Of Tilbury, the Fall, and the Undead...

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Of Tilbury, the Fall, and the Undead...

Post by MidgetNinja on Wed Jul 14, 2010 4:33 am

At the height of the Golden age of magic, one in ten people of the north possessed the sense, and all of it's grand cities prospered greatly under their tutelage, with everyone and their mother's knowing at least one magic trick. Indeed mother's were often the most well versed of the household, knowing any multitude of simple household spells for dusting, cleaning, cooking etc...

But of all these cities, none could compare to the majesty of Tilbury. A small city nation in the southeast of Atimar, it was a magic nation among magic nation, where the rest of Atimar was one in ten mages, the opposite was true in Tilbury. The streets shone with magic, and spellcraft, as vendors and street performers dazzled city dwellers with their trade, even as wizened elder magi studied and thought deeply in the shining towers the city was known for.

If Al-Sidhe was the heart of the north, then truly Tilbury was it's spirit, even it's King was a practicing mage of no small power.

In such a time and place was born Nomen Carries, a savant amoung savant's with regards to magic, at an unheard of age he opened his own workshop deep in the heart of the city, even as his elder brother Gerald, a powerful mage in his own right, was appointed Royal Mage of Tilbury. Locked in his shop Nomen developed something of reputation among his few apprentices as being a little...mad...

True he had an astounding grasp of magics, and many of his ideas and theorems are still in use today, but...

He was often caught muttering to himself under his breath, and prone to bouts of great rage for no apparent reason, Nomen was an incredibly gifted, yet deeply isolated man.

Yet no one ever truly grasped how..divided...he was...

As long as he could remember, he had heard...a voice in his head...whispering soft, unintelligible nothings to him, often for days at a time. As a smart lad he quickly deduced that he was alone in this experience, as his brother and father, both pure blood mages, had never shown any sign of hearing anything inside their head save their own thoughts.

He came to the only logical conclusion he could, he was insane but still sane enough to realize it. Satisfied in that assurance, he resolved to ignore the voice for as long as he could...never truly knowing where it was he drew his biggest inspiration from...

It wasn't until his 18 year of life that the voice become more...demanding...gone were the soft unknowing whispers, replaced by low, but very clear words...

It said things too him...terrible things...terrible unignorable things...

At the end of the day he was only human, and he took to arguing with the voice, fighting the best way he knew how...and for a time, he was successful, there was great power in his mind, and often all it took was a quick rebuttal under his breath to salience the voice entirely...

But as the years dragged on, and the debate continued to wage, the internal struggle began to take it's toll on the young man.

At twenty his hair began to noticeably gray, by twenty five it had grayed completely, by thirty he could no longer keep the madness from shining in his eyes.

He often entertained thoughts of ending his own life, only the thought that this was the voice's goal all along stayed his hand. But still it wasn't until he broke down, and chased his entire staff from his workshop, cursing them as they ran, that he finally began to openly acknowledge the fact that he was loosing a war with what he could only assume was himself...

At that moment, the voice began repeating a single word, over and over again louder and louder still...

It was until Nomen used his magic to forcibly repress the noise that he realized that the word...was really a place...

At the end of his rope, he made the necessary spellwork, and teleported himself to the unmarked graveyard of the fallen dark wizards of old...

It was an old and terrible place, of deep foreboding, in the dark days when all knowledge of magic was merely guess work, few knew what to do with the body with a sorcerer when he was inevitably killed, so the unwritten custom became to find the darkest evilest slice of earth they could find, bury them as deep as they could in an unmarked grave, and never disturb them ever again...

Over time several such graveyards sprang up all over the continent. In this time they were regarded with a justified amount of fear and superstition, as malicious apparition often haunted these grounds.

It was in such a place that Nomen knew he would decide his fate, here he would make his stand for his sanity's sake...

He wondered the unhallowed grounds for an unknown amount of time, facing each shadow as it danced in the moonlight, and cutting destructive spells off mid chant at the most innocuous of things...

And then he saw it...and he knew it was what he had been brought here for...

A scythe, sat buried blade first into the ground at an awkward angle, seemingly as ancient and powerful as time itself...

