If anything looks out of order here, feel free to post in the topic and say so! Though I'll try and keep it clear of excess by deleting unnecessary posts after whatever's been said has been rectified.
Primarily though, a brief should be about the plot and what happened - think of it as explaining the event briefly to a new player.
Note: 1372 = 2003 IRL
Note: 1394 = 2015
One of Arabel's most feared lycanthropes, Raff Shadows was a figure of terror in the wilderness surrounding Arabel. While leading a pack of murderous Malarites, he was involved in several major skirmishes against a fledgling druid presence at the Red Glade, and became a wanted outlaw to the Purple Dragons. While battles between isolated do-gooders and Raff's followers were regular, the beast himself would later be felled by a large ambush of well-equipped mercenaries.
Bresk Part 1 - Rise of The Sisters/Berena's Defeast
Gift of The Mind
A large force of Talassan forces crossed into Cormyr, seeking to rescue their long lost leader from imprisonment in a pocket plane. Surprising the Purple Dragons with their sudden arrival and viciousness, they were able to overtake several key outposts. Thwarted at Arabel, they worked to overwhelm the city, enslaving air and water elementals, and seeking ancient mines to construct golems.
Despite their initial success in retrieving their commander, and recruiting subversive elements from within Arabel (Durdyn 'The Vulture' being the most famous), they were eventually defeated by the united forces of Arabel.
Forming of the Druid Circles
In the midst of the "Talos Affair", Arabel saw the first major regathering of druids to take place since the days of the Circle of the White Stag. Led by GateKeeper druid Erux Greyhand, the fledgling circle included an assortment of members - both druids and not. The Circle is remembered by Arabellan city lore is for its part in disarming the Talassans of their enslaved air and water elementals, and later lending their aid to Cormyr in bringing down Talassan outposts.
Grey Circle Part 1
Amidst the chaos and confusion following the Talos affair, a rise in banditry took place across the roads and caravans of the region. With the Purple Dragons exhausted and undermanned, it fell to adventurers to combat these bandits. The efforts would eventually unmask a co-ordinating bandit lord, Athric Daggerbane, and result in his death, though letters from an unknown patron with a strange circular grey sigil hinted at a wider conspiracy.
An ancient enemy of the Knights of the Merciful sword, the lichess Clar Banda began a campaign of activity in order to empower herself to demi-lichdom in 1372. Opposed by the remnants of the House of Death and the University of Might of Magic (along with its Harper affiliates) the lich was nonetheless able to gain the materials she needed with aid from Nelson Alastyr.
Prior to her final rituals, Dean Kieron Shadwell of the University was able to lead a resistance against her, securing various rare items and performing a ritual to banish the lichess "until her memory was forgotten". The University would later publish several treatises and commision numerous bardic tales on the affair to ensure the condition remained unmet.
Grey Circle Part 2 - Wolf Packs
In the wake of recent victories against forces seeking Arabel's downfall, a new hybrid of adventurer and tradesman began to spring up as a profession - serving to spark a restart in the city's trade despite the evident danger around it. Names such as the Dragoneye Traders and the Iron Anvil rose to prominance this tumultous period.
That these armed caravans faced danger was not unexpected, but their would-be assailants consisted of humanoid races carrying distinctive wolf-fur talismans. The many trade companies of Arabel sought to prove their worth by combatting this coordinated banditry movement, and the ruthless efforts of one Hawkwind Trade Cartel were especially effective, resulting in the assimilation of many of the city's smaller companies by this foreign initiative.
Strikes against the bandits revealled the existance of a mysterious "Wolf Base" that served as a command outpost. When it was found hidden high in the Stormhorn mountains, the Purple Dragons lead a three-pronged assault that decapitated the bandit effort in its tracks. With their leaders gone, the Wolf Packs quickly deteriorated into roaming bands suffering from infighting.
Auril - Revenge For The Bleak Lady/Crusade of Etheldrek
The release of the Bleak Lady - a fallen frost giant priestess of Auril - in order to recover her crystal tears for the imprisonment of Clar Banda, did not sit well with the Snow Queen. In her anger, Auril dispatching Ithyxeldrek - a great white wyrm from the distant north - to mete out her revenge on those responsible.
Ithyxeldrek quickly grew restless with his task, however, and disliked the warm clime. Instead of seeing to his mission, he instead passed it to the half-dragon, Etheldrek, to accomplish.
The cunning half-dragon utilized a ruse to guise himself as a paladin and infiltrate Arabel. Etheldrek demanded that the one who released the Bleak Lady be brought to his judgement, alternatively aiding and threatening the city with his forces. Even so, dwarves seeking revenge for their king imprisoned in ice by Ithyx, and elves seeking a lost artefact of their people eventually managed steal into his stronghold, and expose the truth: that he was in fact the Bleak Lady's son.
By utilizing a spear forged from a crystal that caused memories to surface in vivid detail, the elves and dwarves, joined by purple dragons, led an assault on Drek's temple where they managed to strike him from the field with the spear. Etheldrek, struck by the potent magics of the weapon, retreated - and lost the temple to forces from Thunderholme. The bewitched half-dragon was chased through a secret portal hidden withen the temple and finally defeated in a distant icy fortress, having been deprived of his faith and chosen status by his rage at his mothers fate.
The Tree of Despair
The Runes of Vandar
Alazantar's Folly/The Lurker
Eons ago, when Netheril still ruled the land, a mage named Alazantar summoned or created a monstrous pair of creatures as part of an experiment. Soon overwhelmed by the corrupting power of these abberations, his tower was pulled into the depths of Wyvernwater by them, and the creatures began assailing the region with their corrupted spawn. A combined force of Netheril and the elven nations allied to destroy one of the creatures at great cost, and sealed the other with powerful wards.
In 1374, a group of tiefling outcasts exploring below Arabel encountered a re-awakening monster, dubbed "the Lurker", seemingly partially free. Most of these would soon serve the creature, and it melded their blood with eggs of its former mate to create a new wave of spawn to use as tools. Meanwhile the magical seals on the creature's prison, recognizing their failing state, used their limited intelligence to seek out new forces to counter-act the escaping creature. As Arabel's adventuring forces did battle with the Spawns, these heroes sought to unravel the greater mystery, eventually using the Lurkers own mental intrusions on one of their members to deduce its location. In a tremendous final battle, they were able to finish what was started ages ago, and destroy the creature's corporeal body. The much-weakened seals took on new forms, travelling with the heroes to this day.
Bresk Part 2 - The Gate of Hell
In the winter of 1374, the still-recovering forces House Bresk were pitted against the fiend, Lothar'Ashby'Aslis, who had masterminded the family's original fall into ruin. Through a prophecy uncovered by the family, they gained insights into how he may be thwarted - and in answer, marshalled all their friends and allies to once more seek out an end to evil. All the while, the forces of the exiled House Ashby worked to bring the fel being into Toril.
The feud culminated in House Ashby capturing Natassia Bresk and demanding the last few components they needed to complete their ritual in exchange for her life. House Bresk instead launched an attack upon the Ashby fortress and - despite their victory in battle against the deamonic minions of Ashby - they were too late to save Natassia, and too late to stop the massive gateway being constructed for Lothar. The ritual was too far gone to be stopped, so the remaining survivors of House Bresk and a few allies instead stepped through the portal - to try and contain Lothar in his own realm. Soon after, the gateway exploded in a cataclysmic blast that tore apart the complex.
None now know what happened beyond the pillars of the Ashby gate; only a mysteriously shining stone was left on the site, taken by some to be a sign of Lathander's (House Bresk's patron diety) favour.
Grey Circle Part 3 - Secret War
While the authorities continued to pursue the whereabouts of Manether Grey in Arabel, adventuring groups continued to mop up the remnants of the Wolf Packs - increasingly bolstered by the presence of undead forces.
At the same time, a series of direct arson attacks upon Arabel's most prosperous trading costers - including the Hawkwind Cartel - were high priority for the local Purple Dragons. Under increasing pressure from the city's mercantile guilds, they finally managed to track one of the arsonists back to a secret hideout beneath the Hawkwind Cartel itself. An ensuing raid found Manether Grey killing the arsonist and resulted in the Purple Dragons capturing Hawkwind himself. Hawkwind, despite being caught red-handed, refused to cooperate - fearing for the family Grey held hostage in Westgate.
