As Related By Ashton of Yew
Addendum by Sir Arthur of Valoria
The Stranger and the Triad of Evil
Little is known of the our world before recorded history. The bones of Zog speak of an ancient, primeval people, whose curiosity and recklessness would be their undoing. Other tales speak of the ancient elven race, ruling over lands suffused in magic. These elven nations were already in decline by the rise of Mondain, and Exodus would prove their final undoing. Still more esoteric texts tell of the cyclops race ruling primaeval world, before being driven underground by the nascent human realms.
In the earliest days recorded by historians, our ancestors lived in the lands known as Sosaria. In those times Sosaria was little more than a collection of eight feuding city-states, each with its own ruler and customs.
The Tale that is known as "The First Age of Darkness"
In these times a great wizard emerged in Sosaria. His name was Mondain, and his pride was equal to his power. Mondain's father, Wolfgang, a powerful and well respected mage in his own right, as well as King of Akalabeth, had refused to share the secret of immortality with his son and their quarrel over this eventually led to the father's death.
Perhaps in false retribution, Mondain turned his anger and frustration upon the hapless kingdoms of Sosaria. Hundreds died as Mondain rained death and destruction upon Sosaria, and all the rulers could do was watch helplessly. At this time Lord British was ruler of just the city-state of Britain, and it was through his courage alone that Mondain had been driven from Akalabeth, the lands around the city-state of Britain.
But Mondain was fast gaining ascendance over the eight city-states of Sosaria. It was then that the wise Lord British sent forth a plea for a hero to step forward and vanquish Mondain. The saviour who answered Lord British's call would later become the Avatar, and crossed the lands in search of Mondain, finally defeating him in his tower, smashing his Gem of Immortality.
For some inexplicable reason, Mondain's death and the Gem's destruction caused more distress to Sosaria. Three quarters of the lands simply disappeared, leaving Lord British's lands as the only remaining continent. It is possible, however that the Gem's destruction had other, more far reaching consequences...
The Tale that is known as "The Revenge of the Enchantress"
The peace that the Stranger ushered inby defeating Mondain lasted but a few precious years until a new threat came to take its place. For by slaying Mondain, the Stranger brought down the vengeance of Minax, Mondain's apprentice and child bride. This sorceress had powers even Mondain would never even have dreamed of and brought misery to Sosaria as she unleashed legions of foul creatures upon the land. Even the home world of Lord British and the Stranger was not safe, Minax tearing up the foundations of time and space in her mad quest for revenge.
Eventually the hero returned, utilizing for the first time the moongates. Travelling to the Time of Ages the Stranger confronted Minax and slew her with the Quicksword Enlino. The resulting chaos and upheaval served to muddle the history of this age even further, and it is now impossible to know the correct turn of events, or even if they happened at all.
The Tale that is known as "Exodus"
The tranquility that should have emerged with Mondain and Minax's death was not to be realised, for no one in all of Sosaria could have realised that the deaths of Minax and Mondain would result in the orphaning of their only child.
The diary of Minax had been found in the wreckage of castle Shadowguard. The writings hinted that Minax and Mondain had been lovers, and produced an offspring, but little more. This unusual prodigy was known as Exodus, a thing neither man nor machine. Rising from the bottom of the Great Ocean, Exodus undertook a vast and diabolical plan for revenge. He even wrenched the Great Earth Serpent from the Void to guard his dwelling on the Isle of Fire.
Eventually, the vanquisher of Mondain and Minax returned to put an end to the last of their line. To the Stranger's surprise, so great was Exodus' demonic powers that he could not face the creature alone. Enlisting the aid of the enigmatic Timelord, the Stranger finally destroyed Exodus, just as he had dealt with its mother and father years earlier.
The Rise of the Virtues
With the defeat of Exodus and the final end of the Triad of Evil, Sosaria finally emerged from the ashes. The final forces of evil are defeated in a vast battle on the Bloody Plains. Thousands of soldiers died on both sides in the conflict. After this bloody conflict, setting aside their differences, the people who had survived Exodus' onslaught united together under the sovereign rule of Lord British, forming the Kingdom of Britannia.
