Gathering of An Army
Gathering of An Army
For a hundred years, the humans of the east have lived in segregated farming settlements and mercanary strongholds with nothing but their need to fend off the savage races binding them. They had no plans to unite their people – Survival was their only viable dream. Things began to change once they realized that an unsteady order had fallen back into place in the lands. Roads of communication opened between settlements and people began to travel once more. With the gnomes and halflings traveling from the south, the humans found themselves once more gaining a foothold in the world, after being hunted like game by the drow and other savage clans. Though they were not yet a nation. Still a divided people struggling and surviving in small groups, unable to trust any but those immediately around them.
However, now a new development has caused the people to rally and finally unify their forces. Years ago, rumours came from the grey fields that the divided clans of the savage races had begun to form truces, one small group at a time. These gangs were managable since most of these races themselves had suffered great loses during the War of Many. None of them were at their same power as they were centuries ago. Thus far, the outlying villages had managed to fend off any attackers and even carved out territorial boarders running along the deserts and towards the grey fields.
Only months ago, a new and much greater danger arose. This evil showed its numbers when they began to raid camps in the south edge, quickly ravaging the people as they marched their army north towards the edge of the Vale. Rumors began to spread of a shadow stretching for as far as the eye could see, dotted with the eyes of demons. Notice went out throughout the lands that it was time for man to rise up once more and defend this world. Now it is the responsability of these fighters, warriors, and brave commonfolk to search out and chase down the evils destroying their hopes of eventually taking back their home from the savages and of building a great nation once again.
Sent into the mountains by a military desperate for any hope of survival, a group of soldiers, an Oracle, and a random adventurer picked up along the way trekked across fields, wastelands, hills and mountains. They fought ogres, lions and a basilisk. They were forced to infiltrate the enemy army in order to rescue a kidnapped ally. Many of them beheld the soft glow of the afterlife, just before being dragged back to the material world. Others instead embrassed the warmth of the basking light. Along the way, they managed to find a couple other adventurers in need of partnership to assure their survival in this world.
Now, on the other side of the Breach Mountains, a group of once strangers, who possibly never would have even chosen a seat next to the other in a bar, find themselves staring into an unknown forest and vast wilderness. Their previous goal – to stay alive – has been accomplished, but they now become aware that they are alone, with no allies and a possibly vast number of enemies, with no clear designation.
Soon after the main force of the Skaldernian army made its way into the vastness of the desert in pursuit of the Dark Army, the outlying villages and farms began to rebuild their settlements as people returned to their homes. However, they had little time to settle back in as a new, much more menacing threat swept across the fields. Like locusts, swashes of undead hordes came in waves, destroying the body of every man, woman and child that came within their reach. Hearing of this plague making its way across the country, the citizens of Skalderna began leaving their homes, en masse traveling to the relative safety behind the walls of Langen. So while the people’s spirit rebounded against the power of the Master, they now had no choice but to cower and hope that something will save them from the current scourge.
Convinced that this new threat was brought on by the powers of a powerful mage, or perhaps several working in league with this “Dark Master”, the collective council (made up of the leaders of the largest cities within Skalderna) decided that once and for all magic must not just be shunned upon, but outlawed entirely. No longer would it simply carry a stigma and those cursed with its touch be outcasted; now they would be hunted and sentence brought against them for the crimes they had obviously committed, or to keep them from the horrors that they would eventually commit after being corrupted by their power. The council sanctioned witch hunters to seek out those who would practice the arcane, while the churches also provided their own inquisitors whom they had trained for similar situations.
Meanwhile, the people of the Shoanti tribes within the ever-burning desert were in a similar situation. They found themselves in an unfortunate battle with the people whom they would hope to someday call ally. However, while the warriors are well equipped for battle and the shaman well versed in the rites of the dead, neither are prepared to battle with the dead. What was once the Skaldernian army tasked with hunting down the Dark Army had now transformed into a group marching on the people of the desert; their bodies now simply an empty husk. With this undead army encroaching on their territories, they have had no choice but to leave their home and find haven in the mountains. The decided that the best place for was where their spirits and ancestors could guide and protect them; Storval. The Elder lead them through the grounds, the maze-like pillars, plateaus, and valleys making it impossible for the army to follow them.
From a distance, small pillars of white smoke can be seen coming from the crevasses of the Breach.