Rise of the Stone Lord
Myth of the Worlds Beginning
In the beginning there where no civilized races, really no races at all. Only powerful entities and their constant battles. Fire raged through the lands, Earth pounded the seas, Water drowned out the air and Wind blew away the flames. Law controlled Chaos which in turn destroyed the laws. Evil fought against Good and the grandest struggle was Darkness against Light. In the end it was Shadow who ended the feuds and created the worlds, in a way. Shadow had grown strong while the others where fighting and took from their shadows their strength. With all the power throughout the universe he created the children of the world, the gods. They were created with equal powers and with their own unique personality. Shadow hoped that this would even out the world and stop the power struggle, he was wrong. He had used all the power of the Elder Beings to create deities who would fight amongst themselves as well. Shadow, Light, Darkness, Fire, Earth, Wind, and Water remained, at a fraction of their powers hidden in the world. The others perished and gave the new deities strength and will to dominate the others. Many of the gods began to argue, what to do with the empty void of a world? Many thought they should create something new. Six of the greatest gods gathered, Yondalla, Corellon Larethian, Gruumsh, Moradin, Garl Glittergold, and Pelor gathered at a dinner to decide. Each came with the intent of crafting a world in their own image and hoped to emerge stronger than the others. They set out upon making a world, a place. They crafted the world of Vilveis, Pelor created a magnificent orange glowing orb to light the world, Moradin hammered the lands into the world, Yondalla poured the waters upon the lands, Corellon Larethian played his music and from the earth sprang plants, Garl Glittergold created thousands of exotic creatures to run amok, Gruumsh then raked his claws across the land creating valleys, mountains and other features. They then argued that they each couldn’t take turns watching the world, who would govern it? It took the interuption of the deity Fharlanghn to suggest that people could be created to govern the world. He then set roads and paths upon the world to show the new inhabitants where to go and travel. However the gods again argued on what the perfect person would look like. Pelor argued that his beings must glow with his light, which the others unanimously disagreed with. Correllon’s creatures where too scrawny, Yondalla’s too short, Moradin’s people were too stout and Garl’s children where too small. Gruumsh created the largest of the people which the others disliked. In the end they decided to pick their favorite element of each and create a group humanoid. The result was a human, with the strength of Gruumsh, the endurance of Moradin, the grace of Corellon, the cleverness of Garl, the resourcefulness of Yondalla and a bright mind thanks to Pelor. Thus the first two Humans were set upon Vilveis. The party was then ended abruptly with each deity leaving quite disatisfied. They each felt that their ideas were superior to the humans they had let loose upon their planet, so each deity sent their own two children down to the world. The first to arrive were the agile children of Corellon Larethian, the Elves. Second to arrive were the stout and tough Dwarves, children of Moradin. Third to arrive to Gruumsh’s eternal fury were the Orcs. Afterwards at the same moment the children of Yondalla and Garl Glittergold came, the halflings and gnomes. With this disturbance in the world, the other gods came to see what had been done. Many put their own marks on the world, Ehlonna and Obad-Hai expanded the wilderness and spread the wild creatures throughout it. Wee Jas and Boccob Layered the world in their powers giving the gift of magic to the races of the world.
Lore of the Elders
The lore of the elves say that when the world was formed, there were four great races. The elder races they were called. Elves, Humans, Dwarves, and Orcs were the first races to grace the lands. Eight only there were, a male and female of each race. These Originals were immortal, created to build their own nations and spread their offspring across the world. The 1st generation were not so special as the originals. They were not immortal but had twice the lifespan of any mortal living today. Before long the newborn first generation grew jealous of the originals’ power. Slowly they were hunted and eventually they were all killed. Rumor has it that none of the 1st or 2nd generations still live, but they were capable of great feats and possessed phenomenal powers. As time grew on, the gods added more creatures to the world but they were wise and gave none the great powers of the elder races. Slowly as the elder races grew more attached to the world they begin to lose their true powers, nowadays they only possess a shadow of their former glory.
The Other Elders
Legends claim that there were once more races on Vilveis. But they were more advanced than the three Elder races. Humanoids who stood taller than a man and had pale blue skin, smooth as ice. There were many others as well. They had ceased to believe in the deities and relied on their own magical prowess and technological powers to build their own utopian societies. The deities were displeased with their creations lack of faith and imprisioned them in the core of Vilveis to perish. Some say you can even still find the sigil stones that the deities used to seal them into the earth, but they are deep within the Underdark, so who would go looking for them?
