The History of Darkstone Castle

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(Castle Darkstone was originally called Castle Claedesbrim)

A bolt of pure red light suddenly arcs down from the sky to bathe everyone and everything in an evil, bloody glow.

Before the fall of the castle to an evil Sorcerer and his diabolical Wizard partner, Darkstone was a burnt out husk of a castle, remaining, seemingly, as a reminder that war is destructive, pure and simple. Estrion and Siarl (the aforementioned Sorcerer and Wizard) had designs on expanding their area of influence from a small tropical island to a much larger area. They were drawn, like flies, to the growth and chaos surrounding a small frontier town known as Wehnimer's Landing.

Suddenly, the temperature drops dramatically, and the walls in the old castle vibrate with the sounds of bells pealing, whistles screeching, and drums pounding violently, relentlessly.

They both spent many nights laying out their plans for the destruction of the town and the subjugation of its citizens, and one of their first steps was to overtake a nearby fortress from which they could reign terror down upon the small town.

There is a great booming sound as of a bronze bell being struck by giants. Far beneath your feet it resounds in the earth. Again and again its metallic tongue cries out so that even the gods must hear it on distant Orhan. The din rattles your mind and numbs your senses and threatens to overwhelm your reason. Slowly the sound fades away leaving an echo in your mind to make you wonder if you still hear it or merely the memory of it.

Now, Estrion and Siarl, while both megalomaniacs, were smart enough to realize that they could not accomplish their goals alone. Together they performed dark rituals, almost nightly, to call upon the spirit of the night, then called "Scalu" for aid. "Scalu", now called Sheru after the fall of the ice age, was even then hard at work on plans of his own, yet felt that in aiding these two foolish mortals, he could accomplish his own goal of wrestling the Realm of Dreams from "Reann", who is now called Ronan. As Estrion and Siarl used Sheru's spiritual force to come to their aid, so did Sheru himself use the combined elemental energy of the two to prepare mortal world for his coming.

Hideous black flames leap down toward you from the ceiling, then dissipate, leaving no remnant but the foul stench of singed flesh.

Echoing in the distance is the voice of a frightened child crying endlessly, alone and terrified. The sound comes from all directions and has no source you can locate. Finally, it dies away and is no more than a bad memory nagging at your mind.

His first step was to bring his Heralds (Harbingers) forward from behind the veil to wreak havoc amongst the citizens of the town, and to "herald" his coming. Things went wrong however, as both Estrion and Siarl where very draining, even upon this immortal figure. Their rituals and experiments in spirit and element backfired, causing a lingering mana storm to remain above the castle, its black vortex constantly sucking mana away from the ground and upward like a great vacuum. Sheru was spent of energy, and had to retreat back behind the veil, leaving his Harbingers behind him.

Your sight dims and a new image replaces the room you were in. An ominous black plane of broken and cracked rock stretches out forever under a sky filled with stars in patterns unknown to mortal lands. Endless rows of gravestones stand at crazy angles in uneven ranks across this landscape. There comes the sound of the earth rumbling and stones cracking and falling and, as you watch dumbstruck with horror, the graves begin to open and vomit out streams of zombies onto the cruel plains of death. The vision fades swiftly but the scene haunts you for hours.

No longer aided by Sheru, and both very spent from their own workings of magic, the pair launched an attack against the town in a desperate attempt to destroy as much of the living as they could, in hopes that the release of spirit could help them re-open the veil. Their attempt backfired, however as Estrion, already spent and drained of mana, was killed by the townsfolk who were defending their homes. Siarl was able to flee, and has not been seen since.

Something inside you twitches nervously, as the rabbit twitches at the approach of a fox. Inner senses scream a warning to you that all is not right with the world and that unknowable forces are gathering unseen all around you.

By Evia Aramathia