The Iron Wars

Discovery of Vast Iron Deposits and increase skill in metallurgy case the south to gain a economic and military advantage. Competition bred contempt. To stave off growing pressures from the Shadow Council, thrall workers (goblins and Orcs) where put into service. Dwarven Miners left in disgust, Southern Dwarven communities shut themselves off from “topside” stupidity. Southern Nations fall under a series of well placed surgical strikes aim at destabilizing the communication infrastructure. Trade roads became unusable. The council’s hand picked team had succeeding in bringing what the Hawke rulers saw as a “war machine” – to a halt. Guess what? With soo many troops and effort diverts to the skirmish lines, and the resource lines being severed internally. Too many goblins, not enough handlers….
The full fall of the South begins.

Return of the Rule

With the now REAL war machine in service in the south, and the human nations polarized and divided. A unity is sought. Arise the Crowns of Rulership, the shadow council seeks to unify my pushing their “working” system onto the existing provinces and governors. What happened to the human population down south? Well can’t very well trust a typical human… so you’d better just kill ‘em, and then reanimate them. Necromancy is the new black down south. Human? Want to live? Get some corpses and send them northward.
One such Mage – thought the process was bit tooooo slow. Whoops. As the Crowns become weapons rather than just a rapid means of communication…. HEY who destroyed the Forge! The penultimate weapon is not complete!! Where did this FOG come from?

The south is cut off none that venture there return a rolling mist covers the land, no scrying or divination can pierce.. without repercussions (the shadow council gets a new friend)

Balance of Power / Rise of the Ecomancer(s)

On the Continent of Primos, life is simplicity itself. The holy and revered elves dispatch 2 champions for the coming challenge. Local Humans and even a dwarven would be hero arrive in the towns lining the challengers way. The semi god(like) – Merlik (don’t blame me. past PC) has decreed another time of the test. Hillarity ensues as the field is thinned over the next several weeks Treachery, stupidity and false sense of superiority are a lethal plague. Clusters of competitors align and soon the end is in sight. Rewards are given, the back stab becomes the move of choice – looting of prizes by the silent majority…
where’d this Fog come from?
In a small town the remaining winners find themselves. Confused and suddenly weak a truce is called. What is going on with this town, where are the Adults? Why won’t anyone talk? One by one the victors disappear are taken. Did the test really end? Why are only the EVIL being taken?
Battle in the sewers (was that a dragon’s head?!?). Margarett accepts the calling – a priestess is (reborn).
Thibor becomes her paladin….
fog rolls in…
a mountain pass, the gypsies need some help …
fog rolls in …
the musician won’t play, yet ….
fog rolls in …
Whats a gnome? That is big ball, and those people are very strange…
fog rolls in…
Modnar joins the group, Sage joins in… with a bug… a big bug… that talks…. PSIONICS?!? Vampire attack margarett…
fog rolls in…

ah at last, a normal town. She was so nice last week. a half Dwarf??
The city of Doppelgangers, the city behind the pain.
You’re only hurting yourself.
Behind all that …. a dragon?…
fog rolls in.

Vomited from another place, the town of Deception is spat forth… in its midst are our heroes of past (Margarett, Thibor, Fernandez, Magnus Nightwalker, Sage…where’d Modnar go?)
Fernandez takes over “Deception”, Thibor get to training his Wyvernling, Magnus builds THE TEMPLE, and all Margarett wants is her “little Grove” at the center of town.
A tree grows tall.

Interlude

On the Rule of the Land

Fernadez makes the town charter, Gets some help from Magic. Emissaries are sent forth – a shift in continental power? Is Hawke… THE CITY…

Margarett’s tree has grown BIG, Fernandez rule is over… so short a life. She’anyi Moonbow’s servant takes the lead. A town of multiple cultures and equality…. stone buildings, a working septic system, running water, and “what lives beneath” Sage’s new friend.
There goes the Neighborhood, tell Modnar to get his Kender outta here!!!
Elven Nation comes to call, looks like their staying for dinner… or longer

The musician plays, a crown is found, a pyromancer is found, the past revealed. Thibor gets his wish… finds the spell to slay the undead pests – somatic component makes him lose his Paladinhood – but hey no more undead…. right?

