Category Archives: Felwithe


You say, ‘Hail Talisyn Stormwing’

Talisyn Stormwing says ‘Greetings, _____. You must forgive my rather [inhospitable mood] this day, if of course it comes forth to you in what speech we have.’

You say, ‘What about your inhospitable mood?’

Talisyn Stormwing says ‘ I am merely… troubled by the conditions of my change in stations. I once guarded Kelethin from the vile Crushbone Orcs, but it seems a new terror has arisen within our forests. It is the duty of a ranger, and I do not complain in the least, but the [mutilation and corruption] that slithers through the forest still brings a pain of anger to my heart.

You say, ‘What about the mutilation and corruption?’

Talisyn Stormwing furrows his troubled brow in confusion and surprise. ‘You need ask such a question and receive answers in the form of words to understand what it is that surrounds you, Danian? Have you neither heard nor seen the vile creatures that inhabit the putrid lands of Mistmoore to the south? Or have you not seen the creatures forged from the very shadows that lie not to far from our homelands? The Teir`Dal beasts that have made camp not too far from the entrance of Mistmoore’s lair? These evils, some ancient beyond our pilgrimage from Tunaria, have torn and marred these precious, beautiful forests. Unfortunately, a [greater evil] has descended, and thus my presence here.

You say, ‘What about the greater evil?’

Talisyn Stormwing says ‘Not too far in the recent past did Firiona Vie, the lovely and gracious Champion of Tunare, return to our homelands. In her return, she sought to bring forth the avatar of our sacred Mother to seek guidance on her path — the path of Elven Kind. Little did the Champion know that The Faceless was close at bay, and through means unknown, his power was greater than that of our sacred Mother’s. In a petty display of his new found power, the Lord of Fear [furthered the corruption] of these natural lands.

You say, ‘What furthered the corruption?’

Talisyn Stormwing says ‘I cannot say for sure, and neither can our elders. None know for certain how or why this was done. All we know is that [the beings that were closest to Tunare’s grace] were reaved from her grasp, and now roam as the undead or worse.

You say, ‘What about the beings that were closest to Tunare’s grace?’

Talisyn Stormwing closes his eyes and bows his head for a moment as if in mourning. ‘The Faerie Folk that called this place their home have been changed into unnatural monsters of Cazic’s will. They thirst for mortal blood and flesh, and have lost all innocent, grace, and reason that was once their existence. But they seem incomparable to [the greatest loss] to be turned in Cazic-Thule’s favor.

You say, ‘What is the greatest loss?’

Talisyn Stormwing raises his head, his features remaining solemn but stern. ‘Equestrielle, the maiden unicorn, was corrupted by The Faceless himself and through vile trickery, he convinced the angered and frightened Firiona to remove her horn to cease the spreading of the disease. In honor and regret, the Champion did so, but now that once beautiful and sacred being roams as a blood thirsty, uncaring monster who kills any and all mortal beings. She is why I was sent, as The Heartwood Master knew that any other would end her life in mercy or the others she would harm and thus he entrusted to me [these tasks].’

You say, ‘what about these tasks?’

Talisyn Stormwing says ‘I am here to observe, warn the travelers that would pass through these infected lands, and to gather what evidence that I can to further the research of the council of magics at Felwithe. However, as I am the only one that has been charged with such tasks, it has been quite difficult. I do not know if I can withstand seeing such destruction and chaos before even I find mercy to be the proper route. If only they would send [assistance], if only for a day.’

You say, ‘I will assist you’

Talisyn Stormwing says ‘I would be eternally grateful for your company, _____ and your pledge to this cause. However, I cannot expect anything of you. If [you are sure] that you would be willing to aid all of the Faydark, then I will be willing to give forward what knowledge I have gathered thus far.’

You say, ‘I am sure’

Talisyn Stormwing says ‘Then I thank you, _____, and the entire Faydark thanks you. I have been studying and gathering evidence of the [Frightlings], or the distorted Pixies. I have already given several specimens of these creatures to the researchers, but I have found a great use for them beyond research. If you can bring to me one of their every so tiny skulls, I will do all in my power to cleanse that object so that it may aid you further in the tasks of the forest.’

You say, ‘What about the frightlings?’

