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Omen of the Old Ones
by LoZompatore from Threshold Magazine issue 19
the Immortals themselves are found lacking
The Hidden Implications of the Message to the Immortals
Prologue : Mound of the Sleeping Stones, Greate Olde Woode, Night of
the Seventh Full Moon of AC 1015
The three owl-like figures made a final circle around the clearing in
the middle of the menhirs, inspecting the landscape at the light of
the full moon. The three - hsiaos
as they were called by their people - cautiously perched on a group
of stones at a distance from the white glowing silhouette of their
patron, the revered Immortal Noumena.
"All the offerings are duly placed on the altars, my Lady. None
was spoiled or removed since the last moon" spoke Pemca
Sharp-Talon, the oldest of the trio.
"Master of knowledge, Sheafeash reports that no intelligent
being managed to pass beyond the ring of agaraks in the last day, the
Sleeping Stones are free of unwanted interference. Lycanthropes,
especially, are kept at bay." added Kyck-kyck Ulfur, the only
male of the group
"Enlightenment of mortals, the moon is close to its zenith, the
summoning ritual will show its effect in minutes. Our mere souls are
ready to assist you and follow your commands to the best of our
powers" concluded Japalak Keen-eye, universally known as the
wisest of her race at that time.
Noumena could not stop an interior smile at this show of zeal from
her assistants. She already knew by herself all the information they
provided but she thought that giving the hsiaos something to do would
placate them enough to avoid them being overwhelmed by the
extraordinary events that soon were going to happen in the clearing.
"You did well, my loyal disciples" she spoke, "Great
eldritch forces are going to be unleashed by the offerings when the
celestial alignment is reached. For your own safety I urge you to
move to the ruined stones I marked at the edge of the menhirs. They
belong to a faded power, she will not show up at this meeting but the
residual magic she imbued on the rocks will protect you from harm.
From there look and remember the most you can about this night, for I
chose you to be my witnesses in the mortal world. Remember and learn,
this is all I ask you. Go, now."
The three intelligent owls lowered their heads in respect for their
Immortal tutor and hastily flew to their shelter close to the
[Image: Hsiao in Flight]
Suddenly a green luminosity shone on the clearing.
The moon was at the right place at the right time. Bathed in the
green light seemingly coming from Matera, a menhir close to the
center swiftly melted and dissolved into a humanoid shape, followed
by another and another.
In a few minutes the light dissolved as the luminosity seemed to
coalesce into the forming figures. In the end twelve pillars of stone
were turned into as many silhouettes of different shapes and sizes,
all of them glowing of the same green light emanated from the moon.
The Ancients Gather
To the awed hsiaos they seemed composed of the same substance of the
white figure of Noumena standing in the middle of the group, although
they subconsciously perceived subtle and fundamental differences in
their texture. The three owls were almost overwhelmed by the eerie
power emanating from the gathering, only the arcane protection of the
stones they were on prevented them from fleeing in terror, their
famed rationality smothered by survival instinct.
"Twelve answered to my call" thought Noumena, "out of
the twenty I tried to summon. Three of them even come from the
numbers of the Fallen.
Such an assembly has been unheard of for eons."
"Who are you, o Immortal, who look for the advice of the
Ancients?" asked the green figure closest to Noumena. He looked
like a halfling-sized pixie and he looked surprised to see how many
of his kind were evoked with him.
"Well, I guess it is time to start formal pleasantries,"
thought Noumena, then spoke "Greetings to you, Lady Pixie, and
to all of you Lords and Ladies, primal essences of the Good People. I
asked your consciences to form anew on this Night of the Green Moon
for the Children of Life
humbly need your wisdom. Reality has been touched by an Emissary of
the Old Ones and, after many mistakes, we do not know what to do."
[Image: Imp of the Gardens]
"Our consciences perceived this mighty intervention even in our
fragmented conditions, and that's why so many of us are here this
night." The speaker was the perfect example of a hedonistic
garden imp, with beautiful flowers growing in his hair and a small
swarm of buzzing insects flying around him. One of the Ancients who
fell to the Sphere of Entropy in the ages since his dispersion in the
world of mortals spoke next. "I guess many of my comrades would
have shown up anyway, even without your lavish gifts to lure them",
he smiled. "We know you, Noumena, you are old even for your race
and you are accustomed to be obeyed by mortals and Immortals alike.
Such a humble introduction on your part is ... amusing, at best."
The two fallen brothers of the Imp, whose emanations inhabited the
woods and the bogs of Mystara, guffawed at this sarcastic comment.
The others were not so disrespectful but more than a few gave Noumena
a sardonic smile.
"Strange to say but I have to agree with the Imp of the
Gardens." The speaker was indeed the embodiment of Leprechauns,
"all the turmoil you Younglings caused in the mortal world in
the last decades was obvious even to the dullest fauns. I guess you
decided to sink a whole continent under the waves and create it anew
under the red sun
for a perfectly reasonable cause, am I right? Even if I must admit
that this free ride was quite an interesting experience for my kin in
"Please calm down, mates, there will be plenty of time for
charges on the Children of Life in case they misstepped!"
intervened the diminutive shape of a nixie, "Immortal Lady, I
perceive you did not come here light-heartedly and I guess you have a
story to tell us. We like stories and we will listen to your’s."
"I thank you for your compassion, kind Lady Nixie" -
replied Noumena - "but I beg you not to chastise your fellow
Imps, nor the Leprechaun. I admire intellectual honesty, whatever the
source, and their mockery is rightly addressed. My story is a sad and
troubled one, and when I'm done with it a harsh judgment by the Good
People is expected, for we Immortals of Life were severely wrong in
our actions. That's why I'm here, the Immortals need any possible
form of help - even from the mortals - as we are not able to handle
the current situation."
The Appearance of the Omen
"Seventy years ago
the Immortals of Mystara received a message from an extremely
powerful being, perhaps an emissary of the Old One. At first we did
not recognize the message as such, as it was rather an eldritch
menace to the foundations of magic of this world. It took the shape
of a giant eye lurking in the middle of a maelstrom which formed in
the Dimensional Vortex.
“Immediately our kin started studying the phenomenon. Explorers
from the Sphere of Energy noted that the ripples and waves emitted by
the maelstrom interacted with the fundamental weaving of magic of
Mystara, causing disruption and dissolution of power. Entropy
confirmed the waves were increasing their destructive potential over
time, and those of Time estimated that there was exactly one Mystaran
to intervene before the fabric of magic would be unravelled by the
maelstrom’s waves. Explorers from the Sphere of Matter
established the maelstrom extended up to half of the distance to the
nearest stars, then faded away.
“The center of the maelstrom - the lurking humanoid eye - was
apparently centered on Mystara and moved with it along its orbit
around the sun. The Immortals of Thought easily deduced that the
menace was specific to Mystara and of a size that was beyond any
known mortal or Immortal power to create. Given the fact that it
originated at the Dimensional Vortex the most accepted explanation
was that it was a sign of the Old Ones.
“The Eye in the Storm, or the Omen - as it was called in
- was widely believed to represent a test for our kin. Solve it, and
remove the menace to Mystara, or face relocation to some other place
of the Prime Plane.
“Now, after so many decades, it is clear that the test was very
different from what we originally thought, something far more subtle
and way easier to solve if we Immortals were in the right attitude.
But we weren’t, our pride blinded us, and that’s how many
things went horribly wrong.”
“Pride is a common emotion the Good People exploit to show
mortals their weaknesses, you know it.” A flying humanoid
figure, taller than a man, interrupted Noumena’s narration. The
silhouette was quite different from the flitterlings it was made of
when it dispersed. “It is also a well known fact that the
greater the power the prouder the subject. Immortals, and hierarchs
among them, are no exception to this rule. You said that you
Immortals were prideful and I believe it, but now I see just one
hierarch in front of me humbly telling an embarrassing story about
how foolish she was. Before you carry on with your story, may I ask
where are your comrades of the other Spheres?”
“This is precisely part of the problem, Lord Flitterling”
replied Noumena. “Even now most of them are not aware that we
are going to fail the test of the Old Ones, maybe this test has
already failed, they believe the events of the last decades are just
part of the wrong way of life, or they are due to the machinations of
Entropy. Most among my kin still do not believe their very actions
are wrong; the same philosophy of my own Sphere of Thought, for
example, while good in itself, was the cause of a great unbalance in
this part of the Prime Plane.
“Many changes were forced on the Immortals’ society by
the events since the arrival of the Omen but I fear they are not
enough. I am here even on behalf of those who still do not realize we
need as much help as possible.”
“Very well, Noumena, you can carry on,” said Flitterling.
“Would you mind resuming by explaining the role of your Sphere
in the unbalance of the Multiverse you perceive?”
Unbalances among the Spheres of Power
“It is very simple, Lord Flitterling, it just is a matter of
“In the last millennium the Sphere of Thought produced more
Immortals than the sum of the other Spheres combined. Worst of all,
we were so effective in opposing the sponsorship of candidates of
Entropy that none of them ascended to Immortal status in the same
time frame. Other Spheres had their own unbalances - most notably the
Sphere of Matter was nearly as successful as the Sphere of Thought,
but the dynamic between Thought and Entropy was the main cause of the
“While the Entropics whined and complained in Pandius most of
the Immortals of the four Spheres of Life put token assurances that
the balance would be restored, but they secretly rejoiced about the
situation. Less Entropics to disrupt their own projects would mean
only more time to fully develop them and more glory to their own
cause, so they thought.
“And this presumptuous attitude was the cause of the tragedy,
as always happens in all tragedies” observed the unmistakable
silhouette of a medium-sized, polished demi-human which was the
epitome of a pooka.
“Precisely, Lord Pooka, but this was not the only factor
leading to the current situations,” replied Noumena. ”I
believe that we Immortals possibly made a great mistake when we
imported the war of the Old Alphatians to Mystara. When we let the
Nithians house the Followers of the Air and the dissidents of the
Flame - and, later, when we allowed the Flaems, just freed from the
tyranny of the Overlord,
to stay on Mystara and settle above the very source of the Radiance -
well, I guess we exercised poor judgment, to say the least.
“We thought all these people would relinquish their mutual
hatred given a whole barbaric planet for them to colonize. We needed
cultured people for our projects and we believed the rate of recovery
of civilization after the Great Rain of Fire was too slow, that is
why we sponsored so much open migration from Old Alphatia.
“And when the first centuries passed and we faced the obvious
fact that the infighting among the descendants of the Old Alphatians
would continue, we let it continue unabated, believing that some
elements of conflict would foster a larger number of candidates to
“But in the end it was quite the opposite. Most promising
candidates were killed in the many wars among Alphatians and
Thyatians, or ended up assassinated while involved in the convoluted
scheming conceived by the ruling class of the two empires and of the
Glantrians. Huge amounts of resources, and scores over scores were
devoured by the enmity among the descendants of Old Alphatia. This
stalled the creation of new Immortals for a whole millennium. And
that’s why I believe the Old Ones decided to intervene.
“Like a landowner giving a scolding to some lazy farmers, am I
right?” continued Pooka. “You rascal young Immortals!”
