On Aneada

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1. Invite your players

Invite them with either their email address or their Obsidian Portal username.

2. Edit your home page

Make a few changes to the home page and give people an idea of what your campaign is about. That will let people know you’re serious and not just playing with the system.

3. Choose a theme

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4. Create some NPCs

Characters form the core of every campaign, so take a few minutes to list out the major NPCs in your campaign.

A quick tip: The “+” icon in the top right of every section is how to add a new item, whether it’s a new character or adventure log post, or anything else.

5. Write your first Adventure Log post

The adventure log is where you list the sessions and adventures your party has been on, but for now, we suggest doing a very light “story so far” post. Just give a brief overview of what the party has done up to this point. After each future session, create a new post detailing that night’s adventures.

One final tip: Don’t stress about making your Obsidian Portal campaign look perfect. Instead, just make it work for you and your group. If everyone is having fun, then you’re using Obsidian Portal exactly as it was designed, even if your adventure log isn’t always up to date or your characters don’t all have portrait pictures.

That’s it! The rest is up to your and your players.

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Atoraav's Journal, [Date #1]
Unknown Valley in the North

Dear Journal,

I write not truly knowing what I achieved here. Everything? Nothing? As always, the answer must be somewhere in between, but where?

I encountered the First Inquisitor, Leon; he was meeting with an Elven Mage, Lady Sasara, whom it seemed had been – perhaps still were – lovers. An assassin broke ranks during the negotiations for peace, and struck her down with a blade that robbed her of her magical power; I failed to stop him, but my conscience was clear – I alone tried, out of the assembled hordes that day. I discovered several new things about my magic in doing so; there’s more inside me than the whispers inform me of. Some things I must intuit on my own.

I was lucky to survive; Sasara knew something, sensed something… I could see it in her eyes. She distracted Leon before he could order me struck down; and I had a chance, a moment, to speak. I challenged Leon to tell me that this Purge was right, that this act today was justified, that the war was bringing trust and friendship and love into the world, rather than simply removing it. He was wounded deeply by the accusation; and he couldn’t defend it – I felt sorry that it had taken a great woman’s death to make him realise that, but he did, at least, realise it. He had me chained, and had little further interest in me – given that, technically, the use of magic carried a death penalty, I was satisfied with that situation.

It wasn’t until I pondered Sasara’s words further, while trying to march back on my badly injured leg, that it came to me. The one thread that connected her portents of doom, Madook’s prophecy to me months ago, the freezing madness that was claiming Mages across Eidar… Dread Winter linked all of them. And what was Dread Winter? It had to be the title of the dragon lord Galmathrax, Lord of Ice and Snow; and his coming was a certain portent of doom for any who lived in Eidar, or even Odolain – both realms he’d viciously attacked in the past in opportunistic land grabs, and against which he must still bear an immortal’s long grudge.

I tried to warn those around me, but they took my warning for a madman’s ravings; but I was helped by a spirit from the Aetherweald, inhabiting a dessicated Drakkitar skeleton – his name is Kii’sha, at least I assume him to be a ‘he’, insofar as gender has any meaning to such a being. Kii’sha says he is a spirit of ‘joy’, a memory fragment that escaped the Aetherweald because something pursued him and would have consumed him had he not… and he tries to minimise suffering and maximise happiness in the world. I was terrified when I first saw him – how could I not be, seeing a skeleton walk into the tent where I was chained? – but once we started talking, I knew I’d found a friend and an ally. His heart – metaphorically – is in the right place, and after seeing so many misguided souls in misery it was so refreshing to meet another who just wants to do the right thing, make the world a better place.

With Kii’sha’s help I was able to give Leon some warning, but it was already nearly too late; the Elven delegation who’d come to take Sasara home became violently angry over her death and refused to permit human hands to touch her again; the confrontation nearly became violent, and amidst the distraction, there was no action on my advice. I can only console myself that perhaps it was already too late, but I’ll never truly know how many lives the Elves cost. They were poor reflections of Sasara.

