Werewolf/Raff Shadows - One of Arabel's most feared lycanthropes, Raff Shadows was a figure of terror in the wilderness surrounding Arabel. Leading a pack of murderous Malarites, he was involved in several major skirmishes against a fledgling druid presence at the Red Glade, and became a wanted outlaw to the Purple Dragons. While battles between isolated do-gooders and Raff's followers were regular, the beast himself would later be felled by a large scale ambush of well equipped mercenaries. -Black Rose
Bresk Part 1 - Rise of The Sisters/Berena's Defeast - Brief - Aldrien (Lucky99) (taken from IC sources on forums including a book by Bromsay, Firestorm book by Stallner, and other sources)
The Bresks were a minor noble family living in Cormyr during the Time of Troubles. Several months after Tymora's avatar left the city, the matron of the family, Lady Berena Bresk, was placed on trial for black magic and allegations that she murdered her servants and bathed in their blood. It is now known that Berena Bresk necromantic activities were also related to the infernalist cult known as the Old Order, led by the Devil Lotho and related to the Ashby family. Earlier in both family histories, Baron Ashby was wed to a former member of the Bresk family that would continue to haunt Arabel for decades.
Joseph Rifts, a Paladin of Lathander had fallen in love with Berena and she became pregnant with twin girls. Berena seduced the young Paladin and corrupted him, resulting in his fall from grace and turning in despair to the worship of Shar.
Joseph's corruption continued in unfaithfulness to his wife, as he fell in love with a serving woman. After Berena threatened to kill the serving girl, Joseph turned her in to the War Wizards for her crimes and fled with his love and two infant daughters.
The Lady Bresk was found guilty and executed, her body placed in an unmarked grave. The family grounds were abandoned, and the surviving members of the household exiled from Cormyr for their part in the Lady's crimes.
Twenty years later there was an influx of undead attacks against the local caravans. A few weeks after the attacks began, a village to the northeast of Arabel, the same village Joseph Rifts had fled to, was burned to the ground and only the twin Bresk sisters survived. The sisters swore their service to the god Lathander and came to Arabel to seek out the reason why their village was destroyed and why those who destroyed it called it the "town of betrayers" before burning it to the ground.
The Vampiress Berena Bresk had stolen an artifact, "Tymora's Burden", from the Shrine of Tymora intending to use its power to achieve godhood. The destruction of the village, as punishment for her husband's treachery two decades before, was the beginning of her reign of terror. She killed Joseph and turned him into her vampiric servant but the twins survived.
For several months, Berena Bresk and her undead forces terrorized the areas north of Arabel. She intended to have her daughters join in her unholy reign, but the twins, Nattassia and Melanie, both sworn to Lathander's service rejected her offer.
Over many months the Bresk Twins, aided by fellow servants of good including servants of Lord Fezznick and House Thond, the Black Rock Mercenary Company, the Purple Dragons and War Wizards of the Arabel Garrison, members of the House of Death, Knights of the Merciful Sword, and other friends and adventurers contested Berena's actions and continued to thwart her quest for godhood.
Eventually, Berena's castle was located and as assault was initiated against her forces that were hidden near East Way. A large force moved against Berena and her undead with many powerful heroes of Arabel lost to her and her minions. In the end, the Tymoran artifact was retrieved by a late-arriving Darmos, and the threat was ended, though Berena's coffin was not found. Notable members who perished in the attack, and were not recovered were War Wizard Samarin Nar'falon, Fezznick Retainer Gorgen Talbot, Thond Retainer Theo Kain, and Torm's Servant Aedon. Several others died but were recovered including several notable figures including Oliver Baba (then a Royal Scout),Teth Silvermane (servant of Kelemvor and leader of the House of Death), and Ky'ran Lordoron (Paladin of Torm), Lorlithor Tasserie (Retainer of Fezznick), and Ethan Winterborne (Knight Initiate of the Merciful Sword).
For their service to Arabel and the ending of Berena's reign, Lord Marliir, Warden of the North, restored the Bresk name and titles to the eldest daughter, Natassia Rifts, a Paladin in service to Lathander. The sisters reestablished their house to the southwest of Arabel where they remained in service to the people of Arabel until the infernal forces of the Ashby's would claim the lives of both sisters, ending the family's history in the region.
Zhentarim - Brief
Pyatt Pree - Brief
Gift of The Mind - Brief
Talos War - A large force of Talassan forces crossed into Cormyr, seeking to rescue their long lost leader from imprisonment in a pocket plane. Surprising the Purple Dragons with their sudden arrival and viciousness, they were able to overtake several key outposts. Thwarted at Arabel, they worked to overwhelm the city, enslaving air and water elementals, and seeking ancient mines to construct golems.
Despite their initial success in retrieving their commander, and recruiting subversive elements from within Arabel (Durdyn 'The Vulture' being the most famous), they were eventually defeated by the united forces of Arabel. -Black Rose
Forming of the Druid Circles - In the midst of the "Talos Affair", Arabel saw the first major regathering of druids to take the place of the long departed Circle of the White Stag. Led by GateKeeper druid Erux Greyhand, the fledgling circle included an assortment of members, some not even druids proper. The Circle's main reputation in Arabellan city lore is for its part in disarming the Talassans of their enslaved air and water elementals, and lending their aid to Cormyr in bringing down Talassan outposts. -Black Rose
Clar Banda - The long time enemy of the Knights of the Merciful sword, the lichess Clar Banda, began a campaign of activity in order to empower herself to demi-lichdom. Opposed by the remnants of the House of Death, and the University of Might of Magic (and its Harper affiliates), the lich was nonetheless able to gain the materials she needed with aid from Nelson Alastyr.
Prior to her final rituals, Dean Kieron Shadwell of the University was able to lead a resistance against her, securing various rare items and performing a ritual to banish the lichess "until her memory was forgotten". The University would later publish several treatises and commision numerous bardic tales on the affair to ensure the condition remained unmet. -Black Rose
Grey Circle Part 1 - Amidst the chaos and confusion following the Talos affair, a rise in banditry took place across the roads and caravans of the region. With the Purple Dragons exhausted and undermanned, it fell to adventurers to combat these bandits. The efforts would eventually unmask a co-ordinating bandit lord, Athric Daggerbane, and result in his death, though letters from an unknown patron with a strange circular grey sigil hinted at a wider conspiracy. -Black Rose
Grey Circle Part 2 - Wolf Packs - Following the battles with the Lurker and the Bleakchild, the region returned to a more mundane state. Trade began to recommence, and the armies started to recover from the Talos affair.
Several groups marking a hybrid of adventurer and tradesman began to spring up, with House Thond forming its (later named) Golden Gryphon company, House DeSchurr's co-operative Dragoneye Traders and Green Dragon company, and the dwarven Iron Anvil.
With caravans and mining expeditions on the rise, several of these began to encounter unusual levels of humanoid resistance in the wilds, including unusual levels of co-operation between differing races. Enchanted talismans of wolf fur were recovered from some of these attempted ambushes, apparently used to signal between these groups.
The Hawkwind Trade Cartel, establishing itself for its ruthless response to banditry, emerged in Arabel from southern lands - and built a reputation for deterring the humanoids raids - seizing its share of the market quickly and consuming many of the smaller trade coasters in the city.
As various adventuring companies began raiding against outposts identified by these signals, mention of "Wolf Base" - a command outpost somewhere in the Stormhorns - arose, among rumors of demonic orcs being brought in from outside lands, led by a fierce chieftain.
Wolf Base was eventually pin-pointed, and after scouting out its environs, a three-pronged attack was co-ordinated by the Purple Dragons, working in tandem with many of the current adventuring companies. The Tanarukk warlord, Thrax'yl'garator was defeated, scattering the remnants of his clan, and decapitating the "Wolf Packs" leadership, quickly causing the humanoids to revert to their usual infighting and scattering them far and wide.
Amidst the documents of Wolf Base, was recovered the log of Manether Grey, apparent owner of the circular grey sigil, and leader of the Grey Sky mercenary band, disbanded sometime ago in disgrace. While the log indicated his presence at Wolf Base, it revealed his actual headquarters lay somewhere in Arabel itself. - Black Rose
Auril - Revenge For The Bleak Lady/Crusade of Etheldrek - The release of the Bleak Lady - a fallen frost giant priestess of Auril - in order to recover her crystal tears for the imprisonment of Clar Banda did not sit well with the Snow Queen, Auril. She responded by dispatching Ithyxeldrek, a great white wyrm from the distant north, to mete out her revenge on those responsible.
Ithyxeldrek quickly grew restless with his task, and disliked the warm clime, and soon passed the task on to the half-dragon, Etheldrek. Utilizing a ruse of Etheldrek being brought from a distant future, and born of a paladin of the city - to gain his agent sympathy with the local populace - they succeeded infiltrating Arabel.
Etheldrek demanded that the one who released the Bleak Lady be brought to his judgement, alternatively aiding and threatening the city with his forces. Dwarves seeking revenge for their king imprisoned in ice by Ithyx, and elves seeking a lost artefact of their people would eventually infiltrate his stronghold, and expose the truth, that he was in fact the Bleak Lady's son.
