In the latest session recap, the party vanquished Black Annis. Here's her backstory:
Tragedy of Black Annis
The Elves had come from across the sea. That was all anyone had known : an
empire of splendour and magic across a thousand miles of salt and spray - if you sailed to the very horizon before
God’s baleful eye rose, they said, you’d see the Elven homeland where people lived forever and every
man ate his fill. Beasts could speak, and even paupers lived for a thousand
It was a second son who came to this island with glory in his heart and a sword
in his hand – and they called this land Damesht - High-Elven for ‘across the sea’. The
Kingdoms of Man were small, and divided, and one-by-by the Elves conquered them
with sorcerous might and utter ruthlessness. Their thunder-loud voices had
sounded across the farmland, and announced that they were as gods, and we as
ants, and that the men of what now was Damesht should be rapturous to lie at
their feet rather than be exterminated.
But the Second Son and First King, who took the name Idrlyn, knew his numbers
were few. As the North and West of Damesht were subjugated, he knew that every
Elven life lost was like a hundred men, and that war was not the only way to
bring the human ants to heel.
As he pursued his war against the Giant-Chiefs of Zunia, he offered his fourth
daughter: gentle Annis, to the king of Loquista. Should he take the
Swan-Emperor’s daughter to wife, he would accept vassalage and rule as a chosen
king. His line would grow strong with Elven blood, and sorcery would run in the
veins of his descendants until the end of time. King Bedergeid eagerly
accepted, and the wedding was planned outside the city walls, in full view of a
the marshalled might of Idrlyn and the assembled forces of Loquista –
Bedergeid’s army preparing to join the Swan-Emperor’s crusade against the
Ordning of the Giants – titan-worshippers and bringers of chaos – as soon as
the marriage was consummated.
Bedergeid had made his agreement for his city and his line – but as he wandered
the swamps the night before his weeding, he came across his betrothed. Whilst
there were miles of fen and mire and covered in pavilions where the finest
Elven wine and Loquistan rum could be drank, and raucous parties occurred –
Annis had chosen to come here, a glade, and there tend to the wildlife. Even
though she had a mastery of terrible magicks, she spent her sorcery on the
wounds of sparrows, the distress of newts and the palsies of murk-fish.
Bedergeid fell in love then, and they lay together in the swamp, and Annis
exhalted, for her husband was kind, and she was with child.
As they wandered to the pavilions, Bedergeid noted he a group of men
silhouetted against the festivities. These were all warriors and knights of his
army, standing still with dreadful purpose.
“Never shall Elf rule over man in Loquista. We will not bow to your foreign
Bedergeid realised too late that he faced true steel, and he was cut down
before he could reach for his sword. Annis was thrown to the ground and beaten
and raped, and left to the mercies of the swamp.
When morning rolled around, the Swan-Emperor awoke to a declaration of war from
the Eternally Free City of Loquista. First, his army rampaged through wedding
party, cutting down the flower of Loquistan nobility as they awoke from sleep.
His army surged over the city, which now bristled with the traitor’s forces,
and crushed Loquista. As he watched the city burn, and saw the inhabitants
slaughtered in the street, he spoke a baleful curse on the city:
Let them know only tyranny. Let them
always feel the agony of their children’s death. Let them fill the seas with
Deep in the mud, a distended eyeball floated on an oracular stalk – a satellite
to a broken face. A quiver of consciousness, and a single thought: