In the Year 973 TR... ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ January DRAHENA conducts business with ARATHRAM & RAEDIL in Tashal.
THULAK and EMATAG are drunk and disorderly (respectively) in the Khuzan garrison.
A group of monks explore the Dungeon of Skulls (Varmok's Hold). February DRAHENA gains approval from the Duke of Dappar (Prince of Kaldor, Overlord of Tashal, etc, etc) to establish a stronghold on the Giants Causeway, and gets a letter of reference to his brother the King.
EMATAG joins a mission led by Crannan Stonehelm - a Dwarf Hero - to rescue a kidnapped Dwarven noble. Also in the team are two elves, SWIT (aka VENGEANCE) and GILGARD. Despite constant bickering by EMATAG, and the noble Dwarf being shot by SWIT, the mission is successful. March DRAHENA sets out from Tashal but is kidnapped in Shiran by assassins. RAEDIL attempts to locate Drahena with his crystal ball but fails.
EMATAG sees a drunken THULAK in Khuzan and tells him GRMOK is alive. EMATAG leaves for human lands with SWIT and GILGARD the elves. The elves leave a trail of murder, kidnapping and petty crime in their wake. EMATAG is forced to go along with them despite his law abiding instincts. SWIT, GILGARD and EMATAG are pursued south into the hills by Rangers.
Crannan Stonehelm leads a daring raid into enemy territory to free Dwarves held as slaves by goblins. The intrepid commandos include ZILINX and CARLUN DELVERSON two Dwarven clerics, EDWINA the Elf and SAM BLUGEON a hobbit illusionist. Also Golfi, Dwali, Ludo and Odo the Mute, Dwarf veterans. HORATIO HORNBLOWER III and FROTIN FINGERLING, two hobbit scouts, RUDOLPH and QUIBILL, two gnomes, and ELAN, a half-elf veteran, set out with the group but turned back at an early stage to warn support forces of increased goblin activity. THULAK Breathstealer was in no condition to be included in the team. Ludo falls to his death during a fight with black-cowled goblins. The team infiltrate a goblin Hold and frees 27 Dwarves, including GRMOK. They flee north to a temporary bridge rigged up over a ravine by the support group. Under heavy fire from goblin warg-riders, they escape over the bridge and cut it behind them, delaying pursuit. The escapees press on and reach the abandoned mines in Holmdale where the support group of 50 Dwarves are dug in. Soon after, the main force of about 500 goblins and wargs arrives and attacks. The Battle of Holmdale Mine is fought - the Dwarves are victorious! The goblin army is crushed and the Dwarven Raiders get home safely. April DRAHENA awakes in a house of courtesans in Shiran, after being saved from the arena by Madame Valeria, who helps her kick drug addiction. DRAHENA gets a sword and hacks Valeria and most of the defenceless girls to death. She is shot by an assassin and captured again. RAEDIL witnesses the bloody murders via his crystal ball.
MAGNOX, a cleric of Ammon, and CHERNOBYL the Radiant, a Paladin, help escort a caravan from Shiran north to the Elven Woods. May DRAHENA is released after payment of a 250,000 SP ransom. The money was paid by the Temple of Ammon in Tashal, but provided by RAEDIL. None of her items (mostly borrowed from ARATHRAM) are recovered. DRAHENA is now hugely indebted to the Temple.
REKYLL the Assassin, VIBRO RAZZAMATAZZ Prince of Halflings and Yogurt of his People (Rekyll's sidekick), ALLYNE a thief and SAM BLUGEON a hobbit illusionist take part in an abortive raid on a Temple of Chaos in Chenat.
ALLYNE leaves Chenat to avoid Rekyll. SAM BLUGEON hides in the Guild of Arcane Lore, Chenat.
A party of ghost hunters is formed to clear the haunted village of Wickham: BEN DRACKO & EVETS two veterans, CLEMENT an acolyte of the Valar, ODIE a female rogue, THANGLE an elven rogue, and MOLEWERP a barbarian mage, together with Hugh Naller a veteran mercenary. June DRAHENA adventures with RAEDIL and his henchmen. RAEDIL's wife comes too. They explore a goblin lair in the Grey Hills near Chenat.
REKYLL, VIBRO and SHOLEON the Mage-Acolyte of Loviatar are active in Shiran at this time. REKYLL, VIBRO and SHOLEON work for the Chenat Lia Kavair.
