The Second Totem War

EVENTS NEWS #91
Date: 7/11/2006 at 16:14
From: Anonymous
To : Everyone
Subj: The Second Totem War

Years after they had resigned themselves to existing with the totem and
its vengeful spirits, the sleepy village of Tasur'ke was struck again by
tragedy. Priests of Corruption abducted a baby from the arms of a
townswoman named Dorla for the perversions of their Goddess.

Where most mothers would have been devastated with shock, this
townswoman instead sought revenge. When Dorla attempted to kill those
responsible for taking her child, however, she was stopped by Enorian
knights. Filled with bitterness and grief, she was taken by Iliphar
Laurn to the Indorani guildhall, where she learned the benefits of hate.

Years later, Dorla returned to her community, speaking in secret to her
townsmen with the determination and charisma of a leader. It was around
this time that both the evangelistic priest sent from the Arurer Haven
disappeared, and Dorla underwent the rites necessary to become Undead.
Rumors of 'the Change' spread through the populace and in private,
families volunteered themselves to begin 'walking the Path' of Undeath.
The town minstrel fled in horror, taken in and given shelter by the
Bahkatu of Ashtan.

Mutterings about methods of destroying the invasive totem and spirits
had begun, spurred forth by the regular violent raids of the Bahkatu.
Dorla led her people to hack the limbs from the enormous tree that had
grown in the Thalassa Market years before. In consultation with Morganth
Laurn and Elder Shoimoro Kazama, Jasmyn designed and supplied materials
to build a monument. The alabaster and obsidian piece was intended to
portray harmony between Undeath and Life.

During the construction, however, voices around Sapience began to take
note and call for action. Gebron, keeper of the Hunting Grounds, called
for ideas in how to combat the Undead threat, as did Barrkesh and
Corporal Cazin, all anxious about the dark happenings to the north. But
before any of their forces took action, Chakros dawned, bringing further
ill tidings.

Morganth Laurn led a ritual to sanctify the Tasur'kean monument with
Necromantic essences. A dozen necromancers gathered with the villagers,
reciting ancient words of power and giving of their own blood to the
stone. They were able to complete the ritual without interruption,
causing the animals of the town to perish and surrounding greenery to
wither. In response, however, Divine essence poured from the Ithmia
itself into Lord Haern's totem. The spirits that came forth were blind
with fury and threw themselves with renewed strength at the
necromancers.

The spirits were made more corporeal in their new power, and through
methods shrouded in secrecy, the servants of Undeath were able to
collect essences of ferocity, cunning, and other wild virtues and
corrupt them, turning them into weapons with which to weaken the totem
and empower the monument. The warriors of Life and the Hunter despaired
of ever finding a way to combat their foes, and many spoke of defeat.

In this dark moment, Gebron was blessed with fortune. In his private
library, he discovered an ancient bardic scroll - a song about a 'Savage
Crown' that was later also found in the Great Aetolian Library.
Sentinels and worshippers of Lord Haern worked together under the
guidance of Wylliam Laidir and Fanico Te'Straif-Laidir to summon this
holy artifact. While the Undead worked nonstop in their deeds of
corruption, the servants of nature paused to study this new weapon,
hiding it from even their allies for fear of spies.

Their fear was perhaps well-founded, as the Crown changed hands several
times over the ensuing months, even coming into the possession of Dorla
and Morganth. It was, however, recovered at length and used as it was
intended, to weaken the monument and strengthen the totem. The
corruption of the totem was strong by then, and the bearers of the
Savage Crown knelt to the totem, taking its wounds into themselves.
Wylliam, Daskalos Qefin, Xon Vekato, and Zephy Duses all accepted grave
injuries on behalf of the totem. In time, both the totem and the
monument were filled with power, exerting their influence on the lands
and townsfolk.

At last, a great howling spread, echoed in the throats of every wild
predator. Multihued essence poured from the forests into the totem once
more, trickling from ten thousand sources into a great river that caused
the totem to burst into bloom. The lesser spirits were not to be found
and instead a great, armored wyvern spirit sprang forth, crazed with
rage. It descended on the village, giving no quarter to even the
smallest of Undead children, slaying its foes until its silver spiritual
armor was bathed in blood. Silvertooth hastened to call her allies to
defend the Undead, rushing from Spinesreach to help. As the opposition
gathered, the spirit mistook the monument for prey and slammed its
massive body into the stone.

A crack began at the monument's center and spread outward, separating it
in equal halves. Though the masculine obsidian half remained motionless,
the feminine alabaster half took on a life of its own, sprouting pale
wings and revealing itself to be a stone gargoyle, much to the surprise
of the monument's builders. The gargoyle and wyvern spirit joined
battle, but it soon became clear that each was unable to be harmed by
mortal weapons or one another.

Silvertooth and Inesse each devised a plan to weaken the spirit and
gargoyle. The proponents of Undeath soon held the arcane rites and the
spirit's armor was torn, leaving its scaley hide vulnerable. The spirit
retreated to the totem but was unable to stand against the united
Spirean and assorted necromantic armies. As the spirit perished, forest
dwellers and Enorians also found success in their strategies, concocting
a golden elixir to purify the gargoyle. Though they managed to weaken
the alabaster creature, shedding its stone shell and revealing its
living flesh, the Undead defended the gargoyle against all attacks.
Arcing into the sky, the gargoyle dissipated, sowing the ground with its
corrupted dust.

Swaths of lifeless sand were left in the gargoyle's wake, serving as a
barrier the Ithmia roots not touch. The Savage Crown, now a mere hoop of
iron and bone, and the obsidian half of the monument each remained,
lingering as reminders of what had occurred. In the months that followed
Dorla and her people began rebuilding. One townswoman's dream of a
secure, unified Tasur'ke was at last achieved.

Penned by my hand on the 21st of Niuran, in the year 191 MA.