Category Archives: Lizardmen

The Tale of Brother Zephyl

by Brother Nusad, Clan Historian
Among the many members of the Whistling Fists Clan who safeguarded the lands of Norrath over the centuries since its founding, one of the most renowned was Brother Zephyl. Though he traveled far and wide, he followed of his order and sought to draw very little attention to himself. Despite these efforts, Brother Zephyl would become known for his great deeds during the Age of Turmoil.

For many years, Brother Zephyl safeguarded the Rathe Mountains, which at that time was a dangerous landscape fought over by many warring factions. Though remaining on the outside of any political conflicts, Brother Zephyl ensured the safety of those who traveled the roadways.

This rocky region held many dangers, one of the most troublesome of which was a tribe of lizardmen that called the valleys of the Rathe Mountains home. These deadly creatures despised all warm-blooded beings and frequently attacked unsuspecting travelers. The cowardly beasts were known to avoid a fair fight, preferring instead to gang up on small groups of adventurers and try to overwhelm them with superior numbers.

One day the lizardmen ambushed a small trade caravan bound for Lake Rathe, and it seemed the merchants faced a certain doom. Suddenly, springing from the rocks above, a dark robed figure arrived to defend the hapless merchants! Brother Zephyl struck the scaled attackers with fists of blazing speed, singing a song of battle as he drove the fiends away. The merchants wished to reward the brave monk, but the modest Zephyl would accept no reward and simply went about his way.

Many more tales like this were soon to be told by other travelers that were saved by the mysterious monk who defended the weak without any care for his own safety. Despite his best efforts, Brother Zephyl’s name and reputation became known, and soon curious travelers from afar came seeking acceptance into the Whistling Fists Clan. It is said that some who were worthy even earned the right to wear their own robes of dark crimson.

But it wasn’t only Norrathians who took notice of the monk’s skill and power. From within the ranks of the lizardmen rose a terrible champion who vowed to slay the monk and devour his flesh. This fearsome reptilian shaman, known as Mortificator Syythrak, set a trap to lure Brother Zephyl out by attacking a group of travelers. When the monk arrived, Syythrak summoned forth the powers of disease to try to weaken the noble defender. Brother Zephyl counterattacked, using his Whistling Fists style to strike a multitude of blows against the wicked fiend.

Some say the battle lasted hours; others claim it went on for days. What is known for certain is that at the end, the mighty Brother Zephyl was victorious. He fashioned a fine vest out of the creature’s mystical hide, offering the tunic to a young monk passing through the region.

Brother Zephyl eventually left the Rathe Mountains and had many other adventures. But he never forgot the lands he safeguarded for so long, and it is said that he even requested that his remains be laid to rest there in an unmarked grave. For this reason, the Rathe Mountains have always been held sacred by members of the Whistling Fists Clan.

The Desert Beasts

by Richton Straight
A hunter’s story about his first trip to the new lands.

As I stood upon the prow, straining my eyes to spot our eventual destination, I got the same warm, sated feeling in my stomach that I always got before a hunt. This one would be different, though. This was not one of the planned hunts of my past. I had no documents on the hunting or feeding patterns of my prey. I did not have the knowledge from past hunters on scents or colors to avoid. IN fact, I did not even know what I would be hunting. And that, I believe, was the most exciting aspect of it all.

We were to drop ourselves in an unknown land — unknown to ourselves, leastaways — and, for a period of three weeks, track and slay the biggest prey we could fin. The thrill of big game hunting compounded with the fear of unknown prey. We all felt it, the air of the ship spoke volumes. The crew, of course, didn’t match our sentiment, but Tocks, Ardal and myself all shared that unspoken feeling that none, save the greatest poets, can ever describe.

The sea itself seemed to hold its breath as our ship approached, exhaling in a long, slow sea breeze once we finally reached shore. Tocks and Ardal had been with me for nearly seven years. Ardal’s sharp sight and acute hearing were unmatched. Tocks, by some stroke of fate, was the luckiest gnome I had ever laid my eyes on, often blundering his way to fortune. Me? Well, someone had to do the easy part and actually slay the beast.

On the advice of the locals we purchased a few camels and a large supple of water, then set off into the desert. As soon as we left the friendly, salt-scented air nearer the ocean, Ardal spoke in that elven dialect of his.

“Hmm?” I asked.

“I said,” he repeated in a tongue I could understand,”that this is not a friendly land.”

“Nonsense,” Tocks threw in, “your perspective is just all skewed. The ground is soft…that’s friendly!” I chuckled at Tocks’ outlook as I often do. My laughter trailed off and nothing took its place; it was clear that we all felt uneasy about this land.

