DARKSEASON - A Path Through Fire
1 - August 5853
It is the Autumn of the year 5853 DRE. Only a week after province-wide announcements of a New Lord of Krull Keep, attacks upon the Garda Gales, Aragel and areas of Southern Anisfarl by forces of Sonnats Gil came to an abrupt halt. After only a few days of inactivity, the three mobile Gil forces started marching towards the northernmost area of the Free States. Whilst en route all three forces have harassed and, in some cases, completely destroyed small communities along their chosen paths.
At one point the Southern army and Western battalions, meeting in Eastern Region, turned towards the 'new' settlement town of Ajon, whose population of 6,000 souls, mainly Darkendari and other Eilindanian refugees, had only the mountains of Search as an escape route. Evermore, unified again, responded. Carefully set plans saw the quick and magically enhanced arrival of the two full legions of Ullratha Knights, 3,000 Darkendari Sumunai Warriors, 1,500 Elven Swan Knights and some 2,400 King's, Ducal and Regency Militia with Sonnats Gil forces still a few hours march away from the town (only Beor D'Lambra failed to answer the King's call to war).
Although it is reported only second hand, the Ard Righ, his Dukes, Amoriath Knights and White Knights of his household are said to have arrived as the Gil legions carne into sight. One witness claims to have heard the Lord Azaduke exclaim upon seeing the red and black, "If only in eons past we had known the reach and vastness of this dread enemy." The two forces spied each other across the battlefield from dawn until midday, the alliance outnumbered over ten to one. Only at midday did the forces of Sonnats Gil, for the first time in history, withdraw without exchanging blows, despite provocation from a large group of impetuous Ullratha unleashing a Runic Blast into their final retreating lines (casualties on the field were later counted at over 800 various troops of the Gil).
Upon arriving in the North of the City States, the now reformed Gil army of over 150,000 now jointly led by Commander Kraal (Dos-Fiad) and Uridae, Legate of Akaidi, proceeded without respite towards Krull. Any Evermorian towns so far encountered have either been destroyed, annexed to the Free States or (those with more reasonable inhabitants) been abandoned.
Krull's Legions and those of the Gil now draw very close to the easternmost border of Caerleon and Draconsmere. For a time Evermore is safe!
A small Gil force has disappeared from the map while marching towards Oakenwood. Local alliance commanders have been unable to add any precise information.
The Drummer cult of Darkendar has now managed to spread to Amatyr, with maidens and youths drumming on virtually every street corner. Upon complaints from the local market traders, Duke Gareth has ordered a full investigation of the Cult's aims, beliefs and motives.
The spirit of Yuletide has returned. Children all across Evermore have been reported returning home after a days play with brand-new gifts and toys. When questioned, the children will only tell of a friendly old man with a long white beard. Who is this mysterious joy bringer?
For reasons unknown reports have flooded in of weird but pleasant dreams from all across the Region of Care Paravien including the Keep. Although unable to tell the exact nature of their dreams, all dreamers report awakening with a sense of refreshed well-being.
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2 - October 5853
On Friday night three brave adventuring parties yet again went to capture Drum Billett's Wand and were yet again thwarted by the return of Raecor.
On Saturday a party was recruited to hunt a dragon (oh foolish mortals); luckily it all turned out to be a masquerade by a giant lizard man, phew!
Another party went off to explore an underwater ruin. Captured by gold-skinned, gilled humanoids, they eventually found salvation due to their recall gate as evil Sahaquin attacked the gold-skinned creatures' stronghold.
Saturday night saw two parties explormg North Akrea and finding pyramids and incestuous royal families. The rest was delivered very vaguely at High Table so we can't say much more.
Finally on a more sombre note we must again commend the souls of our fallen comrades to the Heroes' lists:
Sir Peter Villa, Ullratha Knight.
Lady Sir William Marsden, Ullratha Knight.
Sir Micheal Pendragon, Ullratha Knight.
Sir David Lord, Ullratha Knight.
Lady Chastity Valence, Thunderchild Paladin.
Scathac Mac Morna, Firvulag Shaman.
Il Presidente Rodrego Montoyez, Hospitilar.
Melvin, Saracen Brave
Gregory D'Coomhar, Hermit.
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3 - November 5853
Lords, Ladies, Gentlefolk of Evermore. It is with gravest sorrow that on this day in the year of our King 5853 that I must report a terrible tragedy. This very morning a large force out of Castle Corruption invaded Central Choiristas region. Lady Rosamunda responded with 2,000 Darkendari soldiers, 2 warriors of the Sisterhood, l,000 Kamarthian cavalry and 200 Musketeers out of Marnom under Baron Hugh. This force was met by the remnant of the Jadierian people, 10,000 old men, women and children.
