Category Archives: Opal Darkbriar

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.”


EQ2 Trivia Q&A


What is Queen Antonia Bayles true name?

What title does Lucan DLere demand his subjects use when they refer to him?
The Overlord

What is the name of the ranger that Antonia Bayle relies upon as one of her most reliable agents?
Baden Cauldthorne

This human male is the Leader of the Mage Guild in Qeynos.
Bellengere the Three

What is the name of the band of merchants that Duke Jaestin Ferrin leads?
The Far Seas Trading Company

Who is known as The Heartwood Matron?
Tealla Woodspire

Freeport citizens know Opal Darkbriar by what title?
The Foci

Who died ringing the bells to warn Qeynos to close the city gates during a surprise invasion?
Vhalen the Bard of Ages

This Kerran has served as a guard and advisor to Antonia Bayle for years. What is his name?
Murrar Shar

What is the name of the Human female that is the Shepard of the Celestial Watch, unified church of
the Kingdom of Qeynos that also holds a position within the Circle of Five?
Seeress Ealaynya Ithis

What is the name of the card game that General Golias Sydwen has a passion for?

Who was the first explorer to rediscover most of the areas many thought lost in the Shattered Lands?
Hasten Bootstrutter

Who was appointed as the liaison and acting leader within the city of Freeport by Bloodbeak, the true ruler of the Seafury Buccaneers?

What winged assassins are responsible for the death of Lady Vox?
The drakota

What is the name of the female Dark Elf often seen standing at the right hand of Lucan DLere when he appears before his subjects?
Tayil NVelex

The Wheel of Time

The fear he had borne those many, many long year, since the end of the Age of Combine, had come to pass: The disapperance of the gods, Yes, for hundreds of years now that had been known as the Lost Age, and of course that name was given by those who knew little to nothing of events during that time.

Of course, few – perhaps none – had lived a life as long and eventfu as this ancient elf called Aataltaal. Now, it seems, he’d outlasted even the gods.

The elf looked up into the bright night sky and watched Luclin’s continuing disintergration. A flaming meteor, no doubt a portion of the sphere of the Maiden of Shadows, soared fast and low just to the south of him. Lightning traced the rock’s path through the swirling clouds, and Aataltaal was certain he felt the wind and heat generated by the meteor.

The destruction of Luclin, named for the goddess who was for countless years beyond the reach of mortals, was a metaphor for the fate of all created races… as well as for the gods themselves. Even if they were not dead, the gods who birthed the races of Norrath and had guided the events of millennia, including the seemingly wanton destruction of all they had so assiduously crafted, were beyond any mortal’s reach. The immortals might as well be dead for all they could do on behalf of those who relied upon them, those who worshipped them. Likewise, there was little to be done by one such as Aataltaal, who sough to slay gods, or at least some – partculary one! – among their number.

As he sat on the Luclin-blasted landscape of the Thundering Steppes, with no other living entity around for league upon league, Aataltaal gave himself over wholly to these reflections. And soon his vision returned.

In the long past age of Combine, Aataltaal had foreseen the fall of that great empire. He tried toward emperor katta, but neither of them understood the meaning of the vision fully enough. Of course, Aataltaal considered that failure to be his own: It was his magic that had crafted the visions, his knowledge that should have deciphered them, and even his plans that had set the fracturing of the Combine into motion. Granted, the plans of those against whom he toiled, General Seru and his fell sorcereress, were a considerable part of the events that brought the empire to its knees.

Ages had passed since then, and yet another was dawning in this time of the broken moon, and still Aataltaal toiled. He had victories to relish and humbling defeats to rue, and still his nemesis Opal Darkbriar dogged him. She thought to have won the day in Freeport, but he had meant the promise he made to the humans there after he saw them safely westward across the Ocean of Tears. That city, like his battle against the gods, might seem lost at present, but the Wheel of Time always rolled round again. The trick was stopping the wheel when it was properly poised for one’s purpose.

Of Course, managing one’s own fate in this way was something that had proved beyond the capability of even the gods (at least as far as Aataltaal knew), but it was an end the elf yet dreamed possible.

