The following article relates in detail The War of the Eye, which lasted from late 426 to early 428 (April 2006 to January 2007).
The First Stirrings of the Eye CultEdit
As with many of the wars in Oberin, the struggle against the Eye began in the Fighting Moon (Year 426), not long after the Siege of Marali was lifted. On Day 158, a band of hunters stumbled upon a large pack of gapers to the southeast of the Tree Maze, and a skirmish ensued. Afterwards, a note was found on the ground. It read, "the Eyes are coming."
At the same time, two other forces of gapers attacked: one elsewhere in the forests, and the other in Duldrus. The abnormal activity was soon quelled on both fronts. However, toward the end of the fight in Duldrus, a mysterious being (later known as an Eye Warrior) was spotted inside the town forge. He was heard saying, "if the people of Duldrus will not help us…" just before he fled, having been spotted by Davon Semris. Whomever the Warrior referred to as "us", and whatever he needed help with, remained a mystery for the time being.
A few days later, Lou Bene brought news to Mirith of gaper activity near Port Gast. She had run into a man named Alastor, who was yet unknown to the people of Oberin. According to Lou, Alastor had announced that he would travel to Duldrus, and disappeared without an explanation.
A party soon gathered to check on Gast. Finding nothing out of the ordinary, they came to Duldrus. There, they found Alastor casting lightning bolts at a gaggle of gapers and a woman who called herself an "Eye Priestess".
The Priestess took flight as soon as the party arrived, leaving them to speak with Alastor. The discussion was rather fruitless, however. It would appear that Alastor was hiding something – something desired by the Eye Cult, as the secretive group was now being called. Alastor wouldn't yield to the party's questioning and teleported away, not to be seen again for several moons.
Duplicity in the CityEdit
By the end of the year, trouble was brewing within Mirith as well. Some citizens, most notably Krispos, chose to become servants of the Eye. During a heated confrontation that came to blows, Krispos was captured, giving himself up so that another Eye Cultist named Clerval could escape. Deeming the city jail to be insufficient, Tuck had Krispos chained up in the sewers.
Krispos's imprisonment was short-lived. In the first days of the new year 427, he was freed from his shackles by an Eye Cult sympathizer. From there on out, Krispos avoided any face-offs. Still, he continued to sow the seeds of dissent, offering bounties to further the interests of the Cult.
The Growing Moon came and went. There were frequent Black Hand attacks and sightings, but no sign of the Eye Cult. As the Bleeding Moon arrived, even Krispos officially renounced his ties to the Cult. The days passed, and he learned that Mirith kept their piece of the Curio sealed away inside the statue of Elara. (Editor's Note: this revelation would apparently be forgotten with time, and was only rediscovered by Avesne over a decade later, during the Fall of Mirith.)
Through his research, Krispos also acquired a knowledge of the Golden Fleece. Previously, the Fleece had been used to infiltrate Lancaster's Andris, and was subsequently locked away in the Mirith vaults. At that time, the true value of the Fleece was not known to the public. Somehow, Krispos became aware that the Fleece was vital to the Eye's power. Exactly how, Krispos didn't know – or perhaps he just kept it a secret.
And so, late in the Red Moon, Krispos forsook Mirith once again and rejoined the Eye Cult, now armed with the power of knowledge. He kidnapped Matthew, a member of the Roman Empire, and left a ransom note behind in Mirith. The note said to bring the Golden Fleece to Duldrus – alone – in three days.
What happened with the hostage situation? What can be made about the reports of Krispos's ensuing attempts to use Majara to obtain the Fleece? Unfortunately, gaps in the historical record make these questions difficult to answer. Eventually, the Eye gained possession of the Fleece. Later reports explain that the Fleece had been given to someone for safekeeping, who turned out to be a traitor. The identity of this traitor went undisclosed, however.
Emergence of a NecromancerEditThe Harvest and Dancing Moon rolled by, with no activity from either the Black Hand or the Eye Cult. Then, in the Lucky Moon, a small group of hunters were met by Marthonis and some of his henchmen in the cemetery of Andris. At that time, the necromancer was still a fresh face in Oberin. The hunters retreated, and returned to the cemetery after gathering more troops. Marthonis was gone, but he had left behind his never-before-seen creation: a Bone Knight.
The Bone Knight was slain, but the trouble with Marthonis was just beginning. During the full moon, a gang of Marthonis's brigands led a similar attack at the Marali cemetery. The numbers of undead surged, and another one of Marthonis's creations was unveiled: a Bone Lord. This time, the Bone Lord had the triumph, killing the adventurers that had gathered to stop it.
Meanwhile, the Eye Cult began to show its face again. A squad of gapers attacked some travelers in Duldrus. Just a few days afterwards, Ariki was in town when he ran into an Eye Priestess and Alastor, who had apparently joined the Cult. Ariki was spared so that he could take a message to Mirith. He complied, and delivered it to Royal Guard Birek McCalla and Royal Cleric Nafets. The message read: "You shall not oppose me, it is my town."
The troubles only continued to grow. In the Blue Moon, REDMAN encountered a Bone Lord at the Marali cemetery. RED learned more about the necromancy of Marthonis, and how a person could be turned into a Bone Lord or Bone Knight. With the help of Marali's new Commander Nyatha Vaup, RED emerged victorious from the fight.
