Back when Blades of Avernum was first released (2004?) There was a scenario competition that went along with it and I thought of a scenario which I thought might be interesting to Avernum fans based on the Slith home land (And I was not the only one, I remembered reading the boards that someone else was also writing a scenario on that) Unfortunately when I was 25% done, my harddisk gave up on me and I learnt the importance of secondary storage. I also didn't have the strength to continue from scratch... the hours spent mapping out northern Avernum and comparing it to Avernum 2... I didn't want to do that again...
So why am I posting this now? Well I came across the word Slithzerikai while surfing and my scenario plot came back to my head and I thought I will write it down before I grow old and start to forget stuff. So if you are not afraid of reading long posts... well read on.
The war with the Empire has ended but the peace Avernum enjoyed was short-lived. The barbaric Sliths have began aggressions again culminating in the Second Slith War. During this time of turmoil, you (and your merry band of adventurers if any) are taking a break in Fort Emerald after doing a scouting mission for the commander of the fort when you received a royal dispatch from King Micah himself; You have been tasked to meet with a colony of Sliths in Northern Avernum and to render whatever aid they require of you. You have no idea why you were chosen for this mission; Your past exploits were, while successful, rather mundane. Still it is an order from the King himself and your declare your break time over.
As the northern water ways of Avernum are dangerously patrolled by the enemy Sliths, you decide to take the longer but safer route through the Abyss. The inhabitants of the Abyss were none too friendly but you had little problems. Showing the Royal Seal of Avernum encouraged even the most uncooperative guard to let you through. Leaving the gates of Bargha, you consult your map to the directions
to New Harston where you were to meet the Captain of the guards who will brief you further on your mission.
**End Of Background**
Yup, New Harston, that was really what I wanted to call it. In Avernum 4, it was apparently still ruins though it was there in Avernum 5. This was set around the period of the Za-Khazi Run.
**Chapter 1: The Lost Bahssikava**
You meet with the Captain of the guards who will give you a test of your abilities by asking you to clear out Pyrog's Cave which has been infested with goblins. After you clear out the cave, the Captain gives you directions to the Slith Colony and hands you a pass that allows you to cross a bridge that leads there. You trek through the wild and dangerous regions of Northern Avernum and finally reach the Slith colony. There the local priestess reveals to you that the Mother Goddess has prophesied that you will be the one to lead the Sliths to salvation. You are then asked to take the trail of the Lost Bahssikava and enter the home lands of the Slith. You brave the dangers of the Lost Bahssikava and finally reach a ruined cavern city filled with spirits of the undead. Your exploration of the city reveals that an ancient battle took place here. A small group of Sliths await you when you exit the city. One of them greets you in your tongue, they have been waiting for you. He points you to your next destination, the Temple of the One.
**End of Chapter 1**
Notes: The scenarion assumes you are using a new or low level team so the monsters are relatively weak at the start. The geography of Northern Avernum is based closely to Avernum 2 so there is a river between New Harston to the Lost Bahssikava. To get around that, a bridge has been built which is guarded by Avernites and only people with passes are allowed to cross. This also gets round you going to the Lost Bahssikava before you clear out Pyrog's cave. Of course there are also side quest like helping out New Harston's resident's by killing rats in the cellar and stuff. The Northern Islands are also in the game but only explorable in the next chapter.
**Chapter 2:The Land of the Sliths **
You follow the directions given to you and head to the Temple of the One. Along the way, you are ambushed by a group of savage Sliths which leads you to suspect that all is not well in the land of the Sliths. Eventually when you arrive at the Temple of the One, you are greeted by the Arch Priest and shown into the inner chambers of the temple where a huge secret is revealed; the statue of a Vahnatai labeled as The One!
A voice speaks in your head and you realise the statue is talking to you. It tells you about the history of itself and the Sliths. He was once a brilliant mage of the Vanatai that had attained the rank of Ihrno. However he was caught dabbling in forbidden arts and was cast out of his people together with his pupils. He and his pupils then created the Sliths as the instrument of his vengeance. However, while nurturing his creations, he realised the error of his ways and turned over a new leaf seeking instead to care for and guide the Sliths. Because of this, he had a falling out with best pupil, Kardis(I have to name him or its difficult to read) resulting in his banishment. He was growing old however and did not have the means to be transformed into a Crystal Soul. Also he was worried that the Vahnatai will detect his presence if he were to be transformed into a Crystal Soul and exterminate the Sliths. He then came up with the idea of embedding his soul into a stone replica of himself. While his powers will be diminished in this form, he will be immortal and will be able to guide the Sliths for all eternity. During this period, the Sliths entered into a golden age of prosperity and each succeeding Arch Priest was charged with protecting the secret of their creator.
