Due to some random circumstances, I was able to revive my lore writing project!
I bit of a background, I was given a job to write a weekly announcement for my guild, to notify my guild mates about all the events going on, and the best way to approach them. Over time, they kept evolving, and with the beginning of this campaign, I experimented with a full-on story style, and I think it worked quite well.
Compared to my last project, with 2K words per chapter, this one was capped by 2K characters, so the story was more tight, fast-moving, and easier to manage. It ended up being just 2K+ words for the whole campaign!
Writing them weekly was quite fun, especially when I have to think of the best way to include all the main events in the story while also making sense overall. I’m not as strict with the canon this time, and I moved some elements around to make them more fitting, and use quest lines in the game itself to fill in some details.
I hold off on posting them here immediately, as I want to make sure I was able to finish the whole campaign first, and I did! And I think I will continue writing them as long as I can, as it’s helpful to my guild mates and a good writing practice to me too.
So, I hope you guys enjoy reading them. And if you want a weekly update, and an exclusive Tower of Doom chapter, please consider becoming a member of my Guild family. We are still recruiting. I recently become a GM of Legionnnaires, so I can help giving in-game guide on top of the story too!
And that’s all for now, here is the story!
There was a tale in the ancient Khetar
Before Anubites and Settites went to war
Beyond the dragon’s lair to the east
Mountain kingdom deep in the crag seated
Queen Ceto ruled the land with three daughters
Collect tributes raised their wealth higher
All the royal riches would still have remained there
If not for the Daemons coming to get their share
Tyri told us a rumor about a lost treasure map in Khetar. To search around for clues undisturbed, she asked us for help creating a distraction, by disturbing the Carrion Crows’ nest, as that would make the Undead locals mad, then they would blame each other and fight by banging their skulls together.
She also said there was a rumor that a small dimensional rift was appearing near Sword’s Edge, so Zuul’Goth might appear from there, not far in the future. We discussed with our army to come up with a plan to stop the raid in advance just in case!
It’s a relief that the Zuul’Goth rumor was a false alarm, as we couldn’t afford more time after spending too much in Khetar, looking for a map. We even had to look as far as the Underworld’s moor, twice! Good thing we finally got our hand on the map in the end, because we unintentionally caused quite a mess…
Darkness fell across the land
Daemon’s raid, they can’t withstand
Dwellers fled the crag in chaos
Dead on the throne, the queen’s life was lost
The three daughters mourn her deceased
Stheno left through the south wood, to find peace
Euryali went hiding in the west quagmire
While Medusa stayed, to [unintelligible]
Our Undead distraction tactic worked a little too well, and other guilds were not happy with the chaos we created. So we might need to fight a war and defense our army from them.
On the map issue, it was written in Old Khet, so we made a deal with Sabellius from Dragon’s Claw to help us translate it. In return, the black dragon asked us to collect some Black Sapphires, a rare mineral with unusual light reflection, that almost felt like it had a life of its own. They could only be found in the deepest cave near dragon mountain. Some of them are heavily guarded by shadow creatures, so we have to be careful.
Don’t go too far up north, as the Giant Clan seemed to be planning an invasion. We would rather not get involved with them right now.
Good thing the Giant attacks were evaded, and the guilds’ conflict turned out well. As we completed Sabellius’ deal, he translated the map and told us that Stheno might still be in Bright Forest, so we should visit her.
With the Leio sign, your strength and courage will assist your fortune. You will find something that was thought to be lost forever. The path to your success will be devious, but it’s within your reach if you accept help from unexpected friends.
We met with King Oberron in the Summer Court. He said Stheno lived deep in the forest. His royal advisers suggested that we should follow the spirits of wood creatures, as they might lead the way to her.
Finally, we found Stheno. Even after millenniums, she was still heartbroken by her mother’s passing. She told us about the history of The Great Blight, about the Daemons that ruin her family and destroyed her home, and how her sister, Medusa, was able to stop them by turning everything to stone. She didn’t tell us a path to her kingdom though, as she rather left her past behind.
However, she took interest in the leftover Black Sapphires we had. Taking a closer look, she realized that they were a part of her mother’s body that was crystalized and shattered. She pleaded with us to give them to her, so she could take them to The Underworld’s Crypt, to finally laid Queen Ceto’s soul to rest.
That night, we escorted her to the pier, and wish her well on the quest. May the Leio constellation granted her safety.
As we sailed away from the forest to the mainland, we ran into a merchant ship. On board is a hunter from Nexus, who called out for us. He wanted us to accompany him back home, so we let him jump on deck. It’d been a while since we visited there.
