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Old Dec 15th, 2007, 07:57 PM
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The Final Chapter

How does Indo-wen fare, that mighty jewel? What hands and minds lead her into the dark and out again into the light. Sure is the story of heroes defending the walls and the jungle expanses. Rangers that fell giants, dragons, chimeras, manticore, and gnoll, woodsmen that gather fire spice for trade, gatherers of the 'white sap' for varied uses, and miners of the precious minerals hidden in the soil of the Indo-Eberian peninsula; these things are the core of the story and the events told here in parchmented scrolls are repeated over and again in untold volumes held and written by the hands of esteemed Red Scribes. But history is remembered in the tales of how leaders distinguish themselves and what legacies they pass on to those in the future.

Dread formed in the rulership as intrigue turned dark and those in power sought to tear down rivals in any manner that they could. Some would use subterfuge and deception to gain power while others would manipulate the law to serve their ends. Still others would seek to dominate by sheer force of arms and all this is recorded for the future to determine the right.

There came a night that council was taken in emergency and threat to the realm was the highest priority. The Consulship of the Lamplights attended on measures to ensure that the people of the city survive and endure the coming threat. One among them, Consul Redhill, accounted the true cause of the danger, sought to ally himself with an Ogre-mage. This alliance could not work for each wanted the whole and could not share. Ogrim Foolsdoom entered into treaty with the High Priestess Ambera Asensubu to thwart Baron Redhill.

It is written and so it was, that these perilous times came to no good end. That night, the Lamplights departed the chambers with blood and battle on their minds. A time had come where words had done no good. Redhill turned all accusations away, onto his chief rival and accuser. Consul Delaine, Consul Brilliance, and Consul Frenone could vote no confidence in the measures presented by Consul Asensubu. Ogrim withdrew in disgust of human political incompotence. These were merely the beginning of troubles.

Baron Redhill, decided that his time had come and that only by a naked bid for the power he sought could he achieve his goal. Civil war would begin despite all cautions that Ogrim would capitalize on the weakness. And so he did.

Months passed and battle raged in the streets between the forces of Asensubu and Redhill. The city became unfriendly to everyone not declaring for one side or the other. If Redhill had not drawn first blood, none of the other Consuls would have joined with Asensubu to prevent Redhill's coup.

Ogrim watched as the anthill his boots had overturned work itself to frenzy. He was in great humor the entirety of the civil war that raged. It had been even better than his own destructive march might have been. He awaited his time.

In the seventh month, tragedy struck the camp of the cudgel. Asensubu was assassinated and the truth of it is still not known. Some say that Redhill employed the deadliest of his resources by having a demon summoned to slay her as she slept. If so, this was the Mad, as Redhill came to be known, Consul's greatest blunder. Asensubu's martyrdom turned every hand against the Baron. Eldermont his staunchest ally had never committed to a side and thus easily withdrew his monetary support when the end became clear.

The combined forces of Cudgel, the Bay Alliance, and a brigade of Arnian Dread Archers overwhelmed the remaining army of Redhill the Mad Consul. Where and what became of Redhill was never known by men or elves. Some surmise that Ogrim had waited until his hated foe was so deeply defeated that there was nothing left to take but the undead-seeming man's life.

In truth, Ogrim did come for Redhill and stole the would-be tyrant of Indo-wen away. The Mad Consul had very little time to squirm under Ogrim's thumb before the beast tired of his toy and sold him into mind slavery to the Illithids of the Woven Spire. Ogrim, himself, lived many years on the plateau and ruled long over the gnolls but eventually his power was broken by Indo-wen and elves of the hidden city. The Ogre-mage outlasted his defeats and came to know a true master. Dominated by the spirit of an ancient evil, Ogrim merged himself with the soul of a long dead Lich and began his bid to claim and reclaim a lost empire risen again.

Asensubu's untimely death left a power vacuum into which the remaining Consuls sought to fill. There were only two left by this time. Carmine had fallen in battle to the deadly blade of a blackguard. His body was thrust from the walls and never recovered by men. The jungle he so served took his vessel to its bosom never to be seen again. MacBhain had finally overcome his ensorcelment but his redemption had been hard won. He died in naval battle going down with his ship and his shame. Eldermont, the rogue he had become, abdicated his seat and fled justice to Drastan, a kingdom, where he was himself assassinated for his power. Consul Delaine and Consul Frenone were those left to rule.

In the year following the assassination of Consul Asensubu and the Mad Consul's defeat, six new Consuls were raised to the Lamplight thrones and Inwe asa' Frenone rose even higher, the seat of the Grand Consul.

Now it is true in every land that corruption runs the most crooked courses so that its survival endures. So crooked had the paths become that the Reveler's Nine nearly disappeared from the scene. Surely, clandestine factions still lie in the belly of the gem and every manner of evil thing lurks in the dark but the glory of Indo-wen increased to such measures in the days of Grand Consul Frenone's reign that shadowy places and shadowy figures fled the glow and grandeur.

Indo-wen had survived her trial and healed herself from within. The empire grew in those 500 years so that seven new cities were founded over the ruins of old Agaradon. No power could prevail against the might of the eight cities of New Agaradon.

New trials boil in the cauldron of the Indo-Eberian peninsula and new dreads wait to surface. Heroes unknowing of their destinies wait in crib and cradle to grow and become strong. They wait unknowing what they will face when once again the darkness returns.

But that is another story....

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