The lore (background story) of Monsters' Den: Chronicles is not formalized; that is, there is no game introduction/manual explaining events and people that have shaped the current state of the world in which the game takes place. The developer however has left tantalizing little titbits in the quests given, as well as certain item descriptions. Note that aside from direct quotes, almost everything in this section is pure speculation. Below is general speculation on certain aspects of the Monsters' Den universe, followed by a complete(?) list of all lore-related quotes in the game.
Speculation on LoreEdit
- Ancient Crusades: Virtually nothing is known. However this event (among other things) implies that there are multiple gods in the Monsters' Den universe.
- Forging of the Knight-General's Aegis: Little information is given as to why the shield was created, but given the effort put into its making it was most likely used to defeat either Dilaera or Hasmodeth.
- Raid of Challanurgh ("The Bones of Empire" campaign):
- Red Rebellion: An extremely bloody revolt against the rule of the tyrannical Emperor Haemon I which was brutally put down. No one was safe from the Emperor's enforcers; men, women, and children alike were put to the sword if they were suspected of being rebels. Also notable for claiming the life of the Imperial Heir Haemon II (Haemon I's son) and for sowing the seeds of a civil war later on in Haemon I's rule which led to the fracturing of his empire. Led to the construction of the massive crypt of Challanurgh to inter the bodies of those killed in the conflict.
- The Black Pact: A covenant between Aristei and Dilaera. Dilaera was to go out into the world and become the harbinger of Aristei's vengeance, in return for a boon of some sort, possibly immortality. The beginning of a millennia-long era of terror.
- Challanurgh: Also known as the Black Crypt. A massive burial site containing the remains of those killed during the Red Rebellion. Consists of three levels. The Ash Vaults on the highest level, where the remains of those who rebelled against Haemon I were defiled per his orders as a twisted way of exacting vengeance even after death. The spirits of those butchered by Haemon I still roam the Vaults. The Conscripts Tombs on the next lowest level, where soldiers loyal to Haemon I were buried with honor. Finally the Imperial Crypt at the lowest level, where Haemon II was interred, though his body is reanimated by the necromancers then cremated by the player during the course of the game.
- Eastern Nations: Home of the dwarves, assumed to be mountainous. The dwarves are the finest metalworkers in the Monsters' Den universe.
- Guardian Stones of the Mysterious Void: Probably in a central location due to their relative fame. Given their nature, the Cult of the Outward Path may have had something to do with their construction. Perhaps an experiment gone awry created this gateway to the chaotic realm?
- It is likely that the world in which Monsters' Den: Chronicles takes place is either a pangaea (a single landmass), or the events which the player participates in take place on a single continent of a larger world, the other continents being completely unknown.
- Riftstorm Keep: The most recent base of operations for the Cult of the Outward Path. Cleared of the Cult's presence by the player.
- Savantir: A formerly massive center of arcane knowledge, most likely a city-state. What caused its destruction is unknown. Given its nature it could have been a gathering place for learned peoples of all nations and species; humans of any religion, dwarves, and possible other species (no mention of the greenskins in Chronicles, though they were present in earlier versions of Monsters' Den). Both scholarship and industry were notable features of Savantir. The Sorcerer appears to be related to Savantir as their default title is "Savantine Disciple".
- Southern Wastes: A cold, barren region. Possibly this way due to some cataclysmic event long past. Full of demon-worshipping raiders. Note that the presence of raiders implies that there are (relatively) prosperous lands to the north.
- Tellunos: A city destroyed in Monster's Den: Book of Dread in the survival campaign entitled The Fall of Tellunos.
- The Hidden Realm: Most likely a concealed plane where some unknown being(s) (probably of a magical nature) were forced to retreat to due to a conflict/oppression of some sort. Whatever is in there is waiting for the opportune moment to reveal itself once again and exact vengeance. Could also possibly be a very remote region such as deep in a vast forest or even underwater. A possible candidate for the resident of the Hidden Realm is Hasmodeth.
