The Black Angels war was the first conflict in the so called Death King wars, a series of conflicts against a massive undead scourge. This was the first time the Death Kings appeared in the Kareyn.
Very little is known for certain regarding the origins of the war. In late 1384, a cult of tieflings attacked the temple of Kelemvor, slaughtering much of its clergy and searching the crypts. Adventurers and knights rallied to push back the attackers and save what was left of the clergy, after which they ventured down into the tombs to find out what it is they were after. Unfortunetly, they arrived too late; the cult found what it sought, but made a terrible mistake.
They had been sent to find a strange mirror. This mirror was in fact a portal, leading to a pocket plane called the Black Sun Citadel. They had hoped to enter this plane and steal another artifact, the Tarken'faen. However, they greatly underestimated its guardians, who swiftly pushed back the attackers and then entered our own world. None caught sight of him at this time however. What the knights did encounter were several of his warriors, beasts and a Shadow Weave Shaman, the first of its kind to be encountered. A fierce battle was fought, resulting in several casualties (including at least two KIA Northern Light elites), but the creature was ultimately felled. Due to its power, the party mistakingly thought it was the leader of this shadow force, and so, triumphantly they left the tombs to report their victory.
Once outside, however, they and the rest of the town caught sight of something in the sky; a massive, black winged figure, looking down upon the city, before flying off towards the north. It was not known at this time, but that figure was Medorion, former chosen warlord of Myrkuul and guardian of the Tarken'faen.
He was not seen or heard from for several months after his appearance, so the party paid little heed to his appearance.
After a time, a company had come to the valley and began hiring several mercenary groups for an expedition into Kretins Krawl. The scale of this operation alarmed the Beldin goverment, so several of the knights were tasked with investigating what this company was doing. It turned out that they were looking for an artifact- an enchanted horn later identified as the Tarkenfaeyn - that had somehow found its way into the depths of of the Krawl. Unfortunately for those employed, this company neglected to tell anyone that the artifact was in the possession of a terrifying foe, the same creature that had escaped the Kelemvore crypts. It had raised an army of shadow beings in an incredibly short amount of time within the krawl, which quickly massacred nearly the entire expedition force, save those few who had come on the crowns behalf. Once again, the creature left the dungeons before the adventurers could catch up with it, leaving a trail of devestation in its wake as it flew towards the north. Several more encounters with its forces followed over the next few weeks, in which it was identified as the black angel Medorion, ancient servant of Myrkul and guardian of the Tarkenfaeyn. During this time, along with its shadow warriors and beasts, it summoned eight malevolent spirits to serve as his generals; the Death Kings of the Kareyn, agents who would continue long after Medorion's first scourge.
Shortly after the expedition into the Krawl, a man named Kirov, who claimed to be a Doom Guide, appeared and guided the adventurers efforts for a time. Towards the end of the war, however, he was revealed to be the balor Andhera'ghoul in disguise.
During all of these months, any attempt at communication failed. Neither Medorion nor any of his servants showed any inclination to speak (to the point where some wondered if they were even capable of such). Why the black angel was so hostile towards everything in the valley was unkown for sure, and remains a topic of debate to this day.
More encounters with the shadow beings occured, each increasing in intensity. Foes which had never been seen anywhere on Toril began to appear; winged Shadow Beasts, Dark Blade legions, and a massive creature that seemed to be a walking tear in reality itself. This last creature was encountered by Delsoran and Igrat in the Aelfwood. The two were sent to investigate a magical anomoly that had been sighted in the Morrains and said to be moving towards Siluvan. The duo managed to defeat it, though both admitted that it was an exceptionally close call, and niether one was looking forward to similar encounters.
An adventurer team was deployed into the Morrains to investigate the source of the last attack, and returned after ensuring that no other rift beasts could be summoned. Around the same time, Siluvan managed to create a device that could repel Shadow Beasts, keeping them out of their city. Beldin sent an envoy to receive the notes on its construction, but this meeting ended in disaster. Unwisely, the envoy chosen for this task was Mith Ischarri, with Zilvra Vrinn as his retinue. Besides the fact that Siluvan never could be at ease with drow in their city, Mith and Zilvra both had an exceptionally low opinion of this kingdom, and neither were terribly diplomatic in their mannerisms. This all led to Siluvan demanding they leave shortly after some (but not all) the notes were received (most were given to Iris earlier). Unfortunetly, the drow duo refused, and stayed on to taunt the Siluvan prince and his coherts for a while more. Zilvra eventually left, but when Mith refused, the guards drew their weapons, preparing to defend their prince and make the drow leave by force if they must. Ischarri responded to this by casting a meteor swarm within Siluvan's court before teleporting out. This tensions resulting from this incident would not be resolved for years to come (see Diplomatic Strain between Beldin and Siluvan for more details). Despite the set back, Aelfric managed to calm Lord Aravilar down for the moment (mostly due to the fact that, while several injuries resulted, no one was killed during the storm). Beldin soon built its own Beast Ward.
Search for AlliesEdit
Aelfwood was becoming increasingly infested by the undead, which resulted in the Siege of Astrid being effectively broken (though it became apparent that the undead were not sparing the Aurrilites either). Indeed, several units of Bounders, Aurrilites and even adventurers, bitter enemies for the last several centuries, found themselves fighting back to back just to survive the nightmare and escape the woods alive. Eventually, a unit of knights and Guild members tracked the nearest source of the undead to the Astrid Deeps, where they found that the capstone had been turned into a necromantic beacon that constantly raised the dead. The party managed to slay the Death Queen of Astrid (and trap her inside the capstone for the time being) before escaping themselves.
