A priestess of Eldath, searching for a sign at the Wyvernstones
In the early days of 1395 Dale Reckoning, the Gods stopped speaking to their followers. This caused considerable consternation among the faithful, leading to severe tensions between rival faiths and even allied faiths, as each suspects the cause has to do with some other Church.
Spells of great power are harder and harder to use, and Cormyr stands at the brink of unrest, though the Monarchy scrambles to show that the Gods have not abandoned their faithful, as evidenced by the fact that divine spells and abilities are still dutifully granted.
In Arabel, Raznor and Vidyahe Caru have independently arrived at certain conclusions and methods to determine the cause of this terrible silence, one they plan to execute in concert with every High Priest of their respective faiths in Faerun. The faiths of Mystra and Oghma have begun to divide for reasons unknown, and both swear that their method will reveal the cause. It remains to be seen which shall gain support enough to enact their way.
Major events in the wake of the Silence
The Heavenly Host assembles
As many Clerics fruitlessly cry to their deities for a word, a sign, any reprieve from the terrible silence that separates them from their Gods, the knowings begin to arrive, one by one to all clerics, before the Gods fell silent again.
Sometime in 1395 Dale Reckoning, Lord Cyric, with the connivance of a few other Gods, gained entrance into Dweomerheart in Mechanus, and attempted to slay Mystra. The Lady of Magic, instantly sensing her old foe, called aloud for help as she turned to face him. Kelemvor flew from Hades in fury to Dweomerheart to aid Mystra.
Kezef the Chaos Hound
Cyric however, had already wounded Mystra and stolen some of her divine essence, swelling his power. Angered beyond all limits, Kelemvor unleashed Dendar the Night Serpent, the ancient primordial that laired in the Fugue Plane, upon Cyric. Unable to face the fury of the three, Cyric fled Mechanus and managed to retreat to his domain, The Supreme Throne, in Pandemonium. The Fugue Plane roiled in fury, its once serene mists echoing with screams and lashes as Kelemvor vents his unending rage. Judgement of the dead lies suspended, and Dendar the Night Serpent revels in her new duty of destroying Cyric's power, and those of his newfound allies. In retaliation, Cyric released Kezef the Chaos Hound, turning many Gods against both Kelemvor and Cyric for releasing the dread primordials, drawing them and their allies into hostilities.
Mystra's power began to ebb lower and lower, and while she was able to keep the weave intact, she was now unable to grant the extremely potent magic that many Archmagi and the Chosen had long since enjoyed. The entity known as the Watcher, the father of the Seven Sisters, was destroyed in agony as Mystra was unable to suffuse his spirit form with her powers. The Chosen lost the ability to summon the silver fire, and their ability to cast eleventh circle spells. All spells above the seventh circle became harder and harder to form properly, though still possible with effort. Lower circles, being the minutest fraction of the Mystra's body, were largely unaffected.
Tempus, Lord of All Martial Conflict
Many Gods rallied both for and against the broken Goddess, their aspects flying back and forth as old alliances and enmities were renewed. Sensing opportunity, Lord Bane simultaneously invaded the demenses of Red Knight, Valkur, Uthgar and Garagos to gain dominion of some aspects of war, which he had long coveted. Shar forced herself upon the gates of Banehold while his attention was diverted. Sensing danger, he turned his wrath upon Shar, giving Red Knight an instant to wail across the heavens. Tempus, unwilling to surrender his charges to Bane, subsumed all four, becoming the sole God of War. Already mighty due to his sheer number of worshipers, Tempus now became the single most powerful God in the pantheon, immediately severing all alliances and closing the Realm of Warrior's Rest in Limbo. He took with him Eldath and Tyche to serve as his consorts and his subordinates, as he believes peace and chance are also embodiments of war. Silvanus, angered by this, has sworn to return Eldath to the House of Nature.
Gond the Wonderbringer
Dazed and terrified, the clerics of the mortal world awakened from their knowing, and began to wonder. Who aided Cyric? Was it Shar, who had long held enmity with Mystra? Did she hold the secrets to penetrating even a God's domain? Was it Tempus himself who was Cyric's secret ally? Magic had long been a tool of war, but was also war's greatest deterrent. By removing that magic which prevented war, the power of Tempus would swell to unimaginable proportions as conventional armies became much more powerful, and wars could be declared with more impunity than they were before. Was it the Gond the Wonderbringer? He had long fumed under Mystra's edict that his wonders were never to replace magic. Azuth, Savras and Velsharoon begin to cast their eye upon the House of Knowledge in anger as their Mistress becomes unresponsive. Oghma had declared himself neutral in the conflict, and the three deities of Magic begin to wonder if Oghma too, was a participant in Cyric's plot. They are not shy in communicating their suspicions to their faithful.
Divine March of the Mystic Fire
The faith of Mystra now prepares to declare a Divine March against the Churches of Shar, Tempus, Cyric and Gond, in order to leave nothing to chance. Mystra herself does not respond to her faithful, though spells are dutifully granted. Old alliances between the Gods have been summoned, old enmities have flared. The Pantheon stands ready to devour itself, and the demihuman and interloper pantheons of Faerun have inserted themselves in the conflict, perhaps to share in the spoils.
War Wizard of Cormyr
Cormyr, unwilling to take sides in the War of the Heavens without knowing which deities shall emerge triumphant, declares neutrality under law. Religious conflicts are to be resolved between the faithful. The War Wizards and the Purple Dragons are spread thin, to contain the damage of the Church's Divine Marches, and to keep the Kingdom from descending into anarchy.
