Category Archives: Keep of Immortality

The Trials of Sir Morgan

This book is of an ornate Old Antonican design. A crest appears on the cover depicting images of a sword, a long mountain trail, a storm cloud and a bridge made of titanic timbers. There is a title, “The Trials of Sir Morgan.”
Once many quatrains ago there lived a brave knight named Sir Morgan. Mighty was his blade and fearless was his soul. Along with his noble friend and squire they traveled the wilds of Old Antonica defending the helpless and defeating the evil.

One day the gods of valor spoke to noble Sir Morgan and told him to go to the great and stormy plains of the Storm Lord, Karana. There in the vastness of green and wind travelers were being assaulted by giantkin and gnollkin. Many brave knights fell to the evil in the plains, but Sir Morgan rode to the rescue.

Sir Morgan and his faithful squire set foot near the edge of a mighty bridge of timber only the giants could have built. There at the bridge he repelled wave after wave of evil making the roads safe for travelers. His reputation grew and the residents of Karana came to love him and hold celebrations in his name.

But the seeds of evil were planted. Gods of hatred and envy whispered to his foes and the brave and mighty Sir Morgan was soon to stand alone. The faithful squire was kidnapped and taken away from Sir Morgan. The humble servant of the brave knight was no where to be seen. In the squire’s tent all that remained was a note written in blood.

The note was addressed to Sir Morgan and it was a challenge to him. “Defeat each of the trials and you shall see your squire alive again.” Sir Morgan spared no time. His faithful squire was in need of rescue. With exquisite armor donned and the greatest blade in hand Sir Morgan set foot towards the trials ahead.

Sir Morgan raced to meet his first challenge at the Fields of the Corrupted, home of farmers in league with the coalition of evil that wished for the knight’s demise. There, amidst the field he arrived knowing full well that no pitchfork could dare challenge the strength of his armor, but upon arrival his true challenge lumbered forth- scarecrows! One after the other the ten effigies fell to his blade. Sticks and hay were no match for he. He then rode to his next challenge.

On thundering hooves Sir Morgan rode, racing onward to the ancient pyramid and evil uncertain. Having to dismount his steed the knight was faced with an obstacle unbecoming, the pyramid had slipped into the sea. A beguiling sextet called to him in hopes of leading him to the Hold of Prexus. Grabbing soft clay from the shoreline the knight filled his ears. He removed his armor and fearlessly swam into battle. Yet again, against odds meant to cause him defeat, Sir Morgan was victorious. And on he rode.

Sir Morgan rode across the south bridge spanning the Plaincutter River when he found himself trapped by his next trial. There on either side were Bloodsaber knights, worshipers of death and decay. The commander and his platoon marched forward, weapons drawn. In a flurry and charge Sir Morgan began to dispatch of the evil knights, tossing of them into the unyielding grasp of the river below. Surely such vile men shall rise again as a horde of revenants, but not this day. He won this battle, but with each battle his strength dwindled. Still, onward he rode.

When the brave Sir Morgan arrived at Deadview Pass the ground began to quake. He was met by hill giants whose rumble arrived before their gaze. Trapped with the Plaincutter to his back he was forced to charge upon his steed. Galloping around and around the gallant knight caused the giants to lose their balance, many fell into the river never to rise. With but one to go he was tossed from his saddle by a club made of whole timber. Lumbering closer and closer came the last giant surely to crush the disoriented knight.

Doom was upon him, he could not gain his ground. Just when all hope seemed for naught his noble steed charged forward with great speed and great might. The steed pounced upon the barrel chested giant and forced him into the river, but the steed too followed both never to rise. The great steed gave his life for the valorous knight. With his spirit nearly crushed and a long march ahead, the knight put one foot in front of the other going forward to the final trial.

In a field of ancient ruins Sir Morgan arrived. The stench of undeath permeated the rubble. Here he stepped trampling upon toppled stone and crushed bones. This was once the place of ancient magic the ruins of the Keep of Immortality, all that is left of the evil mage Varsoon. The silence was broken when a figure arose and called forth familiars of two. The arcane creature ripped and tore at even metal armor. Sir Morgan fought on despite his dwindling strength.

As all seemed to get dark a ray of blessing beamed down upon the knight. The gaze of the Twin Deities gave him great might. Sir Morgan arose from near death and slew the familiars with ease. He spied the dark shadow that let them lose darting to the hills. He gave chase.

