Category Archives: Everfrost

The Heater

A commotion erupted near the warm camp fires in the cave leading to Halas as a pair of gnomes scurried out into the cold carrying odd looking equipment. Dagda Icefury, a barbarian woman strong and heavily armored, shouted out over the frozen tundra of Everfrost, “Come and see my brothers and sisters! My friends have made for us a device that will keep us warm on the frigid tundra! Follow me and see this wonderful invention! We shall never know cold again!”

A pair of gnomes stood near the Igloos. One wore robes and a grim face, riddled with lines indicative of one who thinks a bit too much. Another in light chain, grinned ear to ear. Tools and small bits of oddly shaped metal littered the ground and were slowly disappearing under the perpetual snowfall. The air smelled of volatile substances.

Dagda lead a group of curious onlookers to the igloos located some distance away from the small settlement that is Halas. The gnome, Ognit Eznertob, both a wizard as well as a tinker like most of his kind, waved them all forward impatiently. As they approached he said, “Oh good, you’re here, Dagda. And I’m happy to see that you’ve brought some friends along.”

The crowd began to gather and surround Ognit. The barbarians towered over the strange gnome, who turned and climbed atop the Igloo. Waving his arms, he called for quiet. “Quit your yammering already and listen!” He tapped his feet for a few moments as the crowd quieted.

Making himself as tall as he could, he puffed out his chest and said, “Thank you Dagda for gathering your kin to come and experience what will surely be a life changing revolution for all of you who dwell in these inhospitable lands.” He nodded toward Dagda as his face contorted into a failed attempt at a smile.

His face fell once again into a perpetual scowl as he continued in his scratchy voice with all the flare of a carnival huckster. “Never again shall the elements take the lives of those who dwell in this harsh terrain you call, most appropriately, Everfrost. We have heard in our conversations with the residents of Halas, that some of the young Wolves of the North have succumbed to the cold of this region.”

Gesturing broadly, he continued, “As a favor to our close friend Dagda and indeed as a favor to all of you and your kin who reside in these lands of persistent inclemency, I have developed the blueprints for a device that will make an end to the wretched misery you poor folks face.”

With excitement in his voice, he said, “But before we get to that, more about me! I have, as a master tinker, made it my goal to design and build life-enhancing tools to make Norrath a better place.”

“Some devices just treat the symptom and ignore the cause, such as my automatic, self-applicating, single use, disposable tissues for cold climates such as these.” Ognit sneezed and a thin cloth sprang out from somewhere beneath his robes and stuck to his face.

The gnome let loose a muffled cry of surprise. Removing the cloth from his face he said, “Pardon me,” and continued his pitch. “As I was saying this device does more than simply treat the symptom. This device eliminates the cause of the problem altogether! With no further ado, I would like to introduce my close friend and understudy in all things mechanical, Dabner Drednever,” he then gestured down to the gnome in light chain armor waiting below next to the igloo.

Dabner sat there, staring in fear at the crowd of giants all around him. Ognit bends down and whispers loudly, “Get up on this igloo and talk to these people, you cretin!”

“Though I designed the blueprints for this device, Dabner here is the one solely responsible for its assembly. This is his first work as a tinker and he’s very excited to tell you about what he did,” Ognit added, buying himself some more time.

Dabner climbed on top of the igloo, while Ognit slid down the other side. Being above all of these people didn’t make things any easier for Dabner. He suddenly realized how many there were. He cleared his throat uncomfortably.

Ognit pointed at Dabner and mouths the words, “Get on with it all ready!”

Seeing her little friend’s distress, Dagda said, “Tell them about what you made Dabner! You know I’m proud of you!”

Visibly blushing, Dabner spoke, his voice cracking nervously, “Yeah… So this is the first thing that I made With tinkering that is”

Dabner looked down and shuffled his feet nervously. “I think you’re all gonna like it. It’ll keep you all warm and it fits in a small backpack and stuff So that’s good…”

Ognit looked up at Dabner and then covering his eyes and shaking his head says, “You’re dying up there Dabner! Flare, think flare! Like you’re giving a sermon or some fool thing like that.”

At those harsh words, Dagda turned a dangerous glare upon Ognit. Ognit ignored the look.

Building some steam Dabner continued, “Ognit here designed it and stuff but I put it together myself! So now. Here it is, I guess!” He smiled nervously as he rifled through a backpack. Finding what he was searching for, he pulled out a small device. It was a cylindrical shape that appeared to be made out of interlaced metal wire. The top of the device had what looked to be a weather vein that seemed to spin on its own regardless of the wind’s direction. The center of the object seemed to glow a light orange color.

Sliding gleefully off the igloo, he placed the object on the ground. Dabner then reached into his pocket and pulled out another device, this one a small box- rectangular, thin and long. Taking several steps back, he pointed the device at the cylinder and clicked a small red button on the box.

Upon hitting the button, huge flames shot out in all directions from the cylinder. The shock wave from the mighty explosion rolled across the tundra. Animals stopped dead in their tracks in fear as the sound echoed throughout the hills. The crowd gasped and took several steps back. Some people began to draw weapons.

Smiling broadly at the shocked crowd, Dabner continued, “So Here I am standing down here and I’m all cold and what have you. But, I have this nice Portable Heater I set up over by this igloo here.”

