Category Archives: Neriak

Dorn B’Dynn

A tall and well-formed dark elf, Dorn B’Dynn is in self-imposed exile in the Desert of Ro, and hates every moment of it. Raised a member of the Cauldron of Hate, the guild of warriors in Neriak, B’Dynn has never been satisified with his position in Teir’Dal society. He has spent his long life plotting to increase his prestige, seeking the status that comes with personal power. B’Dynn took up the study of necromancy, but discovered that even that did not meet his needs. When teh guildmaster of the Cauldron of Hate decided he neded a trusted warrior to maintain a present in the Desert of Ro, B’Dynn saw great opportunity to gain a reputation, so he volunteered.

B’Dynn’s main duty is to ensure various smuggled goods shipped from Faydwer and Kunark are delivered safely to the Dismal Rage in Freeport. He also spies on other forces within Ro and the Oasis of Marr, mtains diplomatic ties to the Scorchfist Orcs, and arranges safe passage of trolls out of Grobb (a service that requires the trolls to serve a Teir’Dal master for several years – a source of many troll guards for the dark elves).

B’Dynn has gone far beyond his stated duties, however. He has forme da close alliance with the dervishes of the desert, and plans to bring them fully under his control in teh decades to come. He hopes to make them the core of his own army, with which he will claim control of all the lands from Freeport to Innothule Swamp. He then intends to take control of the troll lands as well, bolstering his army further. Once he has this level of mastery he plans to make a conerted effort to raid the remains of Takish’Hiz, and any other old elven ruin, regardless of how many dervishes and trolls he has to kill in the effort. He sees the gypsies as his primary opposition in this effort, and never misses an opportunity to make their lives difficult.

Quest: Seakillers’ Heads
Faction: Cauldron of Hate (-1 rank)
NPC: Dorn B’Dynn
CR: 17
Reward: +1 faction rank with the Cauldron of Hate and the Coalition of Tradefolk Underground (maximum +3 each from this quest). 10d10 platinum pieces
Consequences: -1 faction rank with the Gypsies and the Knights of Truth
Quest Summary:
A trio of 3 seafury cyclops brothers called Malquar, Heferus and Querl Seakiller have discovered one of the routes used by the smugglers who support the Teir’Dal, and have been stealing supplies and destroying ships. Dorn B’Dynn has discovered they have a lair in the southern Desert of Ro, but is unwilling to risk himself to find their exact location or to attack them himself. He is more than happy to allow a band of adventurers trying to gain acceptannce with the dark elves to risk their lives in solving his problem.
B’Dynn doesn’t care about the stolen goods or the destroyed ships and their crews, as such losses are inevitable in a smuggling operation, but if the Seakillers aren’t elminated the losses may become too great for him to hide from his masters in Neriak. What he needs is the heads of the three brothers brought to him as proof they are no longer a threat to his operations.
The quest can be rerun with different foes, such as sand giants, Quag Maelstrom and even Cazel

Child of Innoruuk

You say, ‘Hail Zyrria I`Vanres’

Zyrria I`Vanres narrows her eyes as she briefly but carefully studies the Wolf Elemental before her. A look of irritation crosses her features as she exhales slowly in a faint growl. ‘Yes? State your business, Kaylorn . One such as I has not the time for idle and pointless conversation. There are much more [meaningful tasks] to which of my esteemed position and power of skills must attend.’

You say, ‘What about meaningful tasks’

Zyrria I`Vanres raises her brow sharply, her beautiful features twisting in disgust and surprise. ‘Are you to say that you do not recognize who and what I am? I am Zyrria I`Vanres of the Ebon Mask, sent here by my master, Tani N`Mar. Within Neriak, I am second to only him in rank and power, although I chose not to dabble in the political affairs that have abound in our city, thus why I am not widely recognized. My place lies elsewhere – in the shadows. I am a rogue, after all; a keeper of secrets and a bargainer with chance. Despite this location, tainted with the disgusting stench of the Fier`Dal, Tani has made quite an intelligent decision in sending me here to [observe]. It is most pleasing to have one recognize my talents and put them to an important use.’

You say, ‘What about observe’

Zyrria I`Vanres says ‘The forest, not to dodge the most abase of answers. Much of [great interest] to the Ebon Mask has occurred here in these past days. In fact, so interesting that I believe I might be so lucky as to gain council with the [Child of Innoruuk] regarding my reports here.

You say, ‘what about great interest’

Zyrria I`Vanres says ‘Not too long ago, the powers of The Faceless touched these lands. In his wake, he left behind some… things of interest. Alterations to the frail nature of this area, if you will. All of which seems rather trivial for a divine power of his stature and following, but amusing none the less. What has been done to the [precious maiden unicorn] is by far the most pleasing news I have had in many years.