Utilizing a spear forged from a crystal that caused memories to surface in vivid detail, the elves and dwarves, joined by purple dragons, led an assault on Drek's temple, managing to strike him from the field with the spear. As the force from Thunderhome held the temple, they traversed a portal to Drek's iceberg palace in the far north, tracking the half-dragon, now deprived of his faith and chosen status by his rage at his mothers fate, and put an end to him. -Black Rose
The Tree of Despair - Brief
The Runes of Vandar - Brief
Alazantar's Folly/The Lurker - Eons ago, when Netheril still ruled the land, a mage named Alazantar summoned or created a monstrous pair of creatures as part of an experiment. Soon overwhelmed by the corrupting power of these abberations, his tower was pulled into the depths of Wyvernwater by them, and the creatures began assailing the region with their corrupted spawn. A combined force of Netheril and the elven nations allied to destroy one of the creatures at great cost, and sealed the other with powerful wards.
In 1374, a group of tiefling outcasts exploring below Arabel encountered a re-awakening monster, dubbed "the Lurker", seemingly partially free. Most of these would soon serve the creature, and it melded their blood with eggs of its former mate to create a new wave of spawn to use as tools. Meanwhile the magical seals on the creatures prison, recognizing their failing state, used their limited intelligence to seek out new forces to counter-act the escaping creature. As Arabel's adventuring forces did battle with the Spawns, these heroes sought to unravel the greater mystery, eventually using the Lurkers own mental intrusions on one of their members to deduce its location. In a tremendous final battle, they were able to finish what was started ages ago, and destroy the creature's corporeal body. The much-weakened seals took on new forms, travelling with the heroes to this day. -Black Rose
Bresk Part 2 - The Gate of Hell
The ill-fated House Bresk - having recently recovered their title by defeating their vile matriarch - had been and on and off presence in the cities affairs since. In 1374, however, a prophecy concerning the family emerged. It stated that a fiend named Lothar'Ashby'Aslis, responsible for the family's original fall, would soon seek to emerge onto Toril, and that the family's bloodline and connection to him might be the only hope to thwart his arrival.
Several key items were deciphered from the warnings, including the elven Blade of Al'questra - an ancient blade of Myth Drannor that took on the spirit of its wielders - the blood of the black dragon Othokentvivex, and the heart of Joseph Bresk: the sisters' father. Natassia Bresk went alone to foreign lands in search of her father, while the House focused primarily on the Black Dragon. The current 'Council of the Seldarine' in the region took on the task of recovering the blade.
The Blade of Al'questra had last been seized by a renegade elf, and turned over to a servant of Shar. Following this path, the council eventually located a monastery of the Dark Moon, hidden in the Stonelands. Recovering the Blade and returning to Arabel, they found themselves stalked by one of the monks, who seemed immortal, returning despite fatal injuries, who also sought the aid of local Sharrans in his work. Whilst performing a ritual to cleanse the blade of the strange taint on it, they became embattled again with the monk - revealed by this point as a Curst - and were able to undo the magic keeping him sustained.
House Bresk's own efforts were proving unsuccessful - even while Othokentvivex, forewarned by means of his own, worked with the Cult of the Dragon and Riautu Er'kust to become a dracolich beyond their power. The elves, pledging further aid, were fortunately able to scout the Vast Swamp and locate the dragon's lair. House Bresk, the Dawnstar adventuring company, the elves, and War Wizard Adrien Turner did battle with the beast. Otho would seemingly overmatch his foes, until the war wizard utilized a rare scroll to become a dragon himself, and the two did battle, both perishing.
The servants of Ashby were not idle either, as soon after a missive arrived informing that they had captured Natassia Bresk on her return to the region. Seeking a barter of the House's leader for the other ritual components, they arranged a meeting in a secret stronghold below House Bresk itself.
An assortment of forces raided the stronghold, confronting the Ashby (ex)noble at a tremendous gate already beginning to open. Unwilling to release Lothar, Natassia sought to escape and was killed, as her kin killed her captors in a swift retaliation.
The Gate was already too far progressed, and the ritual had to be performed on the other side, in Lothar's realm. House Bresk and their allies ventured forth, while others prepared to hold the gate if they failed.
The exact details of the encounter within Lothar's realm are unknown, save that the heroes perished, the Gate exploded, destroying the complex and House Bresk, leaving only a shining stone on the site, embraced quickly as a sign of Lathander's (the House's patron) favor. -Black Rose
Grey Circle Part 3 - Secret War - The Purple Dragons, while trying to pursue the whereabouts of Manether Grey in Arabel, found themselves dealing with a sudden rise in arson targetted on trading costers - including at the Hawkwind, where an arsonist was captured and arrested. Meanwhile, adventurers still hunting down remaining "Wolf Packs" began to run afoul of undead. A member of the new "Circle" - or perhaps merely a higher council - named Crane emerged as the necromancer behind this latest gambit.
When the arsonist struck again in an effort kill Purple Dragon investigators, their captive was exposed as a fake - but he, too was unable to lead them to his employers due to a psionic effect upon him, only briefly mentioning a Steward, before collapsing dead.
Under increasing pressure from Arabels mercantile concerns to end the raids, Purple Dragons set up a trap to catch a true arsonist and were successful in tracing him back to a secret passage into hidden storerooms beneath the Hawkwind cartel. An ensuing raid encountered Manether Grey killing him, and captured Hawkwind himself. Under interrogation, Hawkwind refused to co-operate, citing that Grey's associates in Westgate had his family hostage.
An ensuing covert operation in Westgate itself, led by Lilyis Wellington, would recover the family from the grasp of the Fire Knives - and when returned to Hawkwind, he divulged that the Grey Circle was a ploy to seize control of Arabel's trade from the longstanding Thond, DeSchurr, and Bhaliir interests. Although Hawkwind did not know who employed Grey, he knew that a further headquarters of the Circle's forces lay in Shadow Gap. -Black Rose Stonelands Campaign - Brief
Nostra Ayitheren (Vampire City) Shines Again
Exploring the Haunted Halls, as adventurers are wont to do, one such group stumbled on a shaft leading to an enclosed valley in the Stormhorns. Within the valley lay an expansive, ruined city. Sensing the potential for grand adventure and copious treasures, they ventured down to it. Little was to be found outside, save for a few scavenging humanoids - who quickly beat a retreat as dusk approached.
Searching the interiors proved more valuable, as ancient relics, golden wares, and scattered items of magic - many empowered with light or sun-based magics were found. When the adventurers emerged back out into the now moonlit city, they were assailed en masse by rank upon rank of undead and forced to undertake a fighting retreat into a nearby ruined tower. Engaging a vampire and its minions within, they were able to battle through to a portal linked to the regions, and escape.
As their tale spread, both looters and crusaders began to venture to the city, encountering much the same problems. Eventually gathering keys to the great citadel that dominated the ruin, one of the crusading groups entered to find a ruined temple to Amaunator, an ancient sun god, and hints that this was once a city dedicated to him - before suspicion of vampiric infiltration caused it to tear itself asunder. Defeating the former lord's current incarnation as a spectral knight, he shared that the "Bloodlord" - a vampire claiming to be the first of its kind - had masterminded this deceit and now ruled in the ruins below.
The vampire lord's new enemies responded by installing "Sun Stones" upon the Keeps towers, breaking the Bloodlord's ever-present storm over the city and clearing the streets of undead - allowing access to the depths now unflooded. Venturing into the unhallowed core of the ruins, the adventurers eventually encountered the Bloodlord using a corrupted "Great Sun Stone" to rejuvenate himself. Smashing the corrupted stone and replacing its position in an idol of Maastracht with more sun stones recovered from the city, the group was able to dispatch the Bloodlord into his pool, where the sun's power purged his presence completely from Toril. The remaining Sun Stones would later become a valued asset in the coming battle against the Shadovar. -Black Rose
Grey Circle Part 4 - The Steward - Brief
Kar'thax'alon - The New Heroes - Brief
Wyvernwater - Early Days/Construction - Brief
Kar'thax'alon - Final Battle - Brief
Crusaders/Firestorm - Beginning - Brief
Scouring the Sands/Archaeology - Brief
Wild Magic - Brief
Wyvernwater - The Fall
The lord of Wyvernrest, Theliobar, was known for his unexpected and extended absences from his lands but with his last stint the village was spiralling into disarray. The banite temple he had allowed to be built upon his lands did not come without its followers, who were quickly pouring in to the militia and making the village their home. Peace was too much to ask for as the militia's coffers ran dry and the time came for collecting rent from Wyvernrest's residents; the Banite temple staunchly refused and for weeks their mounting debt and the militia's thinning purses continued to come to odds against each other, until finally it came to violence. With Theliobar away and a disillusioned militia force contemplating what the Banites could do to their village from their fortress, it was agreed to give in to the restless crowds in Arabel demanding the temple's removal.
