Age of the White Hourglass
D&D 3e (3.0/3.5) Rules
"As I saw her suffering there in the darkness, blind, and terrified while she was surrounded by dark things unimaginable. I knew I had seen this moment play out in my mind a thousand times before. I knew what I had to do. She had served her purpose. I had no further use for her. Only the ways in which I would abandon her had changed. What parting words of spite would be spoken...if any. I cannot explain to you that day what exactly I felt or when I decided not to."
Raistlin Majere made a choice to abandon his cleric companion on the verge of triumph against the gods. Only his realization that his loneliness was something that wouldn't be filled by power made him turn his back on his self-ascribed destiny. However, what if Raistlin had managed to make that choice slightly sooner? What if instead of abandoning Crysania he had chosen to nurture the feelings born in his heart for her and had brought her willingly across the threshold back to his laboratory and safety. What might the continued life and redemption of the greatest wizard that Krynn has ever known play in the part of the future?
This is how it might have turned out...
Raistlin Majere's return to the Tower of High Sorcery early is something that utterly and completely takes both his apprentice and the Blue Lady off guard. Dalamar's plan entirely hinged on confronting his master at his weakest while Kitiara's plot had emerged from the desire to see her brother emerge as a conquering villain. Raistlin easily brushed aside the spells of his apprentice and also defeated his sister without harming her. The Battle of Palanthas turned into a complete and utter route as Lord Soth abandoned his quest for Kitiara's soul while Raistlin swatted the Flying Citadel from the sky.
Caramon was willing to forgive his brother for his trespasses though Tasslehoff was surprisingly the more suspicious of Raistlin's motives. Nevertheless, Raistlin foreswore the robes of Black and vowed instead to follow the path of goodness for the rest of his life. Though still carrying doubts about the redemption of his brother, Caramon returned to his wife in Solace.
Raistlin remained in Palanthas and proceeded to care for the recovery of Lady Crysania. Though Elistan desired her still to be his successor, the time they dawdled in the Tower as lovers proved enough that he perished without speaking to her of her experiences. Instead, Revered Son Garad ran a terrible smear campaign against Crysania and painted her as the mistress of a black robed wizard along with other less literally true epithets. Thus did the Church of Paladine name him their new leader.
Though Raistlin has proven a good leader of the Conclave while also restoring the Tower to a state of glory, his actions haven't their downside. The Church of Paladine has become extremely militant as well as cruel in its endeavors. With war looming on the horizon with the Knights of Takhisis and a terrible milady having befallen Crysania, there is a question whether the forces of good will unite once more to oppose the Darkness.
The benefits and costs of love can shake the foundation of nations in Krynn. Raistlin Majere was redeemed by his love for another human being and has extended his good will to all creatures across Krynn both great and small. His redemption is utter and complete but the very force that redeemed him can also be used against him.
Though Crysania has learned her lesson and is still as pious in Paladine as ever, she was forced to choose between Raistlin and her god. With Raistlin as a gentle and adoring lover then husband, she reluctantly chose to serve as his consort than as Paladine's vicar. As a result, she has been thoroughly smeared across Krynn and sees helplessly the mistakes of the Kingpriest being made by Garad all over again.
Lady Kitiara has furthermore been imprisoned in the Tower of Palanthas ever since, unable to leave as a threat to others and Raistlin unwilling to kill his beloved sister. Her hatred and desperation have grown terrible with the utter humiliation of her confinement far worse than death. Takhisis has since visited her many times in her dreams and promised her a place as Ariakan's queen should she do her bidding. Having played the part of the reformed villain, Kitiara has been slowly poisoning Lady Crysania over the course of months. Takhisis believes that should she die then Raistlin will either be too heartbroken to oppose her armies or his wrath on those he might believe responsible could guarantee her victory. Both might be true.
