Soulhaven School

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Edens_Fall
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Re: Soulhaven School

Post by Edens_Fall » Mon Apr 19, 2021 3:03 pm

Are you still accepting books here for the school?
Current PC - Adelyn Belle'rose
Emilia Sabine von Brandt - Killed with Daughter Elizabeth
Michaela Quinn - Killed by fallen Paladin
Annalisa Bradford - Sacrificed to Dark Gods
Vaen Xyvil'kor - Killed in The Xyvil'kor War

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Re: Soulhaven School

Post by Irongron » Mon Apr 19, 2021 10:08 pm

Definitely.

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Re: Soulhaven School

Post by Edens_Fall » Tue Apr 20, 2021 1:42 pm

Arelith History
Benwick and the Capitulation of Light Keep

~37 AR to 88 AR

----------------------------------------

Author: ‘The Vampire’ Adelyn Belle’rose
Editor: Lilian Williams
Rozen Chalice Publishing, a division of East Arelith Trading
First Edition: 167 AR, Revised: 169 AR

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever.

----------------------------------------
<c÷ >“This book is dedicated to Lilian Williams. Explorer, Researcher, Historian, and Sofa Connoisseur . . . Never change who you are.”</c>
----------------------------------------


THE FOUNDING

A paladin known as “Galahad the Builder” approached the druids of Heartwood Grove seeking permission to build in Arelith woods. Once granted, he constructed Light Keep around which the town of Benwick grew. In time he married the elven druidess Xyndal and became the First King of Benwick. Upon his death the crown of the city transferred to his wife, Queen Xyndal.

Of those in the Queens court two stood above others.

Lady Meegat, first to take on the role of Lady Protector, was known for being a strict and disciplined commander. Her role ended however when, after a breakdown, she hired an assassin to kill one Sir Frand who was suspected of causing the death of her children. Lady Meegat was imprisoned within Light Keep until her dying day.

Lord Severian, leader of the Praetorians, celebrated as being responsible for the fall of ‘Stonehold’, bastion of the Banites. Under his command an army of devas brought justice upon the Black Hand, leaving the fortress in ruins to serve as an example for the wicked.

Some point during the founding, as legend has it, “The Light” was brought to Benwick by a Gold Dragon which entrusted it to the paladin order within. It was believed The Light connects directly to the Shores of Lunia in Celestia and suppressed the evil buried deep beneath the Keep.

Over time The Light grew weak due to inactivity and isolation until a Harbinger of the Triad, a Knight, approached the paladins of Benwick to inform them that the Light was waning. This marked the end of Queen Xyndal’s rule as she made the choice to sacrifice herself to The Light. An act of sacrifice that served to strengthen the Holy artifact.


THE GATE

It was around 52 AR, that the Gate beneath the Keep was revealed. This spurred the creation of the Last Bastion beyond it. Very little is known about its construction or why a portal to Baator even occurred below Benwick, though myth states that a darkness was lurking beneath the Keep ever since the arrival of the Light.

As such the Last Bastion manned by the Chosen Ones held the Baator side of the Gate while the defenders of Benwick held the material plane entrance. Paladins of Arelith were often encouraged to visit regularly, thus aiding the Chosen Ones in combating the hordes of devils and fending off Underdarker attempts at a siege, which occurred often.


CAPITULATION OF LIGHT KEEP

Captain of the Keep Thomas Miller, last leader of Benwick, soon collapsed under the burden of leadership. During the sieges spawned from the Rift Crisis, a time when a cult of infernalists took advantage of the weakening barriers in reality and summoned armies to besiege Benwick, Miller saw many of his companions fall in battle. Among them was a close confidante, Caldus Oat, who was killed by Infernalist Haston Reyne.

It was during one of these sieges that an army rose from the Hells and assaulted the Last Bastion. With the help of a large group of adventurers the attack was rebuffed, however the Last Bastion fell, and the portal to the Hells was unguarded, protected only by a magical barrier.

Cultist Haston would later try to take credit for Thomas' fall into despair, but it is believed that grief of battle and his addiction to Mordayn was the catalyst which crumbled Thomas Miller's psyche. Allegedly, Miller only wanted peace at any cost and an end to the endless fighting.

So either by corruption or through desperation, following several years of holding against constant threat, Captain of the Keep Thomas Miller vassaled Benwick to the Infernalist Vippin and Jel that were ruling Guldorand at the time. This allowed the followers of Hell to step inside Light Keep sanctum without resistance. The Infernalists acted quickly to wreath The Light in shadows, preventing it from being used as a weapon against the devils before conducting a ritual at the Gate that altered the very nature of the portal. This allowed Baatezu to pass through unhindered and an army of the Hells descended upon the town of Benwick, razing it to the ground.

----------------------------------------
[Terms of Benwick’s Vassalage to Guldorand Day 7 Month 4 Year 88AR]

“This document lays out the terms by which Benwick (alias Light Keep) is in a state of vassalage to Guldorand. This document is not binding until such a time as it is signed by Knight-Captain of Light Keep Thomas Miller, Lord Governess of Guldorand Jel, and Arch malefactor Vippin of the Ninth Sect. In addition, one witness must be present, the Count Klemens von Reichenbach.”

“The reasons for this vassalage are manifold – primarily to finally secure peace for our time between the often-conflicting factions present between Benwick and Guldorand’s present occupants, while also retaining Benwick’s freedom to “be Benwick” and all that entails, with few revisions.”

“From the date of this documents signing, Benwick is a vassal and protectorate of Guldorand. All members of the Institute of Sencliff are henceforth removed from any and all lists of exile, bounty, and/or war in Benwick and will be given amnesty for any and all crimes. Select members to be agreed upon between the signatories will be afforded access to the Castle of Light Keep.”

“Members of Benwick – to include citizens of the township, standing and reserve members of all militias, factions, guilds, groups and individuals associated with Benwick and/or the Order of Light Keep – will not commit any acts of harm, detriment, destruction, sedition or subversion by any possible definition to both the Institute of Sencliff and the parent vassal of Guldorand.”

“In return, Benwick’s people will be assured safety along similar lines, as long as they do not break the aforementioned terms. Benwick will continue to be allowed self-governance and given full neutrality with leave to continue operating in its own interests at home and abroad, including Avernus. We will allow them freedom of faith, freedom to make their own laws, and freedom to deal with domestic matters and trade.”

“Guldorand will appoint an ambassador (title pending) with an associated embassy from which to operate within Benwick. The ambassador (title pending) will be given the authority to ‘count’ for two votes in the event of an intra-Council dispute.”

“In the event of a defensive war in Guldorand or its Protectorates, Benwick will aid in the defense. Guldorand will also maintain the power to define Benwick’s foreign policy. In addition, Sencliff will mediate peace-talks between Benwick and Wharftown. The outcome of these peace-talks is irrelevant to the rest of these terms.”

“In the event that the non-aggression terms are violated, Benwick forfeits all benefits, with the remainder of the terms still in force.”

[Count Klemens von Reichenbach’s Legal Recognition]

“I, Klemens von Reichenbach, Count, do certify that the Treaty of Vassalage concerning Benwick and Guldorand was signed and ratified in my presence following all the rules on international law.”

<>Signed Count Klemens von Reichenbach, Chancellor of Guldorand<>

----------------------------------------

[Fate of Thomas Miller]

“I hereby do command the gentleman Thomas Miller to service within the Last Bastion as one of its wardens. As a servant of Lathander I do so in full faith that he will serve well within the ranks of the faithful there.”

“He goes with full knowledge of the perils that await him, willing to commend his body, mind and eternal soul to the service there. He vows to join the ranks, until his duty there is considered fulfilled or until death do take him.”

“He does sign with full knowledge of the consequences, and as a promise to fulfil these commitments and to be beholden by them, by Lathander’s Grace.”

<>Signed Abot Grailsmith and Thomas Miller<>
----------------------------------------


EPILOGUE

To this day Benwick remains a subject of remorse to those who remember what it once was, while serving as a rallying cry of what can be achieved by those with ill intent. No matter how one remembers the once city, within its history remains a lesson to would-be heroes and villains both.


SPECIAL NOTE: SWORD OF BENWICK

Many attempts have since been made to reclaim the settlement of Benwick and seal the Hell Gate below Light Keep. Of these, the story of Knight Daltanius Silverarms is most recorded. The knight claimed to have received a vision of a sword belonging to founder Galahad the Builder and was convinced this was a means to seal the gate.

The quest helped unify the Triadists of the island. The Sword of Benwick was believed to be the sword embedded in the ground at Lake Minmir. Attempts to remove it physically were made and failed.

The knight’s effort caught the attention of divine forces which lead to an artifact falling from the sky. While the knights believe it was the Sword of Benwick, Monk Amadeo believed it was likely the Blade of Concordant Opposition after inspecting it using a magic mirror. It arrived as a small dagger but grew longer as it tasted planar blood.

The weapons influence grew, encouraging the wielder to slay more. The blade's nature was influenced by the manner of outsider it killed. It grew opposite to the nature of the entities it killed so by slaying devils, it became holier. Serving as a vessel for planar energies, Monk Amadeo believes that if those energies could be released, they could be used to seal the Gate.

The location of the Sword of Benwick is unknown, believed lost to time.


~FIN~
Current PC - Adelyn Belle'rose
Emilia Sabine von Brandt - Killed with Daughter Elizabeth
Michaela Quinn - Killed by fallen Paladin
Annalisa Bradford - Sacrificed to Dark Gods
Vaen Xyvil'kor - Killed in The Xyvil'kor War

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Re: Soulhaven School

Post by Edens_Fall » Tue Apr 20, 2021 1:51 pm

Arelith History
Sencliff: A Forgotten Past

~ AR to ~139 AR

----------------------------------------

Author: “The Vampire” Adelyn Belle’rose
Editor: Lilian Williams
Rozen Chalice Publishing, a division of East Arelith Trading
Second Edition: 169 AR

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever.

----------------------------------------
<c÷ >“This book is dedicated to the people of Sencliff. May you never forget your history and the power such knowledge brings.”</c>
----------------------------------------


PROLOGUE

The island of Sencliff, as I learned in my research, is an anarchistic gathering of souls fixated on existing in the moment. The resident’s value an attitude of individual freedom which often results in documents of historical significance being misplaced or destroyed. Even more notable, any artwork of antique origins is often stolen or destroyed. Such laissez faire governance has, regrettably, resulted in most of the island’s own history being eradicated from the realm. While lamentable, such is the nature of time.


ANTIQUITY

Located to the North West of Arelith, off the Bitter Coast, the island of Sencliff has a history stretching back possibly centuries. First settled by a cult of Cyric worshipers who constructed the island’s oldest edifice, a tall stone tower. At some point the followers of the Black Sun vanished and the pirates arrived. These new residents continued to build up the isle with their own sense of aesthetics into what it is today.


THE SENCLIFF INSTITUTE: ~86 AR to ~90 AR

Little is recorded of this organization, though it appears to have been a cabal of various infamous sorts formed outside the island with the purpose of colonizing and subjugating the local populace. Most well-known among them was Archmalefactrix Jel who took control over Guldorand, alongside Sencliff, and would eventually annexed Benwick. Their goals can be glimpsed in the well-known report titled “Audit of Sencliff: Observations & Summaries” written by Ambassador Damask Day 18 Month 1 Year 86 AR which reads:

“Making the island a little more self-sustaining (the land seems arable enough), introduction of industry (the Malefactrix suggests whaling or similar, with manufacturing facilities in the underdocks), increasing security against those who will inevitably take notice, and playing host to other outcasts and aiding those already on the isle (beneficial contracts, loans, exchanges) would earn the respect and trust of Sencliff. This also lays the groundwork for Sencliff’s population to embrace and create the future we bring, willing and voluntarily paving the road of good intentions –straight into our ultimate and direct control. For their own good.”

The group is again mentioned in the “Terms of Benwick’s Vassalage to Guldorand” on Day 7 Month 4 Year 88 AR, However no further information was located and we can safely assume the Sencliff Institute never completed their plans, or at the very least where unable to hold control over the isle for long.


HIGH LORD OF SENCLIFF: ~90 AR to 94 AR

Captain Jovanni ‘Joron’ di Dolcemarea of the Liberator and High Priest of Umberlee ruled Sencliff as High Lord until his death in Guldorand.


DUCHY OF SENCLIFF: ~100 AR to ~134 AR

The island presently known for its free spirited life style and inability to be managed was in fact governed at one time as a Duchy. Such statute remained for the next thirty (30) odd years and was by all rights the golden age for the small isle.


*Her Grace, Duchess Ann I of Sencliff of the House Thrule *

The first recorded ruler of the Duchy, Her Grace Ann I of House Thrule, reigned the longest. Known for being a skillful politician who detested politics, she leveraged her prestige into power and secured Sencliff for her own. After her consolidation, Duchess Ann I forced Sencliff onto the world stage.

-Coalitions: 103 AR-

The Duchy of Sencliff joined the Church of Bane under High Inquisitor Vistigor Torkill (Minmir Sect), Mayor Skyja Steinblad of Wharftown, and ‘Hetman’ Ilya Popvich leader of the Murom Cossack Host in Coalition against:

1) Gabriel Lance
2) The Blood Pact united under Kharne Riscorve, High Priest of the Black Sun, and Queen Elzi I of the Iron Citadel, the Church of Cyric, the Abyssal Forces, and Malarites.

The outcome of these alliances remains unknown.

-Exile: ~105 AR to ~109 AR-

The late 100’s AR saw relations between the city state of Cordor and the Duchy of Sencliff, whom was a close collaborator with the Reformed Church of Bane located in Minmir, strained. This tension accumulated when Cordor banished all the people of Sencliff from its city and lands. This act was met with public outcry as diplomacy between the two collapsed.

----------------------------------------
[In Response to the Exile of Sencliff]

“Good day, Cordor. I am Count Rosenkranz III, Chaplain of the Reformed Church of Bane (Minmir Sect), and I serve my suzerain lord, Duchess Ann I of Sencliff of the House Thrule. I am writing here today on behalf of the Duchess, to offer our reply to your challenge.”

“You think you can destroy us, hold us at bay like a guttering candle against the dark. You think you can banish us, but even as you read these words it is evident that our hands will not be bound by petty shackles. You hide behind laws, walls, and words so weak that their replacement is an inevitability. Every citizen and friend of Cordor who is hurt, afraid, or dead as a result of our responses is a direct challenge to the viability of your rule.”

“When the majority of our members cannot roam freely, you will claim victory, when all you have done is glimpsed the End from a window and closed the curtains. You claim to be the “good of the isle”, united and together. As if you cast a light to rival that at Benwick. You need not follow the metaphor long to realize that the brightest light often casts the darkest shadow. Sencliff in not a guild of thieves to be outlawed, anarchists to be killed, or rebels to be suppressed. Sencliff is not the sum of its people or its leaders.”

“Sencliff is an idea.”

“Sencliff is a parallel society to your own fading, diseased on; we will peel back the scabrous bandages barely concealing your wounds, and let them fester and rot for the world to see. Your self-righteous, hypocritical persecution of warlocks, necromancers, the outcasts, those who never fit in, while tolerating worse individuals that are useful to you is a shameful display of your lack of conviction.”

“If you live to expose the truth of this island and its self-proclaimed custodians and guardians, then consider this a call to arms. We invite those who see the rotten core behind the gleaming façade to join us in tearing it down and building something true, something great, and something better upon the ashes.”

ORBIS NON SVFFICIT
----------------------------------------

-War: 115 AR-

In 115 AR war was declared when a former Wharftown official, on the eve of being ousted in election by challenger Roxite, was believed to have fled to Guldorand with the town’s treasury. With the start of hostilities, alliances were called upon and the Duchy of Sencliff responded by declaring war on Guldorand to aid her close ally of Wharftown. Guldorand in return called upon the Cordorian Alliance of Myon, Cordor, and Brogendenstein for aid. In short order, the land was engulfed in an island wide conflict. A demand was made by Cordor for Wharftown’s surrender.

