The Current Date is Winter 22 – Year 158 PC
In the aftermath of the collapse of the Age of Gods, the world of Jacoria has endured over one hundred years of global war before the dust settles. Without warning, a new continent appears within the ocean, unknown to all living civilizations. Curious about this new landmass, and wanting to explore (or exploit) it’s natural beauty and resources, the remaining nations of the world each send representatives to the new land, known as Edenecho.
The First Expedition, sent to Edenecho in the Summer of 153 PC, has been out for eight months, and no word has been received. You and your fellow colonists are part of the Second Expedition, sent in to investigate, provide supplies, and perhaps figure out why the First hasn’t responded yet. Your arrival occurs during the Late Spring of 154 PC.
Part 1 (Land of Wonder)
The First Expedition is found alive and well on the coastline of northwestern Edenecho, having formed a walled village known as Nytt. They welcome the Second Expedition with open arms, and help them settle into one of the three factions that hold dominion over the goings on of things. The Council, The Recon Corps, and the Historical Reclamation Society.
Through investigations done in between mapping out the new land and discovering wondrous, impossible beasts, the Council Aides discover an ongoing plot by Councilor Kita to conceal the information that any messages sent out of Edenecho never reach their destination, though things that come in seem to arrive just fine. Kita resigns in disgrace at the end of the Spring Council Season, and leaves Nytt to live in the wilds.
While out exploring the northern plains, the Recon Corps come across an incredible oddity. A ruined city, likely thousands of years old, with an immaculate temple to the dead God, Akte-Hale, standing at the center. As per Nytt’s agreement with the Historical Reclamation Society, the HRS gets first dibs on the temple, and loots the upper section of the outer walls, fighting a great stone sentry before realizing that they have no way inside.
Another group of adventurers are dispatched afterwards, and manage to make some headway before encountering an deific Echo of the dead God, Saint Croix. Even at only a tiny fraction of his old power, the Echo is able to fight the party to a near death, before being defeated. They retreat, and come back with a slightly different party before delving further in and discovering the true purpose of Edenecho from the dying (but not quite dead yet) Goddess, Skylos. She explains that the land is something of a planar well to trap any and all that cross into its borders, and that the Twelve Trials left by the previous deific Pantheon will decide who the next Gods and Goddesses will be. Adrian Schalice is tricked by his allies into completing the Trial of Akte-Hale, and becomes Nytt’s first Candidate. However, as Adrian passes the trial and allows Skylos to die with Mercy, a great danger is finally removed from it’s leash deep within Edenecho’s forests.
Part 2 (Hunter’s Season)
Sylaris of Seirolac, a historical figure well known for bringing about the collapse of the Age of Gods, lies in wait within Edenecho’s forests, ready to bring about his six Hunters of Seirolac to any who cause attention to be drawn to themselves while in the treeline. The people of Nytt are made aware of Edenecho’s true purpose, and due to some calming words from the Council and other local demagogues, they take it surprisingly well.
The following months see the appearances of several dangers, such as Vic’Shoal the Butcher, the first among the Hunters of Seirolac to lay a claim of battle against the adventurers of Nytt during an investigation of a crashed piece of Chorander from the skies. Other dangers of note in the season involve the serial killer, Serian Messer, having completed his own Trial of Echis Bohn to gain candidacy. His allegiance is later discovered to be that of Architon, a town on the opposite end of Edenecho formed by members of the notorious Undertow.
The Summer season draws to a close with a grand festival encompassing all of Nytt to raise morale from recent horrors that had befallen them. The Starlight Festival is seen as a resounding success from all that participate, and greatly raises the morale of the citizenry. At the end of the festivities, the Historical Reclamation Society’s Captain accidentally reveals the location of a new Trial site in a freshly found region named the Golden Hills.
After some waiting on the HRS to study the area on their own, Nytt receives a distress call from a wounded runner, allowing them to know that the second Hunter has trapped the HRS in a silo that held the Trial. Two teams are dispatched to deal with the threat. The first is successful in dealing the Hunter, a spirit known as Ha’Li Woad, the Cracked, though several members of the HRS lay either dead or critically wounded before help could arrive.
The second team descends down into the earth to take the Trial for themselves, navigating through a series of seasonal-based puzzles and combats, before they finally come across their reward. A planar circle, transporting them to a humble farmhouse in an idyllic landscape. Within they find more information about the nature of Candidacy, as well as the bones of the slain God, Charola. They Persevere through to the end of the Trial and bury the bones out in the yard. After a lengthy discussion about who among them truly deserves the power to ascend, the choice is made for Burly Roy, who sacrifices his very name and connection to his beloved family to become Nytt’s Second Candidate.
