Category Archives: Halas

The Remembrance – Al`Kabor and Sir Jevik Isqual

“As a calming breeze flows through the land, the waves of the Ocean of Tears sway gently with the ship that carries the Chosen One of Tunare as this fair maiden makes her way to the city of Freeport. The mighty ship Siren’s Bane pulls into the city of Freeport.”

The Siren’s Bane, carrying Firiona Vie, Thubr Axebringer and Sionachie Heartsinger, docked in East Freeport. It was a long and somber journey for them. They traveled from Greater Faydark where Firiona met up with Lorisyn and Lyirae Oakwynd, the ranger twins. Villains from the past who they had encountered some time in the past had killed Lorisyn. Thubr told Firiona about the others that she needed to find. He told her that the human Paladin of Marr and the Erudite would be found in Freeport. During the trip, Sionachie amused them by playing music. Thubr kept them company by drinking his dwarven ale.

Thubr Axebringer reached his hand out to the high elven beauty’s arm to assist her off the boat. “Careful milady!” Looking out over the buildings of Freeport, Thubr said wistfully, “Freeport, the trading hub of the world. It’s filled with thieves, smugglers, crooked guards, dangerous mages creeping through the gutters, and of course all the ale ye can drink. Welcome to Freeport milady. Ye are sure to find that blasted Erudite amongst this scum.” Thubr led them to West Freeport, where he believed they could find the Erudite wizard, Al`Kabor, studying and researching at the Academy of the Arcane Sciences.

Firiona Vie motioned to Sionachie to follow her, as she was led by the dwarf. Thubr continued to swig from the flask of dwarven wine he had brought with him from Faydwer. Emptying the one flask, he rifled through his pack and finding yet another, uncorked the cap.

Thubr stumbled slightly as he stopped to get his bearings in the city. “I know it’s around here somewhere, I jus’ can’t see straight at the moment.”

Sionachie giggled to herself, “Perhaps we can rest here and get one of these citizens to assist us by seeking him out.”

Stopping some passers by, Thubr addressed them, “Friends, excuse me. Can one of ye go seek out the Erudite at the Arcane Sciences Hall? Tell ‘im some old friends are here waiting for ‘im. Don’t tell ‘im who sent ye, it’s a surprise. We’ll be right here on the grass.”

The strangers agreed and went forth in search of the Erudite. Thubr settled himself on the grass, sitting down heavily. “Milady, that sure was a pretty boat ride wasn’t it? The bartender and I became best of buddies.”

Firiona agreed, “Aye, it was Thubr. I do hope we find the others. My memories are still not completely recovered, and you never mentioned their names. Who are they?”

Thubr Axebringer laughed deeply and said, “I apologize milady, but I’m having trouble rememberin’ me own name at this point.” The three laughed and continued to talk as they sat upon the grass, the warm sun shining upon them as it began to set in the west.

“Al`Kabor, ol’ buddy.” Thubr stammered. “It sure is good to see you again. Here have a sip of ale.”

Al`Kabor in his usual stubborn manner, pushed the mug away from him, “Get that dwarven poison away from me.”

As Firiona Vie looked at the tall, mysterious man closely, she took a step back and tried not to fall as a vision came to her. “I… I remember you now.” Recovering, she bowed gracefully toward him. As her staff touched his shoulder, a puzzled look crossed the wizard’s face. He felt a stream of memories flow back to him like a torrent.

Al`Kabor studied the high elven female for a moment, then drew back slightly, stroking his chin. One eyebrow rose in an unusual display of surprise. “Fair lady, I must admit, it is indeed a pleasure to see you again. It has been a long time since we last traveled together.”

Firiona Vie told him of her intention to journey to the far off land to seek out the Ring of Scale and find out why her memory was taken from her. “The Ring of Scale is responsible for my memory loss… and for yours as well sir,” Firiona said bluntly.

Al`Kabor hesitated with astonishment as he recalled the Ring of Scale and the possibility the memories had been stolen from him. “My memory? Nonsense! I remember everything,” he lied.

