Prologue

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Prologue
Moonless Age chapter
Postcard Prologue.png
Main characters
Related locations
Related factions
Sidestories
  • Dutan'vir Path

The prologue to the main story, detailing the events that lead to the emergence of the drow and, eventually, to the Nidraa'chal War.

The sidestory of the chapter, Dutan'vir Path[1], details the fate of Mikilu'ligr following the Nidraa'chal War and the dissolution of her clan.

Summary

Background

Prior the events of the main story, the Dark Elves waged many long and vicious wars across the surface, devastating it with the summoning of deadly Demons. The destruction was so extensive that the drow were forced back to their last bastions of strength, slowly losing ground to their own weapons now grown beyond control.[2] Ultimately one of the strongest of the old queens, Sharess, led a contingent of her people to the Underworld before sacrificing herself to end the demon threat. There, the Dark Elves struggled to survive the barren lands of their new home. As time passed, they began to recover, even to flourish.

Among these growing civilizations was that of Chel'el'Sussoloth, the City of Light in the Darkness. Under the leadership of Empress Diva'ratrika Val'Sharen, Queen of the mightiest of the nine Great Clans, Chel grew in size and prosperity. However, not all was well in the new empires. In addition to the growing competition for resources amongst an ever-growing population, the Dark Elves faced a greater threat: The Drow.

Living in the Underworld produced profound changes in those born to the Dark Elves.[3] Their children were born with ashen skin, their hair devoid of the bright colours of their parents. Their eyes glowed red and could see farther in the darkness of their new home. Though initially horrified at the changes in their children, the Dark Elves had no choice but to accept the emergence of this new race, their own dwindling with every death. More so with the wars between those born on the surface and those born below it. Eventually, the Drow grew to become the predominant race of the Underworld, with the lighter-skinned Drowussu born of the Light Elves maintaining a strong minority.

Nidraa'chal War Begins

In the Year 1030 Moonless Age, a new faction developed in Chel'el'Sussoloth: The Nidraa'chal. Proudly endorsing voluntary tainting and proclaiming themselves a new race called the Ver'drowen'dar, they began a campaign to assert their dominance. With their reckless use of both tainting and nether summoning, long taboo since the great wars of the surface drove the drow underground, they were quickly proclaimed a threat by virtually every other clan. With their actions causing mass unrest and disunity among the clans, Diva'ratrika ordered an inquisition and purge of all tainted, led by the Imperial Guard.

Though successful in eliminating a large number of tainted, it further increased the rampant paranoia and hostility among the clans. Among the Great Clans, the Les'wanre house of the Val'Dutan'vir left in protest to join the Val'Kyorl'solenurn, further bolstering the radical clan. Meanwhile, an Nidraa'chal assassination attempt against a Beldrobbaen Val led Ill'haress Waes'soloth to initiate a purge of the entire servant caste. Even among the commoners of Chel, there was mass rioting and open conflict between those supporting tainting and those opposed to it.

Worse still, the inquisition led the Nidraa'chal to abandon all pretenses and begin waging open warfare against the established clans. Not only did they recklessly wield nether summoning, but they violated the previously-held conventions of inter-clan warfare by intentionally targeting the civilian population, weaponizing them into a demonic army. Within the month, Diva'ratrika made the unprecedented move of marshaling the entire Sharen army and their vassal houses to crush the Nidraa'chal rebellion. Even the Imperial Guard were sent from the Queen's side to participate in the battle. However, with the paranoia and mistrust, the other clans elected to entrench their own forces in their own territories rather than aid against a Nidraa'chal attack concentrated mainly in the Imperial Sector, leaving the Sharen with few allies in the conflict.

The War Progresses

Though the Sharen army made strong initial strides, losses against the Nidraa'chal began almost immediately. Striking hard at the Dutan'vir, Nidraa'chal agents were able to infiltrate the Dutan'vir Fortress, assassinating Ill'haress Sannindi'ligr. With her death, the already fractured clan was thrown into chaos. Amid mass desertions, Storr of the Lem'ja house rallied the remaining loyal clan members into a final desperate charge. Though courageous, they were slain nearly to the last.

Elsewhere, the Sharen force under the command of Sil'lice encountered a far more insidious threat. Though unable to face the full might of the Sharen army head-on, the Nidraa'chal had recklessly opened nether gates throughout the streets of Chel, intentionally exposing the populace to possession. What began as a rebellion of a few tainted summoners swiftly transformed into a brutal guerrilla war against a horde of near-mindless demons, the air saturated with nether. As many fall to possession as to the demons themselves, while the summoners responsible remained out of reach of the advancing Sharen army. Zala'ess' forward guard, the Xyrrai'zestu house under the command of Oiloss'lin, suffered especially horrific losses, ultimately being forced to fall back as their force was crippled in the heavy street-to-street fighting.

