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September 12, 2006, 5:35 pm

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The Prophecies of Redemption


Near the summit of mount Arak’nui, the remnants of the elven race still lingers. Their hearts darkened, their spirits broken, they have turned to evil and embraced demon-worship.

Darkness and bitterness has consumed them, and they have turned away from their gods and summoned demons to inhabit the flesh and souls of the willing. Shadow dancers these elves are called, and they are an instrument of revenge, wreaking havoc wherever they dance into the midst of the enemy. It was an alliance hastily made in those desperate days three centuries ago, but as the elves witnessed the agony and change visited upon the shadowdancers they regret the decision more and more.

This mini-campaign is the first of three campaigns describing the prophecies and the coming of Camhol, the mortal son of the sun god. It is a high level campaign.

Note: The over-arching meta plot will look very different at the end of the third campaign (The Dark War) than it looks here.

This is the teaser mini-campaign


Near the summit of mount Arak’nui, the remnants of the elven race still lingers. Their hearts darkened, their spirits broken, they have turned to evil and embraced demon-worship.

Once they dwelt in the forests of Mir-en-Tarnil, unknown by men, protected by superstition, nature and illusions. But when the dead god Natal returned from his millennia of banishment everything changed. The seers got ill and one by one they died. Strange raiders clad in black leather killed and abducted elven watchers in the outskirts of the forest. The spirits of the elven nations, from before the coming of men, were defiled in their temples.

A band of elven warriors, priests and mages were assembled, led by the 8000 year old white mage Sildurion. Together they cleansed the temples, visited the ruins of the elder nation and travelled the dimensions. At last they succeeded. They confronted Natal with the relics of the ancient heroes and they banished him back whence he came. In the end it was all a failure. Sildurion had his own, hidden, agenda. They had failed to see the signs and they had to pay with their lives. Sildurion ascended and became Sil’Durhon, the traitor god, the creator of the half-elves.

The elven nation was broken by the armies of Natal, and then sacked, raped and murdered by the roaming soldiers and brigands. The newly created church of Sil’Durhon organized raids into elven country and abducted the elven maids. They became imprisoned in the inner sanctums of the Sil’Durhonian temples. Nothing more than birth-machines spawning the blasphemous half-elves.

But one seer escaped. She is now followed by an entourage of broken elves and their last surviving noble. For three centuries they have been on the run. Loathed and feared by the human populace, hunted by the Knights of Sil’Durhon and the clergy of his church.

Darkness and bitterness has consumed them, and they have turned away from their gods and summoned demons to inhabit the flesh and souls of the willing. Shadow dancers these elves are called, and they are an instrument of revenge, wreaking havoc wherever they dance into the midst of the enemy. It was an alliance hastily made in those desperate days three centuries ago, but as the elves witnessed the agony and change visited upon the shadowdancers they regret the decision more and more.

Now Lumaratha, the goddess of wild nature and elves, has once again visited the seer in her dreams. For 300 years the goddess abandoned her race, starting the minute they embraced demon-worship. Now the seer has had visions of a saviour. A human saviour even, Camhol, the mortal son of the Sun god, Fhalgharod. It is the only chance for the elves to redeem themselves and lead their surviving kin to the last sanctuary.

The prophecies cannot be mistaken. They have all foretold this moment. The seer is to lead a group of guardians down into the kingdoms of men and retrieve the sword, demontongue, from its demonic owner and deliver it to Camhol at his hiding place, the ruined city of Bluarc which is partially buried in the northern glacier.

Defeating the demon-lord, Xolthog, who is the owner of the weapon will not be easy, and will require all of their abilities, as well as three lesser artifacts.

The first artifact is a crystal bell. Its name is “Beloth” and it lies somewhere beneath the college of higher magic. When it is struck, it dispels all magic, mundane as well as divine as long as the tone lingers. It is the only way so few individuals could break the arcane defences of the demon lord.

The second artifact is “Cuirath” and is actually a tallow candle. When the wick is lit, it protects everyone within 10 yards from scrying and detection by magic, eyesight or other senses. But when others come within 10 yards, they are all as visible as the conditions normally would allow. Being a candle, it has a highly limited duration and winds could easily extinguish it. Using it is the only way they can enter the dark lord’s citadel unnoticed.

