The Book of Wonderous Things
This book contains a number of different texts which are referenced here for your convenience.
Of Peckfortain and War
This section of the most recent writ text on Evermorian history begins just under four hundred years ago, on the far western continent of Peckfortain. At the time, it was known as Craag, and was renamed later to Peckfortain in honour of the most valiant of the Free City States of that Land, and the most hard oppressed.
As did one of the four immortal Servants of the Enemy manifest in devastated Darkendar some seven centuries before, to genesis the Theocratic order later known as the Grand Inquisition of Darkendar, so yet another Lieutenant was coming to manifest on the continent of Craag.
A young man, whose true name is long forgotten, trained long and hard to be accepted by the Free Adventurers Guild - a large organisation of Mercenaries in principal similar to our own Regency. Becoming an acolyte of a neutral priestly order, it was soon noted by senior members that this youth and some of his peers were conducting extensive research into the darker arts, forbidden by the laws of the land. When confronted, the youth fled the city with four confederates, but their absence was to be only temporary. Soon, children started to disappear from inside the city itself and a strange cult sprang up from nowhere. The cult titled itself the Circle Aflame, and spread rapidly amongst the decadent merchant class and youthful disillusioned adventurers. The city's authorities, mystified by the nature of the cult, despatched spies to infiltrate it. None ever returned to report, and still children disappeared.
For a period of three years the Circle's power, influence and wealth expanded, and a mighty Keep called Craag was built in the capital of Peckfortain. The meeting house and lodge was dedicated solely to the Order of the Circle Aflame. A young man by the name of Marus became the public face of the cult, and by charm and guile the authorities and citizens were temporarily reassured.
Ten in that year, as winter drew on, nearly five dozen children disappeared and the city was in uproar. Accusations flew wildly, and the Circle Aflame was not least of those blamed. Then, as it was not completely secret in its movements, news came around of a most important ceremony at Craag that all members of the Circle should attend; and came they did, from all over the continent of Craag in their hundreds. The streets were full that day of black and red clad priests and Lay members of the Order of the Circle Aflame.
That night when even the commoners knew this secret, in form, the ritual was to take place, the King Sebspa I gathered about him 12 of his most proficient Knights, amongst them Warriors, heroes of their time, mighty spell casters of the Priesthood and Sorcerors of the professional rank. With 200 of the Kings guards, they were sent to encircle Castle Craag.
At the midnight hour, through use of transport magics, they breached the defences set by the Wardens of the Circle Aflame.
In the Great Hall of that castle they found an utterable scene of slaughter.
Every one of the children lay slain at the feet of the young Priest for the second time in that millennia. The future 'Deathtouch' had recreated the Darkside Ritual allowing himself to be embodied with one of the spirits of the four eternal servants.
Battle ensued, the cultists now empowered and driven by the presence of the 'Fell Spirit' fought like maniacs and through the scream, for though frenzied most had no skill with arms and so perished in their hundreds. The young priest declared his name as Deathtouch, Master of War and first Servant of the Enemy. This embodied creature fled the Keep taking only Marus and two dozen of his closest followers.
The carnage raged all night as the King's Knights and Guardsmen cut every remaining acolyte down, so ferocious was their rage at the abomination committed there.
For nearly a hundred years nothing was heard of Deathtouch nor Marus except for vague rumours that fleeing West he had re-established his Cult in a far city state which had later perished in flames. Then, out of nowhere, neighbouring states fell to vast armies of evil things - Orcs, Goblins, Trolls, and Ogres; also amongst them came humans in the form of Spirit Guardians of evil, the first Anti-Paladins, also the Sons of Marus and the Brotherhood of the Undead; fellow orders of evil Priests aligned to the Circle who respectively worked their spells and evil through Demons and Undead.
City state after city state fell and reports came in that Deathtouch's hordes spared none. Even surrender would not warrant mercy. All were butchered.
Although the city states were fervent rivals, it was finally decided that a council must be held and an alliance forged. A year later a vast horde came out of the barren west intent on taking Peckfortain itself, but they found a fine army arrayed against them when five city states, the Elves and Dwarves of Peckfortain and King Sebspa II, aligned and arrayed themselves for battle fought on the plains before Craag, which had been consecrated and had expanded to be used as a fortified town. The battle, it is said, lasted for three days.
One hundred thousand warriors, along with Priests, Sorcerors and the finest Scouts held a defensive posture against an enemy eight times their number. It is said over a hundred songs and poems were written to commemorate the valorous deeds of that battle.
At last, with most of theirs dead, the Alliance forces pursued Deathtouch and what forces remained to him far west, but at each city burned out and decayed they posted an army of Undead, the former citizens would issue forth to guard the Aflame Lord's retreat. Casualties continued to mount and at last less than 4000 alliance warriors retreated to Craag. No victory songs were sung then - the cost of merely driving the crazed priest away had been too high; but as time passed people learned to relax and feel safe, even if sporadically from their stronghold in the barren west.
As time again turned a young and impetuous King of Peckfortain, Rudolf II, persuaded his allies to mount a massive expedition to root out Deathtouch once and for all. Yet again, decades after their last engagement the Peckfortanians and their allies sallied forth with Rudolf himself at their head.
This time though, the six states could only levy three score thousand soldiers. The expedition set out, but two days into the barren west nothing more was heard and not a man was ever seen again. To this day no-one knows what fate awaited them out there.
Centuries now passed and the League grew stronger and stronger, so much so that it overran many guard towers set strategically three days march from Craag. For years all that could be done was to send groups from the Adventurers Guild out to retake the towers in commando raids. Despite this the towers would quickly fall back into the League of Evil's hands and although such actions delayed their advance somewhat it also depleted the number of sword arms available in the region.
Our story now flies forward to only a century ago, 5756 as we of Evermore would reckon it. For some time, activity from the League had intensified and the Circle Aflame had managed to infiltrate the very adventurers who had sought so long to destroy them. Anti-Paladins and Assassins as well as black Elementalists undertook the League's bidding inside the very walls of Craag itself; a city, capital of Peckfortain itself by now. Some names of these spies will appear again later in our tale. Dragnorok Van Faulkenburg, Ashea Kyrie, Sir Kay were three such Anti-Paladins as well as Mabuto and Eldar (later called Blacklamb) evil elementalists by nature. Finally Smoot, Sendik and Cobra, each a leader of an Assassin Cult subverted to the cause of the Enemy. At this time none knew anything of that creature and each thought himself a powerful chess piece in a game of Dominion.
Finally, poorly recorded because of the nature of the times, battle commenced again; and openly. At this time the Elves of the Golden Wood returned from their self imposed isolation, and again some will be mentioned hereafter; Breeze and Beleg, Air Elf bodyguards, and Flaymax and Bale, Fire Elf bodyguards to the house of Flametongue.
Battles came thick and furious with no less than a dozen serious confrontations in three years. Then one autumn morning as frost lay on the grassy plains, Yash Arafin, half brother to Eonwe and one of the chiefs of the King's scouts caught sight of a vast horde approaching. So vast was the horde and so powerful the Beordanur's eyes, the horde was still over a day away. The King Sebspa III, alerted, summoned his allies to fight with him one last time for his capital. Some answered, many did not. Tomas Ennear, Finril Flametongue, Fensik The Wise and Eldar raced East to try to prepare shifts for evacuation as Eonwe had asked them, saying scouts he had sent out into the eastern sea had found islands far off!
While as many as could were hurried East for evacuation the noblest warriors of the realm and a meagre 20,000 soldiers threw up earthworks before Craag. Although many accounts are given of the ensuing battle none can be deemed accurate. One thing is sure - Ashea Kyrie, who fought for the alliance alongside the Paladin Pelenor and Gold Prince of the Light Elves, later swore he had never seen men fight with more desperation nor courage. The alliance held a horde near twenty times their strength for a day and a night and even then when their forces were scattered and decimated the Michaelines, Paladins, Balance and House of Beor fought a valiant retreat through and beyond Craag delaying Deathtouch for many hours, though the cost was dear.
The last engagement prior to the abandonment of the western continent by the people of Peckfortain and many of their allies was fought even as poor wretched refugees scrabbled aboard anything seaworthy as the vanguard legions of the league came onto the plain before librite plot.
The King called up his Carls and any soldier with a horse brave enough to join him and then with no more ado they charged the approaching horde - Sebspa and all those good fellows who joined him there perished and though many peasants were left stranded for slaughter with no space on any vessels to carry them away the ships were purchased to get a good and safe distance between them and the shore.
For more stories of the exodus I would now refer you to Finril's original memoirs, but warn you of some errors there that the noble Prince only perceived in later years, the first and most important being that elves do have an impaired concept of time passage and also due to their self imposed exile the Elves of the Golden Wood are known to give wildly varying views on the time involved in the League wars. Secondly, contrary to Finrils reports, he himself had not been at Librite at the final stage and relied heavily on the testimony of the Black Elementalist Eldar, in this we already know Sebspa had not infact died at the fall of Craag, and finally the Princes' accounts of the actual first meeting of the exiles and the Evermorians; again the story goes a little wild as he was not infact present and was relying for information on Astrava Kosavaar.
On a final note, as is seen later, not all the continent of Craag fell in that one battle, and as the league pushed South we see that the war lasted another eight decades with the final group of resistance fighters under the King Rudolf IV were evacuated just over a year ago by the Regency and the efforts of the Garda Dragoons. Four thousand of these souls have now been relocated in Central Amatyr.
To recap for those who find Finril's text unavailable, after many adventures on islands between Craag and Evermore the exiles finally landed in 5782. The Evermorians granted lands to settle around Lom Gil. It is important to remember at this point Evermore is governed by the Loreward as no rightful King has ruled in 5000 years.
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Of the Sleepers
Before this part of the Tale of the Exiles is finished, it must be stated that the League of Evil pursued their enemies; infact vast fleets were sent. Most were destroyed on the Great Reef, a natural barrier protecting much of the coast of Evermore and also by the power of the Loreward. It is estimated that of the tens of thousands of troops sent only a few hundred have ever set foot on Evermore (though this is indeed how Orcs, Trolls and Ogres first came to Evermore). Eventually the League got wise to Evermore's defences so it is said in amongst the wave they sent members of a special mission, some priests, Ogres and Orcs. These were instructed to seal themselves inside a mountain and begin a breeding programme. Orcs breed up to 3 times a year, with litters of around four and reach sexual maturity around five. Given these facts, in some unknown mountains in Evermore there are quite literally millions of Orcs awaiting their summons to war on behalf of the League of Evil once more - these are called 'The Sleepers'.
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Of the Darkendari
About 4000 miles in an easterly direction off Evermore's coast lies the continent of Eilind. Many countries make up Eilind's population, but this tale concerns perhaps the most influential of these, Darkendar.
Some time, thought to be around two thousand years ago, 81 mighty houses ruled a vast and bountiful country - and much like modern Darkendar with its nine houses, politics and intrigue ruled. It is thought though that an Emperor, elected for life, kept the houses ambitions at least someway in check, but at this time 20 centuries ago a weak Emperor sat on the throne and court intrigue grew apace. As they are today, the people then were psionic, and the nobility even more so, with devastating mind powers far surpassing our modern Grandmasters (the title denotes access to table 4 psionics). Although this is only one version of many tales it is said that during a banquet held for the 81 Houselords, a traveller who had appeared some years before quickly (some said abnormally swiftly) slew the Emperor openly during the ceremony. Though this traveller was despatched almost instantly with Noble Blades, it is said that his last words were that he had prepared the way for his coming masters, and soon Darkendar would be plunged into a darkness that would last for millennia. Reading this now in light of Evermorian insight into the Enemy it is not considered beyond reason that this Assassin was infact a minor Servant of the Enemy. What happened was what could so easily have been predicted - most Houselords each in turn declared themselves Emperor. A swift and furious battle ensued.
It is said that the population of millions was slaughtered in a handful of days, as even the lowliest peasants were drafted to war. The results were devastating. Extravagant use of powerful psionics had laid the lands bare, with whole forests burned, lakes and streams dried to the bone. It is said even the mountain regions were laid to rubble and all this in a few short days. The Tuthananac (a nomadic stone age tribal people of the continent) still have a fire side myth of how the sky burned one night and of their great hero who put out the fire.
A few scrag ends drew themselves out of the ashes only to be blasted again by a preternatural wind, the auspices of which were only later to come to light. Finally some order was achieved, as some distant cousins of the House Dakor were found. This house along with Midigan, High Leah and Venndark had suffered least in the wars, though every Houselord and their direct lines had perished.
Nine houses finally reformed along with those above - Summunai, Ash Leah, Azukarn, Altioc and Arden. Dakor took the reigns of power but it was decreed that never again would an Emperor rule in Darkendar.
The time span here is completely conjecture. What legends have passed to us say that a dozen thousand people spent three to five generations attempting to rebuild what they had, but all that remained was a desert where no crops would grow and the rain that fell was sometimes poisonous. Though the Darkendari are well renowned for their large families still a great many died in that struggle.
The Coming of Aktarn
How the Theocracy came to power is not certain, but the story is that Priests came out of the wilderness to tell the people that they had been punished by god for their arrogance. Reluctant to have any gods rule in their place, the Houselords planned to seize these Priests, and to this end requested an audience from these priests "to find enlightenment". The Houselords arrived with only one bodyguard each, thinking they could take men of holy orders with ease, but this did not come to pass. The priests, having slain the guards, seized and bound the Lords. Then so it is told to us by the Renegades of House High Leah the leader of the Priests gave each of the Houselords a choice - "will you die with honour for your peoples' sake, or will you live forever under the yoke of mighty Atkarn?". Dakor, it is said, yielded first, and Midigan the last, but all gave in for fear of their own lives.
