The pirate Blackheart's flagship accosted the boat he had taken passage on and took the whole vessel as prize. In this fashion he met many of the heroes who would become his brothers in arms in times to come: the wild elfmaiden Neomia, whose soul was fire and verdancy and who brooked no chains on her spirit or being, the noble barbarian Halas of the Wulfskataag who had left his feral brethren behind in search of a more virtuous calling, the aged and wise holy man of the dwarves Zek Greybeard, Cleric of Clangeddin, the talented locksmith Lars, and others who sadly met untimely ends along their travels, and were mourned in time. This crew of adventurers were called the Gravediggers, for their great strength against their enemies and their vow never to allow a fallen brother to go unhonored.
Through great fortune, all of these heroes escaped bondage in the grasp of Blackheart and were saved by the captain of the Endhome Navy. As Endhome was their destination, this was where they went forth. There they bonded as true friends, and proved their worth to each other in their travails in the surrounding wilderness and when they revealed a black infection in the city, a cult devoted to a black goddess of death masquerading as the priesthood of the respectable goddess of dark magic and labor, Jamboor.
It was after this that Janeko discovered, to his horror, that his parents had died in his absence, and, as a result, his younger sister Ellantra Silverblade (a mere nine year old girl) was now his to care for. He received also as inheritance a magical dagger from his father, which he would never part with, treasuring it as his last keepsake from his parents.
Levels 5 to 8: Rise of the Mother and Father of the DwarvesEdit
In time, an ill fate swept over the Gravediggers, when their beloved elder Zek Greybeard was slain in honorable battle. Yet this was only the beginning of a great quest - to bury him as he was deemed worthy of burial. Through miraculous machinations of the dwarven gods, his flesh did not decay, though the Gravediggers did spend many days seeking to liberate a dwarven tomb from the grasp of the foul troll who had taken up residence atop it, and when they had slain the beast and laid him to rest within it, they were awestruck and delighted to see him brought back from the dead by divine providence, his youth restored to him.
From the land of the gods he had brought grave news, and a divine task; the dwarven pantheon had been born from the communion of two ancient cosmic beings, called the Mother and the Father, who had now revived from aeons of slumber and binding. The Mother lurked in a hidden cavern, sunk at the base of an impossibly deep valley, and the Father waited in his tomb. Zek was tasked with choosing which of the two would be granted primacy over the pantheon.
First, guided by Zek's divine inspiration, they sought the Mother's tomb, she who was dead but not dead. Within it they found the Obsidian Axe that was the companion to Zek's stone axe, Ol Pappi - which they had thought to be a mere curiosity of no great import! Though they were nearly slain there, and Janeko himself was nearly driven mad when he unwittingly contacted the black and incomprehensibly vile mind of the Mother, they escaped the undead grasp of the tomb, fleeing a horde of the ravening dead.
Next, they sought out the tower of Janeko's great-uncle, the archmage Rajick, which they explored. Having defeated it's guardians, they climbed to the highest levels and discovered the hidden vault, where they found the very thing they needed to defeat their foes - the menstrual blood of the goddess Ehlonna, capable of bringing life to the dead or imbuing a weapon with the power to bring death even to gods.
Finally, they travelled northward to a hidden cavern lurking beyond a territory of corrupted, monstrous beasts, held back by the continuous efforts of a bitter half-orcish druid, and snuck through a maze of traps and perils, to face the shadow of the Mother and the very form of the Father.
Though their deemed role was to choose between them, the Gravediggers shocked all by instead murdering the Father, and sending the Mother shrieking back to her tomb. Though they had once claimed cosmic might, the Gravediggers overcame them with the power of Ehlonna's blood. In so doing they earned the gratitude of the dwarven pantheon, and their blessings.
Upon their return to Endhome, Janeko enrolled his younger sister Ellantra Silverblade in the Endhome College of Wizardry, her tuition safely accounted for and a fine tutor secured. In this fashion he moved to secure her favorable position in society independent from his own continued support.
Having finally found the time amidst their divine obligations to do the task that had originally bound them, the Gravediggers set their sights on the forbidden buried city of Barakus hidden in the foothills to the north. Though it took them many weeks of searching, they eventually found it. Wisely they pooled their wealth and brought many camp followers with them, so that they would not need to trek to Endhome to rest, nor rest with their necks bare and unprotected by civilization each night. In this fashion was the small hamlet of New Barakus founded about the dungeon, as so many towns have been founded before.
For many weeks they explored the ancient city, and found great and ancient secrets. There they found the lost shrine to the dead god Tharizdun, and slew his last mad servant in this world. There, in the decades-forsaken throne of the forgotten King Merrick, they did slay the fey beast that corrupted his rule and sent Barakus in to decline, and thus avenged, his spirit could cease haunting the halls, and bestow on them fine rewards for their service.
