Category Archives: Freeport

Dorn B’Dynn

A tall and well-formed dark elf, Dorn B’Dynn is in self-imposed exile in the Desert of Ro, and hates every moment of it. Raised a member of the Cauldron of Hate, the guild of warriors in Neriak, B’Dynn has never been satisified with his position in Teir’Dal society. He has spent his long life plotting to increase his prestige, seeking the status that comes with personal power. B’Dynn took up the study of necromancy, but discovered that even that did not meet his needs. When teh guildmaster of the Cauldron of Hate decided he neded a trusted warrior to maintain a present in the Desert of Ro, B’Dynn saw great opportunity to gain a reputation, so he volunteered.

B’Dynn’s main duty is to ensure various smuggled goods shipped from Faydwer and Kunark are delivered safely to the Dismal Rage in Freeport. He also spies on other forces within Ro and the Oasis of Marr, mtains diplomatic ties to the Scorchfist Orcs, and arranges safe passage of trolls out of Grobb (a service that requires the trolls to serve a Teir’Dal master for several years – a source of many troll guards for the dark elves).

B’Dynn has gone far beyond his stated duties, however. He has forme da close alliance with the dervishes of the desert, and plans to bring them fully under his control in teh decades to come. He hopes to make them the core of his own army, with which he will claim control of all the lands from Freeport to Innothule Swamp. He then intends to take control of the troll lands as well, bolstering his army further. Once he has this level of mastery he plans to make a conerted effort to raid the remains of Takish’Hiz, and any other old elven ruin, regardless of how many dervishes and trolls he has to kill in the effort. He sees the gypsies as his primary opposition in this effort, and never misses an opportunity to make their lives difficult.

Quest: Seakillers’ Heads
Faction: Cauldron of Hate (-1 rank)
NPC: Dorn B’Dynn
CR: 17
Reward: +1 faction rank with the Cauldron of Hate and the Coalition of Tradefolk Underground (maximum +3 each from this quest). 10d10 platinum pieces
Consequences: -1 faction rank with the Gypsies and the Knights of Truth
Quest Summary:
A trio of 3 seafury cyclops brothers called Malquar, Heferus and Querl Seakiller have discovered one of the routes used by the smugglers who support the Teir’Dal, and have been stealing supplies and destroying ships. Dorn B’Dynn has discovered they have a lair in the southern Desert of Ro, but is unwilling to risk himself to find their exact location or to attack them himself. He is more than happy to allow a band of adventurers trying to gain acceptannce with the dark elves to risk their lives in solving his problem.
B’Dynn doesn’t care about the stolen goods or the destroyed ships and their crews, as such losses are inevitable in a smuggling operation, but if the Seakillers aren’t elminated the losses may become too great for him to hide from his masters in Neriak. What he needs is the heads of the three brothers brought to him as proof they are no longer a threat to his operations.
The quest can be rerun with different foes, such as sand giants, Quag Maelstrom and even Cazel

The Interrogation of Opal Darkbriar

Opal Darkbriar: “Release me immediately! Cristanos Thex will not stand for this!”

Opal Darkbriar: “Do you know who I am? I have powerful allies!”

Opal Darkbriar: “These infernal wards nullify my translocation spells…”

Opal Darkbriar: “If you do not release me there will be hell to pay! Do you hear me?!”

Captain Maganus strides into the cell block, the two resting spellsplitter’s snapping to attention. The third shows no sign he is aware his commander has entered the room.

a Militia spellsplitter: “Captain.”

Opal Darkbriar: “Maganus. How much longer do you plan on holding me here?! This is a grave insult to lock me in this cage!”

Captain Maganus: “Calm yourself, Darkbriar. No one is buying into your theatrics.”

Opal Darkbriar: “You threaten the entire city of Freeport by detaining me. Neriak will not stand for this!”

Captain Maganus: “Is that so…?”

Opal Darkbriar: “Queen Cristanos Thex, herself, will see to my release.”

Captain Maganus: “I believe you are sadly mistaken, Opal. You see, it was the queen who allowed us to enter Neriak and apprehend you, traitor.”

Opal Darkbriar: “You are lying!”

Captain Maganus: “Am I? There were certain conditions that were agreed upon when the Darklight Pact was signed, your arrest was one of them. The Overlord doesn’t take kindly to having his property stolen.”

