Solhaven Cataclysm (storyline)
The Solhaven Cataclysm storyline took place in 2009-2010. It was commonly known as the "Squidwar" by many players.
- Posted by GM Auchand 31 January 2009
In the long term, creatures from a water-elemental plane are assailing Solhaven, stepping through its teleportation defenses like it's no one's business. They're stirred up by a cataclysm that may not have happened yet, since time flows differently on the elemental planes.
The most powerful things they've thrown at Solhaven are titans, described as the foot soldiers (meat shields) of the elementals. These usually take a few strong adventurers to kill. More dangerous are the parasites, hive-minded creatures that have allegedly infiltrated Vornavis. Long ago, dwarves in the area were assailed by the kraken. Some dwarves died, others fled, and a third group thought to worship the kraken, but their worship drew the attention of the water elementals.
The elementals sent their young, the parasites, to fuse with the remaining dwarves, who over long centuries evolved into wave ascendants. Ascendants draw upon the mental acumen of their entire collective, so their spells are phenomenally powerful. Individual ascendants can be destroyed, but their consciousness rejoins the collective soon afterward.
Part One: Exposition
- Posted by ENCELADAN 6 August 2009
I thought that, since there's some new faces that've showed up to see what's going on down here, I'd write up a not-so-brief synopsis of what has happened thus far. Bear in mind that this is in no means complete or definitive, but hopefully is enough to answer some questions and give an impression of what has happened already, and what we believe is to come. If I omit a key detail, I invite anyone who knows of it to share.
Over a year ago (I want to say it was about a year and a half ago) a water hag showed up in Solhaven, ranting and raving about how "we" had stolen her jewels. Thinking she meant this in anything other than a symbolic sense, we started offering her gems in an attempt to persuade her to leave, because she was rather hideous to look at and smelled terrible. She also had a tendency to throw around rotting fish and squid. Here's the part of it, though, that I'm still a bit murky on. At some point, the hag did something to Eugenides, which resulted in a hex being placed upon him. This would have many effects that we still see occuring today.
Roughly one year ago, the first of the invaders began appearing in Solhaven. Several of us met them in battle, and we were aided by the Huntsman, Roame. To many of us at the time, Roame seemed to be almost aloof and callous to our plight. Often, he would chide us for making "obvious" mistakes and falling for ruses, which implied that he knew things regarding our foes that most normal folks could never have known on their own. It was through Roame that we first learned that they were from a plane of water, and that they seemed to be attacking us in retaliation for something that had yet to happen.
This is also around the time that the first of the portals began appearing. The very first one appeared on Market Bridge, and was quickly closed by Roame. This, unfortunately, came at the cost of his life, or so we believed. It seemed that Roame was far, far more than we realized. At the time, we tossed around the theory that he was a spirit, though it seems more likely that he's an earth spirit or even an earth elemental. Regardless, after a time he was able to restore his physical form, though he was quite weak as a result. Over time, Roame began sharing more and more details about our foes, such as their weaknesses, vulnerabilities, and nature.
As word got out that the troubles in Solhaven weren't going to go away anytime soon, aid began to come from afar. Several militias and others arrived in Solhaven to assist in the defense. In particular, an Eorginian mage named Maieva (see Mirror, Mirror (saved post) for info on her) offered her aid. She had been instrumental in remedying an unrelated problem in Wehnimer's Landing, and offered assistance in our efforts. Around this same time, we were informed that Baron Malwind of Vornavis had appointed his cousin, Paidreg Venquinor, as the Provost of Solhaven. He quickly stepped into a needed role of leadership and direction in this war, though it could be argued that he really had no other choice.
Meanwhile, it seemed that our foes had brewed a rather nefarious plot. They began infecting several people in Solhaven with slug-like parasites, and infected countless others in Vornavis, many in high positions of power and influence. This had the effect of cutting us off almost completely from any support from the city. As for the citizens of Solhaven, several were infected, but remedies for most were quickly discovered due to suggestions from Eugenides. To his credit, the suggestions of using salt, fire, and pickle brine killed many of the parasites, though this also had the end result of causing people's heads to explode. Unfortunately, this didn't work for everyone, including Misun, Rimalon, and myself. In my case, our foes seemed to show a wish to learn more about us, and this tugged at my Lumnisian tendency to aid others in learning. This was a mistake that played upon my sympathies, and to this day I still believe we paid a price for it. Eventually, I became fed up with the parasite and decided that if it wished to learn more about us, I was going to make it happen the hard way. I began to mentally recite passages from the Book of Chivalry, which seemed to piss the thing off.
During this time, two more portals opened in Solhaven, one near the pawnshop, and the other outside the entrance to the zoo. On several occasions, Roame placed faewood trees in front of the portals to act as a sort of temporary ward to limit the influence of our foes. For some reason (still believed to be Roame but I don't believe anyone was at the portal when it happened), the portal near the pawnshop was closed. A few nights later, the defenders of Solhaven made a push to the portal near the zoo, which proved successful after several fierce battles. Roame came to our aid once again, closing this portal as well. Again, this had the result of destroying his physical manifestation, but one of the faewood trees (I believe the one by the pawnshop) was moved to Imaera's grove, where it still remains in safety today. It's widely believed that this faewood is part of Roame, which would explain the occasional emerald green light that manifests in town and sometimes restores us to life after falling in battle.
This first encounter with our extraplanar foes ended with the closing of this portal. While we were more than aware that this war was not over, we took the time to rest and prepare for our foes to return. My own parasite died upon the closing of this portal, but the same could not be said for Rimalon and Misun, and this would become a key factor in the days to come.
-Aydan Mursilis, Protector of Solhaven-
Part Two: Feints and Bluffs
- Posted by ENCELADAN 6 August 2009
Around the end of the summer, our foes finally returned to continue the fight. By now, we had a rough idea of their capabilities, but they were still more than able to throw us a few surprises.
Lord Venquinor and Mirke, a blade for hire (amongst other things) in his service had taken the time during this lull to learn more about our foes, and also attempt to hinder their efforts in Vornavis. For security sake, they were a bit reluctant to share the details of what they had been doing and how they were accomplishing this (due to the fact that we were aware many might still be infected with the parasites and thus under the influence of our enemies), but eventually it was divulged that Lord Venquinor had received a device from the Hall of Mages that could detect the presence of the parasites in a host's body. With a sufficient power source, this device could be used to determine the location of all the parasites in a general area, which allowed him and Mirke to strike against them.
