Campaign of the Month: August 2010
The Melekar Chronicles
Timeline of Events
Approx. 500 PT (pre-turmoil) – Birth of the plane, sans intelligent life.
Approx. 450 PT – Humans were introduced into the world, providing much more entertainment for the gods than simple animal life. It took the gods 50 years to design a species similar to them in drive and ambitions, and also intelligence, on a much smaller scale, of course, yet still leave individual human personality simply up to fate. To this day, no one is quite sure how many humans were first made, some claim that it was simply two, and that all people are descended from them, others claim that the gods built a grand ancient city, and populated that with thousands of humans, whom expanded outwards from there.
Approx. 449-400 PT – Introduction of all other intelligent life upon the world. Using the human mold as a sort of guideline, they created variants of humans, thus we get elves, dwarves, gnomes, orcs, goblins…. And the list goes on. As they went, the gods had to increase the number of variables to get different results, and this is where creatures such as mind-flayers, aboleths, beholders, and other intelligent magical beasts, aberrations, humanoids, etc. came into being.
399-300 PT – Life is good, most of the intelligent life hasn’t discovered each other yet, as they’re still learning to fit into their own habitat, there was no need to go exploring. There were a few races that had met, such as surface dwelling dwarves and humans and elves and Halflings… most races that shared terrain or temperament ran across each other, but creatures such as Drow and Cloud Giants for example, had no idea each other existed.
273 PT – Regulus and Chranos, two humans who learned how to tap into the energy of the plane (magic), begin researching and teaching their abilities to anyone who would listen. Being the first of their kind to learn this power, they were respected and revered as royalty. They and their followers began building a massive magic university, where anyone of all races and creeds could come and learn this power. The only rule was that peace remained within the walls of the school, and eventually the town that was built around it.
263 PT – The Magic University is completed and lessons begin. At first people are rather skeptical of this new found power (at least, those that hadn’t seen it with their own eyes) and there weren’t too many students. As word of the school spread and the abilities of the students grew, more and more people began coming to the school.
247 PT – The town of Magios is founded, named for the school at its heart.
242 PT – Regulus and Chranos are elected Lord Magistrates of Magios, and the first mageocracy, and first uniform government is born.
240-200 PT – As the city of Magios grows, so too does its influence on the world. With their new found powers, people are far more confident to explore the darker parts of the world. For the first time, the Underdark is discovered by a surface dweller. That surface dweller was summarily destroyed by an illithid. Unfortunately, no one else on the surface knew where he had gone, so they still had no idea what horrors awaited them under the ground. The illithids now, had no such problems. Consuming the brains of the few unfortunate victims that stumbled upon them, they learned all the secrets of the surface world. Tired of living in the dark, dank bowels of the earth, having seen the beauties of the surface world, they plotted their escape.
200-170 PT – The elder brain of the illithids is developed. Through the concentrated effort of all those powerful minds working together, they are able to create an elder brain, a governing body for all of the illithids.
185 PT – Regulus dies.
177 PT – Chranos dies. With no one of equal power available to step into the place of leadership left open, Arman (a mildly powerful wizard) steps up to take Stewardship over what has now become the unofficial center of the world, until such time as a worthy replacement comes along.
169-165 PT – With the help of the Elder Brain, the illithids begin their subjugation of the powerful beholders, and the less powerful svirfneblin.
160 PT – A young student named Preston is rapidly moving up in the school, showing prowess far beyond anyone else of his age. Arman takes this student under his wing, with the hope that he will be able to become a powerful and wise ruler to take his place, and become the proper Lord Magistrate.
158 PT – Preston is approached by Sarakis, to become her servant and receive power far beyond anything he could achieve on his own. This is an important event for two reasons. One, it marked the beginning of the end for the Magic University, and two, it was the first time the gods had any direct contact with the mortals they created. Up until now they had been content to watch what they had created. Approaching Preston in the guise of the most beautiful 16-year-old girl he had ever seen, Preston could not hope to say no (he was 17 at this time). Sarakis took this form permanently, chose the name Cassandra and became Preston’s lover as well as his source of power.
158-155 PT – Preston’s power soars beyond anything anyone had dreamed. Arman is slightly perturbed by the fact that his increase in power began at nearly the same time as this mysterious girl came into his life, but she appeared ordinary enough, perhaps she was just the motivation he needed to increase his training. Preston moved beyond what he termed the petty tricks of the school, performing true miracles, the likes of which no one had ever seen. He would heal the sick, repair lost limbs; even bring people back from the dead.