Opal Darkbriar: “I didn’t steal anything! Secondly, Neriak would go to war before allowing itself to sign a treaty with the likes of that madman.”

Captain Maganus: “Fortunately, Queen Thex has a wiser head than you. You sadly overestimate the strength of Neriak. The queen was in no position to do much bartering.”

Opal Darkbriar: “You are delusional, human. Neriak has been, and will always be one of the greatest empires on Norrath!”

Captain Maganus: “I am afraid it is you that is out of touch of reality, my dear Darkbriar. Thex couldn’t sign the treaty fast enough… what with the multiple legions camped on her doorstep once the Commonlands tunnel was completed.”

Opal Darkbriar: “Make no mistake, it is just a temporary convenience.”

Captain Maganus: “Lord Razon Blayze has been assigned permanently to Hate’s Envy to oversee the relations between Neriak and Freeport. He’ll make sure Neriak upholds their part of the longstanding treaty.”

Opal Darkbriar: “My nation will not be held to such conditions for long. I will see to that personally as a loyal and powerful ally of the Teir’Dal Empire!”

Captain Maganus: “Ah, well there is that as well. Your allegiance is something of suspect these days.”

Opal Darkbriar: “How dare you! I am Teir’Dal!”

Captain Maganus: “The queen wasn’t aware of such theft, and it was your hasty escape that led us right to Neriak’s hidden doorstep. We have you to thank for Freeport’s present political gain.”

Captain Maganus: “What we want to know is who you were working for when you stole Soulfire.”

Opal Darkbriar: “I wasn’t working for any-!”

Captain Maganus: “No, don’t protest… I wouldn’t expect you to divulge any information… and it would save our ears from your screeching. Rest assured my spellsplitter division will discover the answers we seek.”

Opal Darkbriar: “A division you wouldn’t have if it wasn’t for me and my academy’s training. You owe me, Maganus.”

Captain Maganus: “If we relied on your faulty training we’d still be searching for the clues of your theft… something I have no doubt you intended.”

Opal Darkbriar: “Listen… we can work something out! I… I can make it worth your while. What is it you want? Power?! Money?! Love…”

Captain Maganus: “You are getting desperate, Darkbriar… and you insult me. We will get to the bottom of this, and then the time of your trial will be at hand. Good day, Opal.”

The Captain turns sharply and strides towards the exit. Just before reaching the stairs Darkbriar calls out to hi one last time…

Opal Darkbriar: “Maganus! Maganus! You can’t leave me here! He’ll have me executed! He’ll do it himself!”

Maganus pauses, half turning back to her. His eyes close briefly as he says quietly,

Captain Maganus: “I believe that’s the plan.”


The Monsters

This book is titled “The Monsters – by Maria Scalius”. It is a fictional account of a young couple and how they found shelter for the night in the Nektulos Forest.
It was a dark and stormy night. A young couple, having been lost for days in the Nektulos forest, now sought shelter from the rain. As they aimlessly wandered, a bolt of lighting struck the earth in a nearby valley. As they glanced over at the flash, they saw their only hope for shelter – a castle.

As the young couple quickly approached the castle, they were relieved to see candlelights in the windows. They banged on the front door and were shortly greeted by the butler. The couple was invited inside at once and told they could stay there for the night, only as long as the master of the castle gave his permission.

The young couple was led to what appeared to be a workshop of sorts and told to wait there. All manner of strange instruments lined the shelves of the workshop, which were all arranged around what appeared to be two coffins. The young man walked up to one of the caskets, fully intent on peering inside. At that moment, a shadow stretched out from the doorway

The shadow belonged to an old man who introduced himself as Lord Everling, owner of the castle. He told them they were welcome to stay the night if they so desired. He apologized in advance, however, for any noise that might disturb their rest. He explained that tonight he would finally complete his greatest creations to date.

The young couple expressed interest in his creation. Everling invited them to watch its completion, but asked them to stay out of the way. He then called in his assistants who gathered around the coffins. All of the women were of varying ages, from little girl to young woman, yet they all shared the same face. Everling introduced them one by one, explaining they were his daughters.

For the next several hours, the couple watched as Everling, assisted by his daughters, adjusted the various instruments around the workshops. When he was done, the hush in the room was deafing. A moment later, a bolt of lightning coursed down a rod, straight into the caskets. Lord Everling stepped over to the coffins and removed the lids, smiling proudly.

