In the year 3112 a.s. of the 4th Era, four heroes would be the first to meet and begin to shape the history and fate of the world:
- Arlaith Sindair and Morian Avenseer, a young Seeker and Blade of the Children of Methusella searching for the answers to a long forgotten scroll.
- Kinsman Thalos, a half-elf bounty hunter tasked with killing a tyrant, or so he was lead to believe…
In the far north, where the remote fastness of the Shadow Wall mountains meet the wilds of the Drunmodrin plain of Rhiannon, lies the forgotten fortress of Kundrakar(The Mountain Door). It is here where our heroes fates begin to converge and their lives are forever altered.
The original Player’s Regional Map (Notice Dagger Ford and Eldmar are slightly out of place)
Charis Laurelin, A Knight Lieutenant of the Order of Tyr has come from Jaranel Keep with a full Shield (300 Knights) of her brother and sister warriors lead by their Knight Commander Lockland Berandyr. Little is told to the knights of their purpose beyond the fact that Lockland believes evil resides within the fortress which must be cleansed. Though nothing is found in the fortress itself, the Knights are preparing to enter the tunnels beneath.
Within the ranks of the Knights of Tyr is a small group of rangers being used as scouts. Among them is the Rianan half-elf, Kinsmen Thalos. Unknown to anyone is the secret Kinsman carries. Although he is an experienced ranger, Kinsman is in fact a bounty hunter and sometimes assassin who was hired in Calmann to join the expedition’s ranks and kill the Knight Commander Lockland. Told that the Knight Commander is an evil, bloodthirsty and tyrannical man, Kinsman asks few questions for he bears within his heart a great hatred for the knights for reasons he has told no one.
For Arlaith and Morian, carried upon their Sae-bread stallions from their home in the harsh deserts of Karran and the mysterious city of Lors, it is a search for knowledge. Carrying with them an ancient scroll, they hunt for the lost artifacts of a forgotten time. It is their suspicion that this scroll, marked with a ‘III’, could be The Third Scroll of Gil-geled (The emergence of the scrolls of Gil-geled being one of The Four Signs of the Seekers and a harbinger of the end times).
Upon this scroll is a simple riddle of words which seem to be instructions of some sort, instructions leading to a ‘Darken Prize’ but what this prize might be is still an unknown. After close to a year of searching for clues their journey finally brings them to the Fortress of Kundrakar. Beneath this fortress, long abandoned by the Drimmerin during the Dark Gate Wars close to 2000 years before, are the forges of Drueglin. But, what the Seeker and her Blade suspect is that a great secret has been kept and the Forges of Drueglin are in fact the fabled Forges of Attil – the legendary location of the great Formorian and Drimmeren foundries used to craft the first Sae-Forged weapons (‘Attilian’ weapons) used against the dark enemy and his armies during the Shouting Wars.
Upon their arrival, the Children of Methusella find the camps of the Knights of Tyr outside the fortress walls. While meeting with Knight Commander Lockland in an effort to gain access to the fortress, a wall of darkness descends upon the mountains. From within the darkness a howling army of orcs emerge.
In response, Lockland moves his forces into the fortress and the battle of Kundrakar begins. Throughout the night the knights and the heroes are all trapped within the fortress in a desperate fight for their lives. In the early morning hours few of the knights remain and the heroes are each on the verge of death as the orc hoard breaches the walls and threatens to overwhelm them all. It is at the last possible moment that a thunderous wave of energy sweeps over the fortress, its concussive force toppling walls and flattening the defenders while, in one fell stroke, killing the orc army. Recovering from the onslaught of power, the heroes and a handful of knights, including Lockland, see three figures climbing over the debris of the fortress walls: 2 dwarves and one giant of a man with flaming red hair bearing a monstrous hammer and a strange, sigil covered disc.
The three new-comers are Malik, a human adventurer bearing a power artifact which he used to destroy the orcs (an artifact useable only once a year) and the twin dwarven fighters: Bregga and Celleg. Malik, quickly tells the survivors of another hoard of orcs approaching the fortress through the pass, blocking their only escape. Their only chance is to enter the tunnels beneath Kundrakar.
The original Kundrakar – Map 1
The original Kundrakar – Map 2
What follows is a harrowing adventure where several discoveries are made:
- First, the Forges of Drueglin are indeed the Forges of Attil and they still contain a cache of Sae-Forged ( The Sae) weapons (upon which Arlaith places a mass ‘word of recall’). Within this cache the blades ‘Lornreaver’, ‘Mournglyr’ and ‘Fainglyr’, and the bow ‘Death Singer’ are found as well as another of the scrolls of Gil-geled (The First Scroll of Gil-geled). In addition, in the heart of the Forge, unlocked with the use of the scroll carried by Arlaith and a rune marked amulet bore by Malik, is the fabled Black Orb which is prophesized to be used to re-forge the last Sword of Dawn.
