Dun Valley Saga

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The Dun Valley Saga, or Zh'risia's scheme, began in the year 250 AF when the druids Istavan and Cev discovered the Aalen Forest in flames and its Tsol'aa inhabitants dead or missing. Guards hung from the rafters of their own tree houses, Queen Celaabi suffered from the anguish of rape, King La'ramhis died from a vivisection by Kroul, and Prince Tu'eras was nowhere to be found. Following this shocking discovery, Kazin quickly gathered a force of druids and magi that managed to extinguish the fires and rejuvenate the Aalen.

When Celaabi learned of the death of her husband, La'ramhis, she become so distressed that she refused to leave the Aalen Forest, even to keep herself safe. Cynne, the daughter of Selaana, offered her own grove to Celaabi as a refuge, an offer that Celaabi tearfully accepted.

Vexlore, an Infernal, admitted publicly that, for the sum of a half-million sovereigns, he was hired to kill Tu'eras. Before he could carry out this assassination, however, Kroul proved to be a disloyal employer and turned on Vexlore. This incited Vexlore to announce Kroul's plan to harm the Church and the Tsol'aa. Vexlore was slain for revealing Kroul's secret.

On behalf of the Iron Citadel, Raajin offered sanctuary to any surviving Tsol'aa. Shallam made the same offer, and the Shadow Council pledged its resources against the unknown enemy.

Celaabi was murdered and was found to be pregnant. Rumors arose that she carried the twins spoken of in Fetzer's vision.

Orc scouts were seen roaming the cities, inquiring about the locations of the Master Crystals. Though they claimed to be on a tour of Sapience (a tour that wouldn't be complete without seeing the crystals), their integrity was lacking as they constantly contradicted themselves. Finally, the scouts met Dalamar, who led them to the Warlocks' Master Crystal.

Bambi stumbled across an orc soldier setting the Black and Aureliana forests ablaze. The fires spread into the Savannah and threatened the lives of the Tomacula. Once the flames were doused, Darktalon questioned the soldier on the Prelatorian Highway, but Tarlin intruded and attacked the soldier who fled in fear.

Orc assassins, ogre knights, and ogre huntresses pursued the Tsol'aa refugees, but they were held off by Scavenger, Sunrise, Rejlii, Orina, Fuu, Santos, Silverwisp, and Oswald. All of the offending orcs were defeated, save for one assassin who slipped by and slew Thaa'lis and Stlerin; Silverwisp avenged their deaths and disposed of the assassin.

More strike teams of orcs simultaneously invaded the cities of Sapience to kidnap their rat buyers: Shallam's Hakhim, Ashtan's Ratman, and Hashan's Liirup. Hashan made an admirable effort to save Liirup, but were ultimately too slow. Ashtan and Shallam utterly failed to repel the invasion.

As the royal family's chosen hiding place proved unsafe, Tu'eras accepted the offer of sanctuary within the Shallamese palace. At about the same time, Myrkul found where Kroul had hidden the rat buyers and mobilised a squadron to rescue them. Though assaulted by a force of orcs and ogres, Myrkul's adventurers were victorious.

Kroul sent his own team into Ashtan to steal the Warlock's Master Crystal, which Dalamar conveniently located for them earlier. As the majority of Sapience was distracted by the kidnapping and subsequent rescue of the ratmen, Kroul's force removed the Master Crystal with ease. In the growing chaos, they proceeded to take the remaining two Master Crystals from the guildhalls of the Sorcerers and Magi.

Amid the chaos, Sartan withdrew his patronage of the Infernals due to Raajin's sympathy toward the Tsol'aa. Raajin fled to the protection of the Paladins from the harassment of his former allies in Ashtan (notably Khalid and Lakissa, who slew him). Meanwhile, Rivalyn and Yeshua convinced the Great Mhunna to sell silver to Rurin again, to aid the fight against Kroul and Zh'risia. Some time earlier, a mysterious being, calling himself Zh'risia, the Dark Lord, laid enchanted vibrations at North of Thera, slaying many as a result.

Through the combined efforts of diligent Achaeans, the invading orc and ogre forces were pushed back through the mountains from which they came, leading to the discovery of Dun Valley though casualties were heavy on both sides. Kroul's identity was at last revealed: he was a pawn of Zh'risia, who planned to become a Tsol'teth Master by defeating the Church and the Tsol'aa from his hideout in the Dun Fortress. The plan was ultimately for naught; Kroul and Zh'risia were tracked down in the fortress and slain for their crimes.

The bloody culmination of these events ended peacefully with the funeral of La'ramhis, over which Sarapis presided, and the coronation of Tu'eras as the new King of the Tsol'aa.