7th Arrallonian Campaign

Kar'Dhaer Day One

First Day


Kar’Dhaer Academy was but one of several major centers of expansion on top of Mount Syvasmyr. There was Syvasgaard, the first fortress built here several years before, to serve as a base for Legacy operations and to keep a watchful eye on the rift deep beneath the Elven Life Tree. It had become the base of operations of the Silver Gryphon Legacy, and in time, the capitol building of the new city state of Syvasgaard. Following an attack by the Sisters of Pain and Pleasure that crippled Syvasgaard and killed many innocents, the assorted merchants, servants and workers were moved outside the fortress gates. Their shacks and wagons were quickly replaced with houses and shops and warehouses, and a town began to grow. The town of Syvasgaard served the needs of the fortress, its warriors and agents, scientists and mages. To the east, the ancient ruins of Castle Nol’Dhaer were taken over and rebuilt from the foundation up, into the great academy of science and mysticism now called Kar’Dhaer. Even further east, along the far cliffs of the mountain, catching the first rays of the rising Apos, sat the Temple of Isis at Syvasmyr. And like Syvasgaard and Kar’Dhaer, it too was soon surrounded by a growing host of buildings and businesses. In between, and scattered across the rest of the mountain top, was the Syvasmyr air field, home of the Ravenclaw airship and its kin, the Elven village of Ellindimyr where the Light of Corellon resided and ministered to her flock, and a half dozen private residences and mansions for the many ambassadors and envoys to the President of the Western Alliance. Now, even the once abandoned village of Draknan-Gar sitting at the base of the mountain had been rebuilt and repopulated. It was the major trading hub for the caravans and wagon trains that made their way into the mountains from Nice Little Place, Dient and Foxmoor. Warehouses and liveries, stables and stockyards had spread out into what was once called the Drider Woods as the town began to expand. It had all the atmosphere of a Carellonian frontier town.


When students began to collect here to start classes in Kar’Dhaer Academy, it was no time at all until they had discovered the town of Draknan-Gar, and its townsfolk discovered they had a ready supply of foolish customers who’d spend money on anything. Draknan-Gar began to grow like a weed, supplying all the interests of the young students on their days off from classes. Of course, freedom led to trouble and trouble led to rules and restrictions. It took the better part of the first year for Dove and the regents of Kar’Dhaer to come to an understanding with the merchants, bars and brothels of Draknan-Gar regarding student behavior and what they could and couldn’t purchase. Obviously, where there was illicit money to be had, the Syndicate soon showed an interest. That’s when the SGL stepped in and took control of matters, three of the SGL to be specific; Shari Yvari, Sable, and Giselle Wellsden. By the time it was all done, Shari had secured the position of Syndicate Boss of Syvasgaard, and the threatened involvement of neighboring syndicate bosses from Hillshome and Mandragora had been quietly and bloodlessly shut down.


Into its third year of classes, Kar’Dhaer had added several new aspects to its curriculum. Pilot training was now being conducted at the Kar’Dhaer airfield, in an assortment of new aircraft and airship designs. There were the few lighter than air airships, the older open deck airships that were more boat than aircraft, and the new, sleek, pressurized cabin aircraft with shapeshifting structures and paratech turbine engines, like the now famed Ravenclaw. And that wasn’t the only technology and paratechnology beginning to leak out of Syvasgaard and into the general populace. It was widely held across five kingdoms now that Syvasgaard was THE place for paratechs and paratechnical marvels.


The huge influx of applicants in its first year was sufficient to force Dove to adopt restrictive selection criteria lest they be overcome and drowned beneath the tide of students. Those lucky enough, good enough, and smart enough to be selected were warned not to think too highly of themselves. The classes were unforgiving, the laboratories brutal, and the standards astronomical. Even at that, the total washout rate rarely exceeded 10%. But as hard as they were expected to work, they played just as hard.


A new world view had somehow settled on most people from the kingdoms of Callona. It was as if the whole world suddenly woke up one morning and realized they’d dodged the bullet. What could have been the end of the world had been narrowly avoided. For those well versed in Silver Gryphon lore, that was nothing new. They had saved the world, narrowly avoided complete destruction, or stopped Ragnarok at least a dozen times, if stories were to be believed. And the willful ignorance that had settled in during the last great period of peace on Callona had so far been avoided. People knew there were monsters out there, and down here, and they were not going to forget that fact. And though there was almost no one who had been untouched by the Three Wars, most had sworn to put the ancient hatreds behind them. There were bigger threats than their neighbor’s culture or Gods. The world was once again at peace, but that didn’t mean that bad things and bad people weren’t still a threat.


Professor Corthellian had been teaching Contemporary Demonology and Monster Lore since before the first stone had been moved at the Kar’Dhaer construction site. Of course, back then, he was known as Lord Corthellian of the Legacy, not Professor. All students were required to take his classes, be they first years or transferring seniors. They all got a taste of the monstrosities that were out there, but most attended to hear the war stories of the Silver Gryphon and the Silver Gryphon Legacy. Still others took the class to catch an occasional glimpse of the ravishing Vampiel who showed up for not-so-secret meetings with the old Demonhunter from time to time. What they all got out of the class was a laundry list of villains and horrors that neither the Silver Gryphon nor the SGL had managed to totally vanquish.