Kii’sha and I – along with an insectoid being called Vren’zzik – managed to escape to safety when the dragon lord stirred and awoke from the nearby mountain, and set a freezing fog throughout the nearby valleys to kill off the army whose presence offended him. We waited until the mists cleared before making our way down to the valley again and trying to render aid; alas, few survived. For now the Inquisition and the Magicals are working together to survive; we’ve tried to talk both sides into prolonging this cooperation, but I have the feeling that once the fog has cleared, darker elements on each side will try and find reasons to blame one another again. I dare not let them… not if I can help it.

Leon’s body was not amongst the fallen, so there may yet be hope. If he lives, he would be a powerful voice of reason; he knows the truth, even if it took a great woman’s death to remind him of the difference between right and wrong. But I fear the finding of him is a task in itself, and one that – as outsiders – we may be poorly placed to attempt. We shall follow what rumours and traces there are… but they are few and contradictory. We must head south, though, as must he have; we may well find news. I pray for his survival and health; he may be the only man who can challenge the Pontifex and end the Purge.

Vren’s patron in magic is a lost spirit of the Elevahn, called Voorvaskiin; he wishes Vren to find out what happened to the other Elevahn… and I’m very inclined to help, after what Voorvaskiin said. The “Tarren”, the Aetherweald, is dying… wounded, millennia ago, a darkness is eating it from within like maggots in a wound.

What could have caused this? Was it the Night War and the Black Archons? Was it the death of Arethorelas, an immortal manifestation of the material world? Was it the disappearance of the Elevahn themselves? Or was it something earlier, or later, subtle and apparently insignificant… impossible to say, yet so much may rest on the answer. Kii’sha’s life, certainly; the fate of Aneada itself… quite possibly. The world is imperfect, and growing worse with time; with hindsight, it seems so obvious that there could be a cause in the Aether, subtly pulling on mortal dreams and immortal magic alike.

But through it all, all I could think of was that the Aetherweald contains fragments of the dead, memories and spirits and impressions left; perhaps, then, it’s possible that a person could be reassembled… if they left enough pieces. But something is consuming it, and eradicating those faint traces irretrievably.

I must try. I must.

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Vren'zzik's journal
Written synopsis of the library book 'The First Empire'

The Elevahn Empire was created sometime during the Age of Mortals, chosen by the gods to be their people to walk The Gift of Aeda. They were powerful, masters of magic, masters of architecture and soon spread across the face on Aneada. The Dragon Lords could not abide, and in turn created their own races to counter them. Over many years, the Elevahn fought over the world for their masters in the sky.

In The Age of Disparity, the gods are less involved on the world and the mortal races, as well as the Elevahn stop warring each other for a time. Instead, the Elevahn build an empire that spans the world, insurmountable, unassailable, eternal. Madnidarii is their Capital from which they command forces beyond counting and all other races are forced to bend to their will.

Their arrogance eventually gets the better of them and they plan to usurp the gods, staging attempts to reach them and kill them. Their arrogance angers the gods, whom abandon them and withdraw their support. In the wake thereof, the numerous other mortal races that now exist slowly consume the weakened Elevahn empire until, somewhere during the Fourth age, they vanish, leaving only ruins where few dare tread.

Many have tried to learn about them and their seeming link to the Aetherweald, of which little is known. Speculation has been varied. Some say they were inventions and imaginations of the peoples of the world, that escaped the dream realm and became real. Others claim they fled to the dreamrealm and rule mortal minds without them knowing it. A commonly accepted thought is that they were hunted and those that did not become modern elves, died off, isolated from the world.

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Atoraav's Journal, [Date #2]
Aurumin

[Musical link while reading: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H95IE98jr_k&list=PLcHOKlfZ6enPoHOd9dP7Y4YGAlcCRZllI&index=15 – Atoraav’s theme, as it happens]

Dear Journal,

So many events led to this place. So many paths; taken and not taken. But I cannot… complain about this outcome. Indeed, I think… against all odds, I have genuinely achieved my goal.

I made a difference, and I’ve left the world a better place. Yet the task is only just beginning.