He knew to touch it meant death...even as the voice screeched in his mind as loud as it ever had 'TAKE IT TAKE IT TAKE IT!!!'

He resisted as he always had, even as he felt his mind crash down around him in the violence of the struggle, even as he unconsciously began cursing and chanting spells under his breath...

At this moment, his voice changed...to something inhuman...and noises that must have been spell words forced their way past resisting lips, as the Voice took a corporal form...

It, became a he, a he of above average height, bright red, a manic grin, and a top hat the obscured his eyes in shadow...

He knew what lay before him was nothing less then the fiscal incarnation of the Joval Death...

In the face of death he fought, drawing upon all his skill, power and knowledge...

In such a time of mage's and mage cities, it was no small thing to claim to be the greatest of wizards...Nomen, could perhaps have made such a claim with reasonable assurance that it was not false...

That said, the fight lasted barely 5 minutes before he realized how truly outclassed he was...

Backed into a corner, in a desperate moment he reached out with unknowing hands to grasp the handle of the Scythe he had foresworn not but a moment ago...and in the instant his fist closed about the handle, he was dead...

Ironically it was an act of self preservation that brought about the greatest era of death in human history...

He returned to the city the a few days later...seemingly at peace with himself at last, an uncharacteristic, but undeniable spread across his face, as he apologized to his workers, and set about to his work with a renewed vigor he could not have matched before on his best days.

He kept the charade up for a month, each night going up to his chambers, locking the door, and teleporting himself to his new workshop, in a nearby barony...where he could more easily collect...specimens...

In secret he did his new master's work, forging an army that would renew a conflict of old, and settle a grudge that had been brewing before the thought of his race had even existed.

Necromancy had long been taboo...never properly forbidden save in a meaningless fashion by a few local lords with no real way to enfore such a law. But a taboo was still a taboo, and the work of the Dark wizards of old had long gone ignored and unfinished.

But alone in a dark barn far from prying eyes, Nomen perfected their arts in little under a month.

It was a quite simple task for one such as him...no longer quite so bound by mortality...he took a living man, killed him...and just as the life left his body, bound his soul to it...

Partially as it were, stretched out as it were across both the corporal, and the spiritual plane, the soul eventually succumbed to madness, after which it was a simple matter to make it an extension of his now terrible will. The first one was hard...getting the timing down took several...tries...but once it was perfected all it would take was a single drop of mortal blood to bind the soul and spread the curse...

And so it was the current generation of undeath came about...with a single will timed curse.

His warriors perfected, he sent them upon the populace of the barony...swelling his ranks with the entire populations of towns. The local militia, fell swiftly unknowing using old tactics to fight new undead, animated in such a way as to make them immune to all but the most instantaneous of deaths. Only a few lucky blows to the head and hearts felled them permanently...all others were absorbed and ignored, by Nomen's legion.

Over night it conquered the barony, and all it's surrounding regions. The next day, the Armies of Tilbury converged on the still small Kingdom of death. Mighty were Tilburies armies in that time, numbering in the ten's of thousands, if you were not a mage you were a soldier in those days, it was as simple as that.

One can only guess at the confusion on their faces as the undead, armed once more with whatever scrap of sword and shield they could find in the local armories, formed up ranks against them, instead of charging forward as their mindless predecessors had...

Again their lack of knowledge undid them, as they fought new death with old tactics, and were absorbed into the whole. A bite, or a scratch was usually sufficient, an hour later and the wounded would become the dead, and a mintue after that the dead would become the undead...

Only a scattered fourth of the army made it back to defend the city that dark day, even then they were only beginning to grasp the fullness of their peril.

Confusion and terror ran riot as few knew what to do in a situation as unheard of as this, not even in the dark times had an undead horde swelled to such sizes...

Mages, more scholars and performers then warriors in this day and age, feld the city in droves, those who could teleported their families out of the safety...often into the arms of the undead. More still fled on ships, emptying the harbor of anything that had even the remote chance of floating. Some till joined the soldiers at the walls, determined to defend their homes to the last. The rest scattered about in the confinement of the walls, panic setting in, in the wake of the news of their imminent death.

And it was imminent.

It was barely a day passed before the undead emerged on the horizon, encircling the city, and...waiting...