Days passed and we came across many beasts. None, however, had the “feel” of true game. We were anxious and did not want to commit to anything in a land so foreign. We discussed many beasts as prey and passed over dozens without coming to any conclusions. By luck, our future prey happened to find us. One morning Ardal found tracks around our camp. We were being followed, hunted perhaps.

The tracks Ardal found were of a shape similar to the lizardmen in Feerrott. They were deep and even from heel to toe, suggesting a slow, crouched walk. However, they lacked the distinctive tail marks that a lizardman from the Feerrott would leave if walking in such a position. Tocks laughed. “Ghosts of lizardmen we’ve killed in the past! Want their missing tails we stole, no doubt!”

Neither Ardal not myself shared Tocks’ jest. We glanced at each other, concerned. These tracks were deliberate. Tracks this deep from a beast could be accepted. But we knew the lizardmen of Feerrott were no mere beasts, and it stood to reason — enough to worry us, that is — that neither were what we now thought to be their desert cousins.

“So…” Ardal said, glancing at me and awaiting our next move.

“We follow them!” said Tocks, not oblivious to the conclusion Ardal and I had made. I nodded, agreeing with Tocks.

“As I thought,” said Ardal.

“What better prey than a hunter?” I questioned under my breath.

Tocks began packing his things immediately. Ardal took me aside and said, “They know we are hunters, this is their bait for us.”

“Right.” I answered. “They will have a trap set.”

“Who will?”

“The lizardmen.”

“But which lizardmen?” Ardal paused at me words.

“The big-game lizardmen…” he sighed. I gave him a large smile.

“All right, then,” said Tocks, “from now on we can assume we’re being watched. I think it’s important that we don’t let them know what to expect from us. We need to keep them on their toes, or tails…or not tails, as it were.” With that, Tocks picked up one of our water skins and poured it into the sand. Both Ardal and I started to speak, but stopped. We were familiar with Tocks and knew the water was already gone. Tocks exclaimed, “Now they’ll think we’re absolutely insane.”

We set off. Ardal and I scanned our surroundings for possible ambush. Tocks sand a song about a meatball. Our hunters, I wagered, watched us the entire time. Though it was unlikely our hunters spoke common, we conversed in Antonican for an extra measure of comfort.

“They will set a trap for us, quite possibly two traps. One obvious, one less obvious, but both will be traps.”

“Five or six traps.” Tocks added.

“And when we are snared?” asked Ardal.

“Then we spring our traps.” I said, referring to our skills as fighters and hunters. “Tocks,” I continued, “You follow at a distance of one half hour. Ardal, move parallel to the west. They already know our numbers, but if we spread out we may foil their plans.”

I communicated with Ardal in hand signals. With Tocks I left messages in my tracks. At the end o day, I saw the first trap. On the horizon were a couple of lizardmen, tailless as the tracks suggested. I glanced at Ardal. Wordlessly he glances at their second trap, dust upon the hill above us suggesting recent movement. They would flank from the west. I left a message for Tocks. We rested for fifteen minutes, then moved toward their first trap.

As Ardal and I moved closer to each other and our target, I sensed a disturbance to the east. The desert dropped off and a short cliff gave way to an oasis. A soft breeze passed my nostrils, and I caught a scent. It was tough to pick out from the air of the oasis, but something was there. Perhaps in reaction to our march’s halt, the lizardmen felt now was the time to strike. At the edge of the cliff a scaled claw appeared, pulling its owner up and over the edge.

I spun quickly to Ardal, an arrow — his — flew past my head. I heard the unsatisfying sound of the arrow striking sand. Ardal turned to the west and — as expected — two lizardmen now approached from the hill. Ardal dropped his bow and produced his twin blades. From the south a few arrows sailed through the air, too far to act as anything but a distraction, though the lizardmen advanced and fired simultaneously.

I turned to face the lizardmen who had crawled up the side of the cliff, though now there were two. They dashed toward me with amazing speed. I drew my blade and let a small, poisoned dart fly. The dart hit its mark, and the poison worked quickly. Though not dead, the lizardman fell to his knees before collapsing totally. I had watched too long, however, and my attacker was upon me.

My attacker’s sword was far longer than mine, and it was all I could do to keep from being gutted. Our combat gave me no opening to strike. He advanced, and I danced about him; we spun, and I was able to position our dance so that I faced toward Ardal. He had dispatched his two attackers, but had caught an arrow in his leg.

Despite that, Ardal drew back his bow, facing my direction. I stopped shifting and allowed the beast a straight attack at me. Drawing his blade to my side, I let his body collide with mine. For an instant he wrestled with me, then he fell with an arrow protruding from the base of his neck. I looked for the two attackers from the south.

I saw instead two dead lizardmen. “You never told me you were such a good shot!” I yelled to Ardal.

“I never needed to be,” was his response. To the north we heard a high pitched laughing. Tocks came running up, something dangled from his hand. I called out to him, “Three traps, Tocks…Three!”

