The Battle Against the Darklords

At its Nadir

Beginning in The Jungle of Horrors , the newly ascended Archlord Gnaag has united the remaining Darklords behind him and has ordered for them to amass huge armies...for the conquest of Magnamund. Darkland spies have infiltrated the courts of nations from Vassagonia to Talestria, and now central Magnamund has erupted into a gigantic, full-scale war for survival. During the early days of the new Darklands War, the allied force of Ogia, under Warlord Zegron, overran Talestria's northern reaches. Vassagonia, a historical ally to the Darklords (due in part because of its Birthplace gateway), quickly mobilized its armies and invaded the neighboring Cloeasia and Casiorn. Sommerlund lost its provinces of the Kirlundin Isles and Ruanon, a painful defeat but not one that would decide the war.

Under the newly allied Zakhan Kimah and Darklord Gnaag, the gigantic armies began to sweep across Magnamund, destroying virtually all in their path. Determined to thwart the next step of the Magnakai Quest-the Lorestone of Tahou-and failing to impede Lone Wolf's recovery of the Lorestone of Ohrido, Darklord Gnaag ordered a mass scale invasion of Anari and neighboring republics. Slovia was occupied, and its capital of Suentina was destroyed by Kraan and other flying Darkland spawn. Under Darkland orders, three armies-one Giak, one led by Gnaag, and a Vassagonian formation led by the Zakhan himself-converged upon Tahou, the capital of Anari. The resulting battle destroyed the Anarium and almost destroyed the city, but Zakhan Kimah's defeat led to victory for the freeland allies. Anari's allies-Kakush, Lourden, and Firalond-quickly came to her aid and the invading force was smashed. A short while later, a rebellion against the late Zakhan's forces led to the rise of a new Zakhan, named Shoualli. Vassagonia immediately withdrew all forces from occupied countries. The Darkland battle, however, continued unabated. Talestria's ally Palmyrion came to her aid and together the allies drove the Ogian forces out of Garthen and to the battle plains of the north territory. Though they nearly failed, the sudden arrival of a dwarven army from Bor on the fourth day of battle made a decisive victory. Warlord Zegron's force was crushed, and his stronghold of Xanar was taken. The newest blow to the Darkland force came as the allies marched down the Blackshroud path. The Bor army was sent to Blackshroud, to siege it from the east, and the main bulk-the Palmyiron-Talestria alliance-was to go on to Torgar and attempt to liberate the slaves within, for new reinforcements. Meanwhile, at the Battle of Cetza, Prince Graygor and King Sarnac of Eru and Lencia led an allied force against Baron Shinzar's Hammerland-Darkland armies. Shinzar's death drew a new hole into the Darkland alliance. At Torgar, a force led by Lone Wolf and Lord Adamas breached the gate of Torgar, but when Lone Wolf disappeared down a Shadow Gate, with the Lorestones, Darklord Gnaag proclaimed him dead. The effect was devastating. Gnaag proclaimed himself invincible, and ordered the Nadziranim to create devices called the tanoz-tukor. Powered by the Transfusor machine in Helgedad, these devices allowed the Darklords to lead their armies personally into battle. In the wake of the hopelessness that dawned across the allies, Darklord Gnaag exploited every possible avenue and quickly all Darkland defeats were halted throughout Magnamund. The northern continent began a new stage in the war as the Darklords arrived to personally lead their armies into battle. The freeland armies were shattered utterly. The Talestria-Palmyrion alliance was expelled from Torgar soon after, and Lord Adamas was killed. The Darklords constructed a gigantic naval base called Argazad, and began converging forces upon Sommerlund. From the south, Ruanon and Cloeasia had been conquered by Darkland forces. From the west and north-west, Darkland fleets had been created to blockade the sun-realm. Cut off from Durenor and with her days numbered, Sommerlund seemed virtually ready to capitulate. The rest of Northern Magnamund seemed to share the same fate-though Vassagonia and Dessi remained uninvaded, the freeland alliance was hard pressed to keep what they had. The sudden arrival of Lone Wolf, however, and his epic quest which led to the destruction of the Darklords, was to seal a miracle for the freelands.

Left is the map of Magnamund at its nadir-with the Darkland-Vassagonian alliance. The Darklords control virtually all of the western half of the continent-with the helotries of Nyras, Nyvoz, as well as Ghatan, Skaror, and the Hammerlands under their subjugation. All lands in the western part of the continent are either hostile to freeland allies or are under Darkland domain-with the sole exception of frigid, isolated Ixia. To the east, Vassagonia has allied itself with the Darklords anew and has taken control of Cloeasia and Casiorn. Darkland-Vassagonian forces have swept towards Tahou, in preparation of taking the city. Ogia has conquered much of Talestria. And the southern province of Ruanon has been lost.

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