**All over Faerun, every cleric, favored, chosen, paladin,champion, lay sword and the masses of the devout know only one thing now. The Gods do not speak to their faithful, But their Gods need all the power they can get. The faith must be increased. People must be converted, by word or by sword. Their faith must become dominant above all else, and the faiths of their enemies must be diminished or eliminated. High Priests eye each other warily, ready to summon the faithful to a Divine March at any moment.
In Arabel, the extant faiths begin preparations to ensure that theirs is the one, true faith of the city. Tyche's city once, perhaps, but if it will stay so, remains to be seen.**_
_The Pall of Death
Reaper of Jergal
The Silence has taken its toll. Wars rage, High Priests lead their faithful to Divine Marches, the pall of they grey mist lies heavy upon Faerun. Less than a month has passed, yet tens of thousands have already perished for their silent, perhaps uncaring Gods.
The Fugue teems with souls as far as the eye can see. All cry for the embrace of their Gods, and yet, the divine servants cannot come, for the Lord of the Dead refuses to pass judgement. Human, elf, dwarf, orc, dragon; Every soul that exists must be judged, or remain forever in the grey city of the dead.
A terrible knowing presses upon the clerics of the realms. Jergal, the Seneschal of the Crystal Spire, has deemed Kelemvor unfit for office, and now declares that giving up the Grey Throne was a costly error, as Myrkul, Cyric and now Kelemvor have failed to judge the penitent by the laws of the dead. Once more, he shall take what he had given the Dead Three, and ascend as the Lord of the End of Everything.
After close to two thousand years, the Reapers have been unleashed into the mortal world, to cull the faithful. Death at the hands of a Reaper would allow the soul to pass directly to Jergal's demense where they may be judged and pass on to their eternal reward, bypassing the Crystal Spire.
Companion of the Pallid Mask
Sworn to his office and his own unbreakable vow, Jergal cannot hope to ascend while Kelemvor exists; But Kelemvor's faith begins to diminish, as they begin to doubt their own Lord for his callous disregard for their souls. People begin to turn to the Seneschal of the Crystal Spire, begging the Lord of the End of Everything to judge them and send them to their eternal reward.
The faithful of Jergal, and the vast number of converts from Kelemvor, declare Divine Marches upon Tempus, for his reckless taking of lives by the thousands when he knows he cannot take the souls into his realm, Cyric for his part in plunging the multiverse into chaos and even Kelemvor for failing his sworn duties. The Companions of the Pallid Mask swell in numbers, as they slowly begin to take shape as an army in their own right….
Fearful for their souls, fearful of remaining without judgement in the afterlife, fearful of the scores of fiends that now hungrily crawl the fugue seeking to increase their numbers with those choosing damnation over uncertainty, and most of all, fearful of the wall of the faithless and the false, even undeath begins to seem an attractive option....
The Axe of Tempus
Tempus, however, has ambitions of his own. The entire multiversal existence is simply struggle, survival, battle; A war, from birth to death. He shall be the dispenser of judgement, for he is war, and war is death. The Church of Tempus declares a divine march to wipe out every one of the Reapers in the mortal world, and destroy the church of Jergal. Opposed by Lathander, Tempus and Tyche both enter into conflict with the Morninglord, resulting in the faiths preparing for battle, though none of the Churches have demanded a Divine March yet. Tempus has gained the enmity of not only the demihuman and interloper pantheons with his latest move, but also the beginnings of resentment from the mortals themselves; Will they be condemned to eternal unrest in the grey waste of the fugue to slake the Foehammer's unbridled ambition?
The Dread Queen, Clar Banda
Clar Banda is not slow to take advantage of the war. She has declared to her faithful to do everything in their power to increase her might by gaining prayers and converts, for she offers a path; She shall become the sole deity of all paths to undeath, and reward her followers with eternal life, that they may never suffer for the mistakes of the God of the Dead. In her holy land of Easthaven, the number of pilgrims who come to pay homage begin to increase in number, praying for their lost loves to be returned to them, or kept in the mortal world until the upheaval of the heavens passes…._
_> The Eye of the Storm
The Storm Lord, Talos
Battle rages across Faerun, and through it all, the faiths of the Furies have remained silent, distant, and avoiding the conflict. Many have spotted this oddity, yet few knew why, as the secret citadels of Talos spilled no secrets, the Church of the Pard remained as silent as the Panther. Auril's faithful casting no aspersions, and the Bitch Queen's faithful as placid as a calm sea.
Deep within Pandemonium, Talos plotted. Talos planned. Malar stalked, waited, prepared, and remained patient, watching divinities battle from afar. The Bitch Queen, readied her servants, sending silent knowings from her Citadel Deep beneath the sea. Auril's servants quietly gathered to citadels of Ice and Snow.
Then the Storm was unleashed, as Talos Declared War Upon All Divinities of Nature and the Seldarine, allied beside Lolth the Spider Queen, seeking to become the sole force of Nature Upon Faerun. Promising Umberlee the Title of Queen of Nature and Chauntea's Portfolio as the Mother of the World and the tree Yggadrassil. Talos shall assume the title of Father Storm, the patriarch that all would well beneath the forest canopy. Malar, The Master of Monsters, granted supremacy over all of nature's wicked creatures, predator and prey. Auril to be granted sole dominion over Icy Snows and Winter that Ulutiu contested. Lolth promised her vengeance at long last upon Corellon, and the entire elven race for her exile into the depths of the Underdark.
