The War of Prophesy
A Letter to Chronicler Holthan from Inquisitor Jason:
It is unclear at present to what extent the Inscrutable Dark has unleashed its machinations, as reports and rumors from afar are riddled with contradiction and outlandish claims. I fear, however, that after what I have seen, even the most inane claim must be carefully considered and not discarded. With my own two eyes I have seen entire villages sink into the depths of solid earth. I have witnessed all manner of horrible, twisted monsters attack and over run well defended fortresses. Dark fogs of madness that spread for miles drive domesticated beasts feral and fools who venture long into them suffer from incurable mania, if they even return. These things I have witnessed first-hand, but whispers of worse can be found for any ear that listens. Even where overt conflict is not yet present, one can see the footprints of ID’s handiwork. Mental hospitals I’ve visited are reporting an average threefold increase in their patient numbers. Local constables in every major city from Odessa and Eywar to Tor Salaa, Virm, and even pious Almedica have all given me various reports of bizzare and despicable crimes performed by madmen. But perhaps the most unsettling development of them all is the explosion of doomsday cults, worshiping what I interpret to be various representations of the same god. These cults typically share one or more of three icons: an eye in a circle of darkness, three intersecting paths, and a broken wheel.
The War of Prophesy is an apocalyptic campaign taking place in the standard Greyhawk setting (with numerous homebrew and borrowed elements from other settings). The story begins in an area of the material plane that is the process of merging with the Far Realms, a process which began manifesting noticeable symptoms one year prior to the start of the campaign. Certain regions called Lost Zones where the Far Realms have penetrated the Material Plane have completely been over-run with bizzare and strange alien creatures. These areas are small and rare as of yet, but they seem to be growing size and number. The neighboring land (within 50 miles of a Lost Zone) is typically known as the Contested Area, because people and wildlife there are altered or beseiged by creatures from the Lost Zone. To make matters worse, denizens of other planes are plotting to profit from the cosmic merger, seeking to carve out new territories or control new peoples in the ensuing chaos.
The cosmic event of the merging has been prophesied for thousands of years, although the meanings of those prophesies have been far from clear on what even one should expect. Scholars are still uncertain whether current events have matched with prophesy and then which prophesies are valid. The Great Library of Virm and the associated university there boasts the largest collection of these prophesies and experts on the subject, but even the meanest monastery or scholastic academy will likely furnish a book or two on the subject. In prophesy, the event takes several names: The Time of Chaos, The Return, Rothegum, End of Time, and Judgments, depending on who is talking. In nearly all cases, prophesies predict various incarnations of strife, mass madness, and the dissolution of the status quo. Some prophesies predict the end of time, some predict a triumph of good against evil or visa versa, and some speak of a more inscrutable end. Some excerpts are shown below:
Y. 5678, Yondala Parsiam, a Halfling
The watcher of the night’s silence will touch the waters of the world and in the ripples from that contact will nations fall, mountains grow, and glaciers grind down the plains, and the earth swallow all that is known.
Y. 4343, Xeries Recessior, a Human
A sword, a helm, and staff will break the world when the Lord of Madness comes. A Wheel, an Eye, and three roads will mend it when He leaves.
Y. 3897, Lunesthma, an Elf
Three omens will foretell the coming of the Dark; three tools will be the downfall of the Dark, and in its defeat will the seeds of time be sown anew.
Recent Notable Events
- It is now widely known (in the right circles) that the now former King Thomar of Odessa had dealings with Dark Elves, who appeared to be consorting with some manner of aberrant monsters, although the identity of these aberrations has not yet been leaked (if it is known at all).
- The Order of Heironeous has publicly executed seven high ranking paladins by burning them at the stake. The official line is that they had been found “in the service of Baa’tor”. One witness of the execution tells me he saw a third eye on one of the paladins through the flames.
- A splinter group from the Court of St. Cuthbert has formed in Jarcarter and are collecting soldiers to begin an inquisition against madness, presumably with the intent to restore order by sheer brute force.
- Madness and any form of mental illness, deficiency, or peculiarity is taken as a sign of corruption in some places near or in the Contested Areas. Frequently, displaying any of these signs can result in a brutal public backlash. As a result, people have lined up on two sides: those who want to help people victimized by this new public paranoia and those who support the victimization. The latter is more populated, and in the Contested Areas, they often have good reason.
- A sect of Elan has come out into the open and appear to be gathering forces in the wild plains of Almenth.
- Githyanki raiding air ships have appeared in the north, near the Jen-Jen Waste.