- The High Road: A massive trade route, part of which passes near a mountainous region infested with demons (less infested after the party destroys the Soulharvester). Possible similar to the real-life Silk Road.
- Acolyte Kyan: High-ranking member of the Cult of the Outward Path. Involved in the construction of the Nexus Engine, which is later destroyed by the player. His status after the destruction of the Nexus Engine is unknown though it is likely that he was killed.
- Acolyte Runath: High-ranking member of the Cult of the Outward Path. A mad genius and lead designer of the Nexus Engine. Figured out a method to utilize the latent energies of the world in the Nexus Engine, though the likely outcome of using his method would be the destruction of the world. Killed by the player at the end of Act I.
- Agnotia: A powerful mage. Virtually no information is given.
- Aristei: A vindictive, evil deity (gender unknown) hell-bent on causing as much pain and suffering as possible. Merely killing is not enough to satisfy this being's thirst for revenge; its victims are forced to endure existence as spectres or other similar spirits. Its disciples include, among others, Dilaera, Wraithlords, and necromancers. It is also possible, given the nature of Aristei, that Haemon I and Haemon II were followers as well, or at the least pawns. Most likely the main antagonist in the Monsters' Den universe (with the possible exception of Hasmodeth). It is unknown what event originally spited this god.
- Callara: A powerful being (possibly deity) likely of a benevolent nature. Little is known, though this diety could be The Lady.
- Death Adder: Either the leader of the Serpent Army (so he was hated by the Empire) or a despised warrior of which little information is given. A capable warrior regardless. At one point wielded the Golden Axe.
- Dilaera: (possibly immortal, gender unknown) Disciple of Aristei, leader of a vast army in ages past. Responsible for a reign of terror that caused innumerable deaths over thousands of years to sate Aristei's desire for revenge. Could be considered the "High Priest/Priestess" of Aristei. Likely a king/emperor as well. If Dilaera was mortal then it is very likely he was the first Emperor of the Empire, with the battle standard of the Empire being the Black Flag of Dilaera, similar to the Golden Eagle carried by Roman legions. Otherwise if he was immortal then it is more likely he was the leader of a nation other than the Empire because he would be an immortal emperor who would never cede power (Haemon I would never have been Emperor). It is implied that at some point Dilaera's army was defeated, though if he was immortal it is possible that he/she is still alive somewhere. Also could be the name of the nation itself, if so its inhabitants might have become demons with the nation becoming Hell. Related to Hasmodeth.
- Emperor Haemon I: Also known as the Last Emperor. Final leader of the Empire before its dissolution. It was during his reign that the Red Rebellion occurred, most likely due to his oppressive rule. Probably based on the more tyrannical ancient Roman emperors such as Nero or Caligula.
- Eridos: A powerful being (possibly diety) likely of an aggressive nature. Possibly leader of Vampires. Little is known.
- Euphia: A powerful being (possibly diety) likely of a scholarly nature. Likely a Mage. Little is known.
- Hasmodeth: Also known as the Demonbirther, likely the reason there are demons in the Monsters' Den universe. Almost certainly a being of godlike or near-godlike powers. Through a prodigious effort was chained and sealed away. Possibly the resident of the Hidden Realm. Related to Dilaera.
- Imperial Heir Haemon II: Son of Emperor Haemon I. Would have been next in line to inherit the throne of the Empire, but was cut down during the Red Rebellion. Reanimated by the necromancers then destroyed for good by the player during the second campaign of the game. Inherited his father's more unpleasant traits and had already built a reputation as a tyrant despite his youth. Possibly based on the Roman emperor Commodus.
- Lairit: A powerful being (possibly deity) likely of a defensive/neutral nature. Possibly a Cleric. Little is known.
- Lord Ausperch: Deceased general of the Empire, possibly under the direct command of Haemon II rather than Haemon I (if this is the case it would make Haemon II even more similar to Commodus). Destroyed for good by the player at the end of the "Bones of Empire" campaign.
- Lord Savant: Likely the leader of the player's company. A powerful mage capable of divination at the very least. This is the person who sends the player's party out on missions and is the party's employer as well.
