Category Archives: Exile

Welcome to Haven

Welcome to Haven! by Kivrin Feirling

This is a short introduction to Haven and a couple of etiquette rules that keep neutrality pleasant for everyone.

Haven is a refuge for those of us who, by choice or by chance, are not aligned with any of the major cities. As some of us are from one city or the other, tensions can sometimes run high. However, Haven is intended as a respite from the problems outside our walls. We ask that you leave your animosities behind you once you enter Haven.

Many ask us why Haven is in a cave. The answer is simple. When you do not wish to be located with any ease, the best place to go is underground. These caverns are conveniently networked to various locations, which makes Haven ideally situated to those of us in exile.

How did we locate such a great place? This question is much more difficult to answer, as Haven has been continuously inhabited for several generations. Several tunnels within the cavern are collapsed, possibly as a result of the Rending. Fortunately, access to water, sir, and food were not affected.

How can you return to Haven once you leave? Due to its special qualities, return to Haven is only available to those who really, really need it. Once you align yourself firmly with a major city, you’ll no longer be able to enter Haven. While you’re one of us, you’ll always know how to return. In other words… it’s a SECRET that we aren’t about to write down!

By now you have noticed that several folks have made Haven their more or less permanent home. While most of you may view Haven as a stopping point in your journey, others find that life beyond the human cities is quite refreshing. If you like this lifestyle, feel free to stick around! We have many amenities, though permanent housing is not one of them.

Does that mean you can live in exile forever but never have a home? Not necessarily. If you can withstand the journey to the Desert of Ro, Maj’Dul is open to all comers. You will need to be able to get there, however, on your own.

One thing we ask is that you do not carry conflicts with your neighbors into Haven. We strive for a neutral environment as we are all, whether we admit it or not, on the same side while outside the cities. Grievances should be settled before returning to the seclusion of our Haven, to preserve our unique habitat.

Remember that you are not alone on your journey, though at some points alone the way you might feel that way. Others have had to make the same choices you will need to make very shortly. Make friends with those who surround you in Haven, whether you agree with their views or not. This is your home and they are your family, at least for a little while. Safe travels!

The Tale of Tirazzah

By “Tirazzah,” an unknown Dervin female
While there is no way to learn the entire truth, the fragments of this parchment indicate that there is more to the history of the Djinn Master than had previously been known.

My hand trembles as I write this, for my escape will no doubt bring consequences that I cannot even imagine. I would not have these things forgotten by those who follow us, nor do I expect to live long should we be caught. Meleeal cannot travel with me into the city, for his kind is unknown therein.

I am called Tirazzah and my role was as First Consort of the Nameless One. Last night, Meleeal flew to the window of the room in which I had been kept and gave me the signal that I had been awaiting… and dreading. I climbed onto the ledge and jumped onto his back.

What led us to this point, where all the comforts and pleasures of my environment were not enough? Did I suddenly grow up and ralize that love is not what exists in your surroundings but what exists in your heart? I thought I loved the Nameless One and that he loved me, and yet the whispers of others caused my love to falter. Does that mean it was not love at all?

I was raised by my family, knowing my destiny. The Nameless One requires many things, including consorts, from those under his protection. From birth, I had been marked as a future consort. On the day of our joining, I went without fear as he had always been kind to his harem. The splendors of my surroundings overcame any trace of fear in my heart.

The Nameless One was indeed kind. He often spent time with me in the gardens of the Citadel, explaining things I had never seen before. He presented me with a sphinx of my own, Meleeal, that I might occasionally travel to see my parents. I visited them frequently until their deaths. The Nameless One took their remains and formed great pillars in the desert with them, so that I would always be able to see them.

As time wore on, it seemed some of the other consorts were less pleased by the Nameless One’s favor towards me. I would find little notes pinned to my pillows with daggers. Once, someone had clipped Meleeal’s wings so that he could not fly normally. Had not the Nameless One saved us when we were tumbling from the tower, we would have perished.

The whispers were the hardest for me to ignore. As anyone who has had one cricket in a room can attest, the softest sounds are often the hardest to ignore. “He uses her,” they would whisper. “He killed her parents so that she would have nowhere to run.” “She thinks he is a god, but soon she will feel his wrath.”

I knew the whispers were made by the jealous consorts displaced by my arrival. In my confusion, I turned to Samirah, who had been First Consort until my arrival. She sympathized with me, telling me that such things always happened to the First Consort. I confided my fears to her and she comforted me. For a while, at least.

