The day has finally come. We have the final Winds of War for E1 2023!
Not going to lie, this is the one I was really waiting for, so let’s take a look, shall we?
The Vallorn are a horrifying creation of a lost empire, Terunael. In fact, it was their creation which destroyed that once mighty empire. As well as spawning terrifying tree monsters, they give off a miasma that makes warriors weaker, and if they are killed within the poisonous gas cloud, then the people are forced to return as plant zombies. Plant zombies that, studies have shown, still hold the person’s soul trapped within them.
Understandably, people have been fighting to destroy the Vallorn for as long as it has existed. That fight is the basis for much of the lore of the Navaar nation, though it was mostly limited to drawing off the magic maintaining the Vallorn through the use of the trods until the Empire was created.
Now that the Empire has shown itself to be adventurous and bold, the Summer Eternal Rhianos is offering up the final use of their magic cauldron to grant the warriors of the Empire immunity to the miasma so that they can fight their way through the Vallorn of Broceliande to see what lies within the heart. After this mission, the cauldron’s power is spent, but the steading of the Broch will be keeping it as a relic to commemorate the occasion.
First, the warriors of the Empire work to clear out some pockets of Druj, who have escaped to Broceliande after their disastrous last few seasons. The Great Forest Orcs helped with this as they lived for a time in Broceliande, seeking refuge from the Druj’s control of the Barrens.
Second, the Heirs of Terunael are taken care of. They too have had a bad time of it lately, so there aren’t as many as there once were. But there is still danger in the ruins they have left behind. Some of it is the usual stuff that turns up in buildings abandoned in the miasma, ettercaps and hulks and such. But in one abandoned steading there is something much scarier found. A herald of the Spring Eternal Yawnagrah has made the place it’s nest, filling the corridors and cellars with roots and branches that attack anything that comes into reach. When the warriors make it down to where the heart of it is found they are attacked by a monstrous tree like creature with a maw of broken wooden teeth in it’s middle and numerous living heads that spout Heir of Terunael propaganda amidst the screams. Once the thing is defeated it is determined that those heads likely belonged to magicians who had made a pact with Yawnagrah for immortality. The roots and branches that once filled the building die off pretty quickly after the central tree is killed, and without their support the structure starts to fall apart.
Third, the Vallorn itself. Unfortunately, getting to the heart of the Vallorn isn’t easy. There are hoards of husks and terrible beasts, some of which seem to have gained a pinch of sentience and heal one another as they work together to fight the warriors who push through them. There are also the “Gardens of Abomination” which cluster around spring regios. Everyone who sees what is inside will have nightmares about it, but they also get fruit that gives those that eat them spring powers like added magical strength or miraculous healing. Not sure I would eat fruit from a Vallorn but some people are weird like that.
There are some winter regio that the explorers can use to rest and hide from the Vallorn, but the best safe haven is found a half day’s march away from the Vallorn heart. This is an ancient weirwood grove that is surrounded by hoards of vallorn creatures, but once the adventurers breach that donut of murder plants they find a tranquil sanctuary free of any Vallorn corruption. There is some evidence of ancient inhabitants, but it has been destroyed by time the only remnants rusted iron and tarnished bronze.
AND a singing stone. According to the heralds of Rhianos it is “The last singing stone, protected from the years and the malice of the vallorn by the voices of the trees.” The Navaar will not be leaving it behind, instead they work together to pull it from the weirwood grove and through the ring of monsters and then the miles upon miles of Vallorn outside that.
But that taken care of, the only thing left is to take on the lost city of Terunael itself.
Thanks to all the destruction from the Vallorn there isn’t any problem getting past the walls. On the other hand the miasma is so thick here that it is visible as a dense green fog, a fog that often hides the monsters that live there. These monsters are horribly strengthened by being so close to the heart, at this point it becomes easier to sneak around them than fight.
