All the Lich King's Men
In December, my latest storyline “All the Lich King’s Men” officially kicked off. It’s intended to end near the end of February, or as close as schedule and storyline permits. I hope you’ve all enjoyed the events that have transpired so far, and I’m definitely looking forward to the next two months. However, I know a lot of information can get lost in translation, and I’m always trying to help people be in the know, or new people get in the know. So below, you’ll find a timeline of the more major events, so everyone’s on the same page going forward.
Eorgaen, 5112 - (December, 2012)
- A fire was spotted near the docks in Wehnimer’s Landing, and the adventurers went to investigate, only to find that the fishing shop, Guttin’ Goods was engulfed in flames. The heroes were able to form a bucket brigade and put out the fires. Inside the shop, the half-krolvin owner Cutlass thanked the heroes for their help and was then questioned about who might have done this. Originally, in the panic of the fire, the shopkeeper had cursed about some birds, but when asked to clarify, he said he never mentioned any form of avian. He also suspected the fire was likely caused by some hooligans with anti-krolvin sentiments and then clammed up.
- That same night as the shop fire, strange ghostly white lights appeared in the night above Wehnimer’s Landing, eventually moving through the sky and descending on the Black Sands. An eerie voice echoed across the heavens, commanding the beasts of the bay to rise and be reborn. When the adventurers went to investigate, they found hordes of undead krolvin rising up out of Darkstone Bay and swarming the beach. After some initial fighting, a white fog rolled across the beach and the krolvin zombies disengaged the heroes and wandered into the mist, disappearing altogether.
- Adventurers heard commotion outside of Tykel’s Arms, and stormed inside. They found broken glass, and some bricks smeared with blood, in the image of a rook. Tykel was very angry and told the heroes present that a week or so ago, some cloaked thugs came into his shop and offered him a lucrative deal to help smuggle things through his shop’s tunnel access, but he had refused them. The broken glass and blood were clearly a warning. Tykel described his attackers as shadowy figures with deep hoods, and only a greyish-black beak showing beneath the cowl. He was not certain if they were monster or man. Then suddenly, a beaked figure appeared outside of Tykel’s window, and then darted off. The heroes chased after the figure, but lost him. In their search of the town and the catacombs, they discovered a new series of tunnels beneath the town, dubbed the Burrow Way. The new network of caverns was explored and determined to have access to many shops within the town, as well as a few exit locations outside of town.
- The adventurer Puptilian was lured into an alleyway by the Brotherhood of Rooks, where he was told to deliver a message to the town and its mayor. They claimed that the town was now theirs, and they would protect it, and not to try to stop them. Then, three shadowy figures with grey beaks stepped out of the darkness, pecked Puptilian with their beaks to death, then left him to be rescued and deliver his message. (Puptilian’s Post - http://forums.play.net/forums/GemStone%20IV/Towns/Wehnimer's%20Landing/view/3096 )
- Ghostly lights appeared in the night again, this time descending upon the graveyard near Lorminstra’s Temple in Wehnimer’s Landing. Once more, a dark voice called for the fallen to rise and meet him. Local adventurers went to the graveyard to find it swarming with undead ghouls, zombies, phantoms and more. The heroes fought hard, working tirelessly to release the undead, but were soon overwhelmed by the power of some of the spirits and many died, their bodies trapped within the graveyard and making any rescue attempts difficult. It was then Mayor Walkar showed up, his “magical” breastplate flashing with crimson light as he waded into the horde of undead, dispatching many of them before he dragged dozens of heroes to safety. At the end of the conflict, white fog appeared once more, swallowing up the remaining undead and then fading away.
- Plumes of smoke were seen in the Upper Trollfang and some adventurers went to discover a caravan of wagons had been set on fire, with only burnt husks, a few bodies, and one survivor remaining. All of the supplies were stolen and were believed to include wheat, metal and precious gems. Etched on the wheel of one of the burned wagons, was the tiny image of a red rook. The lone survivor, a tinker gnome named Jankus, was questioned by the heroes. He explained that they were traveling from Solhaven and were ambushed, his friends killed and their supplies taken. The gnome also had a number of gears and trinkets that had gone missing. The heroes offered to help Jankus get set up in town as he was looking to settle somewhere and begin merchanting. He later received accommodations from Mayor Walkar for his troubles, as the mayor wished to welcome new business and merchants to town.
