Most universes are not like that of the one we live in for they are formed of void and occasionally æther. It is only a long series of flukes that allowed the universe to develop p life as we know it.
At first there was nowhere. There was no time and no space for there to be none of. And then the universe sprung into existence, a 2 dimensional space, the dimensions are now known as the 4th and 5th dimensions by mortals, which was impossible to quantify yet did have a bound, full of empty, dark grey void.
Then into this universe came, from above the 5th dimension, æther, a deep purple fluid that leisurely swam into the universe. However it rested and settled with it's lower levels solidifying and distilling until they became Gaia. The weight upon Gaia was, however, too much. So she allowed the æther to fall through her. But she strapped some æther above which formed a vapor and then Neptune. The æther that had been allowed to pass below Gaia, however, had become trapped against the edge of the universe and had become doomed to be used for the petty whims of mortal men.
Gaia and Neptune decided to make a demonstration of their new found power to create another set of dimensions and not wanting to be out done by the universe before they created three. But this drained their power and so they could not create dimentions which like the original ones were both endless and with an edge.
This also caused the elements that they were formed out of to become less and less mixed and to begin to clump together until one day a craggy edge of Gaia became made only out of the element Earth and a drop of Gaia that flew into the Neptune before it could be reabsorbed became only made out of water.
This, of course, caused an imbalance in those areas that split them permanently from Gaia thrusting consciousness upon them creating what are now known as the elementals named after the elements that Gaia and Neptune have always been made of. This displeased Gaia despite the fact that in her weakened state she could do nothing to stop it. Meanwhile, Neptune was having his own problems for from him came the other opposed pair : Fire and Air.
The start of The Great Elemental WarEdit
Gaia and Neptune soon realised that if the elementals continued to spaw in their existing rate soon they would be completly consumed. They considered the subject long and hard and decided the only full solution would be to bar æther from rising to the surface again. Originally Gaia's existance did this perfectly but with the creation of another three dimensions gaps had apeared. They resolved to seal the greatest of these gaps with four great gates.
They tried many different things to destroy the elementals but found that they merely made the elementals stronger and more united. Eventually faced by four nations of elementals Gaia and Neptune realized that they could not defeat the elemtentals and so submitted to their dominance for the time. They watched the elemnentals for 54 days looking for weaknesses. First they observed their biology. Then they moved to planing out how they would react to different things before they hit upon a conclusion.
The elementals were completly and radically different. And they hated each other. True they had never met but Gaia and Neptune decided to change all this.
The Great Elemental WarEdit
|The story of water and earth||The story of air and fire|
|Gaia caused a great wave to lift the water elementals from the sea bed and deposit them on the earth elemental's wall. They spoke to each other but struggled to understand each other. The only thing that prevented a war from breaking out was water's distaste for violence and earth's bureaucracy. And so water left an ambassador while earth drafted a law to allow the declaration of war.||Neptune's battle against air and fire went far more successfully. Fire was naturally war like and happily pursue a battle against air who decided that the best way of dealing with fire was to defeat them. In fact air did defeat fire and banish them back to the top of the Durgmast Durhall where they licked their wounds and come up with something that could defeat water.|
|The peace between Earth and Water began to breaking down. The Earth Elementals had agreed to a set of circumstances under which war could be declared and although they could speak to each other neither side wished to communicate with the other. The crushing blow came when the water ambassador sustained a crushing blow to the head and was killed. Earth claim that it was from a freak falling rock but this can neither be proved nor disproved.||Fire looked long and hard for something that might rectafy the imbalance of power and turned to a new form of bending.
Bending had always been practiced by the elementals but they were unable to bend anything but their own element
Fire hit upon the fact that the sun was in fact a piece of fire and perfected the art of bending it to their will.
|Water and Earth engaged in a skirmish out side of Earth's city. Both side's credit the other with starting it but earth retreated back into their city which water besieged.||Fire fought against air again. With its new powers fire won easily while air fled.|
|Air fled into earth's city. Earth was able to communicate with Air now that it had practiced on water and they soon struck a deal to defeat water and fight against fire.||Fire looked long and hard for air but struggled against the dense cloud banks of Air's home. Eventually they were driven to descend to the surface by a great storm.|
|The next day Air and Earth struck out from their city and drove water to the edge of the sea where both sides made camp for the night.||Fire flew over the surface for a day before they came to a swamp land where, seeing strange lights on the surface, they descended to investigate.|
Fire identified the air encampment and bombarded it with a rain of deadly fire. They however came under fire from ranged earth troops who shielded air from the bombardment. Water quickly retreated from the situation.
Earth quickly became engaged in a one sided battle against fire and air. However Earth's disciplin and calm allowed AzGromRik to stage a quick retreat which left water and fire confused and angry.
However water and fire did not quit. Instead they joined forces and pursued earth and air back to earth's city. which they laid siege to.
This siege was one of the longest of the great elemental war. AzGromRik emploied varius tactics to try to destroy the war camp that surounded the city. First earth tried bombarding the camp with giant catapults then they tried to redivert the lava.
Water also made various atempts to breach the city. They tried to redirect the local river and then gradualy erode the wall which neutralized and was neutralized by earth's lava redirection.
Water's next plan was to sommon a rain cloud to flood earth's city.
Meanwhile a great air war raged above the heads of earth and water. Air was stronger and able to hide in clouds while fire was swifter and had the power to redirect the sun.
And so Air had the advantage when it was cloudy while fire had the advantage while it was sunny.
Air relized this and started experimenting with controling the weather.
Water found their atempt suprisingly easy and sucessful.
A cloud of vast magnitude apeared above earth's city comming to the verge of flooding it before earth installed the great drains. The drains, although well guarded, represented a security flaw in the wall.
|Air was suprised how easily their attempt to summon a cloud had been and while Earth was struggling with the downpour air took full advantage of their new found airiel supiriority. In fact the rain was said to be so bad Fire could not acend to the skies.|
|However despite the rain, or possibly because of it water and fire hatched a plan.
Water surounded the gates to the city to kill anyone fleeing from the carnage that would soon begin.
|Meanwhile a small team of fire and water elementals broke through the great drain killing the earth elementals guarding it before climbing to the top of a great tower and beginning to rain fire on the dormant earth and air elementals.|
|Earth attempted to flee the city running this way and that to escape the wrath of the fire yet many sucumbed to the flames and in the confusion AzGromRik disappeared into the fire.||
Air easily took to the air and escaped fire's attack fleeing back in the direction of their home. However despite numerically minor losses Air had suffered a heavy emotional loss as their leader, Wirlwind had lost his life.
|Most of the Earth elementals eventually escaped including BzGromSton, AzGromRik's second in command. He rallied most of the remaining Earth elementals gave Fire the slip and returned to the city.||
The Air elementals were thrown into disaray having lost both their home and anyone capable of leading them while still suffering occational Fire raiding parties.
