Saturday, 15 February 2014

Unearthed Lore

I have been going through some of my old 3.5 notes, and have been wandering down some wonderful avenues of memory. However, this little fragment was something I felt like sharing, as much for the interest of my players as anything else. I hope you like it!

"The Four Great Arcane Guilds were immensely powerful orders of magic, who for long and long worked together and ushered in a golden age of magical, spiritual, psionic and technological advances - a time where mortal-kind re-discovered heights of power undreamed of since the First Age. Alas, it is in the nature for mortal things to strive for ever more power, and as time drew on, so suspicion and mistrust grew amongst the guilds. Eventually, after a failed coup by mighty Mage-Lords of the Western Guild (Encouraged by the vile necromancer, Jantherak "Shade Binder"), the tensions spilled over into one of the greatest wars to ever rock the material plane. There are extensive histories available at the Library of Tillijil / Lorehaven and of course many other great libraries, as well as a legacy of songs and poems hailing back to those dark days.

The war was horrible, as all that knowledge and power was turned towards destruction - not just physical but metaphysical. The planes of existence were rocked by the battle; gods and ancient demons were bound, mighty elemental forces unleashed and the very fabric of reality twisted and torn as the great arcanists and their allies bitterly worked to blast and unmake each other.

Ultimately, with the final spell worked by the infamous Arch-Invoker Ivig "The Insane" (helped many say by the Lady Transmuter Sednir "The Shaper"), the war was over...

...But what to do with all those war-machines, deathly spells and mighty conjurings? How could the world (or even the plane) be safe with them around?

Thus was the "All Arms Pact" written; an agreement between the survivors that the products of the war would be locked away and left to rot...though, with the formation of the Coalition States and the eventual use by the West (again) of those very weapons, they once again emerged, and once more the world was plunged into chaos.

After five great battles (and almost 1,000 years) the mightiest arch-mages realised that as long as there were those who knew of the existence of the items (and the wars that grew from them), there would never truly be peace. To address this, they worked with the Goddess Merriel'Shaava to craft a spell of awesome power (the Oblivion Seed) that would erase all memory of the weapons, their locations (now sealed in the "Lost Vaults”; pocket dimensions warded with mighty spells and watched by ineffable guardians), and the events that involved them.

Though there were powerful forces determined to stop them, they were eventually successful – casting their spell under a Blue Moon (a rare manifestation of fluctuating magical energy), and ensuring that all knowledge of the terrible weapons and magics were forever lost…

Well, until an artificer long and long after, found the rotted remains of a Guild Battle Construct deep under the sea, re-built it, and inadvertently reactivated other slumbering monsters, as their senses detected an enemy and roused them…

But that leads us to later days, and those heroes who lived in the closing centuries of the Second Age, and the Age of Loss…"


And here are some notes I found about the first of the "five great battles" and one of the major order's that fought in it...an order that would go on to great infamy in 2nd Age Arbel...

"THE FIRST FORGOTTEN WAR

9145 – It has been over 7,300 years since the Guild War ended, and peace (punctuated by the occasional war or dispute) has existed on Fey between the Four Great Coalition States for long and long. However a recent attack on the South States mining operations along the Western border has sparked concerns that they have broken the ancient “All Arms Pact”, and utilised the outlawed weapons and spells developed by the Guilds.

Though initially diplomacy is tried, the unwillingness of the Western State to disarm leads to an escalation of fear and uncertainty…and, on the 19/1/9145, a unified coalition of the three “peaceable” states is formed, to ensure that the tyranny of the West is ended – with the use of the forbidden technology if needed…


THE BLACK LEGIONS – (Standard – A four-headed black dragon, breathing fire from the two outermost heads, holding a lance in its claws. It’s wings are spread wide, and the motto “Strength, Honour, Brotherhood, Obedience” is written on a scroll which drapes from both ends of the lance).


The Fey of this age is divided into four great Coalition City States, each of which roughly collates to the four cardinal points (and the four Great Guilds). Though there is no universal council, until the events that lead to the forgotten wars, they existed in a state of relative peace. This peace was greatly aided by the formation of the Black Legions; a standing army of conscripted youth drawn from the four coalition states.


With the end of the first Forgotten War however, the legion had been used poorly, and the inbred loyalties of its soldiers were pushed. Many soldiers returned to their own coalition’s resident armies in order to ensure the safety of their lands, ideals and family. However, some saw the opportunity for power of sorts."  

And finally, I found my plans for how the early Black Legion was organised...


THE STRUCTURE OF THE EARLY BLACK LEGION

Smallest Unit

Squad - This typically consists of 17 privates, 1 private first-class, One Lance Corporal and is lead by a Corporal. Squads are numbered (1st-16th) and bear the overall insignia of their Company. Most squads also bear nicknames, earned during the history of their action. For example, the “Bridge Buster Brigade” are the 9th squad of Raven Companies B Platoon, remembered for their action during the early land wars of 8775, when they destroyed a number of key bridges being utilised by insurgents to move men and supplies into the northern coalition states.

Platoon – A Platoon consists of 4 Squads. Each platoon is overseen by a Captain, and is given a letter (A-D).

Company – Overseen by a Sergeant, a company is 4 platoons. Each company bears a specific name, which is derived from the theme invoked by their parent Battalions name. For example, “Lion Company” is a component of “Predator Battalion”. Companies are overseen by a Lieutenant, four sub-lieutenants and a variety of warrant officers (Ranks from 5th class to 1st).

Battalion – 3 Companies form a Battalion. Each battalion is named and bears its own crest and insignia. A single Battalion-Captain makes the decisions for each battalion, though always with the opinions of his non-commissioned and commissioned officers, and with the clearance of his superiors.

Regiment – 4 Battalions form a regiment. Regiments are numbered (1st-100th), and are also titled (usually the number, and a reference to the geographical area where their headquarters are. For example, the 67th Easteners). Regiments are overseen by a Major, with the direct assistance of the current Lieutenant-Colonels (of which there are 10 at any one time).

Brigade – 5 Regiments form a Brigade. Each Brigade is commanded by a Brigadier, through his Colonels (each colonel is responsible for monitoring the activities and progress of a single regiment, being responsible for seeing that the Lieutenant-Colonels obtain, understand and relay the Brigadier’s commands, and that pertinent information is relayed back).

There are 20 Brigades in all, 5 assigned to each of the four coalition states.

The upper echelons of the army include 4 Major Generals (each responsible for monitoring 5 Brigades), 2 Lieutenant-Generals, a single General, and commanding them all (though with a advice of all the above – in theory) a Field Marshall."

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