Swiftly as the tide, Malar had his vengeance upon Nobanion and Gwaeron Windstrom are overwhelmed by the savage onslaught, Malar absorbing the demi-powers to rise in stature to that of Talos, yet their sacrifice permit Chauntea and Silvanus to ready their defenses, and summon allies to their aid. Rebuking the initial blitzkrieg performed by Talos, The House of Nature turns into a realm a Realm of War, as the lines of battle are set solidly.
The Citadels of Talos poured forth frenzy, savage manner. Farms burned, hamlets slaughtered, villages that were once subject to Reapers now become victim to the Savagery of Talassan Barbarians, and terrified individuals give praise to the Fury's to be spared. The Temples Efforts to remove Jergal's Reapers from Cormyr and abroad are successful as Mahaganai the Messenger shadows the armies of The Furies in their Divine March upon the elven kingdoms and the goodly and neutral divinities of nature. Such is their fury that Cormanthyr itself has come under siege, leaving Cormyr without an ally upon the frontier with the Shadovar, united in faith, remaining stable (if weakened magically) despite the Silence.
The Lady of Chaos, Lolth
In the Underdark, Lolth's Faithful perform great purges in their cities, all suspected of heresy and malpractice are purged in a great blood letting, and Lolth's Decree is Clear- All Shall March Upon The Surface Lands. Elven Kingdoms, attacked by the followers of the Furies and the Drow engage in a desperate siege and battle for survival.
In the Arabel Region, the Temple of Furies has declared the Hullack Forest Sacred Territory, and that all who enter must pay homage. Cormyr, beleaguered by numerous battles and Divine Marches, is unable to answer this obvious challenge to Royal Authority and that of the Warden of the North. Vanos disappears overnight and is reported to have joined the Temple of the Furies as their Battlemage, advising them on matters arcane. She summons her old allies of a previous Divine March to the Hullack Region, and quickly, the Temple of Furies has become the primary citadel of the Talassan and Fury's Faith in Cormyr, warded by a small army of fanatics and pilgrims
Dark Stormclouds gather on the horizon, as Tempus responds to Talos' invasion of Eldath's territory and followers with a harsh rebuke, ordering his faithful to War with the Furies Temple. Cries of havoc, destruction, and battle are heard throughout Faerun as the Clarion Call of Power swells the Lord of All Martial Conflict with further power, yet, the Storm of Talos and their furies gather followers where destruction is laid in their path._
_> The Unpredictable End, Malars Betrayal
The Seldarine gathering for battle in Arvandor
Under the guidance of Corellon Larethian, the Seldarine battled the Furies in a desperate attempt to keep them out of Arvandor. However, the elven deities were unable to keep the recently empowered gods out of their realm. As Malar began his battle with the Seldarine to claim their personas, Auril quietly snuck away from the battlefield to instead draw the final powers from Ulutiu, whom the goddesses had been slowly stealing power from for hundreds of years. As the god drew his final breath and Auril absorbed his portfolio, Silvanus with the aid Shevarash, struck down the unguarded goddess together. As Auril fell to the ground in defeat Silvanus laid a mighty blow against her amulet.
Auril's cursed amulet melted into of the goddess' icy form, weakening its hold on her, but centuries of evil are not so easily washed away, even by a god. Aurilandür the Frost Sprite Queen, Archfey and sister of Titania, slumped into the arms of Silvanus but he had failed to lift the curse.
Despite the turn of events, Silvanus did not slay Auril and instead, took mercy, and let her slumber, much to the anger of Shevarash. With Auril temporarily subdued in the midst of battle, the Furies were severely weakened, allowing the Seldarine to the Furies out of their Realm, Angharradh wounding Malar enough to allow Solonor Thelandira to recover Nobanions discarded profolio, as The Beast Lord retreated to prepare for another strike.
The Beast Lord betraying the Storm Lord
With the Furies weakened by Auril's slumber, Malar sensed the turn of the tide, his long awaited dream taking fruition finally. As Talos battled Sehanine Moonbow and Corellon in single combat, Malar abandoned his battle with Angharradh and launched himself at Talos. The Seldarine, startled, withdrew only to watch the newly empowered Malar and Lord of Storms battle at the outskirts of their realm. An epic battle continues between the two gods, only broken by Umberlee striking the two gods with a wave of such power it sent Malar across the heavens. As Malar washed back into the the Deep Wilds his thirst to gain further power only grew. Enraged, Malar swore to slay the remaining Furies and devour their powers.
Fleeing from Arvandor, the remaining Furies withdrew from battle. With Talos dismissing the war upon the Seldarine and turning his focus upon his former ally Malar swearing revenge and to rip the god apart with his bare hands. Yet for the Seldarine, the battle was far from over. Lolth and her drow were assaulting the Tel'Quessir at night, Malar's unexpectedly aiding them in the slaughter as his followers raged upon the elves throughout the day. Desperate to keep their people safe, Sehanine Moonbow and Selûne combined their powers to fill the night with light the threat of Lady Loss never more real.
Lolth guiding her followers to battle against the Seldarine_
_> Cormyrian Chaos
High Priestess Rethil leading the local Tel'Quessir to the Hullack Forest
Whilst the battle may have drawn quiet in the heavens, upon the ground the battles which the gods began still rage. In Cormyr, many Tel'Quessir have rallied together to undo both Malar and the Drow's grip upon the land. Smaller groups are dotted across the country, doing what they can to weaken the enemies of the Seldarine's followers, with many of nature's guardians beside them, such as the followers of Silvanus and Eldath, who also seek to restore balance to the chaotic land. Yet, the Shrine which shouts the loudest, is that of the city of Arabel, Cormyr's "black sheep".