“Now,” Dabner eyes gleamed with confidence. I want to get all nice and warm so I guess I’ll go over by my heater I got set up over here.” Dabner smiled once again at the crowd as he strode up to the portable heater and said, “Heh.” As he approached the heater, the spinning object atop the device stopped spinning and began to point directly toward him.

As Dabner stood next to the heater, a wave of flame shot forth from between the wires of the cylinder, and enveloped Dabner briefly before dying down. “Oh yeah. That’s nice and warm all right,” he said with confidence.

The spinner began to spin once again and once again it stopped, pointing at Dabner. Another burst of flame shot forth and enveloped the gnome. “Yup, that’s heating my armor up good now.”

Dabner looked apprehensively at the heater, which shot yet another wave of fire at the gnome. Finally he jumped back shouting, “Sweet Brell’s pajamas that’s hot!”

Ognit’s face was screwed into a scowl of rage; “You used the Size 6 Gizmo didn’t you? Please tell me you didn’t use Size 6 Gizmos in this contraption when I told you specifically to use the Size 4 Gizmos!” He poked Dabner several times with his bony finger.

Dabner looked down at the snow, “Well I thought that the Size 6 Gizmo would be better so I used those. You know. The Size 4 Gizmos are so small and hard to work with, after all.” Looking up sheepishly, he added, “It was like artistic license, you know?”

“Impetuous dolt! You didn’t make a heater! You’ve laid a land mine!” Ognit clenched his fist as his whole body shook, his face twisting with rage.

Dagda stepped forward, separating the two gnomes. Turning to Ognit she said, “Calm down, you old grump! And don’t yell at Dabner like that!” Walking toward the portable heater she looked behind to the gnomes and said smugly, “It can’t be all that bad! You are so small after all. It makes sense that it would be too hot for you. Let me try it out. It may still prove useful for us more hearty folk.” Several in the crowd nodded in agreement and looked on with continuing interest.

As Dagda approached the heater, the spinner once again stopped spinning and began to point toward Dagda. The heater once again erupted into a virtual inferno and Dagda’s upper body disappeared into the flames and smoke.

She remained in the flames for a few seconds but then backed away. The flames subsided and the spinner spun once again. “Wow,” she said, as she ducked to brush snow onto her armor. The snow hissed as steam rose into the air. “That’s really far too hot.”

Dagda looked sadly at Dabner and then with anger at Ognit. Shaking her head, she drew forth her bow, “That device is dangerous and must be destroyed.”

Ognit was indignant, “Dagda! What are you doing?”

“Not a word from you wizard. This thing must be destroyed. It is a danger to us all,” she said as she began to launch arrow after arrow into the device.

Others joined in and soon arrows, rocks, throwing stars and spells were flying through the air and striking the heater. Wringing his hands Dabner said, “I’m so sorry Ognit. I should have followed your blueprint,” as their invention was slowly reduced to a smoldering hunk of metal bits.

“Size 6!” Ognit yelled at the sky. “I tell him use Size 4. So what does he do? He uses Size 6.”

“I’m really sorry, Ognit,” Dabner was truly penitent.

The heater fully destroyed and rendered inactive, Dagda put her bow away and said, “I’m sorry I had to destroy your heater Dabner. Ognit should have been watching you more carefully.”

Shuffling his feet and smiling, Dabner said, “That’s ok, Dagda, it was my fault after all.”

Her face changed from sadness at having to disappoint Dabner to anger at the other gnome as she says, “What kind of rotten teacher are you to allow YOUR student to do such a thing, Ognit?”

Standing on his tiptoes, he pointed a wrinkled finger at himself and says, “Me? You’re blaming me for this monstrosity! My designs are rock-solid and based on extensive research!”

“Maybe you should stick to research then and leave instruction to those who know more about that kind of thing,” she said in a mocking tone, her head tilting back and forth with each syllable.

Stamping his feet Ognit bellowed, “I can train a common cur to follow basic instructions! Why can’t he follow them?”

“I can live with your failings Ognit. That is why I have vowed to protect you after all,” she said crossing her arms, a slight smile beginning to cross her face.

“Yeah! Well the last thing I need is protection from the likes of you,” Ognit growled, his fists forced down by his sides, shaking violently.

This time, Dabner stepped between the two of them, “C’mon guys! Stop fighting! You know I hate that! See now! No one got hurt” He paused for a second and then added, “Well, except for that guy lying on the ground over there. But we are all friends and stuff here, right? Relax already! I’m not mad or upset or anything. No reason for you guys to be!”

Ognit and Dagda muttered a few one-line insults to themselves but eventually ceased their arguing. It was then that Dagda’s keen and well-trained eyes caught a glimpse of several figures walking slowly across the snowy wastes. She turned and looked at the approaching figures, her eyes flashing in startled recognition. Curious she made her way toward the figures, the two gnomes flanking her on either side.

As her eyes meet those of the beautiful golden haired high elf before her, Dagda was sure she was seeing a friend but could not remember who she was or how she knew her. The high elf was accompanied by what must have been half elven bard, judging from the lute slung across her back. The bard also seemed eerily familiar to her. In fact, the erudite in robes, the human resplendent in shining armor, the young scruffy looking halfling and the scowling dwarf all seemed familiar to her for some reason. But the shy wood elf carrying the exquisitely crafted and ornately decorated bow, she did not recognize.