The Tale that is known as "The Quest of the Avatar"
The lands flourished and were prosperous and Lord British sent forth a call for one to show the way of spiritual growth and virtue. The very same hero who had dealt with the Triad of Evil answered this call and underwent the ordeal of the Avatar, entering the Stygian Abyss and emerging with the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom. It was then that the hero finally earned the title of 'Avatar'.
The Tale that is known as "Warriors of Destiny"
Not even the Avatar could have predicted the what was to come. The removal of Codex from the Abyss caused a series of tremors which opened up a vast and unexplored region known as the Underworld. These tremors also set in motion a chain of events which led to the release of the three Shadowlords from the shards of Mondain's Gem. Lord British set out with his entourage to explore the Underworld but was captured by these foul beings and held prisoner in their dungeon. Empowered by this deed the Shadowlord's seized the mind Lord British's regent, Lord Blackthorn, making him into their puppet.
Denied Lord British's wisdom and compassion, the Kingdom of Britannia quickly grew oppressive and cruel, governed by Lord Blackthorn's new system of ethics.
It was this time that the Avatar's two closest friends, Iolo, and Shamino saw the desperate situation before them and brought the Avatar into Britannia. After a series of vicious tests and battles the Avatar finally slew the Shadowlords and released Lord British. In his mercy Lord British spared the life of Blackthorn, exiling him from Britannia for ever. (Though British would live to regret his kindness.)
However Lord British's escape from the Underworld caused a series of destructive earthquakes, causing the great cavernous area to collapse on itself.
The Tale that is known as "The False Prophet"
The tremors that shook Britannia after the collapse of the Underworld had unforeseen consequences. The lands on the other side of the world, home to a race known as the Gargoyles, were virtually destroyed. In desperation the gargoyles attacked Britannia, seizing shrines and other places of note. The gargoyles even set a trap for the Avtar, luring them into their land to assassinate him but the plan was foiled by the Avatar's companions, who rescued him and returned him to Britannia where Lord British set him on the task of resolving the violent racial conflict. It was eventually discovered that the Codex was actually the gargoyle's possession to begin with.
Therefore, the Avatar placed the great book in the Void, where it would be possessed by neither gargoyle or human. Two lenses were fashioned to view the Codex, one being given to Lord British, and the other to the gargoyle leader King Draxinusom. The conflict resolved both races were able to co-exist fairly peacefully from then on.
The Tale that is known as "The Stygian Abyss"
In the years that followed, the Avatar returned only once, a few decades after the gargoyle invasion. Falsely accused of kidnapping Princess Ariel, daughter of Baron Almric, the Avatar was banished to the Stygian Abyss, with Ariel's rescue his only way to prove his innocence. Upon discovering her, however, he discovered the incident was much deeper than a simple kidnapping. The wizard Tybalt had summoned a great daemon known as the Slasher of Veils into Britannia and had planned to control him. His plan failing, the Avatar was forced to kill Tybalt before banishing the daemon to the Void.
This action caused a great cataclysm which once and for all destroyed Britannia's Great Stygian Abyss.
The Invasion of the Guardian
Following the conflict with the Gargoyles there was an extended period, nearly two centuries, of peace and complacency. This time saw a huge growth in the towns and general population, but sadly, also an increase in the social evils, pollution, sexism and racism, greed and so on. In these times a new philosophical group emerged in Britannia.
This group, known as the 'The Fellowship', espoused a set of values that they claimed to be the solution to the world's problems.
Britannians flocked to this new way of living, trying to escape their problems.
On a darker note a wave of ritualistic murders were sweeping the lands, causing panic among citizens and an incurable disease seemed to be striking the mages, deluding their minds. This, coupled with the general decay of the reliability of moongates and magic in general appeared to signal the end of the Britannia of old.
