Season 6 Prelude - October 2021 Event Precursor
Note for everyone's records: It has been six months of in game time since the last time that we had a physical event (March 2020). This lines up our out of game and in game timelines. When we return to game this Friday on October 8, it will be the evening of the 8th day of the Tenth month in 5 A.F. (After Fire).
Previously on Lands of Exile…
Overnight our world changed.
On the sixteenth day of the Ninth Month 5 A.F. something happened to this plane that had never before been seen, the surprise and reach of which was only surpassed by the appearance of the Dragons. For so long their existence was but a whisper, the faintest of rumors - but the Mana Elves returned to this world literally overnight in an event that historians are calling the Manifestation. That night when the clock struck the 3rd hour of the eve, all Sanctum Elves were changed. Physically they looked different - elemental colors swirling beneath their skin, in their shadowing and contour, some of their eyes lit from the inside in these colors. But their very physiology changed as well. Sanctum Elves that had never cast a spell before in their lives suddenly found elemental magic come easily to them. Some that had been trained from birth as ritualists and mages found themselves unable to channel any magic. There didn’t seem to be a rhyme or reason, but the sudden change was evident.
The story goes that long ago during the time of High Magic, the Mana Elves did something so far beyond the understood thresholds of magic that it cut off mortals’ access to High Magic. Some blame them for going too far for selfish gains; some surmise that they were reacting to something; and some think that they accepted condemnation to protect something. It’s long, lost history - but an even larger mystery looms among us present day:
What has happened to our world?
There has been a shift in our reality. There are some magics that no matter how perfect the ritual circle is drawn or spell cast, they do not work as they did before - or work in new, unpredictable ways. And there are some changes that we can’t quite put our finger on - is that how you always cast that spell? Did apples always taste this way? Is this how grass always smelled? Is that memory from a dream? Some say our world hasn’t undergone change, or simply don’t notice it. But since the Manifestation, especially those attuned to magics have felt that the rules of this plane have shifted. There’s not a sense of foreboding or unease, but one of unfamiliarity, and that feeling of being someplace new - the adrenaline of discovery and wonder.
There are some specific changes that could be chalked up to independent occurrences, or connected events to the Manifestation, depending on who you speak to.
In the town of New Haven and Everdusk there sit two Obelisks that have been there for almost exactly a year to the day. They appeared in town after a large battle with Grehlok forces - solid stone with a squared swirl symbol, lit from the inside like a violent purple thunderstorm. When touched they would steal Essence from the person and transport their spirit somewhere else, many surmise a void that was contained within the Obelisk, and in this void there were Mana Elves that were able to be spoken to. It was historic - no one known had seen or spoken to their kind since the time of High Magick. Their existence was doubted more than it was believed at that point.
And now they walk among us.
On the night of the Manifestation the Obelisks’ symbols fizzled out and the lightning within them died. No one has touched them since, so we don’t quite know what could happen. But these Obelisks are not the only ones to exist as was discovered by an exploratory mission. Over the summer, The Fallen Sword requested aid exploring strange ruins in a shore region to the west that they were barely holding against the Drow forces, and many from New Haven answered the call. After a close-call battle aboard ships against a seafaring Drow forces (that sunk, and presumably killed an entire ship of Grehloks to the west of New Haven), they were able to make land at these ruins and assist the Fallen Sword’s mission.
What they discovered were large tunnels burned into the earth. And at the center of this maze, deep in the earth, under a town destroyed by unknown means was another Obelisk. Slowed by Exiled forces and the labyrinth of these ruins, our heroes managed to make it to the Obelisk to see an unknown Immortal - their back covered in barnacles and the ocean - reach out and touch this Obelisk. Green, pulsing energy emerged from it, and the corpses within the ruins and tunnels began to rise. They barely made it out alive back to the ship to leave - but sighted several ships bearing the symbol of the Immortals. The “Sea Immortal,” as people have taken to calling them, has not been seen nor heard from since.
The Immortals were only met a few years ago in the Exiled Lands, creatures like them never seen before. They are the dead walking among us - not just the abomination and evil of animated bodies - but their minds encased in rotting corpses. The Sea Immortal is not the only Immortal to have been scarce recently. Pavel, who would make himself apparent around New Haven every few months, has not been seen nor heard from in the past six. There are rumors milling about there are factions within the Immortals that have plans for the Thinnest Veil - as this is the time of year that the strongest energies can be brought to the physical plane by the Immortals. It is not unusual for factions to develop in the Immortals with different goals, in the recent past there was Alabaster and Shiva. Shiva was an Immortal that wanted her soul to be released from her decaying body and find peace, but Alabaster would not allow her to. New Haven helped to steal Shiva away from the Immortals and at great cost were able to collect her soul that now resides in a box that had been used to hide the Lich’s phylacteries.
Ah yes, the Lich. Many years ago there was a Lich that had been created and weaponized by the Drow. New Haven similarly freed from her fate after collecting the seven phylacteries that the Lich had tied her soul to. The previous Lich - Liana - now lives a happy life (or the happiest life that you can in the Exiled Lands) in quiet days.
There is also the curious incident of the Keeper’s Box - an incredibly dangerous (and often lethal) contraption so old that it’s almost undateable. A Keeper’s Box came into the possession of some of those in New Haven and under the direction of the Maker’s Guild Head Librarian, Kaneli, performed a “Retracement Ritual” to see the memories that this box contained, being unable to actually puzzle the magical lock to open. They saw scenes from the box’s past - seven objects: a key, a necklace, a book, a red jewel, and three others just out of focus; the face of a Lich; memories of where the box had been; the pirate queen Solomin Kane. At the closest memory of the box’s inception was a vision incomprehensible to mortal eyes assumed to be from the time of High Magic.
There are strange dreams and visions that have come to those that sleep in New Haven and Everdusk. Over the past few months some have been haunted by dreams of dead loved ones and their fears they’ve never dared to tell another soul - some with strange marking appearing on their skin accompanying these dreams. But more recently there have been dreams of the Obelisks, green energy leaking from them and thick, viridescent mists rolling from them. Some nights these dreams have been so foreboding and real that people have woken at the same time to go and check them to make sure it’s just a dream. The closer that the Thinnest Veil grows, the more urgent this dream feels.
The time of the Thinnest Veil is upon us. It is said that the passage to the Veil Weaver’s realm can be found if you go looking for it this time of year. Uncoincidentally, a Redcap arrived from the Temple of Nine Lives (the local temple of Kierna) Friday afternoon to New Haven - an open letter addressed to all of its denizens. It states a few simple courtesies, but the message is this:
The gate to the Veil Weaver’s realm opens tonight and we have reason to believe it may appear in or around New Haven. Something is happening - there is an imbalance in the cycle of Essence. We do not have time to get there by this evening, but will be there in the morning. Find the gate. Present the Veil Weaver their Fae Stone. Learn from the mouth of Kierna.