A covert operation lead by Cormyrian forces rescued the family from the grasp of the Fire Knives and returned them to Hawkwind, who then divulged that the Grey Circle was a ploy to seize control of Arabel's trade - and though he did not know who employed Grey, he spoke of a further headquarters of the Circle's forces, in Shadow Gap.
Nostra Ayitheren (Vampire City) Shines Again
Nostra Ayitheren, once a city dedicated to the Netherese sun god Amaunator, was chanced upon by an adventuring party in search of simple treasures. They spent the day packing their sacks with ancient artifacts in the abandoned streets, never noticing the fall of night until rank upon rank of undead were upon them. They battled a hasty retreat and - having barely escaped with their lives - did not waste time in informing others of their ordeal, be it for warning or sheer bravado.
Word spread like wildfire and both looters and crusaders sought out Nostra Ayitheren; its mysteries and magics were uncovered along with its most terrible secret: of an immensely powerful vampire lord who held the undead of the city under his command as a king might his subjects. By using the ancient sun-stones once venerated by sun-cultists, the Arabellen explorers took back the city streets and ventured into its deepest pits. There they found the Bloodlord himself, using a corrupted "Great Sun Stone" to rejuvinate himself. By replacing this with a true sun stone and forcing the Bloodlord into his pool, the adventurers disintegrated him and put an end to his unholy rule over the ancient city.
Grey Circle Part 4 - The Steward
While the Grey Circle was undone with the demise of Manether Grey, and dismantling of the Hawkwind Cartel (subsequently purchased by an organisation named the Iron Throne) there remained the mopping up efforts of dealing with the remnant of its bandit forces - and the threats of Crane and the Steward, who had gone renegade from the original plans even before Grey's fall.
Following on Hawkwind's information, a tremendous force of adventurers was assembled to strike out at an ancient tower Crane was alleged to have occupied. The would-be heroes were split in two by a magic barrier on attempting to enter the tower and attacked by hidden bandit forces. Those inside the tower dispatched the remaining Grey Sky merceneries, Fire Knives and undead minions left under Crane's command and confronted the necromancer. Despite his powers, he was overcome by his adverseries, who ascended to the tower's peak to find the last piece of the puzzle: the Steward, now revealled to be a cambion named Xylnulifien, was in the throes of a ritual that would transform him into a demipower. His pisonic attacks upon the adventurers were not enough to deter them for long and a pitched battle ensued; despite the casulties suffered, Xylnulifien was overpowered in the end and the Grey Circle finally ended.
Kar'thax'alon - The New Heroes
A hundred years ago, a group of inexperienced adventurers were tricked into summoning a powerful demon - Kar'thaxalon - into the world. Despite their folly, the band managed to battle past the demon's cult and undo their mistake, banishing Kar'thaxalon back into the Abyss for a hundred years.
A century after these events, Kar'thaxalon was brought back into Toril once more by Lamorak Tanthul, to wreak vengeful havoc upon Cormyr's reknowned War Wizards. One by one, Kar'thaxalon slew all those who had thrown him out of the world a hundred years past, until only one - Zarachan Naemar - stood alive. Bound by a magical oath not to rest until the demon was utterly destroyed, Zarachan had not aged a day since last the demon had faced him, and joining his knowledge of the fiend with the resources of the War Wizards, he prepared to face his nemesis.
Wyvernwater - Early Days/Construction
Kar'thax'alon - Final Battle
As Kar'thaxalon's influence in the mortal realm grew, so too did his knowledge of Zarachan's own powers. The demon learned that the magic making Zarachan immortal stemmed from a magical blade, and sent many of his agents to retrieve it using any means necessary. In this time, War Wizards and Knights of the Merciful Sword sought out his hidden sanctum, only to be thwarted at every turn until Kar'thaxalon revealled himself in capturing some unlucky adventurers in the wrong place at the wrong time. The ensuing rescue mission resulted in the final demise of both him and Zarachan.
Scouring the Sands/Archaeology
A scholar excavating ancient ruins in the desert named Mikhael Masterson, came to Arabel seeking patronage from the city's various nobles and tradesmen for an exhibition of grand discoveries. Some of his early patrons arranged an escort for his findings from the netherese vault deep within the Anauroch - facing unusually heavy raiding by desert gnolls along the way. When the items being transported were investigated, accompanying paladins noted a disturbing aura emanating from one: a beautifully carved sceptre topped by an onyx of impressive size and cut.
War wizards siezed the rod for study, while Masterson secured the rest of his finds in the Pride of Arabel's vault. After transporting the rod to their planar outpost of Dragonswatch, the war wizards found themselves diverted instead back to the vault it came from. When they arrived, they were confronted by a shadowy wizard doing battle with the demon Kar'thaxalon. The stranger desperately asked for the scepter, claiming it was the only item that could contain the demon. The pressure of the situation forced quick thinking, and the Scepter was surrendered - and no sooner was it than the war wizards found themselves returned to Arabel by magic.
The sceptre would eventually find itself used in a masterstroke by Lamorak Tanthul and his agents to cast a geas upon a senior war wizard as part of the entrance of the Shadovar into Toril.
Rise of the Shadovar
As wild-magic hit fever-pitch, the dream of many scholars woke up in the Anauroch once more - the ancient Empire of Netheril whose arcane might and sophistication lay unrivalled as the pinnacle of human civilization, whose ruins still attracted the attention of everyone from adventurers to priests. Time had not erred, however, for the Netherese were indeed an extinct nation and people and what came to float above the sands of the Anauroch proclaimed itself an altogether alien name - the Shadovar.
Embracing darkness like ambrosia, the new Empire of Shade quickly extended its arms in all directions leaving many quickly attempting to predict their intentions in the land they once ruled almost unchallanged; their mysterious magic, preserved through countless generations gave them a brutally apparant edge over Cormyr as their ambassadors toyed with the Crown's agents in discussions even as the country's rainwater disappeared in a lengthy drought, while the desert sands enjoyed monsoons miraculously. The peace could never last as Cormyrian agents quickly began throwing the dust out of their eyes and revealling the true resources and intentions of the Shadovar. The ensuing war would be brutal and unlike any Cormyr had yet faced, coming to challange Arabel and Flynn's faith in the Obarskyr Crown.
Crusaders/Firestorm - Beginning
Following up on scattered reports of the Tanarukk from the Grey Circles Wolf Base regrouping, a band of War wizards lead by Lord Evan Thundersword (also a War Wizard) came northwards to Arabel to enact a crusade to wipe out the demonic menace. Their efforts identified the Tannaruk headquarters as an ancient ruin of a city in the region of Arabel, built inside a dormant volcano.
Thundersword's call for allies was answered by a number of distinct sources, most notable among them being the Shadovar - citing the threat the Tanarukk posed to their own lands as their motivation - and a red dragon named Ixenoposs (or 'Cinder') who had been usurped of his lair by the Tanarukk.
Such dubious allies sparked tension within the ranks, as Deschurren warriors saw in Cinder a chance to carry on their House's noble tradition of dragonslaying, while Arabel's Knights of the Merciful Sword grew leery of the malignant creatures Thundersword chose to surround himself with for the sake of defeating the Tanarukk.
Coinciding with the transition of the City of Shade back into the Prime Material, massive disturbances in the Weave began to wrack Toril.
While effects were widespread, the two most prominent of these in the region of Cormyr included the unbinding of the portal guarded by Kanthea Farelven, allowing the forces of Lothar'Ashby'Aslis to briefly emerge and kidnap the wizardress. She was rescued by adventurers and managed to replace the wardings on the portal.
The second major effect, far more destructive, would strike the town of Wyvernrest…
Wyvernwater - The Fall
The lord of Wyvernrest, Theliobar, was known for his unexpected and extended absences from his lands but with his last stint the village was spiralling into disarray. The banite temple he had allowed to be built upon his lands did not come without its followers, who were quickly pouring in to the militia and making the village their home. Peace was too much to ask for as the militia's coffers ran dry and the time came for collecting rent from Wyvernrest's residents; the Banite temple staunchly refused and for weeks their mounting debt and the militia's thinning purses continued to come to odds against each other, until finally it came to violence. With Theliobar away and a disillusioned militia force contemplating what the Banites could do to their village from their fortress, it was agreed to give in to the restless crowds in Arabel demanding the temple's removal.
