******************* CAMPAIGN LINES AND RESPONSIBILITIES ***************** * * * This campaign, designed and played over the course of five years, * * was designed for the concurrent adventuring of four different groups * * of Player Characters. The plot lines of campaign, five major and * * five minor, are interwoven as much as possible, but could be run * * individually. The majority of this material is original, questions * * and comments will be welcomed by the author. * * * * Any use of copyrighted material, explicit or implicit, does not * * constitute a challenge to the ownership of that copyright. The * * author/owner of this document otherwise retains the rights to all * * to all material contained herein. Permission is granted for non- * * profit reproduction and/or distribution so long as this notice is * * retained in its entirety. * * * * Welcome to The Tarathan! * * * *************************************************************************This file is set up in the following format:
I. Welcome message, copyright disclaimer and introduction to the format.
II. Description of the four player groups.
This campaign was designed for, and in my experience was certainly large enough to have four different groups of player characters adventuring at the same time. We did this in order to add a little more variety to the game and to allow for players to experiment with different characters. A breakdown of which group(s) were responsible for each plot line is included after each title (see below).
III. Background explanation of names and terms
In the interests of respecting other people's hard work and copyrights, some geographical and cultural names have been changed. Also, as the majority of this material is original, I include a short description of some of the terms that are used in this document.
IV. Plot Lines and Explanations
The ten plot lines of this campaign are divided into five major and five minor collections of adventures, which (as much as possible) have ties among and through each other. The unifying reference or force behind the campaign is "The Song of Solastin Ash", a 6000+ year old prophesy of the greatest elven Spellsinger (annotated and appended to this document.) I used the "Song" primarily as foreshadowing and adventure hooks/references in the campaign, leading characters along from one stanza to the next.
Each plot line has been written in the following format (NOTE - Numbers in [brackets] refer specifically to the "Song" located in Part V):
i.e **Arcanum [7-14, 25-32] Group I (Main Characters)
i.e. [11-12] As the magical drain becomes more drastic, the Runic Heiarch of Lagur (Water) increasingly uses her powers to try and contain the damage.
V. The Song of Solastin Ash
The "Song", here in its entirety, has been annotated for easy reference to each plot description. Individual lines or stanzas will be referenced in [brackets].
The "Song" follow a specific pattern (with refrain after each set of stanzas):
Refrain Major Plot Line Minor Plot Line Legend or Call of Heroes ... Refrain"Legend" is an account of some piece of ancient Tarathan history and "Call of Heroes" is a foreshadowing of many of the NPC's to be found in the campaign.
++++++ GROUP DESCRIPTIONS +++++++
Group I - The main characters who start at a lowly level, however are advanced rather fast through `parallel adventures' setting up background for secondary Groups (II-IV). Although they are ultimately the deciding force, they play a minor role until Parts Three and Four of the Campaign.
Group III - This Group of high level characters is based in a medium-sized castle, part of the Protectorate of Selidon in the Northern Reaches. Their role is primarily to explore the adventure possibilities of the `landed' nobility and provide a show of force within the Campaign when necessary.
Group IV - This Group is actually made up of a wide range of characters of varying levels who serve as playtesters for various character classes and races.
++++++ EXPLANATION OF NAMES AND TERMS ++++++
---> NAMES of Geographical Locations (in order of appearance in the Plot Lines)
Amaranth - a country ruled largely by wizards, also the name of the capitol city. Extremely unfriendly toward clerics/priests. Political tensions with the Windlands.
The Tarathan (The Jewel) - the name of the campaign world, also the name of the collection of planes upon which the Twenty Immortals reside
Windlands - a broad expanse of wind-swept plains east of Amaranth. Home to a wide variety of nomadic tribes. Political tensions with Amaranth.
Northern Reaches - largely untamed wilderness north of the "Southern Kingdoms"
Underworld - the network of tunnels, chambers and caverns below the surface of The Tarathan.
Develin - a prosperous country south of Amaranth. Ruled by a consortium of Merchant-Princes.
The Heights - the forest-state of the Elves
Warren - a particularly excavated and populated area of the Underworld directly below Develin and The Heights. Supported by four massive cornerstones.
