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Arc:Surface Tension

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The Elves Have Won!

Throughout the month of October (2015), elves return to the Sage Forest to resettle it. By the end of the month, the population reaches a large enough sum to trigger a parting gift from the Patron of Trist'oth, Archmage Tiphareth. Over the course of the next six months, the trees will slowly begin to rot from the inside out. By April, the forest will be dead and uninhabitable. Hopefully the elves will be able to lift the curse and cure the forest before that happens.

Please note, that arc is underway here: Home Sweet Home

--Gevurah 7 October 2015


The drow and the wood elves have a long history of violence. With tensions at an all time high, both sides are forced to deal with the consequences of the drow presence in the Sage Forest...


Prologue

The Conflict

  1. Surface Tension = When both sides clash, when drow and surface enemies engage in combat.
    1. Battles in Sage = The first organised clash between the drow and their allies and the surface allies.
  2. Above the Fray = RPs in which surface allies engage in activities (wittingly or not) that affect the conflict.
    1. Snowy Sylvan Situation = Where primarily elven allies in Frostmaw find themselves affected by actions of the conflict.
  3. Deep Rumblings = RPs in which drow engage in activities (wittingly or not) that affect the conflict.


The table also includes relevant updates from three of Hollow's major newspapers: the Town Crier (Kelay), Trist'oth Tribune (Trist'oth) and The Frostmawian Short (Frostmaw). These updates add a regional flavour to the events of the arc and are a good way of establishing what is and is not IC knowledge.


Chapter One

Summary: The half-elf Skylei dares venture into the Underdark to harm the drow in whatever way possible. After a near-fatal encounter with the High Priestess of Vakmatharas Gevurah D’Artes, Skylei realizes she will need a cunning trap to ensnare more drow. She enlists the blacksmith Leone to design a trap and begins finding allies, including the elf Rhosorien.

Meanwhile, a coincidental battle involving drow, Slytheria, Krice, and Hildegarde sends both sides of the war on high alert.

Gevurah, suspecting that the elves are becoming too bold, recruits loyal allies in Trist’oth, including Vakko and Styx, who she assigns on stealth missions. Skylei and Rhosorien turn to Frostmaw’s refugee elves for aid, but must first ease tensions between the elves and their frost giant hosts.

Surface Tension
Above the Fray
Deep Rumblings
Surface Tension
In the Papers
Above the Fray
Deep Rumblings


Surface Tension
Above the Fray
Deep Rumblings
Surface Tension
Above the Fray
Deep Rumblings
Snowy Sylvan Situation
In the Papers

Chapter Two

Summary: The dragon Pelarin publicly supports the elves’ effort to reclaim their homeland. Gevurah, eager to squash rebellion, hires the mercenary Zendor, to spy on Pelarin. In Frostmaw, one elven leader, the druid Gilwen, is determined to reclaim Sage. Along with Skylei, she scouts the forest to better plan a massive attack. During the recon, they encounter Gevurah, and after a brief skirmish, flee to formulate their plan.

Meanwhile Daath D’jiv’undus, the ambitious House Mage of the Third House, along with Krice, kill drow belonging to House Orbb Quar'Valsharess, including the House Mage and Weapons Master. At the drow embassy, the deep dragon Gheneroc seeks out Gevurah and announces his support of the elves.

Skylei and Gilwen recruit the illusionist Kovl to help them infiltrate Trist’oth. Gevurah plots with the drow ranger Rauva to help her set a trap for the elves, one which uses elf slaves as bait.

Before Gevurah and Rauva can enact their plan, Skylei, Gilwen, and Kovl attack Trist’oth Arena during a rugby match and kill hundreds of drow, including the Matron of House Orbb Quar’Valsharess. The catch is that Skylei was disguised to look like Gevurah in the hopes of launching Trist’oth into a civil war.


Surface Tension
Above the Fray
Deep Rumblings


Surface Tension
Above the Fray
Deep Rumblings
Surface Tension
In the Papers

Chapter Three

Summary: During the elf attack in Trist’oth Arena, Gevurah was with Daath discussing the war. He pledges soldiers and gifts her a seven viper-headed whip. They both learn of the attack and cut the visit short to deal with the fallout and the threat of civil war. Gevurah redirects Zendor to spy on Gilwen and the elven council as a double agent.

Meanwhile, Skylei fears she was spotted by a drow guard as she fled the arena. She hires the assassin Winter to infiltrate the tunnels and kill him. During the assassination attempt, the elf Emerus intervenes. Winter kills the drow and flees as Gevurah approaches, and steals a little prize for herself, Boots of the Shade. Emerus pledges his allegiance to Gevurah.

