UP: Great Lakes
Seemingly unrelated events converged, and
sparked a massive battle recently. Interested in the happenings up to this
point, I pursued many sources in an attempt to discover what has actually been
happening these last months.
The trouble began some months ago, when Sir Gilbert, a knight of the Order of
the Silver Serpent, led an expedition into the depths of Deceit, to destroy the
Evil gathering there. The large group, which apparently had gathered after a
Trinsic Smith failed to discredit the knight, fought past undead into the chasm
chamber of Deceit. There they did battle with the unknown being that was
gathering power there. Unfortunately, after a hard-pressed battle, Sir Gilbert
failed, and the creature escaped. This is thought to be the first known sighting
of Acruvir in recent memory, although it is not certain. Those few I managed to
locate could not give a specific description of the creature. Sir Gilbert,
himself, died under mysterious circumstances some weeks after the expedition, as
did the Smith who attempted to discredit him.
Shortly after this incident, trouble began in the Moonglow cemetery. Many times,
often several times a day, the citizens of Moonglow gathered to clear the crypts
of undead. Seemingly leading the hordes was an astoundingly powerful Lich, who
was revealed to be named Acruvir, though this had no significance at the time.
After many weeks of fear, and violence, a small group of farmers from the south
of Verity Isle led a band of warriors to the graveyard. There they struck down
Acruvir, and burnt his body. The undead attacks subsided almost immediately, but
did not cease. I attempted to reach the peasants who gathered and organized the
group. Unfortunately, I found that they had been murdered at about the same time
as Sir Gilbert, and in a nearly identical fashion.
During and after the attacks on Moonglow, many independent establishments and
smaller cities throughout Britannia were raided repeatedly. These attacks were
marked by undead, reapers, and an abundance of ravens, which would settle about
the area, and pick apart the dead. These ravens seem to be the only link between
these seemingly motiveless acts of violence and the rest of the troubles facing
the realm. Rumors persist of a talking Raven, though this is likely a product of
too much ale.
It is unclear when the difficulties between Moonglow and Nujelím began, as the
authorities are being rather tight-lipped about it. The specific incidents are
far too numerous to list, here, but minor skirmishes seemed to escalate of their
own accord. Negotiations broke down upon several occasions, often due to the
murder of a diplomat, or a raid against either city or its interests, that
seemed to implicate the other. Diplomats from both sides agree that the troubles
had become so bad, that war was nearly inevitable. Because of the connections
the cities maintain, any official war would likely draw in other cities,
creating a war the likes of which have not been seen since the time of Lord
Robere. I managed to locate Teleburiel within the ruins of an ancient Monastery,
where a battle was fought the night before. The man is a Demonhunter, and was at
the center of the previous dayís events, which may have averted disaster. I
interviewed him, in an attempt to shed some light on the situation between
Nujelím and Moonglow.
Donovan: What led you to become involved in this series of events?
Teleburiel: I am a demonhunter. ĎTis my duty to thwart the efforts of such
beings. I saw in this their work. With the aid of many, we were able to stop it.
Donovan: Demonic influence? What made you think that this was anything more than
Teleburiel: The war served no purpose. Such things begin for a reason, even if
that reason is a small and petty one. The root of this conflict was in these
incidents, which seemed to be planned to cause the most damage to both cities.
In the event of a war, neither city would benefit. Indeed, the result would be
mutual destruction. Such a thing would not be the product of a rational mind.
Therefore, it must be either a madman, or a demon responsible.
Donovan: Then Demons are irrational?
Teleburiel: Nay, but they are not rational, either. Attempting to understand a
demon by equating its actions to human qualities, such as rationality or
irrationality, is futile. They are what we are not. Perhaps it would be best to
think of a demon as something that follows its nature. Not to hunt, not to kill,
as an animal, but to wreak evil. Any action upon their part shall serve this
goal, for it is all that they know.
Donovan: Then why were you certain that this was not the work of a madman?
Teleburiel: The involvement of Acruvir.
Donovan: You had met him before?
Teleburiel: Aye, I did battle with him many years past, and I thought him
destroyed. He guarded the Demonbane Staff, which I now wield.
Donovan: Yet he returned. Could he not have been the insane force behind the
Teleburiel: Acruvir was the most direct force behind the war, aye. However, he
has served Demons before and I hadnít, and still do not have, any reason to
believe that this had changed. It is unfathomable that Acruvir would have such a
powerful artifact as the Demonbane Staff within his possession, and not realize
it. Nay, he was undoubtedly charged with guarding it by a demonic master.
Perhaps the same one that attempted to start this war.
Donovan: I was under the impression that the direct forces behind the war were
Vizier Hareem, of Nujelím, and Marcus the mage, of Moonglow.
Teleburiel: Hareem was shown to, in fact, be Acruvir. And from what I gather,
Marcus was found guarding Acruvirís Life Charm.
Donovan: Life Charm?
Teleburiel: The means by which Acruvir could return after his destruction, so
many times. It was destroyed last night by a force that was sent to find it,
whilst I, and others, attempted to destroy Acruvir.
Donovan: Then Hareem and Marcus are dead.
Teleburiel: Hareem, aye. Marcus, however, escaped after the Charm was destroyed.
As he helped to lead us to Thurisaz, where we at last defeated Acruvir, I can
only surmise that he was under Acruvirís magical influence. For how long this
was the case, I can only guess.
Teleburiel: Here, the Monastery.
Donovan: What was Acruvir doing here?
Teleburiel: I do not know.
Donovan: What do you think will happen to Nujelím and Moonglow?
Teleburiel: I believe there will no longer be any barrier to a diplomatic
solution. It would not surprise me, if this issue resolves itself bloodlessly,
within the next few days.
Donovan: So, thy work is done?
Teleburiel: Absolutely not. Acruvirís master is at this moment, somewhere in
Britannia. Though the loss of his minion will surely be a setback, until the
Demon is banished it is still a danger to us all. Though the creatureís
identity and whereabouts remain a mystery, I am confident that his activities
shall eventually become known. And then, with help, some luck, and Virtue as a
guide, he shall be banished. Until then, we must be vigilant.
Donovan: Thank you for your time.
Teleburielís words ring true, and as this article goes to press, the tensions
between Moonglow and Nujelím have cooled of considerably. Though a small group
of radicals continue to push for a war, they have lost much support. A war in
the foreseeable future is unlikely. In an interesting twist, Marcus has turned
himself in. He is currently awaiting trial on a holding charge of conspiracy to
commit murder, but will likely eventually face charges ranging from destruction