- Ghostly lights appeared in the sky, this time descending upon the Wehntoph, where local heroes rushed to fight off hordes of undead pumas, trolls, ogres and minotaurs. The conflict raged on for a while, before white fog once more arrived and engulfed the undead, fading away along with them. (Geijon’s Battle Report - http://forums.play.net/forums/GemStone%20IV/Towns/Wehnimer's%20Landing/view/3089 )
- The adventurer Arpelli and many townspeople organized a ritual in the town graveyard to bless the ground and try to put back to rest some of the dead that had been awakened. The adventurer Godefroy, a priest of Koar, led the service as many gathered in the graveyard. After the ceremony, they proceeded to go to the fishing shop and Tykel’s arms, trying to bless the shops against whatever might also be behind the Brotherhood of Rooks. The Rooks did not take too kindly to their meddling in what they called their shops, so shadowy figures kidnapped Godefroy. The Rooks then informed Godefroy he was wasting his time blessing shops, that they were not connected to the undead menace, and that the Rooks had come to restore order, but to obtain true rule with fear first, then obedience. Godefroy was then pecked to death from the razor-sharp beaks of the shadowy figures and left to be discovered in the Burrow Way. (Arpelli’s Post - http://forums.play.net/forums/GemStone%20IV/Towns/Wehnimer's%20Landing/view/3103) and (Godefroy’s Post- http://forums.play.net/forums/GemStone%20IV/Towns/Wehnimer's%20Landing/view/3111)
- Mayor Walkar held a town hall meeting in Moot Hall, where many citizens, adventurers and even local merchants were in attendance. Walkar tried to ensure the public that he was having the increase of criminal activity investigated and these thugs calling themselves the Brotherhood of Rooks will be brought to justice and cannot successful strong-arm the town into submission. A reward was announced to soon be offered for information regarding their leader. After fielding a number of questions from people in attendance, the doors were suddenly shut from the outside and the windows boarded up. From among the crowd, three shadowy figures with grey beaks sprung seemingly from out of nowhere and then escaped through a secret entrance into the catacombs. The heroes pursued, but were left to discover only a message written in blood. It was a warning, that the Rooks had all of the power, could have killed them all, but did not.
- Part of a new tunnel, still incomplete, was discovered in the Burrow Way, leading many to speculate that the Rooks intend to expand.
- Throughout the entire month, dark visions continued to torment people as they would see images of gnarled bodies hanging from withered trees, or corpses littered along streets, or even an undead king roaming in the darkness with a crown of bones.
- The town marshal Khylon mobilized some militia members and some local heroes and goes on a raid through the Burrow Way tunnels. They are encountered by a number of bandits and arrows from murder holes, but eventually discover a Rook’s Nest near the tunnel exit to Upper Trollfang. Inside they kill a number of recruits and other bandits and rogues before the hidden lair is finally cleared out. Inside of the hideout they find some maps of the layout of the town prison, moot hall, and a construction plan for expanding the current Burrow Way. There is also a manifest detailing some imports into town, originating from Brisker’s Cove in the County of Seareach. (Cryheart’s Report - http://forums.play.net/forums/GemStone%20IV/Towns/Wehnimer's%20Landing/view/3116)
- After the attack on the Rook’s Nest, a small child approached the adventurer Seomanthe at the Hearthstone Steps. The child asked her about the orphanage she was trying to make and wanted her to follow him. Once Seomanthe was at the Temple, away from onlookers, the child darted away. Just then, three Rooks ambushed her and dragged her into darkness, dumping her into a cell hidden somewhere. During the town hall meeting, Seomanthe and her husband Greganth had threatened to smoke out the Burrow Way. So the Rooks instead held her prisoner as they set fire to House Aspis, the home of her officership. Local heroes rushed to the aid of Aspis and put out the fires before much damage could be done. The Rooks warned Seomanthe and others not to come against them again, then pecked her to death and left her to be found in the underground tunnels. (Seomanthe’s Post – http://forums.play.net/forums/GemStone%20IV/Towns/Wehnimer's%20Landing/view/3117)
- For the final time, more ghostly lights appeared above Wehnimer’s Landing, this time descending on the old Mine Road near the town. There, heroes battled undead thraks, goblins, miners, death worms and ghoulish spiders. As with all of the previous encounters with the undead, the white fog eventually arrived as the zombie creatures disappeared within it.
