Banecroft Barony

Lore :: The War of Souls








The War of Souls was a defining event for me. As Tetch has related, nearly all of the nobles were posessed by Nemesis and formed his army. They were of course on the whole the most experienced and skilled adventurers. As chance or fate would have it, Lord Cinnabar and I were the only nobles who had escaped posession, at least of those present at the beginning of the first day's battle.

There five boxes that we had to get had been sent forward in time by the hapless mage who had accidentally released Nemesis ages ago. Seeking to undo the damage he had inadvertantly done, the mage had brought forward the tools and his knowledge necessary to stop Nemisis. Unfortunately Nemesis knew where they would appear and positioned his army of posessed adventurers there. We had to get them from him. But his army was stronger than ours, and every time we engaged them their skill and experience overran us.

My understanding was that the first box was recovered Saturday afternoon, singlehandedly by Lord Cinnibar. According to how he related the tale, Cinnibar offered to willingly join Nemesis, but this was a ruse. He cleverly gained Nemesis's trust by backstabbing Folkestone, then at great risk waited for an opportune moment to seize the box and run back to our base. Saturday evening re-enforcements arrived and we concentrated our forces to attempt to take the next box by storm.

Our army attacked, and the line wavered. I was slain but quickly raised by supporting healers. In the moment that I was rejoining the line, I could see that we were not making progress against them - an instant after I was raised, Nemesis-posessed Eldritch had swept through us like a whirlwind, slaying the healer from whom I had benefited. Thus, I took a chance - instead of engaging the line, I burst through it, running hard towards the box. Two of Nemisis's army were in reserve to guard it, but I dodged around them and the magic missles they fired. If it's one thing I was good at back then, it was running. I snatched the box up, abandoning my sword in my haste and ran the gauntlet back towards our lines. While I ran around the rearguard again, after I passed them they managed to place a magic missle in my back. I fell, the box (which Nemisis and his people could not move) now very close to the battle line. I am told that moments later a shift in the tide of battle allowed our forces to recover it from that forward position.

I know little of that night. We were defeated soundly, and if not for a mage who asked to come with us I would not have gotten past the first encounter. His name, which will live forever in infamy, was Caliban, and we suspected nothing.

The next day a morning's battle netted us one more box while those gifted in deciphering the mage's hodgepodge of notes concentrated on deciphering the proper way to conduct the ritual necessary to defeat Nemesis. In this, the spell components from the boxes we captured were necessary. Lorhner, now cursed with the mage's dagger, was a large part of the decipering and ritual organizing effort. Lord Cinnibar and I had the much simpler task of trying to organize the defence of the ritual circle from Nemesis's impending attack.

The plan was roughly this: Pol Coville would venture into Astral space and lure Nemesis into a specially prepared, extremely intricate ritual circle. There Adyan would meet Nemesis in single combat. But the Nemesis's demonic powers were such that no warrior could stand against him unassisted, hence mages specially bound to the perimeter of the circle would cast magic to empower Adyan. While the mages assisted Adyan, the fighters had to hold off the posessed nobles.

Unfortuantely we were unlucky. First of all, our understanding of the ritual had a subtle flaw such that Pol Coville was lost into the endless void of astral space, but he was successful in luring Nemesis into the ritual circle. The loss of Pol Coville would have repercussions for years. Apparently in his earnest attempts to survive in that empty plain, he contributed to the elemental planar crisis which took us 3 years to fix.

Even worse, we were fouly betrayed. Caliban was with the mages supporting the ritual circle, and he betrayed the efforts of the Realms by backstabbing our mages, dooming Adyan's effort. I have not forgotten. Never in my entire career have I been faced with so fundamental a betrayal. Like I said earlier, it was a darker era. He had been checked for Nemesis-marks, he was not one of the posessed. He is wanted still.

And of course the posessed army overran us defenders as well. Nemisis departed, but I believe his power was diminished, at least temporarily, by the damage done to him by Adyan in the Ritual circle. Certainly he was unable to continue his possession of the nobility. I did not know at the time he left to take Tetch to hell. His eagerness to spirit her off may have contributed to what saved us - the defeated and the posessed alike - from being under his power. I heard rumors for years later of him wandering the planes.

* * *

However, I am happy to report that many years ago, I chanced upon a copy of Lorhner's collected lore. I could not keep that data, but I was able to make hasty copies of certain items. Planning ahead, I concentrated on and copied into my notebook the notes regarding the ritual to stop Nemesis. I was doing this based on Lorhner's raw data, (that time- traveling mage's notebook), not Lorhner's final conclusions. Unfortunately the mage's notes were very confusing and took time to puzzle out and I was pressed, so I am worried that the notes I took may have an error. After all, our original ritual team back at the War of Souls had more time to decipher it, and they made an error. Thus I am not inclined to trust my notes, but I'm happy to share what I gleaned.

Of course, more recently Nemesis wraiths again have walked among us, fighting people in honorable combat. Those who are victorious against them (currently Iacob and Lord Da'oud) are possessed by Nemesis.

Baron Diamond