The original message was put out by Phillip Hume, a long time player in the Campaign.
I added some comments in {}.  Enjoy!  Rich

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Hi there Dave Hayes!  
     
My name is Phillip Hume, and I'm one of the people playing in Rich's play by 
email campaign about Arageddon in his old campaign world.  He asked me (and 
one or two other people) to bring you up to speed on events in the history 
of the world in the last two campaigns that lead up to this point.  In the 
first campaign that will be mentioned in this information, I played Alin (a 
paladin) and later Branahm Stephenson, who's currently bouncing around at 
the end of the world, and in the latter campaign I played Huvis the halfling 
mage.  
     
Note:  I'm going to try to write this from the perspective of a historian 
in the campaign world; after each section I'll include notes that I would 
guess that a powerful old figure would know.  
     
Campaign I, the War against Nigilranthrib
     
In or about the year 5100 Y.O.L. the arch-lich Nigilranthrib launched a war 
of conquest from the Tower of Death in Nerria against the kingdom of the 
Overlord.  Prior to launching his war he had gathered around himself an 
array of other liches and other evildooers into a powerful organization 
that was refered to some outside of it as the Order of the Iron Rings, a 
reference to iron rings worn by it's members which denoted their rank 
within the organization.  Nigilranthrib's ultimate goals were unknown when 
he started his war, but it was known that he had recovered several powerful 
artifacts immediately prior to or in the opening stages of the war, among 
them one half of the stasis rune. 

{Very few were aware of the threat Nigilranthrib poised.  Nigilranthrib had 
bided his time and formed his organization discretely over time; a lich is 
nothing if not patient.  He had been ``killed'' by the Life Sword 
approximately 2400 years earlier by Sir Prinham who went on to become the 
king of Nerria.  Power tended to corrupt Prinham though, and in the end you 
saw cities like Kalabay, a festering port city, arise under his reign.  
Eventually the Life Sword stopped working for him, and in shame Prinham hid 
the sword in the structure where Phineas, Granth, Kroonchie, Branham and 
Rose recovered it millenia later.  After the fact, it seems reasonable that 
the Balance Cult and it's White Wanderers was aware of the threat and also 
started machinations to disrupt Nigilranthrib.  In fact, because 
Nigilranthrib was thwarted in his initial excursions, he acquired the 
artifacts.  Also, Carrastinian placed the enchantments on the Chalice and 
Lichtadon's copy of the Book at this point, as a last ditch defense.  The 
more worrisome threat was the Necromancer who had started tampering with 
large dimensional portals and disrupting the structure of Zhalindor at a 
planar level.  Whereas Nigilranthrib was out for conquest, the Necromancer 
was out for godhood . . . }
     
Nigilranthrib's War caught many of the defenders of Law and the Cosmic 
Balance off guard; in short order his armies of the undead had seized 
Nerria and were making steady progress into the other kingdoms of the Lands 
of the Overlord.  For reasons that were not entirely clear to this 
historian, the Overlord himself was reluctant to send his armies into 
conflict with Nigilranthrib; thus the various national armies were left to 
face him.  A substaintial setback was dealt to the forces opposing 
Nigilranthrib when he used the half of the stasis rune that he possessed to 
place the entire city of Lhormar into stasis; this effectively eliminated 
the Council of Mages from the war, as they were frozen in time and the 
other half of the stasis rune was still lost.

{The other half of the Stasis Rune was entrusted to Astrogard the Wise, son 
of Lord Eldar.  Astrogard hid the Stasis Rune in the ruins of Trogaar, a 
trading city from the ancient Northern Empire.  Astrogard also hid away the 
Black Sphere and the Void Rune.  History revealed that Astrogard liked the 
Tien, but he never fully trusted Carrastinian and refused to let these 
artifacts fall into the hands of the Balance Cult.  (Legend tells us that 
Hrothmir the Bold disagreed with the decision to disassemble the Artifact 
of Destruction and was killed ``by the gods''.  Historians suspect that 
Carrastinian may have been this instrument, and it is known that Astrogard 
and Hrothmir met each other during the ``cleansing'' of the great Northern 
Empire.  If the Tien was Astrogard's salvation then Hrothmir was his 
spiritual leader who led him back from the precipice of the Void.)  Nerria 
fell entirely under the sway of the black forces of Nigilranthrib.  Hemen 
was crushed in a futile resistance.  The southern half of Tanarsa (just 
below Alyrien), the western half of Hamarsin (to include Lhormar) and the 
northwest portion of Tumeria (to the gates of Tiola Moldre) also held the 
minions of the Lord of Death, Nigilranthrib, at the height of his conquest. 
Al Alfredo, the Overlord, and his chief counsellor Mung held back the 
Imperial forces and used them to bolster the defenses of Eldenvaan.  (Some 
speculate that Al Alfredo and Mung were neutral at best and may even have 
been in league with the Lord of Death although no one would have even 
hinted such a thing during Al Alfredo's ancient reign.  As a side note, 
Nigilranthrib played with a young Al Alfredo in the decadent city of 
Xanduru while the young prince of Tanarsa, Padrag Eoin later Nigilranthrib, 
still had human form.)  The minions of the churchs of Kemer-Lexi, Filean, 
Alimanros and Roazite also held their forces back to defend Magrax.  In the 
end, the Overlord did commit the Imperial reserve to fight in Hamarsin, and 
Nigilranthrib's forces never penetrated Eldenvaan en masse.}  
     