Talisyn Stormwing says ‘The Frightlings are what the corrupted Pixies have been calling themselves. I have found through my extensive scouting of the area that one called Bilewretch who acts as their leader. I have dreamed for many days now of his destruction at my bow, but unfortunately that would cause me to abandon my post, and leave myself vulnerable to attacks from the [Undead Sprites.] However, as you have pledged yourself to the cause, if you would bring me proof of Bilewretch’s destruction, I shall reward you greatly for your service.’

You say, ‘What about the undead sprites?’

Talisyn Stormwing says ‘They are the twisted monsters of what used to be the noble Faeries of the forest. Now, they are but fleshy beings that desire only to bring death for their dark amusements. As with the Frightlings, these unnatural beasts are lead by a fearsome creature that has named himself Bloodboil. Another despicable being that I wish to bring a swift death to, but cannot for fear of abandoning my post and failing my master. If you would be so brave and bring to me proof of this monster’s demise, your efforts will not go unrewarded.’

War of Fay: Felwithe

This is the fifth book based on the journal of a young Teir’Dal soldier during the War of Fay.
The journals of this young Teir’Dal soldier chronicle the crossing Faydwer on a mission to Felwithe during the War of Fay with the Cantor, an illusionist.

Our journey takes many days for we are careful to travel as far from the actual fighting as possible.
There is the danger of being killed by other Teir’Dal who are taken in by the illusion created by the Cantor that she and I are Koada’Dal.
There is also the danger her illusion will fail and the Koada’Dal and Feir’Dal will recognize us and slay us before our tasks are done.

We entered Felwithe with no problems, just as in my dream.
The Cantor leads me down various by-ways until we reach an inn. We take a room overlooking the street.
I stand beside the shuttered window, peering through the thick wooden slats. The Cantor paces, nervous in a way that I have never seen,
Across the room I see our reflections in the brass mirror and realize our illusions are gone.

“Stop this,” I say angrily, “You are jeopardizing our mission. I know not why you are here, but I know my task and if you are here to help me you will stop filling the air with the dust of your shoes.”
She stops pacing, perching instead on the edge of the bed.
“Let me tell you why I am here,” she says suddenly. “I saw the deaths of all the others on our ship and that is why I chose you; you will outlive us all.”

Holding her hand to stop me from speaking, she continues: “You look out the window to see if any of the signals are in place; you will not find them. They all perished.
“Of twenty who set forth, you alone are left. You ask constantly why I am here. It is for this: to ensure that you live, though you would not have needed my help. I saw your death; you will outlive us all.”
The room fills with silence. I do not know what to say.

After a moment, the Cantor speaks again: “Long ago, I was cursed with the ability to see others’ deaths.”
“At first, I only saw them when I wished it. Since coming on this mission, I cannot stop it. Everyone we pass, I have but to glance at them to know how and when they will die.”
“Yet I look into the mirror willing it – willing it with all my might! – and I know not when death will come for me. Yet you saw it; you know and will not tell me.”

I remain silent. What I saw that day in Faydark was a dream, nothing more. It troubled me, but it was only a dream.
Still, knowing how the one dream upset me I could understand how seeing such things every day could bring anxiety, even madness.
I sit beside her then and take her hands into mine.
“Tell me,” I say softly, “what is your real name?”

The Cantor hesitated, glancing away then back again shaking her head.
“I am called Death and that is how you will remember me. When you are in your old age and relive the glories of this war, you will remember that Death walked beside you into Felwithe. And you lived.”
She was calmer now and recast the illusions over us both, then sat and held my hand.
“We will wait here, together.”

“Wait for what?” I say, but I know the answer.
Since her illusions have covered me, I find my foresight is strengthened. We are waiting for the Teir’Dal to besiege Felwithe.
Though the others in my unit do not live, we each were trained with one goal in mind.
If it came to this and only one of us lived, the mission would not fail.

As though reading my thoughts, the Cantor says, “No one else has been able to use my gifts as you have. Is this because you have one short leg? Perhaps it makes you more sensitive in some way?”
I shrug, “Perhaps.”
I know that I no longer wish for legs of equal length, for I can run and climb much better than the others.
I know my balance and can keep it no matter what happens.

