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CHAPTER IV

Shaharzahd


MASI presents a Live Action Adventure Epic!    A great kingdom has been destroyed by the forces of darkness.    Now the Exiles must survive and adapt to foreign lands while seeking to restore their home and defeat the shadow that threatens to engulf their world. Exile is a Live Action Roleplaying Game, aka Larp, meaning that you get to live the adventure!   This includes costumes, sets, props, real time action and safe but exciting physical combat.  Win honor and glory on the field of battle, seek lost treasures, unravel ancient lore and puzzles, test your cunning and agility against fiendish challenges!



The Exile Saga

The First Age was one of mystery. None can say with certainty what folk ruled then, or what kingdoms rose and fell, for all that remains are ruins and legends. The world was covered in vast and ancient forest, remnants of which still clothe the islands. At the end of the first age came the Shattering, as the land sank and the world became known as Oceanus, a sphere with two polar continents and between them only scattered islands.

The Second Age was one of Empire. Elves multiplied and colonized the islands. They, and their magic flourished, and the Elven court was splendid beyond all knowing in these lesser days. But the elves grew weak and divided, and humans proliferated. At first humans served elves, but soon the warrior race was not content with service. Severa, human general of the Elven armies, swept away the last Elven emperor, and ruled as a usurper. Her lineage did not survive her disappearance, and a new Shattering occurred, as civil war engulfed the Elven isles.

A Third Age dawned, as new powers emerged from the wreckage. Foremost among these was Northumbria, a kingdom born of many peoples, where all races were welcomed. Northumbria became a new center of trade and learning, and guarded by her mighty fleets and legions of Knights, it seemed that she was destined to lead the world to a new era of justice and prosperity. Alas, this was not to be. Northumbria soon came into conflict with Kargad, Citadel of Sorcerers, the brooding, ancient power of the north even the Elves feared. At first, it seemed that Northumbria would triumph, for Kargad could not match the valor of her warriors. But then Kargad struck back with magic on a scale never before seen. The skies above Northumbria darkened, and from the very land itself emerged creatures of nightmare. Folk went mad or were slain by unholy things in the darkness. In less than a month it was apparent that the Horror, as it came to be called, could not be withstood, and the Northumbrians fled their kingdom in small, desperate bands. Those that evaded the forces of Kargad settled where they could, and strove to start new lives.

After the Horror came the Hunters. Terrible constructs of darkness and magic, they pursued the Northumbrians, slaying teachers and leaders, sewing madness and fear. Some seemed to have the power to strip the very minds of their victims of the memories of old Northumbria, as if Kargad’s goal was not just to destroy Northumbria, but to make it as if the kingdom had never existed. Deeds of valor unnumbered were done in those desperate days, and most were futile. But the Exiles, as they came to be known, survived and Kargad’s attacks abated.

Now a century has passed, and the Exiles have rebuilt and grown strong again. Small bands of folk gather for new adventures. Though the scattered Exiles have little in common now, they share an overriding goal- victory and a return to Northumbria. To this end they seek out the magic and lore of old, honing their skills and preparing for the battle that will decide if the Third Age is to be remembered as one of Light or Darkness...

 
The Exile Saga



Exile I - Lanka  (1998-2002)
In which the Exiles of Northumbria brave the lands of the Samurai and discover the true nature of their enemy.




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Some say the Fourth Age began in the year 995 when the Bellsong Company, some of the bravest adventurers of Northumbria, returned to the lost homeland. What they saw there has been mostly lost, but they retreated to a safe haven in the northern Quan Empire on the island of Lanka, and called on other Northumbrians to join them to unravel the puzzles they discovered. When other adventurers traveled to join them, they arrived to find the Bellsong slain by Kargad Hunters. Despite this the new arrivals, who included such famous companies as the 5th Column, the Knights of Mawr, the Hand of Kanat, The company of the Wayward Soul and many others, persevered. It was difficult, at best, to live among the Quan, an ordered society that looked upon all outsiders as uncouth barbarians.
 In time they were able to learn that the destruction of the Bellsong had been engineered by ancient forces of the Adversary, the dark force behind the Kargad, including hunters who had lain dormant on the isle for centuries. A local Quan Lord, the Prince Abbot Ishido, was found to be the mind behind the forces of evil on the island - and more, it was found that he held the Phoenix, the servant of Dacia and protector of Northumbria, captive. Forging an alliance with the Quan Governor, the northumbrians defeated Ishido and freed the phoenix, though many of the treasures of the Bellsong were never found. The Quan of Lanka came to be grateful to the Northumbrians for they brought new ideas that revitalized the island, though what effect this had on the larger Quan Empire cannot be ascertained for certain.
It was during this time that an expedition to the Mounds of Mawr unearthed ancient histories that made it clear that there was an enemy of the Adversary, a Graven Light that struggled against it, and that the knowledge to defeat the adversary was graven on four great Monoliths - the Vernal Stone, the Summer Stone, the Autumn Stone and the Winter Stone.

