by Zapho the Ancient of Ak’Anon
A guide to quaintly named random clusters of stars seen in the night sky.
Of course they’re in the night sky; you couldn’t see them during the day! — Zapho the Ancient
Sprocketsnik’s Tinkering is the name for a grouping of several stars that represent the Tinkerer before an anvil.
A well-known tinkerer in his day, Sprocketsnik’s workshop was occasionally engulfed in flames dur to the speed at which he worked.
Sparks surround his figure in the constellation, obscuring it on all but the clearest of nights.
A family of gnomes named Gizmo were dedicated to building a better sailing device.
Their efforts pleased Brell Serilis so much that he had them turned into the Glittering Gizmos constellation when the first Wind-o-Matic exploded during testing, scattering their remains.
Before measurements were standardized, folks used the Star of Ak’Anon to indicate levels of brightness.
“That’s a ten Star” meant an object was ten times as bright as the Star of Ak’Anon on a clear night.
One of several star clusters named for creatures, the Minotaur’s Horn resembles its namesake, with a bright star marking its tip, while lesser celestial lights outline its triangular shape.
Late in the season, the horn is seen facing toward the east with its widest area facing toward the ground. If this is seen prior to the harvest, it indicates fields of plenty. When this occurs after harvest has begun, there is a chance for famine.
Though some remember Meldrath the Malignant for his minotaurs, he was also keen on building racing ships that could pierce through any hull.
One of his ships is represented amongst the stars as Meldrath’s Fury, a bright cluster of stars grouped in a circle, trailed by a plume of faint scattered stars.
The Cog of Cobbleknob represents the strongest cog in the sky, one spoke for every direction.
Some say it represents the eye of Brell, watching over the gnomes, fringed by shimmering eyelashes.
Others say that the Cobbleknob family paid dearly for the opportunity to have this constellation named for them.
The constellation Clockword MX is generally low in the night sky no matter what the season.
Look for twin lights at the center of a spiral of eight appendages, each marked by three progressively fainter stars.
Some of the MX’s stars are part of other constellations, making this one truly difficult to locate.
Gribletobs greatest invention, the Magnificent Gadget, was said to be called the “Malfunctioning Gadget” as the center cog was always having trouble, but the four along the edge never wavered.
Look for a single star in a dark field, surrounded by its faithful and unwavering companions.
Overview of Ak’Anon
Ak’Anon, home of the gnomes, is a maze of tunnels beneath the Steamfont Mountains on the continent of Faydwer. The entrance is dug into the face of one of the mountains and is guarded by warriors of both clockwork and mortal build. Dark and grand with carvings and jewels, the city is filled with the strange machinery of gnomes, and powered by cold water.
Reclusive by nature, the gnomes wished to remain apart from the raging conflicts of Norrath’s surface dwelling races and were one of Faydwer’s secrets for centuries. The years of seclusion allowed the gnomes to continue their projects and research in relative peace. When the time came for their presence to be discovered, it was a discovery of magnitude and wonder unfathomable by even the most eccentric of the era’s bards.
Now a well known part of Faydwer, the gnomes of Ak’Anon continue to remain as far from the affairs of the continent’s other races as possible. However, their discovery led to their mechanical inventions being unleashed upon the world. Clockwork mechanisms of all sorts made their way across the globe, entrancing and bewildering all of Norrath’s citizens. Some of these mechanisms would eventually escape their crafters into nearby countryside of Steamfont where even today the rogue clockworks can be seen roaming aimlessly.
The city of Ak’Anon is ruled by King Ak’Anon, considered the greatest invention of all gnomish kind. An immortal ruler who represents all that the gnomes have prided themselves upon since their creation – immense creativity and ingenious craftsmanship – King Ak’Anon is a mechanical construction like no other. Although the King is of clockwork construction every bolt, nut, and turning cog of his form has been infused with the original entity of though, emotion, and intelligence.
During the first year of King Ak’Anon’s reign, it is said that he brought great prosperity and peace to his people, delivering them from the depths of an ancient and mysterious conflict where his predecessors had previously failed.
For nearly two hundred years the believed King Ak’Anon presided over his city and loyal people, but he had grown old and weary. As a gift to their most beloved king, the priests and arcane scholars of the city constructed what would be their greatest invention.
King Ak’Anon has presided over his people for nearly five centuries, and not one year of his rule has yielded a hardship that can be compared to those of Norrath’s other civilizations. Strife and war has been all but abolished, giving the gnomes of Ak’Anon room for creativity, research, and celebration – despite their religious persuasions.
