Wars of Undeath Military Conflict in Runetalras | World Anvil
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Wars of Undeath

The Wars of Undeath were a series of conflicts which enveloped Free States of Enarsel, Feloc, Harthban, Pathral, Tel'Bacy, and, Velfauna, the Kingdom of Thaxnoria, Kingdom of Aran'Nack, Kingdom of Selu’Qidar, Kingdom of Elnusari , Old Garstil , Caedreon, the Lords of the Storm, Tee'Chaher, and the Heroes of the Free States, all who fought against the Avatar of Orcus and Crystal Catalyst. The wars were short in duration but exceedingly blood, as victory came only at great cost.

The Avatar of Orcus

The origins of the Wars of Undeath are poorly understood, however, the forces of the Avatar of Orcus were first encountered by the Heroes of the Free States underneath the city of Velfauna, during the Second War of Thaxnorian Expansion. An army of undeath and demons stood behind the Silver Gate beneath Velfauna, after what must have been decades of destruction within the Underdark, however, the Heroes were able to thwart the efforts of the Avatar of Orcus to reach the surface of Runetalras.   The Avatar of Orcus was not deterred, only delayed; whilst the Second War of Thaxnorian Expansion struggled to end in the face of the threat of the Avatar of Orcus, its forces were on the march. The Wars on Undeath were made clear to all on 15th February 533:Contempt, when Kelmar, the capital of the Craglands in the Kingdom of Thaxnoria, and Aranthaig, the capital of the Kingdom of Aran'Nack, were attacked in unison. At Aranthaig, forces from the Elnurian Alliance, Aarelan, Tee'Chaher, Lords of the Storm, and refugees from the Underdark joined with the defenders and Heroes. At Aranthaig the assembled forces turned back a force of undead and demons. Kelmar was not as lucky Aranthaig was warned, by refugees from the Underdark and the rangers of Kingdom of Aran'Nack, Kelmar was largely unprepared save for a contingent of the Lords of the Storm led by Exarch Nathmir. A force led by the Avatar of Orcus itself stormed and sacked the city, only a few thousand survived to flee the city led by Prince Kromgrun Mitheart.   With the Fall of Kelmar the Avatar of Orcus’ forces rampaged over the Craglands. The combined forces of Thaxnoria, the lower Free States, Elnurian Alliance, Tee'Chaher, Lords of the Storm and Heroes attempted to halt the Avatar of Orcus’ force several times but failed and fled to fight again. North of Merchant’s Rest, after they united with all practical reinforcements the armies drew up lines to halt the forces of the Avatar of Orcus. Whilst armies fought the Heroes, with small numbers of the Lords of the Storm, Tee'Chaher, and Arcane League, teleported to the heart of Kelmar. There the Lords of the Storm, Tee'Chaher, and Arcane League held off a veritable army of demons and undead whilst the Heroes confronted the Avatar of Orcus. After a dramatic battle the Heroes laid waste to the Avatar of Orcus, which disrupted or destroyed the army the Avatar led.

Crystal Catalyst

Despite the defeat of the Avatar of Orcus the Wars of Undeath were far from over. A threat had been growing in the background. The Heroes uncovered the Grand Imperator of the Red Wizards Tervenus Hafansmith had betrayed the Kingdom of Thaxnoria and was schemed to his own ends. Hafansmith used the Red Wizards to further an alliance with Terraxia, Triarch, a ruler of Crystal Catalyst. Although the Heroes were able to kill Hafansmith and bring down the Red Wizards, Terraxia gained possession of the Crystalline Catalyst and declared herself the sole leader of Crystal Catalyst.   At the point allied forces clashed with those of the Avatar of Orcus north of Merchant Rest in their final climactic battle, Terraxia enacted the Crystalline Convergence which pulled the city of Garthedd, and other landmasses, into the Prime Material Plane and Runetalras. Terraxia, using her considerable mastery of the arcane, announced the reemergence of the Crystal Catalyst and its intention to become the primary power of Runetalras once more. The exhausted armies began their march from their difficult victory over the Avatar toward the threat of the Crystal Catalyst in the Free States. With Terraxia’s announcement, Catalyst agents enacted terrorist attacks throughout major cities of Runetalras whilst dissident mages, from the Arcane Bastille system and other orders like the Red Wizards and Arcane League, rose up in violent rebellion.   The Heroes regathered their allies and sought to restore order where they could in the chaos, whilst unleashed a devastating weapon that destroyed Hathban, and claimed countless lives the majority of its inhabitants as well as a Selu’Qidar force stationed there. The Heroes devised a plan to bring down the floating city of Garthedd, through means largely mysterious to us now, whilst armies marched on Garthedd.

