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Author Topic: The End of Days  (Read 2811 times)
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Kane
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« on: May 31, 2012, 12:46:45 PM »

The End of Days:

The Midnight setting is focused on the Veil, the barrier that imprisons the weakened and defeated God Izrador. Over the past several ages, the Dark God has slowly regained his strength and threatens to pierce the barrier, breaking free of his Ayrthly prison. What if that day is near? What would occur in the days, arcs before the Veil shattered and the Dark God was freed? What would become of the Ayrth and Eredane? How would the Lost Gods react? Would the celestial war be rekindled or has the old alliance broken down allowing Izrador to retake his place in the Heavens?

I gave some thought to signs and portents, religious fervor, ancient animosities, and positioning for power within and outside the Order of Shadow. Below are some of my idle thoughts and ramblings that Iíve thought about fleshing out more fully. Iíd be interested in everyoneís thoughts about how the setting might change on the last days before Izradorís attempted ascension.

The Lights in the Sky: In the far north, flashes of light fill the night sky as if the heavens are on fire. The Dark God is stirring and testing the strength of his prison. Similar to the Aurora Borealis, the lights can be seen by anyone north of the Pellurian Sea. Superstitions and ancient prophecies speak of the lights signaling the end of days.

The Redeemers: fanatical human followers of the Dark God who believe that the end is near and only through blind devotion will they survive and be rewarded. The redeemers are a large and armed group of pilgrims travelling through Eredane, slowly heading toward the Black Tower. They administer their own justice and gather slaves for sacrifice. The traitor princes are not amused when the redeemers pass through their territory demanding food and dispensing their own version of holy justice. Fanatics, they are not aligned with either the devout or the cabal.

Fury on the Front Lines: orcs whipped into a fervor seeking that last victory to deliver slaves and power to their God. Assaults are redoubled with no retreat, no relief for the defenders. Losses are staggering on the side of Shadow, but its inconsequential to Jahzir and the Order of Shadow if their master can rise.

A Settling of Scores: as ascension nears the long knives come out and old scores are settled. Rivalries that have been kept under wraps flare into the open with assassination and open attacks. The fragile alliance between the orc tribes fractures as tribes seek to seize territory and assert their dominance. The Traitor Princes and their agents eliminate their foes, even daring to kill legates and attack orcs within their territory.

There Can be Only One: The Night Kings seek to secure their position as the Dark Godís favored servant, by eliminating or severely weakening their rivals. Powerful weapons, hidden agents, and lost lore are all pulled out and used; no reason to hoard them for the future.

Just my ramblings; let me know what you think.

Kane
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« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2012, 05:15:48 PM »

At the end of Days new alliances are made while old ones are broken down.  Questions in the back of the minds of those with power that had been set aside for more pressing concerns, arise with renewed vigor.  Loyalties are called into question and choices have to be made.

Sanulael:  When the signs begin to show themselves Sanulael is ecstatic.  He has been building his army of the Undead in Cambrial and now is the time to use it to crush the Elves and outshine Jahzir and Grial the Fey Killer in one swift move.  He will likely have Kuros the Exonerated begin moving soon after.  Having been long since held back by Jahzirs need for a smooth supply operation for the burning line he will use his sphere of influence with the Devout as well as Gorse and Zaindal to crush the Baden resistance and therefore Badens Bluff itself to further weaken his opposition.  At the same time he will likely begin using his agents to assassinate his primary opponents in the south.

Jahzir:  Having recently seen that he was losing standing among the Night Kings, Jahzir would be in a fervor to regain his place and likely do everything in his power to secure his position.  He would likely call in all the favors he could with the Cabal and even possibly Ardherin in order to hopefully slow Sanulael down long enough for Jahzir to crush the Dwarven resistance, or if not crushing them weakening them as he moved to the southern Kaladruns.  In order to complete this he would order as many Orcs as he could muster from the North as well as all Men he could gather from the Traitor Princes to bolster his armies.  Knowing that Sanulael would not wait to unleash his army of the Undead he would order Grial to pull back all the armies south of Al Kadil and hold them there.  Once the undead army began to move, Jahzir would begin moving west along the Plains of Erenland where he would then order Grial to have his armies move south to "assist" the host of undead before assaulting them from behind, using the unwitting Elves as an anvil, while he moved to the now empty Cambrial to pay Sanulael a little visit.