- The adventurer Meureii was kidnapped by some Rooks and subdued and left on an icy cliff on the Glatoph as a diversion. As local heroes rushed out to the Glacier, a ship exploded at the North Dock in town, sending a fiery ball of flames and smoke into the sky. When the heroes finally rushed to the docks they found the husk of a burnt ship, a scorched chest full of melted lockpicks, and a flame-seared body. Discovered on the chest was the small red etching of a rook. Larton, the town’s local locksmith showed up shortly after, claiming the ship had carried a lot of supplies for his shop. He explained how the Brotherhood of Rooks had tried to sell him monthly protection for his ship, and if their fee was not met, they would extract their revenge. Larton had refused twice, so his business suffered. He was almost ready to give in and pay the fee to the Rooks, but the adventurers present convinced him otherwise. (Cryheart’s Report - http://forums.play.net/forums/GemStone%20IV/Towns/Wehnimer's%20Landing/view/3141)
- Shadowy figures were seen moving through the streets of Wehnimer’s one night, so a number of militia soldiers and adventurers began to patrol. Within minutes, a wave of young bandits, seeming to be recruits in the Brotherhood of Rooks, began to attack townspeople. The attack was eventually beat back, but Kaedra discovers a bag on one of the dead bandits. In the bag is a parchment listing names of new recruits, none of them recognized by the public except Arpelli! The town marshal Khylon explained that he was sure she is being framed, but needed to take her away for questioning as part of his job. For her own protection and witness, Arpelli asks Sir Cryheart to go with her. Khylon took them both to the Council Chambers inside Moot Hall, where he began to question her about why the Rooks might be targeting her. Moments later, three cloaked figures leapt out of the shadows, subdued both Arpelli and Cryheart, then dragged Khylon off. As a parting gift, the shadowy figures surrounded Arpelli and Cryheart and pecked them to death with their razor-sharp beaks before disappearing. Both Arpelli and Cryheart were later recovered and healed by fellow adventurers.
- A message in blood was left on the wall of Moot Hall that reads, “We have your dwarf. The Rooks’ Ransom comes soon.”
- A series of massive quakes shook Wehnimer’s Landing and the surrounding area. Cracks formed along the cobblestone streets, which drove adventurers down into the Burrow Way to explore. There, they found a pile of rubble in the newly added tunnel had been cleared away, but at the expense of the blackened and scorched bodies of bandits scattered nearby. The tunnel was discovered to lead into pitch darkness, unable to be lit up by torch or magic. A number of adventurers pressed into the darkness, navigating through blindly before coming out into a massive cavern that led to some black iron gates. Beyond the gates they encountered a small city full of undead, from ghouls to spirits, to zombies and death knights. It was soon realized that the town was a dark macabre version of Wehnimer’s and the ruler was identified by the grotesque statue in the center of the undead city. The master of the recent undead menace proved to be Barnom Slim, who had now ascended into the form of a lich and dubbed himself a King. Barnom was once a councilman of Wehnimer’s, who allied himself with Grishom Stone, and later a Luukosian Cult in River’s Rest before vanishing. During the Lich King’s initial encounter with the heroes, only threats and insults were shared and Barnom later explained that one day they would all serve in his new kingdom and that many would do so by choice, and that becoming living dead was the only way to protect them from the shadows that were gathering at the edges of the world.
- During a second encounter with Barnom down in Lich's Landing, many heroes came to talk to the self-proclaimed undead king. Barnom answered many questions about his plans, but refused to go into specifics on the shadowy threat he was offering to protect everyone from, but warned it would feed on flesh, blood and souls. After quite a bit of communication between the Lich King and adventurers present, Kerl tried to attack Barnom but was unsuccessful. The lich then encased Kerl in ice until he froze and died, then reanimated his corpse to kill dozens of other adventurers present. The onslaught continued until the few survivors escaped and the Lich King retired to his citadel.
