Campaign Background 1995-96

The 1995-96 Termite campaign took a party of characters from 0 level farmers to 6-7the level Assassins, Thieves, Mages, Warriors, Scouts, Healers and more. In the process of the campaign the party discovered their own part in a millenia ancient prophecy, and used it to defeat the mad Dark Elf Tiofan, who planned to destroy the sun and thus free the imprisoned Celestial God Raven and destroy the world.

  1. At the start of the campaign the party's village was attacked by raiding Dark Elves, and Cariss (A trainee thief), Thorn (A woodsman with amnesia), Lachlan (The Blacksmith's apprentice), Lexi (The Local healer), Johann (A Monk, the Priests acolyte), Polenth (A squire), and the blacksmith were kidnapped by the Dark Elves after days of chase and battle with their Goblin slaves. Before they could be slain or taken as slaves, however the Dark Elf leader, Eridani (Of house Torellan Sia), discovered that her city was taken over by the Chaos worshipping Kilos Yisais, her father slain, and her House declared exile. She wanted revenge, and the party had no choice but to go with her as her prisoners. Polenth and other prisoners were slain and the rest carried below.

  2. The party was dragged through the deadly and nightmare Underdark, barely suriving because of the aid of the uncaring Dark Elves. There Eridani learned that more was at stake than her city, Tiofan, the Kilos Yisais leader, had found, or been possessed by, the legendary Black Heart of the Umbrals, and seemed determined to destroy the entire world, starting with the temple city of the hated surface dwellers. By raising the dreaded Black Sun, and by destroying the great gem at the heart of the temple city he hoped to free Raven, the God of destruction and destroy the world that was his prison. She learned too of a prophecy of the Kilos Yisais, hidden somewhere in the Underdark, which might give them the chance to defeat the seemingly invulnerable Tiofan. Assured that, in some way, the surface dewllers that she had captured were vital to the chance of victory she took them with her.

  3. Chased by Kilos Yisais, the foul Svartz Goblins, a mysterious figure, and strange signs and portents in dreams and visions they fled through the Underdark, seeking the prophecy. Through their visions they learned that greater forces were involved in their destiny, And that some kind of alliance between certain of the Gods of Light and others of Darkness, notably Eridani's own Goddess Sias, one of the Sun brothers and the Smiths God, was the only hope of victory. At the same time they saw portents of death and dispair, that chipped away at their sanity and sense of self, until some, notably Johann and Thorn seemed on the edge of insanity.

  4. An encounter with a deadly and unseen force of Undeath sent them North, not knowing who they could trust, through a Dark Elven fortress filled with death, till they fell into the hands of the immortal and powerful Duregar. These Duregar agreed to send them closer to the prophecy, hidden in the mysterious Temple of Light and Shadow, if they passed a test set for them. Teleported somewhere deeper into the nightmare Underdark they fought their way past giant cave spiders and a seemingly insane Mage calling himself the Hound of Damodred, a name that echoed fearfully from their dreams. Fleeing into caves of ice they found the hideous followers of Damodred, skeletal figures robed like priests who chanted Damodred's name perptually in the ice caverns. It took all their growing strength to win free of the undead till at last they found the Temple of Shaodw, high in the grey peaks above the Red Farthing of the Empire. There at last they found the prophecy of the Kilos Yisais.

  5. In the prophecy they learned of the origin of Damodred, last of the ancient Umbrals, who was destroyed by the Black heart at the beginning of time. Cursed to eternal death he sought revenge on the Gods, but he learned that he could not master the Gem till he possessed the power to destroy it. Then Damodred prophecied that that means would one day be made by the hated Gods themselves, and that it would be in the form of a sword that was broken and hidden in a maze that only certain people could penetrate, a list which described the party perfectly. Theyr realised that they were caught in the center of a perilous plan by the Gods to destroy the Heart, a plan which risked giving Damodred dominion over all. They did not know where the maze was, save to the far North, nor where it had come from, but they knew that it was somehow connected with the now half-remembered history of Thorn, who now suspected himself to be heir to a powerful house in the great city of Saltwater. With the aid of certain items that gave the Dark Elves (Eridani and her Veteran Dan'Chir) the ability to walk in sunlight, though weakened, they fled the Underdark to seek rest and healing in their own home.

  6. Passing through deadly forests full of the Goblin slaves of the Dark Elves they found themselves betrayed and pursued on the surface as they had been below. Chased by Chaos Cultists, Dark Elf spies, and the violent military Order of Light they fled through the countryside until they were intercepted by the feared barbarian Hrun. After a brief skirmish, in which Hrun chopped off one of Dan'Chir's hands, they learned, to their relief, that Hrun had been sent to aid them by the mysterious Damon, High Priest of Sunset, and with his aid they easily reached their own village and found a month of rest and investigation in the hidden home of Johann's master. Here the learnt about Saltwater, identified where the sword might lie, and pondered the prophecy.

  7. At last, convinced that they could hide no longer, they set out with Hrun for Saltwater. Harried by their enemies across the Saltwater plain they went for days without sleep, attacked by the Order of Light and Svartz Goblins. In the flight Thorn was wounded and the faithful blacksmith perished alone in a dark wood. Finally they found the dubious shelter of Saltwater, and could rest awhile. Here Thorn at last found his true identity, Elicas Tharn, last son of the House of Tharn, once the rulers of Saltwater. Now his father was murdered and his family too, surely by the Kilos Yisais and Lord Varlak, now ruler of the city. Clashing with Chaos Cultists, a Necromancer, a pair of Pit Fighters, and confused city Guards Thorn recovered certain of his father's possessions, including, to his surprise, a black Duregar sword of great power that told him certain things about himself and reality.

