Campaign of the Month: February 2016
Rise of the Durnskald
The Grand Citadel
The Grand Citadel was the last major structure left standing after the Arcadian Meteor struck Varnel and obliterated nearly all life on the planet. It was built sometime near the end of the Age of Lies to serve as an imposing reminder to all of the vampire lord’s might. Thousands died in the process of building it. Countless wizards gave their very lives to power the wards that protected the structure, rendering it impervious to any form of damage. The foundation of the building was located on a demi-plane, anchored to Varnel with a Dimensional Keystone. Clerics were sacrificed in droves to infuse thousands of golems, tasked with guarding the citadel against interlopers. The citadel also housed a small standing army.
The citadel was captured and held by Talus for a time during the War of the Magi when Lord Myrenthui and Lady Victoria were imprisoned due to the lich’s trickery. Eventually they escaped and drove the lich back into hiding, reclaiming their rightful place as the masters of The Empire of Farris. Shortly after this the Arcadian Meteor fell and drastically changed everything.
The Grand Citadel had originally been built in a small mountain range on a raised plateau. Once the meteor hit the entire landscape was completely rearranged, the mountain range ceased to exist. The foothills and rolling plains surrounding it were gone as well. The citadel was still technically there but due to an unpredictable side effect of the magic used to protect it the building began shifting between its location on the continent Varnel and the Astral Plane. For a time, the building and its occupants had shifted over completely and couldn’t leave.
This is when the idea to retune the Dimensional Keystone was proposed, which was debated fiercely by the standing council of wizards and clerics due to the high level of risk involved. If anything should go wrong with the re-tuning ritual the keystone would be destroyed and the citadel would be forever cast adrift on the Astral Plane. Lord Myrenthui called on his deity Zetil for aid and guidance, performing the ritual successfully.
The Grand Citadel was now anchored back to the land of Varnel (in the area now known as Everwinter), except that Varnel as the survivors knew it had ceased to exist. There were oceans where there used to be forests. There were oceans where there used to be mountains. There were oceans where there used to be oceans, so that wasn’t that different. There was quite a lot of water actually, now that the survivors were surveying what was left. Boats were built from what timber could be scrounged up and, with months worth of provisions, they left to survey what was left of Varnel. The waters levels steadily dropped shortly after they left, stranding the boats in several locations strewn about the emerging landmass, which was now named Galavan. Outposts and villages were formed where the boats were stranded and civilization spread anew.
Unfortunately, even the mightiest eventually fall.
The end of the Age of the Citadel was caused by two major changes.
- The Dimensional Keystone binding the citadel to Galavan was destroyed due to it also serving as Talus’ phylactery, causing the Grand Citadel to vanish completely from the world.
- The followers and worshipers of Zetil found themselves leaderless, patronless, and powerless.
Some say that The Grand Citadel and the being known as The Outsider were linked in some inextricable fashion by the re-tuning ritual. This would certainly explain why Zetil / The Outsider vanished along with the Grand Citadel when the dimensional keystone was destroyed. Some have even gone so far as to conclude that the Grand Citadel itself was the physical shell of The Outsider, although this hasn’t been proven and is just speculation. None can ask, as no one has been able to make any contact with anyone from the Grand Citadel since it disappeared.