He was concerned that the Ring of Scale might have control of greater powers then himself. He was very interested in traveling with her to confront the Ring of Scale. He agreed to go on the journey to the new continent.

News of the arrival in Freeport of Tunare’s chosen traveled quickly. Sir Jevik Isqual had just finished his shift at the Freeport Guard House in North Freeport, when he heard the whispers on the breeze.

Once he made his way through the crowd gathered around her, he knelt before her. He considered her the most beautiful creature throughout Norrath.

“Milady!” Sir Jevik Isqual removed his helm. “Milady, it is an honor to be in your presence once again. I have missed our travels from days past. Protecting you was a great honor for me. I hope I can be of service to you again, milady.”

Firiona Vie remembered him from their travels long ago. Explaining what she must do, he was very concerned for her safety. “No! No, milady! You shouldn’t seek out the Ring of Scale. It would be too dangerous for you to journey there.”

“I must approach the Ring of Scale to find out why my memory was taken from me” she explained.

“Your memory milady? The Ring of Scale is dangerous. I do not think you will find the answers you seek.”

“Milord, I must try. Once I have gathered the others that remember that battle long ago, I shall start my journey. Will you journey with us milord?”

“If I cannot talk you out of going, milady, I will journey with you as your protector.”

Sir Jevik reminded her of the barbarian female, Dagda Icefury, in Halas but informed Firiona that he could not journey with her to the North. “Milady, I cannot let you travel there alone. Please wait until I have finished my duties here in Freeport. I will travel to Halas with you then.”

“Thank you milord, but I must hurry to Halas. I cannot wait. Lyirae will travel with me. She is the sister of the dearly departed Lorisyn.”

“Sister? Departed? Milady, what happened to Lorisyn?” Jevik asked.

“He was recently killed by a group of villains named Rogkasth and Ghargin led by a dark elven female named Vahlai Ka`Izal. I found out about his sister beforehand.”

Jevik said sharply, “Rogkasth! That foul Troll. I regret that I had not the chance to kill him long ago. Milady, I hope he did not come close to you.”

“Milord, do not be concerned for me.”

“Take care on your trip to Halas then. I wish I could journey there with you.”

Al`Kabor took a step forward and said, “She will be safe, Paladin. Their kind would not venture to that icy land of the barbarians.”

“Aye, milord. I will be safe. I will be in save hands with these. Fear not.” Firiona Vie and her companions set out toward Halas.

The Heater

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Blood of the Bear, Part Three

This brings to a close the Northland legend told of Kiva and Benno, who helped bring victory to the Northmen.
Once they reached the river, Benno picked Kiva up to carry her across the icy water. An arrow flew past them, then another. Without breaking stride, Benno retreated into the woods with Kiva still in his arms. He made an angry sound that reminded Kiva of a growl. The Horde had come to this part of the Northlands at last.

“We will cross lower down,” Benno said, his dark eyes glittering. “I will take you back to your village; they are here for me.” Kiva said, “The Horde care nothing for whom they kill.” Benno shook his head. “They have seen me and know where I am from.” He put Kiva gently on the ground and took her face into his hands. “I am not what I seem,” he said and Kiva gasped as she recognized him. He was of the bear people.

Benno nodded. “It is true; I am a bear. From the moment I first saw you, I knew that I must stay with you; that is why I am in this form. Now, we must hasten away. The Horde hunts me for my blood. They drink it, thinking it will give them my strength — but that is not how one becomes a bear.” Benno kissed her forehead and said, “You are now marked by a bear.”

Kiva listened intently; the mark Benno had placed on her forehead gave her the sharp hearing of the bear. She could hear the Horde cursing farther up the river. Staying close behind him, Kiva followed Benno as he loped through the woods until he came to a place where they could cross the river safely. Picking her up again, Benno crossed the river and they headed toward her village.

“Your people will be safe in my cave,” Benno said. Kiva shook her head. “No, we will not hide,” she said. “The Horde thinks to overrun all the Northland but we cannot let them. If we defeat them here, it will give strength to our people.” Benno nodded. “Then we will fight. I will go with you.” The pair ran swiftly back to Kiva’s village where they sounded the alert. The defenses were swung into motion while they made their plans.