You say, ‘what about precious maiden unicorn’

Zyrria I`Vanres smiles wickedly as her eyes light with a sadistic amusement. Equestrielle, a creature that was said to be closest to Tunare in its creation and existence. A being that represents purity, faith, honor, and life. No more does she show such things, as she is now a being of Cazic-Thule’s will. How marvelous, is it not? There are some I know who find it most tragic. A forest filled with sobbing fair elves! Hahaha! And to think, this greatest wonder came from the hand of Firiona Vie herself! It is a pity that one cannot obtain the horn as the champion carries it with her, but I believe I could make do without. Bring me two hides of a blighted mare and two enchanted platinum bars. They may not be Equestrielle herself, but they are steeds of The Faceless’s creation.

When you turn in the two blighted mare hides + 2 bars of enchanted plat you get a pack that has 30% weight reduction and holds medium items. Here is the text that follows…

Zyrria I`Vanres says ‘Excellent… oh, wait, damn. I can’t use these. The properties I was searching for seemed to have vanished in the death of the creature, although they are not entirely useless. I cannot let you go without reward, it would be a foolish loss of investment. Here, at least these hides should be of some use to someone. It is truly a pity that I cannot obtain Equestrielle’s horn. What glorious perversions we could create in furthering its corruption and pushing Tunare farther away from these lands/ Unfortunately for us, this is Cazic-Thule’s territory, and so [his minions] have come to lay claim to such spectacular finds.

Your faction standing with EbonMask got better.
Your faction standing with GuardsofQeynos got worse.
Your faction standing with WolvesoftheNorth got worse.
Your faction standing with GuardiansoftheVale gotworse.
Your faction standing with CarsonMcCabe got
You gain experience!!

You say, ‘what aboout his minions’

Zyrria I`Vanres says ‘There is one called Ytharisth Nerishar, an Iksar and supposed officer of the Cult of the Arisen. I have made attempts several times to make peace with him and bargain for researching territory, but he seems adamant about keeping all of this for himself and his people. Perhaps… no, no I would be asking too much of one as yourself, and although you have proven yourself worthy of being my loyal dog, I do not think you are quite the type to perform any acts of diplomacy.

The Interrogation of Opal Darkbriar

Opal Darkbriar: “Release me immediately! Cristanos Thex will not stand for this!”

Opal Darkbriar: “Do you know who I am? I have powerful allies!”

Opal Darkbriar: “These infernal wards nullify my translocation spells…”

Opal Darkbriar: “If you do not release me there will be hell to pay! Do you hear me?!”

Captain Maganus strides into the cell block, the two resting spellsplitter’s snapping to attention. The third shows no sign he is aware his commander has entered the room.

a Militia spellsplitter: “Captain.”

Opal Darkbriar: “Maganus. How much longer do you plan on holding me here?! This is a grave insult to lock me in this cage!”

Captain Maganus: “Calm yourself, Darkbriar. No one is buying into your theatrics.”

Opal Darkbriar: “You threaten the entire city of Freeport by detaining me. Neriak will not stand for this!”

Captain Maganus: “Is that so…?”

Opal Darkbriar: “Queen Cristanos Thex, herself, will see to my release.”

Captain Maganus: “I believe you are sadly mistaken, Opal. You see, it was the queen who allowed us to enter Neriak and apprehend you, traitor.”

Opal Darkbriar: “You are lying!”

Captain Maganus: “Am I? There were certain conditions that were agreed upon when the Darklight Pact was signed, your arrest was one of them. The Overlord doesn’t take kindly to having his property stolen.”

Opal Darkbriar: “I didn’t steal anything! Secondly, Neriak would go to war before allowing itself to sign a treaty with the likes of that madman.”

Captain Maganus: “Fortunately, Queen Thex has a wiser head than you. You sadly overestimate the strength of Neriak. The queen was in no position to do much bartering.”

Opal Darkbriar: “You are delusional, human. Neriak has been, and will always be one of the greatest empires on Norrath!”

Captain Maganus: “I am afraid it is you that is out of touch of reality, my dear Darkbriar. Thex couldn’t sign the treaty fast enough… what with the multiple legions camped on her doorstep once the Commonlands tunnel was completed.”

Opal Darkbriar: “Make no mistake, it is just a temporary convenience.”

Captain Maganus: “Lord Razon Blayze has been assigned permanently to Hate’s Envy to oversee the relations between Neriak and Freeport. He’ll make sure Neriak upholds their part of the longstanding treaty.”

Opal Darkbriar: “My nation will not be held to such conditions for long. I will see to that personally as a loyal and powerful ally of the Teir’Dal Empire!”

Captain Maganus: “Ah, well there is that as well. Your allegiance is something of suspect these days.”

Opal Darkbriar: “How dare you! I am Teir’Dal!”

Captain Maganus: “The queen wasn’t aware of such theft, and it was your hasty escape that led us right to Neriak’s hidden doorstep. We have you to thank for Freeport’s present political gain.”

Captain Maganus: “What we want to know is who you were working for when you stole Soulfire.”

Opal Darkbriar: “I wasn’t working for any-!”

Captain Maganus: “No, don’t protest… I wouldn’t expect you to divulge any information… and it would save our ears from your screeching. Rest assured my spellsplitter division will discover the answers we seek.”

