This is a story I've worked on for over four years to this point. It started when I first heard that the Liche Juo'Nar bore a black necklace that gave him powers over death, both his own and his undead legions.
This neclace brought to mind other neclaces in other stories of past events, and my four year search had started. Through old tomes and archives I poured my efforts, ever watching current events as they unfold. New witness to new things only added to my certainty, but I didn't have enough to convince you, fellow Britannians, that what I suspected could be true. Nae, even I had changed my suspicions often as I found subtle hints, read the past thoughts of other adventurers, and discovered new writtings of historic importance.
This is Minax wearing the necklace called "Mondains Embrace", just before it was taken from her recently by Odric. I ask you to keep this necklace, gold with a black center, in mind, because this is what it's all about.
But I must caution you, some of this is reaching towards speculation. There is enough, however, to show that something is definately involved in all of this. As I set out this story before you, I think you will see that this is almost certainly the way of it.
When it began
It was ancient times, in a stronghold outside of time, where the would be overlord of all of Sosaria, he who in fact would be such in his own time, worked an arcane magic on a ruby of surpassing power, the Gem of Immortality. The would be ruler was binding this gem to himself to make him what he would become. This magic would turn the Ruby Gem of Immortality black, and give Mondain unequalled power.
The Stranger enters, just before the conclusion of the spell of binding, and defeats Mondain by first shattering the Gem of Immortality and then the would be overlord himself.
It is widely held that this was the end to the would be overlord, and the beginning of the many shards created when the Gem of Immortality was shattered, the beginning of our own time. But was it quite that way? He reached! For what, I ask ye? Did the spell of binding truelly not be cast in conclusion? Or did Mondain finish the casting, on but a single shard, a sequence repeated within each shard of the shattering?
All we have had, until now, were scattered shards and the Relics of Mondain to bear witness to this event. These relics are said to still hold power within them, held over from the power infused in the living body of the would be overlord, through the power of the Gem.
(Look down to "Relics of Mondain")
Unearthed in the Hands of Twins
They were Lathiari and Kyrnia, twins born with surpassing skill in the arcane. Their desire to keep their mother from death led them on a failed journey through the study of magics and lore. Failed, that is, untill after their mothers death, untill the discovery of a "missing element" to their necklace of life preserving which they hoped would restore life to their dead mother.
But the life restored was not life, but unlife, and their mother cursed them and demanded an end to her unlife state. They cut her up and burnt the pieces. What became of this necklace in unknown to me.
However, they kept their mothers eyes, fashioning new neclaces that each of the twins would wear. They themselves then became liches through their mothers curse as the ages passed, perhaps due to the magics instilled in their mothers form, through her eyes, from this "missing element", just as Mondains form still held power.
What was this "missing element"? Was it Shrinestone, or it's corrupted version known as Blackrock? Or was it some other artifact, perhaps created at the shattering of the Gem?
The Village of Paws
Paws was a village north of Trinsic, where much to do with all of this seems to be centered from this point forward, at least up to a point which I shall eventually get to.
This small village, about 40 years ago, was destroyed in an attack by orcs, leaving only one survivor.
It is important to note, orcs are the creation of Mondain, and perhaps passed on to Minax his lover and companion in evil.
It was at Paws that Hartham, of Trinsic, rescued the last survivor of Paws, Crawworth. But one has to ask, was there a reason for the orc attack that destroyed the village? I believe so, just as I also believe that there was a reason why the very same Hartham was assassinated in the first showing of the Followers of Armageddon (also called the Zog Cabal).
Hartham bore a gold neclace, which he later gave to Crawworth. Did the Followers of Armageddon know he gave it to his adopted son? Did they kill him in an attempt to gain that neclace? Read more, before you try to answer these questions.
The Bloody Search Hath Begun
At this time many things started to happen. The Liche Twins Lathiari and Kyrnia surfaced, Juo'Nar was discovered to be a party to evil actions, the Troll Brothers G'Thunk and G'Splat attack, and many seemingly unrelated happenings occure.
Most important to this story is when neclaces start to surface. Finth Desrin's wife, Tali, is killed, and a neclace taken. This happens at the same time as Juo'Nar kills 3 monks at the shrine of Sprituality, taking a neclace from them that they had tried to perform some unknown magics on.
It is after this point, and only after this point, that undead begin to be used in attacks in massive numbers, under control of Juo'Nar.
Crawworth had resigned his post and named Finth Desrin as successor, and perhaps had given the necklace he inherited from Hartham to the monks to attempt some spell over it, enhanced in the presence of the shrine of spirituality. Finth Desrin may have risked, and lost, in sacrificing his own wife in an attempt to draw the enemy away from the ritual at the shrine.
Other, very important notes from this time in our history. All of the attacking forces, the Trolls, the Liche Twins, and the FOA, made claims to a new allie. It was this allie who seemed to embolden them all. It was this Allie who seemed to be a link between all of this confusion. The theme that they had infiltrated our own, perhaps the very court of British himself, was also rampant. Even Juo'Nar seemed to be allied to this, but once attaining the magical neclace, all appearances of such an alliance vanished. The question remains, did he break the alliance or was he never a part of the FOA? Were there several forces of evil trying to gain this necklace separately? Or together?
Juo'Nar was finally killed, but his body dissappeared and no neclace was spoken of. The Paladins of Trinsic would make no comments. I remember a comment, "Dead bodies don't just walk away"...or do they?