Ak’Anon’s guildmasters are based on factions within the city which are mostly deity related. There is a guildmaster for each class that is available to gnomes. Spell and tome merchants are also available for those classes. Here is a list of the main guildmasters:
Evah Xokez – (Cleric)
Eonis Mournunder – (Necromancer)
Garret Zethkog – (Shadow Knight)
Rilgor Plegnog – (Enchanter)
Vaenor Husga – (Magician)
Kaxon Frennor – (Rogue)
Naygog Miltope – (Warrior)
Velena Corgtec – (Wizard)
Iony Gredlong – (Cleric)
Lewis Reldnok – (Paladin)
Welno Tanlonikan – (Rogue)
Wuggan Azushpere – (Magician)
Tobon Starpyre – (Wizard)
Juline Urncaller – (Enchanter)
Baxok Curhunter – (Warrior)
Ak’Anon 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 baking, blacksmithing, fletching, jewelcrafting, pottery, tailoring, and of course tinkering which is unique to Ak’Anon.
One of Ak’Anon’s most renown features is the system of citywide clockwork Guides. These unique clockworks will not only tell you where to find certain points of interest, they will escort you to the location or nearby it. Destinations include:
The Ak’Anon Zoo
The Great Wheel
Forge of Defiance
Tools of Battle
Places of Interest
Ak’Anon Palace is home to the throne of his majesty, King Ak’Anon. All visitors to the palace must first report to a receptionist. It rests on an island in the center of Lake Tildunk.
The Ak’Anon Zoo
The Ak’Anon Zoo is home to some of the rarest creatures in Norrath. Inside you will find minotaur, tigers and bears, among other creatures. This area is also where you will find the city bank and tavern.
Abbey of Deep Musing
The Abbey of Deep Musing is a small shrine and Abbey dedicated to the worship of Fizzlethorpe Bristlebane and Brell Serilis. These gnomish priests worship one deity or the other but both use the same shrine and cooperate with each other. The head priest for the shrine of Mischief is Lewis Reldnok and the head priest for the Underfoot is Iony Gredlong. The rogue guild is hidden within the lower level of the Abbey. The priests keep this secret from the rest of the city because the rogue guild often works to further the goals of their deities. Welno Tanlonikan is the guildmaster of rogues.
This elaborate library serves as the guild hall for the Eldritch Collective. There are three wings to the building dedicated to wizards, magicians, and enchanters. Meldrath the Malignant , also known as Meldrath the Mad, once belonged to the Eldritch Collective. Once he began to dabble in the black art of necromancy, his heart and mind soon turned black and evil. He rebelled against the Eldritch Collective and went into the Steamfont Mountains to create a fortress of his own.
This is the gnome warrior guild, called the Gemchoppers. Here Baxok Curhunter, the Guildmaster, deals with all guild matters, including the training of students in ax wielding, which is his specialty. The Gemchoppers are the policing force of Ak’Anon and are allied with King Ak’Anon.
The Mines of Malfunction
This maze of tunnels is hidden deep within Ak’Anon. The Dark Reflection hides within the Mines of Malfunction. It is said to be all that is left of Meldrath’s followers. These are not insane gnomes, but rather evil twisted and intelligent warriors, rogues, necromancers, shadow knights, and other worshippers of Bertoxxulous.
The Great Wheel
Near the edge of the main cavern of the city is a waterfall that the gnomes have harnessed with a large water wheel. The Great Wheel provides ninety-eight percent of the energy employed in Ak’Anon. It was designed by King Ak’Anon himself. They use this wheel to power the strange machines of their town.
The Works is the main supplier of all the essentials for venturing into the wilds of the Steamfont Mountains and beyond.
Forge of Defiance
Within the walls of the Forge of Defiance, the finest armor is forged and sold.
Tools of Battle
The Tools of Battle is the finest supplier of weapons on Faydwer.
The Scrapyard is where one can discard unwanted refuse, sometimes for a price.
The Gatehouse serves as the repair shop for all automations in Ak’Anon. It also the last line of defense.
The sounds of gnomish cheers and clockwork gears echo throughout the continent of Faydwer as the Steamfont Mountains transforms its appearance. This revamp will be included with the Game Update on Thursday, October 25th. Read part of the lore surrounding this area and view a photo gallery look at the changes that were made.
Named for the natural geysers and springs found in its rocky peaks, these mountains surround the gnome city of Ak’Anon. It is known that the dragons had once dwelled here, for the fossilized remains of very young dragon can be viewed inside a small valley. The presence of Steamfont’s drakes also indicates that the region may once have had some greater significance to the children of Veeshan. However, that history was lost long before the arrival of the elves or the surfacing of the gnomes.
Today, Steamfont acts as a training ground for young gnomish pupils, as well as for those elves and dwarves that brave the dangerous trek through the Lesser Faydark. Minotaurs from the mines of Meldrath are among the most challenging foes due to their social and cooperative nature.
The mountains of Steamfont are bordered by the Lesser Faydark to the east, and the gates to the glorious subterranean city of Ak’Anon to the far west – gates installed safely within a mountain face and heavily guarded by some of Ak’Anon’s most renown warriors.
Gyrospire Beza and Zeka are two of three towers made by Meldrath specifically to guard his keep and serve as a flanking force in attacks. Gyrospire Azia was destroyed in the attack by the Gnomes from Ak`Anon while Gyrospire Beza and Zeka both remain functional. Beza is currently the oldest tower. It was the second Gyrospire created, and has become the “lead” tower. Zeka is the newest tower, and one of Meldrath’s experiments at an ultimate weapon. At the top of the tower is a large steam and magic powered catapult that can be used with devastating ability, though it is a bit cumbersome and ends up best used as a siege weapon. There were many failures and many tower designs before Zeka, but they all failed spectacularly. This final tower is a success.