Inside the coffins were nothing more than dolls, just like a child would own. Everling asked the couple what they thought, and confused, they just nodded and congratulated him on his… creations. He told them he was overjoyed that they liked the dolls. He pointed out that the hour was late and that they should all retire for the night.

The young couple were both led to their bedchambers by the littlest daughter. The child told them that they may want to consider finding somewhere else to sleep for the night, for her father wasn’t feeling well. Having seen how proud the man was of his dolls, they knew what she meant. But they also knew the dangers of the forest as well. They would take their chances this one time.

The storm broke with the dawn, and the young couple awoke. They had never felt better in their short lives. They thanked Lord Everling for everything he did for them and left. They trekked through the Nektulos forest, following a direct path straight to Freeport. They made it safely to the city, and have led ordinary lives there to this day. Well, ordinary save for one minor detail.

The couple has a reputation for purchasing clothing that are many sizes too small and even sometimes forgetting their own names. In addition to that, they have been reported to have an odd look in their eyes whenever they are in the company of small children. When asked what they’re thinking, they just smile and say “I remember when I that small.” THE END

The Words of the Avatar

by Brother Nusad, Clan Historian
In the days after the Sleeper had been awakened and departed from realms unknown, mortals strode within the planes of the gods themselves. Seeking some way to halt this unwanted meddling, the gods withdrew their influence from Norrath and would speak no more. Because the druid rings and wizard spires ceased to function, mortals were cut off from one another. A dark time fell upon the lands as the treat of another Rallosian Empire stirred within the depths of the Feerrott.

Yet there was still hope. The goddess Quellious called forth an Avatar of Tranquility, granting a mortal monk some vestige of her power to ensure that Norrath survived the anguish that was to come. The Avatar appeared to some of the mortals and prepared them to defend the human city of Freeport against the Rallosian menace.

Word of these events reached Sensei Bodiki, honored master of the Whistling Fists Clan. He told his monks to prepare for battle, for they would join in the great war that was to come. Not since the days of Zan Fi had the entire order left their monastery to engage in such a conflict. The monks obeyed their honored leader and prepared to set sail for Antonica.

But just as the monks were about to depart, the Avatar of Tranquility arrived upon the shores of Mara. He asked to speak to Sensei Bodiki in private, so the two honored monks retreated to the top floor of the Tower of the Four Winds. They talked for hours, while all the other monks waited to learn what message the Avatar had brought for them.

Finally Sensei Bodiki emerged from the tower, though he walked alone. He said that the Avatar wished fro their order to remain at the monastery. The sensei could not share the reason why the Whistling Fist Clan was not to engage in the battle; Sensei Bodiki would only say that is was vital that they safeguard the island of Mara. Their island, he said, had some other part to play in Norrath’s future. The monks knew their honorable master would not mislead them, so they obeyed.

Only Sensei Bodiki himself departed the island to fight alongside the Ashen Order in the Battle of Defiance. The Avatar blessed the sensei’s decision, although he warned him that this conflict would be fraught with danger. The brave sensei felt that his place was to join others monks in their defense of Norrath.

The battle was won but the price was terrible: Sensei Bodiki was struck down by the Avatar of War. In a gesture of great honor, the Avatar of Tranquility himself bore the body of this fallen hero back to the isle of Mara, where it was laid to rest within the Sepulcher of Zan Fi.

The Whistling Fist Clan next elected Brother Zadekil to the position of sensei. The honorable Sensei Zadekil governed the order though many prosperous years in which great songs were sung of the brave Sensei Bodiki.

The Storm Shepherds – The Downpour

This book is one of the Storm Shepherd series titled “The Downpour”. It is the story of how three people had come together to fight the darkness encroaching upon an enchanted land.
The three heroes, having come together at last, proceeded to detail all of the events that led them to meet that day. The halfling druid learned much about the faith of the Storm Father from Danalithenis, who called him by his old name, Karana. Throughout their discussions, something came over Gremius. As he listened to the stories of faiths gone by, he realized that what was missing from his life. Belief.