The Ghost Hunters, on the advice of a druid, go west into the Grey Hills - and are never seen again. July MAGNOX the Priest of Ammon, LANDOR the Ranger and CHEETA MacIRON the Prestidigitator set off with two trainee paladins to defend the gnome village of Cragside, in the Silver Hills, from kobold attacks. MAGNOX, LANDOR & the pals get lost and meet EMATAG, a Chaos Priest. They explore a Black Tower and find an Evil Black Gem, but EMATAG and LANDOR murder the paladins and two gnome guides while MAGNOX watches. August DRAHENA returns to Tashal and accompanies a Crusade to liberate a western kingdom, called Lorne, from the grip of the Dark Empire.
CHEETA befriends the Head Gnome of Cragside, but tires of waiting for Magnox & Landor and returns to Tashal with Landor's banded mail. CHEETA is accused of stealing Landor's armour but is not found guilty: the Order of Rangers keeps it, in case Landor should return.
MAGNOX, LANDOR & EMATAG take the Black Gem to Shiran, and meet GARGUZ, a swarthy warrior, on their way through Golotha. EMATAG and GARGUZ meet a Dwarf called JEDBURGH and they join a barge sailing downriver across Lake Benath (the Choking Swamp). MAGNOX & LANDOR are arrested for the murder of Albere & Philippe the trainee paladins. EMATAG is tried in his absence and a price put on his head. LANDOR's smart lawyer gets him off. All civil charges are dropped. MAGNOX is court-martialed for cowardice in the face of the enemy and found guilty but penitent. His sentence is a Quest to destroy the evil of the Black Gem. LANA the Healer is appointed as Magnox's Spiritual Advisor. MAGNOX, LANDOR, LANA & Rual, a paladin, join the Black Gem Quest. They meet LEIPZIG the Mage and his bodyguard, GRMOK the Dwarf. Soon after, they are attacked by Aldred ('Lord Black Dragon'), some black monks and a dozen orcs. LANDOR acquires Aldred's jagged sword. MAGNOX is ridden down and killed by the steed of Lord Aldred. September DRAHENA & Crusaders: Battle at the Ford, versus Death Moon goblins.
Reports of haunting in the (still vacant) murderer's cellar prompt investigation by ARATHRAM, who discovers an ancient passageway which leads down below the sewers of the city - Beneath Tashal. ARATHRAM sends a squad of Paladins down: only one returns, violently maniacal and babbling nonsense about a "thing which must not be". When healed, he remembered nothing about the passage.
MAGNOX's body is carried to Shiran. He is miraculously raised from the dead by the intercession of Saint Bemonte. This is taken as a sign that he should have a second chance - the Black Gem Quest continues.
EMATAG, fearing legal action, bribes everyone to call him TAGGART, paints his armour and starts carrying a bent stick. TAGGART, GARGUZ & JEDBURGH survive the swamp and reach Coranan, and sell a strange map which they found. Before another expedition, they are hired as bodyguards and sail south to Thay. JEDBURGH is captured when the ship is attacked by subhuman pirates. GARGUZ goes insane and murders his captain & crew. TAGGART and GARGUZ are shipwrecked, but manage to return to Coranan. They join the expedition sponsored by a High Elf-Mage named ZOVIRAX. Other members of the team include ORPHEUS, a fighter, and Paranay, a Seer. They head west to the Grey Hills. October DRAHENA performs a quest for King Leon Leonidaes IV of Caerleone.
ARATHRAM sends a stronger squad of volunteer Paladins beneath Tashal: none return. But another from the first squad is found wandering the countryside - believing himself to be the Great Druid, and raving about powers in the earth, trees that walk and the like. When healed, he lost all of his memory and became a vegetable. ARATHRAM suspects the work of unnameable, blasphemous powers which must be destroyed. Other Ammonites, notably Melascol the Almoner, reject this and agree that some assassins must have acquired a batch of poison that affects the mind - such poisons are known, and Arathram is criticised: his judgement and mental stability are questioned. However, His Holiness Father Hubert allows Arathram one more chance. ARATHRAM begins to organise a much tougher group of investigators.
