Category Archives: The Shattering

The Nightblood

Some of my students are less inclined to take their research seriously. What follows is an example of the most poorly written report I have ever seen in my years as an instructor. Miss Mellosius is not only a half-elf but evidently a half-wit. Please consider this more of a paper on how not to write an in-depth study.
“The Nightblood,” by Trinni Mellosius. My teacher told me to write a research paper about Nightbloods, as if I’ve ever seen one! Anyway, this is my research into the nightblood.

Nightbloods are really very unfortunate and misunderstood. A lot of people think they are manifestations of evil and get very scared thinking about them, but I like to think of your average nightblood as a big, overgrown bull. That kind of breathes flames, but not really. There! Doesn’t that make you think of them differently all ready?

Well, all right, maybe that was a bit much. Nightbloods are pretty creepy. They aren’t from our world at all, so that makes them doubly creepy! It’s as if somewhere, there’s a something that we can’t see, but the nightbloods can and they are taking advantage of this to travel around. If that doesn’t give you the creeps, I don’t know what will!

The first confirmed sighting of a nightblood was only about fifty or three hundred years ago or so, give or take. These paladins were locked in battle with some kind of elemental when suddenly, poof! Right out of the air came these big, broad-shouldered beasts with horns curving around the tops of their heads. It must have been a pretty scary sight!

Anyway, so one paladin turns to one of the others and says, “Lo! Run to Lord Bayle and tell him of this fell beast we have awoken from its foul sleep!” I guess they talked like that a lot back then. The other paladins didn’t want to run, they wanted to stay and fight! They could feel what the only survivor later said was something like waves of heat and evil from this creature.

These paladins had with them a squire, or a knight, or something else and so they told him to get away and tell Lord Bayle while they stayed to fight this thing. So the squire or whatever took off running. He stopped at the top of a hill, or the end of a bridge (depending on where you’ve heard the story), only to see the beast totally wipe out the paladins with a pretty awesome incantation.

The squire ran and ran back to Qeynos and did not stop till he got to tell his story directly to Lord Bayle. In fact, this kind of long distance run turned into a big annual event across Karana to commemorate this event, so that means this had to have happened a very long time ago. Anyway, Lord Bayle sent out fifty of his bravest warriors, who found the beast and slew it before it could regain its strength and cast anymore spells.

If you ask me, that’s putting a lot of weight to that one story, but that’s what I learned as the origin of the nightblood. Only it’s not really about the nightblood, is it? Let me see, I’m sure there’s more. Oh! Did I mention it’s evil?

Since that first nightblood however many years ago, there have certainly been a lot more of them in Norrath. No one knows if this is because of all the unrest after the Shattering that made more of these hidden paths that the nightbloods travel through, or if there is something else that’s stirring them up. These things apparently aren’t afraid of anything and will attack whatever they find in their way.

If you are unfortunate enough to get close to one, listen to its voice. It has a really odd way of speaking, almost as though it doesn’t know how to talk at all. Now, that means to me that it’s stupid, but my teacher says that it means instead that we simply do not know what language it is using. Whatever. In any case, some of these things do learn to speak properly and carry on a good conversation before they rip the person they’re speaking with to shreds.

So, that’s all there is to know about nightbloods. I guess the main thing to remember is, you don’t want to meet up with one! If you see one, don’t stop to talk with it! Run! The End. — Teacher’s note: Trinni, come see me immediately about this paper!

The History of the Fae

This is a history of the Fae. Its pages cannot be completed at one time, but must be gained through valor and experience.
Through my own experiences, I can gain knowledge and insight into the Fae.

Tunare, Goddess of nature, gave us life. As she walked through Greater Faydark, flowers sprung up beneath her feet. One of these flowers turned its face toward her as a heliotrope to the sun. “You are precious,” said Tunare, laughing and gently cupping the blossom in her hands. And so, the first Fae were formed of blossoms and Tunare’s laughter. That was the beginning of the Dream Ring, the first Ring in which the Fae realized that their lives were indeed precious.

Life was quiet for the Fae in those distant times. One of the Fae learned the language of the Feir’Dal, our brothers and sisters of Tunare. In time, all Fae learned some Feir’Dal words and added them to our own language, Faerlie. And Joleena took her new language skills into Kelethin, the city of the Feir’Dal. She lives amongst them for a time and when she returned, we made her our first Queen.

