Category Archives: Erudin

From Miragul’s Journals


From Miragul’s Journals

I have decided to record the events of my life, for I intend to create for myself a life worthy of note. Of all else prior to this day, the day of Erud’s passing, I shall not waste ink. My sole name, as befits my hereditary station, is Miragul. Until now, I felt determination without direction, ambition without purpose. But yesterday a man perished, one to whom I’ve been favorably compared by several other masters. This nun wore the mantle of leadership of a people, the garland of mastery of arts arcane, and a name that is now synonymous with his people and the city in which they dwell. Thousands hailed him as possessing the greatest mind the mortal world has ever known, a conceit that did not fall far short of the truth. Truly, Erud earned the world’s respect.

But now this remarkable man is but a corpse burning on a a timber raft in the city’s harbor. This great genius capable of bending trmendous forces of magic to his will, lies dead, his body now ash, possibly feeding fish descended from those I saw netted
in my youth. Where now is the mind and soul of this most accomplished of spell crafters? Resting in eternal tranquility or bathing in gold-flecked sea foam, depending on whom you ask. How utterly useless, how pussillanimous.

This ineffectuality is not unlike the tradition of practicing but one of the three branches of magic, a convention I’ve secretly defied for the course of a year now. We of Erudin hold the answers to a thousand puzzles in our vaults and the power to take advantage of them, yet we restrict ourelves to an absurd division of labor. So much waste – like the life of a great man who knew everything but how to continue living.

Interesting, then, the prospect of several of my brighter fellows … Might we not adapt the arts of conjuration to the realm of those passed on? Rather than bother with elementals scarcely more intelligent than clumps of dirt or ash, we might learn the wisdom of the dead. Or so I am told. If they are dead, how much wiser can they be? But it occurs to me now – as Erud’s remains sink finally, ignominiously beneath the waves – that my fellows may be investigating a useful line of research after all, assuming their claims of success are not exaggerated. It would be interesting enough to communicate with the dead, but what else could be achieved? Could Erud himself somehow be returned to guide the city? What powers might his spiritual presence retain from his life? Could a conjurer force spirits, like elementals, into service? The ideas riddling my mind may be fur too ambitious. I suspect little will come of it. For now, the challenge before me is simply to acquire every mote of knowledge.

A small task.
To make this acquisition of knowledge possible, I must defy the primary law: the bane of mortality. If I fail, may these words and my fish join Erud’s beneath the waves.

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Walking in the Sand: A Case Study in Desert Spiders


(This Journal has several entries within it, complete with illustrations and charts. It seems to focus on the study of large spiders within the Desert of Ro.)

The Desert Spiders
A Study in Large Therephosids
Oran M’zal, Erudin Academy

Desert Spiderling
Appearance:
Very small (about the size of a small dog).
Light Brown with darker brown spots on their legs.

Ecology:
There were the smallest of the theraphosids I was able to find. They are called “desert” spiderlings, but are actually found closer to the city, and within the small grassy patches found on the edge of the desert itself. They are terrestrial hunters, and feed on small snakes and animals. Not generally regarded as threatening creature, they largely keep to themselves.

Dune Spiderling
Appearance:
Small, although larger than the desert spiderlings. Brown, with darker brown stripes on their legs – can be easily mistaken for their smaller cousins at a distance.

Ecology:
These are larger than the desert spiderlings, and are considered more dangerous (debatable, but they are certainly more aggressive). They hunt many of the same prey, but are found mostly out in the deserts themselves, as opposed to being closer to the city. The “desert” and “dune” theraphosids are certainly different species, and the “spiderlings” appear to be immature versions of their order.

Desert Tarantula
Appearance:
Their body is approximately the size of a large dog. With their legs included, they are about the size of a larger sized dinner table. As with the spiderlings, they are light brown with dark brown stripes on their legs and abdomen. Eyes are more pronounces, and reflect a light red color.

Ecology:
Again, the “desert” moniker tends to be a bit misleading – they are found on the outskirts of the grassy areas near the desert more often then actually inside the desert itself (although there are members out there). These creatures feed on the larger snakes and coyotes that cross its path, but seems to ear infrequently – this would make sense, given how infrequently food can become available out here.

Dune Tarantula
Appearance: Very large. While still similar in appearance to the smaller theraphosids in the Desert of Ro, they are notable for being far larger.

Ecology:
Most often found in the deeper parts of Northern Desert of Ro, these creatures feed on most anything that is smaller than themselves. They are far more aggressive than the other theraphosids, and are considered a dangerous nuisance, since they will readily attack caravan pack animals making their way through the desert.

Unknown Creature
Description:
In my search for more theraphosids in the southern Desert of Ro, I’ve come across what looks like tracks in the sand. I am aghast at the size of the tracks, and if my measurements are correct, this would be a spider of massive size. Something I wouldn’t have conceived would even exist.

Update:
I’ve talked to some of the travelers who have come through this area, and they’ve told me a story of something called the “Terrorantula”. I believe this might be the creature they are speaking of.

Terrorantula
Description:
Massive. It looks similar to the other theraphosids in this area, but many, many times larger.

Ecology:
I can’t begin to describe the size of this creature. I found it some days ago and have followed its movements, and I’m awed by how incredibly huge it is. I can’t be sure what its diet is, unless it is feeding off the other giants of the area. Many of us have heard stories of caravans that go missing in the desert and things of that nature… perhaps this beast has something to do with it.