The greatest poet took control of LithulieThiLivi who I am going to call Lithie from now on.
|Only to discover AzGromRik still hiding their and with a plan.||Lithie decided that a top priority should be a return to the alliance with the Earth elementals and so they imediatly dispatched someone to greet AzGromRik.|
|AzGromRik imediatly instructed water's ambasador to return with the leader of water because AzGromRik wished to discuss a serious issue with them.|
|AzGromRik then set up a plan with Fire. He wished revenge upon Air for their abandoment of Earth at the siege while it was Air which Fire was really concerned for.||Lithie immediatly rushed to the earth city anxious to meet with AzGromRik again.|
|However rather than a warm welcome Lithie was greeted with acusations of abandoment which he was ill prepared for. This became yet worse when Earth threatend to and did turn on him with their swords.||Air atempted to flee again but this time Fire was ready for it. Fire had looked at verious senarios and come up with the perfect form of bombardment to force Air to stick to the ground.|
|Air, infuriated launched a joint strike on Earth with their forced combining with those of water to besige Earth's city. However Fire came down from the volcano tops to speak to Water about their actions. The tone of the discusion between the two grouods of elementals showed they no longer considered each other trustworthy and both sides left with anger in their hearts.|
|However Earth had some good news, a fration of elementals considered lost in the great siege had been rediscovered being lead by an elemental named BudoMoToo. The Elementals did not wish to return completly to the Earth kingdom rather chosing to become allied with them in return for a seat on the new governing high council.||Air also recived good news. Another fraction of their elementals had been discovered who had survived the siege. They returned to the air tribe's fold and their leader, EtherialisIlie became a selebrated hero.|
|Both of the new allies worked upon new weapons, Earth and Fire developed a construct which someone could stand inside and wreck havock amongst their opponents while Water and Air developed a craft so swift that it was almost impossible to hit.|
|One day both Earth and Water sent their new craft upon scouting missions only to return with messages that they had sighted a great beast. Both sides rushed to investigate and upon confirming the romers sommoned their allies to prepaare for a battle.|
Water's forces lept from their craft and rushed to engage Earth's. The two sides found equalibrium in the same delta that Water had made their camp in many moons ago before resuming the siege of Earth's capital.
Both sides looked at this battle as symbolic as for Earth it would prove once and for all that they could indeed see off the threat of Water while for Water it would prove they were still better warriors.
Meanwhile Air issued a volley at Earth's craft but Earth's craft was too well built to fall to Air's weapons.
Fire found Water's craft equally difficult to destroy but for a different reason: the craft was nearly impossible to hit.
While the two side's infantry continued to slog it out Water's craft rushed to a great speed before ramming Earth's. However aalthough Earth's craft was knocked back Water's craft became slow on the land. Both sides imediatly realised the importance of the craft's possitions
|With the melee two complex for Fire and Air to target their weapon's into and having decided that the crafts were not going to be destroyed by arial bombardment, Air and Fire turned their weapons on each other and one of the closest fought arial engagements began.|
|The next ploy water tried was to wack Earth's craft into the great blue ocean but the craft proved too weighty for the plan to work and it resulted only in both crafts ending upon on the wrong side of the battle field.||Fire had won the early stages of its battle with Water however Whater had retreated into the clouds meaning that although Fire could not turn their backs on those clouds they couldn't fire upon Water either.|
|Neither side could get the upper hand but they had now prevented both crafts from being deployed most effectively.||The battle in the Air was less won and lost and more peitered out with both sides getting bored of their eternal vidgil and returning to their cities.|
|With neither side being able to gain the upper hand Water and Earth struck a truce more out of an intent to formalise their inability to kill each other then to registar their satisfaction with their prediciment.||Having retreated to their cities Fire and Air put their minds to such things as poetry, philosophy.|
|However both sides agrred to meet at the setlement founded by BudoMoToo. They reached an agreement for a year long peace treaty but only to give themselves time to gain an advantage against the other.||Minor skirmishes took place between Fire and Air but it looked like nothing could tempt either side to break the new found harmony.|
They imediatly began searching for a way of defeating the oposition. Both decided that the ability to create their own crafts was what would give them victory. They went to the site of Fire and Air's last skirmish on the plains of Valtoral to search for the elements that granted them power. Neither side found enough of the matirial to create the devices they so long craved but they hit upon an idea.
Although they new that the otherside was also scouting around Valtoral they had thought more about arguing than co-operation but as neither side realised that the other side was also looking to gain a hold on another element and that this would rebalance the equation against everyone.
So they used both of the elements which they found to create what appeared to be a battle between Air and Fire.
At this moment in time nothing intresting was happening for either Fire or Water so I will take this as an opitunity to expand upon how the two sides ticked.
Fire was a dictaitorship and blunt in nature. They spoke in a language that was simple using conectives when necicary and rarely venturing into the world of commas. They used first names only and often abreviations of them.
Air was the opisit. They had began leaderless and were still a lose structure at this time. The control of objects was similar in its lack: ownsership was unheared of. Their speach was similar as it was hard to tell which word belonged to which sentance. The names were (as you will have guessed long and complicated).
As Earth and Water are currently watching a battle which they are enjoying not beeing part of I will now speak about them.
Earth (as we have mentioned previously) was highly beurocratic. It had commities for everything and sub commities for everything to do with each commity. The ownership structure for everything was complicated and they enjoyed argueing over who owns stuff so much they would create more rules just to increase the arguements complexity and length.
They spoke in a buracratic language often setting up all the relevant information despite the fact that the other people in the conversation new it. Their names had multiple short parts.
Water on the other hand spoke in an elegant flowing language and had a command structure to match. The rules on ownsership were simple and aimed at minimizing arguements and their names were often a collection of short words which relate to each other.
Both Air and Fire rushed to the scene of the apparent battle and finding the other they imediatly began to fight. Air was faster but Fire was more mobile and so the battle bogged down into a quagmire.
However Air suddenly developed a statergy. They would send a small team of elementals into the storm clouds on the edge of the plain of Valtoral to out flank the fire elementals. This forced the Fire elementals to redeploy onto the ground.
However Air still managed to trick Fire by using a fake retreat to lure them into one of the cloud banks before surounding them on all sides using their ability to see through clouds to their advantage.
This forced Fire to retreat before the battle peitered out again with both sides blaming the lack of close combat allies.
|Fire and Air dispatched ambassadors simultaneously but because of geography the Water received the one from Air first and Earth the one from water.
Air informed Water that they had devised a devise that would transform Earth's walls to dust if only Water would join them and help them exploit this devise. Water pondered this for a few days and in this interval BudoMoToo happened to come to Water's city. They had acquired a great deal of respect after a battle with some marsh crocks.
BudoMoToo was completely against the idea of another war, he had good relations with both Water and Earth and set about with the formation of a plan to send the diplomats packing in shame.
|At the same time Fire diplomats had shown up in Earth's city. They had told of a creation which could melt the glass of Depth Haven and leave it vulnerable to Earth's attacks. Earth was interested but could not agree to a war without the presence of the entirety of the council of which BudoMoToo was a member.|
|In Depth Haven the diplomats from Fire had showed up. They did not get on well with the Water elementals but promised the ability to flood Earth's City with lava. However BudoMoToo had different ideas about Water forming an alliance with either of them and so BudoMoToo informed Fire of Air's presence.
They fought bitterly despite their lack of weapons and trashed most of the city. When called in front of Water's governing body to explain themselves they threatened to give away great weapons to Earth. Water sent both of them back to their respective origins and set back to their peiceful life.
At this point BudoMoToo recived a summons to Earth's City and went their promising Water to put a stop to whatever war Earth was being pesuaded to get into. However tricksy forces were now engaged at this moment of brining the two sides back into the war. Air was forced to leave Earth's City by a series of events and so Fire was left as an obvious ally.
Water's cause had also been made clear and they were now in the final stages of making an alliance with Air
The end of the elemental warEdit
During this war the elements combined to create new elements and although their predecessors believed that the fight was necessary the new elementals where unconvinced. They formed a plan. They would refuse to fight on the break of day on the 1000th year since the start of the great elemental war. And they did.
