The 2000 Year Epic Campaign
You grew up in what was the Dolaneg Kingdom. On the opposite side of the continent from the “Western Decius Empire”, officially known as the Ilthor Kingdom. Ilthor was just a smaller version of the old Empire; same ideology, same capital, and pretty much the same leadership.
Dolaneg was completely different. A progressive, trade and merchant based economy, was the foundation of this eastern kingdom. King Parados grew from the son of a fisherman, to owner of the Parados Shipping Company. When the Decius Empire crumbled, and the land was being carved up, the people of the Dolaneg region anointed Pade Parados king.
You met him before the war started. He came to your village and talked to every single merchant, farmer, businessman, and tradesman around. Your father introduced himself to King Parados and the king shook his hand eagerly before quickly getting down to business, rattling off questions in rapid fire:
What do you do?
Where is your farm?
What do you produce?
How much do you sell your good for and where?
What are your costs associated with your goods?
What is your ratio of time farming to selling goods?
Your father answered all the questions while Parados (most people find it awkward to call him king) shuffled through some papers, before coming up with a solution.
“How about this. You sell your goods to Exum Deliveries, for 88% of what you would sell your goods for. They will come out to your farm twice a month to pay for the goods they pick up. With this you’ll experience a 96% savings in time spent loading your goods onto wagons, maintenance of said wagons, transportation of goods to market, and finding a suitable seller. This should allow you to have 38% more free time. If you spent 20% of that 38%, then you could more than make up the 12% drop in expected price.”
Your father blinked his eyes a couple of times trying to catch up. Parados smiled and simplified it. “You’ll spend more time with your family for less work, or work a little more to make more money.”
Your father agreed and thanked him. Parados shook his hand, “Not a problem, this is what I do.”
Things were great. Your parents had more money and more free time. But that all ended 9 years ago.
Aqium, the long-supporting country to Dolaneg, renounced their treaty and launched a full scale invasion into the merchant state. Scores of minotaurs, wizards, Bronzeshield Dwarves, and Dark Elves swept through the country. But most horrifying were the undead.
With sentient beings you can see their motivations. A couple of dwarves would barge into a farmhouse set on destruction, but would get distracted when they found ale in the kitchen. The undead were not like this. The undead were cruel, they were terrorizing, and most of all, they were relentless.
You hid on the top floor of a barn as you saw an Aqium Wizard release a score of undead of your village. Your parents died horrific deaths right in front of you. They mindlessly rushed the other farmers of your community and ripped them to pieces. And when the slaughter was over, the wizard would raise the dead villagers to serve him. You cried silently to yourself as you knew there was nothing you could do. You hated feeling powerless.
You were on the run for some time after that. Staying one step ahead of the horde of undead while searching for some sort of weapon against them.
Then you heard a voice.
Faint at first, but growing stronger over time, this voice came to you and reassured you. She had a hatred of undead as great as you. She honed your innate arcane skills like a blacksmith sharpens a blade. Soon you tapped into the power of the Raven Queen and you could finally fight back. She also taught you the difference between mindless undead and the truly evil creatures that willingly accept the necrotic arts for their own pleasure. “Those are the true evil.”
You took to your new skills quite well, performing hit-and-run attacks on the ever encroaching Aqium army. You were successful. You took down a good amount of undead. But each day you had to retreat as they army of the undead was overwhelming. Hatred alone would not win this war.
You needed help in this fight, and help fell right into your lap.
Wandering through the wooded hills near the Alimlar Border, you slipped on some wet leaves and slide down the hill and onto a road.
“Get up maggot!”
Um…who said that?
A strong, greenish arm easily picked you off the ground and soon your were eye to eye with a mean and nasty looking half-orc. He snarled at you as your legs dangled in the air. He turned to the other people on the road, all young, all exhausted.
“I told you maggots, the next one of your puny losers to drop and everyone pays the price! Pushups! Get em going and don’t stop!”
The others groaned and gave you the stink eye. The half-orc set you down. You had no idea what to do, so you got down to do pushups as well.
“Oh no, little fly. You fucked up, they pay.”
The half-orc pulled a barrel of water off his back and slammed it down in the middle of the road, made you sit on it and then handed you a flask. “Drink.”
Carefully you sniffed the flask. It smelled like death. You push it back.
The half-orc pushed it back in your face. “You drink, little fly! They do pushups until you finish drinking.”
By now everyone was furious with you. They hurled insults while they sucked in air. Everyone hates you.
You take a small sip and nearly gag. The half-orc mocks you, “Oh, Gruk so sorry little fly. Too hot? Here, fan yourself off, little fly.”
Gruk hands you his hat and orders you to fan yourself. Somehow it seemed to help. You continued to sip as much of the foul liquid as you could. But you knew you looked like an asshole right now.
Here you are, sitting down, fan in one hand, and a beverage in the other, while everyone is doing pushups for your mistake. Wait – my mistake? I don’t even belong here, I’m-
“Hurry the fuck up little fly!” someone yelled.
Gruk laughed, “Oh, little fly, they don’t like you. You better drink faster.”
Pinching your nose you down the rest of the flask in one gulp and then threw it on the ground. Gruk barked out, “Enough!” and everyone collapsed to the ground.
Gruk whispered to you, “Good job kiddo. That stuff is awful. Gruk can’t even drink it all.”
This made you smile for the first time in what seems like forever.
“Ok you maggots, break time’s over, back to camp, double-time!”
The groans continued but everyone got up and continued running down the road. Gruk turns to you and looks you over. “Not much to you, kinda scrawny, probably from some rich family in Dolaneg”
You glare and Gruk and your fingers start to go through the somatic gestures of casting a spell. Gruk snatches you by the arm, disrupting your concentration.