Then the junior Lords were summoned to a place in the desert and held witness to the swearing of an Oath. Each of the Houselords' first heir was taken as a hostage, later to be raised as brainwashed Servants to Atkarn. Then a great sacrifice was demanded but what that sacrifice was is never mentioned even in the renegade texts... it is easy to imagine however that a thousand Darkendari innocents perished somewhere in an unmarked grave. Lord Dakor is said then to have returned 'invigorated' and 'stronger willed' then before.
It is now that the priests, who had preached Hellfire and damnation amongst the people, declared that some of those people were not 'pure' and should be purged. Appointing Houselords to high ranks they implemented The Inquisition, later to be known as the Grand Inquisition of Darkendar. Many were 'purged', and more than a few fled including an entire wing of the Di'Asturiens clan, a very important and influential noble body. Most of those fled to neighbouring Kleet and were accepted there, but that is a tale for later.
As time flew on the Inquisition grew more and more powerful, and ever and anon the Houselords of Venndark, Dakor and Altioc were picked by the 'Chaessena' (the Chosen) of the Theocracy to take upon themselves the lifelong title of the Grand Intelligencier.
It is now surmised that the Fourth Servant of the Enemy, called "Famine" by the Ancients, (and this he most certainly brought to Darkendar) called also the Lord of Pride and also called Fane, embodied himself repeatedly over the centuries in various of these Grand Intelligenciers. Since the first there are listed six 'Great Sacrifices' through the history of the Realm, each one heralding the rising to position of a new Grand Intelligencier, each rule of such being marked by a long lived Hierophant and marked also by an increasingly tyrannical and cruel regime. The last of these supposed embodiments fell to the hands of Menelaus Bane, the Warlord of Ullratha Commando, and his heroic pair Garion, when they used strasi to destroy the body of the Intelligencier at Kavarre.
Some Additional Notes on Darkendar
As is now thought Fane has ruled in Midigan more than once, and as he brought famine so too had he brought pride, which undoubtedly precipitated the Eilindanian Conquest wars, which saw the Legions of the Inquisition storm most of the neighbouring countries and eventually Evermore. After the foolish adventurers in exile from Evermore destroyed the Order known as The Choiristas who had successfully contained Darkendari ambition and held Eilind in a peaceful status quo for millennia.
In 5854 the last Grand Intelligencier declared himself for the Emperor's crown not worn in Darkendar for twenty centuries. Fearing that united again the Inquisition could once more take on the world as the dreadfully efficient warriors those people are, the Regency sent a party unbeknownst to general Evermorian intelligence there was much disapproval even amongst those that were closest to the Intelligencier. An Emperor would break tradition, and also bring potential doom and bad luck as once before on all Darkendar.
Traitors to the regime, including Suzzona Hilary Benn Storn, Danataan Hayhaan, Domenic and Ysabet Di'Asturiens, had encouraged their allies at Sonnats Gil to take over the forces and lands of the Inquisition. As the Evermorians arrived with little more than iron powder (iron neutralises psionic talents in any large quantities in a bodily system), so also arrived Mikhael Errolfini who then proceeded to slay the Grand Intelligencier and seat himself upon the throne. Lancaster, a Jester in Errolfini's train then exposed the disguised Evermorians who managed to flee in the confusion as troops loyal to the Intelligencier and those traitors loyal to Sonnats Gil fought it out. With Dos Fiad present Damien Di'Asturiens was quickly driven off. Later he along with Sir Vaydakor, Sir Denagorn, both of the Knights of Dark Reknown, along with other Houselords of forces who opposed the Gil's coup, approached the Evermorian High Table begging exile for their people.
Faces of the Inquisition and of Darkendar
Currently the Darkendari people are split in vast degrees of loyalty and location. One could as easily stand alongside an Inquisition Stormtrooper these days as fight him. Here are some of those factions explained.
Summunai: Just before he died, the Ancient Lord of Summunai named Loric Kyrie and his heir requested exile for his people away from their homeland as he perceived them to be in great danger. Members of the Knights Amoriath assisted in the very cleverly concealed evacuation of 40,000 Summunai house members. The Rune Dukes offered land for them to settle in Draconsmere and as far as we know are there still.
Di'Asturiens Inquisition: Still fundamentally loyal to their own beliefs are the recent evacuees who have been styled the Di'Asturiens group/clan. These compromise 50,000 Darkendari, a good third of those warriors who have come with Damien Di'Asturiens and Lord Denagorn from their dispossessed estates to settle as refugees in Evermore. It is an uneasy truce, with the clan vowing to return home at the first possible opportunity.
Bandit Inquisition: When the Inquisition pulled out of Evermore decades ago they left just a few units of soldiers. Many eventually struggled home but more than a few took to banditry. These, now ashamed to return home or join their Houselords in exile remain as bandits, but retain the strict military discipline of their training.
Gil Inquisition: The fourth force, undoubtedly largest in number, consist of those Houselords (and by far most of the population of Darkendar) who have accepted the rule of Errolfini as Emperor.
Renegade Inquisition: Some Inquisition forces resisted the Gil's coup but also refused Di'Asturiens' persuasion to place themselves at Evermore's mercy. This force was decimated in their first encounters with the Gil Inquisition but a few of numbers unknown remain.
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Of the Enemy
When Castle Craag fell, a series of events were set into motion that exposed the presence of many dark forces at large within our world and beyond it. When the exiles first came to our shores more than eighty years ago and recounted tales of the destruction of their homeland, it was the Loreward of the Care who first diagnosed the Hand of the Enemy at work. The refugees questioned the Ward concerning the Enemy and this is what they were told: (Read this piece carefully as some initial information is later to be uncovered incorrect.)
Since mankind first walked the earth a creature - a being of immeasurable age and hatred - took interest in us. It is conjectured by some schools of thought that infact humanity and our sibling races caused the genesis of The Enemy, some few even believe it to be sprung from our own darker emotions. This being's exact nature is not known save that it dwells somewhere on this plane of existence, far off. It has plagued mankind and any who have aligned themselves endlessly through countless aeons. Its nature and history is only known in part through the babblings of lunatics and the words of prophets along with some revelations by its own servants.
It was first thought that The Enemy can choose an Avatar nine times upon the earth before 'The Last Day' - an Evermorian prophesy of the end of the world when the forces of evil and good would fight the final engagements and either the world would be destroyed or reborn. It was later thought that The Enemy (due to the apparent rebirth of Errolfini) could have ten Avatars, but these theories are later discredited, as will be seen.
Recently a number of embodiments have plagued the world, a sudden rush as such. Ard Skraga, Deathtouch, Mythor, The Grand Intelligencier, Errolfini, even the now apotheosis Lord Tomas Ennear. What is now surmised is that the original prophesies were not wrong and that they were simply misinterpreted. It is now known that The Enemy has probably never embodied an Avatar form on earth, but infact its eternal servants have.
