Part 1 of 6
In-Game Date: 26 Junis 1021 Age of Order
Location: Former Inn at Evermoore
Summary: Gertrude and Daniel Willowby visit the Inn at Evermore and make a discovery.
Gertrude Willowby led her son, Daniel Willowby down the overgrown trail toward the Inn at Evermore. Her breath came in ragged gasps. She coughed and wheezed, but continued on hoping the rumors were true.
Two weeks ago, they had come from the Dale. Traveling through the East Pass as the last of the snows melted. Walking passed the monuments erected memorializing the fight that had taken place there between the Guildsmen of Evermore and the invading Asgarn army that had ravaged the Dale not so long ago.
They had stopped first at Willowby Farms to see how the community continued to prosper, but she did not dally long. Time was of the essence, so they hurried to the Inn, reaching the crossroads just before evening.
“We’re almost there.” Gertrude wheezed, her lungs aching. Every step was agony.
“Will we see Guildsmen?” the boy asked, worriedly.
Gertrude tried to ease his mind. “Guildhall closed the Inn more than a year ago. There is no one here. It’s just a boarded up building and overgrown grounds.”
Daniel breathed a sigh of relief. Her son was a headstrong lad, and he had clashed with the Guildsmen of Evermore as they mediated the dispute between Willowby Farms and the Kravynn living in the Wyld Wood. Everything worked out, but Daniel still harbored concerns. All that was in the past now. The Inn was closed. Most of the Guildsmen were gone.
Daniel gasped suddenly, and his hand drifted to his sword. Something had caught his attention. His eyes opened wide. Gertrude followed along the path of her son’s gaze, and then jerked him to a halt. Ahead, the Field of Solnus sparkled, shimmering goldenrod in the sunlight.
“The rumors are true.” She said.
Daniel looked confused, as he often did, so she explained. “The holy places have not sparkled this brightly since the Age of Life.”
“We should go back.”
“No, Daniel,” she whispered, awe weighing down her voice. “We must go forward. The world is growing again. Just like the ancient statue in our orchard.”
“The marble apple tree? The one that began bearing marble fruit again?”
“That is the one.” She said, remembering the beautiful tree, and how their hearts had swelled with hope at the sight.
Daniel pulled his sword from its scabbard. “If we must go on, stay close, Mother.”
Gertrude moved to her son and laid a hand on his arm. “We go together, my son.”
They walked side by side up the sandy trail. The Inn came into view. Planks of wood had been nailed over the doors and windows. A faded sign announced. “Until further notice: the Inn at Evermore is closed by Order of the Council of Lore. No market shall be held. No person shall approach.”
Around the Inn, nature had begun to reclaim the land. The building itself was covered with vines. A giant bear moved in the trees behind the Inn pulling berries from overburdened bushes. A black raven as large as a person perched on the roof. It cawed once and took flight.
“This place looks totally different,” Daniel said.
Gertrude barely had breath to speak. “Nature always re-claims the land.”
A wolf howled in the distance. Daniel tightened his grip on the hilt of his sword. “Why are we here?”
“I’m sick, son. There is consumption in my chest,” Gertrude replied. “I am going to die.”
“Mother?” he asked. “Are you sure?”
“Yes, I’m sure,” she spoke, sadly. “I didn’t tell your father because I didn’t want him to worry. If the rumors are true… if magic in the world is growing strong again, then it would be strongest here in Evermore. The Pool of Lumina gives blessings of health when it is flush with magic.”
“You should have told us?”
The old woman coughed. “I’m hoping the Goddess of Light and Life will heal the rot in my lungs. If not, I will tell your father tonight. You know it will break his heart. He’s had to bare so much these past years.”
Daniel had heard the same legends and he spoke gravely. “What if you drink the tear of Noctis?”
Gertrude’s forehead creased with thought.. In the pool floated the blessing of Lumina, but also the sorrow of Noctis. Those who drank the tear always died. Well, she was going to die anyway, a slow, painful choking death, so the tear would be an easier way to go… a mercy in a way.
“If I drink the tear,” Gertrude said. “I will count it as a kindness. Noctis, the God of Dark and Death, will give me an easy passing from this world.”
“I don’t want you to die.”
The woman laughed lightly. “Neither do I, but if the worst happens, carry me home to your father. I want to be buried in the family plot.”
Gertrude left him standing there holding his sword, eyes glassy with grief and fear. She strode confidently up to the Pool of Lumina and gazed down into the sparkling water. She’d been here before, but never had the water shined with power like it did now. Fearful, but knowing the sickness in her chest would kill her slowly. She reached down, cupped water into her hands, and brought the liquid to her lips.
She swallowed. Peacefulness filled her mind. Her breathing became easier. She felt stronger. Younger. More alive than she had felt in years.
“Mother?” Daniel asked.
“I am well,” she said, breathing in deeply with no feeling of constriction. She exhaled, with no cough. “I am cured.”
Gertrude dropped to her knees. “Thank you Goddess for your gift of life.”
A moment later, she heard a low growling sound from the wood. Daniel gave a shout of warning. Heart hammering in her chest, she peered into the lush undergrowth…
History: When the Inn at Evermore opened in 997 A.Order, the Guildsmen only had access to a few damage causing spells, the main ones being holy blasts, balls of fire, and lightning bolts. As Guildsmen explored the lands around Evermore, they discovered additional types of energy and new ways to manipulate them. The re-discovery of energy forms has been an on-going process (plot) since the opening of the Inn (start of play).