We sit in silence, our fair-skinned fingers interlaced.
I try to remember the dream – would I recognize again the wall against which the Cantor fell? Could I keep her away from such a place, from her own death?
In the space of a few short weeks, she has gone from nuisance to the most important creature in my world.
The time for my task has not yet come. And so we sit in the growing stillness and wait.

War of Fay: Death

This is the last in a series of journals written by a young Teir’Dal soldier during the War of Fay.
The Teir’Dal are often considered deceitful and conceited. The perspective of this young diarist provides a different insight into the thoughts of at least one of them during the War of Fay.

Days pass and still the illusions hold. I venture into Felwithe alone, using my stealthy skills to pick pockets or obtain goods which the Cantor and I barter for our room and board. When training for war, this is something never mentioned — the ennui of waiting. And then finally: the battle draws nearer. Our time is upon us.

The Cantor and I have lived for many months under the cover of her illusions; to all others, we appear as Koada’Dal. On this day, we will provide entry into Felwithe for the Teir’Dal units. On this day, we will provide entry into Felwithe for the Teir’Dal units. The Cantor and I know our tasks, though it seems she is enjoying her liaisons much more than I am. If I never have to entertain another stinking Koada’Dal guard again it shall be too soon.

The guards greet us warmly, barely glancing at the gate. The Cantor and I approach and I sense rather than see teh change flicker across her pale features. These men will die and she sees it. I have felt her reaction now so often that I know it instinctively. She smiles coyly at the guard she has been seeing and I slip in behind him to slit his throat. The other guard stares at us, shocked and unable to speak. He meets the same fate.

We open the smaller door beside the gate and in slip the Teir’Dal. The Cantor has released us from the illusion so that we look like them — like ourselves. We head deeper into the city, a thin dark stream of elves followed closely by ogres and trolls, slaying all those who oppose us. The Cantor steers me by the quickest route to the home of the king.

This happens so quickly, the guards fall and we surround the king. I search his face for traces of fear and find none. This satisfies me; I do not like to kill cowards. The Cantor looks from the king to me and back again. She whispers to me, “He does not die this day.” Nodding, I bind his hands with the Cantor’s belt. She has given it the illusion of heavy chains and the king sags from the imaginary weight.

On my watches, I look at Tearis’Thex intently, wondering how it must feel to look one’s death in the face. In theory, all soldiers face their deaths daily in war, but I wonder whether a king would feel the same thrill coursing through his veins. I stare at him so long I draw his gaze, but I do not turn away. He may be king, but in him I now sense the heart of a warrior. He deserves to look into my eyes before I perform the task for which I trained.

Dozens of ogres built the stage upon which the execution will take place. Many times I see the Koada’Dal captives below raise their faces toward this room in which we keep Tearis’Thex. I do not know for what they are hoping. Perhaps that he will spring from the window in the shape of a dragon and escape? The Cantor taps my shoulder and nods toward the king. “It is today,” she says simply.

She removed the ruby and pearl rope from the king’s hands and one of the Teir’Dal guards grasps his shoulder to propel him towards the stairs. From the corner of my eye I sense movement and instinctively react. No one will kill Tearis’Thex in the privacy of a narrow room; his death will be seen by all. Then I realize it is the king who holds the knife. He thrusts.

The Cantor reaches for my hand and grips it, pulling me off-balance onto my short leg. I stagger slightly against her and she grins at me, leaning forward to kiss my forehead. With a slightly puzzled look on her face, she slides to the floor still holding my hand. She says, “It is today.” I stare at the Cantor, realizing her rope of rubies is mixed with a pool of blood. She leans against the wall; it is the wall from my dream.

“Take him down,” I snap at the guard. The king’s knife still protrudes from the Cantor’s robe and I reach for it.

She rests her hand on mine and says indistinctly, “My name… my name…”

“You will not die,” I say, willing for it to be true.

“My name…” she says wistfully, “…I do not remember my name.” She stares blankly ahead, her hand limp and cold.

I kiss her forehead and close her eyes. I say to her, “Your name is Death.”

War of Fay: Crossing the Faydark

This is another part of a journal written by a young Teir’Dal soldier during the War of Fay.
During the War of Fay, many things changed or were forgotten. This book provides one person’s perspective, all the more interesting as this person was part of a secretive Teir’Dal unit during the War of Fay.