- Necromancers: Human mages who practice dark magics forbidden by the civilized world, possible followers of Aristei. When acting together in tandem are capable of raising vast armies of undead. The fact that necromancers collaborated together during the raid of Challanurgh means that they have some kind of organizational structure which allows them to coordinate. Perhaps an isolated gathering location similar to the Cult's Riftstorm Keep or a nation of their own.
- Nidal: A powerful being (possibly deity) likely of a neutral nature. Little is known.
- Ranien: A powerful being (possibly deity) likely of an offensive/neutral nature. Possibly a Cleric. Little is known.
- Sarilas: A powerful being (possibly deity) likely of an offensive/neutral nature. Very fast possibly Lord of Time. Little is known.
- Sel'Zabar: A scholar from long ago. His writings can be seen as a warning to prepare for some great calamity, possibly the release of Hasmodeth.
- Skosyr: A powerful being (possibly deity) likely of an aggressive nature. Little is known, but is almost certainly the leader/god of the Skosyrites.
- The Lady: (possibly Callara) A benevolent deity, possibly the one that the player's party follows. Defender of the weak and oppressed, she blesses those who fight for just causes. Likely to be the main opposition to Aristei.
- Thysion: A powerful being (possibly deity) likely of a neutral nature. Possibly related to the Forestgaurd. Little is known.
- Unknown Speaker (burial shroud): Likely a famous, unnamed necromancer, a Wraithlord, or an unknown god of death. Whoever/whatever said the quote was important enough to be quoted however. A long-shot guess would be Aristei, though this seems unlikely give Aristei's volatile nature (Aristei is not concerned with protecting anything).
- Unknown Speaker (narrator): One has to wonder just who is doing the narrating. Who is the person chronicling the player's achievements? A scribe in the employ of the player's company would seem to be the most likely possibility, though a company field commander of some sort could also be possible. And of course it could be no one, just the developer giving the player information :(
- Vornis: A powerful being (possibly deity) likely of a defensive nature. Little is known.
- Wraithlords: Likely to be immortal or Undead servants of Aristei, also possibly the generals of Dilaera's army. Not much more can be determined other than that they were very powerful in magical abilities and very feared.
- College of Mages:
- Companies: Quasi-mercenary religious organizations responsible for keeping the various threats of the Monsters' Den universe in check. All of the playable characters work for the same company, under the employ of Lord Savant. It is likely that groups of (or possibly all) companies are affiliated with the same god since they work in tandem when necessary (see the end of the first campaign). Either that or companies have some other unifying aspect other than religion, possibly nationalistic or economic. Given their righteous nature The Lady is the most probable deity of worship for a company, with the other possibilities being Callara or other unknown deities. Companies also have a sense of pride is their work which could be said to approach zealotry (not surprising given their religious nature). May be successors to or inspired by The First Company. Could be based loosely on the Knights Templar and/or Swiss mercenaries.
- Cult of the Outward Path:
- Serpent Army: Part of the Red Rebellion against Haemon I. Skilled in all aspects regarding poison, likely used more clandestine methods to oppose Haemon I. Supplied by some unknown entity, possibly a nation that would benefit from the fracturing of the Empire or a person(s) within the Empire who would benefit from Haemon I's fall (the latter seems more likely due to Haemon's resemblance to a Roman emperor). In the end Haemon I's blunt use of force proved too much for the Serpent Army to withstand.
- The First Company: Possibly the player party from Monster's Den: Book of Dread. If so, this means that the player party canonically died at the end of the Fall of Tellunos survival campaign from that game.
- The Forestguard:
- The Skosyrites:
From Act IEdit
- "Power to reshape the world-- a prize beyond imagining. The Cult of the Outward Path pursue this goal with single-minded devotion, heedless of the cost. They must be stopped, lest the price be paid in innocent blood."