- Three dwarven fingers were pinned to the door of Moot Hall, along with a message smeared in blood that read, “Drangell for your Dwarf.” Mayor Walkar then made an announcement claiming the town would not give in to the Brotherhood of Rooks’ demands. Furthermore, if Khylon the dwarf marshal was not returned, Walkar promised to hunt down every last member of the Rooks and their families and slaughter them. (GM Kenstrom’s Post - http://forums.play.net/forums/GemStone%20IV/Towns/Wehnimer's%20Landing/view/3249)
- Barnom Slim held audience outside of his citadel in Lich’s Landing, where he informed many adventurers gathered that he intends to visit the Elven Nations soon, to extend his offer of salvation to the Elven Houses. At that time he also accepted his first follower, Cruxophim and carved a glowing red claw-shaped mark into his flesh as a badge of service. He, and all who came to willingly serve Barnom Slim later, acquired the label of Lichborn.
- A woman’s scream alerted the townspeople to a burly giantman’s corpse outside of Aznell’s Armory. The giant’s throat had been cut from ear to ear, and his entrails spilled out onto the ground. The merchant Aznell soon discovered the body as well and informed the adventurers that it was his apprentice Amos, who the Rooks had killed because Aznell refused to pay their protection fees. At the end of the night, Aznell announced he had lost faith in Mayor Walkar and would be giving into the Rooks’ demands.
- The same evening Aznell’s apprenticed was murdered, the adventurers went to tell Mayor Walkar what happened. In a rage, Walkar decided he would try to kill Drangell so the Rooks could never get him released. Walkar grabbed a crossbow, and those gathered had followed him down to Drangell’s cell, where the prisoner taunted the mayor into shooting three bolts at him. Drangell fell to the ground, supposedly dead, but then moments later his wounds healed up and he rose to his feet, leading evidence to the fact that his old curse of not being able to die hadn’t left him. Walkar then tossed his crossbow to the ground and stormed off, Drangell’s mocking laughter echoing as he left. (LNN Post - http://forums.play.net/forums/GemStone%20IV/Towns/Wehnimer's%20Landing/view/3249)
- Adventurers continued to have dark visions, of a robed figure with a crown of bones, decaying knights with fiery eyes, militia men hanging from a gnarled black tree, etc.
- Additional guards, the few the town had to spare, were set up to protect a few local shops such as Tykel’s and Larton’s, who had refused to cooperate with the Rooks and feared further endangerment because of it.
- A small group of adventurers staged an ambush on a Rook, capturing him and interrogating him. After the Rook is killed, his possessions are acquired and it is learned the mysterious “birdmen” use magical masks to give them their appearance, and rely heavily on other items that allow them to summon darkness, go invisible, and move silently. (Arpelli’s Post - http://forums.play.net/forums/GemStone%20IV/Towns/Wehnimer's%20Landing/view/3333)
- The Lich King, Barnom Slim and an envoy of undead knights and banshees and other minions visited the Elven Nations, making their first stop at Ta’Vaalor. They were greeted at the Amaranth Bridge and when Barnom made his offer of an alliance, he was flat out rejected by Qalinor, the Steward of Ta’Vaalor. The elves said they would never forget the undead wars. The Lich King did not take kindly to such rejection, and so commanded his subjects to attack the fortress city, before he was finally driven back and forced to retreat. (GM Kenstrom’s Post - http://forums.play.net/forums/GemStone%20IV/Towns/Wehnimer's%20Landing/view/3379)
- During the conflict with the Lich King and Ta’Vaalor, two Legionnaires, Yinh and Yangh broke their vows and took an oath of loyalty to serve Barnom. They were branded with glowing claw-shaped marks on their flesh and expelled forever from the Legionnaires. (GM Mazreth’s Post - http://forums.play.net/forums/GemStone%20IV/Towns/Wehnimer's%20Landing/view/3402)
- Meanwhile, back in the west, while Barnom was off visiting the elves, Mayor Walkar and the Grandmaster of the local Voln sect launched an attack on Lich’s Landing, with a small army of voln warriors taking to the dark city to begin an ongoing battle to release the undead within it. (GM Kenstrom’s Post - http://forums.play.net/forums/GemStone%20IV/Towns/Wehnimer's%20Landing/view/3354)
- Vordilian, Champion of the Order of Voln, arrived in Wehnimer’s Landing to meet with fellow members of the Order. He denounced Barnom Slim and his followers and vowed to lead the fight against the abomination of Lich’s Landing. (GM Marstreforn’s Post - http://forums.play.net/forums/GemStone%20IV/Towns/Wehnimer's%20Landing/view/3418) and (Clunk’s Log - http://forums.play.net/forums/GemStone%20IV/Towns/Wehnimer's%20Landing/view/3419)
- The Brotherhood of Rooks’ called Mayor Walkar’s bluff, and instead of releasing Khylon, they cut out one of his eyes and nailed it to the door of Moot Hall, along with a message that read, “Give us Drangell, or your dwarf dies next. Fight our existence, and our wings will darken your sky.”