The Storm Shepherds – The Calm

This book is one of the Storm Shepherd series titled “The Calm”. It is the story two people from different times and backgrounds and how they join forces to find the answers they’re looking for.
How Danalithenis of Felwithe and Gremius Hazzengrav came to meet is a tale unto itself. Needless to say, were it not for Gremius to have been at the right place at the right time, Danalithenis would not be part of this new tale. Danalithenis, suffering from grievous wounds, was just barely saved from the clutches of death by the atoning Gremius.

Gremius looked at Danalithenis, caught sight of his wounds, and offered the elf his last healing potion. Once Danalithenis was healed, the man introduced himself to the elf and offered to help him escape the island. Listening to the human’s tale, Danalithenis accepted the offer, and they both sailed off into the turbulent ocean.

Over the next several weeks as they sailed aimlessly, Gremius would fill in Danalithenis on what he missed during the centuries he was gone. Danalithenis would learn that the gods have left the world, or so many people believed. Gremius professed that, due to his visions, he wasn’t necessarily sure that was the case.

Danalithenis listened to Gremius as he described the vision and then told the man of the Surefall Glade. He said to Gremius that he thinks the old man was Karana, but had no idea what the darkness represented. After staring long and hard at Gremius, Danalithenis stated that he believed the story and would accompany him until the human found the truth he was seeking.

Danalithenis and Gremius traveled for what seemed like months, maybe even years, across the endless oceans. They would stop at every island they found, both to replenish their water stores and to look for game. During this time, they became very good friends.

As they landed at each island, Gremius was amazed at how much the world of Norrath could change so often from island to island. Danalithenis would sometimes pose theories as to where he believed they were, using odd names such as the Feerrott, or Lavastorm, or even Everfrost. Where Gremius was constantly in awe of the sights, Danalithenis saw a world destroyed.

Finally Danalithenis couldn’t take it anymore and asked Gremius what had happened to Faydwer, to the Greater Faydark… to Felwithe. Gremius looked at Danalithenis for a moment, and said in a sympathetic tone, “All of it was destroyed in the Rending, friend. As sure as the moon is in the sky, there is no more Faydwer”. This was all Danalithenis needed to hear. He stepped inside his cabin and began to cry.

Several days after their last conversation, Danalithenis spotted an island off in the distance covered in trees. They were both as excited as each other, but yet they were both hoping to find something different. As they made landfall, they gathered their gear and started to explore, both believing this to be their destination. When they were deep enough into the trees, they found a surprise that neither one were expecting.

As they approached a calm pool of water, they spotted a person on the other side of the pool, sitting motionless. Aside from each other, they had seen no real people in countless months. As they stepped closer, they were able to make out that it wasn’t just a person, but rather a child. Finally, as they got within several feet of the person, Danalithenis uttered the word, “Halfling”.

At that very moment, the old halfling opened her eyes. She explained that she was in deep meditation with the forest around her. She also looked at the two, gave her name as Tammin Whipperwillow, and said she had been waiting for them.

The Minions of the Mighty Creature Catalog

The Minions of the Mighty Creature Catalog
by Pearl Honeywine

Throughout Norrath there are regions which seem a wellspring of hidden power. Three such areas have been uncovered by travellers thus far: Permafrost, Cazic Thule and Solusek’s Eye. Fortunately for the living, they are scattered, which likely helps keep the sources of their strengths from joining together.

Of course, no one knows from what source each of these regions derives its energy. Permafrost is within Everfrost to the far north. Within the forbidding boundaries of Lavastorm, one can find Solusek’s Eye. Cazic Thule, named for the ancient god of Fear, is entered through his ancient Temple within the jungles of the Feerrott.

Take into account the weather for the region in which these focal points is located to know what to expect. Permafrost is aptly named, as no thaw reaches this icy realm. Solusek’s Eye takes the traveller into the fiery abyss of Mount Solusek. The Temple of Cazic Thule is well-known to trap the unwary and fill even the stout-hearted with dread. Walk carefully in these realms, should you decide to see them for yourself.

It is an unusual twist of the god’ humor that of old, there is but one plant in common to all three realms: the death’s head lichen. It endures heat, cold, damp, and desert conditions to thrive practically unseen on the bones of the fallen. The death’s head lichen can only be seen using a gnomish scope on harvested skulls or other large bone fragments.

Centers of concentrated energy are often filled with golems that feed on that power. In addition to these magical protectors, some living and some not, who see it as their purpose to protect that region from all who dare intrude.

Rise of the Orcs – The Rousing

“Rise of the Orcs – The Rousing”
Second Edition

This book highlights the turning point when the orcs would start to become a force to be reckoned with.

The following historical account details what some stories describe as the “return” of the orcs. Once primal savages, the orcs would become frightening masters of tactics and strategy not seen on Norrath for nearly thousand years. The following facts have been taken from many different sources ranging from fragments of parchment to tales told by elderly elves.

The Deathfist Orcs: By the Age of Turmoil, the Deathfist orcs would become a formidable threat to the city of Freeport. Having grown in size, the Deathfist orcs would absorb all of the surrounding tribes, making them the largest tribe on Norrath. Their numbers would prompt the Overlord of Freeport to send his armies against these savages from time to time in an attempt to keep them from destroying all commerce. This would change one day, however.