MAGNOX et al. are enlisted by Kelebdil the Elf Duke to raid an Orc lair in order to break the Star of Darkness - a miles-wide zone of evil which keeps elves out and is destroying their 'Window of Peace'. The Questers raid the caves and meet Lord Aldred - 'Black Dragon'. A battle ensues wherein the Party is run over by a rolling Nightmare, LANDOR meets a dead paladin and hacks him to pieces (force of habit), GRMOK pushes some orcs around, LEIPZIG attempts to protect himself from an enormous scaly devil but erupts in hideous pustules instead, and MAGNOX fells Aldred, the Fallen Paladin, with a single word. The Nightmare vanishes - taking Aldred's body with it. An imp steals the Jagged Sword back from LANDOR, and also vanishes. The diseased LEIPZIG disbelieves the devil and pulls another Black Gem from the idol, breaking the Star of Darkness and allowing Kelebdil's elves to rush in and save the party. LEIPZIG the putrid is given a herb by Kelebdil, which keeps him alive (well, dead) until morning when Father Jorlon rids him of his disease. But the Quest is not over, and the party consult the Window. LEIPZIG is slain while GRMOK, his bodyguard, stands by. The killer, a mad elven assassin called Trosha, is caught and GRMOK chops her leg off. MAGNOX decides to have her executed and asks her last request: "I want to kill you" she says. Upon the word of LANA the HEALER, GRMOK the Dwarf then bravely chops off the helpless elf maiden's head.
TAGGART, GARGUZ, ZOVIRAX, ORPHEUS etc. disturb a dragon and are pursued by a Great Wyrm and then a two-headed giant (or 'twi-beast') which uses a flying globe of light to track them. The party scatter. TAGGART is bagged and ZOVIRAX is crushed out of shape but caught: they are both taken to the Stronghold of Brazenase the Chaotic. GARGUZ eventually gets to Elorinar, near Berserker Castle. ORPHEUS and Paranay the Seer finally reach civilization, near Wickham. November DRAHENA & Crusaders: Reach Lorne and meet Prince Andray, the rightful heir to the throne, and his band of Rebels. Fight the Battle of Lairn, against Lorne Loyalists commanded by Seigneur Lembair. DRAHENA briefly returns to Tashal, summoned by ARATHRAM. ARATHRAM's Heroes are assembled for the expedition Beneath Tashal: SANTOR Dragonslayer, Paladin of the Broken Sword; DRAHENA Giantbane, Heroine of Pandaria; BLODGETT the Artificial, Hurler of the Ring; ELWITA the Red Dwarf; and, by special permission, FREDA Giantfriend, The Defiler, Enemy of the Gods. These to be accompanied by CHAS TORRAN, a Priest of Ammon, and MICRON and ELVIRA, two Mages from the Guild of Arcane Lore. Also RAEDIL the Elf promises to watch via one of his scrying devices. The Investigators descend: after a long and messy fight they return, carrying the comatose SANTOR. SANTOR recovers and begs to be allowed to leave the plane. He leaves. Lord OGRE the Retard finally turns up. The Investigators descend again to explore further - but cause a huge explosion which collapses and seals the tunnels: they barely escape. FREDA heroically carries the unconscious MICRON to safety. A minor tremor shudders through the city. ARATHRAM acquires a strange map, showing underwater contours of Lake Benath and several odd runes, upon which is marked a place called the "Temple of the Frog".
MAGNOX, LANDOR, LANA and GRMOK near the end of their quest but a wailing spirit comes for MAGNOX in the night and he is struck dead. LANA invokes Ammon: an angel appears - and MAGNOX lives! A hobbit calling himself SERGIO and claiming to be a druid turns up. The battered party get into the tunnels, defeat some acid elf zombies, get shot at and thoroughly outwitted by a cunning dwarf named Kaebel, fall down pits, get seriously injured and captured, dodge a Gorgon and finally, after making a right pig's ear of it all, reach the source of the evil power - a great Crystal, with a dark fire in it's heart. SERGIO then signs a pact with a black, buzzing entity called 'Basil' (or something) and the Crystal disappears - the evil power is gone! Nearby, LEIPZIG is reincarnated: Duke Kelebdil has a new-born neice. December FREDA is deemed to have atoned for her defilement and forgiven. BLODGETT is found to be suffering from delusions and is healed. Others are credited with their rewards by the Temple: ARATHRAM is relieved of his desk job and returns to active duty. MICRON gets a replacement nose - a rather fetching gold one. MICRON and ELVIRA return to their Guild to study. ELWITA suggests to FREDA that they could try to find KARRAWAY. OGRE wonders what to do.
ARATHRAM is sent with DRAHENA back to Lorne, to continue the Crusade.
MAGNOX, LANDOR, LANA and SERGIO complete the Quest of the Black Gem, while GRMOK sulks nearby. They then return to Shiran. SERGIO is noticed to be particularly moody. MAGNOX is honoured with permission to reoccupy the 'Abbey on the Fen'. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------