Hey?!? Guess what? The south is open again! What’s happend with them?
Oooo Zombies!?

The Wheel of Night

- The last successfully completed campaign
The gods are going silent, sorta.
The power of divination is lost… but the statues are all silently screaming?

An Assassination attempt on Margarett[NPC] leaves her in a coma, ironically she’s the only one who can heal herself.

Zombies advancing from the south, the border towns are passed by… looks like they’re heading for a night on the town.

With each passing day the night is growing longer, and the horrors that errupt after dusk are eliminating the smaller settlements. Exodus to the large cities – Verbonoc, Deception, Hawk and the outpost of Hope founded and they close their doors.

Divine powers are costing an additional spell slot when cast at night. Magnus[npc] finds about the Wheel of night. part of an ethereal mechanism that shouldn’t be accessible by mortals. 12 spokes that where forged from the divine, The spokes have been broken, the wheel itself unbounded, and the guardian/servants now slain her sacred charge destroyed… these are his goddess last words on this plane. Alerting the shadow council Magnus and the council organize teams of adventures to seek out the spokes hinted at by She’anyi. The undead hordes advance. That wall around town was a good idea, maybe it’ll catch on.

Nights continue to lengthen, within the month there will be no light. Apparently with the night comes an forseen side effect… the continent is dimensional anchored. Magical travel between planes becomes VERY dangerous, and if taken runs through the outskirts of the demiplane of shadow.

Food and Medical support is running short.

Mage Engineers and Ranger Foragers are the jobs of choice. Cities are ringed in by the dead.

Bad news from the Elven Capitol(s), demons and Drow. In full retreat the elven nation takes up residence. In desperation Thibor, the lost Paladin takes flight – for the fabled homelands “to the north” Magnus is put to the task. A funny thing happens, Margarett’s Tree starts to shines, and fruit is harvested.

Elsewhere Zuggtmoy is making her move… wanna make a deal?

Either way Mana errupts from the ground in and around remaining settlements – food shortage seems to be resolved.

Big cites, bigger population, bigger problems… with divine magics going south, pestilence is the issue at hand. Iuz, the lesser of two evils, and he can heal??

The spokes have been forged into spears wielded by the generals, our party of adventures has found 4 in the month, and a crown… hey I’ve got a thought!

Members of the shadow council are slain, the balance swings to evil – say hello to their little friend.

The month is over, the last sun sets. The Drow take the surface – en masse.

Humanity has penned itself nicely – into tasty morsels.
The real Assult begins against Deception.
Nobody survives in the Sewers of Deception.
Looks like the Walls are going to hold.
It seems the Demons don’t like that their BOUND to this plane (ie. cannot gate or teleport) sure its nice to not get dismissed… but if it renders you unconscious and helpless…. and your essence is really destroy… like FOREVER… demon uprising. Manes are useless without teleport.
A lull in the battle lets ethnic tensions rise inside Deception – too many people, not enough magic – the drow change tactics, after all they have all the time they need.
Somehow the far western reaches of the elven nation goes silent, and shortly afterwards, almost no demon activity is seen near the besieged Deception. With no sunlight the surface grows cold
The dead are turned into soldiers… ever faced an undead demon?
Characters die as more sorties are made for the spears – and the enemy grows overconfident. Magnus reveals he is Psionic, and that he’s lost contact with She’anyi – his healing has been done with psychometabolic skill and by skipping across the shadowplane. He crosses to Hawke, the remaining leadership is gathered. Deception lives up to its name.
The cold turns to winter
Series of feint “teams” are put out to “find the remaining spears”, while our real adventures are skirted through the shadowplane to Hawke to quest for the Crowns, a new companion is found. 5 of the crowns are reunited, and the choir begins. The tide of battle shifts, suddenly the last 5 spears are once again in reach. Treason within the party. Loss of 2 crowns, and 3 spears. The new companion a traitor?
The new elves arrive, and its not a good thing. A new religion rises.
The High Elves are merciless and effective. Thibor is praised, and missing?
The Winter becomes a like a new ice age.
Two new spears found 6 still remaining.
The drow are beaten back into the foot hills and mountains near Deception.
A counter assault is launched against Deception, and the party takes a risky step, and takes the crowns they possess, the spears and a sizable force to raid the Drow base of operations nearby, wherein they find the Drow Ecomancer, and his generals in war council – assassins and human insurgents apparently riddle the various other cities, shadow Demons are their couriers – looks like another kind of assassins guild has been protecting Deception. You mean nobody knew that the human priest of She’anyi were lycanthropes? And that Sage is a GuildMaster Assassin?
That’s a new wrinkle.