----------------------------------------
[Cordor Terms for Peace]

The Unconditional surrender of Wharftown to Cordor
Wharftown must become a vassal of Cordor.
The Zhentarim leadership of Wharftown must submit themselves to arrest to be tried for their crimes.
Reparation paid to Guldorand for damages done.
Wharftown has one month to deliver their acceptance of these terms if peace is desired.

Adalbrandt

11 Day of the 8th Month, 115 AR
----------------------------------------

The terms for capitulation were refused and War rolled over the isle of Arelith for the next two years.

-The Second Dominion: 117 AR-

With the death of Impreceptor Pelaguis of the House of Castillian, Duke of Minmir, in 112 AR the Reformed Church of Bane’s First Chaplain Rosenkranz III of the House of Ezekiel rose into the position as secular leader. This promotion allowed him to focus on personal ambitions by strengthening the ties between the Reformed Church of Bane and The Duchy of Sencliff. The ongoing war with Guldorand also provided the Banite leader many opportunities to win popular support of the people which peaked in 117 AR. Winning the election in Wharftown through violence, reputation, and intimidation the new Lord-Mayor of Wharftown consolidated his power base by countering the Cordorian Alliance with one of his own making. Rosenkranz declared the formation of confederation called “The Second Dominion” to which Her Grace, Duchess Ann I joined.

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[Declaration of a Dominion]

“Citizens & beings of all lands from across these islands,”

“This day marks a turning point, one where war will be put behind us, and we can press on with the enforcement of law, order, and prosperity.”

“Therefore I declare THE SECOND DOMINION of NORTHERN ARELITH, incorporating at this time the FREE PORT of WHARFTOWN, the EMIRATE of SIBAYAD, the ARCHDUCHY of MINMIR, and the DUCHY of SENCLIFF under one NATION-STATE, and one SOVEREIGN, HIS GRACE ROSENKRANZ III.”

“Each province of The Dominion will be granted a high level of autonomy, with a DIET comprised of Burgermeister Marya Althschuler (Wharftown), Emir Penerith Silaya (Sibayad), and Duchess Ann I of House Thrule (Sencliff) ruling over His provinces, and will be convened on a regular basis to meet to discuss issues of the day.”

“Any self-governing territories or settlements who wish to join our confederation is invited to contact His Grace or His Court.”

SAECULA SAECULORUM

<>The tract is sealed with wax, the seal depicting a stylized letter ‘R’ within an archducal coronet.<>

ROSENKRANZ
Manu propria
Wharftown, 1 Anno Imperii / Eleint 117 AR (Day 12 Month 9 117 AR)
----------------------------------------

By the end of 118 AR, tired with years of warfare and financial loss, the Cordorian Alliance agreed to talks of peace. Within a short time both sides met and agreed to the following.

----------------------------------------
[Wharftown & Guldorand Peace Talks]

*Attending Delegates*

Cordor:
Councilor Twiggy Gallowmere
Former Councilor Rin (Standing in for Councilor Adalbrandt)

Guldorand:
Lady Protector Storm Harthglen Teu’aerron
Mayor Aspirant Rannos Susidian

Myon:
Ophelia
Councilor Maeralya

Sencliff:
Duchess Ann of House Thrule, on behalf of the Province of Sencliff. Commander of the Waymen, Grand Marshall of the Dominion.

Seneschal Roland Asen of Castle Sencliff, personal aide to His Grace and Emissary Sinister to Andunor

Wharftown:
His Grace, Rosenkranz Ezekiel, Lord over the Free Port of Wharftown, Vassal-Liege of the Duchy of Sencliff, Protector of Sibayad, Count of the Unterwald, Voice of the inheritor and Defender of the Faith. Heir Apparent to The Seat of Minmir and Sovereign over The Dominion

Marya Althschuler

Marsland, scribe and assistant to Althschuler

*Summary*

“All representatives arrived at the Myart Shrine, in addition to representatives from Sencliff. Adalbrandt objected on the basis that Sencliff was not originally included. Additional delegates from Myon arrived. Adalbrandt departed when Sencliff delegates declined to leave.”

“Ezekiel proposed terms, which were amended by Myon to exclude Drow on Myon lands from the peace. Myon requested Clarity on the terms, which was provided by delegates from Guldorand, Sencliff, and Wharftown. Agreement was taken by show of hands, and verified by the scribe.”

“Wharftown and Guldorand are to immediately cease hostilities. A grace period of one year is to follow, and extend to all allies and interests of both settlements. This is to include Cordor, Guldorand, Myon, Sencliff, and Wharftown. Cessations includes electoral interference by these settlements and their allies. As requested by Myon, Drow caught within Myon’s borders are not subject to this peace.”

In Agreement:
Cordor: Gallowmere, Rin
Guldorand: Teu’aerron, Susidian
Myon: Maeralya, Ophelia
Sencliff: Thrule
Wharftown: Ezekiel, Althschuler

Dissenting:
Sencliff: Asen

Abstaining:
Cordor: Adalbrandt

All delegates left in peace.
----------------------------------------

In the period after the war, approximately 123 AR, Rosenkranz dissolved the Second Dominion and left the region with the Damkianna Azuilah Misotho of Sibayad. It is speculated ‘The Second Dominion’ was a foundational interest, a testbed, for a larger project concerning the reclamation and restoration of the lands of northern Minmir. The Earl's accursed country. Ultimately Rosenkranz’s efforts were unsuccessful. The former Sovereign and his followers elected to depart the island after their full momentum had fallen away, rather than wait for another cycle of intrigue to re-found the Dominion.

Duchess Ann I of House Thrule was soon persuaded, after the Dominions dissolution, to relocate and serve as the Captain of Cordor’s city guard. Eventually she would leave the island of Arelith altogether and return to her place of birth.


*Her Grace, Duchess Arianne de Fleur *

Captain Arianne was a Cormyrean mercenary and ex-soldier, who on first arrival to the island ran an outfit called the Hellebore Company. Conversely, she was secretly a cultist of the Black Strategarch, Bel, and raising a coven in plain sight. However, after taking a mercenary contract in Andunor, Captain Arianne ultimately lost the Hellebore Company's components. The business below spooked too many of her rank-and-file and only the cultists were left but, smelling blood in the water, they went to ground. Captain Arianne re-branded herself, with considerably more success, as a military advisor and counsel for hire. She flitted from faction to faction, aiding in this conflict or that, above or below, and made a considerable hoard of wealth in the process. She later ousted the then-owner of the Sencliff, seized the castle, and based her operations from there. Effectively, Arianne was the first to take up the mantle of Duchess after Thrule. Under her rule Sencliff prospered in peace, as no one dared targeted her for the aid she lent during Arelith’s various conflicts. Then in 127 AR, Duchess Arianne de Fleur sold her holdings in Sencliff to Sydney Harrow and retired from Arelith with her accumulated wealth.


*Her Grace, Duchess Sarina Dragonsong *

Installed as de facto Duchess, she ruled for the next seven years. Upon Sydney Harrows return to Sencliff, Lady Dragonsong relinquished her title of Duchess, and handed over control of the isle. Thus ending the legacy of Sencliff as a Duchy.


THE SENCLIFF ESTATE: ~134 AR to ~139 AR

Based out of the Sencliff estate Sydney Harrow turned the isle from a Duchy to one of free market enterprise. While few transcriptions remain of their activities, her reign can be summarized by the following flyer posted across Arelith during the time.

----------------------------------------
TO THOSE SCOUNDRELS, SAILORS, EXILES, OPPORTUNISTS, AGENTS, MAGI, SCHOLARS, KILLERS, THIEVES, WORSHIPPERS, DENIERS, MERCENARIES, LAWYERS, ET AL: "WELCOME" TO SENCLIFF

"We are the SENCLIFF ESTATE, and ours is the industry of Brokerage and Facilitation. Ours is this island's oldest continuous legacy, and thus we oblige ourselves to your SERVICE."

"We are buyers and sellers of all things, foremost knowledge, power, and opportunity, with those willing to seek us for PROFIT."

"We are sponsors of new residents to this island to ensure its collective growth, consolidation, and means to relation and ASSEMBLY."

"We are the gracious machinery of influence, wealth, access, secrets, and connections, and shall assure the promise of OPPORTUNITY."

"Interested parties should contact named Associates of the SENCLIFF ESTATE for consultations and trafficking."

For all affairs on Sencliff, Sibayad, Andunor, & Arelith, seek:
AM. SYDNEY HARROW
EM. ALRIK EZEKIEL
EM. GWYNYVERE MORGENSTERN
ADJUTANT CRESIL

<>SYDNEY HARROW<>
<>THE SENCLIFF ESTATE<>
----------------------------------------

By 139 AR, Sencliff had made a name among the various ne'er-do-wells and brigands of the region. As a result, the small isle was flooded with criminal inhabitants and vagabonds. Any sense of a well-organized community collapsed under the influx. Sydney Harrow, the last ruler of Sencliff, soon departed to aid the establishment of ‘The Erudite Arcanum’ in Andunor. Her loss marked the end of any structured leadership in Sencliff. Without direction the isle’s more momentous history fell into obscurity until nothing endured.


EPILOGUE

Various attempts by one Dread Pirate or another over the years to rule the isle have meet with limited success. Most such individuals are quickly dispatched by the various militaries of Arelith before reaching any level of success or are dismantled from within by the islands own inhabits under a slogan of individual freedom.


~FIN~
Current PC - Adelyn Belle'rose
Emilia Sabine von Brandt - Killed with Daughter Elizabeth
Michaela Quinn - Killed by fallen Paladin
Annalisa Bradford - Sacrificed to Dark Gods
Vaen Xyvil'kor - Killed in The Xyvil'kor War

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Re: Soulhaven School

Post by Edens_Fall » Tue Apr 20, 2021 2:15 pm

Arelith History
Skull Crag Schism

167 AR to 169 AR

----------------------------------------

Author: “The Vampire” Adelyn Belle’rose
Editor: Lilian Williams
Rozen Chalice Publishing, a division of East Arelith Trading
First Edition: 169 AR

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever.

----------------------------------------
<c÷ >“This book is dedicated to the Elder Ikarus. While Andunor stands, so shall you. Crack On!”</c>
----------------------------------------


PREFACE

“The great tragedy of mortality is the loss of truly exceptional individuals. The ogre Ikarus is one such creature and all the more so as I knew the shaman during his life. As such I feel compelled to not only record his great deeds, of which there were many, but comment on the elder himself. For all those that have hunted and hated me both above and below, he was one of the few to stop and speak before raising blade. A rare and treasured state of mind in the realm of constant bloodshed. Where many want to outcast and exile on rumor alone, Ikarus would seek to understand the matter before passing judgement. He was Andunor’s greatest strength, possessing a mind of wisdom and contemplation. For such a soul I found it hard to pinpoint what of his many endeavors should be recorded in depth. For he has fought in many conflicts, the last of which was the flooding of Cordor’s sewers with oozes. So, ultimately, I asked Ikarus himself which he wanted saved to tome. Of his many feats the one that brought him peace was his retribution upon Guldorand. So that is the tale I record in these pages. A last request granted to a friend. While I adored our conversations and games of ‘Tit for Tat’ your absence in this world makes me thankful the only thing I can feel is cold . . . and hunger.”


THE GRUDGE: ~131 AR

Hostilities between the frontier logging village of Guldorand, know as Westcliff, and the Ogre tribes of the Skull Crag Mountains began the moment settlers first appeared in the area. A policy of human expansionism and logging forced the two factions into conflict. This animosity was ingrained in the Crag tribes by the time the ogre Ikarus was born. Growing in size and prowess the young Ikarus grew into the favor of the Gods to eventually claim the mantle of shaman. Standing beside Chief Dadaluk, they led their tribe in continued warfare against the invaders from Guldorand. This feud waged until the winter of 131 AR, when in the midst of a blizzard, the mayor of Westcliff Alice Highfen ordered a daring assault upon the ogre clan’s cavern home. The settler’s militia attack fell upon the unprepared tribe. What followed can only be described as slaughter. Clan Chief Dadaluk fell. Shaman Ikarus, guarding the birthing chamber where his wife Brunnk had just given life to his newly born son, fell gravely wounded and left for dead. His mate and the females within slain. His unnamed son speared.

Those that survived the slaughter scattered. Their Chief fallen, home destroyed, and shaman lost. For in his personal torment Ikarus was gifted a vision of purpose, offered by his God Vaprak, to travel below and guide a new war chief. Making the sojourn, Ikarus found himself in Andunor and in the service of Chief Karstaag.


UPRISING: 167 AR

Years after his arrival in Andunor, now old in age, Ikarus learned the magic of far seeing from the magi of the Erudite Arcanum. Once again able to view the surface, he observed his old homeland until events of 167 AR. The scried actions of Guldorand’s Shield leader Axeman Derristan Barley stirred the old flames of loss within the ogre shaman. Still the settlers of the logging village raided the Skull Crags, slaying the tribes, for writ and gold. Never a coward, Ikarus strolled to the gates of Westcliff and declared that “doom was comin’ from my horde”.

Shortly after the declaration, the ogre was approached by the Guldorand Elder Angela Amana to speak of peace in the Undergarden. While unsuccessful, her action was respected by the shaman for few surfacers ever bothered to ask the most important of questions . . . “why”. Angela Amana was rewarded for her courage by learning of Ikarus' past and while her tear-filled pleas fell on a heart hardened by loss, she did earn the Elders admiration.


WAR

With the city of Andunor in a period of relative calm between the various factions, Elder Ikarus sent out a call to battle. Bounties were placed on the Shields of Guldorand, the village’s militia force, and a declaration for a city-wide war moot made. Many answered the call of the new Warchief, though not only those of the Dark City. Pirates from the isle of Sencliff sailed beside Andunor’s Dreadnaught on the high seas. Banites of the Black Host and demon kin from the Abyssal Citadel swarmed to the ogre’s banner by the scores. Nothing can bring such natural enemies together as that of a mutual adversary.

The campaign was launched after the war moot established leaders and roles. Strike packs moved on outlying ranger stations and outposts of Guldorand. The encampments leveled and totems placed to mark the fall. War bands roamed the trade routes, ambushing patrols and caravans alike.

To help ensure triumph, Warchief Ikarus spoke with Archdruid Raven Burin of the Heartwood Grove. As Guldorand had been logging the Skull Crags far and wide for years, he felt the Druids might take a chance to level the field in the ogre’s favor. Unfortunately, the Archdruid replied that it was a fight between two peoples and not Nature. He did agree however to keep the Grove out of the conflict.


WESTCLIFF BURNS

Roughly half a year into the fighting, Warchief Ikarus led a war party into the Guldorand coal mines. The strategy was to blow the tunnels with powder kegs and open the way for the Crag orc clans to reclaim the passageways. The raid went as planned, though it took most of the night, and the sun had risen above the mountain peaks. An issue arose when several Drow members of the raid failed to come prepared and with no lens to return below were trapped in the surface caves. Using his own supplies and magic, Elder Ikarus was able to return the Drow to the safety of the underdark. Unfortunately, before those that remained could rest and recover their spent powers, the shaman felt the eyes of scry magic upon them. Unable to rest and having lost their wards, those that remained decided to make a run for the Weather Stone and its portal. They nearly made it before a party of Cordor and Guldorand soldiers intercepted them.

Knowing victory was out of grasp and unwilling to give the honor of his death to humans, Ikarus and the human warrior Frank surrendered. The third member of their group, a goblin named Sham, managed to fight his way free past the heavily armored shins of over a dozen soldiers. It was stated to be one the goblin’s “finest scraps”.

For the next two days, Warchief Ikarus was imprisoned and interrogated. The clever ogre managing to send a message via magical means to the Drow Zilka during his captivity. This drow slaver, renowned for her charm and lust for slaves, spread word to the city of the shaman’s situation. First Keeper Schezalle of the Erudite Arcanum led negotiations for their freedom, securing the human Franks release during a meeting in the Shadovar Trade Post.