It was also during this time that we were informed that the elementals had opened a new portal, and unfortunately, this one was far beneath the ground, further than any of the old sea caverns and tunnels seemed to go. From this portal, our enemies were able to come up from the ground, with little fear of reprisal or intervention on our part. Still, we fought back as we could.
Once again, things would soon come to a head. During one of their assaults on the town, our foes launched an attack on Lord Venquinor's home, and despite the best efforts of the defenders, they managed to capture him and take him deep underground. Soon afterward, we encountered a dangerous new foe, the wave ascendants, who were more than aware that Lord Venquinor possessed a device that could be used against them. Fortunately, prior to his capture, Lord Venquinor placed wards on his home that would prevent entry, as it was believed the device was hidden inside.
Eventually, most agree that Paidreg's home should be broken into. No one can get into his home, because the wards provided by the Hall of Mages are too powerful for normal people to destroy! The citizens of Solhaven want to find the disk, but can't. People are worried about Paidreg, and the thinkers are trying to develop plans within plans to secure the disk.
It falls on Raelee to figure out how to destroy the wards. Everyone thinks it's complicated, so Eugenides whips out a sizable amount of kroderine, gives it to Raelee, and she disarms the wards with the kroderine at the cost of her life (due to energy feedback). People scour the house for "the disk," and it is not found. The bluff was: the device had never been hidden in the house in the first place. An ascendant arrives and demands the disk, notes that it is not there, and makes the people who antagonize it suffer.
At this point, we began to take steps to attempt to rescue Lord Venquinor. Mirke possessed a ring belonging to him, and it was believed that someone with sufficient power could use it to draw him back to us. It was believed that Maieva would have sufficient power to accomplish this, so a successful attempt to contact her was made, and she lent her aid to us once more. Using the ring, she was able to draw Lord Venquinor back to us, and after he had several days to recuperate from his capture, he summoned us one evening to show us the device.
It had been, all this time, hidden in Koar's Fane. The powerful wards placed upon the entrance to the fane were more than enough to protect it from our foes, and it was arguably the safest place in town. A person simply had to touch the device to determine if they were infected or not. All of us present touched the device, showing that we were not infected.
This second encounter with our foes ended without any real climax or epic showdown. After Lord Venquinor was recovered and the device revealed, our foes withdrew for several more months. They were not, however, idle. In an attempt to protect the infected folks from reprisal, Lord Venquinor had altered the device to show a false negative when Misun was tested in front of everyone. Rimalon, too, was also still infected, and over the next few months these parasites would continue to grow, setting the stage for the next encounter.
-Aydan Mursilis, Protector of Solhaven-
(With some Eugenides addendums regarding the Provost breakin)
Part Three: Ascension
- Posted by ENCELADAN 6 August 2009
Now I will take some time to explain the wave ascendants, who showed up during the second encounter. While vaguely humanoid in form, a mass of tentacles and other fish and squid-like features cannot be ignored. Their story, however, is both tragic and terrifying.
Anyone who knows much of the history of the Solhaven and Vornavis region is aware that long before humans settled in the area, a clan of dwarves resided in the region, which had once been known for its pristine shores and wealth of gems within its caverns. Before recently, it had never been known exactly what befell these dwarves, except that it was quick and destructive, with little evidence to show what happened or that they'd even been there in the first place.
It turns out, though, that these dwarves were attacked by krakens. In their desperation, they cried out to whatever would answer for salvation, and it seems that there was, indeed, something listening. The elementals. It's believed that they gave the dwarves the parasites in exchange for their lives, resulting in them becoming completely subservient to their new masters. It's also believed they willingly sealed themselves away, and over the course of centuries, transformed into the form we see today. And finally, it's also believed that this happened for the sole purpose of our foes recognizing the need for agents on our plane, in order to better assist them in defeating us.
The importance of including the above is to better explain what we now faced. The parasites that infected Misun and Rimalon were quickly growing to the point that they were altering the appearance of their hosts. While it was somewhat slow at first (a mild discoloring of the skin around the area where the parasite was believed to be located), over time this went on to include tentacle-like growths, scaly skin, fish-like eyes, and loss of hair. While the early symptoms were easy to conceal, eventually it reached a point where the secret could not be kept any longer.
The "third encounter" began around the turn of the new year. Much of what happened during these days revolved around Misun and Rimalon. It seemed that our foes regarded Rimalon as little more than a tool, though this opinion would change several times over the course of about two months. Misun, on the other hand, was regarded as something different: a potential queen for the ascendants, and they would, on several occasions, act in deference to her, and even express signs of devotion and adoration toward her.
Several weeks of fighting against our foes ensued while all of this was going on. Most of it occurred in secret, as it was believed that this knowledge would prove a potential liability if word got out about what was really happening. Late one night, after another round of fierce fighting, our foes succeeded in pressing us back long enough to open another portal. This one is the aperture that is still in the Old Market Plaza in South 'Haven. At one point before this, they had attempted to open another portal in the triage tent, but this attempt had been thwarted, though we're still not real sure how we managed to stop this from happening.
A plan was formed around this time, in an effort to thwart the parasites and, hopefully, free Misun and Rimalon from their influence. It was believed that the device in Koar's Fane could be altered to act as a weapon, which could potentially kill the parasites within the entire region. It required a sufficient power source to accomplish this however, and we didn't really have one at our disposal.
Our salvation came from an unexpected and unrelated source. One evening, we began noticing a swarm of cats running amok in town, preceding the appearance of a several mile-high spire in the north market. The details regarding Suicide Spire are another story entirely, but suffice to say, it resulted in our acquiring a means to convert an elemental into a raw, concentrated source of energy called Plinite, in honor of the gnome who resided atop the spire. This required a special form of chalk to draw a circle which would bind the elemental, and Lord Venquinor sent word to Ta'Illistim to acquire this chalk. Due to its nature, the chalk had to be carried overland by courier, and unfortunately, this courier perished on the way.
A rescue or recovery mission was launched one evening, and after making their way through the Vipershroud and several attempts on our foes part to stop the expedition (showing that our foes weren't unwilling to extend their reach beyond Solhaven when necessary), the chalk was finally recovered, and after a harrowing battle in Solhaven, a storm oracle (at the time considered to be the strongest of our foes) was lured into a trap, and was turned into a shard of Plinite.
