The Falx Invasion was the first instance of the Falx invading the continent of Northeros on Medivo. The Falx Republic is a massive empire that subjugated many worlds before due to their portal technology. They have been a threat to the continent of Westeron for quite a while, however they had trouble reaching Northeros previously. The invading forces were led by a team of four Falx warlords:
- Lord Barthelomeo, Grand Champion of the Republic
- Lord Torquemada, Grand Wizard of the Falx
- Lord Pizzaro D'Oros, Master Tactician and descendant of a lengthy bloodline of Conquerors
- Lady Isabella, Sorceress under the tutelage of Torquemada
Part 1: Landfall
The Falx arrived on the South of Northeros (near the ruins of Dawnport) via a dimensional rift that was rather unstable for prolonged use. In order to establish foothold, Torquemada scoured the land and found a mysterious magical ore, which he later named 'Ebonite'. Securing a deposit of said ore from an orkish warband allowed the initial wave of Falx to construct their first base of operation, a Portal-Fortress. The Falx have successfully arrived; but they deemed to lay low and slowly build up their numbers before revealing themselves to the natives.
Act 1: Orks Must Die!
Prelude: Lord of the Clan
Battle: Orks Must Die!
The Empire, Northeros' ruling civilization, was slowly recovering from their recent conflict, and begun to take back contested territories from the forces of evil. The surviving orks had a different plan though: led by their new clanlord, Gurak, a cunning ork with a moral code of his own, they sought to launch an attack against Defiance Keep. The Empire was aware of this and ready to fend off this rather desperate attack, however their plans were ruined when crown prince Albrecht took off with a small group of troops and launched a surprise attack on the rallying ork warband.
It was a gruesome battle, especially for the prince, who was a passionate but inexperienced fighter. During the battle, a Falx scouting party, led by Lady Isabella, intervened to wreak havoc on both sides. Isabella herself took down Gurak, who met a gruesome demise by fire. Eventually rune paladin Apollyon had to intervene to save Albrecht from danger; with his aid, the Empire won the battle.
The orkish warband was scared off, and the Falx retreated as well, although they didn't leave unnoticed.
Act 2: Subjugation
The rest of the invasion command disagreed with Isabella's intervention, but they also learned about the orks and their potential as a fighting force. The plan of enslaving and using them to bolster their own troops was quickly hatched.
King Mondaine, after reminiscing over their recent victory and his son's behavior, immediately dispatched Jean-Francois and Majisto to scour the lands in hopes of finding the base of these mysterious invaders. Jean-Francois reached the Portal-Fortress first, but he failed to report his findings as he was taken hostage by Captain Doxie, daughter of the late Captain Illustrious. Unaware of his father's demise, she captured Jean-Francois as a potential bargaining chip for the future.
Torquemada brought over a mind control device with which he planned to take over the orks. After successfully testing it on other creatures, he and Barthelomeo set out to subjugate the remaining orks.
The outcome of the battle didn't go as they originally planned - although the troll warlord of the orks was slain, Torquemada's mind control device was also destroyed during the fight. The wizard had to improvise: with an illusionary spell he masked himself as a fellow ork, which was convincing enough to lure the surviving orks near the Portal-Fortress. Here, the misled orkish troops were taken control over via a secondary, much stronger device. Afterwards, the Falx ransacked and enslaved other ork camps as well, eventually gaining control over all orks within the Empire.
Part 2: Trouble in Direwood
Interlude: In Dire Woods
Interlude: In Dire Woods
In order to keep his son occupied and away from the front lines, king Mondaine decided to send Albrecht to Direwood, where lady Liana, Gillaume and Flint Quickstride were busy slowly recovering the war-torn province. Little did the king know what treacherous adventures would await for the prince...
Albrecht found Flint alone - they were supposed to tackle a rogue Norse warlord, going by the name of 'The Iron Jarl'. Instead, they only found an unforeseen undead warband! In addition to being outnumbered, some of their men revealed themselves as agents of the cult of the corrupted. Overwhelmed, Liana instructed Flint to flee and call for reinforcements. Albrecht arrived just in time.