Sand Lords - the nomadic rulers of the desert on the eastern coast of the continent. Particularly unfriendly toward wizards.
Selidon Valley/Protectorate - The main center of population in the Northern Reaches.
Cloud Mountain - a singular, massive mountain in the center of the Windlands. Site of pilgramage and prophesy for the nomadic tribes.
Adatia - a county beyond the eastern sea, populated and ruled by wizards. Unofficial patron of Amaranth.
---> NAMES of Gaming Terms (in order of appearance in the Plot Lines)
Power - all magical effects, including arcane (Wizards), holy (Clerics/Priests), and those produced by items and artifacts. Excludes Psionics and Rune Magic.
Rune Magic (Runic Heiarch) - Old Earth Magic, captured and controlled by runic inscription. A secret society lead by five Heiarchs (representing four elements plus Spirit/Balance.)
Heart of the Tarathan - a large ruby, the primary collector of Power on The Tarathan.
Chamber of the Spheres - a massive Dark elven magical construction designed to restore Power to The Tarathan bypassing the Arcanum.
Sol - the authority over the Tewnty Immortals.
Protocols - the edicts of Sol passed down at the Reckoning. The First Protocol states that "no Immortal shall walk the face of The Tarathan."
Erdefount - the first source of water in the Underworld.
Stone-Father's Tome - Agathon, Patron Immortal of the Underworld, wrote this history of the his 'children', who eventually broke among themselves and became the different races of the Underworld.
Celarion - the secret political organization of Shadogodon, Patron Immortal of Strife. Led by the "Rose" (highest political title.)
Orbs of Cymid Dar - three silver orbs, an artifact of great power. Cursed to drive the user slowly insane.
++++++ PLOT LINES +++++++
-=-=-=-=-= GREATER LINES =-=-=-=-=-=-
**Arcanum [7-14, 25-32] Group I (Main Characters)
Historical Reference - The Arcanum, the magically active remains of a star summoned in battle by the Nameless One (a pre-Reckoning Sorcerer- King), rests thousands of feet below the city of Amaranth. The impact of this comet killed the Nameless One's rival, Hanel, and shifted the planet, plunging it into a global cataclysm. Millenia later, in the current era, the emanations given off by this star, deep in the earth, act as a magic- enhancing `aura' in and around the country of Amaranth. This aura, however, consumes a significant deal more Power than it creates and is slowly draining Magic from The Tarathan.
Campaign Goal and Challenges - The PC's must identify the Arcanum and its nature, locate and find a way to stop it or its effects.
**Riders [34-41, 116-123] Group II (Bonded)
Historical Reference - Before the Reckoning, The Tarathan was divided only between Light and Dark, the two `Bastions' of the Age. Approximately six thousand years before the current campaign takes place, the Vangaurd of the Bastion of the Light, led by the Psionicist- Mage Kry the Just and his four knights, faced the Thirteen Riders of the Vanguard of the Dark. The battle raged on the edge of a chasm in the center of Trynnia, Kry's kindom. The Riders were eventually banished and bound, but the knights were killed and Kry was lost as the edge of the chasm gave way beneath him. It was at that point that Sol called the twenty surviving Immortals to the Jewel, issued the Protocols and the new Age was begun.
Campaign Goal and Challenges - The PC's, having released the Riders, must find out their weaknesses, track them down and destroy them.
**Flood [61-68] Group IV (Experimental)
Historical Reference - The "Master", a heretofore mythical monster of the Underworld, with the help of Agathon's Chosen, has begun a slow process of weakening the `Cornerstones' - four massive, natural pillars which support the kingdoms of Develin and the Heights above the `Warren', a giant region of the Underworld. If the pillars are completely destroyed, the entire region will sink, flooding it entirely and killing millions. Unfortunately, the plot isn't discovered until two of the pillars are destroyed, necessitating a replacement of the underground supports.
Campaign Goal and Challenges - Find four saplings in Agathon's `Granite Forsest' to replace the lost pillars while preventing the Master from collapsing the remaining two.
