This is Part 3 of the Seeds of Destruction "Unfolding the Lore" series from EQLive. It centers around the story of the Battle of Bloody Kithicor:
Two great armies converged on the Kithicor Forest for one of the largest and bloodiest battles in Norrath's history. Lanys T`Vyl, the Child of Hate and Firiona Vie, the Chosen of Tunare brought their armies to Kithicor to wage war for the fate of Antonica.
Firiona's relentless quest to keep the forces of evil at bay had all led to this. If her forces were to fall the fate of her world would belong to the Teir'Dal. Lanys hoped to impress her father Innoruuk, and be the instrument of his hatred against Tunare and all the forces of good.
The forest was littered with camps and defensive structures. To prepare for battle, the dark elves used the Commonlands as a staging ground while the forces of good gathered in the Keep of Highpass Hold.
History records Firiona Vie was the victor of the battle. Defeated, Lanys T`Vyl was rescued when her mentor Laarthik K`Shin used a magical artifact to open a portal to the Plane of Hate so Innoruuk could rescue his daughter. Angry with her failure, he took Lanys to the plane of Hate, where she was continually tortured for years so that the intensity of her hate would become pure.
In Norrath's present, the agents of Discord are attempting to disrupt the battle and change the fate of Firiona and Lanys. Should the histories of these two heroes change the ripples through time would surely be cataclysmic.
Background Story - The Final Battle:
All throughout Antonica, forces prepared for war. Quartermasters scrambled to equip hastily recruited troops. Men both military and mundane trained and practiced diligently for what would surely be a most terrible war. Anyone who could carry a weapon, carried one during those days for none knew when the army of dark elves would advance.
The Teir'Dal likewise prepared. They were confident that they would be successful. Indeed, they had the blessing of Innoruuk and his very daughter Lanys T`Vyl to lead them. Together with her mentor Laarthik K`Shin, the two would lead their great army against the forces of High Keep further increasing the strength of the nation of Teir'Dal and dividing the two cities Qeynos and Freeport, setting up a stranglehold upon the races of light.
The morning was rainy and cold when the dark elves began their march. Lead by Laarthik K`Shin and Lanys T`Vyl, the hordes of Teir'Dal were a consuming fire upon the Commonlands. Platoons of Teir'Dal broke off to crush the rag-tag bands of allied forces that rose to stop their advance. Regardless of the opposition they faced, Lanys and Laarthik pushed forward toward their goal. All around the sounds of war rang out; metal against metal, battle cries and screams of the dying.
As the army approached Kithicor forest, a rear guard was left behind to prevent the advancement of any of the races of light through the Commonlands. It was then that the dark army began to splinter and spread throughout Kithicor forest like a goblet of wine spilled upon a table. Slinking through the forest, a group of 30 Teir'Dal crept into Rivervale. They struck quickly and the peaceful halfling city was occupied and subjugated under the brutal heel of the dark elven oppressors with little or to no resistance. The Teir'Dal raided the shops and took whatever meager wealth the halflings had. Any who protested were quickly struck down by the new rulers of Rivervale.
As the army continued to work its way through the forest, they began to meet with heavier resistance as the allied races of light sprang forth from their hiding places and ambushed the Dark Elves. Battles began to erupt in every corner of the forest. As quickly as a Teir'Dal was struck down, another would come forward to take its place. As soon as a Teir'Dal platoon survived one ambush, they would be ambushed yet again. Both armies were relentless. Neither side knew who was winning. The smell of death and of blood began to replace the usually fragrant smells of the forest.
Lord Tephys, Galeth Veredeth and Firiona Vie waited just outside the entrance to High Pass with the assembled forces of the Paladins of Tunare and all others that were willing to assist them. The situation was very grave. The Teir'Dal army's approach was heralded by a stampede of frightened animals all scurrying in fear of the approaching dark elven menace. It was shortly thereafter that they began to hear the sound of marching boots, the clang of weapons, and the rattle of armor peppered with the occasional scream approaching through the forest.
It was there, near the entrance to High Pass that the leaders of the two armies met, face to face. The forest seemed to groan and the very earth trembled. Cruel laughter was heard echoing through the trees.