- "The murderous Cult of the Outward Path prizes its secrecy. They hide their activities under a shroud of powerful magic, and leave few living witnesses. (paragraph) The time has come to lift the veil. A dedicated scrying effort, led by Lord Savant himself, has painstakingly mapped the ley lines and places of power they value.. with some success. The otherworldly fortress known as Riftstorm Keep has been rediscovered. The fortress is not where it was, or quite what is was, but all indications are that the Cult remains. (paragraph) A small team leaves to infiltrate the Keep, and discover what the cultists want so desperately to hide."
- "Excerpt from the journal of Acolyte Kyan: Brother Runath's research is already bearing fruit. The prototype Nexus Engine becomes more capable with each passing day, and I weep for joy at what it heralds for the Path. I try not to let the neophytes see me, as I know they laugh behind my back. But how can one remain unmoved, when the means are almost, finally, within our grasp? To leave this world behind, forever.."
- "Excerpt from the journal of Acolyte Runath: The key, naturally, is power: where to obtain it, and how to channel it. Advances in one area necessitate advances in the other. The latter is Kyan's project, and with my aid they have made great strides. I believe, now, I have also solved the first problem. As locusts may consume a harvest, gaining the sustenance to move on to the next, so shall we harness and consume the power locked away in the very structure of this desolate world."
- "Onward, to the Void workshops, where the Cult craft their strange technology. (paragraph) The journals speak of a new generation of Void Engine, with power enough to destroy the world in a stroke. A threat beyond our darkest fears, and one that cannot be allowed to stand. (paragraph) At all costs, the prototype must be found and destroyed. The knowledge used to create such an abomination must also die and, now. Uncover and burn any technical documents used in its creation. And most importantly of all, find and silence the twisted genius behind it all, this Acolyte Runath."
- "Within the Keep's Inner Sanctum, the Enlightened are at once revered as living gods and imprisoned for their own safety. (paragraph) Crossing the veil can bring power and knowledge beyond mortal ken, to those who survive. The price is heavy, though, for even those who return can no longer understand mortal thoughts any more than we can understand theirs. For all their power, they are scarcely able to communicate or even take care of themselves. (paragraph) It is among these creatures, these idiot-savant prophets, that Runath must have taken refuge. Find him, and finish this."
- "The Cult has suffered a blow from which they will not soon recover. Their brightest minds are dead, their plans in tatters, and soon other Companies will arrive to assist in clearing and securing Riftstorm Keep. (paragraph) In time, the Cult of the Outward Path will no doubt find another rock under which to hide. Their virulent brand of heresy has proven difficult indeed to truly extinguish. But here, today, we have won.
From Act IIEdit
- "The Black Crypt lies open, its defenses broken. Now, necromancers flock to it like carrion birds, fighting over its most precious treasure. Not the buried wealth of the honored dead.. but the dead themselves."
- "The great crypt of Challanurgh was built in the time of Haemon, the Last Emperor, to inter those killed in the Red Rebellion. (paragraph) Those faithful servants who died in defense of his rule were buried with honor. Safely entombed in the lowest levels with their finery and weapons, they were to rest in peace for eternity. (paragraph) For the rebels and their families, massacred in their thousands, even the massive crypt did not have room enough. The Emperor ordered them burned. Their remains were to be mixed into massive stone troughs, and defiled with filth and poison. (paragraph) The unquiet spirits of the Ash Vaults can not rest in peace."
- "The brutal enforcers of the Empire were laid to rest here, in the Conscripts' Tombs. Their unthinking loyalty earned them this place of honor, but new masters command an even greater loyalty now. Foul necromancy has compelled these soldiers to rise, and take up arms once again. (paragraph) These tireless pawns, in ranks beyond counting, represent threat enough. But deep within Challanurgh rests a more dangerous prize, likely the true target of this incursion. The way to the Imperial Crypt must be opened, and the area secured. We can only hope the necromancers have not beaten us there, but it is a fragile hope indeed."
- "Disaster. The Necromancers had indeed beaten us here, and sealed the way behind them. We have re-opened it, but too late. There is little doubt, now, what we must face: the son of Haemon himself. (paragraph) The Red Rebellion was notable not only for its staggering bodycount, but for claiming the life of the Imerial Heir. Haemon I- later called the Last Emperor- saw his bloodline ended, and his Empire would fall to civil war even before his death. Haemon II, apple of his father's eye and scourge of the world, thankfully cut down before his prime, will live again. (paragraph) The necromancers aim to use him for their own ends, but they play a game more dangerous than they can imagine.