Servants of The Enemy
It is now known that four spirits, eternal servants, do the Enemy's bidding on earth, being embodied by use of the Darkside Ritual - the ritual in which a thousand innocent souls must be slain between dusk and dawn by the hand of he who would become the body of one of the spirits.
The aspects of these four creatures have been :
Grand Intelligencier - called Fane Vattar - called Famine - thought to have walked on earth eight times.
Deathtouch - thought to be Nage (Orom?) - called War. Number of incarnations unknown.
Errolfini - true name unknown - called Pestilence - called Jealousy. Thought to have been incarnated nine times !
Rael - Current incarnation unknown - called Death - called Despair.
Minor Servants of The Enemy
The Lord of Sonnats Gil has a great many, more infact even than perhaps all the allies of Evermore together. But of these twelve are considered to be the chiefest of his Captains. Here is a short piece on what we know of each.
Kraal: Commander of Errolfini's elite guards, the Dos Fiad. (Dos Fiad are warped Erith-Gyr encased in a dreadful armour of warpstone which grants them the powers of that substance, even though they can normally only live in such a corrupt substance for 3 months before it finally crushes their bodies and their souls). Kraal was first introduced at the 'Temple of Love' incident, and due to his loyalty and good service Errolfini has repeatedly re-energised his armour and kept him alive.
Uridae: Legate of the tenth Ullratha Legion who nine millennia past encompassed the doom of the Rune Dukes under a previous embodiment. Uridae has since stayed alive with his original Legionnaires in a constant quest to destroy all Ullratha Knights.
Maeg-Dur: Not much is known about the Lord of the 'First Coven' of the Khalan-Kor save that like all his brothers and sisters, he is a many spirited being, having had many powerful spellcasters bound into one being. Also with his might Maeg-Dur once slew most of the adventurers who were bound for the 'Land' in years past.
Bradur of Bardalesk: Chief of the warrior Malimorh in service to Mikhael Errolfini, Bradur is alleged to be the military genius behind most of the Gils' triumphs including 'Landwell'. He is also known to be something of a loose cannon and to have actually on occasion assisted Evermorians against the Gil, undoubtedly serving his own ends.
As an extra note it is worth mentioning that undoubtedly for their own purposes Malimorh are to be found at the Gil, in service to Darkdreams at Castle Corruption, and when two opposed factions meet they will not fight each other.
Ysabet Di'Asturiens-Ardais: One of the first Inquisition Lordlings despatched from Darkendar to arrange treaties and alliances with Sonnats Gil. Ysabet was one of the first to kneel when the Lord of the Gil usurped the Crown of Darkendar. As Grand Master of the Divulgers and more than an accomplished Assassin, Ysabet has been one of the most effective agents of evil of the time. It was Ysabet who drafted the 'Web Plan', she who slew Shandor Thimblek in Midigan, Lady Rosamunda at Briens, and Faelcar, Princess of Ice Elves during the Chorista's incident.
Lancaster: Formerly a Harlequin of the Regency and Kyrie-Summunai, this creature was then captured by the Gil and warped by Errolfini into his own puppet. Lancaster slew the Grand Intelligencier during the Darkendari coup.
Bookah: Certainly not a man, but rather a spirit of Voodoo and evil that takes an Akrean body as its host. The Bookah is thought to be the spiritual Chieftain of the ferocious Varjad of Akrea. Seldom seen in Avmar, it is thought Errolfini only sends for this agent when in great need.
Jacquanais (Jak-er-nay): Formerly northern Pope of Evermore this Amoriath Necromancer was discovered having dealings with various powers of Darkness and the KGP. De-frocked, the Necromancer fled east and threw his lot in with the Gil. He was until recently Lord Governor of the Free States until their liberation by Kyrie-Summunai.
Danatan Hayhaan: Another turncoat from the Inquisition. Originally killed at Kavarre, Errolfini had the Genetics Master Hanuman Able clone Hayhaan, undoubtedly even then having designs on the Throne of Darkendar.
Gom : Dakashea General, military leader of the Kaylax hive. Gom has not been since the Tantivy incident though it is without doubt he is still alive, infact probably onboard the Etsu Nam.
The Dreadful Garrot: Not much is known about this creature except that it is an amalgam of beings. There are thought initially to have been three of the beasts bound into one gigantic form, but one of these was slain by Lorimar Van Dross and Zodiac Crom Danaan. It was last encountered during the 'Land Expedition' and was successfully slain by Trin Truespear of the House Tuor. All said it should have one body left. It formerly served as bodyguard to Errolfini but has been replaced by Kraal. Its current function is unknown. Eonwe of Beor later took its fearful sword and destroyed the awesome weapon.
Hanuman Able: The Genetics Master, the last of Errolfini's major captains, is a Thane - one of the Immortals created just prior to the Oblivion Wars. Although more than a few of this race have fallen from grace it is thought Able was the first. The exact way in which he fell is unclear, but it is thought that while creating a 'Mat' for genetically improved soldiers, the initial work of which later spawned the Erith-Gyr, Erith-Thane and Halgala Danask races, he accidentally created the creature we call the Chameleon. During the attack Hanuman was driven insane, but later gained his freedom from incarcerations during the final days of war. Since then he has employed his talents for genetics meddling in much of the Enemies plans even cloning Lieutenants who were on dangerous duties. It is now believed that he has successfully managed to clone Dark Erith-Thane.
This is far from a listing of all the Servants of The Enemy, but these twelve are thought to be closest to Errolfini. Others though include The Chameleon, The Puppet Master, Gulnar (?), Roderick the Red Earl of Marnom, Lorimar (?), Malaclypse the Eldar (?), Lithos of Gahl and others whose histories are as yet unknown to us.
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Of the Darkdreaming God
Besides that Enemy which is called simply 'The Enemy' or 'The Great Adversary', there is another power which has plagued man since his birth into the world. This evil force has many titles, but the most common of these are Darkdreams or the Darkdreaming God or Maquam Nilf. It is said that when the Worldsmith first sang to the mighty Dreamwyrm firstly he did not fill all of creation, but left a place void of anything, perhaps for some planned later work. But this void took upon itself a form and coming to the Halls of Silver and Steel it told the Smith in everything it would now mar his creations.
This is at least the spiritual view of how Darkdreams came into existence. It is later said that as the Dreamwyrm created our reality from the song of the Smith so the creature called Darkdreams whispered of lies, deceit, jealousy and the one weapon both adversaries use - hatred. In their sleep it is said at that very earliest time man first had nightmares for this is his domain and on waking perceived betrayal and lies all around and slew their brothers, friends and mates in fear of this.
Darkdreams is said to have visited earth little as for countless aeons he has worked alone. It was only recently discovered by Evermorians that infact the Darkdreaming God has been mostly concerned with Eilind and its people and that for centuries the inhabitants of that continent have been plagued by the Weird Lords.