Lead by High Priestess Rethil of Angharradh and keeper of the Arabellian Shrine of the Seldarine, a small band of Tel'Quessir have come together after being called to a divine march against the influence of the Furies, Malar, and Lolth. Whilst small in number, they have sought the aid of followers of Silvanus, Chauntea, and other goodly nature gods to boost their strength in their battle against their shared enemies, focussing on the growing number of Malarites and Drow in the region. Some Tel'Quessir frown upon the High Priestess's bold actions, which have often lead to battle, secret missions, and even dangerous Fey rituals within the Hullack Forest. Many of the elderly Tel'Quessir see the issue of the Malarites as minor, and the acts of the High Priestess and her followers as hasty, short sighted, and 'human'.
Drow attacking a scout of the Reborn Sun near Eveningstar
Yet the growing power of evil does not only threaten Tel'Quessir. With the rise of Eveningstar to the West of Arabel, a new order has been reborn in hope and light. The Knights of the Reborn Sun boldly battle all evil of Cormyr, be it Drow, undead, or even the Thayan Embassy within Arabel itself. Newly founded, yet loud as the wail of a banshee, the Knightly Order has drawn attention upon themselves after many successful acts against evil whilst aiding the local Purple Dragons. Yet, since their protest outside the Thayan Embassy, the Knightly Order is rumoured to have focussed their efforts in the wrong place. After all, could such a small order of knights face off the entire nation of Thay alone? Or will this be a tragic tale of Eveningstar's next fall into darkness, for within the shadows movement has begun.
Indeed the chaos brought upon the land has lead to the Purple Dragons and War Wizards boosting their recruitment, with garrisons sent off to aid the Elven nations in small numbers to avoid assaults by barbarian tribes, bandits, and Drow. Cormyr's martial power is growing rapidly which has only lead to Lord Hardcastle's influence in the North increasing, much to the anger of local druids and rangers. However, with the Silence, many angry voices lead to brawling, stretching the already crippled City Militia of Arabel to their limits. The recently reclaimed North of the City seeing a sharp rise in crime, along with religious and racial tension, with many Old Towners harassing the richer locals, and minority races facing much more prejudice than ever before.
The Militia's low numbers have resulted a sharp rise in crime
In the midst of this chaotic power struggle, locals speak of their loved ones graves being defiled and old ancient graveyards being lit up at night. Pleas with the Militia to investigate go unheard, for Lord Hawklin simply does not have the men to spare to investigate old dug holes. The Purple Dragons and War Wizards are too all too occupied with recruiting and training, especially with small garrisons sent off to aid the Elves, there is simply no one available. Perhaps the new Knightly order will be able to aid, but some locals feel a great mistrust against the Knights of the Reborn sun after the events still within living memory of the Red Harts. Lord Lhal, however, has been more than glad to pay adventurers to head out. Yet the rewards she is able to pay have lead to many dismissing the legendary Lord's offer in favour of the vastly richer Lord Hardcastle hiring guards for his goods. So for the poor, unfortunate and afraid, they find comfort among the Clar Bandites who whisper sweet promises into their ears._
Clar Banda's Promise of a Second Chance
A follower of Clar Banda raising the dead from their graves
As loved ones weep in the world of the living, the lost souls within the fugue beg for judgement. Dreadful sorrow spread across Toril as no god nor man can offer comfort against Jergal's reapers and Kelemvor's lack of judgement but the Seldarine. All except one, a little known goddess from a far away land with few followers beyond her nearest reach. Clar Banda and her followers have reached out to the people of Toril, offering all to free their loved ones from imprisonment of the fugue as the gods of the dead neglect their duties. Indeed, the little known goddess whispers of promises has rekindled hope in many to save their loved ones. Indeed, it is thanks to the Silence that Clar Banda has grown ever more, her name whispered in the shadows as far as Waterdeep. How shall the goddess keep her promise, can she truly bring loved ones back? The rumours are doubtful, yet so many are truly desperate..
Lady Loss, Shar drawing power from Mystra's weakened Weave
Yet it is not only the Dread Queen whom offer comfort within the darkness during these troubled times. As Mystra's powers dwindle and her faith weakens, Shar gather followers across Toril by the hour as the feeling of dreadful loss fills hundreds of thousands of souls, living and dead. The dark arts of the foul becoming far more acceptable for in the wake of the Silence, Toril has been struck by desperation leading to desperate acts. With her arch nemesis Selûne battling Lolth along side Sehanine Moonbow, Shar has begun to pull thread after thread out of Mystra's weave one by one. The name of Shar frequent upon the lips of many scholars and clerics alike, words speaking of Shar risking everything for some domains of magic.
The Silence has brought darkness and despair to Toril, the gods of dark arts growing in power each day as the light is being torn from every direction. Sune has risen to the challenge, her followers attempting to fight off Clar Banda's spreading influence as followers of Sune begin to convert but struggling to do so as death and fear spread across the land. The only true way for the goddess of love and beauty to fight off would be through alliances, whom shall come to the call of the goddess? Only time will tell.