The third artifact is a dagger fashioned from the hip-bone of a Satyr. Only by thrusting such an item into the demon-lords chest, can he truly be defeated. Everything else would only banish him temporarily for a year. Alas they do not need to defeat him in order to steal demontongue, but not doing so will have serious consequences in the following campaigns.

Additional Ideas (5)

The cast:
There will be seven players. They will never play more than 4 at a time. Thus they will travel in two groups, where the game centres on those attending the gaming session.

The seer: Ilyanathila
Described above

The conjurer: Mabulon
-Responsible for the pact with the demons. He has spent the last couple of centuries regretting that decision. Often he gets sick with despair and he hates what he has become. His rage has long since abated.
-He is a skilled conjurer and has great mastery over the darker aspects of magic. He can summon and bind many darker entities but loathe doing so; indeed he will only use his abilities as a last resort. (he started delving in the darker arts as a desperate countermeasure in the conflict versus Natal)
-In his youth he received some training as a temple guardian of Lumaratha
-His primary field of expertise used to be tree-gardening. He nourished the elven homes and gently persuaded the trees to grow as to provide shelter for the elves. He absolutely loves trees and can communicate emphatically with them.

The Lord: Carcassul
-Was one of the advisors of the King and Queen
-Was the warden of the westernmost part of the elven nations and was responsible for the defence of those woods. To his shame he ran away, leaving his men behind. Not a soul knows of this, but Carcassul has hated himself every second thereafter. (He ran in sheer terror when he saw the carnage that Natal's Slayers (Undead elves clad in black leather armour) visited upon his men)
-Is a skilled (and he is an elf) bowman and a master with the rapier and main gauche.
-Has a great love of books and can only find peace when he buries himself in musty old tomes.

The scouts: Haulin and Zulieth
-Twin brothers. (Something almost unheard of among the elves).
-Highly skilled at subterfuge and archery
-Contested over the love of Ailanye, the daughter of high Gardener Tremoyl. She disappeared during the battle of Silver Gap (Against Natal) and the brothers often ponder about her fate.
-Spoke out against the alliance with demon kind, but was alone in this protest. They would not, however, go against the rule of lord Carcassul.

The Shadowdancers: Formerly Curthyn and Epiron
-Although both are shadowdancers, they retain their former skills as border-hunter (Hunted intruders) and forest watchman
-Curthyn saw Lanathaie, the love of his life, ravaged by a large group of human brigands. With his ghastly wounds he was unable to help her, and he saw her will to live fade away at the hands of the brutish thugs. He was rescued against his will by Prince Falathol. The prince supposedly fell shortly thereafter while defending the heart of the capital against the human defilers. Curthyn was the first to volunteer to become a shadowdancer.
-Epiron lost all of his friends defending the western forest. Later he discovered that Lord Carcassul had also survived, but that was to be expected of a man with his abilities. (Epiron believes). Epiron later discovered that his two sisters had been taken away to the southern human empire.

The shadowdancers will be worked more out in detail. They will also have the fiendish part of themselves to play out. They could easily become a liability for the group, and I will certainly keep the group on the edge and wary about these two elves.

What do you think? Any ideas or suggestions?

2006-01-22 07:34 AM » Link: [2216#11222|text]
The coven scenario got rather long and still I did not write down everything. Usually I just keep everything in my head and just a couple of pages with maps and notes written down.

This scenario had some loose ends. After reading MoonHunters mystery post I realized I had to clarify those.(excellent article by the way)

-The characters have a well of information at their disposal, the seer. Whenever they get lost, she will be there.
-The well of Urthmok. This oracle can be found in the chambers of the arcane at the college of higher magic. It will give some straight answers as opposed to the prophecy and the seer's visions.
-The conjurer's tree empathy. The trees have stood there for a long time and the forest knows alot of secrets.

Finding the convent:
-The characters can ask the well of Urthmok (the prophecy concerning the college will be much easier to interpret and thus the well easily found) or the seer could use her visions.
-They could research the matter, sneaking into human libraries. There they could find references to the red moon and its cult.