As the second day of intense fighting began, the Kyorl'solenurn clan finally entered the conflict. Though their numerous sealers provided them a noted edge in battle against the Nidraa'chal, they focus was as much on slaughtering the tainted as it was containing the demonic threat. Only those lucky few to avoid tainting were spared, with the rest subjected to a brutal purge.

Kalki's Manipulations

Elsewhere, Sil'lice's exhausted force continued to advance into the ruined cityscape, eventually coming to the remnants of a destroyed garden within the districts of Sarv'swati. As Sil'lice vented her challenges into the air, a Nidraa'chal ambush revealed itself, led by none other than Kalki. Sil'lice quickly recognized the voice of her niece, as Kalki offered to spare their lives in exchange for their surrender. Kau'shala responded by striking at Kalki with his sword, defiantly rallying the remaining members of their force.

However, unbeknownst to the Sharen, Kalki discreetly channeled nether into Mahalek, the sole remaining war-dragon of the group. Possessed from within by a demon, Mahalek violently bit into Kau'shala without warning, nearly bisecting him at the waist. As Kau'shala's vision faded, Sil'lice moved to combat her treacherous niece.

Shortly thereafter, Sil'lice returned to the Val'Sharess tower in a cold fury. Amid a field of carnage, Mikilu and Sker'ligr encountered Sil'lice as Nishi'kanta lay defeated at her feet. Before matters could be explained, Nir'naya strode forth, confidently declaring Sil'lice to be behind the deaths of Diva'ratrika's personal guard. Enraged, Sil'lice responded only with a threat to reach the Queen over their frozen corpses.

The Aftermath of War

Mere days after the start of the war, Chel'el'Sussoloth was forever changed. Broken ruins littered vast swaths of the city, with many areas still dangerously contaminated with nether and demons alike. The Val'Dutan'vir had fallen, their members slain or sold into slavery and their name sullied. Sil'lice and her line, accused of betrayal, suffered exile or death. Meanwhile, the surviving Sharen were subjected to a policy of mandatory tainting by the remaining daughters, as Diva'trika disappeared from the public eye.

With the Sharen greatly weakened, many clans bordered on open revolt, with the Sarghress in particular moving to occupy territories once held by their hated rivals. From her quarters in Orthorbbae, Sha'sana reflected bitterly on her role in the rise of the Nidraa'chal, keenly aware of the true nature of their coup. As she grimly predicted, Snadhya'rune soon arrived to wrest control of the ancient school from her former teacher, giving the Nidraa'chal yet another seat from which to exert their influence.

Extra Arcs

Dutan'vir Path

Political Machinations

Following the apparent defeat of the Nidraa'chal, the Sharen gathered to celebrate their victory, even as the Dutan'vir clan collapsed amid widespread dishonor. As the remaining daughters of Diva'ratrika celebrated their apparent victory, Mikilu arrived in the company of Nir'naya. Though Nir'naya attempted to dissuade Mikilu, the proud Dutan'vir demanded to know the whereabouts of the Queen. This request was bluntly rebuffed by Sarv'swati and Snadhya'rune, with the latter claiming the Queen to have retreated into seclusion in light of recent betrayals. Snadhya'rune then condescendingly offered to allow Mikilu to remain the Val'Sharess tower until such time as she is summoned.

The discussion was then interrupted by Nishi'kanta, who threw her wine to the floor in apparent fit of frustration. Before the matter could escalate, Zala'ess took her aside, advising her to avoid drawing the wrath of their sisters. Disgusted by the political maneuvering at play, Mikilu departed. As her sisters left, Snadhya'rune turned to address Nir'naya directly, commanding her to begin selecting candidates for the Imperial Guard. Nir'naya irritably asserted that selection is the Queen's choice alone, only for Snadhya'rune to feign reassurance.

As Mikilu lleft the chambers, she passed the aged Imperial Guard, Tlu'rath. Though pleading for him to follow her, he wearily stated that he serves the clan as a whole, not the Val'Sharess in particular. The conversation quickly turned to Sil'lice and her alleged betrayal. Neither could truly bring themselves to believe that Sil'lice would commit such crimes, noting a similar sentiment to have lead to the departure of Sker'ligr. Tlu'rath then asked Mikilu if she also intended to leave, to which she could give no answer.

Forced Exile

As the time passed, the strain of her recent losses weighed heavily upon Mikilu. With Nir'naya appointed Captain of the Guard in her place, Mikilu found herself subjected to ever-increasing ridicule and mistrust, culminating in being served maggot-ridden slop in place of a normal meal. Though enraged at the insult, Mikilu departed to the courtyard to vent her anger in solitude. However, Nishi'kanta soon arrived and informed her that she her servant and numerous members of the kitchen staff had been murdered, and that she was being blamed for the massacre.