A couple of nights later, the attempt was made to strike at the parasites. A pitched battle ensued in the streets of Solhaven, some of the fiercest fighting we'd ever seen. Eventually, a small group, including Lord Venquinor and Misun, reached Koar's Fane, and soon after Rimalon was summoned to the fane as well. A ritual was performed, which seemed to have the intended effect. Misun and Rimalon seemed to have been freed from the parasites' influence, their appearance restored, and we later learned that several bodies had been found in Vornavis, each having a rather large hole in the head.
This seemed to be our first real victory against our foes. Again, the war was far from won, but the effect this had on the effort was impossible to measure. Unfortunately, even in our celebrations, hints were made at the dark days that lie ahead. A vision shared by Misun and Guarrin, afterward, showed a massive tidal wave approaching the town, and in the coming days, more hints were made that all of this would happen, and conclude during the final days of summer.
We are now in those final days of summer, and time is running out.
-Aydan Mursilis, Protector of Solhaven-
Part Four: The Grapple
- Posted by ENCELADAN 6 August 2009
As things stand now, we've come a long way over the course of a year. While I would hesitate to say that we've reached complete parity with our foes in the field, we've had plenty of time to refine our tactics, strategies, and abilities against them. We know what works, what doesn't, and when it's time to withdraw because we're in over our heads. Sometimes we manage to throw them back entirely, and sometimes they have us pressed against the wall, waiting for the killing blow to be delivered, only for them to draw back at the last moment. It is, in every sense, a continuous grapple, with victory and defeat looming behind every struggle.
The portal beneath town has continued to grow, causing many quakes in the process while also continually eroding the foundation of the town. This is the underlying cause of many of the sinkholes seen throughout the town, and it is expected to get worse if something is not done soon.
These last two months have had one big, key detail sitting in the back of everyone's mind: this war would end soon. There was a lot of prophecy regarding this event, much of which centered around something known as Cataclysm's Eye. Evidence pointed toward this being Misun, though her role in this, and what it actually meant, still has not been made clear.
The ascendants are in disarray. Some of them have decided that their old elemental masters are false, as they have been cut off from contact from them after our attempt was made to kill the parasites. This faction has taken to worshipping the krakens, believing that they too wish our destruction.
As things stand, the goal at this point is to attempt to close the aperture in South 'Haven, as well as the portal underground. It's believed that sympathetic magic can be used to link the two portals, so that in closing one of them, the other can be closed as well. Several weeks ago, it was revealed that a new tunnel had been discovered underneath town and claimed by a gang of thugs. At the end of these tunnels was something described as a large, glowing blue puddle in a massive chamber, filled to the brim with our foes. With all luck, Lord Venquinor will be meeting with these thugs this coming weekend to attempt to strike a deal which would allow us entry to these tunnels.
With a little more luck, we'll be going down there the following weekend. Raelee and Lord Venquinor have been working on a plan to close the portals, and while few are privy to the details at this point, it sounds as if this plan would work, if we're able to put it in place.
Until then, the general goal for the defense of Solhaven is a holding action until these plans can be put in place. While we are definitely on a deadline in regard to the end of summer, each day that passes without our defeat is another day that brings us closer to our attempt to strike once again. Make no mistake, however: closing the portals is likely not going to be the final resolution. Our foes have proven, time and again, that they are able to open portals once closed.
This will, however, buy us time to pursue a final solution. If the means to close the portals is repeatable, then it would, hopefully, be a relatively simple matter to close others that appeared. Again, this would not be a lasting solution as they would be able to open more, but we'd at least be able to respond in kind and hopefully slow them down.
Until then, we'll continue to keep fighting. So much relies on our efforts, and the price for backing down is far greater than we would be willing to pay.
-Aydan Mursilis, Protector of Solhaven-
One Way to Win
- Posted by ENCELADAN 16 August 2009
Around the ninth hour this evening, Shannivar reported that she saw a group of black-clad men walking through the streets. At the same time, we were also noticing that the enemy was beginning to withdraw from the town. We began a search through the town, with other reports of shouting, screaming, and such coming from the streets. Eventually, we found a corpse of a halfling outside of Jastev's temple. The throat had been cut, and a green paste smeared on the lips. Before an in-depth inspection could be performed, the corpse decayed away (likely through magical means). A further search was made through the town, and another corpse, an elf, was found outside of Lord Venquinor's former home. It too had its throat cut and a green paste smeared on the lips.
Finally, Lord Venquinor alerted us via thoughts that a scuffle had occurred outside his room. We made our way to the inn, where a third corpse was found, similar to the previous two. This one, though, had a letter, mostly smeared by blood. It implied that a splinter faction of the thieves were willing to cooperate. It was also believed that the substance smeared on the lips of the corpses was deathwort.
After discussing this for a few moments, we were informed that a giantman had reached the Lance, and was requesting to speak with the Provost. We returned to the Lance, where the equivalent of negotiations were held between the Provost and the thief. The gang is known as the Painted Masks, and there was dissent within their ranks. At least nine of them attempted to rebel against the leadership, seeing that the town was in such a dire state that it went a bit beyond money. They wished amnesty in exchange for the means to reach the portal, though only the Baron could grant this amnesty. Lord Venquinor agreed to petition the Baron, and if all goes well, an exchange will be made tomorrow evening.
This means, then, that we will make the attempt to close the portals tomorrow evening. Even now, we are beginning to make the final steps and preparations in order to accomplish this. This plan has four steps.
Step one will be to ensure that the runes are viable. If so, we will make use of them.
Step two will involve us going into the tunnels, potentially clearing a path to the portal, and then providing the necessary cover for Raelee to draw the needed circles and arrays to allow for the portal to be closed.
Step three will involve the battlegroup returning to the surface and reaching the aperture at Old Market Plaza. Upon reaching the aperture, they will then provide the cover for Raelee to once again draw the necessary circles and arrays.
Pending success of the previous three steps, the needed ritual to close the portals will be performed. This will be performed on the surface, and cover will need to be maintained throughout this process.
Note, there is expected to be significant magical backlash from the closing of the portals. While it will not completely mitigate the effects of the backlash, I am recommending that everyone intending to be present obtain a mithril shield. The time to use them will likely be when the rite is performed, but Raelee may have more information on that when it is time.