Our last and greatest achievement… how easily I start to say ‘our’, after a lifetime of simply ‘I’…. Our achievement was to turn back Galmathrax from the very cusp of destroying the Bulwark, that great wall between the North, and the fertile hills of Helmsland itself; and yet, I don’t even feel we can take much credit for it. Valinaarah, the Elevahn… memory, I suppose one must call her… gave Atanu the power to strike at and absorb spirits in the aether; and Sasara led us on a merry chase through her own explorations of the Paths of the Elders, and into Galmathrax’ very core.

He was possessed by a dark archon, an avatar of… the void, so he claimed. His name was Latah’Ashkar, and he was the same who had fed on the remnants of Lord Arethorelas… i tried to reason with him, and point out to him that he was not a free agent as he claimed, but it was futile, and he fought to the death. Atanu struck him down… and I confess, darkly, dear journal, that I was relieved and delighted to see that creature fall. I confess it with guilt; I’ve long, yet reluctantly, sworn to myself that everyone, everything deserves a chance to redeem itself and be redeemed.

I’ve seen the lack of forgiveness consume Leon, and culminate in Sasara’s death. I heard of it consume the new King of the Elves, Athalsamar, and lead him to madness. It consumed Crassius, the Pontifex, and led to his fall from grace. I sense within this orb that I hold, that it consumes Galmathrax; and even once consumed Arethorelas himself as well.

Kii’sha taught me that a life without joy is a life dedicated to dark pursuits, and revenge is a dark pursuit indeed, however once tries to dress it up. Vren showed me that friends, connections, are strengths that empower and not weaknesses that hold back. Atanu showed me that a life lived for a purpose is a life of fulfilment.

Arethorelas showed me that the purpose of life is to leave the world better than when we entered it. To build up and do our utmost to preserve, for time claims all far too soon, and all things – even immortals – must pass from history and be forgotten eventually.

So forgiveness is… healing. To forgive and to let go is to be freed from burdens and distractions.

I don’t… entirely know how to apply this. Morgotharn is a danger; he is wicked and can, will, destroy so much if left unchecked. To forgive cannot be to ignore or to forget or to condone.

So what is it?

I have work to do in the city of Aurumin. Research; exploration; pieces of the Lord Arethorelas lie close at hand, and every piece of him put together is a step closer to a true ally returning to the world. Perhaps I can even push for a new Pontifex to be appointed… I suspect that although Crassius is clearly disgraced, he will not leave quietly, unless Vren’s effort succeeded beyond my hopes.

No, I have only one thing I can do now. In Galmathrax’ mind, I remembered something. A message from Arethorelas… the last message he ever consciously thought.

He created the soulbeacon so that the revelation he’d had would not be lost. So it could benefit others in the unforeseeable future.

Galmathrax was another; and one who might benefit from an intimate understanding of what it truly means to be immortal. That is the key to why immortals and mortals are different, and it is what Arethorelas taught me: immortals do not have to die; so they never confront death. They never face the future. They build for themselves, and not for others; because they will ‘always’ be there while others may not.

Arethorelas understood this, at the very end; he gave his life because he could not bear to destroy everything he had made. He wanted his creations to outlive him and was willing to pay any price to do so.

Galmathrax has spent a long time living only for himself… so I gave him that thought. Arethorelas’ fragments had told me that joy was their only weapon against the encroaching darkness of Latah’Ashkar. So I asked Kii’sha to show Galmathrax what happiness really was.

When I stood up in the snow with Galmathrax fleeing in (understandable) confusion, I knew, deep in my heart, that the soulbeacon had changed. The memories I offered, had become part of Galmathrax; and it instead had filled with darker thoughts from Galmathrax; desperate, cheated, angry, vengeful.

I will need to fix this, at any cost.

Gods above, what have I done? Perhaps I’ve destroyed the best parts of Arethorelas in pursuit of a naive ideal, in the belief that maybe even Galmathrax could change and become something better.

or perhaps we broke the darkness in Galmathrax’ thoughts, helped him realise that building something good and right could be more fulfilling than destroying and conquering.

I don’t know. Therein lies the rub.

I must go to him. I need to speak with Galmathrax; not for him, not for the future, but for myself. For selfish reasons.

I have to know what I’ve wrought. I have to know if this sacrifice – a sacrifice that wasn’t mine to make - was worth it.

Wouldn’t it be ironic if in pursuit of Arethorelas’ ideal, I destroyed him on a more fundamental level than even the Dark Archons achieved?

Wouldn’t it be glorious if I’d not… and made a creature who’s lived in the cold fury of revenge for aeons, feel the sweet release of forgiving and living for others… dying for others..?

I might not survive. In fact, regardless, I am likely not to.

But this… is worth it. My lesson, Arethorelas’ lesson, is that life means nothing unless we live for others as well as ourselves.

I cannot betray myself. So I will go to him in forgiveness, as a potential friend, and find out who Galmathrax truly is. Maybe he’ll kill me; maybe he’ll find there’s good in him after all.

Maybe someday I may even break bread with Morgotharn himself.

….no. I’m not… quite ready to contemplate that. However hard I try… the angry, resentful kobold forged in Morgotharn’s hell still rebels against the lessons I’ve learned.

But give him time, and perhaps I’ll forgive him too for abandoning so many friends and family to that monstrous fate. For doing nothing to save them in so many years. For pursuing his own goals and thinking of them only in terms of resentment… and anger at his loss. It’s probably too late for them now.

Forgiveness. Forgive even that. Hope for something more and never surrender it. Live for joy, live for others, live for a greater purpose, and never give up

Even that resentful kobold who abandoned his Clan. Forgive him, too. Maybe someday, even I’ll learn to do that.

What else is life for…?

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Vren'zzik's journal Entry
Some thoughts

( Music since it seems to be a thing. https://youtu.be/Z1Atr0OVY5Q )

Well, I suppose it is done.

It doesn’t ‘feel’ done.

I suppose it is too new.. or too far in scope to truly appreciate. Or maybe I am just too used to what feels like it would be madness to the me from before this all started.

We caused Galm to flee.. we. Me, Atoraav, Kii’Sha, Atanu. What a strange motley group we are. They are my friends.. yet others see us and think we are a group strange to be together.. but they see only appearances. What we share goes beyond experiences.. I am glad to have them as my friends.

After that.. we met with the one who caused the deaths of untold thousands.. a horrible human man whom Leon denounced as unworthy. He tried to kill us.. but we were protected by Link.. who is Link I wonder? Is he truly an extension of Sasara or is he something more? To find us in such a far flung place after going missing.. still.. he was downed by his own fell power. I took the opportunity to learn who he was.

He certainly was chosen by Shiela.. if that was who I saw in his memory. But she went silent many years ago.. he chose to commit those atrocities on his own. based on bad dreams. The link he has with Shiela is grey.. not light and certainly not dark. And he can certainly draw great power from it. It has possibly taken over by another dark archon.. or maybe the same one. Who knows… there is nothing I can do for him now. I left his fate to Leon. It may be that the simplest way for them to gain another Pontifex will be to simply slay him and let Shiela choose a new more worthy candidate. he certainly has spilled enough blood to deserve such a sentence. And yet, based on Atoraavs will, I manipulated his dream so he could see what happened with Latah’Ashkar and left a hint that he and his connection too may be tainted in the same manner as Galmathrax.

I pondered haunting him with nightmares of every single skeleton I saw on my journey through this hellish snow filled continent. From the baby Gryphons skeleton clutching towards its parents to the family of dead sprites that were burned to death together.

I find it very hard to forget these things. I still feel a certain hate even now. left to me I would probably maim Crassius to the point he would live to regret it.

Whether these are Sarraaki feelings or what I would have felt before I don’t know. It worries me.. but I feel that if I stay by Atoraavs and Kii’Sha’s sides they will act as my conscience.

And yet now here we are. We’re going to separate to deal with some things. I feel only worry. Not for Atanu.. he is as mighty as the rest of us combined and then some.

