The Darkness Falls....
The rider thundered through the River gate of the city of Riverhewn without the slightest hint of slowing. The guards were taken by surprise and drew their weapons and shouted after the rapidly disappearing horse and rider. The pair galloped down the Walk Riverhewn's "main" street and the direct route to Castle Shendenflar. People walking on the street leapt out of the way and many curses and insults were hurled at the rider. As the pair approached the large stone ramp that led to the castle their way was blocked by a squad of chain mail wearing guards. With a viscous flip of his riding crop the man merely hauled back on the reins and urged his mount into the air in a mighty leap over the guards. The rider grunted as an arrow pierced his skin below his elbow and then howled in pain as another bit into his leg. The horse landed awkwardly and both rider and beast tumbled across the ramp to land in a heap at the feet of seventy heavily armed guards. The rider extracted him self from his horse and stood shakily. He produced a tattered piece of paper and handed it to the nearest guard. "This must reach the king." he said weakly. The guard took it and the rider fell hard to the stone surface of the ramp. The guard was not overly surprised to find that the man was dead.
King Simeon Baras King of Shendenflar could not believe what he was seeing. A messenger had delivered the tattered piece of parchment to him and after an quick magical test to make sure it was safe He had unfolded the document and laid it gently on a black marble table in the anteroom of his throne room. He was accompanied my his Lords Counsel and close friend Colin Winterblade and his Archmage and also close friend Tomman Gilrean. They all looked at the document before them. Simeon Baras immediately recognized the drawings. It was a map of sorts of the "Wolf's Fall Line" named for it's purpose of holding against Wolf Nomad incursions from the East. The three castles were spread apart by 35 miles. Roving patrols of Shendenflarian soldiers patrolled the vast area. The three struggled to read what had been written in the margin of the map. Tomman using a minor spell read it aloud. When he was done King Baras looked at his friends and took a ragged breath. "A million? how could a war band of that size ever be raised? Even during the wars Iuz and his minions could not raise a force that big. There would be no stopping it. It would raze anything in it's path." Colin Winterblade nodded. "And it appears Majesty that this city is in it's path" King Simeon Baras the eighth Shendenflarian king of that name nodded. "What can we possibly do?" He asked for the first time in his adult life not knowing the answer. "Shendenflar will fall" he continued. "The darkness will overcome us and there is nothing we can do about it the only question now is can we save enough of us to someday bring the light back to our kingdom?".........
This is something that I have been thinking about for a long time. If you are familiar with the WoTC "World of Greyhawk" D&D setting you might remember that almost 20 years ago now a boxed set called "The Greyhawk Wars" was released. It detailed the continent spanning "Greyhawk Wars" and thier main villian the Evil Demi-god Iuz. In my Kingdom of Shendenflar campaign setting (which is set in the WoG) it is only a few years after these wars. Shendenflar was not directly attacked but did get involved in other ways. Anyway I've been thinking of having a "cataclysmic" event befall Shendenflar and this is what I came up with. (there is a LOT of history that I am not getting into here) The massive orc war band is only the beginning as "The Darkness Falls" over the Kingdom of Shendenflar.....
ALL images and text in this thread are subject to THIS license
There's an "it's" for "its" error in the text.
I have to apologize for changing the "prelude" image so often :) I am actually quite excited about this (funny how destroying something that you've spent decades creating can elicit that kind of response...) and I keep getting different ideas on how I want to present it. I think I am done with the "preludes" now and it's time to start writing. There is SO much to do I envision this as a "multimedia" project with maps and writing and images. I might not post everything here as not clog up a mapping forum with a lot of non mapping based stuff. And for everyone who is following the Calan Stonebridge series no worries. He will still be around....Riverhewn will burn.... Shendenflar will fall.... I hope you enjoy the adventure.... :)
The work begins. I started a new blog for this project so that I can (try) to keep everything organized. The writing will be the (fairly) easy part but the mapping and the other images will I'm sure prove to be the challenge. I decided to start the mapping with a new Kingdom of Shendenflar region map. The original one is fine but a but dated so I decided that this was a good opportunity to create a new one. In this post I've created the basic land form and started on the texturing. I will of course label this and I'm planning on creating new symbols for the cities. Eventually I hope to show the general locations of the orcish war bands and how far they have reached.
A small update on this project. I've begun to add the capital city of Riverhewn. I've started with the city wall and the towers. The small hill in the center of the city is where Castle Shendenflar sits. That will be the next thing I work on. It all seems such a shame to destroy it all (but so much fun....) :)
Here is the "finished" base regional Kingdom of Shendenflar map. This map depicts the kingdom as it looked "pre-fall" before the massive orcish warband swept across it destroying much of what is depicted here. Next up a closer look at the Kingdom's Eastern border....
I like it. Sounds like you have a rich and detailed story ready to unfold. I also really like how you depicted Riverhewn on your map. I look forward to reading and seeing more of this.
Looking great so far JT!
Thanks everyone :) There is a LOT of history and "current events" for Shendenflar. I've been working on this kingdom for nearly 30 years. I think this one is finished now. I realized I forgot to add the Town of Lodge and the Wolfs Fall Line. As I stated earlier I'm working on a closer look at the Eastern border of the kingdom.
Compass Rose: Tilt Available HERE
*Note to self: NEVER call a map "finished" * The word finished is hereby and forever BANISHED and made prohibited to be used by ANY member whether apprentice,journeyman or master of the Riverhewn Cartographer's Guild. No map shall be considered to be finished at any time before, during, or after delivery of said map. The phrasing that is considered acceptable is: "The map is completed to the best of my knowledge and current skill." This is so ordered by Kellen Redhand Master Cartographer, Riverhewn Cartographer's Guild.....
:) Once again I spent a great deal of time looking at this and realized that there was a LOT wrong with this. The towns were not in the right places geographically (too far from the river in some places and too far from the forests in others) I also didn't like the black for the town symbols, it disappeared from the map. I made some changes and now I'm happier with the result. It is of course not "finished"..... :)