The Grey Eminence - outline for a hypotetical campaign

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BTIsaac
Posts: 278
Joined: December 7th, 2017, 7:30 am

The Grey Eminence - outline for a hypotetical campaign

Post by BTIsaac » June 9th, 2018, 2:14 pm

So, I've been outlining the story for a possible campaign I might try to make in the future. Of course I need to learn WML for that to happen, but until then, I'd also like to sort out the story and the characters because they're the main reason I'm even considering this.

Background:
The story actually follows the events of the UMC Soldier of Wesnoth and the second civil war, and references it, as well as the Project Aethea lore. Characters from Secrets of the Ancients also play an important role in it. Gameplay wise, it would feature Default Era and War of Legends units.

Premise:
20 years passed since the second civil war, and Wesnoth is failing. The Shadow Guild, currently led by a mage called Mizenwyn (the same guy from the future history or at least related to him) and his teacher, Josyph, is planning to overthrow the kingdom. In the northlands, an orcish warlord named Zurgan has risen to power and is raiding wesnoths borders, in preparation for an invasion.

The plot:
Act 1:
Kaiden, the recently appointed magistrate of a fishing village, and Bernadette, an outlaw, lead their people to Aldril to seek help against the orcish raids, but discover that they can no longer rely on the kingdom to protect them. They meet Josyph, who tells them that the wesnothian nobility has given up on the people and is willing to sacrifice them to save their skin. He invites them into the grey woods to join the rebellion where they save Elarim, the son of an elf lord Melchior from the dungeon of a lich, securing his father's support.
Loyalist troops discover them and they are forced to escape, with Melchior and Mizenwyn staying behind to cover for them. They set sail from Elensefar to Tirigaz and travel to the Silent Forest to secure the aid of the elves there. Crossing the Northlands, they discover that Mal Keshar is awake again, and fighting Zurgan's orcs. A band of Dwarves led by Rune Lord Tengar, who calls himself the keeper of Karrag's legacy, offer them an alliance, providing them with troops, weapons and armor in exchange for helping them retake Kal-Kartha from the Northern Alliance.
Their combined forces cross the Great River near Eregonor (it has not been clarified where it is, so I assume it is on the island where Delfador entered the land of the dead), where Josyph recovers the staff of An-Usrukhar, proving himself to the others to be a servant of the light, and begin rallying and arming the peasants. The attack on Weldyn turns out to be a lot easier than expected and the city falls.
The heroes confront the King (Alaric) who reveals that they have all been lied to: he was doing everything humanely possible to protect the people; the uprising only made things worse. Josyph, whom the kings's advisors recognise as a sorcerer from Addroran Elfred's court, who used to be called "the Grey Eminence" casts an unknown spell on the Scepter of Fire, opening a portal to a remote land and summoning an undead army into Weldyn, led by Ras-Tabahn, who now calls himself the Sand Emperor. The heroes, joined by Alaric, escape through the portal.

Act 2:
Kaiden, Alaric and their respective allies cross a collapsing bridge across the Void, and find themselves near the lands of the Sand Empire, somewhere in the Sandy Wastes. They meet Tarkan (the son of Arslan, from SoW), who leads them to Araca (home of the Dunefolk according to the old map). Alaric is granted audience with the Shah, and negotiates an aliance against the Sand Empire. After their soldiers help quell border incursions to the Dunefolk's lands, The Shah agrees to help liberate Wesnoth, planning to establish trade with it, and the northlands.
Leaving most of their people behind in Araca, the heroes prepare to cross the wastes, dealing with southern orcs, saurians and desert bandits along the way, while being pursued by the Sand Empire's regents (the two deninquents from SoA, now both liches). Eventually they part ways as Tarkan continues going north, while the heroes enter an cave system under the Mountains of Peril. To hold off the undead pursuing them, Elarim sacrifices himself. The heroes come across Ardyn'na who has taken up residence here, and agrees to help them out. They make it out of the caves, stopping the regents and burying them with a cave-in.