- "The Imperial Heir, Haemon II is dead once more. A hastily-constructed pyre disposes of the body, once and for all. It is a pauper's funeral, and all the more satisfying for that. (paragraph) The necromancers who sought to use him have also died, or fled, scattering to the winds without their prize. Free of their interference, the magic which compels the deathless Imperial army can be safely unravelled, and the sanctity of Challanurgh restored."
From Act IIIEdit
- "Beneath the mountains, in a twisted warren, lurk a nest of vile demons. They emerge only to raid, pillage, and defile. To these fiends, mankind is little more than prey. The time has come for them to become the hunted."
- "After several trade caravans were lost along the High Road, our company was enlisted to investigate. Of the scout party we sent into the mountains, only one returned. (paragraph) After recovering, Detheun told us of a hidden network of caves-- a demon hive. His party stumbled upon it unexpectedly, and were ambushed and taken. He is eager to accompany you on this assignment, to ensure that this does not happen again. (paragraph) Find our brethren. If, by some miracle, they still live, then rescue them. Otherwise, secure their bodies for transportation and resurrection rites. (paragraph) You may then exact vengeance for our company, and erase this stain on our honor."
- "Elias is missing. Karthus and Reynard have been desecrated through unknown means. If there are any answers to be had, they must lie deeper within the hive. (paragraph) Leaving the slave pens behind, the party enters an area fouler still. The air is choked with an indescribable stench. The cave walls are slick to the touch, wet with some abominable substance. Illusions dance at the edge of vision, causing even the bravest soldier to doubt their senses. (paragraph) This is not a place fit for men, living or dead."
- "Having destroyed the creature that was once Elias, the party mourns. If even a brother as loyal as he could be turned, distorted into a twisted creature, are any of them safe? And what of Detheun, their suspiciously-absent guide? (paragraph) There are forces at work here that they do not understand, but their mission remains unchanged. Whatever power seeks to manipulate and subvert them will be found and destroyed. The company has sustained too grave an insult to let the pass, now. (paragraph) Some victories are won through great bravery or cunning. Others, by simple stubbornness."
- "The Soulharvester lies defeated. Unexpectedly, the captured soul it held have found release. It should now be possible to revive Karthus and Reynard with the appropriate rites. (paragraph) A great victory, then-- a powerful demon dispatched, and two friends recovered and restored. Inevitably, though, thoughts linger on Detheun and Elias.. and no-one feels like celebrating. (paragraph) It is a long, quiet journey home. There is much to talk about."
From Act IVEdit
- No lore-related quotes.
From Act VEdit
- "The standing stones are the gateway to a realm of formless, malevolent chaos. Those who dare to enter are assailed by sinister echoes of foes and places past. It is a rite of passage.. and a fearsome challenge."
- "The party approach the stones with great trepidation. They are not the first to face this challenge, and they know that others have emerged unscathed. But should they fail, they will be lost forever.. trapped, endlessly locked in battle with their own fears and memories. (paragraph) Indeed, it is those properties of the chaotic realm which draw the attention of men. If human minds can unconsciously impose order on the shapeless void, might conscious control be possible? Need the manifestations always be hostile? (paragraph) The chaos tempts up with an incredible treasure: the power of boundless creation. And to those who would try to claim it, it present the direst threat."
- "There is a flash of light, and the party find themselves back amongst the standing stones. They have proven too resilient, and the chaotic realm has released them. (paragraph) It has been a harrowing trial, and they are lucky to have survived. But they know that in their main purpose, they have failed. (paragraph) Despite the risks taken and the battles won, the secrets to mastering the stones and their mysterious void may forever remain out of reach."
Items Related to LoreEdit
- All shards.
- Banner of Tellunos: In memory of the fallen First Company, lost to a terrible siege.