The remark had a merry tone but the eyes of Lord Pooka were fixed on
Noumena, a hint of sorrow veiling his glance. Noumena realized he
really felt sorry for the course of events she was unveiling to him.
“It might be, Lord Pooka, but the Old Ones also provided us
with a set of warnings and advices on how to return on the right
path. Let me delve into detail about this and you’ll realize
the true reach of the message they sent us.
First investigations of the Omen: the storm settles
“Shortly after the first screenings by our explorers we
believed it was time for action. We assembled in Pandius a team of
hierarchs composed of a representative for each Sphere, the so called
Council of Intrusion.
I was part of it.
“We reached the Barrier and tried to banish the storm, to no
avail. We tried to talk with the lurking Eye, but it stayed mute.
himself was a member of our team, and noted that each time power was
used against the Eye, the swirling, gray, foggy storm surrounding it
increased in speed, as if the magical energy we spent was used to
power the maelstrom and accelerate its growth.
We could not hope to dispel it by force. So, while the others
departed looking for a solution, I stayed back and watched over the
”And then, after much meditation over the swirling clouds of
the maelstrom, I noticed a pattern, a message that it was possible to
decipher. And so we got some clues on how to stop the growing storm.
We had to collect the essences of the five senses and throw them as a
whole back to the maelstrom. These essences were to be collected by
the least powerful of our kin, the most innocent ones. Those who
still did not stain their hands with powerplay going behind the backs
“We felt secure, proud in thwarting this menace to the
Multiverse. We chose a group of five novices,
one for each Sphere, to complete the business. We even gave them a
name ‘the Seekers of the Essence’,
to fill them with a purpose. When the novice Immortals we selected
succeeded in bringing back the five essences we swiftly assembled
them in a suitable support spear and then we fought among ourselves
for the dubious privilege to be the one to throw the spear into the
Eye and dispel the storm once for all. We decided the best course of
action would be a fight among the young Immortals who served us so
well: they were deposited in the Immortal Olympic Arena - the damned
Olympic Arena - for a fight to the death of their current physical
form; the winner, the last one to stand, would grant his own hierarch
the right to throw the spear at the Eye, the young Immortal becoming
his helper for the task to come.
The eldritch audience stood silent but, their faces showed a mix of
disbelief, sarcasm and disgust at the words of Noumena.
“How foolish we were. How presumptuous. How short-sighted. The
Eye itself tried to warn us that this was not the correct way to do
the thing, that we had to cooperate and act together. It sent
creatures of the Vortex right at the chosen hierarch and its helper,
with the obvious intent of driving the other hierarchs to the rescue,
of forming back a group. The other hierarchs, instead, stood still,
enjoying the show from a safe place.
“And then the storm was undone, but not entirely dispelled. Its
nucleus still lurks in the Vortex dimension, quiescent albeit
malevolent. You can check by yourselves, if you do not believe my
“Your job is still not done, this is quite clear, my darling,
even to a mind less bright than your’s. I even know some
simpletons that could have realized this themselves!” the
mocking tone came from the Wood Imp, which so far listened in silence
to Noumena’s speech.
“And, for Chaos’ sake, why in recent times you Younglings
became so obsessed with these Olympic challenges? I know you even
established Olympic tournaments in order to earn a promotion to a
higher status. That’s because some smart being of yours
established that only a fixed number of Immortals of a given rank
must exist at the same time on Mystara. That’s utter nonsense!
The very essence of Immortal service is to encourage mortal life to
become new worthy Immortals! All to increase our numbers! How could
you possibly become so blind?”
“Both of you are right, esteemed Lady Pixie and eminent Lord
Imp of the Woods” resumed Noumena, trying with some effort to
show the due respect to both the old Immortals notwithstanding their
lack of diplomacy, “the Omen is still here and we failed to
correctly decipher the entirety of its message. There is more as I
will tell you in a moment.
“About the Olympics, well, they were recently abolished
following pressure from different groups of Immortals, after the
unwanted consequences of our misunderstanding of the Omen became well
apparent. Right now, Olympic challenge is no longer required to
advance in the ranks of Immortality.”
The Delta of Time is changed
“Well, at least it seems that you Younglings are still able to
learn from your mistakes - at least in part. And that’s the
only reason why I’m still here to listen to the rest of your
story, my dear” concluded the Wood Imp. “Please,
continue: I’m eager to know about your subsequent failures.”
“Very well, Imp,” this time Noumena purposely omitted the
honorific title of her speaker. “From a retrospective analysis
of the Omen it is now clear that those who sent it pointed out the
importance of collaboration of the five Spheres and of the neglected
spiritual force that lays in the less powerful beings, mortals or
Immortals as well. The Omens requested five essences which were based
on the five primary senses of mortals. As the senses of a mortal
being work together to perceive reality so the Spheres should work
together to understand the Multiverse and the Old Ones, that was the
spirit of the message.
“Cooperation among beings belonging to the same Sphere was also
necessary as, in order to collect the essences the help of some
specific creature was needed. But in the message there was even more.
“Somehow the storm in the Vortex altered the expected course of
history, as all the Immortals of Time soon discovered. Their
screenings in the Delta of Future
abruptly showed totally different results since the appearing of the
Eye. Most divinations reported of a large war between the Known World
and Alphatia, triggered by Immortals' meddling in mortal affairs.
of the time the conflict was triggered by the ownership of Norwold
between Thyatis and Alphatia, or by a rebellion of the Alphatian
island kingdom of Qeodhar, or by the Alphatian discovery of the
Radiance in Glantri. All these triggers brought terrible consequences
if left unattended.
this war lasted for decades, destroying everything on its path and
draining most nations of the world of all their resources. Other
paths showed the fall of one of the two empires, usually in a
catastrophic way involving much bloodshed. Very few among the
possible future paths led to a peaceful resolution of the conflict
and renewed cooperation among Immortals.
was not clear how to divert the course of history in order to reach
the less catastrophic endings, as some pivotal points of the possible
futures were impossible to scry, most likely due to the disturbance
generated by the Eye itself.
it is clear that the other deciphered parts of the Omen were the key
to avoid the worst scenarios, but we did not realize it until much,
much later. At that time the Sphere of Time believed this radical
change to the course of future history was nothing but an illusion
cast by the Eye on the Delta of Time to frustrate any screening of
future events which could show the way to dispel the storm in the
“And so our main concern was to stop the storm. When the storm
was stopped and the visions from the future did not change, our main
concern became to find a way to dispel the lurking eye, which did not
disappear together with the clouds.”
“I cannot believe that a whole city of Immortals just stayed
idle, passively watching the dull actions of a group of hierarchs,
without even attempting a different strategy to interpret the message
of the Old Ones!” shouted the silhouette of a Shargugh, his
thundering voice totally unfitting of her diminutive shape.
“You are right, Lord Shargugh” answered the unperturbed
Noumena. “Many Immortals and groups of Immortals pursued their
own attempt to understand the Omen. The most prominent of such
attempts ended in utter failure.
The Olympians Clique of Taroyas
“Taroyas, an Immortal of human origin, created his own clique
with six of the youngest human Immortals - in total more than half of
those raised from this race in the last millennium - and persuaded
them that they should abandon the usual way of indirect influence
“Such attitude - he argued - was the cause of the constant
infighting among mortal countries and people because of the
underground scheming of the Immortals. This was what the Old Ones
resented. And they showed a way to overcome it: during the mission to
retrieve the five essences the Immortal society came across a mortal
world where magic did not work and technology was prominent.
Nevertheless the inhabitants of this society felt the need to believe
in superior entities, beings that they called ‘gods’, and
they gave names to them - names like Zeus, Athena, Ares, Apollo, and
so on - even if such entities were not real and did not provide any
benefits to them and to their world without magic.
“So - Taroyas continued - this was the definitive demonstration
that mortals throughout the Multiverse desperately asked for a guide.
It was the Immortals’ moral duty to take an active role over
people and countries and lead them to a better tomorrow.
“Moreover - he concluded - the Old Ones just showed themselves
up, breaking their own oath of non-intervention in the world of
Immortals. They sent a message to guide the Immortals. So why can the
Immortals not do the same for mortal people?
“And so the Immortals of the clique of Taroyas took the name
and the shape of the ‘gods’ of this faraway world. They
showed up to mortals in southeastern Brun and created their own home
there, raising a mountain they called Olympus, from which they
demanded worship and tribute.”
Noumena swiftly carried on before the dismayed audience could comment
on the foolish behaviour of the Olympians. “And then things
very quickly went horribly wrong. The mortal rulers of neighbouring
nations - the Republic of Darokin and the humanoid clans of the
- did not accept such a tyranny from the Immortals and sent armies to
dislodge them from the mountain. Obviously it was a massacre of
“Then the other Immortals intervened. The Sphere of Entropy was
the quickest. A clique of Immortals calling themselves the Promethean
Tormentors, for the mythological figure once punished by those gods,
imprisoned the seven rogues. As I told you before, Entropy is
striving for enlarging the number of its Immortals. Night, at that
time the ruler of this Sphere, thought that this was a good
opportunity to promote seven new Immortal candidates. As the
Olympians would be surely stripped of most of their powers - she
thought - why not slay them utterly on the Prime Plane?
“I see from your faces you believe this is pure nonsense. But
you have to understand that, at that time, the rules for advancement
through Immortal ranks had become so strict and bureaucratic that
those in charge at the Sphere of Entropy became somewhat paranoid and
were desperate to change things. There was a strong feeling that the
pyramid of the Immortal society was becoming static and soon it will
not accept any more candidates. That’s why Night thought that
the physical elimination of the Immortal of the other Spheres could
pave the way to the success of her own. Night even managed to
persuade other powerful Entropics like Orcus and Masauwu to help her
in her project.
“Anyway, the other Spheres took notice of the behaviour of
Night and a rescue party - aptly named the Wolves of Tartarus
- was sent to free the Olympians from their cage. There the Wolves
were challenged by Entropics Talitha, Brissard and other lesser
Immortals in front of the mortal audience of nearby settlements. A
duel with mortal identities ensued and the Wolves prevailed. The
following actions on the top of Mount Olympus saw the liberation of
the imprisoned Immortals and the total destruction of the mountain.
“In the end both Night, her servants and the Olympians were
stripped of a large amount of their power, but no Immortal was
killed. The power removed from the Immortals was used to restore the
damage done by the Olympians to the Prime Plane and to greatly reduce
their mortal followers by wiping from their memories any information
about the seven immortals. And so the humans of Mystara lost some of
their churches - some of them were well-established and centuries old
- but the reduction of the followers’ base was the most direct
way to punish the rogue Immortals.
“Another consequence of these facts - together with a struggle
of power for dominance in the Sphere of Entropy - was the abolishment
of the competitions for advancement among Immortal ranks, as this was
the main cause for such misdeeds by the ruler of a Sphere of Power.”
The tragedy of Draconic Immortals
“And maybe, fair Noumena, these were the only correct measures
you hierarchs took so far in this story. On all this matter I agree
with Entropy: there is a real possibility that the Immortal society
on Mystara has become too rigid and too much dependent on the whims
of the hierarchs and patrons - much like a stratified, paternalistic
feudal caste system.” The speaker had a human-size draconic
body, without arms; Noumena knew he was the essence of mandrakes, one
of a few of the dragons who decided to join the ranks of the
Immortals during the Age of Chaos; his brothers and sisters
did not show up to this meeting.