The Three Treasures
In the beginning, the gods blessed the three elder races with three legendary items said to hold all the magic of nature in them. The Starsoul Amulet was said to hold the power of the stars and have the capability of regenerating and restoring broken items to their full potential. The Sunfire Bracers were said to hold all the strength of the sun and had the ability to sever any bond no matter how strong. The Circlet of the Moon was the final gift, a circlet said to hold all the infinite wisdom of the moon and grant the gift of foresight to its wearer. The three gifts were divided among the elder races. The elves with their long memories were given the Amulet and trusted with keeping it safe and keeping the world whole. The patient and resolute Dwarves were given the Bracers and told to only use it if the world truly needed their help. The reckless and innocent humans were given the last gift, the Circlet and told to use this item for the betterment of their race. It was also said that each race was given a guardian who would eternally watch over the items.
Curse of the Moon
At the beginning of time, fell sorcerors struck a deal with the gods of nature. They pleaded for the ability to transform into another form, one much stronger that embodied that power of untamed nature. They made a bargain, they would never harm the forest if they could only have the power to change their forms at will. This pact was made by the light of the full moon and a dark deal was wrought. The sorcerors lived happily for many years, their gifts of power were more than they could have hoped for and they found that they had become immortal through their transformations. Then they grew careless, they forgot the bargain that they had made with nature and began to misuse the resources of the forest. They cut down trees for lumber, destroyed great swaths of forest for farmland and even exploited the minerals that lay hidden beneath it. The nature gods were furious and they cursed the sorcerors. Those who had not kept the covenant were forever doomed to be cursed by the light of the full moon to tranform into their animal form and run feral spreading their plague. Those who had kept the covenant formed the ranks of the druids and vowed to spread their craft to protect nature. Those cursed souls became known as lycanthropes, forced to become were-beasts by the light of the moon and be hunted by those they called brothers. Lycanthropy is spread by a bite and can only be destroyed by one thing. The metal from the mines of the forests, silver in its purest form is the best way to kill a lycanthrope. The very thing that fuelled the lycanthropes avarice is the key to ending their suffering. The plague quickly spread to all corners of the world, no man, woman, or child was safe. Then the gods intervened, they gave the elder races the gift of belladonna, wolfsbane. Together, with a plant to cure the affliction and a weapon to destroy those too far gone, Lycanthropy was driven from all the civilized realms. It is thought that no more of the afflicted still walk the material plane.
The Children of the Night
Each race has their own legend pertaining to the origins of the creatures known as vampires. The most widely accepted version of the story is the elven tale of the veretön, the bloodless as they call them. Elves as a race are nearly immortal, but there were a few elves that desired immortality. The ability to live forever without the nuisances of everday life, the ability to pursue their goals throughout many lifetimes undhindered. This appealed to an older elf, by the name of Vräel. Sought a way to extend his own life, but he was no fool. He was quite experienced in a much darker branch of necromancy and arcane lore than most wizards of the age dared to delve into. He had read the Necronomicon firsthand and survived the experience. Vräel understood that he could not extend his life purely with the power of magic, he would have to pay a price to live forever there was no alternative. He made many botched attempts to prolong his life, he trapped the spirits of several of his assistants in mirrors in an attempt to trap their life force within. He also attempted a brew with countless foul substances mixed in, ichors from long-forgotten beasts and a single spice-garlic. The brew turned out to have countless side-effects and it required frequent ingestion, far too frequent to be viable. So he scrapped the idea too. Then he chanced upon a more sinister idea. He consulted with a scion of the deity Nerull, who told him that there was a way to live forever subsisting on the blood of others. He did not wait for the priest to finish his explanation before he set upon the priest, half-maddened by his many failures. He killed the priest with a wooden stake he tore from a wooden fence. He drank happily of the priests blood but he found no sustenance in it, the magic was not there. Not knowing how else to proceed, Vräel took the priest’s journal and with it he hunted down a secret altar to his dread god. He waited for the other priests to gather for prayers below the full moon and he silently entered the temple. He slaughtered them all with a few well placed spells. The magic he used was deep, ancient magic that he normally would have never invoked. Nerull mourned the death of his followers and he was furious to find that the elf was attempting to defeat Death. Nobody faced Death and emerged unscathed, so Nerull laid out a clever trap. He enchanted the blood of his followers that ran in rivers from the church with the vestiges of immortality, but he also cursed it with the strength of the moon. Whomever partook of the blood would be allowed to live forever under the