The resulting war against the temple was short, but it left the village in a disheveled state; a deathly silence that would never lift despite the efforts of its council to reignite the village's self-reliance.
Wyvernrest's end came as wild magic surged through the lands, and one hapless night the village's terrible secret was revealed, as infernal creatures tore up its roads and slaughtered its garisson; great gouts of otherworldly fire ravaged the landscape as chaos broke out and a small handful of militiamen and villagers locked themselves on a hill in the heart of it all, trying to hold out until help arrived.
The village was evacuated of a few paltry survivors amidst the carnage, but not before the Archwizard Theliobar stepped into the fray and matched his power against two demon lords set on ensuring no one escaped alive. Wyvernrest would not know peace for a long time, as the shores of its lake boiled to the incandescent, infernal flames lashing at the village, swallowing whole its memory. - lizard-man
First Prophecies - Brief
Like carrion beetles come to remove their quarry from existance, the Multitude came bearing a controversial mission - to destroy the city of Arabel and end its blighted existance upon the face of Toril. There could be one, or three, or a round dozen scuttling around the wilderness, so far gone from civilization that it was not always clear if they were human first or insectoid, whether they were even truly sentient or served a hive mind. Under their influence the druidic presence shifted gear: necromancers were given free reign in Arabel but their fetishes were not tolerated beyond its walls; a war wizard of Cormyr was infamously transformed into a white stag and chased by the wild huntsmen, though he managed to escape and help bring about the eventual bounty on their members. With the power of the elemental staves the druid circle hid among its members, the Multitude were able to give form to their dreams of conquest.
The only druid known to be captured was not held in the "city of dead stone" for long, as her brethern tore through the earth with a huge bullete, causing havoc in the prison while they rescued her. Though they vanished without being executed like criminals, they also left with their mission incomplete; Arabel's law-forces had been taught some humility in the face of druids, at least for a little while. -Loony
Rise of the Shadovar
As wild-magic hit fever-pitch, the dream of many scholars woke up in the Anauroch once more - the ancient Empire of Netheril whose arcane might and sophistication lay unrivalled as the pinnacle of human civilization, whose ruins still attracted the attention of everyone from adventurers to priests. Time had not erred, however, for the Netherese were indeed an extinct nation and people and what came to float above the sands of the Anauroch proclaimed itself an altogether alien name - the Shadovar.
Embracing darkness like ambrosia, the new Empire of Shade quickly extended its arms in all directions leaving many quickly attempting to predict their intentions in the land they once ruled almost unchallanged; their mysterious magic, preserved through countless generations gave them a brutally apparant edge over Cormyr as their ambassadors toyed with the Crown's agents in discussions even as the country's rainwater disappeared in a lengthy drought, while the desert sands enjoyed monsoons miraculously. The peace could never last as Cormyrian agents quickly began throwing the dust out of their eyes and revealling the true resources and intentions of the Shadovar. The ensuing war would be brutal and unlike any Cormyr had yet faced, coming to challange Arabel and Flynn's faith in the Obarskyr Crown. - lizard-man
Emergence of the Sharran Cell - Brief
Corruption of the Helmites The flagging Helmite brotherhood had only just begun to show some prominence again after numerous internal disputes when a mysterious man claiming to be patriarach to a cult of Helm arrived in Arabel. With him and his "Sharpened Shield", the Brotherhood was sown with mistrust and questions once more; his idea of protecting someone was to kill the one trying to harm them - perhaps even more unnervingly, it was a method that was proving to work with far more efficiancy than the Brotherhood's own ideas. Thostis' brutal tactics and unfailing stance stunned his companions in faith and only gained him favour and preference from those who sought Helmite protection.
It fell to a Watcher of Helm, pursuing the mysterious circumstances of the cult's arrival and its patriarch to uncover the grisly truth: it was lead by none other than a priest of Mask, recently recorded dead by the city guard. The patriarch's body was found burnt to a crisp in the wilderness beside his pursuer before long, but regardless of who he was, what he had done left a lasting impression - for all his duplicity he had appealed to the hearts of Helmites and those seeking protection, to take a more active role in safeguarding the innocent and the defenceless. The maskarran died in a cell, the patriarch in a forest, but the Sharpened Shield left its mark, for good or ill. - lizard-man
Tobin Sett - Brief
Demise of the Three Bars - Brief
Second Druid Circles/The Initiated - Brief
Heyday of Elmett & Sharran Cell - Brief
End of the Thayvian Enclave - Brief
Firestorm - The Last Crusade - Brief. -written by Aldrien (lucky99)
The story begins in ((December 2006)) when Richard Stallner, a young Knight Initiate of the Order of the Merciful Sword travelled with a group of adventurers led by one Mister Masterson, an archeologist and historian recovered some unearthed artifacts in the northern parts of the Kingdom within the Stonelands. The artifacts included ancient armors, a large clock-work device of unknown purpose, and a strange obsidian scepter. The Scepter bore a strange aura, detectable by my Paladin’s sense, but not evil in itself which was not understood by others of my Order or me. As we returned to Arabel the caravan was attacked by Bedine cultists serving one they called the “High One” and using summoned fiends and other foul, infernal creatures to aid them. They were defeated and their efforts to recover this scepter were foiled for the moment. The scepter remained safe for many months and would only again arise much later in the story.
Early the following year in ((January 2007)), the first indication of the Fiendfire Orc clan, arrived in the form of the Red Dragon, Cinder, also known as Astrien or by his proper name, Ixeoposs. The dragon had terrorized the northern forests and wildlands of Cormyr for several days when he finally made contact with a party returning from a diplomatic mission to the recently arrived Shadowvar leaders in the Anauroch. The dragon claimed that he would continue to threaten and terrorize the northern regions of Cormyr until the usurpers of his lair were dealt with. He allowed this small group, consisting of members of the War Wizards, Purple Dragons, Knights of the Merciful Sword, and others to continue their way to Arabel where various plans were placed into motion.
These invaders that Astrien spoke of were the Fiendfire Orc Clan, a group of Tannaruk Orcs. Tannaruk orcs are the offspring of orcs and infernal beings. These creatures were much stronger than regular orcs, having the size and strength of large ogres, and were able to control fire, both magical and mundane, as well as having complete immunity to the same. It was their immunity to fire that allowed them to evict the dragon from his lair deep within a dormant volcano in the northern parts of Cormyr. More troubling than their size and abilities, however, was the Tannaruk’s ability to reproduce with normal orcs, resulting in a full blooded Tannaruk offspring. A single surviving Tannaruk could easily take over an existing orc tribe and produce new, tainted offspring at an alarming rate.
Within a month of the initial meeting with Astrien, the Fiendfire Orcs had displaced much of the normal residents about the volcano, causing all manner of trouble for Arabel as dangerous northern creatures moved south seeking new hunting grounds. The Purple Dragons of Northern Cormyr were unable to deal with both the influx of new threats from the north and maintain a containment zone about the Fiendfire Clan’s area, so Suzail sent an elite unit of martially-inclined War Wizards known as the Spellswords to Arabel to assist. The Spellswords were led by Oversword Lord Evan Thundersword from Suzail. His unit was specifically trained in combating the infernal and similar monsters and established a containment zone around the Fiendfire Clan, with frequent raids into the area to thin their population as they were able.
Little changed in the status quo surrounding the Fiendfire Orcs until later that year ((April 2007)) when Astrien, impatient with the delay and apparent lack of progress towards recovering his home, began threatening the northern areas of Cormyr, particularly the area surrounding the town of Flynn. With several nearly successful attempted breakouts of the containment zone within the same time frame, it was decided that a greater force would be required to defeat the Tannaruk. To this measure, Lord Thundersword began recruiting allies for the purpose of attacking the clan at their heart and destroying every single creature to end the threat once and for all.
The alliance would prove to be a weak combination of various factions bound only together by their fear of the Tannaruk Clan’s expansion. Led by Thundersword and his Spellswords, the alliance grouped together forces gathered by Astrien the Red Dragon, the Shadowvar, Aurilites with the aid of Frost Giants, the Dwarven crafters and warriors of the Iron Anvil, adventurers and traders under Trystan’s Trade, the Purple Dragons, Knights of the Merciful Sword, an Elven Warband from the area surrounding Arabel, forces from the Noble Houses Deschurr and Fezznick, as well as various unaffiliated adventurers from Arabel. Each had their own purpose and agenda within their hearts, few of them seeking only the greater good of the destruction of these fiendish Orcs.
Within the month, the alliance accomplished their first successful mission, the destruction of a Fiendfire outpost in an area formally known as the “Wolf Base” from previous operations against the “Grey Circle”. The Tannaruk had claimed the area and fortified it with many of their members. This base provided them early warning and a staging area for raids and attempts to break out of the containment area. The attack went well and resulted in not only the destruction of the Tannaruk presence, but confirmation of rumors that tiefling agents as well as some greater threat, were intervening on the side of the Fiendfire Orcs. It would be found later that there were two forces aiding the Tannaruk that we would not be aware of until far too late.