When one of the Freeport Militia raiding parties failed to return one day, several search parties were sent after them. When none of them returned either, one third of the Militia was sent to find the cause of their disappearance. Of the twelve hundred soldiers that left to search for the patrols, only seventeen would return to describe what happened to the legion. Their tale would change the way people viewed the orcs the world over.

As the legion reached the last known site of the troops, they spotted several orcs fleeing into a narrow ravine. Following them into the ravine, they spotted the mangled bodies of their fallen comrades. At that same moment, a wave of boulders fell from the surrounding cliffs, closing off their escape. That was when the hundreds of enraged, trained elephants were let loose by the Deathfist orcs. At full speed, they began to stampede through the ravine… straight for the doomed Militia.

The Snow Orcs: During this time, the Snow Orc’s numbers would be reduced drastically. Having been driven to the eastern half of Everfrost Peaks, the Snow Orcs were wedged between the lair of a mighty dragon on one side and the ever-expanding mammoth-tusk trade on the other. Were it not for a change in the way they used their weapons, the snow orcs would count this time period as their last on Norrath.

The shamans of the Snow Orc tribes would at times raise the bodies of the fallen, friend or foe alike. These icy boned skeletons would then be sent loose to wander the frozen wastelands, attacking anything it would find. The Snow Orcs hoped that the skeletons would one day find a barbarian or adventurer and kill them. By some unknown means, the Snow Orcs would change tactics and start using their undead minions with surprising efficiency.

Cleverly hiding their actions from everyone, the orcs would begin to bury many lines of skeletons beneath the snow outside the entrance to the great dragon’s lair. As great heroes would come running out of her lair holding some stolen artifact, a group of orc shamans would be waiting. At the precise moment, all of the shamans would raise the skeletons to life, trapping the raiding party inside a circle of hundreds of skeletons. It wouldn’t take long for the undead to overwhelm the heroes. The Snow orcs would then take the artifacts from the dead adventurers, flay the flesh from their bones, and add them to their army of undead.

The Crushbone Orcs : No one knows for sure where they acquired them, but by this time in history the Crushbone orcs would be seen carrying weapons of dark elf make. Rumors tell of a dark elf ambassador being seen in the highest tower of the orc’s castle, so it can only be assumed the orcs had brokered a deal with their people. Considering the less than philanthropic nature of the dark elves, it is still a mystery as to what the orcs were providing in return.

The Crushbone orcs would claim a stunning victory against the elves of Kelethin one fateful day. Amassing their highly trained armies, they launched an attack against both the dwarven city of Kaladim and the high elven city of Felwithe. The residents of the tree city of Kelethin split their forces to help defend their allies’ cities and were able to stop the orcish legionnaires with only minimal causalities.

Little did they know, the true target of the orcish assault was the city of Kelethin. Attacking with their real army, the Crushbone orcs would succeed at chopping down two of the ancient trees supporting the wood elf city. By the time the wood elves would return home and put a stop to the orcs, half of Kelethin would be destroyed.

Rise of the Orcs – The Rejoining

“Rise of the Orcs – The Rejoining”
Second Edition

This book details how the orcs would organize into armies the likes of which had not been seen on Norrath for millennia.

The following historical account details what stories would describe as the main turning point in the rise of the orcs. No longer primal savages, the orcs would organize into armies the like that hadn’t been seen on Norrath for millenia. Several accounts of thus time period still exist in varying forms, which have been condensed together within this volume.

The Deathfist: Having defeated the Freeport Militia on several occassions, the Deathfist orcs would cause the city’s armies to rethink their strategies. During this time, the Emperor of the Deathfist orcs would be visited by a being of immense power. This visitor would cause the Deathfist to send out a call to all of the minor tribes that made up the entire empire.

The Snow Orcs: Efficiently using many ancient artifacts acquired from the Dragon Vox, the Snow Orcs would begin to push back against the barbarians. Eventually laying siege to Halas, they would signal the death-knell for the rugged barbarians. The Snow Orcs would immediately change direction, however, after meeting with a strange visitor. Leaving Halas behind, they began marching to the south with a determined pace.

The Crushbone: Not much is known about the Crushbone orcs during this time period. Having taken part in a great war that ravaged the continent of Faydwyr, these orcs would fade into obscurity. All that is known is that a small group of Crushbones would sail across the ocean on great ships they built, intent on joining up with the Deathfist on the main continent. They claim their motivation for doing so would be due to a directive given to them by a mysterious visitor.

Snow Orcs: Marching through the frozen tundra of Everfrost Peaks, the Snow Orcs would gather every tribe along their way, eventually forming into a great army. They would continue this march, annihilating everything in their path. Rather than raiding and capturing small villages along their way, they would simply kill everyone and raze the buildings to the ground. This march would eventually end when they reached the homeland of the gnolls, Blackburrow.

Having evidenced the wanton slaughter they had caused on their way to the gnolls home, one would expect the orcs to have done the same to the dog-men. Instead, however, the gnolls were waiting for them and invited the orcs inside their den. No battle took place that day, and the orcs passed into the winding caves without harm. Making camp at sites prepared for them, it become evident the orcs and the gnolls were working together.