His chase was long and his prey would not tire. When it seemed as though the chase would never end it began to slow. The figure of evil step foot upon a mound surrounded by titanic thorns, like talons or a great maw rising from the ground. The shadowy figure stood quiet and waited for Sir Morgan and the final battle.

To great shock the evil behind the trials removed the veil of secrecy. The light of dusk gave way his features, it was Squire Wimbley, his faithful servant. “Why?” the knight asked. “I tire of being the servant.” He said with an evil bellow. “Now I see the truth of your arrogance and selfish ways. I wish to be the hero, but I cannot be the hero until Sir Morgan dies!” The squire was not himself.

Unknown to the knight, the squire was possessed by the evil of an ancient amulet he procured from the remnants of a place called the Keep of Immortality. The powers of envy and hate slowly overtook him. It lead to this battle to the death. The brave knight tried to suppress the advances of his once faithful squire. He did not want to harm him, but he was forced to or his own life would have been taken. Squire Wimbley fell to his blade. Sir Morgan freed the squire from his madness and all was well once again.

Beyond the Rune

Notes by Lord Rikantus Everling
The greatest prisons are those we make for ourselves. My prison begins with my love of my daughters. My beloved daughters have been slaughtered by the accursed guardians that once cared for them. These six were once bound to my family by their curse, but the stench of betrayal is strong within this manor and such villainy soon sets into all who dwell within. Betrayal became necessary to acquire the wondrous artifacts of my family and betrayal will tear us apart and piece us back together in the shape of blasphemy.

My daughters have been cut and my sentries have fallen to blades. In this bloodbath I am imprisoned, never able to leave. No door could be opened, no window broken down. How such magic could be wielded by Pelleas is beyond my understanding. But there I found myself, alone in a house of death. But I am an Everling and the gift of the occult is my trade. I can find a way to save my daughters because I have studied with the House of Varsoon and have heard the name of Ethernere.

Ethernere is said to be a place where the dead go before they are allowed into the eternal halls of the pantheons. It is not a plane as we know planes to be. This is a dimension, a realm that exists all around us, in this space and not. Here in Ethernere is where I knew I could find my daughters and return them to the land of the living. I raced to gather my research notes taken from my time with Varsoon. These notes will craft my path and allow me to rescue my beloved daughters.

Key among Varsoon’s research was the ancient rune. It had no name, for it existed long before names. It was an ancient whisper from times unknown, but it is what he believes to be the first key to Ethernere. At the time, his goals in Ethernere were not mine, but it was a path to the unknown, the stock of my trade. We studied notes and studied the rune, a peculiar glyph rules by what looked like two intersecting triangles. Eventually, this time of research ended in failure, or so I thought. Reports soon told me that Varsoon lied and he had breached the barricades of Ethernere.

That was then and now I am placed within the blood soaked castle. It was at this time that I knew my notes could be deciphered and a way to Ethernere could be made. If I could reach such a place then I could retrieve the souls of my daughters before they moved on to eternal realms. Having done my studying, I realized I needed to piece my daughters back together. Employing my art in flesh constructs, I went about sewing together the parts of my beloved daughters. The creations were not as accurate as I had hoped, but would be sufficient as vessels until I could acquire new ones.

Performing the final steps of the arcane ritual, I began to realize that I am about to enter the realm between death’s door and the eternal gates. But I was wrong. The research undergone so very long ago within the Keep of Immortality was flawed. It was either flawed or Lord Varsoon had fed me lies on purpose. I believed the latter at first, but soon realized it would be near impossible to corrupt every one of my notes. Perhaps the destination was not the one we believed it to be. Perhaps is no more, as I soon learn.

Through powerful rituals I have opened a gateway to the unknown, a gateway to oblivion. I set foot upon the surface of a rock hurtling through a maelstrom of astronomical anomalies. I see the emptiness around me filled with flotsam and jetsam made of other hunks of rock. All is being sucked towards a blinding center as if we were in a universal whirlpool. The rocky moons about me seem lifeless, but the one I am atop is different. A tower rises from this lifeless rock. Could this be Ethernere and could this be the mythical Deathtoll Belltower? It was not.