Though while some spoke of prisoner release, Matron O’annir of House Z’ress rallied a force from the city and her own guard to take more direct action. When night fell, they struck the logging village of Westcliff. The torture of elder Ikarus at the hands of Samantha Goodman and her dwarven subordinate Frida Vintergrad was interrupted by the sounds of chaos. The Duergar Pani lead the way into the settlement with axe held high as the Matron of House Z’ress followed with her war party. In an echo of Guldorand’s raid on Ikarus’ clan so many years ago, the underdarkers waded into the unprepared logging village to bring retribution and vengeance. The fighting that followed was vicious and wanton. The Shaman Ikarus, freed from his cell, was rushed under guard to the Matron’s created portal in the town’s tavern.

When the dust settled, Andunor had secured eight prisoners among which were Guldorland’s Second Axe (Second in Command) Reina and Cordor nobleman Markus Hawkwinter. Gathered in the Treadstone Locks, the prisoners were enslaved or exchanged. Warchief Ikarus secured his totem staff, taken from him as captive, and Guldorland called for Mercy. Accounts from the time state First Axe (Commander) Derristan proclaimed Warchchief Ikarus mightier than himself to the chancellor of Cordor as part of the prisoner release.

----------------------------------------
[The children of Andunor Prevail over Guldorand]

“On a dreaded nightfall during the last tencycle period, the audacious settlement Guldorand took captive two favored sons of Andunor: a retainer to House Z’ress and Elder Ikarus of The Sharps. Their efforts were in vain.”

“Promptly, and decisively, a joint coalition with the Archpriestess and Matron Mother Oannir Z’ress at the helm as Field Marshall led the forces of House Xel’vraxa, Z’ress, Xun’viir, Ril’ynervs, The Erudite Arcanum, The Temple of Lolth and citizens of each district; we marched upon Guldorand with purpose and conviction in pursuit of reprisal, with intention to retrieve Elder Ikarus from enemy grasp.”

“In our wake, much destruction and death was wrought in Her name and our enemies settlement razed to the ground. Elder Ikarus was subsequently rescued from their jail in the aftermath of the battle and a decisive and overwhelming victory was firmly in our grasp.”

“I wish to congratulate and commend all whom participated in this landslide victory. If anything is to be inferred thus on reflection of this overwhelming and successful conquest it is this: to take a son or daughter of Andunor will only result in severe consequences; in this respect, you captured two and all the sunlands consequently achieved is a ruined settlement and the decimation and capture of The Shield; moreover, the capture of your allies, such as affluent figures in Cordor. Do not provoke the ire of the dark, nor underestimate that which can bind us; this reaction was spontaneous and I encourage your imagination as to what can be achieved premeditated.... “

“Whilst I derive great gratification in the First Axe of The Shield, Derristan, pleading for mercy in the aftermath - he must know that Lolth is merciless, for She has none. However, we will not be gratuitous. Yield to reason and concession, for perhaps an accord can be reached.”

“I urge the coalition of the sunlands to see reason and accept certain realities: the will of Lolth is inevitable. End this indiscriminate and gratuitous slaughter of Elder Ikarus kin; concede to defeat and yield to the demands of Elder Ikarus and the unison of Andunor in this conquest.”

“Praise Lolth, for She will test us all. May the Ilythiiri reign.”

<> High Priestess Chenizra to The Temple of Lolth and Matron Mother of the Noble House Xel’vraxa<>

(Day 9, Month 12, Year 167)
----------------------------------------


AFTERMATH: 168 AR

Several small encounters were fought after the sacking of Westcliff, to include a failed surfacer attack on Warchief Ikarus’ celebratory victory feast hosted in Andunor. A second attack in the underdarks Petrified Forest by surface raiders also met a similar end, though it did give a chance for the mage Emily Bitterbloom to increase her fearsome reputation in battle. These counter attacks by the surface broke the uneasy peace that settled after Wescliff’s fall.

----------------------------------------
[Da Hunt's Back On]

“I'z'll give 'em dis: da Sunners is real scrappers, ain't no doubt.”

“Da forces o' Andunor united crushed 'em in Guldorand ta free me from deir clutches. Da Church o' da All Shadow sent 'em packin' when dey tried to bust into da Plane o' Shadow. An' when a scraggly bunch o' 'em came right inta da cave o' my kin an' crashed our feast, we sent 'em runnin'. But *still* dey fight on - as if dey had a hope!”

“I was finkin' ta let my foes, da Shields o' Guldorand, stew in fear after all dese losses, but it's bein' clear deyz wantin' more! So let da word go out - my bounties is back on. I'z payin' good cash an' my best healin' brews fer Shield heads an' Shield prisoners. My war-board in da Hub's got all da details - look fer it across from da kobold banka.”

“Dis war rises to a burnin' heat. Soon'll be da time fer a ranky strike, one dat'll grind dem manky Shields inta paste. But 'til ya hear word from me, all dere's ta do is hunt - so hunt on!”

Said but ain't read by
Elder Ikarus
(Day 3, Month 3, Year 168)
---------------------------------------


THE END: 169 AR

After several years of warfare, Warchief Ikarus received word that the ruling chiefs of the Skull Crag tribes wished to speak. The Jarl of the Giants, The Shaman of the Orges, and Chief of the Orcs met with Elder Ikarus and bellowed he didn’t speak for them, nor fight for them, nor did they wish him too. He had been gone too long from the mountain and was no longer an Elder of the Skull Crags but of Andunor. Despite attempts at reason the tribes of the Skull Crags denied Elder Ikarus and his war on their behalf. With his personal revenge over the loss of his family fulfilled and the reason to carry on the war, for the sake of saving the clans of the Skull Crags, no longer his concern; Warchief Ikarus called for a Moot of Peace with Guldorand.

----------------------------------------
[War's Soon Ta End]

“Oy all,”

“My warrin' 'gainst dem o' Guldorand is soon ta end. Dere's peace ta be forced, an' gains fer us ta be made in it. All my bounties on da Shields is over an' done. Dem chiefs in my horde I ain't spoken to yet - keep ya ears peeled fer my messengers, an' call fer me if'n yaz seein' me! Dere's words wez needin' ta have.”

Said but ain't read by
Elder Ikarus
(Day 7, Month 9, Year 168)
----------------------------------------

A meeting was held in the infernal city of Dis between both sides and a five-year peace between Guldorand and the Mountain Tribes was agreed upon.

----------------------------------------
[Da War o' Guldorand is Settled Fer Good]

“Last tencycle, a pack o' my chiefs an' I were meetin' wif da leaders o' Guldorand an' some o' deir allies - from Brightburst ta Gauntlet an' more in between. Much words was spoken back an' on, an' in da end da war were settled.”

“Da Shields o' Guldorand 'ave sworn ta stay well out o' da caves o' my kin in da Skull Crags fer a time o' five years, 'til da end o' da first month o' AR 174. Da chiefs in da Skull Crags ain't much happy fer makin' deals wif humies, but mebbe dis time'll show 'em dere's good ta be had in keepin' da humies outta our caves, an' lettin' our younglings grow up wifout gettin' stabbed in da cradle.”

“So be standin' down, all my chiefs an' warriors! My war-board in da Hub is taken down an' my rage against Guldorand is bein' settled, leastin' fer now. Bring yaselves instead ta feastin' an' arms-sharpenin'. Dere's merriment an' war both ta be had yet - but not against Guldorand.”

Said but ain't read by:
Elder Ikarus
(Day 16, Month 2, Year 169)
----------------------------------------

While not the end Ikarus desired, his army managed to defeat the military of Guldorand and, at least for a time, bring peace to the younglings of the Skull Crag clans. A victory earned and claimed by all but Ikarus himself.


EPILOGUE

Ever a servant of the Gods and feeling his age, Ikarus challenged General Arak of Andunor to single combat after releasing his beholder familiar Ghazghul back to the deeps.

----------------------------------------
[Ritual Death by Combat]

“Da time 'as come fer my passin'. I ain't neva were one ta go down from age - a death by da blade is what I claim! Arak, General o' Andunor's armies, will be da one darin' ta best me in battle an' give me a warrior's end...since fer all da war I'z waged, dem Sunners ain't neva managed ta get da job done!”

“My last battle'll be in Andunor's colosseum in da Devil's Table. Come if'n yaz wantin'. Still, my road ends even if'n its just Arak an' me.”

Said but ain't read by:
Elder Ikarus
(Day 10, Month 8, Year 169)
---------------------------------------

At the appointed time, citizens of Andunor gathered in the benches above the arena sands to bear witness to the great ogre’s final moments. With the count done by the Drow Zilka, Ikarus charged Arak in what was to be his last battle. In a final blessing, the Gods saw fit to remind the shaman why he had first been chosen and the mighty warrior Arak fell before the elder’s feet to the spectator’s astonishment. Not one to be denied his rest and reward, Elder Ikarus challenged those from the stands the honor of fighting him. From the crowd stepped forth the Minotaur Mar’grath Bloodhorn, Remembrancer Adelyn Belle’rose, Servant Ilith Ilyana, and Imp Xarmarir Karxus. Another count was given and Elder Ikarus faced the gathered foes in battle. While ferocious, it ended quickly. The Elder of Andunor lay upon the sands bleeding, where his life was ended by his friend Arak with a warrior’s stroke of a blade.

Thus on the nineteenth day of the ninth month of 169 AR, Elder Ogre Shaman Ikarus and former Warchief of Andunor died in ritual combat upon the sands of Andunor’s colosseum. Earning his place among his Gods after a long life of service.


~FIN~

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[Upon the last page of the book is a detailed illustration]

A blue-skinned ogre, whom is clearly no spring chicken, is center of the page. Hunched over, armbands appearing to jangle as he would sway against his staff. He resembles a huge, wrinkled prune more than a savage beast. Eyes sharp with wisdom stare back upon the reader. Sprawled across his chest is a large brand in the shape of a taloned claw. The claw on his chest is the symbol of Vaprak, while his armbands are engraved with the icons of a number of beastblood deities: Baphomet, Gruumsh, Kurtulmak, Laogzed, and Yeenoghu.

Hoovering next to the ogre is a young beholder. His eye stalks gaze about, while his central eye is marked by vague annoyance, its mouth set with a dry expression.
Current PC - Adelyn Belle'rose
Emilia Sabine von Brandt - Killed with Daughter Elizabeth
Michaela Quinn - Killed by fallen Paladin
Annalisa Bradford - Sacrificed to Dark Gods
Vaen Xyvil'kor - Killed in The Xyvil'kor War

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Re: Soulhaven School

Post by Edens_Fall » Tue Apr 20, 2021 2:23 pm

Arelith History
Fall of Wharftown

129 AR to 130 AR

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Author: “The Vampire” Adelyn Belle’rose
Editor: Lilian Williams
Rozen Chalice Publishing, a division of East Arelith Trading

First Edition: 167 AR, Revised: 169 AR

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever.

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<c÷ >“This book is dedicated to Ilith Ilyana, my deadly elven golem. Both loyal servant and calculating protector, I owe my longevity to your talents alone. ”</c>
----------------------------------------


Much as Cordor, the fishing village of Wharftown was founded by refugees under the leadership of Cordor’s First Knight Lenore. The following hundred years saw the village transformed into a settlement which then took part in the many wars and political struggles that saturated the city states of Arelith during the time.

Conflict between settlements raged in the form of intermediate wars broken only by short moments of peace until the beginning of 129 AR, when Wharftown inaugurated one Armenius Caedare (b. 94 AR) as Mayor. He was described as pale-skinned, black-haired human male known for his skill with a forge and faith in the God Tempus. At the time of inauguration, the Wharftown stockpiles were high in metals and low in cloth. The treasury was 1,201 million gold, with a tax rate of 4.90%. The town was independent and traded with both Cordor and Guldorand. There were 56 citizens. The significant members of his regime were the Ashwood twins, Clive and Mira, who led the militia. Known for the key policy platform of turning Wharftown into a neutral refuge which ultimately lead to conflicts in the coming year.


MUTINY OF FAEREN ASHLIGHT – early 129 AR

Dissatisfied with the neutrality policies of Mayor Caedare, notably his hiring of a Banite into the militia, she took up arms against her former town in mutiny. Whether she was killed or escaped after attempting to kill the town’s Mayor by arrow shot remains unknown.


ASHWOODS RESIGN FROM MILITIA – early 129 AR

The Ashwood twins, closely involved with Mayor Caedare’s regime at the time of his inauguration, quietly resigned from their posts as commanders of the militia due to concerns over the new polices. The Ashwoods were believed to have changed their allegiance to the Duchy of Sencliff, the Duchess Arianne de Fleur to be precise, who was notable for supporting their personal crusade against lycanthropes.


WHARFTOWN SACKED – Mid to Late 129 AR

Wharftown was sacked numerous times by the armies of Andunor, likely the Iron Order of Elven Death, House Xal’Rae, and affiliated mercenaries as a direct result of Mayor Caedare’s contentious neutrality policies that allowed goblins, kobolds, and drow within the town. Likely seeing such practices by a surface settlement to be perceived weakness.


FLEET OF THREE - Late 129 AR

A pirate armada led by the black orc Urelesh, the Fleet of Three, was sighted off the eastern coast. The fleet docked in the harbor and struck a bargain of protection with Wharftown’s Mayor Caedare. An alliance that greatly concerned the other regional settlements of Arelith.


WHARFTOWN DECLARES WAR – Late 129 AR

After a minor disagreement, the Mayor Caedare, struck down General Jharock Never in Wharftown. High Chancellor Casmir de Lanze and his retinue visited immediately after news was received, hoping to avoid a war. There was at first an uneasy cease-fire as the two leaders spoke, though due to what is believed miscommunication, a Cordorian fired upon the Wharftown party. This led to the High Chancellor being attacked and driven from the village. Mayor Caedare summarily marched to Cordor’s gates with the Wharftown militia and declared war before besieging the town. The city held, though countless lives were lost, until the elite guard could be mobilize. By the time they joined the battle Wharftown forces had already disengaged and retreated from the field.

The start of 130 AR saw a ruthless man of ambition, the self-made tyrant Mayor of Wharftown escalate the war by establishing several dark alliances and promoting “Death to Cordor” as a way of life. When attempts towards peace were made the Wharftown Mayor responded by delivering a large vase filled with the cremated ashes of Cordor’s fallen warriors. Forced into a desperate situation King Edward I reached out to Amn through Ambassador Aldo for assistance. The council of six responded by dispatching an Expeditionary Fleet under the command of Admiral Hernan aboard the flagship “Grand Ballena” to support Cordor in finding a permanent solution to the crisis.

While the Amnian fleet eventually arrived, their journey was delayed by the intervention of the Sahuagin, a type of fish people, who blocked its passage. Fortunately for Cordor these same Sahuagin had also kidnapped the princess of a local Sea Elf clan which stuck a deal. If the princess was safely returned the Sea Elves would see to it the Amn fleet arrived safely. General Dan’ethe, Vice Chancellor Thorn, Ara of Myon, Green Hawk Faeren, and Captain Kareshk of Arelith successfully rescued the princess and the Cordor fleet was freed to continue its travel.

With the reinforcements now anchored in Cordor harbor, King Edward I made the following decree:

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[The Wharftown Proclamation]

“It is with a heavy heart that I today sign the necessary documents to order the razing of the fishing settlement of Wharftown on the Bitter Coast.”

“At the end of the next month the army and navy of Cordor, together with the Amnian expeditionary force to begin the bombardment.”

“This has not been an easy decision, but it comes after years of intermittent conflict, and we can no longer permit such a threat to exist so close to our own borders. We ask our friends sever any remaining diplomatic ties to Wharftown.”

“I urge all citizens who have not yet done so to leave the town at the earliest opportunity. If, before that date, the conflict is ended and the leader of Wharftown in custody this order may still be rescinded.”

<>This letter is signed by the hand of King Edwards Cordor and bears the seal of the city<>
----------------------------------------

The middle months of 130 AR saw Wharftown citizens fleeing en masse, not only at the threat of bombardment but at the Mayors refusal to surrender and vassal to Cordor. The town was entirely evacuated: the bank closed, homes abandoned, and shops ransacked by looters. Mayor Caedare’s attempts to bar his citizens from leaving met with failure. Many of his former subjects turning against him to speak out about his mounting paranoia and erratic behavior. Several settlements of Arelith soon ended trade to the village of Wharftown and stood with Cordor by founding Refugee camps for those displaced by the conflict. Both sides martialed military surplus while stock piling resources.

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[Letter to King Edwards I from Amnian Admiral Hernan]

“To King Edward,”

“And so Armenius Caedare’s monstrous dream is a harsher reality then any of us could have envisioned; Necromancers practicing their rotten art amongst the backdrop of children and fair traders, beast crawling out from the depths to kill in the name of Wharftown with chants of “Death to Cordor”, deals struck with local bandits to harass anyone with intent to live a peaceful life, and most horrific of all a vase sent to your own government containing the ashes of your own people.”

“Do you not understand that there is no course open to us but to fight it out with the aggressors once and for all? Will you risk having the island spiraling out of control if the example is set that a Fishing Town run by kobolds can bloody the nose of a Titan? Will you risk emboldening Guldorand, or Brogendenstein, or Myon to be the next to try their hands at pot-shotting Cordor and continuing this cruel strife?”

“I am Admiral, not a King as you are, but you must now see that firming your grasp on the reigns of Cordor’s destiny and bringing Wharftown to kneel is now more than ever nothing but the process of peace, for all Arelith. The Grand Ballena is at your side whatever your decision, but if the only conflict my fleet experiences in this chapter is the knowledge that we are mere spectators in Wharftown’s War we shall all be greatly disappointed.”

<>Signed, Admiral Hernan<>
----------------------------------------

By late 130 AR King Edwards I gave a final speech to the people of Cordor before dispatching the local fleet under the flagship “Avora” along with Admiral Hernan’s expeditionary force to anchor in Wharftown harbor.

----------------------------------------
[King Edwards Speech before assault on Wharftown 130 AR]

“My fellow Cordorians, members of the Military, and esteemed guests in this city. We stand at a most difficult time in history of this island, and of this city. There are, no doubt, many who feel as I do that the coming action is necessary by the events that now unfold before us.”

“Cordor has never sought to be a conqueror, never sought to build an empire. We have led not through force, but through example. Ours has been a benevolent state and the freedom enjoyed throughout the northern territories has been testament to that fact. But at what price? How many or our fellows have died in these interminable wars? How many innocents must die to satisfy the pride of these toy-box tyrants?”

“I come to you now, with an answer to that question. No One More! The great irony of this, is that Wharftown itself was itself founded by refugees, and guided by paladins of light. Yet, over the last hundred years that light has died. It is a place now synonymous with evil, bloodshed, and cruelty. To petition for peace would bring what? A few weeks, perhaps months of stability before this cycle once again began? I know, that many of you have long since tired of that.”

“We also know that the many of those there have pledged to continue their fight with or without the town, and likely they shall. But stripped of their legitimacy they will fight only as the common cutthroats and outcasts they have shown themselves to be. Proven, without a doubt, that they cared nothing for those they once pledged to protect.”

“Fellow Cordorians, let us not take pride in our actions, for there is no glory to be had in what we set out to do. The pride is here, the honor is here. In the stones, in the streets, taverns, and houses of this fine city. In the peace we live by, and the tolerance we preach. Long Live Cordor!”
----------------------------------------

With weapons trained upon the settlement, a final demand for Mayor Armenius Ceadare to surrender himself and vassal the fishing village to Cordor was made.

He refused.

The order to attack was effectuated by High Chancellor Valentina Ortega.

An army of the unified settlements assaulted the town’s palisade as the combined fleet unleashed a bombardment upon Wharftown’s coastal fortifications. The engagement that followed was of such a ferocious nature that any authentic depiction would be a dishonor to those that struggled. Know simply both sides fought with a passion only obtained after years of mutual animosity and frustratingly pointless bloodshed. That day, no matter the side they stood upon, each soldier gave their all. While not lacking in determination Wharftown did ultimately lack a superior naval force. Within a short period the small village’s coastal fort was overwhelmed by the concentrated bombardment and the village proper laid to ruin.

Those that survived the slaughter either surrendered or fled into hiding.

Cordor stood victorious and declared that Wharftown was to remain as it was, a ruin, never to be rebuilt.

A testament to the cost paid for the foolish pride of a toy-box tyrant.

Wharftown to this day remains a grim example to those that might seek the same.


~FIN~
Current PC - Adelyn Belle'rose
Emilia Sabine von Brandt - Killed with Daughter Elizabeth
Michaela Quinn - Killed by fallen Paladin
Annalisa Bradford - Sacrificed to Dark Gods
Vaen Xyvil'kor - Killed in The Xyvil'kor War

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Re: Soulhaven School

Post by Edens_Fall » Tue Apr 20, 2021 2:45 pm

Arelith History
The Prying Eye: Cordor’s Magocracy

153 AR to 155 AR

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Author: “The Vampire” Adelyn Belle’rose
Editor: Lilian Williams
Rozen Chalice Publishing, a division of East Arelith Trading
First Edition: 170 AR

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever.

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<c÷ >“This book is dedicated to the remembrancer Kels Vetian. For protecting Arelith’s history and continuing the work on Cordor’s Museum when I was no longer able. Thank you.”</c>
----------------------------------------


A NEW LEADER

In the middle months of 153 AR, Cordor’s election cycle saw the magi Katernin Bersk run for the position of Chancellor. Her platform centered on change within the government, national defense, and patriotism. Her appeal to the masses carried the majority vote and allowed her to win the election.

----------------------------------------
[The time for Change is now: Katernin Bersk for Chancellor]

“Over the past year, I have been asked by many people what my plans are moving forward. Am I content in staying in my position as the Minster of Records? Do I really feel my office can do everything I wish it to do? But most importantly, Katernin, what do you see as the path forward to return Cordor to a state of glory?”

“Those questions have led me here. For the past year, I have operated under the current leadership, so I know better than anyone what needs to change. My upmost concern is for the People of Cordor. More so now than ever, we are beset on all sides against those that wish us harm; scumful pirates from our seas; dingy underdwellers from the city below; and tyrannical faiths that collect in the northern plains.”

“How can the local dock workers feel comfortable operating in constant fear that Pirates will arrive at our shores? How can the farmers in the outskirts feel comfortable tending to the field when they need to worry that at any moment, darkness and flames from below can end their life? And how can the citizenry feel relaxed while prayers of snake oil are spoken from the shadows to the Palace?”

“It is a difficult question, I know, but I come with answers. I have heard many people ask where the guards are when something vile happens. Should we expect them to be there before the vile act is committed? No, but perhaps that can change. My Eye will be open as I watch all manner of these despicable people as they plan their nefarious deeds against our city. And this time, it will not be just me, but a team of diviners watching against those with malicious intent.”

“Safety and stability for everyone is my main platform, and that, I can provide. When you do not have to live in fear of peril, we can all once again focus on Cordor.”

“Though I have been around this city serving in the public sector for longer than any of the other candidates, there are some who do not know me. I am a diviner who has been on Arelith since the early forties by way of Aglarond. In the nine years that I have been here, my focus has mainly been on arcane study, Cordorian law, and economics. I have stood as judge over a few cases as an independent arbitrator and I have run extremely successful shops within this city. No matter where I have been, my focus has always been on the best for Cordor and I wish to bring that forward with a more direct methodology.”

“I am beholden to no group on the island other than the people of Cordor. If you want your voice to be heard and know that those concerns are not being filtered to another nation to decide upon, I would suggest that your votes should go to me. I am aware that change is not easy, and you may view my approach as extreme but I can assure you, I only have the best in mind for this nation.”

“Eye open Cordor.”

Katernin Bersk
Day 20, Month 7, Year 153

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[Chancellor's Inaugural Address]

“Citizens of Cordor, thank you for coming to my first formal address as your new Chancellor. I appreciate the faith you have put in me to run this great city and I will not let you, nor the legacy of those before me, down.”

“There are several things I wish to do during this term which I will outline the first steps during this address. The topics are as follows:”

“The Cordorian Guard; the ministry positions; streamlining the legal procedures; and, mostly importantly, forging Cordor into a strong and sovereign nation. Please hold your comments, questions, or concerns until the end.”

“First, the Cordorian guard. Over the past year, I have been working directly with the guard and military and have found them, with a few exceptions, well run.”

“That said, no group should be immune to auditing procedures and I have already spoken to a former commander whom I have asked to fulfil this auditing role.”

“A well-run group should never fear an audit, they should embrace it to show their superiority. In an effort for transparency, the findings of that audit will be publicly available.”

“Secondly, the Cordorian ministry and my cabinet. The cabinet will consist of four members: The Chancellor, the Minister of the Foreign Affairs, the Minister of the Interior, and the Minister of the Arcane. Each of these positions can open subgroups that operate with their direct supervision.”

“The Minister of Arcane Affairs role is to provide oversight on arcane usage within the city and monitor it on all of Arelith. This includes, but not limited to: oversight of wild magic, necromancy, and other vile magics; consulting with other esoteric arcane matters around the isle.”

“The Minister of Internal Affairs role is to provide oversight over everything that occurs within the city of Cordor. This includes, but not limited to: agriculture, culture, guards, and economics.”

“The Minister of the Foreign Affairs role is to provide oversight on the ongoings over the entire isle. This includes, but not limited to: military (including the navy), diplomacy, and typically, the vice chancellorship.”

“Finally, the Chancellors role is to provide oversight over each of the other ministers. They will fill in any vacant roles as needed and ensure that all the offices are operating at peek efficiently. Their votes in cabinet meetings will break ties and they maintain general veto power when necessary.”

“While this is my current thinking, it may evolve as the month’s progress and I collect additional ideas from our citizens.”

“One thing that became clear to me during the most recent trial, was that it was very time inefficient. It was obvious that there was a lot of extraneous time spent on litigation as the processes are not clearly defined.”

“I plan to review and streamline the current law system as well as the procedures to run a trail in a reasonable amount of time. As a former magistrate myself, I am uniquely suited for this role.”

“And finally, the topic of how to strengthen Cordor. For a long time, Cordor has been looked upon as secondary to other groups and settlements on Arelith. While I believe the Cordor needs to maintain its defensive alliances and cooperation against the vile forces that hide below our city, Cordor also needs to maintain its sovereignty.”

“You have put your faith in me, and I will return that belief in the way of safety for you so that you can concentrate on other parts of your life. I am certain that many of you know that I am a diviner and one of our abilities is foresight; the ability to see things before they occur.”

“But that power is not absolute though it can be improved. Devices attuned to me will be installed around the city in order to take a hands-on approach at extending my sight to multiple places at once from the safety of my private sanctum.”

“I am certain that you will appreciate this kind of direct methodology from the Chancellor and alleviate one less thing chaotic thing you need to navigate in on this isle.”

“The plans above are the first steps at strengthening our nations, it is not only me than will invoke this change. I need you, each and every one of the good citizens of Cordor, to do their part. I am counting on you as much as you are counting on me.”

“Thank you for listening Cordor, and Eye open.”

<>Sealed with an image of a raven on top of the seal of Chancellors Seal of Cordor<>

Katernin Bersk
Day 27, Month 8, Year 153
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FIRST TERM

The Chancellor’s first term began with hopes, promises, restructuring, and interviews. Utilizing the Cordor City Guard to conduct background investigations on city council applicants, Bersk interviewed and appointed three people to positions as Ministers in the Government. Peram Flint, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Priscilla Plaskett, Minister of Internal Affairs; and Dimitrios Hal-Nyxos Minister of Arcane Affairs. She also appointed Valencia Cruz as Admiral of the Cordor Navy against the advice of investigating Guard officers Mather Allias, Savol Corthala, and Cei Mornshield.

At the start of her reign Cordor’s coffers held a total of 9,141,683 gold. Approximately two million was left in the main account, three hundred thousand was transferred to each of the Ministry accounts, and the remaining six million went into an excess fund account.

It was announced that Loretta Ashby, Priestess of Savras, had arrived in the city from mainland after being sent to aid Bersk in matters of faith.

Chancellor Bersk soon experienced her first great military victory, though at great cost, with the defeat of The Beast (See Book ‘Gertrude Gawain and The Beast’).

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[From the Desk of the Chancellor: A Call to Action]

“On this glorious day, I come to you basking in the splendor of our City. The military has succeeded in a victory against the forces of the Shadow, but that victory did not come without price. The price of our Commander but I know she would not have allowed any other in this city to take her place. Commander Gawain did what was best, not only for Cordor, but for the entire island.”

“I am not devoid of emotion, for I shed a tear for our late Commander. But we must move forward.”

“Are you certain you are serving your nation the best way you can? Are you sitting in the background hoping that those around you will carry you into this glory? Are you happy that you were not asked to make the choice that the Commander had to? In my Cordor, we all do our part. In my Cordor, those that serve would make the same choice as Commander Gawain did.”

“There are times we must stay our hand but there are times when a reserved hand is the wrong approach. Let Fate show us the wisdom of when to act and when to hold back. Nothing is ever won in history without bloodshed.”

“The time to act now. Join the forces of the State today.”

Katernin Bersk
Day 22, Month 10, Year 153
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THE EYE OPENS

The opening of 154 AR witnessed Katernin Bersk tightening her grip on the city with the disbanding of the Cordor City Guard and dismissal of its officers. The force was replaced by her personal bodyguard known as “The Eyes of the Chancellor” which were beholden only to her. Bersk further moved to evict citizens of the city felt to be ‘unproductive’ while working to weed out agents from other settlements, such as Mabel Dyndarack employed by Andunor. Those of the old guard that gave knee to the new regime were rewarded, as former guard Mather Allias was named Knight-Commander of Gloom Keep.

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[The Eyes of the Chancellor]

“As we embark on this new path of safety, security, and most importantly, Prosperity, there is much change on the horizon. In my first few months leading this great city, I have seen much that I would like to modify and to start, that is with the Cordorian Guard.”

“Today, I am dissolving the entity known as the Cordorian Guard.”

“The guard have served adequately for many years, but the focus is now on a different type of service and providing that service will be the Eyes of the Chancellor. The Eyes will be led by a man known as Ardent who has been in command of the Chancellors Guard for the past few months.”

“The Eyes will oversee general Cordorian law enforcement but will also be following up on leads that results in information gathered by the Ministry of Arcane Affairs as the results of the Lodestar observations.”

“I understand that change is difficult, but I have faith that you will realize this is a step forward for Cordor.”

“Note, any former members of the Cordorian Guard are welcome to approach Ardent for new order should they wish to continue their role; otherwise, the City thanks them for their service and wishes them the best in their future endeavors.”

Katernin Bersk
Day 25, Month 12, Year 153

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[From the Desk of the Chancellor: Absent Lease Holders]

“As I look around at several the leases of this city, I am ashamed by some of the names I see. Why? Because I have no idea who they are. I do make it a priority to get around the city at various times during the tenday, and I have not seen a number of these names in a while and sometimes, never.”

“Skkrag Ennigrrim”
“Hagudark”
“Lanah Leonars”
“Timothy”
“Hunter”
“Ashling Vale”
“Sean Avery Kane”
“Savol Corthala”
“Shayleth Shadowblood”
“Caldor”

“If your name is above, you have two options. 1. Release the property you own, or it will be done for you. 2. Prove to me or one of the other three Ministers that you will use the property in a useful manner that will contribute to this city.”

“Cordor has no time for people who merely wish to use Her and not give back. Cordor and its citizens are in a symbiotic relationship, not a parasitic one. Consider this your first and only warning.”

Katernin Bersk
Day 27, Month 1, Year 154

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[From the Desk of the Chancellor: Knight-Commander Mather Allias]

“Since arriving to this island a few years ago, Mather Allias has served with the Cordorian guard with exceptional skill, discipline, and honour fitting of a faithful of Helm. My Eye has often looked upon him and saw one who was serving as an extreme example of the best that our trained forces can produce.”

“Due to this, Sergeant Mather Allias of the Cordor guard has been given title and land by the Chancellor of Cordor. He will serve as Knight-Commander of the Western front of Cordor and be stationed within Gloom Keep. He will have a retinue made up of members of the Cordorian Guard and will be free to command as he sees fit under the Overview of the Minister of External Affairs.”