Our people had often lived in small bands, roving through the Faydarks. We recognized that we had much in common with the Feir’Dal, and so over time, many of the Fae migrated to live near the trees which formed its base. Many of the Fae died in the Burning Ring, when the armies of the War of Fay crossed the woods, burning everything before them.

Those who were not killed were horrified. We had never witnessed so much death and destruction! And though emissaries were sent to Felwithe, the Koada’Dal sent no help. Much of Greater Faydark and Kelethin were burned, yet the First Children did nothing. Instead, they closed themselves away once the War had ended. And so began the Ring of Sadness.

We helped the Feir’Dal rebuild Kelethin. Who else had they to turn to but the Fae? Queen Cydney oversaw our contributions, channeling our Fae magic to heal the trees and restore the Faydarks to beauty. We mourned, for Queen Cydney’s spirit bud, holding all her memories and experiences, was lost to us forever.

Each Fae is formed from the spirit bud of one of the ancestors. By maintaining the blossom, the Fae can reawaken its spirit and remember threads from the distant past. Many of us who can recall the Ring of Sadness prefer to remember the Quiet Ring that followed it instead, for the Age of War did not touch Kelethin until later.

As the gods seemed to withdraw from us, the Fae’s magical influences seemed to wane as well. Through we had moved away from Kelethin itself, remembering the Burning Ring, Queen Saphrina encouraged us to move back. “There are dark forces everywhere,” she said. “It will be safer for us to join with the Feir’Dal before it is too late.” And so we did, building a wall of brambles to keep the city safe.

The Crushbone orcs proved Queen Saphrina right – they took her life and destroyed her spirit bud. This was truly the First Ring of Chaos. Deterred by the thick brambles we had raised beneath the city, the orcs laid siege to Kelethin, never envisioning from which direction our help would come.

They crept in from Lesser Faydark, an army of brownies, and decimated the Crushbone orcs. They had never been our particular allies before, rescuing us had been incidental to their love of battle. Queen Jillian granted them the status “Friend of the Fae” from that moment onward. The siege was broken, yet the wars raging around us did not cease. Nor did the orcs let up their attempted assault on the city.

An uneasily peaceful time followed – the Ring of Leaving. In a very short span of time, we witnessed some of the remaining Feir’Dal and others leave Faydwer. They spoke of receiving a vision, a word from Tunare. And as time went on, we let the brambles protecting Kelethin dissipate as we moved into the city ourselves.

We thought that troubles times lay behind us now, yet the Ring of Trials had only begun. All around us the lands began to change, groaning and breaking apart. Built into the trees, Kelethin withstood the trembling earth below. We felt we were being tested, but had no way of knowing if we had passed.

The last trial was the death of our young, beautiful Queen Liivika, just two days before her wedding, leaving the Fae to mourn yet again. Some began to question how Tunare could leave us. Others argued that she had not left, that we simply needed to learn how to live like the Feir’Dal. We Fae lost some of our innocence, but we know that we are not alone. Our spirits tell us this.

Changes were wrought, some not as obvious as the madly swirling seas and others very evident. We were growing taller and the shapes and colors of our wings began to differ. The Ring of Regrowth marked a period of rapid changes amongst the Fae. Sadly, during this time two of our Queens disappeared and we were unable to recover their spirits.

The Second Ring of Chaos began with what Outsiders call the Shattering. Shards of Luclin rained down around Faydwer, but fortunately, most of Greater Faydark escaped unscathed. A few of Kelethin’s platforms caught fire and burnt, though most of the city was untouched. Queen Sephria and later her daughter Queen Kilina were both killed by the rain of debris which stopped as suddenly as it had started.

Some days, we wondered what had become of those who had left Faydwer. Where did they go? Did they perish in the Second Ring of Chaos? Would we ever see them or their kin again? For our spirits continued to renew and continued to remember. And then ships arrived as well as parties crossing into Greater Faydark from elsewhere, and we knew that times were changing. Again.

Thus began the Peaceful Ring, which continues to the present. Given our history, we wonder – Peaceful for how long? Queen Oola oversaw the rebuilding of the parts of Kelethin that had been destroyed and left the city to her daughter Amree, our current Queen. Who knows what our future holds, now that Outsiders come once again to Faydwer?