Despite attempts to have the towers completely clockwork controlled, Meldrath found that some times a more creative brain is required. While clockworks dominate in Gyrospire Beza there are gnomes, brownies, and minotaurs in the zone as well. Gyrospire Zeka is a different story. The Captain of the tower, a steamwork, took it upon itself to remove all living creatures from its tower. It has such a hatred for anything living that it has systematically killed everything from Meldrath’s gnomes to the rats in the walls. Nothing lives within this tower. The only living being that it will tolerate in its domain is Meldrath, and only because its programming to not harm Meldrath is so deep it has not been able to alter it. Meldrath tolerates this destruction because to him even his living servants are just tools to use and discard.
Secrets of Faydwer – Unfolding the Lore: Part 1
It is said that Meldrath had a conjoined twin with whom he was connected at the chest. One boy’s heart was as pure as the waters of the Vasty Deep and his eyes shone with a beautiful light and the other’s heart was as dark and cold as the waters of the Ink Sea and his eyes were as black as two pools of oil. Their two hearts beat as one, each balanced by the extreme of the other. So balanced were they, in fact, that they were both known as Meldrath because no one thought of them as two, let alone suspected the extremes of their souls. They lived in peace, gliding through Ak’Anon wrapped in each other’s arms like slow dancers.
Meldrath’s mother, however, wanted the two sons she thought she deserved and constantly sought a way to disconnect them. One day Fizzlethorpe Bristlebane, ruler of the Plane of Mischief disguised himself as a healer and gave their mother a magic sword to disconnect them. She ran home and, finding them asleep, plunged the sword between them. Both were unharmed and the two rubbed their eyes sleepily.
She rejoiced, but as she looked from one to the other she noticed for the first time that one was beautiful and the other ugly. One looked at her with loving, sweet eyes and the other with hatred. Suddenly, the beautiful Meldrath began to rise higher and higher into the air. His mother screamed and tried to hold him down but the ugly Meldrath bit her leg and stomped on her foot. The beautiful Meldrath floated up to the surface of Norrath and into the sky and was never seen again.
The ugly Meldrath was cast out by his bitter, angry mother and rejected by the people of Ak’Anon. He traveled to the east coast of the Steamfont Mountains, where he resides to this day. In the decades that have passed, Meldrath’s hold upon the Steamfont Mountains became absolute – the drakes, harpies, and the precious Minotaurs had fallen under his malignant grip. The minotaurs have since constructed a mining complex, where Meldrath resides, overseeing the mining production of metals used to construct much of the clockwork mechanisms found throughout Steamfont and Ak`Anon. It is unknown as to what Meldrath’s ultimate agenda may be, although some fear that it may be too late to stop this mad, hateful necromancer.
It is not an uncommon occurrence for young gnomish adventurers, or even the sturdier gnome guards who patrol the mountain region, to disappear and never be heard from again. Many believe this to be the work of Meldrath, who has made his absolute hatred and desire for revenge upon the people of Ak`Anon more than apparent.
Home to the mad Gnome Meldrath, Fortress Mechanotus is a giant cuckoo clock of gears, sprockets, geysers and steam driven machines. Meldrath uses his mechanized creations to wreak his vengeance on his own people, who many years before rejected and exiled him. The Fortress is a dangerous place as Meldrath’s insanity knows no limits.
Meldrath the Malignant is a well known trouble maker in the gnome city of Ak’Anon. His past is fraught with pain and hatred, and his anger toward the people of Ak’Anon knows no limits. For several decades Meldrath has been known to inhabit the mines in Steamfont. Too close for comfort for most gnomes, but at least King Ak’Anon and his people knew where he was. At least they thought they did.
The gnome that has been running the mines for so long is only an apprentice, given the unpleasant task by his master of masquerading as Meldrath to keep suspicion away from his other activities. During those decades Meldrath has been busy building Fortress Mechanotus. Mechanotus is a massive fortress ringed with gnomish siege devices, built on a plateau in the heart of the Steamfont Mountains. After more than twenty years his scheming and construction are complete! Faydwer will tremble with the power of Fortress Mechanotus as it rises into the air to begin its assault on Ak’Anon!
Meldrath’s fortress swarms with various types of the creatures he calls steamworks. He has improved on the feeble clockworks created by other gnomes by giving them a volatile steam power source, making them much stronger and perhaps a bit less reliable. Minotaurs still handle Meldrath’s slaves, which now include a tribe of unfortunate brownies that have adapted to life inside the massive metallic fortress. At the apex of Fortress Mechanotus is Meldrath’s Majestic Mansion, the heart of a massive mechanomagical war machine. It is there that Meldrath himself resides. It is there that the destruction of Ak’Anon may yet find its beginning.