Clar Banda's Fulfilment
The fall of the Brethren
The Divine March of the Brethern of the Reborn Sun with the aid of their Arabellian allies such as House Hardcastle, the City Militia and even some members of the Crown Forces, set out on the Wyvernwater with determination in their hearts to slay the vile necromancer Vorenthia. With them were hundreds of artifacts, priests of Lathander from across Toril and adventurers from far and wide whom had come to their aid. Embarking together, the fleet headed towards the heart of Wyvernwater and the isle once known as Greatish, now famously named Vorenthia's Isle, or more infamously- the Isle of Undead by the Arabellians. They struck hard onto the the shore line, invading from two directions in a pincer, the entire army ebbing out on the undead army awaiting them in a bright wave of chaos.
The Brethern Fleet headed off to battle
The battle was bloody yet the Brethern battled against the endless tide of undead with an upper hand, blinding lights of Hardcastle's holy bombs and gas clouds of the Crown Forces put down hundreds of undead in mere seconds. Yet just as the Brethern believed they were winning, victory in sight with Vorenthia's fortress now finally in sight, just as men and women scaled the walls, battling untold number of undead, did Vorenthia reveal his true intentions as he shouted into the heavens, "Enter Maiden now at last!" As Vorenthia consumed a vast quantity of Mythalite and power to tear open the fabric of the planes and open the fugue, and freeing untold thousands of trapped souls within- thus fulfilling the promise Clar Banda made to her faithful when the Silence Began, "I shall give all mankind a second chance," with the stipulation that they now serve her.
Clar Banda, empowered by Vorenthia's ritual, rising from the Greatish Isle
In the fugue, souls flocked to Clar Banda, be they fleeing the Chaos Hound, the demons that engorged themselves on the meat, or kelemevorites who feared judgment by Jergal. All escaped to the realm of the living, and possessed a body or remained for the time being incorporeal. Entire villages appear overnight of undead- sentient, on the edges of the Wyvernwater and the Isles. Notably, the Isles of Headstone, Outset, and Greatish (the Isle of Undead) become home to vast populations of undead who go about their daily lives in a mock imitation of the living, mechanically following the habits of life. With the brief surge of power, Clar Banda struck out at Velsharoon and overwhelmed him, devouring his divine spark- and she ascends to the Title of Queen of the Crypt, Goddess of Undeath and Necromancy, and the loss of a loyal deity weakens already a fragile Mystra.
Clar Banda, declaring herself Queen and Goddess of all Undead after slaying Velsharoon
Meanwhile, the last Brethern battle their way back to Immersea. Barely a few dozen in numbers now, they arrive to Immersea only to find the village in flames. The War Wizards are occupied with containing the demonic conflux point, unable to protect the villagers that have taken refuge in the Moonbeam Tower whom are now trapped withing the burning tower. Many reported, however, of a white light that escaped the tear in the fugue, and across a burning red sky- lanced the Moonbeam Tower burning it down. Distraught by their loss, the Brethern split between the Lathandrites and those of other faiths, no longer strong enough to keep to the zealot order.
An knight of the Brethern, uttering his last prayer to Lathander before dying with the last of his order at the shore of Immersea.
As the Lathandrites of the Brethern returned to Arabel, what lay in wait was truly without conscious. The death of the Warden Bertson placed Miri and Gorstag in charge of the Militia, and they agreed to Sergeant Mangrus' plan to have the surviving Brethren, as they arrived in Arabel, arrested and placed in the Legion. The Brethren, a merely handful left, accused Sergeant Mangrus of infernalism and occultism, and demanded- in kind, that he join them into the Castle to prove his innocence. Mangrus refused, and ordered his men to attack. What resulted was a bloody massacre as war-weary soldiers were cut down by violent Penal Legionnaire's and gleeful new recruits.
The Brethern Castle burning down, slaying the Lathandrites of the order and thus ending the Brethern forever.
When the words of the Brethern fall in Eveningstar reached the few whom chose to stay on Immersea, they threw their banner into the embers of the Moonbeam Tower and burned them all. Spelling the end of the Brethern whilst striking a heavy blow on the zealot faith of Lathander in Arabel for losing their battle. Some Lathandrites speaks of Amauator having returned from the dead, yet those who claim such in public are quickly cast out of the church as heretics. Regardless, the glorified phoenix upon their banner shall not be raising from the ashes of their defeat, with their entire knighthood and grandmaster missing or dead, the Brethren and their surviving members, are without purpose, and hunted by the Militia to don the Cloak of the Legion…
Kelemvor lies dead upon the doorstep of Madness, Cyric's Citadel within the Supreme Throne, at the heart of Pandemonium. The Mad God stands victorious over the corpse of the nascent deity, who ascended to become the ruler of death in the span of a few decades. The Hounds of Chaos feast upon Kelmvor's corpse, sending shudders throughout the Celestial Pantheons. The gods watch on in horror as Jergal presides over this mockery of a funeral and wrests his claim over the Portfolio of Death, assuming the right to judge once more all souls as they enter the Fugue. The faithful of Kelemvor, who died in the Divine Marches as they battled Cyric and Jergal's faithful, are given to the Hells to accommodate the Infernal Princes' services in resisting demonic incursions into the lands of the dead when no Lord truly ruled it. As the Crystal Spire crumbles, the terrible visage of the Throne of Bone, the seat that Jergal (and then Myrkul) once held, enters again into the nightmares of Mortals.