  8. Even in the city their enemies closed in, and, after they had rescued the now nearly insane Lexi from the clutches of the Order of Light, (using Hrun's ring of invisibility), they found the city under attack by Kilos Yisais, Oroborous Fa assassins and Svartz. With the aid of the Thieves' Guild and its head, Grastil, they escaped, with the certain knowledge that they had but 25 days to save the world. Realising that this could never be enough they took the drastic step of deciding to return to the Underdark to enlist the aid of the Duregar against the Kilos Yisais. Here Johann parted ways with the others, riding to the Temple City to warn Damon of the impending Doom, and to arrange magical means for them to quickly reach the North of the Empire, where they thought the prophesied Silver Sword lay. Partly because he did not wish to enter the Underdark, and partly because they feared for his sanity in the face of the growing darkness. The rest sought to cross the cursed swamps and fens north of Saltwater to search for an entrance into the Underdark.

  9. Crossing this swamp they became seperated in the darkness, and, alone with Lachlan, the unsable Lexi mistook a lost child for an attacking creature, and went into a blood frenzy, slaying it. Only afterwards did she realise her crime, her violation of all that being a healer stood for, and fled into the night. Though they found the others the Gods cursed Lexi for her crime and she woke blind and without power. The party had no choice but to proceed without her aid, and in the Underdark Thorn broke both an arm and a leg, while the others were badly wounded. They gained they aid they had sought from the enigmatic Duregar, however, who promised them 40 days, and returned them to the surface. There, however, a hideous flying creature summoned by Tiofan sruck them, and they barely fought it off. Dan'Chir lay on the point of death, while Hrun, blinded in one eye, struggled against the poison now raging in his system. Only by begging aid from the family of swamp creatures whoose child she had killed was Lexi able to gain the power to save them, and in doing so the gift of her magical powers, though her sight remained lost forever.

  10. Counting the cost of their success they party limped towards the Temple City, wondering if anything could be worth this pain, or if the whole world was doomed to an endless cycle of threat and death. They still did not know where this supposed maze lay, nor how they were to mend the sword which was broken but not broken, but they began to suspect that the prophecy spoke in allegory and not direct account, and it was a maze of the mind and spirit that trapped them even now. With some encounters more they reached the Temple City, saved by Damon and Voleramin, the Chief librarian and adventuring mate of Hrun and the much mentioned but never seen Virgan the dark.

  11. Here they found a city in the turmoil of political struggle. With the Holy Council and the Council of the Empire riddled by traitors and Choas worshippers Damon was finding it almost impossible to arange a proper defence for the city, while all the while the threat of war and destruction came closer. The Order of Light walked the streets, the Inquisition was everywhere, and the party became sure that the Dark Elves were also at work in the city. To make matters worse Johann seemd to have gone finally mad, or perhaps to have joined their enemies, as he talked of their own evil and the need for inquisition. To Lexi alone he spoke of dreams of Light Elves, or purification, and of a clearing bearing a hangman's noose in the forbidden sacred forest.

  12. As the party struggled to win votes and persuade people to their cause, Johann vanished into the sacred forest. Though they pusued him, at great danger to themselves, they found nothing, and had to be rescued by Damon. Then Johann suddenly returned, clothed in white, and bearing a sword of burning crystal. At the sight of this they suddenly realised what was meant by the sword that was broken but was not, for Johann and Thorn, the party's greatest enemies, bore its two halves, and they were indeed in a maze of the mind. Johann attacked Thorn, nearly killing Lexi who intervened to save Thorn. At that Thorn said that he would himself die to save Lexi. With this decleration Johann declared that they had 'passed the inquisition' and vanished. The party saw no other option but to seek the dead mountains to the far north as they had planned all along.

  13. Transported by Damon's spell to the Teeth of the Dragon they found Johann somehow awaiting them. As Thorn and Johann duelled on the plains of copper-stained salt the two came to agree that their aims were really the same, and that it was the swords that were really fighting. Together they forced the swords onto the flaming shield given to the blacksmith/warrior Lachlann by Damon, and he then forged them into one, using a magical hammer amulet that had long ago been entrusted to him by his now dead master. With the Silver Sword at last in their hands, giving them the chance to defeat Tiofan, even as it gave Damodred the chance for eternal victory, they fled the monsters of the mountain till they were saved again by Damon.

  14. Back in the city they played politics again, the issues deepeing until the Emperor himself was drawn to the city and the whole stability of the Empire seemed to hang on the vote. Realising that every important figure in the Empire had been drawn to the city like lambs to the slaughter the party realised that the Duregar must have failed to give them the 40 days that they had been promised, and that Tiofan was ready to rise and crush them at any time. Besset by threats from every side, both physical and political they decided to take the fight to Tiofan, using a portal that Johann told them the Dark Elves had built under the city.

  15. Back in the Underdark once more they penetrated Dun Issa (See Damon's account of the End in part 3 of Dan'Chir's story), and attacked Tiofan. In that battle Johann died to give Thorn the chance to destroy Tiofan, which he did. The Black Heart fell back into the hands of Damodred, who left them, laughing, and they fled Dun Issa as the Dark Elves turned against each other. Meanwhile in the city the Order of Light turned against the rest of the Follk in a bloody battle to conceal the treachery of its masters, till at last it was destroyed. Finally the weary patry returned to the city, returinging at the same time the Black Sword to the Duregar and the Crystal to the Light Elves, only to see the Black Sun, the symbol fo Tifan's victory and Raven's destruction rise.... and the fade away, a warning that the Dark Elves were not all dead, and that the forces of Chaos still held power in the Empire.

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