The poisoning of the monkeys alarmed me the most. The Nameless One enjoyed their antics as much as I did, and he gave me several to amuse me. One night after we had supped, I called for them and they did not appear. The Nameless One and I strolled to the balcony to see if they had wandered into the gardens, and there we found their bodies, contorted in agony.

He asked if I knew who could have done such a thing, and in my grief I poured out to him the whispers I had heard in the dark. His anger was terrible to behold! He summoned forth all the other consorts, including Samirah, and demanded answers. They did not respond at first, but he pressed them, saying he would kill them one by one until he learned the truth.

Samirah, who I thought wasmy friend, then admitted to leading the other consorts in all that had happened. The Nameless One’s wrath knew no bounds! He struck her to the ground and she stood up, her lip bleeding, to curse him. But his curse was swifter and stronger, and to my horror the others changed form before my eyes. I fled the room.

I hid from him, though he begged to see me. “I did this to save you, beloved!” he cried. “Do not judge me through their eyes, the eyes of traitors!” I refused to see him, my heart pounding so hard I could scarcely breathe. Would that be my fate if I displeased him? Would he hurt me as he had the others?

And so, I fled. I do not know where I will go or how I can hide from the Nameless One. He said he loves me, but his love and his hate are both curses. Samirah and the others disappeared into the night as do I. I am afraid of what may come of this.

Editor’s note: It is difficult to check the veracity of this account, as the Dervin female “Tirazzah” has never been identified with any certainty. Obviously, if this tale is true, it is likely that she went into hiding or perhaps exile.

The Rat Queen of Vermin’s Snye

“My Life,” by Ayamia the Unfortunate, together with “An Examination of the Rat Queen,” by the Scholars’ Institute for Change, a non-profit organization. Quotations are liberally taken from Ayamia’s own volume, interspersed with logical explanations where necessary.
“Chapter One — How I Came to Live in the Vermin’s Snye.” I’ve heard what some people say about me, and let me tell you straight away that it is not true. My husband abandoned me and I had no choice to but to find a place to live with my children. Our landlord, wretched human scum, turned us onto the streets! I am not as young as I once was, but I am resourceful. By living below, my children and I would be out of the elements. We could find a cozy place to call our own.

“Analysis of Chapter One.” Clearly, the subject is in denial of her current status. Her husband is recorded as “Lord Selien” so obviously, the subject was a woman who lived in comfort. Her reference to being turned out of her home is correct, but only to the extent that her increasing madness led her to bring to her husband’s home all manner of vile creatures, referring to them as her “children.” Upon her husband’s death in battle, his family shunned the subject, which further isolated her, causing her to seek shelter elsewhere.

“Chapter Two — My Children.” I am blessed with seven sons, all in the peak of their strength and youth. The eldest is Varion. He looks remarkably like his dear, departed father. I wished to name all my sons in such a way that their names began with the same letter, but my husband forbade me. He relented when I became ill at the birth of our youngest, Voland. I am so blessed by Tunare! Seven sons! My only regret is that I have no daughters, but I am not complaining, for my sons will carry on the name of their father’s house.

“Analysis of Chapter Two.” Again, the subject tells some of the truth. She did indeed bear seven sons, the first and last of which are named as indicated. And, she did fall ill upon the birth of her final son, rendering her unable to have other children. The subject lay ill for nearly a year, during which time her sons were raised by her sister. When she regained her health, the subject had her sister arrested and executed for treason before she resumed her motherly duties.

“Chapter Three — A Time of Hardship.” Our move to the catacombs was not without its troubles, of course. My children needed me more than ever, clinging to me in the seemingly perpetual darkness beneath the city streets. We found that the crews who maintained the drains kept piles of fuel to use in the sconces set into the walls. I learned to borrow a bit of their fire to start my own. My eldest found the place I now call home by turning down a little-used side passage. The way is patrolled by roving gangs of thugs, but they left me alone. After all, I am guarded by my seven strong sons!

“Analysis of Chapter Three.” Again, the subject shows her inability to separate fact from fiction. Her eldest son would not have been able to find her living area as he, together with all his brothers, perished at sea. This occurred during the Shattering, when many travellers perished. In this case, the subject had sent her sons on an errand, the nature of which has never been determined. It is generally believed that the magnitude of the loss, both personally and throughout Norrath, coupled with the knowledge that she sent them on this journey, unhinged her mind.

