Author: Slaader, High Priest of JustariUnto the Student of History,
The story of Illinar, for our parts, has always been a generational one.
Hundreds of years ago Illinarian explorers traveled here to colonize what they saw as lesser civilizations. Later their manipulations were responsible for the downfall of the original Barony of Banecroft.
In my lifetime they were initially opposed by the Barony. The manipulations of Illinar were directed at defaming, destabilizing and destroying Banecroft. This should come as no surprise as Banecroft has always been the Fatherland of many of the greatest adventurers our realm has known. The Barony and her allies, especially Gwenethelin and Thorne Valley stood as the original opposition to Illinar.
After the fall of the Barony, and thanks to the manipulations of Montey Banks, The Silverwood Empire became embroiled in the conflict. As Banecroft fell I was able to secure an alliance with Lady Gwendolyn of Thorne Valley. In my madness I revealed to her that the purpose of our newfound friendship was simply to create a buffer zone between New Illinar, the captured Barony and my homeland of Achoria. So ended our alliance.
With the help of many Chimeron loyalists we were able to retake the Barony. Our enemy slumbered. Eventually the Empire fell, corrupted by its own size and power, to a united army of the realm. During the very day of that infamous war General Gabriel walked freely in the woods of Rathkeale.
So did the torch pass to Chimeron who led the charge into Illinar. Sir Lucas and Sir Dirk, wherever they may be, brought a host into Illinar. It was they who looked on as Montey Banks sought his father's forgiveness and fell to the Dark Hand.
A mixed force took arms against the Dark Hand to defeat the corrupted Sir Cecil Greyblade. A few years later another force, primarily of Free Kingdom members and Chimeron loyalists captured Pale and turned it over to the Legion of the Horn.
Pale has fallen into Darkness once more. The Legion and the true Queen of Illinar are missing. Gabriel's rebellion grows desperate for equipment and food. They have pushed into our lands for the last time.
It is time to take the battle to them. There is much and more I do not know about our enemy. All that my mind can remember, and my heart can endure are in these pages. What truth is in them, I cannot say. Madness, evil and fear have all played their parts in my story.
But here, set down for you...here is the truth, as I know it.
Faithful Servant of King Sir Jarrod
High Priest of Justari
I. The Royal Family
by which we will learn of the government of Illinar
and their initial engagements with our Realm
Illinar is a monarchy, which before the rebellion was ruled by King Rhotham Banks. The name of his wife is unknown to me, but his children have played pivotal roles in our dealings with Illinar. The children of King Rhotham Banks are the very heart of this story.
King Rhotham was a noble man and saw much war in his life. He grew old and frail before his time. Poison and murder have always been suspected by those loyal to the Throne. King Banks was a proud man and would not live his life as an enchanted construct. He faced his death in his frail human body, like any average man.
The royal seat lies in the city of Darkharbor.
His son, Prince Montey Banks, was a manipulator, deceiver and villain. He came to our lands accompanied by the pirate Arg and the spell caster Muggles, both of whom deny connection to Illinar. Banks made quick friends with the nation of Achoria and for a time joined their ranks. He orchestrated a large purchase of land from a lesser House of Gwenethlin. The questionable means by which he acquired the vast property, and the later re-naming of this region as New Illinar, triggered conflict between the Silverwood Empire and Stone Shield Alliance. The subsequent intimidation by the Empire, of which Achoria was a part, was enough to shake the Stone Shield alliance and all but dissolve it.
His plan was all along to gain the favor of his father by retaking what the Illinarians have always viewed as "The Colonies". Banks was not the rightful heir, and the Throne did not sanction any particular manipulations and alliances, instead he had received something on a blank check from his ill father.
Some in the Empire grew wise to the threat posed by the Prince; however, the leadership chose to ignore their concerns so they would not be implicated in the coming Illinarian invasion.
Throughout the Battle for Banecroft and various other skirmishes Banks led Gabriel and his squad of Harvest Moon Infantry, as well as Darak-Tur and the witches of the Dark Hand.
After the Illinarian invaders had been driven from our land, and the battle was brought to Illinar proper Banks met his end. Seeing the drain that his war in the colonies had caused on Illinarian people, and the destruction caused by the latest Race War in Illinar, Banks repented. He asked his father's forgiveness. For this he was slain by Darak-Tur. It was at this time that General Gabriel seized control of the Harvest Moon and began his rebellion.
Banks later appeared as a ghost during the Black and White ball. He was there to foreshadow a great uprising by the Dark Hand. Not long after did the witches corrupt Sir
Andrew Clearcutter and Sir Cecil Greyblade.
