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A time of false hope shall arise in the heartlands of Arik. In the waning months of the one-thousand-five-hundred-and-seventh year after the Cataclysm, all shall appear calm in the land of the Southrons. Then shall the banished from the depths of Grund arise to smite the surface dwellers. Then shall the select of Athelstan disappear. Then shall the rebels, led by the fell general Lord Soth, ride forth once more against the just rule of Dunthrane. Then shall the seeds of an even greater conflict among the powers of Grund and the heavens be sown.

But in these dismal days of despair, a band dedicated to the upholding of Good shall arise in the land of Southold. They shall be called the Six from Bywater, and shall, in righteous indignation, pursue Soth even unto his dark keep. At Daargard they shall battle Bane's Champion.

The Death Knight's nemesis, Hulgarís enchanted blade of ice shall guide them, borne by a mighty warrior. A half-breed with the lines of Sundabar and Duplicis commingled in his veins is he, fighting a destiny of living death; the price of failure. Should his courage fail, all are doomed to perish.

Magicks of great power shall be borne by the wizard of gold. His visage masks his heritage, thus does the spawn of foul Turbareus hide his shame, even as he follows the path of righteousness. Neither old age nor tooth, nor claw, nor blade of steel shall bring his end; the master of dragons shall find his end as he hath lived, by incantations of death.

The stalker of the woodlands and archer of destruction shall bear the mighty Flame into battle. Yet this bastard of the house of Leafsong cannot trust it to light the coming path of darkness. The half-elf's doom is inextricably linked to his half-brothers'.

The dweller of shadows and master of deception shall bear skills of treachery. Though he thinks his other self banished, let him beware; the dark heart beats still. The battle for possession of the elf's soul has merely begun.

A blade of powerful enchantment shall be borne by the protector of justice. She, of the noble line of Hador, her former curse banished, shall be clad in gleaming armor as she rides forth to smite the enemy. Alas, this paragon of chivalry has more to fear from supposed allies than her foes, the blow shall come from an unexpected quarter.

Leading the armies into battle shall be the noble cleric of silver, whose gleaming gauntlet shall be a beacon of strength on the desolate field of battle. Wielding the sword of the infidels, he shall cut the rebels before him as he gropes for victory. But lo, Death, recently cheated, is hot on his heels.

Thus shall these Six act as One in purpose. A mighty force shall they assemble and lead against the gates of Daargard. The red shall join the silver and the brown in the great march across the land. Many battles shall they fight, and the rebels shall be cut down as wheat before the scythe. The Pass of the Wyrm shall be forced open, and finally battle will be joined with the mad baron. Thus, after saving many a life and drinking of the waters of truth, the city of Eastmarch will be laid low, and the Six of Bywater will embark on their final quest. Deception will play its part, as shall hopes of revenge, but the march of the Six shall be inexorable, though delayed, it will not be halted.

To the mountain heights of misty Daargard shall they march, bereft of all armies, trusting solely to steel and spell. They will be aided by three great and good heroes, who shall open the way for the Six before succumbing to the terrors therein. Old friends and rivals shall they encounter. Some will fall in the many travails to come in the deathknight's keep, but the rest shall press on to the inner sanctum of Bane's Minion. There shall be joined a battle that will be sung of for centuries to come. This titanic test of arms and the unlooked for events that shall follow it shall be immortalized by the Bard Anson, in his renowned epic poem Six Against Daargard. At the last, he too shall become an unwitting player in the tragedy to come and take the place of one who was lost. Nevertheless, all shall hail the glorious deeds of the blessed survivors of the Six from Bywater.

 

Background to the Prophecy: At Yuletide, 1507, a letter Gunter received from Shalfrey, Master Sage of the Tower of the Stars, started to glow. The scroll, copied from the Books of Prophecy themselves, revealed a great storm that would befall Southold and the rest of Arik. Out of this, it predicted that the "Six from Bywater" would come, and lead an army deep into the lands of Balar. There, the Six would take on Lord Soth himself, though the result of this climactic combat was not revealed. The prophecy gave the band a renewed sense of purpose.

 

Commentary on the Prohpecy:

"banished" represent the drow, united under House Everhate after Lloth's death, attacking the Galathiene.

"select of Athelstan disappear" represents the theft of Southold's royal artiftacts of Tyr by the vampire Count Drakov.

"the seed of an even greater conflict" represents Vecna's coming Disjunction and attempt to separate Grund from the heavans and the gods

"Hulgar's enchanted blade of ice" is Deepchill, Gunter's ancient Thonian blade forged to slay Lord Soth

"the wizard of gold" is the gold dragonmage Liet, secretly of Videssian half parentage and so holding the mark of a demon on his soul

"the stalker" is Elsinsor, whio wielded the Flame of the Southrons sword. His half-brother, of the royal line of Galathiene, tried to slay him until he renounced any claim to the throne.

"dweller in shadows" is Calvin--the other self referred to is his dual, evil nature, Ejrik Spellbender who once possessed him

"the protector of justice" is Lady Araselle--members of her own order turned against her over her previous curse as a lycanthrope, and had her locked in a convent

"cleric of silver" is Baron Elrich, with his "infidel" khopesh sword. He had recently cheated death in a duel with a deathknight, and Death would soon have his due.

"A mighty force" is the Third Bywater Expeditionary Army, which fought three major battles on the way to Soth's Dargaard Keep

"the waters of truth" represents Tyr's holy Shrine of Nevron

"Deception ... though delayed it shall not be halted" refers to Soth's illusion of his own death, temporarily convincing the Bywater Six the quest was over

"Bard Anson" is the Irrudian Anson Adams, who joined the band in their final assault on the keep, to compose his epic poem, Six Against Dargaard

"the glorious deeds" in the end, the band won through, and Gunter plunged Deepchill through Lord Soth and laid him to rest

- Commentary by Professor Thaddeus Quirm, Royal Academy

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