Witchaven - plot and characters
Here is a summary of the Witchaven and Witchaven II plot. For the full intro stories, refer to the game manuals; they're pretty good as bare-bones FPS plots go. Some of the information below may constitute spoilers; you have been warned.
Like his brother before him, who never returned, Grondoval has drawn a lot to be the next warrior to attempt to infiltrate the isle of Char and lift its curse. He is tormented by sinister dreams of the island (represented in the intro sequence). The priest who watches over him interprets the dreams; Grondoval has been chosen by the shade of Lord VerKapheron to lift the curse on Char.
The priest then explains the antagonism between the Prime Realms of Order and the Nether Reaches of Chaos, the Veil between them and the ill-fated quest by High Priest Midias to explore beyond the Veil. In the priests' expedition, they drew the attention of the witch Illwhyrin and were defeated by her wiles and powers. Midias was slain and Illwhyrin entered the Prime Realms, taking control of the isle of Char and reawakening the volcano upon it. There she created the Witchaven, her stronghold into which she seeks to draw her minions from the Nether Reaches and seize dominion.
Upon reaching Char, Grondoval must infiltrate the Witchaven and defeat Illwhyrin to lift the curse and end the threat she poses to the world...
After defeating Illwhyrin, the rift connecting the Realm to the Nether Reaches collapses. Lord VerKapheron returns with his armies, drives out Illwhyrin's remaining minions and resumes his role as Keeper of Char, restoring the land to peace.
Grondoval is given a hero's welcome, and it is mentioned that he will eventually gain his own kingdom, though that is another story (how very Conan-esque...)
Finally, we see Grondoval lounging upon a throne, surrounded by the loot collected during his adventure.
Witchaven II manual/intro
The defeat of Illwhyrin triggers a volcanic eruption on Char, and Grondoval narrowly escapes to sea as the island is covered with lava. (This seems at odds with the outro of the first game, which claims VerKapheron retakes control of Char and restores it to peace.)
Returning to Stahzia, he is honored with a grand victory banquet and is favored by the princess Elizabeth, but after the night of drunken revel he awakens to find the town deserted. As he searches for the missing inhabitants, the dragon Ikethsti flies in to confront him. Taunting him, she explains that the witch Cirae-Argoth seeks revenge against him for the death of her sister. Ikethsti then sets fire to the village with her breath and flies off, leaving Grondoval to follow.
Witchaven II outro
Cirae-Argoth was defeated, or so Grondoval thought. The witch rose again in skeletal form, seeking to escape, but Grondoval struck her down with a spell as she fled. Staggering, Grondoval finds himself falling unconscious...
Afterwards, Grondoval awakes in a field where Ikethsti flies in and once more taunts him, explaining that his people were not taken away from him, rather, he was taken from them. She also mentions that, while she does only her master's bidding, her master was not Cirae-Argoth. Leaving Grondoval bewildered and angry, the dragon flies away, promising that they will meet again.
Meanwhile, the scattered bones of Cirae-Argoth do not rest quietly...
- Grondoval: The protagonist of both games, a young warrior from Stahzia. Although the characters he converses with in the storyline tend to treat him as a bit of a clod, his skills include proficiency with many weapons and enough arcane knowledge to cast spells through the use of magical scrolls.
- Illwhyrin: A powerful witch from the Nether Reaches, boss of the first game. She dwells in the Witchaven, a vast dungeon she constructed within the isle of Char.
- Lord VerKapheron: Once Lord of the northern lands, whose keep was on the island of Char. His shade chose Grondoval to be his Champion and defeat Illwhyrin. Unclear if he is banished, dead or resurrected, the Witchaven outro claims he returns after the defeat of Illwhyrin, but Witchaven II does not maintain consistency with this part of the storyline.
- Midias: High Priest who led the priesthood to explore beyond the Veil. The energies released by his death allowed Illwhyrin to anchor herself on Char and the fragments of his soul were used to create the Midian Warriors.
- Cirae-Argoth: Sister of Illwhyrin who seeks vengeance on Grondoval. Boss of Witchaven II.
- Ikethsti: A dragon who taunts Grondoval in Witchaven II. She has the power to enchant weapons, being credited with the creation of fire arrows and the Ice Razor sword. The Guardians in Witchaven II are also said to be her doing. More of her story was likely meant to be revealed in another sequel that never got made.
- Elizabeth: A princess who favors Grondoval after his victory on Char. At the end of Witchaven II, Ikethsti taunts that she may be considering leaving Grondoval due to his absence.
- Grondoval's brother: He was sent to Char before Grondoval was, and never returned. Nothing else is known.