ELVES BATTLE THE DARK ALLIANCE 21st of Eantos, 5102
To Whom It May Concern,
In the interests of informing the public of current events, I've
begun taking notes upon the general happenings of the rather odd
situations that are currently afoot in the Shining City of Ta'Illistim.
My findings may be freely distributed to whoever has an interest
in such matters.
In a former
age, great smiths crafted THE GRIFFIN
Forged with ancient, mysterious techniques
into a flawless vision of beauty.
A jeweled hilt invoking the image of the
Blessed by LORMINSTRA, goddess of
winter and rebirth, for use against the undead.
Lorminstra's servant betrayed her trust, breaking the artifact
into four parts and giving them to servants of dark gods.
Many years later, dark forces invaded the city of Wehnimer's
Landing intent on the destruction of Lorminstra's temple.
After many epic battles, the brave defenders saved the temple
and recovered the pieces of the sword. Four adventurers embarked
on a perilous quest that ended with the Griffin Sword re-forged,
re-consecrated, and set outside the temple as a memorial to
heroism and sacrifice and a conduit of Lorminstra's power
And so it remained for several years, until Lorminstra's
prophet discovered a flaw in the sword, a taint of darkness
left over from its ancient betrayal. An agent of darkness
again shattered the sword, scattering the pieces into places
of hiding across the cities of Elanthia. And once again, the
forces of the Dark Alliance,
V'TULL, the Dark Champion, god of
warfare and domination
SHERU, the Jackal, god of nightmares
MULAROS, the Sorrow of the World,
god of sacrifice and suffering
LUUKOS, the Serpent, god of unending
death and master of the undead,
sow discord throughout the lands, as adventurers take sides
in a terrible struggle of light versus darkness, good versus
evil, life versus death. On which side will you cast your
The Dark Alliance invaded Wehnimer's Landing, burning the
city to the ground in revenge for their earlier defeat. While
the Landing was rebuilt, the forces of V'tull attacked the
dwarven city of Kharam-Dzu on Teras Isle.
After a desperate battle in which adventurers managed to board
a V'tullian warship to gather intelligence, one piece of the
sword was recovered. In the past week, the action turned to
the human empire, where agents of Sheru waged terrible battle
against the city of Solhaven and its followers of the light.
Where will the action turn next? Will it come in the form
of an invasion, a puzzle, or a quest? Join
us in GemStone IV and LIVE THE ADVENTURE.
I suppose it all truly began on the 6th of Eoantos for our people
- while I did not directly witness it, I am no stranger to researching
the obscure. Apparently a relatively large force of undead and other
various creatures were detected near the borders of ShadowGuard.
Examining the situation, I personally find that it occurred at one
of the worst times possible in a political sense - in the recent
months a faction of nobles and other empowered individuals were
pushing for a more disciplined and stronger force in arms for the
Shining City. Quite inexplicable, really, they just seemed to pop
up with these suggestions when things had been utterly calm on such
Regardless, as it was our scryers who discovered this band of creatures,
it was petitioned that the bolstered forces of Ta'Illistim meet
this small threat as a test of their new policies and training.
Political chest thumping, in its barest essence. Not wanting to
appear desperate, they sent a quarter of Ta'Illistim's total forces
to meet the threat near ShadowGuard.
Apparently, they stood no chance, as it was an ambush by what is
now known as The Dark Alliance. They were utterly decimated, along
with a small Vaalorian Keep that they had taken rest in the nights
before the battle. The lot of us in Ta'Illistim knew something had
gone wrong, the power of the necromancy wielded upon that battlefield
was so strong that it literally sent ripples of essence that could
be felt quite a distance away. Our brothers in Ta'Vaalor were more
aware of the situation - they had been watching from the beginning.
The militant faction that had been surging in popularity rightly
plummeted that night, and I've barely heard mention of it among
the nobility since. The Vaalorian Guard informed us that they would
be taking care of the situation, and of course, would welcome the
talents of our mages and other scholars for use in strategic planning.
The remainder of Ta'Illistim's forces are either stationed in the
city itself or have been used to bolster the ranks of our borderguard
should the Dark Alliance make a move toward us. Either way, they
are stretched rather thin at the moment, and a tad red-faced to
boot. To my knowledge, there have been some rather brief discussions
with the Ardenai for reinforcements should the need for such arise.