154 PT – Preston, at age 21, makes his move to gain the status of Lord Magistrate. He approaches Arman, who tells Preston that he doesn’t think he is ready. Arman tells him that it takes more than mere power to make a good leader. This isn’t something Preston was ready to hear. With his newfound power, and god-lover, he’s not used to hearing no for an answer. He moves in close to Arman, who was trembling terribly before Preston’s power. “Mark my words,” he said. “The throne is mine, and no one, not even you, will stand in my way…” With that, Preston kissed Arman on the forehead and turned and left the room. The next morning, Arman was dead. With Arman being the only one that saw the truth, Preston had no opposition on his path towards the throne.
153 PT – Preston began to realize that Cassandra did not appear to be growing any older, and when he asked her about it, she simply told him that was how she was going to stay, and if he wished, he could remain that way forever as well. Willing to do anything for her, Preston happily obliged. She leaned in and kissed him, hard on the mouth and in doing so, froze the blood in his veins, and stopped his heart, suspending him at the age of 22. When Preston came to, he realized what had happened. Outraged, he moved to strike Cassandra; only too late did he remember that she was a god. As his hand came into contact with her, it froze, and exploded, forever crippling his abilities.
153-150 PT – Preston continues his rule over the Magic University, despite his crippling injury. He abuses his power over the individuals in the school, yet for the school as a whole he does a lot of good work. So, while he is not liked by many people in the school, they can’t deny his abilities, knowledge and insight, brought to bear on matters of philosophy, magic, physical science, etc.
149 PT – The illithids are finally ready to bring their plan into motion, and begin their march upon the Magic University. At this point, there have been survivors from journeys into the underdark, but they haven’t gotten anything conclusive on the illithids, or any of the other creatures for that matter. When the army of aberrations arrived on the door step of the Magic University, many people simply stared in shock and were destroyed where they stood. Others turned and fled. A few stayed to fight. Had there been a concentrated effort on the part of the school, they might have turned the tide of the war. As it was they were utterly routed. The few that survived ran, flew, or teleported back to the school, to tell them what had happened, and to help defend the school itself. When Preston heard the news, he stood up and told his most powerful students, as well as the professors, to follow him, and he moved out towards the entrance. With all of the wizards in tow, he prepared to wipe out the entire illithid army in one stroke. He instructed them all to concentrate, and focus all of their energy on him. He called out from the top of the school to the leader of the illithid army, “This is your final chance, either leave now, or be utterly destroyed!” The illithids had no knowledge of Preston and his god-given powers, and they simply laughed at the idea. K’lat’tak, the leader of the illithid raiding party, replied simply within Preston’s head, “No.” With that, the illithids released a mind blast upon the remaining wizards (whom had never encountered psionics before) so powerful that those whom weren’t killed outright were either unconscious or dazed, and unable to cast spells of any sort. Preston appeared unharmed. This perturbed K’lat’tak, who asked Preston, mentally, “Who are you, that you are unaffected by our most powerful mental attack? Are you truly that powerful, or simply that stupid?” Preston replied, “Powerful,” and released his own attack at the psyche of K’lat’tak, crushing his will. K’lat’tak simply fell to his knees, and to the ground, dead. Unfortunately, by giving such power to Preston, Sarakis exposed her little pet to the other gods, and also the fact that she broke the non-intervention pact, between all of the gods. With their leader killed so easily, the illithids retreated, stopping only to gather a few of their original victims on the outskirts of town as slaves.
149-145 PT – Preston’s condition worsens, and he begins to feel this hunger that he doesn’t know how to feed… it eventually begins to drive him to the point of madness. One morning when Preston is clawing at his own skin, using the pain to hold back the madness, Cassandra brings to him a young student, about 9 years old, named Kalli. She’s frightened and worried, and when she sees the madness in Preston’s eyes, she begins to cry. “Don’t cry young Kalli, I don’t intend to hurt you…” Preston begins. Cassandra pulls back Kalli’s hair, exposing the soft flesh of her neck, and Preston can no longer contain himself. His eyes turn blood-red and he attacks Kalli, so fast she doesn’t even have time to scream. He gorges himself of her blood, sucking her dry. When he is finished, and the bloodlust subsides, he looks up to Cassandra, and bursts into tears. “What have I done!?” he exclaims. “You have paid your price. Never forget that it is I that grant you your powers, and it is I to whom you must swear your allegiance. I have given you a powerful gift, made you something more than a mere human. For that, there is a price: the thirst. You will never be able to quench it, it will always be at the back of your mind, and if you cannot feed, it will drive you mad. In time you will come to love it.” With that, Cassandra turn and left, walked out of the castle never to return. Rumors begin to spread that the school was haunted, with ghastly killings of people sucked completely dry of blood and soon people start leaving the school by the hundreds. When the killings begin to spread to the rest of the town, people begin leaving by the thousands. By 145 PT, the town is a ghost town, leaving Preston alone with his thirst. And the school of magic is no more.