“Four!” he called back, holding up the object in his hand, a necklace from one he apparently felled.

We pulled the bodies together. Tocks kicked one and it rolled over, facing him with a sinister grin. “Ugh,” he jumped back, “these aren’t game, Rich.”

“It was a fight, wasn’t it?” I countered. Ardal nursed his wounds, and I, my scratches. Tocks, as always, was unharmed.

“Yes, it was a fight, not a hunt,” came Ardal’s response. “This is not a friendly land.”

The night was slow. We feared retaliation, but none came. Tocks passed his necklace from hand to hand, eyeing it with suspicion. Eventually he threw it to the oasis. “It was creepy,” was all he could say.

“We’ll find better game, lads.” I tried to comfort them. It had been an awkward and surprisingly violent day. I dropped my hat over my eyes and drifted off to sleep. We’d find better game.

Tales of the Alliz Ew

The ferocity of the lizardmen of the Feerrott is legendary, yet it seems there is another side to the stories told of them by outsiders. This is a collection of short stories written by lizardmen and translated from the Rallosian.
“Tales of the Alliz Ew,” translated by Pearl Honeywine — Being a collection of short stories by anonymous lizardmen of both the Alliz Evol Ew and the Alliz Tae Ew of the Feerrott. As these are translations, they can be somewhat difficult to grasp but are worth a look.

“Two Tales.” You speak of those with two minds, two hearts and I speak of the two tales. The first tale, my brethren, listen! For the ogres listened not and all that remains are our memories, longer than the tail of the Queen. Did they forget their promise? Yes, it seems that they did forget and will pay the price. The Temple of Cazic-Thule, set aside from them, yet they forgot. —

— In the long-ago did Rallos, the god of War and mighty Cazic-Thule cross hands and agree that the army of one would not defile the Temple of the other. Yet, the Rallosians forgot this and in they crossed the Temple’s threshhold to declare the Temple was theirs! —

— In the long-ago did this happen, where the Rallosians stood in the Temple and gloated over its treasures and put the blood of the Alliz Ew into the sacrificial vessels as should not have been done, no ritual or rite to purify. And yes, they later paid but in the hour of our need, we could do nothing but gnash our teeth and thrash our tails. —

— That is the first tale, the ending which I need not tell for all know how that vile army was destroyed. The second of my tales talks of the Alliz Tae Ew, those that now are found inside the Temple that remains. To the east, they are and inside the Temple itself, they are. They are strong of will and in their worship of the darkness, did participate in the rituals of darkness such that they now do not see. The weak, they will eat. So say I, and so it is.

“The Vessel.” Carved of stone, its surface is black from the years of use. Wide is the brim and it is shallow. Handles once it had that were defiled by the Rallosians, yet its purpose is not changed. In service will they offer their blood, whether willing or not. Stained it is, as are the Alliz Tae Ew, by the precious offerings made to the gods and the Queen. Shallow may be the vessel, but deep is the honor with which we use it.

“The Vines.” The vines hang low to tangle those who do not look. Mists that thicken the air swirl around to cloak us in grey. Look! You are in the path and see me not. I raise my spear — the spear of my forefathers, cut at the right time of the old moon and dipped in bitter juices. Up I raise my arm, slowly. Listen! The whistle of the spear slicing the air. You hear it not in time to move, only in time to fear. Over and again, I raise my spear! The fallen see me not, just as they see not the vines.

“The Hand.” In the long-ago, He walked among us and reaching out His hand, touched one or another, beckoning. They could not but bend to His will and He caused them to begin the crafting of His statue. Always they would start with His hands, shaping them from wrist to fingertip. Yet when He would return to His other charges, they would cease to carve, and so upon His return, they began again. At His wrist. And so we say, that is why that is what is left.

“Green Dawn.” They trampled us and defiled the Temple. Then they moved onward, slaying all those in their path and we watched. We felt it from the distance, eating what we could and waiting. They pressed onward and thought everyone would fall before them. Until the day of the Green Dawn, when we felt the cloud fall upon the Rallosian Army like thick mist. Their cries we heard and heeded not and in the dawn of the next day, they lay defeated and inedible.

“Waterfall.” The river flows through the valley, mist curling from the surface in the heat. The darkness is great, broad leaves keeping out the light and trapping the sounds. We took the captives to the river to purify them and one worked free from his bindings and jumped into the river, seeking to hide beneath the vapors on its surface. We found some the next day on the shore where the waterfall meets the sea.

Not all lizardmen are literate, or even capable of speaking anything but their own language. It is fascinating to see something of their thoughts from stories written in their own language and translated. To know more about them would be very interesting, indeed.

Ernie Gimblelock’s Adventuring Journal

Property of Ernie Gimblelock

I embarked on an adventure searching for the Shard of Fear.