However, I doubt any aid will be required - once the Vaalor mobilized
their forces, they halted the Dark Alliance's movement completely.
At the time of this writing, they are currently fighting the enemy
about a week's ride south of of the city itself and neither force
shows any sign of retreating. Good news, at the least, though there
have been reports of raids and small battles on their northern borders
by undead and other creatures. I've heard they began recruiting
again to deal with this threat, but have not heard of any progress,
publically announced or privately.
Curiously, there are even more pieces to this puzzle, namely the
reason why this Dark Alliance is even here in the first place. It
appears they search for a remnant of a rather important religious
artifact - The Griffin Sword. Having not really studied Western
mythology, I cannot profess to know the intricacies of the artifact,
save that it is powerful enough to warrant stirring the tempers
of the Vaalor - a dangerous game, indeed, and certainly not something
to pursue on a whim.
There are also other points of conflict beyond the physical battles
being waged on elven-held soil - mainly, the clashing of idealogies
between traditionalist elves and the sudden influx of helpful Westerners
into our lands. Before the appearance of the Dark Alliance, most
of our people were content to ignore them as they brought increased
trade and other goods. Personally, I find them an interesting lot,
but my nature as a scholar lends itself to such friendliness, I
never close off a new avenue of information, be it an ancient grimoire
or a chipper little human child. But I am not in the majority of
my people, I'm afraid - most of the nobility often bring up the
Westerners in light conversation, and they joke of their militiaries
and other organized efforts, deeming them little more than glorified
mercenary bands here to seek the spoils of war. This attitude obviously
grates on otherwise amiable Westerners.
The Vaalor, however, are a more stubborn and active lot than the
lords and ladies of Ta'Illistim. They reacted to the Westerners
far more harshly, believing that they actually thought themselves
better than the elite Vaalorian Guard. Several arrests have been
made on charges of inciting mobs and other acts of "vigilante
Justice is another point of conflict, as well - I came to be deeply
involved in this whole matter through that very issue. Apparently
the Westerners among Ta'Illistim have become fed up with the open
supporters of the Dark Alliance that came along with them and the
apparent lack of punishment from Ta'Illistim. The Vaalor have dealt
with this issue in their own usual direct approach already - they
have since executed one supporter publically, and have exiled any
others they find on their streets as a warning. I have yet to hear
of any other suffering stiffer punishment or going against the order
Regardless, I've been in contact with a few of these visitors from
the West and find them a pleasant bunch. As Ta'Illistim's Guard
really does not want to bother with them - they dread another embarassment
should they, I fear - I spoke to them of the current situation.
Ideally, I would be pleased should these supporters to ousted from
the city, but politically, it is a messy issue. Ta'Vaalor has it
rather easy in this regard - they are usually of one mind on such
trivial matters as religion, which is why they were so quick to
act on execution and exile.
Our shining city of Ta'Illistim, however, is far different, we
have many different factions among the nobility and scholars, and
each has an ample amount of political power at their disposal. Such
a widespread outlawing of certain religious affiliations could well
rustle the feathers of several organizations currently taking up
residence in Ta'Illistim. Not because they have ties to them, mind
you, but their ideals and beliefs are rather unorthodox and such
a law is reminiscent of the Rysus Codex and other nonsense they
enact in the Turamzzyrian Empire. These sort binding practices are
frowned upon in a city where the free exchange of knowledge has
been fostered for thousands of years.
Beyond all the social issues, however, things seem to progress
well for our people in the battle against this Dark Alliance. Recently
a new threat has reared its head, a psionic by the name of Harith.
She apparently - with quite a bit of zeal, I imagine - has declared
Ta'Illistim conquered and under the law of the Dark Alliance. While
a majority of Ta'Illistim's scholars are unconcerned with her wild
claims and the nobility simply finds it another matter to joke about
over their meals, a small contingent of researchers in the field
of mind magic have been severely disturbed by her presence. They
are slowly organizing their efforts into studying ways to combat
her, though they are provided with little support, after all, most
of Ta'Illistim has no use for mind-magic. Ironically, the ones who
most utilize it commonly are the Westerners that have come to the
Ta'Illistim's Guard, however, has asked the scryers in the city
to divine her location, I imagine they wish to prove themselves
worthy to defend the Shining City's people from any threat. However,
the search has thus far proved fruitless, as Harith appears to be
far, far away from Ta'Illistim's physical borders. Her power must
be rather exceptional to have reached the thoughts of our city from
that great a distance. But, on the other hand, I'm rather positive
they are quite limited as well due to being stretched so thin.