Furthermore, I am recommending that everyone come fully prepared for a long, pitched battle. While I'm sure we will make some attempt to set up a triage effort to ensure support, it is a distinct possibility that we will not have this avenue open to us. As such, I would suggest that everyone going down there have a goodly supply of herbs, both for wounds and scar removal. Also, come prepared with whatever spells, magical items, and protection you can spare. Given that we've fought creatures capable of causing the dropping of weapons and shields, I would also suggest (but this is not required) that you leave your best stuff behind. I would also suggest a goodly supply of deeds, as well.
We weren't given an exact time for when this will be happening, except that it would be evening. In light of this, I'm going to ask that if anyone is intending to go down into the tunnels with us, that we begin assembling around five in the evening, as elves reckon. While we may end up waiting a good while, Solhaven is still under attack, so we will have plenty to occupy ourselves with in regard to running patrols and suppressing the enemy.
I will be available most of the day tomorrow, to answer questions and discuss things, should the need arise.
-Aydan Mursilis, Protector of Solhaven-
- Posted by GM Auchand 15 April 2009
Warnings from Mercantylers' Guild and House Venquinor
A note is posted to the Muffinsmith's
People of Solhaven,
The Mercantylers' Guild and our liaison Vornavian liaison, the Lord Provost Paidreg Venquinor, wish to extend warnings to the people of the city in a time of potential disaster.
1) Guild scryers have confirmed reports of large, eight-legged sea creatures gathering in the waters off what are colloquially known as the "Kraken Sands." While the Guild hesitates to name these octopods for fear of causing an uproar, we have determined that they are large and territorial. It is the recommendation of the Guildmasters and House Venquinor that swimming and boating in the Bay be curtailed for the duration of Spring and into the early months of Summer, though we stop short of restricting either activity entirely.
2) Structural damage caused by Solhaven's long history of strife, along with the recent earthquakes, has caused some instability in local buildings and on roadways. Please be aware that the Guild's full resources are behind shoring up the integrity of our buildings and roadways. We can take no responsibility for injury or loss of life resulting from activities around known damaged areas.
- Posted by ENCELADAN 24 April 2009
Around 11ish tonight, we noticed the crimson glow in the sky. We took that as our cue, and moved to engage the enemy that had begun to move into Marshtown. The trolls weren't far behind, and we managed to pull our forces together to repel them. We were aided in this by a priest of Charl by the name of Volgust, who heard of our plight and wished to render his aid.
After about an hour, our friend the shadow priest showed itself in the yard of the Lance. We attempted to battle him with little in the way of measurable result. We fell back to the infirmary, at which point Volgust asked for a chance to face off with the priest. We returned to the Yard, and the two priests volleyed words until finally, Volgust seemed to have banished the shadow priest. The shadow priest is not dead, as he is seemingly immortal, but by Volgust's explanation, the shadow priest was now in a place that would be a very, very bad place to have to be if you were immortal.
With the shadow priest out of the picture, we moved through town to clean up the stragglers, then returned to the Lance to rest a moment. Given that our new acquaintance had more than a little bit of power and knowledge, I asked him if he would be willing to have a look at the aperture. He agreed, and had a good bit to say about it, much of which some of us had already known, along with a few details that may not have been quite so well known. Namely, he mentioned that the portals weren't entirely elemental, not quite, that they had been called here, and made mention of the part where the reason for them existing had not yet happened. A mention was made of Cataclysm's Eye, and that it would be opened, along with this seeming to happen around the end of summer. Finally, before he left, he stated that the answer to what we seek would come not from without, but from within.
Meeting with the Provost
- Posted by ENCELADAN 16 August 2009
Well, to say that things didn't quite go to plan tonight would be an understatement.
We began by meeting with the Provost in the Lance, and were joined shortly by what appeared to be the same giant from the night before. The deal was made, and the rune map was given to the Provost. We gathered our forces and marched on the aperture, clearing the way for Raelee to do her work. After the circle was drawn, the Provost created a portal using the map to an ancient cavern.
Something seemed wrong right from the beginning, though since we didn't quite know what to expect, it wasn't entirely obvious that we'd ended up in the wrong place. A corpse was found at the entrance to the cavern, in the same condition that the other three from the previous night had been found. A makeshift stone wall blocked further entry, but it was easily bashed open. We proceeded onward into a larger cavern that overlooked a large, subterranean pool. We were also greeted by an ascendant within this cavern.
The ascendant implied this had been a trap the whole time, that even without their collective, they were able to influence the thieves to give us the runes that lead us to them. The ascendant then went on to explain that at first, they truly had been dwarves, and then served the elementals, and had leaned toward the kraken. After a time, though, they realized they were a stain on the world, perhaps even an abomination, and they had agreed to destroy themselves... and take us with them. We also saw a very, very large tentacle reach up from the pool, and then they began to scream in unison. Our exit was sealed, and the cavern began to collapse around us. A large rock fell into the pool, seemingly impaling the kraken. The ascendants in the cavern all began to willingly turn to stone and crumble away. The situation seemed dire. That's when it happened.
Misun's eyes began to glow, and a white, almost blinding light surrounded her. She spoke in a voice, not her own, stating that she wouldn't allow it. She stated she was all that was left of the Commonality (my opinion is this is what was left of the hive that we'd destroyed earlier this year), and that she could stop this from happening. The cavern continued to collapse around us, and as some of the rocks fell toward Misun, they were disintegrated by the light. We gathered close to her, waiting to see what, if anything, might happen next. Finally, she opened a portal, and we were able to escape from what was sure to be certain death. Several quakes and such struck, and before we left the cavern, water began to fill up, so we swept through the town to see if anything had been damaged.
We discovered quickly that in the chaos, Baron's Bridge had failed. It's believed that the cavern we were in was located beneath it.
We traveled to the aperture, and were met by an oracle. It screamed that "they" were "theirs" to do with as they pleased, likely meaning the now dead ascendants. We returned to the Lance, where we were met with Mirke. Unfortunately, in all of the chaos, it seems that Mirke has lost his entire gang. He seemed to be completely and utterly broken. Before he slipped away into the shadows, he said that he would see this through to the end, as all that mattered now was the contract. After that... he was gone.
Lord Venquinor took the rune map back to the inn to study it further. He believes that he can decipher the proper rune coordinates for the portal, and we will meet again tomorrow night to discuss our next step. As things stand, the plan is still to enter the real tunnels at some point and deal with the portal. Keep your mithril shields on hand for whenever this goes down.