- The Lich King was spotted standing outside of his citadel and using his powers to slain a number of Voln warriors trying to attack his city. Many gathered to converse with the lich, and two more stepped forward to join him. Semiera and Xoryl were given the lich’s mark and publically declared their loyalty to the lich king.
- In the Lower Dragonsclaw forest, trees began to sway and finally wither into black, gnarled shells. Parts of the forest died away, replaced by a bleak landscape filled with murky black pools that poisoned anyone who got too close. Undead roamed the forest for a bit, and while they were eventually defeated, parts of the forest remained in decay. (GM Kenstrom’s Post - http://forums.play.net/forums/GemStone%20IV/Towns/Wehnimer's%20Landing/view/3422)
- In one of the many encounters with the Lich King and some adventurers, Barnom fought off a few attackers, and then proceeded to inform those gathered about his plans, the danger of the shadows, that their real enemy is Elithain Cross, and the salvation the Lich King is offering. (Roelaren’s Log - http://forums.play.net/forums/GemStone%20IV/Towns/Wehnimer's%20Landing/view/3433)
- Barnom Slim led an invasion in the Lower Dragonsclaw, as more of the grasslands and forest decay. The Lich King said he would continue to attack until the Order of Voln ceases to invade his kingdom. At the end of the invasion, Bellaja swore an oath to the Lich King, receiving a claw-shaped mark.
- Councilman Stephos DeArchon, the representive of the local Merchant’s Guild, met with Mayor Walkar and some local adventurers to inform them that many of the town’s shopkeepers have lost hope in stopping the Rooks and have decided to pay for their protection contracts. (Clunk’s Log - http://forums.play.net/forums/GemStone%20IV/Towns/Wehnimer's%20Landing/view/3438)
- Vordilian, the Champion of Voln, led another assault on Lich’s Landing and informed the adventurers present that they would need to try to locate the Lich King’s phylactery to destroy it, otherwise they could never defeat Barnom permanently. (GM Marstreforn’s Post - http://forums.play.net/forums/GemStone%20IV/Towns/Wehnimer's%20Landing/view/3453)
- Jankus, the gnome tinkerer, was found quite flustered inside town. He informed the adventurers that while he was searching about Lich’s Landing for his stolen inventory (that he had lost a month before), he stumbled upon a black ora signet ring. As soon as he touched it, he experienced a vision that showed how Barnom Slim came to become a lich. (Archales’ Post - http://forums.play.net/forums/GemStone%20IV/Towns/Wehnimer's%20Landing/view/3454) and (GM Kenstrom’s post - http://forums.play.net/forums/GemStone%20IV/Towns/Wehnimer's%20Landing/view/3457)
- During yet another encounter in Lich’s Landing with some adventurers, Barnom Slim recruited two others to his cause. Raincail and Dayko, in front of others, declared their fealty to the Lich King and received his mark.