The various battles against the Dark Alliance look bright at the
time of this writing. While we are not wholly victorious, they are
not victorious in the slightest, and each of their attempts to gain
an advantage are met with stalwart resistance from elf and Westerner
Scholar of the Grey Obelisk
SECOND PIECE FOUND! 5th of Eantos, 5102
Mere days after the Sheruvian forces were driven from Solhaven,
the resistance against the Dark Alliance mobilized their collective
power to make a final, decisive assault upon their would-be conquerors.
As the Prophet Ulstram rested, plans were laid to make an offensive
move upon Draezir's encampment - rumours were that his search had
proved extremely fruitful, and that he had narrowed down a small
section in the Cairnfang where the piece of the sword might be found.
Realizing their forces were in a state of mild chaos from the unexpected
victory of the resistance, the residents of Solhaven planned a daring
attack upon Draezir's encampment. Working with the Prophet Ulstram
once he regained his strength, the adventurers pierced the veil
of illusion that previously shrouded his location from others. Fighting
through the gates and the troops that were fortifying the base,
they succeeded in hampering his forces severely.
At the same time, however, the spies of the Dark Alliance were
taken to Lord Kendryth's battered encampment and told to destroy
any remaining survivors from the previous conflict with Draezir's
army. As one side fought, so did the other, and as both groups retreated
from their accomplished missions, they came unwittingly upon the
very area the Dark Alliance had narrowed their search down to. In
the chaos of battle, however, any organized search effort had been
abandoned in the interests of defense.
The adventurers stumbled upon a cave nearly at the exact moment,
and there they discovered the second piece of the Griffin Sword
- its golden quillions. They are held safely, for now, but rumours
persist to the true allegiances of the one who holds them.
Time will surely tell where their heart lies.
In the meantime, whispers of foul things afoot in the east reach
me by missive, yet they are unclear and unspecific in their descriptions.
Scholar of Nydds
SOLHAVEN IS FREE! 30th of Jastatos, 5102
Once in a state of occupation by the forces of Draezir the High
Priest of Sheru, the forces of darkness have been driven from the
Freeport of Solhaven by the cunning and cleverness of the local
resistance movement. Lord Kendryth returned from his encampment,
apparently severely wounded by an attack that was sprung on them
at the same time Solhaven was being overrun. Barely escaping with
his life, he brought both dire and good news - his encampment had
been nearly destroyed and his men scattered, but he also had vital
information to share.
He spoke of one of his scouts returning while being chased by
frenzied Sheruvians. The scout spoke of a high-ranking Sheruvian
on his way
there, and that this individual would arrive on the 29th of Jastatos.
The attack was then sprung, and Kendryth escaped with little but
his life and that piece of information. It proved to be key when
a group of adventurers brought him in and revealed the true extent
of what had occured in his absence. They quickly mustered a force
and headed out to Cairnfang forest to lie in wait.
All was not to go as planned, however, as just before the carriage
approached, local Sheruvians attempted to thwart their attempts.
Some defenders fell, just before the carriage approached, but the
Sheruvians were quickly dispatched, and the band of adventurers
slaughtered their guards and broke into the carriage. There they
found a Sheruvian Inquisitor, apparently given orders by Draezir
to oversee Solhaven in his stead while he focused his search for
the shard of the Griffin Sword. He was killed after becoming hostile
when being interrogated, and hidden within the carriage they found
a chest - trapped with vile magic.
Fleeing at the behest of Kendryth, they quickly hid the chest
away in a safe place. When Draezir discovered that this ambush
his rage was so great that he descended with thousands upon thousands
of his troops, setting flame to building after building in an
to rout out the adventurers who held the chest. After Draezir thoroughly
wrought destruction, he sought the chest northward, thinking they
had fled into the Cairnfang forest itself and beyond. He was wrong
- they had taken shelter in one of the many caves along the beach,
safe from his invaders and his raging fires.
