BNN: Acruvir Falls!
Donovan, Reporter Sep 11 2000 4:53PM
Seemingly unrelated events converged, and sparked a massive battle recently. Interested in the happenings up to this point, I pursued many sources in an attempt to discover what has actually been happening these last months.
The trouble began some months ago, when Sir Gilbert, a knight of the Order of the Silver Serpent, led an expedition into the depths of Deceit, to destroy the Evil gathering there. The large group, which apparently had gathered after a Trinsic Smith failed to discredit the knight, fought past undead into the chasm chamber of Deceit. There they did battle with the unknown being that was gathering power there. Unfortunately, after a hard-pressed battle, Sir Gilbert failed, and the creature escaped. This is thought to be the first known sighting of Acruvir in recent memory, although it is not certain. Those few I managed to locate could not give a specific description of the creature. Sir Gilbert, himself, died under mysterious circumstances some weeks after the expedition, as did the Smith who attempted to discredit him.
Shortly after this incident, trouble began in the Moonglow cemetery. Many times, often several times a day, the citizens of Moonglow gathered to clear the crypts of undead. Seemingly leading the hordes was an astoundingly powerful Lich, who was revealed to be named Acruvir, though this had no significance at the time. After many weeks of fear, and violence, a small group of farmers from the south of Verity Isle led a band of warriors to the graveyard. There they struck down Acruvir, and burnt his body. The undead attacks subsided almost immediately, but did not cease. I attempted to reach the peasants who gathered and organized the group. Unfortunately, I found that they had been murdered at about the same time as Sir Gilbert, and in a nearly identical fashion.
During and after the attacks on Moonglow, many independent establishments and smaller cities throughout Britannia were raided repeatedly. These attacks were marked by undead, reapers, and an abundance of ravens, which would settle about the area, and pick apart the dead. These ravens seem to be the only link between these seemingly motiveless acts of violence and the rest of the troubles facing the realm. Rumors persist of a talking Raven, though this is likely a product of too much ale.
It is unclear when the difficulties between Moonglow and Nujel’m began, as the authorities are being rather tight-lipped about it. The specific incidents are far too numerous to list, here, but minor skirmishes seemed to escalate of their own accord. Negotiations broke down upon several occasions, often due to the murder of a diplomat, or a raid against either city or its interests, that seemed to implicate the other. Diplomats from both sides agree that the troubles had become so bad, that war was nearly inevitable. Because of the connections the cities maintain, any official war would likely draw in other cities, creating a war the likes of which have not been seen since the time of Lord Robere. I managed to locate Teleburiel within the ruins of an ancient Monastery, where a battle was fought the night before. The man is a Demonhunter, and was at the center of the previous day’s events, which may have averted disaster. I interviewed him, in an attempt to shed some light on the situation between Nujel’m and Moonglow.
Donovan: What led you to become involved in this series of events?
Teleburiel: I am a demonhunter. ‘Tis my duty to thwart the efforts of such beings. I saw in this their work. With the aid of many, we were able to stop it.
Donovan: Demonic influence? What made you think that this was anything more than diplomatic difficulty?
Teleburiel: The war served no purpose. Such things begin for a reason, even if that reason is a small and petty one. The root of this conflict was in these incidents, which seemed to be planned to cause the most damage to both cities. In the event of a war, neither city would benefit. Indeed, the result would be mutual destruction. Such a thing would not be the product of a rational mind. Therefore, it must be either a madman, or a demon responsible.
Donovan: Then Demons are irrational?
Teleburiel: Nay, but they are not rational, either. Attempting to understand a demon by equating its actions to human qualities, such as rationality or irrationality, is futile. They are what we are not. Perhaps it would be best to think of a demon as something that follows its nature. Not to hunt, not to kill, as an animal, but to wreak evil. Any action upon their part shall serve this goal, for it is all that they know.
Donovan: Then why were you certain that this was not the work of a madman?
Teleburiel: The involvement of Acruvir.
Donovan: You had met him before?
Teleburiel: Aye, I did battle with him many years past, and I thought him destroyed. He guarded the Demonbane Staff, which I now wield.
Donovan: Yet he returned. Could he not have been the insane force behind the war?
Teleburiel: Acruvir was the most direct force behind the war, aye. However, he has served Demons before and I hadn’t, and still do not have, any reason to believe that this had changed. It is unfathomable that Acruvir would have such a powerful artifact as the Demonbane Staff within his possession, and not realize it. Nay, he was undoubtedly charged with guarding it by a demonic master. Perhaps the same one that attempted to start this war.
Donovan: I was under the impression that the direct forces behind the war were Vizier Hareem, of Nujel’m, and Marcus the mage, of Moonglow.
Teleburiel: Hareem was shown to, in fact, be Acruvir. And from what I gather, Marcus was found guarding Acruvir’s Life Charm.
Donovan: Life Charm?
Teleburiel: The means by which Acruvir could return after his destruction, so many times. It was destroyed last night by a force that was sent to find it, whilst I, and others, attempted to destroy Acruvir.
Donovan: Then Hareem and Marcus are dead.
Teleburiel: Hareem, aye. Marcus, however, escaped after the Charm was destroyed. As he helped to lead us to Thurisaz, where we at last defeated Acruvir, I can only surmise that he was under Acruvir’s magical influence. For how long this was the case, I can only guess.
Teleburiel: Here, the Monastery.
Donovan: What was Acruvir doing here?
Teleburiel: I do not know.
Donovan: What do you think will happen to Nujel’m and Moonglow?
Teleburiel: I believe there will no longer be any barrier to a diplomatic solution. It would not surprise me, if this issue resolves itself bloodlessly, within the next few days.
Donovan: So, thy work is done?
Teleburiel: Absolutely not. Acruvir’s master is at this moment, somewhere in Britannia. Though the loss of his minion will surely be a setback, until the Demon is banished it is still a danger to us all. Though the creature’s identity and whereabouts remain a mystery, I am confident that his activities shall eventually become known. And then, with help, some luck, and Virtue as a guide, he shall be banished. Until then, we must be vigilant.
Donovan: Thank you for your time.
Teleburiel’s words ring true, and as this article goes to press, the tensions between Moonglow and Nujel’m have cooled of considerably. Though a small group of radicals continue to push for a war, they have lost much support. A war in the foreseeable future is unlikely. In an interesting twist, Marcus has turned himself in. He is currently awaiting trial on a holding charge of conspiracy to commit murder, but will likely eventually face charges ranging from destruction of public property, to high treason.