Terrorantula
Update:
I’ve found what I think might be this creature’s lair. I have not yet entered it, but I believe that it might go much further back than it initially appears. Although it might be risky, I am going to attempt to enter the cavern, and see how deep it might go. Surely a creature of this size couldn’t simply have sprung up from no where… perhaps there are more of these beasts. I must know…

The Founding of Alivan


The notes of Samiir Velcana
Erudite paladin
I have given up adventuring, and have renounced my loyalty to the gods. The time I spent working for the Claws of Veeshan here in Skyshrine has shown me that there is something more important for me to focus my energy on, aside from my own power and gain. The dragons here are working toward confronting the greatest threat Norrath has ever known, and I wish to help them in their struggle. I have given over my armor in exchange for robes, and have given over my sword in exchange for books. Perhaps through study I can find a way to help the Claws of Veeshan reach victory.

The notes of Helria Melvencent
Human rogue
At first, I came here for the treasure. A dragon city? You’ve got to be kidding me – a place like that had to have halls filled with shimmering gold and jewels, and I wanted it. I snuck around the city for days before I came across a couple of the dragons engaged in conversation. They were talking about that other dragon… I dunno, the rainbow or prismatic dragon or whatever… and how he had escaped. I’ve never seen a dragon show fear, but I saw it that day. I met other people, adventurers like myself, who had spoken with the dragons, and felt compelled to follow them. I decided to lend myself to the cause. Who knows? Once this Kerawhatzit is gone, he’ll have the treasure I’m looking for!

Alivan Blackraven
Human warrior
I’ll never be able to explain to them… never be able to tell my family why I did this. Why I chose to stay here, and leave them to tend the fields back home. I hope that the gold I sent will sustain them and keep them safe. But I have to stay here. I have to lend my knowledge to the gathering group of mortals who have chosen to remain here with the Claws of Veeshan. I learned much about farming growing up, and if we are going to sustain mortals here, that knowledge will become necessary to keep them healthy and fed. I believe the Wakening Lands will provide us with ample fertile soil for what we need. Perhaps the dragons will let us settle there and set up a community.

Serrid Ralsent
Human warrior
Fighting… that’s all I’m here to do. If the dragons want me, they’re going to need to put my sword to use. Sure, I can train the other mortal followers, and help them put together some kind of standing army, but fin not going to be a farmer here. I’m not digging holes when I could be chopping giants down to size. I’ll stay for now… at least until this gets boring, I guess. The rest of these people can start their farming community. I’ll watch their back for now.

R’avec Altimir
Erudite wizard
There is incredible knowledge here. I am learning things at an exponential rate, even more than when I studied in the halls of Erudin. The dragons have ancient, unthinkable knowledge, which I could use to further my own magical prowess. I need to speak with them, and gain access to their great libraries. They have refused it thus far, but I’m sure they will listen to reason. I am here to help them, and in order to do that effectively, I need all the knowledge I can lay my eyes upon. Teaching this to the other settlers here can only benefit us all. We might start out as farmers, but we can be so much more.

Elria Damir
Human bard
The goddess Veeshan led me here. I could never have imagined that I was chosen to one day assist her brood themselves, but I have given myself over completely to the dragons of the Claws of Veeshan. Their wisdom will help to protect in the dark days ahead, and it is the dragons alone who can stave off the threat of Kerafyrm… that we mortals released from his confines. Ifs the least I can do to atone for the mistakes of others. We will make a life here, support the dragons, support Skyshrine, and do the bidding of Veeshan herself.

The Fall of Erudin: Part 2


The Fall of Erudin:Part Two
By: Khuzaymah In’am

News of the High Guard’s termination did not sit well with its leadership, Vicegerent Jabalah and his brother Budayl. Later that evening a meeting was held with the leader of the Deepwater Knights, Sir Thamir Fa’iz. Budayl and Thamir were unable to quell Jabalah’s seething anger over El’Arad’s decision. In a rush, the Vicegerent stormed into El’Arad’s chambers within Erudin Palace and confronted him over his decision. The argument ultimately ended with the death of Jabalah at the hands of several void creatures summoned by El’Arad.

The murder of Vicegerent Jabalah threatened to disrupt El’Arad’s plan to control the city of Erudin. After denying any involvement in the Vicegerent’s disappearance, El’Arad pushed the activation of the new Nexus months ahead of schedule. When the Grand Farisan Nexus was activated a critical error was revealed. El’Arad and his fellow researchers based their construction of the Nexus off what was known of the Luclin Nexus and the spires in the Toxxulia Forest. Unbeknownst to El’Arad the spires were originally designed to channel their energy through the Nexus in Luclin. When the new Ulteran Spires were activated, they attempted to touch the original Nexus, and the mystical barriers erected by Norrathian pantheon caused the energy of the New Nexus to feed back upon itself.

