Troops of the yellow sign sowed carnage across the market place at the first moot of 1109 in what appears to be a first attack against the wider nations of the heartlands. With the notable exception of a fleshcrafter, who fell in an attempted assault on the Paladins of Lolth in the guild tent area and caused wide spread destruction in the alchemists guild when his corpse exploded into shards of bone, the yellow sign's campaign has been solely targeted against the Tarantulas.
Perhaps, it was the death of his general and original host Lyander at the hands of a multi-national war party at the recent consecration of the new Incantor's guild headquarters near the Underdark city of Dyer'Turic, which has finally focused the attention of the yellow sign on the surface nations.
What is known of the menace?
What is known of this menace?
The Tarantulas were first drawn to the city of Dechenza in 1106, when Adin D'Brassik's remaining forces marched on the city. Facing an army, whose numerical superiority, they could not beat, the Tarantulas discovered a tomb, sealed by 4 locks, echoing with the promise of power enough to destroy D'Brassik. Nathaniel of the Wardens followed the instructions contained within scrolls found near the tomb and used one of the primary elements (earth, air, fire and water) to destroy each of the locks. The words from within proved true and for 25 minutes, Nathaniel's body blazed with power, as he decimated Adin D'Brassik's army with storms of magebolts and waves of dismissing power. By the time, the magic finally released Nathaniel, the yellow sign had arisen from the tomb and taken possession of the closest body, that of Zyme, a paladin of Lolth. Zyme thanked the Tarantulas and informed them that he would see them shortly.
True to his word, Zyme attended the big gatherings of the year, offering the Tarantulas what he called 'Utopia', if only they would follow him. His initial approaches were not hostile, but by the gathering, he resorted to the ultimatum, 'Join or Die!', but declared hostilities would not commence until the impending cataclysm had passed.
Although the message of utopia was not heeded by the nobles of the Tarantula nation, its words found fertile ground in the ears of the down trodden of the Underdark, badly shaken by the cataclysm and the ensuing hardships of the aftermath, and in April 07, the city of Matron Mother Naxos De Fey and the current capital of the Tarantula nation erupted in revolt, orchestrated by the newly formed cult of the yellow sign. The Tarantulas failed to curb the riots and Guallidurth fell to the yellow sign, although the Tarantulan forces were able to flee with a sceptre and throne, two of the original keys to Lyander's tomb. The Tarantulas also learned that Lyander was originally locked away by the sacrifice of 4 members of his bloodline. Meanwhile, news emerged that armies of yellow sign had attacked the Cave of Whispers and Stormspike.
During the main gatherings of 1107, the yellow sign continued to harass the Tarantulas, sending out drones to attack them and cultist assassins to recover the lost lock pieces. Drones make up the main stray of Lyander's armies and are purpose built from the flesh of fallen cultists to fulfil the role of soldiers. As their purpose is to fight, they have no intelligence or other abilities beyond combat skills.
In the campaign season of 1108, Tarantula forces assaulted and recaptured the city of Guallidurth from the yellow sign, as well as repelling the forces from the cave of whispers. However, in a disturbing turn of events, the cultists forces of the yellow sign proved be easy pickings for the undead forces of the Akari General Thorn, who had recently emerged as a third power in the Underdark and the city Trentarus, home of the newly freed Demonfey, came under heavy and sustained attack from Lyander's forces.
Summer 1108 saw the Tarantulas continually harassed by forces of Lyander's drones, backed up by the healing skills of his fleshcrafters. Fleshcrafters not only heal drones, but they are the means by which Lyander assimilates new knowledge and they can often be found studying the bodies of the fallen for new tools and abilities, which Lyander incorporates into this latest creations. Experiment of House Karrash-Morr, learnt that contained within her is the third of the four keys, during a trip through her creator, Elkintaar's tower in Do'Bluth. The Tarantulas finally secured a decisive victory over the yellow sign at Trentarus, only to learn that Lyander's forces were seeking to secure the power contained within the ruins of the second founding capital of the Dark Elf Empire, Telantiwar.
Forces of the Tarantula nation beat Lyander to Telantiwar in October 1108, only to find it was the Akari, who were actually assaulting the city; the yellow sign appearing content to watch from the background. With the help of the Baelnorn, an order of unliving paladins born from the spirits of those who died during the destruction of Telantiwar, the Tarantulas managed to secure the fourth key; the heart of a Golem trapped within Telantiwar and activated the defences of Zy'Liir to protect the city from the Akari and the yellow sign.
On the battlefield that day, the yellow sign betrayed his alliance with General Thorn of the Akari, taking the general as his third 'improved' host and in doing so gained control of all Akari troops in the Underdark as well as a full knowledge of unliving.
By April 1109, the yellow sign had changed tactics and instead of trying to capture cities, it targeted the nobles of the Tarantula nation at a gathering to consecrate the new incantor's guild headquarters, near Dyer'Turic. The ensuing battle did not go as planned; the yellow sign's forces were rebuffed from Dyer'Turic and his general Lyander fell during the fighting and was dedicated to Dracos. The Tarantulas, meanwhile, had turned their attention to the locks for the tomb and a mission was undertaken to the heavily guarded stronghold of Dechenza, from where the first of the lock was successfully retrieved. At the first moot, a second lock was reclaimed from a heavily guarded cave in Mauritania.