With the Drow looking at a stalemate, the endgame is put into effect. Drow priests (who inexplicably retain some spell casting powers) proceed to curse the ground and loose hordes of Goblinoids to build massive siege weapondry from the remnants of the forests, and burn what ever else remains. For nearly a week the world is lit as if in twilight as the forest and plains are charred to ash, and the ashen grounds cursed fallow. Systematic elimination of the human settlements begin, the undead rise again, shadow demons now fill the ranks openly in combat.

Its now been just over 5 years …
the humans and elves are breaking against the onslaught of drow – the mother tree’s light has been growing dimmer since the destruction of even the barren land.
Sage is killed one night, his body found armless from the main gate.
Margarett dies at last – never comming out of her coma

In the Drow camp, a simple sweep of the Elves has become years of campaign. The heads of each major city of the underdark have now begun to see their counterparts as weak, and the likewise the 7 remaining of each cities elite 8 houses – see the weakness.

Lolth is bored and reveals a nexus for planar travel – Tavu Barreit. It is revealed to both sides though, and rapid scurry to secure the gateway – the drow send their generals, as does Deception.

Grand scale meele on the white wastes.

… and that is as far as anyone has been able to divine. It is commonly believed that the wheel of night was reconstructed, and that the heroes were successful, who would have reason to think otherwise?

After the long Night

In the weeks that followed the air warmed and the sky became gradually clearer. The sun began to shine as if through dense fog, softly at first, but then becoming more and more strong.

The rains came, in torrents, as the ice and snow melted, washing away once fertile topsoil, leaving great fetid marshes of ooze and driving many remains to clog the creeks and riverbeds.

But among these the wonder of the Fugi forests – the mana has stopped – becoming less and less frequent after Margarett’s death… perhaps it wasn’t Zuggtomy’s doing?

Those few called into service as Druids are busy. Its slow work.

The elvish nation’s retreat put them as visitors inside the growing city sprawl of Deception. With Sage gone, and suddenly Magnus found sheared in half, the rulership of Deception falls into dispute. The Mother tree remains, and the Elves know this is their most holy of spots, while the High Elves are calling their cousins back into the forests.

In service and hopes of settling tensions the wild elves have begun teaching Humans to be farmers, and in the process apparently awakening adept Druids – blasphemy?

The surface dwellers that remain have become strong under adversity, hold more and higher level characters than at anytime in history. They are restless and long for lives away from the press and stench of so many others. But settlements are risky business – wandering ogre, orc, goblin, and even trolls. Find out you’ve set up on cursed soil, because your settlement withers and rots with a contagious disease, the any animal that grazes or produce harvest from it goes mad, that you and your livestock are struck barren yourselves, or that your crops appear to grow blessedly fast but ripen to rotten at your touch.