Occult: On 17 Sepis 1016 A.Order, a stellar convergence occurred and flooded the realm with mana energy. Shortly after, two new energies appeared, and Guildsmen soon discovered that these energies had been sealed away by the founders of Guildhall at the start of the Age of Order. As the bindings crumbled, other energies like toxic, psi, and radiation also broke free. These energies had been seen used my some monsters, but were never free-flowing in the realm.
Physics: Following the elemental convergence and the discovery that the bindings placed by Guildhall was weakening, Guildsmen discovered that there was not enough magic in the world to re-bind the energies. So in Mais 1017, to prevent a cataclysmic explosion as the final bonds broke, the Guildsmen of Evermore performed a ceremony to release energy slowly. Ever since then, more energy has been flowing into the world.
RUMORS: In Janis 1017 when Kendrick Kane went to recover the old Guildhall books and records that related to order and chaos energies, he found that they were missing… stolen. An investigation confirmed the last time these records were known to be there was in 999 A.Order. Further, investigations revealed that a number of prominent Guildsmen disappeared around the same time as the records vanished. Among them was Alec Brinken, the head of the Guildhall Historical Society when the Inn at Evermore was opened in 997 A.Order. He was devoted to researching energy types and new lore. His work in early Evermoore led to the release of Mortis and Thanos, and the discovery of many feats, castings, and other skills.
CRIME: In the summer of 1019 A.Order, Kendrick Kane, Chairman of the Guildhall Historical Society burned all of his notes, papers, and research into the history of Evermore and resigned his position. The destruction of his life’s work sent shock waves through academic circles as people, horrified by the loss of knowledge, demanded for his arrest. Kendrick disappeared for more than a year. He was later discovered to be running a Trading Post in the small town of Solace.
Club COVID Safety Standards - Updated 08/05/21 The management team has reviewed our existing COVID-19 safety policy and below are the current standards as of 08/05/21 (August 5th 2021). These standards will change to reflect CDC guidelines and NJ COVID Safety Guidelines as needed. We want to keep our club members as safe as possible as we move into our weekend LIVE events in 2021. The following policies apply to all members of the club - PCs and NPCs alike. Mask Wearing At this time, for anyone who wants the option to go without a mask at our LIVE games, you must provide proof of being fully vaccinated. There are 2 ways to do this: 1) You fill out this secured form and upload a picture of your filled out COVID-19 vaccination card: https://forms.gle/C4hbo2Z3ASCNMBaG7 OR 2) You provide proof at check-in to Logistics, who will document this in person. Once you are confirmed to be fully vaccinated, you will receive a wristband at check-in and will have the option to LARP without a mask. If you are not fully vaccinated at this time or did not provide proof of being fully vaccinated, you are still required to wear your mask. You can also continue to wear a mask while you are fully vaccinated if you prefer. Currently CDC recommends you wear a mask indoors. Sleeping Indoor sleeping in the Inn is not permitted. Those with medical conditions reach out to Management before the event. Girl Scout Tents are up in site 7. Cabins are available in site 6. Lots of sleeping. Both sites can have personal tents put up! Cast members are permitted to bring tents and set them up outside the Cast Cabin. We will also be spacing you out in the NPC cabin. Inn Safety & Meal Times
Concierge has replacement masks if a member needs a cloth mask
Non-latex disposable gloves and disposable masks will be provided for food safety while in the kitchen
Keep 6ft distance when eating, and we encourage everyone to please eat outside for everyone’s safety
Soap and hand sanitizer will be stocked in the play area and in bathrooms.
Please use latrines if bathrooms become crowded during the event
Players are not allowed to use the inn tables as guild tables. Please bring a pavilion and talk to the concierge about where you can set up as a personal play space.
Please speak with the concierge on where you can put player stuff. The cubby space is available.
Guild Masters meeting will be held outside and in a oval (probably around the fire pit with extra chairs for representatives)
Check-In and Conte
Check-in will be held at the pavilion in the sleeping site closest to Conte (the one with the cabins).
Conte will be closed. No sleeping or using the building until further notice.
Event Specific Information
EVENT FEES & SLEEPING Each time block (3-5 hours) costs $10. $50.00 for full event Weekend Event Price Adjustments Discount: Early Arrival reduces cost by $5 is arriving before 7pm Discount: Full Weekend Participant reduces cost of entire event by $5 New Player Discount: All time blocks are half costs for first event. (Until further notice there will be no returning player discounts) **Minimum charge for a weekend event is $20 two time blocks.** Payment for event is due at time of the Event. Please do not say, “Bill Me.” Payment through PayPal invoicing cannot be accepted for LIVE events.
Pre-Payment for events is not possible at this time. INN, CONTE, SLEEPING All players are encouraged to bring personal tents for sleeping. Conte will not be available. Players will no longer be allowed to use Inn tables for personal property. Because of social distancing and dining space requirements. Guildmasters Meetings will be held with social distancing. Guildmasters will likely be arranged in an oval outside. Indoor sleeping in the Inn is not permitted. Those with medical conditions reach out to Management before the event. Cast members are permitted to bring tents and set them up tents outside the Cast Cabin. CHARACTER SKILLS and CARDS All Players must re-build their characters for the August Event using the new edition of the PlayTest rules and Guild charts which will be released Saturday August 7 into our Facebook Group.
