The Aluvian rebellion against the Olthoi is one of the core elements of the story of Asheron's Call. Over the years, the events of the Olthoi Rebellion have been retold many times, and some inconsistencies or contradictions have arisen.
Beta / Release
The most detailed account of the Olthoi Rebellion comes from the Microsoft Games article Asheron's Call Historical Archive. A nearly identical copy of this appeared in the Asheron's Call: Sybex Official Strategies and Secrets book. The following is a summary of the portions of those texts that relate to the Olthoi Rebellion:
- Twenty-five years ago, portals to Dereth started to appear in Aluvia. The first arrivals were killed by the Olthoi, but eventually, the Olthoi began to keep some humans as slaves. Some humans managed to escape to the surface, living fear filled nomadic lives. Eventually, Thorsten Cragstone emerged as a leader among these free people.
- Elysa Strathelar arrived in Dereth and was captured by Olthoi. She was enslaved for months, but successfully escaped. She was pursued by Olthoi, cornered in a desert canyon, and rescued by Thorsten and his band of rebels. Thorsten, Elysa, and Thorsten's men were pursued by Olthoi. Eventually they made it to safety in the Underground City. By this time, only a handful of rebels remained. Thorsten was content simply living in the safety of the city, but Elysa, who had been a slave longer than Thorsten, wanted to free their people.
- Elysa found and translated an Empyrean text, which described the fall of the Empyrean, Asheron, and where to find a portal to his island. Eventually, Thorsten and Elysa made their way to Asheron's castle. Elysa was transported inside, found Asheron, and pleaded for help. Asheron gave her two things: an Olthoi slaying elixir, and the advice that they must kill the Olthoi queen. With that, Elysa was returned outside to Thorsten.
- Armed with the elixir-treated weapons, Thorsten and his handful of men raided a small Olthoi nest. Though many of his warriors died in the attack nearly fifty slaves were rescued. Over the next several years, Thorsten and Elysa's band of rebels grew with more freed slaves. Elysa discovered the location of the queen's nest, and the time for the final battle had come.
- Their army now numbered in the thousands. They fought their way to the queen's sanctum. Thorsten fought his way through the Olthoi nobles to the queen, only to be killed by her. Elysa shot one elixir-coated arrow through the eye of the queen, killing it. The humans won their freedom, at the cost of Thorsten's life. Elysa took his body back to the underground city and laid him to rest there.
- Ten years have passed since the queen was killed. A year ago, on the anniversary of Thorsten's death, Elysa disappeared. Some suspect she may have returned to Asheron's tower.
The Asheron's Call manual's The Story of Asheron's Call section and the Zone article Dereth: A Brief History for Travelers both contain the same brief summary of the Olthoi Rebellion:
- For many years the humans lived as Olthoi slaves, but a band of rebels—led by the noblewoman Elysa Strathelar and the warrior Thorsten Cragstone—chose to fight. Aided by Asheron's Magic, they slew the Olthoi queen and won freedom, though the fight cost Thorsten his life. Now, ten years later, Elysa has vanished and Asheron's whereabouts are unknown.
The original intro video depicts Elysa arriving on Dereth, being captured by Olthoi, and escaping from them. It skips ahead to her and Thorsten finding Asheron's tower, and Elysa meeting Asheron and being gifted the elixir. It skips ahead again to the final battle against the queen, Thorsten dying, and Elysa slaying the queen.
The text The Underground City describes the discovery of the city in greater detail, as recounted by Elysa:
- Olthoi had been tracking the scent of Elysa, Thorsen, and their band of escaped slaves for days. They crossed the river in hopes of confusing the Olthoi. Soon after crossing, Thorsten spotted a portal in the distance. After hours of backtracking to ensure the Olthoi could not follow their trail, all seven of them slipped through the portal, and found themselves on an island in the middle of Lake Blessed, then called Olthoi Lake.
- They discovered the underground city, and to their relief it was free of Olthoi. Thorsten declared it to be a new capital for free humans, where they will plot to overthrow the Olthoi. Their numbers slowly grew as they went back to the mainland to search for other escaped slaves.