The residents of the nearby Qeynos received word of the plight of Halas and would send forces to help the barbarians. None of their forces could reach the frozen tundra due to pact between the gnolls and the orcs, however. All that would be learned during this time was the orcs now residing within Blackburrow were no longer guests, but instead dominators. By now, the Snow Orcs of Blackburrow had enslaved every last gnoll and were using them to mine or for their war efforts.

Deathfist Orcs: Not long after their visit by the mysterious stranger, Emperor Gash would begin to mobilize every member of his tribe into a great army. Spanning from the southern Rujarkian orcs to the western Kithicorian orcs of the Deathfist Empire, they all were given orders to arm themselves and collapse their nomadic camps. The stranger’s message was then delivered to every orcish soldier – War.

Amassing their mighty armies within the Desert of Ro, their ancestral homeland, the orcs began to march south. Just like the Snow Orcs, they would decimate anyone and everything within their path. From gypsies to desert madmen, there was nothing left alive in the Desert of Ro after they had crossed it’s endless dunes. They would continue their march until they finally reached the southernmost Innothule swamp. This was where their forces were joined to an even larger army.

The Second Rallosian Empire, comprised of ogres who regained their long-lost intelligence, welcomed the orcs into their ranks. Joining together into one great army, the Deathfist orcs watched as their Emperor bowed one knee and swore fealty to the leader of this titanic army – The Avatar of War. When the Avatar stated that the Deathfist armies were larger than he had expected, Emperor Gash smiled enigmatically and told him, “If this is the case, then we have already won, your Divineness.”

In Search of the Wooly Mammoth

In Search of the Wooly Mammoth
Second Edition

This is a story about the unnamed author;s quest to find the Wooly Mammoths of the Everfrost Peaks.

Ever since I was a child, I remember hearing stories of great beasts that would plod across the snowy plains of the northlands. These large beasts were very similar to the ones found in the southern plains of the Karanas, but covered in a great mass of shaggy hair. I vowed that one day I would see these great beasts.

As I grew older, I would venture out to the plains to see these beasts. I was shocked to see they were even larger than the picture my mind had painted. Standing twice as tall as a man, they had enormous ears that flapped down around their faces. Thrilled at seeing an elephant for the first time, my mind raced at the thoughts of what a Wooly Mammoth could possibly look like.

My experience encouraged me to make the dangerous trek to the snowy northlands to find these beasts. I visited every tavern in all of Qeynos and sought out brave adventurers that would accompany me on my journey. For you see, the only way to breach the frozen tundra was to travel through the lair of the gnolls – Blackburrow.

Gathering together several brave souls, including a barbarian native to the snowy town of Halas, we began hiking northwards through the Qeynos Hills. Being careful to heed the advice of the Windstalkers, we deftly avoided all of the bears and the wolves that made these foothills their home. Eventually, we found ourselves standing before the maw of the gnoll’s den.

My companions showed much bravery and skills in the combat arts by fending off the attacks of numerous hungry gnolls. The barbarian, Narmat MacTargle, pointed out the winding tunnel that led to the snowy tundra of the north. Lighting our torches we continued our journey through this lightless cave. Soon enough, I could feel the air getting cold.

Eventually we would reach the mouth of the tunnel, depositing us within the cold wastes of the north. All around us were snow covered mountains and icy ground. Narmat told us that we would first want to journey to Halas to replenish our supplies. Fortunately, as with Blackburrow, he knew the way.

Greeted by burly guards as large as my barbarian friends, we were allowed into the town just so long as we agreed to cause no harm. When I told the guards about my quest to see the Wooly Mammoths, they just snorted and suggested I speak with Old Hemma. Asking around, I eventually found where this ancient alder was found.

Blind for as many years as I was old, Old Hemma described in great detail the mighty Mammoths. The part that I was interested in the most was the great tusks that protruded from their mouths. Pointing to large spears, cups, plates, wall hangings and even the knob on the front door, Old Hemma told me that these were all carved from the teeth.

Telling me exactly how to find the breeding grounds of these magnificent beasts, he gave me a cryptic warning. Saying that my quest would come to an end only when I found the cost of greed, he escorted me out of his house. Looking around, I noticed that every household had some adornment crafted from the teeth of Mammoths, just as Old Hemma had within his house. My companions left the town at once, seeking a delta to the far northwest of the town.

The journey was long and hard, but we eventually found the delta as Old Hemma had described. And this is when I understood what the old sage meant by finding the cost of greed. For all throughout the delta were the intact corpses of these once magnificent beasts, frozen to the ground. Intact save for one small detail – all of the Mammoths had their tusks removed. In the end, I started my quest too late, for the Mammoths were driven to extinction for no reason other than their two front teeth.

The Great Flood of Blackburrow

The route through the Blackburrow of the gnolls from Everfrost is dark, twisting and deep. I have quite often gotten lost as I do not use any source of light. That would reveal my presence to the cursed gnolls. My business is my own, taking me through these dark passages every fortnight.

My home is Halas of the North. My business takes me to Qeynos Hills and for that reason alone, I must suffer the trek through the stench of the gnoll pits. Sometimes I will send ahead my pet wolf Silkie to find sport in the darkness. She enjoys the exercise, for the gnolls cannot outrun her. I can follow their cries and need not use any of the dark methods I have learned to see in the dark.