Players can access their status totals in the existing DataBase. The old DataBase will be up continually until the event (http://22.214.171.124/fmi/iwp/res/iwp_home.html). Please get your totals as soon as possible, start your re-builds, and read the rules.
Re-make your character and bring a printed copy to the event. At check-in you will attach your self-made card to an official back. This database has not been updated to reflect Tyrs, Sci-Fi, or status purchases since July 7th. Some DICE! status has not been added. You may pay for DICE! events at event and add status to your character. Please account for the status you would have earned and/or purchased and once new database is ready, that status will be added to your grand total. Do not make changes to your character in the database as these will not carry over to new database.
Players should figure out their resources as per the rulebook in Appendix III. Please do this before the event and do not hold up the check-in line figuring out what you want.
Since players will want to explore skills it's not practical to require players to enter characters into the official database. This soft re-build helps players try different builds more easily.
At the end of the event you must turn in your self-made character card so we can review the skills players choose. This will give important insight into the new system.
We hope to develop a database by the end of the play test period. We ask for you patience during this time. Your status total will continue to be tracked in the current database. NEW Cast Status – Now Earn MORE! Cast members can earn up to 150 points of cast status per time block. Cast Members will only earn full status if they wear proper attire (black pants and shirt), bringing own weapons, a light with extra batteries that works for entire time block, the adventures start on time and run more than the minimum required number of times, help put the props back in the bins where they were retrieved from, and so forth.
Note: Players who elect to jump over to cast for a time block will earn cast status. If they have paid for play status they will also get play status. If they have not paid for play status they will only get the cast award. Players who elect to help cast members clean-up cast area will earn player clean-up awards.
Set-Up (50): Cast members extra 50 for arriving one time and participating in adventure set-up. The first set of adventures is always the most prop intensive as cast has the most set up time. Often the final will be set up during this time as well. All events will have arrival and set up time period announces. Evermore event cast arrival is 6:00pm. Set up time is 6:30pm to 7:30pm. Cast Briefing 8:00pm
Clean-up (100): Cast members earn an extra 100 status for staying to ensure clean-up is completed. Evermore event cast clean-up time is from 12:30pm to 2:30pm. Cast members who stay and help for the full time are awarded full status.
Weekend Event Status Cast: 750 points Set-up: 50 points Clean-up: 100 points Total: 900 PLAYER BONUS STATUS! We really need to spread out with COVID. To encourage players to bring Pavilions, tables, and chairs.
Decorations (25 Total): Players should work as a team to decorate their group’s play space. Bringing a decorated pavilion is worth 25 status (only 1 per group 10’x10’ maximum size to allow room for all). Bringing time-period appropriate table (15 status) or folding or camp chairs (2 status each up to 5 total for one person). Items to decorate pavilions, such as banners, wall pieces, battery lanterns are worth up to 2 points each (up to 5 total for one person). Player decorations cannot be placed in community space. All tables in the Main Play Area (Inn) need to be available to all players for sitting, eating, and drinking. Store all personal stuff in your group’s pavilion. Status Awarded during registration.
Just a reminder, players who help with check in 6-8pm and who help set up the inn from 7-9pm can earn service status. Please contact the coordinator and concierge to volunteer.
Part 6 of 6 - A Return to Evermoore
IN-GAME DATE: 30 JULIS 1021 A.ORDER
LOCATION: Guildhall, Isle of Lore
SUMMARY: Inn is re-opened
PHILOSOPHER PO QUAY – Retired Loremaster Wizard Location: Isle of Lore, Guildhall Po Quay had tears in of joy his eyes as he stood in the great chamber where the Council of Lore met. The polished wood shone brightly. The gold and silver accents shone even brighter. Isabella Debaye, first Innkeeper of Evermoore, and current speaker of the Bards Guild climb the stairs to the raised podium. She spoke clearly to a room of eager listeners. “Now that the energy release has occurred and the danger is passed, I move that the Inn at Evermore be reopened with the condition that should another surge be detected the Inn will be closed again until such danger passes. The safety of all Guildsmen is, as always, our primary concern.” The motion was seconded. The Speaker of the Crown and Shield called the vote and the motion passed. The reopening of the Inn at Evermore was scheduled for 13-15 of Augis in the year 1021 of the Age of Order. OUT-OF-PLAY This concludes the explanation of why the Inn was closed and also explains the reasons why game skills changed. With the final breaking of the bindings placed at the start of the Age of Order, the world is much more magical now than had been for the past one thousand years. This also technically concludes the Elemental Convergence story that was started more than five years ago by Megan M and Genna S. A lot of changes have come from that seemingly isolated story. In the months that followed, players learned that the convergence strained the bindings and released new energies. The King of Holt died and Justin took over. There was an Asgarn invasion and war in the Dale. A mummy from the Age of Life returned to the world and the Tombs of Thanos once more become a danger to the realm. A giant tree imbued by the new energies ravaged Evermore. The prologues in this arc (posts 1-6) have let players see how their friends will be affect and how their enemies are going to use these energies to hurt Guildhall. If you’re a newer or newish player and want to explore the world subplots, I encourage you to read the Realm Book or talk to players who lived through the events. Knowing the background for all of these subplots is not necessary. You can play the game from month to month loving the major stories told by the event writers of Evermore. But if you want to immerse yourself in the subplots that have carried the world story forward for past 20 years you’ll need to read the book, talk with older players, and meet the Point of View characters who tell the prologues when they show up in Evermore. Keeping the history alive adds depth to the world and makes everything more immersive. There is lots more to come, so I hope to see you all at our first full weekend event in more than a year. Happy and safe LARPing to all. Anton
Part 5 of 6 - A Return to Evermoore
IN-GAME DATE: 20 JULIS 1021 A.ORDER LOCATION: Places around the realm SUMMARY: Various different events showing different perspectives on the unfolding events.
