Tales of the Bloodstone Lands
History of the Bloodstone Wars
History of the Bloodstone Wars
In the year 1347, the fortress of Castle Perilous arose in the wilderness of Vaasa. Castle Perilous was raised in a single night by its master, Zhengyi, the Witch-King, a lich of unspeakable power. Zhengyi spent the rest of the year securing the rule of Vaasa. He surrounded himself with priests of Orcus and cemented ties with the Citadel of Assassins located somewhere in the Galena Mountains. By the end of the year, he launched an invasion of Damara.
The Vaasan/Damaran War lasted for ten years before King Virdin Bloodfeathers faced off against the Witch King at the Ford of Goliad. Felix, the King’s chief lieutenant secured a way for Virdin’s armies to triumph, but was secretly an assassin working with Zhengyi. On a hill a short distance from the battle Virdin watched as Zhengyi’s forces shattered his remaining armies before Felix’s dagger finished the job the Witch-King had started.
Zhengyi wasn’t finished. Calling on the Citadel of Assassins, the most loyal and powerful of Damara’s nobles were slain in their beds in one bloody night. Zhengyi hand-picked the new rulers of Damara and granted them a veneer of independence, after they paid tribute to their new lord. Damara began spiraling into economic ruin while the neighboring states could only sit tight and hope that the Witch-King was content with his new domain.
Zhengyi disappeared for two years as his puppet rulers squabbled and conspired against one another until Baron Tranth of Bloodstone Village called on a band of adventurers known as the Twilight Riders to aid his cause.
The leader of the Twilight Riders, a paladin by the name of Gareth Dragonsbane, faced off against Zhengyi’s bandit army which was led by the High Priest of Orcus, Banak. He rallied the people of Bloodstone Pass and defeated the invaders.
Gareth and his companions then routed the minions of Orcus from the Bloodstone Mines, opening the way for the Barony to regain some of the wealth it had lost. Gareth, now betrothed to Tranth’s daughter Christine, organized the villagers to build defenses and fortifications for the battle he knew would come.
A year later, at the urging on the Grandfather of Assassins, William the Lazy, eighth duke of Arcata led his forces against Bloodstone, beginning the Bloodstone Wars.
Two years of war enveloped Damara, but William and the other leaders had no concept of the resolve of Bloodstone Barony or the strength of its new-found leaders. Arcata fell, then Carmathan, and finally the minor baronies of Ostel, Morov and Polten. In a few short years, the provinces of the old Kingdom of Damara were united again under the rule (in some cases, reluctantly) of Gareth Dragonsbane. The existing Barons and Dukes bent knee to the young paladin.
The two forces reached a stalemate at the Ford of Goliad, ironically the very site of the Witch-King’s first victory over Damara. With each army firmly in control of one bank of the river, there seemed no end in sight.
The stalemate was shattered when the Twilight Riders, Gareth, Emelyn the Gray, Friar Dugald, Celedon Keirney, Riordan Parnell and Olwen Forest-Friend struck at the heart of the Witch-King’s power. Stories say the entered the Abyss itself and struck a blow against Orcus himself, causing the Demon Lord to withdraw his dark powers from Zhengyi. Castle Perilous fell into ruins and the undead of the Vaasan army fell into dust.
1373 – Now
Eight years have passed since the fall of Zhengyi, yet King Gareth Dragonsbane has not enjoyed the fruits of that victory. The Baron of Morov, Dimian Ree, has moved his Baronial Seat to the capital of Damara, [[Heliogabalus],] and has set himself up as an “alternative” to the paladin king. He enjoys the support of William, Duke of Arcata, and Sylvia, Baroness of Ostel. The Duchies of Sorovia and Brandiar wait for Gareth to appoint new Dukes, but the alliances against him have been effective in blocking any new supporters of Dragonsbane from their titles.
Vaasa is still a land of monsters. Eastern Vaasa still is controlled by tribes of orc and goblins, while the western Galena Mountains play home to several giant clans of all types. Zhengyi’s henchmen and acolytes still haunt the land, gathering forces in their pursuit of power.
Another adventuring group, led by Pogamus Kendrick, retook the ruins of Moortown in Vaasa and began building Kendrick Castle. When Pogamus was slain on an adventure, his companion, Gareth Mistmaster named himself lord and renamed the castle Mistmoor. The Mistmaster accepts apprentices and provides a safe harbor in an unforgiving land.
At the fall of Castle Perilous, dragons began circling the remains of Zhengyi’s fastness. The flights of dragons are gone, but the fallen fortress is always watched and guarded by two dragons, one of Tiamat’s dragons and one of Bahamut’s dragons. Yet the riches and power still trapped inside the ruins continues to attract adventurous souls.
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