The History of Poetry

By Sage Lerin Rahin

Throughout the ages, many poets have provided the inhabitants of the Deserts of Ro with literary delights.

Dervin poet Alyarrah Mahaat sometimes wrote her poetry by pouring different colors of sand onto a flat stone, letting the wind gradually erase the words. “Poetry is ephemeral,” she said when asked about this unusual practice. Alyarrah was originally a nomadic Dervin who was invited to be a Court Poet by Neriph, Caliph of the Court of Coin.

With works including ballads about the Dervin nomads, djinn-styled short form poetry and lyrical tales of love, Alyarrah’s poetry is considered as contemporary as it is timely. The world lost a great poet when Alyarrah died in an arena accident within a year of entering the Caliph’s Court. The position of Court Poet has gone unfilled since her death.

Before Alyarrah, Dervin poets were predominantly anonymous lyricists who chose to set fireside tales to parchment rather than lose their connections with the past. Storytellers often hold an exalted position within the Dervin community, although it is not an exclusive title or role. The nomadic Dervins who live outside Maj’Dul must provide many skills to their tribes.

When the Shattering occurred, many tribes were decimated and their oral storytelling traditions were lost. By setting the remaining tales down, current tribes hope to maintain the ancient lore and knowledge handed down through the generations. While some of the Dervin nomads are illiterate, there are scribes in Maj’Dul who are willing to transcribe their stories.

Prior to the Shattering, the work of Dervin poets is harder to obtain as much of it was never written down. Though many current volumes claim to contain exact transcriptions, it is impossible to be sure. And, of course, many poems survive in various forms, depending upon which tribe tells the tale. Generally, if an older poem is attributed to a specific elder poet, its source must be viewed with suspicion.

There are exceptions to this rule. Many of the poems by the Dervin poet Kish’Kah survived as they were primarily used in short messages between tribes. Marriage often intermingled different Dervin tribes, and whichever spouse moved to a new tribe would keep in touch with his or her former family by paying Kish’Kah to send a poetic greeting. His poems are no more than five lines, which makes them easy to identify.

Though not poetry in the strictest sense, some find the writings of the Alliz Raef Ew, or lizardmen, to be almost lyrical. Their storytelling style is distinctively archaic and often bloody. It cannot be denied, however, that they are capable of intense imagery. None of their tales are written in their original language. Only translations are available.

A typical lizardman poem includes an element of sacrifice, either an act by the protagonist or a victim of some horrific ritual. While such poems are not usually considered “art,” given the lifestyles of these scaled creatures, it is interesting that they would use any medium to immortalize such brutal acts. The market for Alliz Raef Ew poetry is miniscule, but enthusiastic.

While poetry has high value amongst the djinn, they generally do not record their own work. Instead, they rely on cast collections of poetry gleaned from other sources. Some of the volumes held by the djinn are said to date back to the Age of War, though there is no conclusive proof.

The djinn favor a short, three-line poem known as the “djinn short style.” These poems are amusing and often end with a subtle twist. The djinn will sometimes converse in this short form, evidently to amuse themselves. There are no celebrated poets in the short form for any published pieces are not credited to a particular djinn.

Steppes Creature Catalog

The Thundering Steppes is an area that is at once familiar and strange. Wide, shallow valleys recall the Plains of Karana while lakes formed in the meteor strikes during the Shattering serve as a reminder that nothing is permanent, not even the shape of the lands.
The Thundering Steppes shares the continent of Karan with Antonica, separated by the high peaks of the Phantom Mountains. Jutting southward like a sheathed dagger, the shores of the Steppes are formed by the waters of the Seafury. Hills are steeper near the mountains and more gently sloped as they near the sea.

Wind and rain sweep across the rugged terrain and while the intensity may vary, the changing weather remains constant. In the course of a day, one can see raging thunderstorms, bright sunny skies and light drizzles. It pays to keep one’s gear in good repair as the weather can take its toll on both metal and leather goods.

Pale green and gold, wild grass is plentiful across the plains. It is particularly fascinating to stand (under some cover of course) and watch a wind storm sweep through the area, rolling the fine blades like waves on the sea. Trees, though sparse, grow here as well, particularly acacia trees with their tiny leaves that let the winds blow through them without ripping them apart.