“Chapter Four — The Days Grow Long.” We are comfortable here, for the most part. I find that the days are sometimes long, but one of the boys will entertain me. Asrey, my middle boy, will recite tales of the distant past. I believe he will grow up to be a bard! His voice is clear and true. He loves to stand in the chambers where the ceilings are highest and sing, listening to his own voice echo. He is a good lad, as are all my sons, and I am grateful for their company.

“Analysis of Chapter Four.” The subject’s thrid son, Asrey, did have a legendary voice, even in his youth. He was often called upon to sing before the Bayle family. At the conclusion of one of these events, Lady Larinna Bayle presented him with an engraved flute. The flute was lost at sea with Asrey and his brothers. It is interesting to note that the subject retains excellent memories of the details of her children’s lives, but has blocked out the single largest event that befell them — their own deaths.

“Chapter Five — A New Beginning.” I’ve given up some of the fancy work I used to do before. Now that I must scrape by, I can no longer spend time weaving lace or painting miniatures. I have painted several portraits of my sons, however, that I am quite proud of. They are endlessly fascinating to me. I know it is sometimes difficult for them to live in this place, yet they do not complain. When they wander too far, I miss them terribly. Is that so wrong for a mother? After all, nothing is stronger than a mother’s love.

“Analysis of Chapter Five.” We were unable to determine where the subject’s portraits have gone, if indeed she painted any at all. There is no record of her having been interested in miniature painting prior to her exile to the Vermin’s Snye. Some of the lace she created was, however, on display at the Museum of Fine Arts until it was stolen by vandals that tied the bits to some of the rats the subject called “her children” before setting them afire. The subject became agitated and defended the rats, thus earning her title of “Rat Queen.”

The Second Colonization

Unwilling to turn a blind eye once more to the risks the hills posed, the rulers of Kelethin, Felwithe, and Ak’Anon agreed to share the cost of a small stronghold to secure the region. An old mining site was chosen for the location of the new city, and gnomish clockwork guards were built and sent to crew the place in order to reduce the cost of shipping in foodstuffs. Called Therege, the small fort soon spawned a small town within its walls. Peopled largely by misfits, adventurers, and scholars (aside from the clockworks), Therege was soon filled with relics that had been recovered from the tombs that various undead and the many earthquakes of the region had brought to the surface. Such finds provided just enough economic stimulus to encourage more civilians to brave the harsh land, and Therege, very slowly, grew. Other elves and gnomes had noticed a new resource within the hills as well. The destruction of so many undead and the opening of so many tombs had left the land rich with bits of skeleton bones, scraps of mummy wrappings, and flakes of zombie skin. Gnome necromancers were likely the first to notice the ease with which such corpse-based material components could be acquired in the hills, but their discovery soon spread to the Teir’Dal of Neriak. Spurred by the desire to gain greater power, Queen Thex of Neriak sent agents to take control of the Hills of Shade. Her agents failed miserably, but they did manage to send back caravans full of necromantic magics and materials. The Queen was angered by her servants’ failures, but was unwilling to remove them from such a useful post. She decreed that the agents could never return to Antonica until they ruled the hills. The agents accepted their exile with what little grace they could muster and established a roving camp for the exploitation of ruins and the mining of corpses. Called Exile, this camp soon became a common stop for necromancers of all races.

The Varsoon Collection, Volume 3 – The Gift of Immortality

This book is titled “The Varsoon Collection, Volume 3 – The Gift of Immortality”. It is a complete volume that details the quest of a young mage to find the secrets of immortality.

The following compilation is a brief presentation of the legends and myths of the mage, Valdoartus Varsoon, known to many simply as Varsoon. Much work was done to separate the facts from the fiction in order to bring this work to you, the reader. The following volume highlights the events that took place after his failed bid for immortality. Please note, reader, that the source of this of this account is highly questionable indeed.

The only account we have of the time after Varsoon’s quest for immortality comes from a dramatic play written by a bard, the Lyresmith, over several hundred years ago. It has taken much work to distinguish possible facts from the obviously blatant embellishments exhibited throughout the performance. Were it not for the fact that there are striking coincidences between events in the play and facts unknown to the general public, this would have been written off as an outright fantasy.

As is typical of the Lyresmith’s work, the play goes on for an uncomfortable amount of time. It starts in an unnamed city and involves an old man who is an accomplished spellcaster. The character, named simply Varsoon, is involved in some type of experiment and has a number of assistants helping him. This goes on for close to an hour of the play. Eventually, Varsoon exclaims that his work is nearing completion.