The resulting war against the temple was short, but it left the village in a disheveled state; a deathly silence that would never lift despite the efforts of its council to reignite the village's self-reliance.
Wyvernrest's end came as wild magic surged through the lands, and one hapless night the village's terrible secret was revealed, as infernal creatures tore up its roads and slaughtered its garisson; great gouts of otherworldly fire ravaged the landscape as chaos broke out and a small handful of militiamen and villagers locked themselves on a hill in the heart of it all, trying to hold out until help arrived.
The village was evacuated of a few paltry survivors amidst the carnage, but not before the Archwizard Theliobar stepped into the fray and matched his power against two demon lords set on ensuring no one escaped alive. Wyvernrest would not know peace for a long time, as the shores of its lake boiled to the incandescent, infernal flames lashing at the village, swallowing whole its memory.
Like carrion beetles come to remove their quarry from existance, the Multitude came bearing a controversial mission - to destroy the city of Arabel and end its blighted existance upon the face of Toril. There could be one, or three, or a round dozen scuttling around the wilderness, so far gone from civilization that it was not always clear if they were human first or insectoid, whether they were even truly sentient or served a hive mind. Under their influence the druidic presence shifted gear: necromancers were given free reign in Arabel but their fetishes were not tolerated beyond its walls; a war wizard of Cormyr was infamously transformed into a white stag and chased by the wild huntsmen, though he managed to escape and help bring about the eventual bounty on their members. With the power of the elemental staves the druid circle hid among its members, the Multitude were able to give form to their dreams of conquest.
The only druid known to be captured was not held in the "city of dead stone" for long, as her brethern tore through the earth with a huge bullete, causing havoc in the prison while they rescued her. Though they vanished without being executed like criminals, they also left with their mission incomplete; Arabel's law-forces had been taught some humility in the face of druids, at least for a little while.
Emergence of the Sharran Cell
Corruption of the Helmites
The flagging Helmite brotherhood had only just begun to show some prominence again after numerous internal disputes when a mysterious man claiming to be patriarach to a cult of Helm arrived in Arabel. With him and his "Sharpened Shield", the Brotherhood was sown with mistrust and questions once more; his idea of protecting someone was to kill the one trying to harm them - perhaps even more unnervingly, it was a method that was proving to work with far more efficiancy than the Brotherhood's own ideas. Thostis' brutal tactics and unfailing stance stunned his companions in faith and only gained him favour and preference from those who sought Helmite protection.
It fell to a Watcher of Helm, pursuing the mysterious circumstances of the cult's arrival and its patriarch to uncover the grisly truth: it was lead by none other than a priest of Mask, recently recorded dead by the city guard. The patriarch's body was found burnt to a crisp in the wilderness beside his pursuer before long, but regardless of who he was, what he had done left a lasting impression - for all his duplicity he had appealed to the hearts of Helmites and those seeking protection, to take a more active role in safeguarding the innocent and the defenceless. The maskarran died in a cell, the patriarch in a forest, but the Sharpened Shield left its mark, for good or ill.
Demise of the Three Bars
Second Druid Circles/The Initiated
Heyday of Elmett & Sharran Cell
End of the Thayvian Enclave
Firestorm - The Last Crusade
The forces of Cormyr succeeded in locating the ruined underground city of Naz'tualgar, as well as uncovering the Tannaruk masters to be none other than the infamous Ashby family. More alarmingly, Purple Dragon scouts learned that the volcano Naz'tualgar inhabited was a "Conflux Point" between Toril and the realm of Lothar'Ashby'Aslis - a place where the two planes overlapped, and a place from which his minions could more easily transport their master into Toril.
The Ashby forces clashed with the amassed crusaders at the foot of the volcano, while a small team infiltrated Naz'tualgar in order to disrupt the Gate being opened. An early mis-speak of intent caused friction between the minions of Cinder and the other crusaders, who intended to steal an artifact from his hoard. Some of those escaping would succeed in warning their master, resulting in a pitched battle with the dragon and the loss of three quarters of the crusading forces in the process.
Only after they had managed to slay Cinder at terrible cost, could the infiltrators continue on to Lothar's Gate - there to find a dark temple erected by House Ashby and guarded by a member of the dark family, along with his honour guard. Though succesful once more in disrupting the ritual, the cost in lives was terrible, and many of those left alive were on death's door, when Lothar himself half-emerged.
The demon mocked the would-be heroes for their efforts, and so sure was he that his entrance into the Prime Material was imminent that he healed those left alive that they may provide more satisfying deaths for him. A Gatekeeper druid that had followed the crusaders revealled himself at this time, and working with Jarod Wenden of Helm, he enacted a ritual that sealed the Gate with Lothar still on the other side at the cost of their own lives.
Knights of the Merciful Sword - Last March of the Order
Marshall Skatterhawk and the Stonelands
Arrival of the Eclestians
In what was to be one of the most dramatic upsets of internal politlcal stability Arabel would face short of the Civil War in 1377, the Eclestian Order arrived in Arabel amidst a wary fanfare delivered by people with hopes of some lasting peace in their hearts. By decree of the royal family these hunters of the infernal, the unnatural, brought their pyres and their swords to face the unending hordes of the Abyss and guard the common man from damnation at the hands of devilry. In a revelation that stunned many in Arabel, the Eclestian Order not only had the manpower to hunt these creatures and their followers wherever they dared ply their trade or threaten innocents, but also boasted powers that seemed second only to the War Wizards of Cormyr themselves.
As the first pyres went up and night became a time of unnatural screams, of purging and cries of dismay, of support, it seemed as though no one was truly safe. Sorcerers went into hiding, their enigmatic birthright unacceptable to be left marked as "unknown" in the registers of demonslayers and yet unknown to themselves; necromancers, no longer able to twist the law to guard their research were hounded for good or ill, the descriptor of "safe" inapplicable to the dark arts they sought to conquer; a day could not pass without the gleaming silver of an Eclestian agent putting suspected lycanthropes to abrupt trials of carrying the terrifying disease sent both monsters and misunderstood, ill-fated loners into hiding far from the eyes of civilization.
The Eclestian Order forever remains to bring terror to those who would terrify any other; a relentless, unflagging cult whose name echoes in Arabel's history from the bloody cavity it tore out of the city's throat to safeguard the mortal realm from corruption.
Cult of Orcus
Through a series of power-plays in Arabel's underworld, it came to pass that a new, ambitious face lurked in the city's sewers. A tiefling went from an assassin's protogé to the most ardent promoter of a vile demonic cult intent on gaining power by the darkest of means. What was first seen as merely the perversions of a few beings turned into a pit that only grew deeper and deeper the more it was investigated. As people began vanishing from the streets, their bodies found in horrifying ritual sites far too late, it seemed the city's underworld was no longer merely hiding in the shadows, but preparing to bring darkness up from the sewers in which it lurked.
The cult's proactive attempts at sowing fear in the population came at odds with an established thieves' guild. War broke out in the underworld once more, more violently than ever before while the city was left none the wiser about the battle being fought in its underbelly for its future. The fighting peaked when the cult's most public agent was stabbed to death in the sewers; the true master - a powerful lich - revealled himself in answer, but his opposition melted into the night once more, their deed done.
Though the cult's heart still beat and the thieves had vanished back into the shadows, there were few agents of Orcus left. The mysterious Guild had won their war, it was only left to the city's paladins and bold adventurers to descend deep into the ancient sewers of Arabel and uncover the lich's lair, flushing the cult out of Arabel once again and retiring victorious, the war in the underworld forgotten, the brief, perplexing moment where thieves and rogues stood united vanished almost without witness… almost.
With the threat of war against the Shadovar looming ever nearer, all the noble houses of Arabel had been issued the Call to Arms by the Regent of Cormyr. If any of them saw in it a chance to server their country, it is uncertain; all that is certain is that at least one noble house wished to use the unruly times ahead as a means to further its own lot. What perhaps no one expected was for Lord Lheskar Bhaliir to fool his own retainers so.
What began as an exercise in ambition and resourcefulness burst into a harsh reality as Bhaliir staged a masterful act in which all and sundry were fooled into believing the militia of Arabel did not only seek to undermine him, but rob him and steal into his estate. Within days of the capture of a militia agent in the Bhaliir estate unlawfully, the Lord was announcing his self-imposed exile with the sympathy of his people behind him. All that he left behind were a few uncertain retainers who quickly resorted to the villains they were without the facade of a noble covering their true selves as they set off into the underworld from whence they came - an infernalist, a thief and a murderer.
