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Player Warning - vital you stay out
Major event and intrigues shaping the futureby Jesper Andersen
It is a well known principle when writing that you start with the ending and work towards the beginning from there. It is going to be impossible on this project to start with the end, because "the end" is a tapestry of many, many different events coming together over time and whose outcome will likely influence one another.
So, for starters, I would like your help in coming up with a fairly exhaustive list of all the major intrigues and events from the Gazetteers and the B, X, CM and M-modules that would likely influence the history of Mystara / Known World in the periode 1000-1030 AC.
Off the top of my head I can think of:
- Colonization of Norwold
- Reform in Ostland clashes with old traditions
- Kin Faction vs. Preceptor Faction in Ylaruam
- Dengar returns to Rockhome, possible civil war
- Imperial succession at some point in Thyatis and Alphatia?
- Lots of intrigue in the Minrothad Guilds
- Shadow elf operations against Alfheim
- Vestland and Ethengar / Cult of Cretia clash (X3+X11)
- Vestland king dies without heir (X11)
- Influence of the Cult of Halav in Karameikos?
- Shadow Lord invades Wendar twice (Saga of the Shadow Lord)
- Master of the Desert Nomads invades Known World (X4, X5, X10)
- Thar of Broken Lands makes his move - against Rockhome?
- The Great Horde of Ethengar prepares to strike at the world?
- Multiple wars between Thyatis and Alphatia (CM1, M1, M2, M3, M5)
- Possible civil war or religious war i Karameikos?
- Possible war between Glantri and Ethengar?
- Odin vs. Hel
- Odin vs. Vanya (in Heldann Territories)
- Alphaks vs. Alphatia / Alphatian Empire / Koryis
- Thanatos wants to end the world
- Thanatos infiltrating the Storm Soldier society in Hattias
- Loki supports the Master of the Desert Nomads?
- Atzanteotl vs. Rafiel over the fate of the Shadow Elves
- Rad keeps experimenting with the Radiance
- Thanatos tricks the other immortals in a major plot to ruin the Hollow World (HWA1-3)
- The banished immortal Arik seeks to return
- Intrigue amongst the Atruaghin immortals; Danel, Ahmanni, Hattani, Mahmatti, Tahkati and Atruaghin and Atzanteotl
- Hierarch of Time Khoronus is searching for information about the Old Ones, possibly a way to become one?
- Rathanos seeks to create a nation of energy-beings!
- Al-Kalim completing his quest for immortality sponsored by Protius - what effects for the Dream of the Desert Garden?
- Minor entropic disturbances - Masauwu recruits on behalf of Entropy and Talitha spoils chances for candidates in the other spheres
Other world events:
- The use of Radiance causes Day of No Magic, possibly worse?
- Chamber of the Stars is completed by Shadow Elves
- Barimoor plotting and planning for immortality beneath Ylaruam
- Exploration of the Savage Coast (X6+X9)
- Discovery of the Hollow World?
Major storylines in the setting 1000-1030 AC
At the current stage of the project, these are my ideas for what is going to shape to most drastic parts of the setting's storyline and history in the 30-year period. Of course, with input from others this can be expanded upon or altered, but these are my initial ideas. As I have said earlier, one of the points of making an Alternate Mystara Timeline is to enable players and DM's to use as much as possible of the Gazetteer series and the BXCMM-adventure series. But some of those adventures are not completly compatible. Therefore I will tweak things here and there in an attempt to make it all come together.
The war against the Master of the Desert Nomads
The first major event in the timeline that will affect several nations will be the invasion by the hordes of the Master of the Desert Nomads. X4 and X5 were created to be played out independently of the major war in X10 with several years between them. I intend to make them one big event - starting with X10 and once the war reaches a stalemate then using X4 and X5 with parts of X10 to play out how PC or NPC heroes venture to Hule and slay the Master.
The war is going to have long-lasting effect on the diplomatic relations between many of the nations of the Known World and may even have consquences of the later taming of Norwold under King Ericall.
Alphak's making evil schemes
This is a classic plot of course, well known from CM1, M1, M2, M3 and M5. The most difficult part will actually be create variation so that Alphaks is not the only villain facing PC's and NPC's in a substantial number of years. By spreading the adventures out over a longer period of time, I hope to make Alphaks a recurring villain instead of making him the only villain. Naturally, his plots and schemes are going to have an enormous impact on the development in the empires of Thyatis and Alphatia. Will there be heroes to ensure that all ends well?
Nucleus of the Spheres draining magic from Mystara
Another major storyline is how the Nucleus of the Spheres is rapidly draining magic from Mystara and what effects this has on life in the world. Behind the scene, unknown to man, Rad is experimenting with the artefact, singleminded in his quest and perhaps earning he wrath of the other immortals or the attention of the Old Ones - who knows? But what is very real to the inhabitants of Mystara is that magic is gradually failing. And heroes will be needed to figure out why and to do something about it!
Atzanteotl plotting against Rafiel
This is the most subtle of all the storylines - one that PC's won't know that they have become involved in until they are master level at least. Basically, Atzanteotl is out to neutralize Rafiel and steal back all of the Shadow Elves. Some of them are already listening to his dark whispers, meaning that a rift has begun to divide the shadow elf people into those seeking war with Alfheim vs. the shamans who want peace and to complete the Chamber of the Stars.
Just as magic is seriously failing and a new source of magic is desperately needed more than ever, Atzanteotl springs his trap, cleverly neutralizing Rafiel and leaving the shamans leaderless and without guidance and power. As war looms, chaos beckons and magic is failing, heroes are needed to rescue Rafiel, ensure the completion of the Chamber of the Stars and restore magic to Mystara. But such power comes at a price and the Chamber of Stars is just as poisonous as is its counterpart. Which brave hero will sacrifice everything to turn it on?
The return of Thanatos
The final major storyline (so far) was inspired by something I read in the Hollow World section of the forum - a suggestion that Thanatos for his part in the coruption of the Nithian Empire was banished by the other immortals. For 15 centuries none of the other immortals have spoken of the 'Ancient One', the 'Dark One', the 'Corruptor'. Long have cults laboured in secret to bring about his return. From his exile, Thanatos has enjoyed manipulating immortals into conflict with one another - indeed he has secretly spurred Loki, Alphaks and Atzanteotl on (without them even realizing it of course). Now, he is ready to return to the world with his most devastating plan yet - a scheme so dark and cataclysmic the fall of Nithia is child's play in comparison. What this grand scheme is all about I am not completely sure of yet - the initial inspiration is the epic adventure line HWA1-3; Nightwail, Nightrage and Nightstorm adapted to Master level play. Perhaps also letting Thanatos and not Alphaks be behind the plan for the Carnifex in M5 Twilight Calling, I don't know yet
Test of the Old Ones
One or more of the Old Ones are testing both mortals and immortals with the law-oriented artefact The Star of Vanya and its chaos counterpart. Basically, the Star of Vanya will lure away Vanya's followers over time, turning them to worship the artefact itself and granting them powers as an immortal would. Vanya risks being consumed by the artefact. Mortals in general risk extinction if they fall to say 'no thanks' to easy power.
In the relatively short timespan of 1000-1030 AC this will certainly influence the future of the Order of the Heldannic Knights and their role in the world. As more and more pilgrims return from Vanya's Rest, the artefact will gradually have more and more influence and Vanya, who for now is keeping the artefact a secret, might be in need of immortal or mortal aid.
Since Khoronus is already seeking answers about the Old Ones, he could be the immortal who first suspects something is wrong and possibly sends brave mortal adventurers on time travel into the future to see the consequences of the Star's effect?