The tower was crackling with arcane forces. The sound created boomed across the silence of this world, feeling as though it could destroy the ears of a god. Massive streams of energy burst out of the top of the tower and arced off into the void. I noticed something that nearly was lost among the many wonders. This place is close to the center of the vortex universe, but somehow fighting the speed of other bodies around it. I wondered if the arcs of light were anchoring it down in some fashion, anchoring it to what?

Having no where to go, I ventured forth towards the tower. The walk was much longer than I had estimated. The rocky terrain made the journey far more difficult as well. Luckily, I happened upon a stairwell. The brickwork was amazing and the minerals used unknown. I decided that the stairwell was just as safe as the tower and being so close, I descended. I may have chosen wrong, the descent was long, longer than the trek to the tower would have been. Suddenly, it ended and I found myself within a massive cavern.

Inside the titanic cavern I could see another tower far off across the uneven landscape. The air was brilliant and blue. Dazzling lights danced about this air as if they were schools of fish. I could see swirling vortices of arcane origins bursting forth from high on the cavern walls. Suddenly, I heard a rumbling sound. I hid. Peeking out from behind my rocky refuge I spotted a large lumbering beast. This beast was like a massive burly minotaur with eyes of red that pierced the darkness. I turned to sneak back up the stairwell, but there was no stairwell!

Having no where to retreat to, I was forced to trudge onward. I darted from shadow to shadow, outcropping to outcropping. I managed to elude the horned behemoths and draw closer to the tower, the only place I could see as a possible release to this mystery. Looking at the tower I noticed something very eerie etched onto its crown, the rune that brought me here! There atop this tower in a realm unknown was the same symbol that Varsoon had chased. It was this rune that brought us here, or did it call?

Varsoon and I traded knowledge gathered from history and across Norrath. We believed this to be a passage to Ethernere, but was it truly? Neither of us could say for sure unless we ever made it here, and here I am. Did Varsoon also find this place? The ethereal chain that bound me to Norrath tugged tight. I must find my answers soon or be forced to return empty handed, never seeing my beloved daughters again. I must enter the tower and find my answers if they do exist. Enter I did.

(The final page contains two sketches of two runes. They appear as follows: 1. The Rune of Ethernere – There is an image of two triangles turned upon each other and intersecting to create a diamond at the center. 2. The Rune of Sunder – There is an image of a swirling line such as a whirlpool would create when viewed overhead or a spiraled serpent. The Rune of Sunder has a hurried note scribbled in blood over it. “Look to the stone of the Shissar.”)

Conflict and Harmony

This book is extremely thick and must have more pages than a gnomish tinker’s design document! You attempt to slide it out, but instead the binding slides down to expose the false book as a secret vault. There are two keyholes and the lock. Above each is a small image. One image is a skull and the other is a star.

You unlock the vault and it opens with a rush of cold air. You must be crazy because you thought you heard indecipherable whispers coming from the dark recess. You reach in and discover a puzzle box called ‘The Riddle of Saryrn.’

You take it.

Creatures of the Creators Catalog

Some of the creatures found in Norrath today were created by mages for various reasons. In particular, these creations can be found in and around Nektropos Castle in Nektulos on D’Lere or within the Ruins of Varsoon in Antonica on Karan.

Nektropos Castle is the former home of Lord Rikantus Everling and is located within dark woodlands of Nektulos. The Ruins of Varsoon are in what was once called the Keep of Immortality in Antonica. It is interesting to note that despite the cataclysmic events of the past few hundred seasons, both D’Lere and Antonica have ancient keeps with their unfortunate inhabitants.

Externally, Nektropos Castle and the Ruins of Varsoon enjoy (if that can be said) the same weather patterns as the regions in which they are located. Internally, the air within these ancient buildings remains charged with the mystic energies of their former owners. Though dark and occasionally damp, they are both remarkably well-preserved.

Flora within these structures is limited to lichens, which form on the stone surfaces on the northern and eastern interior rooms. As the structures are enclosed (or nearly completely underground, as with the Ruins of Varsoon), light is diffused or nonexistent. Fungi grow in organic litter on the lowest floors of these buildings.

Constructed creatures are generally considered part of the “golem” family of creatures, regardless of their outward appearance. However, magical constructs also exist and can include mundane objects such as books or statues that will reanimate only upon being disturbed. That makes travel through the Ruins of Varsoon and Nektropos Castle particularly dangerous, as potentially anything could be a dormant creature.