On this journey, Silkie and I found the snows melting by day and freezing at night. Daggers of ice hung from the rocky outcroppings, sometimes breaking off and shattering on the ground below with a loud crack. Her tail between her legs, her ears darting back and forth, Silkie panted and paced, uneasy. Her troubled behavior made me uneasy as well.

At the entrance to the tunnels, we found the gnoll guards had abandoned their posts, leaving behind nothing but the cold embers of their watch fires. There used to be snow at this level, but there was not. The ground was moist with melting snow. Silkie refused to enter the tunnel until I threatened her. Then she scuttled ahead sideways, like a crab, trying to see both ahead of us and behind.

Down we went on our usual route, encountering nothing. The tunnels were silent, but for the constant drip-drip-drip of water in the dark. As we emerged from one narrow tunnel into a wider space, Silkie whimpered and whined, her misery echoing around the chamber. “Be still!” I commanded her. She fell silent and I was aware that the entire world had gone silent as well.

Suddenly came a large rending sound that shook the marrow of the mountains and threw me and Silkie to the ground. She scrambled to her feet and ran howling away through the darkness. I lay pressed against the rocky ground, hugging it as though I could stop its convulsions. Finally, it grew still. “Silkie!” I called into the silence. She did not answer.

No, Silkie did not come at my call, though I could still hear her terrified, high-pitched whimper echoing. Then she fell silent and I heard something else — a roar that I have never heard in those tunnels before. It reminded me of the scream the snow makes as it tumbles down a mountainside on a sleigh of ice. A roar covered in velvet.

I too scrambled to my feet, but with the unseen roar echoing through the chamber, could not know which way to turn. I began my enchantment, though my teeth chattered. A heavy wind rushed into the chamber, bringing with it the smell of generations of foul gnolls from somewhere deep in the Blackburrow. It broke my concentration and my spell dissipated before I could cast.

And then the water surrounded me. It tumbled me over and over like a pebble on the sea shore. I could not tell what was skyward and which way led to death in its depths. The waters rushed onward, as frantic as I to find an outlet. After an eternity, the waters threw me onto an unseen ledge near the roof of the cavern before swirling away.

Though I lay on the ledge for days, the water did not drain. I was finally able to cast my lightgiving spell and saw the ruin of the cavern below. My thoughts lay on my certain death and I was bitter and angry to die like a gnoll and not with honor in battle. I would not die unsung. You who read this, know that the world was shaken and I survived. For a little while.

Places of Norrath: Halas

Overview of Halas

The frozen city of Halas is the home of the barbarian northmen. The northmen maintain tight family groups. The city is ruled by a council of village elders. Nearly all barbarians worship and pay homage to the Tribunal, though it is not uncommon for warriors to also pay homage to Rallos Zek. The profession of thief is frowned upon but tolerated, provided other northmen do not become the victim of thieving activity.

Halas’ close proximity to Everfrost has encouraged the development of hardened warriors and resourceful shamans. All of Halas’ young pupils must endure the harsh, bitter, climate and other dangers of Everfrost almost as a rite of passage.

In order to travel back and forth to Everfrost across the frigid waterway that separates from their home from Everfrost, Halasians travel on the raft known as The Gwenavyne.

Owning to the harshness of the region, warriors, rogues, shaman, beastlord and berserkers, are the only types of professions that the northmen have been able to master. However, the focus of these arts has engendered a brilliant local weapons and armor industry producing some of the finest equipment in all of Norrath.

Taverns abound here, for the lacerating cold of the frigid north is the best quelled at hearthside with soothing glass of the finest barbarian ale.

Many establishments have opened up in Halas including taverns, guildhalls, and various shops that provide basic necessities needed to survive in the frigid northern wildness.

Halas has a guildmaster for each class that is available to Barbarians. Spell and tome merchants are also available for those classes. Here is a list of the main guildmasters:

High Field Priest Keven – (Beastlord)
Shanis MacDarren – (Berserker)
Cappi McTarnigal – (Rogue)
Dun Mc’Dowell – (Rogue)
High Priestess Margyn McCann – (Shaman)
High Shaman Shamus Felligan – (Shaman)
Kylan O’Danos – (Warrior)
City Resources
Halas provides the basic necessities of adventuring: Bankers, a Soulbinder, a Tribute Master, Task Masters, augmentation needs, and merchants that sell backpacks, ale, bandages, food, drink, and fishing gear.

You’ll also find a Priest of Discord, Tradeskill Quest Masters, tradeskill crafting objects, and supply merchants for alchemy, baking, pottery, fletching, tailoring, and blacksmithing.

Places of Interest
The Church of Tribunal
These halls of the tribunal house the Shaman of Justice, the shaman guild of Halas. The high priestess, Margyn McCann lives and works alongside her deacons in the deeps chamber of the church. Shamus Felligan is the High Shaman of Halas and spends much of his time outside, his constitution hardened by constant exposure to the elements.

The church itself is built of stone and dug partly underground. It has no gathering place, for believers in the Tribunal have no need to congregate, knowing their deities are with them always, watching.

Pit of Doom
The Pit of Doom, also known as the Blockhouse, is a gray stoned arena structure in eastern Halas. It is home to the guild of warriors. The guild is run by Kylan O’Danos, a warrior with a will of iron and patience of stone. Kylan has a brutal warrior whose sense of honor in battle and his reverence for The Tribunal.

