The Shadow Wars were a series of events taking place in the lands of the Highmark, Lar, Underhall and the lands of Dun Mora a couple years after the Circle's destruction during the Rune Wars. Initiated by Sorvina and her husband Nazshar the mysterious Shadows had joined the Pact and the dark elves of Lar were threatening the balance of power in the region.
Nazshar's studies about the shadows
During the Battle of Fiara it became evident that a new kind of creature had invaded the world of Eo. Scholars were discussing about an unseen enemy: The Shadows. Castagir, Rigour Mortis and Chosain the Hermit were one of the few who believed and investigated these rumours. However there was another scholar who took this matter much more serious: Nazshar.
Said dark elf was an Archon of Dragh'Lur who first heard about the strange beings from his masters, the Fial Darg, during the War of the Six Races. Ever since he had been trying to establish a contact with them. Soon after he was able to obtain the Shadowblade through unknown means, he finally was able to do so. With the Shadowblade in his hands and the power of the Shadows at his disposal, he reinstated himself as the supreme leader of the lands of Lar. He attempted to establish a new order that would make the dark elven race the strongest on the continent.
Craig Un'Shallach's assault
Because Nazshar was ruling the dark elves with extreme brutality and because of the Dracon caste's wariness towards the Shadows, they tasked Craig Un'Shallach with finding and getting rid of the unlawful dictator. The Norcaine general invaded the formerly invincible fortress Dragh'Lur and killed Nazhsar on the highest level of the city. Nazshar's plans and the alliance with the Shadows were put on hold.
Only some time later Toth Lar - Nazshar's son - was trying to find a way to resurrect his father. With the help of a rune warrior, he obtained Nazshar's ashes and through sinister magic, the Archon was revived. At that time Nazshar was trying to reinstate himself once more but again he was stopped. This time Nightsong confronted him and again Nazshar was killed and his plans were ended once and for all.
Toth Lar and Sorvina weaving the Pact
After Nazshar was killed, the dark elven traditions were rather strict towards widows. His wife Sorvina was forced to follow her husband through the blade or through poison. The poison was slowly killing her but then something changed massively: The Shadows were seeking out to her. Because Nazshar had first established a contact with the strange beings, they had returned and were now trying to continue by talking with Sorvina.
This caused a change of heart within Sorvina and instead of wanting to die, she now had other plans. Together with her son, Toth Lar, she initiated one of the largest magic rituals ever witnessed in the history of Eo. By imbuing the magic power of the entire Archon caste, the Shadows and the dark elven race were united magically. Ever since the two races were inseparately connected. While the Shadows drained the dark elves life force to maintain a physical form on Eo, the dark elves obtained a new kind of warrior at their disposal.
With the Shadows' help Sorvina got rid of his opponents within the Laranian kingdom. The invisible fighters slaughtered mercilessly and not even the powerful Dracon caste was able to persevere. Sorvina reinstated dictatorship again like Nazshar did before but she handed the position of the official leader to her son, Toth Lar, who was the supreme commander of both the Archon and the Sinistra castes.
Craig Un'Shallach was still trying to fight back Sorvina's lackeys but when the Shadows joined the fight and attacked Dragh'Lur, not even the Dracon were standing a chance against the mysterious beings. Craig Un'Shallach sent his daughter Nightsong away to warn the other races from the imminent threat while he chose to die fighting the Pact forged by Sorvina's doings. The death of Craig Un'Shallach and the fall of Dragh'Lur to the Pact in the year 19 after the Convocation marked the official start of the Shadow Wars.
The Pact attacking Shaikur
After the lands of Lar were completely ruled by Sorvina and Toth Lar, they dispatched some fighters to find Nightsong and to execute her. Craig Un'Shallach's daughter had long left the Laranian territory and arrived at the Iron Fields by then. There she was found and almost killed by some dark elven assassins but thanks to a certain Shaikan's help, she was able to recover.