No more shall they find a gentle Lord of Death who cradled them in life and judged them. Now enters an ancient god of death: remorseless, pitiless, and feared by his peers for his ancient knowledge of the workings of the world and his tireless conviction and fervor in upholding his portfolio, the End of All Things. Tempus, forced to contend with Bane and Shar in measure, relents his claim as Lord of the Fugue, directing his faithful to no longer trouble the Scriveners of Doom. Yet, before he could claim the portfolio of the dead, Clar Banda stretches out her fingers and contests Jergal's claim, declaring that Undeath and the Dead are one and the same and that the Dead shall wander the world until they are ready to part from this world.
Jergal's answer to this challenge is simple: He orders his faithful to annihilate the faith of Clar Banda down to the last. In Thay, where the strongest renaissance of his faith took place to even challenge the faithful of Kossuth, temples and crypts that once belonged to Velsharoon are utterly plundered and cast into disrepair. The former god of Undeath is no stranger to using the dead as a weapon, but neither is Clar Banda. It's said armies of thousands of zombies, ghouls, and more battle in desolate lands commanded by Necromancers of the rival faiths, tearing and consuming one another in great orgies of unholy violence and desecration of one another. Souls that were once bound for the fugue in such cases become stuck in the material plane, risen again to battle on behalf of their gods until the conflict is over.
The faithful posit the conflict as such: Lord Jergal desires an End to All Things, whereas Clar Banda desires the capability of mortals to choose their end, going so far as to extend in into unlife. The Goddess of Undeath, and the God of Death engage in brutal conflict to determine the divine agency of the End of Mortal Life.
The Companions of the Pallid Mask swell in number as the faithful of Kelemvor are converted. Necromancers, convinced that a Lord of such ancient knowing could never be defeated by such a nascent goddess, detach a contingent of their forces to confront Clar Banda in the very place of her apotheosis. Their intent is grim: striking a blow to her faith at the Cradle of Her Ascension and the Destruction of the Twin citadels of her faith, Greatish and Outset Isles, where the Ritual of Clar Banda's Gift of a Second Chance took place. Cormyr watches Masked Soldiers march in single file toward the docks of the Wyvernwater, and populating Mausoleum's and Mortuary's that were seldomly populated for anything other than funerals, but now turned into grim barracks of death. Cormyr tenses in preparation for another battle, wary of the faith that claimed the Reapers as their own god's working in bringing death to the world.
Mystra's breath continues to grow weaker and weaker, and this rattles the multiverse as the Weave fluctuates. Resting upon a bed of dreams in the Astral Sea, Mystra struggles to recover from Cyric's God-Killing blade, attended by Savras, the Lord of Truth. Nursing her wound as the Weave evaporates from her body and the youthful flesh of Midnight turns into the ashen gray of Death. Throughout the Realms, vigorous storms of wild magic wreak havoc, before returning to tranquility as the goddess struggles to maintain her duty- and maintain her very grip upon life in equal measure. Her power wanes in the face of the near-constant conflict that her faithful face from the multitude of foes that arrayed against her. The fall of Velsharoon and the ascent of Clar Banda was a terrible blow against her power and stature, and wicked Shar delights in the additional mortal wound that Mystra must bare.
Mystra's Chosen, one and all, weaken. The Simbul falls in and out of insane rages, and Elminster is nowhere to be found. The other Chosen suffer between insanity and constant grief as Mystra tosses and turns, teetering on the edge of death. Mages across the realms grow concerned, and warily eye any possible ascent of the Mad God Cyric as Lord of Magic. However, any such attempt appears to be foiled by Azuth, who wards the goddess as she tries to heal. Jergal, for his part, seems uncaring - as if he predicted her doom as a long time coming. Deep in the Astral Sea, Mystra breathes and struggles to continue her duties.
Yet, the timeless landscape of the Astral Sea darkens, and Dendar, the Serpent of Nightmares, descends upon the sleeping Mystra to feast upon her nightmares. Azuth's wards shatter and Savras finds himself overwhelmed by the Elder Evil. The God of Divination and Foresight, Absolute Truth and What Shall Come sacrifices himself, planting his staff upon Mystra's slowly beating heart and pouring his essence inside of her to empower the dying Mystra - or, at the very least- grant her a fighting chance. Yet, too little and too late, Dendar latches onto her sleeping body, coiling around the helpless Mystra, and serpentine fangs feed the god-killing venom into her body, sending her into an even deeper slumber where nightmares plague her mind, and pleasant dreams are few and far between. Here, Dendar ceases her rampage against Cyric - here, Dendar rests to enjoy her meal that may take millennia and more to digest. Here, on sleeping Mystra, the first Nightmare feasts.
The Call of the Morndinsamman
_A full year has passed since the Mad God plunged his God-Killer Blade into an unsuspecting Mystra. In that moment of wretched chaos, all gods began to withdraw their presence from the Realms and consolidate their power. Great are the tales of Tempus, The One True Lord of War, absorbing his vassal gods. Greater still is the terror wrought by the ascension of Clar Banda as she devoured Velsharoon and burst forth as the Goddess of Necromancy. These and many more power shifts have unfolded.
But what of the dwarves?
On the slopes of Mount Celestia, in his vast mansion of Erackinor in a deep valley of Solania, Moradin was beset by a surprise attack from Gruumsh One-Eye and his lieutenant Ilneval while the rest of the dwarven pantheon were locked in deadly combat with the Lord of Goblins Magubliyet and the Lizard God Semuanya. Bahgtru, the great towering fool who represents the raw strength of the orcs, continues to hurl great boulders of the celestial mountains at the dwarven gods, who take turns shielding the colossal barrage.