“The Horde is at the river; orcs only and I sense they are afraid of something,” Benno told the village elders once Kiva introduced him. “I know not what. This is the time to push them back. Push them back beyond Halas.” The village leaders agreed. This time they would be the aggressors and slay the Horde. “I go with you; I must avenge my clan,” said Benno.

Kiva said, “We should drive them into the river and let them freeze. They will sink under the weight of their gear and be unable to reach the riverbank.” Benno added, “I will cross and attract their attention; while they are looking at me, push ahead.” After a quick debate, the elders agreed that this plan might work. If nothing else, it would reduce the numbers of orcs that they would need to fight hand-to-hand. The villagers set off for the river.

They found the Horde milling along the riverbank, obviously intending to cross it but unable to agree on how. Benno slipped away and soon enough, they saw him on the opposite bank near the woods. So did the orcs. Howling, they turned to face him, stringing arrows and aiming their spears. Benno stayed just out of reach, taunting them.

“Now!” cried Kiva. She and the villagers burst out from their hiding place. The surprised orcs did not know which way to turn. Some fled into the river. Some turned toward the villagers. There was enough confusion that the villagers pressed the orcs back until they were all in the icy waters. They were too heavy-laden to reach the riverbanks and either froze or drowned.

This victory marked a turning point against the Horde. The villagers spread the word as quickly as they could, heartening the clans and giving them the hope to take back their own towns. Then the clans united to take back Halas. Kiva and Benno married then and through their union, the strength of the bear still flows in the veins of the Northmen.

Rise of the Orcs – The Rejoining

“Rise of the Orcs – The Rejoining”
Second Edition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rise of the Orcs – The Deadtime

“Rise of the Orcs – The Deadtime”
Second Edition

This book details the histories of several orcish tribes when they were nothing more than savage beasts.

The following historical account details the early years of the orcish people. Not much is known about these savages, for most that has been written about them speak only of their predations rather than their personal histories. The following facts have been taken from many different sources ranging from fragments of parchment to tales told by elderly elves.

The Deathfist Orcs – Before the Rending, Antonica was much larger than it is today. Many orcs would roam this once great continent, banding together in tribes. One of these tribes called themselves the Deathfist orcs. Making their home near the city of Freeport, they were a deadly threat to travelers.

Preying upon merchant caravans traveling to the nearby fortress of Highhold, the Deathfist orcs would acquire goods of all types, ranging from foodstuffs to finely crafted weapons. Attracting the attention of nearby brigands, they would ultimately come to an unspoken agreement to not get in each other’s ways, sometimes even joining forces with each other.

Working alongside their Dervish Cutthroat partners, the Deathfists would become enough of a threat to Freeport that the city started issuing bounties for proof of their deaths. This would continue for many years to come, but the city was never able to fully exterminate these ruthless savages.

Snow Orcs – One of several tribes of orcs living on the great continent of Antonica, the Snow Orcs had managed to thrive by choosing to migrate to a desolate, frozen wasteland. Living in the land that was once called Everfrost, the Snow Orcs had only one major enemy to contend within upon those frozen plains – the barbarians of Halas.

An uneasy peace would exist between their barbarian neighbors and themselves. Due to this truce, The Snow Orcs were able to devote more time to worshipping their god than their other tribal counterparts in other lands. One of the few tribes known to have shown signs of having more than just animal-level thought, the Snow Orcs would create small temples to perform primitive rituals and ceremonies to Rallos Zek.

The barbarian clans would eventually unite, causing the shaky truce to come to and end. Destroying every temple they could find, the barbarians would wage war upon the Snow Orcs for the coming centuries. During this time, the Snow Orcs would revert to savagery, all but forgetting their shamanistic qualities.