The text The Days of the Olthoi goes into greater detail on what life was like under the subjugation of the Olthoi. There are only a few details about the Olthoi Rebellion. The author and her mother were held in the nest of the Olthoi queen. They were liberated by Elysa and Thorsten, during the final battle of the rebellion. The author noted that once the queen was killed, the rest of the Olthoi were thrown into chaos, and could be easily walked by or killed. She also wrote that while the Olthoi are not so mindless now (at the time of the writing), they never returned to their former intelligence. The final detail we has is that, when the author finally made it to the surface, she was met with sunlight on an open, grassy field.
A few other sources give us some information about members of the rebellion. Trothyr was among the first to join Elysa and Thorsten's band. Branith fought along side Thorsten. Jenavere fought along side Elysa and Thorsten. An old copy of the Crossroads of Dereth Timeline also states that Tibri was among the band of rebels, but an official source for that has not been located.
The AC:DM manual's Long Ago section contain the following summary of the Olthoi Rebellion:
- For many years the humans lived as Olthoi slaves, but a band of rebels led by the commoner Elysa Strathelar and the nobleman Thorsten Cragstone rose up to fight. Aided by Asheron's Magic, they slew the Olthoi queen and won freedom, though the fight cost Thorsten his life.
The AC:DM manual's The Tale Thus Far section opens with the following statement:
- Eleven years after the Isparians won their freedom from the Olthoi, the skies chilled and the snowline dipped from the peaks of the Lost Wish and Linvak mountain ranges, until the entire island of Dereth was coated in snow.
The AC:DM intro video is the same video content as the original intro, but this version includes a voice-over from Elysa. Information of note from the video is that Elysa and Thorsten were the first humans Asheron had seen.
The AC:DM CD Lore's Ages of the Empyrean contains the following information related to the Olthoi Rebellion:
- The year Isparians were delivered from bondage to the Olthoi was, by Yalaini reckoning, ME 579. In the common calendar, this is called Portal Year (P. Y.) 0.
- Humans began arriving in Dereth in ME 564.
- The One Queen of Dereth was slain by Thorsten Cragstone and Elysa Strathelar in 579. Borelean Strathelar, Prince of New Aluvia, was born the following year.
A month after AC:DM was released, the lore piece The Eyes of a Child was published. It contains the following information related to the Olthoi Rebellion:
- Summer had melted into autumn, leaving the days shorter. The boy didn't care, he just wanted to chase the butterflies. Six years old and full of life. Seven years had passed since the Olthoi queen was killed, since Elysa had lost Thorsten, since Borelean had lost his unknown father.
- Seven years was not that long after all, and this time of year always came too quickly and too quietly.
- "When I knew. . . that I was carrying him, I should have told Thorsten. He should have known that he would have this child. . . but--"
The Thorsten Cragstone's Armor & Axe quest gives us some more information. Elysa Strathelar and Lania Cartoth were childhood friends from Ispar, and for a time they corresponded while on Dereth. The quest involves retrieving letters that Elysa had written to Lania.
The first letter recovered was written only a few days after Thorsten and the Olthoi queen were killed. Elysa wrote that she would not be burying Thorsten's armor and axe with him.
Two letters are recovered next. The first was written some time in the fall or winter, when frost came to the Aluvian lands on Dereth. The other letter was written after Thorsten's tomb had been completed for some time, and the construction of Cragstone was progressing well. In this letter Elysa recalled that she recently had a dream where she saw the ghost of Thorsten standing on the shore of the lake. When she awoke, her feet were muddied.
The two teaser articles for Repercussions give more information. After the Olthoi Rebellion, Elysa was named queen by the freed people. Asheron came to Elysa after Thorsten's death. He provided assistance establishing the city of Cragstone, building Thorsten's tomb, and concealing Thorsten's armor and axe in their hidden resting place. Elysa had left her people to live with Asheron for a period of five years. At the time of the teaser (Leafdawning, 13 PY) Borelean is eleven years old.
An updated copy of A Brief History for Travelers reiterates some basic information: Isparians began arriving over 25 years ago, and were enslaved by the Olthoi. Led by Elysa and Thorsten, the humans fought back against the Olthoi and won. The final battle occurred over 10 years ago. In memory of that victory, the year in which these events occurred is called Portal Year 0.