While a great deal of adventurers are out dealing with the emergency of the Burdened Silos, an event of great importance occurs in Nytt. The Third Expedition, led by Commodore Skold Wassem of Teycit, arrives to mount a rescue operation for the First and Second Expeditions, informing Nytt that no more Expeditions will be coming from the world coalition. The Third are informed that they too are now trapped in the planar well, and have varying degrees of acceptance to this fact over the following months.
The rest of the following months hold such an attempted Ritual to see past the veils of time, a deep-earth encounter with an electrified wolf, and the rescue of the Overture, a new Faction who had gone missing several months ago. With their rescue, three large pieces of information are learned. The location of the Trial site of Zapianu, located on their shipwrecked isle, the existence of Architon, the town of Undertow occupation, and the existence of a fourth Candidate. The leader of Architon, who had undergone the Trial of Kune.
With Winter quickly approaching, the decision was made to hold a series of tournaments to round out the season. The first, Days of Waves, goes relatively smoothly, though a ship captained by Iaera Pegason of the Overture does discover a new type of substance upon the sea floor, which crystallizes living tissue that it touches. The second tournament, Hunter’s Season, sees the emergence of a new type of Megafauna, in the shape of an ancient Pterosaur, and the reemergence of the Hunter Vic’Shoal, who once again retreats after being bested in combat and dropping a sword.
The final tournament, The Tournament of the Endless Echo, is a fighting tournament with the stipulation of banning all magicks. The tournament is interrupted near the end of the preliminaries by the third Hunter, a Halfling pit-fighter named Domino the Destitute. He challenges the winner of the Championship to fight him personally in exchange for information about the Hunters if they win. In the end, Amelia Enroth finds herself standing above her peers and coworkers as she throws Joseph Crowell from the pit ring in the Finals. The ensuing fight against Domino endangers the spectators watching, which leads to less than friendly relations at the end of the bout. After giving the minimum amount of information that he could, Domino is executed by the hand of Adrian Schalice, and the season comes to an end, bringing in a cold and harsh Winter.
That Winter would set the stage for many changes in the tiny community of Nytt. Ayano Kita returned to town through the efforts of a wilderness reach out program led by Councilor Zira although Hollylynn chose to stay away and take refuge at Bowlt’s Outpost. Sadly this effort earned the Ifrit no favors and she was let go of her position shortly into the new season.
Shortly after this politically divisive event the HRS returned from their recent ventures exploring Zapianu’s Sanctuary, the group had taken heavy losses, with almost everyone having some form of minor or major injury. Ex-Councilor Fizzlewake had been forced to stay behind on the island, her time in the jungle changing her forever. The most heavily wounded survivor though was Tanropi, who had lost an eye and had a fang embedded in her heart. It was only thanks to the quick work of Perseus and Zira that she managed to live.
With a heavy heart an exploration committee returned to the Sanctuary to conquer it and save Fizzlewake. This journey would mark Nytt losing it’s second councilor of the season, with Zaul Galimak stepping down to join. On this journey they were thrust into an ancient primal world where they had to overcome many beasts that had long since gone extinct, most dangerous of which was a Tyrannosaurus Rex which managed to kill and consume Kim Se-Yeon Sunjong.
The following debate on who would take up the cloak of Zapianu and become Nytt’s next candidate was fierce. The argument raged for hours before in a sudden haste Amelia Enroth grasped the artifact and proclaimed her ideal ‘Protection’. Her entering the deific race would be one that was discussed in the months following as it was a choice that seemed to clash with her own personal goals. After returning from the journey Zaul renounced his citizenship and left to Bowlt’s Outpost.
The other events of the Winter passed almost as a footnote, with a group of people setting up an invisible barrier over the city of Nytt to warn of foreign vessels and a small attack party which ended up creating a pact with the Winter Weasels instead of killing them in response to heavy winter storms the creatures had summoned to assault their walls.
The new year brought a major change to the expedition, with the council restructuring to a yearly vote for five councilors. Even more of a shock was that Crowell, a constant in the political landscape, chose not to run. They also decided to create a new settlement around the Radiant Cathedral, to be called “Dogma”.Founding the village required a three pronged plan. A voyage by land, a voyage by sea, and a force left behind to protect the walls of Nytt.
By land a small force escorted several wagons of settlers to the new location. They had to defend the group from a pack of Golemolds, unlike the ones encountered the previous year. The battle was fierce, with two deific candidates unleashing unworldly magics. Roy using his mastery over walls to fuse the metal monsters together, and Amelia using divine lightning to melt the monsters. They were victories, though Crowell suffered a critical injury, becoming impaled by the monsters metal arm. He would recover, but would never be quite the warrior he had been.