“His watch beings now.”

Katernin Bersk
Day 1, Month 3, Year 154
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THE LODESTAR ARRAY

The greatest apparatus of control for the Chancellor was the development and implementation of the “Lodestar Array”. A collection of magical devices placed around the city that would record and transmit their observations to the magi of the administration. A sort of remote, constant scrying that allowed the Chancellor and her subordinates to perceive all happenings within sight of the devices. Needless to say, such magics raised concern within the general populace of Cordor.

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[A New Era for Cordor: The Lodestar Observational Devices]

“Today, is a glorious day for all of Cordor. Today, the civil Magocracy has brought into operation that which I promised you from the beginning: the addition safety and security measures that this city has been craving. Thought the tireless efforts of the Arcane Ministry, we are finally able to deploy the Lodestar observational network in a joint Gondar and Savras operation.”

“Naturally, the exact methodology of how the network functions is considered to be a state secret, do know that it is operates under my Eye. While the process of observations is extremely taxing to me, this is the sacrifice that I am willing to make for the betterment of this entire city.”

“Finally, to the vile out there that walks our streets know that I will be watching. When you want to take what is not yours, we will be there. When you want to use violence and intimidation to get your way, we will be there. And should you think about damaging the network? Then you will be sentenced to death and/or exiled.”

“No longer will this city stand idly by.”

Katernin Bersk
Day 2, Month 3, Year 154
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A MAGOCRACY IS BORN

Chancellor Bersk, her positions secured, declared the City State of Cordor a Magocracy. A form of government where only those with an ability in magic can wield power. Under this new decree users of the arcane could apply for the social status of patrician which carried with it certain privileges above those of the common citizens.

Known individuals who received such social status:

Patrician: Wotan Woodberry
Patrician: Siobhan Gray
Patrician: Miranda Magna

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[Patrician-class: Expanded Rights]

“1: Patricians accused of wrong-doing have the inalienable right to a private trial with no civilians present. The High Arbiter, the Bailiff, the Scribe, (one) Eye and any members of the Cabinet who wish to view the proceedings.”

“These defined individuals are the only ones allowed to be present, in addition to the prosecutor, one individual designated as defense if required and the accuser.”

“Witnesses brought forward for either the defense or the prosecution, one way or the other, are not allowed in the courtroom. They must wait outside, in the lobby, until called for. Then depart afterwards.”

“Any and all punishments rendered against the patrician, if convicted of wrong-doing, must be kept private unless the matter concerns the wholeness and security of the Kingdom of Cordor, as defined by the High Arbiter or a representative thereof.”

“2: Patricians have the right to request security detachments if they feel it needed from the Eyes for short durations.”

“3: Patricians have the right to make accusations of wrong-doing, remaining anonymous to the defendant(s). This privacy is only guaranteed in patrician-vs-plebian situations.”

Signed: Vice-Chancellor
Ministry of Internal Affairs
Peram Flint

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[Patrician Writs]

“If you already qualify as a patrician by the standards defined the Societal Classes of the Magocracy letter posted by the Chancellor, this does not concern you. Though you must request a license if desired for physical proof.”

“Henceforth: any and all individuals who do not meet the typical criteria for the status of patrician as defined in this Magocracy and have not received it as a reward for excellence in the Magocracy.”

“May, if they feel their contributions to the city profound enough, request for the social-status of patrician from the Ministry of Internal Affairs. If granted, you will receive a writ. Do not lose it.”

Signed: Vice-Chancellor
Office of Internal Affairs
Peram Flint
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FAITH IN CORDOR

While Bersk worked on forging the military and city into a personalized Kingdom, her personal spiritual advisor operated upon the common citizens with public announcements and guidance to community leaders. It was not long before Savras was declared the State Religion, only aiding the woman’s influence upon the city.

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[The Path Ahead]

“Why do we choose? Do we choose because we are helpless? Because we need someone else to decide for us? No. We choose because we believe. Those who can choose, do it because they believe. All of them. All of us. For one reason or the other, we all believe in a plan. The plan.”

“Even if it’s impossible for everyone to See eye to eye with each other, we all believe that a certain plan will lead us to prosperity.”

“And it is common for ideas to often be lived not individually, but uniquely, to think that the plan we believe in, is, as I said, /the/ plan, the only one possible, the only one that is worthy of being followed.”

“But we must not be foolish. We all know what is happening in the city, we all know what is happening in the island. I’ve heard you, you who complain about the devices the Chancellor has recently installed in the city, and I understand. Seeing is not for all, and all are not meant to See, or even be Seen, but now is the time, Cordor.”

“Now is the time to put uniqueness aside, to understand that our plans are not the only ones and that there is a path ahead, a path that we can all See, and that we can all follow.”

“And I am not asking you to be mindless! No! I am asking for Clarity. I am asking for reason. Put your plans aside when they are not meant to be executed, but not to simply accept somebody else’s, to understand it.”

“Take your time, See how their logic works, and understand how their schemes are to happen. Don’t simply tremble in anger and burst out the first time you can’t see to accomplishing your objectives.”

“Wait. Listen. Think. Plan, again and again. Never give up on planning, but understand that you are not the only one who does it, and that there is no need to push your intentions on to everyone. There is a time for all of us. All we need is to be able to determine when. Be clever. See how your Plan fits in theirs. Understand the city as what it is, understand life as what it is: a complex puzzle that we all put together, collectively.”

“And in that process, adapt. Don’t be ill intentioned. Don’t look to just benefit from someone else’s plan and then impose yours when they fail. No!”

“Be clever. Realize that all our plans are meant to coexist, just as we coexist too. But, once more, don’t be foolish. Understand my words as a call for unity, but not for deviation. I am speaking to a city of good, to a city of prosperity, to a city of lights. Don’t twist my words and put them to foul uses, for I will not allow it.”

“Do not compere for what is not worth it. Lend your aid to those who you think have a righteous heart, to those who you trust in, but specially, to those who, even if you may disagree with, will show the city a path to success. Let us be unique not in our plans, but in our intent.”

“And now, Cordor, say yes! To respect, to understanding, to Clarity, to Seeing! Eyes open, Cordor! Now! Now more than ever.”

Day 28, Month 3, Year 154
Loretta Ashby

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[Faith of Cordor]

“In consideration to the direction we will be taking the city and thought toward the efficiency of our operations we will be considering Savras as the patron deity of Cordor.”

“With the beneficence and guidance of Savras we can guarantee a greater security for our people and a stronger vision moving forward.”

Katernin Bersk
Day 1, Month 4, Year 154

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[Chancellor Bersk - Priestess Ashby's Report]

“Since the very first time I spoke with her, Chancellor Katernin Bersk has been very honest about the rumors regarding the Banites' involvement in their election, spread mostly by a paladin of the Lord of Spells, Paige Mosbrooke. Miss Mosbrooke has been contacted, and she presented a very intricate series of events that she deemed to be evidence enough to condemn the Chancellor, though most of it are just theories and assumptions.”

“Trying to get a better understanding of these accusations, I spoke to Ministers Peram Flint, of Exterior Affairs, and Priscilla Plaskett, of Internal Affairs. Mister Flint is a cordial, patient halfling arcanist that disclosed quite a lot about Magistrati Mosbrooke, who leads an order called "The Azure Scroll", and held private conversations on the subject of executing wild magicians. She intends, or intended, to enforce the Magebond of the Azuthan Church in the Island. Mister Flint was once a part of Mosbrooke's faction but decided to leave them after events similar to the one I have mentioned. It is important to note that the Magistrati Mosbrooke is, according to Mister Flint, close to a pirate named ‘Drossaico’, who has been endorsed by the Banites.”

“Miss Plaskett, an Eldathan, seemed to be more concerned for the general well-being of the city, which is quite logical given her position. The, as far as I am aware, arcanist preaches for peace and love, asking the people to be ‘good’.”

“Both Ministers seem knowledgeable in their fields, and capable of following the Chancellor's plan. Their intentions are the right ones.”

“The third Minister, Dimitrios Hal-Nyxos, of Arcane Affairs, creator of the Lodestar Observational Devices, is yet to meet with me, but his work clearly speaks louder than any words. The system is magnificent, and the Chancellor's objective is very clear: safety for the people of Cordor. A dedicated report on the devices will be issued as soon as possible.”

“The City's Guard has been disbanded by the Chancellor, and the new Cordorian Navy has been tasked with law-enforcement. Valencia Cruz, an Amnian woman, is their Admiral and leader, seemingly capable and confident.”

“It is important to note that the King's consort (of Cordor), Jennifer Eldren, is a Banite, and that their Church's influence is considerable throughout the Island. The topic is quite sensitive and emotions are probably at an all-time high, but statements such as those made by the Magistrati Mosbrooke are merely an insult to the Chancellor's abilities. With time, and once the people of Cordor reach Clarity, the path ahead will be clear, and they will understand what the Chancellor is trying to accomplish, for her plan is not an easy one to execute, but a clever and necessary one.”

PRIESTESS,
Loretta Ashby
Day 22, Month 4, Year 154
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COMPLICATIONS

With such success, the appearance of complications was inevitable. True to form, the decision to ignore the guard’s guidance came back to haunt Bersk with controversy over the then Admiral Cruz. Surrounded by corruption the Admiral was dismissed, the scandal marking the first of many that soon followed.

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[New Admiral of the Cordorian Navy: Serephis Valkaim]

“The Magocracy of Cordor has selected a new Admiral to replace the disgraced Valencia Cruz. Serving as the Admiral of the Navy will be a man by the name of Serephis Valkaim who is a long-term Naval Officer and loyal to Cordor.”

“In addition to Cruz's abuse of power, verbal and physical assaults on Cordorian citizens, and general insubordination, she has also been lying to members of the Navy about pay when and how much. It is even possible some of the missing funds have even found their way into her pockets.”

“Admiral Valkaim will be given the original planned budget for the Navy to ensure the members get fair pay for work done, but he will not be filling the promises made by the snake-tongued Cruz of one million coin to each member who stood guard at the Banite debate since that was never promised. I am sure that every taxpayer realizes how absurd that would be.”

“Despite this unfortunate turn of events, you can be comforted that we have a good Cordorian back in charge of the city's naval forces.”

“Eye open.”

Katernin Bersk
Day 23, Month 5, Year 154

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[From the desk of the Chancellor: Status Update]

“The Lodestar Array”

“This network has been extremely successful at continued observation around the city. The extra work that the Arcane Ministry has provided has not only extended the range but also the strength of the focal point. The array has been instrumental in observation and targeting active crime scenes and allowing the Eyes to arrive on sites quicker than usual. Progression of these devices is ongoing as a high priority.”

“Reports on the success of this network will be publicly available in the upcoming days.”

“The Chancellor's Cabinet”

“Many people have read the response from Minister Plaskett. I have addressed this during the public forum a few tenday ago, but I shall again.”

“There are two key points here, the first being that it is important that your inner circle can toss out all ideas, good and bad, in order to come to the most optional conclusion. Just becomes someone mentions that they should jump off the cliff, does not mean it should happen, but it was certainly an option at the time.”

“The second is that I strongly feel that the optimal cabinet is one that does not have the same viewpoint on everything. This allows for a dialog of ideas to happen which is why the minister has not been removed from her position. Her views are just as important as any other that is present. She fills the role adequately and she will continue as is unless she should violate the Magocracy's law.”

“If I were truly what you are erroneously claiming me to be, then I would have had her removed, or worse. We are not censors.”

“Cordor’s Navy”

“This has been a difficult time at placing trust in the wrong people. As mentioned, at no point did Cordor promise to empty the entire coffers to pay the navy for one afternoon of guardwork, and certainly not to pay them to protect the Banelaw. My wish was to provide protection for the citizens and ensure that open rebellion against the Crown did not occur.”

“It destroys all sense of logic that I would make this kind of agreement. And that so many of the members of the Navy would believe such? This is just as unbelievable. Doubly so because Cordor did pay them for what was ACTUALLY agreed upon and not painted with the snaked-tongue of Cruz. As unfortunate as it is, the Navy is now dissolved. Discussions will be conducted on the way forward by the Minister of External Affairs.”

Katernin Bersk
Day 12, Month 6, Year 154
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EXECUTION

With the ever-tightening fist of Katernin Bersk over the city, agents from the criminal gang laired in the city’s sewers moved to put an end to her administration. The attempt on her life by assassins failed and only earned the mages ire. In one of the more controversial actions of her reign, the chancellor ordered the sealing and flooding of Cordor’s sewer system. Killing an untold number of gang members and rumored innocents alike.

The order for mass death without trial sparked a large backlash from the cities populace that accumulated into the government takeover of the Cordor Press in order to silence dissent.

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[Assassination Foiled]

“The lowest forms of life, leaches who live in the sewers of Cordor, never pay taxes or their citizenship fees, attempted an assassination on my life. Their plan was not successful. I do expect that more attempts will be made.”

“But I do not have any intent of allowing them to send this city into chaos.”

“Eye open.”

Katernin Bersk
Day 15, Month 6, Year 154

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[To the Sewer Rat Gang]

“This is addressed to the mage, or whomever is in charge of the Rat Gang,”

“The Chancellor of Cordor is requesting you cease and desist any actions against the city of Cordor. This includes, but is not limited to: sedation, assassination, creating chaos (of all forms), damaging the lodestar array, and attempts to seize power.”

“If you continue, Cordor will have to take more drastic approaches to shut down these attempts to sew chaos in our Lawful city.”

“Please take this into consideration as we have no wish to turn to these measures.”

“Eye open.”

Katernin Bersk
Day 15, Month 6, Year 154

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[Concerning the Paper]

“It is clear to me that the paper is being used as tools of sedition. All of the topic discussed were not researched in the slighted and only created to defame this Magocracy. Anyone willing to run the paper and give a neutral, non-biased view should come to me.”

“I had wished that the paper would remain useful for the city of Cordor, but with such terrible editing and fact check, I will be forced to close it as soon as I am able to notify those owning it.”

Katernin Bersk
Day 24, Month 6, Year 154

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[Victory in the battles against the Sewer Rat Gang]

“Today, was an excellent day for dealing with the terrorist group known as the Sewer Rat Gang. The short-term salutation was always hiring adventurer to venture down there and kill any number of them they could and who among us has not done that? But those were always temporary solutions.”

“Under the guidance of Sewermaster Vastano, the sewers were sealed and the flooded in order to deal with the rank and file of the gang members. Numerous concerns were raised about the farms and other areas; however, the sewers are designed to deal with this process (which is why it occurred so quickly) and the grey water was diverted into the runoff area as per normal procedures.”

“The Sewermaster reported that countless gang members have lost their lives and they will be cleaning it up in the meantime with the help of the Eyes. It is possible some other were caught as collateral damage, but one must wonder why they would choose to live in the sewers over the Almshouse. Logic dictates that it is due to their criminal nature, even if they were not in the gang proper.”

“And let us be honest, how many of us saw huddled masses down there when we made our trips? Vagrants and Lunatics, from what I recall. An unfortunate result, but the ending is that the good, tax paying citizens of Cordor have less to fear today. That said, the danger is not over. The few most senior members will still exist, but their efforts will now have to concentrate on the Magocracy proper rather than Cordor's more defenseless citizens.”

“Today, Cordor owes a debt of gratitude to Sewermaster Vastano and Minster Peram Flint, for both their quick action and stalwartness in the face of adversary from the loudest of the adventuring population who seem to have forgotten when they used to work for the writ master. I will personally see to the Sewermaster getting a few days off and hand him a tidy bonus of gold.”

“Cordor Prevails. Eye open.”

Katernin Bersk
Day 8, Month 7, Year 154
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RE-ELECTION

After a term of ironclad control through use of her personal enforcers ‘The Eyes’ and the magical surveillance system known as ‘The Lodestar Array’, Katernin Bersk faced her first re-election. A political campaign that saw her declare the ‘Harpers’ enemies of the state for attempts to interfere with the election and depose the Mage Chancellor.