Many inhabitants from Ages past remain in the Steppes. Centaurs form raiding parties and descend upon travellers, so it is wise to keep one’s guard up. The hill giants can be particularly aggressive, although the centaurs work to keep them in check. The proximity to the sea brings an enchantment of sirens to the shore; beware the sound of their voices!

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!

Karath Smoothmane – The Breaking of the Pact

This book is titled “Karath Smoothmane – Breaking of the Pact “. It is a complete volume chronicling the events of a centaur chieftain and how the tribe managed to co-exist with the giants of the Thundering Steppes.
The following is the account of my travels with Karath Smoothmane, chief of the Baelazern tribe of centaurs in the Commonlands. Throughout the time I spent with him, I came to know him as a good friend. Not only did I learn his customs, I learned much about his life, as well. One of the most important tales I learned from him is transcribed in the following pages – The Breaking of the Pact.

It was late in the summer when Karath told me why the centaurs would attack only the groups of giants that had six or more in them. Instead of singling out the easier targets, such as the old or the occasional wandering giant, the herd would attack those that could easily defend themselves. He said that this was due to the Breaking of the Pact.

Karath’s sire’s sire was the chieftain of the Baelazern tribe at the time when the Pact was broken. It seems that both the giants and the centaurs had a generations-long truce to share the land, staying out of each other’s way. Both races lived in harmony, even throughout the time of the Rending. Not only would the Shattering destroy the moon of Luclin, it would also break apart the Pact the two peoples held.

As the very moon began to barrage the land, both of the two peoples decided that they must work together in order to survive. Both leaders of the races agreed to meet so that they could work out an alliance, not just a truce. Much ceremony was prepared for when the two would meet.

As both parties met and exchanged their welcoming customs, tragedy struck. In a blazing ball of fire, an enormous boulder from the moon struck the ground where both leaders were, killing them instantly. Only a few people survived the impact, and they went back to describe the treachery of the other side, blaming each other for what happened.

For the next several years, open warfare broke out among both the giants and the centaurs. Finally, when Kararth’s sire came of breeding age, he rose up and united the clan once again. With his eloquent words, he stopped the centaurs from raiding the giants by emphasizing honor. He told them he had a plan.

The plan that Karath had in mind would involve showing the giants that they were nothing more than beasts. They could not defeat their enemies by lowering themselves down to their level. If the centaurs were to survive the Shattering, they must not come out of it as barbaric as a human. Or so, these were the words that Karath had said to his people.

And so the Baelazern clan proceeded to agree to rules of engagement, asking for council from their new chief. As the years went on they, refined their tactics to the point that they would only attack those that could defend themselves. Karath said that since that day, the centaurs have succeeded at his sire’s vision. I asked Karath how many foes they have defeated since then, and he responded with one word, “None”.

I was wondering how not killing a single giant, the centaur’s sworn enemy for close to a hundred years, could be considered successful. Seeing my confusion, Karath chuckled and told me the why. As his sire grew up, waiting for the day when he would rule his people, he would run and play with his only friend… the giant chieftain’s son.

While they played, they both came up with a plan on how to get their people to work together, yet to also keep their pride. When both chieftains were old enough to lead their people, the plan went into effect. Both people would only attack those that could defend themselves. In the end, even though they war with each other, both peoples have not lost one warrior, woman, or child to the other side for the past two generations.

Ilene Cellus’ Family History Book

I am sure that some of my family’s writings still exist elsewhere in Norrath. Unless they were destroyed in the Shattering or as mentioned before, held back by unscrupulous vendors. Whatever portion of this tome you have, cherish it and remember the Cellus family of Qeynos.
Good thing Ignatia had the sense to hide her journal. When all the Books of Knowledge were destroyed, some folk took that a bit further and destroyed every book they could find! My mamma said to me, “Illene, where do you go and spend all your days?” but I didn’t answer. I don’t want her to know about these books I found from the War of Plagues and before, or she’ll burn them before I finish reading them.

It’s so interesting to know some of the thoughts my ancestors had so long ago. They didn’t know back then that the gods were going to leave and everything would be so awful. Mamma said the gods left behind hope, but I’d rather have the gods. When I pray, I want to know there’s something listening.