Water. Stone. Fire. Nature. Long ago, the four elements lived together in harmony. Then, everything changed when the portal appeared. Shayle, The Stoneborn Princess, wandered beyond the rift. A stranger from a strange land came to visit our world, and from there, a new alliance was formed.
While sailing through the Zuul’ez Canal, the Natureborn fellow explained his story. He was trained by Hawthorn to be a Pathfinder. Wanting to impress his master, he went by himself to Blackhawk to gain more experience, only for things to go very wrong. Lacking nautical skills, his ship crashed into the giant crab, and the mess led to Megavore destroying his vessel. A merchant found him lost at sea, and brought him back to where we found him.
Feeling sorry for his trouble, we taught him more about Krystara and the wildlife of the world. We taught him about the were-beasts and other special animals born of wild magic, and how to deal with them. Thankful for our help, he offered to help us find the lost mountain kingdom.
Arriving in Nexus, we found an arena set up to train new soldiers. King Heliodor informed us that Basilisks have been invading their kingdom, turning their inhabitants into stone, unbalancing the elements. He concluded something must be disturbing their nest, so we set out to learn more before we continued our quest.
Unfortunately, our tracker had to stay to defend his home, so he instead gave us an idea to follow the Basilisks’ trail. He believed it could be connected to the lost kingdom we’re looking for. We followed the trail past the swamp to the shattered land.
Blood is red / Your face is blue
Orcs don’t do poems / Only kill
Arriving in Grosh-Nak, it seemed that the snakes had caused quite a trouble, as we saw some Orcs were already turned to stones. For some reason, they mistakenly assumed Gurakk’s magic was behind this, which lead to everyone around the land fighting each other. It was like the Kha’Gar crisis all over again. Maybe fighting with them might help like last time?
Even worse, we heard alarming news from Sabellius that the dimensional rift was spotted on the southern border of Khetar’s desert, so Zuul’Goth’s raid threat was no longer a rumor. Was the Old God looking for something? We sent some of our guys there to notify Morterra and helped out if needed.
Back in the Orcs’ land, we were able to calm them down a bit, with the help of Trk’Nala, the local tracker, who explained the situation to her kin. After the event, she told us that she saw something strange on the mountain last night - an archer statue that kept moving around by itself. She has never seen something like that before on her countless hunting trips. Curious about her claim, we planned to climb up the crag to investigate after dark.
It’s a new dawn in Krystara, and the sky felt different somehow. We have gone on a long journey, and we’re closer than ever today. Would we succeed? Would the legend of the forgotten kingdom be reborn again?
I was a knight commander, a royal advisor to the queen of Zhand. After the Great Blight, I lost everything. I suffered under the Daemon King’s control, losing my pride, losing my soul. For thousands of years, I have sought to be free. And now that I found a way out, there will be a reckoning…
We had been following the archer all night. Was she really a construct? Suddenly, near the face of the cliff, she disappeared. We couldn’t find any caves nearby, but we found something else - an invisible barrier! We walked straight through the mountain.
Looked like we had finally found it. The kingdom was silent with no sign of life, as there were only statues, of both Daemons, hounds, and other creatures. Not all were demonic, so it seemed like the citizens here must be cursed too. When we approached the palace’s gate, a floating Daemon head popped out of nowhere to stop us.
As our guild defended from the attack, it used its magic to cause all statues to come alive. We’re outnumbered, so we had no choice but to turn back. We might need to study some geomancy later to deal with this.
Outside on the clearing, Herald of Torpor, kin of Harald of Chaos, was waiting for us. He said he need our help, and he might help us in return.
After Czernobog’s fight, we carried Torpor to find a safe place to recover. Xenith was still chasing us with her Evil Gargoyle horde, but with our newly-acquired Geomancy skills, we were able to create our own Good Gargoyle horde to slow them down. To end the assault, It seemed like we had to break the Hellcrag’s curse.
After centuries, Torpor came to me. He said that the barrier was weakened, and Chalcedony was already able to escape. It’s only a matter of time until all Hellcrag breaks loose. I agreed that we will need outside help. Maybe that hero will do? What if we give them a clue to a map, that will lead them to Zhand? Or should we use the Basilisk instead?
We found a cave near the abyss of Blighted Lands, but we ran into a new problem. The Infernal King was angry that his lieutenant was killed, so he sent an army of possessed Heralds to capture the culprit. We prepared our knights to protect our new friend from the threat.
While we were dealing with that, a gang of Daemon Gnomes was able to sneak into our cave and steal our resources. We tried our best to chase them all and get our stuff back. Gnomes were always such a nuisance…
After the heralds’ army was subdued, Torpor was feeling better, so we talked about our next plan. Then, we heard a loud crash from the north mountain. Had Czernobog been revived? As we were mystified by the black towers fading in the crag view, we spotted Sabellius flying to us. He informed us that Morterra had failed to stop the Old God, who had already broken the invisible barrier and will reach Hellcrag soon. We had to stop him!