The future Soul Carrier revived Nightsong by giving her the dragon's blood of the Shaikan race and thus turned her into one as well. The dark elf explained the future Soul Carrier about the Pact and their soon-to-come attack on the Highmark's territory. After having talked to the Patriarch of the Shaikan race, the great dragon Ur, Nightsong was dispatched to meet with King Ulf in Sevenkeeps. Her saviour, Bor as well as Lya were dispatched along with her to keep her safe. Meanwhile the Laranian military had arrived at the Iron Fields as well and Toth Lar and Sorvina were preparing to launch their attacks. The alchemist summoned Golgalath, a powerful demon, and the siege of Shaikur began.
Without knowing about their comrade's fate at the Iron Fields, the future Soul Carrier and his companions traveled to Norimar to meet with the Iron Falcons at Falcon Castle. Baron Ortbrandt was supposed to be a good friend with connections to King Ulf's royal court. After having helped him with taking care of some undead plague caused by the Red Cult, the city of Norimar was threatened by an attack of the Pact.
The Soul Carrier utilized a dwarven device left behind by the dwarves of Underhall to make the Madan Gor collapse. With the only path connecting Shaikur and Norimar having been blocked through rubble, the Pact had to retreat. Meanwhile Baron Ortbrandt had successfully been convinced to support their cause. His son, Falkmar, joined them and together they marched towards Lyraine at the Rushwater Downs to meet with Master Matricus of the Order of Dawn.
At the city of Lyraine the Shaikan made a first contact with the orcs of the Iron Storm clan. They were frantically trying to overcome the walls of the city to occupy the important trading route to Sevenkeeps in the name of the Iron Lord. Only with the help of the Shaikan, Master Matricus was able to defeat the attackers and to secure the road to the capital of Sevenkeeps.
Reforging the alliances
At King Ulf's castle it quickly became evident that the armies of the Highmark had suffered harshly during the past time. The Realm's former alliances with the elves of Dun Mora and the dwarves of Underhall had been cut off already. And without their help the human army would not be deployed. General Einar, an ambassador of the house of Utran, was trying to convince King Ulf to grant the Shaikans' request for help.
In the meantime the Soul Carrier was talking to the dwarven ambassador Jandrim Windhammer within the dwarven district. He was talking about his hometown Underhall being under siege by Aman and Iuan and their beastmen. Thane Wulfgar was unable to provide any fighters for the Realm's army. And as if that was not enough, the portal to Underhall had lost all power. The Soul Carrier managed to organize a reserve portal stone and traveled there to support them against the invaders. After both Iuan and Aman were defeated, Thane Wulfgar promised to dispatch fighters to King Ulf's cause.
The Morhir elves of Dun Mora recently had not been able to provide any fighters to the Realm's cause. Queen Sansha could not be contacted as the borders were closed and the ambassadress, Ylia, had gone missing. The Soul Carrier found her being in captive at Hagard's tower. The rogue mage had been servant of Sorvina who had poisoned the Sevenkeep's garrison's water supplies and was trying to split the alliance of the Realm.
With Hagard being dead and Ylia free, the Soul Carrier then traveled to Dun Mora to meet with his blood-sister Shae and the elven queen Sansha. However the Morhir were unable to provide troops for the Realm as they had their own struggles. Not only were demons constantly attacking their base, there were also some ghosts of fallen Morhir appearing on the battlefield. These ghosts were making the moral of the surviving fighters almost non-existent. The Soul Carrier helped the ghosts to move on and restored the elves' fighting spirit. With their help he then fought back the demons and destroyed the portals that brought them to the surface.
After that the Shaikan returned to Sevenkeeps and told King Ulf about the reforged alliances with the dwarves and the elves. The king was extremely happy to hear about that and promised the Soul Carrier his troops in the battles that would now commence. The Realm's forced first marched towards the Needle, an ancient Bulwark of the Clans, where they dealt a crushing blow to the orc fighters. However after having conquered the fortress, the Shaikan commander noticed that there were some Norcaine of the Pact present that had sabotaged the Clans as well. The Soul Carrier resurrected Chieftain Kor as a Shaikan and made him talk about what had happened here.
With the Needle having been conquered, the Soul Carrier pressed onwards through the portal to the Iron Fields. There it became evident that Shaikur's defense had been breached already. With his troops the Soul Carrier attacked the rear camps of the Pact. With the treants' support the Shadows could first be seen and were pushed back as well.
Camp after camp the Pact's forces diminished but when the Soul Carrier had finally reached Shaikur, he found out that Ur had long been defeated and teleported to Shal, the Laranian capital. Sorvina's demon, Golgalath, remained in Shaikur and had devoured many of the Shaikan people. The Soul Carrier destroyed the demon in a tough fight.
The Soul Carrier being revealed
Afterwards the alliance with the Realm broke due to a sudden reveal: The Shaikan commander had a secret as he turned out to be the Soul Carrier bearing Janus Malacay's soul. Briefly after Golgalath's death, Janus Malacay broke out and due to his malign character, he tore apart the alliance between the Shaikan and the Realm. And when the original character of the Soul Carrier returned and Malacay receeded, the damage was done. Nightsong proposed to persist further and together they marched towards the Gate of Swords.
At the old battlefield the Shaikan met with an old acquaintance, Chieftain Kor, who had been turned into a Shaikan during the siege of the Bulwark at the Needle. Due to his blood debt Kor promised to arrange a meeting with the Iron Lord, the supreme commander of the Iron Storm clans. After having dealt with some minor Pact soldiers that were occupying the path towards the south, the Soul Carrier reached mount Uglan and talked with the Iron Lord.
The orc commander was sceptical and would first refuse to help. But when he learned of Nightsong that she was the daughter of Craig Un'Shallach, he changed his mind. The Iron Lord used to be on very good terms with the Norcaine dracon and promised to arrange some help. But first, the Shaikan had to find a way in dealing with the Shadows.
Luckily, Nightsong revealed that in the past she had some connections with the Free Traders, group of travelling merchants, who use to know alot about many different things. The Soul Carrier headed to their camp and met with a former rune warrior, the Messenger, who used to fight against Nazshar along with Nightsong during the Rune Wars.
To the Fireforge
The Messenger told the Shaikan commander about an ancient relic that he once owned: A Shadow Ring. To turn the Shadows visible one would need to obtain such a ring but the Fireforge that used to be the only place where those rings could be forged, had been lost ever since the Convocation. The Soul Carrier asked Kor about possible clues and he proposed to talk to the Oracle of the Gate of Swords. Although Lokhan dispatched many underlings to stop the Soul Carrier, he persevered and found out that the Fireforge was located on an island in reach.
However to get there, one would first get through Uram Gor - a place which even the bravest orcs would avoid to enter because it was overrun by undead and demons long ago. But because he did not have a choice, the Shaikan commander used the portal to Uram Gor and began fighting his way through the endless hordes.
He was supported by Kor's Black Fangs during the fighting and step by step he went deeper in the fiery pits of Uram Gor. After he had established a base next to the Gate of the Nameless, a demon had used his shapeshifting magic to convince Kor into opening the gate. From there on the old magic defenses on Uram Gor were deactivated and the Soul Carrier had to use all his fighting powers to dive into the demonic terrain to destroy the Chaos Nodes that were supporting the demons. After that he fought the Lord Steward, the supreme demon of Uram Gor, and vanquished him. With his death, the demons of Uram Gor were defeated and the path to the Fireforge was revealed to the Shaikan commander.
The Frostblades were home to some barbarian tribes. One of them, the Frostblades, was led by Vlad while the other two were beastmen tribes. Vlad revealed that the gate leading inside the Fireforge had been blocked and that a key was needed to reopen it. He himself only had one of three key parts while the other two were to be found at the beastmen commanders of the other tribes. With the Soul Carrier's help the barbarians fought back the beastmen and were able to obtain all three parts. Vlad then opened the gate and the entire Shaikan group marched in and cleared the place from the remaining beastmen fighters until they had reached the inner area of the Fireforge.
The Iron Lord's plans
Subduing the shadows
Dragh'Lur under siege
Sorvina's unpleasant surprise
Civil war among the Norcaine people
Going after Malacay