We live up in Qeynos Hills. Sometimes, we go to Qeynos, but always in a big caravan because of all the orcs. First it was one or two, but lately there’s more and more of them. It makes mamma and papa nervous and they talk about moving back to the city. I like the Hills, though. Except for the stupid gnolls. That’s one thing that hasn’t changed, they still come up now and again.

There’s a lot of northerners coming to Qeynos Hills too. I don’t know how we’ll all survive, with those orcs coming in from the east. We spend a lot of time in caves hiding. I can’t stand it. Someday, I’m going to go where there’s nothing but grass and sky and you can see forever! Or near the sea! That would be good, too.

We get fish sometimes out of the lakes, but they’re pretty scrawny. All the food is scrawny. We go sometimes to get acorns and roots. When there’s a deer or something big, we eat every last bit! In fact, papa just went out to get some wood so we can make soup out of the bones mamma saved.

I haven’t been allowed outside for months; the grown-ups say it’s too dangerous. There’s no one to hear our prayers which makes it lonesome. Oh! I hear them coming back already! I hope he’s brought me… he’s dead! An orc hiding near the waterfall killed him! My uncle tried to save him, but nearly died as well. What will we do? How’d the orcs get so close in? We’re going back to Qeynos tonight, mamma says I have to hide the books.

Iriana Cellus’ Family History Book

I am sure that some of my family’s writings still exist elsewhere in Norrath. Unless they were destroyed in the Shattering or as mentioned before, held back by unscrupulous vendors. Whatever portion of this tome you have, cherish it and remember the Cellus family of Qeynos.
I found ancient papers written by not only my ancestors, but by others from the past. Maybe the heat of the sun on the plains preserved the writings. Illene never did get to see Qeynos, as her family moved east rather than west. I cannot imagine the world described! My father says he can remember when the moon was whole, but it has always appeared in my sky as a shining smear, like fish scales spilling from a broken bowl.

I am Iriana Cellus and I live in an area known as the Thundering Steppes. There are no ships because the oceans are still too rough, but I like to sit on the shore and watch the waves. Father says the seas never used to come up so high.

Oh! The other day I saw the oddest thing! A rat, nearly as tall as myself! And it could speak, but I did not understand it, at first. After a while, it sat next to me and we drew pictures in the dirt to talk. His family comes from far away, looked like under the mountains. Or it might have been under the waves. He didn’t draw very well, but then again, neither do I. He ran away when my sister approached. Later, I saw another one peering out from a ruined watchtower. There are more and more of these interesting new creatures in the Steppes. I didn’t ask anyone what it was; I know they would say it’s my imagination. As if I could imagine up a talking rat! I wonder if I’ll see him again, or any of these other rat-people?

My father said we are going to help rebuild Qeynos, so we’ll be leaving in a day or two. It is the only city left in the entire world. Well, besides Freeport. I cannot wait! I wonder what will happen to the rat-people? Where can they go?

Ignatia Cellus’ Family History Book

I am trying to compile the Cellus’ family stories into remembrances of what was and how it has changed over time. If you bought this volume and its covers were removed, know that the seller is probably keeping out the good bits for him or herself!
I am sure that some of my family’s writings still exist elsewhere in Norrath. Unless they were destroyed in the Shattering or as mentioned before, held back by unscrupulous vendors. Whatever portion of this tome you have, cherish it and remember the Cellus family of Qeynos.

My name is Ignatia Cellus and my story is nothing like my grandmother’s Isabella Cellus’ tale. She lived in a time of relative peace, while I am in a world besieged by terrors unimaginable. The undead rise up outside Qeynos and we all fear for our —

— lives. Thank the gods for Kane Bayle, commander of the Guard. His guidance will surely lead Qeynos through this dark time! He has ordered the Guard to watch every possible entry to Qeynos, which means longer shifts and journeys far from home. I am in the Guard and and fortunately, patrol —

— inside the catacombs near the Guild Halls. There is a strange odor in the air; it is the smell of death. The dead are piled high and cannot be buried, for there is no one to stand guard over the mourners and keep them safe. The undead appear —

— in waves that we cannot repel easily, as there are so many of them and so few of us. With the Guard trying to keep Qeynos’ entrances safe, there are not enough to do other tasks. I do not remember the last time I slept at home. This is exhausting.

