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Another view on the Alfheim Invasionby André Martins
As in everything, the important thing is not if Ilsundal can solve it, but if he can make al-Kalim believe he can. And I am not so sure that the elves couldn't help, teaching the Ylari the secret of raining. That is what Ilsundal is promising them. I have also worked in a few other events in a private email, so here goes my other ideas (it is important to notice I assume Hel has infiltrated the DDC, Darokin Diplomatic Corps):
Nuwmont, 09, 1010AC: Ilsundal and al-Kalim talk
Place: Pandius, Matera
Ilsundal is desperate about his Trees of life and proposes al-Kalim an alliance. He will instruct his followers to teach Ylari mages the secret of raining if the Ylari would collaborate in the retaking of Alfheim. al-Kalim says he has to think about it and, two days later, agree with the proposal if Ilsundal promises him his followers will help protect Ylaruam from any Thyatian invasion. Desperate, Ilsundal agrees.
Soon, Ylari leaders start receiving dreams of impending danger from the pale elves. In their dreams, they are helped by the Alfheim elves, who enter Ylaruam followed by a blessing rain that causes trees and flowers to grow in the desert. One month later, an elf ambassador arrives at Ylaruam, carrying gifts and soft words. Ylari leaders listen to his tale and, instructed by their dreams, promise to help.
And there is Barimoor. He has a vast underground system under Ylaruam. He is a VERY powerful Alphatian mage, questing for immortality in the Paragon path, and has spent the last centuries hoarding magical items for the day he will make the challenge. He certainly has some Nithian artifacts and agents in the Ylari government. He will not side openly with anyone, he still doesn't feel his time has come and wants to wait another century before appearing. However, underground mages who can one day find his network of tunnels are not something he would want as neighbours. And he certainly would like to have the most powerful mages in a 1000 miles radius destroyed before he challenge them. So he will use his influence to have Ylaruam siding with Alfheim.
One year later, Hel's agents discovers Ilsundal's plans of an invasion in Ylaruam. A Brotherhood meeting is called and they decide it is time to reopen their business. A few months later, the Ylari caravan is attacked.
Meanwhile, Glantrian mages and diplomats are seen in Aengmor by the Alfheim elves. One of the elves, disguised, manages to listen to part of their conversations and learn that the Shadow Elves and Glantri are now allies. Ilsundal will have to postpone his plans and he warns al-Kalim of the news.
1012 : al-Kalim and Kagyar talk
Al-Kalim wants the Desert Garden and has seen Ilsundal's proposal as the perfect opportunity to further his dream. He knows Ilsundal will not help him until part of Alfheim is retaken. The dwarves hate Glantri with passion and al-Kalim convinces Kagyar to talk with Ilsundal. Kagyar asks for elven help in retaking Oenkmar and Ilsundal agrees. The first diplomatic contacts will be done through Ylari representatives. The dwarves resist the idea and Kagyar starts to convince them slowly.
1013 (end): A whole underground community of dwarves is slaughtered in Rockhome, near Darokin's border. The few survivors tell about an army of shadow elves invading their homes, killing and looting. Investigations produce evidence they have come from tunnels under the dwarven cave. The dwarves can no longer hide inside the earth as they have done in WotI.
What this means: Brotherhood's work
1014: Dwarves declare war to Aengmor
DDC diplomats are sent to solve the situation, but they fail miserably. Both parties leave the negotiations after two days of meeting. The dwarves swear the elves will pay for every dwarven life they have taken. A diplomatic mission from Ylaruam can now easily convinces them about joining Ylaruam-Alfheim alliance.
1014, maybe 1015: The Khan strikes Glantri
The Khan has not allied with any other nations, but he feels it is the right time to take the country. By now, Glantri is cleared divided, so he reasons the mages will fall easily.