- This is likely a reference to the survival mode from Book of Dread, The Fall of Tellunos. This would likely make the player's party from that game the First Company.
- Black Flag of Dilaera: For thousands of years, the sight of this flag meant only one thing: Death was coming.
- Blackheart's Mask: Even amongst the most notorious bandits, thieves, and killers, one name is spoken in hushed tones.
- Burial Shroud: Some concerns are only for the living. The grave protects.
- Cape of the Conquering Hero: Long associated with expeditionary forces, explorers... and the agents of empire.
- Deathmage's Companion: Such items are forbidden by the College of Mages. Too many have been tempted down dark paths by the easy power they offer.
- Dwarf-Lord's Warhammer: The metalcraft of the Earthern Nations is without peer.
- Eidolon Warspear: These weapons were gifts from the dreaded Wraithlords to their mortal champions.
- Eternal Grimoire: Though stories of its existence have long been told, few indeed believed them to be true.
- Forestguard Helm: The office of the Forestguard is not hereditary, nor appointed. It is granted by the forst itself.
- Gift from the Hidden Realm: Hums a song of patience, of perseverance.. and of a quiet, terrible anger.
- Golden Axe: A potent weapon once wielded by the hated Death Adder.
- Greathelm of the Crusader Lords: A symbol of authority on the battlefield, from bitter conflicts now rendered irrelevant.
- Griffonsdown Mantle: The feathers of the baby griffon are highly prized for their magical properties. The mother griffon does not tend to cooperate.
- Hard Iron Link: A link from the intricate chains one used to bind Hasmodeth, the Demonbirther.
- Icon of Savantir: An emblem of wisdom and scholarship.
- Knight-General's Aegis: A collaboration between the finest armorsmiths of the era.
- Liturgy in Memory of the Black Pact: And Aristei said unto Dilaera "Your halls will overflow with the souls of men, and I ask only that they suffer. For my vengeance is just beginning, and one lifetime of pain is not nearly enough."
- Liturgy on the Covenant of Blood: Those with the strength to strike back will be honored above all others. Vengeance is sacred.
- Liturgy on the Forgiveness of Frailties: Despise not those among you too weak to defend themselves. Better instead to help them seek their retribution, in Her name.
- Lost Writings of Sel'Zabar: The ancients write of careful study and preparation.
- Mageblade: Created in the arcane forges of Savantir, in a time when such things were more easily done.
- Obliterator Waraxe: Often wielded by the demon-worshipping raiders of the southern wastes, the origin of those weapons is a mystery.
- Orb of Agnotia: The orb pulses with mystical power.
- Skosyrite's Codex: A disgraced, heretical sect. But they knew how to fight.
- Southling's Shieldcloak: An incredibly heavy cloak, offering protection enough to allow survival in the bitter southern wastes.
- Thrice-Blessed Mace: Infused with the manifold blessings of the Lady.
- Viper's Helm: The rebels of the Serpent Army were well-resourced, though ultimately ineffectual.
Monsters Related to LoreEdit
- Ascendant: Living gods of the Cult, humans who have crossed the planar boundaries and returned changed. Barely coherent, their heads filled with otherworldly thoughts, they nonetheless assist their allies with beneficial magics.
- Death Knight (Lord Ausperch): Powerful undead knight, one of the great champions and generals of ages past. Heavily armored, and skilled with both sword and shield. A leader on the battlefield.
- Necromancer: Power-hungry human spellcaster, master of forbidden magic. Undead are his to create and command. His dark powers can drain the life from the living, or curse them to die.
- PROGENITOR-o, Nexus Engine: Part arcane machine, part object of devotion. Designed to store and channel the immense planar energies necessary for grander Cult schemes, it makes a fearsome combatant.
- Undead Emperor (Emperor Haemon II): An evil from long ago, a callous and arrogant tyrant. Though a powerful warrior in his own right, he calls on his soldiers to serve his every whim.
- Wailing Widow: Possessed of a grief that transcends death. Her family butchered, her home burnt to ashes, she strikes at any who disturb her forlorn calls for justice. Encountered during Act II.
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