Another act involves him at a wedding feast for his nephew. Varsoon is shown to be a very loving family man, performing all manner of magical feats to help fix the problems of various family members. The interesting thing to note in this act was that between each spellcasting miracle, Varsoon would take a sip from a small white cup. This cup is associated with the sigil-etched ivory cup the real Varsoon was reported to have.

One of the following acts returns Varsoon to his laboratory where he works by himself late into the night. Feverishly muttering to someone named Aldrenus (see the previous volume for more about Aldrenus), he finally completes his work as the moon rises over the horizon. He pours a number of odd liquids into the white cup, causing all sorts of odd things to happen.

Finally, when all of the liquids have been poured into the cup, Varsoon then waved a wand over the cup. The cup rose into the air and spun around (thanks to an intricate array of pulleys and wires). All of a sudden, the cup would vanish and be replaced with a small cloud of red mist. The cloud covers Varsoon from head to toe, and the scene ends with him laughing triumphantly.

A following act shows Varsoon approaching a council of mages and telling them of his accomplishment. He offers them a demonstration of his immortality by having them assault him with all manners of spells. When the spell show is over, which takes about three hours, we see Varsoon emerge from the storm of energy, still alive. He is usually missing a limb or two, an eye, and sometimes even his nose, but yet he lives. The scene ends with the council agreeing that he has found the secret of immortality.

Sometime later during the play, Varsoon is seen dictating to his nephew the secrets of immortality. As Varsoon expounds on how he wishes everyone to learn the secret, there is a knock at the door. A mob waits outside, led by some priests. They demand he give themselves over to him, and when he resists, they unleash all manner of divine terrors on him. Eventually, he is stricken with diseases and wounds that no man could withstand, yet he lives through it all and disperses the crowd.

Many hours later, the play reaches the final act. Varsoon is brought before the same council of mages from the earlier act and is put on trial for crimes against the city. He appears to be overcome by all manner of diseases and barely has the strength to defend himself. In the end, he is banished from the city and forced to live as an exile. As is typical of a Lyremsmith play, the council concludes the show by throwing jum-jum pies at each other until the audience disperses.

Much of the Lyresmith’s play,”The Horrible Case of Varsoon – A Performance in Twenty-Nine Acts,” has been left out of this account, for obvious reasons. It is highly debated as to what aspects of the play are truthful, but what we do know is the following : no records have mentioned the cup since the time period of the play’s setting. Also, Varsoon is never mentioned again in any records of the Combine Empire. Finally, what has been proven to be an actual legal document from that era writes of the banishment of someone only named as “The Undying.”

The Growing

As the world aged, the innocence of youth would begin to fade. As the elements would rebuff one another, so too would the Urges bristle in the presence of another. This was the time known as the Growing. Things were neither good nor were they bad, for the mortals would be the ones to make the ultimate choice. However, this was not the case everywhere. In another world, in a world of never-ending Ice, there would be a place where the Contentment never ended.

The Valkyries soared throughout their kingdom city known as the Cloister of Euphoria. Being led by their queen, Frikka, they would know only Happiness, Peace, and Harmony. After ages of contemplation, the queen would understand how this came to be. For you see, Frikka was the first Valkyrie to think of the opposite.

Knowing that Happiness came from the absence of Despair, that Peace came about from the end War, and Harmony was known only when Strife was overcome. Seeing that her people did not know this, they could never appreciate what it was that they had. And that was what she would give to the Valkyries – appreciation of the gifts given to them by the Mother Urge.

Gathering her people together, she gave a grand speech about what it was that she had found. She explained to them what they were missing in their lives, but her speech was only met with blank stares. As she continued, she saw that she would have to give a demonstration of what she meant.

In order for her people to understand Happiness she must show them Despair. Selecting from the crowd the greatest ballad singer within the Cloister of Euphoria, the queen banished her to a life in exile. For the first time ever, a cry of anguish was heard within the Cloister. Frikka explained that only when the singer would return to the Cloister, would Despair end and Happiness resume.

In order for her people to understand Peace, she would have to show them what War was. She divided the Cloister of Euphoria into two peoples and set them against each other. Initially not knowing what to do, they stood there. After some time, however, the Valkyries got the hang of it and aggressively attacked each other. Frikka explained that once everyone could learn to get along with each other, War would end and Peace would begin.

