Among the elder gods, Sardon Tiger-Iron, also known as the Lord of Destruction and Bringer of Torment, was among the most brutal of his siblings. Harena's current state is entirely thanks to his dominion over the area, as are the many horrible legends that still endure about his character. Even thousands of years after his most infamous of curses was laid bare, we still feel the aftershocks of his malevolent touch. The revival and subsequent defeat of his high priest Rudjek in the north is only the latest of such affronts, and likely not the last.
But what type of man was Sardon beyond his fearless reputation? What made him who he was? Well, as it turns out, the man was just as awful as a mortal as he was a deity.
Sardon Tiger-Iron was a warlord among the Harena Wastelands before they became wastelands: a fairly successful one at that. His horde swept across the plains of green in the days of old, capturing and holding territories as the years went by. Eventually, he had conquered the whole region, bringing "order" to several, smaller countries that had comingled peacefully prior to his arrival.
Unfortunately, when we say "order" we actually mean tyrannical oppression. Tiger-Iron supported a very nationalistic and selfish approach to governance. He demanded heavy tithes from every nation he conquered, and the force of his armies backed up those demands. To make matters worse, he ascended shortly after uniting Harena, so any idea of opposing him quickly became nothing more than a suicidal fantasy.
At that time, his domains were known as Order and Destruction: still removed from his later domain of Chaos.
In his time, Sardon was commonly viewed as invincible. Stories tell of his legendary arrogance and cruelty, but usually in a respectful and fearful way. Not even the other gods at the time dared stand against him in matters concerning Harena, so the people of that area were forced to abide by his cruel reign without consent or aid. He demanded annual sacrifices from them to sate his pride, and would punish any village that failed to provide: a bloody baron in the form of a god.
As is common knowledge, however, that practice didn't last forever. One year there was a terrible famine. Crops withered, people went hungry, and Sardon's yearly sacrifice was consequently reduced. Instead of the feast and healthy supply of men and women he normally received, he only got one, skinny, village girl and a skin of wine that year.
Sardon's curse began as a result of this viewed slight, but not immediately. He is purported to have thought the villagers were holding out on him, and would have rather have watched his "people" die than be denied his prizes. As such, the sight of the girl angered him. In his rage, he threw her to the ground and took the wineskin from her hands. He drank that wine, and thus perished.
Because of all his power and influence, Tiger-Iron believed himself untouchable. He thought he could do no wrong, and so took what he wanted without concern for the consequences. That wine he drank the year of the famine, however, was spiked with a kind of poison that most scholars believe doesn't exist anymore. Similar to the Godslayer's divinity nullifying abilities, the poison had the potential to kill gods when ingested willingly. Sardon is the only deity we know of that died from it, and so we call the tincture he drank the day of his death "Sardon's Bane."
The Tormentor died within moments of drinking that wineskin, but not before members of his own court turned on him. The last sacrifice escaped from his temple in Aysut while his followers took turns skewering him, thereby marking a humiliating defeat for the once proud and terrible deity.
Before his last breath, though, Sardon cursed Harena to proceed further into famine until it was nothing but desert. He vowed to return one day to collect the dues he was owed, and that was a vow that Rudjek tried to bring to fruition, according to field reports from the undead city. Even as repairs continue across the world thanks to Rudjek's necromantic armies, there is still a palpable unease in the air about this old god. Sardon's will is pervasive, even in death. Who knows if he is truly vanquished, or is simply biding his time to return? Not even the scholars can answer that.
-From a recent edition of "Conclave: Gods of the Past and Present," published after Aysut's revival and the defeat of Sardon's high priest, Rudjek