Twenty-five years ago, a group of brave adventurers fought and defeated the minions of the Witch-Queen, Wee Jas. Her plan foiled, though her involvement concealed, the Dark Lady retreated to her lair to plot her return.

The adventuring group, known as the Lion’s Paw continued on their adventures, unaware of the dark deity they had crossed. They travelled far and wide, helping the weak and protecting the innocent. They even explored the great planar expanse, opening the gates that had been sealed for generations.

They grew great and mighty in their power. In the end, alas, it was their power that struck them down, as the elven mage Sibilyn, High Mage of the Southern Lands, gathered together his fellow wizards and started a war of conquest against the northern kingdoms. His armies destroyed the peaceful city-state of Adele, home of poets and artists. Horrified by this, the warriors of the Lion’s Paw were forced to turn against him: Darkrunner, the orphaned soldier who became Lord of the Northern Marches; Renne, the faithful dwarven warpriest of Moradin; Sir Herra the Pious, a feared and righteous paladin and Commander of the Knights Pantenger; and Tamara, known as The Swift, Sibilyn’s lover and confidante.

Before the gates of the mighty Free City of Raven, the combined armies of the North stood against the legions of the South. Constructs, summoned creatures and beings of magic made solid fought against blood and steel. Just when it seemed that the magic of Sibilyn would prove too much, there was a sound as the shattering of worlds, and a portal to the Inner Planes was opened by the forces of the Elemental Council. The elemental allies of the heroes of the north swarmed through, and broke the back of the arcane army.

In the end, only one mage remained. Sibilyn himself was captured by Sir Herra and Tamara, and they snuck him past their own lines into the clerics’ tent. There, they attempted to heal his wounds, but the magical spells that had preserved his life had been dispelled in the battle. With his end near, he explained that he had, in his hubris, unlocked an ancient evil from a magical prison, far in the south. This evil had possessed him, and used his desire for knowledge to force him to try to take over the world. With his dying breath, he asked their forgiveness and pledged his undying love to Tamara. With that, the life passed from him, old age claiming him at last.

Overcome with grief, Tamara fled the camp, heading south. Though her friends pursued her, they were unable to track her for long, and let her go.

The Mages War changed everything. Where once the servants of arcane knowledge were respected, now they were hated. Wizards’ towers, bereft of their owners, were plundered and destroyed. Those human wizards who had not joined the Arcane Army dressed themselves in the blue-and-yellow of the Mages Guild and claimed to be sorcerers.

The racial balance of the land shifted dramatically, and even now the results of that shift echo through the land.

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Return of Evil Merlin