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Maganshire Timeline

by Cab

AC1000 - 1011 - Decade of the Great War
AC 1000 - Spring- Lord Spirrel, Duke of Maganshire, takes on new apprentices (Fredegar and Rhodacter), who form the nucleus of his new 'troubleshooting party', along with a halfling warrior (Gelbo), a dwarf named Throm, a paladin of Averyx (Aklan), a rogue (Salmo), a warrior named Connor and a priestess of Valerias (May). He has timed the arrival of his new apprentices to give him fresh, new blood and unknown faces when he most needs them, during the coming peace talks with the Knights of Vanya.

AC 1000 - Early Summer- While investigating suspected Heldannic spying in the port village of Dulse (more important than usual during reconstruction work in the port of Coston), Salmo is murdered, his body being found at dawn in the centre of the village square with a single poisoned crossbow bolt protruding from his eye. What was a 'slow burn' conflict between Norwold and Heldann appears to be hotting up.

Aklan chooses to remain in Dulse, as a guard for the peasants there who otherwise have little protection.

Arrival of the Heldann delegation is arranged for autumn; their military leader will be Frau Lera, and their chief negotiator Herr Lachtoften.

Marilyn, Manteis Bard from Caltia, arrives in Magan, and soon joins the Dukes team to research her own epic stories.

AC 1000 - Late Summer - Skirmishers between the Dukes trouble-shooter party and Heldann agents have continued through summer. The party have been joined by another member, namely, Jon, a dwarf mountain giant. Investigating happenings in the village of Humble Beginnings, it transpires that the temple of Valerias has been defiled and the populace has been forced to flee; this was not the work of the Heldannic Knights. In shock, May wanders alone into the church crypt, into the path of a gelatinous cube that has come through an opening into a vast underground complex that has opened up into the crypt, and is dead by the time her party find her. The party return to Magan, and find another priest to accompany them before heading into the dungeon. That person is Keithsara, metamorph and priestess of Kagyar.

Upon investigating the dungeon, it transpires that a mining operation run by humans and another unknown race with round footprints has been disturbed and destroyed by a nest of giant ants. While the ants were mining gold, the humans had been mining an unknown purple ore. Samples are taken and sent by Spirrel to Alchemos for investigation. Before the samples can be tested, the alchemists entrusted the job are murdered and the sample stolen. Fredegar has kept his own sample, and secretly sets out to determine what it is.

Connor retires from adventuring with the funds from this adventure, and opens a smithy in Magan. Two new members join the Dukes troubleshooting force, Eduardo Silverburg (mage and assassin), and Beotach, an outcast warrior from Caltia, in Northern Norwold.

AC1000 - Autumn- The Heldann delegation arrives, alongside the Alphatian honour guard. A flight of Warbirds is stationed above the City of Magan, and the new Alphatian ship designed to counter their threat, the Vanguard, an adaptation on the Minrothad four masted clipper built to the most exacting and expensive magical standards, is present also, alongside her escort vessels, the frigates Undine and Usurper.

The peace conference gets underway with a tradition Alphatian masked ball; Agents of the Knights frame Eduardo Silverburg for the murder of Herr Lachtoftens personal assistant. Smelling a rat, Spirrel refuses to hand Eduardo over, instead scrying the Heldann vessels for his suspected accuser, and teleporting Ed on to the ship to capture this person, Frau Lera. Upon her capture, Lera gives away the truth under deep interrogation, and is handed back to the Heldann delegation; the truth is that two factions exist within Heldann, one seeking peace on the Northern frontier with Norwold such that they can free forces for campaigns further afield, and a second in favour of sabotaging the peace negotiations to start a war in this region.

AC1000 -Winter- With the exposure of Leras plan, a provisional peace deal is negotiated. For the moment, Maganshire is quiet. However, the worst winter for a generation sees the ice bridge between Norwold and Frosthaven freeze solid for four months, and frost giant raiding parties reach as far as Stormhaven.

Fredegar uses the cold months to good advantage. He determines by the end of Winter that the ore from Humble Beginnings has use as a dye, and can be adapted to turn the colour of cloth, metal and even gemstones a deep violet or, in different conditions, green. He also determines that there is a low level magical energy to the ore, possibly imbuing the coloured items with some magical ability. He shares this information with Spirrel, who tells Fredegar that this kind of knowledge is dangerous and that he must stop his research. Intrigued, Fredegar instead hides his work from Spirrel and concentrates all of his efforts in this direction. Jon decides that adventuring is too cold, and with the loot gained from his earlier adventures opens 'Jons One Stop Giant Shop'.

1001 - Spring- Spirrel adds to his task group another cleric, Samson, a follower of Averyx, and sends them to find a particular old colleague of his who he believes resides in Minrothad, said colleague having experience with ores and the dark magical arts associated with them; passage aboard an Alphatian surface naval vessel heading to the Sea of Dread is arranged. Upon arrival in Minrothad, the party discover that Spirrels colleague has recently been murdered. The party attempt to investigate, but are scared off the case by Minrothad authorities. They head towards home on the Alphatian vessel.

1001 -Summer- The party do not make it home without incident. A state of war currently exists between Alphatia and Thyatis, and the naval vessel they are on takes the prize of Thyatian vessel named Oryza, which carries an expensive cargo of rice. The prize will be worth a considerable amount of money, so the party are tasked with protecting the prize crew taking the ship back to a friendly port via the Southern Sea of Dread.

Despite being holed near to the waterline, no water is found in the well, and the Oryza seems intact. After a day of plain sailing, the party is awoken by a loud cracking noise; all run on deck, to see rats climbing out of the hold. The cracking noises continue, and the mizzen mast starts to lurch. Marilyn has a brainwave, and runs to open the cargo hold.

The doors fly open, spilling swollen rice on to the deck. The magnitude of the problem is now apparent; the ship has been leaking for two days, and all of the water has been absorbed by the cargo of rice. The ship is, literally, bursting at the seams. While the prize crew and the rest of the crew and the party unload lifeboats, Throm shouts "My gold! My gold!" and runs below deck. Rescuing him nearly costs the lives of Marilyn and Fredegar.

After two weeks in a lifeboat, the party (now separated from the rest of the prize crew) are thirsty and hungry; upon spotting a misty shore, they paddle for safety. They have washed up on the Isle of Dread.

1001 -winter- Spirrels trouble-shooter party have been trapped on the Isle of Dread for half a year. Battered, and having lost one of their group (Gelbo), they have made their way to the central plateau, and to a dungeon deep beneath Taboo Island. There they have found an ancient text, which Fredegar (immediately recognising the ink as containing the same ore as he found in Humble Beginnings) has claimed, and a magical model of Sundsvall as it may have appeared over a millennium ago. Eduardo and Rhodacter determine how the map (a teleport pad of sorts) works, but cannot determine who built it or why. The party are transported to the Collegium Arcanum in Sundsvall. Most of the party take passage back to Magan, however Fredegar stays on in Sundsvall for a time to research his book. He does not let on to the rest of the party, but he has found teachings of the exiled immortal Arik, containing within details of how one might have almost limitless power in return for making certain sacrifices.

1002 -Spring- Spirrel is dissatisfied with the performance of his apprentice Fredegar, and suspects that this is to do with his failed relationship with his other apprentice, Mayassura. Fredegar has locked himself away for weeks, and Fredegars colleagues all believe that he is sulking. Nothing could be further from the truth; Fredegar has been mastering the basics of cryptomancy, with a view to combining those studies with the dark knowledge in the book he found on the Isle of Dread.

Regardless, Spirrel needs a group to go and do his bidding. He has as a favour to an old friend who has fallen on hard times agreed to tutor another, namely, Obsidian, so he settles on a group containing Beotach, Marilyn, Diana, Obsidian, Keithsara, Eduardo, a promising thief who has arrived in town called Squerglar, and for extra muscle a paladin of Ixion named Apophis who is, frankly daunting. They are tasked with investigating a ruin in an outlying part of the Duchy, namely the Corran Keep (see Wrath of the Immortals).

1002 -Summer- Fredegar has disappeared, having left a typically dramatic letter for Spirrel requesting that his location not be sought. Spirrel, being fed up with Fredegar, has no intention of finding Fredegar.

Fredegar has set up a secret base in a cavern in-between Stormhaven and Twolakes Vale. This will be his hideout for many years to come; the high concentration of lead ore in the local rock makes it an idea location, being difficult to scry. He sets his sights on another pocket of the purple ore near to Silverton, and conducts one of the rituals in his book to summon followers of Arik to him.

1002 -Autumn- Spirrel recalls his task group from the work they are doing, shadowing the Heldannic agents who are again causing trouble in the Duchy (and who he suspects are poisoning grain stores) and sends them to investigate some caverns near Silverton. The party conclude that a low level group of followers of Arik have been concocting trouble there, and take evidence of this (from their defeated foes) to Spirrel. Worried by this development, Spirrel sends word to the Empress. Fredegar is furious that his plans have, so early, been vanquished, and he settles on taking a longer, more certain approach.

1002 -Winter- The full nature of the Heldannic plan in Maganshire has become apparent with a bad, diseased wheat harvest. The Heldann agents had not been poisoning grain supplies, they had been spreading diseased wheat among fields. Harvests were low, and stored grain is spoiling. Money is tight, but the Duchy expends what funds it has on grain shipments from the Isle of Dawn. Heldannic warbirds harass these grain shipments, and adventurers and soldiers are sent with each vessel for defence. The Red Fleet of the Imperial Flying Navy answers the call for aid and dispatches two Onyx class ships of the line and four Prudence class brigs. The vessels are more than a match for the Heldannic warbirds in terms of weaponry, but they are hopelessly outmanoeuvred by the Heldannic vessels. It is becoming clear that the Alphatian navy needs new hardware to face the threat posed by the Knights of Vanya.

1003 -Spring- Maganshire has weathered winter, but now enters the most dangerous phase, the hungry gap. Winter supplies of roots and grain are running short, and few crops are in the field. The population could, literally, starve. The Knights of Vanya covet the wealthy (relative to Landfall) city of Magan, and launch an attack on a town that they perceive to be dispirited. Aerial bombardment is used to break the people of Magan.

Magan, however, hold strong; the Dukes trouble spotting party have been tracking their opposite numbers, the Heldann spies working with the Knights, and as the Warbirds arrive to start the assault, expecting to be guided to prime targets within the walls of the City, their guides are engaged in deadly combat by that party. Fake guides bring the Warbirds towards strong, hidden defensive points within the City, and two of the five vessels are destroyed and the remaining three driven off. Jon the Giant installs the figure head of the vessel brought down by him and his brothers above the door of his shop.

Boosted by this victory, and by continuing food shipments that are no longer troubled by the Knights, Maganshire survives until harvest time.

Outside the Duchy, political unrest between Alphatia, Thyatis and Glantri has been building up for years. The local affairs and difficulties of the Duchy are about to be entirely overshadowed by global events

AC1004 - Spring - War is declared. Alphatia cannot sit back and allow magic to be drained from Mystara by Glantrian wizards, but Thyatis cannot allow Alphatia to extend her sphere of influence further into the Known World. The Knights of Vanya simply can't keep out of a good fight. Simultaneous declarations of war arrive on individual frontier Kings desks across Alphatia; Heldann, Thyatis, and Glantri have declared war on Alphatia and her holdings. His Grace, Lord Spirrel, Duke of Maganshire, summons his nobles and makes plans to defend his outlying kingdom, and sends ambassadors to Oceansend, Alpha, Landfall, Llanderris, the Wyrmsteeth Range and Helskir, and seeks an audience with Frau Lera, chief negotiator of the Heldannic Order in the recent peace conference. Spirrel, essentially a man of peace, sees no need for war.

AC1004 - Autumn - Landfall has fallen to the Heldannic Knights after putting up only token resistance. Maganshire is now the frontier territory for Norwold. Helskir is under sustained siege from Thyatian and Heldannic forces, leaving Coston as the most important Alphatian port in the Western Sea of Dread. Spirrel receives Imperial orders to send the Maganshire Light Infantry (a famous regiment with an excellent history and reputation) alongside the Quercus Cavalry to the South to engage the Heldannic Knights, leaving the port town of Coston undefended and vulnerable to land assault. Forces from Oceansend and Alpha are ordered South to defend Maganshire, but the kings of Oceansend and Alpha refuse to comply with this order. No Imperial Alphatian forces can be spared to defend Maganshire (Alphatia was unprepared for war on this scale), Spirrel refuses to send his troops to the South (judging the reinforcement of the lost Landfall forces as folly). He refuses direct orders from the Emperor, and with the support of his general and his nobles declares independence; King Ericall of Alpha and Yarrvik II of Oceansend take the opportunity provided to do the same. William, king of Bittenthwaite, remains nominally loyal to the Empire but has meagre resources, and is now effectively cut off from the Empire and indeed the war. The combined Free Norwold Kingdoms seek peace with Heldann.

1005 - Spring - Alphatian vessels have been blockading Oceansend, Coston and Alpha for months. The Heldannic Knights have consolidated their hold on Landfall, and view their Northern Border with Maganshire as secure, allowing them to concentrate on further conquests on the Isle of Dawn. They have refused to establish more formal ties with Norwold, viewing the independent Kingdoms as suspicious, still too closely tied to Alphatia. They have become bogged down in a land campaign across the Dunadale Marches, the Alphatian Red and White flying fleets successfully bested their warbirds (by deploying Vanguard class ships of the line supported by Anemone class frigates, specifically designed and constructed to counter the Heldannic vessels) in this theatre. Superb infantry battalions from Bluenose (Bluenose Heavy Foot) and Qeodhar (The 'Orca Pikes') have kept the Heldannic Knights in check on land. But without good deep water ports or defendable aerodromes in Southern Norwold or North of Dunadale on the Isle of Dawn, Alphatian forces are dangerously over-extended.

In Norwold, it becomes apparent to Yarrvik and Spirrel that Ericall of Alpha is a short sighted, stupid man. He refuses to cooperate on troop deployments along the border in Maganshire; Norwold is disunited, and vulnerable.

1005 - Summer to Spring 1006 - The Norwold War of Assertion - Alphatian vessels blockading the Norwold coast are critically exposed to a lack of supplies - lines of communication across the Alphatian Sea are dangerously exposed to Heldannic Warbirds, and the Knights of Vanya have taken to harrying said supply lines to weaken Alphatian forces on the Isle of Dawn. Count Beotach of Coston spots his opportunity and organises a sortie to break the blockade, leading to numerous single ship actions between Maganshire and Alphatian vessels. Although the actions themselves are inconclusive, with few ships being lost and no real harm being done to the Alphatian frigates blockading the Norwold ports, by concentrating on damaging rigging, masts and yardarms (in precious short supply so far from home), the Alphatian ships are forced to withdraw, and the blockade is (for the time being) lifted. The Alphatian navy, committed to fighting the Thyatians across the Pearl Islands, Ochalea, the Alatians and into the Southern Sea of Dread, is over-extended and spread too thinly to maintain a blockade of the Norwold Coast.

The Free Norwold Kingdoms claim victory, despite a lack of any real gains against the Alphatian forces. Despite this, sea trade via the Alphatian Sea is restricted by the Heldannic Knights, and overland trade through the Heldannic Territories is still impossible.