Aware that Mikilu was being subjected to a slow campaign to be rid of her in one way or the other, Nishi'kanta warned her to escape before all is taken from her; or before she herself succumbs to her rage. Though Mikilu correctly deduces Nishi'kanta to have submitted to the plotters, she grimly accepted the truth her words. That very day, she disappeared from Chel'el'Sussoloth. She was quickly declared dead or in exile by the Val'Sharen, with rumors continuing to claim ever greater misdeeds committed by the once-esteemed Overseer. The last hope to restore the Val'Dutan'vir clan vanished with her, with the Vloz'ress clan soon taking their place as one of the Great Houses.

Characters

Main Characters

Portrait Mikilu'ligr Val'Dutan'vir.png
Captain of the Imperial Guard, she is humiliated and exiled following the Nidraa'chal War.
Portrait Nir'naya.png
An Overseer of the Imperial Guard, she is promoted to Captain of the Guard following the exile of Mikilu'ligr.
Portrait Nishi'kanta Vel'Sharen.png
Diva'ratrika's fourth daughter is defeated in battle and forced to join her sisters' plot to spare the survivors of her line.
Portrait Sil'lice Val'Sharen.png
The most stalwart of Diva'ratrika's daughters against the Nidraa'chal, she is ultimately framed for her sisters' betrayal and forced into exile.



Supporting Characters

Portrait Kalki Nidraa'chal.png
The secret daughter of Snadhya'rune is a ranking commander of the Nidraa'chal forces during the conflict.
Portrait Kau'shala Val'Sharen.png
Serves alongside his mother against the Nidraa'chal, before ultimately perishing to one of their own possessed dragons.
Portrait Sarv'swati Vel'Sharen.png
The most militant daughter of Diva'ratrika takes an active role in the clan's new leadership, alongside her elder sister Snadhya'rune.
Portrait Sha'sana.png
The ancient headmistress of Orthorbbae can only watch as the Nidraa'chal complete their coup, with Snadhya'rune forcing her into isolation.
Portrait Sker'ligr Mae'yukir Sarghress.png
A ranking member of the Imperial Guard, he believes Sil'lice's word of betrayal from within and follows her into exile.
Portrait Snadhya'rune Vel'Sharen.png
The eldest daughter of Diva'ratrika succesfully usurps control of Orthorbbae from Sha'sana, furthering her own agenda.
Portrait Tlu'rath.png
The venerable Imperial Guard accepts the new order, continuing to serve for the sake of stability in Chel.
Portrait Zala'ess Vel'Sharen.png
The meekest of the remaining daughters outwardly bends to the will of her elder sisters, biding her time and accepting the new order for the time being.



Other Characters

Portrait Diva'ratrika Val'Sharen.png
Long ruling with a firm grip, the Queen disappears from the public eye after the war; her remaining daughters seizing control of the clan.
Portrait Fel'kir Dutan'vir.png
A Dutan'vir companion of Mikilu, driven to suicide in the aftermath of the war.
Portrait Kadara Val'Sharen.png
A daughter of Sil'lice accompanying her in battle, joining her in exile after the war.
Portrait Koil'dorath Nori'fu Val'Sarghress.png
Sarghress Field Commander during the war, blocking both Nidraa'chal and Sharen forces from entering Sarghress territory.
Portrait Kyne Val'Sharen.png
A golem pilot of Sil'lice's line, accompanying her in battle and joining her in exile after the war.
Portrait Kyuusei Kyorl'solenurn.png
Present only in narration of the Kyorl'solenurn role in the Nidraa'chal War.
Portrait Minka Sann'ligr Val'Dutan'vir.png
Participates in the final stand of the Dutan'vir, ultimately being captured and sold into slavery.
Portrait Mahalek.png
A Sharen war-dragon serving in Sil'lice's force, ultimately suffering possession and responsible for the death of Kau'shala before being slain.
Portrait Oiloss'lin Xyrrai'zestu Sharen.png
The Dev'ess of the Xyrrai'zetsu house is tainted during the conflict and forced to slay her own corrupted Dragon.
Portrait Storr Sann'ligr Lem'ja Dutan'vir.png
The elder son of the Lem'ja house leads the Dutan'vir in a final charge against the Nidraa'chal before being slain in battle.
Portrait Waes'soloth Val'Beldrobbaen.png
The Ill'haress of the Beldrobbaen clan responds to the Nidraa'chal attacks by leading a purge of the servant caste.



Daydream & Roleplay Cameos

A large collection of minor cameos featuring from other sections of the site.[4]



This article reflects events up to chapter 0.

Sources:

  1. Dutan'vir Path
  2. chapter 0 page 2
  3. chapter 0 page 6
  4. DT News Post from July 13, 2007