The series of articles under The History of Auberean provide firm dates for events:
- -15 PY: The portals created by the Sundering appear on Ispar in the Aluvian lands and the first curious humans begin to arrive on Dereth. The Olthoi quickly enslave them.
- -6 PY: Thorsten Cragstone arrives on Dereth.
- -5 PY: Elysa Strathelar arrives on Dereth.
- -4 PY: Thorsten Cragstone escapes and forms a small band of resistance against the Olthoi. Six months later, Elysa escapes and is found by Cragstone and his men.
- -3 PY: Cragstone's forces, pursued by Olthoi, make their way to the Isle of Tears, where they discover the Underground City. This quickly becomes their home and base from which to launch attacks against the Olthoi.
- -1 PY: While exploring ruins near the Underground City, Elysa triggers an Empyrean artifact that brings her to Asheron's notice. Asheron, whose attention has been focused elsewhere, is shocked that intelligent beings have begun appearing on Dereth and transports Elysa into his presence. She tells him what has happened to her people under the dominion of the Olthoi. Asheron provides her with details about the Olthoi's weaknesses, explaining that the scent of the dead Queen will throw the other Olthoi into disarray and leave them mindless.
To help her defeat the Queen, Asheron provides her with an alchemical potion based upon the work of his father. With this potion in hand, Thorsten and Elysa plan their assault on the One Queen.
- 0 PY: Disguising themselves with the scent of a Brood Noble, a small band of warriors led by Thorsten Cragstone and Elysa Strathelar infiltrate the Royal Hive of the One Queen and slay her. In the moments before the Olthoi Queen's death, Thorsten Cragstone is killed. Joyous Aluvians slay the confused Olthoi and declare the founding of a New Aluvia with Elysa Strathelar as their Queen. Construction begins on the town of Cragstone, followed by Holtburg.
- 0 PY: Borelean, son of Thorsten Cragstone and Elysa Strathelar, is born.
- 1999/?? pre-Release - Microsoft Games Archive: Historical Archive
- 1999/11 Release - Asheron's Call: Sybex Official Strategies and Secrets: A Concise History of Asheron's Call
- 1999/11 Release Asheron's Call Manual: The Story of Asheron's Call
- 1999/11 Release - Microsoft Zone Archive: Dereth: A Brief History for Travelers
- 1999/11 Release - Quick Reference Card
- 1999/11 Release - Lore Videos: Asheron's Call
- 1999/11 Release - The Underground City
- 1999/11 Release - The Days of the Olthoi
- 1999/11 Release - Trothyr's Rest Quest: Trothyr's Rest Rumor
- 1999/11 Release - Branith's Stolen Possessions: The Blazing Staff of Branith
- 1999/11 Release - Microsoft Zone Archive: The Olthoi
- 2001/10 Dark Majesty - Asheron's Call Dark Majesty Manual: Long Ago
- 2001/10 Dark Majesty - Asheron's Call Dark Majesty Manual: The Tale Thus Far
- 2001/10 Dark Majesty - Lore Videos: Asheron's Call Dark Majesty
- 2001/11 Dark Majesty - AC:DM CD Lore: Ages of the Empyrean
- 2001/12 The First Strike - Microsoft Zone Archive: The Eyes of a Child
- 2002/04 Betrayal - Thorsten Cragstone's Armor & Axe: Glysander Cartoth dialog
- 2002/04 Betrayal - Thorsten Cragstone's Armor & Axe: A Certificate of Permission
- 2002/04 Betrayal - Thorsten Cragstone's Armor & Axe: A Letter of Grief
- 2002/04 Betrayal - Thorsten Cragstone's Armor & Axe: Elysa Strathelar's Letter to Lania Cartoth (First)
- 2002/04 Betrayal - Thorsten Cragstone's Armor & Axe: A Letter of Correspondence
- 2002/04 Betrayal - Thorsten Cragstone's Armor & Axe: A Letter of Correspondence (Lia Tze)
- 2002/04 Betrayal - Thorsten Cragstone's Armor & Axe: Elysa Strathelar's Letter to Lania Cartoth (Second)
- 2002/07 Repercussions - Microsoft Zone Archive:A Brief History for Travelers
- 2003/03 A Perfect Paradox - The History of Auberean: Volume V: New Arrivals (-540 to 13)