Concerning the Servants of the Darkdreaming God
The Weird Lords
Only three Weird Lords were encountered by Evermorians - Enos Yorl, Tasha Bajarn and Mog Agorn. They ranged out of the Fortress called Castle Corruption, doing the work of their master. It was later announced by these three that infact two more such Weird Lords existed, these they named the 'Sleepers', and that the Sleepers would only awaken when their Master required their greater powers.
Enos Yarl (the Green Weird Lord, the Magician)
The least encountered of the Weird Lords, this one originally seemed to be the cool headed strategist of the original trio. Of the three that have ever been engaged, Enos Yorl is the only one of the trio that has never tasted defeat. When Tasha Bajarn was killed, this Weird Lord slipped into the habit of assuming her form. Not much is known of the form of magnitude of Yorl's magical power save that he has bested some of Evermore's greatest including Finril Flametongue and Tomas of the White (at a point when both these worthies were incarnate).
Tasha Bajarn (the Purple Weird Lord, a Vampire)
It is known that some centuries past Tasha was a living entity but at this point she encountered the Rune Duke Utterdark, then posing as the mercenary warlord Baron Malisang. No details are recorded save that it is obvious Utterdark slew the Weird Lord using his 'Undead' power causing her to return in her Undead form. Tasha was eventually killed by the Amoriath Knights Menelaus Bane, Earthwise and Shandor Thimblek.
Mog Agon (the Red Weird Lord, the Berserker)
Despite his status as the warrior of the three lesser Weird Lords, Agon is far from powerful and has been killed by Nadrey Kyrie, Estrana Strangesong and a Grimalcon attack. For reasons unknown though after only a few months Mog will be seen again doing his masters bidding.
Tempor Khan (the Blue Weird Lord, thought to be a psionic priest)
Quantities and qualities unknown.
Varian Lock (Death Knight)
Once a Drowh Paladin and War Leader to the Michaelines, Varian Lock was killed after an unprecedented assault on the Lady Daneth. From his death he arose again as a Death Knight in service to the Darkdreaming God. Since then he has fought and nearly defeated Raisclari, Flaymax and Gareth Shequi at High Table when he declared 'Status War' on behalf of the Weird Lords.
Tusk (Leader of the Ra-men)
It would seem that around Castle Corruption the Weird Lords have instigated some kind of mental tractor beam which is pulling in against their own volition all humans from over an expansive region. Once at the Castle they are made to fight in a gladiatorial arena. The strongest survive, and are then bound with ferocious animal spirits and they become Ra-Men, ferocious warriors to the Weird Lords. Tusk is thought to have once been a mighty hero of Dadan Amask who did great damage initially to the Weird Lords' efforts. His name forgotten, he now commands the Ra-men for the Weird Lords. It is thought there are as many as 20,000 Ra-men.
There are many Malimorh and other servants including the Wierdlings and also the Acid Blobs.
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Of Avmar and the Exiles
5490 approx. A priest commits the Darkside Ritual in far Craag Keep and names himself 'Deathtouch'. The Kings' men of Peckfortain drive him and his servants from the city and into the far west of the Continent.
5585 approx. The League of Evil begins its destruction in the Western Continent.
5587 approx. A vast alliance army drives the League west, but is decimated in the process.
5672 approx. The impetuous young King Rudolf II leads an expedition west to hunt down Deathtouch. No word is heard of him nor his army again.
League activity intensifies and their agents infiltrate the adventurers.
The finale of this part of the 'Western War' is written about in Section 1 of this book and again then in detail in Finril's Memoirs part 1. We will now jump to Evermorian history.
The Peckfortanian exiles land at a place later named Haven, and are welcomed and granted lands around Lom Gil in the province of Lind.
A young Necromancer's greed for power leads him to commit the Darkside Ritual for the first time on Evermorian soil in nearly six thousand years. Ard Skraga becomes a direct embodiment of the Servant of the Enemy called Despair, called Pestilence. In the autumn of that year, the Peckfortanian scout named simply 'Snake Eye' recovers the legendary 'Heartsease Gem' from a coven of evil Witches. By the end of the year the Peckfortanians establish the first Adventurers' College.
Ard Skraga's rampages in the north continue, the Lore Ward too weak after centuries of peace to stand against the Hordes of Dark things that have flocked from hiding to Skraga's banner. The brave souls exiled and recently trained natives are sent to assassinate Skraga, amongst them Ennear, Val Callofire, Snakeye and Eldar. Along the way the Gyr play their hand and give the group the legendary sword Lumenore (once wielded by an ancient) and smite Skraga into a pillar of stone with Lumenore, but as this happens Eldar the Sorceror (see Finril's) grabs 'The One' (ring) and speeds away towards ancient Krull Keep. Skraga alas with his dying breath curses all Gyr males to impotence. Finally Gulna of Clun, servant of Skraga, escapes swearing vengeance for his master.
Ombarg Duran Dusk and Eonwe, Knight Marshal of the Exiled House of Beor, reform the ancient Order of the Knights Amoriath. Eldar, called Blacklamb, now seizes Castle Krull, and by use of the power of The One, draws Orcs, Trolls, and Ogres to him. Beleg, now Prince of Evermore, indulges in a quick alliance with Princess Evenstar Ellesedil then leaves on a quest into the East never to return.
At the end of the year, the Adventurers Guild despatch Astrovak, Thomas and Bale to the ancient ruins of Amatyr - which at this stage is little more than an ancient deserted shell of a city - with the Heartsease Gem, to attempt to locate the tomb of a legendary King who once ruled the realm. After battling supernatural evil they succeed and release from the Gem the souls of Dagravane, his sons Mythor and Kygor, along with one hundred and twenty White Knights of the King's Company.
The Lore Ward crowns the King in a hastily rebuilt capital and all pledge alliance. Bale Val Callofire inadvertently releases the three Daemon Sultans of Darkness from a mysterious bottle. After a long battle Ombarg Duran Dusk successfully imprisons the three in a northern village, whose name is struck from the history records. During the final confrontation the High Lord of the Care is killed. Fenrir Wolf, summoned by Gulnar of the Dark Path, is halted and dismissed from his ravaging of the Firith by Astrovak and Tomas Ennear.
A sentient Grimalcon (an ancient pre-oblivion weapon of mass destruction) stirs in the North. This dreadful thing, awakened from millennia of slumber, transmits waves of evil emotions out into the surroundings. Crown Prince Mythor is despatched to deal with the situation, but as the Prince touches the device, the sentient spirit inside it leaps to the Prince. As the party flee the Prince struggles to contain the evil that has entered him. It is later reported that the now warped Mythor fled into the mountains of Draconsmere to commit the Darkside Ritual. Blacklamb's legions start to move south but are stopped by royal forces. Lithos a weird cult leader forms the Priesthood of Gahl in the mountains of Region and begins to harass nearby villages from is hill fortress. Snakeye, Amoriath Knight is assumed Missing In Action.