An hour after the battle started Shinii and Kleetian reinforcements arrived on the scene. All alliance forces were decimated with absolutely no survivors. The bodies of Lady Rosamunda's forces lay unrecognisable. Lady Rosamunda Ishtakaan, Baron Hugh de Payens, Lord Gunta of Kamarthe and Sir Atan Valdon-Ardais of House Sumunai are listed missing in action, feared dead.
Four days ago, just north of Halvars Vale in Caerleon, Castle Krull forces and Sonnats Gil battalions finally clashed after nearly three months camped facing each other. Some of Krull's ranking officers are said to have energised Status weaponry when attacked by DOS FIAD. The battle has continued to rage and despite the superior numbers of the Black Keep, Krull is allegedly being pushed further back into own territory by the hour. Casualties on either side are said to be high with Krull's rumoured to be already in the tens of thousands.
Immediately after the Friday night mission, Grzzt the Half-Ogre Shaman openly attacked the Tavern, sending in a wave of undead, then entering with his demonic servant Bugsy Muffit. Six ranking members of the Regency perished.
Saturday morning. Ace the Anti-Paladin was seen by a Ranger instructing Soulrenders. After an attack by these creatures five more were Soul Rended. The Ranger who styles himself Leithran slew some of them illegally. An immediate order for his arrest is given to all Regency Militias. (It is now estimated that there are some 500 soul-rended people across Evermore, including over 20 members of the Regency). Two missions were then sent from Haven Waystation; both completed their respective rnissions with minimal casualties. By midday Duke John had despatched militia to the Waystation. No further attacks came.
In the early evening an adventuring group exchanged the spy VaGolik in return for assistance in navigating a secret path through Sunswallow Caverns. Despite attacks by Silver Fox Clan (a clan known to have aided Sonnats Gil during the Sunswallow Caverns invasions a decade ago), the party won through. Finding first Sanctuary Waystation the group found survivors still holding out against Sonnats Gil. At this point Lur Geerha of the Imperial Web Clan, having seen the access codes, lowered the station's shields allowing Gil troops to make a final assault. As the Dream Elf gated the party away block 3rd Commando, Ullratha Knight and Jonathan Cadre, former General of the Garda Liberation Front, activated the self destuct sequence. It is estimated that over 1,000 Gil troops died in the resultant explosion.
That night High Table was severely depleted of high-ranking persons (only one character of suitable rank sat at High Table all evening). Accusations of cowardice in the face of this Dark Season were muttered by some. Duke Utterdark was unimpressed. Raisclari then entered High Table and was gracious and courteous until his hand in the death of Eventine Ellesedil was openly suspected. The now exiled Prime Minister of Krull came and denounced the Warlord of House Beor. Over the course of accusations and questions thrown, Raisclari restrained his hand but became increasingly belligerent. Eventually in a fit of arrogance he revealed the thing that stood before us was not in fact the noble Knight, but in fact a Simulacrum fashioned of Cotic (absolute Chaos magic) cnergy and that in fact Raisclari was himself imprisoned in Castle Corruption by the Wyrd Lords along with most of the Power and the Glory. Eventually, as no-one was (and sanely) prepared to attack an Amoriath Knight, with status weapons and the power of 'The One', Raisclari ceased his baiting and left. The Apotheosis Eonwë entered in one of his more obvious disguises to dismiss the screams of his nephew and left for the West.
Finally on a more sombre note we must again commend the souls of our fallen comrades to the Heroes' lists:
Shylock, Shivman, 7th Rank.
Eventine Ellesedil, Prince of Wood Elves.
An unidentified Tuatha Scout, 5th Rank.
Spinril, Drowh Demonist of the 8th Rank.
Flaymax Fireyhand I.
Slade, Garda Dragoon, 5th Rank.
Gatherer, Chancellor of High Leah.
and various others of the lesser ranks.
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4 - December 5853
Fighting at Krull has intensified. Undoubtedly ordered by his master, Pulsifer led 4 legions in an attempt to push the forces of the Gil back to the Castle Walls. The fighting, although intense, was short. Spies tell us very few of Krull's soldiers made it back from the charge. Despite this, now in a desperate besieging position Gil forces are taking a hammering.
Further news on Eilind. Apparently Kleet, Shin, Marnom, Kamarthe and the survivors of Edhaal have formed a hurried military alliance and are pooling forces North of Central Choiristas region.
An old friend of the King was kidnapped by a desperate group of stranded Inquisition soldiers. A rescue attempt unfortunately failed against the ever-disciplined and intimidating soldiers - luckily most survived to carry a message to the authorities. The matter is in hand.
Another group managed to get themselves duped by those two ever-meddling Demonettes, Ickle and Place. Luckily all survived.
A party were kidnapped by some Inquisition operatives the next day. To fill in the gaps as much as national security will allow, one of their most subtle and insidious plans was eventually, and at the last minute thwarted. Rumours of the actual existence of lost Atlantis are beginning to say that yes, it not only exists, but adventurers have been there too! The Regency currently refuse to make any comment.
