Dark Circle

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Region centered on the Tower of Masada where undead are more powerful and may travel freely during the day. Created and ruled over by Rashak, the Necromancer of Masada.

Current work on the Dark Circle

The Campaign Committee has recognised that the Dark Circle which was created around 15-20 years ago needs closure so that Alusia has one less bad guy (girl?) and perhaps a nicer area to wander in without worrying about the Dark Circle, evil humanoids and the nasty associated Undead.

To this end the Committee started working over a year ago to see about Rashaks downfall. They have been quietly orchestrating missions which advance the cause of the Western kingdom while at the same time initiating other events to bring Alusia more to life.

Missions have been run that have discovered lost parts of King Sigismunds regalia which is reputedly tied to him being lost. Other missions have been run to deal with some of Rashaks minions and their expansion plans and yet more are planned for the future.

Watch this space and the Seagate Times for more news of the Dark Circle and whats happening in the future.

The guild is at the forefront of combatting her and her evil machinations so you will all be hopefully involved in her downfall - or the destruction of the guild which is her plan! (as sourced from guild spies close to her nastiness)

FAQ

We asked Guild Security for answers to some commonly asked questions regarding the Dark Circle. We present these as a service to the misinformed and all those who have recently joined the Guild.

1. What IS the Dark Circle?
It is a roughly circular region within which those Undead entities which are normally harmed by sunlight can walk aboard during the day without harm, contrary to natural law. Within this area the stars look brighter at night.

2. What areas does it cover?
It covers much of the former Brastor Holdings, the upper Sweetwater, part of the Wilderlands of Gilarni, the Vale of Morin, the Angarwold, the Thornewood, and a large part of the Sea of Grass, including the ruins of Bethsalem. It has been pushed back somewhat since its initial expansion and now is now approximately 450 miles in diameter.

3. Where is the approximate centre of the Dark Circle?
The Dark Circle is centred some 300 miles east of Seagate.

4. What structures and entities are known or believed to be at its centre?
The Dark Circle is known to be centred on a structure known as the Fortress of Masada. It is thought to be controlled by an exiled Drow Priestess named Rashak, or the Necromancer of Massada. However there are speculations that she might in turn be controlled by a powerful entity known as the Gaunt Man.

5. How did the Dark Circle come into existence?
Unknown. It is possible that Rashak owns an item which generates the effect, that it is somehow generated by her Fortress, or that it is the result of some dread ritual.

6. When did it originate? What caused it to suddenly expand?
The effect was first encountered nearly two decades ago in the Sea of Grass, but it expanded rapidly in the summer of 800, almost surrounding Seagate. However, it has since been fought back, and the edge is now nearly a hundred miles from Seagate.

7. What effect does the Dark Circle have on people who enter?
There are no known direct effects on people, unless you either destroy Undead, or get killed. If you destroy Undead in the circle, you suffer nightmares. If you die, you come back after a night passes as an Undead. There are a number of nasty wasting diseases which are endemic in the area, possibly spread by the Undead.

8. What effect does the Dark Circle appear to have on Undead within it?
It makes them much tougher. For example, they can inspire fear far more effectively than usual.

9. What additional powers does the Dark Circle appear to confer on undead within it?
They can drain your willpower with a touch. Hit them and you may start losing strength as well. When you destroy them,they are known to explode.

10. How may individuals be protected against these powers?
There are some rare talismans called Amulets of Jasper which do provide some protection against draining, and do appear to work. Also the Amulet of Amethyst helps against the nightmares, and the Amulet of Aquileaus against fear. The most useful protection against the diseases and draining effects is Holy Water and it’s a good idea to take plenty.

11. What does the Dark Circle do to normally protective items such as amulets?
The normal range of amulets - Jade and Chalcedony - which repel Undead are ineffective.

12. What precautions should Guild members take before entering the Dark Circle?
Be extraordinarily careful - remember even the lesser undead can drain you - so don't get hit. Take lots of Holy Water, and Amulets of Jasper (if you can get them) and Amulets of Amethyst and Aquileaus.


Places

Places that have specific notes regarding the Dark Circle and the effect it has had on the area.