Lord Tephys raised his mailed fist into the air and swore aloud, "By the grace of The Mother, you will be stopped Child of Hate! Your cursed army shall go no farther then where I stand."
Lanys's derisive laughter seemed supernaturally loud as it rang out, almost hurting the ears of those around her, "Old fool, you feel such hate for me and in that I am glad. This only proves the strength of my father and his power! However, the hate you feel toward me is nothing compared to the sheer depths of hate I hold toward you and your kind. Prepare to feel the full force of the power that is hate itself!"
And with those words, the two armies clashed. Lanys seemed to close the gap between her and Lord Tephys in but a single leap and struck at the old Paladin with a vicious fury. Like a hammer unto an anvil, Lanys's swords struck again and again against the upraised shield of Lord Tephys. The Paladin struggled valiantly under the harsh blows of the Child of Hate. Her attacks were relentless and only seemed to become more violent as they continued.
Finally, the shield of the old Paladin failed him and Lanys landed a blow squarely upon the aged shoulder of the holy fighter. Dropping his shield, he staggered backward but clutching his wound as it bled freely he whispered for aid from Tunare. A soft blue glow covered his hand as the wound healed and he smiled to himself as he felt the love of The Mother. His smile quickly faded as he looked up to see Lanys's hands glowing as well, a cruel smile upon her face.
Shouting out words in Ancient Teir'Dal, Lanys made a sweeping gesture toward her enemy, great streams of magical energy coursing from her outstretched hands and enveloping the High Elf. Lord Tephys clutched at his chest as his whole body was wracked with incredible pain. Stunned from the sudden and unexpected blow, Lord Tephys failed to block as Lanys struck a final terrible blow. Lord Tephys fell quietly to the ground and into the bosom of the Great Mother.
Meanwhile, across the field, a much different battle was being waged. Two seasoned fighters, leaders of men, and ancient veterans of countless battles squared off against each other. Like a deadly game of chess, Laarthik K`Shin and Galeth Veredeth engaged in a deadly ballet of thrusts and parries. Their skills were at parity, but Laarthik, through the dark power he practiced, had the body of a young man. Galeth on the other hand, though in excellent physical shape for his age, was still very old.
Lowering his guard ever so slightly, Laarthik allowed Galeth to bash him square in the chin with his shield. Striking like a serpent, Laarthik's hand shot forward enveloped in a blaze of fiery magical energy. Stepping inward and snaking his blazing hand under the upraised arm of the High Paladin's shield, Laarthik touched the chest of the Galeth as the fire left the hand of the Teir'Dal and enveloped his mortal enemy.
A cry of shock and pain erupted from the lips of the elder fighter. But with unexpected speed from an old man he quickly jumped back. As he laid his hand upon his blistered and still smoldering skin, the wound disappeared completely though the smell of burning flesh was still heavy in the air.
Galeth smiled briefly at his mortal enemy and laughed, "It appears we are still even, my worthy adversary." Then feigning surprise, he raised his eyebrows and taunted, "Oh wait, I see your lip is bleeding now! Perhaps it is I who have the upper hand!" They resumed their deadly dance.
As Lord Tephys fell Firiona Vie moved to assist him but she quickly realized that she was too late to save her companion. Lanys T`Vyl sprung upon Firiona like a hunting cat after its prey. Firiona was surprised by the uninhibited fury of Lanys T`Vyl and by the sheer strength of her blows. Shifting her weight she dug the side of her foot firmly into the ground in a back stance as she began to parry the fierce thrusts and savage slashes of Innoruuk's chosen.
Again and again, Lanys's weapons struck down upon Firiona's shield and sword. Unlike Lord Tephys, she was able withstand the force of her attacks. She did not forget the training she received from her mentor Galeth. She realized the importance of remaining calm and level headed during combat. Firiona and Lanys were polar opposites on the field of combat. Lanys foamed at the mouth and struck viscously while Firiona was calm, almost relaxed, as she turned aside her blows. Biding her time and saving her strength, Firiona simply parried the blows of Lanys T`Vyl.
Laarthik and Galeth continued their deadly ballet. The body that housed Laarthik's evil soul was young and strong but Galeth's old body was growing weak. Little by little, he felt himself losing his edge. He began to realize that this was a battle that he could not win. He resolved himself to hold off Laarthik for as long as possible, regardless of the outcome.
