Category Archives: Lake Rathetear

Through the Rathe Mountains


In this book, we follow the adventures of Gerren from his outpost on Lake Rathetear through the Rathe Mountains which have been taken by the Rallosian Army.
Gerren dressed simply. His task would require stealth and speed, for the aviaks reported bands of ogres patrolling the familiar paths through the Rathe Mountains. If Gerren were to break through their lines, he would need to blaze his own trail. And Gerren definitely needed to make his way through — he and fellow Guardsman Ilkalla had been at the Qeynos’ outpost on Lake Rathetear for several months while the Rallosian Army crept closer. Now, the Rallosians were building an enormous barge to carry them across the water.

Ilkalla pressed a dried gnoll’s foot into Gerren’s hand. “For luck,” she said. “I don’t know why, but we’ve always had that in our family; I want you to carry it with you on this journey.” Neither of them said it, but they both knew it was true: the likelihood of his making it through was the equivalent of the aviaks and centaurs holding the Rallosians off. They did not expect to see each other again. After a quick meal, Gerren took a little-traveled way up the face of the slope along the edge of the Lake.

“I can see now why this is travelled so infrequently,” Gerren muttered, pausing for a moment to catch his breath. The rocky mountain face was so steep that in some points, Gerren would need to retrace his steps to consider the options from several angles. Once, a slice of rock upon which he was perched gave way and he slid down quite a distance before being able to stop himself.

Three-quarters of the way up was a cleft in the rocks through which this path passed. The splintered boulders forming the opening folded over on the side facing the Lake, making it impossible to peer around. Gerren knew that if the Rallosians were already on the pathway beyond the rocks, he was doomed. There was no quick escape route. He unsheathed his knife and the gnoll’s foot Ilkalla had given him tumbled out, bouncing off the rocks down the face of the mountain.

“There goes the lucky gnoll’s foot,” Gerren thought, with a smile. Somehow, the idea that the foot of a dead creature could be lucky was amusing. He slipped through the cleft and found the way clear. Tension released in his neck, although he was still wary as he felt his way to another cluster of granite boulders marking another turn in the path.

Hill giants! Gerren leaned back into the boulders, blending himself into the rocks. The Rallosian Army was not the only thing in the Rathe Mountains, but hill giants were not usually found near this forlorn area. Perhaps they, too, had been displaced by the invading ogres. Gerren watched them as they milled around for several minutes before striding off down the narrow, featureless road.

Gerren waited until the sun was directly overhead before moving. There was a stretch of the passage with no easy alternative route — not that the ways he had been traveling had been easy at all. Still, with the sun above he would cast no shadows and might be able to slip undetected across the roadway. Even covered by his superior camouflage, Gerren knew that there were things he could do to make himself even less visible to his enemies.

The roadway was clear and Gerren slipped into the shadows of another clutch of boulders. He paused there to listen for the sounds of pursuit, but there was only silence. That in itself was worrisome, as there were usually birds trilling or insects buzzing. Gerren would even welcome the wuffing sounds of the great bears. “Everything must be hiding from the Rallosians,” he thought, “Perhaps I should get lower to the ground myself.”

Calming himself, Gerren spent a moment recalling the spells of transformation. He remembered amusing Ilkalla on their watches by changing himself into a wolf and padding around, sniffing things. He said a quick prayer for her and the small force by Lake Rathetear, then cast his spell. Energy rippled within him and he shook himself to spread it through to the very tips of his dark fur.

Gerren set off through the rocks, keeping always to the shaded side of the paths. The club that hit him in the back of his head was so quick and brutal that he did not feel a thing as he slumped lifeless to the ground. “Found something for dinner!” yelled the troll that had killed him. The gleeful yelps greeting this cry echoed through the otherwise watchful Rathe Mountains.

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The Lady of the Lake


Waiting for an inevitable war is never easy. In this book, we meet two Qeynosian Guards at an outpost on Lake Rathetear who find themselves on the edge of war and far from home.

The drums echoed in the Rathe Mountains and reverberated through the deep waters of Lake Rathetear. They were victory drums, sounded by the ogres of the new Rallosian Army. They had taken the mountains and now their drums warned of their advance to the Lake itself. Aviak scouts reported their progress and numbers. There were so many ogres and trolls, it was said that the road was blackened by their shadows as far as the aviak eye could see.

“Why do they come here?” asked Ilkalla, one of the Qeynosian guards stationed at the Lake. “Because they can,” responded Gerren, the other guard. “And here we are, unable to send word to Qeynos. We will die fighting alongside these savages.” “Do not say such a thing,” Ilkalla said uncomfortably. “They have treated us very kindly since word of the Rallosian Army reached them. You may not like them, but the aviaks have offered us shelter in these uncertain times.?

Smoke curled on the opposite shore of the Lake Rathetear, which obscured whatever the Rallosian Army was doing. The drums in the mountains had stopped. Other than the acrid tang of smoke drifting across the water, one might forget that the ogres were there. A squadron of aviaks swooped low into the smoke to get a closer look; their report was not encouraging. The ogres were apparently cutting down massive numbers of trees, stripping their bark and sharpening their ends into spikes.

Ilkalla wondered what the ogres would do with spikes the size of trees. It seemed unlikely they would build a fortification; they were on the offense not defense. “We must get closer…but so far the aqua goblins in the Lake are not cooperating with us. I must make them understand the danger to us all. If I can get safe passage, I could find out what the Rallosians are planning.” The aqua goblins had for the most part retreated to their lairs in the midst of the Lake, trusting its deep waters to keep them safe.