Cappi’s Coffers
Run by Cappi McTarnigal, this establishment where the bank of Halas can be found. The bank is always protected by at least two warrior guards. Cappi is a well-respected member of the community, but unknown to most, he is also the true guildmaster of the Rogues of the White Rose. His bank tips off the guild by tracking foreigners who deposit or withdraw large amounts of gold.

The Bonny Mermaid Dockhouse
Quillion O’Zinn operates this small shop where boats and fishing supplies can be rented or purchased. The Dockhouse is weathered and worn as are his small boats. The walls and tiny boardwalk are water-stained and rotting. Numerous small items of fishing gear and other equipment cover the walls of the shop.

The Golden Torc
Run by the MacGrove family, this shop has armor tradeskill merchants inside and a kiln out back.

Dok’s Cigars
Run by storekeeper Dok, this shop sells general goods and pottery supplies.

Mac’s Kilts
Tailing supplies and leather armor can be found in this shop.

McPherson’s Bloody Blades
This shop has the finest heavier armor and weapons. Smithing and Fletching supplies can also be found here. A couple of forges can be found outside.

McQuaid’s Dark Stout
This tavern sells various ales. It also has a brew barrel. A Task Master can be found here enjoying drinks waiting to give out tasks.

Yee Majik
This someone dark shop sells alchemy supplies and melee augments.

McDonald’s Fire Cider
This tavern sells various brewing supplies and various ales. A brew barrel can also be found here.

McDaniel’s Smokes and Spirits
This large tavern is run by Scon McDaniel. It sells various ales, baking and smithing supplies. Adventurers can also find a few Task Masters lurking about.




Hail Ryshon Hunsti

Ryshon Hunsti says, ‘Hello Kalerien. What brings you to the Karanas? Do you seek [enlightenment]?

You say, ‘I seek enlightenment’

Ryshon Hunsti says, ‘Ahh, i could see by the look in your eyes that you are looking for something more than just enlightenment. Perhaps you are looking for a [sword] crafted by a noble man.

You say, ‘What sword?’

Ryshon Hunsti says, ‘It is not just a sword friend. It is much more than that. This sword carries with it special [power], something unlike anything else within this realm.’

You say, ‘What power?’

Ryshon Hunsti says, ‘It is an instrument fashioned together by noble man. It is said to be blessed by the gods themselves. Only a man who comes from nobility may wield it. Do you seek the [sword of nobility]?’

You say, ‘I seek the sword of nobility’

Ryshon Hunsti says, ‘I see, then take this note to Kanthuk Ogrebane. I’ve been told he can be found fishing not far from the dwarven city.’

You say, ‘Hail, Kanthuk Ogrebane’

Kanthuk Ogrebane says, ‘Hello’

Kanthuk Ogrebane says, ‘Ahh, I see you have spoke to Ryshon. You seem tired from your long journey. Sit with me as I tell you a tale. A tale about a true friend of mine, a great man known as [Amstaf Trunolis].’

You say, ‘ Who is Amstaf Trunolis?’

Kanthuk ogrebane says, ‘Amstaf Trunolis was a good man. I’ve followed into [battle] many times. We’ve seen many of our friends die by the sword of others.’

You say, ‘What battle?’

Kanthuk Ogrebane laughes, ‘I remember the first time we charged into battle. I was so scared. My hands wouldn’t stop trembling. Amstaf pulled me off to the side before the initial attack began. He held my hands within his. I saw his hands begin to glow and felt his energy pass into me. I felt [courage].

You say, ‘What courage?’

Kanthuk Ogrebane says, ‘I’ll never forget what he did for me that day. He gave me the courage to continue. No one’s ever done anything like that for me. I vowed that day that I’d follow him into any battle. I’d be there alongside him, no matter what. As time went on we came across an elven woman named [Ambreen].

You say, ‘Who is Ambreen?’

Kanthuk Ogrebane says, ‘Ambreen was younger than he and I. She knew of the powers of nature. She was able to control the rain which fell from the heavens and would call upon the spirits to aide her. It was obvious that Amstaf took a liking to Ambreen. She ended up coming with us on out crusades. The last I saw of Ambreen was when we went to the snow covered lands of Everfrost. We were wander the lands when a freak [snowstorm] hit us. We were seperated from one another for quite some time.’

You say, ‘What snowstorm?’

Kanthuk Ogrebane says, ‘I don’t know where it came from, but it was so sudden that it caught us all off guard. The snow quickly became unbearable. I tried to move to higher ground, but was unable to. I was stuck within the snowy confines. I didn’t know what to do [next].’

You say, ‘What happened next?’

Kanthuk Ogrebane says, ‘As I laid there my body began to slowly freeze. I knew death was near and accepted the inevitable. Suddenly I felt something clutching at my cloak. I was being dragged upwards out of the snow. A hand pressed against my chest and began to glow. I felt energy pass into my body. Do you know [how] he had saved me?’

You say, ‘How did he save you?’

Kanthuk Ogrebane says, ‘He saved my life by laying his hands upon my body. A few moments later we found Ambreen lying in the snow, her body frozen by the harsh surroundings. We lifted her up off the ground and began to look for [shelter].’

You say, ‘What shelter?’

