Nightstalker Lore

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Chronicle Nightstalker

The War of Shadows raged across the Realm of Ardan more than 5,000 years ago. The fall of that blessed realm - and all the cataclysms that have wracked the face of Aerynth since - have destroyed nearly all traces of that conflict. Only a few fragmentary, moldering records, carefully preserved by the Holy Church, have offered any hint of that dark time, and the desperate battle the Ardani fought against the Unholy Legions … until now.

But even as the Isle of Oblivion broods in the seas of every fragment and the agents of the Lich-Queen strike terror throughout all lands, a new hope has arisen, a firebrand raised to defy the Dark. The Nightstalkers have returned.

The Stalkers were an ancient order, devotees of Arnomus the Rogue, trained by that Titan to serve the armies of Ardan as scouts and spies. The rising of the dead hordes gave them a new purpose. At the height of the War of Shadows, the Thirteen heretics who first devised Necromancy called forth the first Vampires, giving Oblivion its most powerful weapon. Packs of the Nightborn swept through Ardan by night, falling upon the armies of the blessed realm and spreading terror into even the strongest cities and fortresses. On the fateful night the blood-drinkers fell upon the Carhane Legion, decimating it, there was one man who stood his ground and knew no fear.

His name was Colshak, one of the Stalkers, and he quickly learned that a dozen dagger strokes could rend a Vampire's undead flesh when the strongest swing of a flamberge failed. Colshak escaped the slaughter of his legion, saving a dozen of his fellow soldiers. The tale he brought back gave the Men of Ardan hope. After long consultation with the Nameless Titan, Coleshak devised a new style of fighting, and armed himself with new spells and techniques to fight the darkness. Hundreds followed his example, and a new order, the Nightstalkers, was born.

There are those who say Colshak learned his art while serving on the desert frontier, from watching the dreaded Blade Dervishes of the Devil Men. Their speed and ferocity were coupled with a range of blessings, holy teachings, and exercises that could dispel the dark power of the Void, protect the Nightstalker from the powers of the dreaded Vampires, or send hordes of mindless dead fleeing from the light. Colshak, himself scarred by the fangs of a Vampire, embarked on an obsessed crusade, devoting his life to the destruction of all undead. In time the fame of the Nightstalkers spread far and wide, and the very Irekei who had served as their inspiration adopted the arts of the Nightstalkers, using them in their own Blood Wars.

When the spells of the Nameless Titan ended the War of Shadows at last, Colshak was not content. He feared that the Soulstones and the Web might not endure forever, and that someday Oblivion might ravage Aerynth again. No vault, no book could be entrusted to last forever, and so the thirteenth Titan wove a mighty spell, placing Colshak and 11 of the mightiest Nightstalkers into a magical slumber and removing them from the world, to some hidden realm born of magic. If ever Oblivion should breach the barriers the Ardani raised, the Nightstalkers would rise again and resume Colshak's crusade.

When the Isle of Oblivion appeared, Colshak and his brothers awoke. Daunted by the scope of the undead invasion, the Nightstalkers have decided that their greatest weapon is not their blessed stakes, but their knowledge. The original Nightstalkers scattered, journeying to every land to serve as teachers and trainers, in the hope that every realm can raise armies of new Nightstalkers and drive the unholy shadow from Aerynth once and for all.

Promotion Narrative

The dead are rising in unholy legions, moving against all life. It is a terrifying thing, but this is not the first time. Darkness has raged before.

The War of Shadows raged more than five thousand years ago. The fall of Ardan and all the cataclysms that have wracked the face of Aerynth since have destroyed nearly all trace of that conflict. Only a few fragmentary, moldering records, carefully preserved by the Holy Church, have offered any hint of that dark time, and the desperate battle the Ardani fought against the Unholy Legions ... until now.

But even as the Isle of Oblivion broods in the seas of every fragment and the agents of the Lich-Queen strike terror throughout the lands, a new hope has arisen, a firebrand raised to defy the Dark. The Nightstalkers have returned. I know you have no read of us in any tome, But I can tell you the tale.

The Nightstalkers were born of an even older order, in Ardan where Titans and Gods dwelt alongside men. The Stalkers were an ancient order, devotees of Arnomus the Rogue, trained by that Titan to serve the armies of Ardan as scouts and spies. The rising of the dead hordes gave them a new purpose. At the height of the War of Shadows, the heretics who first devised Necromancy called forth the first Vampires, giving Oblivion its most powerful weapon. Packs of the Nightborn swept through Ardan by night, falling upon the armies of the blessed realm and spreading terror into even the strongest cities and fortresses. On the fateful night the blood-drinkers fell upon the Carhane Legion, decimating it, there was one man who stood his ground and knew no fear.

His name was Colshak, one of the Stalkers, and he quickly learned that a dozen dagger strokes could rend a Vampire's undead flesh when the strongest swing of a flamberge failed. Colshak escaped the slaughter of his legion, saving a dozen of his fellow soldiers. The tale he brought back gave the Men of Ardan hope. After long consultation with the Nameless Titan, Colshak devised a new style of fighting, and armed himself with new spells and techniques to fight the darkness. Hundreds followed his example, and a new order, the Nightstalkers, was born.

There are those who say Colshak learned his art while serving on the desert frontier, from watching the dreaded Blade Dervishes of the Devil Men. Their speed and ferocity were coupled with a range of blessings and holy teachings, and exercises that could dispel the dark power of the Void, protect the Nightstalker from the powers of the undead Vampires, or send hordes of mindless dead fleeing from the light. Colshak, scarred by the fangs of a Vampire himself, turned his life to the destruction of all undead. In time the fame of the Nightstalkers spread far and wide, and the very irekei who had served as their inspiration adopted the arts of the Nightstalkers, using them in their own Blood Wars.

When the spells of the Nameless Titan ended the War of Shadows at last, Colshak was not content. He feared that the Soulstones and the Web might not endure forever, and that someday Oblivion might ravage Aerynth again. No vault, no book could be entrusted to last forever, and so the thirteenth Titan wove a mighty spell, placing Colshak and eleven of the mightiest Nighstalkers into a magical slumber and removing them from the world, to some hidden realm born of magic. If ever Oblivion should breach the barriers the Ardani raised, the Nightsalkers would rise again and resume Colshak's crusade.

How do I know all this history, forgotten by the wisest? I remember it as if it were but yesterday. For me, it was. I had the honor to be chosen for the Long Vigil. I am one of Colshak's twelve.

Our dreams in that enchanted sleep had long been troubled, and the echoes of the Turning and the Dark Years tortured us. When the Isle of Oblivion appeared, we finally awoke. Our first glimpses of this new world terrified us. What has happened to the Sun? Where is the All-Father? What has become of the greatness that was Ardan? Have we truly lost so much? How has it come to this? And brooding in the sea, the shadow gathers. The dead are stirring. The Eldest vampires have returned. The peoples of Aerynth have nothing that can stop them.

Daunted by the scope of the undead invasion, we decided that our greatest weapon is not our blessed stakes or our quick strikes, but our knowledge. We twelve cannot hope to prevail against the enemy. But twelve can reach twelve hundred, and they can reach twelve thousand. And so we scattered, journeying to every land, learning the new tongues and ways of this strange world, serving our descendents as teachers and trainers. Join our order, and learn our ways, then take the fight to the dead! In time, every realm will raise armies of new Nightstalkers and drive the unholy shadow from Aerynth once and for all. I only pray that it is not too late.

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