Travel by dark, rest during the day. The pattern repeats.
The Cantor and I hear the skirmishes around us but do not become involved; our mission is different.
At least mine is. Or was. The team leader pushed the Cantor to group with me and said it had always been the plan.
If that is so, then no one had bothered to tell me. I resent it.

The Cantor sense my anger. She does not speak with me, communicating only by gestures and glances.
And yet, though we do not speak, we move as one through the Faydark.
Long before we saw Kelethin, we smelled the fires and heard the battle. We woke to find ourselves in a blanket of haze.
She said, “We will need to travel by day past this place; I will change out forms.”

I glance at her. “Change out forms? What, into birds so that we may fly directly to Felwithe?”
With a smile, she replies, “No. I cannot change an actual shape, but I can create an illusion. Look at yourself; I have already done so with you.”
Using the blade of my dagger as a mirror, I realize my skin is now pale cream and my hair is yellow.
I look like a Koada’Dal.

The Cantor gestures into the air, drawing the edge of her palm across her face.
Now she too has yellow hair and sickly pale skin. She laughs at my bemusement saying, “Did you really think all I could do is sing?”
Then she grows more serious and adds, “I know you do not want my company on this journey and that you wonder why I am here. Now you know. I am an illusionist, among other things.”

“What other things?” I ask, but she shakes her head.
“We must rest,” she says softly, “for the journey from here to Felwithe will be even more perilous. Should my illusion fail, all who see us will know we are Teir’Dal. My name may be Death, but I do not wish to die. Not until my task is complete.”
What the task is, she does not say.

The Cantor lies down and immediately falls asleep.
My mind is restless; I constantly pull out my dagger and tilt it this way and that to look at myself.
I am Teir’Dal. I have always had skin the color of the night sky and silver hair. Yet I see pale skin and yellow hair, see this fair being mimic me and yet be me. It is fascinating.
I wonder: would it feel so strange is she had created the illusion that both my legs are the same length? Would that be so difficult to believe?

“You are not resting.” She says, her eyes open, the corners of her lips lifting in a faint smile.
“I cannot get used to this,” I stammer, putting away my dagger, ashamed to be caught in this peculiar vanity.
She pats the nest of pine needles beside her. “Come and rest; you will look this way for many days but right now, you must sleep.”
My eyelids are suddenly heavy and I know I am dreaming before I even curl up beside her.

We walk through Greater Faydark and come to the walls of Felwithe.
The guards step aside to let us enter the city. Despite years of training, I feel unprepared. My hand goes cold and damp.
The Cantor kisses my forehead, then slowly releases my hand and slips into a graceful sitting position against the wall.
I see her staring straight ahead and realize she is dead. The warmth of her lips is still on my skin. I cannot move.

“Wake up, wake up,” she is shaking me, a look of concern in her eyes.
“What did you see?” she demands and there is a note in her voice I have never heard before – fear.
“What did you see, you must tell me!” The Cantor shakes my shoulder again, then sits back on her heels, swallowing hard.
“You must know,” she says in a bitter tone, “I am called Death for I can see death; but I cannot see my own.”

I shake my head, saying, “It was but a dream; you make too much of it.”
As we hide the traces of our makeshift camp, I sense a change in the Cantor. She glances at me now and then, her eyes thoughtful and pensive.
I am not sure if that is what she truly feels or if it is the illusion created by her fair skin and golden hair.

War of Fay: Armies Across the Sea

This is another part of the journal kept by a Teir’Dal, relating experiences during the War of Fay.
Another volume from the diary of one young Teir’Dal soldier, written during the War of Fay. This volume tells of the Teir’Dal ships landing on Faydwer.

The ships passed beneath the teleportation arch.
There is no sound save a soft thrumming that hangs in the air above us. Mist curls up from the surface of the sea, covering each ship in thick draperies.
No matter how often I have made this journey, I am always amazed that no ships have ever collided in the fog.

When my ship clears the mists, I can see the prows of the other vessels breaking through as well.
Behind me, I hear the rich voice of the Cantor rising in song, calling forth the winds again to propel us toward Faydwer.
Was her name really Death, as she had told me? Or was she trying to frighten me, seeing only a youth with one shortened leg?