One of the aviaks that Ilkalla had befriended went with her to the aqua goblins’ chief. The discussion was disappointing to some extent, as the chief was more interested in the baubles Ilkalla had brought as gifts than he was in the danger posed by the Rallosians. It took the better part of the morning before he agreed to allow her safe conduct through the Lake. “I don’t speak for them sharks, though,” the chief said with a snicker. Ilkalla was a strong swimmer though and knew how to deal with the sharks.

Under cover of darkness, Ilkalla slipped off through the black water. She opted for a small coracle and paddled silently across the Lake. The smoke that drifted across the water may have hidden the ogres’ activities but it also provided Ilkalla with excellent concealment from any watching eyes. She soon found out that if anyone were watching her, it wasn’t the ogres. They were apparently so confident of victory that they set no watch along the shore.

Though she was tired from her trip across the Lake, Ilkalla knew she could not stop to rest. She must find out what the ogres were doing and then paddle back across the Lake without being caught. Pausing to listen for indications that she had been seen, Ilkalla methodically investigated the narrow beach until she found what she was seeking. The ogres were not using the sharpened tree trunks to build a fort; they were building a raft.

Quickly, Ilkalla returned to the coracle and paddled quickly back where Gerren and the aviak leaders waited for her. “They’re planning to transport themselves across the Lake,” Ilkalla panted as soon as she stepped ashore. “They are building a raft, a barge of immense size to carry their troops. It is nearly done.” She sank to the shore and inhaled deeply. “We need help.”

Gerren pushed back his hair and said, “The time to send for help is long past. The aqua goblins may have let you pass once, but they will surely side with the ogres and trolls.” Ilkalla nodded, adding, “We must make for Karana and thence to Qeynos.” Gerren laughed, “I would not let you take all the glory, my friend. You crossed the Lake; I will cross the mountains. The aviaks will not be able to stand alone.”

“They stand not alone,” said a deep, rumbling voice nearby. Ilkalla and Gerren turned, startled to see a centaur. He bowed and said, “The aviaks sent word to us. While we have not always agreed on things, this is different. This is war.” Ilkalla slowly stood, looking over her shoulder across the dark water. “Yes,” she said softly, “This is definitely war.”

Red Lake


In this book, we see the Rallosian Army’s advance through the eyes of Ilkalla, a Qeynosian Guard at an outpost on Lake Rathetear.
For as long as she could, Ilkalla watched Gerren’s progress up the steep cliffs bordering Lake Rathetear. Even when she could no longer pick him out among the shadows cast by the jagged rocks, she fancied she could see him making his way cautiously along. Finally, she crept into the hut she and Gerren had shared beside their outpost and slept. The Rallosian Army would launch its barges across the Lake and she would need her strength to meet them.
The sun was high overhead when Ilkalla awoke. Her dreams were troubled by the thrumming of the ogres’ victory drums which had started up again while she slept. “Why couldn’t they use a victory flute instead?” she grumbled, latching on to the least of the concerns this day would bring. She had been able to cross the Lake on a coracle twice in one night, but she had been pulling only herself. She was not sure how long the massive, heavy Rallosians barges would take to make the same crossing.
There were very few humans around Lake Rathetear. Ilkalla was the only one present at the strategy meeting, where the aviak and centaur leaders stood before parchment maps, marking off the approaches across the Lake and the defensive positions available. The wide arrows indicating the ways the Rallosian Army could attack were wide swathes of red ochre compared to the tiny ash grey lines for defense. To Ilkalla, the ochre marks looked like dried blood.
“The best course of action is to stop them before they cross,” said Khaza, an aviak general. “The aqua goblins will join with the ogres, not with us. We have fought them too long for them to suddenly consider us their allies,” responded Errod of the centaurs. “Perhaps we could put our defense in two zones, rather than hoping to defend across the entire shore,” said Ilkalla. She pointed to the most likely site where the Rallosian barges would land. “Aviaks in front over the water and the rest of us on the shore.”
“With some aviaks in the flanks to keep the Rallosians from spreading our front lines too thin,” agreed Khaza. “We might not survive for long against the entire Rallosian Army, but we can pick them off and lessen their numbers.” The aviak and centaur leaders sent word to their gathered forces. Ilkalla (a “non-flier” as the aviaks called them) would join a centaur unit held in a third tier reserve.
Mixed now with the steady beat of the victory drums was the sound of chanting. The Rallosians were crossing the Lake, chanting to keep their oarsmen in rhythm and their deep voices carried across the water, bouncing off the mountains. No doubt their ruckus was designed to inspire fear amongst the defenders waiting for their approach. Instead, it filled them with anger and purpose. They might die this day, but they were taking as many ogres with them as they could.
Ilkalla chafed at being assigned to the third tier, but she knew her strengths did not include hand-to-hand combat. She gathered beside her all her own arrows plus the quivers Gerren had left behind. She looked toward the Rathe Mountains again, wondering how he was faring and praying that Tunare — wherever she may be — would guide him. Ilkalla had never been one of the faithful, praying to the gods at every rainbow or stubbed toe, but somehow it seemed fitting to pray today.
The chanting grew louder along with sound of vigorous splashing from the ogre paddlers. They were not skilled watersmen, but they were strong. As the first barge approached, the aviaks went into motion, throwing themselves into the faces of the Rallosians. The ogres’ chanting was now disrupted by the fighting calls of the aviaks — shrill, piercing and challenging. The barges did not halt with this interference; they continued their slow progress forward.
Thanks to the aviaks’ efforts and the skills of the archers in the second tier, the first barge to hit the shore came in at an awkward angle. The spiked boards scraped heavily into the loose gravel shore with enough force that many of the ogres standing ready for battle were set off balance. The centaurs charged in to take advantage of the moment, but another barge gliding in set loose a volley of arrows that tore into the second tier. All too soon, the third tier moved forward.
At the far end of her line, Ilkalla took careful but quick aim at the ogres, trying to avoid the remaining aviaks and centaurs at the front of the line. From the corner of her eye she caught a movement, but was unable to stop the blow. Sinking to the rocky shore, Ilkalla’s mind drifted like the waters surrounding her. “I always thought that water was blue,” she murmured dazedly. As the final blow struck, a shriveled gnoll’s paw floated up beside her on the waves of the red lake.