It should be noted by this time the Bersk administration relied on heavy use of mercenary companies to supplement the ranks of ‘The Eyes’ to maintain peace within the city. Such contracts were awarded to Scarlet Son's and Whitemountain Trading.

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[Katernin Bersk: Why You Should Vote]

“You should vote because your vote is meaningful. This is how you help forge the path of the city. To note vote means you are apathetic which is an even worse position to take than supporting any other candidate. But why should you vote for me?”

“I am what you know. I am aware that not everyone sees eye to eye on all my efforts that I have made in the city (nor should every citizen agree with every action of their government) but the process to switch to this more efficient form of leadership has taken a bit of time to set up and it would be disruptive for someone to do it again.”

“One thing you do know is that I have the best interests of the city in mind. There has been no theft of funds from inside the Cabinet (nor will there be regardless of how the elections ends). There have been no creditable nor proven claims of corruption. I work towards what is best for the city. My two years of civil service have shown me what is best for Her, even if an individual may disagree.”

“Cordor is in a golden age of both security and prosperity under the lawful rule of the Magocracy. My wish is to continue with the processes I started. The adventurers, the voters, and the non-voters will continue to experience safety and protection under his Eye.”

“Cordor prevails. Eye open.”

Katernin Bersk
Day 19, Month 9, Year 154

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[Katernin Bersk: The Most Logical Choice]

“In one year in this city I have accomplished a lot of positive progress. All my previous election promises were put into action and we developed an unparalleled security platform which myself and the cabinet were able to operate to assess security threats in the city.”

“I am going to list a few of the highlights over the past year, starting with the obvious.”


“A) Lodestar Network”

“I think I can speak for everyone when I proclaim the Lodestar array a huge success. Not only has it helped to decrease crime in the city, my continued use has shown it to have precognitive abilities. It predicted both a pirate attack and more importantly, the elemental attack (including the locations). While these two incidents prove proof of concept, more work needs to fine tune the process to get the timing and the exact nature of the visions correct. Personally, I would consider it a shame not only on a personal research level, but also on Cordorian security if this work cannot be continued.”


“B) The Eyes of the Chancellor”

“One of the large promises from the previous election cycle was a reformation of the Cordor Guard. And to do that, I pulled people from my personal guard and turned them into a city-wide guard force that not only works to ensure general security in the city, but also to follow up on the various Lodestar reports that the network provides.”

“Currently, the Eyes are at sixteen members. Ongoing efforts will be into continued recruitment efforts as well as improving the general leadership structure for optimal performance.”


“C) Castle Gloom”

“Recently, we have assigned a Knight-Commander of the keep and plan on continued efforts to build up the western front of the Pax. I understand that the swamps are not the most ideal live nor attack through, but it does provide a potential land-based weakness and we should not waste a resource that has been paid for. Efforts will focus on assisting the Knight-Commander as a plan is developed.”

Katernin Bersk
Day 19, Month 9, Year 154

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[LAW: HARPERS ARE CONSIDERED ENEMIES OF THE STATE]

“Due to their illegitimate meddling in lawful Cordorian elections, the Harpers are her-by banned from this city. Any known member of the chaotic group is considered a persona non-grata and will very likely be killed on sight when entering this city.”

“The Magocracy does not accept those who sew discord and will do what it takes to ensure proper representation for all the citizens.”

Katernin Bersk
Day 21, Month 10, Year 154
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SECOND TERM

Winning re-election Katernin Bersk continued her authoritarian policies. Pressing her campaign against the ‘Harpers’ and any others attempting to weaken her Control. So notorious was Katernin Bersk

and her administration’s actions that the member states of the Axehold Accords, an alliance of surface settlements for mutual defense to which Cordor belonged, attempted to use the treaty against the Magocracy. This foreign pressure was aimed at curtailing the rigid control within the settlement and achieving change. It failed. In response Chancellor Bersk withdrew Cordor from the Axehold Accords and stepped-up recruitment of military forces. Cordor seemed destined for isolation and war.

----------------------------------------
[Another Year of Success]

“Thank you to the good citizens who have taken to the polls and voted to continue the path of strong rulership in Cordor. Aside from the anti-Harper Mandate already announced, there are a few changes moving into the next year:”

“1) After a year of service to the city of Cordor, Minister Plasket will be stepping down from the role of Minister of Internal Affairs. Minster Flint will be transitioning over to her old role for the next year.”

“2) Observer Alexandra Kerras will then transition over to the role of Minister of External Affairs. I am sure that any whom have met her have been dazzled by the woman and thus, she makes a natural choice to converse with the leadership of other settlements.”

“3) Given the status of the temple in the city and the number of citizens who support her, The Red Knight has been added as an official faith of the city.”

“More updates will follow in the coming tendays.”

“Cordor Prevails. Eye open.”

Katernin Bersk
Day 22, Month 10, Year 154

----------------------------------------

[Inquisition called on the chaotic forces of the Harpers]

“Let it be known that after the banning of Harpers within the city, it was felt that it was only a half measure. To allow these forces to only be caught when circumstances make it so it not an active enough role to root out these chaotic forces.”

“To that end, the High Inquisitor Tyros Iaret has been called upon to take up the task of finding these forces. In addition, he will take the new position of High Arbiter of Cordor, being directly in charge of the maters of law and judgement in the city. We are always thankful when someone steps forward to do their part for civil service and I believe there is no better on the island to fill this role.”

“Given the support that the Minmir Congregation has offered to support these efforts, and the number of those in the city who worship Him, Bane will take a position as an official faith of the city along with Savras and the Red Knight.”

“Finally, after a year of civil service, Peram Flint will take the role of Vice Chancellor, which is in addition to his current role. I can think of no other better suited for the role and look forward to another year of efficiency within the city.”

Katernin Bersk
Hour 3, Day 5, Month 11, Year 154

----------------------------------------

[ANNOUNCEMENT: Cordor Vacates from the Axehold Accords]

“As of this moment, Cordor is formally withdrawing from the Axehold Accords. While the time the Accords were signed was an extremely tense period on the surface, that is no longer the case. Cordor no longer see the uses to remain in such a defensive agreement and thus, it is in our best interest to remove ourselves from any formal ties.”

“The Dominion was making extreme demands of Cordor and they were using the threat of our removal as leverage against us. In my opinion, that is rather abhorrent behavior and not the sort of thing that I wish held over our heads by those we considered allies. Cordor does NOT respond to blackmail by backing down. No, we stand stronger. We stand taller. And we stand up for Her. I have always stated I wished Cordor to take the strongest position on the island and capitulating to those demands would only weaken us. No longer.”

“Despite leaving the Accords, Cordor will still stand with anyone who requires it to fend back the forces of Andunor. Those vile underdweller forces cannot stand against the combined might of the surface working together and no formal signed agreement is required for that to happen.”

“Cordor, and the surface, prevails. Eye open.”

Katernin Bersk
Day 27, Month 4, Year 155

----------------------------------------

[In honor of an old member of our community]

“There are many in Cordor who come and go over the years and many of them are worth special praise who do not receive it.”

“In light of this individual's service, I bestow an honor of recognition to him.”

“Galverson the watch dog, who is now too old to serve Cordor. You can find him lazing around in the frontier, living off scraps from the market.”

“He will forever now be remembered as Cordor's official 'good boy'.”

“Please leave him small scraps of healthy food as tribute.”

Signed: Vice-Chancellor
Peram Flint
Day 28, Month 5, Year 155

----------------------------------------

[Join the Eyes of the Chancellor and serve Cordor!]

“By joining the Eyes of the Chancellor, you will become part of something greater than yourself. The first and last line of defense against all the evils and troubles that plague our people.”

“Benefits: A sign on bonus to be paid (30,000 gold) at the end of a three-month initial contract, rewarded if you serve sincerely and in the spirit of good faith to Cordor.”

“At the end of this initial contract, you may leave the Eyes or renew your contract for an indefinite period. There is no renewal bonus, but you will receive higher pay.”

“Benefits: You will receive training, access to equipment, get directly involved in everything happening in Cordor and develop your social contacts with room for promotions and advancement.”

“Benefits: You will be made Patrician.”

“Benefits: You will automatically receive a license to carry a gonne and carry explosives for self-defense purposes by virtue of being a member.”

“Crassus Holt”
“Ayra Greencloak”
“Peram Flint”

Contact one of these individuals to get signed on TODAY!
Day 16, Month 6, Year 155

----------------------------------------

[Cordor: Hiring Mercenaries!]

“The Magocracy of Cordor is interested in hiring (GROUPS) of mercenaries. To be eligible, your operation must have at least four regular members.”

“Your duties will include: assisting the Eyes with peacekeeping operations if requested, feeding intelligence to Cordor if news is discovered, acting as a reinforcing, bulking, support and scouting force for Cordor's military.”

“Benefits: non-exclusivity. You may pursue contracts outside of Cordor so long as you remain faithful to Cordor's contract and never against Her interests.”

“Benefits: A sign on bonus for your organization ranging between one hundred thousand gold to one million and five hundred thousand depending on strength, discipline and numbers.”

“Benefits: Your members will automatically be made eligible for Patrician and receive the automatic right to carry a gonne and explosives within Cordor.”

“Benefits: Your group, if it maintains activity within Cordor, will receive regular payments of odd lump sums between fifty thousand to three hundred thousand gold. Special financial dispensation will be granted after every armed conflict on behalf of Cordor your group participates in.”

“Benefits: You will gain access to the Cordorian supply network. Wand makers, scroll scribers, blacksmiths, alchemists, carpenters and so forth, while also joining this growing collective to help support other assets.”

“Benefits: You will be brought up to speed on all political affairs and have a foot in the door for a lot of interesting things happening around the Isle.”

“The duration of the contract will last until the individuals leading this administration are voted out of office and can no longer guarantee work or you decide to quit. Taking advantage of Cordor's generosity will be punished.”

Signed: Vice-Chancellor
Peram Flint
Day 12, Month 8, Year 155
----------------------------------------


A LEADER FALLS

After governing Cordor for nearly two terms Katernin Bersk, Mage Chancellor of Cordor, fell to an assassin’s blade. Immediately upon her death the now acting Chancellor Peram Flint moved quickly to dissolve the majority of the late leader’s accomplishments.

The era of Cordor’s Magocracy was over.

---------------------------------------
[A Great Tragedy]

“Katernin Bersk has been assassinated. The individual(s) responsible for this will pay. This administration is operating under the assumption that Lord Arcleone is responsible for the assassination after receiving threats from him.”

“I'm deeply saddened. I've never respected a leader so much in my life. Despite this, she was not perfect. There were mistakes made and wrongs that need to be righted.”

“As I assume her role, I announce now that have put my name forward in the next election. There will be no changes to the current Cabinet, but I will be finding a Vice-Chancellor soon.”

“The Lodestar Network will be dismantled. Cordorian citizens no longer have to worry about their leaders spying in on them.”

“The Patrician and Plebian class system has been dismantled. All citizens are now equal under Cordorian law.”

“Cordor will continue to refer to itself as a Magocracy, but we will do so in the sincere spirit of developing our potential as a respected city of magical institutions.”

Signed: Peram Flint
Chancellor of Cordor
Day 13, Month 8, Year 155

----------------------------------------

[Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Disbanded]

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is an institution that I previously served as the head of for the first year of this the Katernin administration.”

“It is awkward and ineffective. It overlaps with the authority of the Eyes and the authority of the Interior Ministry. It is pointless and useless.”

“I have much respect for the former minister Alexandra Kerras and will be investigating other ways for her to be useful to Cordor, but the Minister of Foreign Affairs is not her path.”

“Her departure from the Cabinet saddens me and I wish there were more responsibilities for us that her presence would be required. I will be investigating alternative positions for her.”

“I am pragmatic and do not believe in hiring people pointlessly, however. Until such a time comes, Alexandra Kerras (Vice-Chancellor's Assistant) has been asked to resign from her position and she has agreed.”

“We thank her for her service. In the next tenday or so I will be reevaluating and redefining the responsibilities of each and every division under the Cabinet.”

“There are also other announcements. Keep an eye on this board.”

Day 23, Month 8, Year 155
Peram Flint
----------------------------------------


EPILOGUE

With the next election cycle Peram Flint lost control of Cordor and the new chancellor completed the dismantling of the Magocracy. The Eyes of the Chancellor were disbanded and the City Guard restored. All Mercenary contracts voided and the Lodestar Network devices destroyed. The sorcery behind the unique magical devices lost with chancellor’s death. Cordor rejoined the Axehold Accords and the ‘status quo’ returned to the surface of Arelith.

The ultimate Fate of those that served Katernin Bersk remains unknown, but with her loss many are believed to have likely faded quietly into History.

The great experiment and vision of Katernin Bersk was ended, as most ambitions are, to another’s blade.


~FIN~
Current PC - Adelyn Belle'rose
Emilia Sabine von Brandt - Killed with Daughter Elizabeth
Michaela Quinn - Killed by fallen Paladin
Annalisa Bradford - Sacrificed to Dark Gods
Vaen Xyvil'kor - Killed in The Xyvil'kor War

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Re: Soulhaven School

Post by Edens_Fall » Tue Apr 20, 2021 2:49 pm

Arelith History
Gertrude Gawain and The Beast

153 AR

------------------------------

Author: “The Vampire” Adelyn Belle’rose
Editor: Lilian Williams
Rozen Chalice Publishing, a division of East Arelith Trading
First Edition: 167 AR, Revised: 168 AR

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever.

------------------------------
<c÷ >“This book is dedicated to Ezri Tinfoot. A Servant, a Hin, and an adopted Gnoll with the emotional disposition of a sweetberry bush. Never change and never stop the Awoo’s.”</c>
------------------------------


The Beast, a shadow creature of incredible power, was released from the Arcane Towers Spellhold prison by the Shadowmage Xavier and traitor Warden Gordon. The settlements of Arelith raced to secure the Orbs of Sealing that were said to be the only magical items capable of trapping the creature as the agents of Shar tried to interfere. The incident spanned the course of months and came to a conclusion with the collapse of Brogdenstein.

When word arrived of the dwarf cities fall to shadows members of the Axehold Accords; Cordor, Bendir, Darrowdeep, Guldorand, and Heartwood Grove mobilized to retake the city. With the army’s arrival powder kegs were used to blast a way into the dwarven stronghold. While this was taking place word arrived of shadows attacking the Hin village of Bendir Dale. Forces were redirected to aid the Dales in this new threat and with the assistance of a device known as the “Shadow Guard Beacon” the shade portals were closed. Bendir was safe and forces were maneuvered back to Brogdenstein.

It was learned surviving dwarven defenders had managed to regroup and trap The Beast within the Hall of Legends located within their mountain fortress. Runners were dispatched to retrieve an Orb of Sealing, of which two were located prior, and it was discovered the Orb located by Bendir forces had been spirited away by Sharran agents. The second Orb under the care of Cordor’s Commander Gertrude Gawain was still safeguarded and transported to the dwarf city.

The combined powers of the Axehold Accords stormed the Hall of Legends to assault The Beast. In her final moment of glory Commander Gertrude Gawain hurled herself bodily upon the monster, Orb in hand, and stuck it to its hide shouting a last heroic war-cry. Upon contact the Beast was sealed within the Orb along with Gertrude Gawain.

The Orb of Sealing was then escorted overland to the Arcane Tower Apex through hordes of trailing shadow creatures. In a final desperate bid to save The Beast, Shadowmage Xavier ambushed the escorting forces and lost his life in the following skirmish.

Attempts were made to separate Commander Gawain from the Beast, all of which failed. The decision was made to then transfer both into Spellhold prison, thus trapping each for all time.

In the aftermath Brogdenstein was heavily damage but not beyond repair, the Shadowmage Xavier was dead, traitor Warden Gordon escaped to a Fate unknown, The Beast returned to its prison, and Cordor’s Commander Gertrude Gawain had given her life to save the land.