Opal Darkbriar: “A division you wouldn’t have if it wasn’t for me and my academy’s training. You owe me, Maganus.”

Captain Maganus: “If we relied on your faulty training we’d still be searching for the clues of your theft… something I have no doubt you intended.”

Opal Darkbriar: “Listen… we can work something out! I… I can make it worth your while. What is it you want? Power?! Money?! Love…”

Captain Maganus: “You are getting desperate, Darkbriar… and you insult me. We will get to the bottom of this, and then the time of your trial will be at hand. Good day, Opal.”

The Captain turns sharply and strides towards the exit. Just before reaching the stairs Darkbriar calls out to hi one last time…

Opal Darkbriar: “Maganus! Maganus! You can’t leave me here! He’ll have me executed! He’ll do it himself!”

Maganus pauses, half turning back to her. His eyes close briefly as he says quietly,

Captain Maganus: “I believe that’s the plan.”


The Hammer of Below

The Hammer of Below begins amidst the conflict of the unworthy. It is a relic whose path led through the abyssal lair of the last child of the Ocean Lord. It is within that hold, a prison of Prexus some would say, that the omega did vie with the intellect. This battle of egos will someday begin the mortal quest of Stormhammer.

Deep sixed within an oubiette, many adventurers have perished. He is the last of his kind, the last of the Norrathian children of Qisallis. With a physique formed of fish and Dal, the omega guards his keep. Those who enter find themselves eternal residents of this deathly realm. What was once a city of deep learning has become a memorial of a race long forgot. The omega allows no departures from this ancient place. Here by his side the creatures of Qisallis flutter and float and incarcerate those who seek what is not theirs. No one escapes, but the intellect defies this law.

A great power of the abyss meets a legendary intellect. Such a confrontation is made for the ages. It all began with a threat of knowledge, a release of a secret… a taunt of the highest power. The great intellect that hailed from Mount Erudition delved into the ancient ages and uncovered the reason for the omega, the hidden force behind an extinction of the children of the Ocean Lord. Entering into the murky ruins, he entered armed with only this lost truth. It is all he needed.

With a threat and a boast the intellect defies his host. The one from below is enraged and mad that his secret is released, a secret of great sadness. To the one that did taunt, death would have arrived if it were not for the supernatural stalemate. A power that was the unwitting end of a race is also wielded by a highman. The intellect directs a threat of destruction if his demands are not met. The power that could destroy an entire race within the blink of a titan’s eye could be unleashed by one who has studied and mastered the many circles of the arcane. The omega must comply and the great intellect wins the day.

The keep of the abyss has been compromised and the great intellect threatens to return. But the omega strikes back in silence and within a vision granted the eyes of the intellect shall be redirected. A vision is given of a great relic of below, a hammer of the gods that once lay in the hands of the first kind of Kaladim. This vision was granted to an unscrupulous stout by the name of Duskan Hammerhand. In the vision, the hammer is secreted beneath the great cauldron, within a barnacle-encrusted tower. Here it is guarded by goblins of the abyss. Here is where Hammerhand shall find it.

Duskan recognized the holy relic of the dwarves. Delusions of grandeur lead him to a foolish attempt to retrieve the hammer. The witless bandit dives into the cauldron and locates the citadel of the abyss. His entry depicts his great skill, but the halls of water are not gracious to guests. The goblins of the abyss are quick to spring to action. Their movements were as fluid as the tides. His dreams of being the lone hero are in vain, his mission into the barnacle citadel, futile. Barely escaping with his life, the stout rises to the surface. He knows he must return to Kaladim and lick his wounds. The glory of rescue shall be a joint venture of rogue and guard.

Crawling along the short, near death and barely coherent, Duskan manages to convince a party of passing trotters to escort him to the kingdom of the dwarves. There, Duskan is brought before King Kazon Stormhammer and explains his vision and his ordeal. The king organizes an expedition to recover the hammer. At the lead of this assault are three dwarven champions; Boric Stormhammer, Kalek Orefinder and Fenric Ogrebane. These three heroes are aided by guard and trotter. Trotters have a tendency to fall into the ventures of the ancient empires. What it is they seek is not glory, but riches and power. Their mettle is soon tested as the mission to retrieve Dagnor’s Fist begins.

The march to the cauldron is long and hard. The heroes of the kingdom reached the shores. Battling back the vanguard of the abyss was done at ease. The battle continued into the murky depths of the cauldron. The heroes breached the barnacled-keep and cut down the forces within. The final defender would not be so easy, or alone. The goblin Tide Lord faced the heroes in a battle for the hammer. Although the Tide Lord was powerful, the heroes found an advantage. When victory was near, Phinigel Autropos did appear. With power unmatched, the omega stymies the heroes, driving them back. Then without reason, he vanished. The heroes are victorious, so it would seem. The hammer is won.