When Danalithenis was done telling his tales, Gremius stood up and drew his sword. They looked at him and saw a single teardrop fall from his eyes, falling into a stone beneath his feet. He threw his sword down and repented for everything he had done in his life, asking Karana for forgiveness. What he was especially sorry for was those worshipers he tortured and killed. At the moment he finished confessing, his sword changed into a shepherd’s crook… but one made of glowing steel, and with a pointed blade extending from the bottom of the staff.

When Danalithenis heard everything Gremius confessed, he realized that he had befriended an evil man. Even now, after all these hundreds of years, the corruption of civilization still followed him. In anger, he threw down his bow on the same stone and proclaimed that he would rather die than let the shadow of corruption taint the world any longer. At that moment, his bow changed into a small glass sphere.

Gremius recognized that sphere as the one from his dream that brought him here. As he stood up from his crouched prayers, Danalithenis could see that his blackened Freeport Militia armor was gleaming silver, like the sheen from a newly fallen rain. Tammin, the old druid, said that the time has come to pass. Now is when they would fight the darkness. She explained her full vision to the pair. When she was done, they knew they were all tied together stronger than any friends could possibly be.

Thus, the Storm Shepherds, as they called themselves, worked to push back the blight that was tainting the lands. Danalithenis used his skills as a tracker to find all of the creatures that had been afflicted, allowing Tammin to cure them – or in the case of those who were too far gone – for Gremius to put them out of their misery. As a team, they were able to prevent the ever encroaching darkness from spreading across the land

For the next several years, they would win victories against the darkness that would begin to taint the land. They soon enough realized they would not be able to do it alone, so they recruited followers. They found a small village of shipwrecked refugees living along the coast and talked with them. Many of these people, elves just like Danalithenis, joined them in their battle

The elves would tell Danalithenis of the sad fate of Faydwer and how they came to live in this enchanted isle. This would have normally crushed Danalithenis, but he now had a new cause – to fight the blight. Holding his newly crafted bow and the clear crystal sphere, he vowed that if he could not save the Greater Faydark, then he would save this enchanted forest.

In addition to the elves, the Storm Shepherds gathered a group of followers from the village of Rivervale. With everyone working so well together, it wasn’t long before the Storm Shepherds attracted the attention of those responsible for the blight. Soon enough, creatures of darkness would begin to pursue the three companions, seeking to ensure the Shepherds would not destroy all of their hard work. Many battles were fought against these fiends, and most of them were won.

As battle after battle passed, the years began carrying on. Soon enough, Tammin would succumb to one enemy she could not fight – Time. One night as she lay in her bed, too weak to stand anymore, she asked to see both Danalithenis and Gremius. She told them of one final vision the forest, screaming in agony, had given her. She patted them on the hands, told them they knew what had to be done, and closed her eyes.

On one fateful day, the followers of the Storm Shepherds found the bodies of Danalithenis and Gremius in a small clearing in the forest. Clutched in the dead elf’s hand was a black sphere that swirled with a frightening darkness. The followers would later take up the name of their leaders and keep fighting the darkness as the Storm Shepherds. To this day, they continue to protect both their enchanted lands and that mysterious black sphere.

The Storm Shepherds – Gremius Hazzengrav

This book is one of the Storm Shepherd series titled “Gremius Hazzengrav”. It is the story of a man raised on the streets of Freeport, his rise to notoriety, and his quest for atonement.
Gremius Hazzengrav was born the son of simple bandage merchant in the city of Freeport. When he was only a boy of seven years, he witnessed an exchange between his father and a member of the Freeport Militia. He watched as the militiaman insisted that his father needed to pay more protection money. When his father insisted that he didn’t have any more money, the militiaman ran a sword through him and left his corpse for the ratonga to loot.

Not having any other family, Gremius nearly starved on the streets. He was taken in by a ratonga who taught him how to pick people’s pockets as they passed by. Gremius was forced to give his guardian all of the coin he earned in exchange for a place to sleep at night. Ten years would go by with Gremius forced to steal for food, while the ratonga did nothing and became rich. The day he turned seventeen, Gremius walked into the sleeping ratonga’s room and slid a dagger into his throat. The next morning, he enlisted in the Militia.

While he was training to be a member of the city’s law enforcement, he received constant praise for his dedication to the job. The most praise would come from his drill instructor, and took Gremius under his wing. On the final training day, the soldier with the best scores would be made into an officer and the one with worst would be lowered into a pit of hungry, rabid hyenas. As the ceremony began, Gremius was made into an officer and an unfortunate ogre was chosen to feed the hyenas.