Act 3: When Death Calls
Battle: When Death Calls
Angered by corruption within his ranks and the thought of two of the Empire's best assets to be lost like that, Albrecht and Flint set out to save Liana and Gil. They found Liana first; she was almost overwhelmed by her pursuers. To make matters worse, the Iron Jarl's norse also joined battle, more than ready to slaughter imperials.
The battle was rather fierce, but the imperials managed to defeat both the norse and the undead. After a short rest, they continued their pursuit to find Gil.
Act 4: Souls of the Dying
Battle: Souls of the Dying
Gillaume was taken prisoner by the Iron Jarl, who was revealed to be working with the Cult, in order to have an army with which he could march onward to victory, regardless of his men being live or dead. To prove his resolve, he had the last of his warriors sacrificed in order to create an abomination. The Jarl was reckless and dangerous.
The battle went in the favor Albrecht and company; alas, the Jarl was robbed of his ambition to attain battlefield glory. The Norse menace was dealt with; however Albrech, after seeing the master behind the undead menace, refused to put an end to the case just yet. Along with Liana, they chased the cultists to their hideout.
Interlude: Road to Damnation
Interlude: Road to Damnation
The cult master was a devious foe, who had eyes and ears within imperial ranks since Albrecht's arrival. Albrecht, after dispatching treacherous cultists, was forced to face his ally, lady Liana, being possessed by the cult master. After defeating her, the prince was ready to end this madness... however he was caught by surprise as the cult master splashed an unholy elixir into Albrecht's face. Even a small sip of said liquid was enough to stop a living being's heart; the cult master gloated as he watched the prince drop on all fours, slowly submitting to the decay...
... what he did not expect though, was the passion and fury still beating in the young prince's heart! With one clean swing, Albrecht slew the devious mastermind, putting an end to what could have become a second undead uprising in Direwood.
The events following are somewhat shrouded in mystery - Liana found herself outside of the cultist's cave, all by herself. The cave collapsed, and the only thing soldiers could recover were the broken staff of the cult leader and Albrecht's shield. Even though the Empire won that day, their victory was rather pyrrhic - the loss of Albrecht had shaken and haunted king Mondaine and lady Liana for quite a while.
Part 3: The Truth Behind Ebonite
Act 5: Retaliation
The situation in Direwood allowed enough diversion for the Falx to build a second, far greater Portal Fortress as their main base of operation. With orkish slaves, they gained control of significant parts of the southwestern Imperial lands, establishing small outposts and ebonite digsites. At one of these sites, the Falx managed to uncover an enormous chunk of solid ebonite. Torquemada was more than delighted to examine and learn the secrets of the rather potent sample.
There was little time for research though: the Empire eventually managed to locate the Falx and they marched out to fight back the invaders, with a grand army led by heroes Apollyon, Blaze and Ferdinand von Bragstein. It was up to the other three Falx lords to repel the attack while Torquemada was busy understanding the unusual energies emanating from the ore. Unfortunately, luck was not on the Empire's side this time, and they were utterly defeated by the combined forces of ork and Falx.
Torquemada was overwhelmed by the ebon ore he was studying however: he got consumed by the very rock (which appeared to have a mind of its own), and emerged all clad in dark armor. Most of the Falx, who wore ebonite armor at this point, also felt a sudden numb feeling in their mind, however it quickly passed away. The bruised and battered heroes were taken in front of Torquemada, who summoned a rather peculiar ally to their side: the ancient wyrm Aetheros. Torquemada wished to offer them as a tribute to the vengeful dragon, along with Isabella and Pizzaro, who did not don ebonite armor unlike the rest of the Falx. This abrupt decision on Torquemada's behalf puzzled the two Falx lords - Barthelomeo didn't seem to mind the rather absurd notion though.
The day was saved by Majisto and Gallikronn though, who arrived just in the nick of time to save them. The two betrayed Falx chose to follow the Majistik and left with them as he teleported away, much to the dismay of Aetheros and Torquemada.