We battled the oracles for about another hour, striking down a fair number of them. Afterward, things began to quiet down. As things seemed to calm for the moment, something that can only be considered bittersweet was noticed.
We began to see the souls of the dwarves, once the ascendants, passing on from this existance. In light of everything, they've finally found peace.
-Aydan Mursilis, Protector of Solhaven-
Preliminary Research Results from Avelorre
- Posted by ENCELADAN 25 August 2009
Scholar Avelorre showed up late this evening, with copies of the preliminary results from the research performed on the tissue samples she gathered. With her permission, I've copied the contents for this report.
"Report on specimens #6147892-99. Description: Numerous tissue samples from Vornavis region in various stages of necrosis. Researcher: Sivathas Avelleur Illistim, Master of Lore Assistance: Elemental Analyst: D. Gellereth Alchemical Analyst: I. Evellere. Spiritual Analyst: R. Mithunyth. Mental Analyst: D. Ferrelore. Temporal Analyst: Uncredited Overview: Mainly aquatic or semi-aquatic specimens, both undead and living, all attuned to the element of water in some fashion with a common bond of 'modified' tissue and magical makeup. I have seen some species before, but there is an overall inherent and subtle difference in the essence infused within each sample. Of particular note, the common binding trait amongst all these samples is that they are very slightly out of synch with this plane of existence, somewhat like noncorporeal beings in a certain sense, save for the fact that they are more 'solid' than such examples, being only subtly skewed from our plane. Nonetheless, I have never encountered such a trait before, and it factors into key bits of research included below. It is of note that the samples from the jars labelled 'Horror' and 'Aberration' are of significantly different construction, having traits of outer-planar beings but strongly infused with elemental mana. The complex matrices of power infused within these samples points to a distinctly non-Elanthian origin, however the patterns of their basic construction do not follow any known examples of typical elementals from the Prime Elemental Planes, so their origin is unknown at this time and warrants further analysis. Several specialized magical solvents were used in the breaking down of the samples into their base materials, including the serums developed in 5102 and the Veythorne formulas of 1109, which had fairly violent results until specimen was stablized using various implementations of Phase Cages. Catalysts induced included all standard elemental, spiritual, mental and sorcerous incantations and several specialized blends, of note being the temporal or time catalysts, which provided the most interesting results, namely the transmogrification of the specimen for the briefest of seconds to something entirely different before returning to the makeup of the original specimen, as if it were being pulled in several different directions in the temporal stream. Sorcerous findings revealed curious results when matter was subjected to various modified versions of the Phase spell. Vaguely explosive results first occurred until a refined process of stabilizing the temporal makeup of the samples was introduced, then the tissue began to unravel in a very precise, organized stringlike form -- undergoing a self-catalyst which changed its magical makeup. While I need further time to analyze this form, it is of note that the Phase spell did not bring the samples fully into our plane of existence -- nothing that I can find currently does. On the string-like form it morphed into after experimentation -- I believe this to be the binding thread which invariably links all creatures in a very subtle fashion. Its makeup is fairly complex and intricate in design, with traces of mana and enchantments from nearly every school of higher magic. If a cure to the current infestation is to be found, it would be within this peculiar property of the creatures. Research continues beyond this cursory overview."
On the string-like form it morphed into after experimentation -- I believe this to be the binding thread which invariably links all creatures in a very subtle fashion. Its makeup is fairly complex and intricate in design, with traces of mana and enchantments from nearly every school of higher magic.
If a cure to the current infestation is to be found, it would be within this peculiar property of the creatures.
Research continues beyond this cursory overview."
Other than that, nothing else of note occurred today. Four days to go.
-Aydan Mursilis, Protector of Solhaven-
- Posted by ENCELADAN 28 August 2009
Late this evening, we began seeing several men in Venquinor and Vornavian livery pass through town. After a while, we overheard a conversation between a sergeant and another man, saying that several camps had been built up near the peasant holdings.
We went to investigate, and there are three camps up there: Camp Kaskara Zahar, Camp Cairnfang, and Camp Kezmon. The first two camps, from what we could see from outside, had several of the townsfolk already inside, such as the urchin, the gnome, the dirty rat, and to the relief of many, Gertie. The third, Camp Kezmon, is not quite finished yet. A Vornavian swordsman spoke with us, telling us that Camp Kezmon is the "main" camp, and is now where the Provost is residing. It's not quite finished yet. The other two camps are full, and the guardsmen there deny us entry, not out of rudeness or malice, but simply because they are full.
The camps were, apparently, constructed upon order of the Baron. The level of support we may get from him at this point on is unknown, and the swordsman was reluctant to speak on the matter. Also, Lord Venquinor has spoken with the scholar from last night, and also with a man that fit Volgust's description. Mirke has also been seen coming and going at will.
Before parting, the swordsman informed us that the Provost would be present tomorrow evening, and would accompany us on the planned procession to the temples.
Two days to go.
-Aydan Mursilis, Protector of Solhaven-
Something Ends, Something Begins
- Posted by ENCELADAN 29 August 2009
This day began like many others in this war. We set forth from our homes, perhaps our families, to fight in battles we didn't understand. We had high hopes for victory, something to bring this long conflict to an end. We did reach an end, but not the one hoped for.
Our orders were to suppress South 'Haven's elemental problem while Lord Venquinor was going to be going underground to draw the circle on the portal beneath us. However, as he attempted to step through the portal he had created to reach the tunnels, he could not enter. Instead, Mirke had stolen the ring that created the portal, and went in Lord Venquinor's stead. He drew the circle while our forces held the ground near the aperture, but something happened. Mirke was grievously wounded, though the Provost was eventually able to draw him back.
Raelee's rite, with Eugenides' aid, did succeed in causing the aperture in the Old Market Plaza to close. Unfortunately, when Mirke was drawn back to the surface, he said that the portal beneath the ground was growing, rather than shrinking.
Around this time, we started sensing some things were very, very wrong in the area. We withdrew from South 'Haven, only to pass the Sea Priest, Volgust, who offered a solution to our problem. He needed time to prepare it, and with the Provost away seeing to Mirke's care, we did our best to hold the town.