As Lanys's attack continued against Firiona, the Chosen of Tunare noticed the fury begin to fade just a bit from the dark elf's strikes. In a single fluid motion, the Paladin parried both of her opponents' blades downward with her single sword as she circled swiftly to the side of Lanys. Swinging her shield in a back handed motion as she spun, she struck Lanys brutally in the back of the head, pushing her off balance momentarily.
Though surprised and momentarily dazed by the sudden attack, Lanys regained her composure in time to turn aside the deadly sword thrust that was aimed directly for her midsection. It was from this point forth, that Firiona took the offensive. This time it was she who struck again and again, with Lanys continually backing up under the force of her blows.
Swarms of tiny insects began to swarm around the battle and the ground began to tremble at the Great Mother's displeasure. Firiona seemed to grow in stature and her golden hair began to shine brilliantly as she was filled with the love of the Mother and surrounded by her protection. She waged her battle against the chosen of Innoruuk without mercy, making known the full displeasure of Tunare.
Lanys was becoming weak and faltered under the righteous anger. Her eyes, once a blaze of hate and fury were now glazed and filled with exhaustion. Defending herself grimly, she called out, "Laarthik, please help me!"
Hearing the cry of help from his student and the chosen of his race and god, Laarthik was filled with a new found rage. Roaring like a lion, he drove the pommel of his sword straight across the temple of the tiring Galeth Veredeth. The savage blow was too much for the High Paladin of Tunare. Galeth, for the first time in his long life, fell before an opponent on the field of battle, bleeding and unconscious.
Seeing the gravity of the situation, Laarthik pulled the large glowing blue sphere found by the goblin Nurgal from out of his breastplate. The orb glowed brightly, pulsing and vibrating in Laarthik's hands. The air resonated and hummed with energy. Holding the orb to the sky, he cried out in a strangled voice, "Innoruuk! In the name of Lanys T`Vyl, I beseech you! Attend her!" The energy contained within the orb was released.
The screams of ten thousand damned souls filled the world as an immeasurable power opened a rift in the astral barrier. The hearts of even the most evil and twisted creatures in Norrath were suddenly filled with dread and fear from the terrible miasma of evil that spewed forth from the Plane of Hate.
Laarthik's borrowed body was encased in a pillar of fire emanating from the orb, as the energies of Innoruuk were unleashed. Nothing can withstand the presence of a god and Laarthik's body was quickly torn apart by the terrible power.
Lanys tossed her head and laughed throatily. She shouted out in welcome to the power of Innoruuk. Her body glowed with crimson flame as she was drawn upward by the Prince of Hate, her father. The Child of Hate disappeared into the swirling rift in the sky as the remains of Laarthik crumpled to the ground. A tremendous roar rose up from the very heart of Norrath.
Firiona Vie stared in dismay and shock as Lanys was swept into the Heart of Hate, dread filling her eyes with angry tears. The Chosen of Tunare called out to those around her as her heart was overcome by terror, "Flee! Flee for your lives! Doom approaches!"
Firiona rushed to Galeth's side and cried, "This is a portent of death! None can survive the Hate Innoruuk will cast upon us!" She helped her fallen mentor struggle to his feet and together, they both fled the scene of the calamity.
A vacuous wave of hopelessness and dread withered the souls of all in Kithicor as sight was ripped from their eyes from Innoruuk's presence. Hearts beating rapidly in fear suddenly stopped. In an instant, the terrible clamor of war was replaced by an unnatural silence. All life in the forest, whether dark elf, ally, or animal, was instantly extinguished.
And so ended the Battle of Bloody Kithicor. Both sides suffered terrible losses. The allied forces held what was probably the most sober and somber "victory" party in history at High Pass. The Dark Elves retreated to Neriak. The once quiet, sylvan forest that was filled with relatively peaceful woodland creatures had been forever tainted. To this day, Kithicor is haunted by the restless souls of the fallen soldiers that perished during that terrible war. The world was never the same again.
For more screenshots, check out this posting on EQLive. And for information about the events leading up to the battle: