Arcadia Notes: The Ages of Song and Legend


Sarah Darkmagic - Posted on 10 May 2010

Since its inception, there have been a few bits of mythology that served as the basis for my campaign. However, I've been struggling for awhile on figuring out how to bring these elements into the story line, especially since the majority of the population of Newham has no idea about them. Now that my players are finally at the Tower of Lilith, which has its own mythology, I can start to bring the larger mythology back into play. For this week, I will use a letter to bring in some world history.

The letter is from Hallomak Stromm to Lilith. Hallomak is an interesting character. His line goes all the way back to old Arcadia and his father was part of the group that sealed the passage to the Underdark and defeated Magdorr's Army. When Corellon and Sehanine shared their plan to cover Arcadia with ice for a thousand years, his family was put in charge of orchestrating the return of the humans. However, things went wrong and the humans returned early, under different leadership. Since then, his family has attempted to fulfill their duties as stewards of Arcadia without holding the title of ruler.

For those interested in such matters, Hallomak is mentioned in the Dungeon Delve book as someone who owned a lot of magical items. My players really wanted to know why he owned so many things and who he was. From that tidbit, I created this version in my campaign world.

Lilith is an Eladrin princess born near the end of the Age of Song, so well over a thousand years old. She was tricked into marrying an evil Oni who wanted her family's wealth and resources. Once she figured out the deception, she fled with her family's treasure to an island in the middle of what is now called the Lake of Lost Memories. There she created a haven for all those who have need and, through the help of Corellon and Sehanine, protects the land with powerful magic and provides avenues of escape to those who most need it.

With that information, I came up with a letter between Hallomak and Stromm. It helps introduce some information about the previous ages and well as hint at the problems facing the land of Newham Shire.

Lilith,

In times such as these, it's important to remember our history in hopes that we don't repeat the sins of our fathers. I know that you remember all too well the Age of Song. I wish I could have seen it, the resplendent beauty of both wood and city, flower and painting, bird and choir. My hope had been to bring such delights once again to the fertile soils of Arcadia, to recreate our mortal Arvandor, but I fear those efforts have been in vain. I feel the fear and uncertainty rising from the ground and taking hold in too many hearts of her residents.

To this day, not even the wisest sages or most travelled bards know exactly what led to the end of the Age of Song. Some point to the orc invasion of Andernach and the subsequent failure of her allies to rally to her aid. Others point to the rise of a group called Free Arcadia Now, intent on overthrowing the human nation of Avestra. Still others say to truly understand, one must go back to the betrayal of Corellon and Sehanine by Lolth. Regardless of the reasons, the death of the Age of Song serves as an important reminder that even a peace that lasts for over a thousand years is built on a fragile lattice work that can break at any moment. But I fear the same powers that caused the rise of the Age of Legends so many centuries ago are at work again and our dear beloved land will fall into ruin and despair.

However, not all is lost. A small group travels our lands, fighting against these shades of darkness. They told me about a plot by five evil creatures to enslave the population of Newham and I believe they may be our only hope in stopping them. From what little I know, I fear that someone has learned the secrets of Magdorr's Army and is recreating it again. If true, all who have the old blood in their veins must be protected so that the ritual can not be performed. Unfortunately, that is not such as an easy task, as my own son has joined the Free Arcadia Now faction and ran off about a week ago. The only other way to stop them would be to put an end to the evil band. My best guess is that they will seek to break the seal that keeps Arcadia safe from the horrors of the Underdark. If you come upon my friends, please send them there with all haste. I know you have your ways.

For Glory,
Hallomak Stromm

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