The Svartálfar Courts of the Dead
After the Great Undertaking wiped out most of the nobility of all three courts it was the living necromancers who took control of the svartálfar. They bent most of the undead to their will and have understandings with the rest. For now there is peace but there has been unrest as of late.
For countless ages the svartálfar were trapped within a demi-plane of their own making, able to live but unable to leave their city. One day the city shook and all around them they saw they had been returned to Forbuho, but just as they returned so too had the weight of ages, their cure had begun to fail. Aside from that the land itself had grown wild, what seemed to be a few generations to the svartálfar had been centuries as the land had retaken all traces of the svartálfar save Obsidian. To pile insult onto injury there were two settlements full of intruders that had established themselves and had been looting the land.
Illistyn Vandree -
- Kiran Noquar - Leader of the Court of Blood
- Vrinn Waegloss - Leader of the Court of Bone
- Ryld Rilynt'tar - Leader of the Court of Breath
Leader of the svartálfar’s armies he was considered old for those within the city. Being outside Obsidian he feels death will come soon but is too prideful to hide in the city. He dislikes the undead and has taken an oath to pass without returning.
Leader of the Bone troops he was appointed to appease the throngs of svartálfar seeking an end to the curse. While inexperienced as a leader he is a consummate soldier.
Mayal Dree’lyn -
Leader of the Blood troops she has an intense hatred of the other races since her fiance was killed on the island. Without the marriage her house stands to fall due to her patriarchs mishandling of house finances.
Yonnel Claddath -
Leader of the Breath troops he has been kidnapping adventurers to learn everything he can.
Before the Fey fled the world there were few allies among the mortals. Of them the closest were a tribe of elves called the svartálfar who worshiped the Fey as Gods. For their loyalty the Fey gave the svartálfar their blessing, their skin was darkened to a regal color and their souls empowered with darkness. As the Fey fled they gave stewardship to the svartálfar and bade them protect the island of Forbuho least the mortals try to hunt down the Fey.
When the Fey left the mortal plane it was from Forbuho and in doing so stained the land with the magic of the planes. Within the land the planes themselves hand been twisted to cover the escape of the Fey. For a time the svartálfar watched over but eventually they noticed the land itself bore a weight upon their lives, rather than centuries their lifespan numbered in decades and even the island itself split as countless planes overlapped upon each other. The svartálfar sages surmised that their life was being lived across all planes that touche the land, a candle buring ten times as bright and as quick. After a great fight the svartálfar were split, half left the island and fell to the worship of Loth while the rest stayed true to their Fey lords. It seemed as if the faithful svartálfar would vanish till one day a wizard discovered the secrets of necromancy. Now though their lives were cut short their efforts would not be lost and she was raised as the Ghost Queen until the Fey returned. For hundreds of years the queen developed her arts as the three courts rose from her teachings. But eventually the Queen fell to her vanity as she began possessing her subjects.
At first it was an honor to sacrifice one’s life to give the Ghost Queen a body which she would use till it fell. But soon she became obsessed with youth in an attempt to capture inspiration, as a body began to weaken she purposely expired the body to move onto the next. It all came to a head when she demanded the Lord of the Blood Court surrender his only daughter, it seemed as if a civil war would break out but the Lady of Blood surrendered willingly. Not ten years later the Queen found a comly serving girl and announced she would transfer her spirit to the luckless maid.
But when the ritual was set the Queen did not appear. While she was seen by her servants drinking poison her soul did not leave her body. It was then the Bloody Coup began, the Lord of Blood and many living svartálfar went to the Citadel of the Moon and slew the inner circle of the Court of Breath. Without the Queen the Court of Breath were captured and sealed away, and the King of Blood rose to rule over the svartálfar.
To appease the living and to extend the lives of the svartálfar the King brought the greatest minds of the svartálfar together to stop the weight of ages upon the living subjects. For almost a hundred years the scholars worked themselves to death and beyond to solve the curse of the island. Eventually the Great Undertaking began, a ritual to release the planes from this land. Gathering the greatest minds and strongest arcanists when the ritual was completed a silence fell upon the island.
Eventually a few brave svartálfar went to the heart of the island to learn what happened to the Great Undertaking, there they saw the entire city of Obsidian dead. Not just the death of a mortal but the true death that claimed all souls including that of the King of Blood. But their efforts had produced some success, upon stepping into the city the svartálfar felt the weight of ages lift off their shoulders. Soon all svartálfar from across the island settled within Obsidian, going so far as to plant crops within the city to reduce the need to leave. Without the greatest of their Undead the living outnumbered and outpowered the dead and for the first time in ages a living King rose to power. But all was not well as the city itself soon vanished from the island not to be seen till the two kingdoms settled upon the island.
Not all undead retain their souls and not all undead have a strong enough Animus. For those that do not have enough life to continue after death there is the Mindless. Zombies, skeletons, and other such mindless undead make the front line of the svartálfar armies. All mindless are held in check by svartálfar Necromancy.