But there are interesting things to find, a surprising amount of architecture has survived the centuries, and some of those buildings are weird. There are clearly some archaeologists along because they are determined to be of unknown ritualistic use which is the get out of jail free term for the profession. One particularly interesting building is what appears to be a runeforge much like the ancient one found under Gildenheim, it is even covered in Wintermark Runes.
As to what people see when they reach the true heart of the Vallorn, the Wind doesn’t say. Apparently we’ll just have to ask people who went there. Ugh, it’s almost like this is a roleplaying game rather than a novel or something.
Anway, the winter curse on Broceliande that has made the Vallorn sleepy still holds strong, but with Winter coming the magic of the cauldron is running out, so the adventurers have to make a swift escape.
So now we come to the loot section of the Wind of War. There are two parts for this section though, one standard prize that everyone who went along will get and a second prize that you must pick from three options.
Let’s start with the standard part first.
If you went on this raid you will definitely get;
- 15 random measures of forest resources
- 17 random herbs
- A consumable made from the weird fruit found in the “Gardens of Abomination”, there are a few different varieties but more info will be forthcoming in a future Wind of Fortune
If you went on this raid you will also be in with a chance of getting;
- Relics of previous adventurers who died, Heirs of Terunael, or from the city of Terunael itself
- 1 of 20 rings of Illium that will be randomly assigned to units that went on the raid
And if you are a Highborn Congregation owner who helped out then you will also get 5 random herbs in thanks.
There is also a lot of knowledge returning, the Advisor to the Vallorn will be getting a bunch of interesting stuff about the Heirs of Terunael that was found in the ruins, plus the Singing Stone should represent some new info about the history of Navaar. But most importantly if the Great Library of Hercynia does get built then 6 months will be taken off the research time on the big Vallorn project.
Then the extra stuff
There are three paths a player can choose to take with their character, you cannot take more than one. You need to email in to PD to tell them which your character did, if you don’t then they will assume you are just taking the first option below (if you do want to take the first option then it might be good to leave it and let them do that since it will reduce the number of emails they get).
- The Sanctuary Grove (the basic one) – Your character made it to the weirwood grove outside the city, you get a wain of weirwood to take home with you.
- The Gardens of Abomination – Your character went to a horribly corrupted Vallorn “garden” and came home with 5 “chaos fruits” that were grown there, they come in different kinds so keep an eye out for a future Wind of Fortune that will tell us more about them.
- The Heart of Corruption – You went all the way into the Heart of Terunael and all you got was a sheet of lore and info in your player pack! OK, OK, I joke, because this is the one I would go for if I had gone on this raid. Sadly I play a farmer and so my character was stuck at home fixing flood damage.
Finally, there is some weird stuff that might have stuck to your character once they got home
- The mission was unbelievably dangerous, even with the curse on the Vallorn and the boost from the cauldron. Anyone who wants to can email in to PD and change their resource to one of the same rank in their home region and say that it was because a big scary monster killed everyone.
- Speaking of the cauldron, drinking a magic onion soup might have lingering effects. If you want to you can roleplay that you are “filled with the vigour of youth. Nothing seems impossible to you; the more risky an endeavour the more it excites you.” As long as you roleplay this you have a bonus hero point that you can use. It will be the first one used so you cannot hang onto it and once winter is over it will be gone.
- And then there is the fact that you were running around in a whole bunch of spring magic for a couple of months. If you were unlineaged before you can take up the Briar lineage, just email in to PD. If you were already a Briar then you can use this to up the amount of trappings you have and even add some flowers. This can be a temporary thing if you want, but it can also be permanent.
And that is it. Apologies for the mammoth post but the original Wind of War is more than 6000 words so there is only so much condensing you can do.
As always feel free to share this to anyone you think might benefit from a more straightforward explanation of what happened, and if this is your first event and you haven’t bought your ticket yet maybe try using my code? You will get some money off and I will get money off the next time I buy some tickets.
My code – 8086.14984
Looking forward to seeing you on the field,