Atop the Shoulders of Giants
The Planar War
The Planar War is the only recorded war in history in which a primarily extra-planar threat marched on the Mortal Realm in an attempt at conquest. The time of the war was pivotal to modern politics, and the actions of those called the Heroes of the Planar War are sometimes studied as examples of diplomacy, faith, and warfare.
The depth of available knowledge of the Planar War is great as it also resulted in a major cultural shift towards careful keeping of records and preservation of knowledge. Of course, this has not eliminated the fact that the average man or woman off the streets can hardly name more than a dozen historical figures accurately, and most likely has never contemplated many of the deeper implications of the few historical events they do know the tales of, but it does mean that for those who seek answers, there are answers to find.
To the common, less educated people the Planar War was the turning point of society – the birth of a new era of integration, innovation, and inspiration. Since the Planar War most societies have flourished, trade and travel with foreign lands has become much more common-place, and the prevalence of the practice of magic and creation of magical items has increased significantly. More cities now have formal schools and libraries than ever before, and almost every major city in most developed nations has an academy of magic or a notable resident wizard or sorcerer of some sort.
To those more educated, however, the historical significance goes much deeper. The events of the Planar War, and the response to the antagonism of Yruikamilish is the primary reason for many modern alliances. Most scholars recognize that without the Planar War, the Holy States would never have formed, the Khalram would have less than half their current land holdings, the Dark Woods would still be inhabited by a nation of antagonistic and violent goblins lead by a megalomaniacal sorceress, and the insane and murderous Habar Nada Karim would have likely begun a nigh-genocidal invasion of the Selkir river basin before the year 1255.
The exact details of all the events of the Planar War are a matter for discussion in volumes, but here lie the outlines.
- Yurikamilish, a dragon disguised as a human lord of the Lisil province in Golir spent decades, if not centuries, antagonizing his brother Saulen Elwarteth, disguised as a human king in Keland.
- In the late 1230’s Yuri organized an invasion of Keland and laid siege to their capital city, defeated by the intervention of unexpected forces from the Olu Lansi.
- In the early 1240’s Yuri attempted an invasion of Keland again as part of a feint tactic to allow himself to go into hiding. His army was defeated at The Battle of the Yul.
- In 1242 the goblins of the Dark Woods, lead by Birik Kaelalk – a goblin druidess of extreme power who is in league with Yurikamilish- begin making war on the elves of the Olu Lansi. Kelandish forces prepare to come to the aid of their elven allies, and eventually engage Goblin forces at the Battle of Eastern York, the Siege of York, The Battle of Black Hill, and the Battle of Raulton.
- The Forces of the Zahkram, apparently allied with Birik Kaelalk and / or Yurikamilish, raze the city of Nelos and lay siege to Westman’s Keep. They are defeated and their chieftess is slain in battle.
- 1243 Spring, Yurikamilish performs a ritual over the capitol city in Keland and steals the power of Bak-Aren’Atas, 3rd Duke of Asmod, Wraith King – and in so doing gains his title and throne, promising to return to the mortal realm with an army in a year. The end of the ritual sends a ring of black clouds sweeping outward over the world, introducing a magically potent and infectious corruption. In some lands the black clouds block sunlight for so long that entire season’s crop yields wither in the ground.
- 1243 Habar Nada Karim, who is revealed posthumously to have been a worshiper of the Wraith King is killed in a coup, along with one of his sons.
- Later in 1243 Musai is invaded through a pair of invisible portals to Asmod, but is defended by a number of the Heroes of the Planar War and by an army sent from Celestia.
- The Capitol City of Golir and The Chasm are invaded, though the city itself holds against the attackers. The following day Saulen Elwarteth is slain in battle by Yurikamilish outside the city.
- Numerous assassination attempts on the ruling family of Golir, the Tisids, culminate in the successful capture of the Prince in Waiting, Adrin Tisid. In response, a combined rescue and assassination mission is launched into Asmod to retrieve Adrin and defeat Yurikamilish. The mission is successful, but Adrin has been transformed into a vampire, and one of the Heroes takes up the mantle of the 3rd duke of Asmod – however he cedes the realm to celestial forces almost immediately.
- Shortly after the successful invasion of Asmode, Birik Kaelalk disappears from her fortress deep in the heart of the Dark Woods.
Further, here are a list of those remembered as Heroes of the Planar War. Some of them are remembered more prominently than others, but most of them are known for some one or more particular deeds or roles in the war.