The Crushbone Orcs – Another tribe that would by migrating far away were the Crushbone Orcs. In a weird chapter of orcish history, the Crushbone tribe would build a great fleet of crude boats and rafts and sail off to the former continent of Faydwyr. Never before had anyone seen a level of ingenuity evidenced by these primal savages. Many of the orcs would survive the crossing of the ocean, which is the most astounding part of this tale.

Wasting no time in making new enemies upon this new continent, the Crushbone orcs would begin warring with the native dwarves and soon after, the elves. Being overwhelmed by the cooperation of the dwarves and elves, the orcs would be routed battle after battle. Were it not for finding an abandoned outpost in a secluded vale, the Crushbone tribe’s history would have ended there.

Using the fort as a base of operations, the Crushbone orcs would soon begin to turn the table on the elves and dwarves. Launching surprisingly organized raids upon the tree city of Kelethin, the Crushbone orcs would become a force of destruction rather than annoyance. Eventually seeking aid from adventuring types, the elves would find that the Crushbone orcs had organized into a haphazard army, but one that could not easily be put down even with the combined might of the elven and dwarven nations. In hindsight, this would be the first warning of what was to come.

Over Halas

“Over Halas” by Nicholl Silverfrost of Clan MacNeacail, bard. This is an excerpt from a much larger poem that describes the Shattering, its impact on the Northlands and how even after living in the south for generations, the Northmen dream of returning home.
Though snow fell soft as silk
Upon stone and street, now silent
Flames and fire finished Halas
Stone rains falling from the sky
My father’s fathers were there
My mother’s mothers as well
Standing uncertain, outside the walls
Across the sky, the moons aglow
Gazing upwards, seeing the stars
Breathing in the beauty of the night
Then in silence, a shining spark
A streak through Luclin’s side
Stars are simply ice in the sky
Snow and ice surround Halas
The lake’s icy surface gleams
In the reflected light of stars
Across the silent, snowy hills
Snow sparkles in the sun
And under the stars as well
The sky, streaked with silver
And so they stared upwards
The father of my fathers
And mother of my mothers
Stars across the moon like tears
All now look towards Luclin
Packs on shoulders strapped
Sledges pulled along the trails
In splendor and silence, Luclin falls
Falls now on Halas stone rains
Fires feasting upon our fortress
Streets of stone burst beneath
The fiery tears of the falling moon
Orcs could not crumble her
Nor gnolls gnaw at her bones
Over Halas, Luclin shattered
Into silver stars across the sky
Sons of the fathers before us
And Northland daughters wait as well
For day we find our way northward
For the day we rebuild our home

Journal of a Disciple of Marr

Collected notes

Of late, I have had trouble sleeping. I close my eyes, and visions spring to life, as real as if I were there. I have always been a faithful follower of Mithaniel Marr, and my conscience is clear, so why do I dream so frequently these days of him and his twin? I begin to have trouble distinguishing what I know to be real from what I have seen in my dreams. In an attempt to keep my mind clear, I have decided to write down what scraps of meager knowledge I possess regarding the Marr twins. Perhaps by putting it in writing, I can ease my visions.

Tarew Marr: the Fathom Lord, the first member of the Triumvirate of Water. He is father to the twins Mithaniel and Erollisi Marr. He is the sole lord and commander of the liquid form of water, and both dreaded and revered by sailors and all those who live at the mercy of the sea.

Erollisi Marr: sister of Mithaniel and daughter of Tarew, she is called the Queen of Love, and reigned over the Plane of Love. Her followers believe that love can conquer all. They are passionately devoted to people, places and ideas and are more than willing to fight and die to preserve those things. The dream of every follower of Erollisi is to die in the selfless defense of someone or something they love.

Mithaniel Marr: brother of Erollisi and son of Tarew, he is known as the Truthbringer, and governs the Plane of Valor. His followers believe in truth, valor, and righteousness, and will fight to the death to protect the innocent and defend these values.

The Eight Virtues of Marr: Charity; Compassion; Devotion; Honor; Love; Sacrifice; Truth; and Valor.

