Rise of the Chosen: 199 AotDR (Age of the Dark Rites)
The Age of the Unholy Wars has ended and the kingdoms of the 3rd Gate have experienced the worst of the darkness that followed. The fall of the old Gods has left The Gates of Amaranthine in a never ending time of troubles. With this proverbial darkness came the death plague, festering within the mortal realms, the 3rd Gate being the catalytic source of the event. A dark fortress appeared within the plains of the eastern coast of the dead sea on the day which marked the dawn of the new age, and with it the sun was scorched from the skies, leaving the realm in complete and utter darkness. The master of the keep, simply known as the Crimson One -or the Necromaster to those versed in the knowledge of his dark arts-, unleashed what the realm came to refer to as the Dark Ritual which blotted out the sun and brought the Death Plague into existance. Cemetaries and tombs, graves long since left undisturbed over countless centuries, were emptied of their inhabitants, as the dead walked the earth, revealing the ever reaching hand of Uulhamek'Moctou, The God of Undeath and master of the Necrocosm (known to those less familiar with the Dark Arts simply as, The Nothing, the source of necromatic power), the realm where the souls of the dead, who held no Deity in their hearts, dwell in eternal emptiness.
Uulhamek'Moctou's Death Plague, unleashed at the hands of the Necromaster, enveloped the 3rd Gate in a darkness which far surpassed the simple eclipsing of the sun. The people of the 3rd Gate were lost, and the heroes of the Unholy Wars could do nothing to protect the Gates at all times. And none suffered from these limited resources more than the 3rd Gate.
And then suddenly, as if it grew from the deepest hopes and prayers of those who survived the first century of the death plague, came a sign of hope in a hopeless time. One day a beam of light reached down from the heavens and from the emptiness appeared a fortress crafted from pillars of silver. The first inhabitants of the fortress claimed to have been blessed by their God, becoming the council of the New Temple. These people claimed that there was a new God, the one true God who needed no other name, and with Him they would be safe from the dangers of the darkness. The people flocked to the Fortress and took refuge in this kingdom which was a world onto itself. Their God claimed to be the beginning and the end, the righteous light within Uulhamek'Moctou's evil darkness.
Those who took the side of the True God, were forced to abandon the old Gods and devote their lives to the worship of He alone. Those who hesitated considered His arrival as either a test of their faith, or even as a wolf in sheep's clothing, remained separate from the New Temple, and were left to their own devices within the Outlands. These Outlanders became forgotten by the people of the Fortress, believed to be lost to the light forever and the people of the fortress -Now referred to as the people of the light- were warned to keep their distance from the outside world, lest they be lost forever.
An army was erected to regulate the defenses of the Fortress, from the sewers below which were open to the Outlands and therefore vulnerable to attacks, to the boundaries of their fortress just outside the walls of The Kingdom of Light. These knights were taken at birth, chosen by the council who claimed that the One God selected them as His soldiers. These children were raised in the Temple and taught only to serve the council, their word being the word of the One God.
The Beginning: Game intro
The 4 who will start off the campaign within the citadel will be soldiers of the army of light. You will be the apprentices of the Lord High General; Gabriel Azerdan. A decorated war veteran of the first effort against the Outlands and it's undead inhabitants nearly half a century ago (before most of you were even born).
The newest orders from the council tell of a rise in power beyond the walls, a witch claiming to be the Vessel of the Forgotten Gods has began spreading her magics across the Outlands, claiming that she was sent here to remind the world of the Forgotten and within her was all that remained of their influence within the Mortal Realms. The truth, as the council revealed it to you all, is that she is the apprentice of the Necromaster, sent to trick the faithful into abandoning the Fortress of Light and fall prey to the Darkness. The New orders were to no longer allow admittance into the Fortress of Light from apparently repentant Outlanders, and any who are seen either at the ring of light or within the tunnels were to be killed on site, for they could not take the risk of their true motives. The gates were sealed for the time being, so that they may better defend against this new threat. This order was issued 6 years ago, with no end in sight.
Something changed in the world as The New Temple reached its Centennial year, the end of their first century of existence, and entrance into the 2nd Century of The Age of the Dark Rites. It was a fragile time; More and more undead were finding their ways into the tunnels and sewers below, attacks became more frequent and the rumors of The Vessel's rise in power and infamy became less rumor and more fact. The Council of Light began to fear that its hold over the people was growing weak, so the leader of the Council, The Arch Priest Malachi (Human), issued an order to the soldiers to prepare for a purging ritual, which would take place on the eve of their Centennial. None of the soldiers knew what this meant, but Gabriel did...Though he chose to keep its true meaning from his soldiers until the time was right, only telling them to play their part and do as they are ordered...until he changed those orders. He had to hope that his children (the chosen) were free enough from the hold of the Council...He had to pray that when the truth was revealed ,when the time was right, they could guide the people into the next century.
The 4 of you are Gabriel's Chosen, and surrogate children, more so than simple soldiers of the light...Taken from your homes at birth and raised within a dictatorship bent on ruling what was left of the world. But Gabriel has worked hard to keep your minds free, hoping it wasn't too late for you all to become the true soldiers of light in the coming efforts. All you know of Gabriel is that you regard him as a father figure, the only one you have ever had and most of you, if not all, believe in him more than anything else. As of late he has been taking more and more assignments in the tunnels, especially along the south wall...there are rumors your next assignment will place you in these same tunnels, and if you did well enough, you would all be apart of the next sweep of the light ring (the boundary outside the walls of the Fortress).
The two (perhaps as many as 5 should such a group prove compatible with a quality gaming experience) who will later join the campaign will be briefed on their particular roles and backgrounds leading to the joining of forces.
So come forward all ye Potentials, and see if your characters have what it takes to become one of the Chosen...