Discovering the dagger:
-The characters can eavesdrop and spy on the locals and the coven. Sooner or later they will discover the Satyr and Famina.
-The seer can use her gifts to find Famina and Inuus.
-The conjurer can converse empathically with the trees and be led in the right direction
-The characters can kidnap and force information from the victim(s)
-The characters can burn the forest (not really elf-like) and force a confrontation with natures spirits (and the Satyr)

I will focus on the scenarios and write in between information after, unless something urgent comes up.

2006-01-22 08:53 AM » Link: [2216#11235|text]
Some of the three magic items required to defeat Xolthog could devastate the scenarios if they could be used freely.

-The Satyr dagger is just a bone dagger against any creature not specified as having a weakness against it. It will be of less use than an ordinary dagger.

-The Tallow Candle is consumed by the flame. It has a short duration.

-The Crystal Bell is made of crystal. It could easily break if the characters depend upon it too much. A small crack could be the first sign of overuse and should warn the players against further unnecessary use.

The next scenario will be posted as soon as I decide upon what scenario to create. I am dissatisfied with the coven scenario too. It lacks something. I would be grateful for all advice.

2006-01-22 09:19 AM » Link: [2216#11236|text]
Campaign idea:
The campaign is a natural consequence of previous campaigns in the setting. 300 years have passed and the elves are not only in decline anymore, they are on the run. I tried to imagine what the elves would do when abused and hunted by a "lesser race".
The campaign was inspired by my older campaigns. The "Dancers of the Dead" elven class in my setting was the basis for the "shadow dancers".

Citadel of Xolthog and the Arcane Chambers:
The citadel and the chambers were made during a sudden surge of creativity. There were no special sources of inspiration, except my previous campaigns.

The Coven of the red moon;
The coven of the red moon was an enjoyable scenario to create. The translated prophecy is based on popular "magic verses" that were common in norway during the 15th century. The witches and their coven is based on norwegian and european folklore. The abbey is inspired by english abbeys.

A Black day for the Black Legion:
This scenario was rushed during a period of intense stress. I had three simultanous deadlines and actually slept very little during the period I wrote it. :evil:  The soul candles are inspired by two sentences in Steven Eriksons "Deadhouse Gates" book from the "A tale of the Malazan book of the fallen" series. I guess the intense warfare is inspired from those books too!

Within the dreams of a merchant:
This scenario was also slightly inspired by Steven Eriksons books. In the books a "dead" god lives still in the dreams of a character. Another source of inspiration was London during the late 18th century, I intend to make Belodon a "Jack the Ripper" kind of character with a peculiar twist. Most of the adventure will occur within the dreams of a seriously disturbed and broken murderer. I am still pondering on how to pull that one of successfully,..

2006-01-22 09:24 AM » Link: [2216#11240|text]
The Objectives of this campaign:

1. Foreshadowing
This campaign will foreshadow the second and third campaign. The players will experience much they cannot explain, much they will understand better in the future. I want to confuse them a bit, leave them bewildered but with a general understanding that "something big is brewing". More foreshadowing has occured on friday evenings and on the online sessions, and I will include those in later posts.

2. The Redemption of the Elves
I have played upon the shortcomings of the elven race in this campaign. Too perfect for creation, cursed by the god of the sun and betrayed by their own. The elves are on the brink of extinction, being slaughtered by humans, the very "cattle" species that exhibit only flaws where they are perfection. Then they embrace darkness, invite demons to share their flesh and souls. When they realize their error, it is too late. Some souls are already trapped with the shadow demons, and still now, 300 years later, they remain as if to remind them of their folly. The shadowdancers are broken beings, more animal than elf and nothing they can think of justify the sacrifices that were made.

Then there is a flicker of hope. An elven maid, unspoiled by the fall of her brethren, appearantly returning from death and guided by the prophecies of old and her own godgiven visions, has returned to deliver them to their salvation. But first they must embark on a quest. A saviour must get his symbol, the demon tongue sword. With evil the good shall cleanse the world.