I spoke some time ago to Sir Bayden Cauldthorn, prophet of Mithaniel Marr. He told me the frogloks and Northmen were not the Marr twins’ first creations, as commonly believed. There was a time when Mithaniel and Erollisi walked upon Norrath, unnoticed by the other, more elder gods. In the naivety of their youth, they thought they could be like the other gods and sought to create mortals of their own. And so Mithaniel Marr created the minotaur race, intended to personify honor and courage.

Alas, the inexperienced twins did not know how best to guide them and provide moral grounding. When Rallos Zek, the Warlord, saw the fearless minotaur in battle, he enticed them to join his army. Mithaniel was powerless to stop Rallos Zek from using the minotaur in his attack against the Plane of Earth, and as a consequence could not prevent them from being cursed for their part in the slaying of the Rathe Council. Due to the curse, the minotaur have remained in a primitive state, unable to build upon the achievements or progress of themselves or others. Sir Cauldthorn told me this has always been a source of grief and regret for Marr.

It was Katey Dalwynn of the Sisters of Erollisi who recently told me the sad news obtained from the Shard of Love. Erollisi Marr was struck down in the Plane of Valor by a trap intended for her brother; when he returned to find her dead, all he could do was bring her body back to her realm. Here it remained sealed in a crystal casket while Mithaniel m,mourned her death. When Mithaniel realized he was mistaken to have tried to trap the essence of love, even with the best of intentions, he shattered the crystal casket and freed Erollisi’s essence. He returned to tend his own realm, which had also fallen into neglect while he mourned his sister.

I sought Sister Katey once again when these visions started, but without success. It appears Sisters of Erollisi have returned to their hidden isle in the Ocean of Tears to mourn, now that Erollisi’s passing has been confirmed.

The dreams continue to persist. Sometimes I awake more tired than I was before sleeping. I see the Marr twins as they must have been in times long past, healthy and happy together. But then I see the face of Mithaniel, deeply lined with grief and sadness. I see Erollisi struck down dead, but I cannot make out what attacks her. Sometimes I see her lying dead, sometimes I see her sealed into a crystal casket, and sometimes – inexplicably- I see her likeness carved in stone. I see Halas burning in the night, as the armies of Zek overrun it, and then shattered as the skies fall and tear it asunder. But I also see Halas being built, by scores of strong Northmen and heroic fogloks and strange dwarves all working together.

What mean these dreams? Do they contain some message, or are they lies sent by the enemies of Marr, hoping to spread further confusion before Mithaniel Marr can reestablish himself in his place after his long mourning? I will continue to pray for guidance and try to understand. Writing these thoughts down has at least eased my mind somewhat and helped to clear my thoughts.

In Search of the Wooly Mammoth

In Search of the Wooly Mammoth
Second Edition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Handbook of the Ravens of the North

Halas, the ancestral home of the Northmen, is no more. Torn asunder by years of fighting with the snow orcs, the city was finally razed to the ground by the fiery chunks of Luclin raining down to fulfill the shaman’s prophecy: “On the night of fire, Halas shall be consumed by earth. Blood shall flow like water, for death travels through the air.” Yet the sons and daughters of the Marr twins will not go quietly into the Gray Wastes, nor shall we leave our beloved Erollisi Marr unguarded as she travels those lands. Where she now lies, let us go too. We shall rebuild New Halas to stand guard by her shrine, and never again shall we turn our backs on our home.
–Nikolas MacCraifft, the White Raven

The life of an artisan is not for everyone, yet those who answer its call prosper not only in body and spirit but also in mind. And of course, one cannot overlook the financial gains possible through hard work and dedication to one’s art. Being an artisan is not a path for everyone, but those who follow this way of life find it worthy of their time and effort.

Your first step to becoming an artisan is to visit the hall of the Ravens of the North. This should be marked on your map. Inside you will find some representatives of the Ravens, a fuel vendor, and the tradeskill delegate. The tradeskill delegate can teach you more about how to become an artisan.