In many ways, I am surprised that I am on this team, on this mission.
I will not set down our plans in advance, lest something go awry and my thoughts are revealed to the enemy.
When the commander named those who would be in this elite unit, there were sounds of surprise when they chose me.
Yes, I walk with a limp; but I run like the wind and am deadly besides.

The singing stops, and I feel her beside me again.
She crouches down on the narrow plank and touches the shoulder of the Teir’Dal in the seat before me. As she had with me, she pulls him to his feet and walks him to the small deck at the stern of the ship.
I make an effort not to turn my head; what she chooses to do or say to the others aboard the ship is none of my business.
But it is long before he returns to his seat, and he smiles, looking over his shoulder toward her.

Suddenly before us, I see the lead ship raise a smaller yellow flag.
Immediately, the ogres put their oars into the water, joining their brute strength to the winds in our sail. That signals that landfall is near.
Around me, the other members of my team grip their knives. Our task is not to fight upon landing, but we must be prepared.

The Cantors stop their songs and two of the ogres rise to dismantle the mast, which they cast overboard.
Without that weight, the ships skim faster across the sea, pulled along by the strength of our oarsmen.
The ogres are perfect for this task, for it involved only dipping the oar in, pulling, lifting, then dipping the oars in again. This is as much as their simple minds can grasp.

Ahead, there is a dark ling marking Faydwer.
There are lights set at various points along the way, supposedly to allow the fools to guard their shores.
The reality is that they will light our way directly to a good landing. Some of the ships head further north to land closer to Kelethin.
My first destination is Kaladim.

Without their sails, the ships are low to the water.
The slight splash of the oars is masked in the rolling of the waves onto the shore.
We pull our ships up behind us onto the shingle and the ogres knock holes in their sides.
There is only one way home now – through Felwithe. Weapons are drawn. We run up the beach, and they are surprised.

My unit must stick close together; we each have a role in this.
An arrow whistles through the air and spears the Teir’Dal beside me – the one who had dallied with the Cantor aboard ship.
He staggers, then slides toward the ground clutching at my arm and pulling me down with him. Another arrow whistles over my head.
“Her name…”gasps my comrade before drawing his last breath,”…is Death”

“Death? You’re mad!” I hiss, shaking his lifeless hand from my arm.
I crouch, checking my path across the beach to the cover of the trees when suddenly, the Cantor is beside me – and him.
She kisses his forehead and closes his eyes, then grabs my hand.
“Come!” she cries.
We race toward the concealing darkness ahead.

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 Storm Shepherds – Darnalithenis of Felwithe

This book is one of the Storm Shepherd series titled “Darnalithenis of Felwithe”. It is the story of a high elf that left his home for the wilderness and his further travels across the world.
Darnalithenis was born and raised in the beautiful city of Felwithe. Though he was groomed to join the ranks of the holy paladins that protected the city, he could never ignore the longing he felt as he stared deep into the depths of the Greater Faydark forest. After much thought, he finally brought himself to steal away in the night and leave for the wilderness.

He would spend the next several decades living among the woodland creatures of Faydwer. He learned the secrets of moving through the trees undetected, on how to forage food from the land itself, or when the winters were hard, to track and hunt down game for his dinner. He enjoyed living his life being free of the constraints of the city, but he also knew that he would not be accepted amongst his kin were he to choose to return. One day, he came up with a plan.

Darnalithenis began to make as many arrows as he could shove in his quiver. When he was done, he gathered as much food as he could, then hiked to the western edge of the forest. Continuing through the foothills of Butcherblock he avoided the roads, and in turn, the dwarves that guarded them. After skirting by Kaladim, the city of the dwarves, he traveled for several days. Finally, he reached the docks that would take him to other lands – and possibly others like him.

The first place he came to was the great trade city, Freeport. Though it was not as clean or beautiful as his home, Felwithe, it still was larger than anything he had ever seen. He spent some time there, but not caring for the ever-increasing brutality of the guards, decided it was time to move on.

He continued to head west, traveling though dark forests, craggy mountaintops, and endless plains. Soon enough, he reached where the land came to an end. Choosing to follow the coastline to the north, he eventually found a glade populated with people just like him.

Darnalithenis knew that his journey was now at an end, for the people of Surefall accepted him for whom he was, not what he was expected to be.

Darnalithenis spent many years living among the tenders of the glade he now called home. He would spend his time educating those who journeyed to outlying forest on the ways to respect the wilderness. At one point, he even joined with a group of people who were trying to stop an army of gnolls that were assaulting a nearby village.

With him leading the party on a direct path to the village, they arrived just in time to join the fray. It was a bloody battle, and many people lost their lives, but the gnolls were driven back. As Darnalithenis left to return to the glade, he spied the party he was with killing hundreds of woodland creatures for nothing more than their skins. In a fit of rage, he slaughtered every last one of the poachers. When he returned to the glade, he knew that it was time for him to return to the solitude of the Greater Faydark. Darnalithenis traveled across the continent to the city of Freeport. Someone calling himself the Overlord now ruled the city and demanded an exorbitant fee to travel across the ocean.

Darnalitenis had no plan on paying this man any fee, so in the dead of night, he stole a ship and began to sail across the ocean. On the fifteenth day out his ship was attacked by a fleet of ships sailed by his dark cousins, the Teir’Dal. He leapt into the ocean, swimming for a nearby island he spotted.

He would spend the next several hundred years trapped on this island. He lost all hope of rescue, for the seas roiled with a fury that he had never seen before. To make matters worse, the cyclopses that lived on the island with him were beginning to overpopulate. Soon enough they would know that he lived there, too. And one day, they did.

As he gathered water from a stream, he heard the sound of the large rock flying through the air just a moment too late. As he lay there, back broken from the impact of the rock, he watched as the cyclops lifted his foot in order to crush Danalithenis’s skull. A moment later, the Cyclops fell to the ground with a thud. Standing over the cyclops’s corpse was a human, pulling a sword from the monster’s back. The man said, “It looked like you could use some help.”

The Case of the Ursa Rhym

I have been assigned by Lady Alethea Jyleel to investigate the tragedy of the fairiefolke living within the Gully of the Ursa Rhym. The rhym seem to be a type of fairy about the size of a firefly, if not smaller. These rhym gather the information of the environment around them like a sponge absorbs water. This information is then processed and emitted in a melody that few outside of the rhym can decipher. In this case, Lady Alethea is capable of reading the melodies of these tiny fairies.
I managed to locate the Gully of the Ursa Rhym within a western crag in the Greater Faydark, on the way to Steamfont Mountains. The gully used to be a magical little village where numerous rhym buzzed about in melody, but the melody is no more. I have discovered the rhym village in disarray and destruction. The little village was ruined through dark magic, this is quite evident from the arcane smoke and unyielding flames that now consume the habitat.

Unable to properly decipher the clues before me, I was forced to enlist the aid of the legendary sleuth, Inspector Berlok Beeglesnoop. The great inspector told me that I could become an investigator myself should I acquire the three volume Investigator Guidelines, penned by the master detective himself. Although, in his old age, he would not offer me these valuable manuscripts, I was able to pry a few hints as to where I might find these books. Through an illogical and often frustrating conversation with the inspector, I was able to deduce that the books could be found in Felwithe.

Amidst the madness that now envelopes the once honorable city of Felwithe, I would find the Investigative Guidelines needed to become great detective. My first trial led me to the grove of a great tree. There could be found the fluttering pages of one of the books, ripped from the binder I found earlier. The second book would be found within a submerged chest, magically locked. Following the clues on the chest, I managed to unlock it. The final book would rest in the hands of a soul that now walks the fields of Ethernere. Luckily, I discovered a ritual that would allow me to call forth the spirit of General Jyleel, a great ancestor to Lady Alethea Jyleel.

Having read the Investigative Guidelines, I have grasped the thought process and guidelines of a great detective. I returned to the Gully and the Ursa Rhym to see if I could procure any bit of new evidence. What I found amidst the carnage of the tiny fairy village was a flaming pawn, a chess piece. The flames are clearly magical in nature and not the dark magic that existed everywhere else in the village. Before they met their demise,. the rhym left this clue for me… for anyone. What does it mean? It is merely a flaming pawn resting just a bit away from the chessboard it once called home.