Flynn's Independence/Phoenix Legion
With Lord Marliir - the staunch Warden of the North who had watched over Cormyr's trade jewel for so long - dead at the hands of renegade war wizards, the Shadovar sat in the town of Flynn watching Arabel in deadly silence. The Shade Empire's borders fattened up and pressed against Cormyr's and it looked as though the Forest Kingdom had finally met its match, as glorious victories gave way to honourable deaths. With the army losing numbers at a terrible rate, an ex-Purple Dragon officer began a campaign to rally civilians and adventurers against the threat from the north. Under the banner of a mysterious "Phoenix General" a brutal attack was launched upon the Shadovar awaiting in Flynn; amidst the magical darkness that shrouded their every movement such cries of conquering heroes shook the falling snow as a crash of crimson and gold smashed into the Shadovar barricade and, perhaps for a moment, the Phoenix spread its wings and the Shadovar retreated for the first time in living memory.
In the aftermath that followed, a grateful and eager army of returning citizens of Flynn praised the masked General, whose conquest it seems had just began. Allies in the assault suddenly viewed him with a wary disposition as the Phoenix General turned to face the south amid cries of "Phoenix King" and liberation.
The mysterious Callahan Corporation turned up on the doorstep of Arabel's poorest district, and promptly set about transforming it into a quarter bordering on affluent, with new buildings and fine architecture appearing where no one had dared build before; even the locals were offered many jobs through the corporation, something which they dearly lacked in the past.
It was only once Callahan Corporation was a name on every dweller of the "South-east District" - as it had now come to be known - that the benefactor and sponser of all these rennovations made himself known: none other than the previously vanished Lord Lheskar Bhaliir. The surprise turned to shock after shock, as in tow he brought his friends from his self-imposed exile: many Duergar, Beholders and formally inducted the heads of the Callahan Corporation as his personal retainers.
Ashbys in the Hullack
As the Obarskyrs' seemingly omnipotent power began to wane in Arabel, new powers and banners began to emerge from its depths and its towers. Lord Mitchell Deschurr - long held to be Arabel's greatest warrior and revered by commoner and adventurer alike - catalysed events to come; as the illustrious Green Dragons poured back into the city from all corners of the region, House Deschurr's prominence multiplied exponentially and starkly polarised views surfaced across the city's cobbled streets.
In an even more shocking move, the vanished Lord Bhaliir returned to claim patronage of the Callahan Corporation's work in rebuilding the slums. What cheers there were quickly turned to whispers racing across the city as duergar and beholder allies of the self-proclaimed King took up station about the southern districts of Arabel. Bhaliir's domain became a nightmare, plunged into an eternal, magical darkness as he turned his "subjects" into slaves, delving far beneath the city with mining expeditions for something that had grasped his attention.
To the east, devout priests of Tymora poured from the Lady's House, and Warden Dutherr - the staunch commander in chief of the militia who had for so long protected Arabel's streets - assembled his men and prepared them to defend Arabel and Lord Lady Lahl; although the Warden was rarely seen outside the militia's citadel, Darmos Lauthyr enflamed the populace and the many militiamen arriving at the Lady's House in growing numbers, bringing Tymoran sentiments close to rebellious.
The bubbling cauldron blew its lid as Constal Chalvier and Lord Brace Scatterhawk marched a Purple Dragon contingent into west Arabel and the palace to arrest Lord Lady Lahl for treason against the Crown in the same instant that martial law was declared by Scatterhawk. The palace was devoid of the cunning Myrmeen Lahl, yet the move closed shut the gates of Arabel as Deschurr refused to bow down to any attempt to command such authority over him and Darmos' faithful barricaded east Arabel from the western edge. In one fell swoop, the one person keeping Arabel from breaking out into civil war was gone, and the future looked to be a grim one, as residents of central Arabel prepared for the worst.
Bhaliir the Tyrant
Many adventurers tried their luck to little avail against Bhaliir's duergar and beholder allies, where the other political rivals vying for control of the city remained primarily too hesitant to weaken themselves unnecessarily by joining in. All that is, except for Deschurr, who readily clashed with everyone hindering his expansion but met his match in Bhaliir. Turned to stone and having lost most of his army in one battle, House Deschurr looked to his daughter, Anya, for guidance, and it came in the form of the Phoenix Legion taking its first steps into Arabel, as House Deschurr proclaimed its allegience to the Phoenix King.
All was not well for the Tyrant King however, as the increasing obsession of his minions to capture and enslave adventurers resulted in the petrified Lord Mitchell Deschurr being returned to flesh by a well prepared group inside King Bhaliir's dungeons; his release caused an eruption right in the heart of Bhaliir's realm as the legendary warrior carved a path out of the palace.
Lheskar Bhaliir's reign came to an end, but on his own terms. As adventurers rallied together to free his slaves, the Tyrant welcomed them to the sight of south Arabel collapsing into a seemingly bottomless pit. Descending with his army, King Bhaliir seemingly withdrew from the civil war, although rumours and sightings persist to this day of his influence from whatever land his reach now extends.
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Arrival of the Fivestars
Arrival of Candlekeep
Ondeth Waters - The Black Dragon
Formation of the Mage's Guild
With the civil war over and Crown forces in full retreat, for the first time in as long as anyone could remember Arabel was unhindered by such a force as the War Wizards. Prominent mages of the city banded together soon after to form the Wizard's Guild of Arabel, counting among its members the established, the famous and fresh names as well. In particular, one officer of the victorious Pheonix Legion whose political antics proved instrumental in the ensuing bid for custodianship of central Arabel for the Guild.
The remnants of the Eclestian Order gave strong resistance, but with their actions no longer left unquestioned by the authorities too much of this only damaged their arguments.
The Guild, granted considerable political influence in Arabel by way of their new responsibility over the war-torn district of central Arabel and some degree of immunity to Eclestian investigation, began its ascent as the definitive arcane authority in Arabel.
Assault on Castle Ashby
Gromfia - Beginings
The Infernal Affair of the Iron Wings
Caught between worlds, the Iron Wings merceneries remained of little note until the fateful day that they made enemies of a drow house. In a shock of infernal magic laced with the darkest of designs, they found themselves fighting for their lives - and those of many others - as the Iron Wings became targetted by a campaign of violence from an enemy they could not reach. When the end seemed all but certain - with the entire leadership sitting in the cells of the dread House Syl'kabri, awaiting the next gladiatorial bout that could be their last act in this world - they were magically summoned out of their prison by desperate allies, unaware of the true nature of the magic they were conducting, the price they were paying for this temporary freedom.
Though Syl'kabri collapsed days later, overcome in an assault by a rival house, the merceneries' trials did not end but on one last mysterious summoning to the lower planes, where their infernalist tormenter revealled herself. The duergar promised them only the privalege to be her chosen tools in a path of darkness that she was nearing the completion of before vanishing. Whether she truly achieved the dread power she sought or perished in the attempt is anyone's guess. Such powers are not bound by mortal bounds like time.
Arrival of the Red Hart
Formed in the year 1221 by the first Marshall Lord Amadis Nemiel, the Knightly Order of the Red Hart hailed from the Cormyr/Sembia border - with many having journeyed from across the surrounding countries. Their history was already filled with tales of gallantry offering themselves as military advisors and council to Lords but never afraid to take to the field. They stood for the ancient knightly virtues of honour and chivalrous conduct.
When the knights arrived in the region, they were in the process of rebuilding their ranks after defending the city of Mosstone from goblin hordes. Led by their Lord Marshall, Caleb Beren, they were drawn to Arabel after two of their Order were lost to a local noble, Lord Hursk. The Order tracked him back to his manor north of the city and saw justice done. They then decided to remain, rebuild and help stablise the area from the civil war.
Born out of what some have called 'The Return' - a military crusade led by Lord Seiveril Miritar of Evermeet to take back Myth Drannor - that had become a call for all Elves to return to mainland Faerun, the Theur Everae was founded by veterans of Miritar's campaigns and was populated by members of the Elven diaspora around Arabel. Their goals were twofold: to revive the values of the Seldarine among the Elven populace residing within Arabel and to take back the sacred forest of Hullack, which had fallen into the hands of what would be their most tried enemies - the Malarite Clans united as the Dark Sept. Whilst their position would be strengthened by the political sway of some of their members, the increase in Elven patriotism, and their surge in strength after solving the ancient riddle of Shep'eshpa, their continuing struggle with the political machinations of the Red Moon and the Scarlet Talon would see their fates decided at the Battle of Gromfia where this trio of opposing forces would finally meet in open combat - albeit in ways few expected.