3. Preparation
This campaign will harden the elves and two of them will have to continue after the campaign. Which two will be left in the hands of the players and the choice must not be made until the third campaign.

Final Words:
Thus I am finished with the main events of the first campaign. The second campaign will concern the guardians of the newborn saviour and their flight from evil. It will slowly build up momentum and hope, and will end when they arrive at the sacred sanctuary of the elves, the last retreat of that race. Here the two first campaigns are vowen together and answers will be given. And as ever with answers, new questions will arise.

The first and second campaigns are relatively simple and are the two prequel campaigns to the third campaign, which will be the most elaborate and devious one. In the third campaign, the full meaning of what they have experienced will gradually dawn on the players.

The players must escort the saviour on his quest and several unsettling discoveries will surely crush the illusions they nourish about the world, the gods and the very quest they pursue.

Edit: Moved from comment to scroll

2007-04-05 07:40 AM » Link: [2216#26497|text]
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Comments ( 20 )
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January 22, 2006, 7:32
I am going to assume that this is the overview and the players won't have all this knowledge. If they do then it is just A to B to C kill D the end.

There is a lot of references, but not a lot of background so I find it a little hard to follow because I don't have the whole picture. For instance, demontongue wasn't mentioned till the last sentence, I assumed they were just suppose to kill a baddie but then I see a weapon is mentioned, but not explained why near the top.

The magic items are awesome and I like the way they tie in and are required to fight Xolthog.

Shadowdancers are cool and have a good history as to why they become. There has got to be at least a small group of good elves somewhere though. I think they would have a role to play in all this. Lumaratha would have probably stayed true to them and now finds it time to try and rescue the rest of her children. Perhaps the good elves are keepers of the Seer (of whom I would like more of).

I am sure you know exactly where you are going with all of it, but for me, I need some more details to give more input. Very interested.
Ancient Gamer
January 22, 2006, 7:33
This is something I have just recently started fleshing out, so all details aren't clear yet. But here is what I had in mind.

The plot: The players won't know all the details. They will have a prophecy, probably very cryptic and slightly poetic, to follow. They will rely on the visions of their seer to advance further, and those visions will only be invoked in certain places and under certain conditions.

The seer can try to strengthen the visions, but doing so will require a terrible sacrifice. The benefits will be tempting, but the sacrifice will be awful. I have not worked out the details of that sacrifice.

If the seer dies, then the players will have failed.

The weapon: Demontongue will be referenced in the prophecy. It is a weapon of pure evil, an artifact even. It has chaos mutilating effects* and will twist and test the will of its carrier. It will be an awesome weapon, but will inflict terrible grief upon the elves.

Something will happen to the weapon, to Camhol or to both after he receives it. I haven't fleshed out what yet, but he will heal the carrier-elf somewhat, although not completely. (Beyond his powers?)

*Chaos mut. effects resemble burn-wounds. Often fangs and the like protrude out of the wounds, and sometimes the wound seem to boil very slowly. Sometimes other effects, like the skin becoming translucent, will also be visited upon the victim.

The seer: I haven't fleshed out this lady properly yet. I have ideas concerning her though; perhaps she uses herbal potions to induce the trance-like state in which she receives her visions. Perhaps the visions require her to be chaste... (If she loves someone (a player?) this could complicate things...) Of course the player that agrees to roleplay her would have many wishes for her traits too... She will certainly love her people and despair for their fate. She will also be sensitive for the captured elf-maidens held prisoner in the temples. If she nears one of these unfortunate ladies, she will sense her pain and anguish.

Strolen: Yes, good elves... I agree. Unbeknownst to the players there are elves on one other continent, but perhaps there is a clan of good elves hidden somewhere on this continent too? They could have protected the seer, and she could return with promises of salvation and a quest?

This introduces the possibility of dissent. Some of the fallen elves may be in opposition to the return to the light. That could require the players, the seer in particular, to persuade the elves that this has to be done? Perhaps the leader of the opposition would be willing to resort to murder where he failed to persuade?
January 22, 2006, 9:20
Hey, Ancient!
This campaign is awesome!
Are you going to do the next one?
Ancient Gamer
January 22, 2006, 9:21
I will.

We have played the campaign for some time now but I fear my players will read this. Thus I have decided to post new additions the friday afternoon before a session. The next addition is called "A black day for the black legion" (saturday evening) with an introductory friday evening adventure called "By the Prince's Tomb". I have not the time to translate my friday evenings but the saturday climax-story will be posted.

The fact that my players know and love Strolen's is also the reason why I have kept the "deeper layers of the onion" from this site. I will post them after the campaign is finished.

Ultimately I trust my players, but they have had some indiscretions in the (distant) past and I have grown cautious. (Ok, no total trust then)
January 22, 2006, 9:25
Great stuff!
It is rather world-specific, but that can be adapted.
I see a very dark strain to this world. Is the whole world corrupted because of Sil'Durhon? Or is it merely a sign of the decay of things because there are no longer any elves? What's the deal?

Also: Where are you going with this? What does "Black Day for the Black Legion" or "Dreams of a Merchant" have to do with the main set story arc? Are they just sidequests?

One last thing- I love the idea of the priest of Sil'Durhon being followed by a cloud of white (yet demonic) butterflies. Mind if I use that?
Ancient Gamer
January 22, 2006, 9:26
Use what you want dear Captain. If I can inspire I am glad.

Actually the whole world is rather corrupted and it mostly began with Sil'Durhon. (It is not the full truth as will be evident in the third campaign).

The first and second campaign is about the world and how it has been corrupted, perceivably by Sil'Durhon, and the third campaign is about "righting wrongs". The entire story actually has several onion layers that will not begin to peel of until the third campaign.
Right now I am "setting the stage".

As for "Black day" it suffers from hasty development and thus does not have all references to the prophecies and such, that it ought to have. Yet in that scenario they should have obtained the "Tallow candle" which will enable them to enter the citadel of the demon lord unnoticed.

"Within the dreams of a merchant" is in development and has not yet been fully explained, but it is a follow-up to "Black day" as the players did not
"accomplish mission".
January 22, 2006, 9:27
This is an impressive body of work, with a great amount of detail, and thought that has gone into it. Lets start with what I liked.

The Hexenjaeger - I love this name! So much more interesting than the stock witchhunter. I would like to see them more, perhaps either more development, maybe a sample or two.

The Coven of the Crimson Moon - nicely done.

Satyrs - fantasy needs more satyrs that are more than the cherub-like fawns from Fantasia.

The Priest of Sil'Durion - I must agree with the captain that the white barbarian eating butterflies following the priest is pretty spiff.

Now for the constructive part. Each scenario is good, I was especially fond of the besieged city. As a whole, however, they seem to lack cohesiveness. The Coven of the Crimson Moon is cool, but once the adventure is done, nothing more is heard of them, or the Hexenjaeger.

In essence, each scenario feels like an island with little or no connection to the next, other than 'chasing the rabbit' to the next scene. If there was some way to create a stronger sense of unity, or internal harmony between the scenarios it could create something stunning.

Otherwise, Awesome work man
Two thumbs up!
January 22, 2006, 9:29
I echo what he said.
*wishes he could have said something more constructive*

There is a distinctly dark tone. This would be well-set to softly-playing Megadeth. The whole world seems hideously evil, except for the elves, and even they are slightly tarnished.

On satyrs- Scras is absolutley right. When most roleplayers these days think of Satyrs, what they really are seeing in their mind's eye are Fawns, the Satyrs' smaller, more benevolent cousin. Fawns dance around and play flutes- Satyrs chase women around and rape them, and then play pipes that make people flee in terror.
And while I'm on the subject, what is with all the people presenting Centaurs as nature-loving nice guys? In Greek myths, Centaurs were warlike, brutish monsters who lived to fight, except for the notable personage of Chiron.
Ancient Gamer
January 22, 2006, 9:30
Yes, I wondered if the campaign would seem incoherent to you.

Actually I have lots, lots, lots more(at least for "Black day" and "Arcane Chambers", the scenarios which we have already played). It all rests on my private forum, where I GM roleplaying sessions one week in advance of every game (so the players will get "in the right mood").

