Corupting Aradil and Midnight's elapse
- Year of the Seer Wind - Xircxi, Patriarch of the Dragons, gifts a crown of scales to Suthail Aman, High Lady of the elthedar. The present is a token of highest honor.
FALL OF ELDER TREE
What happens to an avatar when Aradil is corrupted?
Corruption of Aradil, her avatars and the Whispering Wood actually play the central role in my current campaign arc. I'll share my ideas.
In my game, Ressial (Legend of Shadow) is far from who he claims to be, but a fallen angel, and an agent of Izrador. Though he once linked Aradil to the Elder Tree, in doing so, he linked the greatest, uniting, driving force of the Fey to Aryth. And Aryth was tainted after the Sundering. Through the world itself, he began to corrupt Aradil from the day she bonded with the tree. As the pace of the world accelerated towards the Third Rise of Izrador, Ressial was the one who introduced Ardherin to the spirit world, and then to Vard. By tainting Ardherin, he bereaved Aradil of her love, and the only one close enough to the queen to suspect.
Aradil, forced to open up and tap into her powers now more than ever, suffers the nightmares and taint of her avatars. She cannot withstand them, yet cannot – does not even know how to – sever herself from her mortal, but most powerful servants. The high council believes she is so withdrawn because she is spending more time with the Whispering Wood, but she is simply being drained of her strength. Aradil's fatigue in turn affects the avatars, weakening their resolve. In addition, the taint is creeping into the Whispering Wood, opening it to the taint. The Darkening Wood is partially a result of this. The other is the utter amount of lost and dark magic affecting that area of Erethor. The wood in turn, corrupts Aradil and her avatars even more.
As the world grows darker, so does the soul of the Witch Queen. Ultimately, as long as she is bonded with the Elder Tree and the Whispering Wood, she will succumb to corruption. The pace is quicker, the more of her power she has to use. She in turn, corrupt her avatars, who in turn open up to the darkness around them, and corrupt her. It is a circle of evil that can only be broken by severing the most powerful, potent bonds of the Caransil. Even if a way to do this was discovered, it might just mean that the Queen, her avatars and the forest would all die alone, rather than as a unity.
We know that Ardherin has corrupted aradil's essence thanks to the bond between the whispering wood and the queen. But, there is another bond which could be used by the dark sorcerer. The one between Aradil and her avatars. What does happen when an avatar die? Does the bond merely disappear? Or does it still work ? Is there a secret behind the gland which is given to dying elves? More than help the souls to be given to the whispering wood, could it be the only way to avoid the avatars 's souls to corrupt Aradil 's one?
since Izrador's minions can manipulate fells, that could be interesting, for Ardherin, to plan something...
Fury of shadow, around page 88. The corruption of the Whispering Wood. Aradil has been hurt by the Ardherin's strike and, even if she succeeded to fly out, she is scared about what she saw: a great power, a fearful threat
"So, today in the game, I broke Caradul."
But, it's 3:20 AM here, and I'm tired, so I'll just throw out a quick resumé. Just what my players know too, so they get to pitch in. This thing has been building up for a while, this was just the climax.
Ardherin attacked the Elder Tree with the help of his demons, some undead, and a waywatcher, a kind of fey that used to be a guide in the old ways. The fey then told the PCs what it had done, and sent them to help out in the Elder Tree. They were cut off by demons from "the Garden", but the waywatcher called in backup. Demons and fey battled as the players ran out of the Old Ways and into the Elder Tree.
The PCs hooked up with forces in the tree itself, and made it to the throne room, where they battled possessed elves, carrion demons (oruk-sized humanoid vultures) and an elven general fallen in battle and turned fell. No avatars were present to help out, since they had all been killed by the Cult of the Witch for being corrupted (which they were), or had gone into hiding. The tree began to rot around them.
The character with the Shadowed heroic path, and the only survivor throughout the campaign, was led to the secret passage to the Witch Queen's inner sanctum by the whisper of the Elder Tree, a voice he had heard before. In his nightmares. No other creature survived entering the passage, wich was as corrupted as the Scar itself. This led him to Aradil's lair on the top of the tree, overlooking Caradul. Here, battle had been done between Aradil and her servants, and Ardherin and his demons.
Only Aradil and Ardherin had survived, both barely alive. The others were strewn around the thorn-infested chamber. The central feature was a small pool in the ground, in the center of the chamber and the tree itself. The Shadowed sensed the dark magic in the area, and discovered that the pool was in fact very much like a black mirror. The queen had been drawing on it to sustain herself all those years.
Ardherin urged him to kill Aradil, Aradil vice versa. Neither were themselves capable of action. The character chose to kill Ardherin. After having given the queen time to recover a tiny fraction of her strength, Aradil rewarded him by pushing him into the mirror. When she held him back from death to apologize for having to kill him to keep her secret, he stabbed her with a mirror-drenched sword.
Ardherin died. At least the elf he possessed did. Aradil died. The character died. The Elder Tree died. Every whispering tree in Erethor died. The Whisper was corrupted. Every whisper-sensitive creature attuned to the whisper at that time was corrupted. A giant, rotting root of the Elder Tree tore the Temple of Truth in two.