Formation of the Adventurer's Guild
Shortly after the civil war had ended in the Pheonix Legion's victory, an ex legionaire took off his uniform only to put on another, deciding to form an Adventurer's Guild to protect Arabel with its most abundant resource - and make a business out of it too. His personal friend, Kara Thond - daughter of the hugely wealthy William Thond who had already helped finance the Phoenix Legion's war efforts - funded this idea, and the Adventurer's Guild was born.
The Guild enjoyed early success, as its members filled the Guild's basement with trophies and earned prestige within Arabel and beyond, when they returned a dwarven relic to Thunderholme. Before long they had gained some serious political clout - recognised by their seat on the newly formed city council - and employed its own mercenary company to guard the Eastern District it called home.
Never one for the easy option, the Guild was amongst the first to oppose the arrival of the Zhentarim Embassy, but unfortunately this put them at odds with the city's true head of state: Mergyth Cassiel, now married to Karah Thond and so the lawful owner of the Adventurer's Guild as a property. When the Adventurer's Guild refused to back down, it was outlawed as an organisation and the Guildmaster declared a wanted man. Stories abound about how he and the Guild's other prominant members escaped Cassiel - the only common theme among them was that he reportedly headed for Eveningstar after his Guild's downfall.
Just how the master adventurer made such a journey, though, is likely a tale all of its own.
Formation of the Sheriffs
The Scarlet Talons
"The Scarlet Talons seeks to support those living gods that we call dragons and help them to achieve their rightful control of all they survey," a recruitment poster loudly proclaimed of the Talons' arrival in Arabel. Their promise of power in return for fealty to dragons appealed to many of the seedier folk of Arabel. At first their dealings were quiet and went largely unnoticed, but as they gathered up a sizable force of these delinquents conflict began to arise. They enforced tribute in the name of the black dragon Ithylibhor on any wandering the swamp West of Eveningstar. Rumor surrounds how they curried favor with their draconic master and what their true ends were, but very quickly no one in Arabel could ignore their presence.
The Adventurer's Guild was the first to take a strong stand against the Talons and the first to suffer: a prominent member was reportedly attacked and his hand removed in retaliation for anti-Talon posters and talk. An attack on the druids raised hostilities yet further despite the Talons claiming uninvolvement, and as their power grew the Scarlet Talons siezed abandoned land around Castle Crag, claiming it for Tiamat and Ithylibhor. The Sheriffs began to question in earnest the Scarlet Talons' cohesiveness with the city of Arabel, but that fell to the wayside as the final chapter and undoing of the Talons loomed into focus:. The Talons slaughtered several druids in the glade but were not careful enough to avoid witnesses, and it was a blow they never recovered from; allies abandoned them and many in the city who were neutral up to that point were forced to take a side in the entire affair, and very quickly the Talons came to face overwhelming odds. Their fates would be decided at Gromfia, though as malarites and elves forewent all subtlety and began hunting down their members, it was a battle that could not come soon enough.
Red Moon rising
The Malarite faith has always spurned attempts to bind it, to tame it, but out of the Hullack came a feral cry that announced a new kind of hunter as the Red Moon rose, for good or ill of the city. Their small numbers did nothing to hold them back, and their constant feuding with the likes of the Theur Everae only raced higher when they were granted some legal authority over the Hullack. Their history, laced with terrible rumours of desecrating holy ground of Chuantea with bloody revelry to brutalising elves is also filled with harsh defeats, of Theur Everae striking out of the shadows of the Hullack, of murders both on their part and against them against the infamous Scarlet Talons.
They survived those bitter rivalries however, and would go on to plant Malar's standard high in the midst of the mighty Hullack, enflaming the hearts and minds of Arabellens as new adversaries challanged their dominion.
As the days shortened, something stirred in the bloated mass that was the slums of Arabel; someone had returned from the wall seperating those crammed streets and sought what up until then had been denied to them all. Under the pretense of creating order out of chaos, the Cartel hid behind the facade of a "Southeast District Council" who, together with Fharz, brought a kind of public face to the scene. Their notorious kidnapping of the city alchemist numbered among their most blatent acts of crime, topped only by their attempts at starting a bidding war between the city's factions to see who would have the glory of publicly rescuing him.
Some believed the Cartel's hatred of elves found them allies in the Red Moon, or vice versa, and one of the Malarite cult's earlier public feasts that erupted into a district-wide march clamouring recognition of Malar's faith was not without its sponsers in the city underworld.
One of the stranger episodes in the intricate tapestry of history, was the initial overtures and arrival of the Cormyrian noble house Vhoor. Elshad Vhoor snapped up several holdings of wealth he had hidden around the area, quickly establishing a power base in the west. Seated in the iron throne like a pale spider, he tried to extend his web to trap all of the city within it; a web not of force or fear, but one of influence and favor-trading, of debts and collection. Agents of his will, ferocious and ruthless, hunted and slew anything that might remotely resemble a threat to the city; Githyanki, raiders, criminals, none were shown an ounce of mercy. The House sent it's strongest to sack Gromfia along with the other powers, to further curry awe and splendor.
All this, as it was revealed eventually, was so that the house would be safe when the truth came out; The Vhoor noble line was one steeped in vampirism. Elshad himself, centuries old, came simply to place the city under the nightwalkers, using it's citizens as mere cattle to feed upon. The powers in the city, finding this intolerable, waged war, and in the span of a single night, destroyed every vestige of House Vhoor, slaying most of Elshad's servants. In the loud, politically fuelled celebrations that followed a few faces still remained wary in Arabel, the name of Elshad Vhoor passing in whispers between them as they slipped back into the shadows in an increasingly frantic search for a body they would not find that night.
The Battle of Gromfia
With the political tensions around this commune of Monsters rising, the calls for its cleansing were only increased when some of its inhabitants had become 'tainted' with the Rift through the actions of a rogue Custodian of Candlekeep. Using the 'taint' of its young as irrefutable evidence that the very existence of Gromfia was an affront to nature, a temporary force of unlikely and uneasy allies were formed - The Mage's Guild, The Malarites of the Red Moon, the vampire retainers of House Vhoor, and the elves of the Theur Everae made up the bulk of this deadly alliance, each with their own ulterior motives for victory. Defending Gromfia alongside Baron Gromfs personal force of kobolds and lizardmen were the Scarlet Talons and the infamous Gregorious Fallow, both of which had found themselves at odds with the majority of the alliance prior to the Battle and both had their own reasoning of opposing them this day as well. Whilst the Alliance was able to best the Gromfians in a bloody and intense battle, few foresaw just how much of a catalyst the fields of Fangvale would become for the fates of so many.
Arrival of the Zhentarim
New Kilgrave's formation
Goldfeather's Sword / Lahl's return
Bloodclaw - Son of Malar
With the Theur Everae a distant memory, the Malarites of the Red Moon wasted little time in consolidating their position in the Hullack. Mere hours after the very well recieved "Festival of Malar", rumours emerged of a horrible, immortal beast hunting anyone who dared to enter the woods. It was no secret for long - at the apex of their diety's power, the Red Moon had brought into the world of Toril a hunter whose thirst for blood seemed unquenchable. Bloodclaw, proclaimed Son of Malar, now prowled the lands east of Arabel. Soon the Hullack filled with bloody trophies from Bloodclaw's hunts: elven and undead corpses impaled as grisly trophies of what it meant to delve into those woods without the Beastlord's favour.
Those aligned against the monstrous hunter retreated and soon claimed that the creature was only a fiend - an eater of souls like any other - met with fierce disbelief from the Malarites who venerated it.
The truth was revealled, by magical divination or a particularly smug Malarite, that the only way to kill Bloodclaw was to face it by the Creed of Malar and best it, or else it would never leave the world. The ancient rivals of the Beastlord, servants of Nobanion, the Red Harts marched upon those woods to do just that. Bloodclaw was bested - a feat no one had thought possible - and he was bested by his lord's fiercest rivals in such a way that his time on this world had truly come to an end. While the Red Moon still held the Hullack uncontested, it was a major victory for the Red Harts, and a long awaited one.