After this exercise in valor, Halas and Neomia did take a different path from Zek and Janeko. The prior two, having been married in the eyes of Ehlonna, went in to the western wilds to find their fortune, while Janeko and Zek did devote themselves to the virtuous rule of New Barakus and the surrounding territories, which they had been granted by the ghost of King Merrick. In this fashion did New Barakus expand from a hamlet to a bustling outpost of civilization, for many were those who wished to live under the protection of Janeko Silverblade and Zek Graybeard.
Five years after the founding of New Barakus, Zek Greybeard was once again contacted by the divine, alerted to the awakening of the Mother from her healing slumber. Though the great rebellion had still left her weak, and without the absolute authority over the dwarven pantheon she once wielded, she remained a threat to the mortal world, much more so now that her influence was limited to the earthly sphere.
Zek and Janeko rallied heroes from Endhome and the Slaver Cities, calling on adventurers high and low to replace their departed allies. They met the deft swordsman Ket Theldax of the Black Shield, the mysterious Opal Hummingbird, a halfling from the farthest East, and Hemazar, a paladin from the sun-seared south. They dubbed this fellowship the Dawnbearers, by virtue of their intent to ensure that the day of the East peninsula go uninterrupted by the dark of the Mother's power.
They did venture east in to the darkened valley where the sun never shone, led there by divine guidance, and stepped once more in to the dark bosom of the Mother. There, hidden from the warmth of the sun and the light of the day, they crawled through the dark for ten nights, cutting the Mother on the eyes, the heart, the lungs, the womb, the belly, and the brain. Each of these was a baleful daemon, undead component souls of the dead god.
When each was broken, and the Mother weakened, they met her in battle and fought. In this fight, Zek Greybeard was devoured by Byss and Opal Hummingbird was destroyed, but the Mother was no more at the end. Zek was brought back from the yawning Abyss by the valorous action of the dwarven pantheon, and set to rest for his efforts in the afterlife as a blessed agent of righteousness and virtue. Opal Hummingbird was restored to life through more pedestrian means, and returned to the east.
Levels 17 to 20: The Three PlaguesEdit
Having put to rest both the Mother and the Father, Janeko returned to govern New Barakus in peace for a period of many years, until his fourtieth birthday. Sadly, the city's prosperity was doomed to end as all such things are.
Loki, God of Mischief and Trouble, was one of the many creations of the Mother, a half-brother to the Dwarven pantheon, sired not by the Father but by the cosmic frost giant Ymir. Though the death of the Mother freed him from many oaths, he was nonetheless bound by one last vow. He had vowed to torment any who slew his mother with three plagues. These three were visited in turn upon New Barakus.
The first plague was a plague of rebellions. Janeko Silverblade and Zek Greybeard were not obeyed when they spoke to their people, for Loki had seen to it that their words held no authority in their subject's ears - so they travelled to the farthest south, and forged a standard of sea-blue metals from the deep trenches of the seas, and returned to the New Barakus to plant it in the earth. Those who rebelled against the two saw this mark of their power, and quailed, and obeyed them when once the power of Loki had made them quarrelous.
The second plague was a plague of lies. Janeko Silverblade was told by those he trusted that his sister lay dying of incurable disease in Endhome, and went there to see her. Such was the power of the lie that even clever Ellantra and Janeko could not see through it, and both believed that Ellantra was doomed of the Velvet Death, her skin pocked with the blasphemous fungal-fuzzed sores. Janeko was moved by filial love to move heaven and earth to find the sole cure for the terrible Velvet Death. For a year and a day he quested far beneath the surface of the earth, where the roiling spirits of the sleeping Crysmatic Eidolons tore the world from the world and no magic could hasten ones travel, to find the wretched Mother Dirt, the first otyugh from whom all others were wrought. In exchange for the healing waters of heaven's springs, she granted to him a wart from her belly, the one thing which could cure the terrible Velvet Death. Yet when he returned, a year and a day hence, he placed the wart to his sister's lips and saw her slain, for the wart was deadly poison to any who did not harbor the Velvet Death within them. With sorrow and despair he realized his folly, and with great shame raised Ellantra from the dead, begging her forgiveness, which she freely gave. Disheartened for his foolishness but wiser for the trouble, he returned to New Barakus.
The last plague was a plague of troubles. When he returned to New Barakus he found it not the home he recalled but a hell, for the White Giants had trod down from the northern peaks that they called home. The frost giants had trodden down from the farthest glacier palaces, led by a cloud giant of blackest heart but fairest skin, Skodrmungen the Foul. He had made war on New Barakus and all that laid about it, claiming the treasures of the lost city as his birthright. Perhaps they were, but it was no matter. The defenders of Barakus fought bravely, for many weeks, but Skodrmungen was the grandest of black jarl, empowered by the divine favor of Loki. Janeko and Zek were driven forth from Barakus, and with them, their followers, to their shame and dismay.