The organization known as COVE was gone, at least as far as anyone knew. The three leaders were either dead or driven into hiding. Eris Ashagra, the Half-Demon Warmaster had been slain and sent back to the Abyss in so many pieces. Ashley Renaux, the last Witch Mother of the Coven of Fenris, and the reincarnation of Cassandra Mourngrym, had been killed and Cassandra’s soul destroyed utterly by a backlash of her own vile magic. The sneaky backstabbing Drow Witch, Eclavdra Cormreal had fled to the Western UnderDark somewhere, but even the psionic Secret Police force of the Drovikallum could not find her. Their forces, their giants, their fortress, their Illithid and Deurgar allies, and even their liquid fluxstone artifact had all been destroyed. COVE was the Coalition of Vengeance no more.


The Sisters of Pain and Pleasure, who had so nearly destroyed Syvasgaard before it even started, had also been dismantled. The last of them was killed or captured by the SGL before the Avatar War began. Corrywyn and Danoewyn had fallen to the justice of the Church of Aphrodite, as dispensed by Fallon Bree Shanahan. The militant humanoids, the Orc Executioner Vaal’khan and the Hobgoblin Monk Vhaandor, were killed in Skullport, taken down with their army of Half-Giant and Hobgoblin women warriors. Krysalline came face to face with Syphielle, and the two learned their true identity, that they were part of the same Krell elementalist, shattered in to two parts by one of Shang’s artifacts. Their recombination was the death of both. Myribeth Havendur had been killed following the encounter with the cursed Cosmescu twins west of Goblinvale. And Marvella, never able to resist showing off for a crowd, was captured, tried and sentenced to prison for complicity, since no-one had any solid evidence she’d actually taken part in any of the Sisters’ vile deeds. All the others had either died at the hands of the SGL earlier, or in the abortive attempt to steal the throne of Shindelavri from Ariostrophius.


The Harpies had disbanded, with Danai and Deurrine heading back to the Valley of Pele with Telleminae in tow. Illandra Blacklighter had become a solid fixture at the fortress of House Honglathor, and was now Opal’s best friend. Some might say she was Opal’s only friend. Syadina had returned from the desert and ran smack dap into Serenity. The Kar’Thane Sorceress was quickly exposed and her evil ended just as quickly. Elsbeth returned to Cantellzan on a flight to visit Wolverine. Where she went after that, none knew. And Angst was, as last report from the Demonhunter and his network would put it, still serving Cameron Quinn, though the location of their lair was unclear at best.


The Jeweled Cobra, once a thing of legend, had met their fate at the hands of the Olde Silver Gryphon after the kidnapping of the crowned prince of Carellon, Aaron Draggenbrand. Queen Amanda retired after that misadventure and Aaron took the thrown. The last of the Jeweled Cobra, the Amber Mage, Sciorro, had never resurfaced after his narrow escape.


In the east, Lithia and her minions were still active, though they were now hunted not just by the new, less pacifist throne of Hermaphros, but by the Atheaen and Equideyean authorities as well. There were rumors they were hiding in the wild swamps and mountains of Maeceyea, but no one really cared to go looking for them as long as they stayed out of things.


The Khang Frontier, long a source of trouble and undead, had lost its power when Mordai was finally destroyed by Talon. Without its defense, and sure of unending trouble without it, the Khang Empire had sued for peace with the Pouarr Nation. Their peace accord was part of the political reconciliation that had formed the Western Alliance. Now people were even beginning to accept orcs into polite society,… sort of. And cromlechs all over the continent were now visited by Druids and wedding parties more often than by Dark Druids and Mord Wraiths.


But that was not to say there were no monsters or powerful villains left. The one Corthellian feared the most, Nuria Nellethym, the Krell Nephilim who infiltrated Kar’Dhaer and had tried to steal the Shadow Prophecy, was still alive. She was last seen in the sanctuary of COVE at Yagvorthane, before the fortress was destroyed and COVE defeated. Where she escaped to, none knew. And though Ragnarok was stopped yet again, and Brock Uttman and Thoulbrek Bloodjaws finally killed, there was still a threat from the Wolf Hordes and the Tarkanians. Forces had begun to stir in the Western UnderDark, and there was talk of political unrest in the Drovikallum. Viridian society was growing more violent, and some feared the new Caesar was going mad. And in the Pouarr lands, rumors had begun to spread of an ancient force of evil, a band which had borne the name of Gryphon long before the Silver Gryphon. Story had it, the Black Gryphon had returned.


Needless to say, right after the first day of Professor Corthellian’s class, many students went out and signed up for advanced hand-to-hand and weapons classes. Others took what little money they had and ran out to buy a ring or amulet of protection, as if such trinkets would save them if they came face to face with any of the SGL or Silver Gryphon’s arch-enemies. Then time would tick by, the weekend would come, the students would get wasted on Jebsenville cider or Shabrundi ale, and the fear would pass.

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