PHILOSOPHER PO QUAY – Retired Loremaster Wizard Assigned to study the four Holy Places of Evermore. Po Quay dropped the pair of divining rods he had been using to measure the flows of energy at the Hero’s Graveyard. He turned and ran as fast as he could. He glanced over his shoulders. The four holy places of Evermoore began to glow brightly. Inside the Inn the node also glowed. Strands of colored energy linked between the nodes. As Po ran he remembered those months just before the Inn closing. The strands of energy often reached out of one location to the other. The Guildsmen had battled against these stranding, blocking their paths as they tried to link. No one understood what was happening. Not it was clear, the nodes were linking. In a moment the strands of energy became torrents of power that flowed between the five nodes as blasts pure energy. All twenty hues shown brightly for the first time since the founding of Guildhall and the binding away of all the more harmful energies. The colors all merges and became blinding white energy. He closed his eyes to avoid being blinded and listened to the thrum of power. Kendrick Kane had explained that this energy would totally destroy the soul of anyone close to the Inn, which was why they had to close the Inn. The obliteration of a hundred Guildsmen would have shaken the world. And there would be no warning. In moments it would happen and all would be gone. Too many eternal souls gathered in Evermoore. A mass erasure of those Heroes from the world would be catastrophic. Po never walked on the paths between the holy places or went even close to the Inn. He conducted all his experiments on the edges of the holy places. After a short time the thrum grew faint and he opened his eyes. The blinding energy was returning to colored strands. Then the strands faded. The energy was diffusing out into the world. “The last bindings are broken,” Po whispered. The Inn stood, untouched. Boarded up. The energy did not hurt objects or even living things. It just irrevocably destroyed spirits. Any spirit in the area would have been utterly destroyed. The bodies would remain as dead empty husks. Po recovered his divining rods and headed toward the Guildhall Compound. His assignment was complete. He had come to Evermore to measure the effects of the elemental convergence and now he could see the end result. By focusing his vision, he could see energy all around him. Magic just hung in the air. He could reach out and touch it. Was this what living in the Age of Life was like? Magic was returning to the world in a balanced form. There was enough energy in the air that Guildsmen would be able to pull it from the air. In theory, they would not need to store the energy in their bodies anymore. Po began casting a spell, testing the theory, pulling the magic from the air, instead of himself. It worked the same way, creating the same effect, but he tired more quickly. That made sense as the mana of his body was not being used. Po then tried to use the mana energy stored in himself. This was casting the old way. The spell worked. The mana was expended, and he tired just as quickly, but he found that by recovering the mana he could rest himself with the mana recovery. Interesting. He tested his feats and found that they worked using the mana/stamina pool. He could not use feats in the old way. Any feat above the first did not work and all feats exhausted his energy, and required a recovery period. Castings had a similar recovery period. This was a very different pattern of use. He would have to be much more tactical. Ballads, Castings, Responses, and Feats now functioned using the same shared pool. Some of the effects could not be caused. Others worked differently. He could see other ways of weaving mana, additional ideas for new skills. Guildsmen were going to have a tough time sorting out all these changes, but after a period of testing, they would succeed. The mana/stamina pool was interchangeable. While it might be easier to call the energy inside his body stamina and the energy outside his body mana, it really didn’t matter. Energy was energy, inside and outside the body. A guildsman could call the energy inside what they wanted, based on the nature of their personality and their guild. The release of the last two energies had brought the world into balance. In this new world everything was suffused with power. Magic was everywhere… the possibilities were endless.
Part 4 of 6 - A Return to Evermoore
IN-GAME DATE: 17 JULIS 1021 A.ORDER LOCATION: Places around the realm SUMMARY: Various different events showing different perspectives on the unfolding events.
KULL KRIMSON Orc Overlord, Master Cavalier
Commander Krimson, First Knight of the Order of the Fist, followed Gorefang, the Emperor of the Orcs down the dark hall. Behind him walked a dozen other orc overlords from around the Empire, arguably the most brutal men and women in the world. A few were Guildsmen, but most were commoners who had risen to power by sheer size and ferocity. Their faith in Grotar had strengthened their wills and bodies. There was nothing common about these killers.
The wide stairs led down, twisting and turning, deep into the heart of the Temple of Grotar. They paused before a set of massive bronze-doors three times the height of the tallest orc soldier. The doors had been carved with twenty symbols. He recognized the etchings as mana symbols. He noted heat, cold, electric, holy, profane and all the others he’d seen as an apprentice and learned about after the elemental convergeance. He did not recognize the ones shaped like an hour-glass or a swirl.
The doors opened as they approached as if by magic. He felt the power wash over him, causing his skin to tingle. His long air and wild beard tugged at his skin. He’d only felt this kind of power once before, when he’d come to Evermore after the convergence of stars, when the energy was shifting and the bindings of chaos and order were breaking. How could there be so much power so far from Evermore?
They entered a vast underground chamber deep below the fortress, a place he had never been and did not even know existed. The walls, ceiling, and massive supporting pillars were all made of crystal. Lenses focused mana energy, pure power pulsed through the columns and swirled through the walls and ceiling.