Interlude: No Rest for the Wicked
Interlude:No Rest for the Wicked
As these events were happening, a mysterious figure, clad in armor that death knights were known to wear, was busy roaming the battlefields of recent, raising fallen heroes such as the Iron Jarl and even Gurak. At the time his reasons were unknown, but his necrotic prowess and diplomatic skills successfully resulted in gaining some rather powerful allies in unlife.
Interlude: Mondaine's Gambit
Interlude: Mondaine's Gambit
Isabella and Torquemada did not receive a warm welcome when they appeared in the middle of the capitol city: they were quickly imprisoned. King Mondaine saw a golden opportunity in this turn of events, and offered a proposal to the two renegade Falx: they are either to work with the Imperials and repel the invasion, or they could be executed in public. Isabella and Torquemada chose to aid the king, on the condition that they could leave Northeros free, with any remaining Falx troops once their bargain is done.
Isabella was then sent to Majisto, who provided her with a new staff and a mission to bring a sample of ebonite ore to the wizard.
Act 6: Thick as Thieves
Battle: Thick as Thieves
Isabella, with a handful of troops, arrived at one of the major Falx dig sites known as the Slag Grotto, run by the sadistic overseer Malicia. Greatly outnumbered, raiding the place proved to be quite a challenge... that is, until a similar group of undead scavengers, led by the recently revived Gurak appeared. The undead did not favor the Falx either, and wished to weaken their supplies. Gurak was not too fond of Isabella, given how she was the one who originally killed the ork; however his master, the mysterious shrouded figure negotiated that they should work together with her. Reluctantly, Gurak agreed: the two heroes had to take on the camp together.
Isabella and Gurak successfully vanquished Malicia and even managed to save some of the enslaved orks, which was very important for Gurak. The shrouded figure reappeared afterwards, revealing his true intent: deep beneath the mine lied the remains of a long dead dragon, whom he wished to raise as a powerful asset in future conflicts. Isabella was both amazed and somewhat bewildered how she was essentially used in this dark scheme: the shadowed figure let her leave with quite a large amount of ebonite though.
Interlude: A Meeting of Minds
Interlude: A Meeting of Minds
Majisto conducted many experiments on the ebonite. He learned that it was a rather puny ore except when exposed to magic. As he was trying to continue his study on the sample, he was contacted mentally by Torquemada. Torquemada revealed itself to be more than just the Falx wizard: in reality he was now ebon-clad avatar of the Destroyer; a malefic entity that tried to wreak havoc during the events of Shattered Empire. He was defeated by Xalen back then, but not vanquished. Instead, the entity gathered strength and hatched a new plan; for which the arrival of the Falx could not have happened at a more convenient. Through ebonite, he indirectly infiltrated their ranks via their weapons and armor forged from the metal, and ultimately took control over them. With such an army at its side, the Destroyer tried to reason with the Majistik to surrender: in order to persuade him, the creature shown visions of the Brikverse, with cosmic entites and space empires the simple minds of the inhabitants of Medivo would fail to even comprehend. The Destroyer wished to "protect" them through subjugation; which Majisto outright refused assuming that the creature was bluffing. Disappointed, the Destroyer left, but not before ruining Majisto's ebonite sample out of spite.
The Falx and King Mondaine were ready to discuss Majisto's findings and their next step, when Gillaume interrupted them with reports of a large Falx army advancing straight to the heartland of the Empire. There was little time to waste, Majisto feared they were walking into a trap though...
Part 4: Woe to the Conquered
Act 7: A Clash of Warlords
Battle: A Clash of Warlords
Isabella and Pizzaro, along with Gallikronn were dispatched to stop the Falx army, however they arrived too late. The combined force of ork and Falx tore through the outpost and slaughtered its defenders. Once again, they were accompanied by the undead - led by the Iron Jarl this time. After a brief discussion they agreed to team up, much to Gallikronn's dismay. Unfortunately the Falx troops were led by a lesser commander, Esteban, as opposed to Barthelomeo. The invaders also had the aid of Aetheros the maddened dragon though; Majisto's suspicions were right - this attack was a decoy to lure Imperials out!