The first of these two threats would be realized soon after as the Devil Northar’Ashby’Aerlis, otherwise known as Lotho, and his tiefling offspring. The Ashby Tieflings are easily recognized by their distinct blue skin and have plagued Arabel for some time, acting as part of an underworld organization known as the “Old Order”, and more recently in attacks from the Hullack Forest. The tieflings and devil are believed to be tied with Baron Mason Ashby who was exiled from Arabel years before, for infernalism, by Sir Caspian of the Knights of the Merciful Sword. The Ashby’s and their Devil head, Lotho, were also responsible for the rise in power of Baroness Berena Bresk and the eventual destruction of the Bresk Estate, South of Arabel. At some point Baron Ashby was wed to a former member of the Bresk family, establishing a link, scores of years in the past between the infernalist Ashbys and the necromantic Bresk family.
The destruction of “Wolf Base” delayed the Fiendfire Clan’s expansion for several months, allowing the coalition to gather additional forces. There was much tension between the forces of good and evil, order and chaos that were cobbled together in this group. At one point the roster of those allied in this operation looked far more like a list of enemies than allies, with all manner of monster, creature, otherwise evil force arrayed against what was believed the greater of evils, the Tannaruk Clan and their potential for destruction of all of Cormyr and the surrounding region. Such an array of forces nearly caused the dissolution of the entire alliance due to tremendous conflicts of interest between the various represented groups. Somehow, however, the tenuous alliance held together for the time being.
After sufficient forces were gathered and before the Fiendfire could fully regroup, a series of missions were planned to gather reconnaissance on the Clan and their forces and then defeat them in a coordinated assault. In addition to routine scouting of the area, there were about a half dozen detailed, armed reconnaissance missions to determine appropriate routes for the final assault as well as to confirm or deny areas of possible enemy strongholds. These missions continued over several months, slowly whittling down the Clan’s forces, constricting their territory, and providing much needed intelligence to plan the final operation to end them altogether.
The final assault took place in ((October 2007)) with a tremendous force gathered together. Separated into six major forces, each would have their own synchronized portion of the assault; however, not all knew of the existence of the other groups or missions.
The main force would be known as “Stone Force” and consisted of primarily defensive, heavy units, and both conventional and magical artillery. Leading this force was Oversword Thundersword and his Spellsword forces. Their main objective was to attrit the Fiendfire Orcs using long-ranged artillery and then draw them into the open field to allow supporting attacks through the southern entrance and enable the reserve to engage any stragglers. Subordinate units consisted of:
Firestorm Special Company 1 (Purple Dragon's Light) Firestorm Special Company 2 (Thunder's Strike) 1st Arabel Infantry Company (Jackson's Wall) 10th Arabel Infantry Company (Heavy Ballistae) 5th High Horn Infantry Company (Nevron's Falcons) 1st Arabellan Artillery (Catapults) House Mertoi Retainers (Mertoi Volunteers)
An aerial unit known as the “Advanced Scouting Force” consisted of the 3rd Arabel Scouting Unit (Shadow Dragons) and an irregular unit of Druidic volunteers. The Shadow Dragons were mounted upon flying creatures and the Druids able to change their shape into various flying creatures or animals. Their main mission was to secure the upper entrance to the volcano and insure that no creatures could enter or exit unseen or uncontested. They would also use messengers to relay target information from their high vantage point to the main element.
A supporting element, the “Ice Assault Team” consisted of a contingent of Shadowvar warriors and mages, as well as several large clans of Frost Giants. Their primary mission consisted of using magical and conventional bombardment (conventional in the sense of giants throwing large blocks of stone or ice) against the eastern gates and destroying the guard tower at that location. The Shadowvar were to then flood into the breached gates and attack the orcs from the rear.
The “Fire Force” consisted of Astrien’s various forces. They were organized into shock, cavalry, and heavy troops, consisting of such creatures as Fire Giants, Ogres, Hobgoblins, and other monstrous creatures. Their primary objective was the destruction of the main gate and camp leading into the volcano.
The “Hidden Reserve” was not known to any of Astrien’s forces. Consisting of Green Dragon companies from House Deschurr and elven snipers, they were a failsafe to deal with the expected treachery of Astrien once his lair was secured. They intended to attack the Dragon’s forces should it show treachery, from its rear ranks, destroying them and whatever enemy forces they were engaged with.
The final group, the “City Assault Force” consisted of a contingent of Knights and Priests from the Merciful Sword, and a second group of various adventurers from Arabel, led by High Wizard Shadusk and Lionar Leonson from the Arabel Garrison. This group’s purpose was to infiltrate the volcano from a hidden mine entrance, gain covert control of the gates from inside, destroy any enemy commanders, and conduct raids on enemy forces. The Knights, as a subset of the group were to hold the hidden mine entrance to prevent any escape by Tannaruk forces that may pass that way.
The assault began as planned and the plan held for a significant portion of the battle aside from three major, abnormal incidents affecting the Spellswords, the “City Assault Force” and the Knights and Priests of the Merciful Sword.
Previously mentioned was a second unknown force that was believed to be aiding the Tannaruk and this force showed its face during a crucial moment of the assault. The Spellswords were embroiled in a heated battle with Fiendfire forces when their entire formation was rocked by a strange, magical explosion. This explosion killed many of the Spellsword and War Wizards present in the formation, nearly killing Lord Thundersword himself. Half of the Spellswords were killed instantly, the others apparently at other places on the battlefield. High Wizard Alexander Cain was believed completely obliterated, as no body remained though he was part of the formation.
What would be found out many months later through a vision granted by Tyr to three of his Paladins is that the explosion was orchestrated by the Shadowvar to incapacitate Lord Thundersword. They then used the obsidian scepter recovered in the early chapters of this tale, an ancient Netherese artifact, to twist the mind and heart of Thundersword. Over time, corrupted by the powers of shadow and the twisting of his mind and heart, Thundersword would betray the Crown as they fought the Shadowvar at Flynn, killing Arabel’s own Lord Marliir, Warden of the North and Warden of the Eastern Marches. High Wizard Cain also survived this attack, as shown to the Paladins in their vision, and was twisted into service of the Shadowvar, a shell of the hero who had initially spat in the face of the Shadowvar Prince and would later turn against the land he had sworn to protect.
More trouble and tragedy would face the small contingent of Knights and their fellow Priests. Servants of Law and Justice for Arabel, but also sworn defenders of goodness, the Knights found themselves guarding the hidden passages through the mines that might allow the enemy escape. With chaos among the main effort caused by the Shadowvar, and the main assault force inside the volcano having some success, the demon and tiefling forces, with their Tannaruk minions, attempted to escape via the same means that their fortress was infiltrated.
A large group of infernal forces struck at the small band of Knights and Priests who fought valiantly, however, all but one, Knight Lucian Valeray, died at the hands of the tieflings and their servants. When reinforcements arrived, they found the one Knight, near-death, lying with his comrades amidst a circle of slain enemies. Valeray would be promoted to Senior Knight and take the role of Master of Arms until his unfortunate death against the Demon Manithrel, another minion of the Shadowvar treachery.
The “City Assault Force” would face more than they expected on their mission within the volcano. They entered easily enough and made their way through various caverns dealing with small pockets of unknowing orcs. While travelling the passages, this group came upon a small detachment of adventurers, Tiamat worshippers who served Astrien, who joined with them in the tunnels. It would be learned later, through recovered documents hidden within these Tiamatian’s lair that the Dragon intended to betray and turn on the other forces to regain his lair, as was expected by the War Wizards and Purple Dragons. For a brief time, however, the two forces travelled together and fought against the common foe, until an altercation occurred that resulted in armed conflict between the two groups.
Heavily outnumbered, a half-orc named Biff and a monstrous creature named Redrum were killed quickly. Their leader, a woman named Salynda Sunbraid, who went by Vorel among the Dragon Worshippers, became invisible and fled to assist her Lord Astrien. The main group continued, eventually opening the required gates and making their way to Astrien’s lair. It was here that he appeared, accusing those gathered of looting his treasure and then turning to his dragon form, laid upon the assembled group with the help of the witch Vorel. She was slain after he destroyed eight of those present against him. Each one was disintegrated by magical fire, unable to be raised or returned, even by the greatest of magics.
Finally, after the pitched battle, the dragon fell with a final arrow piercing its eye, fired by Lionar Leonson of the Purple Dragons, felled the beast. The beast defeated, many of the adventurers present began looting the Dragon’s hoard, while the battle raged on elsewhere. Only after repeated urgings by those leading the group were they able to push them toward completing the task, their greed temporarily sated by baubles and trinkets.
The group continued on and finally came to the inner citadel, the lair of the infernal leadership of the clan and the site of the portal through which they intended to bring their Devil Lord, Lotho. The small band, half of what began this task, threw themselves at various devils and tiefling servants until after a challenging battle with numerous casualties; the portal was found and through the selfless sacrifice of a Druid named Altain, closed. The fight was over with the last struggles outside ceasing before the small group exited, carrying their dead, over twice their number.