As the drill commander put all of his weight into pushing the lever that held the victim suspended over the pit, something unexpected happened. Instead of pushing the lever, he stumbled over it and clumsily fell over into the pit, just barely catching the lip with one hand. For you see, someone had greased the lever. The commander screamed for Gremius to help him up before he fell in. Officer Gremius walked over to the pit, looked down and said, “You killed my father ten years ago” — and then crushed the commander’s fingers with his foot. Gremius didn’t leave until the commander finally stopped screaming.

Gremius would become notorious throughout Freeport for his merciless enforcement of the law. If a merchant tried to bluff his way out of protection payment, Gremius would kill them. If a soldier forgot to salute the image of the Overlord whenever they passed one, Gremius would kill them. If a citizen walked within the city without proper papers, he would kill them. This would continue until the day that he tortured and killed some worshippers of a long forgotten god, Karana.

For the next several weeks, he would wake up screaming from horrible nightmares. He would dream of a wizened old man who stood in the center of a massive rainstorm. The winds would begin to tear Gremius apart until he would plead for the man to stop the rains. When the rains stopped, Gremius could see a broken crystal sphere that floated above a pool of darkness that was slowly seeping into the ground. All around him, endless trees would turn black and the darkness would spread, moving towards the ocean. Eventually, the darkness would surround him and finally eat his soul.

Gremius finally realized that the dreams were a vision. Not only did the darkness represent what he had become, but within them were a clue on how he could atone for all of his past rimes. He began searching throughout the Nektulos Forest for answers, but found nothing to give him insight on how he could “clean” the taint on his soul. Then he remembered the pirate’s stories of countless islands out within the ocean. He knew what he had to do.

Gremius began constructing a sailing vessel from the trees in the Nektulos Forest. He spent the next year trying to build a boat to take him to the island that he saw in his vision. Having left Freeport, he was now an outlaw and would be killed on sight, or else he would have just stolen a boat from the harbor. During the construction, he had much time to contemplate what he could to change his life around, but could never come about to a clear answer.

When he finally completed the boat, he sailed off into the Neriuss Flow. His plan was to sail upon the turbulent ocean, stopping at island after island, until he finally found the one in his dream. He spent many months searching island after island. On one desert isle he found to be inhabited by nothing more than numerous cyclopses, he stopped to refresh his water supplies. As he carefully looked for water, wanting not to disturb the natives, he came across an interesting sight.

A cyclops was about to kill what appeared to be a High Elf, sharing the same physical traits as many of his countless victims. Believing this to be his chance to atone for his past sins, he came up behind the cyclops and slew it before it could kill the elf. Not feeling the expected sense of absolution, Gremius looked at the elf and prepared to kill him in anger. Seeing the helpless person in front of him caused Gremius to remember the heinous actions he performed upon the worshipers in Freeport. For the first time since the day he saw his father killed, Gremius felt a long-forgotten emotion. Pity.

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 Pirate Queen and the Map

This book is titled “The Pirate Queen and the Map”. It is the first book in the five part series starring the Pirate Queen as the hero.
As the bow of the ship sliced through the waves, there was no mistaking the markings on the sails. Known throughout the Shattered Lands for being a terror on the high seas, this vessel was none other than the Painted Harpy. Though notorious from Karan to D’Lere, there was only one thing more feared than this ship, and that was her captain – The Pirate Queen Alta.

Never a more daring woman, Alta was as dangerous as she was beautiful. She crewed her ship with the most dastardly men to ever walk the deck and always paid them a fair share of the plunder. But the one treasure they wanted was always off limits. For if ever a pirate were to approach her with less than honest intentions (and that’s saying much for a pirate), the Pirate Queen would show them what happened to those unfortunate men.

Hanging from the main sails of the ship were the withered corpses of all the pirates who tried to woo the Queen. Challenging the swarthy pirate to a duel, the Pirate Queen would see to it that her opponent was not only defeated, but was humiliated before they died. Then, to keep the warning fresh in the crew’s minds, their bodies would rot from the beams of the ship.