Within the great manse, the consort of Moradin, Berronar Truesilver, engaged Ilneval with all the wrath an uninvited guest deserved in the home of the dwarven goddess of the hearth. However, their struggle paled in comparison to the the thunder of spear against hammer as Moradin engaged the Orcfather. How this struggle began is a mystery - how did One-Eye and his vile son Ilneval trespass into Mount Celestia? Rumors implicate the assistance of powerful abyssal allies, and that Gruumsh has truly sunk to the lowest of lows to defeat his foes. Others speculate that Shar, out of spite for the dwarves who did not appreciate her power in the dark mines they worked, allowed the two to sneak in under the cover of a dark night.
Whatever the case may be, the four deities are now locked in a violent struggle that has shown no sign of letting up - until now. Berronar's rage overpowered the War Maker Ilneval, forcing him to retreat deeper into Erackinor. As the goddess gave chase, the Orcfather turned away from Moradin to give his vile son a headstart. He turned and drove his spear deep into Berronar. The Hearthmother was now gravely wounded, and the grinning maw of Gruumsh turned to his original opponent. Moradin, rapidly becoming fatigued, turned his gaze ever so briefly on the Prime Material below. Something had caught his attention before - the thundering boom of a powerful force coming from his children. There, his gaze landed upon Thunderholme and the fall of the Sibilant Shade. Allfather Moradin, in his moment of desperation, knew what had to be done.
It is often said among the clergy of the Morndinsamman that Moradin beat iron and mithril into shape to form the first dwarf, then cooled the metal with his own breath to give it life. On that day, so many centuries ago, he imparted a magnificent spark of his own power into the dwarven people - their tenacity, comradery, and endless ambition stemmed from this wondrous spark. As time went on, that spark trickled down through the children, splitting and becoming diluted as their people splintered into various sub-species of dwarves. Despite this trickle, there was also the occasion for a sudden reemergence of that spark - paragons of dwarven society whose voices inspired legions and whose crafts became the foundations of legends.
In this moment of desperation, Moradin bellowed with all his divine might. The resulting thunder from the heavens sent an echo across the planes, and a Call was made. Deep in the hearts of dwarves everywhere, there could be felt a yearning pull. Priests of the Morndinsamman suddenly felt a colossal surge of power and vast insight into the plea of the Allfather - He needs that shred of power returned to him so he can deliver the final blow. The Stonecall, as it is now known, nestles firmly within each dwarf.
The message is clear: find the Paragon. Holy Marches are issued by various churches in several holds and fortresses across the realm. Questing paladins of Moradin are recalled, resupplied, and sent back out in search of the one who will sacrifice himself or herself for the safety of their Allfather. The derro and duergar seem resistant to the Stonecall, however, and have taken advantage of the situation by sabotaging dwarven travelers, particularly those who search deep within the mines and abandoned holds.
Moradin was not the only one who issued such a command, however. When the Stonecall of Moradin thundered forth from the god, the Orcfather snarled and shrieked back: a beckoning of his own. The vastly more terrifying roar that came from Gruumsh had a similar impact on the Gruumar that worshiped him in the shadow of their chieftains - their remaining eyes glowed a sickly orange-red, and they saw the glorious carnage before them. Almost at the drop of a feather, orcs across Faerun suddenly locked themselves in vicious inter-tribal warfare. Sounds of hideous screams and shouts could be heard across the realm as the orcs sieged one another, oftentimes down to the very last orc. The message Gruumsh One-Eye gave to his followers was far more malicious: one of them shall ascend to demigodhood and fight alongside him as his Chosen Warcaller.
This sent the deities Shargaas and Yurtrus, who skulked about the battlefield in Solania, into an immediate panic, for they knew Gruumsh would not sacrifice his favored son nor his wife Luthic. That means the divine power he would grant to this new Warcaller would come from them. The Orcan Plaguelord and the Stalker Below entered into an uneasy pact and commanded their own isolated tribes of orcs to withdraw from the worldwide carnage and retreat deeper into the caves, waiting out the conflict as the Gruumar killed themselves. They would simply wait for this genocide to pass and absorb Gruumsh's power when (or if) he was defeated. More devout followers of the two would venture out into the battlefields and aggressively reanimate the fallen Gruumar orcs, using them to accelerate the partial genocide and ensure their own success.
Thus begins the search for the Paragon - the shining beacon of dwarven society who would return to Moradin ancient power he had gifted to his children so long ago - and the Warcaller, a champion among the orcan people who would ascend to join the Orcfather in battle atop a stairway of their brother's bones._
Long has the Silence haunted the Material Plane, the epic tales of divine battles and dwindling as time goes on. Yet still, the Silence remain. Many fear for their deities, wondering if the lack of words of divine activity mean more has fallen to the clutches of evil. Shall they forever be damned to linger in limbo, shall it only be the elves whom are shown mercy? What is happening? The questions are many, the prayers desperate and yet no answers have been granted.
A trembling filled the souls of the commonfolk with terror as eldritch magics were unshackled by the two wanted criminals of Cormyr. Adventurers, some seeking vengeance, others, salvation were summoned by the High Priestess of Oghma and her consort, the Archmage Aldek. Together, they battled hordes of rift spawns and unspeakable horrors before they reached the Bhersken Point. Awaiting them were the condemned pair who were promised death upon their success- be it at the hands of the vengeful militia or their own machinations. Despite this, the mages of Arabel came together to return time and the weave together once more in the Bhersken Point and once and for all seal the rift which had plagued the area for thousands of years.
