Altaera II

Hallowhall's Siege
9-30-09

As the game becomes increasingly complicated, an easily accessible record is becoming increasingly necessary. Recording all the history of the campaign has proven to be too intimidating, so please bear with me as I pick this up in the middle of things.

Alexander and Mar had left in the early morning to investigate sightings of ships approaching from the direction of Old Umbria, while Atta and Velken prepared their spells for the day and engaged in scrying. Through magic, it was confirmed that Joseph Hallowhall, former Raven Guard and one of the two chief military commanders of Old Umbria, was approaching the island at the head of a small fleet of ships. He was also accompanied by two significant prisoners: his former co-commander Lucas Cadell, and the Cleric of Vati which had previously betrayed Keldra’s location to the group.

Fable, learning that Lucas was prisoner, rode to the docks to meet the army. He attempted to bargain with Hallowhall for the release of Lucas, offering information in exchange for his freedom. After a tense exchange, Hallowhall attempted to arrest Fable instead, but his forces were unable to subdue him as he made his escape. Alexander had left the village previously to warn his companions at the castle, while Mar shadowed the army to keep better tabs on their movements.

The group rallied their allies and prepared to defend the castle, in an effort to prevent Hallowhall’s army from releasing Guisehelm from his magical prison. Alexander attempted to explain the situation to Hallowhall, who proved stubborn and resistant to the idea of compromise—he apparently distrusted Alexander, and believed that military force was so overwhelmingly in his favor that the group should surrender to him unconditionally. Alexander agreed to a willing torture session in order to demonstrate his sincerity.

In the course of the torture session, however, the Cleric of Vati employed mind-controlling magics despite his chains and in complete silence, overpowering Alexander’s will already shaken by torture. While controlled, Alexander was compelled to declare that he had been lying in order to stave off a military assault. Hearing this, Hallowhall released him back to his side of the battle.

When given a second telepathic command, however, Alexander was able to resist the command. Beaten and bloodied, he staggered back to Hallowhall and volunteered to be tortured a second time, in order to prove that he had been magically overshadowed and lying. Hallowhall was so impressed by his willingness to return to torture that he agreed to draw up an informal resolution between his army and the group’s allies. At the moment, his army is still in position on the island, which he plans to use as a forward base while he continues his coup.

Atta met with the Cleric of Vati in order to discuss matters of fate, and specifically his request earlier that she release Guisehelm in order to combat Blacklight. In the course of their discussion, it was revealed that (according to the Cleric of Vati) the Blacklight King is a new sort of god that exists outside the Halosian pantheon; that it uses the power of the Devourer, and seeks to destroy the Devourer’s avatar (Guisehelm) in order to fulfill their objective, the creation of what Blacklight refers to as The World To Come. The Cleric was then returned to Hallowhall’s camp, with the warning that he is capable of spellcasting through manacles. Lucas Cadell was also turned over to the group as a gesture of good faith, although he was unable to relay his side of the story due to Hallowhall keeping him sedated during the invasion.

Last of all, Atta made a series of prophecies at the end of the game, employing her seldom-used power to contact her divinities for guidance.

How can Guisehelm be returned to his prison? “He thinks as a beast, and can be moved as one—but he remembers being a man, and does not know what time has changed.”

What will happen if the mirrors are restored? “All futures shall be weighed and shattered in judgment. An end to slow ending: all else must be decided.”

Other than by destroying all his followers, how can the Blacklight King be stopped? “The Blacklight King is a god which believes itself to be mortal, and can die a mortal’s death: it shall endure only if mortals deny their judgment, and then endure forever.”

How can the cosmos be set right again? “A mortal must sacrifice all he is worth to end all worlds to come forever.”

Note, however, that there are four prophecies here, and only a 75% chance of accuracy.

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Part 1, Summary

In the six years following the events of the first Altaera campaign, the world has changed drastically. The sorcerer Chance has established himself as the Emperor of Umbria, radically altering the nation’s political power and otherwise casting out the traditions of the old empire, undertaking a national revolution. Alhorvale has returned to life, entering no treaties or pacts with the human kingdoms save one: the ritual delivery of magical armaments to the armies of every country, in exchange for a promise to refrain from war. The four great noble families of Umbria, disenfranchised by their new sovereign, have gathered to form a rival state, while the Greymen have emerged as a substantial military force to claim the territories that compose the Grey Kingdom. Religious panic has spread across the world the light of Halos has been seemingly extinguished, with streaks of day and night interlocking across the sky to form the Twilight. Clerics of Halos appear to have lost the ability to commune with their deity, while inversely the activity of Scourge cults has drastically increased. In order to combat this, the reformed and expanded branch of the old Umbrian order of Halosian knights has been rebranded as the Knights Memorial, operating out of the holy city of Memory.

Atta, having completed her pilgrimage to the six Great Temples of the world, has heard word of the holy city’s construction and resolved to investigate it herself. Mar has stopped to see the city as a curiosity while traveling northward with a friend. Val has come to the southernmost city she has ever seen in pursuit of her lost sister, while Fable and Velken have followed the trail of the famous cleric.

Through a combination of luck and guilt-by-association, the five are assumed to be traveling companions of Atta, and invited to an audience with Jacobi, grand master of the Knights Memorial. He attempts to request the cleric’s assistance in dealing with a fresh outbreak of bizarre and likely cult-related deaths, yet is repeatedly interrupted by the arrival of important guests: first Able, the self-proclaimed representative of a society of mages, and later a Giftbearer, appearing empty-handed and out of season.

Jacobi informs the group that the influence of this suspected cult appears to be worldwide, but the knights have found that its worst effects appear to be concentrated in the southern portion of the continent, particularly in Old Umbria. The name “Guisehelm” has also been reported, perhaps as a leader or central false god of the organization. Atta lends credence to this belief, recalling that the word has circulated in religious texts (albeit with dwindling frequency) for over three hundred years, most anciently in relation to a person. Although impossible to confirm, the group suspects the outbreak to be the work of an immensely powerful dark cleric.

Able provides more specific details, stating that her organization (“the Veil”) has been thrown into internal chaos by this Guisehelm’s emergence. She claims that a number of her colleagues have entered into an alliance with this figure, lending the suspected cult the additional power of what are quite possibly the world’s foremost sorcerers. She is able to confirm, however, that Guisehelm is in Old Umbria, and furthermore suspected in the capital city of Stonesmouth. The location is an unsurprising but ideal one, as the Knights maintain a very weak presence there due to governmental opposition. Able also implies that the presence of her colleagues prevents her from acting overtly, and that their preventative measures have rendered most of her arcane tools rather useless. Atta’s assistance is requested in dealing with this threat, as she is considered something of a spiritual hero whose strength would be greatly appreciated in combating Scourge influence (while, to clarify, by no means being the sole and only hope). Atta accepts, and a variety of deals are struck amongst the prematurely assumed companions. Either through exchanges of favors, national obligation, or simply sharing a road for the short term, the five agree to travel together, and set out for the Old Umbrian border.

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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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