Finally wresting control over the dark magics of the chest, it
was opened - revealing both an orb and several onyx shards. A note
inside read that the orb was dormant, and apparently had a connection
to Ulstram. The shards, the note read, were to be used in dealing
with the many guardian statues that patrolled the streets of Solhaven.
Clearly, this was why Draezir had wanted the chest back so desperately.
The adventurers passed out the shards to defenders of the town,
and while Draezir and his forces scoured north, the adventurers
destroyed the foundations of his occupation in one swift, decisive
But the evening was far from over, the orb was presented to Kendryth,
and a group of those loyal to the light gathered at Lorminstra's
altar to pray for guidance. Kendryth became aware of what the orb's
purpose was, and deciphered how to unlock it... in doing so, he
sent the adventurer's gathered hurtling off into another realm,
one of twisted dreams and shadows. Ulstram was there, frozen in
an icy crystal and severely tortured and wounded. Fighting bravely
against the horrors that relentlessly harried them, the stalwart
adventurer's managed to destroy the power source that kept the realm
maintaining its wicked existence, and thus freed Ulstram from his
Summoning their magics, they returned safely from the darkness
just as it began to shatter into nonexistence itself, and all celebrated.
For when they returned, the rule of Sheru's minions had been utterly
crumbled. The banners of the jackal were being burned, and their
own banners of the Freeport being raised in their stead. The gates
of Vornavis burst open, leading to heartfelt reunions between the
refugees and those who were caught outside the gates when the catastrophe
Solhaven is free once again. Thanks to the resistance.
Scholar of Nydds
Solhaven Has Fallen! 23rd of Jastatos, 5102
Draezir has made a bold move on the part of the
Dark Alliance - near the hour of midnight, all felt what he had
planned. A massive explosion to the north of Solhaven sent half
a mountain tumbling down into a pass, cutting off the Freeport from
both aid and any possible escape. Many held their breath for what
was to come.
And then they heard the chantings of the Sheruvian forces, gaining
ground as they marched into the city. Their foul voices carried
on the wind, overtaking the sound of their wardrums, drowning all
in their cacophony as the battle waged on. Their forces took the
Hangman's Bridge, overwhelming it with their numbers and their now
fiercely zealous ranks. From there it was only a short way to Tumbledown
Lane, the beginnings of Solhaven. They overwhelmed those they found
there easily, and made their way into the heart of town.
If there is one thing to be thankful for in such a grim situation,
it is that innocent lives were not wasted - as the Sheruvians broke
past the defenses, Vornavis' Gates opened briefly, allowing peasants
and other innocents to flee into the inner city while they still
could. If it were not for this, the streets would be clogged with
the corpses of the dead and the dying.
As of the last missive I have received from the locals who are
now beleaguered by the forces of darkness, the Sheruvians are still
there. They are now occupying the Freeport, and they do not intend
on leaving it. For what purpose they may be doing this, I do not
know. I only keep hope that they may still yet be driven off.
Scholar of Nydds
Whispers of Darkness 18th of Jastatos, 5102
At first, the incursions of the Dark
Alliance were but mild... whispers of a darkness behind the storms
that brewed nightly for weeks. They whispered of shadows rising,
gathering and lying in wait for a sign that would come. It was then,
that a voice spoke from the blackened skies.
In its hissing tones, it would deliver its message from above as
the lightning raged across the countryside and the rain drowned
the land. It spoke of that which was lost and would soon be reclaimed...
and that which was pure that would soon be tainted. Those who heard
this message puzzled over its meaning. Clearly, it was one of dire
portent, but vague, and possibly misleading. Those who would stand
in the light gathered, and pondered on what to make of these warnings.
It was then that evil struck, and the darkness behind these warnings
was given a face, a name. Morvule was that name. A Luukosian of
unsurpassed power rose from the shadow and culled a great army of
the undead from the cursed lands that surrounded the small town
of Wehnimer's Landing. His goal had been made clear - the Griffin
Sword, a holy sword that had fallen into shadow once before, but
was recovered by the servants of the light in a great battle and
reforged into its former glory. It had stood safely in the square
of Erebor, underneath the watchful gaze of Lorminstra's temple,
its blade sheathed within a massive stone. This was Morvule's aim,
and for a time, it seemed an inevitable triumph.