1006 Autumn - The Free Norwold Kingdoms have struggled through a wet summer. Harvests are low, and trade across the Alphatian Sea and the Sea of Dawn is still poor.

Alphatia has made significant gains to the South of the Isle of Dawn; the Pear Islands have fallen, Ochalea has declared independence of Thyatis and is effectively out of the war, and Furmenglaive at the Southern tip of the Isle of Dawn is in Alphatian hands. The Heldannic Knights have made no further inroads into Dunadale, and have instead switched their attention to the vulnerable kingdom of Maganshire.

Eriadna, still the Alphatian Empress, summons Lord Spirrel of Maganshire. After discussions lasting many hours, Maganshire rejoins the Alphatian empire, as an independent nation owing fealty only to the Imperial crown, and accepts the promise of many thousands of Alphatian troops to be stationed in Coston, Magan and Sutton, to repel any further invasion from the Knights of Vanya. Engineers leave for Maganshire to construct new fortifications, and arrangements for troops to head for Norwold commence. The Alphatian Red Fleet of the Flying Navy is given operational control over the Alphatian Sea, Norwold and the Northern Isle of Dawn, with the mission of neutralising the Heldannic Warbird threat. Two of the four available Vanguard class vessels (the Vanguard and the Vagabond) are committed, alongside Anemoe class frigates, several ageing Onyx class ships of the line, and support vessels.

Spirrel has wisely chosen the Empress as a more distant, disinterested master for Maganshire than the Heldannic Knights. He knows that his forces could bloody the nose of the Alphatian navy in a skirmish, but that his kingdom would be easy prey for a concerted invasion from the Knights of Vanya. Now it is hoped that Alphatian forces freed up after the conquest of the Pearl Islands will arrive in time to defend Maganshire.

1006 - Winter - Alphatian engineers descend upon Sutton, Coston and Magan and start modernising defences. Sutton Castle is constructed most rapidly, employing the cream of magical engineers, followed by Fort Beotach in Magan (initial stages completed by Spring 1007, the final stages of this astonishingly tough complex not completed until 1015) and Coston Castle (Summer 2007). The first imperial forces disembark in Coston, namely the Draco Heavy Foot ('Skirmishing Dragons') and the Frisland Light Horse ('Laughing Lancers'). More units are to follow.

1007 - Spring - Heldannic forces invade. Sutton is bypassed by the Knights of Vanya, who characteristically head straight across the Southern plains for Magan. A flight of Warbirds engages the Vanguard and three other flying ships over Magan; the Knights are not ready for such stern resistance, and while the Alphatians lose one vessel (the ageing Prudence, brig) heavy losses are inflicted on the Warbird force, with three light warbirds destroyed by the Vanguard, Alchemos and Anemone.

Alphatian forces do not directly engage the Heldannic forces en route to Magan, instead choosing to harass them. Cavalry regiments from Frisland cooperate well with the Quercus cavalry, and supported by the Vagabond they successfully slow the Knights advance and damage their morale; while they reach the heavily fortified Magan, it is clear to their leader (Frau Lera) that they will struggle to take the City with the three battalions of troops they have (two and a half thousand troops), and that if they do they'll never hold it. She embarks the heavy warbird, and heads North with the remains of their flight. The Alphatians assume that they have won.

Unknown to them, a second flight of warbirds emerge through the skyshield directly above Oceansend later the same week, and a far larger assault on that city (with six regiments, twelve entire battalions, or in other words just shy of 10000 troops) hardened from the Helskir and the Dunadale campaigns, landed by sea North of Oceansend. By the time the Red Fleet is warned, the two wings of Warbirds have combined forces with the infantry, and Oceansend has fallen.