cover of night, but would burn with the light of the sun upon them. Vräel the maddened fool that he was, did the same as he had before, he drank of the priests’ blood and thus was caught in the deities trap. The more blood he drank, the thirstier he became, his desire for blood was unquenchable. He rushed out of the temple to find the nearest village, only to find that it was on the other side of a river that Nerull had enchanted to prevent his crossing. After traveling for days overland, barely subsisting on the blood of animals Vräel found another village. He approached under the cover of night, only to find that he could not enter any of the dwellings of his own accord, the deities curse was strong indeed. Nearly dying of thirst, Vräel stumbled upon a coven of druids in their hidden grove. In his bloodlust they were no match for him, during the battle one of his spells went awry and his wild raging spirit formed some sort of ancient compact with the creatures of the night. One of the druids managed to wound him with the shaft of a broken quarterstaff, whilest the other’s iron scythes seemed to break upon his skin. It seemed that the very wood that he used to kill the very first priest proved to be his undoing. At this point Vräel was confident that he could cure himself somehow, he attempted to use a scrying mirror to return to his lair but it seemed that Nerull had made a deal with his trapped apprentices and the mirror showed the true horrors of his work until he was forced to cast it aside. It is said that Vräel tried to contain himself many times, but as he killed he learned that the dead soon rose to serve as spawn under his command. Before long he had spread his plague across the world, with each new servant created it is said that he gained strength until he could walk alone in sunlight and withstand the point of a stake. As the tales go, Vräel was invincible to all traditional methods of slaying a vampire. His oldest servants were rumored to also take on his some of his invulnerability. Then came the times of the hunting.
It was a dark time… The lands of Vilvirym were covered in strife. The mortal races of the world were beginning to feel uneasy with their standings in the world. What was a human or dwarf commoner to truly accomplish with his or her life if there were such things in the world as Dragons, Vampires, Werewolves and wizards? What significance was any mundane and mortal man going to have in the real world? This was a time of distrust, the mortal races of the world began a crusade on the supernatural. At first, the killings were only of the most vile and hated creatures of the supernatural. Vampires and Werewolves were being heavily attacked and most common families began to carry around wooden stakes and silver crosses for protection. Then the killings became more and more aggressive towards creatures that should not have been attacked, Human adventurers began organizing raids into the woods and hunt down the faerie folk. Before too long, most mortal races had joined into the conflict. Unicorns were hunted for their horns, Centaurs, Satyrs, and Minotaurs were slaughtered on sight with no questions asked. The elves refused to join the conflict, prefering instead to retreat to their elven citadels and hidden forest villages. Thus the slaughter continued til the forest streams ran red with the lifeblood of the fey. It is thought that Vampirism and Lycanthropy was eradicated from the land. Then the vampire-slayers, lycan-hunters, and mercenaries set their sights on the most powerful magical beasts of all… The Dragons.
The Dragons of the land were plenty at this time. It was not uncommon to have dragons of all varieties living near civilized settlements and in harmony with local communities. Metallic Dragons protected and nurtured the cities near their territories and Gem Dragons lived peacefully alongside the “two-legs”. Chromatic Dragons were feared enough to be left alone most of the time and they often made their homes in the deep wilderness. Until now… At first the campaign on Dragons seemed absurd, who in their right mind would challenge a beast that could use magic at will and breathe pure energy? Then as time grew on, masters of the hunting emerged – The Dragonslayers League. The members of the Dragonslayers League were all experts at hunting dragons and in employing dragontooth or dragonbone weapons against them. They had studied the weaknesses of each variety of dragon and discovered the best ways to kill them. In the beginning, none cared because they were hunting Chromatic Dragons, but as the number of Dragons slowly decreased, the League began to take on other targets. Dragons as a species were too powerful to be harmed by pathetic mortals, or so the Dragons foolishly believed… Dragon populations declined at an incredibly fast rate and like the Lycanthropes and Vampires they were driven from the civilized realms, they were not extinct but dragonkind as a whole was too smart to wait around to be slaughtered like sheep. They fled to the deepest reaches of the world where no simple adventurer or would-be dragon-slayer would follow them. It is said that not all the varieties of Dragons escaped, that perhaps there were not enough of each kind of dragon to repopulate the world. Since this age, Dragons have made a slow return to the world. They remain in hiding most of the time to minimize their appearance as a threat. Few are alive today who can claim to have seen a true dragon’s wyrmling, and even fewer still can say they have seen a dragon’s egg. The lesser races of dragons like Wyverns and Landwyrms returned to the lands more quickly, seeing such a creature today is not considered an uncommon occurence.
The Nine Entombed
Nine Dwarven Lords there were, each gifted with a great gift of power. They were feared in battle for their prowess and for their weapons. The nine were each given a powerful enchanted blade, some were forged into axes, others spears or swords, but all shared one characteristic. A link to the other eight and to the ancestor spirits of their clans. The spirits gave the blades an unnaturally sharp edge and magical abilities to protect their wielders. As time grew on, the nine began to die of old age. A wise sage began plans to entomb the dwarves deep within the mountains, their crypts were layered in traps and trials to test the mettle of any that would chance upon them. Perhaps someday another worthy mortal would stumble upon the tombs and prove their worth. Only if they are chosen by the spirits will they be allowed to wield the Gnöz Duzrk. Those chosen by the spirits gain the use of a valuable weapon of dwarven ancestry, but nobody still living knows where the tombs are. Not only that but they were built to be nearly inaccessible and hidden away so only the truly worthy would seek them out. If one were to gather all nine of the ancestor weapons they would find power almost unimaginable. The spirits of the dwarves are mighty indeed.
Into the Gray
A long time before the races of the world kept time, there was an offshoot of elves that had mastered the wild magic of the world. The Gray Elves, or Graymalkin, were taller than their lesser cousins and much thinner. But they found their way to the top of elvish society by mastering the Art. They were better at glyph magic than the dwarves and better at incantations than even the most studied humans. They had learned the wild magic that made up the fabric of the world and even written down in stone tablets most of their arcana lore. The highest of their race were the arcanamachs, who blended an organized warriors mind with their knowledge of spells to make them the ultimate in battlemages. They believed that magic existed innately in the fabric of the world and that spells were only scratching the surface of the true potential of magic. In order to fully tap into the magic that was around them, they had to first access the Void between worlds and let some additional energy in.
The mage-king of the Gray Elves, Indarin, was astounded by the findings of the arcanamachs, he believed that he could breed a new race of magically gifted elves by simply tapping into the power of the Void and using the deep magic of the Gray Elves to control it. So he and his fellow scholars and arcanamachs spent hours laboriously crafting circle after circle of runes into the great stone ziggurats that marked the cities of the Graymalkin. They also collected samples of blood from every Gray Elf citizen to perform the ritual. With the majority of their race gathered to watch, the arcanamachs climbed to the tops of the ziggurats to complete the ritual. They gave their lives, using the utmost of their magic to tear a rift in the fabric between worlds and hoping to control the effects of what came after. Unfortunately for them, even the farsightedness of the elves could never have prepared them for the raw power of the Void. It was intensely powerful portal magic that opened the rift between worlds, so the effect was intensified and all of the Gray Elf race was transported into a space between worlds. They have since been lost to the gray… Nobody knows of any Gray Elves who were not affected by the ritual, not a soul has been seen since.
h4.Arkleywn, the Storm Citadel
Built by the gnomes as a technological masterpiece, Arkleywn was to be a city that floated upon the clouds. Gnomish illusion magic would hide the city from enemies and it would float around atop a massive cheery cloud. Powerful gnome sages gathered to cast the spell that would set the contraption working and bind several powerful wind elementals to the task of directing the floating fortress. However, somewhere in the ritual a gnome added the wrong focus and the elementals that were summoned were of the wrong variety. Storm elementals appeared, too many that were too strong for the gnomes to control. So the elementals were only halfway bound to the fortress, they dragged it up into the sky atop a massive gale. Arkley Quarum the storm is called, it bears across the continents once every few years and then dissappears. Some say that the fortress is still within the eye of the storm, probably filled to the brim with mechanical inventions the likes of which have never been seen before. Most would say that to attempt to land on the citadel would be suicide, the gale tears apart any flying creature or contraption that tries to get close and the cities automated defense is partially active. In addition, storm elementals are tethered to the city and are attracted to it like moths to a flame.