Second Siege of Garthedd

At the Second Siege of Garthedd the Heroes infiltrated the city, over the course of more than 36 hours they wreaked havoc and enacted their plan which saw Garthedd lower to the surface of Runetalras for the first time in more than five centuries. The combined and exhausted forces of Free States of Enarsel, Feloc, Pathral, Tel'Bacy, and, Velfauna, the Kingdom of Thaxnoria, Kingdom of Aran'Nack, Kingdom of Selu’Qidar, Kingdom of Elnusari , Old Garstil, Caedreon, the Lords of the Storm, Tee'Chaher, and refugees from the Underdark, throw themselves at the defenders of Garthedd in sharp and deadly battle. An army of Orrak Aahgith descended upon Garthedd from the opposite direction and added to the maelstrom of steel, fire, and blood. Within the Siege the Lords of the Storm, Bastille Mages, and mages from Aarelan suffered greatly as they attack first in an attempt to break through and assist the Heroes; their sacrifice allowed the Dragon Caraki to help the Heroes against Terraxia.   The Heroes drew Terraxia, First of the Triarchy, Grand Magi of the Catalyst, Wielder of the Crystalline Catalyst, and Navigator to Salvation into combat at the centre of the Conflux Palace floating high above the grounded city. The Heroes fought through undead dragons and archmages, whilst they contended with Terraxia herself; they ultimately defeated the archlich and took control of the Staff of Crystalline Control. In the aftermath of defeating Terraxia the Heroes deescalated the conflict between the allied armies and Orrak Aahgith whilst the former annexed Garthedd.

After the Storm

The Catalyst and Avatar were both defeated, their armies destroyed or subdued, however, problems remained. At the Conference of Velfauna 533:Contempt monarchs and representatives of Enarsel, Feloc, Pathral, Tel'Bacy, and, Velfauna, the Kingdom of Thaxnoria, Kingdom of Aran'Nack, Kingdom of Elnusari , Old Garstil , Caedreon and the Heroes of the Free States met to determine the future. An official end to the Second War of Thaxnorian Expansion was signed. The Conference also decided the fate of Gathedd, after interventions by the Heroes it was decided that Gathedd would fall under the protection of Aarelan whilst it built up new, less evil institutions. Additionally, in secret at the Conference Enarsel, Feloc, Pathral, Tel'Bacy, and, Velfauna renounced their independent sovereignty to create the Union of Crowns, known as the Celadon Union of Crowns at the time of its creation.

The Fallen

The cost of the Wars of Undeath were immense, the majority of the large cities of Harthban and Kelmar were wiped out over night, likewise many other small towns and villages were destroyed by undead and demons. Bloody battles were fought at Aranthaig, Merchant’s Rest, and at Garthedd. No one can truly say exactly how many died, certainly many survivors suffered life changing injuries of body, mind, and soul, but estimates range between two and three million dead.   Among those lost were individuals whose deaths have been recorded in the annals of the History of Runetalras.   Pierre Haurt, Exarch of the Red Wizards - turned into a worm and then killed by the Heroes of the Free States within Orcbayn.   Tervenus Hafansmith, Grand Imperator of the Red Wizards - killed by the Heroes of the Free States in an unknown location in the Kilgarth Mountains.   Nathmir, Exarch of the Lords of the Storm and leader of Hammer’s Guard. - died holding the gates of Kelmar against the Avatar of Orcus itself, his actions allowed Prince Kromgrun Mitheart and others to escape the Fall. Nathmir is remembered as a hero of Kelmar in its darkest hour.   Theldora, Weave Stricken and ally to the Heroes of the Free States - killed by Terraxia and raised as an undead during the Heroes initial assault on Garthedd, prior to the Second Siege of Garthedd.   Hugarth, Alleged Vampire and ally to the Heroes of the Free States - killed in the Conflux Palace during the Second Siege of Gathedd. He was obliterated by Terraxia who used the power of the Staff of Crystalline Control to destroy him and a large section of the Conflux Palace.   Wagner, Brightsword Blade-Master of the Velfaunan Arcane Bastille - killed during the Second Siege of Gathedd. He died fighting liches, his body disintegrated.   Grobaec Alebane, bard and companion to the Prince Amdrus Hlavor of Aran’Nack - killed during the the Second Siege of Gathedd by a death knight. In death his corpse was raised by a Lich which Prince Amdrus Hlavor was forced to end.

Relics

Both the Avatar of Orcus and Terraxia possessed items of great power and evil. The relics of the Avatar of Orcus were seemingly kept in an extradimensional space. Most relics of Terraxia were lost in the chaos of the Second Siege of Gathedd, whilst the Crystalline Catalysts were hidden away by the Heroes.
Conflict Type
War
Start Date
13th December 532:Contempt
Ending Date
6th March 533:Contempt
Location

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