The Ulteran Spires discharged the energy back into the new Nexus, which in turn exploded outward across Odus. This explosion of mystical energy not only destroyed the newly constructed Ulteran Spires on Antonica, but also tore through the fabric of reality itself, causing the entire continent of Odus to shift into Ultera. Realizing now as the time to act El’Arad revealed his secret allies to the rest of Erudin’s populace. Shadowed Men and other denizens of the void began to appear in the city causing havoc and destruction. In an attempt to save as many citizens as they could Sir Thamir Fa’iz and Budayl Idris organize an evacuation of Erudin. Rumors that safe passage to Paineel still existed gave hope that they could escape the aftermath of this experiment gone horribly wrong.

During the evacuation Thamir and Budayl are beset by a contingent of void beast led by none other then Madani Lu’ay, El’Arad’s most trusted advisor. The two men engage Madani in combat and soundly defeat the ambush. It is now certain in the minds of the two men that El’Arad has aligned himself with Roehn Theer. Thamir and Budayl then resolve to assemble the entire order of the Deepwater Knights so that they can overthrow El’Arad. The following morning over one hundred men and women soldiers marched through the streets of Erudin towards the palace. Lead by Sir Thamir and the de-facto leader of the High Guard, Budayl the army entered the palace, finding it undefended.

Cautiously they crept deeper within the vast halls of the impressive structure. No sooner than the last soldier entered the palace the huge iron doors of the palace swung shut, trapping the rebellious army within. The sounds of an extraordinary battle were soon heard. Thunderous explosions and screams of agony pierced the morning air of Erudin in a cacophony of Agony. The last remnants of justice were all but wiped out. El’Arad’s capture of Erudin was now complete. The Order of the Deepwater Knights was no more.

The Fall of Erudin: Part 1


The Fall of Erudin:Part One
By: Khuzaymah In’am

Over two centuries ago, our forebears were faced with a great misfortune. The gods, realizing their diminishing power over mortals, forsook the races of Norrath and fled in cowardice. With the absence of the Norrathian pantheon the world was soon plunged into unease. While the seas began to churn, races bickered and fought with one another. Meanwhile the Erudites of Odus were quickly learning of the god’s real treachery. In an act of true arrogance the gods gathered all the Books of Knowledge thus removing the ability to teleport long distances. This fact, along sea travel rapidly becoming more dangerous, meant Odus was quickly becoming cutoff from the rest of Norrath.

While there were many who cared little about communicating with those outsdie of Odus, many more found the loss of magical travel to be a critical hindrance to their studies. Representatives from both Erudin and Paineel convened to discuss this matter and, in the name of knowledge, a stable measure of peace was established. Now united, the leaders of both cities declared that they would work together to unlock the secrets of teleportation. It was decided that a new Nexus must be created on Odus so that it could be monitored at all times. After a great debate on its location, it was constructed in the foothills of the Stonebrunt Mountains.

The new Nexus was built in secrecy under Quel’ule, a township created under the guise that it was a religious retreat built away from the bustling cities. In the meantime agents were dispatched to other continents of Norrath. Their missions were to recruit others to help them create a network of spires which would interface with the new Nexus. It was during this time things began to change in Erudin. A wise scholar by the name of El’Arad was quickly rising to power.

After proving his intellectual powers during the initial construction of the new Nexus, he was voted as a member of the Erudin High Council. Soon after, El’Arad rose to prominence within the council and became its leader. On a cold Feastday morning, Head Councilmen El’Arad announced the disbandment of the High Guards of Erud.

The Codex of the Khati Sha


Long in the distant past, civil war erupted between the erudites of Erudin. The conflict was swift and savage, and the erudites unleashed terrible magics against one another, often with devestating results. The peaceful kerrans, native to the continent of Odus, were caught up in the brutal conflict, in spite of their efforts to stay out of the line of fire.

The greatest loss, however, came when the armies of Paineel unleashed a powerful spell designed to completely wipe their enemies from Norrath. As a test, the erudites targeted a large kerran village on the southern end of Toxxulia Forest. In one terrifying flash, the village completely vanished (along with the mountain on which it once rested), and the Hole was formed.

The spell was based on teleportation magic, and rather than destroying the village and its inhabitants, it actually sent the entire mountainside through the Combine network, and onto the moon of Luclin. The survivors of the spell were shocked at their new surroundings, but since they were unable to reverse their situation, they soon began to rebuild on their new home.

Khati Sha, a general and advisor to the tribe elder, Kejaan Kerrath, was also one of the first explorers on the moon of Luclin. Among his discoveries were the Acrylia Mines, which gave the kerrans the material they would use to build their new city, and the glade of spiritual animals, which lead to the rediscovery of the beastlord path. The house of beastlords became known as Khati Sha after the one who discovered them.

When adventurers came to Luclin, they met with Khati Sha, and began to learn the secrets of spiritual bonding. Thus, the teaching of the beastlords reached out beyond hte city of Shar Vhal, and back to the denizens of Norrath. Beastlords had again returned to Norrath.

Prior to the age of Cataclysms, the gods departed Norrath. Those attuned to the spiritual world began to feel the mighty spiritual guides who once spoke to them also began to retreat, although unlike the divine gods, the spiritual retreat was far more gradual. Rituals to bond spirit animals to their beastlords began to fail, and the spirits did not respond when questioned why. As a group, beastlords were becoming extinct on Norrath.

The Truespirit, who were responsible for the spirit guides, had sensed impending cataclysms and chose to retreat. Since the spirit guides themselves were tied to the essence of mortals, the disasters could threaten to destroy the Truespirit as well. Thus, they elected to retreat back to the spirit world, and await the time when they could emerge again.