Nomen stepped forward, scythe in hands, barely recognizable in the dark guise of his own power...

He offered them a choice, surrender the city and their souls to him, and he would see to it that their death's would be swift and painless...

For a time their was no response...until a soft spoken chant made itself heard on the winds, growing steadily in sound and power, before a bolt of lightening crashed down upon Nomen from the battlements...

It was never known who had cast the spell...rumors, and legends say that it was none other then Nomen's brother Gerald that had attacked his brother that day, but in truth he had teleported the royal family to the neighboring realm of Arcana, and would not return until later in the siege...

Nomen for his part, barely batted an eye lash, as he backhanded the bolt off disinterestedly, the intent of Tilbury was clear...they would die fighting...

And so the siege began in earnest, as all manner of machine, and spellcraft were unleashed from both sides, as undead gained the walls, and were pushed back shortly their after...

On it went into the night, as the tireless undead pushed and pushed against the redoubt but tiring defenders...

It wasn't until morning the next day that the defenders were finally broken...

Tilbury was an old city by most accounts, second only in age to Al-Sidhe in that regard, and long had it walls stood tall, with the rise of magic, it was within their walls that the first runes of warding were discovered by the earliest magic pioneers. So it was with each generation that came a new layer of defensive runes were developed and added to the walls of Tilbury...Nomen and his brother had added the latest layer themselves...

But in the end it was still only mortal magic...and Nomen was no longer mortal. He had felt it ever sense his death...he felt it greater even still with each death added to his legion...

And so when he spoke to cast a spell, he darkened the sky above, in a voice as terrible and old as death itself, so great was it's authority that it deafened all other chants and the noises of conflict across the battlefield.

When he was done, he held up his hand to a section of the wall yet untouched by his legion...briefly touched the wall...and then let his hand fall away...

A moment later the section collapsed...

The fighting continued in the streets until midday...by then all resistance had been ended...

Vendors, and performers, were killed and turned in droves...dyeing the streets red with their blood...

Wizened elder mages were butchered in their towers, scantly aware of the plight that had consumed the whole of their city...

In under a week Nomen had ground the one of the mightiest cit nations of Atimar, under his boot.

He conquered two more by the end of the month...

By that time the whole of the North were moving against him, and Gerald was hounding his every step, using whatever means he could slow his march...

They these undead were different, they marched in ranks...used swords and shields, could spread their curse directly with their bite as well as passively with their presence. They were harder to kill then their predecessors, but they could be killed given the right hit with the right force. They were stronger than their living counter parts, as only a man without the limitations of life could be...and in some cases they were faster too...

Armed with the finest weapons, and the most powerful mages, the single largest army in human history clashed against Nomen's Undead Legion, numbering in the hundreds of thousands at this point...

Taking on entire battalions of human mages Nomen's concentration spread thin as his march was slowed for the first time...and was eventually halted altogether...

In such a state Nomen knew his army would not last long...he needed to regain the momentum and fast...

So he added another player to the table...withdrawing a single grapefruit sized orb from his cloak, and spoke a few words as powerful as he ever had...

A great light erupted from the orb blinding the armies of the living, an instant later...some...thing was amongst their ranks...

It was the first officially recorded sighting of a Demon, but to this day few know it's true intent...all that was known that a great blood drunk beast fell upon the armies of the North, slaughtering them wholesale with claws and fangs and unspeakable magics, ignoring all but the most potent of injuries, even as the undead rallied and advanced in it's wake...

Oddly enough it was Nomen himself who ended the beast's rampage, riding up it's blindside, he ended it casually with a single slice of his scythe. It had fulfilled it's purpose though...the army of the north was in rout...and the stragglers were being rounded up to replace his losses...

Thus was the Battle of the Downfall lost, and never again would the world see such an army as was assembled there...never again would the Kingdoms of Atimar have the strength to repel him.

True many survived the slaughter, and would fight again, but the days in North were coming down...history would forever remember that day and mark it as the end of an era.

And so it went, as Nomen walked across a continent, his power and legion growing with each obstacle that fell before him. Endlessly marching Nomen knew what the next stage of his plan would be...he would subjugate the rest of the world beneath his feet...and with the power of his entire race behind him...he would ascend to the heavens...and murder the stars....