I feel worry for Atoraav and Kii’Sha. Both feel as lost as I feel.. where will they go? one is something of an exile.. the other is as new to the world as I am to this second life. I should not treat them as children however.. they survived without the rest of us around, they are strong now. I somehow worry for myself and my own morals. But I suppose so long as I worry for these things I will not give in to them. I still have Voorvaskiin too. At least until I am ready to take him to that place between places by my own power.

We have agreed to meet together in one years time. At Falkataar. It seems like as good a meeting spot as any, though I cannot call it neutral ground. It should make Kii’Sha happy to be there again.

We all have business to take care of.. myself.. I have two tasks. One is to swing by my old home and find Mathri.. and give her that gold she wished for before I drug her through hell and back. She certainly earned it. I feel so bad about it all.. I need to see if the elf saved her life as he promised. If she lives, I will pay her for her efforts. Certainly enough to see her straight for many a year. I will not tell the truth.. she would not believe me, I will merely introduce myself to her as a courier and pass her the bag of gold with a note who it was from.

Secondly… I want to go and see what ‘home’ is like now. To ‘meet my people’ as it were. I am not looking forward to it. From all the rumours… and certain personal experiences.. Sarraaki are not good people. I’ve certainly experienced my share of discrimination for it. Still, I do not wish to remain ignorant. And this is something I feel I need to learn. The experience will hopefully do me good.

It is but for a year, and hardly binding. I wonder if there are any old Elevahn ruins there…

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Kii'sha's Memory
A reflection

((Refer to Kii’sha’s Theme sent by Aedrion for music. I don’t know if it’s available on youtube))

I’m not one for recording my steps on Aneada. Much of the time I don’t feel as if I am fit to even lay them. I am not born of this world, and yet I am not simply a spirit of the Aether. I’m a fragment of a man I can only assume was virtuous, though from what I’ve heard it was that virtue that ultimately destroyed him. Similarly how his vices ultimately destroyed the Pontifex. But I can’t help but feel as though it’s one thing for your actions to lead to your self destruction, and yet another for it to lead to others’.

The Pontifex and Galmathrax caused an unquantifiable amount of grief in this world. No sooner than my Desh’ar and Sasara gave me my purpose, was I faced with a tide of sorrow that I surely had no chance to combat. And yet, I was driven. With aid of my friends Vren and Atoraav, I managed to keep moving forward; doing everything we could to discover some way to turn the dragon. My general mission to spread joy became enormously specific. These pointless and petty wars had to stop.

And stop they did. But while Sasara’s unleashing of Galmathrax certainly stopped the Pontifex’s purge, it took many lives before the dragon turned from his path of destruction. Similarly, just as I stopped Athalsamar from declaring war on humanity… I may have led him to his own destruction.

I am no Man of Song. Not a hero, or a savior. Whatever wisdom Nadoraan might have possessed as an immortal Elevahn was not given to me. I still have much to learn about the world, the balance of joy and grief, and how my choices affect it all. I can’t live my life untarnished by sin and mistakes. Even Sasara of all her seeming purity could not avoid the stains of blood on her hands… I have learned that for every one man I bring joy, many more yet feel sorrow. As well, some will feel joy at the cost of another’s….

I know, I should be overjoyed. Just as the rest of the nation knows, I helped defeat the undefeatable. We stopped the tide of sorrow from consuming Northelain and perhaps the world. Yet my mind returns to Sasara, and what she would think of me if I led her brother to his doom… Perhaps it was his own arrogance and wrath that led him to this path. Perhaps I saved many more elven and human lives from his abuse in the name of revenge. Regardless of all of that, I am responsible for the fate of the Prince of Elves. I cannot simply leave him to it.

Naari’a, I know you wait for me to return and it has already been so long. I have so much to tell you. Of this world. Of me. Of you…. Of Nadoraan. But I also have so much left to do…

….I’m not one for recording my steps on Aneada. But when I look behind me, I can’t help but feel they dig a little too deeply into the earth.

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