**Scelectious [88-95] Group IV (Experimental)
Historical Reference - Over two thousand years ago, the Patron Immortal of Thievery was vanquished by a new, young Initiate named Denethor [c.f. Evolution]. The son of Sol and the Runic Heiarch of Lagur (Water), Denethor is not bound by the Protocols, allowing him to roam The Tarathan at will. Now, a host of villians have nearly succeeded in returning the `Immortal Who is No More' to the Prime Plane. For the past thousand years, the priests, Chosen and Servitors of Scelectious have maintained a hidden temple in the Onyx Keep, dominion of the chief campaign antagonist, Finsternis. They have finally neared the point where they are ready to try to break the binding that holds their Immortal.
Campaign Goal and Challenges - The PC's must identify the threat of the Scelectious' minions, and find a way to either stop the shattering of the Barrier, or face and kill the Immortal on this plane.
**Seers' Obelisk [115-122] Group I (Main Characters)
Historical Reference - The Seers' Obelisk, made from Power-receptive Shadowstone, is in fact a massive psionic beacon created to contact creatures with active and potential psionic powers, and draw them to it. Once it has contacted all of the minds within range of its `call', it will siphon off their ability and channel it to Alain, the Patron Immortal of Fate.
Campaign Goal and Challenges - Locate and destroy the Obelisk before it completely drains all psionic potential from The Tarathan, raising Alain to a position far beyond the rest of the Twenty.
Specific References - [74-75] The Seers, in need of massive quantities of Shadowstone, enter into an agreement with the Dark elves, who control the remaining sources of the mystical rock. However, after receiving the Stone, betray them to the Rider Scourge, who unleases a devastating plague upon in the Underworld.
-=-=-=-=-= LESSER LINES =-=-=-=-=-=-
**Finsternis [16-23] Group I (Main Characters)
Historical Reference - Finsternis, an ancient, evil black dragon, shapechanged into a High Elf, becomes the chief campaign antagonist in his quest for Immortality. Lord of the Onyx Keep high in the Amaranthan Alps, he can be found througout the Southern Kingdoms in the service of the dark Immortals.
Campaign Goal and Challenges - Oppose Finsternis' aims.
Specific References - [77, 104] In his quasi-immortal state, Finsternis will be the only person capable of placing the Heart of The Tarathan in the Dark elves' Chamber of the Spheres.  `The Scion of Willows' , Elsavin, will betray the PC's and marry Finsternis, giving him a son.
**Prayle [43-50] Group III (Castle)
Historical Reference - Hundreds of years ago, a renegade arch-mage was sealed into a mountain crypt in Selidon Valley. Opened and awakened by an earthquake, the insane mage, Prayle, now seeks the remaining keys to his power and revenge on the Council Arcana, who imprisioned him. Unknown to him, the entire Council is in stasis under the watchful eye of the Northern Elven kingdom, awaiting the Call of the Seers' Obelisk.
Campaign Goal and Challenges - Find and kill Prayle, before he regains his full power through the Orbs of Cymid Dar. Also, fulfill the prophesy returning the Councils Arcana of Casteln Mists before the Call of the Obelisk.
**Dark elves [70-77] Group II (Bonded)
Historical Reference - Driven from the surface by the Earthshaker wars, one Elven clan survived in the shadows of the Underworld. With their sensitivity to the flows of Power in the world, the elves recognize the danger of the Arcanum and have begun construction of the Chamber of the Spheres in order to restore Power to The Tarathan.
Campaign Goal and Challenges - Find the Heart of the Tarathan and assist the Dark elves in the construction of the Chamber.
**Demon/War [97-104] Group IV (Experimental)
Historical Reference - Using a stolen Dark Elven soul crystal, a foolish Amaranthan mage succeeds in summoning a demon, which then breaks free and kills him. After ravaging the Broken Lands, it begins to enter the Windlands, which is taken as an act of war, as the frayed tensions with Amaranth snap and fighting begins. The demon makes its way singlemindedly toward the Cloud Mountain where a sea of undead and spirits wait for release.
Campaign Goal and Challenges - Stop the Demon and try to stem the escalation of hostilities between Amaranth and The Windlands.