Tower of Masada

People

Rashak

Please see Rashak.

The Great Khan

See The Great Khan

Prince Orion

See Prince Orion

Known Allies

The Black Dragon Bune
A Red Dragon
Another black dragon
The Drow which live around Argon's Watch

Abilities

Vampire, Greater Summoner and may know some Mind Magic

Located

His fortress is in the Dark Circle on the edge of the Gatar Depression on a high pinnacle of rock surrounded by swamp. The fortress contains a Ring of Souls which gives Orion much of his power. A magical effect causes Noxious Vapours to envelop the fortress and the surrounding countryside. This effect causes nausea, reduces vision to around 20-30 feet and suppresses the effect of Mind, Fire and Necromantic magics. The undead can see through the mist.

Warnings

In the past, attempting using any form of precognition, astrology, locate, divinate etc. in activities involving Prince Orion has resulted in the instant death of the investigator.

Activities and Interactions

Was discovered wandering around in the Guild grounds a few months before the kidnapping of guild council. Believe to be directly involved. Evidence points to Orion being one of the instigators of the Dark Circle.

High level Guild Party rescued council member Wegan from Prince Orion's fortress - scribe notes available.

Threat Assessment

Extremely High

History and Events

781 wk

A Guild Party expose Mobius Voitaire the new prince of Novadom as a murderer and usurper. As a result the usurper flees and another guild party rescues the legitimate prince from Rashak's agents.

783

A guild party attempts to prevent Rashak's general The Great Khan from trying to unite the Plains Barbarians. They fail but succeed in delaying him while he recovers from his wounds and the party's propaganda.

783

A team of demonic assassins attacks the guild, destroying the old infirmary and slaying most of the guild healers. The new infirmary is built in a more secure location. Adventurers assist with healing until new guild healers can be recruited.

784

A guild party race The Great Khan in an attempt to find the tomb of Hanyax to recover the Crown of Command and the Orb of Yama. The Great Khan beats them there only to fall under the tomb's curse. The party considered entering the tomb but were driven off by a Black Dragon. Rashak has learned of the tomb's curse and cannot allow The Great Khan to leave. It would be twelve years before Rashak was able to release The Great Khan from the tomb.

785

A guild party assist in breaking the siege of Knega by Rashak's forces led by The Khan's two uncles. This delays Rashak by six years until Knega falls to treachery.

791

Prince Orion is found by Guild Security wandering around the guild and is persuaded to leave. His motives and means of entry were never discovered.

797

Guild attacked and severly damaged by black necromantic fire. Members of the guild council kidnapped. A Black Dragon, Incubi, and Succubi are amongst the attackers.

798

Guild council member Wegan the Inscrutable is rescued by a daring raid on Prince Orion's fortress by a guild party.

799

Guild party attempt to rescue Herkum the Enchanter from the clutches of a dragon.

803

After years of a static front, the Dark Circle is pushed out of Brastor and the lands are once again free. People begin to move back and retake lands lost over the past decade.

804

The guild gets lazy and takes its eye off the Dark Circle.

805

The lands of the Five Sisters are smashed and Rashak once again turns her gaze towards Carzala and the Western Kingdom.

Summer
Guild party uncovers an Elven host saved from the past to fight the Dark Circle. This host, immune to the effects of greater undead, are taken into Alfheim to prepare for the war.
A guild party removes a number of the plains barbarian tribes from under her control.
Autumn
Re-settlement of Brastor begins.
Guild is threatened by a multi-pronged attack orchestrated by Rashak. Thwarted by a guild party. A portion of one of the stars that was aimed at the guild is redirected to drop on the tower of Masada, the effect was concealed under the cloud layer and remains unknown.
Rashaks forces retake Brastor, closing the passes and trapping settlers and troops between her goblinoid and undead armies.
Winter
Guild assault to free trapped settlers and troops. The Brastor Breakout is successful.
Guild parties conflict with Rashak's forces: Near Finn's Waste, At the Ruby Waters, ...
Spring
A high level party engage in an attempt to destroy the Dark Circle. They are successful in killing Rashak.

806

In Spring a party Assaults Masada directly and is successful.