The battle was fierce and both sides suffered great losses. The Iron Jarl went out as he wished - battling in a blaze of glory. Aetheros' overconfidence ended up in his demise - he succumbed to powerful magiks he could not control, which destroyed him. Sadly, Gallikronn was caught in the blast and perished as well. Isabella and Pizzaro barely managed to defeat Esteban's army. Afterwards, they were visited by the shrouded figure, who invited them to discuss further moves.
Interlude: Turning Tides
Interlude: Turning Tides
The former Falx warlords, along with the shrouded figure, met in a forest clearing with Gurak the Ashen to discuss how to launch a final attack against the Portal-Fortress. The shrouded figure's spy, Thalren, joined them soon. He scouted the area and reported that Torquemada was gathering a real army at the portal, ready to strike. However before they could discuss their next step, Thalren pulled out a poisoned dagger in an attempt to stab the shrouded figure, but Gurak leapt in from of him and took the blow.
Thalren knocked out the Falx with toxic gas; the shrouded figure was bewildered and wanted answers for this sudden turnover. It was revealed that the cult of the corrupted's true leader, Ossuran the Bone-father, was still active and had enough of the shadowed figure's actions, who turned out to be prince Albrecht. The effects of the chalice did not destroy him; instead he became a powerful death knight. His recent actions interfered with the cult's goals, therefore Ossuran had to step out from the shadows. Albrecht was left on its own, outnumbered by undead he had control over not too long ago, while the cult's forces teamed up with Torquemada itself.
All was not lost though, as Gurak miraculously managed to purge the poison that was eating away him via channeling his orkish rage. Gurak transcended undeath and become a blazing avatar of orkish fury. With his aid, Albrecht successfully vanquished his assailants, saving the Falx lords lives. With their initial plans now in ruins, Albrecht left Gurak, Pizzaro and Isabella to hunt down Ossuran; the three of them reasoned to return and inform King Mondaine about what they learnt (without revealing what happened to Albrecht).
Act 8: Gatecrash
King Mondaine was already discussing their next move with lady Liana and Majisto when the Falx, along with Gurak, arrived. After listening to the ork's reasons, Mondaine allowed him to fight on their side against the Destroyer, on condition that he is to leave the Empire along with his kin once they are freed. Majisto also told Isabella and Pizzaro that in order to defeat the Destroyer they might have to destroy the Portal-Fortress itself, which would mean that they would be left stranded on Northeros. Reluctantly, the two realized that stopping the Destroyer from tainting more Falx with ebonite was the most important for the Republic, and thus they agreed to march against the portal, along with the elven Gawain, Valeera.
The battle at the portal was terrible - armies of ork, Falx, undead, men, dwarves and elves clashed. The Alliance suffered great losses initially, but through a miraculous turn of events, they managed to turn the battle around to their favor. After many sacrifices (including the death of Pizzaro D'Oros, who heroically died while defending dwarves and elves from the undead), the Alliance of Northeros crushed the Destroyer's minions.
From the smoldering wreckage of the Destroyer's shell, a twisted and battered Torquemada emerged. Isabella hoped he could be saved, but the wizard was aware that the Destroyer merged with his body permanently. Using the brief moment of being the dominant personality, Torquemada and Isabella worked together to shut the portal down. The Destroyer tried to break free, however Isabella kept him bound as Torquemada closed the rift on the inside. This sacrifice freed both Medivo and the Falx Republic from the looming threat of the Destroyer for good, as the being could not escape from Torquemada's mortal shell. They were doomed to be lost in the realm between realms, slowly torn apart by interdimensional energies.
Isabella watched as the powerless Portal-Fortress crumbled into a pile of rubble and dust, saluting the loss of his former mentor. With the Destroyer gone, ebonite lost all of its useful properties, becoming a useless and brittle rock that was discarded afterwards by everyone. The Orks and Falx were freed from their respective mind control, and the undead once again went into hiding.
The Empire successfully survived the Falx Invasion and repelled it; however there was still much to be settled in the battle-worn lands of Northeros afterwards.