Although this campaign era is called Spartak 645, due to the major world event that happens in 645, kicking off a new age, our new game will begin in the year 653 (when the twins turn 18).
In 645, Spartak’s greatest heroes, Finn, Egwene, Etherielle and Grace stop an invasion by horrific beings from another world in a battle that takes place on the Moon of Ukko.
Another thing that happens during this time period is that the gap between rich and poor, between the aristocracy and the lower classes grows wider than ever before. The extravagant lives of the Emperor and his family, and the lives of those wealthy families who orbit the glowing sun of prosperity, become completely separated from the lives of the working poor — struggling farmers and tradesman who toil just to keep food on the table. Still, even this wretched life is better than being torn apart by Fey creatures or turned into werewolves, so the majority of the underclasses still believe in the importance of the Empire to keep them safe.
The ineffective attempts by the deposed king Leopold Keff and his band of revolutionaries is largely looked down upon as an attempt to take away the safetly that the Empire provides. It was, after all, under Leo’s reign that everything fell apart. He is not looked upon fondly by the people that he ruled almost 20 years ago. Emperor Julistar and Corinne, on the other hand, are adored as saviors and celebrities by even the lowliest of peasants in the Empire.
In putting together your new characters, please figure out where you want to be in the wealth spectrum. It will be difficult for your group to come from a mix of aristocratic and working class backgrounds, and if you do have different backgrounds, you’ll have to figure out the part of the backstory that explains how and why elite members of upper society would be associating with the commoners. It will be something that will bring a lot of attention in either realm so do your best to work this out before we start playing.
I’ve been working on a very detailed story that explains a lot of loose ends and mysteries from the last campaign, but it is proving much longer than I first thought. So, that is still coming, but in the meantime, since I know you are all anxious to work on your backstories and some of these depend on the details, here is the short version:
When the party saved Moiraine from turning into a lich through the combined powers of the wands of life and death, they made her soul immune from magical influence. This would make Moiraine completely resistant to spells such as Magic Jar, Trap the soul, or any form of possession. It also, however, made her immune to being raised from the dead, as the protection of her soul from being affected by magic would continue even after her death.
And so, sadly, Moiraine was saved from the horrible fate of becoming undead, but was felled by the most common killer of women in Spartak during the 600s: childbirth. Moiraine gave birth to twins in 635 and died during labor. I’m sorry, but it happens, especially with twins. And the magic that saved her from Agnes’ curse meant that there was nothing anyone could do to bring her back.
Several months later, Barnabas was investigating a means to bend time, using the Silver Rose of Ariella, to possibly bring Moiraine back, but he encountered an unexpected, well, sort of, Kaldane rune which, by viewing it, completed the cursed transformation that was begun back in the Pyramid of the 5 Pharoahs. Barnabas was transformed into a Kaldane mummy which disappeared in a cave in of the underground tomb he was exploring at the time. Neither he, nor any of his possessions, including the artifact warhammer known as Whelm, were ever recovered.
Peri, as you may not recall, never actually returned from the Fey Realm after she spun the Wheel of Fate in order to return Barnabas and Greg to their normal forms. The metal construct of Peri that appeared briefly, was a minion of Jack-in-Irons who had been sent to help Jack move into the Prime Material Plane. Count Julistar defeated the metal Bard, but she escaped to the Moonshae Isles to the island of metal constructs that Jack created. Unfortunately, for Jack, he used up all the mana in the area and, because of the mana wells, Jack became immobile, petrified by the lack of mana in the area, which he needed to live. He became a giant statue in the center of town which is worshipped by the clockwork constructs who were created by him. The real Peri, would live out the rest of her life in a Dream dimension which was a funhouse copy of the real Spartak, where she pursued her dreams of becoming a great ruler.
Kellin’s fate is pretty much a mystery. He raised his children, and was a devoted father even without his beloved Moiraine beside him. Then one day he simply vanished from the face of Spartak, leaving behind the sword Zerial and all his worldly possessions. All attempts to find him, even divinations by Steffen, who eventually rose to the rank of Bishop in the Quaternity Church, could not find what had become of Kellin. Some say the vampire that killed his older daughter Grace’s mom returned to take him out. Some say he went on a dimensional quest to bring Moiraine back. Others think it had something to do with the cursed sword Zerial, whose redemption Kellin had sacrificed in order to prevent his life-long friend Simon from becoming the Prince of Demons. But nobody really knows. Grace took the sword Zerial and began the quest for its redemption again. It helped her stop the invasion on the moon. Shortly after that battle, she learned that she was not one of the 4 whose birthdays indicated they were destined for importance. It turned out her mother had lied about the day she was born, saying that Grace had been born on the night the Star of Arra blinked 3 times, bestowing a historically great significance to those born on that night. Grace was actually born the night before that and was never anything more than a regular girl who learned to fight for her life when she was young. The real 4th birthday on that list belonged to someone else who was on the moon during the fight: Zev, the Bronze Dragon. Zev hatched on the night of the Star of Arra and his help proved invaluable to stopping the invasion of the moon. Grace left the group soon after that to pursue the redemption of Zerial on her own.
Plans to inhabit the island where the Hell Well had been closed never came to fruition after Moiraine’s death. The island is thought to have sunk in a Wildmagic storm some years later.
The School and the Tower of Isis continued to flourish in Meadowheart, which was one of the only known areas to retain a strong presence of Mana due to the fact that the party had stopped any Mana wells from forming in that region. Fidessa’s school and tower shut down after her death (she was in her 80s). Magic had drained from the Amberton area and without her driving force keeping things going, the doors were closed in just a few years.
The Tower of Knowledge was never rebuilt after the Whispering Way destroyed it. Blaine Castlemaine passed away around 648 and the Tower of Weyreth disappeared into the magical forest after he was gone. This meant the Tower of Isis was left as the one and only Tower of Wizardry in Spartak, as well as the only known school of magic. Enrollment was very low, as interest in becoming a wizard in a world where magic was quickly becoming a thing of the past, had dropped off, but there were still always a few students struggling through their lessons as usual. Vernishel eventually became the master of the Tower, although he always said he could never fill Moiraine’s shoes (though he sometimes liked to walk around the tower in them just the same).
This party left behind a lasting legacy. They established the last known center of Wizard knowledge and helped raise what is possibly the last great generation of wizards in Spartak to follow in their footsteps and save the world from evil. But they also will be remembered for saving the world themselves from the Fey Queen Serena and the 400-year-old debt left behind by the wizards Connor Ioun and Marcus Evard. They were critical in saving the Elven city of Silvanos from a draconic attack. They restored the dwarven kingdom of Tharbardun after madness and evil had plunged it into chaos and Moiraine even reconnected Tharbardun with the surface world. They helped free the city of Wavesreach from enslavement to devil-worshippers. They saved the town of Meadowheart numerous times and helped transform it into a prosperous trade center for magic supplies and items. They closed off the connection to the planes of Hell so that from this time on, there are no Devils in Spartak. And lastly, but certainly not leastly, they destroyed the Prince of Demons, Orcus (preventing him from returning to Spartak physically for 50 years…watch out Spartak 684!).
Although they are gone now, Spartak lives on and will never forget these heroes and their amazing story. I am thankful that I got to be a part of it.