Malaclypse the Eldar (an ancient criminal once driven from the plane of existence by the Lore Ward), is seen again on Evermorian soil. Attempts to hunt him down fail. Lorimar, brother to Ard Skraga, arrives from his homelands to search for his brother. Finding him dead, he swears vengeance on Evermore. Astrovak kills Lithos of Gahl, but Mythor raised the warped priest and appoints him as a Lieutenant. Nightshade (a vampiric Necromancer), Ashea Kyrie (an Anti-Paladin of the Aflame) and Gulnar's son rob the tomb of Azaduke and take his sword.
Mythor, having gathered a great many forces, begins the second war of the Enemy by simultaneously attacking Krull and the King's people in the midlands. Initial casualties and damage is extensive. Blacklamb and Dagravane sign a mutual aid treaty against Mythor. Flaymax, Bale, Cecil, and Tomas are instrumental in saving Castle Arbicor (the Wizards' Guilds' Castle). Raecor, one time evil priestly Lieutenant to Ard Skraga, now serving Mythor, is killed. Mythor elevates the dead priest to the rank of Skeletal Lord.
In the Battle of Trollsdain - Mythor's only manoeuvre towards open warfare - he was thwarted by the Lords, King's Knights and the House of Beor, cf. Binx, 'The Collected Lore of Evermore'. Cecil Mogohbeh ascends the Black Dwarf throne. Mythor secretly sends overtures of peace to his younger brother, Kygor.
In the Ap.Eila.Sal (the Gates of Paradise) incident, Dagravane with a heavy heart slays the body of Mythor driving away the embodied spirit. Astrovak Mikosavar decides to pass through to paradise and is never seen again. Bale Val Callofire marries Evensong Ellesedil, but she is kidnapped by Ashea Kyrie and later returns with two sons, Shale and Nadrey.
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Of Gods and Goddesses
Despite the rather atheistic/agnostic nature of most Regency Adventurers, the general population is actually quite religious. Here is a sample of the Deities revered around the Realm and by our allies.
Dreamwyrm & Worldsmith
Worshipped by various people's in various forms around the globe, these two Deities are acknowledged by most to be the primal creators of the Realm, whether as Evermorians believing that this world is infact a dream or as Eilindanians that the world was born out of chaos and forged to the present. The Kamarthians often refer to a Worldsmith. Style God as 'The Everlasting Sky' and a supreme female personification as 'The Boundless Earth'. Tuatha de Dannans and Firvulag alike, although often aware of the difference, use the title Crom and Danu in place of the Smith and the Wyrm (though both names are also used to describe very different Deities). The Tuthananac (Cavebears) as well as strangely enough (despite being thousands of years apart) the people of Draconsmere often call them Ea (the Wyrm primal creator Goddess) and Eyr (primal creator God). The Shinii often use the terms Cao-Shir for the Smith and Svan Lung for the Wyrm.
Some other deities often assumed to be servants or less brethren (Evermorians would usually accept their classification as Greater Ar Spirits) are:
Donblaz - Kleetian God of Law and Honour
Worshipped widely in Kleet, Donblaz is often portrayed (oddly perhaps) as a young fair haired male of medium height and athletic build. He is attributed as the wielder of the Bow of Judgement, a fabled weapon alleged to slay any dishonourable or unlawful creature with a single arrow.
Symbol : White Oriflame on Dark Blue field.
Familiar - The Hawk.
Suriy - Goddess of Caerleon, Mistress of The Hunt
Worshipped exclusively in Caerleon and Northern Anisfarl, Suriya is usually portrayed as a young woman with waist length hair also carrying a bow. Offerings of cloth and pottery are usually given immediately following a successful hunt.
Symbol : Black Boars head on a White field.
Familiar - The Hound.
Enul - Father of Magic & Enki, Mother of All Wisdom (General Evermorian)
Although worshipped widely across Evermore, Encil and Enki are obscure and very ancient deities. Only on Temple Way in Central Amatyr will actual temples be found. Elsewhere their holy places tend to be restricted to sacred groves and small alters. Witches tend to revere Enki.
Symbol : The Sun & the Crescent Moon.
Shamas - First Lord of Hosts, Evermorian Western Seaboard Duty
Portrayed only as a flaming sword, his common symbol, many young superstitious Evermorian soldiers will pray to Shamas to guide them before a battle. Shamas in very ancient days was perceived as a very cruel god demanding, or so it is alleged, sacrifices of prisoners after a successful encounter. These days small fowl and the odd goat seem to suffice.
Symbol : Flaming Longsword.
Familiar - Wolf.
Shavla, Shapla, Shanla - Lord of Stealth, Concealment, Escape (General Evermorian)
One of the most roguish deities of Evermore's very diverse pantheons. He has three different names mainly due to regional inflexion, but also as many see it as his three forms; as a Lord of Thieves and Assassins, as a boyish master of Mischief and finally as a Lord of Shadows and protector of the innocent in hiding. His statues are only small and his holy places few and often in keeping with tradition, secret. "Shapla protect you" or "Shavla take you" are two common phrases expressing the many faces of this god.
Symbol : Wind swept empty cloak.
Familiar - The Cat.
Aezar - Edhaal Lord of Peace
In the huge oak and pine forests of Edhaal in the deep south of Eilind among others, they worship Aezar - the Peace God. In one of his forms he is lord of peace and will often be consulted before battle praying that Aezar grants peace to his people and make this their last conflict. (Edhaals although considered fearless despise the need for warfare except when they deem the cause just!). Also Aezar is a minor Death God, granting peace to the just and pure in the hereafter.
Covell, Ninsum - Universal Love God & Goddess
Where their respective cults came from no-one knows exactly but they have spread across all the known parts of the globe to a greater or lesser degree. Covell also sometimes manifests in capacity as a God of Mischief and Ninsum as a minor Goddess of Battle (?).
Symbol : Yellow or White Chasuble (often worn by couples during marriage).
Familiars - The Hare & the Squirrel.
Also in and around our world are darker deities whose practices and natures are considered to be evil - naturally most people ignore these but some small communities placate these powers and some smaller ones still secretly conduct the ceremonies of these Gods.
Tiamat - Queen of the False Dragons, Spawn of the Pit
Firstly it is important to note in this world there are two types of Dragons. True Dragons are few and far between, they are Ar Spirits who despite their persecution at the hands of our ignorant and ill informed ancestors have decided to remain inside the Dream. There are thought to be three Krull Hrodvintir a Lumunor a batha who sleeps, imprisoned (though no-one knows how or why beneath Krull Keep. Falcor Brin Lansa, a Dragon of Luck and Good Fortune and a third alleged to sleep beneath the Care. Secondly there are the False Dragons, which are in actuality simply giant lizards thought to have been corrupted and originally formed by Tiamat. Their varieties are Red, White, Black and Green. Tiamat has never manifested on earth, but she also created the Fahrd and has meddled in many earthbound affairs. She is known to have sided with the Enemy and aided his servants on a number of occasions.