Necessary Elements


The Orb of Mastery must be mine. I came across the knowledge of this artifact when I met the gnome known as Rykas while traveling through Lake Rathetear. His words led me the story of Trilith Mag’kot, and ultimately, to the Orb itself. Evidently, there is fear that this knowledge will bring about the end of the magician order, but I admittedly cannot resist the idea of wielding the raw power of the elements as my own. I will collect the necessary elements, and the Orb will be mine.Element of Earth:

Dirt of the Underfoot – Found. I was able to “convince” Klex to hand over his sample of the dirt.

Staff of Elemental Mastery: Earth – Found. I was able to travel to the Plane of Hate itself, and after defeating some of the vile creatures found therein, I came across this mystical staff.

Broom of Trilon, and the Shovel of Ponz Found. After speaking with Vira in the Temple, I collected the necessary items to obtain the Broom and the Shovel.

Element of Fire:

Blazing Wand – Found. This was not easy. I had to enter the sunken Kedge Keep to find this mythical wand.

Torch of the Elements – Found. I had to travel to Kunark and the City of Mist, but I was able to acquire the torch there.

Burning Embers – Found. Having already made my way to Kunark, it was little trouble to travel to Burning Woods, and locate these embers.Element of Wind:

Elemental Binding – Found. The irony of crawling through the depths of the Hole to find a piece necessary for the element of Air was not lost on me.

Crown of Elemental Mastery – Found. I managed to make it to the Plane of Sky, and found the Crown in the possession of one of the unlucky denizens of that plane.

Pegasus Feather Cloak -.Not Found. I have heard the legend of a creature known as Qullmane, but I haven’t managed to find it. I’ll search for this later.

Element of Water:
Rain of Karana – Found. Once possessed by a giant, these glistening droplets are now mine.
Staff of Elemental Mastery: Water – Found, but not yet acquire. It appears to be in the possession of a creature known as Phinigal Autropus in Kedge Keep. We were not able to defeat this creature, so we will gather our strength and return.

Tears of Erollisi – Found. This was not easy to gather. The warriors in the Overthere have earned their fearsome reputation.Update on Quillmane:

After several weeks of looking for the elusive pegasus, I still have been unable to locate it I’ve taken to hiring a tracker, and in spite of the ridiculous amount of gold I have given her, she insists that there is no guarantee that she will be able to find it since it can fly. I think this is an excuse for her own incompetence, but we will see.

Quillmane continued:
That ranger was useless. I had no better luck with her than I did wandering around these plains on my own. I’ve wandered the length of the grasslands, and I can see no evidence of this mystical beast. I’m beginning to think that the information I received was erroneous or fabricate. I think I will return to have a discussion with Kihun Solstin.Quillmane continued:
THIS IS MADDENING. I am certain that the creature known as Quillmane is a myth, and that all reports of sightings of it are just the ravings of the insane, or an attempt at getting attention. I even tried making my own cloak of feathers, and using that in the place of the Pegasus Cloak. This did not work either. I am going to get the Orb of Mastery, if it is the last thing I ever accomplish!

Quillmane continued:
After months of searching, and no results. I concede. I cannot find Quillmane, and I am certain that Kihun Solstin simply wanted me to die out on these plains. Well, no more. You win, Quillmane. May you live a thousand more lifetimes.

First Flight


“First Flight” — an aviak tale of their beginnings and the first flight after their fall from grace
The beasts that walked the lands on two legs or four displeased her — they were so ungainly.

So Xegony, Queen of Air, created a beautiful, winged race that flew across Norrath, selecting the choicest locations to be their homes.

They built their aeries and nests and preened, for they were her chosen.

And yet, over time, these chosen began to speak amongst themselves of their gift from the goddess of air as a clear sign of superiority.

Whispering from beak to beak, they said, “Truly are we blessed with wings, so that we are unlike the wretches who must walk wherever they go.”

And they looked down upon the other races of Norrath, both literally and figuratively.

In the long ago, Xegony listened to her aviaks (for so the other races named them) and their pride gave her little concern, for she was likewise proud of them.

They sent emissaries to her with news of the lands and gave her lavish gifts and tributes.

In her pleasure at their worship, she did not recognize the point at which their relationship changed.

For though tributes and gifts still came to her, Xegony did not know all that was in the minds and hearts of her creations.

And when the first army of the Rallosians began their march, the aviaks held their own counsel and did not send word to her. Xegony learned nothing of this until the Rathe Council was challenged directly.