Yet even as this victory was gained, news of more attacks in other corners of the valley kept coming in. It was only a matter of time before even the combined strength of every military force in the valley found itself vastly outnumbered by the dark host, and it became clear that more capstones had been corrupted in the same way as the Astrid deeps. This prompted a group of adventurers to hatch a plan, based on information they recieved from an anonamous source; they would travel to the Fugue plane and find three particular Solars who apperantly fought Medorion in ancient times. How they came upon this knowledge is unknown, though some say it was the company that had initially led the expedition into Kretins Krawl.
Before they acted upon this information, however, the party launched a daring rescue mission into the now cut off Riverfern via portal, just before the scourge assailed the walls of Castle Lester. The adventurers and soldiers of House Lester fought bravely to buy the halflings time to hide within the mine systems or be teleported back to Beldin by the mages, but it was a costly affair; by the end of the day not a single one of the Lester soldiers who fought survived. Indeed, Lord Lester himself was slain by one of the Death Kings, but his body was taken back by then Captain Keyna Fearthegn of the Bounders and raised later.
Shortly following the fall of Riverfern, the scourge armies took control of the entire south just outside of Beldin, and held territories in the far north, placing Karnelynn and Beldin under seige. Worst of all was the fact that most of Beldin's armies were in the north, where the enemy build up had been most visible, and now was cut off from the south by a legion of undead.
By this point the adventurers gathered to put their plan into action. The only way to the Fugue plane known to mortals is death, leading to the party - Heniandrar, Ara Dawnspire and Zilvra Vrinn- allowing themselves to be killed for a time while their companions guarded their bodies and raised them after a set time (although strangely enough, Ara initially summoned a Balor to kill them, much to the immense displeasure of the group).
Once in the fugue, the party tracked down the solar's Jammal the Emerald Archer, Ptolomi the phoenix and Equiron. All three were former companions of Medorion before he fell under the sway of Myrkul. They related the tale of their old allie, and spoke of how their final battle with him required all of their strength and that of a fiendish creature intent on stealing the horn the black angel was assigned to guard. Even so, all they could do was banish him back into his realm and seal him away. This act of consorting with a fiend, regardless of the intent or gain, led to them being cast out of their homes in the House of the Triad and stripped of their former stations, with the exception of Equiron. Jammal and Ptolomi both agreed to aid the adventurers home unconditionally upon hearing of Medorions release, but Equiron refused, not wishing to risk banishment a second time.
Jammal was a lone wanderer of the planes, and so brought no army, but instead lent his supreme archery skills and emerald arrows. Ptolomi, on the other hand, had gained a measure of favor in the elemental plane of fire, and so rallied scores of Efreeti. In the end the valley was still outnumbered, but had powerful allies none the less.
The siege of BeldinEdit
(Note: This article refers to the siege of Beldin that took place during the Black Angels War. For details on the Siege of Beldin during the Third Winter War, see here . For the siege of Beldin during the early Fourth Winter War, see here.)
The battle began not very long after the planer allies had arrived, and seemed to be going little better than all the battles prior. The enemy breached the walls and destroyed the Beast Ward, allowing their winged monstrosities to swarm into the city. The defenders found themselves pushed back to the very doors of the castle, when suddenly, a miraculous turn of events occurred; Equiron, leading a host of celestial warriors, descended upon the battleground. Soon after this, the Karenlynn defenders managed to break the siege, and its Bounder force broke through the enemy lines, eventually reaching Beldin. Combined with the valor of the adventurers and knights, the force managed to drive the enemy out of the city and back towards the south east of the valley.
Battle of the Gerda Farms and Second Battle for RiverfernEdit
The combined armies of mortals and planers gathered in the Delta and launched their attacks to reclaim the Gerda Farms first, following which they launched an areal and portal attack on Riverfern. The latter assault was mostly composed of Equiron and Ptolomi's warriors, as well as adventurers and knights. Beldin soldiers were unable to reach Riverfern en mass, as the river was still unsafe to cross.
It was a hard fought battle, made no easier by the arrival of Shandowrix on behalf of the dark legion, but ultimately it was a victory.
The Death King of the Eastern Kareyn was slain during this battle.
Assault on Kretin's KrawlEdit
With little time to loose, the knights Mith, Ara and Zilvra, along with the adventurers S'nae and Adador Merhast, assembled and made a daring raid into the Krawl, fighting past the still regenerating horde with the aid of the solar and efreeti armies. They eventually made their way to the capstone, where they battled Medorion himself. It was a grueling affair in which Adador was slain, but eventually the black angel fell. To ensure that he would not raise again, S'nae took the Tarkenfaeyn horn and used it to raise the recently dead Beldin king Aevery Aelfhiem. Upon realizing what was occuring, he bade the group leave the Krawl. When they did, he struck the corrupted capstone with Mederion's weapon, allowing it to regenerate without the taint. This effectively ended the first of the Death King Wars.
Though the Black Angel was defeated, most of his generals, the Death Kings, survived. Most fled to the far north where they regrouped, while some stayed in the valley proper. The creatures brought in from the Keepers realm remained and multiplied, ensuring that their kind was here to stay.
The Death King of the Mere lured several, powerful Hags into the valley, and with their magical aid, turned into a demon, but his new "glory" was short lived, as he was immediately slain/ banished by the combined efforts of Nicktaska, Anezka, Nati Tane and Keyna Fearthegn.
The Death Queen of Astrid remained trapped in the capstone for a time. The other Death Kings attempted to have her retrieved, but this effort was thwarted. However, this only seemed to delay the inevitable, as the entity would be freed by another in the following years.
The siege of Astrid resumed. Though many warriors on both side had fought together against the undead legion, they had little trouble in rekindling old hatreds.
The Tarkenfaeyn horn was kept by S'nae for a time, though she was robbed of it by bandits on the Delta Road. Soon after this it somehow landed in the possession of Comui Rivitii. It would change hands yet again after this...