The Great Wolf ? Kaldrahir, the Pack Leader

Kaldrahir represents the aspect of leadership. He teaches guiding those in a common goal, of using your own courage to help others overcome their fears and follow to places they might not otherwise go. He is fair in his decisions, but is often utterly convincing of his position once he has made up his mind. it is through him that the mortals learn to lead their bonded spirits into the most perilous and darkest of places.

The Great Chokidai ? Ralissk, the Keeper of Wisdom

Ralissk is the embodiment of wisdom, which draws on ages of knowledge and experience. Ralissk is the eldest of the Harbingers, and acts as an advisor to others when necessary. His wisdom can be used to serve others, or to protect one?s self in cases where it might be necessary. it is his wisoomt hat teaches the beastlords how to sharpen their minds and senses to overcome the challenges they will face in their journeys.

The Great Bear ? Elnakii, of Body and Mind

The personification of might, Elnakii?s strength comes from his connection of his body and mind, making them as one. Unifying these with each other gives him unbreakable will, pushes the limits of his strength, and gives him fortitude unmatched by any of the other great spirits. This important technique is taught to the beastlords, helping them to maximize their potential, and become something beyond what they might otherwise find themselves capable of.

The Great Crocodile ? U?lla, the Strong Hearted

Known for her unflinching courage, U?lla?s strength lies in her conviction and bravery. She will stand fast in the face of overwhelming odds, staring down her enemies without fear, and in fact has broken down opponents with the strength of her will alone. She does not back down, and will always see things to the end ? even mercilessly so. It is courage that she teaches to the beastlords, showing them not only the strength of body to stand up when others have fled, but also the courage of heart to make impossibly hard decisions and live with the choices made.

The Great Tiger ? Marisha Kur, the Den Mother

The Den Mother is known for making sure that those under her care are looked after and protected. She is also a teacher, guiding others in their journeys and helping them learn the lessons they will need to survive.

Along with this nurturing nature is an unmatched ferocity, as she protects that which she deems as her territory or domain. She teaches this devotion to the beastlords, so that they might give of themselves to protect that which is important to them ? be it a cause, a loved one, or a profession.

Sovereignties of Qeynos


Sovereignities of Qeynos

Penned by Randyle Brinn,

Historian and Scholar

On this, the first anniversary of Antonia Bayle?s crowning

Antonius Bayle (the first) ? The Great Unifier

Time of Rule: The Age of Enlightenment

Antonius Bayle, son of Vallius Bayle, brought order to the Plains of Karana, unifying the nomadic clans of the plains with the village of Oceangreen, and thus established the city of Qeynos. Havign renounced the title of king, he required all to simply call him by his name, Antonius.

Antonius Bayle II ? The Great Defender

Time of Rule: The Age of Reclamation & Age of Turmoil

Antonius Bayle II had studied under the fearless Knights of Thunder, as well as the Rangers of Surefall Glade. His mind for battle was instrumental in keeping the city unified despite the upheavals and unrest that plagued his reign, including the Erudite exodus from the city, and their subsequent uprising within Erudin. Under the rule of this militaristic leader, the Qeynos Guard grew and expanded divisions beyond the city walls.

Antonius Bayle III ? The Great Diplomat

Time of Rule: The Age of Turmoil

Antonius Bayle III, noted for his foreign diplomacy, is lauded for forging alliances between Qeynos and Erudin, northmen clans, and the halflings of Rivervale, during an overwise notably tumultuous time, which witnessed the erection of Paineel, and the dawn of Sir Lucan D?lere rule of Freeport. His intentions for establishing diplomatic ties with such hated enemies of the state were cut short by assassination, but not before he had fathered three notable sons; Kyle, Antonius IV, and Kane (the traitor)

His first son, Kyle, born before Antonius Bayle III had inherited the Qeynos Throne, disappeared mysteriously. From this point, the Bayle line would never again be direct, as Antonius IV, his second son and namesake, would henceforth be the most direct descendant of Antonius Bayle the first.

Antonius Bayle IV ? The Great Avenger

Time of Rule: The Age of Turmoil

By far, one of the most loved and celebrated rulers since Antonius Bayle the first, Antonius IV fought numerous battles against not only the foes of the kingdom, but the enemies of his allies. He has been noted as the single ruler that stretched the benevolent belief of Qeynos further beyond the borders than ever before. He proved his great skills of leadership and battle during the War of Plagues and established a council of representatives and advisory, known as the Circle of Ten.

Growing concerned, due to Antonius IV?s bachelorhood, the Circle of Ten implored him to wed, and sire children in order to further the Bayle lineage, and secure the Qeynos throne. Agreeing (perhaps relucantly), he accepted and arranged marriage, and soon sired twins, Anton and Antea, before his untimely death at sea.

Only upon Antonia Bayle?s emergence have historians come to learn of Antonius IV?s greatest secrets ? his love for Lady Shae of Felwithe, and his true first born, Shaonia, (Antonia?s great-great-great-grandmother), and of his true death. Antonius IV had faked his death at sea in order to be reunited with his true love, and live out his remaining life with her and their daughter.