“This stinks of the Five,” Gorefang growled, his hand drifting down to his sword. The orc despot, hated everything to do with the Five old gods.
“This…” replied the Herald motioning around himself, “is the reason why the orcs settled in the Forlorne Mountains. The five holy places in Evermore radiate the most power in the world, but there are other places almost as strong. This is one of them. Another is on the border between nations of Holt and Dale. A third exists under the Obsidian Fortress, which was why Karthis fled to the desert. A fourth is on the border between the Ansaki Fens and the nation of Andor. These are places of power used to control the flows of energy. As magic becomes stronger in the world, these places will become more important.
They walked together toward the center of the crystal cavern where the Herald of Grotar stood on a dais in front of a crystal altar with colored gemstones along its top. Below him standing in a silent circle facing outward were two score robed priests of Grotar. They waited respectfully as the Herald turned the crystals. Strands of energy flashed between the crystal columns, snapping and crackling as bursts of colored lights flashed over the room.
The priest of Grotar began to chant softly, “In the darkness, in the night, fist of Grotar, fist of might.” Krimson new the chant by heart, but did not join in. This was ceremonial magic. Twenty years ago he would have scoffed at the idea of commoners dancing and singing to manipulate magic, but that was before they had learned the Cult of Shivakas truly had powers. Guildhall had been so naïve to dismiss ceremonial magics. There was power in the practice of ceremony that could not be denied.
The Herald spoke as he worked. “More than two decades ago fisherman pulled my prison from the Lake of Evermore. High Priest Vorath released me from that spirit chest and I returned to you, expecting to find greatness. Instead, I found a nation of weaklings who had lost their place in the world. My heart was broken.”
“I learned that you had overthrown the Five and freed the world from their tyranny. Orcs had guided the world for a thousand years, until they were betrayed by this Guildhall. Our great Empire was laid low. Orckind lost our ancient heritages. Guildhall took your strength, your will, and your pride. Guildhall weakened you, oppressed you, and forced you to become,” he paused, and then spoke his next word like a curse, “farmers and merchants.”
“I met Gorefang in Evermoore and, on the night he slaughtered the Guildmasters, I knew that all was not lost. We could reclaim our heritage. Regain our place of dominance in the world. Together we bleed the weakness from our people. We won the Orc Civil War. Together Gorefang, Krimsom, and I ended the orc commonwealth and created the new Orc Empire.”
The Herald arranged four silvery crystals. The energy thrummed through the cavern. “The past two decades have brought into their world a generation of orcs who understand that might makes right and that the strong are destined to rule. We have taken our goblins and ogres from the fields and the mines and trained them once-again for war. The orc nation is ready for the return of Grotar. We are strong and we are ready.”
“And when the last bindings slip free and all the major flows of magic return to the realm it will be possible to bring Grotar back. Soon, we will be able to use this place to create a true avatar. Not the foolish nonsense I sold to Guildhall, but the real power of faith. We will have the strength to shackle a world. Our god will walk the world again.”
For a moment all of the orcs seemed stunned by the magnitude of his words, and then they began cheering. Mad cheering as if they’d lost their minds, while raising fists and beating their chest. Only Krimson remained silent, for only he among all the orcs present, remained loyal to Guildhall in his heart. The others did not notice the grim look on his face as they slapped him on the back, and jubilantly congratulated each.
Krimson met Gorefang’s gaze and the two orcs stared into each other souls. Around them the cheering continued, but Gorefang had stopped his shout of glory. The understanding passed between them. They had always been enemies on the same side of the war, but now they were going to become true enemies. The oath of Guildhall had finally come between them. The Herald of Grotar was moving against the Hall and Gorefang would lead the Empire to war against the world.
Gorefang leaned close and whispered, “Are you ready to face me in the Circle of Challenge?”
Krimson did not reply.
“You and I are true orcs.” Gorefang grinned widely showing teeth. “You may have the army. You may have the right. But none of that matters, because you cannot beat me in the Circle.”
“I can try.”
Gorefang whispered low. “And you can die.”
The other orcs continued cheering, caught up the possibilities of war, the promise of plunder, and victory and death. The energy snapped and popped. The Herald of Grotar cried out in wild glee, pushing the crystal mechanism, drawing power from the world to this place.
“I need you,” Gorefang said. “You have the best military mind in this realm. I need you. By my side.”
“My oath is to Guildhall.”
“Then we meet in the Circle.” Battle lust began to spread over Gorefang’s face.
“No, my Emperor,” Krimson replied, quickly. “You have not moved against Guildhall. Not yet. My oath remains.”
Gorefang seemed almost disappointed. “Then you will honor our heritage. Might makes right. The strong shall rule.”
Krimson nodded, “Might does make right. The strong shall ever rule the weak, so is the will of Grotar, so is the way of our people. I am the First Knight of the Order of the Fist. My duty is to my order and to my people.”
“And to your Emperor.”
Krimson agreed. Too much of a cavalier’s training was devoted to learning tactics and leadership. Gorefang, as a warrior, only need to learn one thing… to kill. And kill he did. Every challenger. The Emperor of the Orcs was a master of the duel. Krimson considered himself a good fighter, but he could not match Gorefang. Few fighters could.
