First Expedition

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After Exile was discovered, Hawthorne I sent down an expedition to explore the caves, clear them of "vermin," and report back about their suitability for settlement and expansion. The expedition was led by a group of five powerful adventurers, each armed with many magical items. The leader of the adventurers was a brutish warrior named Karzoth. Other prominent members of the First Expedition include his consort Mariann, Thralni, and Korthax.

The expedition was ill-prepared for what they found, however. They recklessly attacked demons, a lich, the drakes, and the Dragons, and they were chased by groups of slithzerikai. They quarreled with each other, eventually splitting up, and each of the five leaders perished in a different location. The First Expedition was slaughtered to a man and a woman, their equipment scattered throughout Exile.

Because it was such a failure, the Empire has suppressed most information concerning the Expedition. The information here is what the scholars of Avernum have been able to reconstruct.

Deeds of the Expedition

The Expedition reached the caves by means of teleportation. They arrived near Grahk's peninsula, between what is now Northeastern Exile and the Northern Waters. At some point, the Expedition split up into a number of different groups, using the brooches to stay in contact with each other. When this division happened, and whether it was intentional or brought on by marauding slithzerikai, is unknown.

  • One group headed east, and encountered Motrax. While the dragon received them peacefully, they quickly demanded assistance from him. When he refused, they attacked him, and he slew them (including one of the Expedition's leaders). Motrax took their treasure, including Scrioth.
  • A small group (including one of the leaders) attacked the GIFTS. They were subdued, and webbed into a small chamber, where they died of starvation.
  • Another group (including one of the leaders) was slain by Pyrog.
  • Thralni, claiming leadership of the entire expedition in Karzoth's absence, led a large force to the Waterfall Warrens, where they were further divided among the rapids and waterfalls. Thralni's ship ran aground, probably due to his overzealous faith that his orb would allow him to escape from any situation. Thralni himself was killed by an explosive trap in a cave he was exploring. Basilisks and other monsters defeated the remainder of his men.
  • Karzoth's group, beleaguered by the sliths, sought refuge in the Crypt of Drath, where they were attacked by undead and by demons. Demonslayer was broken into three pieces. A ghoul stole away with the tip. Some of the humans took the blade and pommel and struck out to the west. Others headed east, in an attempt to rendez-vous with the group that had found Motrax.
    • Karzoth was blasted by the breath of a haakai lord, and was forever frozen in stasis. Just where he died is the matter of some debate, but his body ended up in Akhronath, the fortress of the demon lord Grah-Hoth.
    • The group with the remains of Demonslayer was set upon by a great force of slithzerikai, nepharim, and undead. A pitched battle took place. The humans were surrounded and outnumbered, but their power was still great, and the battle was long and fierce. The victorious monsters took the remaining pieces of Demonslayer as trophies, the hilt going to the nepharim, and the blade to the sliths.
    • The group that headed east was also pursued by sliths. They eventually found Motrax, and pleaded humbly for his aid, but he threw them out. They attempted to bribe him with a stone key they had stolen from the Crypt of Drath, but he was not interested. With nowhere to turn, they were soon cornered by the sliths, and defeated.
  • Yet another group (including a leader) was pursued by hostile sliths. They ended up being chased into the Mertis Spiral, fighting a running battle. When they saw the cause was hopeless, a desperate mage used the last of her energy to put up a magic barrier, keeping the sliths out. But they were not able to remove the barrier, and they all starved to death. The soldiers' spirits terrorized the area until it was finally sanctified by adventurers more than half a century later, in 823 IE.

Notable equipment brought down by the Expedition

Also known as the First Visitation.