D&D: The Fate of Orthain
D&D: The Fate of Orthain
A Cursed Night
The world has changed at its very core. 70 years ago, a band of adventurers fought against a secret order of mad Asharii mages, evil elven lords, ravening hordes of undead, and the shapeless entities that they made pacts for. The return of the starlight, and the Unshattered Lords had been foretold, and a new era of peace under the rule of the Queen of Starlight, and the King of the Dawn, distant descendants of true Eldari. The dark alliance sought to realign the leylines, and return the starlight and magic to the world, but place the world under the rule of the Viziers, and the shapeless entities that they made a concord with. With the assistance of three storied heroes, Thane Ostepoon the Manslayer, Sparlock Redstar and Harrison Elfsong, the Queen of Starlight was able to fight back the twisted entities from their all-consuming mist, and take her place on the prophesied throne of Asharii, where she still rules.
The fate foretold by the seers, however, was not fully realized. King Agdain did not bend the knee to the high queen, and Kensei, and the amiable empress there, ran into difficulties as the world changed. Titans emerged from the deep sea to wage war on one another, the vortices that locked Aramore away from the world stilled, and most calamitously of all, Kundalir returned from its long sojourn in the sky. Historical record is fuzzy on the next twenty years that followed, as much of the negotiating and treaty making was done in secret, but the results made false the prophecy written in the stars. The Kundaliri ignored Kerivel, and waged war on the Kensei, dethroning the empress, enslaving its citizens, and declaring a benevolent caste rulership over the natives. The Kensei attempted to fight back, but the sorcerous power of the Kundaliri was too great. Armour and flesh alike melted under the heat of fireballs, elementals and extraplanar beings were summoned to ravage levies, and even the weather itself bent against the Kensei forces— who were swiftly defeated, and taken prisoner.
Kerivel, at the same time, enlisted the aid of the Queen of Fangs, and her army of beasts and mercenaries, and with her strange and powerful assistance, crushed their age old enemy in the north. The lords and ladies of Ozryn were slain or taken back to Kerivel, and the common folk made to serve as second class citizens, bringing untold wealth to the nobility of Kerivel. The only inkling to the secret alliances that brought about the calamitous change of fate to Orthain was the very public declaration by the Queen of Fangs on the night of victory. She requested that King Agdain uphold his end of their bargain. The old king refused, and right there in the center of the palace, in the middle of the wildest festivities Kerivel had known for centuries, the Queen of Fangs cursed Agdain’s line, and the night they celebrated both.
Though the guards attempted to capture the Queen of Fangs, she evaded them, and their butchered bodies littered the alleyways of the capital. The very next night, the Queen of Fangs’ small and seasoned armies appeared at Woodhaerst, where she declared a coup in the Wood Elven realms. Her first act was to slaughter most of the Talenvorn family— her own kin— and with the help of the Aeilraths, purge the other two great families, and the king himself. The war was short and brutal, resulting in the capture of lord Oakheart, whose daughter and son have been missing for 50 years. Most of the Cildri family is dead, the Aeilraths turned traitor, and every Kerivellian loyalist family put to the sword.
Kerivel tried to send aid, but their much larger armies were foiled constantly by the Queen of Fangs. It seemed as if her forces could travel through any terrain at great speeds— overnight camps would be raided, marching lines flanked and harried. Eventually, Agdain gave up, and worked on naval alliances— his son marrying the first princess of Aramore. Only a short time after, Agdain went missing, presumed dead. The only trace of the old man still left was an immense amount of blood spattered about his room, and the words “Oathbreaker” scrawled in a deep pool. His body was never found, and his killer never really discovered. Though a mercenary leader was hanged for the crime, nobody had any doubt he was innocent in truth.
Through the marriage of Aramore and Kerivel, great prosperity visited both lands, a boom in alchemy, clockwork mechanics, metallurgy, religious freedom and intellectualism. With three kingdoms banded together, a tenuous peace was reached between new Kerivel, Aramore and subdued Kensei. Asharii, under the rule of the Starlight Queen, was discontent, but unwilling to war against occupied Kundalir, biding time.
Though the last fifty years have been largely peaceful, there was always the undercurrent of discontent, whether it be in the form of slave revolts in the north, monstrous raids from the broken crown, or the nobles discontent with letting the Queen of Fangs sit so close, living from what used to be their lands.
The gods are in disarray, the dead awake, the three lich kings of Kundalir have fallen silent, the ancient forges of Dwarven kind hiss out infernal creations, and the drums of war shake the mountains. All over Orthain, the powerful rise to shatter the illusion of peace, and seize the future for themselves.