Another party rushed off to Region to an ancient Necromancer's Crypt. If anybody still has those documents the Amoriath demand their immediate surrender.
After six years in exile the 117th Grand Intelligencier, Grand Master of the Inquisition of Darkendar, has been re-admitted and enthroned once more in his capital at Midigan.
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5 - March 5854
In a lightening strike over a three day period, a massive force of Darkendari heavy infantry under Inquisition banners entered the republic of Khon Khark. Fighting was brief, the republic forces announcing a hasty surrender in the face of overwhelming odds. A large Inquisition force numbering approximately 12,000 Darjen Tribesmen and 3,000 Darkendari troops under House Altioc and House Venndark banners are now encamped within line of sight of Marnom's north-westerly border near Bolvia.
Finally, a group of perhaps 5,000 of the Grand Inquisitor's personal guards are poised on the border of Central Choiristas Region, within easy strike distance of the intercontinental gate.
A messenger from Erin brings news to the King's court that Lugh's de Dannans and their Firvalg allies have won their first major victory. At Moyatura, Lugh's forces successfully routed a large force of Fomorians.
In a startling if short-lived turn of events, Sonnats Gil's first and second armies were temporarily driven back from the walls in a full scale retreat. Farsensing spies have reported what can only be quoted as "millions of ghosts" spontaneously assaulting the besiegers. Though the rout took place over a dozen leagues, some 20,000 Gil troops perished. The struggle only raged for 24 hours, then the ghostlike beings disappeared. Sonnats Gil legions then hastily marched back again. In the meantime, Krull's temporary reprieve allowed Raisclari (the Cotic creation) to push out his borders and reclaim his outer wall. With the attack renewed, fighting is intense as the Gil once again struggles to contain Krull inside its Keep.
For reasons unknown, Utterdark ordered six cohorts to attack an escorted supply train from the Gil bound for Krull while it travelled through the Free States. A pitched battle was fought with the small group of Dos Fiad and Kalan Kor escort. As the battle progressed, it quickly became clear that the shipment was in fact Warpstone. The Kalan Kor and half a dozen Dos Fiad perished in the initial attack, but as a Rune wedge was executed against the huge stone (having only a dimming effect on its glow), Ghia and more of the Kor's third coven joined the fray. Drained of the vital Rune power, all that remained was a disorganised Gate retreat for the beleaguered Ullratha. Although numbers cannot be confirmed, it is estimated that just under 400 Knights had to be abandoned to their fate; they are presumed dead. The King has demanded a full explanation of his actions from the Royal Duke. No official response has yet been tendered.
Malimorh in Hrothgar Gap have begun spontaneous attacks on Gil forces in Garda.
On Friday night, a group got themselves hired to chase a gang of Orc kidnappers. All seemed staightforward enough until the party unintentionally ressurrected a Grail Knight by the name of Von Bek! After rescuing Von Bek, they found themselves in the lair of yet another dissident Wizard named Raj. Von Bek despatched the man he had come to hunt and the party fled with the rescued Dwarf lord. That night, a Dark Templar came to warn Tristran of the imminent war between the rival Templar orders.
The next day, an adventuring group found themselves involved in a political power struggle for the mysterious phasing village of "Braedoon". After driving out some tyrants led by a Dark Alfar, the party were awarded the Lordship of the village and given a way to find it should they need to at anytime.
A simultaneous adventure again encountered the dissident Raj meddling with some ancient Wizards Empire artefact. Information is a little vague, but it would seem that the party foiled the plan even though Raj was never seen.
A Priest/Wizard confrontation was averted by the timely arrival of some Demonists. (
"This does not reflect on the Demonists' honoured traditions regarding responsibility" - Binx).
Kyrie-Sumunai's House meeting was attacked by a strong force of Inquisition, who were impressively repelled by the Household who only suffered one casualty.
An adventure didn't take place on Saturday evening, but everybody said they'd had a really good time not adventuring (?).
At High Table Raisclari reappeared, much to the pleasure and exultation of his House Captains and Brother Amoriath whom he joined for the trial of Pope Thalmir. This lady was found guilty of attacking a white banner and was sentenced to carry that banner to the Walls of Castle Corruption and to Sonnats Gil to appease those powers and acknowledge the code of the white flag.
Despite their heavy hearts in judging the Lady so, the Amoriath, still somewhat elated at Raisclari's return, held a number of on the spot weddings. Freya Flamesong married Zheer Stonehand and Ash married Jack Cade. Thalmir's last request was also carried by the Amrath Prelate and her marriage to Slyphard Stormbelt was annulled.
ALL retired Ullratha and other former military are to be immediately reassigned. All High Table operatives are assigned the rank of Captain. All Amoriath are assigned the rank of Flag Commander. Assignments for various military actions looming are to be issued at the King's next audience.