By sea the Overture and a group of adventurers escorted a ship full of building materials, when they were attacked by a dark figure. Sailor Ratield, a supposed ex member of the expedition infused with otherworldly magics. Through the power of teamwork and friendship nobody lost their lives that day. Rumor has it this was the first instance of the Celestial Seven teaming up, though their identities remain a secret.
Back in Nytt though things were not calm. An army of people claiming to be natives led by a man named Castor, equipped with an ancient lost metal demanded the expedition leave. They follow a Candidate God known as ‘The Phoenix’. Only through the quick thinking and diplomatic words of a group fronted by Cait Eithar was tragedy averted, and the attacking army retreated to their own civilization to consult their own candidate on what to do next.
Time passes, as it always does, and the only two other things of note happened during this spring. The first was that Nytt’s oldest enemy, the ursapent race finally revealing a new breed, the alpha minor. An amphibious creature that ruled normal uraspents. It contains a poison that drove people insane and the ability to cast magic. Luckily none lost their lives against the beast. The second was Commander Bowlt was transmuted into stone by a creature of unspeakable size and power, taking down the world’s strongest man with a single look.
To celebrate the second expedition’s first full year as part of the epic tale first seat Ashworthy held a festival, there was an intense sailing race, a trivia contest with a surprise guest in the form of Hollylynn returning to town. The festival ended with a cooking competition that ended with a Cervino winning, spawning the start of the Cervino rights movement.
It was during the summer that the next major discovery was made, a valley of competition, where ancient candidates fought for some unknown reason. All that is known is they left behind magical weapons that have not been seen in the modern age. This treasure trove of history and magic came at a fortuitous time. For the HRS was beginning to falter. With this “Grove of Arms” available to study the HRS fractured into two branches. The HRS studying ancient magics, and Glory’s Gauntlet becoming a group of classical adventurers and mercenaries. The Overture also opened it’s ships to public auditions.
The HRS immediately began to focus on ancient Diaolian nobility, believing that in those ancient histories lay the secret of the previous pantheon.
For months now citizens had been having nightmares of a figure torturing them and then decapitating them. Completely unrelated the star of a local rockbal team had been waking up covered in injuries. Hiring a group to guard him they find the horrible truth. The hunter Vic’Shoal had a weapon that allowed him to travel through nightmares, slowly gaining power to bleed the damage into the real world. He left with a warning, that by the first day of Fall, if he didn’t receive his missing swords something “Terrible” would befall Nytt.
The people of Nytt came to a conclusion, they would try to treat with the Vic’Shoal, offering one of his swords as bait, preparing a banquet, and just in case setting up some protections in the form of a mystic ritual called the F.E.N.C.E. and a solid stone wall. During this planning phase it was revealed that the leader of the Undertow on Edenecho had gained access to an ancient magic called “Scrying” when he became a candidate. While discussing how to handle this discovery his voice came to whisper, to speak with the people of Nytt. He made himself known as Perimos, The Shimmering Iris.
Disturbed that the thought of being spied on for months now, the people of Nytt had to push that to the side as they scrambled to meet the Hunter known as “The Butcher”. Eighty percent of the population was sent to Dogma to stay safe, and the remaining worked night and day to transform the Nexus Arena into a meeting place for a legendary treastice.
Vic’Shoal the Butcher agrees to treat with the citizens of Nytt, and fully incarnates himself against his better will. He proceeds to go on an angry rant about the nature of the Hunters, and after a few poorly chosen words and actions, decides that Nytt would be better off as a fireball. As the people bunker down and prepare for an explosion, a flying Elven figure sends a magical blast into the incarnated Half-Orc’s chest, slaying him instantly.
He introduces himself as Glaucus, the High Priest of the Phoenix, and offers up the location of his home settlement of Kyndal, located in the mountains to the far south of Edenecho. Glaucus invites them, on behalf of the Phoenix, to send one among their leadership and one among their Candidates to come and treat with the leader themself, and flies off into the night. The people of Nytt are left to wonder how to deal with the variety of new threats that have made themselves known in the past week.
Part 3 (Echoes and Explorations)
The Autumn opens up and time quickly flies as an exploration group heads south of the Bowltwoods to map the dark area out between Nytt and Kyndal. Within the newly dubbed ‘Grimwoods’, they discover something truly unexpected. The location of Sentry, a Loci spirit of the people of Seirolac, guarding a mystical Domain belonging to Sylaris of Seirolac, who himself had become a Candidate by usurping the Trial of Velder. Two Recon Corps members, Zana and Fargrim, break off from their group and pass Sentry on a mission of peace, leaving their weapons at the proverbial gates to treat and discuss things with Seirolac’s first son himself. They are greeted well enough, and after their talks, are invited to return if they still believe in the same goals as himself.