However one of the original elementals was developing a secret weapon which would single-handedly turn the rest of the war into a small battle against rebels that they could almost certainly win. They decided that despite the fact that their army of combined elementals had decided not to fight the weapon could bring about victory anyway. So they detonated it.
It is irelivant which group of original elementals talked about above as they all did the same thing. Each group of elementals have differing reasons that were proposed for and against using the weapon but they all made the same decision. All the weapons had different ways in which they worked but they all had the same effect.
Those weapons caused the end of the cities in which the elementals lived and displaced them from their homes.
A Brave New WorldEdit
These weapons had other effects as well. The earth weapon as well as obliterating all water settlements within the Æthelron sea, also thrust Æthelron up above the waves. The water weapon along with eroding the majority of Earth's settlements caused the edges of The Middle Mountains to subside into the surrounding sea creating continents that were extremely habitable for life.
The new elementals decided that to get over the fighting they would create a lush, green, beautiful world inhabited by wonderful animals. Eventually from one of the animals evolved a creature that was, barely, conscious.
Yet these races did not fight either, and so came a time when they all prospered.
Earth, now betrayed twice, became incredibly vengeful and so created the ultimate plot to annoy the elementals of water and shame the new elementals.
They raised a land of the bed of the sea known as Atoland and populated it with the primitive humanoid that the new elements had made but filled their heads with ideas of slaughter and bloodshed which such a primitive race could not defend against and then equipped them with revolutionary technologies that allowed them to build great weapons, ships and monuments with which they sailed forth into the rest of the world.
There is little documentation of what they did, as the Atolandians did not keep records, and most of the records belonging to their opponents were destroyed. But from the evidence it appears that they sailed to the human nation of eJ and those of Minutia and, most significantly, Athelron.
Minutia is by far the least documented case, and so we shall examine it first. By around 2,000 years ago a few city states had formed in the land we now call Ilia. The strongest of these city states, Thebs, was razed to the ground and almost immediately afterwards Attica and Midea began to strengthen their defenses. It seems likely that other kingdoms did so too.
However it became evident that this did them no good, as around 70 years later, Pylos was also razed. Documents indicating hasty preparations of defenses have been found in the ruins.
In eJ, documents were very well kept and so we know with detail about coastal raiders unknown to the residents of eJ coming from the northwest and raiding minor coastal settlements, but dispersing before eJ's army could arrive. As eJ lacked a navy, they could not pursue them at sea.
Several fishing boats and two trade ships were sized by a mysterious force that then burnt the capital of Athelron, Alfheim.
The elementals of water struck back telling eJ how to construct a navy, which allowed them to inflict a great defeat upon the forces of Atoland, forcing them to return home to lick their wounds. However, the elementals of water had other ideas and returned Atoland to the depths of the sea.
The Attack on The DuradinEdit
Water elementals attempted to flood Euphoria to get one over on the earth by killing the Duradin, but it was beyond even the water's power to submerge Euphoria. That would have been that if a water elemental hadn't noticed that the attack had created a weakness in the personality of the elves, who had lost their forgiving nature after witnessing their homes burnt to the ground, allowing the water to add to their above it all personality a feeling of superiority over other races and a desire to attack the water's enemies. This pointed them in the direction of the dwarves.
However on the way towards the dwarves a group of air elementals, wanting to keep the peace, brewed up a stormed that shattered boats and snapped masts. So much for keeping peace. Although the elves did eventually make it to land, most of them, with a few exceptions, did not want to press on.
But in stopping one attack, the elementals created another. Seeing air elementals attack forces about to attack the earth, fire turned the permanent irritation that was the orcs into a undefeatable fighting force that stormed into the central mountains and caused the semi-collapse of dwarven civilization.
The Rise of ManEdit
Things rose to a peak for the dwarves, when the High King was kidnapped by the goblinoids. Fortunately for the dwarves, he was saved by the son of a cheif of a human tribe, who happened to be out with a group of men attempting to rid his future lands of orcs.
The dwarf king was very grateful and gifted to their leader, Aruseus, who held a weapon of great power and was determined to use it to unite humanity. He traveled from the north sea to the south rallying humanity to his cause and marched through the desert shattering seemingly endless goblinoid armies with his tactics and wisdom.
The Battle of the River IndEdit
Eventually, he and his exhausted forces came to a beautiful river (now known as the Ind). As they settled down to rest, they saw coming back through the desert a vast goblinoid army. He rallied his men for one more fight, and charged headlong into the oncoming goblinoids, coming straight out the other side. The victory was very close but after long hours of fighting, the soldiers of humans had won. The victory had been pyrrhic for Aruseus, however, as he had been stuck in the arm by an arrow. The best doctors spent days differing over whether to take it out of not before Aruseus pulled it out himself.
He lived, but was significantly weakened by his ordeal and had to be carried back to his home village, where despite the doctors insistence that he get early nights, lots of rest and drank a lot of water, he stayed up late plotting campaigns and drinking wine. He quickly got a sickness that slowly worsened over the week, and it became clear that he was going to die. His only living relative was his 3 year old cousin, and so his cavalry commander, Briskos, asked him to who he would leave his vast empire. Aruseus did his empire no favors with his next words for amongst groans of pain he managed to get out in a hoarse whisper, “To the strongest."
Naturally, everyone thought they were the strongest. After much arguing, they eventually decided that it would be best to divide the empire between them and see whose nation became the strongest.
Briskos, leader of the cavalry, took the lands to the west and called them Leon.
Phatypus, The king's best friend and cook, took the lands to the south (then Minutia) and named them Ilia.
Ablerus, The leader of the infantry was tasked with looking after Aruseus's closest relation, His three year old nephew, Euphorion, and sent back to Aruseus home town, then Leris now Pleitsdorf.
The Sacking of AdwinglorEdit
Aruseus's elite bodyguards, lead by Dreadalos, were unhappy with the passiveness of Ablerus and that they had not been given their own piece of land. So they went to join Briskos. They arrived in Adwinglor and went through the great gates and up to the palace of kings, where they requested an audience with Briskos.
Briskos demanded that they bow before him and grovel in the dirt, but Dreadalos refused and his forces followed suit. Briskos told them to go but they decided to sack the market place first, causing Briskos to release his elite cavalry, catching Dreadalos unaware.
Dreadalos and his forces fled Adwinglor and returned to the freshly dubbed Aruseus's land where they were greeted by border guards that refused to let them in. They fled north until they reached the northern extremity of Euphoria where they crossed The Devils Gap into Narlwage where they founded what has become known as The Tribes of Norwage.
The assassination of EuphorionEdit
Briskos never wanted to bow before anyone again however if Euphorion was as stronger ruler as his farther then his ruling of Leon would be only a mater of time. It was with this knowledge that Briskos dispatched an assassin who found Euphorion and killed him.
The second conference at OrionEdit
Shocked by the death of Euphorion the leaders of the human countries of the known world agreed to meet again at Orion. The only good thing to come out of the conference was a name for the continent, it was to be named after Euphorion. It was to be Euphoria. The rest of the conference was spent arguing over the slight technicality of who was going to rule the thing. No one could agree on this and so they all went home dissatisfied. The nations on the continent of Euphoria were never united.
