~300 years ago:
A young being, protector of the Northern Wilds (and thus aligned with
the Kal en Dral gods) was embraced by the vampire/god Azrael.
As a result of this corruption, the was abandoned (or worse) by her
fellow guardians and the Kal en Dral as an undead abomination.
Being young and impressionable and powerful and immortal, this being
became the Namless One: she added to her personal vampyric powers
with all the dark arts she could master, sired her childre Mara,
empowered an avatar and raised an army. Then she tried to get back
at the world which had hurt her. To corrupt all life, and control
it all, so it could never hurt or betray her again. But she was
defeated by the forces of civilization. Unknown to all in later
years, the Namlesss One's evil was not completely eradicated, but
rather trapped in the Lost Gate, a magical construct. Meanwhile,
her Childre Mara waited paitently for centuries to revive her beloved
Fall, 994: Mysterious shadowbeasts destroy a village near the
Northern Wildes. Strage artifact "the Lost Gate" appears, 4
adventurers are lost within it. Tetch followed by Folkestone
is made captive of Childre, a change-child minion of the Nameless
One. Childre's hubris leads to his death at the "hands" of the
forces of nature.
February, 994: The ancient sorceress Marie asks adventurers to
explore the Lost Gate in order to rescue the 4 lost adventuerers
and to restore the hearts to her
Gargoyles. During that questing there are some victories (Gwen aquires in
honorable combat the swords Smaug+Fafnir, which destroyed the Namless One's
Avatar in the First War) but many, many adventurers are lost in the
Lost Gate. Lady Anne and Lady Dee lead research project which cracks the
riddles surrounding the a mysterious artifact which showed up suddenly.
This yields a magical ritual which was used to rescue all lost within the
Lost Gate - turning it inside out. Unknown to all adventurers at the time,
this act released the Nameless One and her treasures from their
imprisonment. It is my belief that Mara left this artifact hoping we
would deduce it's mysteries and release her mistress. By Finagle and
Faelie! I just realized - I was THERE when the artifact appeared, I
might have met Mara herself all unknowing! I remember seeing it being
pressed into the hands of some adventurer only a few feet from me...
July, 994: Groups of monsters gathered to fight for the right to become
the Nameless One's new avatar. Adventurers quested in the Northern wilds
to cleanse it of the Nameless One's impure feuding armies. The Orc Clan
Kurian won the right to be uplifted by The Nameless One. Ironically, their
strategy was to run away, avoiding combat while the adventurers slowly
slew all the other factions. More importantly, the adventurers recovered
two pieces of the Soul Blade. It was later learned that the soulblade
was the result of a super-powerful version of a "hide the soul" spell...
until the soulblade was assembled and destroyed, the Namless One was
unkillable. It was also discovered that Karena ShadowRider had been taken
prisoner by the Nameless One. The adventurers were assisted somewhat
by the natural deizins of the Northern Wildes - the Savage Beast and Jaymir
the Black Unicorn.
May, 995: The Nameless One attacked Folkestone with her army and released
her orc avatar, Skullcrusher. Serabet and Garret and Lorhner
cleverly turned the Fire Elemental against the Nameless One. Randal
recovered Marie's heart, restoring it to her and freeing her from the
Nameless One's control. The forces of the Realms and Folkestone acheived
victory by the most narrow of narrow margins. The Nameless One's monster
army was turned back and Folkestone was unconcoured.
The Grey Company begins sending us mysterious clues on various aspects
of the Namless One.
September, 995: A small group of adventurers questing in the nexus on the
etherial plane goes through a gate to a sacred grove, where they consult
with a grouha to learn more about the next step in defeating the Nameless
One. But first their way is blocked by one of the Namless One's generals
with minions. I slew this general in honorable combat.
Later, twenty brave Realmsians quested Into Toril Wilderkin's Tomb to find
the pommel piece of the Soul Blade. While in the Tomb, several
adventurers angered both the Kal en Dral gods and Tanith of the Grey
company by raiding the tomb. However, we were successful - all pieces of
the soulblade had by now been aquired.