He had to believe those dreams. So much else that he had foreseen had come to pass. The citadel floating over the city of freeport. The confiscation of the Books of Knowledge. The shattering of Luclin, and the consequent loss of those first mortals of the Combine Empire who fled there with Katta’s lifeless-yet-living body. The death of Seru he had also foreseen, though one had to take that death on faith since there was no body to be seen. Some things were not as yet entirely clear. Indeed now was a time of great flux. The winners and losers of this age could not yet be clearly foretold – if in the everyday life of Norrath, or the Shattered Lands formerly known as Norrath, things could be judged in such simple terms. The two great cities that survived at this moment in time evidently considered themselves winners, and perhaps righty so.

Qeynos and Freeport, once standing at opposite ends of his beloved Tunaria, more recently called Antonica. As they had once stood geographically, so too did they stand at opposite ends of the spectrum of light and dark – a spectrum of finite morality Aataltaal himself straddled completly, that he was in fact beyond in a way that the earth itself or the constellations were beyond.

The same oracular power that had once led Emperor Katta to seek Aataltaal’s advice in the Lost Age now suggested that the one who might finally bring the Wheel of Time to a safe halt would pass through the land in which he now stood. So the wizened elf sat here, a ragged journal in his hands. It was an ancient tome, and to any lesser mage it would have seemed a great prize. But it had been Aataltaal’s for centuries now, and his own notes were now recorded within. To him it was not an artifact, it was merely a possession.

Ah, but what it led to! – that was an artifact: Tarton’s Wheel.

Long ago Tarton constructed his Wheel so that he might travel the planes. The elves of Takish-Hiz had been the first to make such a journey, having labored for over a century to find the means to enter Innoruuk’s Plane of Hate. Spells for such travel eventually became commonplace among those wizard capable of channeling sufficient mana, but Tarton wanted more, something that might take him beyond the realms where the gods dwelt in semi-real forms that could be defeated but never seemed to die.

Tarton wanted access the the heart of the of the universe itself, where the essences of the gods could be confronted and destroyed altogether. And so, of course, did Aataltaal.

It was unclear even to Aataltaal wheter or not Tarton had actually managed to use his creation for its ultimate purpose. He thought not, for surely there would have been tremendous repercussions for a mortal undertaking such a journey, yet such consequences might well have occured with no mortal being the wiser, for few knew the events or stakes at issue and none could say how, precisely, the effects might be felt.

This kind of shadow-war Aataltaal had now waged for millennia. At nearly every turn he was foiled or brought short, but often the forces thrown against him created ripples in the world at large. He had managed to assemble the ten spokes of Tarton’s Wheel, but then the ripples of causality began to spread. Perhaps his estimation of his importance or the danger he or his quest posed to the gods – at least to Innoruuk – was inflated, but it seemed likely that all of the divinities must fear his success. Perhaps the roadblocks set before him were concidental, but he thought not.

Regardless, it was no coincidence, surely, that very laws and fabric of the universe were altered as soon as Aataltaal possessed and assembled all the pieces of the Wheel. The global destruction had begun to subside the moment he disassembled the artifact and spread the pieces once again.

He wished he believed in happenstance, for then he would not be haunted by the ghosts of the countless thousands who perished in the catastrophes that had rocked Norrath. Now he had that blood on his hands, just as he was haunted by specter of the Combine Empire and the restless souls of those elves transformed by the Prince of Hate when the rescue of their sovereigns went away.

So it was that here, in the lifeless waste of the Thundering Steppes, Aataltaal drafted the final portion of this journal. The writings concerned the first piece of Tarton’s Wheel, called Azia. Once he had finished, he would place the journal in the magically locked chest, which he would then send secretly to the docks of the Steppes. There, only an individual with one of two proper keys – a pair of inconspious emerald Aataltaal would sell, one each, to vendors within the two sities of the former Tunaria – could recover the journal.

With the journal in hand, an individual might begin his own cycle through time, If Aataltaal’s perceptions of his visions were accurate this time, then the one destined to find his journal might just sneak beneath the notice of the gods, and use the Wheel succesfully without arousing the kind of wholesale destruction Aataltaal himself had caused.

And that’s why it seemed so reasonable to leave a riddle regarding the ancient city called Wielle for last, because Freeport was where change needed to begin.