Then, the knowledge that the aviaks knew what might happen and did not warn her filled Xegony with rage.

“You behaved no better than those who cannot fly.” she said to them wrathfully. “Therefore, you shall lose my gift as your curse. Many tragedies could have been avoided if you did not disdain even me, your creator!”

And so saying, Xegony summoned a fierce wind that shredded the wings of the aviaks, making them as flightless and wingless as any other two-legged beast.

The aviaks were still prideful, but now felt ashamed at having set themselves above the Queen of Air.

In the ages that followed, the aviaks worked hard to regain her grace and gift, but she ignored them.

And eventually, with the rest of the gods, Xegony withdrew into a silence that nothing could penetrate.

The aviaks knew not whether she lived and cursed them still, or had completely rejected them.

The silence would have been much more devastating had not a miracle occurred.

For from the clutch of eggs of a family near Lake Rathefear, a winged aviak hatched. Still flightless, the young male could not correctly manipulate the wings on his own and so he was not the first aviak to return to the skies.

His birth coincided with the first changes to the ogres as their clouded minds began to return to normalcy.

In one generation from the first winged hatchling, dozens of winged aviaks began to train themselves in their ancient art of flight.

Though clumsy, squadrons of winged aviaks practiced together on the shores of Lake Rathetear, often climbing the mountains and leaping off, gliding to landings in the water below.

They grew in strength, agility and number.

As the Second Rallosian Army began its march across Norrath, seeking to subjugate all others, the aviaks knew that the time would come when their homes and lives would be at risk.

Ironically, having lost the ability to fly by not revealing the existence of the First Rallosian Army to their deity, the Second Rallosian Army gave impetus to the aviaks’ need for flight.

And so it happened. For with the Rallosians within reach of Lake Rathetear, a female aviak launched herself from the top of a mountain and soared toward the water.

She concentrated on the muscles of her neck, shoulders and wings and felt them move to her command.

No longer merely soaring from the heights, she had re-mastered the art of flight!

In honor of their creator, the first aviak to re-gain the gift of flight named herself Daughter of Xegony.

She taught all winged aviaks how to control the muscles necessary to remain airborne. Through her teachings, the aviaks provided assistance from the air at the Battle of Lake Rathetear.

And though this Battle was lost, the survival of the aviaks’ legacy of flight was assured.

Places of Norrath: Oggok


Overview of Oggok

In general, Oggok is a place most non-ogres pray they never see. Ogres are brutal, but have a strong sense of tradition – and a twisted sense of honor.

Located in the dense jungles of Feerott region and tucked into a cavernous, rocky area, Oggok appears to be, at first glance, a rather ordinary group of small, rough caves. Once inside, however, a maze of tunnels and caverns opens up.

The city of Oggok was built shortly before Murdunk’s tragic fall in Lake Rathetear and the defeat of Zek’s primal empire upon Norrath. The original founders of the city were not directly affected by the curse imposed upon Zek’s mortal creations. However, the first-born children of these settlers immediately showed signs of the horrible curse. Generations passed, and the last of the “pure” ogres faded out of memory.

The city’s original structures were soundly engineered and covered with intricate tribal carvings that paid tribute to their great heroes and legends. Unfortunately, the new, cursed ogres were incapable of the quality craftsmanship of their ancestors. As eras passed, the city of Oggok became transformed to resemble its new, brutish inhabitants. The grand archways, arenas, statues, stone-carved murals and pillars were replaced by stone slabs piled atop one another. Today, merely a few remnants of the Oggok of old can be seen by the keen-eyed visitor.

The modern city of Oggok is still quite bustling, housing many taverns, inns, a bank, and three guild houses. The city of Neriak is Oggok’s trade partner and is a source of prosperity despite the blatant economic advantage the Teir’Dal take of these dim-witted behemoths. Such exploitation goes on without notice by the ogres, which is fortunate indeed for the comparably frail Teir’Dal knights.

Guildmasters
Oggok has a guildmaster for each class that is available to Ogres. Spell and tome merchants are also available for those classes. Here is a list of the main guildmasters:

Guntrik – (Warrior)
Soonog – (Shadow Knight)
Baddi Waca – (Berserker)
Bordag – (Beastlord)
Zulort – (Shaman)

City Resources

Oggok provides the basic necessities of adventuring: Bankers, a Soulbinder, a Tribute Master, Task Masters, augmentation needs, and merchants that sell backpacks, ale, bandages, food, drink, and fishing gear. You’ll also find a Priest of Discord, Tradeskill Quest Masters, tradeskill crafting objects, and supply merchants for alchemy, baking, pottery, fletching, tailoring, and blacksmithing.

Places of Interest

Greenblood Rock
The shrine known as Greenblood Rock is dedicated to the ogre’s divine creator, Rallos Zek. Built in splendor by the original ogres of Oggok, the temple has since been reduced to a simple rock on a raised dais, coated with blood. Still, the temple’s purpose has remained unchanged. The ogres kill any “weak” or unruly members of their tribe by tying them to the temple rock, then beating them to death with clubs. The temple is also used in ceremonial, gladiatorial battles, commemorating the anniversary of Murdunk’s first triumph over the people of Norrath.

The Shaman Guild
The Greenblood Shaman, also known as the Shaman of War, is the shaman guild. They are greatly feared by all other ogres and work closely with the Greenblood Knights. Shaman live and train in the cave system adjacent to the Rock. Zulort is the High Shaman of The Greenbloods. His son Torzox is his successor and a powerful Shaman in his own right.

