Dark Radiance

The Foundations of Empire

This is just a quick recap to bring the game up to speed to our final story arc.

Essentially, the PCs went into the Labyrinth of Night and finally forced their way to the centre of the infernal dungeon, finally capturing its chaotic machinery and electing not to destroy it, but to rather keep it for reasons of ‘public safety’. T

They defeated the demon and then were free to continue Glantrian regency of the continent of Alphatia. They continued to lay down infrastructure, but kept the Alphatians as lower, second-class citizens. Given the mental damage caused to Alphatians, they had to relearn their own language, customs and culture – most of this which was about assisting Glantrians. It looked like a bright future was ahead for Glantri and its empire…

The Demon Battle

The party continued their colonisation of the Alphatian continent. Previous maps were useless, given the heavy distortions caused by the chaos energies after the war, so new maps were required of the transformed landmass.

Cannech worked on his zeppelin project in order to transport colonists and supplies to Alphatia. Ingrid established a ley line that linked into the Radiance within Glantri, enabling the industrialization of magic for infrastructure purposes. Meanwhile colonists were targeted from all parts of Glantri to start their lives on the landmass.

Upset with how the natives were being treated, Rina established “a Sun Dragon” crusade, who would fight for freedom and justice!

Ingrid persuaded disgraced Boldavian noble, Tatiania, to start a vampire colony on the opposite side of the continent.

Meanwhile, the date arrived – the party opened the portal to the Labyrinth of Night. Chaos energy came out! Demons emerged! After a terrible battle, they were defeated. A lich-like magician surrended to the party and offered his assistance – this was Lucillius Cato. He claimed that he was being maniupulated by the demon within.

But the Labyrinth’s infernal machinery remained unbroken….

The Wedding

After heroically escaping the Labyrinth of Night, the party returned to Glantri. Gretchen arranged for the Labyrinth to be opened in a year’s time, during which Glantri’s forces would be arrayed to defeat the Primordial Demon, which would enter the surface of Mystara due to Gretch’s foul bargain with it.
Then it was time to celebrate – Gretchen and Rupert were finally getting married! It was a large and splendid affair, and Imperator Sigemund performed the ceremony, giving them many practical gifts to assist in the colonisation of Alphatia. The Imperator still remained in power, as he still perceived many threats to Glantri. This was not popular with the other Princes of Glantri.

During the ceremony, the party was contacted by the Boldavian ambassador, who turned out to be Ingrid, now a vampire. Ingrid informed them, as a message of trust, that the queen of the Shadow Elves had offered to trade them ancient magical artefacts if Glantri fully backed her claim for the throne of Alfheim.

The party decided to investigate the proceedings. Patrin and Rina was contacted by Angharad, who warned them the Shadow Elf Queen had a dangerous artefact of the Radiance, and that she would certainly use it if she felt threatened.

Gretchen, Leopold and Ingrid presided over the peace negotiations. The Wood Elf King, Oberon, was dissolute and drunk, while the Shadow Elf Queen remained haughty and mistrustful. Gretchen forced the Elves to comply with her peace plan, less they suffer the wrath of Glantri’s magiocracy. The peace-plan divided Alfheim into a patchwork of different districts that would be assigned to both factions. Neither of the Elves were happy with the plan, but agreed to it, with Glantri’s presence forcibly behind them. However, this did bring peace to the people of Darokin, as Glantri’s forces started to shut down the myriad of portals to Shadowfell across Darokin.

After this, the party went about their seperate ways; Patrin determined to work on his parish in Berghoven, while Rina developed her paladin’s school for orphaned girls. Gretchen and Leopold returned to Alphatia, where they started to develop the continent for colonisation.
Meanwhile, the battle against the Primordial Demon began to draw close…

More Adventures to Date

This summary covers the activities of our adventurers to-date!

After investigating the sinister banking activity, our party members learned that the conspiracy covered all levels of Glantrian society and was called the ‘Temple of Rad’. They claimed they really ruled Glantri, gently guiding from the shadows, nudging people along in the directions indicated by Rad, Glantri’s Immortal. As Rad had preferred to rule from the shadows, socially-engineering Glantri into a mage-dominated, atheistic (or whatever the word is when you know they that there are objectively high-powered divine entities running around, but you spurn their worship, leaving it only to non-mages and peasants), the Temple of Rad rank-and-file members still didn’t know that Rad was really dead. But something… was giving them instructions and they were acting on it.

After this, the group wasn’t what to do; the conspiracy of the Temple of Rad seemed too wide-spread.

However, the Princess Ark reminded them that they had an outstanding quest they owed her – to visit the ruins of Alphatia, enter the Labyrinth of Night and rescue Prince Haldemar of Haaken. Since it seemed easier to enter a terrifying dungeon that no one had ever returned from rather than continue to investigate the conspiracy, the party did so.

Exploring the Labyrinth was a long, grueling affair, where the former Alphatian political prisoners had been turned into horrible monsters and constructs. Gretchen made a bargain with an elder demon to get further in the Labyrinth, where she promised to destroy the ‘Shadow Engine’ that kept the Labyrinth anchored to the Shadowfell. This would also release the demon onto the surface of Mystara.

After many trials, tricks and traps (including a cursing poor Hans, Altani’s trained hawk, to have a donkey’s head), the party found the Shadow Engine and took control of it, while fighting off a demi-lich. This demi-lich turned out to be the cursed form of Prince Haldemar!

The party now owned a dangerous Labyrinth, with a primordial demon sealed inside it, and there were unfilled bargains made to both the demon and the Princess Ark…

The Banking Conspiracy

Despite being lauded with awards, accolades and boons from the new ‘Imperator’ Sigemund von Drachenfels, the party decided to investigate the alleged banking conspiracy that Patrin insisted was behind the theft of the floatstones from his and Rina’s family farm, which also to the downfall of this once-proud family. They flew in the Princess Ark to Klantyre, to start investigating the First Bank of Glantri.

While the head of the First Bank, Lachlan McGregor, was the dwarf in Patrin’s vision, he proved a hard to pin down. Cannech attempted to go through the First Bank’s publicly available records, but was stymied by the bureaucracy. However, one of the clerks reacted suspiciously, and started to leave early. Rina threw a tantrum which distracted the bank guards long enough for Cannech to follow the clerk to a secret temple underground. After leading the party there, there was a brief fight where they learned that the temple belonged to Rad, Glanti’s incognito immortal. The conspiracy was connected to Rad; the (now dead) immortal who had convinced his own nation that he didn’t exist, and who guided the country’s progress from the shadows. The cult was at the very heart of Glantri’s society! The party started to work their way up the cult’s food chain, starting from Duncan McGregor, to the head of a prominent charity. They finished their investigation, having at last found a place to confront Lachlan McGregor, at the wine society meeting. As Cannech said, it was a very suspicious place for a dwarf to be.

War with the Shadow Dragon

As the party worked to land the floating continent safely in the Sea of Dread, the Void Dragon appeared and attacked! The Void Dragon shifted through three different incarnations during the battle; each form requiring different tactics before it was defeated. Finally the party was victorious after a long and drawn-out battle. They also landed the continent of Alphatia in the Sea of Dread, but learned that the Alphatians would require time to recover from their spell before they could function again as a nation. It was clear that Alphatia would need protection and guidance (under Glantrian rule, of course.)

When the party landed, they found that the Princes of Glantri had met at Glantri City and had elected Sigemund von Drachenfels the ‘Imperator’ – the de factor ruler of Glantri for however long they deemed the war state would last for. Sigemund acknowledged the great deeds of the PCs. Rupert proposed to Gretchen, and she accepted. Sigemund granted them the position of Governors of new Alphatia Protectorate. Leopold was made Grand War Marshall, and Cannech was given extensive trade agreements in the territory. At hearing this, his clan arranged a marriage for him. Altani was given fine breeding stock for her herds of winged horses. Rina delayed her boon, while Patrin refused to accept it. Instead, he asked the group to sacrifice all they had been given to help him investigate the conspiracy that had dominated his life.

The Imperial City

After eventually drilling through the Alphatian continent, the party emerged in a desolate landscape. They were greeted by a primitive tribe of Genasi – Alphatians – that treated the party like gods! After some examination, Gretchen determined that there was some sort of effect in the air draining the mentality of all citizens of the continent.

The party explored the wilderness. They found a crashed skyship covered with fungus; inside, after a battle with terrible, fungoid creatures, they found a signed peace treaty. However, it looked like the airship had been shot down before the peace documents had been delivered.

The party continued to explore, and found a degenerate society of nobles in a sealed dome-like structure. The nobles had vast, magical machines that they had forgotten how to use, but the party was able to figure out how to use them and teleported to the Imperial City.

There, the party found the city was run by a skeleton crew. They used the peace treaty to gain admittance, where they found Emperor Zandor experimenting with the Deck of Many Things, in order to gain immortality! All of the ‘mentality’ harvested from the citizens was being consumed by his ritual. After a fierce battle, they defeated Emperor Zandor, but they learned that the entire ‘invasion’ had being manipulated – by someone within Glantri!

Emperor Zandor was just a puppet – but who was pulling the strings?

The Princess Ark

The party decided to go for the insane plan – to drill through the floating Alphatian continent with the mole machine. Leopold, a distant cousin of Gretchen’s, joined the party, allegedly sent by Prince Sigemund to supervise things. Leopold, an experienced military commander, had a disturbing history of being the only survivor in his various military engagements.

Firstly, the party visited Rupert’s castle in the Aalbanese mountains, where he had lovingly restored the great Prince Ark, the great Alphatian exploration airship.

It was bright pink.

The party found that the Ark was hostile, but they managed to defeat it in psychic combat. The Ark agreed to help the party with their plan, providing that they rescued her captain who had been thrown into a deadly Alphatian prison, the Labyrinth of Night, for protesting the war with Glantri. Her captain had been a famous explorer, namely Prince Haldemar of Haaken, Lord Admiral of the Mightiest Empire Captain of the Ever-Victorious Princess Ark and Imperial Explorer.

The party found the Princess Ark haughty and stand-offish; they were confined to crew quarters but Gretchen was able to persuade the Ark to give her a run of the officers’ cabins. Cannech was also able to finagle a copy of the Ark’s plans.

Cannech had sent a message off to Klantyre, requesting that the mole machine be transported to Rupert’s castle forthwith, but found that his cousin, Prince Fergus McCrae and the ‘Order of the Golden Dragon’ was requesting his presence. They party flew to Klantyre in the Princess Ark, and found that Goldie had taken control of Klantyre, and had freed all of the menagerie animals. She had made the dwarves swear allegiance to her and stopped them drinking and fighting in the streets, teaching them ‘civilisation’. She was angry that the party had killed her son, Malakhar, but accepted Gretchen’s reason. However, emotionally, she was still angry at the party. She tried to bind the party to her will with a blood oath, but Patrin grew wroth and counselled her with the Parable of the Vengeful Mother. Goldie’s anger broke and she relented, allowing the party to take the mole machine. She asked the party to undertake a quest for her in future; to find her a potential mate.

With both the mole machine and the airship, the party started to dig through the Alphatian continent. After a near-disaster that had them fighting elemental phase spiders, they were able to resume their drilling.

The Floating Continent

Still rejoicing from their defeat of Malakhar, the party was shocked at the sight of the floating continent. A booming, magically-projected voice rang out across the land.

“This is the voice of Zandor, First of his Name, Emperor of Alphatia. I come in the names of the millions of murdered Alphatians that were killed when the great continent was laid waste and sunk beneath the Sea of Dawn. I come in the names of the innocents who died, and the great the city of Sundesvall that was crushed, and I come in the name of my mother, Empress Eriadna.

“Millions of these murdered voices cry out for vengeance, millions of voices cry out for Glantri to be torn apart, brick-by-brick, until nought but a speck of dirt remains…

“But I, Zandor, am merciful. Those who kneel to me, will be forgiven, and yes, exalted above all others in Glantri. Those who resist, will be less than beasts, less than dust, unforgiven and unmourned.

“I have sealed the borders of Glantri. Anyone leaving will be destroyed by my arts.

“These are my demands.

“It was the Princes of Glantri who destroyed Alphatia. Now I demand that they surrender themselves to me. Each Prince of Glantri has until dawn tomorrow to surrender their Principality to me, Zandor, First of his Name, Emperor of Alphatia. You will surrender your control over the Radiance to me. My chosen representative will meet you at your Wizard’s Conclave in Glantri City at dawn, and you will surrender all of your power to me.

“Citizens of Glantri, should your Prince not do the honourable thing and surrender, then I will have sadly no choice but to burn each Principality that does not surrender from the face of Mystara. I urge you to beg and demand that your Prince do the right thing and bend the knee.

“Only the worthy will triumph and survive as part of the new empire of Alphatia, ruled by Zandor, First of his Name.”

As the party discussed the implications of this message, they heard screams ring out from Glantri City, and saw fires start up. The capital was in a riotous uproar. Gretchen contacted Corporal Melchitt, who left in her charge of restoring law and order. After some work, the party got the city under control.

Melchitt reported that Fergus McCrae of the ‘Order of the Golden Dragon’ in Klantyre was requesting Cannech’s presence. Meanwhile, Prince Rupert in Aalban was asking for Gretchen’s help. After some discussion, the party went through a teleportation gate to Aalban, where Prince Sigemund was discussing what to do about Zandor’s demands.

Prince Sigemund was going to go to a special meeting of the Princes in Glantri City. Rupert was suggesting an insane plan involving getting hold of a restored Alphatian airship, the Princess Ark, and using that to carry a mole-machine from Klantyre into the sky, to drill through the Alphatian continent. The party was left to decide whether to accompany Prince Sigemund to Glantri City, or try Rupert’s crazy idea.

The Confrontation with Malakhar

The Stormwardens were contacted by agents of the Raven’s Eye, Prince Morphail’s secret police. As part of a boon that the Prince had performed for the party earlier, his elite agents had tracked and wounded Malakhar to the astral plane. Aided by Morphail’s elite soldier, blackscale dragonborn Ravyn Darktalon, the party entered the astral plane and defeated the demon Mammon and its host, the baby dragon Malakhar.

Then, the party had the choice of rescuing the baby dragon host, or killing it. Thinking it was safer, the party killed the baby dragon. Just as Mammon retreated back to the hells, it croaked out the name of its employer: Zandor, Prince of Alphatia! When the party stepped back to Mystara, in the hills above Glantri City, they saw a floating continent slowly covering the sky.


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