The elven Nation rises from its ashes, its forest’s trees standing nearly a mile high – were they burned at all? And with the spread of their pastures and fertile fields humans are rushed to make their claim on lands. Even the powerful were slaughtered. The High elves take their duties very seriously and guard the land like a mother wolf. Soon the humans and semi-humans see these new elves – rail thin, standing 6 to 7 feet tall. A malignantly beautiful cancer spreading south from their landing spot, and shortly afterwards so of their massive ships are seen sailing the coast lines of the northern edge of the world.

The campaign begins a few weeks after the Long Night. Human and Elven relations are strained at best, nowhere more so then in deception wherein a communal council of the indigenous races has been formed to provide leadership and steward its growth.

Burrows have arisen in town, and the most notable is the Elven, who hold up closest to the tree, dispossessing the upperclass which held rank before. Their houses and mansions are the stuff of fantasy and also COMPLETELY off limits to non elves. Deception itself was Dimensionally anchored now… its seems more elves arrive than leave. Have they found a way to teleport past the protections. Regardless of its bureaucracies the council knows war and its town guard are quite literally the subject of Legend. A retinue of Assassins are know to be on retainer.

The some of the southern Dwarves have opened their mines now, and the job of choice for the young adventurer is caravan escort and on the teams working to rebuild trade roads. Visitor from the south report that the south seems years behind in the their understanding of the world, and that a embittered resent smolders there from the Iron Wars, long forgotten- seems still fresh in their minds.

Almost every true city has a reluctantly offer a share of its earnings to a mage, and the successful ones employ a Druid as well. Every creature over the age of 2 has witnessed first hand arcane magic, and its no longer as wondrous. Divine magic is still revered but, in hearts of many fickle. Nearer to Hawke the feelings of resentment are strongest against Magic – a odd transposition.

And for the first time the inhabitants of the world are interested in what lies beyond the horizon.

Welcome the new Era of Exploration!

The Backstory

Picking up the pieces

The long night has finally been broken, and in the light of the days that follows humanity struggles to reassert a culture. Much of the land lays dead under the melt of snow, and the sparse vegetation that remains is sickly and starved.

Druids are the power in the land now, for their healing touch every royal and commoner demand. Too few are given the gift to raise the forests after the years of darkness.

The demons have fled, the dark elves sent back into their caves. Powerful magics lay mired in the putrid mud of battlefields…

The Great Circle of Ruling attempts to reclaim its hold on the broken dutchys and provinces – however the circle’s true leadership was from a shadow conclave of sorceresses and wizards – now dead.

The church of Iuz and Zugtomy – once fattened with followers hoping to stave of illnesses and seeking to sustain themselves on Zugtomy’s fungi are falling away. New religions (and false prophets) are riding the winds of change.

The elven nation lays shattered after the Drow’s assault, rumors of corrupted elves flitter on dark wings. The Silvanesti’s cousin elves, the fabled High Elves have come on their fantastic living ships from far across the world sea – summoned by the Lost Paladin of Meliki. With them, they have brought a bound and subjugated race of creatures, the halfling – although there were a few halflings around, these halflings are not the the carefree, capricious spirits – more like thralls and pets.

While those in the scattered Elven nation ask themselves “Did The Lost Paladin Survive?”, the new Elves, these uncommon elves whose thin, over 7 foot tall frames make it so easy to distinguish themselves from their “lesser” cousins – continue to claim land once held by Humans, continue to collect and rumor has it kill half elves and even some of the non Silvanesti elves.

The death of Margett the ecomancer – beloved of Meliki, has been punctuated by the Holy Mother Tree’s that towers over the still proud mixing bowl of Demi-Human cultures, town of Deception. The town besieged during the Long Night and the lead border fort for skirmishes against the demons and drow, has now become the safe haven of semi human and non noblis elves – the mecca of cross breeds. bring unity or be the cause of the next war?

What happened to the heroes at Tav Barrit? What of the Wheel of Night? What of the Spears?

Heroes Forged in the New Dawn.

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