Death’s Rain (also known as Clurg’s)
This popular tavern is run by Clurg, one of the most respected ogres in all of Oggok – second only to the high shaman of the Greenbloods. Clurg’s family has run the tavern for generations, keeping it a place of calm by enforcing a no-fight policy. Remarkably, all ogres respect the rules of the tavern – it’s how it has always been.

Legend has it that Murdunk himself visited the tavern, but his mug of fine ogre brew was spilled when a fight broke out. Aside from tipping his drink, the fight cost the life of the proprietor’s daughter who had been caught in the fray. Enraged, Murdunk dragged those responsible outside and pummeled them to death with his steel mug and fist. When finished, Murdunk decreed that no brawling was to occur in an establishment that he frequented (mind you, this was before the curse of Zek). Ever since, the tradition has been upheld in Death’s Rain, the only establishment in Oggok that Murdunk visited. Needless to say, anyone who breaks the tradition and starts trouble will be taken to the Rock and beaten to death for dishonoring Murdunk’s wishes.

Murdunk Palace
Although this is called a Palace it is little more than a large cave where the guild of Ogre shadow knights, the Greenblood Knights, train and live. It also guards the entrance to an inner cavern that most Ogres consider sacred. Anyone who is not a Greenblood Knight or Shaman who enters this place is attacked. The warriors of this Guild follow the traditions of the great Ogre hero Murdunk as well as worshipping Rallos Zek. Soonog is the current leader of the Greenbloods and leadership is changed through mortal combat.

Fortress Craknek
This cave houses the Craknek Warriors guild and its leader Guntrik. Guntrik is one of the strongest Ogres around and he holds a great resentment for Soonog, the head of the Greenblood Knights because they rejected him. Merchants here sell various weapons and other supplies for younger warriors.

The Welcome Mat
Here Angrog sells food and the other basic supplies for adventuring.

Boxtripper’s
This is the shop of merchant Brokk Boxtripper. He sells various types of satchels and boxes.

Grop’s Guards
Grop is a merchant that sells different types of larger shields

Cikoona’s Hack, Bash, ‘n’ Jab
Merchant Cikoona sells various weapons and battle supplies.

Metil Armer
Inside this shop, merchants sell large chain and plate armor. Outside, a merchant sells large plate and shield molds and other smithing supplies. This shop also houses a forge and a Trade Skill Quest Master.

Lether Armer
Merchants here sell large leather and cloth armor.

The Humidor
Here you will find a shaman trainer and merchants selling alchemy items and blunt weapons.

The Ded End
Merchants Erung and Crunga can be found here selling food and general supplies. Bakers can also make use of the oven in this shop.

Oggok’s Keep
This is the bank of Oggok.

Source: http://www.everquest.com/places

Invasion of Earth


Source: http://eqplayers.station.sony.com/news_article.vm?id=51162

During the Elder Age of Norrath, the first Rallosian forces led by the great ogre Murdunk invaded the Plane of Earth – the realm ruled by The Rathe, Council of Thirteen. Under the command of Rallos Zek, the Warlord, Murdunk was instigated to invade this realm by Rallos Zek’s eldest son, Eriak. The goal was simple for Murdunk – he wanted to prove to Rallos Zek, the Warlord, that he was worthy to lead the forces of Zek throughout Norrath.

A great battle ensued and many guardians of earth perished along with numerous members of Murdunk’s Rallosian army. To their dismay, the invasion was destined to fail because of the regenerating ability that The Rathe possessed. When a member of the Council of Thirteen was slain another would replace it. This gave them great advantage and although many of their guardians had been defeated, The Rathe emerged victorious. Those Rallosians not slain were thrown from the plane by the wards of The Council of Thirteen.

News of the defeat spread quickly across the Rallosian Empire. Such a dramatic failure angered Rallos Zek. He was not content to wait for the heavily scarred and injured Murdunk to recuperate and chose to enlist master tacticians and proven war heroes Tallon and Vallon. Although he was extremely disappointed with Murdunk’s previous failure, Rallos Zek decided to allow him to accompany his horde in this second assault hoping to make use of the knowledge that Murdunk had acquired in his previous battles in the Plane of Earth.

With the power of the Warlord behind them, Tallon and Vallon rallied the legions of children of Zek and entered the Plane of Earth. This invasion was only partly successful – though the Rathelings’ power source remained untaken, the members of the Rathe Council were captured and brought to Norrath, where one of them was executed. Where this Rathe member fell, the Rathe Mountains were raised, and Lake Rathetear formed. The Rathelings were incensed at these brazen attacks, and mourned the death of the thirteenth council member; for one of them to die in Norrath was permanent and irreversible.

While Rallos Zek was unquestionably the greatest warrior ever to exist, he knew little of the inner working of the Planes of Power. Rallos Zek was ultimately scarred and disfigured by the same wards that had banished Eriak and he lay silently regenerating in the Plane of War while the reborn Rathe exacted vengeance on the army’s leaders. As the leader of the ogre nation and Zek army, Murdunk was slain.

To protect their realm from further fruitless attempts at invasion, the Rathe Council placed a curse upon all creatures of Zek. In this they were aided by several other members of the pantheon. The curse spread rapidly through the lush homelands of the giants and froze all of the lands, now known as Everfrost. The curse swept the lands of Norrath, striking any child of Zek that it touched, turning all followers of Zek into lesser beings in mind and body.