EverQuest Inspired By D&D Campaign

How do you think it would feel if ten years from now, your EverQuest character was on the cover of one of the most successful games of all time? For Tony Garcia, the scenario posed by this question is a reality. Better known in the community as Vhalen, one of his characters from his childhood D&D campaign was Lucan D’Lere himself. What’s more, many locations from the world we call Norrath, was directly inspired by that same campaign.

We sat down to talk with Tony “Vhalen” Garcia about his work on EverQuest, EverQuest II and all the things in between. Join us as we explore the unknown inspiration, of the world of EverQuest.

ZAM: Hey Tony! It’s a great pleasure to be talking with you again about EverQuest. You’re definitely missed in the EQ/EQ2 community. How are things going for you on your new project?

Tony Garcia: Hey Tamat! Things are going great on my new project. I am the Senior Content Designer for Trion World Network. I am busy doing what I do best, dreaming up worlds. I work alongside some of the most talented people in the video game industry, some of whom are also old friends. One of the most exciting aspects of this project is that it will see life as a video game and a SyFy Channel television project. Unfortunately, I can’t comment further about it, but stay tuned. It’s going to be great!

I can say that I miss the EQ community a lot. The EverQuest franchise has always had a strong lore community. These lore enthusiasts were always a pleasure to interact with on the boards, in-person and even in-game. They can often have a rivalry between projects, such as EQ lore vs. EQ2 lore, but they have all displayed investigative skills that could challenge Sherlock Holmes, Batman and even the devs who created the lore.

ZAM: Let me start by asking you to give everyone some background information on how you got your start in the industry. When did you start working on EverQuest and what is the earliest piece of lore you remember working on?

Tony: Back in the days when 989 Studios controlled the EQ project, my good friend Bill Trost was looking for someone who could create more lore and quests for the game. Having known my fantasy work from our many years of D&D and a few never released games, Mr. Trost invited me to join the team. After speaking with him and Brad McQuaid, I began my long affair with the wonderful world of EverQuest. I was not sure if it would be a long relationship and ironically, one of the first pieces of lore that I began to craft would be one of my last touched upon- Soulfire.

ZAM: Interesting. Did you have to get creative with Soulfire when it came to EverQuest II? Or did you have the details planned out all along?

Tony: I actually had most of the story plotted out back in EQ. Things got too busy with RoK and then EQ2 planning to complete those plans. Fortunately, EQ2 was the perfect launching pad for the Swords of Destiny. It still has yet to be completed, but most of the plot rests within those tomes I left behind.

ZAM: I’ve actually heard quite a bit about this tome that you left behind. Basically it has all the inner workings of Norrathian lore, both known and unknown if I’m not mistaken. Are there any juicy nuggets of information in there that you can hint at?

Tony: To be honest, it’s not a single tome, but rather, a large collection of documents that have been compiled over the ages. Some documents were lost and I had to track down the information from original devs. Original lore such as the origins of the Combine Empire or the meanings of symbols found throughout Norrath, were some of that lost lore. Someone over there at SOE has those documents now. I’m always around to assist if they have any questions because just owning the documents does not grant the reader full understanding of the EQ universe. There are a few things that always need to be explained.

ZAM: You’ve mentioned that Bill Trost was original architect of EverQuest lore. Can you go over his contributions that helped create the core of Norrath? Also, what was your role in this?

Tony: When I came on board, Bill Trost had already crafted the amazing foundation of the lore with the EQ cosmology and much of the Norrathian geography. My role was to build quests and expand on the existing foundation. Of course, as always, there were other developers who contributed to the lore, but my work was global and not confined to any single location. Having touched upon every corner of the globe, I made it my duty to try and integrate all lore into a cohesive entity and create the larger stories of the Norrathian Empires. That task has never been, and I doubt it will ever be, an easy one. My lore role eventually expanded and I would grow to write the future history of Norrath while working on EverQuest 2.

ZAM: So then did he also work to create the Gods and their genealogy? Did you have anything to do with that?

Tony: The primary gods of the Inner and Outer planes were designed before I got to the universe. When it came time to detail the mechanics of the universe, the cosmology of it all and how they relate to each other, I created that. However, not all projects followed this cosmology, but it was made available to them. All the projects roughly follow the mechanics, but they diverge when it comes to such things as Dimensions, which the Void is one of. EQ2 follows the Unified Timeline and Cosmology created by me with initial assistance with Bill Trost.

ZAM: Let’s jump into something that most players don’t know anything about: your D&D campaign growing up. We’ve been told, by an inside source, that it actually played a role in the creation of EverQuest and EverQuest II lore. Can you elaborate?

Tony: It was when I first started working at 989 that I delved through the foundation lore and found it quite interesting to discover that a number of the locations and personalities were quite familiar to me. Sprinkled all throughout the world were parts of a few D&D campaigns that we ran during Junior High and up. Notable names like Mayong, Lucan and Opal were there as well as more obscure ones such as Father Estle, Beek Guinders and Zazoo. They, along with numerous others, brought back great memories that could not ever be revisited. But here they were, immortalized in a new world where some would take prominent roles and have a chance to face the challenges of hundreds of thousands of pc gamers. Some of the relationships and events from our pen and paper days would inspire Norrathian events. Included among them was the never revealed link between _a_o_ ___t__o__ and __c__ ___e__.

ZAM: Oh another mystery! I’ll leave it to our readers to dig into that further.

Tony: And they do such a great job of it, but there are many buried treasures in the game that are still waiting to be “dug up.”

Bill Trost, Tony Garcia, Kevin Burns and Jeremy Albert in Las Vegas

ZAM: Speaking of mysteries I’m going to backtrack a bit. Veeshan has always been somewhat of an enigma to most players. Through the years, you’ve had plenty to do with the evolution of her story. Can you divulge the history of Veeshan and give us some new information?

Tony: Veeshan was one of the primary creations in the foundations of EQ lore. She is supposed to remain an enigma. As many can see, she has always been a mystery, even compared with the other deities that you would think are on the same hierarchy as she. She almost seems greater than those gods that most regard as her equal in the pantheon. Such a large personality could not be left out of the future history of Norrath. Was she truly the first to find Norrath? Did she ever mark other realms we haven’t heard of? Is she really big enough to swallow the moon? Where is she now? Will Norrathians ever meet her? All those things should be a mystery for quite some time, but there are a few I could definitely answer… but for the safety of the universe, I won’t.

ZAM: Do you have any funny stories about how characters, locations and events from the D&D campaigns bleed into the EQ/EQ2 lore?

Tony: Off hand, I can’t think of anything amusing, but there is one thing that always makes me happy when I see it in the EQ universe. That one thing is Sir Lucan of Freeport. That was my greatest D&D character rolled one night over a table filled with dice, maps, dungeon screens and Thirsty Two Ouncers from the local mini-mart. It is amazing to see how that one character has been immortalized. Imagine… your old D&D character gracing video game boxes, ads and even voiced by the great Christopher Lee! I never would have dreamed of such a thing way back when he was created. Amazing!

ZAM: What significance did characters like Mayong and Lucan have in the campaign? Additionally, what were some of the locations inspired from the campaign?

Tony: Mayong and Sir Lucan were in the same adventuring party. Great friends with a tragic ending! Along with Zazoo of the Sunless Sea, they were the longest lived characters and the focal point of an ever changing cast of NPCs.

I would have to say that the Loping Plains was inspired by one of our greatest adventures. I believe Cain Darkmoore was my avatar during that horrific campaign. Along with that, one of the main locations inspired by the campaign has been the homeland of Mayong, Mistmyr. Adventurers of EQ2 are just starting to learn about that place now. I hope they enjoy their visit within a remnant of that long forgotten place. It’s there waiting for all. Book your trip today!

ZAM: Well that wraps up all my questions. I’m sure the community will want more after they read this, but we’ll just have to wait to see what you’ve been working on over at Trion.

Tony: It been great chatting with you and the EQ community. It was a pleasure building worlds for all Norrathians to explore. Please stop by P.T. Irontoe once in a while and buy him some grog for me. I miss the little guy. But like I mentioned, there are more mysteries lurking in the shadows waiting to be uncovered. I will definitely be keeping my eyes on the forums of the past and those yet to be. To all those EQ lore junkies I say, Till Yonder and Beyond.