Xersom gifts Skyei a pendant to help her with her quest, but the gift comes at a steep price – her sanity. Gheneroc chances upon the Crown of the Shade, which was stolen from Matron Obleven’s corpse after the arena attack.

Gevurah and Rauva’s original plan to use elf slaves as bait works. The elven council agrees to raid the drow compound in Southern Sage. Skylei travels to the Warrior’s Guild in search of allies.

Gevurah meets with Laezila just in time to form an alliance between their houses.

The day of the raid a massive battle takes place in Southern Sage. After the smoke clears, the drow have edged out a victory, but not without sustaining damage.


Above the Fray
Deep Rumblings
Surface Tension
Above the Fray
Deep Rumblings


Surface Tension: First Battles in Sage
In the Papers

Chapter Four

Summary: After the battle, Laezila kidnaps Krice. Meanwhile, the drow slave Nymh befriends surfacers Tylania, Neveah, and Zendor. Charmed by music, his friends agree to buy his freedom. He tells them of a slave auction in Trist’oth. However, Gevurah also takes an interest in Nymh after consulting oracle bones. At the slave auction, she buys Nymh just as Tylania ignites a brawl. During the skirmish, she captures Zendor, without knowing that he is her mercenary via middleman Red Gingerson.

After a week of abuse in the D’Artes dungeons, Zendor realizes Gevurah is his employer. Gevurah decides to work directly with Zendor, attaches a slave collar onto his arm as insurance against betrayal, then sends Zendor to Frostmaw with a new mission: the lure elves into a trap in Northern Sage.

Shortly after, Krice escapes Matron Laezila only to be captured by Gevurah. In D’Artes dungeons, Nymh and Krice form an alliance, and Nymh tells him that Emilia plans to rescue them both. Before Krice can escape or be rescued, Laezila storms into D’Artes, and demands Krice’s freedom, because she is in love with him. Gevurah, not wanting to break her alliance with Laezila, agrees and releases Krice into Laezila’s custody. Krice escapes Laezila a second time, and helps Nymh escape Gevurah. Nymh finds Skylei and forms an alliance with the elves. Hildegarde gives him refuge in Frostmaw.

Laezila also goes to Frostmaw and offers Nymh a home in her house as a member, not a slave. Nymh agrees. The Matron then abducts Skylei. Meanwhile, Zendor manipulates the Elven Council right into Gevurah’s plans. Zendor, Emrith, and other elves raid a drow squad in Northern Sage. Detecting the trap, Emrith leaves before he is captured, and suspects Zendor betrayed them.

The day of the raid a massive battle takes place in Southern Sage. After the smoke clears, the drow have edged out a victory, but not without sustaining damage.

Above the Fray
Deep Rumblings
Surface Tension
Above the Fray
Deep Rumblings
Surface Tension
Above the Fray
Deep Rumblings
Surface Tension
Above the Fray
Deep Rumblings
Surface Tension
Above the Fray
Deep Rumblings
Surface Tension

Chapter Five

Summary: After returning to Frostmaw, Emrith accuses Zendor of betraying the elves and Zendor accuses Emrith of desertion in battle. Hildegarde and the Elven Council suggest settling the dispute with a trial by combat, which Emrith refuses. Instead, Emrith hires Talyara to brew a truth serum to use on Zendor.

Meanwhile, he plants magically explosive stones near the drow camp. Nymh trips a few of the explosives and fights Emrith who then captures Nymh. In Frostmaw, Nymh tells Emrith of Matron Laezila, who may be persuaded to double cross House D’Artes. Nymh also tells Emrith and Hildegarde that Laezila abducted Skylei. Hildegarde convenes a war council of Frostmaw and its allies: centaurs, Kuronii tribesmen, elves. The council declares war against the drow.

Zendor reports to Gevurah of Nymh’s capture and treachery. Laezila gifts Skylei to Gevurah as payment for Krice’s release. During the encounter, Gevurah reveals Nymh’s betrayal.

Meanwhile, Krice finds the Brooch of the Shade and Baraneth joins the elves. Hildegarde asks Vailkrin to join the war, but Kasyr refuses to back either side.
In Sage, Emrith is attacked by a troop of goblins led by Klongy. Shortly after, Gevurah and Klongy form an alliance, though in truth Gevurah enslaves Klongy with an ensorcelled collar.

After meeting with Emrith in secret, Laezila learns the full extent of Nymh’s betrayal. She confesses her folly to Gevurah who punishes her by stealing her pyromancy. After the ritual, Laezila rests in House D’Artes, where she tells Gevurah she will withdraw her soldiers unless she receives the E’et-Nilah blade. Gevurah refuses and severs her alliance with Laezila.

Gevurah reaches out to Laezila’s House Mage Lanlan to persuade him to usurp Laezila, and then hires Vakko to assassinate Hildegarde.

Frostmaw’s army charges on the drow camp, while a contingent of special warriors including Hildegarde and Emrith infiltrate the Underdark through the tunnel near Vailkrin. In the tunnels, Hildegarde discovers that Zendor is a spy for the drow, defeats him in battle, then takes him to Frostmaw to be publicly executed while her companions attack Trist’oth Fort. Emrith infiltrates House D’Artes, imprisons Laezila, then rescues Skylei and Maegus. On the surface, Nymh finds Gevurah in the battle, is defeated, then executed in Trist’oth Arena. Baraneth defeats Lanlan and the Frostmaw army captures the drow fort.

Above the Fray
Deep Rumblings


Surface Tension
Above the Fray
Deep Rumblings
Surface Tension
Above the Fray
Deep Rumblings
Surface Tension:Second Battle
Above the Fray
Deep Rumblings

Chapter Six

Summary: Laezila is taken prisoner of Frostmaw, but soon convinces surface allies that she has seen the error of the drow ways and wishes to help them defeat Gevurah. She is given status as a citizen of Frostmaw, but Skylei’s best friend, Josleen, is not convinced and asks for Laezila to be tried by combat once the war is over. Despite this animosity, Laezila helps Josleen brew a potion that will help Skylei wake from her coma.

Meanwhile in the Underdark, Gevurah continues to groom Lanlan to overthrow Laezila and take control of House D’l’sel D’issan. Her mercenary, Vakko, previously hired to strike at Frostmaw, successfully damages Frostmaw Fort and makes an attempt on Hildegarde’s life that leaves the dragon bed ridden for weeks. During that time, Hildegarde, Laezila, Baraneth, and Emrith hatch a plan.

Hildegarde , along with the Knight of the Black Ice Lyros who is dressed in disguise as Laezila, meet with Gevurah & Co. The diplomatic summit devolves into an all out brawl, but is cut short by the arrival of D’Artes guards who inform Gevurah that Trist’oth is in revolt. The First Daughter leaves just as The Eyrie arrive as back-up for Hildegarde and Lyros. The dragon and drow knight are badly injured and return to Frostmaw with the knowledge that they did their part to distract Gevurah while Laezila and Emrith incite a populist revolution.

Gevurah arrives to find Trist’oth in flames. She burns Laezila to a crisp using the former matron’s own pyromancy, stolen previously in a dark ritual. Emrith sets off an explosion which severely cripples the the High Priestess. She disappears, and Larewen helps Emrith escape with Laezila who clings to life by a thread.

Trist’oth riots for three days, and when the fires cool and fists steady, the drow are in no position to continue the war.

Above the Fray
Deep Rumblings
Surface Tension
Above the Fray
Deep Rumblings


Major NPCs List

Elves

  • Syelnar & Maegus - Two elderly leaders in the Sylvan elf community and members of the Elven Council. Their symbol is a brown leaf with a green circle. They call themselves 'Protectors' and are often found alongside Gilwen, a third elven leader They hired Styx to infiltrate Trist'oth. Maegus is captured as one of fifteen elven slaves following the first elf-drow clash in Sage by Rauva.

Drow

  • Izzerin - House D'Artes Chamberlain, a de facto commoner, but his elevated status in the esteem of the house nobles and function as a political spy is an open secret among the Trist’oth elite.

Others

  • Alfred "Red" Gingerson - A fence who sells assignments from anonymous clients to mercenaries. Gives Zendor assignments to follow Pelarin and Gilwen.

Artefacts

Battle System

Major battles in this arc are being experimented under a new system which emphasizes the role of story in duels. For more detail, click here.

This system also comes with a complimentary - Dueling Guide - for dueliests and judges to use or not to use at their discretion. It's a good idea for duelists to read it, because you never know if your judge will use it.

Keep an eye on this page, the OOC and the boards for details on the next battle.

Very Important Note! This battle system does not prohibit any two characters in the arc from engaging in a duel using the traditional method. --- {