Tallon and Vallon, sensing their inevitable demise at the hands of the curse of the pantheon, called out to Rallos Zek to deliver them. Rallos Zek was sufficiently renewed by this time to summon Tallon and Vallon to his plane to escape the curse of the pantheon, but was unable to save the rest of his creations. Realizing that Eriak surely knew of the ward that protected the Plane of Earth and had failed to tell him of it, Rallos Zek brought the crippled form of Eriak before him. Rallos Zek tore from him the essence of warfare, tearing it into its more base elements and imbuing them to Tallon and Vallon, the two mortals who were able to succeed where Eriak had failed.

Eriak still retains a piece of the essence of war in his shattered and disfigured frame, but was banished to the lower levels of Drunder, the Fortress of Zek, to help in the menial tasks of forging weapons for his father’s armies. To this day the great form of Rallos Zek bears the scars from the ward of The Rathe beneath his blackened war armor, a silent reminder of the failure of his only son.

This is a pivotal moment in the history of Norrath. It is here that the forces of Discord plan to strike. Success by the Rallosians would mean that war would prevail on Norrath, and isn’t war a form of destruction, of discord?

The Korascian Warrens

The Korascian Warrens is the key invasion route for the Rallosian forces as they battle their way into the Rathe Council Chamber. This area of the Plane of Earth is adjacent to both the Rathe Council Chamber entrance and the portal to Toskirakk. The bulk of the Rallosian Army is in a siege camp in the northern canyon, facing the entrance to the Rathe Council Chamber.

The Warrens is named for the great frog Korascian Prime, who has guarded the approach to the Rathe Council for centuries. Now he and his minions are sequestered in the west astride the line of the Rallosian advance, battling ill-equipped Rallosian slaves who are sent in to distract the frogs. Many such slaves end up succumbing to Korascian Prime’s mesmerization powers and become thralls.

Korascian Prime’s original lair was destroyed by the Discordians with a great magical disjunction. This left a massive rift in the northeastern limb of the Korascian Warrens, exposing the Plane of Earth’s elemental crystal core, and venting out a new order of crystalline monstrosities which hate all other forms of life.

The Rathe Council Chamber

The Rathe Council Chamber is the original seat of The Rathe beings who govern the Plane of Earth. Its appearance reflects the essence of the powerful beings who rule here. Great stonework vaults linked with tunnels define the interior, which is patrolled by stone golems and guarded by many different kinds of creatures native to the Plane.

The Rallosian Army is attempting to destroy all thirteen members of The Rathe Council to seal Rallos Zek’s dominion over the Plane of Earth as well as Norrath. Should this happen, with Rallos gaining control over the source of the Rathelings’ magic, the balance of power among the gods would tilt inexorably in Rallos Zek’s favor, and Norrath would enter an age of endless disorder and destruction.

Toskirakk

Toskirakk is the original capital city of the ogres and the mightiest bastion of the ancient Rallosian Empire. The slave-mine within is a platinum mine where much of the currency used in Norrath’s future would originate. With the growing dominance of their Empire, few outsiders remain as free people and the slave warrens grow crowded.

The Story of Edril


Of Carandril’s death and Edril’s journey to Antonica:

At the age of 450, Carandril became deathly ill. The emperor fought death for more then a year before his passing into the next realm. High elves and wood elves crowded the busy streets of Felwithe for a full day to witness the funeral procession, and Edril was saddened greatly by the loss of his mentor and friend. As per elven tradition, when Carandril passed away a new emperor was chosen by the council and the new emperor, after being crowned, chose a new head for the imperial army. Edril was awarded estates in the surrounding imperial lands, a hero’s send off, and a large amount of gold coins for his retirement wealth. Nobody, however, expected Edril ever to lay his sword to rest. “He has the blood of a hero,” emperor Carandril used to say, “try as you might, you could never keep Edril from the adventure.” Thinking there was nothing left for him in the empire of the elves, Edril gathered what wealth was given to him and set sail for the far-off human lands of Antonica.

Arriving in the city of Freeport, Edril was recognized as a wealthy elf only. His name was unknown to these western lands, but that quickly changed. Edril became almost instantly renowned in the Freeport area for his fighting prowess, as he helped many of the villages along Lake Neriuss against the raider Zellain and his band of dark elves. His real fame, however, came as a desert fighter. Edril held a chief role in defending an outpost in the Kithicor woods against a large goblin attack, and it was during this battle that Edril became infatuated by the deserts of Antonica. Whether it was because they were so foreign to him or whether he loved the danger, Edril spent most of his remaining time on Antonica wandering it’s deserts, from the eastern desert of Ro all the way to the dead hills in the west and the plains of Karana. His most noteworthy exploits in these areas included capturing Ragoth the sand giant and his “dust marauders” in the desert of Ro as well as flushing out an entire nest of frogloks around lake Rathetear. He soon was recognized back in Felwithe as a remarkable cataloguer of strange creatures, as he would write notes about all his adversaries and send them to the imperial library. As he made his way to Qeynos, he even fell in love with an erudite female mage named Almaril and they were wed.

Of Almaril and Zisstrik the insane:

For a time in Qeynos Edril forgot about adventure or Carandril or his home back with the elves. He loved Almaril deeply and she took him back and forth from Erudin to Antonica, teaching him everything he wished to know. He was as much interested in her crude but powerful magic as she was his graceful fighting styles. For the first time in a long time Edril was satisfied and happy, and to the astonishment of all it seemed that the elven warrior would actually settle down in Qeynos with his wife forever. But fate moves unpredictably and Edril was called into service once more.