- Second, a tunnel has been excavated leading from beneath the Darkwall into Greymeer and the Forges. This tunnel is opened by Lockland and the nightspawn from beyond the wall are now free invade the lands of the sun under cover of this newly expanding darkness.
- Third, it is also discovered that the darkness which befell them is a product of what Lockland calls the ‘Black Drianan Stone’. After being poisoned by a raging Bebilith (demonic spider) the stricken Knight Commander, in his feverish torment, admits to succumbing to his greed and making a pact with a man of great evil named Phaydris. In exchanged for hiding the black stone within Jaranal Keep, Lockland was promised great wealth to be found beneath Kundrakar. He now realizes that it was simply a ploy to get him to open the tunnel and allow the nightspawn to enter the forges, destroy it and get access to Greymeer under cover of the darkness provided by the stone for all nightspawn are destroyed beneath the light of the sun. Questioned by Kinsman, Lockland knows of no way to destroy the stone. In an act of both vengeance and mercy, Kinsman gives the Knight Commander the release from his agony he asks for and kills him. With the surviving knights and the dwarven twins dead, Malik and the heroes flee the forges of Attil with the Black Orb and the first Scroll of Gil-geled in their possession.
Finding themselves back on the plain of Dunmodrin, the heroes decide they must journey to Jaranel Keep to see if they can find a way to destroy the Black Drianan Stone. En-route, an elder evil from beyond the Wall, a Death Worm, borrows from the plains beneath them. In a magnificent stroke of skill and luck Kinsman, with a life or death shot, is able to dispatch the worm. However, the colossal creature collapses upon Malik. Unable to move the worm, the heroes are forced to assume Malik is dead.
Reaching Jaranal Keep, the heroes find it overrun with nightspawn but are able to sneak into the Keep’s highest tower from where the darkness seems to radiate. While finding their way to the tower, the heroes move through the depths of the Keep and discover a prisoner in the fortress dungeon. The stranger calls himself Phaydris and is able to convince the heroes to free him. Once released he directs a powerful psionic attack against them, knocking them out. When they awaken Phaydris is gone and Charis is forever changed. The attack has triggered something deep within Charis and she begins to develop powerful psionic powers of her own as if flood gates had been opened within her mind.
Continuing on, the heroes make there way to the Keep’s tower where they find the stone and attempt to destroy it but make little headway. Their efforts are interrupted when they are confronted by a warrior-mage named Sertanith sent to guard the stone and an albino warrior in sable armor named Elric. In a ferocious battle the heroes barely manage to kill Sertanith and drive away the albino warrior. With Arlaith seriously wounded and no way to destroy or remove the stone, the heroes move to leave the Keep. From the heights of the tower they spy an army of night spawn moving west. The first human settlement in their path is the fortress town of Dagger Ford where, according to Charis, a detachment of Knights of Tyr are stationed. Deciding Dagger Ford must be warned, the heroes board a psionically powered airship docked on the tower and Charis, with her newfound power, is able to pilot it – albeit, erratically.
As they fly to Dagger Ford the ship is attacked by nightspawn mounted upon nightmarish, flying creatures. Assaulted by powerful bolts of dark, arcane energy, the ship is critically wounded and Charis is barely able to maintain control. With the ship going down and a large portion of its body sheared away, the craft pitches violently and Kinsman is barely saved from plummeting to his death when Morian makes a desperate grab and catches the archer’s arm as he slides towards the edge of the shattered deck.
Bracing for impact, the heroes manage to survive with minor injuries as the ship crashes into and over the wall of Dagger Ford. Although stunned by such a dramatic entrance the warriors and knights of Dagger Ford move to action when they receive the warning of the encroaching foe. The Knight Commander of the fortress town tells the heroes they have been watching the approaching darkness. Unsure of what it might be he has sent runners to request another Shield of Knights and close to 1000 men-at-arms from Calmann. That would put the relief force at dagger Ford within the week. All the defenders have to do is prepare for the siege and hold out for their arrival. A force of 3000 night spawn arrive 2 days later and over the next 3 days the battle for Dagger Ford rages, the defenders only barely holding until the relief force arrives and breaks the foe against their shields and spears.
The original Dagger Ford battle map (notice the crashed ship just over the north-east wall)
All them wounded and exhausted, the heroes are taken to Calmann at the request of the knights to brief the Grand Master of the Order who has arrived from Tyr. There, they tell him of Lockland’s betrayal and the opening beneath the Dark Wall. The Grand Master tells them that his scouts have confirmed a massive force moving from the Forges west towards Calmann. The host faced at Dagger Ford was simply an expeditionary one. The knights are mobilizing to meet them upon the plain. If they fail, Calmann – one of the greatest cities of Greymeer – will most likely fall.