Levels 21 to 24: Skodrmungen the FoulEdit
Janeko spent many years acting to recover the land stolen from him by Skodrmungen, and in time grew to power enough in the struggle to slay him, taking the giant's trophies as his own. In this struggle, Zek once again perished and was sent to Heaven to rest.
Levels 25 to 28: The Sunken Isle of OlympusEdit
Janeko could not reclaim the scorched landscape around Barakus, and instead returned to itinerant adventuring. In his explorations he traveled the width and breadth of the world atop an azure chariot conjured through his magics, and in this time he first met Exemplary Master Ka. Most impressively, he began his explorations of the depths through the use of a magical sunken ship, whereupon he discovered the sunken isle of Olympus, where the very gods of the world had once lived. There he found many treasures, including the armor of silk and sable, and drank of the fountain of youth, returning to the prime of his life once again.
Levels 29 to 32: Lord of the FliesEdit
Then came Mother Dirt from the depths of the earth, glowering and baleful, bringing with her a great host of filths and decrepifications, and she did begin to lay waste to the Wulfskataag, the wild lands south-west of Endhome. Halas and Neomia called on Janeko for aid, and he answered. With great valor he unraveled the reason for Mother Dirt's wrath, and did assuage her by slaying the beast that had stepped in to her home and driven her and her children out in to the world, which maddened her with it's light and sound.
Levels 33 to 36: Defending the Vaulted HeavenEdit
At this time Janeko was called upon by the forces of heaven to honor his debts to them, which he did gladly. The forces of the darkness were assailing the towers of heaven, and Janeko was needed to defend them. Here he first met Cicatrix, Daemon Master of Scars, and clashed with him in battle. The battle between them was not decided, nor has it yet been, for they have not since met; the battle was won for the forces of heaven, and the secret treasure of heaven, the Rose Before All Flowers, was secured from corruption.
Levels 37 to 40: Quest for the Rod of the Inviolate SanctumEdit
Janeko learned of an ancient tower, miles tall, hidden miles beneath the surface of the earth, the Black Spire of Kathexis. It was inhabited by a centuries-ancient lich, who held it with the power of the Rod of the Inviolate Sanctum. With valor and ambition he stole in to the tower and wrested the rod from it's wielder, destroying Kathexis in the process. Kathexis's dying words of mockery, however, shook Janeko's faith in his virtue. Was he no better than a murderer and a robber, breaking in to another man's home and stealing it for his own? He vowed that he would make use of the Rod to better the lives of others, not just his own.
Levels 41 to 45: The Ninefold GatesEdit
Janeko began the great task of building a mountain-city from raw magic. For a decade he labored, forging from ether a solid mountain of raw stone, a single flawless gray with no fractures or cracks, a mountain of nine terraces, reaching a mile in to the sky, crushing the bedrock. During this construction, many wrathful creatures came to assail him for his hubris, and he sent all away with soothing words or blasting magics. Finally, he began to construct the city, tier by tier - this, he claimed, would be a city that would stand as long as he lived, and such it was, for in the heart of it's foundation, amidst forlongs of stone, dwelt the foundation block of the Rod of the Inviolate Sanctum.
Loki sneered at such hubris, and sent servants who raised up Skodrmungen from the dead, armed him with terrible weapons to avenge his death, and sent him against Janeko's towers once again. But this time, Janeko did not even raise his hand against them - their weapons could not breach the walls he had built, for every injury healed as soon as it began. "Walk away, Skodrmungen, for your armies cannot do harm to those sheltered within the Ninefold Gates," he said to him, and Loki snarled and spat, and Skodrmungen shambled away, burdened with humiliating defeat. At such a sight of strength, many flocked to the Ninefold Gates, and all who wished to be safe from the terrors of the wild-lands came to Janeko's door, and he ruled safe and well for decades. Level by level, the Ninefold Gates were built, until they reached the very top. By then, Janeko was aged indeed.
Levels 46 to 50: The Needle To BlueEdit
Finally, Janeko entered his twilight years, but he yet yearned to live on. Thusly he travelled to Heaven and petitioned to extend his alloted time amongst the living. By this time Janeko was a being of vast power - all the world of men lived at his beck and call, and though in title he ruled only the City of the Ninefold Gates, the whole of The Continent of Anamur looked to him with nervous caution, knowing that it was at his whim and judgement that all men were permitted to reign. Heaven looked upon Janeko's judgement and virtue, and saw that this was a suitable arrangement, and so he was permitted to restore himself to youth through potent magicks without facing the judgement of the Marut.
It was at this time that he traveled to speak with the ghost of Hephaestus in the sunken Isle of Olympus, whom his divinations had told him would be an ideal architect for his latest project, the Needle To Blue, a tower to lurch in to the sky from the peak of the Ninefold Gates. With the aid of the wise architect the tower was built, extending to the full length that the keystone would protect, and from his 5 mile tower, Janeko reigned over all he could see and conducted his experiments and researches.