Kanthuk Ogrebane says, ‘We ended up taking refuge within a deserted cabin not to far from our location. We knew that we didn’t have much time left to bring life back into her body. However, the storm didn’t pass through and we knew we couldn’t venture to far without the fear of freezing. I warmed the cabin and rested for some time thinking about what we were going to do. It wasn’t long before my exhaustion took over. I fell into a deep [slumber] that night.’

You say, ‘What slumber?’

Kanthuk Ogrebane says, ‘That night I dreamt of many things. Random thoughts kept swirling around my mind. I kept seeing the image of a cloaked being and of Amstaf circled around a fire. I saw Ambreen’s body convulsing above the fire as if life was being brought back to it. I don’t know what happened that night. I don’t even know if what i dreamt was real, but before I awoke I saw a [strange image].’

You say, ‘What strange image?’

Kanthuk Ogrebane says, ‘I saw Amstaf lower his head and walked away in silence. He was surronded by two beings carrying a torch. I don’t know what it meant, but I swear it was so real. When I awoke both Amstaf and Ambreen were gone. Please find Llara and give this pendant to her. This pendant belonged to Amstaf. She too had a vision that night that may clear things up. If she asks where you got it from, mention my name.’

Llara says ‘Oh my! This belongs to Amstaf. Where did you get it?

You say, ‘Kanthuk gave it to me’

Llara says ‘I take it you’re here to find out more about [Amstaf].’

You say, ‘Who was Amstaf?’

Llara says ‘I’ve known Amstaf since he was a child. We grew up in the same city together. Ever since I’ve known him there’s always been something [unusual] about him.’

You say, ‘What was unusual?’

Llara says ‘When we were growing up we used to venture outside the city gates. Some times we would encounter a wandering ghoul or an undead spirit of some sort. He was always able to quickly dismiss the undead being with very little effort. I [learned] many things growing up with Amstaf.’

You say, ‘What did you learn?’

Llara says ‘Amstaf told me many things when we were younger. Once Amstaf told me that life isn’t about how you get there, it’s about where you end up. I miss my dear friend. Its been a long time since I’ve seen him. The night of the snowstorm I dreamt about him. I remember seeing Amstaf’s face. I saw something I’ve never [seen] before.’

You say, ‘What did you see?’

Llara says ‘I saw desperation. I spoke to many people who knew Amstaf trying to find out if anyone heard anything about that night. No one knew anything about it. When I had reached the dwarven hunting grounds I ran into a woman named Walnan. She kept rambling on and on about the power of the Orb and something about Magi`kot. I didn’t understand what she was saying. She didn’t know anything about my situation either, but she did tell me that there were others that may be able to help me. She told me that I should find [Ruathey].’

You say, ‘Who is Ruathey?’

Llara says ‘Ruathey is known for her ability to look into people’s souls and find truth. Though I wasn’t able to find Amstaf, I was able to recover his sword. I believe that by having his sword I am closer to finding him. Take this note to Ruathey and tell her that I sent you.

You say, ‘Hail Ruathey’

Ruathey says ‘Hello Chork .’

Ruathey says ‘I see that you’ve spoken to Llara. She too came to me looking for Amstaf. Though she wasn’t able to find her friend, she was able to recover his [sword].

You say, ‘What sword?’

Ruathey says ‘I’ve heard stories about a holy sword. There are many rumored to be hidden all throughout the world, yet only a few have actually been found. Amstaf had one of these swords. It is known for its ability to dismiss the undead. Perhaps by having this sword it’ll bring you closer to finding your friend. Gather a ghoul’s heart, Amstaf’s Scroll, the Blade of Nobility, a noblemans hilt and place them in this [bag].’

You say, ‘What bag?’

Ruathey says ‘Take this bag and gather the items I’ve mentioned. I’ve been told that the Ghoul’s Heart can be found in the estate of the undead, while the scroll can be found in the Keep not far from the Karanas. One of the others are rumored to be found near the dwarven city among the goblins. While the last should be found in the caverns of Najena.

Into the Depths of: Old Blackburrow

Overview of Old Blackburrow

Nestled between Qeynos Hills and the peaks of Everfrost to the north, Blackburrow is the present day home of the Sabertooth Gnoll clan. The Sabertooths are known for the constant raids upon the city of Qeynos. The city of Qeynos and Surefall Glade continue to send out hunting parties to try to purge the threat.

Old Blackburrow is the main home of the Sabertooth clan of gnolls in Oceangreen. The Sabertooth clan has recently claimed this lair as their own, locking themselves away from human invaders and the dark plague that threatens Oceangreen.

Along the western mountain side lives what remains of the Darkpaw gnolls, who seem to be disinterested in the affairs of human kind, as they are completely focused on returning to their home in the mines of Blackburrow. Though they hold no anger towards the growing human population they have no reason to trust in them either. Several are willing to form a tenuous truce with the humans in order to help drive the combative Sabertooth gnolls from their previous home.

Unfortunately for the gnolls, an agent of the Discord has a plan of its own. The agent is well on its way to corrupting the Sabertooth gnolls within Blackburrow; transforming them into a dark twisted reflection of their former selves. It will not be long before even the gnolls outside of Blackburrow begin to fall under their influence. The gnolls have already begun to show signs of increased aggression that surely can not bode well for Antonius and his followers.