The victory march back to Kaladim is interrupted. A Teir’Dal hero and his dragoon raiding party appear and a violent battle ensues. In the skirmish, the heroes are outnumbered and each falls against insurmountable odds. Valkis D’Vinn, leader of the dragoons, carefully seals the captured hammer in an enchanted chest, and orders his group to march to the nearby kingdom of the orcs and ally to Neriak. But Fenric is not dead! His ability to feign death is unrivaled. Through words heard upon the field of defeat, he heard of the destination of the hammer, Crushbone Keep. When the evil army is departed, the injured hero crawls back to Kaladim and with him comes the location of the hammer.

A final operation to reclaim the hammer of Dagnor Butcherblock is undertaken. An army of Stormguard and trotter is organized. No force could keep them from reaching the doors to Crushbone Keep. While Stormguard warriors battle Crushbone centurions a band of heroes enters to find the chest that holds the hammer. The sealed adamant chest of Thex passes into the possession of the heroes. The victorious force returned to Kaladim to deliver the chest to King Kazon. Unfortunately, the chest was impregnable, a stolen device of gnomish invention. The hammer was locked within.

Within the borderlands of the Teir’Dal Empire the key of the chest awaits. Such a place is unfamiliar to a dwarf, but not to trotter. The trotters are hired to retrieve the key. In a long expedition into the Ashlands of Tunaria, the final heroes do find the owner of the key. Captain Na’Var and his dragoons are met. The struggle for the key is long, but the trotters proved their strength. The key is taken and makes its way across the Ocean of Tears to meet the hands of the king of Kaladim. The heroes are honored and the Hammer of Butcherblock has returned to its home.

But this is not the artifact behind these words. In this tale of the hammer of the first kind of Kaladim, the riddle of Stormhammer rests. What once restrained the glorious radiance of the hammer now reveals the riddle. Through a path of a divided key, it will lead a hero. Listen well to whispers of champions and the journey shall begin. The Stormhammer, hammer of below, hammer of the thunder lords, hammer forged in the Underfoot and lost to all. This hammer shall wait beyond turmoil, beyond war and beyond cataclysms. Within Destiny it awaits.

The Diary of Tserrina Syl’Tor

My Personal Accounts

Tserrina Syl’Tor

Finally my training has come into fruition. King Thex has bestowed upon me the coveted title “Enchantress of Neriak”. With the knowledge I have gained, there is a ritual I am seeking to perform. However, acquiring the components for this ritual will not come easy, or if at all. Still I will pursue this until I have either secured the components or have died trying. Of other interests, I noted an intriguing man strolling through the quarter this evening. There was something different about him. Perhaps I can inquire around to find out more.

I returned from my trek into the wilderness. I have found the creature I sought and with little effort obtained his essence. I am looking forward to the outcome of the ritual. A few more preparations and my immortality will be secured.All the preparations and research were fruitless. I neither see nor feel a change in either my being or inner self. How could this be, I had the best training in Norrath! There is no doubt that this ritual should have worked.

I saw the mysterious man again today and took it upon myself to make proper introductions. He introduced himself as nobility and told me that his family bloodline is deeply intertwined with these ancient lands. As we conversed I noticed something there. I have concluded this something is what drew me to him. Our meeting was not by chance.Rarely do I see my dark prince as he seems to only attend a select few social gathering. However, he is in the forefront of my mind. Not a day passes without wondering where he is or what he is doing at this precise moment I fear if he does not give me a sign of interest soon my heart shall wither away into nothing.
Worried, I decided to send a messenger forth with a missive and a simple gift. The gift, I hoped, would make him take note of what an intelligent and capable sorceress I am; one truly worthy of his love and attention.

What a fool I have been! How could I have been so blind? My motives controlled solely by my wanton emotions. I am nothing to him. He would rather keep the company of those beasts than with me. Someday he shall feel the pain and humiliation that I have personally felt at his hand.

It has been some time since I have put my thoughts onto parchment. I have been going about this all the wrong way. One can catch more flies with honey. So I bat my eyelashes and pursue his dark company. He must find that I have forgiven him for such a betrayal. Lately, in the evenings, he has begun to come calling for me. At night we sit in front of the fireplace in the parlor and discuss the goings on of Neriak. I’m not sure which is more amusing, the stories told or that my plan is going perfectly.My dark prince tells of a spectacular tower he has commissioned in my honor. I am told by him the tower contains many rare treasures, some even from his own personal collection. If I am so inclined, we would live in the tower together, with my most trusted handmaiden Cara. Before the next moon, we will reside in our wintery tower.

My dark prince and I spent our evening dining together. To celebrate our impending nuptials he poured a special wine from his personal collection. I had to excuse myself early as I was not feeling well at all. The room spun and my vision was not entirely there. My physical appearance is changing, although I cannot bear to go into detail. My dark prince has informed me, after checking in on me, that he has to be away on business for a while. I anxiously await his return.It has been several moons after my prince was supposed to have returned to me and he still sends no word. Here I have stood at the altar waiting his return. And it has become obvious his intentions have changed. I have attempted to leave the icy tower in search of him, however that is impossible. I am now stuck in the prison I have made for myself. I have, in my outrage, confined all the servants to the tower. If I am unable to venture into the outside world, so shall all the occupants of this tower be thus confined!