“You should be more open to new members, accepting them
irrespective of their origins” continued Lord Mandrake “the
Multiverse is so vast that there is not a single way to achieve
Immortality, nor will there ever be. We drakes appreciated so much
the enlisting of four draconic Immortals in the last millennia, we
thought it was a sign of an open-minded attitude by you Younglings.
What happened since then?
“I’m sorry to disagree with you, Mandrake” said the
unmistakable, bright tiny shape of Lady Sprite. “You drakes
already strained the rules of the Multiverse when you decided to
ascend to Immortality eons ago during the Age of Chaos. But you were
somewhat a blend of dragons and other races. The four dragons who
decided to join the ranks of the Younglings are almost of pure blood.
The current Great One has undertaken an extremely risky endeavour by
diverting three of the most powerful dragons of Mystara from their
rightful path of Sublimation
and have them become the new Dragon Rulers by following the same
rules of the other Immortals. Dragons are different from us, they are
one of the forces of the Multiverse, I feel they should not be forced
to follow ”
“These were difficult times, you know, Sprite the Merry.”
replied Lord Mandrake “The previous Great One and its Dragon
Rulers were banished from Mystara and from their Home Planes
by the Blackmoorians during that terrible mistake called the War of
No-one exactly know their fate. Consider a fortune that after the War
there were enough dragons left on Mystara that at least one managed
to ascend again and become the new Great One. And it is only thanks
to Terra, an Immortal of Life, if now the Mystaran dragons have
something greater to aspire to.”
“Terra alone managed to sponsor the dragon candidate and create
a suitable ceremony to grant him access to the rank of Immortality.
As the original dragon Sublimation procedure was lost she was forced
to shape her ceremony in the likeness of the one used for the
Immortals of Life, there was no choice on this. And the current Great
One did the same for his three Dragon Rulers”
“I concur on this, Mandrake, but don’t you feel there is
something inherently wrong in this procedure?” objected Lady
Sprite “Dragons should not fill the ranks of the Younglings,
they are not made for this. And the Younglings should have stopped
the Dragonlord and his Blackmoorish retinue before they became too
powerful and their hubris led them to challenge and exterminate the
dragons of Mystara.”
“I feel that the Old Ones sent us their Omen also because of
this. One of the three pillars of the Multiverse
was severely unbalanced by the Dragonlord millennia ago and its
consequences are still unbalancing this part of the Multiverse.”
concluded Lady Sprite, with an unusually bitter voice given her
“I must humbly admit that the fate of the dragons of Mystara,
mortals and Immortals alike, is not for us to understand.”
stepped in Noumena “I agree with Lady Sprite, terrible mistakes
were made at the time of the War of the Dragonlord. No mortal should
ever be granted such an unlimited amount of power anymore. But Lord
Mandrake is also right: once the damage was done one of our kin did
the best she could to preserve the potential of the dragons of
Mystara to reach Immortality. Whether this is not the original
Immortal form, nor the original process conceived for the dragons is
out of doubt, but this was the best that it could be done.”
“If the Old Ones sent the Omens to chastise us for our misdeeds
against the dragons then, in their wisdom, they should also have
considered our subsequent partial atonement for this. So their
message should not be a sentence without hope. I still believe that
there is something that we Immortals could do to reinstate the
correct balance of the Multiverse.” concluded Noumena, although
her words appeared much more certain than the doubtful tone of her
“Sorry for this digression, Lady Noumena” said Mandrake,
“Dragons are intelligent and capable beings enough to find
their own way in the Multiverse, if they wish so. Please, continue
your story, I feel you are close to the key point of your narration,
am I right?”
“Almost close, Lord Mandrake” answered Noumena “and
I see the right alignment of the celestial spheres is fading. I do
not want to end this meeting before you know all the information you
need to take the decision I’ll ask you in the end.”
The puzzle of the Planar Charm
Eye made another move some 45 years after its appearance. After the
events of the Seekers of the Essence we in Pandius organized a watch
over the remnant of the storm in the Vortex dimension. As the Eye
looked harmless and inactive we did not see the point to establish a
large group of sentinels in such a forbidding place, so we sent just
a single Immortal at a time for a tour of duty of four months,
selected on a rotation basis among the five Spheres.
the abatement of the storm and the end of the Olympians crisis we
felt secure that we had plenty of time to remove the Eye from the
Vortex. Moreover, the echo of any possible phenomena produced by the
rest of the Omen would be so weird and distinctive that the appointed
sentry would not be able to mask them or produce false reports of
what it witnessed. No Immortal watcher ever reported any sign of
strange behaviour from the Eye for decades, so our assumptions seemed
based on solid foundations.
at least, this was what we foolishly believed. As we discovered
later, around AC 991 the Eye emanated in the Vortex its own token.
It was a small, ordinary, charm, of the kind you would include in a
necklace to embellish yourself. It did not even look precious or
finely crafted, but it actually was a magical object of wicked
intricacy, as we reenacted later.
was nothing more than a common object in the hand of an Immortal, its
powers impossible to summon by a being of exalted status or more. But
when in mortal hands things changed considerably. The charm was
conceived to passively drain magical power in order to make its
mortal owner completely invisible to Immortal scrying. Only when the
other powers of this diminutive artifact were used then the owner
returned briefly visible to Immortals eyes but, usually, there was
not enough warning for an effective Immortal intervention.
the use of these additional powers caused a drain of magical energy
from established Immortal projects, specifically of the Immortals who
were most likely to detect the owner at that given time. The ensuing
havoc was more than enough to distract the watching Immortals and let
the owner flee undetected.
scourge from the Vortex was the so-called Planar Charm, as we called
token appeared when Atzanteotl was the appointed Immortal for the
watch duty. Now we believe this was not a coincidence, for the Eye
chose to send its gift to the Multiverse when an Entropic Immortal
most learned in magic was attentive and alone. An Immortal who could
swiftly understand the powers of the Planar Charm and how to use it.
to say, Atzanteotl concealed the Planar Charm and sent it undetected
to Mystara at the end of his tour of duty. He worked together with
Thanatos, and Loki in a group they named the Warmongering Triad. They
tricked a powerful, greedy Alphatian mage of Blackheart - a member of
the Council named Reddican - into believing that the Planar Charm
could be used to get unlimited magical power by stealing it from his
colleagues and rivals, undetected.
a couple of years Reddican established his own secret gang of deluded
lesser arch-mages of Blackheart, who he tricked with promises of
power-sharing and mutual magical growth, but who actually were
nothing but his victims to parasitize. The powers of the Planar Charm
hide Reddican’s actions from the eyes of the Immortals until it
was too late. At that time Reddican’s clique was believed
nothing more than a new weird cult of magic-users, one among the many
harmless, eccentric philosophies dotting the land of Alphatia.
then the lesser arch-mages discovered the drop in their own powers.
Even without hard evidence if was easy to infer the hand of their
leader in the scam, and so a mighty battle of magic suddenly erupted
in Reddican’s own Castle Qain. The battle was so fierce to
attract the attention of many Immortals, and there the actions of
Atzanteotl and Thanatos were unveiled. In a few hours a dozen of the
most powerful and reclusive mages of Alphatia,
Reddican included, were dead. Ten people in the Alphatian Council
who, at the right time, would likely have voted against Norwold
colonization and military intervention outside the borders of the
Empire, mages who could have influenced others to do the same, were
among the victims.
whole matter was nothing but another small step toward the final
conflict among mortals but it also showed us that the Omen was
willing to take an active part on Mystara. With some hindsight it is
clear that the Planar Charm is an artifact meant to avoid the total
control of mortals by the Immortals. At any time there will always be
at least one mortal who will defy Immortals’ plots and
scheming, someone who will be empowered to damage the Immortals
themselves in their projects should they get too close to him. We
believe it was first given to an Immortal of Entropy as the Entropics
would surely not hide this token in some remote External Plane, but
instead they would have unleashed it on Mystara to further chaos and
havoc in the world.
in Pandius look at the Planar Charm as the ultimate instrument to
insure the free will of mortals. Some Immortals are even coming to
appreciate it and wish to protect its owner from Immortal
interference. If only they managed to locate this mortal.”
a fascinating development, dear Noumena” commented Lady Pixie
“But do you really not have any clue on the current location of
the Planar Charm?”
not, my Lady” answered Noumena “The Charm was recovered
from Reddican’s dead body by a humble servant, a pregnant woman
called Easir who was also Reddican’s mistress at Castle Qain.
She wore the token and the artifact disappeared from our scryings for
Shortly after the cataclysm that struck Alphatia
the powers of the Planar Charm became manifested close to the new
lands of the shadow elves, the activation of the artifact drained
magic from a projects of Odin, of the Great One and of Ranivorous,
and caused two disruption events in Pandius.
Then the Charm disappeared again.
these limited detections we believe the amulet is currently in the
possession of the son of Easir, a young adult called Dav or Davonin.
The use of the amulet led to the fall of another Alphatian
so its powers are not to be underestimated. We almost have no
information about the Charm wielder, nor have we any clue about his
real motivations. In the last five years we did not get any further
sign of the use of the artifact.”
“Such a string of chaos created by such a humble jewel reminds
me of the ancient times of our Immortal lives” recollected Lord
Brownie “Then you could never be sure of the true power of
anything, and the slightest change could produce the mightiest
consequences in the fabric of reality. Such was the Era of Chaos from
which you Younglings were born.”
“You hit a critical point, here, Lord Brownie, more than you
believe” answered a suddenly agitated Noumena “But I
digress, I’ll return over this at the end of my story. Let me
just continue my account following the order of the events.
The wrong way to sponsor the Nightmare Dimension
“After the Olympians’ affair and the appearance of the
mysterious Planar Charm another group of Immortals made its own
attempt at understanding the Omen.
They were just four, Pharamond, Mazikeen, Harrow and Hircismus their
names, Nightmare Clique
their association. Somehow they came to believe that the mystery of
the Vortex could be better explained by Immortals born from the
Nightmare Dimension, as it is the closest to the Barrier. While they
sponsored Nightmare candidates - diaboli above all, even leading a
party of them to settle on Mystara
- they also believed that, in order to make room for their sponsored
champions, they should kill all the promising Mystaran candidates
coming from the usual Dimensions. Like the Immortals of Entropy, the
Clique of Nightmare believed that the pyramid of Immortal ranks was
going to be permanently filled, and that it could accept only a
limited number of new candidates. And this is how we lost Krugar
Khan, Black Zama and Marik of Glevum, and the story of three mortal
countries was changed forever by these losses.”
“And how these three mere deaths could possibly have such great
effect on whole nations?” asked a puzzled Lady Pixie.
“It is simple, My Lady” answered Noumena “It was
all about politics.
