It all began 10 weeks ago…
There were five of them, if memory serves me correctly. Five men from different backgrounds, all randomly chosen to be part of it all. Though they volunteered, I am too much a believer in fate to think that they had a choice in the matter. The five consisted of Toby, the dull giant; Kaplin, the kind father; Watson, the awkward man; Louis, the violent cook; and Guile, the merchant thief. They independently volunteered for a large sum of gold to travel and inspect a mine north of their own village. Their village, while inconsequential to the rest of the story, was called Denadoro Mines. This was, of course, named after the Mine itself that gave the village purpose. In fact, Louis and Toby both worked for the mine under Lord Albrecht Denith.
After accepting their respective sums of promised gold (with Toby receiving nothing for his troubles), the sent off north to investigate the mines there. While inside, Toby and Louis discovered an underground sealed door which seemed set into the walls. Veins of gold surrounding the door, which was not even reachable with a pickax. Meanwhile, hordes of small filthy creatures poured out of the Mine entrance. These creatures, later known as Goblins, swarmed down into the abandoned town where Guile, Watson, and Kaplin had been hiding. Watson was spotted and attacked by the creature, but managed to flee. The creatures eventually lost interest and marched south, towards Denadoro Mines.
Returning back to their homes and telling Denith of the Goblins, the five were sent to Alabaster to inform the Elder Council and ask for aid. As well, they were sent as apparent delivery boys for the Denith family. Upon first arriving, the Elder Denith received their letters then bid them farewell. While the other council listened of the Goblin Concerns, they were told the threat was to Denadoro Mines and not to Alabaster and were sent away.
During this return to their homes though, they found the town destroyed. Their family’s all apparently slaughtered, they found the only survivor inside the Mine itself. The survivor, Potter, explained that the creatures came from the North in the night. The small “brute squad” security force set up by Gavin was no where to be found and Albrecht Denith had vacated in the night. In fact, the only house still remaining untouched was the Denith house. Investigating the house further, they found that Albrecht Denith had setup a deal with the Goblin warband. In essence, he wanted to purge the Mine of “hired” help and replace them with slaves. In doing so, he allowed all the miners and their family’s to be slaughtered. In fact, with a sample from the Northern Mines in his hands, he was going to restart the gold mining business in the north again and just let Denadoro Mines rot.
The five, before seeking vengence, headed south to find aid in their quest. Along the path, they found many other ruined villages which had been sacked by the Goblin warband. Meeting with some members of the Knights of Eclysia however, they had renewed hope when told their family’s may be among survivors in the south. They were escorted south by the Knights Nuncio and Antonius and their squire Jonathan. Passing many landmarks, they eventually arrive in the village of Brann. Antonius took his leave some time before, going to a fortification in the North called “Fort Worth,” in order to act as a buffer for an army of Goblins and Bandits who were thought to be making their way towards Brann.
Beyond Brann the group found the Valley of Knowledge. Here, Kaplin was reunited with his son and daughter who had escaped from Denadoro Mines based on a warning he had given them prior to his travel to Alabaster. No other families had apparently survived, but the refugees in the Valley gave the group new reason to fight. They asked the Prophet of Eclysia (the leader of the Knights) for aid in their battles with Albrecht Denith in the north. The Prophet refused with the looming battle, but offered them a place among the other people in the Valley. The group took their leave of the Valley, but left behind Kaplin’s children.
Gavin and Albrecht Denith had fled to Seth Denith’s home at a Lumbermill just outside of the Great Forest to the North West. The five men, with a thirst for vengeance, found Seth Denith’s home. Originally attempted to stealthily infiltrate, Gavin spotted them early on and the house became a battlefield. During which, Seth Denith escaped with hesitated aid from Guile. Gavin and Albrecht Denith were killed in battle, as well as most of Gavin’s “brute squad.” The only survivors were Lady Katherine Denith and her butler Belvadere and some of the mine workers. After an attempt to recruit others, only a single man seemed interested in helping the five. A man named “Kevin.”