~FIN~
Current PC - Adelyn Belle'rose
Emilia Sabine von Brandt - Killed with Daughter Elizabeth
Michaela Quinn - Killed by fallen Paladin
Annalisa Bradford - Sacrificed to Dark Gods
Vaen Xyvil'kor - Killed in The Xyvil'kor War

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Re: Soulhaven School

Post by Edens_Fall » Tue Apr 20, 2021 2:52 pm

Arelith History
The Black Witch

~8 AR to ~19 AR

------------------------------

Author: “The Vampire” Adelyn Belle’rose
Editor: Lilian Williams
Rozen Chalice Publishing, a division of East Arelith Trading
Second Edition: 171 AR

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever.

------------------------------
<c÷ >“This book is dedicated to Ain Ameleen. For reminding me that the treachery of emotion is often hidden behind a pleasant smile and humorous remarks.”</c>
------------------------------


PROLOGUE: ~0 TO ~9 AR

The Surface-Drow War saw the Arcane Tower magically moved to within the boundaries of Cordor by the Archmages of the First Conclave. With the tower’s long shadow cast over the city, its influence and wealth grew. However, within a short time the conclave dissolved as its members departed save for one. The gnome Archmage Zedeln and his apprentice Allanna, a Cordorian politician, were left the towers sole leaders.


DARKNESS FALLS: ~10 to ~19 AR

Now a councilwoman, Allanna assumed the mantel of Archmage from her former instructor Zedeln within the Arcane Tower after his departure. Access to the Tower and its massive library was quickly restricted and only possible under the watchful eye of the Archmage. With a constricting grip on the isle’s magical knowledge the councilwoman used her secretly formed cabal within the Cordor government, The Silent Hand, to cement her authority. Secured in her position, Allanna moved quickly to corrupt the new members of the Arcane Tower as the self-proclaimed “Black Witch”. Guiding easily molded minds into the embrace of the Dark Goddess Shar and her Shadow Weave.

This state of affairs continued for many years until her sorceress spirit, crippled by age or power, failed to judge many delicate political situations both within the Tower and Cordor’s council. Numerous mistakes cascaded into a slow, but steady, downfall ending her social standing within Arelith. Soon the terms murder and corruption were synonymous with the name Allanna.


FIRST SHARRAN WAR: ~10 to ~19 AR

Cordorians eventually overcame the rule of the Silent Hand, which had corrupted the cities government for nearly a decade, to wage a bloody conflict against The Black Witch and her arcanist supporters. Battle raged in the very streets of Cordor in what would later be coined the First Sharran War. This confrontation lasted for several weeks until partisans lead by Aristotlus, Sway Sand, and Kaeshan Se’Lhane drove the agents of shadow back into the Arcane Tower. The Black Witch was apprehended and her Sharran adherents defeated in a final clash upon the Tower’s upper floor.


EPILOGUE

The former councilwoman, Leader of the Silent Hand, Archmage of the Arcane Tower, and “Black Witch” of Shar was placed on trial for her crimes. Found guilty, she was beheaded in full view of Cordor’s citizens in a public execution.

The goddess Shar, ignoring desperate pleas, stripped Allanna of her spellcasting abilities as a final reward for her failure.

While it was never proven in court, many records later found in the Arcane Tower suggest the former Archmage Zedeln was responsible for Allanna’s knowledge of the Shadow Weave. The gnomes ultimate fate remains unknown.


~FIN~
Current PC - Adelyn Belle'rose
Emilia Sabine von Brandt - Killed with Daughter Elizabeth
Michaela Quinn - Killed by fallen Paladin
Annalisa Bradford - Sacrificed to Dark Gods
Vaen Xyvil'kor - Killed in The Xyvil'kor War

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Re: Soulhaven School

Post by Edens_Fall » Tue Apr 20, 2021 2:59 pm

Arelith History
The Second Dominion

117 AR to ~123 AR

----------------------------------------

Author: “The Vampire” Adelyn Belle’rose
Editor: Lilian Williams
Rozen Chalice Publishing, a division of East Arelith Trading
Second Edition: 169 AR

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever.

----------------------------------------
<c÷ >“This book is dedicated to Misa Aers, the spider in human form. Never stop spinning your web.”</c>
----------------------------------------


PROLOGUE

The early 100’s AR saw relations between the city state of Cordor and the Duchy of Sencliff, whom was a close collaborator with the Reformed Church of Bane located in Minmir, strained. This tension accumulated when Cordor banished all the inhabitants of Sencliff from the city and its lands. This act was met with public outcry as diplomacy between the two continued to collapse.

----------------------------------------
[In Response to the Exile of Sencliff]

“Good day, Cordor. I am Count Rosenkranz III, Chaplain of the Reformed Church of Bane (Minmir Sect), and I serve my suzerain lord, Duchess Ann I of Sencliff of the House Thrule. I am writing here today on behalf of the Duchess, to offer our reply to your challenge.”

“You think you can destroy us, hold us at bay like a guttering candle against the dark. You think you can banish us, but even as you read these words it is evident that our hands will not be bound by petty shackles. You hide behind laws, walls, and words so weak that their replacement is an inevitability. Every citizen and friend of Cordor who is hurt, afraid, or dead as a result of our responses is a direct challenge to the viability of your rule.”

“When the majority of our members cannot roam freely, you will claim victory, when all you have done is glimpsed the End from a window and closed the curtains. You claim to be the “good of the isle”, united and together. As if you cast a light to rival that at Benwick. You need not follow the metaphor long to realize that the brightest light often casts the darkest shadow. Sencliff in not a guild of thieves to be outlawed, anarchists to be killed, or rebels to be suppressed. Sencliff is not the sum of its people or its leaders.”

“Sencliff is an idea.”

“Sencliff is a parallel society to your own fading, diseased on; we will peel back the scabrous bandages barely concealing your wounds, and let them fester and rot for the world to see. Your self-righteous, hypocritical persecution of warlocks, necromancers, the outcasts, those who never fit in, while tolerating worse individuals that are useful to you is a shameful display of your lack of conviction.”

“If you live to expose the truth of this island and its self-proclaimed custodians and guardians, then consider this a call to arms. We invite those who see the rotten core behind the gleaming façade to join us in tearing it down and building something true, something great, and something better upon the ashes.”

“Orbis Non Svfficit”
------------------------------

With the death of Impreceptor Pelaguis of the House of Castillian, Duke of Minmir, in 112 AR the Reformed Church of Bane’s First Chaplain Rosenkranz III of the House of Ezekiel rose into the position as secular leader. This promotion allowed the man to focus on his personal ambitions by strengthening the ties between the Reformed Church of Bane and The Duchy of Sencliff.


WAR

In 115 AR war was declared when a former Wharftown official, on the eve of being ousted in election by challenger Roxite, was believed to have fled to Guldorand with the town’s treasury. With the start of hostilities between the two settlements alliances were called upon and the Duchy of Sencliff responded by declaring war on Guldorand.

----------------------------------------
[Reformed Church of Bane’s Response to Sencliff’s Declaration of War]

“Dear Seneschal Asen:”

“I have resolved to instruct the Courtiers of my Household to notify the Incumbent of Guldorand Government of the beginning of a state of war between the Duchy of Sencliff and Guldorand. I command you, therefore, to publish the enclosed manifesto throughout the archipelago.”

“TO MY PEOPLES! It was my fervent wish to consecrate the years which, by the omniscience of the Ever tyrant, still remain to me, to the works of enforced peace and to protect His peoples from heavy sacrifices and burdens of war. Providence, in her wisdom, has otherwise decreed. The intrigues of a traitorous apostate compel me, in the defense of the honor of Wharftown and her fledging stability, for the protection of its dignity and its position as a power, for the security of its possessions, to grasp the sword after mere minutes of peace.”

“A halt must be called to these intolerable proceedings and an end must be put to the incessant provocations of Perfidious Guldorand. Thus I bid the varied and vexatious forces arrayed at my command to arm and grid yourselves, for a just, defensive war must be waged that the survival of Wharftown, a town for which I, in my paternal affection, extend the fullest of confidence in assuring victory.”

<>The tract is sealed with wax, the seal depicting a stylized letter ‘R’ within an archducal coronet.<>

ROSENKRANZ
Manu propria
Wharftown, Flamerule 26 115 AR
----------------------------------------

With Wharftown’s new allies fielding fresh forces, Guldorand called upon the Cordorian Alliance of Myon, Cordor, and Brogendenstein for aid. In short order the land was engulfed in another island wide conflict. A demand was made by Cordor for Wharftown’s surrender.

----------------------------------------
[Cordor Terms for Peace]

"The Unconditional surrender of Wharftown to Cordor
Wharftown must become a vassal of Cordor.
The Zhentarim leadership of Wharftown must submit themselves to arrest to be tried for their crimes.
Reparation paid to Guldorand for damages done.
Wharftown has one month to deliver their acceptance of these terms if peace is desired."

Adalbrandt
11 of the 8th, 115 AR
----------------------------------------

The terms for capitulation were refused and War rolled over the isle of Arelith for the next two years. During this time the Reformed Church of Bane made the below declaration.

----------------------------------------
[What is Wharftown Worth?]


“5,454,110 gold sovereigns. As of the date of writing, that is the worth of Wharftown, incorporating her bullion, her buildings, her stockpiles, her agglomerated wealth and furnishings, and her citizens in general. This year, a war is being waged which has been ongoing for over a year by now, between the free state of Wharftown and her ally, the Duchy of Sencliff, versus Guldorand and her allies, Cordor, Brogendenstein, and Myon.”

“If gold alone could cease this war, the many banks of Arelith would have had their holds plundered nine fold to see it come to a rapid close. As it stands, as of the present date, neither side holds the key to victory. No end is in sight. The banks remain safe.”

“War was declared when a former Wharftown official, on the eve of her being ousted, was believed to have fled to Guldorand with the town’s treasury. The fact that she did not do so was not verified by Guldorand for many months, and war was already in full swing. It is evident that the casus belli (cause for war) is an irrelevancy, now. Both sides – the Wharftown-Sencliff Dominion, and the Cordorian Alliance – remain locked in bitter conflict. With the point of the war null and void, for what do they fight?”

“The right to exist.”

“‘Nonsense’, the cry returns, ‘you fight for territory! You fight for greed, for the fun of it! We know well the deeds of Sencliff and those that willing associate with her!’. It is true that we have attained a certain reputation that I cannot deny. And yet I think, I feel. I am a rational human being, and not a monster-made-flesh. What mortal truly wishes unceasing war without end? Only the anarchist, the nihilist, and the renouncer would seek such, and though we salt the earth, we do so to build foundations anew. The arrayed deities worshiped in or castle are those that seek civilization, purpose, and the rule of law.”

“I will not insult Cordor by claiming they are bloodthirsty warmongers, nor the intelligence of the reader by stooping so low. They, too, seek the triumph of their own civilization, of their own purpose, and of their own rule of law. This is, simply put, the sticking point. Two vastly opposing ideologies are here arrayed against one another. A simple conflict over a disappearing pile of gold has turned into a war of ideas, with a death toll surpassing many wars in living memory. It is a sad fact that the honored dead of both sides were ill-informed of the why, truly, they were fighting.”

“The means by which Cordor rules are of no concern to Wharftown, but vice-versa is so. Cordor trembles whenever power transfers to anyone not beholden to that southern hegemony, or at least isn’t harmless enough to not be worth bothering with. The moment any with vision – and I speak not aggrandizing of one’s own side, but factually; that is to say any Mayor possessed of vision or drive of purpose beyond ‘the Waymen are a nice idea this week’ – takes power in Wharftown, Cordor stirs. Cordor is unhappy. She snaps at the heels of Wharftown. Only this time, Wharftown declared war on an ally of Cordor first. We have already established that the war was just, based on the facts at the time. It was not until Guldorand had called her allies to arms that the fact the money was never in Guldorand, was discovered. By then, it was too late.”

“Wharftown has been unfairly painted as an aggressor, and a malevolent neighbor, too close to Cordor for comfort. Zhents run the place, they cry (the Banites of Arelith reject the Zhentilar Communion), Sencliff controls it (Roxite, not a member of that Castle, is adamant the town be independent, sovereign state without religious interference). What other HARD FACTUAL problems can be produced? The townsfolk are treated fairly. The laws are simple, and common-sense. The only problem that can be brought up is with the personal leadership of the town, and with the overall ideology and philosophies followed by those in power.”

“Conversely, Cordor’s actions under the reprehensible Administrator Provine, in addition to a self-professed desire to see Wharftown come into the Pax Cordoria to ensure the Mayor is favorable to Cordor, is indicative of a disturbing attitude. Cordorian hegemony, buoyed by their alliances with the largely inactive states of Brogendenstein and Myon, and with the recently transferred Guldorand leadership to those rejected from Cordor, is enforced by her foreign policy and the sword. It is evident, now, that the Amnians are perfectly willing to lend themselves to Cordor in this War. The ‘heir’ business being little but a cover-up.”

“This conflict is centered around the self-declared ‘right’ of Cordor to administrate Arelith entire!”

“Fortifications springing up at the present borders (and beyond) operate under false names. Docks are built by the Amnians for Guldorand, and so Guldorand is entirely indebted to Cordor and her own puppeteer, Amn.”

“These are facts. Hard facts that cannot be denied.”

“You may not like us. You may despise us for who we are, for who we worship, for what we do. But understand this: we are the only thing standing between the Arelith of today, and an island entirely under the banner of Cordor.”

“What is Wharftown worth?”

“Physically, nothing. Mere coin. Mere stone. Mere flesh, blood.”

“And yet? Everything.”
Rosenkranz Ezekiel
Wharftown, 8th Flamerule, 116 AR
----------------------------------------


OPPORTUNITY

In 117 AR elections within Wharftown were called after current Mayor Roxite’s departure. Sensing opportunity Impreceptor Rosenkranz quickly stepped in to fill the void by declaring himself the next Mayor by degree.

----------------------------------------
[Rosenkranz Declaration of Running for Mayor of Wharftown]

“Elections have been called in Wharftown. Do not be deceived, however, by the illusions of oligarchic democracy from the south. Warftown will have the glory of becoming the newest province in my demesne, and will continue to enjoy the autonomy it has thus far.”

“Likely more, in fact, with the departure of Roxite and the retirement of Asvokar. My people have fought and bled to defend your freedom from the southern hegemon, to ward off the predatory Provine and his attack dogs.”

“Thus, I declare that I will be installed as the Lord-Mayor of Wharftown by the end of this pretend at being a republic. Any who think to stand against me with support of “the people” (certain stringed instrumentalist, you are welcome) will find themselves executed without regard for sanctuary, jurisdiction, or peace processes.”

SAECULA SAECULORUM

<>The tract is sealed with wax, the seal depicting a stylized letter ‘R’ within an archducal coronet.<>

ROSENKRANZ
Manu propria
7 – 27-117 AR
----------------------------------------


THE SECOND DOMININION

Winning the election through violence and intimidation the new Lord-Mayor of Wharftown consolidated his power base and countered the Cordorian Alliance by declaring the formation of confederation called “The Second Dominion”.

----------------------------------------
[Declaration of a Dominion]

“Citizens & beings of all lands from across these islands,”

“This day marks a turning point, one where war will be put behind us, and we can press on with the enforcement of law, order, and prosperity.”

“Therefore I declare THE SECOND DOMINION of NORTHERN ARELITH, incorporating at this time the FREE PORT of WHARFTOWN, the EMIRATE of SIBAYAD, the ARCHDUCHY of MINMIR, and the DUCHY of SENCLIFF under one NATION-STATE, and one SOVEREIGN, HIS GRACE ROSENKRANZ III.”

“Each province of The Dominion will be granted a high level of autonomy, with a DIET comprised of Burgermeister Marya Althschuler (Wharftown), Emir Penerith Silaya (Sibayad), and Duchess Ann I of House Thrule (Sencliff) ruling over His provinces, and will be convened on a regular basis to meet to discuss issues of the day.”

“Any self-governing territories or settlements who wish to join our confederation is invited to contact His Grace or His Court.”