For you see, no matter how much gold would be plundered from other vessels that dared to brave the turbulent ocean, there was only room for one thing within the heart of this nefarious pirate. For many years, she sailed the world in search of the one thing the she desired more than gold and silver – the Rubicite Heart.

The Rubicite Heart was a gem larger than anything Norrath had ever seen before. Having first heard the tale at a tavern on the docks of Freeport many years prior, she would dismiss it as being another story told over a pint of ale. Thinking nothing of it, she continued making a living boarding other ships and taking her share of ill-gotten gains.

Not until she would plunder and scuttle a merchant ship bound for a small island outpost known as the Far Seas Trade Isle would she again hear about the Rubicite Heart. Not finding anything of value on the ship she proceeded to keelhaul the ship’s captain, careful not to kill him, until he eventually confessed to the true treasure stowed away on the vessel.

The only thing him and his crew were bringing back to their headquarters was a book and a map. She ordered the crew of the ship to all walk the plank, then set fire to the schooner. Ordering her helmsman to keep sailing until they found another merchant vessel, she locked herself away within her cabin and began perusing the book.

Reading the book, she learned that it was the journal of an adventurer that lived long ago. This nameless fortune-hunter would travel far and wide looking for all manner of treasures. Though he managed to find quite a number of priceless artifacts, the only one that managed to elude him was a gem worth all of relics combined – the Rubicite Heart.

She continued to read about how he had found it in a forgotten temple deep within a dark jungle. Recording his journey, he described in detail how he overcame numerous traps and eluded the guards of this ruin. By the time she was done, Alta was convinced this gem was not only real, but it would be her ticket to retiring from her pirating ways.

Just as she closed the cover of the book, a great swell overtook the ship, rocking it violently. Not only was she knocked down, but the book flew across her desk, knocking over the lamp she used for light. The spilled lamp catching the map on fire, she was unable to put it out before it was burned to a crisp. Sadly, her one opportunity to find this priceless treasure had gone up in smoke before her very eyes.

The Legend of Puab Closk: The End

The Legend of Puab Closk: The End
by Rao Lin, Tenth Keeper of Knowledge

Near the end of The Age of Turmoil, after the betrayal of the followers of Marr, at the beginning of the malicious tyranny that is the reign of the Overlord Lucan D’Lere, the Ashen Order abandoned Freeport. Freeport became a den of evil and villainy where goodly men were fed to the soldiers of an oppressive dictatorship.

D’Lere strangled out every last drop of decency and good will from those he ruled. Puab Closk would not stay to be exploited and corrupted and neither would the Ashen Order. Puab and the Order left Freeport and traveled to the one place left unscathed by The Age of Turmoil. They traveled to the Desert of Ro, to the very pillar where Puab was given the knowledge of Arcane Combat. There they setup the monastery of T,Narev.

The Order spent many years in peace training and refining Arcane Combat under the tutelage of Puab. They found many ways to expand and adapt the concepts to many different styles of fighting. The Ashen Order monks rarely used metal weapons, preferring the purity of fists and feet, but they set aside this preference and also developed many weapon styles. The Ashen Order spent nearly two hundred years in peace atop their butte. These days of peace were shattered by the unstoppable insurgence of The Age of War. The goblinoid, mindless minions burned and pillaged where they pleased, killing everyone they found.

The wicked ran blades through the hearts of the pure. The wars seemed endless, like they would rage until every living thing in Norrath was obliterated. The Ashen Order could no longer stay secluded. They left T,Narev and ran to the aide of both Freeport and Qeynos. The stories of Puab’s conversation with Quellious spoke of this time. The Order felt this was what they prepared for. They knew the might of men would be shown in the great battles to come. The Order split into two large raiding parties composed of several small groups.

One headed to Freeport and the other to Qeynos. They fought many battles on the way to besieged cities. During these battles they noticed that in small groups their power was doubled and in some cases tripled. Certain combinations of Arcane Combat Arts produced effects more powerful than anyone had ever imagined possible. They could produce the greatest of weapons.

The Ashen Order dominated all they faced with this new weapon and turned the tide of battle for each of the cities. Many monks were lost in this war, but all fought bravely for the survival of humanity. In the end with the help of the Ashen Order the sieges at both Qeynos and Freeport were ended. The heads of the Order gathered together in the burnt remains of the Surefall Glade several nights after the great battle. The stars were obscured by the smoke of the funeral pyres, Qeynos lay in near ruins.