Lorhner, through a feat of intuitive deduction which still leaves
me stunned, solved an extremely difficult and important mystery.
March, 996: The Nameless One, having proved that the armies of the
Realms can defeat her army, joins forces with Zermarks. Together, they
send a strike force which recovers the Mace of Rhomer, an artifact
necessary to defeat Zermarks.
June, 996: Karena, STILL a prisoner of the Nameless One, is released
from her ongoing torture by by Sir Shane's sword.
The Shadow hunter appears in this era, systematically hunting down the
members of Folkestone. We later learn this is in order to take samples
from their bodies, allowing the Namless One's blood magic to create
Folkesclone. Blood clones identical to the originals but loyal to her.
August, 996: Zermarks meets his final death at the hands of
adventurers. The blood clones of Folkestone give us quite the battle.
Gwen gives up the swords Smaug+Fafnir in partial payment for us to pass
the dragon, allowing us to get the final part of the Valdonian mage's body.
With his knowledge, we learn what must be done next. The soulblade is
reforged in a ritual organized by Lorhner. With the help of a fire
goddess and an understanding of the rules of reality, the adventurers
make great sacrifices to empower Dorthak, a dagger capable
slaying the otherwise-invincible Avatar, Skullcrusher.
May, 997: Toh-Rahni, air elementals bound to service of the Nameless
One obliquely begg to be released. Voltric frees the first one.
"Ripples" in reality begin to give the attentive premonitions of how
the dreamwar must happen to have any chance of success. This allows
us to take certain precautions which certain aspects of the dreamwar
easier. For one example among many, the fighters had an
straightforward time reaching the rendezvous point in the Namless one's
psyche because I had arranged for a guide to meet us.
June, 997: The Dreamwar. The Nameless One cannot be killed until
her soulblade is destroyed, but the ritual to destroy it requires her
Truename. In order to do this, intrepid adventurers went on a spirit
quest into her mind itself, our meat bodies inert and helpless. While
we did this, others protected our bodies from an onslaught of the
Nameless One's armies from within a hastily but precisely contructed
fortification. During this battle, McKrie slew Skullcrusher with Dorthak.
Meanwhile, in the Nameless One's psyche, we fought the manifestations
of her spiritual strengh, her ego, until we had stripped it all away to
reveal her id, her uncovered self. This left only the hurt child
beneath the monster. As we bore in on her, her last
defences swept aside, there was some confusion. Finally she blurted
out, "Do you want my name? Is that what you're here after?" in her
hurt child's voice. "Yes, by Faelie! That's what we've come and fought
and died over!" I exploded finally. She revealed it, and I
knew no more of that battle. Amazingly, Randal had already deduced
what it was, as he had solved a difficult riddle based on Lorhner's
earlier discovery. My first words back in the waking world was blurting
out her truename, followed by "Randal was right!"
September, 997: Now armed with the Truename, it was possible for us
to cast the ritual to destroy the soulblade. This had to be done at
a specific place. This quest was complicated by the fact that only a
few could carry the soulblade without being posessed. Those of us who
were able to carry it had been sought by the nameless one's
minions to strip away that protection. As chance would have it, at this
point there were now few who could carry it indeed. Others fought us a
path through to the lake of fire, and I cast the soulblade in as Heron
cast the necessary spell. The Nameless One was now slayable.
The Nameless One summons Banein, evil spirits of Kal Ker Bain gods,
inciminal to the Kal en Dral. I think this was a move of desperation,
as the Banein proved to be a horrible threat allied with her, but not
I think fully under her control.
December, 997: Stuart and Savyne each released one of the remaining
bound air elementals. The one Savyne released returns the Staff of
Chimeron which it had just stolen. Now free, they give us vital
May, 998: The Mairrage of Sir Collin with Queen Meg served double duty as a
mustering point for the armies of the Realms to march on the Namless One's
citadel. The Nameless One's armies made a pre-emptive attack, supported by
machmadren sleeper agents and turle-like monster re-enforcements from
another dimension. Queen Meg was kidnapped, and in the battles that
raged that night and the next morning, much of Chimeron was destroyed but
the Nameless One's army was defeated. I recoved the Staff of Chimeron from
enemy hands, and Heron used it to rebuild Chimeron Castle more magnificent
than ever. Marie provided us a bold guide to lead us to the Nameless One's
citadel, and blacksmiths feverishly worked all silver available into blades
for the morrow's battle.