In order for her people to understand Harmony, she would have to show them what Strife was. To demonstrate this she began to destroy all of the art, all of the songs, and all of the sculpture within the Cloister of Euphoria. As the Valkyries looked at their spartan surroundings, they felt strife deep in their hearts. Frikka explained that when the art, and with it comfort, would return is when Strife would end and Harmony would begin again.

Frikka concluded her speech to the Valkyries by telling them that when all Happiness, Peace, and Harmony would return, the people would truly appreciate it all the more. Leaving her people with her greatest gift, she returned to her chambers to think upon what more she could give her people.

As she sat in her chamber knowing that her people were no longer living in ignorance, Frikka felt as if she had granted her people a new life. She stood upon her balcony and watched as the maiden after maiden would fight against each other, struggling to survive, and many wallowing in the depths of anguish. And she knew this would be all for the better one day.

As she contemplated what she saw in the now ruined city of the Cloister, she was approached by the Urge of Ice. The Mother Urge asked Frikka what had happened in her absence and Frikka explained everything she had done for the Valkyries. The Mother Urge exploded in a fury never before seen by the Valkyries and its wake washed over them all.

The Amygamalion – The Dulling

This book is titled “The Amygamalion – The Dulling”. It appears to be a myth concerning the history of the Amygdalans.

We are Amygdalan, and we are that which tastes the amyg of this world. Though all of the emotion feeds us, the most pleasing is the true amyg that comes from the minds of the Lesser Emotions creations. Our history is the only true history, for everything else is but a lie told to placate the minds of the fearful.

Within the Dulling a home was needed, so we Amygdalan looked to what was within our means. The world around us is rich in feeling, but we needed that which would not overwhelm us. The lizardmen of the First Thought were within the Dulling as well, exiled from the true home. They would be the ones to build the home for the Amygdalan.

Tasting their fear, the lizardmen set forth to create a great home in memory of the ones we held within the First Thought. Much was done on their part, and we fed them with the drained husks of those ripe with the taste of Amyg. We would consume the toys of He who is Cazic-Thule, with taste of the Great Beasts were far more pleasing. Their amyg would become bitter and flat as time would pass.

Our home pleased us, but we were no longer within the presence of the Source of Amyg. We would take once again those whose flavor would not overwhelm us and set them to creating a new temple. They would labor and upon their completion, we would chant to the Great Emotion. And he would come in the form of the Quintessence.

The Quintessence would walk among our temple built to honor him. This pleased the Source of the Amyg and would allow us to return to the First Thought. Rejoicing at being accepted within the true world, we would flee the Dulling. Time would pass unnoticed within the First Thought until the Prismatic Aggression would come. Then we would remember our hunger.

Basking in the Source of Amyg, we would forget the flavors of fear. The Prismatic Aggression breached the First Thought through our own portal and brought their metals and their pains. The Great Emotion would eventually have to reach out and smite these mortals, for their numbers were too great. This would be the sign of True Exile.

He who is Cazic-Thule would geas our people to return to the Dulling. This was not out of anger, but instead an honor. The Source of Amyg was to chastise Lesser Emotions for the folly of their creations. We Amygdalan would be charged with preparing for when the Source of Amyg would return from inflicting punishments. The pain was lessened, as well, for we knew the varieties of fear were endless within the Dulling. We would feast as we once had.

Though we were no longer in sight of the Source of Amyg, He would send us a new Quintessence. Taking our charge, we hid away the Quintessence within the most sacred of hearts in the temple. For many changings of the two moons, the Quintessence would act out upon the wish of He who is Cazic-Thule. Just as It undertook Its task, so we too would prevent the fresh tasting Great Beasts from entering the temple. Sadly, we underestimated how fast they could stop the flow of amyg from their minds.

We failed at the only thing the Source of Amyg asked of us. We could not keep the Quintessence kept away in safety, and we called upon the Great Secret to help us. The Great Beasts destroyed the honor to the Source of Amyg. They disrupted the Quintessence. They brought upon the cessation of all their future emotions though releasing the Great Secret. And now we await our punishment for our own failure.

The punishment has begun. The lizardmen have rebuilt the temple by our command, but it is not enough. The Great Winged Lizardman has come to the temple of He who is Cazic-Thule. The Winged One is only the beginning of our punishment. But Winged One’s pain is not as vicious as it will taste when the Source of Amyg returns to see what how we have failed His Quintessence.