At the end of the day the threat of the Fiendfire Clan was eliminated as was the threat of Lotho’s return to this plane. Over ninety-five men and women lost their lives on that day with countless deaths among the monsters and humanoids arrayed against them. Perhaps worse would be the long-term effects of this day. The turning of the Spellswords due to the Shadowvar treachery would be the greatest, leading to the death of Lord Marlirr at Flynn, and the loss of so many Knights would lead to their eventual destruction as an Order within Arabel.
Perhaps the full extent of treachery on that day is not known and likely will not be known in our lifetime. What we must learn from this piece of our history is that when one allies himself with those who traffic in treachery, as others give the greeting of the day, one must expect that there will be a greater price attached than first expected. Alliances with those who seem the lesser of multiple evils often show that perhaps there are not lesser forms of evil, only evil, and that all must be opposed for the good of all men and women.
Only through the sacrifice of many men and women, striving for a common cause of goodness, could this evil be averted.
Knights of the Merciful Sword - Last March of the Order - Brief - written by thorkm
Heavily did the burden rest upon our shoulders as we marched forth from the fortress of Tyr. A deep sadness and yet a glorious feeling rested upon our souls as Chief Justice Pers Sane led us. I had the honor of being asked along, due to my deeds for Helm, my good heart and stout soul - at least that is what I keep telling myself. Perhaps it was also sheer luck, yet others were turned away for what we were about to battle twists the mind of the weak and the Chief Justice had faith in my will. The column of knights was not long but amongst them the most seasoned paladins, the heroes of Arabel, the hammer of justice heading for what will be known as the last march of the order.
Amongst the many knights were a few I called friends, a few I had travelled with frequently - Aryan, Bernard and Abin. Lucretia Mertoi and Lord Skatterhawk had drawn up the plans and located the pocket plane in which the demon resided, an ally or to be ally of the foul Shadovar that threatened Cormyr.
As we marched forth many words were exchanged but I can still hear Chief Justice Pers Sane words ring in my ears and heart, forever they will be burned into my soul with a lingering radiance of glory "The Shadovar have long caused pain, evil, and corruption to run rampant within our homes and the world we have sworn to protect in Tyr's name. But no longer! Today we have march in the first of many battles that will drive this evil of the Shadow back."
We entered the pocket plane, far north of Arabel and found ourselves in a foul smelling wasteland with a solid fortress in its middle.
For a moment there was silence, peace - then they attacked. The battle before the keep was fierce, the demons struck in numbers uncounted, wave after wave they crashed into us. Many of the knights fell, amongst them Bernard and Abin.
Only 6 of us entered the beasts lair, while three more kept watch outside, confronting Helreth Manithel. After Chief Justice changed words with it, a battle quickly errupted and the fiend called upon more of its lackeys, Vrocks, Hell Hounds. Huge and monstrous they assaulted us and at the end only the Chief Justice, Arvan Denethial and I remained alive. We battled the demon who had taken its true form, a Pit Fiend and managed to bring it down.
Yet we knew that the victory was only temporary and as it became clear to me, I raised my voice and said "Chief Justice, the last time we banished a demon one had to .. had to sacrifice himself to seal the gate behind it.". He turned to me, his face with a hint of uncertainty as he asked "What do you propose we do, Jaron? Arvan?" but when we both offered to stay and sacrifice ourselves to seal the pocket realm and hold the demon, he only shook his head. "If one must stay, it will be me" he said, simple, solid, determined. A true warrior of Tyr. And so it was.
Somehow he was looking for his own sacrifice for it would bring him peace. He took his mighty spear once more and Arvan and I took our leave but before I called upon Helm with all my heart, my soul and voice to aid the brave soul of Tyr. And I was heard for when I summoned a creature, the most magnificant, golden dragon appeared and took watch besides Pers. I was stunned and yet my heart filled with joy for I knew that Pers would not stand alone, for Helm will stand with him.
With that Arvan, together with four surviving knights and I fled the collapsing pocket realm of the demon and headed home to Arabel to tell all about the brave last march of the order of the merciful sword. The Lord Lady Lhal herself thanked us together with Lord Skatterhawk but the order itself disbanded and the few remaining knights travelled afar, not to be heard of again.
Watchknight Jaron Wenden of Helm
Arrival of the Eclestians
In what was to be one of the most dramatic upsets of internal politlcal stability Arabel would face short of the Civil War in 1377, the Eclestian Order arrived in Arabel amidst a wary fanfare delivered by people with hopes of some lasting peace in their hearts. By decree of the royal family these hunters of the infernal, the unnatural, brought their pyres and their swords to face the unending hordes of the Abyss and guard the common man from damnation at the hands of devilry. In a revelation that stunned many in Arabel, the Eclestian Order not only had the manpower to hunt these creatures and their followers wherever they dared ply their trade or threaten innocents, but also boasted powers that seemed second only to the War Wizards of Cormyr themselves.
As the first pyres went up and night became a time of unnatural screams, of purging and cries of dismay, of support, it seemed as though no one was truly safe. Sorcerers went into hiding, their enigmatic birthright unacceptable to be left marked as "unknown" in the registers of demonslayers and yet unknown to themselves; necromancers, no longer able to twist the law to guard their research were hounded for good or ill, the descriptor of "safe" inapplicable to the dark arts they sought to conquer; a day could not pass without the gleaming silver of an Eclestian agent putting suspected lycanthropes to abrupt trials of carrying the terrifying disease sent both monsters and misunderstood, ill-fated loners into hiding far from the eyes of civilization.
The Eclestian Order forever remains to bring terror to those who would terrify any other; a relentless, unflagging cult whose name echoes in Arabel's history from the bloody cavity it tore out of the city's throat to safeguard the mortal realm from corruption. -lizard
Cult of Orcus
Through a series of power-plays in Arabel's underworld, it came to pass that a new, ambitious face lurked in the city's sewers. A tiefling went from an assassin's protogé to the most ardent promoter of a vile demonic cult intent on gaining power by the darkest of means. What was first seen as merely the perversions of a few beings turned into a pit that only grew deeper and deeper the more it was investigated. As people began vanishing from the streets, their bodies found in horrifying ritual sites far too late, it seemed the city's underworld was no longer merely hiding in the shadows, but preparing to bring darkness up from the sewers in which it lurked.
The cult's proactive attempts at sowing fear in the population came at odds with an established thieves' guild. War broke out in the underworld once more, more violently than ever before while the city was left none the wiser about the battle being fought in its underbelly for its future. The fighting peaked when the cult's most public agent was stabbed to death in the sewers; the true master - a powerful lich - revealled himself in answer, but his opposition melted into the night once more, their deed done.
Though the cult's heart still beat and the thieves had vanished back into the shadows, there were few agents of Orcus left. The mysterious Guild had won their war, it was only left to the city's paladins and bold adventurers to descend deep into the ancient sewers of Arabel and uncover the lich's lair, flushing the cult out of Arabel once again and retiring victorious, the war in the underworld forgotten, the brief, perplexing moment where thieves and rogues stood united vanished almost without witness... almost. -lizard
With the threat of war against the Shadovar looming ever nearer, all the noble houses of Arabel had been issued the Call to Arms by the Regent of Cormyr. If any of them saw in it a chance to server their country, it is uncertain; all that is certain is that at least one noble house wished to use the unruly times ahead as a means to further its own lot. What perhaps no one expected was for Lord Lheskar Bhaliir to fool his own retainers so.
What began as an exercise in ambition and resourcefulness burst into a harsh reality as Bhaliir staged a masterful act in which all and sundry were fooled into believing the militia of Arabel did not only seek to undermine him, but rob him and steal into his estate. Within days of the capture of a militia agent in the Bhaliir estate unlawfully, the Lord was announcing his self-imposed exile with the sympathy of his people behind him. All that he left behind were a few uncertain retainers who quickly resorted to the villains they were without the facade of a noble covering their true selves as they set off into the underworld from whence they came - an infernalist, a thief and a murderer. -lizard
Flynn's Independence/Phoenix Legion
With Lord Marliir - the staunch Warden of the North who had watched over Cormyr's trade jewel for so long - dead at the hands of renegade war wizards, the Shadovar sat in the town of Flynn watching Arabel in deadly silence. The Shade Empire's borders fattened up and pressed against Cormyr's and it looked as though the Forest Kingdom had finally met its match, as glorious victories gave way to honourable deaths. With the army losing numbers at a terrible rate, an ex-Purple Dragon officer began a campaign to rally civilians and adventurers against the threat from the north. Under the banner of a mysterious "Phoenix General" a brutal attack was launched upon the Shadovar awaiting in Flynn; amidst the magical darkness that shrouded their every movement such cries of conquering heroes shook the falling snow as a crash of crimson and gold smashed into the Shadovar barricade and, perhaps for a moment, the Phoenix spread its wings and the Shadovar retreated for the first time in living memory.
In the aftermath that followed, a grateful and eager army of returning citizens of Flynn praised the masked General, whose conquest it seems had just began. Allies in the assault suddenly viewed him with a wary disposition as the Phoenix General turned to face the south amid cries of "Phoenix King" and liberation. -lizard
The mysterious Callahan Corporation turned up on the doorstep of Arabel's poorest district, and promptly set about transforming it into a quarter bordering on affluent, with new buildings and fine architecture appearing where no one had dared build before; even the locals were offered many jobs through the corporation, something which they dearly lacked in the past.
It was only once Callahan Corporation was a name on every dweller of the "South-east District" - as it had now come to be known - that the benefactor and sponser of all these rennovations made himself known: none other than the previously vanished Lord Lheskar Bhaliir. The surprise turned to shock after shock, as in tow he brought his friends from his self-imposed exile: many Duergar, Beholders and formally inducted the heads of the Callahan Corporation as his personal retainers. -lizard
Ashbys in the Hullack - Brief
As the Obarskyrs' seemingly omnipotent power began to wane in Arabel, new powers and banners began to emerge from its depths and its towers. Lord Mitchell Deschurr - long held to be Arabel's greatest warrior and revered by commoner and adventurer alike - catalysed events to come; as the illustrious Green Dragons poured back into the city from all corners of the region, House Deschurr's prominence multiplied exponentially and starkly polarised views surfaced across the city's cobbled streets.
In an even more shocking move, the vanished Lord Bhaliir returned to claim patronage of the Callahan Corporation's work in rebuilding the slums. What cheers there were quickly turned to whispers racing across the city as duergar and beholder allies of the self-proclaimed King took up station about the southern districts of Arabel. Bhaliir's domain became a nightmare, plunged into an eternal, magical darkness as he turned his "subjects" into slaves, delving far beneath the city with mining expeditions for something that had grasped his attention.
To the east, devout priests of Tymora poured from the Lady's House, and Warden Dutherr - the staunch commander in chief of the militia who had for so long protected Arabel's streets - assembled his men and prepared them to defend Arabel and Lord Lady Lahl; although the Warden was rarely seen outside the militia's citadel, Darmos Lauthyr enflamed the populace and the many militiamen arriving at the Lady's House in growing numbers, bringing Tymoran sentiments close to rebellious.
The bubbling cauldron blew its lid as Constal Chalvier and Lord Brace Scatterhawk marched a Purple Dragon contingent into west Arabel and the palace to arrest Lord Lady Lahl for treason against the Crown in the same instant that martial law was declared by Scatterhawk. The palace was devoid of the cunning Myrmeen Lahl, yet the move closed shut the gates of Arabel as Deschurr refused to bow down to any attempt to command such authority over him and Darmos' faithful barricaded east Arabel from the western edge. In one fell swoop, the one person keeping Arabel from breaking out into civil war was gone, and the future looked to be a grim one, as residents of central Arabel prepared for the worst. -lizard
Bhaliir the Tyrant Many adventurers tried their luck to little avail against Bhaliir's duergar and beholder allies, where the other political rivals vying for control of the city remained primarily too hesitant to weaken themselves unnecessarily by joining in. All that is, except for Deschurr, who readily clashed with everyone hindering his expansion but met his match in Bhaliir. Turned to stone and having lost most of his army in one battle, House Deschurr looked to his daughter, Anya, for guidance, and it came in the form of the Phoenix Legion taking its first steps into Arabel, as House Deschurr proclaimed its allegience to the Phoenix King.
All was not well for the Tyrant King however, as the increasing obsession of his minions to capture and enslave adventurers resulted in the petrified Lord Mitchell Deschurr being returned to flesh by a well prepared group inside King Bhaliir's dungeons; his release caused an eruption right in the heart of Bhaliir's realm as the legendary warrior carved a path out of the palace.
Lheskar Bhaliir's reign came to an end, but on his own terms. As adventurers rallied together to free his slaves, the Tyrant welcomed them to the sight of south Arabel collapsing into a seemingly bottomless pit. Descending with his army, King Bhaliir seemingly withdrew from the civil war, although rumours and sightings persist to this day of his influence from whatever land his reach now extends. -lizard
Arrival of the Fivestars - Brief
Arrival of Candlekeep - Brief
Ondeth Waters - The Black Dragon -Brief
Formation of the Mage's Guild
With the civil war over and Crown forces in full retreat, for the first time in as long as anyone could remember Arabel was unhindered by such a force as the War Wizards. Prominent mages of the city banded together soon after to form the Wizard's Guild of Arabel, counting among its members the established, the famous and fresh names as well. In particular, one officer of the victorious Pheonix Legion whose political antics proved instrumental in the ensuing bid for custodianship of central Arabel for the Guild.
The remnants of the Eclestian Order gave strong resistance, but with their actions no longer left unquestioned by the authorities too much of this only damaged their arguments.
The Guild, granted considerable political influence in Arabel by way of their new responsibility over the war-torn district of central Arabel and some degree of immunity to Eclestian investigation, began its ascent as the definitive arcane authority in Arabel. -lizard
Assault on Castle Ashby - Brief
Gromfia - Beginings - Brief
The Infernal Affair of the Iron Wings
Caught between worlds, the Iron Wings merceneries remained of little note until the fateful day that they made enemies of a drow house. In a shock of infernal magic laced with the darkest of designs, they found themselves fighting for their lives - and those of many others - as the Iron Wings became targetted by a campaign of violence from an enemy they could not reach. When the end seemed all but certain - with the entire leadership sitting in the cells of the dread House Syl'kabri, awaiting the next gladiatorial bout that could be their last act in this world - they were magically summoned out of their prison by desperate allies, unaware of the true nature of the magic they were conducting, the price they were paying for this temporary freedom.
Though Syl'kabri collapsed days later, overcome in an assault by a rival house, the merceneries' trials did not end but on one last mysterious summoning to the lower planes, where their infernalist tormenter revealled herself. The duergar promised them only the privalege to be her chosen tools in a path of darkness that she was nearing the completion of before vanishing. Whether she truly achieved the dread power she sought or perished in the attempt is anyone's guess. Such powers are not bound by mortal bounds like time. -lizard
Arrival of the Red Hart
Formed in the year 1221 by the first Marshall Lord Amadis Nemiel, the Knightly Order of the Red Hart hailed from the Cormyr/Sembia border - with many having journeyed from across the surrounding countries. Their history was already filled with tales of gallantry offering themselves as military advisors and council to Lords but never afraid to take to the field. They stood for the ancient knightly virtues of honour and chivalrous conduct.
When the knights arrived in the region, they were in the process of rebuilding their ranks after defending the city of Mosstone from goblin hordes. Led by their Lord Marshall, Caleb Beren, they were drawn to Arabel after two of their Order were lost to a local noble, Lord Hursk. The Order tracked him back to his manor north of the city and saw justice done. They then decided to remain, rebuild and help stablise the area from the civil war. -Thunderlamb
Theur Everae - Brief
Formation of the Adventurer's Guild Shortly after the civil war had ended in the Pheonix Legion's victory, an ex legionaire took off his uniform only to put on another, deciding to form an Adventurer's Guild to protect Arabel with its most abundant resource - and make a business out of it too. His personal friend, Kara Thond - daughter of the hugely wealthy William Thond who had already helped finance the Phoenix Legion's war efforts - funded this idea, and the Adventurer's Guild was born.
The Guild enjoyed early success, as its members filled the Guild's basement with trophies and earned prestige within Arabel and beyond, when they returned a dwarven relic to Thunderholme. Before long they had gained some serious political clout - recognised by their seat on the newly formed city council - and employed its own mercenary company to guard the Eastern District it called home.
Never one for the easy option, the Guild was amongst the first to oppose the arrival of the Zhentarim Embassy, but unfortunately this put them at odds with the city's true head of state: Mergyth Cassiel, now married to Karah Thond and so the lawful owner of the Adventurer's Guild as a property. When the Adventurer's Guild refused to back down, it was outlawed as an organisation and the Guildmaster declared a wanted man. Stories abound about how he and the Guild's other prominant members escaped Cassiel - the only common theme among them was that he reportedly headed for Eveningstar after his Guild's downfall.
Just how the master adventurer made such a journey, though, is likely a tale all of its own. -Bable
Formation of the Sheriffs - Brief
The Scarlet Talons - "The Scarlet Talons seeks to support those living gods that we call dragons and help them to achieve their rightful control of all they survey," a recruitment poster loudly proclaimed of the Talons' arrival in Arabel. Their promise of power in return for fealty to dragons appealed to many of the seedier folk of Arabel. At first their dealings were quiet and went largely unnoticed, but as they gathered up a sizable force of these delinquents conflict began to arise. They enforced tribute in the name of the black dragon Ithylibhor on any wandering the swamp West of Eveningstar. Rumor surrounds how they curried favor with their draconic master and what their true ends were, but very quickly no one in Arabel could ignore their presence.