Eventually, we heard Volgust call out to us, and we met him on Charl's Quay. He spoke of how mortal hands had tried, and failed, to solve this problem, and that his Lord would have a solution. We followed him across the water to an island that he claimed had been older than much of the surrounding area, that it had seen the dwarves first settle in the area, had seen them transform, and would very possibly see the end of man. Upon reaching the top of a large rock wall, we stood before an altar, where Volgust stated that to do this would require a sacrifice of blood, salt, and stone. Blood and salt had already been offered, but all that remained was an offering stone. At stake was not just Solhaven, but the world. The portal would continue to grow, continue to consume, unless it was stopped. After deliberation (much deliberation), the choice was made.
The sacrifice of stone, the town of Solhaven, was offered.
A last ditch evacuation attempt was made, with some wishing to stay behind as a massive tidal wave gathered on the horizon. Those who chose to leave made their way to the peasant holdings, where the refugee camps had been built. There... we could only watch as the wave crashed down onto the town, wiping it out in mere seconds.
Afterward, some explanation was given, not for what was done, but why it happened. Lord Venquinor believes that the Sea Priest knew this would happen all along. It was also implied that perhaps, it was Charl all along. Regardless, we heard the voice of Volgust shouting as the wave fell, that this was his Lord Charl's domain.
Tempers have, naturally, flared, and the damage from all of this will still remain unmeasured for some time to come. The threat, such as it was, is gone. What happens now is unknown.
Requiem for Solhaven
- Posted by GM Auchand 29 August 2009
The prophecies and rumors of the past year have borne deadly fruit.
In the last hours of Solhaven's existence, its valiant defenders attempted to save the town through a sympathetic magic that would shut both portals into a watery domain, which threatened the town, at once. While attempts were sufficient to close the portal aboveground, they caused a chain reaction that caused the lower portal to begin growing exponentially.
A Sea Priest named Volgust, who had defended the town in the past, offered a decision: consign the town to Charl through him, or watch the rift consume the town, then the world. Charl's power, it was said, would defend Solhaven if it was in his domain. After much deliberation, the Provost of the town made the choice to release the town to Volgust.
Soon after, despite attempts of a few concerned citizens, Solhaven was consumed by an immense tidal wave. Naught but interpersonal strife was left behind.
The massive wave out in the bay rises higher and higher, until it blots out the skies to the west. From a vast distance, the voice of Volgust roils like thunder, shouting, "This domain is under my protection. The seas shall have their due. This monstrosity will be wiped off of the face of this world." For a single, terrible instant, the wave looms over Solhaven like a lightless shadow. Then, it begins to tumble forward, gaining speed as it goes, spiraling downward over the town. The wave impacts with the town with a mighty crash! The shattered remnants of buildings and streets struggle against the greedy tides, which uproot them violently and suck them backward toward the sea. The faint rumbling in the earth, an ever-present companion for months, goes silent and still. Golden light begins to build nearby, filling the area like the glow of a second sun. At its center, a sphere of brighter radiance forms. The hairs on your arms begin to lift at the wash of power that crests over you.
The OOC Note:
For those of you wishing to get to Solhaven, well... you can't. I guess that means I'm out of a job as town guru unless we think of something quick! Thank you, everyone, for making the Cataclysm Quest so spectacular.
If you log in to where Solhaven used to be, you should be ported out of the town in short order. We'll have a solution within the week to deal with people's lockers and bank wealth, and there's no need to worry about your player shops.
I fully expected this to be a polarizing and troubling time for some Solhaveners, so kudos for the vast majority, who handled this event with grace and characteristic charm.
Solhaven Logistics, Credits
- Posted by GM Auchand 30 August 2009
I thought now would be a good time to answer some burning questions about the quest and the future.
This chapter of the Solhaven quest has been planned in-depth since late last year, which means that there are a number of people to thank. This rogues' gallery includes, but is not limited to GameMasters Voraviel, Xynwen, Sirina, Lusus, Xayle, Andraste, Naos, Thandiwe, Strathspey, Mestys, Itzel, Cirath, Kveta, Kaikala, Oscuro, and more. All of these people contributed toward the growth of this quest, whether it be through the approvals process, providing insight, NPCing, coding, and more.
There are players, too many to mention, who put in an exceptional level of time and effort to play the roles that they grew into over the course of this storyline. I appreciate all the work you did.
I will admit that I did not expect a glowing response after wiping away Solhaven. I feel gratified and vindicated in my convictions that Solhaven's player populace was mature enough to handle a storyline with consequences on this level. With few exceptions, Solhaven's community members--new and old--have handled this in a manner that went far beyond my expectations.
We don't make changes to the game on this scale without a huge number of approvals. I like to joke that I've been flying by the seat of my pants this whole time. While I did build in a lot of story contingencies so that players could affect the course of the storyline, this plot crystallized in my head around October of last year. We can't plan for every eventuality, but we try to cover all our bases. The player shops system in Solhaven will not be reclaiming your shops while they're inaccessible. Homes, too, are safely stored, as are your locker contents and bank accounts (which are still accessible via the caravansary.)
In terms of what's coming for Solhaven, I have to throw out a big, Robert Jordan-style RAFO.
- Posted by ENCELADAN 5 September 2009
... things do not go as hoped.
Early in the evening, we began to see the waters recede from Solhaven. The town, as expected, was completely ruined. Not all of the waters receded, but enough that we could see the ruins.
Several hours later, we gathered with the Provost in Marshtown, where he began the rite. At first, everything seemed to be going exactly as planned. A dome seemed to form over the ruins of the town, and all assembled began to feel tugs at our minds, the memories of Solhaven.
Just as soon as the rite seemed to be almost completed, however, a shadowy figure fired an arrow through Lord Venquinor's chest, which appeared to be tipped with deathwort. At the same time, his head exploded and a six-legged creature scurried away to the northeast, where it soon perished. Mirke, it seems, had discovered that the Provost had been infected by this parasite, which bore a striking similarity to the descriptions of Nershuul, from Ta'Illistim and beyond.
As things stand, the dome still exists where Solhaven once stood, and you can occasionally see images which may be memories or something else within the dome. None of it looks good.
After this happened, we informed the guardman at the Vornavis gate, who then in turn informed the Baron what had happened. He dispatched a mage, Sir Vectrus, to collect the plinite and gather information on what had happened. Much of what was known regarding the parasite was shared, and Sir Vectrus wishes to visit a site dedicated to Luukos, in an attempt to get a better feel of sorts for the creature and its master.