- Dakris, the furrier was found outside of Moot Hall and informed the adventurers that while he was out trapping, he stumbled upon a secret hideout in a cave in Danjirland. After he had spotted a burly man with a crossbow inside, he hurried back to town. Dakris led the group to the cave, but then said he couldn’t follow, for fear of retribution or harm. The adventurers stormed the cave, found the hideout and battled with some bandits and birdmen of the Rooks. After a bloody conflict, a torture chamber was located and Khylon was discovered! The dwarf marshal was beaten, bloodied, missing fingers and an eye and quite shaken. He was returned to the safety of town where militia members helped escort him off for the night. (Arpelli’s Post/Log - http://forums.play.net/forums/GemStone%20IV/Towns/Wehnimer's%20Landing/view/3478)
- Kastrel requested, and was granted, an interview with the Lich King. Barnom and Kastrel met outside of the citadel in Lich’s Landing, where others were allowed to also gather to hear and observe. Benches formed of bones and muscle, and tattered pillows were provided for those in attendance, for their sitting pleasures. (Kastrel’s Interview - http://forums.play.net/forums/GemStone%20IV/Towns/Wehnimer's%20Landing/view/3481)
- Vordilian, the Champion of Voln, gathered many, many adventurers and led a massive attack on the Lich’s Citadel. Shortly after the offensive was launched, Barnom Slim appeared. The conflict found both heroes and villains facing off before the lich’s throne, and Barnom was killed a countless number of times, but kept resurrecting himself after each attempt. During the conflict, Barnom cursed Vordilian and dark tendrils eventually consumed the Champion, devouring his flesh and soul! Because of the repeated attacks, The Lich King had grown angry and then slaughtered many people present, and then led an invasion of crypt spiders, deathworms, etc. After a lot of deaths on both sides, the heroes finally pushed back the invasion and Barnom retreated once more. But before the Lich King fled, he issued a warning that he was now Wehnimer’s Landing greatest threat. (Perivan’s Log - http://forums.play.net/forums/GemStone%20IV/Towns/Wehnimer's%20Landing/view/3490) and (GM Kenstrom’s post - http://forums.play.net/forums/GemStone%20IV/Towns/Wehnimer's%20Landing/view/3517)
- Some prison guards reported to town officials that Cruxophim, Barnom’s first follower, had spoken with Drangell down in his prison, but the conversation was not overheard. Mayor Walkar confronted Cruxophim in the streets, and a number of adventurers had gathered. Cruxophim was eventually convinced to reveal that the Lich King had offered an alliance to Drangell and his Brotherhood of Rooks, and that Drangell had accepted the offer. (Cruxophim’s Log - http://forums.play.net/forums/GemStone%20IV/Towns/Wehnimer's%20Landing/view/3543)
- The town was alerted when the ground began to tremble, from all over town, to as far as Upper Trollfang. A number of townsfolk reported bandits and Rooks attacking people in the streets, and soon fires erupted outside of the bank. While a group of adventurers helped to fight off the bandits and put out the fires, another group raced off to Drangell’s prison, worried it might all be a diversion. Their instincts were correct, for they discovered a number of prison guards murdered and Drangell laughing inside his cell. But then the floor of shook, cracked and collapsed as the cell holding Drangell disappeared in a cloud of dust and smoke. A huge hole in the ground was all the remained. The adventurers leapt into the hole, finding themselves in a dark tunnel that directly led to the Lich’s Landing, where Barnom Slim later taunted them about having freed Drangell. (Geijon’s Post - http://forums.play.net/forums/GemStone%20IV/Towns/Wehnimer's%20Landing/view/3545)
- In the beginning, there had been speculation that the Lich King and his undead were somehow connected to the Brotherhood of Rooks. While an early association was revealed to be false, recent events have changed and Wehnimer’s Landing has found itself faced with two enemies, Barnom and Drangell, now joined together in their mutual hatred for the town.
An official update was never posted, only a brief summary.
The heroes defeated the Lich King Barnom Slim, who warned them against the shadows and named it Althedeus before he burst apart. Drangell and Jankus helped the heroes defeat the Lich King, in exchange for a pardon from Mayor Walkar and Drangell claimed to no longer lead the Rooks. Before a crowd of townspeople, Walkar fell over in agony, the flesh of his right arm peeling away to bone and never healing since then.