“Awww, Gruk hurt your feelings? Yea? Well Gruk not sorry! You probably not last one day in training camp. Gruk think you too weak.” Gruk picks you up and brings your face to his, “You lose because you give up. They (points to runners) lose because they give up. Gruk not give up. Never.”
He sets you back down on the ground. You have a million questions. Who are they? What is this training camp? Are they fighting the undead too? You open your mouth to ask one of the many questions.
“Start running little fly!!!” barks Gruk.
Training camp was grueling and you never really made things up with the other soldiers. They hated you from the beginning, but now as you were excelling in camp, their hatred turned to resentment. And Gruk was still on your ass every, single, god-forsaken, day.
As training camp was nearly complete you saw a man enter the training base. He was dressed in heraldry of the Ilthor Kingdom and you could see him talking to Gruk. Occasionally Gruk would point in your direction and the other man would nod. After the two were done, Gruk walked past you.
“Try not to fuck up, little fly. Gruk done with you.”
The other man approached, smiled, and introduced himself as Chancellor Gavin. He was traveling through the land looking for exceptional warriors to join an elite strike force called Corvus Septum, to fight in the Great War.
You nodded and waited for him to continue.
“Gruk spoke very highly of you.”
“Gruk?!?” you ask.
“He did. He said your heart is filled with resolve and determination. Our team needs warriors like you. Do you want to win this war? Do you want to be the reason we win this war?”
Gavin smiled and two days later you were heading off to the Ilthor capital of Centum Treyopolis. There you met Rigel 108, a warforged and team leader of Corvus Septum. You were appointed the roll of Intelligence officer and after a few days of training you were whisked away on a mission to Dunbar Island.
“Aren’t there others? Certainly Corvus is not a two-person team?”
Gavin smiled, “You are on the advance team, the others will join you soon. I need to gather more resources first.”
While in the capital briefly, you met Rigel 108, a warforged rogue or the Nosiriath Realm (Jordan). Chancellor Gavin caught you up to speed on your first mission.
“Time is of the essence and you two need to mobilize now. The rest of your team will join you shortly. The Decius Army is launching an offensive, top secret, on Dunbar Island. It is an island in the gulf between the Kingdom of Ilthor and the former Dolaneg Kingdom. Aqium hasn’t made a strong stand in the island and some Generals here think this could be a huge rally cry for us to hang our hats on. A chance to actually push Aqium back. The attack is being led by a young man, Centurion Quin Arcavius. Old Decius bloodlines, wealthy family, strong supporter of King Venantius II.
You glance at Rigel 108 briefly, “What are our orders?” he ask.
“Assist with the invasion, but keep an eye on Quin. Gauge how he commands. How does he act under pressure? How do the soldiers react to his commands? Are his decisions careless or thought out?”
Chancellor Gavin sighs, “You will be under his command for now. I’m still working on the logistics of this strike force. Soon you’ll be in charge of it, Rigel, but for now Centurion Quin is in command.”
Gavin smiles, “Good luck, I’ll be in touch with you as soon as a can.”
The following morning the two of you sailed from Centum Treyopolis to a rendezvous point on the coast just east of the Ashilwynn Forest. There, a single warship, formerly of the Galerius Brotherhood, was loaded up with 25 soldiers and prepared to launch the invasion on the nearby island. Centurion Arcavius is a young man, early 20’s, with long blonde hair. He welcomed you aboard for this mission and he seems to have a lot of confidence, which is exactly what the soldiers needed for this dangerous mission.
It only took about 3 hours of sailing to spot the island and then another hour or so to circle around to reach the only town on it, Dunbar Town. No enemy warships were spotted nearby nor in the docks. Centurion Arcavius led the soldiers as they slipped off the warship in rowboats and reached the beach just north of the town to begin the assault.
Arcavius assured the confused townfolk that they were here to liberate them from the unjust Aqium overlords and if they could…point them…in the right direction?
This isn’t what you expected. You envisioned dozens of men, under a hail of cannons, storming the beach and belting out blood-curdling war cries. Not…asking for directions.
Finally you found some Aqium soldiers, they had taken over the mayor’s manor. You and Rigel 108 took out the two guards out front with ranged attacks as the rest of the soldiers entered the house. A few minutes later, Arcavius exited the manor with his weapon still in hand. “I think we got it. Not the manor, the whole island. I conquered Dunbar Island!” The soldiers cheered and you and Rigel 108 looked at each other confused.
A couple of days here offered some more perspective on the “Invasion”. Apparently there were only six Aqium soldiers stationed here and they weren’t that controlling of the townsfolk. They mostly sat around and drank rum all day while everyone else went about their business.
Arcavius took over the mayor’s manor and made it his command post. He threw a huge party the first night to celebrate the courageous victory, the first of many! He sent the warship back to the Ashilwynn beach to resupply his army with provisions while he wrote his parents about his amazing accomplishment.
The two of you began to scout around the town. It had one tavern in it, called the Blue Gateway Inn. Only thing remarkable about it is that it is built around an inert blue pillar. The jail has one person in it, a strange gnome that keeps asking to see her “sisters”. There are a couple of merchant ships here in the docks, waiting for Arcavius to release them, and a local met with Arcavius to look into disturbance south of town near an old burial mound. Arcavius ran his hair through his long blonde hair, “I don’t have time to run the government here AND plan another invasion, I’ll get someone else to look into this.”
Word came around that the warship returns with more supplies and the rest of the Corvus Septum team.