As well, he has sent for his colleagues from the Hall of Mages. At least one of them will have arrived by tomorrow. He expressed a wish to examine a shrine of Luukos near Wehnimer's Landing, and suggested that this be done at some point mid-afternoon, tomorrow.
-Aydan Mursilis, Protector of Solhaven-
You may find the log entitled The Death of Paidreg. It is believed that Mirke succumbed to his wounds and perished when he told everyone he wished to die alone.
Sealed in Blood
- Posted by ENCELADAN 6 September 2009
Where to begin...
Early this evening, Sir Vectrus arrived at the camp and we accompanied him to the Shrine of Luukos outside of Wehnimer's Landing. An extremely tense negotiation ensued with a pale priest of Luukos, particularly regarding the nature of Nershuul (or the parasite) and its goals. Eventually, Sir Vectrus struck a deal with the priest. In exchange for the restoration of the Lornon temples being restored exactly as they were before, the priest demanded that one other thing, unnamed, be restored in the town. The oath, sealed in blood, demanded that Sir Vectrus could not reveal what was asked.
The deal made, the priest handed over the folio, which contained all the necessary information to complete the ritual. We returned to the camp, where we were met by a woman by the name of Almera, and later a mage by the name of Havil. These were Sir Vectrus' colleagues, and after discussing the situation for some time, they agreed to attempt to finish what was started. We moved to Marshtown, where we focused our memories, thoughts, and mana upon restoring Solhaven to the way it once was.
What happened next, I can only describe as miraculous. Slowly, the town was restored, much the same as had been promised. Unfortunately, something went wrong when it came to restoring the terrain. Havil gave his best, but couldn't completely restore things exactly the way they were. A sizeable portion of South 'Haven is... gone. Like it was never there in the first place. By the time I write this, several other buildings have yet to be found, but for the most part, much is as it was.
A monument has been erected at Beacon Circle, placed in honor of the lives lost during this struggle.
The surprises for the night did not end there, however. As we surveyed the town, we were greeted by a familiar voice: that of Lord Paidreg Venquinor. Somehow, in all of this, his body was restored. However, it is believed that something still isn't quite right. Given that he was killed via deathwort, he shouldn't have a soul. That he lives, and how, is a mystery that is not yet solved. Sir Vectrus thinks it may be the result of several things sort of stitched together.
His memories are a bit spotty. He seems to have been recovering some the more he talked with us, but by the time that he retired for the evening, he was not completely "back" yet. He did, however, invite us to dine with him tomorrow night.
There will be many questions, I'm sure. But for now, it seems that the threat has passed, and our town is returned to us.
-Aydan Mursilis, Protector of Solhaven-
You may find more of the discussion with the mysterious restitching of Paidreg in the log entitled Paidreg Returns.
Nilandia created an exceptional report as promised after delivery of the books to Sir Vectrus. Her studies are transcribed as part of her report on the Ta'Illistim Crystal
Solhaven Reopens for Business!
- Posted by GM Auchand 6 September 2009
The city of Solhaven, under attack for months and underwater for most of the previous week, has been reclaimed through use of experimental magics.
Although the spell was incomplete, much of the town was recovered intact, albeit with some unexpected eccentricities and topographical changes. What does this mean?
- Updated fog locations
- New shop locations, with a greater focus on Solhaven's South 'Haven district
- Changed town layout
- Removal of teleportation restrictions
We'll be seeing more exciting developments for Solhaven in the coming months as a result of these changes. Thanks to everyone who participated in the Solhaven Cataclysm storyline. It's been a (literal) blast.
Baron Malwind Addresses the People
- Posted by ENCLEDAN 31 August 2009
You hear the faint thoughts of Dunrith echo in your mind: [General]: "My loyal citizens, my good cousin expresses the concern that I have appeared to turn my eyes away from Solhaven in recent times, and especially during the current crisis." You hear the faint thoughts of Dunrith echo in your mind: [General]: "I would express that this is not so. The governance of Vornavis being my prime concern, I placed oversight of the Freeport, Solhaven, in capable hands." You hear the faint thoughts of Dunrith echo in your mind: [General]: "Both as the ruler and liege lord of this barony and the representative of the Emperor's will in the Northwest, I find no fault with earlier decision, even after reviewing the circumstances." You hear the faint thoughts of Dunrith echo in your mind: [General]: "This is not a time for maneuverings or a broken front. I see the wisdom in an eventual and benign inquest only after more urgent matters are settled, if then." You hear the faint thoughts of Dunrith echo in your mind: [General]: "This is my will, and Paidreg Lord Venquinor is of my blood." You hear the faint thoughts of Dunrith echo in your mind: [General]: "Let any that causes my blood harm, or hinders the necessary efforts at rebuilding Solhaven, know that the full wrath of Vornavis shall fall upon you." You hear the faint thoughts of Dunrith echo in your mind: [General]: "And to you stalwart and steady defenders--and now, rebuilders--I commend you, and wish you good luck and the speed of the gods in your efforts." You hear the faint thoughts of Dunrith echo in your mind: [General]: "I look forward to meeting with you personally once my duties in seeing Vornavis repaired are duly discharged." You hear the faint thoughts of Dunrith echo in your mind: [General]: "Good luck, good night, and good work."
- Posted by SHADOWTHEFT 12 September 2009
>Can I get some more info on Eugenides and the hex that was placed on him by chance? thanks! This is far more then I could had hopped for. ~Vender
I guess I, uh... should cover this?
The "hex" was cast on Eugenides by THE HAG.
Once the spellform was placed on him, he began to teleport to (seemingly) random locations all across Elanthia at (seemingly) random times.
During this time, a voice in his head revealed a cryptic prophecy about the events to come in the future. More like... half cryptic, half nonsense.
For the sake of fun, my character opted to quote portions of the prophecy verbatim (nonsense and all), at the top of his lungs. Hence, why people called him madman and tended not to pay any attention.
Roame later reveals that the "hex" was meant for Raelee. Raelee is sad, and jealous to learn this.
Apart from the prophecy (which, essentially, was the entirety of the storyline laid out right at the very beginning), the "voice" also alerted Eugenides about current events - What was going to happen a few moments from now. Who it was going to happen to (if applicable). What was occurring in a place he wasn't at.
Then stuff happened without Eugenides since I took an unexpected three month leave of absence.