Anton and Antea Bayle ? The Twin Monarchs

Time of Rule: The Age of War

Rather malicious folk, Antonius IV?s twin heirs squandered the riches of the throne, and demanded fealty from all citizens, ushering a dark period for the city of Qeynos. Strongly bonded, the twins often seemed more like king and queen rather than sibling rulers. After Antea was slain, by a raiding band of Rallosians, Anton was plunged into a pit of depression. His eccentric behavior became increasingly erratic and violent, ending with his suicide.

Antonius Bayle V ? The Great Sage

Time of Rule: The Age of War & The Age of Cataclysms

The child of Anton Bayle and one of Antea Bayle?s hand maidens, Antonius V was the most scholarly and wise ruler of Qeynos. He also was the youngest, having been crowned at the age of fifteen, after the death of his father. Due to his youth, he sought the unparalleled guidance of the Circle of Five in many decisions of stage. Thankfully, he had been tutored in history, art and arcane sciences during most of his youth, for without his wisdom Qeynos would ahve certainly met its destruction during the Rending.

Antonius Bayle VI ? The Great Healer

Time of Rule: The Age of Cataclysms

A disciple of the Temple of Life since his youth, Antonius VI rose to become one of the greatest priests to walk the streets of Qeynos, a power that he used benevolently when the Shattering occurred. The Great Healer aided in the healing of thousand of Qeynosians, and their allies. He found strength in the Circle of Five, and treasured their advise and guidance.

Antonius Bayle VII ? The Great Dreamer

Time of Rule: The Age of Cataclysms

During Antonius VII?s rule, the art of survival became a priority. During this time of great tragedy, he would often comfort the masses by relaying his prophetic dreams of safety, prosperity and cooperation for Qeynos. During the Great Dreamer?s reign the first steps to abandoning the animosity between the kingdom and many of its foes began.

Unfortunately, he was unable to see his dreams of harmony to their end. He, and his fellow Bayle family members, drowned when their royal vessel was swallowed by the Coldwind Sea, after being churned and torn asunder due to a great meteor shower.

The Circle of Five

Time of Rule: The Age of Cataclysms

The council of city representatives and advisers had increasingly assisted in the decisions of the crown, since their official inception as the Council of Ten during Antonius IV?s reign. They reluctantly took up rule of the kingdom themselves while a search for a royal successor was carried out. When the violent cataclysms began to calm during the reign, The Circle of Five oversaw the rebuilding of the kingdom.

Many of the current Qeynosian organizations were established under their rule, and many of the alliances started by Antonius VII were formed. The Pact of Tserrin was signed with Freeport and the Far Seas Trading Company began to run goods, services and survivors to and from the ravaged land for both cities. Their necessary reign would last only until their search for a successor of the Bayle bloodline proved fruitful!

Antonia Bayle

Time of Rule: The Age of Destiny

Born Shirrana of the Sisterhood, she is the first female to sit upon the kingdom?s throne by herself, and the first to have been bestowed the title of Antonia. She is Antonius IV?s great-great-great-granddaughter, as her mother was Taylania, the daughter of Marinya, who was the daughter of Baylisia, the daughter of Shaonia, daughter of Lady Shae of Felwithe and Antonius Bayle IV.

She took the throne with much fanfare, and brought with it hope and prosperity to the citizens of our rebuilt kingdom of Qeynos. Her current reign will undoubtedly meet many a challenge. Let us pray to the gods that she leads with dedication, conviction, grace and wisdom, as her ancestors before her.

Long live Her Highness!

Assistant Researcher’s Notes, Vol. 1, Halls of Erudin


torn hand-written note – This note, which is written in elegant, learned handwriting, appears to detail the removal of a book or journal from the vault, with the intention of getting the book to “the keepers of knowledge.”)

I have been Zal’Urid’s apprentice for several years now, and have witnessed his ingenuity and enlightened insight first hand. I guess I should have surmised that one day Zal’Urid would challenge Erudin in some capacity, I just never thought he would engage in open debate with the Erudin council itself. Yet there we were, walking through the city of those we once considered enemies, preparing to meet with those who shunned and stood against us for so long.

Zal’Urid said little as we approached the council hall itself. I could tell that he was lost in thought, no doubt going over his research in his head, anticipating questions and counterarguments that would come up during the debate. Occasionally he would ask for a specific page or manual, but other than that, he said nothing. He didn’t even seem to notice the Deepwater Knights escorting us, and only gave a dismissing nod or wave of his hand to the attendants assigned to us when they asked if he required assistance or refreshments.

While my master mused silently to himself, I took the time to observe my surroundings. I had never been to Erudin before, and I was impressed with the beauty and craftsmanship of the halls, pillars, fountains, and artwork places throughout the city. Everything seemed to open and tranquil, but I knew that the people that lived here were a stark contrast to the city itself, choosing to be oppressive and judgmental of magics they feared or didn’t understand. They would never be as enlightened or learned as thse of us who called Paineel our home.

Finally we arrived at the waiting chambers, and were intructed to sit and await the summons from the council. Zal’Urid nodded courteously, and took a seat near a large marble table. I sat across from him, and set his notes up where he could reach them. I then turned and looked toward the large doors leading into the council chambers. I couldn’t help feeling a sense of dread, knowing that even though the scholars of Erudin and Paineel were now working together, my master and I were entering this chamber as enemies — opponents to the great plan of the residents of Erudin?