Act 3:
Finally making it out of the caves, the heroes reach the Heart Wood, and discover that Melchior has conquered the elves in this reqion and declared himself supreme ruler of elvenkind. They confront him in the Vale of Blossoming Trees, and chase him out. Joined by elwish soldiers, Kaidan and Alaric enlist the mages of Alduin, and sail to Elensefar, where the Shah's fleet is expected to make landfall - together with the dunefolk and wesnothian refugees they left behind in Araca, they break the advance of the undead, and humans loyal to Josyph.
The bulk of the army begins retaking western Wesnoth, while the heroes sail up the great river with their group until they reach Soradoc, where Mizenwyn is holding the leaders of the horse clans and their families imprisoned. Here, they meet up with Tarkan, defeat Mizenwyn, and free the prisoners. Tarkan reveals that he was ordered to begin negotiations with the dwarves of the northlands, something that is impossible at the time, but Morok, Tengar's runesmith who's been travelling with them since their encounter in act 1, offers a temporary solution: In the time they were away, Tengar conquered Kal-Kartha with the help of the undead. Morok offers to challenge Tengar for rule of Kal-Kartha and sign a trade agreement with Tarkan himself.
The heroes set off to Kal-Kartha, while Tarkan aids the Earl of Gweddry and Lady Bayar in retaking the Clan lands. With help from the northern elves, the Alliance, as well as an unexpected expedition from the unexplored eastern lands, Kaiden and Alaric reach Kal-Kartha Where Tengar is using dark magic to turn the dwarves into obedient servants. Morok confronts Tengar, accuses him of selling out his people to the Sand Empire, and eventually kills him in a duel, declaring himself ruler of an independent Kal-Kartha. While he stays behind to make preparations for the final battle.
On their way back to wesnoth, the heroes learn that Zurgan submitted to Ras-Tabahn and his orcs are now in the Empire's service. The allied armies are slowly retaking Wesnoth bit by bit and eventually converge on Weldyn, where Melchior and Mizenwyn are overseeing the defenses. Josyph reveals his secret weapon: a reanimated Asheviere, leading the city's undead defenders. Zurgan's army also arives, but they all been turned into undead by Mal Keshar, who appears to have a score to settle with Ras-Tabahn for meddling in his affairs. Alaric is injured by Asheviere, who reveals that she is very much self aware, and intends to retake Wesnoth for herself, but is defeated by Ardyn'na. Alaric is forced out of the action but declares Kaiden the Grand Marshal of the wesnothian armies, entrusting him with defeating Josyph and Ras-Tabahn in his name. Melichor is killed, while Mizenwyn escapes a second time.
While the bulk of the army holds off Mal Keshar, a small band of heroes and loyal soldiers enter the royal palace, and defeat Ras-Tabahn's advisors and elite guards. Ardyn'na urges the others to move on while she takes on Ras-Tabahn, but their reunion is interrupted by Mal Keshar and a surviving Asheviere, leading to a four way showdown between the liches that destroys the throne room, leaving the outcome ambiguous.
In the depth of the dungeon, Josyph has opened another rift and reveals that he's a human from the First Cycle and everything he has done was to create a utopic world that is closer to the idealized world of his childhood he was nostalgic of. While he himself appears to be too strong to defeat, the Staff of An-Usrukhar begins to sense his selfish motives and destroys him, As the heroes leave, Mizenwyn shows up, lamenting that all is lost. He recovers what appears to be the remains of a Verlish construct, and jumps into the closing portal, declaring that there must always be a Grey Eminence.
Mal Keshar's forces end the assault on Weldyn and retreat, implying that he survived the final encounter. Alaric reclaims his crown, and begins rebuilding wesnoth with the help of his allies.

Okay. This is a VERY ROUGH outline. I left out a lot of details and side plots so if there are seemingly plotholes and unclear character motivations, chances are they're covered. Still, I'm interested in any possible feedback.

Konrad2
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Joined: November 24th, 2010, 6:30 pm

Re: The Grey Eminence - outline for a hypotetical campaign

Post by Konrad2 » November 26th, 2018, 9:30 am

This looks like it would take a huge effort to make reality.
My biggest concern though: Are the lores you are using (SoW/SotA/Project Ethea) compatible enough? Do you mean to refer to their whole lore or will you only use parts of it you can use without causing contradictions?
I am a Ghost: I drain the life energy from other people to survive and am hated/feared by regular people. Non-regular people don't like me either though.

BTIsaac
Posts: 278
Joined: December 7th, 2017, 7:30 am

Re: The Grey Eminence - outline for a hypotetical campaign

Post by BTIsaac » November 27th, 2018, 11:29 am

SoW ties in to the Dragon Trilogy and from what I heard that is most definetley not compatible with Project Ethea (I haven't played the Dragon Trilogy and I probably won't until someone ports it to 1.14 - but I believe the Fire Ruby has contradicting origins in the two lores). Obviously I would want to avoid contradiction. SotA is in mainline and doesn't contradict any of those two, as far as I know. SoW has a massive inconsistency with the currently proposed world map, which I brought up in another thread, but that's about it. Project Ethea doesn't seem to contradict anything in the main timeframe, and is mostly referenced by the fact that a) a young Mizenwyn is one of the major antagonists and 2) the cosmic elements, such as the Guardians and the cycles are alluded to.
Last edited by BTIsaac on November 27th, 2018, 7:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Konrad2
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Re: The Grey Eminence - outline for a hypotetical campaign

Post by Konrad2 » November 27th, 2018, 4:57 pm

Would you mind pointing me to the thread where you brought up the inconsistency of the world map?
I am a Ghost: I drain the life energy from other people to survive and am hated/feared by regular people. Non-regular people don't like me either though.

BTIsaac
Posts: 278
Joined: December 7th, 2017, 7:30 am

Re: The Grey Eminence - outline for a hypotetical campaign

Post by BTIsaac » November 27th, 2018, 7:22 pm

Konrad2 wrote:
November 27th, 2018, 4:57 pm
Would you mind pointing me to the thread where you brought up the inconsistency of the world map?
https://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=47935
Right here.
Basically, in SoW, the Deathbringer Battalion marches south of Kerlath, crosses the forests and eventually ends up in the sandy wastes. On the current map, the sleepless sea gets in the way, as it connects to the ocean, making the journey impossible.
I mainly proposed some contrived solution, which also gives me an excuse to make the heroes take the path under the mountains of peril.

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