SAECULA SAECULORUM

<>The tract is sealed with wax, the seal depicting a stylized letter ‘R’ within an archducal coronet.<>

ROSENKRANZ
Manu propria
Wharftown, 1 Anno Imperii / Eleint 117 AR (Day 12 Month 9 117 AR)
----------------------------------------

Rosenkranz enacted several policies, one of which was the ‘Anno Imperii” an attempt to restructure history and dictate the configuration of its retelling by phasing in a new dating system. It did not persist. Other notable actions taken by Rosenkranz was to vassalize the Duchy of Sencliff to Wharftown, while deescalating and eventually ending the war that had waged for the better part of three years by this point. His newfound rule was not without issues however.

The new Sovereign dispatched an armed expedition to Andunor in 117 AR to assist allies against the Cult of Tiamat whose figurehead, Achuakiejir Stormwind, was Tyrant of the Sharps District. Conflict began when the blue wyrm Zeshyrr’kalik’straza, a dragon in human form and member of the cult, murdered a legionnaire of the Dominion. In response Rosenkranz led his military from the surface to Andunor, killing those encountered along the way, until reaching the city’s center. There within the Hub of Andunor, the High Priest Tyrael of the Cult of Tiamat was found and crucified. The nails driven in by a young warrior recently arrived to the isle by the name of Sydney Harrow. The display was left as an example, before the Dominion forces withdrew.

Rosenkranz also had Sir Rannos hanged outside the walls of Wharftown before another election was called in Wharftown the following year to which he replied in public postings.

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[Day of Dissent]

“Citizens & beings of Wharftown, the day of dissent has once again cast a black sun across our lands. Do not be deceived by this shadow of ‘elections’, my people. Have you not prospered under my rule? Has peace not been arrived at, with Wharftown in a far stronger position than she has been in a decade or more?”

“Some may come crawling out of the woodwork, prophets of doom, anarchists, the spineless agents of foreign powers – foreign powers who would bombard you with artillery in their own name. You remember what happened, and need only consult the cenotaph to see what chaos brings to town.”

“As last year, the following edict is in effect: anyone who dares stand against my rightful rule, who would challenge me for this town which I have defended and whose people I dearly love and cherish as I would my own household; any such being who ‘stands’ for ‘election’ in that peculiar, Cordorian fashion, shall find themselves executed without regard for sanctuary, jurisdiction, or peace treaties.”

SAECULA SAECULORUM

<>The tract is sealed with wax, the seal depicting a stylized letter ‘R’ within an archducal coronet.<>

ROSENKRANZ
Manu propria
Wharftown, 2 Anno Imperii (118 AR)

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[Day of Dissent II: Events Going Forward]

“Dissent Month has concluded with the status quo being upheld and utterly unchallenged, giving me a supreme mandate to work from. The IMPERIAL DIET will be convened to discuss matters of state, thus do I call Burgermeister Marya Althschuler (Wharftown) and Duchess Ann I of House Thrule (Sencliff) to meet with me in WHARFTOWN in one week’s time, to counsel me on affairs of the day and advise me accordingly. Topics to be discussed include:”

- The vacant Emirate of Sibayad
- Methods of raising revenue
- Queries/requests from the public
- And anything else the estates of the realm, and I, deem worthy.

“ALL are WELCOME to attend, but priority for speech will be given to known citizens of The Dominion, then foreign diplomats and leadership, the unknowns.”

“This shall also be named a FEAST DAY, the FEAST OF PERPETUITY, celebrating the start of the THIRD YEAR of my reign and signing of PEACE, to include wine, boar, and merriment.”

SAECULA SAECULORUM

<>The tract is sealed with wax, the seal depicting a stylized letter ‘R’ within an archducal coronet.<>

ROSENKRANZ
Manu propria
Wharftown, The Lighthouse
2 Anno Imperii (118 AR)
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Winning re-election, a final peace was signed. The Wharftown & Guldorand War finally came in an end with the below agreement.

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[Wharftown & Guldorand Peace Talks]

*Attending Delegates*

Cordor:
Councilor Twiggy Gallowmere
Former Councilor Rin (Standing in for Councilor Adalbrandt)

Guldorand:
Lady Protector Storm Harthglen Teu’aerron
Mayor Aspirant Rannos Susidian

Myon:
Ophelia
Councilor Maeralya

Sencliff:
Duchess Ann of House Thrule, on behalf of the Province of Sencliff. Commander of the Waymen, Grand Marshall of the Dominion.

Seneschal Roland Asen of Castle Sencliff, personal aide to His Grace and Emissary Sinister to Andunor

Wharftown:
His Grace, Rosenkranz Ezekiel, Lord over the Free Port of Wharftown, Vassal-Liege of the Duchy of Sencliff, Protector of Sibayad, Count of the Unterwald, Voice of the inheritor and Defender of the Faith. Heir Apparent to The Seat of Minmir and Sovereign over The Dominion

Marya Althschuler

Marsland, scribe and assistant to Althschuler

*Summary*

“All representatives arrived at the Myart Shrine, in addition to representatives from Sencliff. Adalbrandt objected on the basis that Sencliff was not originally included. Additional delegates from Myon arrived. Adalbrandt departed when Sencliff delegates declined to leave.”

“Ezekiel proposed terms, which were amended by Myon to exclude Drow on Myon lands from the peace. Myon requested Clarity on the terms, which was provided by delegates from Guldorand, Sencliff, and Wharftown. Agreement was taken by show of hands, and verified by the scribe.”

“Wharftown and Guldorand are to immediately cease hostilities. A grace period of one year is to follow, and extend to all allies and interests of both settlements. This is to include Cordor, Guldorand, Myon, Sencliff, and Wharftown. Cessations includes electoral interference by these settlements and their allies. As requested by Myon, Drow caught within Myon’s borders are not subject to this peace.”

In Agreement:
Cordor: Gallowmere, Rin
Guldorand: Teu’aerron, Susidian
Myon: Maeralya, Ophelia
Sencliff: Thrule
Wharftown: Ezekiel, Althschuler

Dissenting:
Sencliff: Asen

Abstaining:
Cordor: Adalbrandt

All delegates left in peace.
----------------------------------------


EPILOGUE

In the period after the war, approximately 123 AR, Rosenkranz dissolved the Second Dominion and left the region with the Damkianna Azuilah Misotho of Sibayad. It is speculated ‘The Second Dominion’ was a foundational interest, a testbed, for a larger project concerning the reclamation and restoration of the lands of northern Minmir. The Earl's accursed country. Ultimately Rosenkranz’s efforts were unsuccessful. The former Sovereign and his followers elected to depart the island after their full momentum had fallen away, rather than wait for another cycle of intrigue to reforge the Dominion.


~FIN~
Current PC - Adelyn Belle'rose
Emilia Sabine von Brandt - Killed with Daughter Elizabeth
Michaela Quinn - Killed by fallen Paladin
Annalisa Bradford - Sacrificed to Dark Gods
Vaen Xyvil'kor - Killed in The Xyvil'kor War

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Re: Soulhaven School

Post by Edens_Fall » Tue Apr 20, 2021 3:00 pm

Ok that should be enough for now! 😜
Current PC - Adelyn Belle'rose
Emilia Sabine von Brandt - Killed with Daughter Elizabeth
Michaela Quinn - Killed by fallen Paladin
Annalisa Bradford - Sacrificed to Dark Gods
Vaen Xyvil'kor - Killed in The Xyvil'kor War

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Re: Soulhaven School

Post by Batrachophrenoboocosmomachia » Tue May 04, 2021 2:37 am

Were you uh... Planning to credit any of the players, several of whom we both share Discords with, and which includes myself, with the texts you're presenting here? Or even inform them that you were trying to submit their writings for inclusion to the module on their behalfs?

Since I can't speak for any others but personally I'm a bit sketched out here (enough so to actually poke my head in and post). This is not really what I had in mind to enable when I shared most of these with you *in-game.*
"I want to play a dog because I really like dogs and I think I could create a lot of inclusive RP by playing a dog for <z> reasons."

Current character:

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Kuma
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Re: Soulhaven School

Post by Kuma » Tue May 04, 2021 6:13 am

There has got to be better and more creative ways to write these than just lifting or paraphrasing from the Encyclopedia Arelithica. I put much of those on there for OOC reference and interest since the IC-ness of the EA is not and has not been announced.

It isn't an IC resource.

And it isn't in the same spirit of in-universe reference documentation that Irongron asked for, in my opinion.

edit: wait these were delivered ic? well, whatever. compilations of message board posts are probably not what gron wanted either

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Re: Soulhaven School

Post by The GrumpyCat » Tue May 04, 2021 1:42 pm

Point 1
What differentiates the Soulhaven school texts from those in the other game libraries, or the Arcane Tower, is that I specifically want to create a reference library, NOT place for pieces of creative writing, or character theories about a spell school, or the cultural significance of the Bendirian badger.
This to me really straddles the lines, this is fine for an IG player library, or maybe as perminent fixtures in other libraries/part of the book matrix if Irongron agrees, but the soulhaven library seems (and he may correct me if I'm wrong) more for general information about Forgotten Realms, and even some Real World Topics. As interesting (and wildly innacurate!) as some of these are, they are not that.

More seriously though

Point 2)
At Batcountry said, if you're including books written by someone else for the matrix it's best to A) Ask them first B) State them as sources for all the text. To do otherwise is supremely rude.

It's ultimatly up to Irongron to decide whether or not to add these to the Soulhaven Monestary - but leaving asie point 1 I will be advising him not to until you can tell me that point 2) has been fulfiled (that al the above text will be placed with credit and permission of the origional writers).
This too shall pass.

(I now have a DM Discord (I hope) It's DM GrumpyCat#7185 but please keep in mind I'm very busy IRL so I can't promise how quick I'll get back to you.)

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Re: Soulhaven School

Post by Edens_Fall » Tue May 04, 2021 1:51 pm

Hello! I came in from the approach of a historical record (such as a college text book) versus a brand new retelling of the information. As such I do use alot of "historical references" such as entries from other writings and inserts of board posts. I have given credit as you see to those authors who are known from thier work (ie the signature listed at the bottom of posts) though there are writings that had no author listed. In between those references I used my own words to convey/sum up information. If I missed something or someone please let me know and I'll correct it.

I'm definitely not out to steal credit and undermind anyone. I saw a need IG for a consolidated history collection of Arelith’s greatest historical events that shaped the world. Yes the information was there, such as the battle of Wharftown, but it was scattered over half a dozen books and in no clear order. My goal was and is to collect all that scattered information and bind it into a historical text were a player could lean the history of a location without the need to hunt as me and others did to compile the work.

It is true I did not reach out OOC to the authors to see if they wanted thier work submitted. Mostly as all I had were the player names from thier writings and most are likely rolled IG minus the one or two I did find. I'd be more then happy to reach out to them if you have thier info though and if it's required.

That aside, I understand if they are not used. I noticed the post and figured to add what I had collected. My intention defiantly wasn't to start a conflict or upset anyone as it seems I have? For that I am sorry. The topic of preserving Arelith History has been a somewhat sensitive one of late.
Current PC - Adelyn Belle'rose
Emilia Sabine von Brandt - Killed with Daughter Elizabeth
Michaela Quinn - Killed by fallen Paladin
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Vaen Xyvil'kor - Killed in The Xyvil'kor War

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Re: Soulhaven School

Post by Edens_Fall » Tue May 04, 2021 1:58 pm

Batrachophrenoboocosmomachia wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 2:37 am
Were you uh... Planning to credit any of the players, several of whom we both share Discords with, and which includes myself, with the texts you're presenting here? Or even inform them that you were trying to submit their writings for inclusion to the module on their behalfs?
Tots reachout to me, discord is fine, and let me know what I missed and I'll correct it post haste! Even if Ironguard doesn't use these let me know so I can fix the IG player made copies! I don't want anyone not given credit.
Current PC - Adelyn Belle'rose
Emilia Sabine von Brandt - Killed with Daughter Elizabeth
Michaela Quinn - Killed by fallen Paladin
Annalisa Bradford - Sacrificed to Dark Gods
Vaen Xyvil'kor - Killed in The Xyvil'kor War

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Re: Soulhaven School

Post by Baron Saturday » Thu May 06, 2021 9:54 pm

A Beginner's Primer to Climbing
By Hyacinthia ys'Andalis

~Preamble~
Hello, dear reader! Know that what you hold in your hands is the first of what I hope to turn into a series of primers useful to the explorer - unless I get distracted, or bored, or too lost within the Planes to find my way back to the printing houses of Arelith.

Such are the dangers of being an explorer. Which is what all Planeswalkers are, in the beginning, aren't we? And I can think of no more key skill for the budding explorer than climbing. (Actually I can think of several, but this is where I want to start and you can't stop me!)

~Chapter 1: Necessities~
While one can load oneself with tools and aids, ropes, pitons, picks and the like, the barest necessities of the climber are remarkably few. You shall need:

> Supple, close-fitting leather boots with flexible soles.
> A cliff face to climb, henceforth called the "problem."
> Nerve equal to the challenge.

And that is all! Though, if you can arrange it, a soft spot to land never goes amiss.

~Chapter 2: Getting Started~
For the beginning climber, I recommend tackling shorter problems close to civilization, and preferably in the company of someone who won't mind dragging you back to town should you break something. Pick a clear day and a dry problem - climbing a wet surface is foolhardy without additional equipment. Likewise, pick a problem that is vertical or gently sloped. While overhanging problems are doable, they are much more demanding in terms of strength and technique.

Before so much as laying a hand on the problem, step back to consider it. Look for potential hand- and foot-holds. Map out, within your head, the route you will take to the top of the problem.

~Chapter 3: Basic Technique~
While beginning climbers will find that much of climbing is instinctual, there are a handful of techniques and maneuvers that ought to be specifically noted.

Maneuvers
> Static Maneuver: A movement in which one changes only a single hold, such as reaching for a new hand-hold. Static maneuvers can easily be reversed, should the new hold be unfavorable, allowing the climber to revert to their previous position.

> Dynamic Maneuver: A movement which radically alters the climber’s position on a wall, typically a leap. Much more dangerous than a static maneuver, as failure to stabilize oneself after a dynamic maneuver almost always results in a fall.

Hand Techniques
> The Basic Grip: This basic technique has the climber sharply curl their fingers in an upside-down J shape, with the thumb pressed against the first knuckle of the index finger. A very stable grip.

> The Hang: Uses the tips of the middle three fingers to hang from a hold too small for a basic grip, with the thumb, little finger and palm splayed out against hold. Surprisingly steady.

> The Pinch: Precisely what it sounds like, a pinch involves clinging to a very small hold with one’s thumbs and as many fingers as will fit. While more difficult problems may require this technique almost exclusively, it requires considerable hand and finger strength. Beginning climbers, however, can still use this hold to briefly stabilize themselves as they reach for a more secure grip.

Foot Techniques
> The Basic Step: Likely the most important part of climbing. While hand-holds will keep you from falling off the problem, it is foot-holds that will allow you to advance up it. Most upwards momentum will come from your legs, saving your arm strength for holding on. There is a tendency, with foot-holds, to want to use the center of the foot, as it feels most secure. However, it is preferable to use the toe instead, which allows the climber to more easily pivot their weight from side to side.

> The Bunny Hop: Used for switching feet on a small foothold, keeping the climber stable while freeing up a foot to move to another hold. Much like doing a little hop on a flat surface, here the climber bounces off a foot-hold with their toes and lands on it with the other foot instead.

> The Heel Hook: Extending a leg and hooking one’s heel around a protrusion or edge can provide the stability and momentum needed to advance one’s hands further up a problem.

> Flagging: Even bare rock can be of use to a climber. Extending a leg to rest a foot against the face of the problem can stabilize the climber, such as after a dynamic maneuver, thereby reducing the strain on hand- and foot-holds.

~Conclusion~
And that is it! You now know more than enough to begin. The journey to becoming a masterful climber is a long one, built upon years and years of practice, but is most rewarding.

~Disclaimer~
The author accepts no responsibility for any bruises, scrapes, broken bones, concussions, or other injuries incurred from falling off a cliff. It’s a dangerous pastime and you have to be a bit mad to try it. Don’t come crying to me, I will not kiss your boo-boos.
Rolled: Helene d'Arque, Sara Lyonall
Shelved: Oshe Jordain, Cin ys'Andalis, Saul Haidt
Playing: Kels Vetian

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