1008 - Spring - Alphatian forces have thus far failed to re-take Oceansend, and with no prospect of further units being spared from the war on the Isle of Dawn the Red Fleet withdraws its main forces to harass Heldann and Thyatian forces in that theatre. For now, the Knights of Vanya consolidate their hold on Helskir and Oceansend, and start eyeing up targets further afield.

1009 - Spring - As the Campaigning season gets underway, the Knights of Vanya are shocked by a sudden attack by dragons from the Wyrmsteeth range. 40 dragons in all, gaining complete surprise, wipe out an entire wing of Warbirds stationed on the Helskir/Oceansend station, also raiding and killing hundreds of infantry on the walls of Oceansend. Shocked by this catastrophe, Heldannic forces are essentially crippled in the region for the coming season. Further sorties by land are dealt with by a squadron of dragons based close by, although attempts to find their lair are unsuccessful.

Spirrels attempt to establish good relations with the Wyrmsteeth, way back in 1004, have finally paid off. Being less partial to a bunch of militant knights than to a less militaristic empire, and in return for major services rendered by nobles from Maganshire (led by Count Beotach, Baron Obsidian, Apophis and Keithsara), the dragons join the war and, for the moment, they fight for Maganshire.

AC1010 - Autumn - After the destruction of Sundsvall using Radiance magic, Alphatia finally mobilised her full might against her foes. Initially, Thyatis took the brunt of her wrath, with the new Beluga class high altitude flying ships used to bomb Thyatis City, Tel Akbir and Kerendas, the bombardment consisting of oil, delayed blast fireball spells and burnable materials. After catastrophic loss of civilian life, Thyatis was eventually forced to surrender.

Alphatian forces now had little to prevent them reaching Glantri, and as their forces finally reached the City, all seemed complete, nothing short of a miracle could save the followers of Rad.

A small party of adventurers, based in the city of Magan, had been working on elucidating the real cause of the war for nearly a decade. They finally managed to enter the Nucleus of the Spheres and change the settings sufficient to prevent magic being drained from Mystara. Rad vanished into the Nucleus, Ixion left, and then the lights went out. Magic ceased working for a week; conventionally Alphatian forces in mainland Thyatis survived, but took a severe battering from resurgent Thyatian troops. Alphatian forces in Glantri were decimated. Many of the ancient mages of Alphatia, magically living well beyond their normal lifespans, die, including lord Spirrel and the Empress herself, Eriadna. In the turmoil that follows in Alphatia, Eriadna's son Zandor rises to the imperial throne.

The tales of the exploits of these adventurers have been immortalised by one of their member, Marilyn the Manteis Bard, Duke Obsidian (then Count), Squerglar, Bethany (High Druid of Norwold, Dryad and Ambassador of Oberon), Singer Soulfriend (Druidic Knight), Apophis (Paladin of Ixion), Keithsara (metamorph priestess of Kagyar), and Count Beotach, Kinless One. Their success in re-setting the Nucleus was complete, but unknown to them, the root cause of the war was far more complex than they had ever imagined.

AC1011 The economies of Alphatia and Thyatis were depleted by years of war; Alphatia, unable to defend new territories taken in the Isle of Dawn, Ochalea, the Pearl Islands and Thyatis, was nevertheless able to dictate certain terms of victory. However, Emperor Zandor is not the great diplomat his mother was, and his demands for humiliating reparations from Thyatis, Heldann and Glantri are largely ignored. Still, the Pearl Islands and Ochalea are still independent, Alphatia has regained Dunadale, and borders on the Isle of Dawn have been restored to their original (pre-war) locations. Helskir, Landfall and Oceansend, however, remain within the possession of the Knights of Vanya.

Zandor instructs all Alphatian kings that it is his policy to remain neutral in affairs involving elves; he has no interest in getting involved in another war in the known world, and refuses audiences with ambassadors from Wendar, the former Alfheim elves displaced by the Shadow Elves, and the Shadow Elves themselves.

AC1012-1022 - Decade of Rebuilding and Decade of Tyranny