Getting to the Fear Gate itself was dangerous! I was very fortunate to have met some other adventurers sent by Rankle Clanghammer outside the cave in the Feerrott. If it hadn’t been for them, I don’t think I would have survived to have seen this shard.

I recall tales of ancient adventurers battling within the Plane of Fear, and now I am seeing what is left of it. This shard of the ancient plane has hints of the old one, but one can see the scar the Rending has left here, too. I wonder if any of the planes have survived intact?

There are a few pages missing from this journal

It has been a long trek and we have seen many gruesome sights already. But I will not let those setbacks deter me from exploring this Shard of the Fear plane. Yes, one of my inventions broke since coming in, and others have been of little help, but the goggles have been very useful! With them I have seen other beasts that my naked gnomish eyes could not. I see the tortured souls of adventurers that are trapped in the shard!

I want to investigate the Amygadalan sculpture wells, as lizardmen appear to congregate there, but nowhere else. I find this odd and could well be a sign that it is important. I think I will set out for one of them next and hide nearby to observe.

There are a few pages missing from this journal

After the sights at sacrificial wells, I decided to investigate the bone towers with the few surviving members of my adventuring party. One of the souls I saw with the Incorporeal-Visual Activators was lingering around the tower mumbling, but I did not get close enough to find out what. I was soon chased off by a huge skeleton! I am even more certain that there is something meaningful about the undead that appear there.

I just realized that I must have dropped the goggles as I ran from the bone tower. I am going to go and try and find them, and although I am the only one left, I have not given up hope.

A Collection of Epitaphs

The poetry and stories have a homey simplicity about them, especially those written during times of great stress throughout the world. The frayed edges of the pages upon which these verses are copied is a mute testament to those who read this book before, several times.
The epitaphs are grouped roughly by race. Not all Norrathian races are represented, although the ones most likely to have lived for many generations in Qeynos are listed.

Of Humans and Halflings

Humans and halflings may seem an odd combination for burial groupings, but it proved to be a very practical choice. The humans preferred to be interred horizontally, while the halflings seemed to prefer a vertical burial. That allowed for placement of tombs in very close proximity without wasted space.

Time and again we called your name

Little did we know You’d lost your ears to the trolls — Ezzie Appledore, aged 49

Ezzie Appledore’s neighbors always wondered why she didn’t hear them; they thought she was too proud to associate with them. It wasn’t until her death that they discovered she hadn’t any ears, which would have made hearing a bit of a chore.

There’s a place at the table where you used to sit

Your feet after a long day in the fields That’s the very first thing I polished After your funeral. — Lestin Farmerson, age unknown

Lestin operated a large farm and had large feet that he planted on his wife’s table every chance he had. At first, he did it just to annoy her. Later, he’d gotten into the habit.

The gods welcome you home

Wherever they are And wherever you roam Though, if gods there still be Then I am a gnome — Brenna Marche, aged 89

Brenna’s husband Rusty believed that the gods had forsaken Norrath and that no one would hear from them ever again, while Brenna firmly believed the gods would return. Time will tell which of them was right.

You never returned

From your trip over-sea Oh, how I wish You’d left stuff to me — No Name

It’s not clear to whom this epitaph was written, and the tomb on which it was engraved was robbed many generations past. It seems whoever the person was, they were considered wealthy in their day — evidently moreso in material wealth than friends.

Of Elves and Half-Elves

The elves buried beneath Qeynos often fell in battles of its defense and the residents of the town from its early days wanted to show respect to the elder children of Tunare. While they generally shun the half-elven in life, the choice of burying them together was pure practicality — there were fewer elves being buried and the humans refused to have half-elves buried amongst them, so they moved all half-elven tombs to the section reserved for the elves.

You were my best friend forever

Who listened when no one else would Other elves and the humans reject me I wish they took me and not you — Ferianna Leimi, aged 94

The Leimi family died of one of the many diseases rampant during the War of Plagues. Ferianna was rare among high elves, associating freely with the half-elven and befriending them while others shunned them and called them names. The writer of this epitaph was presumably one of Ferianna’s half-elf friends.

Though fallen in battle,

I hear your voice sing Though your last breath is drawn I still wait for Spring — Meiri Linnarian, ageless

Meiri was a member of the Qeynos Guard on patrols in the lowest level of the catacombs. Her unit was overwhelmed by enemy forces. None survived.

Far out to sea, ships are sailing

And I stand alone at the quay You’ve taken my heart on this journey Hold it within yours, my love — Jarna Greyflower, half-elf

Interestingly, many of the half-elf tombs include not their age but the fact that they were half-elves. It is unclear whether this is a mark of pride in their heritage, or whether they were not accorded the honor of noting their lifespan.