The Faydark was believed to be lost and all around them was heavy weight of hopelessness. That night the decision was made to give the Royal Antonican Guard, who fought so bravely beside the Ashen Order, the knowledge of Arcanic Combat. It was also decided to not give this knowledge freely to the Overlord’s minions. An emissary of the Overlord Lucan D’Lere offered to give the Ashen Order a monastery in the Commonlands. The Order considered the offer with trepidation, but also believed that not all of the citizens of Freeport were evil and therefore could not reject it.

They established the monastery and used it to help those they could and also spy on the Overlord. They were betrayed by the Overlord and raided by the Freeport Militia. Every monk residing in the Commonlands monastery was taken and tortured horribly until eventually the knowledge of Arcanic Combat was squeezed from the monks.

Arcanic Combat is now the predominant form of battle used in the post-shattered Norrath. It is the weapon that Quellious and Puab Closk gave the world. Some say that Puab Closk and the Ashen Order saved humanity, that they did, but we have also unleashed the knowledge of a great power to an unenlightened world. This is the legend and legacy of Grand Master Puab Closk.

The Legend of Puab Closk: The Beginning

The Legend of Paub Closk: The Beginning
by Rao Lin, Tenth Keeper of Knowledge

It is said by those outside of the Ashen Order that Paub Closk was a visionary, a prophet born of the womb of Quellious, sent to save the world from the tyranny and viciousness of the Gods. Some claim he single-handedly restored order to the world during the Age of War.

These are exaggerations of course, but the truth is sometimes seen as far more outrageous than the myth. Grand Master Paub Closk did indeed help to save the humanity of the world, but he also made life far more dangerous. He gave the world its greatest weapon.

Unlike some of the more fancify stories suggest, Paub Closk was born in the cith of Freeport. He was the child of a hard working merchant family. When he was seven years old his parents and the members of their trade expedition between Freeport and Highhold Keep were slaughtered by orcs. Knowing the expedition would be dangerous, Paub’s parents made arrangements with the monks of the Ashen Order to take and teach Paub in case they were killed.

The monks came for him the day his parents were murdered.

The monks taught Paub about life and Quellious. As he grew older he found consolation in the The Tranquil and pledged himself fully to her. He began spending any free time meditating and reading. Slowly he began to gain true inner peace and understanding.

His teachers believed that he was on the edge of true enlightenment and encouraged him to take lone trips away from the city. Paub took their advice and went out on many excursions to he Desert of Ro. He felt more at home in the desert.

In one of his earlist journals he describes one such trip to the desert, “The brush of sand across my cheek and the cold of the desert’s night only encourage my journey. The wind whispers to me and in it I hear myself. I am the vast openness of the desert waiting for the day’s light to burn me clean.”

His connection to the dunes was obvious.

At the age of twenty-five he was the youngest ever to be granted the title of Sensei. He taught all of his students the ways of the desert and encouraged them to mold themselves into its likeness. Paub was the finest martial arts instructor to ever grace the halls of the Ashen Order.

Nearly everyone he taught became a Sensei in their own right and each of them gives credit to Paub. He gave his position to his protege after only ten years as Sensei.

He spent most of his time meditating and expanding on his martial knowledge. He traveled far and wide to learn new martial styles from all those he could. He refined and polished every style he learned and taught it to the entire Ashen Order.

Paub was well known for disappearing into the desert for weeks at a time without telling anyone when or where he was going.

One such journet came near the end of the Age of Turmoil. Paub disappeared into the desert for well over a season. It is said that the desert called to him and he answered her call, some say it was Quellious herself that called to him. So, that was where he went.

According to his students Paub walked and walked trying to find the voice that called to him. Late one night while meditating on the crest of a dune he heard the call clear. He turned around and saw a river rushing towards him followed by a great of whirlwind sand. It is said the store devoured him and spit him out atop a large red pillar.

All recounts of what happened next are the same. All the stories say that atop this pillar of stone he spoke with Quellious and she praised him for his search of enlightenment and the purity of his mind and self. She then gifted him with the greatest of martial styles, the Acanic Combat. It is said he spent many moons training atop the pillar with no food or drink. There he mastered the styles and brought them back to the Ashen Order.