Palin Majere has furthermore come to live with his Uncle and become the Archwizard's prized student. Under the gentle and guiding hand of Raistlin, Palin has blossomed into one of the most promising wizards on Krynn. Palin's gentle nature is contrasted against Raistlin's own children that include Solinari, Lunitari, and Nuitari. The three children named for the gods lack Palin's ability and feel overshadowed by their sibling. In Solinari's case, he has abandoned his father to instead join the Church of Paladine and denounce his parents. In Nuitari's case, he actively has begun plotting against his father with his master Dalamar.
Dalamar has never forgiven Raistlin for essentially destroying his every illusion and ambition. Dalamar under Raistlin was terrified of the Archwizard but held fast to the belief that if he served the Conclave then he would eventually become its master. Raistlin has usurped his destiny, to Dalamar's mind, and furthermore he knows that he'll never equal his mentor. Having taken on Nuitari as his apprentice, he teaches the boy spite and works with the Renegade Knight of the Thorn in hopes of eventually overthrowing the Conclave that he would have once died for. Raistlin remains blind to his former pupil's hatred's depths. Even his curing of the painful affliction that he'd given him has only instead made Dalamar think him weak.
The love and hatred born of love that all these players possess will ultimately determine the fate of Krynn.
357- Raistlin returns from the Abyss early and finds his apprentice along with sister trying to destroy him. Raistlin disables Dalamar and Kitiara both without harming them before driving away Lord Soth. The Flying Citadel is destroyed and without Lord Soth's armies, the Blue Lady's army is utterly decimated.
Tanis Half-Elven and Caramon Majere ascertain Raistlin's motives, both reluctantly concluding that he has in fact changed. The Knights of Solamnia secure a treaty with the Archmage that promises he will never menace the land plus also come to its aid. The treaty is sealed by Raistlin removing the curse on the Tower of Palanthas, restoring it to its former glory. Even the curse on the grove is changed to simply teleport visitors away unharmed.
Revered Son Elistan dies sadly as Crysania spends a good deal of time in the Tower recuperating at Raistlin's assistance. Her own love for the man is confirmed in her heart and she wishes to explore it. Garad is disgusted at the hope of the man that she will return and lies that he has been named the successor of Elistan after his death. His first action is to declare wizardry verbatim followed by the excommunication of Lady Crysania from the faith. Attempts by Lady Crysania to explain herself are met with anger or shouts before she is forced to return to the Tower of Palanthas in disgrace. Goldmoon chooses to forgive Raistlin of his many actions and marries the Archmage to Lady Crysania soon afterwards.
Par-Salian, Justarius, and Ladonna pay a visit to Raistlin's Tower soon afterwards. Raistlin convinces them of his good intentions and Par-Salian surrenders his position to Raistlin soon afterwards. The Tower is soon opened up to prospective students of Magecraft but the violence that clerics of Paladine and their fanatics heaps upon them makes any journey perilous. Instead, most simply choose to continue study at Wayreth instead. Dalamar is incised at their decision and only stops short of going renegade by his better judgment.
The city of Palanthas is quickly transformed into a effective theocracy by Garad's judicious use of church power along with alliance with the merchant families. Many Knights of Solamnia find his teachings to their liking and become part of his order. A split occurs in the Knights over the Knighthoods' treaty with Raistlin along with the moderate policies of Sir Gunthar.
359- A formal split occurs with the Knights of the Divine Hammer being reborn under Sir Garad as he reinterprets the Kingpriest's fall as the gods of neutrality and evil joining forces to punish Krynn. The new knighthood is given leave to kill all evil races, mages, and quiet permission to find pretexts to destroy Chaos born races. Out of sheer disgust, Goldmoon declares the Church of Palanthas is an enemy of Mishakal. This only leads to Sir Garad to isolate the other good faiths from the worship of the "True God." Heretic priests of Paladine, whom preach differently than Garad, are killed in Palanthas as heresy becomes a sin punishable by law.
Lady Crysania despairs and secretly begins a 'river' of heretics out of Palanthas while also teaching a faith of tolerance. Her status as Raistlin's 'whore' does not help her position.
360- At the ceremony of the Que-Shu's ascension of Riverwind and Goldmoon, fanatics of Paladine attack and kill Riverwind. A state of war erupts as missionaries of Palanthas are captured before being put to death. Garad condemns the Plains' "barbarians" and denounces formally all of Goldmoon's followers.
362- The marriage of Alhana Starbreeze and Porthios Kanan is halted by Raistlin Majere's journey to the Silvanesti homeland and his removing of the Curse laid over it by Lorac's dream. A bitter civil war emerges amongst the Silvanesti over those grateful to the Archwizard along with their magus allies plus those whom are inclined to follow Garad. Hopes of reunification are dashed with both sides agreeing that they no longer need their Qualinesti cousins.
Solinari is born to Crysania and Raistlin.
364- Lunitari and her twin Nuitari is born to Crysania and Raistlin. Crysania is reluctant about the name but Raistlin believes that the god of evil will feel slighted otherwise.
370- The Knights of Takhisis are born with an unexpected addition. Dalamar the Dark has joined to become the first master of the Knights of the Thorn. He will keep his position in the Conclave while secretly remaining loyal to Ariakan.
378- Steel Brightblade journeys with Tanis and Caramon to the High Clerist's Tower. There he discovers from them that his mother is still alive and held prisoner in the Tower of Palanthas. He vows to eventually liberate her and slay the magus holding her prisoner.
380- The Plainsmen without Riverwind to serve as a strong male guiding force are divided into the believers and those who care little for matters of the gods. The actions of the far flung Palanthan clergy encourage retaliation and a raiding cycle amongst the Abanasinians.
381- Raistlin leads the assault on Storm's Keep that manages to slay over a third of the Thorn Knights. Raistlin stops before a full victory can be achieved by the loss of life and the discovery that his former apprentice is their leader. This mercy prevents an early end to the Knights of Takhisis.
Nuitari is assaulted while exploring Palanthas, instilling within him a dire loathing of the Faith. He runs away from home and soon ends up in the service of Dalamar. Dalamar believes that the mercy that cost Raistlin at the Tower can be used against him again.
382- 'The Faith' in Abanasinia has grown to the point of which that Porthios is forced to declare Qualinesti off limits from humans effectively. The barbarian raiding has further soured his people's opinions on humans once more. Laurana and Tanis are welcomed home with their child nevertheless accepted as the heir despite his human blood. Tanis finds his views unpopular though, war hero or not.
Gunthar's New Measure is the breaking point with the Knights of the Divine Hammer and outright fighting begins between the two groups. Sir Thomas moves the headquarters from Palanthas to Sanction out of disgust for the Faith and its excesses.
The Church of Paladine in Palanthas is a mockery of the freedom and gentleness the Platinum Dragon preaches and very few of its church members are able to cast spells. The fact that they make up for this in righteous zeal and rhetoric has made their heresy not a barrier to conversion. It is a religion built on fear, coercion, aggression, and self righteousness. Garad himself is starting to be disturbed by the depths of fanaticism that some of his followers have sunk. It is quite likely that he no longer has the ability to stop what he has set in motion and an attempt to do so would result in him being burned by his own followers. He thus sits impotently in the church in Palanthas and stares at the Tower that mocks his efforts and makes him realize how ill suited he is for his role.
The Revered Sons and Daughters of the Faith are mostly chosen from Silvanesti and Palanthan noblemen with little regard given to the poor. A few zealots from the lower ranks have been allowed to ascend to higher positions by virtue of their extreme devotion and others have been brought higher because they are thugs or playthings. The Church's inner corruption is something that none pay attention to and instead focus on its message of intolerance.
All other faiths of the Holy Order of the Stars have broken ties with 'The Faith' and consider them to be dangerously misguided. The Faith considers the others to have lost sight of the truth and no longer acknowledges any god but Paladine.