|Name||Most Known For||History DC for Details|
|Aleran Vale||Became the new 3rd Duke of Asmod and ceded the realm to Celestia. Also founded the Ephemeral Path, a civil rights group for Sorcerers.||25|
|Dunmir Battlerider||A pivotal warrior in the Khalram forces, without whom the Fall of Nelos and Siege of Westman’s Keep would have been much more disastrous. Became Chief of the Khalram later in life.||20|
|Ismar Nashatel||Contributed immensely to the development of pivotal spells and rituals for the war, as well as contributed a stock of magical goods and her expertise as a diviner. Is also known for her contributions to Arcane Theory and Spell Craft, and more obscurely for having married a half-celestial knight named Sir Sor.||30|
|Queen Iyanil||Proud and capable preserver of the Itchil culture who joined the assault & rescue team during the invasion of Asmod. Is also known as the present Queen of the Itchil, renowned, among other things, for wearing a crown that appears eternally stained with the slowly drying blood of her enemies. Has produced numerous half-elven offspring.||10|
|Laura Ethier||A redeemed, vampiric general in the armies of Yurikamilish, she accompanied the assault & rescue team into Asmod to assist in defeating her former master. Also helped found the Ephemeral Path, a civil rights organization for Sorcerers.||30|
|Adrian Havek||Pivotal figure in turning the tides of battles and establishing and executing strategy for the invasion of Asmod, which he participated in personally. Is also known for having retired far west of his homeland with a dragon where they became liberators of oppressed communities and started a wealthy and successful family.||20|
|Odewyn Werner / Legacy||A smith and knight of Keland who gave his life to create a sword known now as Legacy which was used to great effect against the forces of Asmod. It is said that Legacy lies outside the capitol of Keland, even more powerful than before, and does so under the protection of a loyal cult. Is also known for having been a close friend of Grayden Valaran. Known, more obscurely, as having been a Dwarven enthusiast and being responsible for the recollection and preservation of a great deal of dwarven knowledge and artifacts during his life.||25|
|Salarim Attan’Shala||Known well among worshipers of the Lansi as a convert and a philosopher. Known with regards to the war as an Assassin turned noble warrior who participated in the invasion of Asmod. Among the incredibly few who would know of such things, he is also the founder of an order known as the Shadow Knights.||35|
|Sir Grayden Valaran||Famed knight of Golir who was sent back from the dead to be an agent of Celestia in the mortal realm. Is known for being a close friend of Tyrena Tisid, having slain a dragon in the palace courtyard, having participated in the Elven Goblin war, and having been part of the assault & rescue team during the invasion of Asmod. He is also known for having founded the Haven of Amranthine Luminence, a place known as a meeting place for inter-faith discourse and debate.||10|
|Sir Sebastian Hramn||Knight and Diplomat of Keland, recognized by most historians as almost single-handedly responsible for the 400 years of Keland peace that followed after the conclusion of the Planar War. Known also for having married into the royal family after the death of Saul Elward, and having informally adopted the children of Yurikamilish. Also known for having been a part of the distraction team during the Invasion of Asmod.||10|
|Sir Verick York||Duke of Keland, Knight of Golir, considered a saint by most members of the faith of the One True God. Verick is known for having been pivotal in the Siege of York, for having helped liberate Lisil, for having mended the broken leg of Duke Terrence Gotrind, and for having been a part of the assault & rescue team during the invasion of Asmod. He also helped solidify trade relations between York and Lisil by founding a trade city between the keeps of both holds.||10|
|Tyrena Tisid Gotrind||The Princess of Golir and a faithful warrior, Tyra is known for having started her life as a run-away and a vagabond, only to turn things around, take up her responsibilities as a member of the royal family, and help lead the assault & rescue team into Asmod to defeat Yurikamilish and rescue her brother Adrin. She is also known for having helped negotiate peace between Golir and a number of other entities, including, purportedly, some great and powerful dragon in the east.||15|
|Sir Davin Gotrind||The husband of Tyrena Tisid and son of Duke Yorsun Gotrind, Davin is known for having been a war hero of exceptional renown. Children’s story books tell the tales of Davin Gotrind, the Heroic Knight who battled terrible monsters and married a princess just as combat-ready as he. Particularly Davin Gotrind is known for having been involved in almost every major battle of the Planar War, including The Siege of Keland, The Battle of the Yul, The Siege of Westman’s Keep, The Invasion of Golir, and The Invasion of Asmod. In the invasion of Asmod, Davin lead the distraction team which ran-sacked enemy armories and freed enemy slaves.||10|
|Sir Sor||A celestial-blooded knight of Golir who revealed, years after the Planar War, that he belonged to an organization known as the Blades of Behril. Is also known, for having been on the assault & rescue team during the Invasion of Asmod||35|
|Dame Epiphany Gotrind||Squire of Grayden Valaran, later Knight of Keland, Epiphany, younger sister of Davin, is known as having been the right-hand of the famed Grayden Valarn. She was in charge of helping manage his soldiers and aid in battle wherever he sent her. She is most famously known for, during the invasion of Asmod, stayed mounted atop the phoenix Shekreska over the Capitol City of Golir as its protectors in case of a counter-attack. More obscurly, she is known for having wielded Legacy during the Planar War and for having been responsible for establishing the cult called Keepers of Legacy who now protect the mighty sword. Among a very select few it is also known that she became the second person to ritually enhance the sword using her own life-force to power the magical ritual.||25|
Though there are others credited with heroics during that time, these are those commonly called “Heroes of the Planar War.”
Further to the subject of details, below is a list of other topics and the relative obscurity of their details. In some cases even the most available details are still relatively general.
|Topic||Knowledge (History) DC|
|The Children of Yurikamilish||20|
|The Prismatic Shroud||35|
|The Black Falcion and Mithril Spiked Chain||25|
|The Invasion of the Arctic||30|