Unknown to The One, Kardis was plotting revenge. After several centuries, he developed a plague which will make infected Sliths more savage and aggressive. Subsequently, the plague affected a fair number of Sliths who started demon worship and turned on their own kind, they were known as Darklings (Maybe this was actually a Avernite term but whatever, it helps to differentiate). A civil war broke out between the Darklings and the normal Sliths. At the onset of the war, many normal Sliths became infected after a battle and joined the Darklings so even a victorious battle becomes a loss. The One managed to developed a vaccine thus turning the tide of the war. However he was unable to find a cure. In a climatic battle at Bahssikava, the bulk of the Darklings army was defeated. The surviving Darklings were rounded up and cast out of the Slith land in the hope that they would recover one day. Kardis was never found. (Now that I look at it, the history is pretty lengthy, probably would be better if I were to break it down into books readable by the player at his leisure.)
After telling you his history, The One tells you that he has been keeping track of the exiled Sliths through the stone artifacts that they brought along with them. Most of the stone artifacts contains a part of his essence that allows him to view the surroundings and even at times communicate. Somehow one of the stone artifacts ended up in your possession and he has been monitoring you ever since. He feels that you are capable of solving the strife has come anew to the Slith. He suspects that a mutated version of the original virus has appeared and infected some patrols in the Blasted Lands (area where the civil war took place) and some of them has sneaked past the cordon and hiding in Slith lands. Since you are not a Slith, you should be unaffected by the plague (if you are a Slith, then you are a descendant of the infected Sliths and should have developed an immunity to the plague and its variants ) He wants you to do 2 tasks, investigate the Darkling sighting and visit an ancient Drake who was an ally of the Sliths in the civil war. You accept and the Arch-Priest conducts a ceremony which allows you to understand and speak the local tongue.
You then set off visiting the cavern cities of the Slith, exploring the Slith land, finding the home of a Avernite explorer who got lost and ended up in the Slith home land. Subsequently you reach the ancient Drake who warns of a impending danger in the blasted lands and gets assassinated after delivering the warning. You also find and clear out the darkling hideout. On completion of your tasks you return to The One to make your report. There you see a vision of the walls of a slith fort being destroyed by a demon and a Darkling horde overcoming the defences of the fort. The One tells you that the vision was real, the fort that cordoned off the the Blasted Lands have been destroyed, a Slith army is now camped around the fort waiting to repel any Darkling invasion but he fears that it will be a repeat of the previous war... he asks that you sneak into the Blasted Lands and investigate the source of the insurgency.
**End of Chapter 2**
Notes: The geography of the Slith home lands was up to me to invent. The northern area was mainly lava fields that heated up the whole cavern making it the idea home for the Sliths. The east contains the Blasted Lands and was separated from the Slith Lands by a sea and cave walls. The only passage through is guarded by a Slith Fort which was destroyed in the vision. The vision was to be a cutscene although I was not sure if it could be done but it seemed doable at the time. Anyway, there was to be a few Slith cities to explore. If you didn't go to the temple first, then you wouldn't be able to communicate with the local Sliths. There will also be a Slith warrior NPC that can join your group in this chapter. At that time, I also created a Slith Rider monster that looked like a Slith warrior riding a giant lizard. After defeating the Slith rider, you will have to fight the giant lizard which will be slightly damaged but its not a difficult foe. I remembered writing a magic lamp and a genie but can't remember where it was gonna fit in.
**Chapter 3: The Blasted Lands**
I think I will just give a short summary here since this chapter and the last were pretty undeveloped then.
You will venture into the Blasted Lands and explore some of the ruins left from the war. You will across Darkling scouts, Darkling bands, Darkling camps etc. You will also be able to recruit a imp to your party (can't bring the Slith warrior companion as he might get infected) At the end, you will come upon Kardis who was the engineer of the new virus and defeat him. Kardis will reveal his allegiance with a Demon Lord (insert name here) who is now in possession of an airborne type of his virus and is preparing to release it. And if the imp companion was with you, he will betray you at this point. But you will get a super cursed weapon from him, the Demon Claw.
**End of Chapter 3**
Notes: The curse was a scripted one rather than the normal kind of curse, it will randomly deal you damage when you use it.
**Chapter 4: The Star Pyramid**
Well, this is pretty straightforward, go the the lair of the Demon Lord (insert name here), the Star Pyramid, destroy the virus and vanquish him. Along the way you will meet a group of Vantai's investigating the demonic energies in the area (possibly the only store and rest area in the chapter) and you can recruit one of them. There is a ancient ruin belonging to some ancient race of demon worshipers who were wiped out by the Vahnatai. After you defeat the Demon Lord and bring peace to the Lands, you return to Avernum and the entry to Lost Bahssikava is sealed again. But the One promised that the time of the prodigal sons' return will be soon...
**End of Chapter 4**
Notes: In conversation, the Demon Lord will have hinted that the 2nd Slith War in Avernum was part of his conspiracy to dominate Avernum in Grahoth's absence. You will do battle with him at the tip of the pyramid... kinda like how you fought Grahoth...
So thats the end... Best Scenario Award?? Haha, well it would have been nice to play I think.