Banks has not been seen since. His soul is damned. Treat not with him in body or spirit for he is the enemy of all just men.
The eldest of the siblings and the rightful heir to the thrown is Aideen Banks. Her current location is unknown as she is in hiding with the Royal Guards - The Legion of the Horn. The Legion have served as her personal guard, and have remained the one arm of the Illinarian forces that has not acted as aggressor on our realm.
While she briefly controlled the thrown travel between our realm and Illinar was safe and free. There was great peace in the land of Illinar, until Gabriel's rebellion gained momentum.
II. Life in Illinar
by which we learn of religion and the Race War
It is recommended that those wishing to educate themselves on Illinar read the Atlas available in the Library of Ivory. This text will give descriptions of various cities and their purposes.
Life in Illinar is not so different as it is in our lands. Illinar is not a nation full of villains and aggressors. The current state of things has been brought about by General Gabriel's conscription of the peasant population. With their lives and their families lives threatened they have little choice to side with Gabriel.
The most commonly worshipped gods in Illinar are Justari, Tymora and Davagun.
The Cathedral of Justice and the Temple of Fortune are both located in Darkharbor. The Cathedral of justice is filled with Statues of Angels wielding Shining Steel weapons. These Angels wage eternal war against demons. They wage the war for Justari and in the name of the Just god.
From whence these demons came, I do not know. But demon hunting is a task assigned to the greatest warriors of the Harvest Moon. They have units specifically designed for the task. Any information we can garner on how those units fight the demons present in Illinar may give us an advantage over the Dark Hand, as well as while maneuvering across the continent. The city of Pale lies directly between two demon spawning grounds - the Great Divide and the Wretched Scar.
The Illinarian church of Justari practices the peace bound holiday of Blade Fast. To ask forgiveness for the death and war caused in the pursuit of Justice weapons are tied to their wielder with red ribbon. In this way the Illinarians participated in a Feast of Rhiassa, though they should have been wiped out.
More information on how the Illinarians interpret the worship of Justari can be found in the text at the Ivory Library.
The Bay of Coins is also central to the worship of Tymora, but I can offer no information on that god or her worship. Save that she is the goddess of Fortune, similar to our Tyche. Interesting that the forces of Illinar attacked Her temple in Paradise first.
Davagun, the god of Trade and Wealth is worshiped primarily in Leneasa, but little more then that is known of this god and its followers.
Death cults to the vampire lord Azrael exist in various incarnations within Illinar. They are unorganized luckily. Montey Banks was a member of one such cult. He had expressed interest in tracking down Azrael, once he found the vampire was active in our realm. These cults have been known to make human offering to the vampire.
One of the starkest contrasts between Illinar and our realm is the obvious loathing towards demi-human races. Racism is alive and well in Illinar with good reason. For generations, nay forever, the humans of Illinar have been at war with the dwarves and elves from the Godtorn Mountains and from the Basin. Certainly not all dwarves and elves here in our realm are worshippers of the light, or honest adventurers. In Illinar war between the races has been an ever-present threat for all sentient creatures.
As Sir Dirk and others witnessed during the final battle with Montey Banks, the elves and dwarves can be brutal and cruel in war just like any army of man. For a time the dwarves occupied much of Illinar. Their bridges and statues still litter the land.
On the far side of the Godtorn lies the unexplored are known as the Basin. Unexplored for two reasons. The first reason being that the reefs and waters around the continent make sailing near impossible. The second reason is no doubt due to the large number of Neksai in the basin.
Let me say that demi-humans adventuring in Illinar will not be greeted as friends or liberators. If you are captured or fall behind the lines of battle the Harvest Moon will scalp and destroy you. You would do well then to take steps to hide your race. Showing the Illinarians the virtue of other races will take time.
Under Montey Banks the Harvest Moon went so far as to attempt the complete destruction of all demi-human life. They were searching the Barony for monoliths, which we were told would destroy all elven and dwarven life when activated. No information on this weapon was found in Tempastos Educari. There is some information in Dirk's text on Illinar that associates these monoliths with Neksai. This relation, if in fact there is one, has not been confirmed.
Know that the Harvest Moon, under Banks, had no problem manipulating and making alliance with what we would consider the monster races. Drow, goblins and trolls have all been used as tools (willing and unwilling) against us.
III. The Armies of Illinar
by which we learn of the 3 branches and important figures
The Harvest Moon Infantry
These soldiers wear the symbol of a maroon crescent moon on black. They are the army of Illinar, the foot soldiers. Currently the army is made up of loyalists to General Gabriel's rebellion, conscripts from the peasant stock, and opportunists looking for someone to kill and something to steal.
Each contingent of Harvest Moon usually carries an Illinarian Banner (checkered maroon and yellow). A Medic, most times a talented healer, often carries this banner. Enchantments placed on the banner make it so that those in its immediate vicinity are impervious to harm, save the banner carrier themselves. All soldiers should keep their ears open for the cries of "Banner Down" and "Banner Up" as these battle cries will show us the perfect time to push our enemies.
The Harvest Moon is well armored and enchanted. The most talented warriors are given the most powerful enchantments. Shining Steel can usually pierce these enchantments, or at least break them down as if they were normal armor.
No squad or adventuring group in Illinar should travel without a supply of Shining Steel weapons.
When dealing with the Harvest Moon it is important to:
1) Identify the "Riders" of the army. Those who are in fact Soul Clones have the ability to dissolve upon death and re-spawn from Tempest Portals. These bodies are enchanted copies, not flesh and bone. These are not respawn points, they are gates through which these skilled warriors are cloned, and from which their souls are instantly called. Disenchanting these Riders when they are down will permanently remove them from this world. The spell Identify Creature can reveal the true nature of these men too you.
Be warned not all men fall easily, nor do all simply require only one disenchant.
2) Learn the weakness of the leaders of the Harvest Moon, usually their skill and enchantments given them added immunities and complications. By identifying the weaknesses of these leaders we can eliminate them and demoralize their troops.
Remember the Harvest Moon can be demoralized, turned, defeated and manipulated. Their leaders are learned man of war, but they are still only men.
General Gabriel (Dave Dolph) - Before he became General he was affected by Axes and Shining Steel only. Now his enchantments have changed and it seems goading him into honorable combat is the only way to fell him. He believes he is better then you, mediocre threats and taunts will not work on him. Keep in mind; he may very well be better then you. Once engaged with him perhaps it would be wise to still use an axe, Shining Steel is a must.
Gabriel took control of the Harvest Moon after what he believes was betrayal by the Banks line. Prince Banks spent much time preaching the weakness of his sister and father. It is no wonder that when the Prince proved himself too weak to lead, that Gabriel assumed the role of leader.
Gabriel in the past had been devoutly loyal to his troops. He would travel far and travel alone to save but one man. He would also do the same just to end that man's life, when his usefulness has run its course.
He was promoted to General after the fall of Banecroft, but perhaps it is more fitting to now call him King.
Combat Medic Ril (Chris Hamblett) - A very powerful Arch-Healer and banner carrier. During our original engagements with Illinar he was Gabriel and Banks personal banner carrier. He has not been seen in years. At this time what powers or enchantments he may possess are unknown. If Ril is identified he must be removed from the field immediately.
General Kurst (Sean Anderson) - Kurst was appointed by Gabriel to lead the charge into our realm. His attempt at sacking Paradise has failed. Kurst escaped with only his life as his troops were routed. We must assume he is waiting for us beyond the portal and inside the walls of Pale. Vandor has marked Kurst for his crimes against the innocents of Paradise. To that end Mythguard is responsible for his punishment. Weakness and enchantments are unknown.
The Legion of the Horn
The Legion serves as the King's Guard. They wear the symbol of a white unicorn on a green tabard. Their order has been decimated in Gabriel's rebellion. They are currently in hiding with the rightful Queen, Aideen.
The Legion is responsible for the security of Darkharbor, Leneasa and the King's Wood. At one point they also guarded the outpost needed to make jumps between Illinar and the realms. Since that time the Dark Hand have found ways to maintain the portal in New Darkharbor while allowing for a more direct connection to their homelands.
The Legion would treat and communicate with "colonial rebels" simply based on their distrust and hatred for Darak-Tur and Prince Montey Banks.
Queen Aideen Banks (Maryanne Beatie) - As Queen she is the leader of the Legion of the Horn and they faithfully server her. They protect her now while in hiding.
Archmage Aurelius Orelon Spattercast (Joe Piepora) - Spattercast was the mage who pioneered the creation of Bio-Mechanical Constructs. His first known successful endeavor in this field involved the man known as Soldier and the sword known as Reaver. Spattercast draws his power from a primal magical force known as The Weave. The Weave is weaker here in our realm, so can be viewed as magic more regional to Illinar. He is loyal the Queen. Slaader, Rel and Bright have all had dealings with him in the past.
It was Spattercast who broke the seal on Tempastos Educari so that we could explore its secrets. It was also Spattercast who created the Portal Staff that allowed Dirk and Lucas to lead charges against Illinar.
The magic of the Weave has the power to mimic the strength and potency of Tempest Magic, but does not require drawing upon demons for the task.