I was appointed general of the army, which was disposed as follows: The
army's basic unit of battle was the Squad, lead by the usual group leaders.
The squads were organised into two commands of 4-6 squads each. The two
commands of the army were commanded by McKrye and Shane. As they marched
north, the army was harried by Shadowbeasts and delayed by small armies
of undead, goblins and trolls. Excellent discipline and organization kept
casualties to a minimum during the march. Arriving Friday at the outskirts
of the Northern Wilds, a planning meeting was held. While fighting that
night would have put our forces at a big disadvantage, I feared that we
could not wait until morning, despite the disadvantages. "We knew this
job would be difficult when we took it!" quoth I. I feared that a delay
would allow the Nameless One to escape or give her time to cast a powerful
One alternative was to quest to prevent her from escaping. So we quested to
enter Between, a mysterious realm related to both the Dreaming and Reality.
The army quickly aquired the elements needed to enter Between. Once there,
we capitalized on a conflict between the elemental forces there. An aspect
of Karena, Shane's daughter was reascued from Between. We encountered both
the evil and remorsful aspects of the Nameless One's personality. We brought
the two aspects together and strengthened her remorseful, self-destructive
side until it was dominant. We withdrew from Between confident that she
would be awaiting us in her fortress the next day.
On the final leg of our march to the Citadel, we encountered the usual small
forces delaying and harrying our approach. Mckrye's Command led at first,
but I rotated Shane's command into the lead part way through to put fresh
troops and undamaged armor in the lead. The approach to the Citadel was
guarded with a moat (real water, a foot deep or so) and the single entrance
had a portculis with towers on either side. The Namless One's army was
arrayed within, supported by archers, healers, mages and the Nameless One
Knowing that if we did not break through the gate we would be picked
apart until our force was broken, we assaulted the gate with all our
strength. Our armored fighters were met by a withering fire of boulders,
magic missles, arrows and fireballs. The only way to enter was by
squeezing through the sides of the portculis one at a time which was
impossible under the swords and pikes of the main part of the enemy
army. Casualties mounted and the initial assault faltered. Then the
Shadowbeasts led by Shadowright made a sortie and harried the rear of
our army, emperiling our healers where they collected the dead and
making our main assualt vulnerable to being backstabbed. Worse, the
Shadowright himself was quite invulnerable (although not a direct
threat) and raised the shadowbeasts periodically. An assassin planted
in our midst made his move. From my vantage point on a stump in the
middle of the moat, I had a good view and feared for the success of the
Our forces met the shadowbeast threat in an ongoing skirmish in and
around the moat and near the healers. Notable for their successes in
those skirmishes were Makta, Cedric of Rhiassa and Ean of Tuath Fasac
and many others. The healers a great job raising our dead with group
healing spells while under threat of attack, notably including
Kethrellen of Rhiassa and Gwendolyn of Banecroft and those who dragged
the dead. But I knew well that the healing magic would run out eventually.
We had to have a breakthrough before that happened!
A few moments of the battle stand out in my mind: A vampire minion
of the Nameless One fought too bravely and was dragged off by
our forces instead of by the enemy. The Staked vampire was brought
to Kestrel for decapitation, etc. The vampire tried to use her charm
ability to tell him to remove the stake, but his formidable protective
magics blocked hers and he finished her off. The Shadowright disrupted
our light spells holding his beasts at bay, and he created undead
from Alias and Pedriac of Thorn Valley who he sent after us after
they were slain valiantly skirmishing with the shadowbeasts. I split my
attention between calling out directives to the army (You! Get those
dead bodies back to us! Do not attack that shadowbeast alone! Look out
behind you! Their healer is the woman in the short brown hair,
concentrate your fire on her!), firing arrows through the portculis into
the mass of The Nameless's army, and drawing my swords to help intercept
a Shadowbeast or two.