Many who died are unburied

Their bones scattered over the hills Let this song be their remembrance Until the battlefield stills — For the Unsung Heroes

of dwarves and Barbarians

Dwarves and barbarians formed alliances as they came to the city of men, both enjoying hearty meals and gaudy entertainment. After the destruction of the northlands, the dwarves joked that the barbarians could be buried alongside them, if there be any reason to bury a dwarf. The comment had been made in jest, but with so much upheaval in the lands, it was inevitable that many from all the races of Norrath would perish.

Here lies Tammak Brannuck

Who knew how to swing But forgot how to duck — Tammak Brannuck, age unknown

Tammak was a barbarian who would go to the local eateries and challenge the patrons to fisticuffs in the street. One day, someone accepted his challenge and Tammak turned around to leave but forgot the door was much lower than he was used to. He hit his head on the door’s lintel so hard it knocked him backward into a display of deer antlers.

These are the bones of Wallace McWallace

He lived rough, fought hard and ate well Too bad he drank from the well, too — Wallace McWallace, died aged 37

Wallace was slain by lizardmen archers as he drew water from the well outside his farm.

We promised we wouldn’t write you a poem

So we won’t. Don’t let it be said We didn’t do anything you ever asked — Garr Stonehammer

The Stonehammer family was famous for disobeying the rules their patriarch Garr set down. Looks as though he finally got his way.

You didn’t tell me there’d be elves.

— Gruer Hardy

Gruer and his family escaped the destruction of Halas, fighting many brave battles through gnoll territory to reach Qeynos, where Gruer collapsed in shock at the unexpected sight of elves in the city of men.

3rd Lieutenant Gerrog – Logbook

3rd Lieutenant Gerrog – Logbook
Second Edition

This is the journal of a very important Lieutenant in the Second Rallosian Empire.

Entry 14: We march through the Feerott. It is a good march. It is a quiet march. Nothing lives within the Feerrott since we have last passed through. The General personally leads us. The Arm of Vallon marches behind us. The Rathetear Mountains is our destination. We will stomp on the bones of the gods we once defeated. This time they cannot stop us.

Entry 17: We have changed course in the march. The forgotten temple of Cazic-Thule is within sight. The General tells us in command that the Amygdalans will join our ranks or they will be destroyed. I pray to Rallos that they refuse to join us.

Entry 32: We have entered the foothills of the Mountains of the fallen Rathe. The Amygdalans have refused to add their numbers to our ranks. Let them hide in the temple for as long as they wish. It will be their tomb. For now, we will take the land of our forefather’s defeat and turn it into victory.

Entry 40: The General has detached us from the Arm of Vallon. The Arm, hundreds of scores in number, will continue marching north. They are to cross the Lake of Tears. Then they are to annihilate the gnolls. The Arm of Vallon will conquer the Karana plains. There is no question this will be done.

Entry 57: My command, led by the General himself, have easily taken the Rathetear Mountains. The Hill Giants recognized our superiority and bowed to our will. The lizardmen have been eradicated. If I listen closely, I can still hear the sound of the dead gods of the earth weeping. The Rallosians are conquering Norrath. Their curse has failed.

Entry 61: Taking the Hill Giants with us, the General will no longer tolerate the insolence of the Amygdalans. Their claims of counsel received from the Avatar of Fear are worthless lies. Their Avatar would never have allowed us to capture the Gate leading to their dead god’s plane. The only true Avatar is the one that inspires us – the Avatar of War.

Entry 67: When I was a runtling, my mother’s mother told me of the temple of Fear. She claimed it was filled with unimaginable nightmares waiting to destroy the world. She was wrong. NOW it is filled with nightmares. Us. The Rallosians.

Entry 79: The final Amygdalan has fallen to the black blade of the General. The ones we have captured have been forced to watch as we begin to tear down their precious temple. They incessantly chant prayers to the god of green mist. If their god cannot stop us from tearing down their place of worship, what makes them believe their god will save their worthless hides?

Entry 83: This great temple lies in ruins. All that stands is the sacred tomb the Amydalans pray to at the center of this temple. We received word that Guk is being scourged as we speak. The split-pawed gnolls have been exterminated. The Plains are ours. Freeport is about to fall. The General is about to enter the heart of the temple and personally defile the tentacled one’s most holy of all relics – the Forbidden Sarcophagus. When he has done so, the Rallosian Empire will know that we have conquered one half of the world. The other half will follow.

Entry 84: Bring this journal to your commanding officer, Rallosian. They must know of the fate of General Urduuk. When the box was opened, a green mist oozed out, crawling into the General’s nostrils. He barely had time to grasp his throat before falling over dead. One by one, thousands of Rallosians suffered the same fate. I sealed myself away inside a nearby stone coffin before the vapors reached me. It will not be long before I run out of air, for neither air or Green Mist can enter this casket. I will die as a Rallosian inside this tomb. I will not die as a forever-cured ogre outside to the Green Mist.