An old merchant noble from Freeport, a long time friend of Edril, sent him a letter detailing the problems he was having with a band of local trollish thieves. The thieves, however, were not everyday thugs. Goods from merchant caravans had increasingly been stolen to fund for a splinter trollish army somewhere in the desert of Ro. The army, whom the kingdom of Grobb wanted destroyed very much, was lead by an obnoxious would-be-preacher troll named Zisstrik the insane, who lead his band of trolls on what he called a “religious crusade.” Edril agreed to help with the problem. The troll bandits were easily found and easily dispensed with, but more important was what Edril learned during the hunt. Zisstrik spoke at length, before he was killed, about the troll dragon-god Trakanon and how the dragon told Zisstrik in his dreams to steal and kill the local human merchants who “pollute the desert and the swamps with their presence.” Edril dismissed most of what the troll said as crazy dribble, but he became increasingly interested in the tale of Trakanon. In return for the destruction of the splinter army, Edril only wished in payment that he be allowed to speak with the shamans of Grobb about the great dragon. The trolls, however bitter and tentative, agreed.

Of Edril’s research and his quest for Kunark:

The elven warrior was immediately in love with the story of the troll heritage. He was fascinated by the idea of dozens of glorious armies dessimating eachother because of hunger and confusion, fascinated by the imagery of the far off and blasted land of Kunark, but even more fascinated by the character of Trakanon, a powerful being once a god to the trolls and only seen by a single chief. He immediately thought Trakanon was evil both for what he did to the trolls and because of what Edril knew about all dragons. The elf silently vowed to make the hunt for Trakanon his final and most glorious quest. Utilizing ancient trollish texts and learning what he could, Edril soon had plotted a course to and over Kunark. Almaril protested greatly and called Edril crazy for trying to carry out such a silly fantasy, but the elf couldn’t resist the pull of perhaps the greatest adventure he would ever have.

Leaving his wife sobbing behind him on the docksides of Freeport, Edril set sail for several weeks before arriving at what he hoped was the lost continent of Kunark. Frightened by the horrible site of the field of bone before them, the crew of Edril’s ship told the warrior they would remain on the coastline until his safe return. Packing what he needed for a long and arduous journey, Edril made his way alone across the dead fields of the ancient trollish homeland until he arrived.at the jagged cliffs of Trakanon’s Teeth. What happened next no one knows for sure, as Edril was careful not even to divulge it to his wife before his death, but it is rumored Edril had to escape many clever traps and fight through several horrendous challenges before reaching the throne of the great beast. Even then, he did not kill Trakanon because what the dragon had to tell him was of far greater importance then any quest. Herein lies the complete text of Trakanon’s prophecy, as Edril himself never forgot the words of the great beast and later told his wife in order that the whole of Norrath may read the message:

Of Trakanon’s prophecy, excerpt from “The Book of Edril” by Edril’s late wife Almaril:

The great dragon looked on Edril as a father on his son and smiled widely. “So,” Trakanon spoke in a voice that shook the very ground, “at last you have come.” Edril, great among the elves, felt himself begin to tremble as he stared deep into the dragon’s fiery eyes. “You have no reason to fear me, warrior, even though you have come here to kill me. But I doubt that even you could perform such a task. You see, child, I was born before the stars were made, before the foundation of this world was ripped by Veeshan’s claw, and before the gods gave birth to the elder races. I have been and always will be the eternal mystery between life and death and gods and man.” With that said, Edril bowed his head in awe and somehow knew the great beast spoke the truth. “And yet,” the dragon continued, “I am but a watcher. For while I claim this world as my own I am forbidden by laws forged millenia ago to change it’s course. It is the curse of all my kind: to love a world so much and to have to watch it die. Take heed, warrior, because Norrath’s death is fast approaching.” Edril lifted his head, his eyes wide in a look of shock and fear. The dragon simply nodded. “Yes, Edril, Norrath’s fate was decided long ago, or so the gods think. But the visions of your gods are often warped by their own vanity and selfishness, the future is never set, and the elder races may yet prove them wrong. The gods made you all as a means to an end in their struggle and as the wars of the elder races escalate, so shall the gods descend from their planes of existence and make the whole of Norrath suffer. But there are those among the races untouched by the taint of immortals whom I have chosen as the saviors of man.” Trakanon then stabbed deep into the ground with his left claw and ripped the bottom of his cave dwelling asunder with one powerful stroke of his arm. Edril looked over the sides of the newly formed chasms and noticed the walls glowing a bright red. A face began to form from the blackness deep within the cracks, and Edril could clearly make out the aging face of an old man. The face had sad eyes, gaunt cheeks, and long silvery hair. “His name is Miragul,” said the dragon, “a human mage, gifted in all talents of magic and able to bend the laws of life and death to his will. He exists now as an empty shell, wandering his tombs filled with powerful magics.” The next face that formed was that of a troll, but surprisingly it was a noble and proud visage. Scars ran from both eyes down to the troll’s mouth, and the troll’s eyes were strong and unwavering. “He was called Nalikor. He was the troll first to enter my kingdom and find me. He ended centuries of brutal war, was greatest among his soldiers, and was able to lead his people from death and starvation to a powerful kingdom.” The dragon then turned his eyes to Edril. “You, elf, are my third chosen. You are Edril the warrior, a brilliant soldier and great hero. Death haunts you at every turn but you are always able to overcome your obstacles. You are a deadly fighter, a wanderer of Norrath, and a lord among elves. And now I award you with a much bigger destiny.” Trakanon spoke deep in a language Edril couldn’t understand, and suddenly a small pendant flashed into existence around Edril’s neck. “To Miragul I revealed the existence of artifacts that would enhance his powers in the arcane arts. To Nalikor I awarded a flaming sword to enhance his warrior prowess. To you I give this: a small pendant that will allow you to talk with me always. But it does much more. My strength is finite, Edril, and already my powers begin to weaken. Soon either the gods or the elder races will find the means to my destruction, and when that happens then the final war for Norrath shall be waged. But when I die, before I leave for the afterlife, I will impart my power to the bearer of this pendant, and he shall have all the wisdom and the strength of the most ancient of creatures.” Trakanon then laid his serpent-like head on the floor of his cave. “That time is fast approaching. Here is my prophecy, young one. Everything I say now shall soon come to pass. When the wars of the elder races begin to come to fruition, the gods shall take notice and plan for their coming into the world. Then, on the third day of the third season, in the dark of the night on all the continents of the elder races, shall be reborn my chosen in the bodies of other men, representing all of the three virtues: good, evil, and the gray neutral between them both. They will arise to the call of a fourth chosen, great among them, who will collect my gifts unto himself: the magic enhancements of Miragul, the flaming sword of Nalikor, and your dragon pendant. The peoples of Norrath will revere this one as Trakanon’s chosen, and he will watch the whole world burn.”