Archmage Joshua Aldek and High Priestess Vidyahe Caru during the ritual which would lead to their death and the awakening of Bhersken Point
To knit the damaged threads back to their place, it was revealed that the rift's damage was exacerbated by the presence of the Archmage Aldek and Caru, who broke - or at the very least, found loopholes through Mystra's ban on Chronomancy. As a result, they were forced to weave their corrupted time threads into the Weave of Magic and repair the damage done to the timestream. In doing so, the echoing crack of Jergal's Book of Ends echoed in the ruins as the two mages gazed into each other's eyes before passing from this life into the next.
Yet as the most wanted couple of Cormyr gave their lives away to save the world, the infamous and charismatic Priest of Cyric Cleon Tallstag displayed his true colors, the front of a loyal man of Cormyr shattered as he drew his blade against his former masters in rebellion. The reason unknown, and perhaps lost in madness as he tried to put a halt to the ritual, but possessing the final piece to finish the ritual- clearly intending to- in a desperate, final bid, win the ruins for Cyric. ritual. Revealing his golden appendages, he lifted his acidic sword covered in poison and ordered his followers to attack- and it was only through the sacrifice of one Isobella Rallyhorn that the Priest was laid low before his shiv could find the armpit of another victim. Consuming her soul, the Arc of Destiny lived up to its name and prevented the tendrils of the Mad God from altering fate to his own benefit, cleaving his plans asunder- but at the cost of Isobella's very soul. It is said that the Knight-Commander of the Silver Seraphs, Joan Callahan picked up her blade and swore to live up to her subordinate's example of self-sacrifice.
Isobella Rallyhorn as she cast the Arc of Destiny into the chest of Cleon Tallstag
As the wounded threads of time were mended in the ruins of Chouthal, the weave rippled with a surge of powerful energy whilst the Sun Orb rose above the adventurers. It's blinding light cleansing the ancient ruins of all that is vile and thus sealing the rift. The sacrifice of Amaunator fulfilled as the light of the Noonday sun expunged the otherworldly horrors, and returned the rightful laws that govern Faerun back into the now illuminated pits of Chouthal. It is said adventurers now encounter hostile orbs of light that burn their flesh with their radiance as the suns patrol the ruins, expunging the very vestiges of its cursed history- letting only paper remember what once dwelled below.
Vidyahe Arunjot emerging from his prison as War Wizard Apprentice Victoria Coltsbury completes the Sun Orb
By the action of the adventurers of Arabel, the once imprisoned child of Oghma, Vidyahe Arunjot the Archangel of Truth, was free from the clutches of Cyric. His divine grace and power fulfilling its true purpose. In the presence of High Priest Iniherit of Amaunator, who bowed and asked him to finish his duties- the Angel spoke, uttering the word of Power that represented time. Soon, the ticking clock of time returned to grace the ruins of Chouthal, setting free the inhabitants that dwelled there and returning to what can be called normalcy- despite the bizarre future the ruin dwellers now hold...The solar departed, onto matters beyond the concern of lowly mortals.
High Priest Ini-Herit of Amaunator before he cast the adventurers of Arabel out of the Bhersken Point and seals the reawakened ruins away from the prying hands of Cormyr.
As the celestial departed, the ancient people of the Netherese felt their heart beat for the first time, their High Priest Ini-Herit rose among them to thank the adventurers before casting them out of his realm, revealing the hand that the servants of the Crown played in creating the authority to wield absolute power in his realm. Using his golden body blessed by the touch of Shemesh Sanraksaka, he sealed away the Bhersken Point and its people, sheltering it from the outside world. Only brief glimpses of the awakening were granted to a blessed few, yet even those were eventually removed from the sunlit ruins just as the Sun Orb rose above the ruins to grant the Bhersken Point with the blinding brightness of the noon sun. It is said, however, that distant screams echo from Bhersken Point as the High Priest and his executioner, former militia private Rentie Rodgers, now turned servant of Netheril, begin a campaign of tyranny and terror to subjugate and oppress the awakened mages to prevent the chaos of their return from affecting the fragile situation on the surface. The heads of dissidents, anarchists, and netherese criminals begin to grow in number upon the narrow bridge of Bhersken Point, adventurers denied even the right to view the actions that unfold within as Iniherit stakes his claim on the Denizens of Chouthal.
The grand ruins of Chouthal as time flows once again, before they are sealed away and their wonders to remain a secret for now..
To the north, jealousy blooms in the heart of the Princes of Shade, as they meet together on how to handle the return of Chouthal, and the Rise of Amaunator's High Priest in Cormyr...
The Second Sundering
Across the lands, the Silence is broken as the stars fall from the heavens. With each falling star, clerics of every faith hear sudden revelations from their god, the Silence is no more. Most joyous of all are the clergy of the perished gods, whom hear the voices of their god once again as they are reborn with the falling stars.
The People of Cormyr find collective relief that the Divine Marches have apparently- for a time, ceased. The Greatest Consequence of the Silence being that Jergal has reclaimed the throne of Bone, and Myrkul’s resurrection and visage once more haunts the dreams of mortals.
Following the fall of the stars and end of the Silence, the weave burst with life. A coalition of goodly gods confront the Primordial wrapped around the slumbering body of Mystra which has begun to stir. Aided by her allies, Mystra awakens and throwing off the coils of Dendar the Nightserpent with a fitful scream.
The coalition of goodly gods, lead by Mystra as well as Jergal, imprison Dendar inside the fugue once more. Where Jergal allows the primordial to dine upon the nightmares of mortals, until the next release of her person.