Commander Daniel Kragmoor (Jeff Maki) - Was once the leader of the Legion of the Horn. After the fall of the portal outpost at the hands of the realm, Kragmoor became unstable and was demoted. His current whereabouts, condition and usefulness are unknown.
The Dark Hand
The Dark Hand is an order of witches led by Headmistress Darak-Tur. Their organization is based out of Tempastos Educari, a school located in Leneasa. After Darak-Tur murdered Prince Banks the school was shut down and many of its instructors captured by the Legion of the Horn for questioning. The school was utilized as a place to train all form of mages and spell casters, not just those studying the Dark Arts.
The Dark Hand is currently aligned with Gabriel and the Harvest Moon. For now the alliance aids them both, but in the end Darak-Tur's plans will destroy everyone.
The Witches of the Dark Hand draw their power from the Tempest. For years we believed the Tempest to be a type of dark regional magic, or a plane of existence. Materials captured while we explored secret chambers inside Tempastos Educari have taught us that the Tempest is in fact a powerful and ancient Prince of Hell.
These are the words of Darak-Tur, may she burn in Hell for an eternity:
Superficially, The Tempest is a Prince of Hell chained by his brothers, Sindimix, Kreissentor and Urdligak. They imprisoned him because they feared his power. Sindimix created a fire-wrought prision of blood and souls. Kreissentor fashioned a cavern beneath the deepest ocean in which prison was kept and Urdligak weaved a spell of such terrible intensity that he pacified the Tempest, forcing him to die inside.
Any information regarding the subjects, demons or magic described in that text should be brought to your commanders attention immediately.
The Dark Hand is primarily composed of female casters, their demons and subservient male casters known as Evokers. There is an unfortunate irony in the fact that demons are feared and hunted in Illinar, a land where the most powerful casters use demons to do their hunting.
The Witches of the Dark Hand require the power of seduction to be effective. They can easily be identified by their "liberating" dress. All Dark Hand are "Riders" and have the potential to "respawn" via Tempest portals.
They are able to hurl balls of fire, poison and disease. Their most devastating spell is Dominate. This allows them to take hold of someone whose soul is not protected. All of their magic comes from the power of the Tempest. By calling upon the Tempest you slowly ebb away at your sanity. The Tempest feast on madness and grows stronger on it.
Demonic servants will typically protect witches of the Dark Hand. We were lucky that no such demons were brought to Paradise. The poorly guarded Dark Hand that Kurst brought with him were easily destroyed and disenchanted.
Darak-Tur has also found a way to remove souls from the body and imprison them. By doing this she gains an empty host that she can fill with her spies. Twenaria, Slaader and Ender of Rathkeale are a few who it is believed had undergone this form of imprisonment. What other spies are still in play, we do not know. Ender's location at this time is unknown. He should be approached with extreme caution.
Headmistress Darak-Tur (Wendy Daviault) - Darak-Tur was once believed to be little more then the consort of Montey Banks. Now we know that her twisted vision of a world ruled by the Tempest is what has truly fueled her these many years. She is a cruel woman with vast magical ability. Her mastery over Abjurery and Tempest magic has made it near impossible to disenchant her before her body dissolves.
Approach her with extreme caution as she has the ability to dominate a seemingly infinite number of enemies.
Darak-Tur resides in the protected basement of Tempastos Educari. It is unknown where she resides now that the seals and protections on her home have been destroyed. The city of Leneasa should be approached with caution, and should be consider the home territory of the Dark Hand.
Dread (Jarrod Marshal) - Dread is the loyal demonic servant of Darak-Tur. It is unknown how to permanently destroy him.
T'sanna (Kelly Greenhalge) - T'Sanna, like Darak-Tur, can resist magic and dominate. She has control over two beings of Fire. One of these servants can cut through armor like it was water; the other wields a poisoned blade. Both are well armored.
T'Sanna has been known to treat with our allies, but only for amusement. Her attention and interest is not genuine. She views her enemies as play things. Give your trust to her and you will become like the mouse in the paws of a lion.
Darak-Tur's Handmaiden - Darak-Tur's handmaiden may actually no longer be a member of the Dark Hand. I have been told that it was she who secured our release from Tempastos Educari. If she has betrayed Darak-Tur then we will want to find her.
She should be dealt with cautiously. As I have mentioned many times, the leaders of Illinar are masters of manipulation. She may truly be loyal to the thrown, or she may be a wolf in sheep's clothing. Either way she will have a wealth of knowledge on the Tempest, and this should be secured.
Her powers and abilities are unknown to me, as is her face. She wears earthen colors and keeps her mouth and head covered at all times.