Thanks for the feedback Scrasamax and Captain Penguin both! I will act upon the information as soon as I have time (not now :wink: I have waaaaaay too much work to do)

This is what I intend to do:
-Add cross-references between the different scenarios
-Add mini-scenarios (those with story relevance. Perhaps character background scenarios too?)
-Add all prophecies
-Add more visions
-Complete "Within the dreams of a Merchant".
January 22, 2006, 9:31
Jeeesh....Just finished reading this. Great job AG, I love it. You really did a piece of work when making this Campaign.

Now for constructiveness, for me anyways. Mind tossing a link to that Forum so we can apply translator programs and check out other scenario thingies? Also, how did the campaign finale' go? We haven't got any sort of update on it in...A year or more?
Ancient Gamer
January 22, 2006, 9:34
The campaign finale was awesome. The Citadel of Xolthog scenario might seem strange but we sure had fun. It was one of those trips into the twilight zone that we never will forget. They ran from the clutches of vampires and into the bosom of demonic warriors. I hope people understand that the exotic elements are here to serve as variation, and not intended to get the full focus. Coldforged roleplaying has plenty of room for some good old fashioned butchery and looting ;)

As for a link... I transferred the whole thing over ;)
Voted Scrasamax
January 23, 2006, 9:08
Voted Mourngrymn
January 24, 2006, 11:01
Ahem... wow... that is about all I can say. But I will say more. Everything about your write has been commented on so what is left now is opinion and similarities.

My opinion of this is top notch and complex. You did a lot of thinking and your hard work and apparent desire to have a good game for your gamers is evident. I seriously wish I could have played in this campaign.

I to enjoy dark setting campaigns, I for one just can't comprehend on how to create them. I am a creator of ideas and items nothing so worldy as this. I envy you and your detail.
Ancient Gamer
January 24, 2006, 17:08
If you cannot use it I suggest you rip off the bits and pieces you do like. It is what we GMs do... Take apart stuff and then put it together the way we like it (and the way we can use it). So... If you like the Dream Perl Necklace of the Elder Witch, then you rip it and use it in your world ;)

We are the engineers of storytelling. Disassemble - reassemble - play.
Ancient Gamer
January 29, 2006, 13:01
Some words in retrospect:

The Citadel of Xolthog and the Arcane Chambers scenarios are straight forward and easy to GM. Not so with the Coven and Legion scenarios. I was actually unsure whether I should put those on the front page because they are way too long for a normal plot, way too long for one evening of play and way too difficult to GM for a novice GM.

My advice: Stay clear of the latter two scenarios, unless you have years and years under your belt and can identify the critical weaknesses and difficult sections of those games (Like: (weakness) Getting the players to explore the abbey, (weakness) getting the players into the current going ons within the tower).

But by all means: Do cut and paste sections you like from those two scenarios. I have detailed much and, even though I wrote this 2 years ago, I still think parts of it is good.

If anyone wants to use this I hope they have as many good times with it as we did.
Voted Murometz
February 27, 2006, 20:09
Only voted
Ancient Gamer
September 12, 2006, 17:32
Notes in retrospect: I've never written more on anything than I did on this beast. The campaign itself was a success, although not the best we ever had. It was decent, scoring around 78% out of a 100% total, if I may judge myself.
January 25, 2007, 13:48
This is another incredible plot - brought forth to me by the Random sub.

Great job!

It won't let me vote though :(
Voted valadaar
April 5, 2007, 8:06
Hey! Can vote now!
April 14, 2011, 1:41

The white demonic butterflies have stayed with me, as they do with the priest of Sil'Durhon, since I first read this years ago. Haunting visual.



Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

       By: Michael Jotne Slayer

The Petty Kingdoms is a region consisting of hundreds of small states. Some are kingdoms, some are city states, some are large farming communities, some are duchesses and baronies and so on and so forth. Within a few miles the PCs might reach a new "country" with completely different rules and norms than the one they left behind. "What do you eat here? Humans ye say? Lets turn around fellas."

Ideas  ( Locations ) | February 15, 2011 | View | UpVote 5xp

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