Greyhawk 636 CY: The Rise of Asmodeus
The Archlich War
The Archlich War
The Archlich, Vecna, had been imprisoned in Ravenloft. Orchestrating the murder of the god Dalt from withing his prison he was able to weaken the walls between the worlds enough to escape. Knowing his escape would not stay secret to the powerful of Oerth he struck quickly. While imprisoned he made sure his hand and eye had corrupted Rary, a member of the powerful Circle of Eight. Rary had betrayed the Circle, killing two of them. He then fled to the Bright Desert and raised one of Vecna’s old towers. Having such a powerful ally in his command let the archlich move swiftly.
He ambushed and absorbed Iuz, claiming his lands for his own. Expanding to the southwest he overtook the city of Chendle. Knowing that it was easier to make undead with Dalt gone, he transformed the entire population into an undead army. Using magic he advanced on the Hellfurnaces to attempt to stop the Heroes of the Key from severing the connection what would allow him to absorb the power of the Mad God. His army was defeated outside of Hollowfaust and later the goddess Leara returned most of the residents of Chendle in her ascension. But the people of the city bear the marks of that dark time till this day…many having horrible nightmares of their time in the service of Vecna.
Never at a shortage for evil servants, in particular with all of Iuz’s armies, the Archlich turned his attention carving a chunk of southern Furyondy so he could attack Veluna while tearing through Tenth to destroy the Theocracy of the Pale.
The Heroes of the Key focused on liberating Geoff and gathering allies for the war who would support Veluna in the main counteroffensive. They were able to infiltrate and help drive the vault of the Drow into Chaos, depriving Vecna of Loth’s allegiance at a critical moment. This also freed many slaves and helped to occupy the Drow for the war.
They also found the exiled god Dorgha Torgu. He had been limited in his abilities and wandered the world as a paladin seeking redemption since he allowed the Rain of Colorless Fire. Convincing the exiled god that redemption could be found in leading the armies of the good nations against Vecna as their general, they set out to find a way to destroy the archlich while he was occupied with the war.
When the Mad God rose the other gods opposed him, but it took all their might to contain him. At one point Nerull stood alone against Tharizdun and was driven mad. His sanity literally torn away. It was cast to the far edge of the multiverse. The Heroes found that some still worshiped the same Nerull and one of those people helped them track down the fragments of his sanity and restore it.
They also embarked on a quest to gather holy symbols of Vecna from the main Alternate Oerths…Aerth, Uerth, Yarth and Earth. Using these they could summon the archlich to Tovag Baragu and try to kill him. A small group of the heroes faced off within the stones using various powerful items:
- The Hammer of Pelor (a Holy Meteor strike summoned by the Emperor of the Isle of Pearls)
- Life Cutter the Scythe of Nerull (wielded by his cleric Grey)
- Mist Keeper (A sword forged in the Dawn Times by Pelor and Nerull to battle the Mad God)and wielded by Gavin, chosen champion of the sentient spirit of Greyhawk City
- The Sword of Kas purified by Zagyg and wielded by Vir, a drow Paladin.
- Valdred, one of the original elven gods who had hidden from the responsibility of godhood for 10,000 years.
- The Alternate Jenna Everdawn; who had the ability to harm vecna
- Simon, who was changed by his exposure to the fragment of Dalt
They faced the archlich at Tovag Baragu while the rest of the group and the armies of good held of Vecna’s army. As Vecna was summoned with the power of all his multiverse versions, Loth betrayed him and used Life Cutter to sever him from access to the greatest of his godlike power. The resulting explosion seemingly killed the Spider Queen.
The Heroes of the Key then engaged the Archlich while the rest of their company fought his armies and his Dracolich general.
They were able to kill Vecna when the Paladin Vir beheaded him after an exhausting battle. It was discovered that Loth was not dead. Early in the exploits of the heroes they saved a young girl who had been turned into her mother’s phylactery. This child was a worshiper of Loth before she became evil…when she was the consort of Corellon, Araushnee. Loth lay in a coma…switching between her identity as the spider queen and Araushnee..the worship of one follower after so long was transforming her. Valdred assumed his renounced godhood and, as Elven god of restoration linked all the elves in a prayer to her as Araushnee. This stabilized her form, although she remains in a coma to this day..now granting spell to the growing good clerics of Araushnee.
With the burning of the Archlich’s remains the war came to an end.