Krugar the Khan was going to unite the horsemen clans of the
Ethengars and subjugate the small kingdom of Vestland
to grant a steady flow of supplies from the sea. Then he was going
earn the neutrality of the nearby Heldannic Knights and friendship of
the Rockhome dwarves. Finally he planned to invade the lands of the
Princes of Glantri, to avenge an old wrong they committed five
hundred years ago.
If he wasn’t killed, the Glantrians would now be busy in
rebuilding their country after the invasion and they never would have
meddled with the Alphatians as they did. The current leader of the
Steppes of Ethengar, who rose in power thanks to the dismissal of
has a quite different agenda.
“Black Zama was the maximum expert in Night Magic in the whole
and also a very respected archmage of the Alphatian Council. After
reading reports of Alphatian explorers
he became a very vocal proponent of exploration and colonization of
the lands of the eternal night close to the north polar opening.
Basing on the same reports he also promoted an armed invasion of the
gloomy island of Oceania to capture at least one of the fabled evil
night dragons there encountered by the explorers. Had he not be
killed the Alphatians would have intensified their efforts in
northern Norwold and beyond, and their military might would have been
kept busy fighting against the dragons of Oceania. With his death,
instead, his arch-rival Grillanbulis
got a prominent position in the Alphatian Council, where he found an
eager audience for his smoldered hatred towards the Thyatians - those
who humiliated and banished him when he was a young, talented
sorcerer from Port Lucinius.
“Marik of Glevum was a man of peace. The benevolent, respected,
influential leader of the High Church of Thonia. He always had the
ear of the king, and his words were often opposed to those of the
proud, hot-headed Raiders of the Kingdom. When the treacherous
emissaries of King Norlan of Qeodhar and Meister Silbergeld
suggested large loots and rewards for Thonian help in a Thyatian
invasion of faraway Norwold, Marik openly spoke against the
intervention. He was for the end of Thonian isolation and for renewed
relationships with neighbouring nations, but on a peaceful basis. If
he was alive it is simple to infer that the Thyatian invasion of
Norwold would be repelled more easily.
With Norwold firmly in Alphatian hands there would not be the
difficult peace talks of AC 1002
and the defeated Thyatians would not choose to face the Alphatians in
another war just a few years later.
Paradoxically, a neat result in Norwold would have prevented much
more bloodshed in a later time.
“And so the three Immortals undid in a while what dedicated
mortal lives had patiently built over decades. After these murders
most of the possible future paths leading to a peaceful resolution of
the Great War among mortals disappeared. Brooding signs of an
imminent war in Norwold came from many sides, and the Immortals were
now unable to stop it.
“Horrified by his own actions Mazikeen had second thoughts on
the actions of the Clique and, before he managed to denounce his own
misdeeds to the hierarchs, his mind was impaired by the Clique’s
leader Pharamond. This Eternal of Energy revealed himself as a
power-hungry schemer, interested only in the eldritch mastery he
could get from the Vortex should the new Nightmare Immortals he was
going to sponsor be successful.
The hard choice at Shillabeer Gap: losing a battle to prevent a war
“Uncaring of the impending war, foolish Pharamond and his two
remaining allies were now ready to cause the downfall of three other
mortal candidates in a single blow. Had they succeeded they would
have brought down a whole Empire together with the three heroes. The
Immortals desecrated an ancient troll shrine in the Altan Tepes
mountains and set false evidence on Thyatian legionaries from the
town of Biazzan. The Emperor and most of the Thyatian army had
already sailed toward Norwold, other legions were dispatched to the
Isle of Dawn, and so this part of the Empire was defended just by
weary and undermanned reserve units. On the opposite, the trolls were
growing in numbers and the desecration prompted the unification of
the clans under the strong leader Grazzik. An army of 7000 trolls
marched toward the undefended heart of the Thyatian Empire. Their
immediate goal was the town of Biazzan, but it is easy to deduce they
would not stop there once they discovered how weak the defenses of
the Empire were. Other mixed tribes from the mountains would have
likely joined the victorious troll leader and soon a whole humanoid
horde would have laid siege to the rich and poorly defended Thyatis
“Then the three candidates appeared out of nowhere as signs of
hope among the Thyatians. - Aline, Charek and Dernfara were
travelling together through time to fulfill their own personal tests
for Immortality and their time machine dropped them off a mere few
days before the troll attack on Biazzan.
The churches of their own Immortal patrons mysteriously gone,
the heroes did not falter and rallied a ramshackle force from reserve
and mercenary units. Then they marched to stop the invasion at
Shillabeer Gap, the last defendable point before the town.
“There Pharamond and his allies were ready to strike. And there
a task force of young Immortals calling themselves the Champions of
- who managed to recover the deranged Mazikeen in his own network of
Planes and learnt of the conspiracy - was ready to battle the Clique
of Nightmare. And it was there that things took an odd turn. A group
of powerful Immortals of Time - most notably Vanya, patron of Thyatis
- approached the Immortals’ task force and told them that a
hard choice was in their hands.
“The Immortals of Time performed a screening of the paths
leading to the future. Most of these paths were now showing that the
Great War among mortals could still be averted if the battle of
Shillabeer Gap was won by the humanoids. Their victory would have
called back the Thyatian expeditionary force in Norwold and the
legions would have been embroiled in a long campaign against the
humanoids of the Altan Tepes for at least a decade,
at the same time preventing the Thyatians entering into a
catastrophic war with the Alphatians. Vanya herself - who usually
appreciates war and its consequences - was worried about the
consequences of such a great conflict in the mortal world. That’s
why she apparently spoke against the best interests of the people she
“But, for this to happen, the Immortals’ task force must
let Pharamond and his allies kill the three mortal candidates right
before the battle. Unfortunately the screening was not a certain one,
because the influx of the Eye in the Vortex was still impairing the
vision of some critical branches of the possible futures. The
Immortals of the Sphere of Time could only refer what they believe
would be the most likely consequences, so the final decision on what
to do was up to the Immortals of the task force.
“And these Immortals chose to save the three candidates,
defeating Pharamond and his Clique and precipitating the war. They
thought that the creation of new Immortals was always for the better,
and that new heroes and potential Immortal candidates would
nevertheless rise during the Great War, so this event should not be
“And too bad for the crowds of commoners that would have
suffered from such a choice!” grinned the Imp of the Bogs amid
the astonished silence of the auditors “Ah! A bunch of you did
a way better job than our Entropics in messing up with the mortal
world! I guess Hircismus could have saved himself from joining the
Clique of Nightmare; Pharamond and his allies, and the clumsy
Immortals who opposed him were more than enough!”
“Ditto, my brother” sarcastically echoed the Imp of the
Woods “I always said that Entropy works at its best when it
leaves the other Spheres fighting each other. Maximum results with
minimum effort! Why bother with all those scheming and plotting and
deceiving when the self-appointed ‘paladins of life and light’
are so efficient in bringing misery and death to the mortal world?”
“I’m afraid I must agree with the Imps, Mylady”
stepped in Lord Leprechaun “It is difficult to imagine such
damage committed by so few individuals. It looks like at every major
turn you took the worst course of action. If you decided by flipping
a coin you would have fared much better.”
[Image: Lady Nixie]
“This is unfair from you, my Lords” intervened Lady Nixie
“It is easy to criticize the deeds of others from your
comfortable position of observers. Do you really believe you would
have done better than the Younglings? Then you should involve
yourselves more in the mortal world. And how are you so sure that
what has happened is really the worst course of action? Amid all this
chaos I see deeds of honor, duty and sacrifice which deserve respect.
I’m sure that things could have been mismanaged much more than
they actually were.”
“I am not here to defend the actions of the Immortals of Life
till the bitter end” replied Noumena to the group “We
have our faults, both individual and collective. Pharamond had his
flawed vision of power but, in earnest, he really wanted to
understand the Vortex. The Immortals sent to chastise him believed
that potential Immortality was a value in itself and they did nothing
more than what they were sent to do: protect mortal candidates from
Immortal interference. We could discuss forever on the consequences
of their choices, but you know better than me that past actions are
really difficult to undo.
“So, if you please, I’ll move to the next part of my
story, and I’ll narrate for you how the Immortals reacted when
the Great war unfolded. The consequences of this war are under the
eyes of everyone so I do not narrate them to you. I do not also wish
to bother you by recounting the actions of the individual Immortals
who did this and that to the mortal world. I would only underline the
motivations of a few Immortals at the beginning of the strife. About
Pharamond and his retinue, needles to say they got proper punishment
and currently Pharamond is working alone on his project of fostering
new Immortals of the Dimension of Nightmare under the strict
vigilance of his former patron Razud.
The Great War must thrive: Nyx and Thanatos let loose
“First of all, the hierarchs of Entropy were longing more than
ever for a payback for their Sphere. The events of the last decades
did nothing to return the balance of the elements in the Multiverse,
and the Entropics still were the disadvantaged faction. Moreover, the
imposed on Night by the other hierarchs after the Olympians affair,
and the involvement of Hircismus in the conspiracy against the
candidates were humiliating blows to the reputation of Entropy.
“That’s why the Entropics left so much power to the
newly-arrived Alphaks, the only acquisition of their Sphere in a
He came to Mystara just a mere couple of centuries ago,
when the human mage Halzunthram
used the power of the Radiance to flee the lands of Glantri and seek
refuge in the ruined world of Old Alphatia. Alphaks was a monomaniac,
interested only in his revenge against the descendants of his own
people and many of his actions accelerated the incoming Great War.
This was a great opportunity for an Entropic revenge and that’s
why most of his colleagues gave him full freedom of action on
“Then Night had his own agenda in accelerating the catastrophic
war: acting together with Aracne Prime, in a clique called the Web of
Declension, the duo sabotaged a peace conference between the two
Empires in the neutral territory of Helskir and kidnapped the
Thyatian Emperor and the Alphatian Empress bringing them to a faraway
Plane dominated by Entropy.
To ensure the swift breaking out of the war Aracne Prime also stole
from its ancient resting place the Periapt of Peace, an artifact that
- at this state of mortal politics - was the only thing able to force
the two Empires into diplomatic talks.
“It was only thanks to a party of Norwold barons guided by the
Immortal Koryis that this plot of the Entropics was foiled, much to
the disgrace of Night and of Aracne Prime. The peace talks resumed
and the war stalled and delayed for a few years. Night definitely
lost her influence on the Sphere of Entropy for the current times and
Aracne Prime was temporarily banished from Mystara.
“Then Thanatos made his own attempt to fill the gap as the
prominent Entropic Lord and avoid the fizzling of the Great War into
abhorrent peace talks.
“He set in motion his own convoluted plot, something he was
working on at least since the Olympics affair. Covertly working in
the previous decades he managed to deceive three peoples of the
Hollow World - the human Azcans and Nithians and the elvish
Schattenalfen - into fostering his plot.
“In particular the Azcans performed a complex ritual that
corrupted the very light of the sun shining at the center of the
world. This corrupted light was meant to interact with the ancient
Spell of Preservation the Immortals placed on the cultures of the
“As you know, this spell subtly persuades people living in the
Hollow World to reject innovation and prolong the ancestral
traditions of the culture they belong to. As this spell was cast by
high-ranking hierarchs of four Spheres
working together Thanatos himself - with all his might - was not able
to disrupt it. So he opted to boost the most detrimental effects of
the Spell, namely, the dislike of other cultures and their
With the evil contribution of Entropy, every people touched by the
Spell of Preservation would increase intolerance, nationalism and the
desire to impose its own culture over the neighbouring ones.”