I have gathered some evidence in the charred area known as the Broken Fields in Butcherblock Mountains. The bits of evidence appear to be the battered remnants of daggers and shields. These remnants must have taken great damage and not by an ordinary force. I could tell by the scorch marks and the condition of the metal that this was the result of dark magic. There may be someone around these Broken Fields that can shed some light on my findings. Perhaps they may have even been a witness to this carnage.

I spoke to a talking rat named Chypp, last ‘p’ silent. He was a witness to the conflict that created the ruin that is now the Broken Fields. It appears as though a secret meeting occurred here where one group of brutes and evil grins passed along a magical sword to another group of brutes and evil grins. It is my belief that the brutes were orcs and by the evidence collected, they are Ree orcs from the Commonlands. These Ree orcs brought the magic sword to another group that then betrayed, using the gift to destroy the couriers. I believe it is time to travel to the Commonlands and gather information where the Ree orcs keep hidden from the Overlord and Freeport.

I collected a lot of evidence that has led me to the conclusion that the dark elves allied with the Ree orcs are none other than the Ebon Mask. I have heard tales of old about this old house of thieves that hailed from the Teir’Dal city of Neriak. They were said to be some of the craftiest thieves on Norrath and excellent assassins also. Apparently, they did not die with the collapse of their city. The Raiders of Ree are orcs removed from their empire, this I have learned. They now live for the heavy coin of the black marker. What would bring a band of opportunistic orcs and a dark elf thieves house together? More evidence is required.

I have found that the Ebon Mask worked alongside the orcs in an expedition to a hidden valley where the soul of Zarvonn is contained for eternity. This ancient mage was once a member of the Academy of the Arcane Science. I am not sure what the spirit of Zarvonn knew, but a spirit that hailed from one of the greatest mage guilds on Norrath most likely holds many secrets. His secret had something to do with the flaming sword that was rushed to Faydwer and used against the courier force of the Ree and Ebon Mask. Such a secret would reveal much about the sword, its origin and where it now resides. Such revelations could only be held by the leader of this eccentric pack of orcs.

While investigating the throne room of the leader of the orcs, I was forced into battle. Lord Ree and his minions were foolish to challenge me. In the end, they met their demise. After the battle I found what appeared to be a book detailing a heist for a “Sword.” Unfortunately, the pages had been ripped out. I was them ambushed by Teir’Dal agents of the Ebon Mask, supreme rogues of the now defunct Thex Dynasty. I was forced to do battle or end up another notch in their belt. They have their best, but in the end, I emerged victorious. as they fell to the floor, the ripped pages from the heist journal flew into the air. Perhaps the pages will finally explain what this caper was all about.

Soulfrire was stolen from Freeport. The mastermind behind the heist was the Foci of the Academy of Arcane Science. She hired agents of the Ebon Mask to infiltrate the citadel via a forgotten portal left open by one of the original engineers of the fortress when it was known as the Academy of Arcane Science. The Ebon Mask hired the Raiders of Ree, opportunistic orcs. Using Ree smuggling routes, they transported Soulfire to Butcherblock Mountains. There the sword would be traded for a scroll desired bu the Foci, but a betrayal occurred and the Ree and Ebon Mask couriers were slain. All i know now is that an ambassador king was the one that betrayed the heist.

I exchanged information with Lady Alethea Jyleel of the Order of Marr. I handed over my notes, but kept this case journal for my records. According to Lady Alethea, the Overlord of Freeport was not fooled by a false sword that replaced Soulfire in the vaults of Dethknell Citadel. He has ordered his finest agents to recover the great sword. Together we discovered that it was a band of Lucanic Knights that razed the Gully of the Ursa Ryhm. If that is so, then the Overlord is one step ahead of the Order of Marr.

Lady Alethea bid me farewell, knowing that such a great crusade as this cannot be left to anyone other than her ancient order of knights. I have taken her reward for my deed, but I cannot shake the mystery behind Soulfire. Where is it and why is it so important to anyone other than the Overlord of Freeport? Perhaps is I can discover who this ambassador king is someday, I can reveal the secret of Soulfire. As for this investigation, the Case of the Ursa Rhym is closed… but the Case of the Soulfire Sword is soon approaching.

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!

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.