The only Cavalier who might have a chance would be Ser Peter Debaye. There were some among the warriors guild who could beat him. Surely, Orion McBride. Maybe, that Asgarn, Olaf Freljord. But neither of them were orcs. And neither could hold the position of orc emperor.
On the altar, the Herald of Grotar continued to adjust the energy flows. “We have a year, maybe less, maybe more. I can be more exact when the final bindings shatter and the last energies break free…”
So Krimson had a year, maybe less, maybe more, to find way to keep his oath to Guildhall and to also honor his heritage. If not, he would have to choose…
OUT-OF-PLAY The rise of the Orc Empire was the first world story arc of Mystic Realms and in some ways it’s still being told today. Greg Storace played Gorefang. He was a fantastic roleplayer and a great fighter. His rise to Emperor was one hell of a story, told in a time when the club 150-175 players at events and ran casts of 35. Three standing and three moving adventures. Wild days, but nothing compared to what is coming in the next few years.
CRIME: For two years, Gorefang murdered the Guildsmen of Evermore. They declared him a criminal and tried to arrest him many times. Each time they went into the Foothills of the Fornorne Mountains, they were soundly defeated.
PSYCHOLOGY: By fighting against the Guildsmen of Evermore, Gorefang gained a legendary reputation. He became famous throughout the Orc Empire and the world. He symbolized orcs regaining their strength and not backing down from a fight. Most scholars agree his two-year murderous rampage around Evemoore was the beginning of the end of the Orc Commonwealth.
MILITARY: Ser Krimson fought Ser Brock in the Circle of Challenge at the Inn of Evermore. The Guildsmen of Evermore were allowed to witness the fight. Krimson won and became the First Knight of the Order of the Fist. The Guildsmen of Evermore had an opportunity to interfere, but chose to allow the fight to play out fairly. Many scholars claim Krimson's victory was the second event that destroyed the Orc Commonwealth.
HISTORY: Ser Brock supported Guildhall and Ser Krimson supported Gorefang. Ser Brock stood for the Commonwealth. Ser Krimson stood for the Orc Empire. In a Guildmasters meeting, the Guildsmen of Evermore gave the Orc Scepter of Rule to Krimson which led to Gorefang gaining victory over the commonwealth forces and ultimately becoming Emperor. Many people still ask why the Guildsmaters of Evemore voted to give the Scepter to Krimson.
OCCULT: The Herald of Grotar was spiritquested at the Inn of Evermoore at the very first Market Day in 997A.Order. To ingratiate himself with the clerics of Guildhall he gave to them a ritual that created Avatars by requiring people to spirit themselves and put their essence into the Avatar. Over the past two decades people learned that this was not how Grotar was created. Thousands of people do not need to die to create a god. Many people now believe the Herald of Grotar purposely misled the clerics guild to weaken Guildhall.
Part 3 of 6 - A Return to Evermoore
IN-GAME DATE: 16 JULIS 1021 A.ORDER
LOCATION: Places around the realm
SUMMARY: Various different events showing different perspectives on the unfolding events.
SHERIFF MILTON KRAPE Journiate Ranger of Guildhall Serving as a scout for the Holt Army
Sheriff Milton Krape stepped from the small skiff into the water, grimacing as the cool liquid leak into his boots. He grabbed the boat’s bow and heaved toward the shore. The keel slid silently over the river mud, beaching onto the shore. Krape would rather have been anywhere else, but he did his duty and held the boat steady as King Justin, monarch of Holt, stepped onto Dale soil followed by a half dozen battle priests, Acolytes of Eldin, blessed with abilities and powerful magics that rival those of Guildhall.
“Did we drift downstream?” Justin sneered with his ever-present irritation.
“No, my lord,” Krape bowed in deference. “The rowers put us in exactly where I instructed.”
The Acolyte climbed off the ship. Krape struggled to hold the boat steady as the robed figures maneuver a long wooden crate onto the shore. The ranger had no idea what was in the box, but it must be important as the battle priests treated it with great reverence.
“We’ll be at the site by midnight,” Krape said,“so long as we don’t encounter any Willowby patrols near the apple orchard.”
Justin huffed, and crossed his arms. “This land should have been annexed to Holt during the Asgarn Invasion. Those damn Guildsmen of Evermoore… They interfered and ruined everything.”
Krape watched the rage building on Justin’s face as the King of Holt continued his tirade. “The plan had been perfect. I was going to annex these lands, just like my forefathers did in the Highlands. I move in, drive off the Asgarns, save the common folk, and then stay to keep the peace. So easy. So simple. Damn the Guildmasters of Evermore for revealing the plot.”
The king stared at him, seeking affirmation. The old Ranger had been privy to the whole affair and he had been secretly relieved in the unraveling of Justin’s plan. He would not want the Dale to become another place of political contention. Krape shrugged and said, “As you say, my Lord.”
“One day,” Justin whispered. “One day soon, the Inn at Evermore will face the vengeance of Eldin. All those Guildsmen who thwarted my plans will suffer the fires of purification. I will burn that Inn. The flames of Eldin will consume them.”
Krape could see faint licks of flame that blazed around Justin’s raised fist. The world was changing, a commoner king with the power to directly manipulate heat energy. Those had once been the skills of Guildsmen, but now as more energy entered, the world’s fanatics could gain power. Sure, it was rare, but the battle priests could call on the flames of Eldin as well.
The Acolytes spoke as one, “All praise to Eldin.”
Krape shushed them. “You’ll bring Willowby’s patrols to us for sure with that chanting.”
