[Plot] Anguis Trigon: A War on Three Fronts

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Staff member
Feb 18, 2008

A War on Three Fronts
Anguis Trigon, Introduction

Wordcount: 1250​


The news appeared in papers and was shouted from the street corners, telling of a large assault by the corrupted ophidians. The sea of Aquilonia lay in between the northern continent of Hiemis and the upper reaches of Secare, just outside the borders of the Kingdom of Excelsus. Recently, it had borne the valiant forces of Terminus, Excelsus, and Cursus to destroy the Black Portal, but in the year following that famous battle, things had been quiet. As people read about the most recent attacks, many shrugged it off.

"Every other year!" some would shout. "The Empire will drive them out again, like they always have!"

"We should still help! We rely on those trade routes, too."

"Right, of course. We'll start sending some food and supplies. It's the least we can do."

The invasions were common, usually short-lived. Newspapers were accused of trying to stir up drama, inflating the actual threat to make a story. Still weary from the demonic trials, the men and women of Araevis weren't interested in any new conflict. Even when the invasion dragged on for weeks, then two months, the level of alarm remained low. The Arcanum sent healers to the front lines to aid the Empire, but the velen forces refused any additional help, even what little was offered. For them, it was a matter of pride: the underwater Empire of Pelagium had protected the blue waters from their ophidian menace for five centuries.





The city of Terminus lit up when the news broke. Occidens carried a hefty portion of the trade that Terminus relied on. The remote metropolis went through a staggering amount of supplies, far beyond what the nearby farms could provide and more than could be delivered by air. What's more, if Occidens fell, Terminus itself would be a prime target for any invaders, as would all of the smaller towns between it and the sea. Across the seas, the towns dotting the shoreline of Aridus went into a state of panic. Most of them were coastal fishing or vacation villages, completely defenseless against an invading force. Occidens was already harder to defend; the sea of Aquilonia in the east had only one path of entry, keeping the ophidian's in a bottleneck. In the Occidens, though, the Avalonian Peninsula and large island of Lataan provided multiple points of entry. Even the reclusive Vahlmore, City of Mists, was at risk if the ophidians sent forces further north, away from the defensive lines.

Emperor Thadal Neptunum et Pelagius, ruler of the undersea empire, quickly sent out a bold statement, declaring that the Empire still had things under control. The velen trading empire was also a naval powerhouse, with many of its trade vessels doubling as military ships, both above and below the waves. With trade lines under threat, though, Terminus started taking an active role. The Commercium dispatched ships loaded with supplies to both Occidens and Aquilonia; the city began to ration its citizens, dedicating the better part of the food, oil, and machinery to the growing needs of the war. The Arcanum provided more healers and even sent one of the three Prophets, Deimar, to serve as liaison and advisor to the velen general. Brave velen men and women from all corners of the ocean gathered together, surging toward the two invasion points.

Months dragged on: from the initial incursions in mid-winter, the battles stretched on through the spring and into summer.




Soaring high above Terminus, the great blue spire of the Specula Sorcere continued to shine, standing as a beacon for its people, reminding them that Castus was always watching, looking out for them. Within the great dome at its tip, the ancient magister sat at his desk and bemoaned the latest news. Eximium was clad in plain black robes with his near-skeletal form hidden beneath the heavy folds. The old man was known for having at least a small smile in even the most trying of circumstances, but now his lips were pursed in concern, deep lines etched into his features. "We are beset by grave trials, my dear," he murmured to Arriaune, his aide. She nodded silently; she was the one who had delivered the news to him. "How shall we respond? The Arcanum can ill afford to be seen idle. Terminus cannot be seen idle. That stubborn little Thadal! No, no, I care not what he says." Eximium fixed Arriaune with a firm look. "He will accept support. This is no merchant venture, and it's high time that we put an end to this whole affair."

"Shall I summon Vexus and Adria, Magister?" Arriaune asked.

"Mmm. Yes, my dear. I will need Adria to organize our scholars, but with Deimar away, I needs must turn to Vexus to handle communication with the Conexus, Fraternitas, and Commercium. Oh, I suppose we'll have to bring in the mayor, so he at least appears to know what's going on. Later, though."

Arriaune paused and then asked, "If I may, sir: what is going on?"

"The Empire cannot fight a war on three fronts, my dear. Occidens and Aquilonia are bad enough, but with the snakes swarming into the Basal Lake, the entire Dragon's Triangle is threatening to crumble. We'll continue lending 'support' in the east and west, to appease Thadal's fragile ego, but we will send real forces down into Aridus. It's my hope that the laicar kingdoms will join us. The snakes won't know what hit them."

"Will the emperor..?"

Eximium huffed and waved off the questions. "Thadal will raise a fuss, for appearances, but he will see the wisdom in it." The elderly magister leaned over his desk and his wispy white eyebrows raised. "Perhaps… our heroes from the portal. Find them. Have Vexus find them. The Conexus should be keeping an eye on their whereabouts. We will send them to Thadal's side, a 'gift' for him to maneuver as he will."

"Yes, magister. I'll have Prophet Vexus and Prophet Adria apprised of the situation immediately."

News spreads quickly that the Heroes of the Black Portal will be sent to help in the Ophidian War, drowning out the details of the large forces being sent to take control of the Basal Lake incursion. Almost as quickly, a letter finds its way to very specific corners of the city, there to be found by guildmembers of the Societas and the Peccatum Originale, among others.

"To Those Blessed With Long-Term Vision,

The Magister seeks a speedy end to the trials in Anguis Trigon, and at first glance, this appears to be beneficial to all parties. Some, however, see beyond the immediate, and recognize that conflict of this nature carries certain opportunity. Therefore, it is the wish of some that things not come to an end so speedily. It is not their wish for anyone to come to harm, only for the status to remain quo for as long as possible. Should a person or persons be capable of fulfilling this wish, by delaying or halting any aid leaving the grand metropolis, gratitude would certainly find its way to them, to the tune of one hundred thousand exa.

Eyes are watching, and will know of your success."

Those who were recognized during the Black Portal events may be approached with an offer of 20,000 exa to participate in the mission from the Magister. Those who accept will be sent to Pelagia, the capitol of the underwater empire, to serve Emperor Thadal Neptunum until the end of the war. This group will depart Terminus via ship from the docks at Avelyn.

Any who choose to may also join the main forces sent by the Arcanum, Conexus, and Fraternitas to the Basal Lake in south-eastern Aridus. Survivors will be paid 5,000 exa per battle participated in. This group will depart Terminus via airship from Elata Spiritus.

Others may choose to follow up on the letter, sabotaging either the ship or airship and delaying them for as long as possible. The 100,000 exa reward is genuine (I promise) and will be divided equally between all parties involved (including NPCs, if used).

If you have any other roles you'd like to fill, such as perhaps a more diplomatic mission to beseech aid from another country, or if you want to write out an important battle or baddies tearing things up, let me know. For the course of these PMs, I would like to avoid turn-by-turn combat, however. If combat breaks out, let me know and I'll explain further.


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