The Tale that is known as "The Black Gate"
The Avatar returned to Britannia soon after this, this time without summons, because no one could see the threat which loomed over Britannia. Aided by his erstwhile companions the Avatar travelled the length and breadth of Britannia, eventually exposing the Fellowship for what it really was.
A malevolent and greed-filled other-world entity known as "The Guardian" was attempting to enter Britannia, and he was using The Fellowship as his tool in this goal. The Fellowship was building a massive gate of Blackrock through which the Guardian planned to enter and conquer Britannia.
The Avatar uncovered the Fellowship's dark acts, and solved the murders for which they were responsible. Penetrating the order's fortress on the Isle of the Avatar, the Avatar challenged the very heart of the evil. There, he destroyed the Black Gate and defeated the Fellowship's leaders, save Batlin, who escaped.
The Tale that is known as "The Labyrinth of Worlds"
After the destruction of the Black Gate, the Guardian attempted to conquer Britannia a second time. Using his immense powers he sealed Castle British in a dome of Blackrock, and in it, trapped Lord British, the Avatar, and other leaders of Britannia. With these out of the way, the Guardian made preparations for an invasion.
Luckily for us, the prison was not as impenetrable as the Guardian thought. Through a gem that had appeared in the castle sewers, the Avatar was able to travel to other worlds already under the Guardian's power. Enlisting the help of others he managed to discover a weakness in the Guardian's spell, destroying the blackrock just as the Guardian's army attacked. With the aid of King Draxinusom and his gargoyles, the Avatar was able to defeat the Guardian for a second time.
The Tale that is known as "The Serpent Isle"
Six months later the Avatar left to pursue the Guardian's minion Batlin to another land, called the Serpent Isle. This new land turned out to be the remnants of the Lands of Danger and Despair, thought lost after the days of Mondain.
Not long after the Avatar departed Britannia, great magical storms, coupled with strange sicknesses began to tear across Lord British's lands, seemingly heralding the end of the world. The Avatar, however, bravely trekked across a land in which he was unknown, to discover the answer to this mystery. Discovering a grave imbalance between Order and Chaos, an imbalance that was endangering Britannia, the Avatar set out to rectify the problem.
Batlin, did not fall at the Avatar's hands - he was slain by his own master, the Guardian, for his failure to destroy the Avatar. The Avatar eventually triumphed but the success led to the demise of one of his friends, Sir Dupre. As the great cosmic balance slipped back into alignment the Guardian seized the Avatar, and cursed him for ruining another of his plots. In cruel retribution he extracted a terrible punishment.
The Tale that is known as "Pagan"
In unheard of fury the Guardian banished the Avatar to the prison world of Pagan, a sunless world dominated by the Guardian's four titan servants. Finding himself in an alien hostile environment with no allies, friends or even place to sleep, the Avatar was close to despair. But showing enormous fortitude he stood up to the Guardian's punishment, exploring the world, learning more of it. With the aid of magic he learnt from various factions the Avatar was able to challenge and best the four titans, escaping Pagan.
From there I know no more of what became of the Avatar but shortly after the Avatar's banishment to Pagan, the Guardian invaded Britannia. As corruption spread through the land, the wise Lord British retreated to the solitude of his castle and over time the land changed to reflect its new master - The Guardian.
Nowadays, Britannia is a sorry site. Nowhere is free from the Guardian's influence. The rivers run red, as if choked by blood and sky burns like fire. The shrines and great Castles are in ruins, the towns oppressed. The Isle of the Avatar, once testimony to our greatest hero has sunk from sight, an indication of how far we have fallen from the Avatar's influence.
Eight great columns have sprung up near the eight ancient and evil dungeons, and these columns have perverted the Avatar's virtues into something despicable. The quisling, Lord Blackthorn, was returned to Britannia by the Guardian, and even now gathers an army, the Wyrmguard, with which he hopes to claim the throne. The people have but one hope, the hope that the Avatar is not dead, and will return to save us.