In order to create items, an artisan will need to obtain raw harvests. These can be purchased from others, but the cheapest alternative, and one that the Ravens of the North endorse, is to gather your own. You can harvest appropriate supplies to begin learning to craft in areas around New Halas. The main isle supplies the first harvests you will require, and materials for more advanced crafting can be found on the outer isles.

Every artisan’s skills and desires can take them on different paths through life. You will find new doors open to you and you continue to grow and prosper as a local artisan. As you progress in skill, you will decide which type of craft to specialize in. To choose your specialty, you will speak to the Crafting Trainer who is within the hall of the Ravens of the North.

As you gain in skill, you will be able to purchase new recipes from the Crafting Trainer also. Advanced recipes that will teach you to make more valuable mastercrafted items can be obtained through adventuring, or from those who adventure. The broker is a good resource to search for these, if you have not yet made the acquaintance of many others in your new home.

The Ravens of the North are comprised of all artisans and merchants who own shops within New Halas. This faction manages the city’s broker system, and all vendors who use them pay a tax used for their upkeep. The artisans of Halas are always quick to lend a helping hand, and have been an essential and driving force behind the establishment of New Halas. While their fins skills and craftsmanship can earn them a comfortable living, they realize that no amount of profit is worth more than seeing the successful establishment of New Halas.

As you increase in skill as an artisan, you may offer to provide your services to aid the city of Halas. Representatives of the Ravens of the North will offer you work order tasks for items that are currently needed for use or trade. Completing these tasks will not only earn you experience in your trade and a small monetary reimbursement, but will also improve your standing in the eyes of the Ravens of the North. Work order representatives can be found in the hall of the Ravens of the North.

If you earn sufficient status with the Ravens of the North to merit membership, their faction merchant located in their hall will sell you a title certificate should you wish to purchase an official title from the society. You will also be granted access to purchase a number of other amenities including house items, uniforms, and some of the society’s most closely-guarded recipes. Membership in the Ravens of the North is not mandatory, but there are rewards should you wish to dedicate yourself to their cause.

As you advance in your trade, consider the path you wish to pursue. There are three main branches of craft: the craftsmen, the outfitters, and the scholars. Once you progress to the ninth rank of skill you will need to choose which branch, or archetype, you wish to pursue. At your nineteenth rank of skill, you will choose your final specialty. As you specialize, you will continue to learn new recipes in your area of specialty, but you will no longer learn recipes for crafts in other areas.

The three types of craftsmen are: carpenter, provisioner, and woodworker. Carpenters make furniture for decorating your home, strong boxes for bank storage, altars, and sales containers for use on the broker. Provisioners make food and drink to keep adventurers fighting in top form. And woodworkers make wooden weapons and shields, bows and arrows, magical totems, and harvesting tools.

Outfitters are armorers, tailors and weaponsmiths. Armorers specialize in plate and chainmail armor, and metal shields. Tailors make cloth and leather armor, fancy dress clothing, hex dolls, backpacks and containers for thrown ammo. Weaponsmiths specialize in metal weapons of all types.

Scholars are alchemists, jewelers, and sages. Alchemists specialize in potions and poisons, and also make combat art upgrades for fighter types. Jewelers make items of jewelry, and also combat art upgrades for scout types. And sages make spell upgrades for mages and healers.

Besides the nine main artisan trades, there are also the skills of tinkering and transmuting that can be learned by anybody, in addition to their normal profession. Tinkering is the process created by gnomes many centuries ago. It is the art of making mechanical gadgets and gizmos to make life a little easier. You can create devices that will enhance your own abilities in combat; most of these can only be safely operated by yourself and other tinkerers, however, as the mechanisms are far too complex for non-tinkerers to understand. Since many tinkered items are adventuring-related, it can be a useful secondary craft to augment an adventurer’s abilities.

Transmuting is the art of breaking down unused items into components and using the results to make Adornments. Adornments are items that can be applied to your equipment to permanently enhance the equipment. Only those who have studied the skill of Adorning can create Adornments. However, any interested Artisan may learn Transmuting, Adorning, Tinkering, or all three. Those interested in learning more about tinkering, transmuting, or adorning can consult trainers available on the continent of Faydwer, in the city of Kelethin or at the docks in Butcherblock Mountains.