As he worked on what I assume were his final notes, Zal’Urid must have sensed my unease, “What troubles you, apprentice?” he quiered. I hadn’t expected him to address me at all. I was taken aback by the break of his silence, and it was all I could do to muster up a response without stammering like a fool. “My apologies, Master,” I replied. “Being here, in this place… I never imagined we would be facing the Erudin council this way. I can’t help but feel a sense of dread.” Zal’Urid continued to work on his notes when he responded. “Why is that?” he asked, “Do you not trust my research and findings?”

“Of course, Master!” I responded quickly, sensing the veiled annoyance in his voice. “But it’s jsut that there will be many of them in there, what if they allign against you…”
“They were fools before the alliance between our cities,” he answered quietly, never raising his voice, “And they are fools now. My research is sound, whereas theirs is not. The surest way to win any debate, apprentice, is to have the correct information before that debate starts.”

Zal’Urid had long been skeptical of Erudin’s plan to construct a new Nexus. When the plan was proposed by the Erudin High Scholar, El’Arad to work jointly on its construction, I could immediately tell that Zal’Urid sensed that something was amiss. He never spoke about it much, but he immediately sent me int the libraries of Paineel for dusty tomes and books buried far within the shelves — to this day, I have no idea how he knew those particular works were even there. However, he pored through them, making notes and charts, not sleeping or eating for days. His research was very methodical — he never seemed hasty or rushed, and he would check and double check everything he recorded. I was the only one allowed to visit him during his research, and even then, he would not allow me to set eyes on his calculations or research notes.

Eventually he emerged, with notes in hand, and called for a session with Coriante Verisue and her council. I’m not sure what transpired in that meeting, but when Zal’Urid emerged, he was certainly not pleased, and retreated immediately into his study chambers. This repeated twice more, both with the same result. Whatever my master was looking for, he wasn’t finding it with the leadership of Paineel.

Late one evening, I received a summons from Zal’Urid. He asked me to meet him within his chambers promptly. When I arrived, I could see that he had prepared for a journey of some sort. When I asked where he was heading, he did not answer. Rather, he commanded me to load the pack steeds and make ready to depart. We were leaving immediately. There wasn’t much to pack, mostly tomes, charts, and notes — but there were a great many of each of them.

We traveled for some time, our trip made longer by having to stick to the shores to avoid Toxxulia Forest. When we arrived at our destination near the shore of the Vasty Deep, I was surprised to see that we were greeted by none other than Deepwater Knights. At first I suspected an attack, but they appeared to be welcoming of my master and me. When I was assisting with the unpacking of our provisions and supplies, I noticed that Zal;Urid had walked off with one of the Knights — the captain who had greeted us. I could not make out their conversation, but it seemed that my master was talking and the Knight was listening and agreeing. This was something I had never imagined I would witness in my years.

As it turned out, it was Zal’Urid’s intention to meet with and address the High COuncil of Erudin. He met with dignitaries and high scholars over the next couple of days, as we waited for the Council to convene and hear my master’s testimony. Now that time had come. As I sat nervous and in apprehension, Zal’Urid continued working and studying, exemplifying the rigid dedication to knowledge that helps define our people — the one trait that unifies all erudites across Norrath.

Finally, the large doors creaked open, and a tall man, dressed in the gold and white of the Council, stepped out. “Master Zal’Urid. The High Council of Erudin will see you now.”
“Very well,” my master replied. He patiently gathered up his notes and his charts, stood, and nodded to me, indicating that I was to follow. Together, we walked into the council chamber of Erudin.

Assistant Researcher’s Notes, Vol. 3, The High Council of Erudin


“Indeed,” was El’Arad’s response. I could see his face clearly now, and admittedly, it was hard not to look at him in awe. This was the man who had proposed the rebuilding of the Nexus, and it was through his guidance that the two cities were now cooperating, and working toward a common goal. To imagine that Zal’Urid now stood against the man who had brokered peace between our cities made me ill — but I knew that my master was no fool, and would not be here unless he was certain of his position.

“Let me assure you that I am not offended by your accusations,” El’Arad said calmly.
“However, I am puzzled. What is it you think you have discovered that compels you to argue so vehemently against your plan?”
“It’s not what I think I’ve discovered, El’Arad,” my master returned, “It’s what I have ascertained through rigorous study and calculations. Your plan is flawed, because it is based off incorrect information.”
“And what information is that, scholar?” El’Arad asked.

“You are attempting to reconstruct a spire transportation network to replace the now nonfunctional Combine Spires. Yet, you based your design off the Combine Spires themselves,” Zal’Urid explained patiently. “My calculations suggest that the new spires will still attempt to connect to the Luclin Nexus, as did the originals. Although I cannot be certain at this point, my research suggests a dangerous feedback of mystical energy resulting…”

El’Arad interrupted my master’s speech. “You cannot be certain of the outcome, yet you stand before this high court asking us to cease what could be the greatest achievement of the erudite people. And why? Based on admittedly uncertain information.”
“The only thing I am uncertain of is the outcome,” Zal’Urid returned. “At best the spires simply will not function. I am still working on the calculations for any other outcome aside from that.”