In my dedication to the Avatar's memory I have come into opposition with the corrupt and unjust folk that know inhabit Yew. In accordance with their new law I have been exiled to the dungeon Wrong, and left to die. My end is near, but there is more I must write.
The Tale that is known as "Ascension"
What follows is not history, but more a prophecy, or a foretelling of what is to come. If the Avatar survives, and does return to Britannia he will be faced with a task unlike any he has faced before. His enemy, the Guardian has amassed huge amounts of power from the conflict and it will take the Avatar much to defeat him. What worries me most, however, is the outcome of such a battle. With two such entities battling one on one the backlash could be enough to destroy Britannia...
This above document was found deep in the catacombs of Wrong, shortly after Lord British ordered his soldiers to shut the prison down for good. It seems to chronicle the history of our fair land, and does so quite admirably, with a thoroughness I have rarely seen. Still, it finishes abruptly, expectant of the return of the Avatar. In these past years much has happened, so much in fact, that I feel compelled to add to this document. When it is complete, perhaps I will show it to Sir Geoffrey himself!
- Sir Arthur of the Valorian Knights
In the end: Victory.
The Avatar neutralized the columns of the Guardians, and, protected by the virtues, he traveled to Terfin to face his nemesis once and for all. What happened in that final confrontation remains unknown, but the power of the Guardian in Britannia seemed broken forever. The citadel in Terfin crumbled, and a great light shone from its ruins. The columns, long symbols of the Guardian's might, disintegrated under their own weight, and the last vestiges of their hold on the people dissipated.
Lord British rallied his soldiers: fighters from Valoria, paladins from Trinsic, war-wizards from Moonglow, rangers who survived the destruction of Skara Brae; and, in a glorious echo of the end of the Age of Darkness, this Army of Light rooted out and destroyed the remnants of the Guardian's followers. The pitiful remnants of the Wyrmguard fled, and never again rose to challenge Lord British.
With his apparent sacrifice, the Avatar has saved Britannia in its darkest hour. Memorials were placed throughout the realm, and a new holiday, "The Day of Ascension" was born, commemorating the date of the Guardian's final defeat.
The cost had been terrible: Thousands were dead, the city of Skara Brae in ruins and the gargoyle race had been all but wiped out.
Lord Draxinusom's successor, Vasagralem, led the pitiful remnants of the once proud people: comprised out of a variety of outcasts and misfits. Only those who had been banished from the glorious city of Ambrosia had survived, along with a single female: Primani.
But then, just as suddenly, the entire gargoyle race disappeared. There were rumours they had escaped to another world, far from the humans who had caused them so much pain.
And so, another painful reminder of the Avatar disappeared from Britannia.
There was one human, however, for whom the Avatar's legacy would live on.
Raven, last companion of the Avatar, received an epiphany: She claimed that the Avatar spoke to her still. She also claimed that the Guardian was not defeated, and that the Avatar battled him still.
Raven set off for Britain to convince the ruling council that they were needed by the Avatar, but her claims were dismissed quickly. None wished to contemplate the idea that the Guardian lived, and Raven could offer no proof to her claims. Even the eight companions of the Avatar doubted her claims. After months of closed doors and refusals of help, she appeared to end her attempts to convince Britannia's elite, and began to proselytize to the common folk.
After abandoning the idea of gaining support from Britain, she took to touring the countryside alone, spreading the word to every town and settlement across all of Britannia. It was a grueling task, and support grew slowly.
After over a decade of tireless campaigning, Raven and her followers, a scant few hundred, began the preparations for the next stage: They planned to cross over to a new realm; a realm Raven claimed was the battleground between the Guardian and the Avatar.
On the day of departure, Raven led the way, to be followed shortly after by hundreds of her followers. They disappeared, never to return to Britannia.
What became of those erstwhile colonists? Did they ever reach "Alucinor"? Or were they killed following nothing but a dream of a girl whose mind was lost with her love? Many searched for "Raven's Lost", as they became known, but they were never found.