“The perfect recipe for warmongering leaders.” observed
Lord Flitterling “As if the mortal world was not close enough
from being burned by the fires of conflict.”
“Precisely, My Lord” answered Noumena “With some
hindsight we suspect Thanatos set in motion his plan shortly after
the Delta of Time started showing the impending Great War. He managed
to work undetected in the Hollow World for decades mostly thanks to
the protection of the powerful anti-magic shield running inside the
crust of Mystara. The shield screened his activities from most of the
other Immortals, which are mostly involved in the Outer World”
“The Hollow World is too boring a garden to tend to, isn’t
it?” mocked the Garden Imp “You really cannot blame
others if you suddenly discover it was invaded by pests.”
Noumena ignored this biting comment and carried on with her
“Once the corruption of the light was close to completion
Thanatos induced the Schattenalfen to partly awake some of the great
evil annelids from their underground, millennia-long slumber. The
most intelligent members of this race of Burrowers became vigilant
but were still unable to move due to the Spell of Preservation, but
the dumbest annelids became free to dig their tunnels. They moved
closer to the inner and outer surfaces of the world, creating holes
in the anti-magic shield so that the corrupting light of the internal
sun could filter to the external surface and spread its effects also
on the people living there.
“It is now believed that the Alphatians managed to quickly dig
a shaft to the Hollow World mostly by exploiting the tunnels already
prepared by the great annelids.
If so, this could be part of the plot of Thanatos to expose the
Alphatians to the corrupted light of the Hollow World sun.
“Now, Loki - an ally of Thanatos in this endeavour and a member
of the Warmongering Triad - persuaded a peculiar human mage named
an Antalian of the Hollow World gifted with a particular mental
sensitivity, into travelling to the external surface in order to
become influenced by the thoughts of one of the evil annelids closer
to the city of Thyatis. The annelid was still paralyzed by the Spell
of Preservation but it could be moved closer to the city with
comparatively little effort by a concerted effort of human servants
working together. Wastoure was brainwashed into gaining a position of
influence and power into the empire, so he could command an
expedition to the resting place of the Burrower and move it closer to
the capital of the Empire.
The Month of Thanatos: final damage is done
“By this point other Immortals noticed something wrong was
happening but they were not able to figure out the whole picture. And
then Thanatos put into practice his diversion: a temporal gate
appeared in the Broken Lands in AC 1000 connecting this epoch with
the ancient lands of Blackmoor of BC 4000,
approximately at the same time the source of the Radiance appeared on
Mystara. The gate enabled an exchange of people between the two
epochs, under the attentive scrutiny of the Immortals of Time.
“At the beginning of AC 1005, when his plan was close to
completion, Thanatos fabricated false evidences that the source of
the Radiance had been somehow altered by the time-travelling people.
By this time the Immortals were already at war among themselves and
the use of the Radiance was part of the conflict. So he easily
persuaded the whole assembly of the Immortals to send their essences
into the remote past, leaving just the Immortal Asterius as the
guardian of the return point to the present times.
“We discovered later that Thanatos sent just a shadow of
himself to the past, the bulk of his essence stayed in the present
time, where he easily subjugated Asterius, imprisoned him in the
Hollow World realm of Shahjapur and shifted the return point of the
Immortals a month in the future. So, during this month, Mystara was
not guarded by any active Immortal with the exception of Thanatos.
This is when the plot of this Entropic hierarch fully unfolded.
“Fortunately a group of mortals secretly led by Asterius
managed to partially foil Thanatos’ plot and alert the
Immortals. Once discovered, he made a desperate move and tried to
hide in the forbidding Plane of the Nightstorm, where Immortal power
is rapidly drained and dispersed back in the Multiverse. Many of the
returned Immortals - myself included
- imbued part of their powers to the mortals who made contact with
them. This was a painful sacrifice by some of us but this transfer of
power enabled these mortals to pursue Thanatos where we dare not to
go, in the Nightstorm. There they managed to defeat him and return
him to the Immortals’ justice. And, maybe, this was just
another sign for us that power is not everything and that mortals are
able to do things that we cannot do anymore.
“On his part Thanatos lost some of his power in the Nightstorm
as well and preminency in the Sphere of Entropy shifted again, this
time to Hel.
“The curse on the Hollow World sun was removed and the
burrowers were stopped again. Wastoure never managed to become a
prominent leader in Thyatis. But, in the end, Thanatos was successful
in triggering the Great War, his power was not spent for nothing. At
the beginning of the ‘Month of Thanatos’ and for
seemingly illogical reasons - whose hidden cause should be now pretty
clear to you all - the empire of Thyatis broke the truce hardly won
just three years before at Helskir and declared war on the mighty
empire of Alphatia after the Alphatians in turn declared war on the
princes of Glantri.
By the end of the ‘Month of Thanatos’ the war machines of
the two empires were set in motion. Other nations, such as Hule, were
ready to wage war and it was too late for the Immortals to stop all
of them. The Immortals could only take their sides and try to lead
their faction to victory.”
Immortals’ rivalries during the disaster
“Now I understand the extent of this catastrophe, Lady Noumena”
interrupted Lady Pixie “and I also understand the tragic drive
under the Entropics’ actions. But, in heart, why were the
Immortals of the other Spheres split into factions?”
“It was possibly the last consequence of the Omen, Lady Pixie”
answered Noumena “Among the Immortals there are some who
ascended to their condition without any sponsoring by the established
Immortals’ society. Beings like Rad, Rafiel, Benekander were
created without the patronage of the other Immortals. They often
believe themselves as free from the structure and commitments of
Pandius society - sometimes they even refer to themselves as the Free
Immortals. And, in turn, these ‘free individuals’ are
perceived by the other Immortals with a mix of disdain and sense of
“The appearance of the Eye coincided with Benekander’s
release from his thousand-year-old prison.
He somehow got imprisoned in an artifact-like object the very moment
of his ascent, some 5000 years ago. His ascent has something to do
with the raw, wild energy which now we call Radiance, which was also
the same source used by Rad and Rafiel to gain their Immortality. To
the eyes of the three Free Immortals the liberation of Benekander was
an obvious sign the Old Ones wished the Radiance to be used to
rapidly increase the number of Immortals, free from the convoluted
regulations we use to test mortal candidats.
“What the Free Immortals did not understand was that such
regulations were established with the purpose to select only those
spiritually strong enough to bear the immense amount of power
Immortality comes with, and to understand the duties their new
conditions would demand them.”
“Wah! Wah! Wah!” interrupted again the Bog Imp “And
so you're telling me that this mess in the mortal world was promoted
by the ‘proven, worthy and upright ones’, those creamed
off over the eons by your rigorous tests! You did a good job in
choosing the tests and the tested, indeed! Or, maybe, is your famed
logical approach to things lacking in something?”
“The tests are not a guarantee against misdeeds, as my account
should have clearly demonstrated by now” coldly replied Noumena
“And, if there wasn’t a grain of truth in what you are
saying, Lord Imp of the Bogs, many in Pandius would not have sided
themselves with the Free Immortals fifteen years ago. The Free
Immortals’ request to promote ascent to Immortality through the
Radiance promoted a deep split in the people of Pandius, and the
factional enmity which arose from this split all but heightened the
consequences of the Great War in the mortal world.
“I cannot deny I was opposed to the Free Immortals and their
allies - the Fellowship of the Star, as they called themselves - as,
since the discovery of the Radiance, I was among those who wanted to
place some safeguards to the unlimited powers it emanated. But I also
restrained myself from categorically condemning the study of this
marvel of the Multiverse, so I did not join the Ring of Fire, the
faction gathering most of the opponents of the Fellowship of the
“The consequences of the conflict are under our eyes and I do
not have enough heart to recount the many mistakes we made. In the
end the Fellowship of the Star tried to turn the Radiance into a
weapon against the Ring of Fire, but then this eldritch power got out
of their hands and a whole continent was destroyed as a result. Rad
and Ixion, leaders of the two factions, had a tense confrontation in
front of a party of mortals that Benekander led to the source of the
Radiance in a desperate attempt to stop its misuse. And then the
The Emissary of the Old Ones: a precarious order is restored
“We don’t know for sure what it was. Some say it was an
Old One in person, while I believe it could be just a servant or,
maybe, an avatar... for the full manifestation of such a being could
have easily annihilated all the onlookers, mortals and Immortals
“The Emissary showed disappointment for the disregard showed by
the Immortals toward the mortals and their world, and it in person
chastised Rad and Ixion for their misdeeds. Both of them are now
unable to show themselves back to the Immortals’ society, but
their followers still receive their benefits so Ixion and Rad are
very likely alive, somewhere. The two factions disbanded immediately
after the disappearance of their leaders, together with the secretive
Brotherhood of the Shadows established by the Entropics to take
advantage of the war. The Great War in the mortal world lost momentum
and ended just a couple of years ago. It also definitely stopped
haunting the visions of the Delta of Time, so we guess it is really
[Image: Lord Leprechaun]
“And so, all’s well that ends well, isn’t it?”
commented Lord Leprechaun “You Younglings understood the
importance of humility and respect, the Great War ultimately did not
destroy the mortal world and now is behind you, and even Entropy had
its opportunity to increase its importance in this part of the
Multiverse. The Entropics still do not have a congruent number of
Immortal candidates, I concur on this, but there will be plenty of
time to solve this issue in the near future, I believe!
“So, thanks for the beautiful story, Lady Noumena, it has been
ages since I heard a tale of comparable scale and scope”
concluded the Leprechaun “And thanks also for the gifts you so
generously donated for our appearance here this night, I’ll
hold them among my most valuable ones. Dawn is approaching, I guess
you’d better conclude your speech before we disperse back to
our mortal incarnations.”
Lord Leprechaun spoke with a merry and careless tone, as if Noumena
really wished to spend that night and part of her powers just to
entertain a group of Immortals of past ages. Leprechaun was secretly
hoping this was the reason for Noumena’s speech but, when he
saw her face, loaded with concern, his smile died on his lips.
“I really wish I could stop my tale here, my Lord”
answered Noumena “but present times are not less worrisome than
the past ones, not at all. Let me just explain what is happening
right now in this part of the Multiverse.
The last strike from the Eye: chaos ensues
“Before leaving for unknown places, the Emissary made a
modification to the Nucleus of the Spheres. When I discovered the
I persuaded the hierarchs of the five Spheres to alter the effect of
the Radiance so that it would drain some amount of Energy from the
Multiverse. This was to keep the balance of power as the Nucleus
actually favoured the ascent of new Immortals of the Sphere of
“Now the modification performed by the Emissary had the Nucleus
draining Entropy instead of Energy. We soon found this alteration
cannot be undone by us. Moreover, Entropy is being drained at a
steady rate from this part of the Multiverse, not only when the
powers of the Radiance are used.
“At first we thought this was some kind of balancing action, to
remove from Mystara the great amount of chaos and destruction
produced by the recent conflict. But, after more than five years of
mortal and Immortal rebuilding, such destruction is not as dramatic
as before. Yet, the Nucleus is still draining Entropy at the same
rate as it was when it was modified.
“This puzzled most of us: the Nucleus was now actively
worsening the unbalance of the Spheres on Mystara and surroundings,
penalizing the Sphere which was already disadvantaged when the Eye
“Moreover, the Eye is still there, meaning that we Immortals
did not actually solve the mystery of its presence in the Multiverse.
“In recent times it is even possible that the Eye emanated
another being, an Immortal named Gareth who refer to himself as
‘Returned from the Vortex’. Unfortunately this Immortal
eschews any attempt of contact by our kin and is invisible to our
scrying just as the Planar Charm. Gareth manifests himself only to
mortals, spreading a cult based on the end of Immortal manipulations
of mortal affairs and gaining a followers’ base in Sind and
“This enigmatic being showed himself a mere five years ago,
albeit I strongly suspect he reached Mystara during the climatic
events related to the Emissary at the end of AC 1009. Loki seems to
know something about the appearance of this entity
but so far he is keeping a very low profile. Loki was on watch duty
together with Ilsundal - since the Planar Charm affair we doubled the
number of sentries on the Eye - but the sudden disappearance of Ixion
by the Emissary’s hands forced Ilsundal to hurry back to
Pandius to take on the regency of the Sphere of Energy, so for a
time, Loki was the only watcher of the Eye. It is possible that the
Omen chose this moment to emanate its second sign, once again under
the testimony of the sole Sphere of Entropy.
“But I digress, as Gareth is still an unknown force and it
might well be some clever and well known Immortal trying to take
advantage of the situation under an anti magic shield and a false
identity. Instead, the findings of Lornasen represent the most
alarming threat to the Multiverse.
wa a member of the Wolves of Tartarus who tracked down the Olympians
and liberated them from their prison. She disappeared shortly after,
and any attempt to locate or contact her was futile. As she was an
inquisitive and curious soul, she was deemed lost forever in some
unexplored part of the Multiverse.
“A mere year ago she returned from her long absence and
immediately reported to the hierarchs about extraordinary events
happening among faraway stars.
“The worn out Lornasen narrated that, shortly after the
liberation of the Olympians she wished to investigate a seemingly
casual sentence spoken by a draeden her party met while travelling a
void region of the Astral Plane in pursuit of one of the escaped
“The draeden was travelling in the void and it did not avoid
the Immortals, as is the usual behaviour for its race. Instead it
approached in a not aggressive mood and addressed the Immortals
asking about recent information on the Stellar Cluster of Goanth.
None of the Wolves of Tartarus had ever been there, so the draeden
left the group snorting in exasperation.
[Image: Star Cluster of Goanth]
“Lornasen was intrigued by such a behaviour from a mighty and
elusive draeden and believed it was worthy giving a look at this
stellar cluster, especially because it is not far from Mystara. This
was strange enough, especially because the meeting happened far in
the Astral Plane, as if the draeden was there on purpose.
“The Immortal wished herself among the stars of Goanth and she
suddenly found herself trapped in a region of swirling magical
currents which impeded the proper use of her powers. She recognized
the Stellar Cluster as the right one, the information she gathered
from the Material Atlas of the Prime Universe was indeed matching,
but the region was not the tranquil neighborhood of celestial bodies
she read in the description.
“It seemed like the very laws of nature were changed, operating
at a different pace and logic. Magic here followed chaotic and wild
patterns, not evil or disruptive in themselves but difficult to grasp
and handle. Lornasen compared the new situation as facing for the
first time an ocean storm after a life of placid sailing on a
“And the chaotic patterns never abated. Lornasen gated herself
into the middle of the cluster. Before she was able to learn again
the rules of this region of space and exit the area she needed the
very best of four decades. A difficult journey where she was unable
to abandon the Prime Plane and to communicate with the universe
outside the chaotic region. She lost much power in her voyage, which
became painfully longer by her discovery that the borders of chaos
were expanding outwards over time.
“What little understanding she grasped of the surrounding
confusion made her formulate the theory that the chaos was expanding
by first covering the regions of the Prime Plane where the unbalance
among the Spheres of Power and their elements was greater. In
particular, a long tendril of disturbance had begun moving closer to
Mystara from the Goanth Cluster. Once outside the dangerous region
Lornasen spent some more time characterizing the movement and the
expansion of the borders of chaos, to better report her findings to
“The hierarchs heard Lornasen’s report with increased
disbelief and concern. After a few verifications they established a
watch guard around the region of chaos, but were unable to stop it in
any way. They came to believe that this part of the Multiverse was
reverting back to the status it had during the Age of Chaos from
which you, Senior Immortals of the Good People, come from.
“The mysterious actions of the Emissary are clear, now, the
draining of Entropy from Mystara is just a way to attract the tendril
of chaos to our world, lured by the increasing unbalance of the
“The best estimate for the arrival of the chaotic currents on
Mystara is thirty years from now. By that time exactly 100 years will
have passed since the appearance of the Omen in the Vortex. To many
of us this seems the final test for the Immortals of this region of
the Multiverse: should we fail it, chaos will enshroud Mystara and
different laws will govern this world and its inhabitants. We will be
forced to abandon forever this place, provided we are not made
powerless or destroyed by the chaotic currents. We don’t know
what will happen to the mortals of the world, but we are afraid that
they will not survive this ordeal as well.
[Image: The Eye in the Vortex]
“And that’s why I am here and I summoned you on this
special night. I am part of a large group of Immortals who wish to
investigate the chaotic region and find a definitive answer to the
Omen. I humbly ask your help as you, Immortals of the Age of Chaos,
know much better than us how to handle the unpredictable behavior of
the new zones.
“I am also an ambassador with a formal proposal by the united
Councils of Hierarchs of the five Spheres. They ask you to reassemble
part of your identity and power and become Immortals again, at least
until the present crisis is solved. They ask you to provide
assistance against this change of the laws of nature or, should we
young Immortals fail in our task, to be prepared to take over our
responsibility versus mortals and tend to Mystara in the age of chaos
that will ensue.
“Should you accept becoming Immortals again, I need your
teachings on how to break the barriers among Planes and dimensions in
the chaotic regions. This so far has proven impossible to us, the
rules governing such transitions too different from what we are
accustomed to. We need guidance, in the superior interest of the
innocent of this part of the Multiverse. We believe something is
hidden in the Vortex dimension corresponding to the Cluster of
Goanth, but we are unable to reach it so far.
“We wish to assemble a group of investigators which would
include those of you willing to join us. Lornasen, Harrow and myself
will be part of this group as well. And also chosen mortals should be
included, for so far we failed in granting them the opportunity to
grow and dispersed what they strived to achieve with hard labour.
Like us, they deserve the opportunity to decide their fate, so we
should go together. I hope their innocent and impaired vision will
also help us when we face the hard decisions that inevitably await
“I, Noumena, hierarch of the Sphere of Thought have spoken. I
humbly await for your answer”.
Epilogue: an alliance for a better future
An astounded silence fell on the Mound of the Sleeping Stones, the
dim light of the impending dawn appearing on the eastern horizon. The
green silhouettes stood motionless above their sacred stones but no
doubt an animated assembly was taking place between their connected
The hsiaos were immobile as well. Their mortal minds had adsorbed so
many secrets and revelations in a single night that their certainties
were shaken to the ground. Bloody wars and revolutions among mortals
could be triggered just by the minor amount of information they
received from Noumena. The three owls were the wisest of the wise and
their temperament was alien to impulsive application of what they
learnt, but nevertheless their minds were on the brink of insanity.
While she waited for an answer by the Good People, Noumena paid
attention to her three servants and cast a calming blessing upon
them. Their presence at the meeting, albeit painful and shaking for
the three owls, was a necessary step to fulfill in order to change
the status of things on Mystara. No more would the Immortals alone be
the keepers of secrets of this world.
steady, my beloved chosen, for this is the truth of an unforgiving
world, and maturity comes with the critical review of the actions of
your patrons. We are not immune to errors, as you just experienced,
and power is not a guarantee against failure. Only wisdom is.”
Noumena sent her message directly in the minds of her servants to
provide them with a key to interpret her whole speech. Then her
attention was diverted by the movement of Lord Pooka, who moved to
the center of the assembly.
is the first time in eons that such requests are made to us” he
spoke “But the menace lingering on this world is an exceptional
one. Even those among us who follow the dark and evil ways of chaos
agree that it is not in the interest of any of us to see this part of
the Multiverse returning to the primordial chaos.
is like a single seed growing into a forest spanning a whole
continent. For its whole nature, once triggered, it cannot be stopped
inside a boundary. You believe the chaotic region will engulf Mystara
and then stop here to punish your hubris of arrogant and selfish
Immortals, but we believe this is just the beginning. Chaos will
spread further, to encroach and engulf other parts of the Prime Plane
and other Planes. And the more chaos in the Multiverse, the faster it
will grow. It will not stop until all reality will follow its
looks like the Old Ones are telling us they will start anew with
different rules in case the Young Immortals fail their final test.
But, albeit we the approaching chaos does not represent a risk to us,
we feel that this is a test also for the Good People. By showing
nothing but contempt and indifference for your fate we will surely
fail our part of the test. We will not demonstrate ourselves better
than the foolish Younglings you mentioned in your story, not
mentioning the fact that we will condemn the hapless mortals to a
doom they will not understand.
are old and ancient, but we are not the Old Ones. We never managed to
become like them and so we feel that, to their eyes, we are still
that’s why we formally accept to help you Immortals. One in ten
of our mortal incarnations is falling into a deep slumber right now,
taken to a safe place and guarded by the rest of their kin. This time
our shapes will not disperse with dawn. The life force of the
slumbering ones will collect again to reform part of our Immortal
selves, so that we can leave this world and help you in your
“Some of us did not answer your call this night. We have ways
to commune with them and we will try to persuade them to join our
common cause, as we feel we need as much help as possible. Thirty
years are not a long time when dealing with chaos. We have barely
enough time to stop it.
“You fully succeeded in your plea, Noumena, something unheard
of since ages past. Now, as our powers gather, we are leaving for the
City of the Immortals to present ourselves to the assembly of the
Young Immortals and establish a formal alliance. Farewell, brave
Youngling, we will meet again very soon.”
With these words and a last bow the silhouette of Lord Pooka
dissolved in a drizzle of green sparks, immediately imitated by the
rest of the audience of the Good People. In a moment the mound was
empty except for Noumena and her three servants hidden among the
“Come closer, my chosen, this place will not cause you any more
harm” encouraged Noumena as the three hsiaos flew to the center
of the clearing “You learnt much about the hidden and forbidden
knowledge of this world, so much to fill ten lifetimes worth of
secrets. But the time of secrets is over, as by keeping too much
information for themselves the Immortals became the ruin of millions
over millions of mortals. The same mortals they come from and who
they should have helped to rise to their condition.
“Arrogance, selfishness, unmotivated self-gratification, blind
bureaucracy, foolish display of power: all of these caused strife and
misery among Immortals and mortals alike. As if the Entropy we did
not allow to emerge in the world started subtly infiltrating among
our ranks and, maybe, it is so. New champions of Entropy must rise in
the near future or the balance of the Spheres will never be achieved
again. As Immortals of opposing Spheres we cannot overtly help
Entropy to fulfill its scope, but for sure we can divert some of our
‘excess power’ to the fight against the impending chaos,
leaving some room for the Entropics to grow their own projects.
“The events of the last decades showed us that Entropy itself,
while at a disadvantage, is not immune to the judgment of the Old
Ones. The excesses of Entropic self-indulgence in setting the scale
of destruction to larger than needed were the cause of some of the
recent crises and, ultimately, the actions of the Emissary are
draining elemental Entropy away from Mystara so, if they want to
succeed in increasing their numbers, the Entropics must try harder
“I am telling you all of these things, my beloved, because it
is time for mortals to know. You are the first three of many others
to whom you’ll relate the tale of the Century of the Omen. Your
own wisdom and my advice will tell you who among the many has the
right mind to listen to your tale. Among them, and among you as well,
I will chose those who will accompany me in the difficult journey at
the heart of chaos.”
“Wisdom is built over truth and we should accept it even if it
shakes out previous certainties with the strength of a gale,”
replied a still shocked Pemca.
“I will not fail you in the duty you are assigning to me, o
Master of Acuity” echoed a pensive Kyck-kyck “I will find
the worthy ones and contribute to the propagation of your revelations
to the mortal world.”
“I swear memory will not betray me, for the events of this
night are impressed like fire in my mind” concluded Japalak,
trying to keep a dignified expression on her face “The worthy
ones will receive the story word by word, as you related it to this
eminent assembly to which we were just humble witnesses.”
“Very well, my chosen” replied Noumena “Now I’m
going to send you back to your nests on the three continents of
Mystara for a well-deserved rest but, in a short time, I will need
your help again to begin our mission. From now on you will be the
Speakers of Truth on Mystara. Farewell, my chosen, learn and
With a last flash of light the mound was empty again, this time for
much longer than usual.
Timeline of Events
[Image: Involved Immortals]
BC 4006: The alien spaceship the FSS Beagle crash-lands on
Mystara, in the Valley of the Ancients, a desertic lowland south of
the fledgling kingdom of Blackmoor. The barbarian tribes inhabiting
the desertic plains meet at Axmouth and state that the spaceship does
not represent a threat. They start raiding and looting the landing
BC 4004: Eager to avenge the defeat of his Afridhi followers
by the army of Blackmoor, the Immortal Zugzul orders the conquest of
the Dragon Hills to stop. He reveals in a dream to his mortal protegè
Toska Rusa how to build the Well of the Souls, a powerful artefact
which is able to create an alternate timeline where Blackmoor was
conquered by the Afridhis. Toska Rusa sends Tenian slaves and Afridhi
soldiers in the Barrens of Karsh, where Zugzul told her to build the
Well. The area is renamed Tor Kurram by Zugzul; the Immortal
foretells that only people ‘not yet born’ may destroy the
artefact. The building of the Well of the Souls causes a series of
perturbations in the River of Time that opens a time breach. The
breach enables the Comeback Inn - a powerful time machine - to
connect the Blackmoor era with the 1000 AC era,
allowing time travelling for groups of people from both ages. The
Immortals of Pandius are tricked by Thanatos in AC 1005 into
travelling to this epoch to monitor the progress of the Well of the
Souls. Thanatos produces false evidence that indicates its
construction will irremediably alter the spaceship reactor from which
the Nucleus of the Sphere will be created.
BC 3998: The Blackmoorians recruit a group of adventurers from
AC 1005 in order to circumvent the prophecy of Zugzul. The group
manages to reach Tor Kurram and destroy the Well of the Souls, thus
ending the perturbations in the River of Time and preventing the
alternate timeline from happening in the current reality. The
destruction of the Well of the Souls misaligns the Comeback Inn time
portal and the BC 4000 / AC 1000 epochs are no longer connected. The
Immortals of Pandius coming from the future return to AC 1005 to
discover that Thanatos shifted their returning point ahead by one
month, in order to have free reign over Mystara during these 28 days.
BC 3990: Ogdoban Treel inadvertently causes the catastrophic
explosion of the Beagle spaceship by selling critical parts of its
equipement to the Blackmoorians and other people. Rheddrian
Benekander manages to limit the effect of the explosion but he is
accidentally turned into an Immortal in the process and his essence
becomes trapped in a mirror device of the spaceship for more than
five millennia. The power system of the Beagle is the only surviving
part of the spaceship.
[Unknown date]: An Old One meddles with the Beagle’s
power system and turns it into the Nucleus of the Spheres, moving it
beneath current-day Glantri. The Immortals are unable to detect the
exact date of this event, nor to witness the direct intervention of
the Old One. Between the explosion of the FSS Beagle and the
discovery of the Nucleus by Noumena in the IV century AC the Beagle’s
power system and the Nucleus of the Spheres cannot be traced anywhere
AC 828: Halzunthram is defeated in Glantri and most believe
him dead. Instead the mage uses the powers of the Radiance to reach
the world of Old Alphatia. There he slowly becomes the leader of the
Gammarians, descendants of the Followers of the Air who did not
migrate to Mystara. As of AC 1000 he is plotting to destroy the
kingdom of Delthar and become the sole ruler of the Star Kingdoms.
The arrival of Halzunthram in Old Alphatia enables Alphaks to track
the Alphatians on Mystara and reach this world.
This Immortal is the only addition to the ranks of the Sphere of
Entropy in more than a millennium. The Entropics give Alphaks a wide
grade of autonomy in plotting the demise of the hated descendants of
those who exiled him.
AC 945: The Omen of the Old Ones appears in the region of the
Vortex corresponding to Mystara and its solar system. The Omen looks
like a malevolent humanoid eye surrounded by a huge grey, swirling
storm whose ripples menace the disruption of the fabric of magic in
this part of the Prime Plane. At the same instant of the appearance
of the Eye, Rheddrian Benekander is freed from the mirror device that
imprisoned his essence in the last millennia.
AC 946: The storm in the Vortex related to the Omen is abated
thanks to Immortal intervention, but the Eye at the center of the
storm does not dissipate.
AC 965: Knowledge of the Polar Openings is brought to the
Alphatian Empire through the voyage of Prince Haldemar. The Alphatian
arch-mage Black Zama suggests enhancing Alphatian exploration and
colonization of northern Norwold and polar regions.
AC 970: Rise of the new island of Alphaks’ Volcano from
the waters west of mainland Alphatia.
It soon becomes the main base of operations for Alphaks’
minions throughout the world.
AC 974: The Olympians try to impose the direct governance of
mortals on Mystara, establishing a settlement on a mountain in the
southern Broken Lands and killing mortals who oppose them. The
Olympians are imprisoned by agents of the Sphere of Entropy led by
Night, who intends to execute them against the Immortal Law. The
Olympians are rescued and severely condemned. Most of their churches
and cults on Mystara are removed and replaced with false memories.
This operation is made at the expense of Night’s own power to
punish him for her attempt to kill other Immortals.
AC 975: Corwyn Mauntea and King Thar rise to power in Darokin
and the Broken Lands respectively after the previous leaders of these
countries were killed by the Olympians the year before. False
memories provided by the Immortals hide these killings under other
fabricated causes of death. The Immortal Lornasen disappears while
exploring alone the Stellar Cluster of Goanth. As she did not talk
about her destination, and all attempts to locate or communicate with
her are impossible, she is soon considered missing.
AC 991: The Planar Charm appears in front of the Eye. It
grants to any mortal wearer total invisibility from Immortal view and
screening. Moreover the use of its gifts drains power from a random
Immortal or Immortal creation, with the adverse effect that the
wearer briefly become visible to Immortals. Before the other
Immortals are aware of its existance the charm is stolen by
Atzanteotl and given to the powerful Alphatian arch-mage Reddican to
foster chaos and corruption among the Alphatian mages.
AC 993: The Massacre of Castle Qain. Alphatian Council member
Reddican and a dozen of other powerful arch-mages of Blackheart fight
and kill each other over the possession of the Planar Charm. In the
end the Charm is taken by a humble servant of Reddican, pregnant with
the arch-mage’s son.
AC 996: Agents of the Clique of Nightmare murder Krugar Khan,
Marik of Glevum and Black Zama all of them candidates to Immortality.
The murder of Krugar Khan paves the way for the rise of Moglai Khan
in the Ethengar Steppes.
AC 998: Mazikeen of the Clique of Nightmare has second
thoughts on the murder of mortal candidates and is incapacitated by
Pharamond, the leader of the Clique. An early start of the Great War
envisioned by Alphaks, and centered around the rivalry between the
Alphatian kingdoms of Norwold and Qeodhar, is defused by a party of
Norwold barons led by the Immortals Koryis and Vanya.
AC 999: Alphaks inspires the War of the Crown in Norwold, most
of the Thyatian army is dispatched in Norwold and on the Isle of
Dawn. Helskir declares its independence from both empires and its
ruler is tricked by Alphaks into seeking his ‘protection’.
A large host of trolls assembles under the leadership of troll leader
Grizzok and marches toward Biazzan. Aline, Charek and Dernfara exit
the time machine and stop the trolls at the Battle of Shillabeer Gap.
Attempted murders of the three heroes by the Clique of Nightmare are
averted by a group of Immortals and the Clique is dissolved. Aline,
Charek and Dernfara lead some reserve units of the Thyatian army and
manage to defeat the trolls. Shortly after they depart again in their
AC 1000: In Pandius the final confrontation between Rad and
Ixion on the correct use of the Radiance lead to the creation of the
factions of Ring of Fire and the Fellowship of the Star, beginning
the events of the Wrath of the Immortals.
AC 1001: Empress Eriadna of Alphatia organizes a large
nighttime airship-borne raid of high-level adventurers led by her own
son Zandor in order to destroy Alphaks' Volcano. The raid is largely
successful. As a retaliatory measure, Alphaks sends a horde of
sea-monsters out of the water and into the city of Aasla, to kill as
many as possible.
AC 1001/1002: Empress Eriadna sends a large diplomatic party
to Thyatis in order to stop clashes on the Isle of Dawn
and arranges a peace conference between Thyatis and Alphatia.
As Helskir declares its independence from both empires a joint
Alphatian / Thyatian military expedition and a split of the city
between the two empires is organized. The whole population of Helskir
is temporarily turned into monsters by Alphaks and is successfully
taken by the two armies only after a hard fight. A group of Norwold
barons is then sent to the ancient Library of Edairo to collect
evidence about past possession of Norwold by Alphatia as the peace
talks are being organized.
AC 1002: Nyx / Night attempts to sabotage the peace talks
ongoing in Helskir between the Empires of Thyatis and Alphatia over
the fate of Norwold and surrounding territories. A party of
adventurers led by Koryis manages to foil Night’s plot and
banish from Mystara (likely for a limited amount of time) his ally
Aracne Prima. Following this stroke the Great War is briefly averted,
while Night loses his status as full hierarch of the Sphere of
Entropy, substituted by Thanatos.
AC 1004/1005: Thanatos sets in motion his long-planned plot to
stir the minds of the mortals of Mystara by corrupting the light of
the Hollow World and by partially awakening some of the Great
Annelids paralyzed in the depths of Mystara’s crust. He even
manages to trick the rest of the Immortals into reaching the past of
Mystara to check alleged modifications to the source of the Radiance.
In this way he cuts a whole month in which he is the sole Immortal
active on Mystara, having bested the Immortal Asterius who was placed
as a guardian of the return point in time. During the Month of
Thanatos the Great War is fully unleashed as the Empire of Alphatia
declares war on Glantri, the Empire of Thyatis declares war on
Alphatia and the Master of Hule invades Sind. Once discovered,
Thanatos flee into the forbidding external plane of the Nightstorm,
but he is defeated and brought to Immortals’ trial by a group
of mortals temporarily imbued with Immortal powers. Following the
trial and the loss of power in the Nightstorm Thanatos loses full
hierarch status, substituted by Hel.
AC 1009: At the end of the events of the Wrath of the
Immortals mainland Alphatia is broken by earthquakes and sinks into
the waves. An Envoy of the Old Ones disables the artifact used by Rad
to destroy Alphatia and exiles both Ixion and Rad. He then alters the
Nucleus of the Spheres so that the device removes Entropy from
Mystara at a constant rate. At the same time of the intervention of
the Emissary the ancient Immortal Gareth is released from the Vortex
by the Eye; Loki is on watch duty on the Omen and is the only witness
to the event, which he keeps to himself.
AC 1010: An exploration party of diaboli reaches Mystara from
the Nightmare Dimension. They originally appear in Ierendi but later
manage to persuade king Ericall to settle in Norwold, guarding a
magical gate north of Regents’ Pass. This is part of the
revised and sanctioned project of Pharamond to foster new Nightmare
candidates to Immortality, this time under the patronage of his old
AC 1011: Gareth, the Returned from the Vortex, first shows
himself and starts building a followers’ base in the land of
Sind, where it is easier to establish a new cult. He promotes a new
way in the relationships between mortals and Immortals, to prevent
further manipulations of mortals by scheming Immortals.
AC 1014: Lornasen returns back from the Stellar Cluster of
Goanth reporting that chaos is now the dominant element in that
region and that a tendril of such chaos is moving toward Mystara,
attracted by the unbalance of the elements caused by the Nucleus of
the Spheres’ drainage of Entropy.
AC 1015: Noumena’s plea to the Old Immortals of the Good
People. They agree to help her against the approaching chaos and
recreate part of their ancient Immortal identities by sending into
slumber one in ten of their mortal incarnations.
AC 1045: Expected date of full encroachment of Mystara solar
system by the tendril of chaos. It is widely suspected it will happen
exactly 100 years after the appearance of the Omen of the Old Ones in
The Old Immortals and the Good People
According to the PC1 module the Good People are the reincarnated
spirits of ancient Immortals who existed when the Multiverse was
governed by chaos and a single Sphere, called the Sphere of
Integration, opposed the dominant entropic forces. When the
Multiverse shifted to the current arrangement of Powers the old
Immortals of Integration, who fostered the birth of the current world
and encouraged the ascent of modern Immortals, decided to disperse
their own essences in the mortal world, creating the races of the
Good People. As it is part of an Immortal being, a member of the Good
People never truly dies but, simply, reincarnates in a new body after
a proper amount of time.
In this article it is assumed that every race of the Good People is
actually made up of the mortal ‘shards’ of a single Old
Immortal, carrying the same name of the race it gave birth to. So,
for example, a single flitterling is nothing but a tiny fragment of
the soul of the Old Immortal Lord Flitterling. Compare it with the
rule of creation of an avatar described in the Immortal Set and in
WotI, only multiplied a thousandfold, with each avatar having a
thousandth of the average power described in the rules.
This change explains the somewhat odd circumstances in which
currently on Mystara there are thousands over thousands of the Good
People and only a few hundreds of ‘new’ Immortals, which
are listed in WotI and in the fan-made Codex Immortalis. The
assumption is that instead of a single ancient Immortal becoming one
of the Good People, they instead split their power amongst thousands
of newly formed individuals.
Some of the Old Immortals of the Good People are (but the list is not
limited to them): Lady Pixie, the three Lord Imps (Garden, Wood and
Bog), Lord Leprechaun, Lady Nixie, Lord Flitterling, Lord Pooka, Lord
Brownie, Lord Mandrake, Lady Woodrake, Lord Coldrake, Lord Shargugh,
Lady Coltpixy and Lady Sprite.
Usually a single member of the Good People is not aware of being part
of a single Immortal and thinks of itself as an individual, albeit
odd effects could arise if two members of the same race join their
magical power. Moreover, a member of a race of the Good People will
never intentionally kill another member of the same race. A single
member of the Good People may also acquire power and status (thus
explaining the kings and queens of the fairy folk) but this power is
either gained at the expenses of some dead shard of its own kin (i.e.
a ‘king’ retains the powers of a few ‘commoners’
who merged with him when they ‘died’) or they are taken
from the surrounding world (thus explaining the gain of experience of
Good People PCs in the PC1 supplement). As the Old Immortals are not
actually seeking new power most often than not such extra power
gained by an individual is discarded back to Mystara when the
Under rare circumstances, such as the summoning ceremony in the Mound
of the Sleeping Stones, it is possible to reassemble part of the
consciousness of the Old Immortal. When the Old Immortal is awake a
small part of his individuals (possibly one in a hundred) is put into
a deep slumber and nurtured by the others of his kin. Those ‘chosen’
for the ‘sleep of the Immortals’ awake anew when the Old
Immortal conscience disperses again and they may retain some
fragmented memories of the actions taken by the Old Immortal when he
The Mound of the Sleeping Stones
[Image: Mound of
the Sleeping Stones]
is one of the few places on Mystara where the Old Immortals keep
haring. It is located deep in the Great Olde Woode, and it is known
also as ‘the Everwood’, because the forest surrounding
the sacred Mound has always been there irrespective of the cataclysms
that affected Mystara over the ages.
Mound of the Sleeping Stones is located some 30 miles north of the
camp of Foredhon,
in a place where the forest is thickest and unsettled by civilized
races. The mound is on the top of a 5 mile-wide hill surrounded on
three sides by a meander of the deep and turbulent river Elkinn. The
eastern side is the only one which could be reached without crossing
the river. Here the hills rise abruptly in a steep and towering peak
a half mile high which overlooks this part of the forest and acts as
a reference point for those wishing to reach the sacred place.
[Image: Map to the Mound]
Mound is defended by many servants of the Old Immortals (treat them
as exalted beings) with their progeny (who are instead common
creatures). They are in charge of repelling thieves and hostile
beings and they allow access to the inner circle of menhirs only
during the Hearing Day of the Good People, which happens on the
seventh full moon of every year. Only those deemed of peaceful intent
and with proper gifts for the Immortals are allowed to enter. The
pilgrims are usually commanded to leave by the next morning.
an exalted agarak is in command of the ring of her scions who
surround the mound at a distance of about a mile.
is an exalted dire wolf who patrols the thick forest with his pack,
up to a distance of 15 miles from the Mound.
is an exalted gargantua
(a giant fish resembling a carp) who roams the Elkinn river with her
school up to the borders of the Great Olde Woode.
is an exalted Roc who resides on top of the northern peak and patrols
the skies with his flock to detect potential menaces and swiftly take
care of defilers.
more than a single group of pilgrims is accepted at every audience.
If more than one group shows up at the same time, then only the first
which manages to pass the scrutiny of the guardians is allowed to
enter. Two groups with different agendas could merge before meeting
the first guardian. A maximum of ten people is allowed in the Mound
at the same time.
accepted by the guardians the pilgrims must reach the center of the
mound before sunset, a clearing in the thick forest surrounded by a
few dozens of menhirs. Many of them are broken, half buried or
covered with vegetation to the point that some of them are not
recognizable as sacred stones. These correspond to Old Immortals long
forgotten, disappeared from Mystara or who do not have a high
representation of avatars in this part of the world at this time.
Nevertheless some 15 - 20 menhirs are in good shape and easily
recognizable. With the proper knowledge of Good People traditions it
is possible to associate each of these menhir to a specific race and
to the corresponding Old Immortal.
before sunset the pilgrims wishing to summon a specific Old Immortal
must place their gift on the corresponding menhir and their leader
must pronounce a short, ritualistic plea in the language of the race
of the Old Immortal which should also include the broad reason for
the audience (i.e. a request for help, advice, lore, and so on). The
member of the group who first pronounces the plea is the one who will
be identified as the leader of the group by the Old Immortals.
gift must be a single item, extremely precious (at least 250,000
of exquisite crafting and, if possible, possessing some magical
powers and at least a minor curse.
It is possible to try to summon more than an Immortal at a time,
although the number of gifts increases in proportion.
their appearance, the summoned Immortals will secretly evaluate the
soul and the motivation of the leader and of the rest of the group
and, if displeased, they will not show up. Any gift will disappear
when the moon reaches its zenith and will be stored in the great
subterranean chamber of treasures that stands below the mound. At
this point the group is usually banished from the Mound by the
the petitioners are deemed worthy - when the full moon is at its
zenith - one or more of the summoned Immortals will appear. At the
same time all gifts will disappear from the menhirs they were placed
on and magically be transferred into the subterranean treasure room.
This applies also to the gifts placed on stones of Old Immortals who
decided not to show up. An eerie green light covers the whole
clearing, preventing any view from the outside. Any speech or noise
from the inside is also shielded; moreover it is impossible for
mortals to cross the boundary of the green light, even with magic
more powerful than a wish. The exalted guardians are free to cross
the green light boundary if asked so by the Old Immortals.
Old Immortals will emanate the same awe-inspiring aura surrounding
‘standard’ Immortals; the broken and derelict menhirs
usually shield part of this aura so the petitioners might prefer to
stand in these places. A mortal who tries to bear the effect of the
Immortal aura during the conversation is much appreciated by the Good
Old Immortals will usually start the conversation by asking the
pilgrims to narrate the story which lead them to the Mound, often
interrupting with their own questions and caustic remarks. Only after
the tale is finished the Old Immortals will start answering the
question of the petitioners, their mood greatly influenced by the
story they heard and by the way it was narrated.
on the subject of conversation the Old Immortals may answer with
riddles and cryptic messages, or provide a clear explanation, or jump
from one style to another. Irrespective of the style of conversation,
the Old Immortals will never lie to the petitioners.
the end of the meeting a particularly worthy or needy mortal may be
gifted with one of the treasures taken from the subterranean chamber
with some warning about the curse placed on the object.
Old Immortals will disappear no later than the next dawn, albeit they
may chose to end the audience at any time. There is no limit to the
number of visits to the Mound a mortal may take in the following
years but, if the subsequent meetings are made for petty subjects the
Old Immortals will stop showing up and will instruct their guardians
to shoo the nuisances on sight.
[Image: Involved Immortals]