“What then, do we have to lose if the spires do not work as we designed them to do? IF your calculations cannot conclude any other outcome with any degree of certainty, why are we holding this court?” El’Arad asked with a hint of amusement in his voice. My master has always had impeccable control over his emotions. It is a rare case when I have seen him allow circumstances to get him
visibly upset. In almost every situation, Zal’Urid is deconstructing and analyzing the situations around him, and formulating plans for any given situations. I could see though, that El’Arad was beginning to make my master’s shell of logical detachment begin to crack. At the time, I could not be certain as to why, since Zal’Urid had been in many such open debates, but I knew that something was different this time.

“I believe, esteemed scholar, that the spires not functioning is the least likely outcome,” Zal’Urid said sharply. “In fact, I believe the most likely outcome is more likely as I said before — something far more catastrophic. That’s why I mentioned it at the beginning of this court.”
“You are questioning, then, all of the scholars who have worked on this project, all of the great erudite minds, both from Erudin and from Paineel, and all of the hours upon hours of research that has been poured into what we are attempting to accomplish?” El’Arad turned to face the councilors seated behind him now. “You are saying, to this court, to these scholars, to these people, that all of their research is flawed, while yours is accurate? And we’re supposed to take this based on what — your uncertainty, which you cannot
support with facts?”

“Indeed,” Zal’Urid responded, to a chorus of jeers and disapproving murmurs. “I believe that more time and research must be dedicated before we begin this project in earnest. We can still get to Antonica by sea, so there is ample time to conduct further study.”
“So you admit your contempt for your peers, then?” El’Arad said, a slight chuckle in his voice. Turning toward Zal’Urid, his gaze narrowed. “Tell me something. How many generations of your family have lived within Paineel?”
“I am the first, councilor,” Zal’Urid answered.
“Interesting,” El’Arad mused, as he began to circle my master. “Tell me then, who were your parents, if not scholars from Paineel?”

Zal’Urid hesitated, briefly before he could answer. However, Coriante Verisue wasted no time in answering for him. “They were Deepwater Kngihts, were they not, scholar?” she called out, the disdain evident in her voice.
“Indeed,” Zal’Urid said loudly, “My parents were both members of that Order.”
“And why, then, did you leave Erudin as a traitor to live within Paineel?” El’Arad said, punctuating the offensive word ‘traitor’ for effect.
“Because the scholars of Erudin have proven to be shortsighted and narrow in their thinking,” my master answered bluntly. The angry muttering from the crowd grew ever larger.

“And is it also true that the Deepwater Knights have opposed this project from the beginning?” El’Arad began, never taking his eyes off my master. “Is it not true that they have made their own shortsighted and narrow way of thinking very clear to this court, and to all of Erudin very well known?” Calls of agreement began echoing off the walls of the high court now. I began to shift uncomfortably, unable to hold back my unease. “Tell me, scholar,” El’Arad said fiercely, “Did you not go to the high court of Paineel simply as a mouthpiece for your parents’ order? Are you not just repeating the rhetoric of the Deepwater Knights, looking to spread their fear and lies to any and all who will listen?”

“How dare you!” Zal’Urid retorted, seething now with anger. “My research is my own!” My master thrust his notes into the air, shaking them toward the seated council. “My calculations and findings are sound! I challenge any of you to study my notes, and find a flaw within them, as I have found flaws within yours!”
The council chamber erupted into jeers. “Throw him out!” came the calls from the benches above. “I’ve heard enough!” My master attempted to argue back, but the crowd was no longer paying him any heed. El’Arad walked backwards out of the light, almost melting into the darkness beyond. It was clear that he had done what he had set out to do. It was over.

The large, heavy doors to the council chamber closed behind us as we left the chamber. As we walked slowly down the hall, I saw that Zal’Urid had calmed considerably, and was back to formulating a new plan. Before I could speak, he spoke to me. “There is something else amiss here, apprentice,” he began. “I can’t be certain what it is, but El’Arad has another motive — I could sense
it, but I cannot put my finger on it.” I nodded my agreement, because I was not sure where my master was going with his thoughts.

“We must find out more. I want you to go to the library of Erudin. Begin seeking out whatever information you can there. Listen in on the scholars’ conversations, observe what tomes they are researching, find out who is associating with whom. Whatever is happening here, it is intertwined with the Nexus experiment, and thus could decide the fate of all of Odus — we must learn all we can, as quickly as we can,” he explained. I was surprised, to say the very least.
“M-m-master,” I stammered, “Please forgive me. Planning for the next round of debates is one thing, but looking for a web of conspiracy is something completely different! How can you…”

“Do not question me, apprentice,” he said firmly. “I ask only that you follow my instructions faithfully, and speak none of this to no other. It is imperative that this remains between you and me.”
“As you wish, master,” I replied.
Zal’Urid looked up to me. “There will not be another round of debates — I am sure that El’Arad will see to that. Meet me in three days back on the shore of the Vasty Deep with your notes. Be as discreet as you can.”
“I will,” I answered. “Where will you be?”

Zal’Urid looked away. “I am going to meet with the Deepwater Kngihts, and begin to compare notes. Where that meeting will take me, I cannot say.”
I nodded. ”
Very well. I will meet you in three days,” I said, and turned to walk away.
“Indeed,” Zul’Urid answered. “And apprentice,” he said calmly, “Watch
your back.” I froze for a moment, hearing the deliberate cold tone of his voice.
When I turned around, Zal’Urid was gone. I will not fail you, my master. I will not fail.

