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Thoughts on Expanding CM2

by LoZompatore

The easy theory: as stated in M1, M2 (and also in DotE I believe) there is some friction between Norwold Qeodhar and Metropolitan Alphatia, mostly due to Norwold not wishing to pay its share of taxes after the large investments the Alphatian Empire has done to develop Ericall's kingdom. So Wazor and his allies are sent to Norwold as a warning to intimidate king Ericall on the possible consequences of prolonged defiance towards the Alphatian Council by destroying one of his baronies.

The convoluted theory (I prefer this one): at the end of CM1 the crones of Krystakk speak the infamous sentence:

"Prepare to fight for Alphatia, if you want to keep your dominions. Alphatia, that is what they call it now, eh? Old as I am, I remember an earlier, more honest time, when an empire could be called by its true name. Know ye, lords, the secret name of those you serve? Know ye, lords, that you fight for the crown of Atlantis?"

Now I always found this sentence unclear, as the PCs are serving under the king of Norwold and the whole war is for the crown of Norwold, not for the crown of Alphatia. So, in my opinion, while the identification Atlantis = Alphatia is the most obvious one it could also be possible that actually Atlantis = Norwold.
Playing with the latter possibility then you could say that Wazor actually comes from a past age (before the Great Rain of Fire) where this part of the world was ruled by a magiocracy called Atlantis. Ulslime and Korbundar could be agents of Alphaks, instead, following the orders of the Black King and the Black Queen in Alphaks' Volcano.
Actually Wazor was tricked by Alphaks' minions to open the gate and re-establishing the empire of old. To add some tragic details it could be possible that all the undead people coming from the gate are actually the damned souls of the Atlanteans, which Alphaks promised to bring back to their homeland but which are nothing but a destructive horde. Wazor still sticks to the original plan in the hope to revert these undead souls to their original selves.
How Wazor came in the present time? He could have been hybernated / in magical stasis / etc. until he was awakened by Ulslime or he could have reached the present time through the Comeback Inn which is open and allowed some mixing of characters from both epochs (in the DA series it is mentioned that undercover agents of Blackmoor were sent in Glantri City and Darokin City through the Inn Between the Worlds).


The Deathstone can be destroyed only by the Hammer of Life and it is quite strange that both magical items are in the same place (albeit the Hammer of Life is divided into three parts). In order to explain this I'd say that the cleric that created the Hammer of Life came to the Twolakes Barony before the PCs following his quest to destroy the Deathstone but he was ambushed and slain by Wazor in the elder's hut of the village of Conna (see CM2 page 19), shortly before the arrival of the PCs. The magical item proved impossible to destroy but Wazor managed to split it into three parts, giving each part to a group of guardians to be moved away from the barony. The PCs arrive when the three groups are still inside the swamp and should be able to intercept all of them. The message written with the blood (of the slain cleric and the village elder) was left there by Wazor for his two companions.

The "close gate" scroll on page 21 has the seal of Atlantis on it. Oddly enough it can be recognised by the PCs only if they also took part of the events of CM1. This makes little sense if Atlantis = Alphatia, as the PCs should know very well the seal of Alphatia. Anyway, by keeping this theory, the scroll with the seal could represent a major evidence that the Empire of Alphatia is behind the Deathcloud (assuming that no clue about its originators was provided so far). This could pave the way to the open rebellion of Norwold of M2 module. If Atlantis = Norwold then the seal is just a way to stress Wazor's role in the opening of the gate.

Notice that on page 3 it is said that if left unattended, the Deathcloud will spawn undead (including opportunistic ones) until all Norwold and the "Empire of Thyatis" (possibly the area surrounding Norwold as per Mater Set map) are overtaken. If Atlantis = Alphatia then the Deathcloud might just be a way to get rid of rebellious Norwold and of the hated Thyatian enemy (albeit it is unclear how the Alphatian will handle the easternmost third of the continent of Brun when it will be filled with undead). If Atlantis = Norwold maybe the lands to be overtaken correspond to the extent of the ancient empire of Atlantis.

Hope you can get some inspiration by these!