Following TheProgress' example, here's the full text of my quest submission since it's hard to read in the CSS div:
When I first bought Elemental, one of the expectations I had was that of active adventurers, going out and doing wonderful or horrible things. It was advertised as a game where you were the ruler of a kingdom that was filled with your typicaly D&D adventurers, who, good or evil, for better or worse, made things better, or worse. I expected to see adventurers enter dungeons and unleash lich armies, or anger bandit kings. I expected minor factions that came and went as the game progressed. This was not what I witnessed when I started playing. I propose to make it so. I propose a quest that would put these mechanics into the game and add the xml tags for modders to do the same.
So anyway, the quest:
Lord of Demons:
The Titans, in their glory and power, once recruited allies from beyond the void. Mighty portals were erected, Demon Gates. Of these, only few survive, and those summon forth creatures that are nothing compared to the power of their predecessors.
Bound and shackled by these gates, these creatures are but fodder for the wars of the pathetic humanoids that dot the surface of Elemental.
But deep in the recesses of the oldest parts of the world lies a different gate. A gate forged by the Dread Lord Himself to summon forth the Lord of Demons, Col Pordai. It was there that the alliance was struck between Empire and Demon, and from there came the First Rank, generals given by Col Pordai to help errect the Demon Gates and bring forth legions of his host.
But demons cannot be trusted. Once the First Rank had sufficient forces on Elemental's plane of existance, they turned on the Titan, forcing the Dread Lord to crush them and momentarily grant his foes a respite from his onslaught as he turned inwards. The fighting was brutal and littered the land with corpses, demonic artifacts lost for ages amongst forest, mountain, and plain. Finally the First Rank was destroyed, sent back to their plane, and the gates were sealed until the Dread Lord could rework them to shackle those that were pulled through, thus creating the Demon Gates as we see them today.
Now, years after the Cataclysm, the Dread Gate lies somewhere in the world, forgotten by time. Battlefields litter the land with clues leading to this great discovery, and treachery and death await all but the most resourceful adventurers.
Quest Chain -
Player discovers a battlefield as they always do, looking for a midnight stone or something else. Instead they find clues of a battle between Fallen and Demons, leading them to their next objective ->
Next objective is a standard Demon Gate, though long abandoned and useless. This gate was also the site of a battle, far greater than that previously found by the player. The player finds more clues, broken pieces of Elementium based armor (Perhaps a whole battlefield full) that can be harvested as the resource for later use. Also a randomized item - Elementium armor piece (Helm/grieves/gauntlets/whatever) or weapon (Battleax/sword/dagger) that entices the player to move on. ->
Third objective is a massive citadel found in an isolated part of the world. Mostly ruins, and dangerous. This is the site of the original Gate, and the last battle before the Dread Lord succeeded in sealing them.
This objective triggers a battle, on a unique field - Interior.
The tactical screen would be the interior of a great room, with collapsed columns and maybe daylight pouring through cracks in the cieling, windows, and walls, an entrance at one end and a huge gate at the other, scorchmarks everywhere, and demons infesting the place.
The primary creature, i.e. boss character type, would be a recovering demon of the First Rank that survived. Demons, being immortal beings from another plane of existance, can take ages to heal due to time differences. The world of Elemental seems sluggish to them, like they're caught in a fog. Their bodies act the same when healing.
But the demon would be powerful enough to give any but the most prepared adventurer trouble - Partial spell immunity, full immunity to ranged weapons and siege (Due to higher reflexes allowing them to dodge, and preventing things like cheap mass ranged tactics, because demons are evil and don't like that stuff). Subordinates would be your standard demon types, but more powerful, maybe some elementals too for kicks.
If the player fails, the Dread Gate is reopened using the life force of the attackers, allowing a new and powerful mini-faction to spawn and begin building a city on that spot. If the player succeeds, more elementium, weapons, money, or even a spell to summon a First Rank demon for their own battles (In-battle only and only for single battles, not something they could station in a city or outside of Tactical).
Lastly, if an NPC controlled adventure faction discovers the citadel first, and happens into it, they trigger the launch of the mini faction due to their self-destructive curiosity.
That's all I could fit for 5,000 characters.
Some of the additional content I'd wanted to include:
If the minor faction spawns, every few turns groups of 4-12 minor demons will spawn from the 'portal', and the First Rank demon will become even more powerful, on a sovereign level. Because they have no upkeep and spawn automatically, they will go forth to destroy, not to conquer, so any cities they take will instantly be razed. This could cause all other factions to band together in order to stop the horde. It could also create a tactical decision where you let a weak NPC unleash the demons because they're in the middle of a number of enemy factions, let them wipe them out while you're at peace with them, and then crush the demons.