1st Lieutenant Dergud, 289 AS

1st Lieutenant Dergud, 289 AS
Second Edition

This is the journal of a very important Lieutenant in the Second Rallosian Empire.

Day 107, 289 AS: This world has not known the Rallosians for many centuries. It is time for the world to remember. We no longer suffer the curse of the Rathe. Now we will have our vengeance upon Norrath. The warning horns have been sounded for five hours. I have never heard anything more beautiful.

Day 120, 289 AS: The Feerrott has been our homeland for centuries. Nature has reclaimed it in our absence. We have returned. We will take it back. The bones of walking ancestors will no longer disturb the living as the Army moves forward.

Day 140, 289 AS: The General leads us to the south. I am not aware of our direction, but I have instructed my soldiers that they are to destroy everything they see. We have sighted more lizardmen. They have been destroyed.

Day 160, 289 AS: The Avatar walks with us and tells us that we will be given even more help. We do not need help. We are the Rallosian Empire. We do not subjugate. We do not enslave. We annhilate.

Day 170, 289 AS: The lizardmen have been driven even further south. Many villages have been found and razed, but this is not satisfying. Our goal is not to kill lizards, it to destroy frogs. And then we kill everything else. We are spending too long in our goal. But our soldiers are obedient.

Day 193, 289 AS: The soldiers have been tested today. We have reached the forbidden temple and find it filled with life that must be destroyed. They followed the General’s orders given by me. This makes me proud. They did not kill the tentacle-headed creatures that guarded the temple. This does not make me proud.

Day 199, 289 AS: A week has passed and now we march again. The Avatar and the General spoke with the tentacle-headed creatures. They will not join our force. Their Avatar of Fear has forbidden us from the temple. We are Rallosians, not dogs. We will leave for now. They will pay.

Day 240, 289 AS: My soldiers have reported a cavern leading to a world of nightmares. I have personally ended twenty of their lives. A Rallosian does not fear anything.

Day 241, 289 AS: The General has commanded we are not to go near what he calls the Gate. I do not understand. We are Rallosians. We do as we please. We are Rallosians.

Day 270, 289 AS: The General has explained to me the deal made between the two Avatars back at the temple. I tell him that we do not need the Trolls, even as dogs. He has told me that Second Lieutenant Mugreeza will have more information in her tent. I leave for there now.

1st Lieutenant Dergud, 263 AS

1st Lieutenant Dergud, 263 AS
Second Edition

This is the journal of a very important Lieutenant in the Second Rallosian Empire.

Day 72, 263 AS: Urduuk has granted me great honor in making me his first Lieutenant. He has chosen well. I will not fail him. Today marks a glorious day. I will make the first true warriors of our people. I will learn from the Avatar and thrust that learning upon all ogres.

Day 159, 273 AS: Training goes well. I see flaws and I know how to fix them. The Avatar has granted me insight and shown me the truth of weakness. If a soldier does not succeed, other soldiers will learn from his mistake. Second chances are for the weak.

Day 390, 274 AS: The General Urduuk has brought us weapons as he promised. Shaped in the image of his holy sword, we now bear weapons worthy of our kind. Bronze no longer belongs in our hands. Our enemies will feel death from fine steel. A soldier will be bound to his weapon, for he and it are the same.

Day 114, 275 AS: Drilling will continue for the next two days. Disobedience will not be tolerated. Those that die during the lessons will be ogres. Those that pay in blood and sweat will be true Rallosians.

Day 276 AS: Our Rallosian army strengthens. I have chosen two of the most obedient to be Lieutenants just as I am. The General designed the armor to be given the troops. I am to inform every soldier they must forge their own armor. The heat of the forge must come from the peat of our home. The water that cools the metal must be their blood.

Day 48, 277 AS: The General and the Avatar demand a demonstration of the troops. If the men fail, this will show that I have failed. The General will grant me the honor of severing my own head from my shoulders, for I am his Lieutenant.

Day 49, 277 AS: The wargame has proven me as a true Rallosian. The shock troops have shown they will die when told to. The support troops have shown they will kill their own when told to. The Rallosians now number one hundred score. Training must be doubled.

Day 212, 278 AS: The General will take the first legion and will destroy the surrounding undead. No longer will we suffer them. We are not ogres. We are Rallosians. Their brittle bones will become as dust under the boot of the Empire.

Day 215, 278 AS: The lizardmen were no match for a handful of Rallosians. Their group could not flee, for we kept coming. We will kill more lizardmen if they interfere. The Avatar was pleased to see this. The General nodded his head in approval. We will bring our might upon the Frogloks. They will be annihilated. I so swear upon the name of the General and the name of The Warlord, Rallos.