**Tokens [124-131] Group I (Main Characters)
Historical Reference - Five of the Immortals (Goldoron, Rydion, Solonor, Denethor, and Agathon) will act as the guides, patrons and challengers of the PC's throughout the campaign. Their tokens grant a limited passage and assistance in the realms of their Immorals, as well as being keys to the ultimate completion of the campaign.
Campaign Goal and Challenges - Pass the various tests and collect the tokens of the Five Immortals.
++++++ SONG OF SOLASTIN ASH +++++++ 1 "The Power of this world shall fade from the Well, 2 And the Thirteen shall ride from the dark pits of Hell, 3 The sea shall rise up and strike `gainst the land, 4 And the shadow of twilight shall wound thy right hand, 5 The deaf shall hear the call of the One, 6 And the face of the Twenty shall turn to the Sun. 7 Immortal Power ne'er meant for fool aims, 8 Jewel's path disrupts and destiny claims, 9 The Dragon of Ash shall herald the Fall, 10 As chaos lays claim to the Immortal Hall. 11 As farther the Soul of the Jewel disappears, 12 The Lost Lady washes the wound with her tears, 13 The Forsaker, his treasure at the Heart of the earth, 14 Shall champion the Soulless, in the hour of their birth. 15 The Power of this world shall fade from the Well... 16 He not of the Jewel both minion and lord, 17 holds forth Darkness' banner from magic and sword, 18 corrupts one of the Light and First Treasure bestows 19 upon Yesterday's Child, the fount of the Rose. 20 In death finds he the Door, yet passes not through, 21 in the service of Five, as the Power withdrew, 22 Heroes of Light, in Healing the Land, 23 shall grant him the right with the Twenty to stand. 24 The Power of this world shall fade from the Well... 25 As the Earthshaker Wars turned the mountains to sand, 26 And grim nightmares unleashed stalked o'er the land, 27 Did the Sorcerer King incant damnation bold, 28 Above, in the heavens, came the comet foretold. 29 With the swiftness of Yeristict's Coursers it came, 30 And bore down on Hanel and poured forth its flame, 31 As the impact shifted the heart of the world, 32 Magic unbidden through the heavens unfurled. 33 The Power of this world shall fade from the Well... 34 The Vanguard of ancients, of Darkness unchained, 35 Crashed 'gainst the Triad as the Light slowly waned, 36 The Spirits of Four, in the hands of their kin, 37 Defied the Dark Bastion and the shadows within. 38 The Guilty, yet Blameless, Devinra's legacies' doom, 39 Hoofbeats of thunder from the cold prison tomb, 40 Despair in the Caverns, Shades silently rise, 41 History's Treasures the Just shall advise... 42 The Power of this world shall fade from the Well... 43 Fortress and mountain, sanctuary, catacomb, 44 Shelters secrets forgotten and Stone-Father's Tome, 45 Watched o'er by the Queen, and from eternity freed, 46 Old Magic shall rise at the height of Light's Need. 47 Three silvern dangers from the Dark One bestowed, 48 Upon the Weaver imprisoned tidings evil forbode, 49 The last Dragon's Keep, the Historian's soul, 50 The fall of the Shadow foretells the Bell's toll. 51 The Power of this world shall fade from the Well... 52 An Assassin Invisible, the Shaper of Stone 53 The Emerald Heiress and the Watchman Alone, 54 Son of the Wind sacrificed to the Skies, 55 The Harper, the Gallant, the Sage to the Wise. 56 No actor untouched by fate or design, 57 No one without title, or known by a Sign, 58 Born to nobility in a court never seen, 59 Pauper and prince, servant or queen. 60 The Power of this world shall fade from the Well... 61 The Master, his minions the Cornerstones rend, 62 And the Heroes above are called to defend, 63 `Gainst the tyrannous Chosen, tide rises below, 64 As above the Jewel's oceans, their boundaries o'erflow. 