The Knights of the Divine Hammer
The arm of the Faith is composed primarily of former Knights of Solamnia and a few elves of Silvanesti that have joined the cause of Garad. The religion is built on a fundamentalist interpretation of portions of the measure plus recovered texts on the Knighthood of Istar (ironically from Astinus' library).
The religion is thoroughly anti-ogre, goblin, magic, and belief in the evil gods. The knights pay no attention to the law when it comes to murdering these individuals and destroy them without pity. They do not believe that there are any 'good' or 'neutral' wizards and they are all secretly accomplices in imagined (and not so imagined) lurid crimes of evil wizards.
The knighthood technically preaches conversion as the best solution to the problem of the neutral gods and 'Chaos Born' but many knights think the former are heretics while others do not believe that the later possess souls let alone can find salvation in Paladine. This has led to open battle between many Knights of Solamnia and their former brethren over what they regard as acts of great evil. The genuine followers of the gods of good have joined them in their outrage. This has led some knights to conclude that the other followers of the Gods of Good are capable of being seduced to evil as well.
The Faith's members have been particularly successful in converting Abanasinians to the cause with many former Seeker priests finding the religion comfortably familiar rather than the great change that had been promised by the War of the Lance. Haven has returned to being a wretched home for theocracy and legalism. The barbarians hate the Faith's followers and the religion's interpretations are not welcome in Qualinost.
Solace is one of the few locals that is not a haven for the religion and its residents are torn over their loyalty to their hero Caramon and his increasingly out of step position on the faith.
The nation of Qualinesti is doing fairly well for itself with Tanis Half Elven and a few other half-elves having found themselves treated as full citizens of the nation for their efforts against the Dark Queen. Practically all ties with the Silvanesti have been broken off though as the Faith has encouraged Porthios to sever the nation from the rest of Krynn rather than risk its seductive allure.
Garad has dispatched 'missionaries' though to try and subvert the Qualinesti to the Faith in secret. The converts are currently plotting to assassinate Porthios, Laurana, Tanis, and try to put young Gilthas on the throne as a puppet.
The current headquarters for the Knights of Solamnia is a haven for the religiously persecuted and the moderates of the various faiths. Black robes, Neutral Clerics, White Robes, and the unbeliever mixed openly without judgment.
The Knights of Solamnia find their position a bitter pill to swallow and many dream of leading an army into their homeland to reclaim it from the fanatics. This attitude is slowly gaining prestige and some suggest turning to the Archwizard in Palanthas to destroy their enemies. If he agrees by their treaty then they are sure to win at mere cost to their enemies' lives. If he disagrees then they are certain they are alone and must attack now.
Alhana Starbreeze is the Speaker of the Stars and in a precarious position between two groups of fanatics. The Hourglass followers are those elves so enamored of the human wizard that they believe that the borders should be cast open completely to human beings along with other progressive ideas (beyond even the Qualinesti). Some have even descended to idolatrous worship of the human wizard.
The Faith's followers have been rejuvenated by the membership of many Silvanesti whom are dreadfully frightened of the Hourglass follower's ideals. The war between the two has lasted an extraordinarily long time as neither particularly wants to all out engage the other.
It is unlikely to end any time soon though and Alhana is seeking outside aid to put an end to it. Ariakan has dispatched a young Knight to seduce the Queen by playing on the idea that she will respond favorably to Steel Brightblade. Steel is unaware that this is the purposes of his mission but despite the disgust she may hold for his god, he remains a 'secret diplomat' that fascinates her.
Solamnia has been overrun by the Faith and its followers are everywhere along their spies. The nation is divided amongst the holdings of the Knights of Solamnia with those of the Knights of the Divine Hammer. Followers of the Faith are encouraged to revolt against the 'tyrannical' Knights of Solamnia while the priests use every method to deprive them of their holdings. Many knights have lost faith in Paladine with their disgust at the faith's actions.
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