Exile II - Borderlands (2003)
In the forests of the  Savage North, the seeds of a new beginning


Borderlands




Many Northumbrians settled on Lanka, but others journeyed to the North, to the lands of the Eight Cities League. A Northumbrian merchant house had struck a bargain with the city of Slipper on the Water - warriors to guard their borders in exchange for timber and supplies to build a new Northumbrian Fleet. The hardy northumbrians battled the barbarians of the North for a full year, led by the resourceful Hoyt's Crew corsairs, and the fleet was built. It was found that the barbarians were descendants of the ancient Quan, and that they had in their keeping pieces of a tablet that carried a rune of terrible power - an Elder Sign. The sign was given into the keeping of Rethrian, the ghost of the Nethramancer of the Bellsong.
In the larger world, the flames of war spread and leapt high. The Reptiledom of Samur, the empire of the lizard folk, moved north, conquering the rogue city of Ilmar and many other lands. Kargad stirred in the north, making war upon Northumbrian outposts and any who stood with them. It seemed that the world might be drowned in a tide of blood by the powers of these two Empires. However, documents found by northumbrians had made it clear that Kargad's aim was nothing less than conquest of the world for their dark Master, and many smaller nations banded together in a loose alliance known as the League to fight for their freedom.

Exile III - Shrouded Sea  (2004-2005)
A Voyage through the Mists reveals the Secrets of the Ages

Shrouded Sea



Calculations had revealed that the Summer Stone was somewhere in the unknown Mist shrouded seas. Using the newly built ships of the Fleet, a band of adventurers sailed into the Mists, returning two years later after rescue by the Phoenix. They returned with tales of a bizarre land of Artifice and Machines, but most importantly they returned with the text of the Summer Stone, which outlined several ways in which the Adversary might be defeated.
Based on the text of the summer stone, an expedition was planned to Achnar, an isle of ancient ruins inhabited only by spiders, where, it was believed, at least one of the conditions for defeat of the Adversary could be fulfilled. Alas, the expedition was attacked by hordes of spiders and Golumns, and was not able to explore the ruins.


Exile IV - Shaharazahd   (2008 - 2010)
Beyond the Gates of the World, the End of every Story is the Beginning of Another

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    New expeditions were planned, most notably to the deep southern Continent, where, it was calculated, the Vernal Stone could be found. The sultan of Al-Cordoba, and the Child Empress of the Quan lent their support, and an outpost has been established deep in the forests of the south, so far south that the climate, instead of being hot as expected on the southern climate, is cooler and more temperate, more woodland than jungle. The only settlement in the area was a Quan Colony - Murasame - believed to have been founded by followers of the evil prince Abbot Ishido, but apparently honoring the decree of the Child Empress to aid the northumbrians - at least as far as transporting them to the outpost.
    Upon arriving at the outpost of Shaharazahd, the Hundred Tribes attacked the Northumbrians with great ferocity.    Though they were able to repel the initial attack by a tribe known as the Khuru, the situation was bleak.   The Tribes were ruled by an unchangeable Law, a Law that could not be spoken, and that could only be understood.    It seemed that this law demanded that all outsiders be driven out or slain.    Led by the Rakshasa, mightiest of the tribes, a vast army gathered to destroy the Northumbrians.    The Northumbrians fought a desperate battle to hold out until sunset, when the "Moon of Peace", a taboo the hundred Tribes would not break, would begin.    The sun set as the Rakashasa and the Northumbrians battled to a stalemate.    Having won a short breathing space, the adventurers learned that if they could gain an "Eidolon", one of the Hundred Sacred Standards, they would become a tribe, and thus both bound and protected by Tribal Law.     They were able to secure not one, but two Eidolons, formerly held by the tribes known as "The Hooded Ones" and the "Nuntoo".     Although this saved them from annihalation, it meant they had to participate in Tribal Traditions such as the Moon of Games and the Moon of War while attempting to locate the Vernal Stone.    This they did, despite Kargad's interference, reading upon it the orgins of the ancient conflict between Light and Darkness.    Now they prepared for the "Day of Days" spoken of in prophecy, the final battle with an enormous Kargad Army.   Some rallied the might of the Hundred Tribes for the battle.   Some sought to awaken a "Third Spirit", the grey child of light and darkness, whose power could shape the future.   The most daring of the Northumbrians sought to rebuild a fallen Hunter and turn it against its masters.    At last the day arrived, and the Hundred Tribes and forces of Kargad clashed in an epic battle.   At the height of the conflict, the Northumbrians brought together their two Eidolons, violating the ultimate Taboo of the Hundred Tribes, and unleashing a wave of energy that destroyed the Kargad Army.    As darkness fell, a portal opened to the dread monoliths known as the Place of Black Stones.    There the Northumbrians assembled the Elder Signs, shutting out the Shadow.   But as they did so, a messenger with glowing red eyes cursed them, declaring that the next struggle would be within their hearts.   And its words were true, for that very night Northumbrian slew Norhumbrian in a petty quarrel over a broken drum, and the seeds of future woe were sewn.  
    But such days were far ahead, and our heroes returned at last to Northumbria, their home, to purge it of the lingering taint of the Shadow, and to receive the accolades of their Twin Monarchs.


The Exile Campaign has Ended.    To all that made this shared epic possible, players and staff alike, a huge thank you.    To convey all the wonder, battle, adventure and humor of the Exile Saga would take a hundred books, and this page is but the briefest overview of a story spanning thirteen years, with over 100 characters, over 100 days of live action roleplaying, and over 2000 pages of lore.   May it never be forgotten.   




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