The Case of the Ursa Rhym

I have been assigned by Lady Alethea Jyleel to investigate the tragedy of the fairiefolke living within the Gully of the Ursa Rhym. The rhym seem to be a type of fairy about the size of a firefly, if not smaller. These rhym gather the information of the environment around them like a sponge absorbs water. This information is then processed and emitted in a melody that few outside of the rhym can decipher. In this case, Lady Alethea is capable of reading the melodies of these tiny fairies.
I managed to locate the Gully of the Ursa Rhym within a western crag in the Greater Faydark, on the way to Steamfont Mountains. The gully used to be a magical little village where numerous rhym buzzed about in melody, but the melody is no more. I have discovered the rhym village in disarray and destruction. The little village was ruined through dark magic, this is quite evident from the arcane smoke and unyielding flames that now consume the habitat.

Unable to properly decipher the clues before me, I was forced to enlist the aid of the legendary sleuth, Inspector Berlok Beeglesnoop. The great inspector told me that I could become an investigator myself should I acquire the three volume Investigator Guidelines, penned by the master detective himself. Although, in his old age, he would not offer me these valuable manuscripts, I was able to pry a few hints as to where I might find these books. Through an illogical and often frustrating conversation with the inspector, I was able to deduce that the books could be found in Felwithe.

Amidst the madness that now envelopes the once honorable city of Felwithe, I would find the Investigative Guidelines needed to become great detective. My first trial led me to the grove of a great tree. There could be found the fluttering pages of one of the books, ripped from the binder I found earlier. The second book would be found within a submerged chest, magically locked. Following the clues on the chest, I managed to unlock it. The final book would rest in the hands of a soul that now walks the fields of Ethernere. Luckily, I discovered a ritual that would allow me to call forth the spirit of General Jyleel, a great ancestor to Lady Alethea Jyleel.

Having read the Investigative Guidelines, I have grasped the thought process and guidelines of a great detective. I returned to the Gully and the Ursa Rhym to see if I could procure any bit of new evidence. What I found amidst the carnage of the tiny fairy village was a flaming pawn, a chess piece. The flames are clearly magical in nature and not the dark magic that existed everywhere else in the village. Before they met their demise,. the rhym left this clue for me… for anyone. What does it mean? It is merely a flaming pawn resting just a bit away from the chessboard it once called home.

I have gathered some evidence in the charred area known as the Broken Fields in Butcherblock Mountains. The bits of evidence appear to be the battered remnants of daggers and shields. These remnants must have taken great damage and not by an ordinary force. I could tell by the scorch marks and the condition of the metal that this was the result of dark magic. There may be someone around these Broken Fields that can shed some light on my findings. Perhaps they may have even been a witness to this carnage.

I spoke to a talking rat named Chypp, last ‘p’ silent. He was a witness to the conflict that created the ruin that is now the Broken Fields. It appears as though a secret meeting occurred here where one group of brutes and evil grins passed along a magical sword to another group of brutes and evil grins. It is my belief that the brutes were orcs and by the evidence collected, they are Ree orcs from the Commonlands. These Ree orcs brought the magic sword to another group that then betrayed, using the gift to destroy the couriers. I believe it is time to travel to the Commonlands and gather information where the Ree orcs keep hidden from the Overlord and Freeport.

I collected a lot of evidence that has led me to the conclusion that the dark elves allied with the Ree orcs are none other than the Ebon Mask. I have heard tales of old about this old house of thieves that hailed from the Teir’Dal city of Neriak. They were said to be some of the craftiest thieves on Norrath and excellent assassins also. Apparently, they did not die with the collapse of their city. The Raiders of Ree are orcs removed from their empire, this I have learned. They now live for the heavy coin of the black marker. What would bring a band of opportunistic orcs and a dark elf thieves house together? More evidence is required.

I have found that the Ebon Mask worked alongside the orcs in an expedition to a hidden valley where the soul of Zarvonn is contained for eternity. This ancient mage was once a member of the Academy of the Arcane Science. I am not sure what the spirit of Zarvonn knew, but a spirit that hailed from one of the greatest mage guilds on Norrath most likely holds many secrets. His secret had something to do with the flaming sword that was rushed to Faydwer and used against the courier force of the Ree and Ebon Mask. Such a secret would reveal much about the sword, its origin and where it now resides. Such revelations could only be held by the leader of this eccentric pack of orcs.

While investigating the throne room of the leader of the orcs, I was forced into battle. Lord Ree and his minions were foolish to challenge me. In the end, they met their demise. After the battle I found what appeared to be a book detailing a heist for a “Sword.” Unfortunately, the pages had been ripped out. I was them ambushed by Teir’Dal agents of the Ebon Mask, supreme rogues of the now defunct Thex Dynasty. I was forced to do battle or end up another notch in their belt. They have their best, but in the end, I emerged victorious. as they fell to the floor, the ripped pages from the heist journal flew into the air. Perhaps the pages will finally explain what this caper was all about.

Soulfrire was stolen from Freeport. The mastermind behind the heist was the Foci of the Academy of Arcane Science. She hired agents of the Ebon Mask to infiltrate the citadel via a forgotten portal left open by one of the original engineers of the fortress when it was known as the Academy of Arcane Science. The Ebon Mask hired the Raiders of Ree, opportunistic orcs. Using Ree smuggling routes, they transported Soulfire to Butcherblock Mountains. There the sword would be traded for a scroll desired bu the Foci, but a betrayal occurred and the Ree and Ebon Mask couriers were slain. All i know now is that an ambassador king was the one that betrayed the heist.

I exchanged information with Lady Alethea Jyleel of the Order of Marr. I handed over my notes, but kept this case journal for my records. According to Lady Alethea, the Overlord of Freeport was not fooled by a false sword that replaced Soulfire in the vaults of Dethknell Citadel. He has ordered his finest agents to recover the great sword. Together we discovered that it was a band of Lucanic Knights that razed the Gully of the Ursa Ryhm. If that is so, then the Overlord is one step ahead of the Order of Marr.

Lady Alethea bid me farewell, knowing that such a great crusade as this cannot be left to anyone other than her ancient order of knights. I have taken her reward for my deed, but I cannot shake the mystery behind Soulfire. Where is it and why is it so important to anyone other than the Overlord of Freeport? Perhaps is I can discover who this ambassador king is someday, I can reveal the secret of Soulfire. As for this investigation, the Case of the Ursa Rhym is closed… but the Case of the Soulfire Sword is soon approaching.

Nektulos Forest, by Torq De’Rech

When I first traveled this forest as a young dark elf I found many things fascinating. The weather here under the trees is mild and rarely changes. The air is stagnant and thick, festering with rotting life and the iron tinge of blood. Fog is prevalent, so one learns quickly to watch their step.
Nektulos Forest in the days of my ancestors was not half as dangerous as the Nektulos of today. The Nektulos of old was bordered by the Eastern end of the Commonlands, the Lavastorm Mountains and the great dark elf city of Neriak. There are rumors that the Lavastorm Mountains have been rediscovered and are in a much more dangerous state then the Lavastorm of old. There are still ruins of the old wizard spires deep in heart of the woods and ruined druid rings remain as well.

The old Nektulos was inhabited by far less species than today, but several of the old species have remained, becoming stronger through the cataclysm. The undead of old still roam, now joined by those who suffered in cataclysm. The shadowmen also remain. There were texts that were found in the ruins of Neriak that speak of worshippers of a strange god that lived in the forest, where they are today I cannot say.

The ancient dark elf city of Neriak was once protected from invaders by these woods. All the warriors knew these lands better than any interloper could ever dream of knowing them. Neriak was strong and fortified. The forest protected the entrance to the Foreign Quarter, which protected the entrance to the Neriak Commons. An invading force would have to fight through these regions before making it to the Third Gate. The Third Gate housed the training halls of the great warriors and mages. No force besides the cataclysm could have ever hoped to take on the might of the great city of Neriak. It is said that the ruins of the mighty city have been unearthed and explored.

The burial chamber of D’Morte has also been unearthed in the woods. It is told that the undead and vampires who reside within heed no visitors. As long as they remain beneath the ground the Order will not strike out against them. Let them feed on the weak; we have no other use for them. The biggest strength that the Order possesses is we know these woods as our ancestors did, none would survive challenging us here.

Leatherfoot Tales: The Last of the Teir’Dal, Part Two

The Houndslayer and his comrades make their way through Nektulos Forest, encountering something unexpected.
The Kithicor rangers, the Leatherfoot elite and Gumpy Nattoo paused on the edge of Nekutolos Forest. They had all heard the fireside tales of ash-filled trees dropping clouds of life-choking pumice on unsuspecting travellers. After conferring about their route, the ranger who had befriended Gumpy nodded toward him: “I say let the Houndslayer lead the way, for he is crafty and shall surely lead us unscathed through these perilous woods.”

Everyone was quick to agree with the ranger, and they pushed Gumpy to the fore of the group. Gumpy had given up trying to explain himself to the admiring rangers, ever since that incident with the dread wolf. After being considered a bumpkin for most of his days, the adulation was rather pleasant. In fact, maybe the rangers were the only folk who saw his true worth! Gumpy’s heart swelled with pride as he led the way.

Three days later, Gumpy heard one of the gnomes (they were being carried in rucksacks on the Kithicor rangers’ backs) say, “I had no idea Nektulos Forest was this huge! I always thought it pretty small.” Another gnome in another rucksack further away agreed. Gumpy heartily wished an ash-laden branch would break over the little chatterboxes’ heads. They came to the edge of a clearing and stumbled into another group of Leatherfoot halflings.

The Sarge took over all the talking, never explaining why they were in Nektulos Forest, but apparently asking the way to Neriak. The Kithicor rangers frowned at the Sarge and one of them whispered to Gumpy, “Has he no shame, to stop and ask for directions thusly? Your way is much better, for it confounds those who would follow us. I name you ‘Pathfinder,’ friend.”

It seemed rather odd to Gumpy that the Kithicor rangers kept “naming” him, yet none of them ever gave out their own names. He’d asked a couple of them, but they merely laughed and said that the Kithicor rangers left their names behind with their families. An odd group, but Gumpy was getting used to their peculiar ways. Whatever strange habits they had, there was one thing for certain: they were generous in sharing their rations.

One of the Leatherfoot scouts they’d found camping in Nektulos Forest accompanied them the rest of the way through. “There’s that river again,” Gumpy heard one of the gnomes comment from the protective covering of its rucksack. At that moment, in accordance with Gumpy’s earlier wishes, the branches of the tree above it cracked and poured thick ash and pumice on its head. Unfortunately, the ranger carrying the gnome did not survive either.

“We’re down to three gnomes,” the Sarge grumbled. His rucksack bulged with the array of sprockets, gears and flizgigs taken from the deceased gnomes along the way. “One of these little fellows has got to make it to the First Gate or we won’t know how to put their mechanamagical thing to work.” The Kithicor rangers concurred and decided to gag the gnomes to keep them silent for the remainder of the journey. Gumpy was not alone in his glee.

Dawn the next day found the Leatherfoot elite and the Kithicor rangers within spitting distance of the Foreign Quarter. They could see (and smell) the trolls that inhabited the sector. A dark elf patrol wandered close by and Gumpy was very glad he had the ivy-covered gladius given to him by the rangers at hand. These dark elves looked particularly fierce.

A rustling from the nearby brush caught the attention of both dark elves who turned quickly on their heels in one coordinated, fluid motion. Gumpy could swear he saw their pointed ears prick up like a cat stalking a mouse. One of the gnomes, inexplicably out of its rucksack, stumbled out of the woods pulling the gag from its mouth. Barely had it said, “Whew!” when the dark elves surrounded it and sliced it to ribbons.

Now they were down to two gnomes. No one else among them knew how to put together the mechanamagical device meant to ensure no dark elves reinforced the forces attacking Felwithe. Things were looking mighty grim. At that unfortunate moment, Gumpy’s stomach gave a loud and irritated grumble. The dark elves stopped stabbing the fallen gnome and pricked up their ears again. Gumpy pushed on his gut with his free hand and thought, “Whoops.”

Leatherfoot Tales: The Last of the Teir’Dal, Part One

The Houndslayer’s adventures continue as he and his comrades make their way through the dangerous regions of Kithicor and Nektulos.
Debate rages through history as to the origins of the dark elves, or as they call themselves, the Teir’Dal. Considering how different they look, it’s easy to see why folks might think they’re not elves. Looking at them closely, though, one can see the tilt of their eyes and the ears and realize they really are elves. Sometimes folks call them elves and sometimes Teir’Dal.

Battles are fought every day in some form or other through the world. It seemed to Gumpy Nattoo, whom the Kithicor rangers had named “the Houndslayer,” that it would be much simpler if they could get from point A (Rivervale) to point B (First Gate) without anyone else trying to stop them. But no, that would indeed be too simple. Though the units traveled through Kithicor quickly and silently, they still ran into occasional problems.

Gumpy was tasked with relaying messages between the halfling’s Leatherfoot units and the Kithicor ranger units. As they were traveling through the woods quickly and as silently as possible, Gumpy’s messages were often late by the time they reached their destination. “And I’m about ready to pass out,” Gumpy said under his breath. “Any more running around and I will name them Gumpyslayer.”

On one of his fruitless treks, Gumpy unexpectedly encountered a group of gnomes. In the past several months, gnomes from Ak’Anon on Faydwer had been seeking refuge in Rivervale from an advancing force of dark elves. These gnomes, however, were not heading toward Rivervale but rather, away from it. “We’re with the Leatherfeet,” said one of them when Gumpy approached. “We’ve got a mechanamagical device that we’re finishing up for your fight.” “Oh,” said Gumpy blankly, “that’s nice.”

Meeting up with the gnomes wasn’t the first time Gumpy wished he hadn’t slipped out for a snack during the Sarge’s briefing. When the units camped down for the night, he tried to overhear any discussion of the forthcoming battle so that he might know their plan. He felt as though he may as well be on the dark elves’ side as he had no idea what the halflings and Kithicor units were going to do once they reached the First Gate. And what of the gnomes?

The gnomes proved a chatty group and Gumpy found himself tagging along with them more and more frequently as their journey continued through Kithicor. Every so often, an arrow would whistle out of the dark and take out one of the gnomes. For a few minutes thereafter, the remaining gnomes whispered anxiously, but in time they forgot their caution and would chat normally again. Until the next arrow whizzed in, whereupon they began whispering anew.

From their incessant chatter, Gumpy learned that the gnomes, while fleeing the battle, were also doing a favor for the high elves in Felwithe. The high elves were concerned that the dark elves would overtake the city by keeping it besieged. They’d asked the gnomes to head to Neriak to stop any reinforcements from leaving, and in turn the gnomes appealed to the Kithicor rangers and the Leatherfoot’s elite units for help.

“But what exactly are we going to do?” Gumpy asked one of the handful of gnomes left. “Why, it’s easy-peasy!” laughed the gnome, patting his chest confidently. “You see, we gnomes know there’s one way in and out of Neriak and that’s the First Gate, right? So, we’re going to take this mechanamagic device and…” At that unfortunate moment, an arrow struck the gnome and Gumpy learned nothing more about their mission.

“There won’t be any gnomes left at this rate,” Gumpy thought. “I wonder what he had in his pocket?” Slipping his fingers into the dead gnome’s coat, Gumpy located a small jumble of sprockets — or were they cogs? he could never remember — and pulled it out. It looked interesting, but Gumpy wished it had been something like venison jerky instead.

“Here, I’ll take that, son,” the Sarge’s whisper nearly caused Gumpy to leap out of his ivy-etched jerkin. The Sarge added, “Hopefully, we’ll have at least one gnome left by the First Gate or we won’t know how it’s to go together. Come on, then!” All around them, Kithicor rangers emerged from the shadows of the trees, each grabbing a gnome by the scruff of its neck before disappearing again.

Handbook of the Dark Bargainers

Handbook of the Dark Bargainers
There are no races more skilled in the ancient crafting arts than the Teir’dal, and no gods more deserving of out dedication than Innoruuk. All others are inferior, and therefore it is not only our duty, but also out pleasure, to take full advantage of the opportunities they present. — Acquisitions Expert Mraena D’Aryth

In order to be competitive in today’s marketplace, the Dark Bargainers provides you with this basic guide to commerce. You will learn many things on your own over time, so do not consider this book your only guide to success. Rely on your own resources and skills and you will prosper.

The central crafting area in Neriak is located near the Blind Fish. In this area you will find a banker, a broker, some representatives of the Dark Bargainers, a fuel vendor, and the tradeskill delegate. The tradeskill delegate can teach you more about how to become an artisan. The Dark Bargainers representatives maintain a close watch on the quality of goods, and artisans, entering and leaving the area. In this way, we can ensure the quality of the merchandise being offered in service of Innoruuk and the Queen.

In order to create items, an artidan will need to obtain raw harvests. These can be purchased from others, but the cheapest alternative, and the one that the Dark Bargainers endorses, is to gather your own. You can harvest appropriate supplies to begin learning to craft in the Darklight Wood in the areas near Neriak and the outpost.

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

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

The Dark Bargainers is the official governing body of all trade activity within Neriak and the surrounding areas. They maintain the city’s flourishing trade activities and broker network, and charge a fee for each broker transaction which is used for administrative purposes. Although not an official arm of the religious structure within Neriak, the Dark Bargainers are a very religious society and offer a portion of all profits to the temple of Innoruuk. They also set aside a portion of each week to meditate and honor Innoruuk. Representatives of the Dark Bargainers can always be found in Neriak’s central crafting area, although there is no region of Neriak in which their influence is not felt.

As you increase in skill as an artisan, you may find it prudent to offer your services to support the Dark Bargainers. Representatives of the Dark Bargainers will offer you work order tasks for items that are currently needed for use or trade. Completing these tasks will not only earn you experience in your trade and a small monetary reimbursment, but will also improve your standing in the eyes of the Dark Bargainers. Work order representatives can be found in Neriak’s central crafting area.
Perform all tasks for the Dark Bargainers with the utmost care and skill. Any attempt to pass off inferior items for a work order is an insult to Innoruuk, and may put a rapid end to not only reputation, but also quite likely your life.

If you earn sufficient status with the Dark Bargainers to merit recognition, the society’s faction merchant Kyri Velkyn will sell you a title certificate if you wish to purchase an official title. You will also be granted access to purchase a number of other amenities including house items, uniforms, and some of the society’s most closely-guarded recipes. The Dark Bargainers ensure that those who serve faithfully are rewarded appropriately. Your mandatory support is entirely voluntary.

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

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

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

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

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

Transmuting is the art of breaking down unused items into components and using the results to make Adornments. Adornments are items that can be applied to your equipment to permanently enhance the equipment. Any Artisan who wishes to create their Artisan class Adornments will need compionents created by a Transmuter. All Artisan classes, including Tinkerer and Transmuter, can make some Adornments. Those interested in learning more about tinkering and transmuting can consult trainers available on the continent of Faydwer.

Should you decide at any time to change your profession as an artisan, Vier N’Vul, the career counsellor for the Dark Bargainers, can assist you in retraining to start a new profession.

Should you choose to pursue the life of an artisan, you may wish to keep this manual in your room for reference as needed. Being an artisan is a noble calling. We work independently and yet ultimately combine our efforts towards serving Innoruuk and the Dark Bargainers. You will be able to earn a decent wage based entirely on your own efforts, provided you keep abreast of the latest developments by working with the Dark Bargainers in your district, and using your wit and skill. Queen Thex knows the value of the artisan to Neriak’s society; it is no less a place than that of any brave fighter or learned mage. Do not disappoint us.