All that stood before him was the Heart of the North, Al-Sidhe, with it's impressive array of fortifications, the still scarred, but still formidable remnants of armies of the North...and his brother Gerald...

A reckoning was coming between them...he could feel it...and the fate of humanity was at stake.

Al-Sidhe was the last true bastion of humanity in this dark hour, over half the continent had fallen to the plague...and if Al-Sidhe fell then the rest would barely be a speed bump before the horde made it's way south...

Once there, it was only a matter of time before the famed technologies of the south fell before the power of the undead.

It was here that humanity would make it stand...

One General Present was quoted as saying "...They've taken half our continent, but we'll stop them here...even if it costs us the other half!"

The irony of his words would not be noticed until later...

Beyond the fate of humanity, the Gods were beginning to take notice...as a powerful presence began to build itself on the Spectral Plane...edging further and further into the expanse...

The god's of life, jaded from their seemingly unending conflict with their brethren, and their perceived failures with both demons and humans, did little aside from apathetically debate the issue amongst themselves...

The Created Gods of the north knew the plight of their followers, but their powers were waning...being stripped they felt by the presence in the Spectral Plane...

Together the Gods of the north cast aside all other conflicts and drew themselves together alongside their mortal charges...

They had a plan...a very risky plan...

A two pronged simultaneous assault on both the Corporal and Spectral planes, they would led their followers in an assault upon the Spectral plane, while empowering a mortal champion on the Corporal plane.

The risk came in the knowledge of just how much power they would have to commit to such an assault if it was to come to fruition...

Likely many of them would become wasted in the process...a sacrifice would have to be made...a great one indeed...

So they sent a message to their choosen Champion...Gerald...a vision, of hope, salvation...and a terrible price to pay.

Deep in the Central Citadel of Al-Sidhe, the Royal Families of Atimar had sought shelter, tucked safe away in the most fortified city in the world they had been in hiding sense word had reached them...

Among them Gerald came...delivering his message. The God's would save them, he told them, but they required a great show of faith from everyone in the room...

When asked what they required, Gerald responded with one word...Blood...

Silence filled them room at that...before another dared speak...asking how much...

All...was the only reply...

There was no silence after that...the debate raged, even as the Undead encircled the city, and the defenders manned the walls to repel them. It raged still as the reports came in from the front...each one more disheartening then the last...it continued even as every line of defense broke before the might of Nomen...

Until a consensus was reached...the only true consensus that could be reached...and one after the other the entire Royal Bloodlines of Atimar ended themselves in the name of salvation for their people...

As the gates of the Citadel fell before him, Nomen stepped into the courtyard to find his Brother standing before him...his legion standing at his heels, Nomen waved them off, as he calmly walked into the courtyard, and brought his scythe into a defensive position...

No record exist of the words exchanged between brothers...but the intent was clear...it was at the climax of their sibling rivalry that the fate of Ara'niel would be decided...

It took five minutes for the last drop of Royal Blood to land upon the altar of the gods...at that instant, Gerald became the most powerful human being to ever walk the face of the earth. The living breathing avatar of the God's...

As battle waged on twin planes...the brother's fell on each other with all the force of mountains, and the relentlessness of the sea...

Al-Sidhe was destroyed in the conflict...the undead in the heart of the conflict scattered to the wind as the rest fell back to a safer distance...

For three days, and three nights they fought with each other, even as the god's Wrestled with Nomen's spirit, the conflict so great the light from it shined the world over, shaking he foundations of entire continents...

It only ended on the dawn of the Fourth day, the last blow came with the dawn of a red sun...so powerful was it that it killed most of the earth elemental beneath the pairs feet...

Thus came The Fall as the populace took the craft they had built over the three day course of the battle...compelled by a strange whispering in their ears...

The rest you know...but what of Gerald and Nomen you say...

No one knows for certain...that we can be sure of is their battle ended on that fateful day...some say Gerald was far too powerful at that point to ever truly die...

And Nomen...well...he had already been dead...for a very long time...

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Re: Of Tilbury, the Fall, and the Undead...