However Briskos made the claim that he had demonstrated that he had the characteristics that were requested by Aruseus and so he set about in an attempt to unite Euphoria by force. He entered the foothills of Scroy in the west of Aruseus's land before proceeding up the valley towards Orion. Weighing up Orion's low importance with the high troop cost of defending it, Ablerus retreated leaving Briskos with the propaganda of controlling the capital of Euphoria. However, his attitude of triumph quickly turned to one of rage when he found that the city had been stripped to the bone and anything was either nailed down or gone. Even the mighty libraries that Aruseus had been so proud of creating contained not a single book.
Driven by this range Briskos proceeded ever further up the valley despite the fact that the supply lines were becoming ever longer and ever more stretched as Ablerus's skirmishers darted down from the mountains to make off with vital supplies even daring to aim the odd volley of arrows down from their hidden positions into Briskos's forces bellow but scarpering away before they could send men up to attack. Finally they arrived at Leris.
The Rise of The DeadEdit
The outer edge of Achthal has always been a wild place with numerous forests and wild creatures. However it's isolation has lead to it's greatest problem, Necromancery.
Along with it's wilderness, The Borderlands (as they are known) have also been remarkable as a breeding ground for magic and it is where the humans first discovered Bending. People there have long known about channeling and experimented with it to bring the dead back to life. Although this merely left the bodies in the power of the channeler they were put to good use doing heavy labour for the living.
That was until the rise of Ichthor Mortimus. Ichthor was born to a group of magicians who had recently changed village. However the villagers in this village did not agree with the use of Necromancery forcing the wizards to take up new occupations. One day the village was raided by a group of bandits who killed all the villagers but Ichthor and his family from whom they wanted to know the secret of Necromancery.
Ichthor's mother and father would not tell them but Ichthor Mortimus finally saw a place for himself in life.
He joined the bandits in the year 495 PA. Quickly he found out that the bandit leader was keeping his parents prisoner, so he killed him. He found his parents but squabbled with them and killed them too. And then he decided he would kill the rest of humanity by raising a great necromantical army to make everything even.
Year 496: The Folder of FleshEdit
This prompted a wave of rumours to erupt with people alleging to be the sole survivors (or less frequently part of a group of survivors) of vampire attacks. These people banded together sharing wisdom and ideas about fighting vampires and semi-formally founded the league of vampire hunters.
This group made slight progress at getting to the bottom of vampiric attacks for the best part of a month, then the Arusian Army arrived. They determined that the only clear and present danger was from militias without a royal charter to bear arms and as a move to tackle this they threw every vampire hunter they could find (along with quite a few people who were not vampire hunters) in the Bettenburg jail.
Their plight came to the attention of a monk by the name of Godefroy De Vereaux who went to see the Knights Templar in modern-day Ausfenz to request assistance. When they turned him down he travelled the length of Aruseus's land to meet with the leader of the merchant council who also turned down his request for aid but reassigned his forces northwards.
|The North||The South|
The monk disheartened returned. He spoke to his god (Quantrix) and asked for advice. Quantrix instructed him to free the hunters himself, which he does. Arusian forces quickly arrive in the area only to find them long gone. They turn to leave but stop when the mayor of Bettenburg comes running towards them.
The mayor informs them that the tax delivery from the local village of Andruvutych. The knights argued that this was an administrative matter for him to deal with but he argued that this might be part of some sort of secessionist uprising which the knights would have to deal with although he really wanted the knights to investigate because he was afraid it might be the first stage in a vampiric campaign. In the end the knights gave in and dispatched a small force to investigate while they rode south.
Leonese forces siezed the mine in the west of Aruseus's land and started to take as much gold as possible back to Leon.
The force arived at Andruvutych they found no sign of either the population or a fight. The gates hung forlornly open while the houses and streets did not contain anybody or any bodies. It was only when they went to the town hall to collect the records that they found part of the population. What shocked them was the part they found: the skin.
Bound in leather and branded with arcane scribles in some sort of hethan language it had been fashioned into some sort of book and has from that day forward been known as The Folder of Flesh.
When the knights arrived home they were greeted with bad news: the gold mine in the west had been taken by Leonese forces. The knights were dispatched to destroy the Leonese forces but they proved too numerous and too fortified for them to defeat so they retreated back to the capital.
|The soldiers retreating from the defeat at the mine and the force that had been dispatched to scout out the town arived in Pleits at roughly the same time and the king was driven almost to dispear that these two great threats had surfaced at once but he sat down with his advisers and considered the options and decided to dispatch a knight by the name of Sir Egmont and two men at arms to the north to find the actual possition of the foe while summoning the knights templar to help fight the Leonese.|
|Shortly after they entered the midnight forest Sir Egmont's force came across two peasants lying beaten up in the roadside. They told an incomprehesible tale of being attacked by 'The things which are a man and yet are not.' They were assumed to be shocked and a bit mad after being attacked by some bandits and a man at arms was dispatched to take them to a local village.
They rode ahead to find the bandits when it started to rain. The rain fell heavily and blocked out their vision while the sky above darkened. They found a woman lying beaten up by the side of the road who claimed to be the lady of a large part of the lands north of there. They stood guard around her and by the dying light they fancied they could see creatures in the darkness which the other man at arms was dispatched to investigate. He didn't find anything and set out back towards camp but when he returned he witnessed a ritual being performed over Sir Egmont by the woman.
The Knights Templar did take some talking to convince them to abandon stations close to the north of their defensive area but in the end, it was pointed out to them that their charter compelled them to act. They rode back to the barracks and the force was together able to regain control of the gold mine but not before its reserves had been plundered. The Knights Templar forces were then placed in defensive stations around the mine while the Arusian army returned to base.
The man at arms flees to the south and recounts this tale shocking the court. What shocks the court even more is when Sir Egmont arived the next day seeming perfectly fine along with the other man at arms and the woman who claims to be Lady Catalina Vladimirescu, the daughter and only child of a nobleman and should therfore become a ward of some court member. He also informs the court that their is no evidence of vampiric activity and members of the scouting force were probably making up their report. The woman who is infact working for Ichthor Mortimus quickly gains control over the majority of the court and the upper ranks of the army but cannot gain control of the king as the dawn stone turns out to protect him from such curses.
Meanwhile a letter arives at court from the leader of the Knights Templar complaining about there posting to a "insignificant backwater" and demanding they be granted leave to return to their defensive area. The king dispatches Sir Egmont to inform them that this was not likely but when Egmont arrived he decided that Cordt Von Pregl was to anti-Arusian and needed to be imprisoned leaving him to take on overall command of the Templar forces.
Catalina Vladimirescu arived under the pretence of looking at the gold mines but really wanted to gain control of some of the tamplarist force. In this she fared poorly as most of them were devoted to their cause and as a result returned to Pleits.
|The Vampire Hunters became aware of the plight of Pregl and dispatched a force to rescue him. Once resucued they instructed Pregl to order his magician to place a curse on necromancers and people they are controlling to make them easier to kill and capture and use these to convince the king of the armies cursed nature.||
The magician arives in Pleits and agrees upon a set of tests with the king that any normal person should pass (move through running water, appear in a mirror etc). The king is astonished to find many of his cortiers do not pass the test and that they are unreasonable angry about it.
He demands to know why so many of his people have failed the test which the magician assures him is probably the work of one necromancer which he promptly discovers to be Catalina Vladimirescu who he attempts to execute. In the ensuing dramatic magical battle Catalina gets away but not before her vassals are freed from her grasp.