Symbol : A Many Headed Dragon.
Cuthul (Cuthulu) - Lord of the deep waters beneath, Great Old One
Thought actually to be a direct manifestation of the Spirit of the Enemy, Cuthulu is said to have been imprisoned aeons before the Oblivion War (probably sometime near the end of the third age, by the Atlantean Hero Marduk. He like his compatriots in the Pantheon of the Great Old Ones is a Lord of Insanity and Wishes, reasons unknown to dominate the earth and destroy mankind.
No Recorded Symbol.
Ariock - First of the Eight Lords of Chaos, Duke of Hell
At one time a widespread deity in Evermore as Mikosavaar spread his word, it was soon uncovered that the nature of Ariock's chaos was a very unsavoury kind and the religion underwent more than a little persecution (here! here!). Now only the Souls of the Inner Dark, some Malimorh and a few foolish Demonists are said to worship this Duke of the Third Plane. It is also of note that in a contemporary religion where Azrael, called Satan and Lucifer made his intentions clear that he wished to reunite and seek the forgiveness of God. It was Ariock, Belial and Gyron, who expelled Satan into the void after a coup deposing him from his Principality of Hell. Beware those who would follow this chaotic Demon-God for though Mikosavaar served him well - Ariock encompassed the undoing of the Priest.
Symbol : The Eight Pins.
Kali, Kalimar - The Dark Earth Mother
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A Goddess of Destruction and Death, or so those who now worship her have made her. Kalimar's main worshippers are members of the illegal 'Thugee' Cult of Assassins and also the Sons of Deprivation (Malimorh elite). The Ullratha destroyed her primary temple in Hrothgar Gap around a decade ago.
Symbol : A Many Armed Woman.
Familiar : Unknown.
Skorn (Lizardmen): the Skorn are the direct successors to the Orels. After hundreds of years of service to the Enemy and finally working closely with Warp Stone the very make up of the Orels (normally one of the less aggressive servitor races to the Enemy). Their offspring became the Skorn (apparently an Orel word meaning "Merciless renders of Flesh"). Skorn are extremely vicious fighting recklessly and never retreating. If undirected by a strong master Skorn will rampage killing anything including each other. They have glands as well which secretes, in various strengths depending on the strength of the individuals, acid. The weaker and more numerous members of this race use this acid to spit into their preys eyes causing temporary blindness. Stronger members can spit more potent acid with a potency capable of consuming a normal human body in a matter of minutes. As a final note on the Skorn, they also have some diversity of species including Black, Red and White. Not much is known of the sub-species except that the Red has some fire attack related capabilities, it's glands excreting a highly inflammable gas. The White Skorn, although how is unclear, breathe a weird kind of frost attack capable of freezing prey solid in a similar fashion to their parent race the Orels. Blacks have never been encountered at close quarters.
Rockwraiths: in the deeper darker depths of Sunswallow Caverns live the bigger, stronger and more ferocious cousins of the Cavewights. This Mammalian species at full height stands over seven feet high, a head taller than their cousins and also with some although willowy muscled build, up to two feet broad at the shoulder. Altogether an awesome sight. They can also often be rated as up to five times stronger than most human males. Rockwraiths are more aggressive and territorial than Cavewights but they are also more cunning. Operating in smaller packs they will often play with their foes. Not much is known about their social or family structure and their language is a complete mystery (no-one has ever stayed around long enough to make full enquiries). As yet they have not been noted in service to either of the major powers, but have been known to serve various mischief makers.
Population: Est. 2000 - 6000 Allegiance: Independent.
Adraldi: living in the aeries of Draconsmere and Region are this cunning and powerful race. Looking like a tall hairy human (around 7'-8') with a half wolf, half bat head and huge bat like wings, merely their aspect instils fear in most. Cunning creatures but savage, their screech is often used as a sonic weapon causing injury to targets and among the more powerful disruption to the environment. Although usually found serving the Gil, they often serve their own ends and it said that in ancient times they often entered into treaties with the Ullratha of Draconsmere. Although it is now regarded as a myth, it is said Ullratha Knights often used them as steeds in war.
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Population: Est. 1500-3000 Allegiance: Gil / Independent.
Of Ancient History
It came to pass that the boy Danar was crowned and named Dagravane, and Evermore once more had a rightful and just King. His rule was long, and fraught with perils and dangers under which any lesser King must surely have failed and surrendered the people into darkness once and for all.
DRE 1 For a short time peace reigned in the realm, but the second black league, the Lansvaster was far from finished and it merely waited and gathered once more its dark servants and strength. The Dukes petitioned the King and Dagravane agreed that all Lansvaster strongholds should be purged immediately. With the royal company of Amatyr, the Dukes and Earls and their companies, the King marched on Valsinglas and in one decisive victory ruined the fortress there and enabled the release of the captured Erith-Gyr. Now the army was unstoppable, and in a few short months all Lansvaster garrisons south of Anisfarl had been annihilated.
DRE 2 In the early spring, the King decided to push his advantage and attack Krull itself, but while exiting the mountains of Region one evening, Black Dwarves in cahoots with the Lansvaster and near ten thousand in number attacked the King's company. In the darkness, chaos reigned and humans and elves alike were slain en masse. As dawn broke, and the Black Dwarves fled beneath once more, it became apparent nearly half the army was dead or severely injured.
DRE 3 Retreating now all the way to Amatyr, Dagravane finds that Ombarg Duran Dusk has raised him a fresh army including a good number of De Dannans.
Dagravane's countrymen, speeding to Danakil, the royal army crushed a force that had set out to pursue them with ease. Now a decision was required, for Brin Lansa who had once prophesised that the boy Danar be born at this time of need, had also prophesised that Krull Keep should only fall once to battle and that the leader of that army should be named Val Callofire. Despite this, the Military Council as one decided to press on. Near Skull Fissures, called Scamora by those that live about it, a young Loreward attempts to lure Dagravane into a trap, but Duran Dusk's timely arrival saves the King. The traitor Ward suicides, and as a thrice cursed spirit he rises up to become the Lord Death Step, master of the Nightmare March. The King at liberty, and well, marches on to Krull.
DRE 5 After a few years protracted campaigning, all the north is free. On Anloss Plain, knowing that this round is over and it will be generations before the Enemy's power touches Evermore again, the Lansvasters last legions give one last battle and is destroyed. The second Black League war is over 83 years after the first blows were struck.
DRE 8 Peace is costly, and the Dukes and Barons persuade the reluctant King to disband the army.
DRE 9 The King and Nobility are at odds. Dagravane perceives the need for an army but finance to rebuild a devastated Evermore means only a small standing force is maintained. The Lords of the Care intercede and propose the formation of the Adventurers' Guild. The Elemental Colleges, the Temples and Warriors School are opened to the peasantry. The whole exercise is a success and the King is reassured that a free military force will suffice.