Later on, the "hex" began to exhibit more powerful effects. At times, when randomly teleporting through Elanthia, people in the immediate area would teleport as well. It continued to evolve in this area to the point of ripping open random temporal rifts. Once it began to affect time, Eugenideses from alternate realities/timelines started to make their appearance.
The alternate Eugenideses often shared small glimpses of the goings on in their reality (which were quite comedic). If they weren't doing that, they would otherwise do stupid things. And, if they weren't telling stories or doing something stupid, they were setting Eugenides on fire. Once or twice they did offer up important information to someone or other.
The hex then plateaued with the ability to revive Eugenides from death (read; immortality). It was later discovered (by Raelee), that this came at the cost of the removal of his existence from alternate realities/timelines.
During the closing of the portal, every other alternate existence of Eugenides was destroyed along with the "hex" as well.
I'm assuming you wanted to know for your play, so, if you wanted more specific details just send me an e-mail or something.
~Eugenides, The Legend
- Posted by GM Auchand 17 March 2010
A clipping from the Vornavis Gazette reads:
By decree of Baron Dunrith Malwind, this year's Spring Awards Ceremony will depart from its traditional location in the Grand Hall of Vornavis Keep and instead be held in Solhaven near the Beacon Monument. A member of the Baron's inner circle stated, "Baron Malwind believes that the citizenry of Solhaven must be honored for their defense of Vornavian and Imperial interests, even when it meant great cost to their lives and livelihoods." The Baron himself has declined to comment on a motivation for the surprising move. Superstition still keeps some Vornavian nobles and commoners from visiting the city of Solhaven, which was miraculously reconstructed by visiting members of the Hall of Mages after the town was destroyed by a freak tidal wave. Sir Vectrus Kestrel Ranheles, the Knight of the Empire known in some circles as the Mage Knight, has taken up permanent residence in Vornavis since the incident and continues to serve as the Baron's chief magical advisor. Months of earthquakes had plagued the frequently beleaguered city, blamed by its rural inhabitants upon water demons from a parallel valence. Rumors have begun to abound that Lord Paidreg Venquinor may seek permission from the Baron to attend to the ceremony. The reclusive provost of Solhaven's alleged deathwort-inflicted destruction and revival have sparked major religious debates. Still in joint custody of the Church of Koar and the Vornavian Guard, Venquinor has been the subject of a drawn-out hearing whose intent is determining whether he is a living being or a new form of undead abomination. His duties as provost have been suspended until the matter is decided, though advocates on both sides of the issue warned that its resolution would not be swift.
The awards ceremony for the Solhaven Cataclysm storyline will be held on Saturday, March 27th, at 8:00 PM Eastern Time. All players are welcome. The following honorees have been announced:
- Posted by ENCELADAN 28 March 2010
Here's a list of the honorees from last night, and the titles they were given. In alphabetical order:
Alifair - Promoted to Protector of Solhaven
Aydan - Elevated to Knight Banneret, and commissioned as a Captain of the Vornavian Reserve
Belnia - Declared Honored Ally of Solhaven
Bristenn - Elevated to Knight-Errant
Droit - Declared Honored Ally of Solhaven
Earthdiver - Declared Honored Ally of Solhaven
Evelith - Promoted to Protector of Solhaven
Guarrin - Promoted to Protector of Solhaven
Kateerina - Promoted to Protector of Solhaven
Kilthal - Promoted to Protector of Solhaven
Kyaloria - Inducted as a Hospitaller of the Order of Venquinor
Metadi - Elevated to Knight of the Empire
Meureii - Promoted to Protector of Solhaven
Misun - Declared Ward of House Venquinor
Nilandia - Inducted as a Hospitaller of the Order of Venquinor
Raelee - Granted the title of Magister by House Kestrel and the Hall of Mages
Sereh - Inducted as a Hospitaller of the Order of Venquinor
Shannivar - Inducted as a Hospitaller of the Order of Venquinor
Tebon - Elevated to Knight-Errant
Tillmen - Declared Honored Ally of Solhaven
Vender - Inducted as a Hospitaller of the Order of Venquinor
Yukito - Inducted as a Hospitaller of the Order of Venquinor
Congratulations to everyone! It was a great night.
-Sir Aydan Mursilis, Knight Banneret and Captain of the Vornavian Reserve-
- Posted by various people 28-30 March 2010
You may find the event in full under this Ceremony Event Transcript
[Auchand] wanted to let everyone know about what the awards do. They're not going to win you any battles, but they do have a couple of actions--RUB and TAP--and RAISE-ing them when they're not worn will shapeshift them between a medal and a ring.
- an emerald-set red bronze ring
Wrought from a thick length of red bronze with beveled edges, the ring's hue is like dying firelight. It is inlaid with a verdant green cabochon emerald bordered by a setting of fanning pelican feathers. Stylized rays of light spread across the sides of the ring, washing over etched shells at its lowest point.
There appears to be something written on it.
In the Common language, it reads:
Awarded by the Office of the Provost of Solhaven to the honored healers and clerics for their tireless service during the Cataclysm of 5109.
The blessings of the people of Solhaven and the Provost to:
Sereh, Hospitaller of the Order of Venquinor.
- a ruby-inlaid golden ora ring
A glistening trilliant-cut ruby caps the golden ora band, which is etched on either side with spread-winged swans clasping crossed spears in their webbed talons. Both birds are fashioned in surprising detail, from the serrations on the edges of the spears they hold to the feathers on the tips of their wings. The shape of the red stone's setting makes it resemble a small shield.
There appears to be something written on it.
In the Common language, it reads:
Awarded by the Baronial Guard of Vornavis to the skilled militia commanders who coordinated the defense of Solhaven during the Cataclysm of 5109.
By the command of Baron Dunrith Malwind, we recognize:
Evelith, Protector of Solhaven.
- a blue-jeweled heavy gold ring
A large blue jewel winks from the apex of the heavy golden ring. Its hue is somewhere betwen that of a sapphire and an amethyst, but under ambient light seems unable to decide which stone it ought to resemble more. Droplets of rich, dark garnet encircle the peculiar gem. One of the ring's sides features a kestrel's head in deep relief, while the other boasts a stylized scroll and flame.
In the Common language, it reads:
In the name of the Hall of Mages and House Kestrel of the Turamzzyrian Empire, let these words serve as proof that the bearer of this seal is a full member and Magister in service of the Hall.
So recognized is Raelee, Magister.