Many things happened, in and about these times, and the FOA were very active. The Relics of Mondain were stolen, recovered, and then stolen again. They were never recovered after that. There was much to do with the Blackrock and Shrinestone that seems inherantly involved in all this.
Then the FOA attempted a casting that was assumed to be a try at the spell of Armageddon, which caused earthquakes all over the lands and opened up the entrances to the Lost Lands. Crawworth was sent to investigate these new lands, and died there. It was speculated that the Relics of Mondain were used in this casting, but I've found no proof yet of that. It was also speculated that the casting was actually an attempt to revive the Relics, body parts of Mondain. Again, I have found no proof, yet I ask ye to consider the possibilities. It's important that Crawworth was sent into the new lands, who seemed to be deeply involved in the necklace.
Just before the 3 leaders of the FOA were captured, Sir Duquelle was kidnapped and killed in some ghastly ritual. He was a member of Lord British's court, and the last time anyone saw him, they also witnessed this:
An insignia? Of rank, perhaps? There is no denying, after this revelation, and coupled with everything else, that a necklace with a black center means something. A symbol? Or were they producing lesser versions with the knowledge that the Liche Twins had unlocked?
It is a telling tale that I interject here, where Jasper McCarrin, reporter for the United Press, the earliest version of official reports, seeks answers to the Neclace that Juo'Nar had taken. Finth Desrin sends him on an interesting quest.
March 20th 1998
And so, Finth Desrin, seeking answers to the Amulet, send him to Sage Humbolt of the Liche Twins accounts, who sends him to Brother Olic of the Relics of Mondain fame, who sends him to a Jeweler. And being sent to a gypsy cave, he was left with no answers on this quest.
After all this, we seemed to go into a lull in events, as the FOA leader was captured, his trial prepared, and then a complete lack of any news. Things seemed to just end. What ever happened to the FOA leader is still in doubt. Is he still being held, perhaps secretly, as the knowledge he would release to the public under a trial could be dangerous?
Did he escape? Was he killed or did he commit suicide like so many others? We just don't know.
In the past events, several letters from an FOA leader signed with "W" left many wondering if it was an upside down M, and if Minax was behind the FOA. Then she arrived, in heated search of something. One of her first moves was to attain some ancient tomes from the Lycaeum, dealing with arcane magics involving blood, death, and souls. This threw me off the trail for some time, as I wondered if the control over undead and the possible restoration of Mondain (or attempts at such) had more to do with these tomes than any neclace. But then I noted the dates of events. A look at the sequence here shows something interesting. Please note also, that the dates reported in two of these articles are a year off, yet they are reported correctly in the list of events in the listings at the . A misprint? I doubt something more sinister is involved.
March 18th 1999
March 20th 1999
October 30th, 1999
November 10th, 1999
Minax had read the tomes, perhaps cast their magic, but she had no control. There was a small lapse in events, and then this....
April 2nd 1999
Minax had not yet found the thing she searched for most, and I believe it was the necklace.
Soon after, we have new reports of undead attacks, controlled by someone ....or something.
January 15th, 2000
January 27th, 2000
Minax had found the neclace, or Juo'Nar in liche form with the neclace.
January 27th, 2000
In those times I had often heard of the "Black Necklace" that Juo'Nar had, but I cannot find a single entry in any archives relating to this. I remember in the battle that defeated Juo'Nar, and finally put an end to him, I was driven away and out of sight of the Liche. After the battle, a guildmate came up to me and told me they had killed Juo'Nar. I asked about the neclace, and my friend said that "the authorities took it", with a crooked smile and a curse. Remember the intrigue within British's court.
Didn't Malabelle also have a "black necklace", and didn't she have it taken from her by Minax on the streets of Trinsic in plain view? Wasn't that neclace an all black one, instead of the gold with black center? Perhaps someone can help out here.
As things stand at this point, the neclace has resurfaced along with it's command of undead, and then the story ends and we have heard no more about it at that point. Nothing again untill Minax returns yet again, in the more recent events, with more undead.
However, there is other news that may relate to all the doings. Blackthorn had joined Exodus and become a pawn of evil. It struck me hard that the events dealing with Exodus and Blackthorn brought us a strange mixture of a being, part man and part machine. This discovery is a fearful thought when one notes that the Relics of Mondain consisted of a few body parts that in themselves seem useless as any form of undead, being what little they are. But they could me made usefull with the new knowledge our enemies gained in Blackthorns research, and knowing that Mondain's brain is a part of those relics sends a cold shiver down my own spine.
Recent events show us plenty of undead, and the Commander of the Royal Guard stricken with some poison, and a strange man appears, by the name of Odric. This man makes a trade, he will cure the Commander if the Royal Guard will return a family heirloom, taken by Minax.
Of course, Minax will waste her time on cheap baubles, eh? Who, then is this man, Odric? By most accounts he is crude and seems to almost hold the Commander in contempt. But it's hard to get a reading on this aspect.
What we do know is that, when Minax was confronted wearing the necklace called "Mondain's Embrace", a gold necklace with a black center, it was Odric who somehow forced Keeonean to snatch it from Minax's neck and give to Odric. A strange turn of events, to end this legacy of the neclace. But is it gone forever? Is it's primary use already fulfilled? Most of all, one must ask, why would this neclace be given such a name?
And the age old question haunts us still since the dawn of the first age....
...is Mondain alive?