Ardherin: Likely having long sinced realized that he is nothing more than a pawn to Izradors wishes would likely abandon his status as a Night King and begin setting as many schemes into motion causing chaos on the playing field as he could before disappearing altogether.  If asked for aid by Jahzir he would likely comply by giving a fair amount of Demons to him and Grial, though not before letting the commander of the Orcs think about what winning the day might mean for the "Chosen of Izrador".  In order to agitate Sanulael he would likely send a number of his own agents to deal with Kuros in the Druids swamp.  In order to give himself the best chances of escaping Aryth when Izrador ascended he would gather the oldest and most knowledgable Demons binding them to his service and wait till the time was right to escape.  To further impede the movements of his potential rivals he would likely make a play for more knowledge and magical artifacts by raiding the black tower while sending assassins against the more powerful of the Order and maybe even attempting to take control of the heart of Zardrix .

Zardrix: She is, while still a living creature, little more than a destructive force to be controlled by the whims of the Cabal.  Although sparingly

The Cabal:  Having long since served Izrador in some cases for millenia they would begin to move openly and try to win favor by undermining Sanulael and likely Jahzir.  Having a strong power base in the North near the heart of Izradors grave, they would be the first to notice the signs of his ascension.  Therefor they would act first securing the north against the machinations of Sanulael before launching their own plans.  As they are the ones to control the heart of Zardrix they have a right to be confident in their powers.

Grial the Fey Killer: Having long since led the Orcs relative success against the Elves from the safety of a commanding point of view of the war, he has likely without the aid of Ardherin seen the mass of Orcish blood shed and has begun to wonder if it's all worth it.  He must then decide whether his loyalties are still to Jahzir or to his people.

The Traitor Princes: Every year it seems that the princes lands are getting smaller being handed to Orcs and the promises of glory are slipping away.  Near the end of days they would likely begin plotting their own rise to power.  Old rivalries would be set aside and traditions nearly forgotten would be remembered.  The princes to the south might band together, taking to the saddle and becoming a force to be reckoned with on the open plains.  The Princes to the North however are altogether too far gone would likely throw in their lot with the Cabal or Jahzir.
 
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Sholano
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« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2012, 06:41:18 PM »

Interesting ideas here. I find myself wondering what the reaction of the remaining Resistance forces might be (presuming they're still around at all). Here's the first of my thoughts, based on -

The Witch Queen: Aradil finds her resources taxed further than ever before, as the Orcs make their last, mad final push. Time and time again, she is forced to unleash her own power on the forces arrayed against her, and all the forest trembles with anticipation of the long-anticipated strike from the Shadow while the elf Queen's strength is reduced... but the blow never lands. Extending her senses, and with the aid of her Eyes, the Queen begins to realize that soon, the Veil will be torn aside, and Izrador freed from his world-prison. Beyond that dread threat, though, she learns that for the first time in centuries, all four of the dreaded Night Kings have turned their eyes from her. They are focused entirely on their last grab for the favor of their dark Lord, and she is free, at last, to strike back at the foul creatures that have defiled her home, her kingdom, and her people for a thousand years of slow, crushing defeat. Blinded by the opportunity for long-awaited vengeance, she seizes it, and in the process, leaves the rest of the world to the consequences of the End Days.

I've long wondered why Aradil didn't unload on the orcs on a regular basis, and the conclusion our gaming group came up with was that the last time she did that, Zardrix came swooping out of left field and burned wide swathes of the forest while she couldn't properly respond. Freed up from that constant threat? This seems to me like her response.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2012, 04:40:22 PM by Sholano » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2012, 09:03:13 AM »

Izzy might also try frantically to fix his body before the veil falls. That means a huge upsurge in sacrifices. What if he just decided to sacrifice almost all the orcs and non-legates in the south and pull the rest of his forces back to the north to organize them for a final conflict with the lords of light. This would leave a huge power vacuum that neither the humans nor the dwarves are terribly capable of taking advantage of.

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