Should you decide at any time to change your profession as an artisan,the career counselor at the hall of the Ravens of the North can assist you in retraining to start a new profession.

Should you choose to pursue the life of an artisan, you may wish to keep this manual in your room for reference as needed. It is not a path for everyone to follow, but those who pursue it can be of great service to their friends and city if they choose to. Establish your reputation by doing your best at whatever task is before you. Over time, you will build your own clientele of satisfied customers who clamor for your work. The entire city of New Halas is a labor of love by its artisans, filled with many beautiful carvings and more still to come. We look forward to adding your work towards the enhancement of our city!

Donnghail – Clan McNaggle

Donnghail – Clan McNaggle
Second Edition

This is a copy of the journal kept by a chieftain of the barbarian people of Halas. It chronicles the sad end of Halas.

Entry One : The orcs have been riled up, but I donna know what’s gotten into them. It’s my job to find out, though. I canna have them causing any more problems to our people than they already have. I just hope the Tribunal has judged us worthy enough to keep the peace and to smite those beasts down before they get outta hand.

Entry Two: A couple of hunting parties have come back and told us chieftains that the orcs are gathering together. We’re beginning to think that we should have voted differently during last thaw’s vote. Choosing to stop attacking those beasts for the time being so that we don’t wipe them out like the mammoths may have been in folly. I only hope this isn’t an omen of things to come.

Entry Three: Those blasted orcs have been amassing in greater numbers since we last checked on them. Two scouting parties never returned, and the only survivor of the third have confirmed our greatest fears. The orcs now have an army that numbers in the thousands. Though it’s impossible to think of it, we may have to prepare for war against the monsters.

Entry Four: Our worst fears have come to pass. The massive war party of the orcs are on the move. From what the spotters have told us, they seem to be moving in the direction of our town. I’ve ordered the hunters to gather as much food as they can find. In one week we will draw the rafts back from the shore and allow no access into the city. I can only wonder what crime we have performed that would cause the Tribunal to sentence us to this punishment.

Entry Five: They’ve spent the past two weeks digging through the collapsed tunnels. Those monsters can’t get in, but nor can we get out. We have enough frozen food to last us a long time, but the orcs don’t seem as if they’re going to give up anytime soon. I’ve had to double the shifts of the guards, just in case those beasts breach the defenses.

Entry Six: The blasted buggers broke through, but they didn’t know what they were getting into. It’s one thing to start a fight with us barbarians, but attack our home? ATTACK OUR HOME?! Now they’ll see what unbridled fury looks like. They thought we were angry before? Now they’re gonna get what’s coming to them!

Entry Seven: We’ve got them on the run! Chopping through hundreds of orcs at a time, those beasts have seen what happens when you cross one of the True Men. Axes swinging, we mowed through their numbers with a fury they’ve never seen before. Now it’s time to hunt down all the stragglers. No one attacks Halas and expects to live long enough to tell stories about it. AHHAAA! I haven’t felt this alive in years!

Entry Eight: The shaman have failed us. They say the Tribunal no longer passes any judgments, nor do they respond to our questions. We chieftains will delay our vote to the last minute, in hopes that the Tribunal deems what is about to happen to Halas as a great injustice. For the orcs that our men wiped out was nothing more than the forward party. The true army of orcs is still on their way. And their numbers are in the tens of thousands.

Entry Nine: We have passed a vote that no barbarian chieftain should ever have to decide upon. With a heavy heart, we have sent many of the children and elderly away from Halas before the orcs arrive. Guiding them will be the men and women who cannot fight. They will go to the city of Qeynos and request help from their troops. I pray the Tribunal guides them there safely.

The orcs are upon us, and we fight night and day. We will not just allow these beasts to walk in with an invitation. if they want Halas, they’ll pay for it with fields of their lost blood. I only hope our people make it to Qeynos. They weren’t told the real reason for their exodus. They are our only hope for survival – Halas is doomed.