Ultram, Prophet of Lorminstra, who had also recently arrived in
Wehnimer's Landing, warned those who would stand against Morvule.
The prophet had reasons for journeying to the Landing. He revealed
that the sword had within the very core of its existence... a flaw.
A taint. He proposed a plan, then, to cleanse the sword of this
minute flaw... the flaw that would allow the shadow to consume it
So plans were made, on sides of both light and dark. Days waned
into nights and nights into days... but finally, those of the light
were ready. Ulstram withdrew the sword from its stony sheath on
that night, and began preparations for the cleansing. The power
of his magic was enough as to illuminate the entire settlement as
if it were the brightest of noons... all proceeded well, until those
of of the dark lept from their hiding places.
Morvule appeared at the crucial moment of the ceremony, disrupting
the carefully-laid plans of the light. Darkness and light clashed
on that hour, and titanic energies raged across the sky as both
Prophet and Luukosian fought with all their might, and the Griffin
Sword shone through with its power against evil. But the shadow
decieves... and the shadow hides... and the shadow is never seen,
until it is too late. As the battle turned in Ulstram's favor, and
as he swung to deal the finishing blow... Morvule reached into the
flaw, the scar that had been left into the existence of the blade
so long ago, and exploited it... fueled it with his own ruthless
ambition and cruelty.
The sword was split asunder once again. Its pieces flew off into
the horizons in a brilliant explosion of cataclysmic energy. Neither
light nor darkness won the night, but the previous struggle was
but a taste of what would come.
For Morvule, bitter and angered that he had not recovered the sword,
revealed the true extent of the shadow's grasp. That night, the
Dark Alliance showed itself as reforged once again. Draezir, Eryael
and Zerroth each represented the leaders of their dark gods' faction.
They gathered their forces and nearly razed Wehnimer's Landing to
the ground. But for the brave citizens who fought the fires and
repaired the damage, the outpost may not have survived.
Both sides of the conflict searched desperately for the shattered
pieces of the sword. the task proven even more difficult since the
relic was drained of its immense power. The first fragment was found
near the small dwarven settlement of Kharam-Dzu, upon the remote
island of Teras. Here, V'tull's forces were mustered by the Berserker
Zerroth. A fleet of black ships surrounded the small island, launching
attacks by its troops nearly every night. Their armies hit hard
and fierce, and their bloodlust knew no bounds - each defender was
hard-pressed to keep their own on the island. But for a time, they
did hold them back.
The tide of the battle turned when those of the light smuggled
themselves aboard one of the ships of the Dark Fleet. Learning secrets
from the information aboard, they used it to their advantage, and
soon learned the location of the hilt of the Griffin Sword, and
sought it out. But here, again, darkness would show its excellence
at deception - for a servant of Mularos recovered the blade first.
Even though Zerroth's forces lost one small battle, their work had
been accomplished on the island.
Rumours began to filter up from the south, of a great thing falling
from the sky... and so the conflict moved to Solhaven, where the
Sheruvian Draezir gathered his forces and his trickery. Summoning
creatures of utter unworldliness, he set them to plague the citizens
of Solhaven while his forces built up unseen around them. The beasts
of shadow killed many innocent citizens in their unnatural lust
for life, but Ulstram again arrived to aid in the struggle. Through
the resourcefulness of the citizens, the creatures were banished
to the darkness from which they were spawned, but it was too late.
Draezir's forces had been bolstered, and were ready to attack.
They came in droves, pushing past the defenses of Solhaven and
onto the streets within days. Their advance did not stop, and Draezir
revelled in each position overwhelmed. What he planned, no one knew.
Whispers of things being plotted filtered through the streets, and
one follower of Sheru was selected by Draezir to bring forth the
ruse he had so carefully laid.
Masked as a frightened, repenting follower of the dark, this servant
deceived Ulstram into taking an orb into his hands. Within moments,
the trap was sprung, and Ulstram was simply frozen and immediately
drawn into the depths of the device, which then vanished itself.
With only Kendryth's shaken aid, Solhaven now stands against the
threat of the darkness. Draezir's army grows daily, and incursions
into the town go farther. The murder of innocents continues, and
hope is dwindling away.