Assistant Researcher’s Notes, Vol. 2, The High Council of Erudin


I will never forget the chambers of the High Council of Erudin. Never have I been in a place where I felt such scrutiny, and indeed, such oppression. I knew that it was here that the Council banished Miragul for practicing the art of necromancy, thereby cutting an entire sphere of knowledge and learning from their studies. It was here that they chose to engage in war against the people of Paineel, for pursuing that very knowledge in our quest to understand the magics of the world in which we live.

The biggest surprise was waiting for my master and me when we entered the chamber itself. While I had expected the majority of the Council to be in attendance, I was not expecting to find many of the Paineel high court, including Coriante Verisue herself, sitting amongst the crowd. I looked over to Zal’Urid to gauge his reastion, but as always, he remined impassive. It was almost as if he expected to see them here — perhaps he had even planned on it.

The hall itself was dimly lit, save a few lights along the back wall, and a large beam of light illuminating a platform in the center of the room. I sat on a bench near the stairs leading to the raised rows of seats where the Council sat. Zal’Urid walked to the center of the platform, entering the pillar of light, facing the Council of Erudin and the court of Paineel. There was no podium for him to lay his notes on, no seat for him to rest comfortably on the platform. He seemed untroubled, confidently facing those before him.

One of the scholars amongst the Councilors stepped down the stairs near me, and I could see that she wore the large headpiece of the arbiters — she would preside over the debate, ensuring that it would not collapse into a free-for-all argument. I was concerned again, because she was clearly chosen from among the scholars of Erudin, but it was a logical choice, given where we now were. “Master Zal’Urid,” she began. “You have requested audience with the High Council of Erudin, to discuss the viability of El’Arad’s wise plan to put the teleportation network back in the hands of mortals, and out of the hands of the gods who took it from us.”
“That is correct, Arbiter,” my master responded.

“As you can see, in the interest of cooperation with the city of Paineel, we have brought some of their esteemed court to this noble hall, so that they might have a voice in these proceedings. Therefore, you will be speaking to both cities, and will receive a unified repsonse from all of the erudite people. Do you understand this?” the speaker inquired.
“I do, Arbiter,” Zal’Urid replied.
“Very well, then,” she said. “Please explain to the Council what brings you before us.”

“I am here to solicit the help of the High Council of Erudin with regards to the aforementioned rebuilding of the Spire Network, and construction of the Ulteran Nexus within Quel’ule,” he began. “I believe this to be a highly questionable act, one that warrants scrutiny and further deliberation before we proceed further.”
“Questionable?” came a voice from the Council. “In what way?” Several mutters of agreement could be heard among the crowd.
“Indeed, Councilor,” my master said cooly. “I believe that this research is based upon faulty information, and that this poorly conceived plan could very well imperil all of Odus, if not all of Norrath itself.”

Th council chamber erupted with incredulous harrumphs, angry retorts, and mocking laughter. Some of the councilors were standing now. shouting back their responses over the uproar started by Zal’Urid’s words. “What would you have us go? one shouted. “There is no teleportation, and we are cut off from the rest of Norrath without it!”
“How dare you speak of the greatest mings in Norrath with impudence!” called out another.

The Arbiter worked feverishly to calm the cacophony of anger. My master stood unmoving, watching the reaction of the council, and waiting for the noise to subside. When it finally subsided, he opened his mouth as if to speak. However, before he could even begin, another voice cut through the dim chamber. “You see? I warned you that he would waste the time of this esteemed council.” I was surprised to hear that it was none other than Coriante Verisue, the head of the High Court of Paineel, speaking out against one of the wisest scholars the city of Paineel had ever known. “He wasted the time of the high court of Paineel three times over, and now he has come to the High Council of Erudin to do the same?”

“What gives you the right, scholar, to question the consensus of the scholars of the erudite people?” another councilor spoke out.
“The province of facts, councilor,” Zal’Urid replied. “As I said, your conclusions are based on unsound information, and it is my duty to report my findings for consideration.” it was obvious that the High Council of Erudin had heard enough. My master attempted to speak over the diun, but they were no longer listening. Still, he remained calm, answering each objection as he could.

After several minutes of this, another councilor stood up, and raise his hand quietly. The noise in the chamber stopped almost immediately, and even the Arbiter stepped aside, out of the beam of light where Zal’Urid now stood alone. The figure walked down the isle toward the stairs leading to the platform below. I was unable to make out his face through the light, and even if I could, I am not sure I would have known who this man was. The councilor said nothing as he approached Zal’Urid. The two scholars stodd face to face for a few moments, before ayone spoke. In spite of what could have been defined as a tense few moments between adversaries, I sensed neither malice or anger from either.

“Your words are stinging and harsh, scholar,” the man began. “If you are here to save all of Odus, as you claim, seeking the help of those that were once enemies, would it not be best to attempt some form of diplomacy?”
“I speak factually,” Zal’Urid said to the man standing before him. “I do not believe that pointing out the flaws inherent in your plan are an insult to anyone, save perhaps yourself, if you choose them to be.”

It was at that moment that I relized who this councilor was — this was none other than El’Arad himself, High Scholar of Erudin, and primary architect of Ulteran spire network plan.