DRE 13 The Care, a wealthy province, now sponsors adventurers to hunt down remaining agents of the Black League and also to regularly cull member of hostile races that regularly side with the Enemy.
DRE 15 The kingdom is finally stable. Most of the war-damaged towns and cities are repaired and the population again starts to grow. Dagravane suspends the war tax to the pleasure of both the Nobility and the common people. Also in this year, under Duke Valsettir Coryn of Regions direct instructions, twelve young Knights are chosen, the best of their generation, and are firstly assigned as the King's bodyguards. Later they are expanded by the King in steps to become one hundred and twenty. The White Knights become the King's personal strike force.
DRE 22 The Lords also do their bit to aid Evermore's new security-conscious regime and expand their council to seventy two allowing Druids, Priest and the more moral Wizards to take the Blue.
DRE 23 The College of Demonic Lore is opened after the first ward of Demonology is rescued out of Krull Keep.
DRE 24 The College of Stealth and Reconnaissance is opened in this year and the first scouts for the Adventurers Guild commence their training.
DRE 26 Dagravane, under pressure from the Nobility and the Lords Council, agrees that he will marry and carry on his line. A search is started for one who would be suitable.
DRE 29 A suitable bride is found, and the two are married in Royal Amatyr. Over twenty five thousand people descend on the capital for a week of celebration and festivals. To this day no-one knows the name of Dagravane's Lady as their story is said to end in tragedy at the end.
DRE 34 Crown Prince Mythor is born.
DRE 38 A group of Priests start a new cult dedicated to the reverence of life and the forbearance of arms. Because of their ideology they are slang named Inner Flames, and the name sticks.
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Of the King's Duel
In 5850 the Rune Duke Azaduke re-appeared and he being once little less than a King himself in his own day, challenged Dagravane for the crown. The King could do little more than accept as it is any Duke of the Realms right to do so. Even though Utterdark also freshly returned urged his brother against this folly, Azaduke would have none of it!
All hope rested on Ombarg Duran Dusk the mighty Thane who had once formed and controlled by his power, the Council of Rune Dukes. All believed that even belligerent Azaduke would acquiesce to Ombarg's will.
The Regency now played a dastardly hand and some agents of Covert Operations appeared in the Tavern and executed Duran Dusk for alleged acts of treason. It was a good plan. The Amoriath who had as yet stayed quiet trusting in Dusk fell to panic and nearly all as one, including Cade, D'Coomhar, Lambeth and Shequi who were Ullratha, planned to kill Azaduke lest he harm the King. But the King demanded they stay their hands and not interfere.
Whether the King knew that Duran Dusk still lived and that the Regency had produced a simulacrum (it is now widely known the Regency has often dealt with Hanuman Able) to this day is unknown.
The day of the Duel arrived and all the Princes, Chieftains, Lords and Knights were bidden to attend, to bear witness. As battle commenced it seemed the King would not fight back, instead only defend. A good defence at first, eventually started to crumble and near all the crowds pushed forward, tempted to save the King. However, the Duel was ringed by 3rd & 4th Commando Ullratha, along with Catspaw and Erith-Thane under clear instructions to kill any who would try to interfere, so none came on.
Azaduke rained blow after blow now on the King whose armour was now buckled and dented. After another hail of runic blows the King came to his knees. At this critical moment Ombarg Duran Dusk came from nowhere and with one short command instructed the Erith-Thane (whom he had originally created and so revere him), to interfere. Tane, the 'Soul Sentinel' deflected what would have been a killing blow from the Duke to the King. The rest of the Erith-Thane then proceeded to slay the Catspaw present and subdue the Commandos. Meanwhile Tane, with a crushing blow from his rune shearing fist, laid Azaduke to the floor.
Later seeing that the King not only had the respect of his brother and Duran Dusk, but also the loyalty of the Erith-Thane whom Dusk had created to protect him and his kind, Azaduke yielded and proffered a killing blow to the King.
The King did not slay the rebellious Duke. It is said the King spoke quietly to his fallen foe, "to kill you is to serve our enemy". Those close enough say that the King replied, "I would sooner your military prowess serve me on the battlefield". The Duke accepted and later became Evermore's Field Marshall.
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Of the Temple of Love
It is said that the three most holy places in Evermore are the Malornh Grove deep in Oakenwood in Garda, The Temple of Loving Kindness in the mountains of Region and the 'Meeting Hall' of ancient Care Keep - though nobody seems to know why this should specifically be.
Once upon a time Errolfini moved against these places and successfully desecrated two and it was also the first time he had fielded his dreaded Dos Fiad. It is later referred to as the Temple of Love incident and this is an account of what happened there.
It was in high spring and a great feast had been prepared at the Temple of Loving Kindness as a new Ek-Aru, the Spiritual Head of the Erith-Gyr nation, was to be invested. It is said once chose the Ek-Aru takes upon himself a 200 year duty in which, unfathomed how by any Evermorians, he is said to maintain a shield, as you will, all about the globe of the earth which, or so it is said, has the power to hold out the Enemy so that it may not manifest on this world.
Many powerful and influential people had been invited and perhaps owed to the cunning of the Priest and Priestesses of that place not just a few Amoriath and Amoriath apparent Knights. There was little doubt in any mind that Errolfini would attempt to disrupt the ceremony, but when the attack did come it was swift and deadly. Erith-Gyr, lured from their homes in ancient Danakil, had been corrupted by the Red Priest's (another title used to denote Errolfini) power and then encased in Warpstone armour. A fearsome and dedicated new form of soldier was thus created for the Enemy's service.
The Ceremony was interrupted as Errolfini, Kraal and a company of Fiad forced the gates to the Temple with a horde of Rockgnomes to assist. The priesthood held its ground to allow the adventurers to flee taking the Ek-Aru with them. Whatever was to happen next, the Ek-Aru must be initiated quickly lest the Enemy be granted passage onto the earth.
In the race that followed through gate shield after gate shield, more than a few lost their lives in bloody battles with the Dos Fiad. The group now led by Ricardetta, Kyle, Miles the Paladin, Finn O'Cruach and Gareth Shequi raced towards the Malorhn Grove in ancient Oakenwood. They arrived only to find Kadiche warriors in service to Errolfini had slaughtered the Druids' cult of Gymier and desecrated the Sacred Glade.
Only one of these sacred places remained now, the meeting hall of ancient Lords Keep. Now some of the bloodiest fighting took place, but in the end with the sword arms of Raisclari and John Lambeth along with the magics of Jeryll and Myvanwe they won through.
The ceremony was begun, but again the ceremony was interrupted. With only moments to spare, troops from the Care, the King, the Ullratha and House Beor arrived and successfully drove back Errolfini long enough for the Ak-Eru to be initiated.
The Master of the Gil acknowledged defeat and retreated for another day.