During the meeting they are joined by another Seeker and Blade from Lors, Nissa and Annistor, and a mysterious warrior named Delymeer. Delymeer claims to have knowledge of the darkness which he calls the ‘Nightshroud’ and its cause and how to end it. If the Heroes will join him they may be able to stop the darkness and in turn destroy the night host. During that time the knights must hold the host at bay.
The heroes and the Grand Master agree to the plan but only because the Grand Master knows of the Children of Methusella and trusts them. The next day, with a storm raging, the knights leave to meet the night spawn and Delymeer takes the heroes to an outcropping in the mountains outside of Calmann. There he opens a wyr gate, a forgotten mode of travel used in ages past. Emerging from the gate the heroes find themselves on a mist shrouded cliff overlooking the sea. Delymeer sounds a silver horn and within an hour a silver ship appears. Delymeer takes them down a series of switchbacks to a stone quay and they board the strange ship. Through the mist they arrive at three towers emerging from the sea. Delymeer welcomes them to the Towers of Eraborn.
Within the towers, the heroes are taken to meet a woman of remarkable beauty named Alithanna. She tells them that she is the matriarch of a secretive order as old as the Children of Methusella, called ‘The Watchers’. Head-quartered in the Towers of Eraborn, this Order’s members were all originally descended from the blood of the Tuor. – the original Men of the Sun of ancient Dalridrad. With most of that line died out, they are now simply a group dedicated to carrying on the traditions of the Order, foiling the plans of the Dark and being ready for the day when the last battle occurs. Only Delymeer, she says, holds the true blood of Dalridrad within his veins. With this revelation Arlaith realizes that the First Scroll of Gil-geled they found within the Forges of Attil is referencing Delymeer and his destiny to re-forge the Sword of Dawn and end the hold of the Dark over the world of Aithgar.
Alithanna reads the scroll and agrees with Arlaith. She then invites all of them (besides Arlaith & Morian and Nissa & Annistor, who are already Children of Methusella) to become Watchers. The heroes agree. Alithanna then tells them how they may end the current strife.
Referencing a lost history, she tells them of a dark ritual performed upon a captured Druidyr by the Great Betrayer Marduke and his acolytes. This rite involved the ritualistic removal of the Druidyr’s heart which, through corrupting magicks, becomes a fist-sized, stone-like artifact capable of extending the darkness into the lands of the sun while the Druidyr remains alive in a vile ‘undeath-like’ state. The only way to destroy this artifact is to kill the Druidyr who provided the heart. In ages past, when this ritual was performed, the Druidyr host was always held in the Necrotower – the dark enemies’ Watchtower of the West. It would be here, she says, that the heroes must travel – beyond the Dark Wall, in the hopes that the host Druidyr might be found and killed and the artifact destroyed and the encroaching Nightshroud with it.
The heroes, knowing that time is of the essence, agree and leave immediately – joined by Delymeer, Nissa and Annistor. Also joining them is Malik who, it turns out, is a Watcher as well and was able to transport himself, just moments before the death worm collapsed upon him, back to the Towers of Eraborn.
The heroes, arriving via another wyr gate, fight for their lives as they infiltrate the nightmare that is the Necrotower. At the heart of the tower the Druidyr host is found. Nissa and Annistor fall but Delymeer is able to kill the Druidyr thus destroying the dark artifact still pulsing far to the east in Jaranel Keep. It is a stroke that comes none too soon as the Knights of Tyr are on the verge of crumbling beneath the might of the nightspawn upon the fields of Dunmodrin. But, with the destruction of the artifact, the nightshroud fails, the sun breaks upon the plain the nightspawn are destroyed.
Mourning the loss of Nissa and Annistor, the heroes return to the Towers of Eraborn.
This is the tale thus far, but it is only a beginning…
Note 1: A follow-up adventure was played over a few sessions. In this adventure Lance joined the heroes however, for the purposes of this new campaign, consider that adventure as never happening. Lance has still joined the heroes as another Watcher recruited to the Order.
Note 2: This is a retelling of a year and a half long campaign which occurred almost eight years ago (All images provided were hand-drawn before the advent of Photoshop). After that campaign we played for years in the ‘Greymeer: Age of the Taken’ campaign. Now we are about to move onto the campaign ‘Greymeer: Age of the Hellmancer’ but before we do we will go back and tie-up some story lines in the previous Ages. It should be noted that thousand of years in game time have elapsed between each Age thus the tag lines: ‘Past’, ‘Present’, ‘Future’. Four of the six players are still original as we revisit this age of Greymeer and continue their adventure. I will add the other two campaigns: "Age of the Take’ and ‘Age of the Hellmancer’ as we return to them.