Of Edril’s last days:

When he returned home he was changed forever. With his greatest achievment completed, Edril the warrior, feared of the orcan clans, slayer of the plague dragon of Akanon, first soldier of the empire, and desert wanderer of Norrath, hung his sword to rest forever. He lived many happy years in the arms of Almaril, his wife, and they even gave birth to a son, something no one thought possible between a erudite and elf. But whether it was fate’s choice to test Edril one last time or because erudites were enough “non-human” so procreation was near impossible, Edril’s son was taken by disease at an early age. The event crushed the indomitable elf and at the age of 405 the warrior passed away. “No spear or sword or arrow, fang, claw, or spell could ever hope of killing the elf known as Edril,” recounted Biddyn at the funeral of his friend, “but for a father, the death of an only child is the worst poison the world can give.” The lord of Qeynos thought it best to send his body back to the elven empire and there gathered a very ecclectic funeral procession: Merchant friends from Freeport and Qeynos, human lords of Antonica, almost the entire gnomish population, and even troll shamans from Grobb to bear witness to the last warrior to ever lay eyes on Trakanon. Some said the dark elves were also present, spying on the funeral from the shadows just to make sure Edril had actually lost the battle with death. Dozens of elven trumpets sounded his passing and his casket was floated over the top of the Elizerain Lake to sink into it’s depths forever, an honor normally reserved only for the emperors. It is written that even now, at the bottom of the lake in that same casket, the dragon pendant of Trakanon waits, grasped tightly in Edril’s cold, dead fingers.

Chronicle of Gromok Vol. I


The Chronicle of Gromok Hergom

I ink these words for fear that my once proud and mighty Ogres will forget the events I have seen in my long life. I am known at the time of this inking as Elder Gromok but I was once a soldier of little renown and status in the mighty Rallosian Legions under the command of Warlord Murdunk.

I was not raised to be an Elder of my fellow Ogres. My training was that of a soldier and I concerned myself only with the arts of warfare. It is with reluctance that I now bear the mantle of Elder and the cause of that reluctance is the same reason that I ink this tale.

I was stationed at the Fortress of Krithgor when the ogre magi first opened the portals to the Planes of Power. Plans were quickly laid and orders sent to our fortresses and troops in all corners of Tunaria. A large invasion force of Ogres, Giants, Orcs, and Goblins gathered at the newly opened planar portals. At the time I felt disappointed that my orders were to remain at Fortress Krithgor, that disappointment quickly turned to anger when I learned that the invasion failed, and although Warlord Murdunk survived our losses were great.

Some time passed before news reached the Fortress of Krithgor that a second invasion was being orchestrated. Rumors circled like hungry buzzards over a field of carnage concerning the plans for this second invasion. It was even said that Rallos Zek was to lead the campaign with Warlord Murdunk and the most renowned champions of the Giants, Orcs, and Goblins by his side. Once again my orders were to remain at the home front to defend the women, children, and elderly citizens of the Rallosian Empire.

It was not long after the invasion forces of the Rallosian Legions once again passed through the portals to the Planes of Power that the home front too became a place of battle, slaughter, and glory. Mortal disciples of deities opposed to The Warlord, Rallos Zek, attacked the citizens and fortresses of the Rallosian Empire on Tunaria. Our enemies fought valiantly, and the resulting battles were the most glorious I was ever to behold. My weapons and armor were stained with the blood of our foes, and our children and elders kept safe within our impenetrable strongholds. Messengers passing through the Fortress of Krithgor spoke of the victories of the legion units led by Rallos Zek, Warlord Murdunk, and the Generals Tallon and Vallon. It was said that the Rathe Council, the twelve rulers of the Plane of Earth had been captured and forced to Norrath where they were being executed by Murdunk and his Generals, that mountains burst from the earth where the gods fell and that the dying tears of the fallen gods formed a cold, deep lake between the newly risen mountain peaks.