Upon investigation of personal letters belong to the now deceased Albrecht Denith, the five discovered that the Elder Denith from Alabaster was the lead conspirator in the matter. The Elder Denith had actually given the order to Albrecht. The five then swore to descend upon Alabaster swiftly to end this all.
Once entering the Grand Hall in Alabaster however, they were met with some surprise by Seth Denith, The Elder Denith, the remaining members of the Elder Council, and a strange man calling himself “Tsar.” The latter man claiming to be from a group of assassins called the “7 Hands.” Tsar immediately proved to have some effective combat prowess and fended off the group as a whole. The Elder Denith was chased through a back hallway, where Seth Denith attempted to save him. Instead, the Elder Denith was cut down first, leaving Seth Denith to watch his father die. Tsar continued to fight, using his archaic magics to shatter the weapons of his attackers. However, it wasn’t until Kaplin was slain in battle and Watson had fled that Louis and Toby were able to drive Tsar off. Tsar himself flew far into the distance, escaping from death but leaving the group in shambles and injured.
The group moved back towards Brann again, now considered outcasts and murderers in Alabaster. They buried their friend Kaplin at the base of a large statue of Eclysia just outside the abandoned village of Aeris. Afterwords, they returned to the Valley of Knowledge charging Watson with informing Kaplin’s children of his demise. The group, not knowing what else to do, slept restlessly until Antonius returned in the night from Fort Worth. The combined army of Goblins and Human bandits were marching on Brann within the next night.
The Battle of Brann was fought at the entrance to the Valley of Knowledge. A small path was used as a choke point to prevent the combined army from gaining entrance into the Valley itself. In this point, all the male refugees who could hold a blade joined forces with the squires serving under any Knight of Eclysia. Joining this line were Kevin, Toby, Watson, and Guile. Along with Louis on one cliff side stood three mages considered allies to the Knights. Cillian Graves, an elderly but powerful Wizard, his daughter Jillian, a petite and beautiful Enchantress, and Ettrius, Cillian’s apprentice and Jillian’s apparent lover, all joined up with the Knights to battle this threat.
The Battle began badly for the Knights and their allies with early arrow volleys killing many people. However with the Knights charge and the Mages disrupting the others it seemed to be going well. During the battle however, Cillian Graves was killed by what appeared to be 6 arrows shot all at once from a great distance into the darkness. Ettrius immediately moved in that direction to confront the opponent leaving Louis to fend for himself.
Things were even more dire when three members of the 7-Hands appeared. Tsar was the only one who was familiar to the group, but two more appeared with him. One, large as a house was charging through to the front line, killing men with large sweeps of what appeared to be a tree trunk. The other creature, strapped to the larger one’s back and looking like a demon, was barking orders to the other, using a bow and arrow to pick off one man at a time. Luckily, Jillian enchanted the creature to reverse it’s attack and move against the Goblins and Bandits.
The Squire Jonthan ordered a charge and helped prevent the Knights from complete death. During the charge, Toby and Louis found themselves looking at the leader of the Goblin warband. The creature looked like a cross between man and goblin, pinkish in skin tone and large as a man. Toby killed the creature with help from Watson and Louis before a retreat was ordered on behalf of the human bandits. The members of the 7-Hands then retreated as well, leaving the Knights and their allies seemingly victorious.
However, the Battle of Brann was almost immediately revealed as a distraction. During the battle, a powerful man Abjurer had apparently broken three of the holy relics known only as the Seven Seals. These Seals, as stated in a prophecy by Eclysia herself, act as a bridge between realities. Once broken, the bridge between worlds begins to blend and eventually shatter. Each seal represents a certain level of reality being broken, but come in a form that seems beneficial to the breaker. The Prophet of Eclysia was also killed, probably by the same Abjurer.
The only other man with any in-depth knowledge of Eclysia was then sent for. He was a wandering ancient Knight from Astalion named “Archibald the Mad.” The Knights sent their fastest rider for him, while making preparations for the search for the remaining seals. During the 3 month wait, the group furthered their studies with weaponry and (at least in Watson’s case) religion.
Now they move again, having waited long enough for Archibald the Mad. They travel in search of the Four remaining Seals, hoping to beat this unknown foe.