65 Nought but the Saplings of the Granite Lord's wood, 66 Have the weight of the heavens collapsing withstood, 67 The waters of Erdefount and the Deep's fertile soil, 68 Shall spring forth the seed, and quell Chaos' toil. 69 The Power of this world shall fade from the Well... 70 Long banished from sunlight, long lost to the earth 71 From the city of starlight springs exile's worth, 72 From the Kingdom Unknown shall the River arise, 73 At the close of the Age e're the last Magic's tide. 74 The Servants Unseeing `gainst the Hidden conspire, 75 Contagion's curse strikes the spark to the pyre, 76 The Heartbeat, the Token, the double-edged sword, 77 No mortal deed shall see the Power restored. 78 The Power of this world shall fade from the Well... 79 In the times e'er the Reckoning ages ago, 80 As Immortals crossed heavens and mountains below, 81 The Mistress of Rings and the Champion's might 82 Challenged Corruption's hold and the forces of Night. 83 The Vanguards met and Stars looked down upon, 84 The ageless challenge `twixt twilight and dawn, 85 By the Lightwoven path to the Point of Time's Close, 86 Betrayal fell and malevolence rose. 87 The Power of this world shall fade from the Well... 88 From beyond the Barrier the Banishd cries, 89 His Chosen, forgotten and Faith slowly dies, 90 Rise up in the Darkness and strike forth to reclaim, 91 That stolen by Childsplay, the dusklight aflame. 92 One not of the Twenty, yet once of the Jewel, 93 Watches in anticipation, to challenge the Rule, 94 Else mortal endeavor Immortality ends, 95 The Fall of the Youngest Jewelshatter portends. 96 The Power of this world shall fade from the Well... 97 Arrogance folly calls forth kindling of war, 98 From progeny's rest, and forgotten lore, 99 The cost of the Radiance, the Land of Fell Dreams, 100 Still Guardian the price of the folly redeems. 101 Great powers clash and Pawns move to their whims, 102 Below battle continues and Jewelspirit dims. 103 Cascade unquenchable, hope from the Unclaimed, 104 Shall heal heaven's wound, and the Initiate Named. 105 The Power of this world shall fade from the Well... 106 Lords of the North, the Teacher of Runes, 107 the Bonded and Fettered yet free to be Doomed, 108 Spinner of Falsehood and the Shaman Below, 109 Archmage of Sleepers, the Master of the Bow. 110 A song for each person, but a single tale winds 111 across the ages and to destiny binds, 112 Tools of the Masters who art Pawns of the Game, 113 Each identity secret until found by the Name. 114 The Power of this world shall fade from the Well... 115 In the age of the Bastions, the Triad preserves, 116 The Balance twixt Sol and the Power that He serves, 117 From the Village Unending, to Peaks' fiery gate, 118 and the Castellan's Keep, Trynnia's borders create. 119 Of Old, He holds Power of magic and mind, 120 Thirteen in the dungeons of Elden shall bind, 121 King's Rest - the Foundation, the One's final call, 122 Places the Blind at the Crown of the Hall. 123 The Power of this world shall fade from the Well... 124 Clanschief Unchosen, Harmony's Thread, 125 Scion of Willows, to the Outsider wed, 126 the Duty's Companion, and the Healer of Woes, 127 Shall see the unfolding till eternity's close. 128 The fourth of the Twenty shall be mortal guide, 129 with strength undiscovered `gainst destiny's tide, 130 Their Tokens deserve and through fire shall receive, 131 lines of all colors, a tapestry weave. 132 The Power of this world shall fade from the Well... 133 Twelve platinum chests, and the last living jewel, 134 The life of a maiden and the ritual cruel, 135 The Mason crafted the Galleon of Stone, 136 Earth Magic sprung from mercy unknown. 137 Vengeance descended and sought to demand, 138 The sacrifice due and the traitor command, 139 But greater Force struck the messenger down, 140 And gifted the Martyr the rebellion's crown. 141 The Power of this world shall fade from the Well, 142 And the Thirteen shall ride from the dark pits of Hell, 143 The sea shall rise up and strike `gainst the land, 144 And the shadow of twilight shall wound thy right hand, 145 The deaf shall hear the call of the One, 146 And the face of the Twenty shall turn to the Sun."