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Edgard is an expert enchanter and tinkerer, and the leader of A.R.D.E.N.T.. He and his organization first appeared in the public records in the year 439. Details about his life before then and his origins remain largely unknown. However, he was heavily involved in many of the events and conflicts of the early 440s, such as the war with the Bloodfang, and the emergence of the Void Realm.

Edgard guided A.R.D.E.N.T. through numerous projects and campaigns, and he took on a very active role in the Void Campaign. He eventually became trapped inside the Void as a result of his experiments, and he remains there as of late 448. No one has been able to communicate with him in years, but the agents of A.R.D.E.N.T. continue to work toward his recovery.

Early LifeEdit

Edgard's occupation and philosophy were both shaped by a dramatic event in the days of his youth: the discovery of etherite and the subsequent spread of enchanting. Fascinated by the endless possibilities offered by this new craft, Edgard dove headfirst into its study and application. He became fixed on the idea that the advancement of civilization lay in the world of enchanting, alchemy, and magical devices, and so he began to experiment and research and create.
Edgard Image

The image of Edgard being projected remotely through a rune.

Edgard's closest friend throughout this time was a druid named Dalton. Dalton took on a similar interest in the art of enchanting, and the two of them decided to become business partners. The name of their business: A.R.D.E.N.T., or the Arcane Research Development Enchanting and Tinkering group.

Early on, Edgard discovered a way to manufacture rings of lightning bolt at a far lower price and effort than the usual method. He then sold the entire supply of these rings to Fallon, the owner of the Hungry Gaper restaurant. The reputation of Edgard and Dalton continued to grow, and business was booming.

At some point they were approached by a group of black- and red-clothed businessmen who wanted to buy the formula for the rings. These men promised untold fame and riches in return for the formula, but both Edgard and Dalton refused, and sent the men on their way. What happened next is a hotly debated matter. Edgard claims that he departed on a business voyage, and returned to find the shop in ruins, the formulas all stolen, and Dalton somehow injured. Dalton has not offered any details about the incident, but he does claim that he was somehow betrayed by Edgard. Whatever the truth is, Edgard began wearing Dalton's special charm of loyalty shortly afterwards. It is unknown if the charm was given as a gift, or stolen by Edgard, or something else entirely. But the two friends have since become bitter rivals, locked in a never-ending "chess match".

A.R.D.E.N.T. CampaignsEdit

Bounty HuntingEdit

One day, under the Sleeping Moon of 439, Edgard came to Mirith under the guise of a rare items collector. He began to offer bounties on rare creatures, offering rewards to any adventurers bold enough to slay the targets and bring back samples. He set up a rune-based notice system at the bank that allowed him to project an image of himself from afar. Adventurers would then place the samples on the rune, and they would be transported straight to his office.

In this way, Edgard collected samples from a great variety of creatures, over the course of several moons. Some of the more notable creatures included a venom-spitting snake, a golem made of topaz, a boa that devoured its victims whole, a gaper that silenced its enemies, a storm elemental that hurled lightning, a heavily built skeleton named Bloodbone, and a three-headed sea serpent called the Hydra.

Odd Druid

One of the black- and red-clothed businessmen.

Ever the businessman, Edgard started to use the rune system to pass along bounties and missions from third parties who had heard of his services. He claimed that these unknown parties were just various merchants, sailors, and tradesmen, though there was no way to confirm their identity. At any rate, the authorities in Mirith were unconcerned with the whole affair, and Edgard's business continued to grow. He also developed a long-range communication system using small magical mirrors, which allowed for further expansion of the bounty system.

But all the while, Edgard continued to be harassed by the men in red and black. One of their number appeared during a bounty mission under the Waking Moon, and implored the hunters to keep the creature samples to themselves, but it was in vain. Edgard was informed of the subterfuge, and he promptly began to investigate. Later that moon, A.R.D.E.N.T. Laboratory #02 was attacked by mercenaries under the employ of a certain "D". This was the first time that an A.R.D.E.N.T. facility was ever assaulted, and Lab #02 was especially vulnerable as it was still under construction. However, Edgard had proactively installed an emergency alert system for intra-A.R.D.E.N.T. communications, and the lab was successfully defended.

Project BloodfireEdit

Then, the Bleeding Moon arrived, and some ancient and formless entity known as Bloodfang began its assault on Lerilin. Edgard relocated to the village and set up a temporary research base inside a tent. Over the following days, he shared whatever information he could find about the Bloodfang, and how it might be contained. He also began to prepare magical explosives, in the hopes that he could destroy the so-called "blood crystals" that were fueling the Bloodfang's invasion. But behind closed doors, A.R.D.E.N.T. was carrying out a secret experiment they called "Project Bloodfire". The details and purpose of this project are strictly confidential, and when Edgard was questioned about it much later, he said only that it had been a failure.

In the meantime, the war with the Bloodfang continued. Early on in the Red Moon, Lerilin's defenses were overwhelmed, and Edgard's tent was ransacked. The man himself was nowhere to be found, but a damaged rune was left at the scene. Edgard's assistant, Rena, then took over A.R.D.E.N.T. operations in the area. She determined that Edgard was trapped inside a distant laboratory, and that he had been using the rune as a portal device.
Order of Fire Hermit Lake

The Knight of the Order of Fire, servant of "Lord Edgard IV".