Angelina (Carrie Dolph) - Angelina was a member of the Dark Hand who was resistant to the charm and fear invoked by Banks and Darak-Tur. She attempted to rebel twice. The first time she was taken away by the Harvest Moon. During her second attempt she was released from the sway of the Tempest by Quazar, High Priestess of Eris.
During her interactions with Quazar, Angelina revealed that when one became a Tempest witch they were bound to the Tempest through a ritual that involves consuming ooze believed to be part of the Tempest.
Through use of an Intervention, Quazar was able to separate the Tempest from Angelina. Quazar describes the being she saw next as a "dark gargoyle like figure with big wings." The creature was weakened by the separation, and when Quazar refused to be its host it died.
Amon Hathruul - Amon Hathruul is a powerful Lich who has terrorized Banecroft for years. It is believed that he aided Darak-Tur in corrupting Sir Andrew Clearcutter and Sir Cecil Greyblade of the Harvest Moon. Both Knights had turned against Montey Banks for the evil he was bringing upon the colonies. As punishment they were turned into the undead slaves of Darak-Tur.
Clearcutter was actually responsible for stealing the final piece of the Portal Staff and providing it to us. We were able to wrest Clearcutter from the control of Hathruul. He was forgiven by Justari, thanks in no small part to the aid he provided our realm.
Sir Greyblade, once a Champion of Justari, was not so lucky. The hold of undeath was strong upon him. He was defeated and destroyed. He now rests in the Summerlands, though many would have rather seen him sung to Hell.
Amon Hathruul has been in league with Illinar for years. His forces, known as the Dark Scythe, turned out in the end to be Harvest Moon soldiers. His attacks on the village of Northbrook and his battles with the Brotherhood of the Crimson Lion may be the first modern instances of Illinar's action in our realm. It is believed that his phylactery rests in a tomb outside of Nadina. Dameon Midnight or Squire Matthew of the Barony may know more on this subject. Neither has been seen for many years.
THE USE OF TEMPEST MAGIC - WHETHER BY WITCH OR EVOKER SHOULD NOT BE TOLERATED.
USE OF TEMPEST MAGICS WILL ONLY SERVE TO EMPOWER THE TEMPEST AND ITS LOYAL SERVANTS.
YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
IV. Shining Steel
by which we hope to muster our resources and track them in battle
Shining Steel is a metal whose composition grants to it a few unique properties:
1) It is resistant to effects that would otherwise shatter normal metals.
2) It can weaken or pierce through the enchantments that give some of the more skilled Illinarian inhabitants their armor and protections.
3) The preparation and forging of the steel requires the specific metal of the same name, and the talents of the most powerful arcane blacksmiths.
Lady Tarnisha of Chimeron, Eremon Ottakar, and Lako'masoi of the Borderlands have all mastered the art of forging Shining Steel weapons. Lady Tarnisha is currently training Gideon of Ivory in the art. In the past intervention by the gods has also transformed weapons into Shining Steel.
Keep in mind that Shining Steel can be enchanted like mundane Steel. Allowing for the ability to wield Poison Shining Steel, Magic Shining Steel, or Armor-Piercing Shining Steel.
Names are very important to the forging of Shining Steel. Blacksmith's should avoid naming their Shining Steel creations with names that invoke evil, shadow or corruption.
The power and social stature associated with this metal make it a respected commodity in Illinar. Enemy soldiers will confiscate Shining Steel weapons on site. Shining Steel should never spend time on a corpse; it is far to valuable to sit in the dirt awaiting its wielder's awakening.
Every squad in Illinar that travels without Shining Steel does so at their peril. When a large army is mobilized in Illinar it would be wise to make sure that Shining Steel is divided up evenly, regardless of ownership.
Shining Steel Inventory
• At this time several other pieces are currently being forged.
• More weapons then this have found their way to our lands, should you have any information on them please notify your leaders immediately
• Corrupted Weapons drive the wielder to destroy and kill. Reaver and Darksoul also drew souls into themselves.
V. Portal Magic
by which we learn of Illinars main form of attack and travel
I will include now a text found at Tempastos Educari that explains Portal Magic. We have known the bulk of this material for years, which is why I saved this information to the last.
Destruction of small-scale portals is imperative to victory against the rebellion. Finding ways to mimic or safely create Neksai will only hasten our victory.
The following are the abridged words of the witch Darak-Tur:
Portals and Neksai
Disenchanting the Warding Stones surrounding the Neksai can destroy the Warding Field.
Created by Iacob of Ivory (David Kapell) at 06-11-07 07:34 AM
Last Modified by Faelinn Shadowmoon (Leanne Micciche) at 04-05-08 09:02 AM