Peregrine broke down the porculis, allowing us a fighting chance! I
spotted the Shadowright's contract in the churned up mud in the
gateway, how it got there I know not (presumably it was on a monster
slain in the intense fighting there). Even as I called out the order
to get that at all costs, Shane dove forward into the blades of the
enemy in a heroic but doomed attempt to get it which would have
ended the shadow threat. The enemy was too quick and had recovered
it from under our noses. The battle raged on.
As a fresh group of raised adventurers rejoined the assualt, we
finally managed to break into the Citadel. Re-enforcements poured
into what was a bloody last stand for the enemy. Their healers
dead, the Shadowright's contract broken the battle was ours except
for mopping up. And dealing with the Nameless One herself. While the
main part of the army withdrew to avoid a possible Final Strike,
those protected from the blast stayed behind to finish her off.
Although the finish was not straightforward, they managed. Peregrine
had wisely used her true name to keep her from using her final strike,
so all was well. Victory at last, after all these many years!
Even so, we did not rest easy on our laurels. There was many a minion,
Banein and general who had fled the Citadel which we had to hunt
down to ensure the Nameless One's dark legacy was buried.
In September 998, adventurers seek out and slay a Banein
blocking a trade route to the west. Sir Lucas does the
lion's share of the damage to the Banein.
In October 998 Sir Pyr, Sir Aelias and I successfully quested to
restore Marie's beauty, as a reward to her for the great service
she had rendered us all.
In November 998, adventurers ran down the Banein Ravener. The
Ravener was beaten, but would have escaped into another plane
if not for a daring and risky move by Sir Lucas.
Nero and Kethrellen attempted to contact the Nameless One's
spirit in order to gain insight on how to defeat a pressing
new threat. Unbenonced to them, her spirit was more
powerful and canny than they expect, and there was the
danger she will be freed. Sir McKrie stoped their ritual.
March 999, adventurers undertook a Dark Hunt beneath Chimeron to
kill Mara, the Dark Childe of the Nameless One. There we faced
Folkesclone again. We were successfull in preventing the
turtle-like monsters from opening a gate to their home dimension
and leading an army through, but Mara slipped through our fingers
with her vampyric powers. In the retreat, we faced the
Kobold general but in the confusion we were unable to slay him.
June 999, The Lunatarans promised to aid the Valdonian as a reward
for his help. Other adventurers destroyed one of the last remaining
Late in the year 1000, we discovered that the shadowpack is still alive,
but without new programming (save their last orders, to kill me). It
is discovered that someone is trying to take control of them again.
The next day, others slew the Banein Theurge.
That winter, I asked for a volunteer among my followers for a perilous
quest. Elwick volunteered, and I tasked him with finding Mara, to seek
her out wherever she was. For rumors were that she was walking around
in many places of the Realms. He carried this out with great initiative
and dispatch. With a group of his friends he learned a great deal
about Mara. Furthermore he was unwavering in hunting down Mara's
vampyric childre. Unfortunately his great bravery did him in...
for in year 1000 he was trapped by Mara, and the whole Realms
was confused by the blood clones of him and a machmadren posessing
In the invasion of Banecroft, Spring 1001 Phoenix freed Elwick from
the Macmadren posession. Also, Azrael was present in person, who
slew one of Mara's Childre with a negligant wave of his hand! Since
then, Mara's vampiric childre dogged our steps at several adventures,
and we hunted them when the opportunity presented itself.
Now we have definite word that the Nameless One's forces gather again.
Old allies and valiant comrades have been slain. New vampiresses
surface, and old foes raise their heads. A new challenge, your
challenge, is before you. May this record of what came before aid you.
For I have found that my greatest tool was not my blade or bow or
book of lore, but rather an understanding of how our chief foes think.
I hope you find this history of interest.