Meanwhile, an obscure but evil individual known as the Necromancer was up 
to no good.  Having concocted some evil scheme to acquire massive amounts 
of power, he killed the chaos priest who wielded the Crystal Sphere 
(a.k.a the Dimensional Key, a.k.a the Rune of Mastery) and used it to 
send himself somewhere else, leaving the Crystal Sphere itself safe in 
his fortress, guarded by his fearsome undead and orcish forces.  It is 
known that the Necromancer and Nigilranthrib were allied at some point, 
but how closely they were connected or how much each trusted the other
is lost to history. 

{The Necromancer was an immortal whose exploits ranged back to the time before 
the sundering of the World Machine.  Few names have survived in mortal annals 
from those days before the assigning of the Runes to their patron deities.  A 
few include Cragspider, Dialecti and the Necromancer.  Interesting that both the
Necromancer and Cragspider seem to have known of this land where millions of 
people lived under other suns (blasphemy!) separated by regions where Xiola 
Umbar had truly banished the legions of Umath (primal air) and Yelm (heat and 
light).  We can speculate that Nigilranthrib having once been foiled in his 
plans of conquest by the Balance Cult was more than willing to aid the 
Necromancer just as an effort to keep the Balance Cult occupied.}
     
Into this catastrophe a group of adventurers was cast.  After several 
early deaths, this group stabalized into the rangers Fineous, Tremir, and 
(Joe), the paladin Alin, the mage Granth, the healer Focalwind, the bard 
Alloysius, and the priestess Rose.  They stumbled onto the conspiracy that 
Nigilranthrib had started before his war began in earnest, and frequently 
interfered with operations of that organization, killing their way up the 
heirarchy of the organization.  Eventually, they were recruited by the 
Celectial Balance people to persue the Necromancer into the dimension that 
he had ventured; Exactly what happened there is not known, but it is known 
that two of the individuals (Alin and Alloysuis) who followed him did not 
return, and that at least one person who did return didn't go with them 
in the first place, an individual known as Branahm Stephenson.  The 
Necromancer did not return, and it is believed that he was slain.  
Shortly after this, the ranger (Joe) was also slain and was replaced in 
the group by the halfling thief Kroonchi.  While the party had been in 
the alternate dimension, Nigilranthrib took the Crystal sphere from the
fortress of the Necromancer and used it to further his own nefarious ends.

{At last able to turn its full attention to the thwarting of Nigilranthrib, the 
Balance Cult lost a score of its best in the defense of the Crystal Sphere.  
This was when Nigilranthrib first revealed his mastery of the Stasis Rune.  
Immortal blood was spilled on the dark night when Nigilranthrib strode into the 
craggy keep in the Yagha Tsorv mountains where the Crystal Sphere rested.  The 
Tien and Carrastinian bolstered the defenses of Slot and Eldenvaan at large 
using the Red and Green globes.  In the end, Astrogard agreed to give 
Carrastinian the other half of the Stasis Rune when the armies of Nigilranthrib 
swarmed for the first time over the borders of Eldenvaan.  Coincidentally, this 
is when the forces of the Overlord were first deployed out of Eldenvaan to halt 
the advance of Nigilranthrib's forces.  The clash between the two armies was 
surprisingly bloodless, and there were rumors of large sums of gold and precious
gems being polled up the Dhortha river under cover of darkness to Xanduru, 
guided by helmsmen best unseen.  Of course, the peasants always say such 
things.}  
     
Nigilranthrib, in association with the Devil Elloise (who had once been a 
mortal whom the party had ended up killing) and the destroyed Arch-Lich 
Vecna came up with an evil scheme to both destroy the party and ressurect 
Vecna; the party was to be banished to an alternate plane, where they
had been heroes responsible for destroying Nigilranthrib and had in turn 
been slain trying to pierce the tomb of Vecna.  Peircing the tomb of Vecna 
would have been exactly what it would have taken to free the arch-lich, but 
only a group of non-evil or chaos heroes could accomplish this task.  
The group decided that charging into the tomb of an arch-lich was a fools' 
quest, however, and did not follow the course of action that the forces
of evil hoped that they would.  Instead, they persued an alternate plan, 
following a message from the goddess Eldryia which told of a way to defeat 
Nigilranthrib;  in the alternate (peaceful) universe they recovered the Book 
of Infinite Spells and the Chalice of Worlds from an island in the Thousand 
Isles and used the Chalice to return to their world.  In their expidition to 
do this, the mage Granth was apparently slain by a slaver named Klopkarch (who 
the party later killed, twice.)  He would pop up several hundred years later, 
apparently not having been killed at all but having used divine intervention 
to escape back to his home universe.  The party later entered the Tower of 
Death and attacked Nigilranthrib; everyone was killed except for Tremir and 
Rose, and then Tremir gave the Book of Infinite Spells and Chalice of Worlds 
to Nigilranthirb (on advice from Aldryia again) who promptly got himself 
imprisoned due to a safeguard enchantment that Carristinean had placed on
the two to protect against anyone using them both at the same time.  
     
The Tein and the Master Summoner Astrogard promptly laid waste to the rest 
of the council of the Iron Ring group, and that ended the war.  The 
party members were rewarded by the Overlord for their work, with Fineous being 
made King of Nerria, Tremir being made a Duke, and the rest of the party
being promoted into the position of baron.

{When Nigilranthrib was imprisoned in the Nexus, his spells of necromancy which 
animated his dead legions faded, flickered and died.  The dead fell back into 
the grateful embrace of Ky Tora Lek, and the mortals began the process of 
healing the ravaged land.  Fortunately, the dead consumed none of the food 
stocks in their march through the lands, and famine did not destroy the 
population.  Astrogard relented and allowed the Tien to use the other half of 
the Stasis Rune to release the Council of Mages at Lhormar.  (The half 
Nigilranthrib used was part of the trap which captured him.)  The majority of 
the mortal members of the Iron Ring fled although many of them were hunted down 
by parties of vengeful vigalantees across the breadth of the Overlord's 
dominion.  The mortal members of the Iron Ring left in the Tower of Death were 
apprehended by the Tien and Astrogard; Nigilranthrib was jealous of his power 
and only allowed one lich, Maub, to survive the centuries with him.  Maub had 
wisely fled with his entrails when Carrastinian, the Tien and Astrogard were 
noted approaching the Tower of Death. Phineas and his companions were richly 
rewarded by the grateful Overlord.  Phineas never did trust the Overlord though,
and Phineas and Tremir swear that the Overlord seemed almost brooding and 
resentful at times for the party's victor over Nigilranthrib.  It was odd that 
the Overlord assigned a public opponent of Phineas as the only Imperial 
appointment to Phineas' court; this was Baron Borgbad who was a member of the 
Iron Ring.  Interesting to note that in the alternate dimension where the party 
was hailed as heroes, Baron Borgbad was a great champion of law and justice; 
apparently Baron Borgbad's lineal ancestor was into the dark arts, but he turned
around after a group of adventurers thwarted a plot of his involving Tim Hel and
a powerful vampiric sorcerer.}
     
End Part I.  
     
Notes that would probably be known to an old and powerful individual but not 
the general public:  (only characters currently around will be discussed here; 
other random facts will be discussed in part 2)
     
Tremir:  An evlen ranger who is currently near 600 years old; was known even 
several hundred years ago as one of the best bowmen on the planet. Currently 
being played by John Tewksbury; I'll let him describe him more.  
     
Granth:  A half-elven mage/martial artist who is rather powerful; he was fond 
of large-area destruction spells.  Spent the last few hundred years teaching 
magic and rune magic to people he deemed worthy; a very dangerous character.  
Tremir's brother; Tremir was unaware that Granth had survived Klopkarch's 
attack until they met in the Blue Crater.  Currently an NPC.  
     
Branahm:  psionicist from another dimension.  Same age as Tremir, which
is rather odd considering that he's apparently human.  Was a known and active 
ally of Tremir, although he was frequently at odds with King Fineous following 
his coronation (reasons why will be discussed in the next section.  )  
About 200 years after the battle with Nigilranthrib, when rune magic started 
working agian and the seas were opened (again, details about this will be 
in the next section) he disapeared, although infrequent contacts with Tremir 
were recorded after that.  Regarded by some (including Myria among the current 
group) to be mad.  Played by yours truly.  
     
Who Caliban Keen-Eye would have been most likely to know would depend, but if 
he spent time in Nerria he would probably have met Tremir.  From past behavior, 
he would estimate that Tremir and Granth would be unshakeable allies, and in 
most cases they would both be strong allies of Branahm as well.  
     
Myria, Huvis, Trakh-Chi, Leoshi, and the rest will be outlined in my next 
letter, which will have to wait until tommorrow or Saturday.  However, 
known alliances can be given:  
     
Leoshi:  initiate of the Dragon-Newt cult.  (PC)
     
Trakh-Chi:  Zorak-Zoran worshiping great troll. (PC)
     
Huvis:  Halfling mage, member of White Order (PC)
     
Voorindril:  Elven spirit-summoner.  (NPC)
     
These four are in the second party, and can be considered fairly strong 
allies, unlike these next two (although they are also in the party)
     
Guy:  human mercenary and oppurtunist (NPC)
     
Luck:  Halfling warrior.  (NPC)

{AKA Risk}
     
Myria was a character from the summer after the main first campaign ended;
a brief sketch of the history of that time will be given in the next period.  
She spent the last few hundred years fighting slavers and other evil
types in Pamalta.  (NPC)
     
I think that's everyone of note;  if I've missed anyone, or if you've got 
questions about what I've written, send me e-mail.  I'll try to send the 
second part of the campaign history tommorrow.  
     
Phillip Hume
     
     
--PAA14821.786926495/prism.nmt.edu--