The king was rattled by this series of events and summons the leaders of The Knights Templar, The Vampire Hunters, and The Merchants Guild (who doesn't arive and instead dispatches their deputy: Charlotte Kofhild) and requests their help in fighting the vampires but they demand that he gives autonomy to their respective nations which he refuses. However, the king does agree to dispatching the Arusian army to the midnight forest to tackle the rising forces of the vampires.
The force arrived only to find an entirely different set of adversaries awaiting them. When the leader of the vampire hunters received the king's messenger he dispatched his forces back to the vampire front. The Arusian Army imediatly dispatched a messenger to the Pleits asking for instructions
|The messenger from the army arrived in Pleits and the king was outraged and summoned the leader of the Vampire Hunters to demand he withdraws his forces. However Kofhild dispatches a messenger with the relevant details to appoint them members of the merchant's defense force.|
When the messenger from the king arived with the message to arrest any remaining vampire hunters and a force was sent to act on this instruction the vampire hunters presented them with documents demonstraiting that they were in fact members of the merchant defense force. They complained that they were far from their legitimate defensive intrests to which the vampire hunters pointed out that the vampires were unlikely to be contented with just taking the north. The Arusian commander could not do anything but fume and send another messenger to the king informing him of this.
Sir Egmont, who was now free of the control of Catalina Vladimirescu and was controlling the Arusian forces fighting against the vampires, decided the best way of killing of the vampire hunters would be in combat against the vampires. He drew up a plan where one force would head along the road towards Andruvutych while another one lurked in the forest. The hope was that they would encounter a vampiric force which would attack the force on the road while being flanked by the one in the forest.
The Vampire Hunters accepted this plan but argued that they should be the force in the forest as it was more dangerous while the army argued that they should be on the road because they were exactly the sort of rag-tag force that they wanted the vampires to think they were fighting although the real reason was that they were going to not attack the vampiric force until it had almost entirely destroy the vampire hunters.
Ichthor Mortimus saw this coming through a crystal ball and deployed a small force against the Vampire Hunters to keep them bussy and distracted. Meanwhile, he deployed his new force of ghouls against the Arusian Army which they fared poorly against. When the Vampire Hunters eventually defeated the zombies the ghouls withdrew making the Vampire Hunters beleave that the Arusians had abandomed them especially given that they had never seen ghouls before. Both sides sent messengers to their leaders complaining about the others perceieved betrayal.
When the messengers arrived the King in his bedroom corresponding a message to a relative. He was grumpy when the messenger arrived and became grumpier still after he discovered the news was bad and even grumpier when he found an assembly waiting to complain about his armies actions. A heated debate followed and was only stopped when the (now much revered) templarist magician arrived and informed them that it was a plan by the vampires that caused a break down in communication.
He said that he realised that such conflicts were inevitable amongst such disparate peoples and that it was not really anyone's fault and suggested that to compensate the templarist force leave the gold mine they were guarding and join the fight against the vampires.
The templarists were sent for and happily went north to fight a real fight. One commented that "if the Aries [this is an abbreviation of Aruesians] had kept us their any longer we would have founded a monastery"
However as soon as they left, the mine was attacked, not by Leonese forces but by unusually well-organised bandits. The Merchant's Guild Defense Forces had their work cut out fighting them and a stalemate followed which was only broken when the miners were persuaded to fight by Tisania Undingen. Their charge surprised the bandits who fled down the mountainside
|Meanwhile, the force in the north was not faring so well. The vampire hunters camp had been surrounded by Zombies to prevent them from helping the Arusian Army whose camp was being attacked by Ghouls. The Ghouls wrought havoc upon the surprised Arusian forces and killed Egmont's second in command Wilberer Von Hackinger which made him even angrier.||The bandits had, meanwhile, taken to a new way of getting money: holding the messenger system to ransom. The messenger to the North to inform them that their forces were on their way was turned back to the capital with a note demanding payment for any future individuals sent along the roads.|
When the Knight's Templar Forces arrived Egmont drew up a new plan. They would send repeated scouting parties made up of Vampire Hunters out to locate vampire forces. At the beginning, most of these failed to return but the Vampire Hunters got wiser and better prepared and soon they could pass through The Midnight Forest without even being attacked. The Midnight Forest was deemed too large to search in its entirety but the Vampire Hunter scout forces located a castle on the far side of The Midnight Forest and deemed it the best place to attack.
|The Council (as the strange grouping of leaders from across Aruseus's now called themselves) considered additional actions that could be taken against the vampires and decided that all they could do was to tell the magician to try to use strategic magic to cause chaos amongst the vampires.|
Egmont asked the Vampire Hunters to draw up a plan so that it would be their own fault if they got killed. They decided to send the Arusian Army to attack the castle and draw out the ghouls while the Templar would wait in the forest and ambush the ghouls from the side. The Vampire Hunters would protect the forces from the forest side.
When the forces went to attack the final words of advise by the Vampire Hunters to the Arusians was "Remeber, don't retreat until attacked by the ghouls." Weather that was coincidental with the disaster or weather it created the bad luck is still debated. What isn't is that the Arusian Army was at edge and retreated as soon as they were attacked by a relatively insignificant force of zombies. The Templarists flanked the zombies as soon as they entered the midnight forest.
While the bulk of the Arusian forces were tied up in this way the ghouls struck. They overwelmed the Vampire Hunters and devestated them. By the time the Arusian Army and Templarists realised it was a trap the leader of the vampire hunters had been killed and his second command was grieving over his body. He blamed the Arusian Army and so he personally went to the capital.
When the vampire hunter arived in the capital the king assumed that the bandits were gone but rather he had killed all the ones that had challenged him along his way. They agreed something more must be done and decided that the only other solution was to dispatch a the wizzard to help with detecting the vampires traps.
The wizzard managed to make it through, this time the bandits did not attack the returning vampire hunter.
The wizard informed them that the castle they had attacked was the necromancers true home. Armed with this information they set off with another attack but found that Ichthor had deserted the castle. They unsuccessfully searched for him before returning to its base to make camp.
While they slept a massive snowstorm came down from the mountains and buried the tents. Sir Egmont was the first to awake and personally dug his way out of his command tent to survey the damage. His aids followed behind him and look around at the mess. They managed to locate various different companies as most of the banners were still sticking above the snow and began to dig them out.
Then it started to pour with rain and virtually everybody packed it in and returned to their tents with a few guards remaining. When they came out of the tents they found that the rain had cleared the snow much better than they ever could although it was still a significant impediment to movement.
Then the guards sighted a group of ghouls a few miles off and immediately dispatched a squadron of cavalry to dispatch them. The cavalry quickly found they were guarding Ichthor Motimus himself. Immediately they charged through the ghouls, who the snowy weather had made sluggish and where about to kill Ichthor himself when he disappeared.
Snow had also fallen in the west of Aruseus's land coating the ground and blocking the roads and even falling into the gold mine. The merchants guild determined that this would nececitate the white protocol: the clearing of all snow around the mine before it melted.
The miners had other ideas and demanded that they be paid two crowns more which, although being easily affordable, would increase their yearly wages by 20%. The merchant's guild refused. The miners went on strike and force the leader of the mechants guild to flee for his life.
The merchants guild leader fled into the snow and only survived for hiding in it for several hours. Once the miners guild had gone to looting the mine he set of in the broard direction of pleitsdorf with the aim of getting the government to reclaim his mines.
On his way he was accosted by a group of bandits who found that he didn't actually have any money on him. Never the less he offered them a deal whereby they would get a legitimate job in which they didn't have to do anything but occationally beat up the innocent. They quickly realised that this way they wouldn't get investigated and would get payed more so they agreed to help him break the miner's strike
|The North||The South|
The army regathered themselves and to decided upon what to do next. They decided that there was no way they could comb the entire midnight forest with their current numbers and so levelled a draft on Bettenburg to which the wizard gave cryptic statements over a (metaphorical) fog falling and obscuring their vision.
They split into three forces to comb the forest.
The Bettenburg drafties took the north, the templarists the south and the Vampire Hunters went right through the middle. The Vampire Hunters reported sighting strange creatures which they claimed to be Ashenfrey while the templarists reported that they had met a man who claimed to be guarding a bridge against vampires. They asked him why the vampires would not just go through the forest to which he replied that it was because of the Ashenfrey.
Having found no sign of the vampires Egmont asked the wizard what to do next. The wizard pointed out that there were probably vampires hiding in their midst and so Egmont ordered the dispatching of someone to investigate his force from Pleitsdorf and ordered his force to line up in front of the cliff of mirrors. He searched the bettenburg regiment in depth but didn't find anything. Then he spotted a person hiding in the midst of the Vampire Hunters.
|Meanwhile, the leaders of the three nations had eventually found leverage upon the king. They threatened to suceed entirly forcing the king to start drawring up a deal with them. They agreed upon a framework whereby they would have a vote on each issue but he would have the final decision on which laws got passed while they retained the ability to succeed.
Another thing to which the king was forced to agree was freedom of speech so that the delegates could say what they wanted. But this was not limited to the delegates and instead applied to the whole city.
A third thing to which the king agreed was to allow the Vampire Hunters to set up a group to hunt down any necromancers or other evil magicians.
Sir Egmont had ordered someone be sent up from Pleits to interogate any vampires they found and recived the head of the newly founded order of witch hunters. The witch hunters were a branch of the vampire hunters formed at the kings request to hunt down any sabatours lurking in their midst. The witch hunter (Aleksandras Moirlonas) went straight to 'interviewing' her and it wasn't long before the vampire would happily tell them anything.
Catalina Vladimirescu informed them that Ichthor had agreed to meet her on a bridge disguised as an old merchant but if he caught sight of the army he would flee. She didn't know where to. Then a mighty thunderstorm started to blow and shapes were sighted in the forest. A small party was sent to investigate but never returned.
Then the Ashenfrey started to emerge out of the forest and assault the defences. Egmont realised that his forces stood no chance and so he personally challenged Mort to face him. Mort came down and started to crush Egmont but suddenly Egmont hit back with such incredible power Mort was taken aback. Mort decided that he had had enough and that it had got out of had and smote sir Egmont. Then Ialdar arrived and reincarnated Sir Egmont and revealed the source of his power to Mort (namely using his power as reflected by the mirroring cliffs which were magical). Mort disliked this and battled Ialdar. Egmont's firneds rushed over to his body and began to frantically ask if he was alright and if he could see them.
He shortly replied that he could see anything before rushing into the battle between Ialdar and Mort and contributing to Mort's loss. Mort fled and Ialdar followed shortly although they negosiated a peace treaty before a god war broke out. Egmont gathered the witch hunter and the templarist wizard to determine where he should go next. They didn't reach a conclusion and so Egmont said "I guess I'll just have to summon the leaders to figure out where they'll next strike." Then as if a sudden realiseation struck him said "That's it."
Egmont gathered the leader of the Vampire Hunter and Templarist forces together and asked them to determin where they thought the vampires would strike next. Both replied their home area and on that grounds Egmont dispatched them back home. He then explained the real reason to the wizard under the vail of a scrying protection spell.
First, they sat down to talk about what they should talk about. They decided to discuss the military. The Vampire Hunter Leader spoke first voicing concerns over the Arusian military and stating that they simply weren't up for the job.
The leader of the templarists spoke and said that the Arusian military was inadequate and that he was indispair over its political ineptness. He accused it of favouritism to the south and accused the government of never deploying it to the outer regions when it was needed until the threat was great enough to affect the south.
Together they presented a vision of regional militaries working interdependently.
The king spoke next stating that the Templar was inept and that the Vampire Hunters were inexperienced. He asked whether it would be best to withdraw the forces from the north to which the Vampire Hunter Leader said to do it.
The meeting ended without a vote or consensus but a promis to pick the matter up again another day.
He had realised that the Ichthor expected him to summon them and then split up his force to go to the places they expected to be attacked. So he did this so as not to tip Ichthor off then he would head up to Narlwage where Ichthor really was, licking his wounds.
They located him and stormed into his house where he was facing them on a seat. Egmont informed him that they were there to arrest him and stabbed him. When asked how they could now arrest him Egmont informed him that it was just a recreation they had stabed and the real one was still somewhere in the house.
The templarist magician located him near the top of the house and so they climed up the stairway to a room where Ichthor was standing with drawn sword. "You knew I wouldn't give up without a fight," he said "so here I am. Come and fight me." Sir Egmont knew their must be something else so asked the templarist wizard weather their was something suspicious in here. The wizzard's reply was simple: he set off every magical trap in the room.
Egmont then charged at Ichthor but their was one last trap which was not magical. The floor gave way benief him and his companions plumiting down into the depths of a carefully designed areana. Their were four doors around the pit seperated by 20 degrees and increasing in size. On the side oporsite their was a viewing spot where Ichthor and Catalina were siting. In an infuriatingly showman like voice Ichthor anounced: "So here are our three heros. Will they suceed or will they fail and die horribly? First up: the ghouls!"
Out of one of the doors came a small group of ghouls who they defeated easily. Then came a new creature: a wight. The creature thought almost as hard as Egmont but was defeated when the witch hunter fired an arrow at it from a hand held crossbow. Next came a zombified giant ("oh dear, how will they cope?" Catalina had taunted) which they had to run from the stamping feat of. Never the less a gust of wind from the templarist wizzard defeated it.
"Only one adversery left," said Ichthor "But what an adversery it is. Will they defeat the abomination?" And with that the final door was hauled up.
The creature they saw was the size of a giant but moved on both its legs and its knuckles like some sort of over grown ape. It flailed at Egmont with its arms as he desperately racked his brain for any knowledge of the creature.
|Ichthor did not want the templarists or the vampire hunters to become suspicious that he was in fact somewhere else and so he sent an army of zombies to besiege Bettenburg and to attack the templarists.|
They awoke dazed and confused under the cold glare of the Narlwageian sun. They looked at each other with dubious eyes and set off back to their base.
When they got back to camp they were in a bad mood which was made worse by bad news: the Templarist wizard received a request for help from The Pliets Guild of Magicians due to the capture of Arnhild Von Hackelbrough while the witch hunter was informed that the Magicians were not resisting their investigations into Necromancery. Sir Egmont was also recalled to help end the dispute over the new structure of the military
|It was just as the anti-necromancery force garrisoned in the north was breaking apart that a new danger threatened the land. A goblinoid horde poured out of the east with numbers greater than seen before, giants that are well giant and was lead by a wise greenling.||When the witch hunter arrived they decided that their first priority was to gain control over the government so as to use the nations resources to fight nercormancery. To help him in this he met with Charlot Klofhild (the assistant of the head of the merchants guild who had now arrived).
They met in a dodgy bar in the low end of Pliets which was under investigation. They made a preliminary agreement of mutual support before it was raided by the Pliets Guards and they were forced to flee through a back exit. Although they made it out onto the street the guards were hot on their heels.
The witch hunter turned to distract them to find they were lead by none other than Sir Egmont. Sir Egmont told the witch hunter that they were raiding the bar after information had linked it to various acts of dark magic and enquired as to why he was there to which Ulatoswik replied that he was their for the same reason.
|Meanwhile Mercatz was assessing the situation. Many wizards had been arrested and punished by the witch hunters for no apparent reason. Although their was no official information that they were being held at all common belief was that they were being held in a tower on a mountain on the opposite side of the valley to Pliets.
Mercatz went to speak to Sir Egmont about the issue who in turn went to visit the king.
The king revealed that after he had agreed to allowing freedom of speech within Pliets the witch hunters had started printing a 'news paper' (known as the falling standard of public morality or, for short just the falling standard) which was a sheet of paper on which was written (frequently inaccurate) pieces of information on current events. And, although the majority of the population of Pliets was illiterate, almost every pub contained a individual who could make a passable attempt at reading its contents.
If the king was to make any move against the witch hunters then he would be burned in effigy in the paper and the city's population would rise up against him while if he were to move against the falling standard he would anger all of the representatives.
|Klofhild was getting increasingly fed up of Ulatoswik's caution and was nervous that she might be pushed out of the equation so to remain relevant she decided to stage a peaceful protest against the government.
The King was aware that if he acted he might be acting against the interests of the witch hunters and would therefore be shouted down in the falling standard while if he did not act he might be overthrown. He solved the problem by sending Ulatoswik to investigate as he would give the kind an indication over what to do over the protest.
Ulatoswik was surprised by the protest and was even more surprised to find that Klofhild was leading it. He argued with Klofhild that it was the wrong thing to do and she argued back. Finally Ulatoswik decided that the best thing to do was to get rid of Klofhild so he reported that it was developing into a clear and present threat.
The king decided against sending the army in in the falling darkness as it would hand a large advantage to the locals and also because he hoped that the protesters would just go home and forget about it.
|Sir Egmont was getting increasingly frustrated by the inability of the king to do anything about the witch hunters and so he decided to take the matter into his own hands. Along with a few trusted soldiers, under the cover of darkness, he surrounded the witch hunter headquarters.
They burned their paperwork and ran leaving him free to recover Von Hackelbrough. Finally he decided that he could strike a master stroke against the witch hunters by raising the emblem of the protest (a red flag to symbolise the blood they would spill to gain freedom) which he thought was allied with the witch hunters over the castle.
|That morning it became clear that the protests had not abated. News arrived that the protesters had strung up the leader of the merchants guild. In response to this, the king ordered the army be deployed against the protest which surprised Sir Egmont but with which he was only to happy to oblige with starting by ordering the catapults to bombard the witch hunter's castle.
Although Ulatoswik was angry at Sir Egmont for bombarding his castle he was enraged at the mob for seizing his castle and told Sir Egmont to deploy the troops to crush the rebellion. When the troops arrived the protesters quickly fled from the green where they had been gathering on and into the narrow streets.
The soldiers plunged in after them only to be forced, by their own charge, against the pikes a few protesters klofhild had picked were holding up. Sir Egmont ordered his men out and decided to deploy the cities new reserves of forces - the Steinkreaturen.
The steinkreturen flew down from the castle into the green (this particular bunch was formed into gargoyles) and descended into the city. In spite of their might the protesters held firm. Eventually Sir Egmont gave up and ordered their return. He resorted to a show of power from the terbupults mounted on the palace to scare off the protesters who returned, defiantly to their houses.
|However, the protest was still far from over: it had merely been put on hold. Ulatoswik decided that it needed to be fully suppressed and so he announced in The Falling Standard of Public Morality that the leaders of the revolution were, in fact, necromancers who had used Geistrung to convince the residents of their worthy powers.
The reaction to this was mixed. The people with the strongest support of Klofhild saw this for what it was, a trick to undermine her support, while those who already had doubts saw this as their doubts confirmed. A confrontation insude between Klofhild's supporters and her detractors which did not develop into a full blown fight but clarified to her that she needed to do something about tIndipendentons.
She decided that the best method forwards was so subject herself to the series of tests for necromancers which she passed with ease. Her detractors grudgingly agreed to support her until a alternate explanation for her ease of success was put forwards.
|Meanwhile the head of the witch hunters decided to put forward a further backstop which was The Prevention of Illegal Gathering Of People With The Aim To Disrupt Governmental Operations Act (The Riot Act) which, among other things, placed the ring leaders of riots on the same level as Necromancers and users of Geistrung by subjecting them to investigation by the witch hunters.
Although Klofhild arrived late and did not have time to make her case, the leader of the templarists stated that it was inconsistent with reality that such a lighter offense should be met by the same response and even inconsistent with the vampire hunter's own rhetoric.
The Riot Act almost passed as the king was willing to back it provided that The Protection of The Independent Cultures of The Nations Numerous, And Most Righteous Armed Forces Act was dropped but the vampire hunters refused to back down on it so the King refused to pass The Riot Act in its full form although the next day a truncated version was put into force.
|The next day The Falling Standard ran with a cover story proclaiming that the tests for Necromancery had now been disproved stating that no one knew how many Necromancers were now in their midst.
With that Klofhild realized that the truth was irrelevant and only what people believed mattered. Initially she despaired over this truth as it prevented her from simply proving that the government did not care for its citizens and should be overthrown. But suddenly it dawned on her that it made it simpler. She did not have to convey the corruption in terms simple enough for everyone to understand but just claim simple corruption in her own newspaper.
Hence The Defense of the Mirror was born. The cover story it ran with the next day was not controversial, simply proclaiming that the people who walked in the march were good upstanding citizens with worthy protests but the idea of another newspaper was very radical and even controversial. It had not won the battle but had simply prevented defeat.
|To finally bring about the defeat the witch hunters hatched a plan. They arrested one of Klofhild's strongest supporters and took him to their old castle where they proceeded to level various threats against him. He, however, came up with a plan. He gave them the wrong location for Klofhild's hide out, instead giving them a residential building.
Meanwhile the witch hunters sent The Falling Standard to print with a headline proclaiming that a house containing many Necromancers had been burnt to the ground while others of their number lit the suspected house alight.
Many of the residents perished in the inferno and the others escaped with heavy scaring. Speculation ran riot as to the cause of the blaze and a see of anger developed that was ready to burst at a single spark. That spark came when The Falling Standard published its cover story proclaiming the victims were Necromancers and Geistrung users.
|Klofhild quickly established dominance over the situation, promising to track down the witch hunters and make them face their fate, before riding at a breakneck speed towards the palace. There she stated that the government would not survive the night unless it gave the good citizens what they wanted: a democratically elected government. The government conceded to her demands and allowed Pleitsdorf to become a self governing republic but this gave the witch hunters enough time to retreat into a strong hold.
At this point the wizards came into full support of Klofhild launching a newspaper named The Righteous and Dauntless Defender of Magic which ran a extensive investigation into the action of the witch hunters showing them as becoming increasingly irrational and violent.
|To celebrate the launch a group of young trainees were invited to a feast. Having enjoyed themselves they wondered, or more often staggered, back towards their houses until they were curtailed by some witch hunters who killed most of them.
This provoked outrage at the court and the witch hunters had their right to investigate rescinded by the near unanimous agreement of the delegates. Even the leader of the vampire hunters was shocked and ordered an immediate reorganization of the witch hunters.
With the witch hunters gone and a democratic government in Pleits everything settled down and the king relaxed and engaged in the haggling over the final elements of the elements of the military strategy.
When news of the creation of the book of bones arrived, in order to prevent a uproar, he agreed to the anti necromancery accord as its final piece.
|With the army about to march north, a fight started up just outside the palace gates. The city guards ineptly tried to separate the two fractions while the mayor drafted a bill allowing the palace guards into the city. Eventually the two were separated and thrown into jail and the bill was finalized and given the stamp of the Rat.
Then the investigation started and it was discovered that both sides believed the other was using Necromancery to control living people. It was decided they were probably referring to Geistrung and the guards under the command of Sir Egmont, Klofhild and Oleg set off into the city.
|Their first stop was the tavern which had served as a nexus for the community near the reported cases. The tavern owner showed them some cryptic scratching which had appeared and Oleg interpreted to be dates, on of which was today.|
|Immediately the rushed out and found another set of scratching on a wall near a lamp post which transpired to be street names. The current one was a grave yard but when they arrived there they did not see anyone but a warlock sitting on a bench. He got up and waved.
They were about to go and then he shouted at them. He informed them that he had tricked the two sides to show how easy it was to, at a point of tension, drive a wedge between two groups. He told them that the romors were true and to set of for the north at once.
|The North||The South|
|The anti-necromancery army was stationed in the new Bettenburg fort and there they met with the mayor of Bettenburg to discuss the recent romours of necromancery. Though they had just moved to the north the rumours seemed ever so much more likely. Sazali Mercatz, the Ausfenzian wizard, tapped into the magical field and felt something large leaning upon it, a blot which could only be necromancery.||The next thing on the agenda was a proposal for the creation of a legal system. However the lawyers that had been hired to help understand the existing one launched a dramatic rebuke of the existing legislation. They were permitted to go and debate it elsewhere while the council members caught up with their other duties.|
|But they needed not look for necromancery as necromancery came to find them. As soon as the scouts had disappeared into the forest, the castle was surrounded by a large force of zombies and ghouls. They soon over ran the castle and the situation for the defenders looked bleak where upon Ichthor Mortimus appeared and offered them peice. But Egmont kept him talking while Mercatz jammed the line and attempted to track his location. However he eventually managed to sever the connection and the attack resumed. But it did not continue for long as the scouts returned and attacked the undead from the other side.||It quickly became clear that the king at least was going to find other matters taking up a lot of his time when a messenger arrived baring news that a series of border disputes had started up with Illia and a messenger from The First Valley saying that it had been attacked by desert nomads. The king was puzzled by this last piece of news as the nomads had neither the means nor the motive to attack The First Valley. Further their were reports that the Narlwegians had started to raid the northern border region.|
|As soon as the battle had finished, Egmont, Ultaswick, and Metcatz met with the mayor of Bettenburg. They decided to trace the signal that he would have left though it had been bounced of multiple locations. These allowed them to continue to fight Necromancery while no longer risking Bettenburg. Bettenburg was also promised status as the free city of Bettendorf.||The king deferred the Narlwegian problem to another day as their was little infrastructure in the region and so deployed the troops that were in the midnight forest south to defend the Illian border. This would give him time to figure out the First Valley situation.|
|Though the troops were annoyed at that the emperor seemed to be placing petty politics above fighting the great evil of Necromancery but they followed their orders with the only exception of a few highly trained soldiers and vampire hunters and the leadership: Sir Egmont, Mercatz and Ulatoswick.||A hint as to their motives was given when the messenger went to the guild of wizards to lodge. Though when the king asked them about it they initially refused they revealed in the end that it was the source of Jenodine, a rock formation with an vast amount of bound ether which did not seem to do anything but which could be cracked to release immense magical power.|
|The Ausfenzian detachment encamped in the makeshift crowsburg fort but almost as soon as they had settled in they were attacked by Thesalian forces. Although the Ausfenzians won they suffered heavy losses and issued a complaint to the King.||The king decided that he did not have enough forced to defeat the desert nomads and the Illians at the same time, something only confirmed by the news of the defeat at crowsburg. So he decided to deploy all his forces in an attempt to take their staunchest opponent in Illia, the Saragon out of the war by sailing down the Kurts.|
|The strike easily overwhelmed unprepared Saragon forces and the resulting negotiations arranged a peace treaty on neutral terms: Saragon remained the property of the Awegon but as part of that they would do a number of things to help in Illia such as supporting efforts to rid the land of Arabin forces.||The wizard's guild increasingly vocally pressured the government for action around the seizure of The First Valley. Complicating the matter further were reports that their was going to be a rebellion in Leon.|
|Troops were immediately dispatched to The First Valley with even a squadron of rapid response riders being dispatched but to no avail - the valley was deserted. Either they had got what they came for or they had been recalled by their master, whoever that might be.||Forces loyal to Klofhild deployed to the edge of Leon and marched into the valley as soon as the rebellion had taken place. When the Leonese attempted to reoccupy they were defeated in short order by what they had dismissed as a 'band of peasants'.|
|Mercatz and Ulatoswick finally managed to track down the signal source, a cliff face in a remote corner of The North. The vampire hunters dispatched to investigate ran into strange problems on their way back. Rain forced them into a cave where they were surrounded by a pack of baying wolves. They discovered the cave they were camped out in contained strange paintings of men turning into wolves.||The Leonese raised a formal objection and King Awegon agreed to remove all Arusian citizens by force if necessary. However he granted Arusian citizenship to all of the Leonese peasants allowing them into Aruseus's Land much to the displeasure of the Leonese nobility.|
|When they returned to camp at day break the team told their strange tale. Mercatz reported that he had heard of similar things before in the tale of lyconopolis. He warned that lycanthropes might be loose in the surrounding territory.||The king was expecting to settle down to a calm set of routine paper work when a messenger ran in through the door screaming that a house had been set on fire. A cursory inspection of what was quickly revealed to be a crime scene showed remains of a peculiar metal devices had been flung all over the burnt out house.|
|While they were unnerved by this, the team proceeded to cautiously gather a larger force to attack the castle. The plan of attack was clear: the templarists would bombard the castle while the||While the investigation was yet to turn up any leads, the leader of The Northern Delegation to the council, Prezemo Serafin, thought that this might just be one of the tricks that he had been warned Klofhild was known to play so they arranged to meet.|
|The meeting started icy but quickly turned cordial as Prezemo realised that Klofhild could not have been responsible and Klofhild realised that Prezemo only wanted the truth. Very quickly an agreement was struck to track down the real victims which they theorised to be dwarfen.|
In 496 PA and every year after that for the next 3 years, he killed a village and used their remains to create a book telling of his works. He brought terror to all of the villagers in the night forest and caused The Confederation of Achthal to start evacuating its citizens from the night forest.
Then all went silent.
The fortifications that had been built throughout 501 and 502 PA at the passes through the mountains that surrounded Zuvinara began to become unmaintained and the garrisons stationed there under the Anti-Necromancery Accord were gradually pulled away to other areas.
However at the year of 510 PA the largest Necromancical army ever seen attacked The Betburgh Bridge. The garrison fought fiercely but found that they could not stop the vastly superior army belonging to Ichthor Mortimus and were forced to start a landslide leaving them stranded on the wrong side.