The Adventurer's Guild was the first to take a strong stand against the Talons and the first to suffer: a prominent member was reportedly attacked and his hand removed in retaliation for anti-Talon posters and talk. An attack on the druids raised hostilities yet further despite the Talons claiming uninvolvement, and as their power grew the Scarlet Talons siezed abandoned land around Castle Crag, claiming it for Tiamat and Ithylibhor. The Sheriffs began to question in earnest the Scarlet Talons' cohesiveness with the city of Arabel, but that fell to the wayside as the final chapter and undoing of the Talons loomed into focus:. The Talons slaughtered several druids in the glade but were not careful enough to avoid witnesses, and it was a blow they never recovered from; allies abandoned them and many in the city who were neutral up to that point were forced to take a side in the entire affair, and very quickly the Talons came to face overwhelming odds. Their fates would be decided at Gromfia, though as malarites and elves forewent all subtlety and began hunting down their members, it was a battle that could not come soon enough. -Mattamue
Red Moon rising
The Malarite faith has always spurned attempts to bind it, to tame it, but out of the Hullack came a feral cry that announced a new kind of hunter as the Red Moon rose, for good or ill of the city. Their small numbers did nothing to hold them back, and their constant feuding with the likes of the Theur Everae only raced higher when they were granted some legal authority over the Hullack. Their history, laced with terrible rumours of desecrating holy ground of Chuantea with bloody revelry to brutalising elves is also filled with harsh defeats, of Theur Everae striking out of the shadows of the Hullack, of murders both on their part and against them against the infamous Scarlet Talons.
They survived those bitter rivalries however, and would go on to plant Malar's standard high in the midst of the mighty Hullack, enflaming the hearts and minds of Arabellens as new adversaries challanged their dominion. -Hessu
The Cartel As the days shortened, something stirred in the bloated mass that was the slums of Arabel; someone had returned from the wall seperating those crammed streets and sought what up until then had been denied to them all. Under the pretense of creating order out of chaos, the Cartel hid behind the facade of a "Southeast District Council" who, together with Fharz, brought a kind of public face to the scene. Their notorious kidnapping of the city alchemist numbered among their most blatent acts of crime, topped only by their attempts at starting a bidding war between the city's factions to see who would have the glory of publicly rescuing him.
Some believed the Cartel's hatred of elves found them allies in the Red Moon, or vice versa, and one of the Malarite cult's earlier public feasts that erupted into a district-wide march clamouring recognition of Malar's faith was not without its sponsers in the city underworld. -Caek
House Vhoor - One of the stranger episodes in the intricate tapestry of history, was the initial overtures and arrival of the Cormyrian noble house Vhoor. Elshad Vhoor snapped up several holdings of wealth he had hidden around the area, quickly establishing a power base in the west. Seated in the iron throne like a pale spider, he tried to extend his web to trap all of the city within it; a web not of force or fear, but one of influence and favor-trading, of debts and collection. Agents of his will, ferocious and ruthless, hunted and slew anything that might remotely resemble a threat to the city; Githyanki, raiders, criminals, none were shown an ounce of mercy. The House sent it's strongest to sack Gromfia along with the other powers, to further curry awe and splendor.
All this, as it was revealed eventually, was so that the house would be safe when the truth came out; The Vhoor noble line was one steeped in vampirism. Elshad himself, centuries old, came simply to place the city under the nightwalkers, using it's citizens as mere cattle to feed upon. The powers in the city, finding this intolerable, waged war, and in the span of a single night, destroyed every vestige of House Vhoor, slaying most of Elshad's servants. In the loud, politically fuelled celebrations that followed a few faces still remained wary in Arabel, the name of Elshad Vhoor passing in whispers between them as they slipped back into the shadows in an increasingly frantic search for a body they would not find that night. -Relonor
The Battle of Gromfia - Brief
Arrival of the Zhentarim - Brief
New Kilgrave's formation - Brief
Infernal Cultists - Brief
Goldfeather's Sword / Lahl's return - Brief
Bloodclaw - Son of Malar
With the Theur Everae a distant memory, the Malarites of the Red Moon wasted little time in consolidating their position in the Hullack. Mere hours after the very well recieved "Festival of Malar", rumours emerged of a horrible, immortal beast hunting anyone who dared to enter the woods. It was no secret for long - at the apex of their diety's power, the Red Moon had brought into the world of Toril a hunter whose thirst for blood seemed unquenchable. Bloodclaw, proclaimed Son of Malar, now prowled the lands east of Arabel. Soon the Hullack filled with bloody trophies from Bloodclaw's hunts: elven and undead corpses impaled as grisly trophies of what it meant to delve into those woods without the Beastlord's favour.
Those aligned against the monstrous hunter retreated and soon claimed that the creature was only a fiend - an eater of souls like any other - met with fierce disbelief from the Malarites who venerated it.
The truth was revealled, by magical divination or a particularly smug Malarite, that the only way to kill Bloodclaw was to face it by the Creed of Malar and best it, or else it would never leave the world. The ancient rivals of the Beastlord, servants of Nobanion, the Red Harts marched upon those woods to do just that. Bloodclaw was bested - a feat no one had thought possible - and he was bested by his lord's fiercest rivals in such a way that his time on this world had truly come to an end. While the Red Moon still held the Hullack uncontested, it was a major victory for the Red Harts, and a long awaited one. -Hessu
Banda's Ascension - Brief
Hazil - The Deal Maker - Brief
Spirit of the Hullack - The Hullack was always known to hold many perils and creatures, but one evening the forest´s danger exploded into a whole new level as night descended malignantly upon it one day and did not release the woods for many days to come. Some adventurers who dared to step into the forest at that time claimed to having seen drow and humans around the Wyvernstones - the site of an ancient temple to Eldath, now long desecrated by Malarite hunters and murderous lycanthropes. By the time the darkness had lifted and the drow vanished, it was only to leave a new force of monstrosities behind the treeline.
For years it was known that the spirit of the ancient druid, Hullack, guarded the forest named after him but now it seemed that his raging corpse had risen to haunt the lands from its resting place beneath the ancient temple. Yet, disagreeing whispers spread parallel to the Red Moon's calls for a mighty hunt for Hullack and his undead host - of elven defenders of old rising up to expel the malarite faith whose actions were turning the woodlands into a bloodbath, of Hullack the Spirit Guardian, not the shambling corpse. -Hessu
Ithylibohr's Demise - Brief
Mk'akta - An undead entity existing before the creation of Netheril, Mk'akta first came to the Material Plane in the lands that would later be known as Cormyr. Seeing the verdant and beautiful lands as ripe for the claiming he declared himself King, raising an army of undead to slay the elves who inhabitted the land of the time. Mk'akta raised a small army of human 'knights' to follow his rule and destroy the elven people in exchange for fortune and power.
After his defeat at the hands of the elven people the entity was sealed in an ancient elven vault, in a place that is known today to man as the Vast swamps. In 1379 DR, the being was released, and promptly began it's plans to retake what he considered to be rightfully his. Arabel rallied to meet the long-forgotten king, and they quickly discovered the means to stop him, a means as enshrouded by time and mystery as Mk'akta himself; The compendium of necromancy, what would best be described as a textbook of the magical school of necromancy, written by time-maddened liches in an era where Jergal ruled supreme over the lands of the dead. Every aspect of the subject was covered in painstaking detail. Split in three, each portion was eventually recovered: one from the demonblood orc chieftain who threatened war on Arabel in 1379 DR; one from a distant extraplanar world; one deep in the underdark. They were joined, the tome complete for the first time in thousands of years, and its knowledge was used to destroy the creature. -Relonor
House Tlin'orzza - Orcs in the Hullack - Brief
Curse of the Hanse - Possible Spoilers
Grodd Goblin Hordes - Brief
The re-taking of Castle Crag - Brief
As winter drew on, something arose from beneath Arabel's streets, rose into the unending blackness the slums of Arabel were gripped within - anarchists, criminals, those who wished to see Arabel broken, its laws shattered to make way for a new age of darkness. Infernalists, assassins, smugglers and worse banded together, persuaded by the promise of power and riches or simply keen on keeping at least one district of Arabel resolutely out of Queen Lahl's hands; amid their brazen sales of bloodstones, the break-in of the Red Hart fortress, the Cabal grew bolder and bolder, promising to root out spies and agents of the Crown. Investigators still made headway, however, and soon learned that it was an old enemy the city was dealing with - the vampiric "dauggter" of Lord Vhoor and her servants and allies, attempting to flood the city that had condemned them to death with crime and lawlessness in revenge. Hostages became a favoured tool of the Cabal, some being rescued only to return to their captors willingly, ensorcelled by the vampire's powers - others bringing tales of prison cells and cat-and-mouse interrogations, as they sought to grasp at some shadow at which to strike.
Ultimate doom fell upon the Cabal as its most notorious smuggler attempted a coup against the vampire's right hand and otherwise caretaker of the organisation; together with his apprentices and an infamous Shadovar warrior, he attempted to trap his mark with a ruse. It was undone by the arrival of the vampire, and the snare could not properly close upon her thrall - even so, the smuggler's treachery was not revealled until the vampire's thrall and the Shadovarran envoy began hacking at each other with blades and magic in the city sewers. The slums erupted as the full scale of the coup came to light, magic and steel and poison hurtling through the narrow alleys. By the time it was over there was no shortage of corpses in the slums, but no sign of the vampire or her thrall either - nor would there be again after the sheer scale of the conspiracy. With two of the three major powers in the Cabal dead or vanished the remaining members of the criminal organisation scattered, or came under the command of the Talonites to join in more blatent attempts to cripple Arabel. -lizard
Sheriffs of East Way - Brief
Empire of Loross - Possible Spoilers
Greencastle Trades - Brief
Apocalypse - Resealing of the Rift - Brief
Tyche's rebirth - Brief
Cult of the Jawed God - Brief
Chosen of Ramiel - Brief
Cassiel Assassinated - Brief
The Dark Flame Cult
As the activity of the Angelic Ramiel cult proceeded facing little resistance, many believed that it was out of a lack of infernal threats to slay in the region. But something stirred in the shadows as everyone was focused on the more visible threat of the Devil Dragon, of the political scheming erupting in the wake of Cassiel's murder. In the belly of the underworld, dark powers were hastening to establish themselves, as a growing number of malicious groups found that they had a mysterious, wealthy benefactor sponsering their cruelty and greed. If the evil cults knew what they were dealing with, outsiders certainly did not make the connection even as events were put into motion that would culminate in one of the most heinous orgies of sin Arabel had seen for a long time: the Infernal Feast.
Even if they were too late to stop this consumption of the forbidden and desecration of holy creatures, the Dark Flame cult was begining to leave enough breadcrumbs in its wake for dots to be joined by virtuous protectors of Arabel. The smell of hellfire and sight of devilish agents were growing more noticable in the events that lead up to many of Arabel's darkest hours: they were among the minions serving "Osborne Greencastle" as he built his doomsday weapon; they were present retrieving the bones of the Devil Dragon that would result in the end of Queen Lahl's reign over Arabel; and even when Queen Venieth herself was assaulted during her hunting trip, they held a presence, even if they were not suspected of being its masterminds. Still, a thick veil of secrecy conceals their achievements and true purposes.
The Cult's final throw of the dice was through the gates of the Red Hart fortress, as their own Reagent of Damnation faced the Lord Marshall of the Red Hart in a duel to the death. Though he was slain, the question remains what he was possibly hoping to achieve that day, facing so powerful a warrior directly - or if in his death, he had triggered one last scheme into motion. -Hessu
Berlescosa Venieth - Queen Elect - Brief
Navalayra's Ultimatum - Brief
The Staves of Elemental Power - Ymluth's Liberation The four elemental staves - fire, earth, air and water - had long held legendary status as artifacts of power within the region. Those few who knew of them though, rarely knew of more than one, and it's unlikely the true powers of each staff were known to any but their wielders. The druids long hid them away in secrecy, perhaps hoping that their fearsome powers would never find use, or perhaps hoping no one else could use them. Their efforts lasted for longer than anyone could have guessed, as the staves dated back to the origins of the Glade they called home. When the Chosen of Ramiel came at odds with the druids however - who protested to the presence of an angel upon the Prime Material - the staves became the target of the angelic cultists' concern.
Though for a while both sides held half the staves, Ramiel's chosen stole away the last two after convincing the druids to try diplomacy. The deception sparked outrage amongst many, though the cultists maintained that they had done no wrong and that the needs of the many would outweight the pride of a few.
Sure enough, the four staves did not linger for long in the cult's hands. They returned to the druidic Glade, where they triggered the release of the power they once contained, that the Glade once imprisoned - the soul of a wizard named Ymluth. His liberation dissipated the angry calls against the Chosen of Ramiel, even amongst some druids, though a few remained from wildwalkers to men of honour who did not consider that the ends had justified the means. With the elemental staves now powerless, however, the druidic glade's strength was severely weakened, their ancient gambit no longer relevent. -Bable
The Departure of the Zhentarim - Brief
Desecration of the Ashen Glade - The increasing presence of Ghaunadaur cultists on the surface brought the druids of the Ashen Glade to many violent confrontations. Their hated enemy did not just disrespect the natural order that had built up over mellenia, but actively sought to twist it into aberrant forms - if Ghaunadaur allowed it to live at all. The vicious to-and-fro came to a horrific conclusion when the druids were overwhelmed by the Slime Cult; unable to protect the Glade, they could only hope for death as the Cult brought into being an avatar of their evil diety.
The Glade was not just destroyed but warped beyond recognition; turned into a foul temple to a dark diety, a blight on the face of the world itself from where the very beings the druids sought to slay now originated from. As the final kick into the corpse of the defeated Ashen Glade, the cultists raised the corpse of one druidess condemned to death by her peers, and gave her a new purpose no less twisted than the glade had become. The Blight was complete, and the Glade changed forever. -Bable
The Staff of Ilmater The fabled Staff of Ilmater, an artifact that inspired the lusts of many a powerful figure in Arabel - whether for the chance to desecrate it or enshrine it. It was only with the Devil Dragon's power escalating to bounds never before imagined by the country that its potential as a weapon of war was realised.
With Navalayra's forces amassing for an assault upon Castle Crag, punishment for the Cormyrians its undead masses so vehemently hated, Arabellen forces began a journey across the Spine of the World on the advice of noble dragons to bring back this powerful artifact in time. Despite the attempts of the Grodd to stop or delay them, the artifact was found in a hidden monastary dedicated to the Broken God and found its way to Crag before the lines of Grodd goblins could engulf Cormyr's last fortress in the north entirely.. -lizard
The Fall of Crag
The Purple Dragon stronghold of Castle Crag set the scene for what would prove to be a colossal coming together of two forces fighting for survival, never before was good and evil so patently defined ~ at least on the surface.
Arabel, long a bastion of hope and decency in the land flooded the timeworn defences of Crag against all manner of monstrous foe – Goblins, Orcs, Mercenaries and their terrifying Devil Dragon.
Oddly however, it was neither the spirit of the defenders nor the malice of the invading masses that settled the Fall of Crag, instead it was defined by the treachery that cost the lives of hundreds and perhaps saved thousands more.
The Aegis of Easthaven The staff of Ilmater and its wielder vanished from sight in the days following Cormyr's defeat at its fortress of Crag. The victorious villains lured Easthaven's mayor to their castle with the intent of capturing this bane of their master as swiftly as possible; the distraction was enough for Easthaven forces lead by the mayor's bodyguard to steal into the cemetary that birthed the Devil Dragon's seemingly endless armies and escape alive, but not empty handed. In the confusion, the mayor escaped from Castle Crag himself in time to return to his lands and announce what no one had dared to claim for so long: you are safe, as long as you are with me.
Easthaven's promise was not challanged after a day, not even after two days. They claimed the Devil Dragon impotent against them and delivered upon their promise. Such power turned the many voices in Arabel calling Easthaven a land of thieves and cowards into those clamouring to get their staff back by whatever means, as Queen Lahl's regime found itself outmatched by what was considered a mere village. -lizard
The Sacking of Flynn and Huntsilver's Escape - Brief
The Elder Eye - Assault on Eveningstar - Brief
Berlescosa Venieth the First
As Easthaven's campaign on Arabellen citizens - to convince their monarch to abdicate in favour of Queen Venieth - only grew louder, Queen Lahl tasked her loyal Red Harts to settle the matter by retrieving the stolen Staff of Ilmater and reuniting the peoples of the land under her leadership. After so long facing the grave threat of the Devil Dragon together, Red Hart knights galloped to the eastern gate as the order called its men to arms, hoping to intimidate Easthaven into surrendering its beloved staff. It did not work and mere hours after negotiations failed to reach acceptable terms, the Red Hart were marching on Easthaven.
Corpses piled high as the knights charged boldly into the fray, but where they were bound by their honour, Easthaven's defenders employed every tool at their disposal and butchered the would-be conquerers. It did not end there, however, for the Red Hart retreat sounded only as a great shadow fell across the sky and torched not only the battlefield of Easthaven but all the road to Arabel in its fury - Navalayra, the Devil Dragon, returned amid the chaos of battle.
Easthaven's forces charged out and into the city where Grodd goblins ran amok in the chaos. As Queen Venieth arrived her counterpart was already facing off against the Devil Dragon in the center of the city. As capable as Queen Lahl was, she was no match for the dragon and her beaten body was rescued out of the fray and rode to Eveningstar by a last cadre of loyal knights. The dragon's triumph was short-lived in the face of Queen Venieth bearing the fabled Staff of Ilmater however. Its defeat at her hands completed the coup, and together with King Cordwyn Huntsilver and her forces from Easthaven, she marched into Arabel's palace and assumed power over trade capital of northern Cormyr. -lizard
Greencastle's Gambit - Brief
Takata - Possible Spoilers
The Covenent - Possible Spoilers
Baron Kreswell of Arabel - Possible Spoilers