Hazil - The Deal Maker
Spirit of the Hullack
The Hullack was always known to hold many perils and creatures, but one evening the forestÂ´s danger exploded into a whole new level as night descended malignantly upon it one day and did not release the woods for many days to come. Some adventurers who dared to step into the forest at that time claimed to having seen drow and humans around the Wyvernstones - the site of an ancient temple to Eldath, now long desecrated by Malarite hunters and murderous lycanthropes. By the time the darkness had lifted and the drow vanished, it was only to leave a new force of monstrosities behind the treeline.
For years it was known that the spirit of the ancient druid, Hullack, guarded the forest named after him but now it seemed that his raging corpse had risen to haunt the lands from its resting place beneath the ancient temple. Yet, disagreeing whispers spread parallel to the Red Moon's calls for a mighty hunt for Hullack and his undead host - of elven defenders of old rising up to expel the malarite faith whose actions were turning the woodlands into a bloodbath, of Hullack the Spirit Guardian, not the shambling corpse.
An undead entity existing before the creation of Netheril, Mk'akta first came to the Material Plane in the lands that would later be known as Cormyr. Seeing the verdant and beautiful lands as ripe for the claiming he declared himself King, raising an army of undead to slay the elves who inhabitted the land of the time. Mk'akta raised a small army of human 'knights' to follow his rule and destroy the elven people in exchange for fortune and power.
After his defeat at the hands of the elven people the entity was sealed in an ancient elven vault, in a place that is known today to man as the Vast swamps. In 1379 DR, the being was released, and promptly began it's plans to retake what he considered to be rightfully his. Arabel rallied to meet the long-forgotten king, and they quickly discovered the means to stop him, a means as enshrouded by time and mystery as Mk'akta himself; The compendium of necromancy, what would best be described as a textbook of the magical school of necromancy, written by time-maddened liches in an era where Jergal ruled supreme over the lands of the dead. Every aspect of the subject was covered in painstaking detail. Split in three, each portion was eventually recovered: one from the demonblood orc chieftain who threatened war on Arabel in 1379 DR; one from a distant extraplanar world; one deep in the underdark. They were joined, the tome complete for the first time in thousands of years, and its knowledge was used to destroy the creature.
House Tlin'orzza - Orcs in the Hullack
Curse of the Hanse
Grodd Goblin Hordes
The re-taking of Castle Crag
As winter drew on, something arose from beneath Arabel's streets, rose into the unending blackness the slums of Arabel were gripped within - anarchists, criminals, those who wished to see Arabel broken, its laws shattered to make way for a new age of darkness. Infernalists, assassins, smugglers and worse banded together, persuaded by the promise of power and riches or simply keen on keeping at least one district of Arabel resolutely out of Queen Lahl's hands; amid their brazen sales of bloodstones, the break-in of the Red Hart fortress, the Cabal grew bolder and bolder, promising to root out spies and agents of the Crown. Investigators still made headway, however, and soon learned that it was an old enemy the city was dealing with - the vampiric "dauggter" of Lord Vhoor and her servants and allies, attempting to flood the city that had condemned them to death with crime and lawlessness in revenge. Hostages became a favoured tool of the Cabal, some being rescued only to return to their captors willingly, ensorcelled by the vampire's powers - others bringing tales of prison cells and cat-and-mouse interrogations, as they sought to grasp at some shadow at which to strike.
Ultimate doom fell upon the Cabal as its most notorious smuggler attempted a coup against the vampire's right hand and otherwise caretaker of the organisation; together with his apprentices and an infamous Shadovar warrior, he attempted to trap his mark with a ruse. It was undone by the arrival of the vampire, and the snare could not properly close upon her thrall - even so, the smuggler's treachery was not revealled until the vampire's thrall and the Shadovarran envoy began hacking at each other with blades and magic in the city sewers. The slums erupted as the full scale of the coup came to light, magic and steel and poison hurtling through the narrow alleys. By the time it was over there was no shortage of corpses in the slums, but no sign of the vampire or her thrall either - nor would there be again after the sheer scale of the conspiracy. With two of the three major powers in the Cabal dead or vanished the remaining members of the criminal organisation scattered, or came under the command of the Talonites to join in more blatent attempts to cripple Arabel.
Sheriffs of East Way
Empire of Loross
Apocalypse - Resealing of the Rift
Cult of the Jawed God
Chosen of Ramiel
The Dark Flame Cult
As the activity of the Angelic Ramiel cult proceeded facing little resistance, many believed that it was out of a lack of infernal threats to slay in the region. But something stirred in the shadows as everyone was focused on the more visible threat of the Devil Dragon, of the political scheming erupting in the wake of Cassiel's murder. In the belly of the underworld, dark powers were hastening to establish themselves, as a growing number of malicious groups found that they had a mysterious, wealthy benefactor sponsering their cruelty and greed. If the evil cults knew what they were dealing with, outsiders certainly did not make the connection even as events were put into motion that would culminate in one of the most heinous orgies of sin Arabel had seen for a long time: the Infernal Feast.
Even if they were too late to stop this consumption of the forbidden and desecration of holy creatures, the Dark Flame cult was begining to leave enough breadcrumbs in its wake for dots to be joined by virtuous protectors of Arabel. The smell of hellfire and sight of devilish agents were growing more noticable in the events that lead up to many of Arabel's darkest hours: they were among the minions serving "Osborne Greencastle" as he built his doomsday weapon; they were present retrieving the bones of the Devil Dragon that would result in the end of Queen Lahl's reign over Arabel; and even when Queen Venieth herself was assaulted during her hunting trip, they held a presence, even if they were not suspected of being its masterminds. Still, a thick veil of secrecy conceals their achievements and true purposes.
The Cult's final throw of the dice was through the gates of the Red Hart fortress, as their own Reagent of Damnation faced the Lord Marshall of the Red Hart in a duel to the death. Though he was slain, the question remains what he was possibly hoping to achieve that day, facing so powerful a warrior directly - or if in his death, he had triggered one last scheme into motion.
Berlescosa Venieth - Queen Elect
The Staves of Elemental Power - Ymluth's Liberation
The four elemental staves - fire, earth, air and water - had long held legendary status as artifacts of power within the region. Those few who knew of them though, rarely knew of more than one, and it's unlikely the true powers of each staff were known to any but their wielders. The druids long hid them away in secrecy, perhaps hoping that their fearsome powers would never find use, or perhaps hoping no one else could use them. Their efforts lasted for longer than anyone could have guessed, as the staves dated back to the origins of the Glade they called home. When the Chosen of Ramiel came at odds with the druids however - who protested to the presence of an angel upon the Prime Material - the staves became the target of the angelic cultists' concern.
Though for a while both sides held half the staves, Ramiel's chosen stole away the last two after convincing the druids to try diplomacy. The deception sparked outrage amongst many, though the cultists maintained that they had done no wrong and that the needs of the many would outweight the pride of a few.
Sure enough, the four staves did not linger for long in the cult's hands. They returned to the druidic Glade, where they triggered the release of the power they once contained, that the Glade once imprisoned - the soul of a wizard named Ymluth. His liberation dissipated the angry calls against the Chosen of Ramiel, even amongst some druids, though a few remained from wildwalkers to men of honour who did not consider that the ends had justified the means. With the elemental staves now powerless, however, the druidic glade's strength was severely weakened, their ancient gambit no longer relevent.
The Departure of the Zhentarim
Desecration of the Ashen Glade
The increasing presence of Ghaunadaur cultists on the surface brought the druids of the Ashen Glade to many violent confrontations. Their hated enemy did not just disrespect the natural order that had built up over mellenia, but actively sought to twist it into aberrant forms - if Ghaunadaur allowed it to live at all. The vicious to-and-fro came to a horrific conclusion when the druids were overwhelmed by the Slime Cult; unable to protect the Glade, they could only hope for death as the Cult brought into being an avatar of their evil diety.
The Glade was not just destroyed but warped beyond recognition; turned into a foul temple to a dark diety, a blight on the face of the world itself from where the very beings the druids sought to slay now originated from. As the final kick into the corpse of the defeated Ashen Glade, the cultists raised the corpse of one druidess condemned to death by her peers, and gave her a new purpose no less twisted than the glade had become. The Blight was complete, and the Glade changed forever.