145-0 PT – The gods, with the non-interference pact having been broken, begin to make their presence known on Melekar. At first the try to appear to humans (and other races, they all have their favorites) directly, but they found that the fragile mortal intellect was rarely capable of encountering a god. So they would watch and wait until a person of suitable temperament, character, and spirit would come along, and they would make themselves known to that person, making them their clerics, who would spread their word, their law to the rest of their kind. Some people would choose to follow, and some would not. At first, when people denounced a god, said no to be their followers, some of the gods got angry, and would retaliate, which usually ended in the death of the mortals. As can be imagined, that would have an adverse effect on others interested in taking up that religion. So eventually, the gods realized that a series of positive reinforcements, gifts, if you will, was a much more effective way to win the hearts of the people. By around the time of The Turmoil, everyone knew of the gods, and most chose to follow some god or another, at least in word, if not in deed.
0 – The Time of Turmoil. The date has been lost to time, but this year marks the beginning of the end of the world as it was known. It was then, that the Umbral Blot first appeared. There was some sort of rift in the sky, which could be seen in everywhere on Melekar. From that rift seemed to come a ball of pure darkness. No one knew what to make of it. It simply stayed there for a full 10 days and 10 nights, (Although no one knew it, this rift was created through a combination of magical and divine energy that Preston created. Even he wasn’t aware of the powers he was dealing with, and didn’t know it was his fault, all he knew was that the ball appeared directly over the university, so that when the sun was directly over head, it absorbed all light and left him in blackness.) The gods saw this, and were very concerned. At first, they didn’t know what it was, or where it came from and were content to simply watch it. After the 10th night, the ball was simply gone. Those who had been watching it claim that it just fell out of the sky (and indeed it did). It dropped out of the sky, moving towards the school, to destroy the lab which had created the rift, and brought it into existence. After doing so it wasn’t sure what to do. It was free. It moved through the world absorbing all it touched into nothingness, moving between points of power in the world, destroying the great civilization that had been created in such short a time. It would enter towns and leave a hole on the map. For months this continued, and it killed countless hundreds of thousand of people and animals, but still it had no purpose. When it descended upon the school, the gods knew they had to act. Unfortunately the gods were as petty as they were powerful, and they refused to work together. Alone, they were unable to affect the Blot. Since it came from another dimension of existence, they didn’t hold the same power over it, that they did the mortals. After months of uncoordinated attempts to destroy the creature, the gods finally gave in, and decided to work together. Unable to destroy it, they decided to imprison it within Melekar. Together they created six seals, represented by six dragons. They created these dragons, and gave them more power than any other mortals they had created so far. Tying the life force of these dragons together, the gods were able to create a spirit-web, something that the Umbral Blot wouldn’t be an able to simply absorb. Trapped within it, they spun the web into a sphere and place it within the ice caps in the center of Melekar. The gods wanted to make sure that the seals could defend themselves, so they gave the dragons incredibly long life spans, and the ability to be reborn should they perish. The rebirth process takes time however, so if all the dragons were to be killed in one year, the Blot would be released and escape once again. To prevent that, they were given their own roosts on the six different continents. These dragons represented the different dispositions of the gods that made them; the colored dragons took after their more evil parents, while the metallic dragons took after those gods who were good and noble. After this, even Sarakis realized that the gods had to be more careful about the kind of power given to their followers. (Between 0 – 500 AG no divine spellcasters could get beyond level 10).
0-100 AG (Age of the Gods) – During this 100 year period, the gods subtly divided up the populations of the world between themselves, until they all had their own, almost fanatical followings. Believing that mortals were incapable of handling the raw power of the gods (and they were right, for the most part) they restricted the amount of power they grated their followers. Divine casters were not allowed to progress beyond level 10, and any research into divine spells beyond 5th level simply didn’t produce results. Because a lot of the research and power of the previous age had been destroyed by the Blot, clerics in the beginning of the age of gods didn’t realize that they were being limited by the very gods they chose to worship.