Heading to Hellcrag, We packed all our stuff, including what we took back from the Gnomes. We got more than we lost, including some rare books, but we wouldn’t question too much and considered them as a gift. Strangely, Xenith took a break from chasing us. What causes his absence?
You draw: The Tower
You are struck by a disaster, and the only way out is to destroy its foundation. When everything feels trapped with no way up, your best escape might be way down.
In front of the palace, we saw that Sabellius were with his friend, Garnetia, who was training the locals on how to save the kingdom from Zuul’Goth’s raid. Out of everyone, Adakite, the stone dragon, might be the best fit to lead the offense. We sent some of our men to assist them, while we went inside.
We explored the hall until we reached the throne room. With the queen long gone, sitting on the throne was instead her slayer, Tourmaline, the demonic knight, general of The Infernal King’s army. Torpor wanted to take his revenge, so we fought alongside him.
It was a drawn-out battle, and we only managed to expel the daemon out of the palace, so we could explore more safely. Torpor said we should visit Medusa’s chamber on the top of the highest tower, to search for clues about how to reverse the Curse of Stone. There was a possibility that she might still be there though.
He led us to the tower, but we found out that the stairway up was blocked by Pretahulk, a guardian statue. We couldn’t move it at all no matter what we tried, so instead, we took the secret obsidian stairway to went down to the depths of the Underworld.
We managed to seal Obsidiaxas, so its dark magic won’t be discovered again for a long while. Reading the monoliths, seemed like the only way to break the curse was to defeat the caster. We had no choice but to confront Medusa…
You draw: The World
You are near the end of the cycle. By letting go and moving forward, you will become whole and able to achieve your objectives. Changes can be hard to deal with, but it’s vital for the journey to start over.
Torpor suggested we ask the sisters for help on how to reach Medusa in her tower, but he was not sure if they would want to help us. Would Euryali go against her sibling?
With all the chaos going on in Krystara, Torpor proposed it might be better to reach Mist of Scales through the Underworld from the Dark Pits, instead of going back above. We agreed to his plan, and hoped the creatures down here won’t mind us crossing their factions.
Euryali was expecting us. Turned out she was spying on us from the beginning, as she was the one who give Tyri a treasure map clue, and released the Basilisks and their Stone Vipers. She was sorry for the problems she cause, but she thought bringing attention to Zhand and liberating it will be worth the trouble.
She already discussed the plan with Stheno, and they both agreed to give up their immortality to end this nightmare. If Medusa agreed to that too, Zhand will gradually recover. She gave us a vial containing the tears of the sisters, which should help us to move Petrahulk blocking the way up the tower. She also gave us the Mirror Shield, so we can protect ourselves from Medusa’s gaze.
With everything prepared, we headed back to Hellcrag, ready to end the curse. We still had to be careful, Medusa will likely expect our invasion attempt.
The magical tears Euryali gave us were more useful than we expected. They worked on all Hellcrag’s statues too, so we used them to recruit the citizens to fight with our guild. With our offense teams ready, we marched up the tower.
…While Medusa stayed, to defy
Her covert knowledge gave a way to fight
Her curse stopped everything in sight
Her citizens suffered a terrible fate
Her city fell silent, lost to the haze
But nothing could be lost forever
A hero came in, ended the curse severed
Sacrifices were made, they won’t be forgotten
A monument was built, to memorize the fallen
Medusa’s chamber was full of many creatures from all over the Krystara. Looked like her search for magics and secrets lead her to master the elements and learned how to turn everything she wanted into stones, and kept them as statues to protect herself.
As we went higher, we found her. Angry at our intrusion, Medusa used her magic to bring her statues to life and commanded them to attack us. Surviving her assault will be tough, but we had to push through to negotiate with her.
We’re finally victorious! Defeated Medusa saw the errors of her actions, and agreed with our plan. She admitted that her immortality caused her to lose her way, forgetting what actually matters to her. She wanted to let go and be with her family again.
Still, Medusa didn’t want Zhand to be lost to time again, so she gave us some history books, then ordered the citizens to build the monument in honor of Queen Ceto’s and everyone’s sacrifices. She also crowned Torpor to be the new ruler.
On our way out, we saw Tyri carrying a big bag of treasures. She said Torpor gave them to her as a bounty reward for the help liberating his kingdom. We really hoped that she was telling the truth.
And big thanks to @Taransworld and his site for the access to spoiler details, so I can plan the plotline for my story in advance!