“The light of Eldin protects us,” rebuked the High Priest of Eldin, as he stepped off the boat.
Krape kept silent. He followed Eldin as did most people in Holt, but he’d also seen another side of the god, a side shown to him by Mriyeh pride Clawbright, a rakarrin Cleric in Evermore.
Her words still kept him awake at night, creating doubts, giving rise to questions. The priests of Eldin taught the superiority of human-kind, but in Evermoore, Krape had seen greatness in every species and that had proven the priests wrong. Mriyeh showed him a different version of Eldin, a god that had fought to save the whole world, a god that valued all people.
She had opened his eyes. Then his research had proven that the worship of Eldin had not always been a path of prejudice and pride. Eldin had been a god who loved all equally. The old prayer books of Eldin in the library of Guildhall had confirmed that these priests had perverted the faith a few hundred years ago, but there was little to be done. To weaken the faith would be to weaken Holt, and the Orc Empire was ready to attack any weakness. The priests had to be tolerated.
Krape led the group from the river, through the vast orchards of the Willowby Estate, and into the old growth forest. An hour later, they came to the overgrown vale filled with the broken bases of shattered crystal spires. He could feel the power of the place. Even at this distance the energy made his skin tingle. The only time he’d felt such power was at the holy places of Evermore in the months after the elemental convergence.
“What is this place?” Krape asked.
The High Priest answered. “You gaze on a major mana node of the realm.”
Krape shrugged. Not impressed. He was a woodsmen, an archer. He knew the sword and axe, and didn’t bother with the castings of his Guild. If he needed to kill a dangerous beast, he used his bow or blade. Magic to him was not very interesting.
“Guildsman.” The High Priest sneered. “You think you know magic? You are children stumbling in the dark. Your lore skills grant you individual power. The magic of Eldin is the magic of a nation.”
Krape started to turn away, the High Priest caught his arm. “At the end of the Age of Life the Orcs destroyed this place. They hated everything about the Five, especially their places of power. Before the Fall of Evermore, the FiveSworn would gather here and use the crystal constructs to move energy around the world. After the fall, with the crystals shattered, all forgot this place. But we passed the secrets down. We priests of Eldin, we knew there would be a time when magic flowed freely again.”
“By the Wisdom of Eldin,” Krape said, knowing this would satisfy the priest.
“Good man.” The High Priest patted his arm. “You’ll stand in the Light of Eldin when the world changes.”
The King of Holt and his High Priest walked to the center of the old woods. Krape waited on the rise, sitting on a stump. He was not worried about discovery. No one came into these old woods. Down below, the king and the priest conferred for a long time. Then, the priest called to the acolytes who reverently carried the long wooden chest down to them.
“Open it!” Justin commanded. “Since we could not get the land, we will take the power. As the last bindings break, Eldin must walk again.”
The acolytes did as their king commanded, and from the chest, they removed six silver rods, holding them reverently as holy artifacts from the Age of Life. The High Priest began chanting. The acolytes hammered the rods into the ground as they repeated the chant.
Justin cut his hand and wiped his blood down each the shafts, chanting in response to the priest. The High Priest lifted a cross in one hand and a silver chalice in the other while invoking the name of Eldin. Whirls of colored energy flowed around the shafts and the participants. The acolytes chanted. Justin laughed loudly, almost maniacally, as power coursed through him.
Krape watched from his position on a log. He didnot want to get close to the swirling energy. He continued to stare, frowning as the commoners manipulated the energies of the realm. Mostly he saw silver tendrils and some gold, the energies of profane and holy. In time, he understood what they were doing. Justin and the priests were shifting the energy flow from this node into the land of Holt.
As the ceremony concluded Justin walked up the rise. “Take me to the boat.”
Krape motioned to the priests. “What of them?”
“This is one of the world’s great nodes,” Justin explained. “It has much power, but the high priest will follow the flows of energy and place more rods. We will pull all the power from this land.”
Krape led the king quickly back to the boat and pushed off. The rowers pulled hard against the oars, and by the time the sun rose Justin was standing safely in his own territory gazing West to the Forlorn Mountains the home of the orcs.
“What we do today will save the realm,” Justin whispered. “You know the non-humans are going to create their gods of conquest. Humankind must be ready. We are the chosen people. Eldin is the greater god. The nonhuman gods, Grotar, Ansaki, Eveya, and Tharkana broke the world in the Age of Life. This time will be different. In this Age, Eldin will be there to keep Order. Eldin will stop the non-humans. The Ages will not turn. History will not repeat.”
“As you say, my Lord.”
OUT-OF-PLAY The faith of Eldin, the King of Holt, and Prince Justin were introduced in the first few events. It’s a world plot that has seen many story arcs.
In early 2000, when the Evermoore club got too big for Camp Kettlerun we had to open a second club in North Jersey called Inverness. The setting was the highlands and Holt. Prince Justin and his kindly (but very sick) father were central figures. We had Eldin fanatics fighting highlander rebels with Guildhall stuck in the middle.
After the close of Inverness, the Guildsmen of Evermore worked to keep the old King alive in the face of Justin’s manipulations and usurpations. Ultimately, the old guy finally died (he had been dying for 15 years!) and a few years ago Justin became King, which of course means nothing but trouble for Guildhall.