Flesh Bound Tome

The tome seems to be fashioned from some sort of leathery material. It has been formed with fine craftsmanship to appear like the stretched skin of a dark elf’s face, eyes and mouth sewn shut with sinewy threads. A thin, but durable chain is stretched around the tome and fastens with an ornate lock.

Journal Entry, Darkday: I have arrived in Nektulos Forest in search of my past. The House of Everling held a great manor within this vast timberland. Now that Neriak has fallen I can safely explore this land. There are no more dark elves to keep me from my rightful riches. No more shall the name Everling be separated from its grandeur. I shall begin my trek to reclaim lost fortune by searching for Timber Falls. It must surely be at the front of the Torrent River, a fitting place to build a path to a grand castle.

Journal Entry, Burnday: I have made my way to Timber Falls only to find a glade of natural grandeur. Although it is a beautiful sight to behold, it is not the location of Everling riches. This natural beauty does not make up for the dangers faced approaching here. I will seek another sight I have heard of in this land. They say that there is a titanic ramp that rises to meet a higher plateau. I will find this ramp and climb it. From the vantage point of such a structure I may be able to spy the towers of an Everling estate.

Journal Entry, Windday: Curse this land of haze! I have climbed the mighty ruin and gazed down upon the lowlands only to see the haze of ash that blankets the land. It is worse yet upon this plateau. I can barely take a breath without choking. I shall return to the lowlands and seek out a place more befitting of my lineage. I will seek out a lake the dark elves called Bone Lake. It should rest northeast of here. It is supposed to be the largest lake of the forest. Perhaps there are traces of my ancestors around such a lake.

Journal Entry, Steelday: I have traveled the banks of this lake for naught. I made camp here along the north bank only to be awakened in a cold sweat and memories of a haunting vision. In my feverish nightmare I was confronted in the darkness by two gargoyles with eyes aflame. A door was placed between these titans. They stood silent and with a sudden snap they lashed out at me…all went black. That is when I awoke. What does this mean? Perhaps the mushrooms I added to my stew were not as agreeable as I had hoped. Perhaps I now seek the door between the gargoyles. Could this be Nektropos Castle?

Simply amazing! I have entered the courtyard of Castle Nektropos. The grandeur of this castle is formed of twisted walls and crooked towers. What form of mad mind could have engineered this place? It chills me to the bone to gaze upon this sorrowful manor, but the promise of lost riches deep within its halls beckons me forward. I am an Everling and this is my claim. I spy what appears to be a smithy’s workshop ahead. I shall see what, if any, wonders lie within.

I have made my way into the blacksmith’s forge house. Although I believed this castle abandoned, I instead enter this chamber to find the embers of the forge illuminating the darkness. Someone has been working within here. I would guess orc, but their foul stench is absent. I will continue without torchlight. I am now thankful for the ring passed down…The Circlet of Rikantus. It gives me the eyes of the Teir’Dal. I shall be able to move silently and with sword in hand. I am feeling a presence call to me. It pulls me towards dark hallways to the southeast.

I have happened upon my first encounter of life and myth. While wandering the dark halls I believe I saw a ghostly figure run in front of me. I gave chase and ended up here in a chapel. I cannot believe my eyes…this is the Chapel of Ullkoruuk! I recall tales of this chapel being told by a dark elf in the Backalley in Freeport. Never did I expect to find the mythical chapel of treason in the ruins of my ancestors. The dark elf mentioned a concealed vault in here he was unable to open. And to think, I took him for being rathe brained.

I recall the drunkard mumbling something about battling the traitorous forces within the chapel and releasing its secret unto him. Then he passed out! There seem to be signs of a villainous sect existing in here, but how can I, a single adventurer battle again such odds? But an even better thought to ponder is where did that ghostly figure vanish to? Perhaps it was just a pale servant. I shall seek the servant’s quarter’s out as soon as I come to a decision of whether or not to do battle in this sanctum of betrayal.

I have found what was once a servant’s personal quarter. It appears to have at one time been changed into an oubliette through great arcane power. Shifted walls have swallowed up the doorway that led into this chamber. The only way in was through a breached wall in the adjacent quarters. Whoever was imprisoned in this chamber was never meant to escape. Unfortunately there seems to be no sign of the servant’s remains. Which leads me to believe he has escaped. I find myself praying to silent gods. I pray that this dangerous servant be far from Nektropos Castle.

I spent a restless night within what was once the bunkhouse for Everling Crusaders, the elite guard for my ancestors. I heard horrid sounds all through the night. I set a spike to hold the door closed for the night and huddled next to a fire I had started within the maw of a fireplace that has not been used in decades at least. Now I am on to see what lies nearby. I kept hearing the clanking of billiard balls all night, but was far too frightened to investigate in the pitch of night.