101 AG – A dwarven cleric, by the name of Tagnus Stronghammer begins work on his masterwork warhammer. Wishing to mold the warhammer out of a solid piece of adamantine, he went off into the underdark to find a suitable vein. Tagnus was one of the head priests to Reordin, and a decently powerful cleric, as well as a strong warrior. Since this was a personal quest to make a weapon worthy of Reordin, he went on his own, taking only the tools needed to collect the adamantine, and his trusty warhammer. Tagnus, being a favorite among Reordin’s clerics, trusted that if he was to succeed, he must trust in Reordin for guidance and protection. On his third day in the underdark, he was surprised by a group of three drow priestesses. Tagnus was their equal in spiritual power, but they outnumbered him, and had the surprise. Nearly brought to his knees in the initial onslaught by the drows’ poisoned darts, Tagnus called out in desperation to Reordin for aid. Reordin answered and granted him the use of the implosion spell. One of the priestesses simply imploded and vanished. The other two priestesses, not having ever seen this kind of power, turned and began to ran, when a second of them followed the first in death. The third picked up the pace, and managed to resist the spell, getting away. It was then that Tagnus realized the gods were holding out, that they could grant him much more power. Seeking to prove himself, he continued on to collect the adamantine and brought it back to the forge. After a night’s rest, Tagnus began the long, arduous refining process. Spending nearly three days and three nights working restlessly at the forge, he finished the warhammer, inscribing the hammer and anvil symbol of Reordin on both ends of the hammer, and imbuing it with the ability to produce a thundering effect when striking (thundering, +3). Reordin, feeling that he at least owed Tagnus an explanation, told him the truth that he could in fact grant him the power he desired, and deserved. However, if he did, then the other gods, whom agreed not to, would also break the pact, and another disaster might occur. Tagnus was content with this.
200 AG – The gods began to grow bored with mortals and began to work on other projects that they found suitable to their enormous powers. The worship of gods didn’t wane, but the numbers of clerics slowly dwindled to none.
1123 AG – The Upheaval (noted in “The Birth of Free Will”)
1156 AG – Krilgore’s Gift (noted in “The Birth of Free Will”)
1345 AG – 27 Years of War – The Six Nation war
1 AW – The War has ended and the Kingdom of Amrush has taken its place on the top of the Ashes.
56 AW – The First Supreme Emperor has been crowned king.
756 AW – Shador Szoraxle takes his place as the Emperor of the free world.
1127 AW Godspike Campaign
1135 AW The Dream Larva Campaign
1137 AW Seith’s Dominion
1137 AW A Deal with the Devil
1150 AW The Siege of the Fortress of Ice
1274 AW The Rod of Armageddon
1274 AW The Desolation of Talos
1300 AW The Knights of Arria
1317 AW The Scarlet Rogues
1386 AW (1543 IO) A Gloomy Future (1543 Illithid Occupation ceased to exist in the timeline)
1465 AW The seeds of rebellion are sown. Agents from the 5 major countries (excluding the imperial throne) meet in Iasen to begin preparation for the assassination of the emperor and the fall of the empire. Unfortunately, there is plotting and scheming among the rebels as well.
1500 AW The planted rebel cells in the various imperial occupied countries strike simultaneously on The Day of Blood. Due to the infighting and scheming between the nations, nearly all the agents and soldiers involved in the rebel strike are killed or incapacitated, along with all the imperials. All in all, nearly 12,000,000 men died on this day, crippling the empire and wounding all the nations in the process.
1503 AW/1 AE (After Empire) The country of Amrush has begun to be divided into 5 smaller countries, Hellione being divided into two countries by powerful political and military leaders trying to capitalize on the Day of Blood and carve out a place for themselves.
12 AE Borders have been drawn and a tentative peace is established among the 7 fledgling nations trying to recover from years of guerilla warfare, treachery, and betrayal from enemies and allies alike. All the other nations are still licking their wounds from the Day of Blood and adjusting to life outside imperial rule and have no choice but to let the imperial continent restructure itself, knowing that it cannot rise to its previous power.
154 AE Seven Nation’s Armies Campaign (upcoming campaign)