A Precarious AllianceEdit
So, with all of these troubles in mind, it came as a huge shock when Nasrith of the Mirith Vanguard made an announcement in the Fighting Moon: Marthonis would be staying in the city, helping against the Eye. However, as the necromancer soon made it known, he would continue to be an enemy of Mirith once the Eye had been dealt with.
Nasrith further explained himself: it was Birek's idea to seek the aid of a wizard with knowledge of Black Magic. Royal Mage Beleth was gone, as usual (secretly searching for Tirana). Seth was sick at the time. His apprentice, Evers, was missing. Birek, though he dabbled in the arcane arts, was no master. Alastor might've been of use, had he not joined the enemy. Therefore, Marthonis appeared to be the only option remaining.
What followed in the city was much heated debate and civil unrest. Even the vanguard itself was divided over the issue, with Shogun and Majara being two dissenting voices, and Lucius flat-out resigning. Commander Asliendor, for his part, hated trusting Marthonis but knew that most people didn't yet realize the full extent of the Eye's power.
The most vocal opponents of Birek's plan found an outlet in the form of Nhezul's Revolution. Nhezul began by anonymously posting fliers around the city, hoping to incite the people to rebel. As he explained it: the city of Elara was employing a necromancer, the Royal Guard wasn't even Mirithian, and it was time to put an end to monarchy and dictatorship. In its place would be the Fenixgard, "the new force of change".
Despite its sympathizers, the Revolution (with its fiery rhetoric) drew a heavy backlash. Majara, initially a dissenter, responded by making a formal call for unity. Ideologically-neutral guilds such as The Nethers and the Three Paths agreed to join the united front against the Eye. Even Krispos, who had since left the Cult for good, took a stand against Nhezul and the revolutionaries.
The days dragged on, the debates continued to rage, and it became painfully clear: the free peoples of Oberin were turning on each other. Nonetheless, as the Sleeping Moon dawned, the unpleasant reality began to settle in, and concrete plans were formed. Birek decided that, should the Eye attack Mirith, the rallying point would be at the temple.
The Black MagiciansEdit
Year 428 arrived, and no attack had yet transpired. However, the Eye Cult had grown stronger. The Archpriest formed a impenetrable magic shield around Duldrus. Late in the Growing Moon, Marthonis announced that he would use Black Magic to summon Alastor to the Mirith Castle, negate his powers, and interrogate him for information on the Eye. Marthonis had as many people as possible in attendance, in case the Eye decided to launch a counterstroke.
The plan worked, and Alastor was banished to the dungeon, to be interrogated by Birek and Marthonis. Most of the witnesses saw it as justice, but a small minority denounced the act, believing that Alastor would be tortured.
Just as Marthonis had foreseen, Mirith was invaded. The forces of the Eye advanced all the way into the castle, but were eventually pushed back after a long battle. Only a few days later, another Eye Cult war party stormed the city, leading to an all-out brawl throughout the streets of Mirith. During the fray, screams were heard coming from the castle. Only Krispos and Nasrith noticed an assassin sneaking into the castle, so they pursued.
The assassin was eventually cornered and killed. Marthonis appeared and claimed that Alastor was recovering well and had revealed a few things. Some, however, believed the screams indicated that Alastor had been tortured. Either way, Alastor had given up some important information.
Alastor talked about the Golden Fleece, which was held by the Eye at this point. The item's purpose finally became clear: with the Fleece, one could hold and move a piece of the Curio. This would explain the Eye Cult's surge in power. When Senator Lancaster had used Andris's third of the Curio to create the Frozen Wastes, the shard vanished. So, when some cultists acquired the Fleece, they were able to retrieve the Curio, greatly augmenting the power of the Eye. It was because of this that Duldrus had fallen.
Alastor then talked briefly about the Cult itself. The Cult gave power to the Eye through their rites. Thus, to be completely rid of the Eye, it would be necessary to utterly destroy the Cult and retake the Golden Fleece. For the time being, however, the Cult was secure in Duldrus, and any attack would be in vain, for the Eye would see it coming.
The Last BattleEdit
Several days later, during the new Bleeding Moon, the call to arms rang out in Mirith. Soon afterwards, the Eye attacked the city and even sent a few diversionary attacks to the other cities. Meanwhile, Marthonis and Alastor were attempting to cast a spell that would break the Archpriest's shield around Duldrus. After the attacks were repelled, the black magicians succeeded.
Royal Guard Zexe appeared to lead the army, and off they marched toward the camp of the Eye. The battle was a bloodbath, with heaps of corpses from both sides littering the ground. After sustaining heavy losses from the forces of the Eye (and even from a pack of Ice Dragons), the Mirithian forces were being subdued. The tide began to turn when Gale arrived to fight the Eye. Eventually, the Archpriest and all of the cultists were slain, and the two artifacts recovered: the Golden Fleece and Andris's Curio.
Of the many Mirithians who were killed in the battle, none were lamented more than Zexe. The Eye was gone, but at the cost of one of the greatest heroes Mirith has ever known. Marthonis was given a chance to recover himself, as gratitude for his assistance. This gratitude would not last forever, of course, as the necromancer soon returned to his plotting against Mirith – but that is another story. Alastor remained in the city, to be tended to by Nafets. But Alastor's mind had been shattered, between being seduced by the Eye and being treated harshly by Marthonis.
But at last, on one rainy night under the Red Moon, the Curio third was returned to its rightful place in Andris.