CRIME: Justin is a murderer. Under his orders thousands of innocent highlanders died in Inverness rebellion. He murdered one of his lovers by throwing her out the window when he discovered she was spying for the Guildmasters of Inverness. He made three attempts to kill his father. Two stopped by the Guildsmen of Inverness and the other by the Guildsmen of Evermore. He attempted to take over the Dale. And he is suspected of providing aid to Jarl Gunther when he attacked the East Pass in an effort to destroy Guildhall.
HISTORY: A decade ago the Cult of Shivakas took over the Inn at Evermoore for two months. All over the realm they uses ceremonies to shift and concentrate all the mana energy in the realm into one point so that they could bring Shivakas into being. The Guildsmen of Evermoore stopped the Cult, but the world learns for the first time that commoners could use ceremonial magic to affect the world in major ways.
LAW: Krape came to Evermoore about six years ago as the Sheriff of Inverness. He was hunting Highlanders trying to rebel against the nation of Holt. He made some friends in Evermore and some enemies too. He ended up in a Holt jail, but his close ties to Prince Justice from his days in Inverness got the charges dropped.
RUMORS: Lady Gertrude and Daniel Willowby were chased by a pack of wolves and were saved by Philosopher Po and he allowed Gertrude to continue her treatments at the pool. They left quickly after receiving a message about wilting apples trees back on their estate in the Dale.
Part 2 of 6 - A Return to Evermoore
In-Game Date: 13 Julis 1021 Age of Order
Location: Places around the realm
Summary: Various different events showing different perspectives on the unfolding events.
KENDRICK KANE – Loremaster Runecaster Former Chairman of the Guildhall Historical Society Former Charter Sponsor of Evermore . Kendrick Kane stood on the crystal bridge gazing south toward the mound as currents of mana energy swirled over its surface. Behind the glowing earthen hill, the wild jungle of the Ansaki Fens spread out. The evening sky swirled grey. Heat lightning flicked. A storm was coming.
Celeste slid her arm around his lower back. He felt the coolness of her skin through his white linen shirt. He draped his arm over her shoulder and pulled her tight to his side. He rested his chin again her silvery white ethereal hair. Below them the water washed noisily against the bridge supports as they continued to stare at the Mound.
“I thought it would have happened already,” Celeste whispered.
Kendrick felt his guts twist. “It should have. It’s been more than a year since I warned the Council of Lore, and they closed the Inn at Evermore. The troubles here in Solace continue. I have still not found a way into the mound. It’s all unraveling.”
He felt her arm tighten around him pulling him snug against her hip, giving him support, lending him strength. “We must hope there are still enough good people in this world. Heroes who will look beyond themselves and choose the path of peace.”
PHILOSOPHER PO QUAY – Retired Loremaster Wizard Assigned to study the four Holy Places of Evermore. Po waited patiently as Gertrude Willowby drank from the Pool of Lumina. When she was finished he hurried to her side, and guided her away from the water.
“Let me help you, Lady Willowby.”
“No. Old man, let me help you,” she said heartily, taking his arm with a strong grip. “The sickness in my lungs is gone. I feel better than I have in twenty years. I will be returning to the Dale next week.”
“I am glad you are well,” Po replied.
“You be careful,” she warned. “The beasts are getting worse.”
Po looked to the Inn of Evermore. Planks of wood had been nailed over the doors and windows. A faded sign announced. ‘Until further notice: the Inn at Evermore is closed by Order of the Council of Lore. No market shall be held. No person shall approach.’ Around the Inn, nature had begun to reclaim the land. The building itself was covered with vines.
“I have my duty.” The old wizard shook his head. “The Council of Lore asked that I study the bindings that hold the violet and amber energies in place. I must keep people away until the bindings break.”
“When will that be?” she asked.
He frowned. “It should have happened already. But I am in no rush. When the bindings finally break, magic will change. Energy will flow free again as it did in the Age of Life. He sighed. “The Loremasters of Guildhall are busy re-evaluating Guild skills.”
Gertrude nodded knowingly, “We have seen the energies increasing since the convergence. The ancient nature magic given to us by Natallis is working again.”
“We must send someone to you. Perhaps you can show them… teach them.”
Gertrude shook her head. “This is Dale magic. Passed down through the generations. It is special to our people.”
Po did not press the old woman. He walked her to the crossroads, where they met her son Daniel. He wished her well on her journey and watched them walk away, knowing the world was changing.
BIOLOGY: The presence of mana always allows wildlife to evolve into person-sized beasts that are generally more aggressive than their normal sized counterparts. If the flows of mana energy at the four holy places are increasing, then it makes sense that all of the nodes in the local area will become more powerful. This will endanger the commoners.
HISTORY: The town of Solace became famous last year when a series of strange disturbances drew Guildsmen from around the realm. Energy nodes in the area began causing catastrophic effects to the land. The Guildsmen figured out that ceremonial magic could be used to balance the nodes. For the past six months, the commoners in Solace have been handling the situation using ceremonies.
GEOLOGY: The mound is a powerful node that draws tourists from around the world who come to look at the energy crackling along its surface. It is not a natural structure. It was likely constructed early in the Age of Life. Exact dating is impossible as the energy swirling around the mound keeps people away.
OCCULT: While exploring around the Solace area, Guildsmen discovered blocks with mana symbols on them. Some Guildsmen may still have these blocks.
PHYSICS: While exploring around the Solace area, Guildsmen discovered crystal consoles that functioned as control panels adjusting the flows of mana energy. The consoles controlled the flows of energy sort of like ceremonies.