I have found the source of the clanking of midnight billiards, a game room. This hall was intended to relieve the stress of the knights. Ah yes…Knight to C3. The thought of ancient Everling tactics eases my unsettled mind. The equipment seems to be as twisted as everything else, tormented and frozen in mid play! Although I heard a game of billiards from this hall it is quite apparent no fun has been had in here in ages. Perhaps the sound came from above.

Here I stand within the great banquet room reserved for the Everling family. I could have sworn I heard a large gathering within, even smelling roast boar! I swung open the doors to find nothing but emptiness, not even a rat scurrying from sight. The fireplace of the hall was crowned with a hideous mounted boar’s head. It almost seemed as though the thing was alive. I felt it staring at me when I left the room.

I have discovered much in the library, as expected. This is a wealth of information. The Everlings detailed much about their passion for evil artifacts and dark magic. Such things are more fitting of a dark elf rather than human. Rikantus’ eternal research of the occult must surely have something to do with the demise of this place and the Everling name. I have also discovered books similar to this journal of mine. It is most certainly a claim to my heritage. The patch worked flesh-like material also exists on books for each of the family…at least members of the Everlings that last dwelt here.

I am taken aback by the sight and feel of this bedroom. I entered the cold dusty chamber with chills abounding, but something overtook me that I could not explain. I began to feel a great comfort, a great love for this place. I must have blacked out for quite a spell. I awoke feeling as though it was weeks later. The room was disturbed as if I had been living within for this lost time, carefree and ignorant to what lay beyond the bedroom. I must have escaped the spell or it wore off. I care never to return here, and that little doll upon the bed is hypnotic…staring at me. I hear the name Drusis.

I have discovered a room that appears to have been recently lived in. I cannot say I feel the warmth of the living in this place, but something has definitely been inhabiting this room. The books upon the case appear to have been moved and number of them seem to be recently published editions. The symbols upon the walls are strangely familiar. I have seen them elsewhere, on some other adventure. I do believe I will hold up in here for a spell. Perhaps rest and read a book or two before I decide how best to renovate my reclaimed estate.

The door to these quarters has slammed shut! I cannot open it. There is only one way to go, forward…or rather below. I fear what lies ahead, but I am here now. I pray that my lineage gives way to mercy from whatever horror I am fated to encounter within these halls. I should have disregarded the clues that unveiled the existence of this castle. This place is slowly turning into a part of my past I do not wish to claim and was best left in slumber. Why did I take this wretched tome from that evil hag? – Maltus Everling

After finding my way into the cellars, I have found Rikantus’ concealed codex. Perhaps following the words within this flesh bound tome will gain me some reward after all. I will have to thank Theeral the nomad with a few gold earned from the heavy coin I am sure to earn from selling any valuables I loot here. Perhaps I will make enough to erect my own castle to rival this one. …Castle…has a nice ring to it.

Welcome to the master. The master welcomes you and any friends with open arms and open doors. We have waited so long for you. Your fate awaits you beyond this door. We have prepared the laboratory for your arrival. Do come in.

"Bloodstained Journal, Vol 1"

“22nd July, 3222 Good grief. Just as one pointless expedition into the backside of civilisation finishes, another begins. I always knew that cursed Provost Tredore was jealous of my studies and the success of my experiments. Why else would he send me, Derion Livingstone, on these Gods-forsaken errands, and not one of the seemingly endless supply of novices that he foolishly admits to our dear Academy of Arcane Sciences? Jealousy, simple jealously. We’ll see who it is that has the last laugh when I return. I have plans for our Provost. 23rd July, 3222 It seems that we’re destined for the Feerrott; if there were a more dingy and unsanitary place, then I am quite certain that I’ve not heard of it. Between the stench of Oggok, the Gypsy-infested Mountains of Rathe and Innothule Swamp, I cannot imagine a place I’d rather be less. Even the blasted druids threw cabbage at us as we passed the Old Rings. Provost Tredore claims that the filthy Tae Ew lizards are stirring up trouble, something to do with a breach into an alter plane. I don’t believe it for a moment. 24th July, 3222 Curiouser and curiouser. We reached the outskirts of the Tae Ew temple this morning; it certainly appears.. different. There is a distinct taint in the balance of the planar forces here, emanating from the temple itself. Could that fool Tredor have been correct? My faithful servant, Kinopio, is setting up the tents. The juniors assigned to me – Scrapsnatcher, Aluram, Morkul and Felwah – have asked leave for the evening. I am not a cruel man, we shall begin in earnest tomorrow. Besides, Kinopio has some rather decent pipeweed. 25th July, 3222 Felwah seems to have a touch of madness this morning, blathering about monsters in her dreams. Arcane Sciences cannot depend on the ramblings of the weak-willed. I have ordered the doors to the temple to be forced open – let us see what these scienceless heathens are up to! Onwards!”