Alas! Finally, I was able to return to my home in South Qeynos, only to find such sorrow. The block of homes on my street were filled with the dead. The patrol in that quadrant had not reported in a fortnight, so I was sent to check on them. My mother —

— is one who died of this horrible plague that seems to rise from beneath us. Captain Keldrane has been sent to investigate the deepest areas of the Catacombs. Commander Bayle asked me personally to escort the unarmed to safety in Qeynos Hills. Some have said this will —

— spread the Guard too thinly, but Commander Bayle doubtless knows more than the general populace. I trust his judgment. He would never betray Qeynos, never! Meanwhile, I am happy to leave the city; being here reminds me too much of —

— the family and friends I have lost. I am accompanying a group of non-combatants out of the city to a secret place known only to my family until now. I hope we will be safe there. I did not tell the commander of this place, but I know our family’s stronghold will not remain secret or hidden for long.


“Geomancy — the Art of Fine Living through Planned Development” by Cho Zei Nurwin
In the past, we lived by placing our homes randomly without thought for how placement affects the energies which can be harnessed by our unconscious thought.

By building homes in harmony with our surroundings, we have created a peaceful environment born of the chaos that drove our people to Mara Island.

This book does not boast that you shall find peace by redirecting only your home.

In many cases, there is no easy solution. It is not always possible to rebuild a home to these specifications.

Yet, knowing how Shin came to be so successful may ensure you will at least keep geomantic solutions in mind.

What is geomancy?

In its simpler form, it is an examination of pebbles to divine the future.

It can also be much more complex, where changing the environment itself can bring about changes.

Change can be negative or positive. By knowing what can influence the changes, one can increase positive outcomes.

The Village of Shin is a good example of planned development.

The families, brought here by mutual misfortune in the far away lands, were fortunate to find the monks of the Whistling Fist agreeable neighbors.

By carefully arranging the homes between the mountains and the sea, Brother Luk Ki channeled universal energies that allowed our fields to prosper long before we expected.

Brother Luk Ki of the Whistling Fists had used geomancy in auspiciously placing the Tower of the Four Winds at the juncture of water and mountain.

The flowing water cleanses the air while the mountains serve as a solid foundation upon which to build a structure as important as the Tower of the Four Winds. Brother Luk Ki had arranged houses in a subtle fan-shape beneath the Tower.

Though the monks had used these homes in their distant past, they no longer needed them. How very fortunate for us!

We never knew Brother Luk Ki, for this village was created long before our arrival.

In his honor, however, we named the small island near the beach for him. The Whistling Fists did not name any of the landmarks, for to them that was a trivial detail.

Our people, however, needed the security of knowing our new place in the world as the Shattering seemed to sever our ties to our past.

You will notice that the fields in which our crops are grown are on the eastern side of Shin. This is to take advantage of the first light of every day, for growth comes of light.

It also allows us to surround Shin more closely by water, the giver of life.

Water can also destroy life, as many found in the years when the seas were impassible. And yet, without water, there can be no growth and thus, no harvest.

The mountains cradle Shin in their embrace, their roots reaching deep into the ground to anchor us.

We named them the Seven Mountains, though there are obviously more than seven separate peaks.

Perhaps when we have been here for a generation, we will name each mountain for its own qualities.

It is not always possible to find a location in proximity to so many good omens, therefore, we should consider ways to bring balance to our surroundings on a smaller scale.

If you live in an area that is not surrounded by mountains, you may place stones to the north and the west in their stead. Likewise, the flow of water to the south and east may be mimicked by a fountain or basin of fresh water.

If you are fortunate enough to live in a place of good omen, construct a pavilion or bridge so that you can view the beauty surrounding you.

Notice that Shin is set amongst verdant foothills.

Tall trees sway gently in the breeze from the bay. Living plants are vital to our well-being.

Bring the outdoors to your home by introducing potted plants, placing them near doors or windows to imitate a garden in non already exists.

We were very fortunate to find that Brother Luk Ki had used geomancy in creating what is now the Village of Shin.

By taking into consideration the elements neccessary for a strong and peaceful home, substituting smaller objects when necessary, you can plan your environment to serve your needs for generations to come.