Post by Caligstro Smith on Sun Jul 03, 2011 7:20 am

MidgetNinja wrote:Partially as it were, stretched out as it were across both the corporal, and the spiritual plane, the soul eventually succumbed to madness

So, just checking here, but did you mean Spectral Plane? And I just wanted to check now that I'm reading this again and noticed this detail: it's established that
1) souls exist as a real, tangible thing
2) souls go to the Spectral Plane (or was spiritual plane actually meant, thus establishing that yet another demi-plane (or twinned plane, or similar) exists which has since formed since the early creation history found in Order: 1 but has not been explicitly established/detailed in an article?)


You later mention the Spectral Plane specifically, but in another context, which is a further reason I felt the need to ask the above question.


You also state that a presence was felt within the Spectral Plane, but from the perspective of those within the Corporeal Plane. I mention this because of the questions I posed back over in Order: 2. I'll take the implications from this article over there to confine the discussion of those other questions to a single forum most relevant to them.
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Re: Of Tilbury, the Fall, and the Undead...

Post by CromTheConqueror on Sun Jul 03, 2011 1:55 pm

Good questions. I have no idea who you are but you seem astute. This post is probably going to undergo some retconning here in a bit after some discussion in the general timeline took place. That being said I'm not sure the retconning planned would address this so good eye.

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Re: Of Tilbury, the Fall, and the Undead...

Post by Caligstro Smith on Sun Jul 03, 2011 4:01 pm

Oh, sorry Crom, I'm a friend of Chaos's from college. He's been wanting me to get involved here for about a year now. I've lurked and read chunks of the world setting every once in a while but until now I'd yet to actively start posting and trying to get lots of my questions cleared up in the actual forum. I bugged the crap out of Chaos last spring though trying to get details (like the above) nailed down, but I was only marginally successful.

Now that I've started examining this forum more I realize in retrospect that it would've been more efficient to have worked most of my questioning through here since discussion would've been needed for definitive answers anyway.
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Re: Of Tilbury, the Fall, and the Undead...

Post by CromTheConqueror on Sun Jul 03, 2011 4:06 pm

Indeed. But you ask good questions and that's what is important. If you have any more questions MN or I will try and answer them as best we can. Glad to have you on board. Smile

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Re: Of Tilbury, the Fall, and the Undead...

Post by Caligstro Smith on Sun Jul 03, 2011 4:15 pm

Glad to be on board. Thanks.
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Re: Of Tilbury, the Fall, and the Undead...

Post by Admin on Mon Jul 04, 2011 6:17 pm

Caligstro Smith wrote:
MidgetNinja wrote:Partially as it were, stretched out as it were across both the corporal, and the spiritual plane, the soul eventually succumbed to madness

So, just checking here, but did you mean Spectral Plane? And I just wanted to check now that I'm reading this again and noticed this detail: it's established that
1) souls exist as a real, tangible thing

Perhaps not 'tangible', but yes, they are real and have their own properties.


2) souls go to the Spectral Plane (or was spiritual plane actually meant, thus establishing that yet another demi-plane (or twinned plane, or similar) exists which has since formed since the early creation history found in Order: 1 but has not been explicitly established/detailed in an article?)

This article has a lot of fluff around empirical fact, so you'll see a lot of mention of stuff like the 'spiritual plane' and such. The Spectral Plane is what was meant. Their presence in the Spectral Plane is closely tied to their remains. What happens to the souls in the Spectral Plane largely depends on their religion (Any sort of afterlife has to be created and maintained by a god, which requires a lot of expended power to keep up with).


You also state that a presence was felt within the Spectral Plane, but from the perspective of those within the Corporeal Plane. I mention this because of the questions I posed back over in Order: 2. I'll take the implications from this article over there to confine the discussion of those other questions to a single forum most relevant to them.

I don't believe the perspective is from the Corporeal Plane necessarily. Created Gods can be present in either plane, and often spend their time in the Spectral, since the Elder Gods don't care for it much so they can hang out and claim certain areas as their own.
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Re: Of Tilbury, the Fall, and the Undead...

Post by Caligstro Smith on Mon Jul 04, 2011 7:16 pm

Ah, see, didn't know that. I figured since the created gods were the creations of beings within the corporeal plane that they'd stay there too. Cool, learned something. Very Happy

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