Edgard would eventually be rescued by Rena and the Lerilin Vanguard on the same day that the town was liberated. He used his newfound freedom to complete the explosives and demolish all of the blood crystals, and thus remove all traces of the Bloodfang's presence.

After the conclusion of this saga, Edgard was not seen again for some time. A.R.D.E.N.T. fell onto hard times and was forced to temporarily shut down. Edgard later admitted that some of the organization's funds had gone missing, raising suspicions that some internal rebellion was afoot, or that one of Edgard's rivals was on the move again. In any case, Edgard secured enough funding to re-open the business just before the Blue Moon Festival of that year.

Arcforge CampaignEdit

The revived A.R.D.E.N.T. quickly got started on two new research campaigns. The first of these – the Arcforge Campaign – involved seeking out a legendary forge that was said to have helped "shape the world", and all its creatures, magics, and materials.

The first mission of the campaign saw Edgard leading a group into a hidden seaborne tower to the west of Andris Bridge. This ancient tower was believed to be the location of the legendary forge. Inside the antechamber, the group found several frescoes on the walls, a pedestal in the center of the room, and three dormant golems. One of the frescoes contained a map of Oberin with two anvils at each side: the anvil on the right marked by a star, and the anvil on the left a tree. And on the right side of this fresco were drawings of strange magical items and spells. Another fresco contained many unfamiliar creatures, including one that resembled the three-headed Hydra. The meaning of all this remains a matter of mystery, but Edgard believes that the Hydra and the other strange creatures were somehow linked to the anvil with the tree.

But then another fresco was found, containing a different map of Oberin. This one had several triangular markings scattered throughout, including one at the group's current location. Edgard thus theorized that there were several towers just like the one in which they were standing, represented by the triangles on the map. Edgard supposed that these other towers would contain clues or artifacts needed to unlock the legendary forge. He further surmised that Dalton was in control of the tower by the Wall of Trees, without offering any evidence or rationale.

As for the golems, two stood guarding the door forward, both of them with a small glowing red crystal in the center of their foreheads. A third, damaged golem was found with a ruby prism. The group took all three objects and placed them on the pedestal, causing the doors to open and the golems to attack. The golems were brought down, and the group advanced into the next chamber to find three more sealed doors. The party could not find a way to open them, however, and so the expedition came to an end. Edgard pocketed the ruby prism for further study, and in the hopes that it might assist with explorations of the seaborne tower.

Since then, no other explorations of the tower have been documented, and the campaign has been more or less placed on hold. It is generally believed that the A.R.D.E.N.T. agent Ezranth is now in charge of the project.

Void CampaignEdit

The other major A.R.D.E.N.T. campaign during this time involved researching and accessing a world that was theorized to exist somewhere beyond Oberin: the Void Realm. Soon after these experiments began, small, unstable rifts began to appear throughout the surface of Oberin. A great deal of A.R.D.E.N.T. documents were found at a number of these sites, with some of them making reference to a "Lord Edgard, Bringer of Light" or "Lord Edgard IV". Many thus began to suspect that Edgard was hiding some important facts about his identity.
ARDENT Camp leri

Small rifts on the beaches of Lerilin.

On the other hand, it is possible that the documents were referring to someone else entirely. The main piece of evidence for this theory is that the rifts were known to have created distortions in not only space, but time as well. Some adventurers, for example, were thrown decades into the future when investigating the rift by Hermit Lake. In this future reality, they met with a knight garbed in burning armor who claimed to be a member of the Order of Fire, and a servant of Lord Edgard IV.

But back in the present, the rift problem was severely escalating. The small rifts were replaced by massive columns of darkness that descended from the heavens, unleashing creatures of shadow upon the lands. Among them was some amorphous shadowy being that began to target many of the world's political leaders, in what would later be called the Black Shadow Assassinations. And at some point in the midst of all this chaos, Edgard successfully entered the Void.

DisappearanceEdit

Initially, Edgard was able to maintain communications with A.R.D.E.N.T. from his location in the Void Realm. But suddenly, all traces of him disappeared, and communication became impossible. Ezranth even claimed that, just before disappearing, Edgard had been on the verge of some breakthrough regarding the Black Shadow crisis.

Edgard would manage to send one final message. One day, as the Fighting Moon of 441 waxed full, the rift by Andris Bridge flared up. A massive void dragon began to emerge from the darkness, with hordes of shadow creatures wriggling out in between its claws. Just as the dragon was about to escape, a giant molten stone spear materialized and pierced the thing dead. Runes were found on the spear, revealing a message from Edgard. He stated that he had lost contact with the world of Oberin permanently, but he would continue to try and work in the unfamiliar Void Realm.

But Edgard had also encoded a wealth of information about the Void inside the spear, and so his contributions to A.R.D.E.N.T. continued in absentia. The organization would eventually use this information to construct the Voidgate portal two years later. A group led by agents Ezranth and Fefe used the portal to access the Void and look for Edgard, but they were unsuccessful. Another group made a similar journey in 446, but they too failed to find any traces of Edgard.

ReferencesEdit

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