The Staff of Ilmater
The fabled Staff of Ilmater, an artifact that inspired the lusts of many a powerful figure in Arabel - whether for the chance to desecrate it or enshrine it. It was only with the Devil Dragon's power escalating to bounds never before imagined by the country that its potential as a weapon of war was realised.
With Navalayra's forces amassing for an assault upon Castle Crag, punishment for the Cormyrians its undead masses so vehemently hated, Arabellen forces began a journey across the Spine of the World on the advice of noble dragons to bring back this powerful artifact in time. Despite the attempts of the Grodd to stop or delay them, the artifact was found in a hidden monastary dedicated to the Broken God and found its way to Crag before the lines of Grodd goblins could engulf Cormyr's last fortress in the north entirely..
The Fall of Crag
The Purple Dragon stronghold of Castle Crag set the scene for what would prove to be a colossal coming together of two forces fighting for survival, never before was good and evil so patently defined ~ at least on the surface.
Arabel, long a bastion of hope and decency in the land flooded the timeworn defences of Crag against all manner of monstrous foe â€“ Goblins, Orcs, Mercenaries and their terrifying Devil Dragon.
Oddly however, it was neither the spirit of the defenders nor the malice of the invading masses that settled the Fall of Crag, instead it was defined by the treachery that cost the lives of hundreds and perhaps saved thousands more.
The Aegis of Easthaven
The staff of Ilmater and its wielder vanished from sight in the days following Cormyr's defeat at its fortress of Crag. The victorious villains lured Easthaven's mayor to their castle with the intent of capturing this bane of their master as swiftly as possible; the distraction was enough for Easthaven forces lead by the mayor's bodyguard to steal into the cemetary that birthed the Devil Dragon's seemingly endless armies and escape alive, but not empty handed. In the confusion, the mayor escaped from Castle Crag himself in time to return to his lands and announce what no one had dared to claim for so long: you are safe, as long as you are with me.
Easthaven's promise was not challanged after a day, not even after two days. They claimed the Devil Dragon impotent against them and delivered upon their promise. Such power turned the many voices in Arabel calling Easthaven a land of thieves and cowards into those clamouring to get their staff back by whatever means, as Queen Lahl's regime found itself outmatched by what was considered a mere village.
The Sacking of Flynn and Huntsilver's Escape
The Elder Eye - Assault on Eveningstar
Berlescosa Venieth the First
As Easthaven's campaign on Arabellen citizens - to convince their monarch to abdicate in favour of Queen Venieth - only grew louder, Queen Lahl tasked her loyal Red Harts to settle the matter by retrieving the stolen Staff of Ilmater and reuniting the peoples of the land under her leadership. After so long facing the grave threat of the Devil Dragon together, Red Hart knights galloped to the eastern gate as the order called its men to arms, hoping to intimidate Easthaven into surrendering its beloved staff. It did not work and mere hours after negotiations failed to reach acceptable terms, the Red Hart were marching on Easthaven.
Corpses piled high as the knights charged boldly into the fray, but where they were bound by their honour, Easthaven's defenders employed every tool at their disposal and butchered the would-be conquerers. It did not end there, however, for the Red Hart retreat sounded only as a great shadow fell across the sky and torched not only the battlefield of Easthaven but all the road to Arabel in its fury - Navalayra, the Devil Dragon, returned amid the chaos of battle.
Easthaven's forces charged out and into the city where Grodd goblins ran amok in the chaos. As Queen Venieth arrived her counterpart was already facing off against the Devil Dragon in the center of the city. As capable as Queen Lahl was, she was no match for the dragon and her beaten body was rescued out of the fray and rode to Eveningstar by a last cadre of loyal knights. The dragon's triumph was short-lived in the face of Queen Venieth bearing the fabled Staff of Ilmater however. Its defeat at her hands completed the coup, and together with King Cordwyn Huntsilver and her forces from Easthaven, she marched into Arabel's palace and assumed power over trade capital of northern Cormyr.
Baron Kreswell of Arabel
The Forsaken Legion
Rising Tensions - C0G in Arabel
The Varlet Rebellion
In the early days of 1381, the long months of espionage and conspiracy erupted into violence when the Varlets were confronted with the possibility that Kreswell - Baron of Arabel - may be holding the sick Queen Venieth hostage in his palace. Bound by oath to Gondegal to protect the City of Arabel, the the Varlets mobilized with the same cold efficiency they had become infamous for. The ensuing power struggle quickly gave way to a new leadership, who wasted no time in plotting the rescue-to-be.
The Varlet assault restated their total disregard for any rules of engagement: the palace corridors were seeped in deadly darkness for much of the battle, pierced only by the baleful magics sent roaring down the passages by their mages. The attack proved futile nonetheless, and the Varlets were forced into retreat as palace guard found aid in adventurers - with the city guard not far behind.
The Mage's Guild, custodians of central Arabel, were not only held at fault but suspected of aiding the Varlets attempting to dethrone Baron Kreswell. The commander of Mage Guild forces in the palace at the time was dragged out to the center of the city to face a swift execution - a tale of conspiracy, perhaps, that only the Varlets would ever know the truth of.
The Rift Blades
The Bandit King of Easthaven
Seed of Discord
With the Mage's Guild's power ever increasing, and its ambitions far from diluted, tensions were rising between the Companions of the Weave and the autocracy of Kreswell's rule. Whether an honest disagreement or simply politics, the pot boiled over on the matter of a Fey'ri - an abomination born of elven and demonic coupling - who a substantial number of the Guild's population, lead by its elven members, opposed violently. The feud would grow to the issuing of illegal bounties and attempts by the Guild to deny Sheriff access to its district of central Arabel. The city of Arabel had very swiftly become too small for both of these powers.
Shadowmasters of Arabel
The Crusade for Crag
A war begun by the Red Hart, the struggle to end the Legion's dark ambitions ultimately involved all of Arabel as its most powerful figures steadily sided with Eveningstar. Besides the manpower of the Sheriffs and the many glory-bound adventurers, the Mages Guild provided a golem to counter the Legion's dreaded Beholder, while The Company of the Gear's giant mechanical dragon faced off against the Legion's black dragon. The mages guild and sheriffs assaulted the castle on two fronts and defeated the Count Duspire of Crag on its roof in a cataclysmic battle.
The Cage - Blackhearts of Arabel
The Order of St Alubrien
Anarchy in Arabel
Brief - this relates to Kreswell being ousted.
Battle of the Slums - Magocracy in Arabel
As the slums began to fill with the Cagemaster's half-orc forces, the attacks on Arabel became only bolder - until one night saw mobs shoving their way into East Arabel as local elves were assaulted. The newly formed City Watch, in the wake of the attack, marshalled its forces to march on the slums. Despite their success in decimating the orcan threat in the slums, their losses were severe, and from the high Mages' Guild tower, Maleen saw his opportunity.
Stark Wyverns spread through the districts of Arabel, proclaiming the rise of the Meritocratic and Magocratic nation of Arabel in a desperate effort to restore some calm to the city.
The Deathless House
Brief - House Caernt, focusing more on what they did (ally with Tyche, raise dead from Hullack, slay Daedoloth) than background where possible.
The Vision - Siege of Arabel
The Second Shade War
Brief - intro
The Ortant - Brief
In spring of 1382, Arabel had fallen into chaos. In an effort to restore a semblance of order while facing an invasion by the Shadovar, Marshall Thune of the Sheriffs declared martial law and sent envoys through the Realms to seek allies. A small team of War Wizards and Purple Dragons, under the leadership of the mysterious War Wizard known as Nine. Arabel welcomed these Cormyte agents as a sliver of hope in dark days. Many came to criticize the city's leadership under Thune though, claiming he put security ahead of moral values, the preservation of the city higher than the preservation of its people.
The Empire Halted
Viceroy Beldrad Truesilver
With a treaty signed establishing peace with the Shadovar, and a return of Cormyr's rule to Arabel peace was restored to the region at long last. The Steel Regent Obraskyr pardoned many former leaders of the Rebellion, making a strong effort to include their leadership in the new relationship of Cormyr to Arabel. Magister Maleen was named a Baron, and Anya DeSchurr named the Lord Commander of a reformed Sheriff, now called the Wyrm Guard. Cormyr then appointed Viceroy Beldred Truesilver to oversee the rebuilding of Arabel, which merited him much respect from the city's commoners as he insisted upon the restoration of east Arabel before the wealthier districts. House Marliir further took a leadership position in driving a phaerim from the city's ruined southern districts by calling forth the spirits of an ancient knighthood who had sworn to combat aberrations and agreeing to uphold their oaths in the future allowing the ancient knights to meet final death after the battle. The destruction of the phaerim though caused a strange night of chaos and madness that resulted in arsons and hundreds of deaths remembered now as the Night of Terror. It is widely believed that Viceroy Truesilver had shown excellent leadership, relying upon the city's many adventurers and the wise counsel of Lords Maleen, Wyvernspur, and Marliir as his most trusted supporters.
Battle of the Hullack - Brief
Rise and fall of Immersea - Brief
Rise of the Giants
Fall of Western Arabel
Battle of the Primordial
It was not until Maleen recovered from the madness wrought by his mind touching an Elder Being that the true scope of what Arabel faced was realized. The First Wizard of Arabel lead into the ruins the City's most dauntless to open the door to perhaps the greatest secret the Mages' Guild ever kept: the existence of a functioning Mythallar. Maleen gave his life to hold back the unending tide of rift-warped creatures drawn to its glorious power, but with the aid of Kanthea and Aldek, it rose high above the city - a Second Sun - to shield it against this coming foe. The Mages' Guild's last gambit, preserved so long dreaming of a day when a magocratic utopia would arise would now be used merely to outlast the night. The Elder Being's assaults were thwarted by the power of the pre-Karsus artifact, and Arabel perhaps would have suffered not so greatly were it not for the Mythallar's shield being thwarted from within the city, leading to one of the most terrible calamities to beset Arabel and the entire north of Cormyr since the rise of the Shade Empire.
The face of the Stormhorn Mountains rose up as the artificial sun shattered into a trillion shards that pierced the lands for leagues around. An elemental onslaught unlike anything before ravaged the City of Arabel, sloughing away rock and stone and flesh and bone, leaving nothing but ashes in its wake. The gargantuan primordial being battled past ballistae and catapults and wizardry, but for every step it took yet more leaped upon it to bring it down. As the night grew deeper and darker, the last few adventurers surviving its terrible intent rappelled and climbed upon the elder being's back and became locked in battle against the elemental forces screaming into this world. When all seemed lost, and nought but bloody corpses lay as still and broken as the annihilated palace of Arabel, the sun rose.
Countless prayers, the screams of the dying and the wails of loss echoed through the celestial planes as an entire city pleaded for mercy, and the sun answered in kind. Its warm light bathed the battlefield and breathed new life into the dead beyond number, driving souls back into the mortal realm - revenents, heroes, those whom had elected to sacrifice their lives before the lives of others. As they carved a path through to the elemental nodes bursting forth elemental creatures, Aldek - together with a coterie of his trusted allies - awakened the ancient fortress of Miyetar and turned its powers against the Primordial. From the east, a barrage of apocalyptic light tore at the primordial's body, as on its back one last sword was driven deep into the being's body.
As the world collapsed beneath their feet and they fell hundreds of feet through the air on the back of this waking mountain, those brave few adventurers could only look back towards the sun as - the wind roaring past their ears as the ground shot towards them - one last mercy was granted to them.
_After the battle of the Primordial, Cormyr is in for a decline as harsher weather and the battle for survival become real. Arabel who was struck bad by the recent battles and the untimely death of it's Viceroy, rapidly fall into decay as many lose their lively hoods, homes and even lives after the desperate but failing migration to Thunderholme. Faced without a leader, and with the rest of Cormyr also struggling as the tidal waves sweeps across the North of Cormyr, expanding Wyvernwater far and wide over the forest kingdom. The citizens of Arabel headed back to a ruin, trying to build up what little there was left of their lives, if they survived the journey back as the tidal wave claimed many lives and swallowed the road home whole. Those few brave enough, headed through the Hullack Forest, but many lives were lost in the chaos and fear.
While the struggle for survival continue over the decade to come, many of the proud noble families of Arabel either leave for better lives in Suzail or die in battle. Many of the famous noble houses of Arabel already having lost their estates, Lords and heirs, wither and fade through the years as Arabel suffer attacks from outsiders and the harsh change of climate. Lord Commander Anya DeSchurr, along with her husband, fall in battle attempting to hold the City together but with her fall and the recent death of so many other nobles, the classes in Arabel shift and the majority of the city plummet into decay. Only the South of Arabel stand against the harsh years, bright like a beacon in darkness, Lord Malcome Hardcastle bring wealth and security to the South of Arabel. Blessed with many new trade routes across the expanding lake Wyvernwater, rather than caravans, Lord Hardcastle find opportunity whenever it can be found._
The flooding of Wyvernwater
Immersea becomes and Island
Archmage Kanthea Ferelven locks her tower
Joshua Aldek is promoted to Archmage of Arabel
Calantarn's way is fully submerged
Thunderholme's road to Arabel is submerged by Wyvernwater
King's Forest is flooded
The Southern Gate is taken down
Lord Hardcastle builds a wall surrounding the Citadel
Most nobles of Arabel move to Suzail
The Weather becomes rapidly colder
The Helmlands begin to spread
All roads surrounding Arabel are too dangerous to travel
The Furies gain popularity within Arabel, with the cold weather
Redspring is isolated from Cormyr by the Helmlands
Thunderholme created the Blackwall
Lord Commander Anya DeSchurr is suspected to have fallen in battle against Orcs in the King's Swamp
Redspring and Redwood falls to the Helmlands
Shylock's Pub is built in Old Town in the ruins of the Adventurer's Guild
Arabel forge new trading relationships thanks to expansion of Wyvernwater
Congress of Faith becomes independent of Hardcastle as Tyche replace Waukeen
The Furies popularity spread across Arabel, a new temple is built
The Thayan embassy is built
Mythalite is discovered by Hardcastle miners
The Citadel recovers thanks to new trade
Conflicts between druids and Hardcastle begins
Gangs takes over Old Town
The three main gangs take leadership of Old Town
Prince Trollblood of Thunderholme dies by unknown cause
Thunderholm forbids all mention of the Blackwall
The Merchant Guild is formed
Maleen's Tower is reopened as a new adventure Hub
The Hanse tree begins to spread in Old Town
Mythalite is deemed a unnatural source by most druids
The Citadel flourish with the new metal drawing miners from across Toril
Temple of Unquiet Night moves to Old Town
Hobore's Tower is taken down, the wizard missing
Note: 1393 = 2014
The New Lawbook is signed
Formation of the Council
Sons of the Pale Sands
The Night of the Red Scarves
The Broken Seal
Black Rose last edited by
(We seem to be missing the entire second half of the Shadovar thing, so I'll try and organize it cohesively). Some of these may be off timewise, as its amidst the RL gap that threw things out of order and dragged the plot out.
Spring 1376 - Marshall Skatterhawk and the Stonelands
_Pushed from the desert by the expanding influence of shade, tribes of humanoids began to strike Cormyrs border outposts in the Stonelands. A trusted friend of the Regent Alusair, and local noble and frontier adventurer, Brace Skatterhawk, was appointed as a Marshall to the region under Dauneth Marliir to oversee this specific defense.
Recruiting adventurers as tactical strike teams through Marliir's command in Arabel, Skatterhawk was able to disorganize the humanoids and incite conflicts between them by removing key leaders, securing Cormyr's defenses in the region._ (added - lizard-man)
Spring 1376 - Return of the Rain
_Details of what exactly occurred to return the rains to northern Cormyr are vague at best. Adventurer/Merchant Trysta E'luath and prominent local druids Eliphas and Gurmbach were cited as being responsible, but also strangely put under trial for their apparent actions.
Overseen by Lord Evan Thundersword, who remained in Arabel after the Firestorm crusade, the trial saw an impassioned defense presented by the Knights of the Merciful Sword for the adventurers, but ultimately turned against them. However, Lord Lhal herself soon intervened with a pardon for the group, much to the War wizards chagrin._
Donkeypuffy last edited by
I think the dust infection is worth mentioning, I can offer to write up details from my end after confirming an ok with Arkham.
Lizard last edited by
Updated. Included the 10 year "gap" with events. Post-wipe events are now in a separate, third post.
More pictures for post-wipe events and one for Primordial Crisis - Winter 1382
Lizard last edited by
No longer being updated, in favour of the Timeline topic in New Player Handbook forum.