Mysteries of the Timeless Town
Somewhere within the Waywyrd Woods there exists a town, completely untouched by time. Its citizens eat little food but seem to exist only on air. Many have ventured there seeking the fountain of youth that must exist there but none have found it. However most that travel to the town never return, some say that there must be a reason that they stay inside the town but nobody can figure it out.
A Ranger’s Sword
Legends have it that deep in the woods an old elven ranger found a grove of silver and golden leaved trees. The trees were vicious and thirsted for blood, he fought the trees with his sword as long as he could, but eventually the vines ensnared him and strangled him. His sword fell to the ground and became rooted in the soil. Supposedly the vines grew up around it and eventually the sword became a part of the tree itself. Some say that if another ranger were to come along and defeat the trees they would acquire his sword, by now a likely potent magical artifact from its years within the Waywyrd Woods. The sword is only recognizable by the diamond-shaped emerald that juts from its hilt.
The Seven Monasteries
Once there were seven large monasteries splayed across the continent of Vilvirym, three in the mountains, one in the forests, two across the plains and one by the open seas. Each monastery was built by all of the races of that land and served as a safe area where one could look past racial differences and see only the character of the others. The monasteries contained many treasures and magical artifacts. The monks there learned to fight like none others had fought before and became famed throughout the world. Then as time grew on the need for another monastery was obvious but the soothsayers had once told the head monk that his doom was to come by the number 8. Finally breaking past his fear of an eighth monastery, he ordered that one be built in one of the most magical of places, the Waywyrd Woods. Construction on the project went well and the native flora and fauna even avoided the monastery as a surprise to all. All went well until the monastery was completed, within an hour of the project’s completion a curse was afflicted upon all the head monks and they died of various diseases. From that point on all the monasteries were abandoned and their treasures hidden away inside their deepest vaults because none would brave the cursed grounds. All eight monasteries still exist today, but treasure hunting adventurers are perhaps getting brave enough to attempt the cursed monasteries.
The Wyrm Neflutwain
There was once a mighty gold Dragon that went by the name of Neflutwain. He guarded the people of the Great Plains from all evils that befell them. He flew over the plains frequently and acquired a massive treasure horde from the gifts that plainsmen gave him. He kept the local orcs and goblins in check and no plagues ever befell the plains. Crops seemed to be plentiful and the land was fertile. He lived there for many an age and even helped fight off the Demons of the Demon Wars. His lair surrounded the Lake Trinity, mountains of gold were heaped to the skies. Then one day without warning the dragon became reclusive and ceased to fly the skies. The people of the plains were fearful of his dissapearance and gathered in throngs to travel to his lair. When they arrived, they found the dragon dying of old age. They pleaded with the dragon to live, not only for their sake but for the lives of their children. It was said that Neflutwain simply smiled and breathed his last breath, the magic of a dragon’s death transformed his mighty horde into the Neflutwain Hills and created the Neflutwain River. The people of the plains were overwhelmed with gratitude for the dragon and celebrate festivals in the height of summer in his honor. It was said that somewhere within the hills is the dragon’s true horde and the dwarves that now live within the hills search feverishly to find it.
Prophecy of the Black Sun
…There is a prophecy that says:
“When the sun rises, black as night. The retribution of the very Abyss will come upon the world. For if the world is not united as one to combat the darkness, hordes of evil will surely consume all. The task falls to a man, pure of heart born to simple parents. An unusual warrior, master of dragons, friend to many races. The fate of the world shall rest on the shoulders of a handful of adventurers, take care that they are not deceived. To place faith in the wrong people would spell disaster for civilization as it stands. The Four must stand together before the Black Gates and fight as one. Each race on the continent will find a chance to prove themselves before the battle is won or lost, one race will fail to meet expectations. Those with a shadow over their heart will turn on the other mortal races, do not trust them. Help from the heavens is needed, this is one quest that mortals cannot hope to face alone. If all hope is lost, seek an ally in the darkest depths of the earth. Those who were once considered a great enemy will instead prove to be your greatest ally. Fear nothing except the fear itself, fires will burn out, oceans will dry, earth will sit fallow and winds will die, but darkness cannot be penetrated.