Category Archives: Agony

The Tale of Tirazzah


By “Tirazzah,” an unknown Dervin female
While there is no way to learn the entire truth, the fragments of this parchment indicate that there is more to the history of the Djinn Master than had previously been known.

My hand trembles as I write this, for my escape will no doubt bring consequences that I cannot even imagine. I would not have these things forgotten by those who follow us, nor do I expect to live long should we be caught. Meleeal cannot travel with me into the city, for his kind is unknown therein.

I am called Tirazzah and my role was as First Consort of the Nameless One. Last night, Meleeal flew to the window of the room in which I had been kept and gave me the signal that I had been awaiting… and dreading. I climbed onto the ledge and jumped onto his back.

What led us to this point, where all the comforts and pleasures of my environment were not enough? Did I suddenly grow up and ralize that love is not what exists in your surroundings but what exists in your heart? I thought I loved the Nameless One and that he loved me, and yet the whispers of others caused my love to falter. Does that mean it was not love at all?

I was raised by my family, knowing my destiny. The Nameless One requires many things, including consorts, from those under his protection. From birth, I had been marked as a future consort. On the day of our joining, I went without fear as he had always been kind to his harem. The splendors of my surroundings overcame any trace of fear in my heart.

The Nameless One was indeed kind. He often spent time with me in the gardens of the Citadel, explaining things I had never seen before. He presented me with a sphinx of my own, Meleeal, that I might occasionally travel to see my parents. I visited them frequently until their deaths. The Nameless One took their remains and formed great pillars in the desert with them, so that I would always be able to see them.

As time wore on, it seemed some of the other consorts were less pleased by the Nameless One’s favor towards me. I would find little notes pinned to my pillows with daggers. Once, someone had clipped Meleeal’s wings so that he could not fly normally. Had not the Nameless One saved us when we were tumbling from the tower, we would have perished.

The whispers were the hardest for me to ignore. As anyone who has had one cricket in a room can attest, the softest sounds are often the hardest to ignore. “He uses her,” they would whisper. “He killed her parents so that she would have nowhere to run.” “She thinks he is a god, but soon she will feel his wrath.”

I knew the whispers were made by the jealous consorts displaced by my arrival. In my confusion, I turned to Samirah, who had been First Consort until my arrival. She sympathized with me, telling me that such things always happened to the First Consort. I confided my fears to her and she comforted me. For a while, at least.

The poisoning of the monkeys alarmed me the most. The Nameless One enjoyed their antics as much as I did, and he gave me several to amuse me. One night after we had supped, I called for them and they did not appear. The Nameless One and I strolled to the balcony to see if they had wandered into the gardens, and there we found their bodies, contorted in agony.

He asked if I knew who could have done such a thing, and in my grief I poured out to him the whispers I had heard in the dark. His anger was terrible to behold! He summoned forth all the other consorts, including Samirah, and demanded answers. They did not respond at first, but he pressed them, saying he would kill them one by one until he learned the truth.

Samirah, who I thought wasmy friend, then admitted to leading the other consorts in all that had happened. The Nameless One’s wrath knew no bounds! He struck her to the ground and she stood up, her lip bleeding, to curse him. But his curse was swifter and stronger, and to my horror the others changed form before my eyes. I fled the room.

I hid from him, though he begged to see me. “I did this to save you, beloved!” he cried. “Do not judge me through their eyes, the eyes of traitors!” I refused to see him, my heart pounding so hard I could scarcely breathe. Would that be my fate if I displeased him? Would he hurt me as he had the others?

And so, I fled. I do not know where I will go or how I can hide from the Nameless One. He said he loves me, but his love and his hate are both curses. Samirah and the others disappeared into the night as do I. I am afraid of what may come of this.

Editor’s note: It is difficult to check the veracity of this account, as the Dervin female “Tirazzah” has never been identified with any certainty. Obviously, if this tale is true, it is likely that she went into hiding or perhaps exile.

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The Fall of Erudin: Part 2


The Fall of Erudin:Part Two
By: Khuzaymah In’am

News of the High Guard’s termination did not sit well with its leadership, Vicegerent Jabalah and his brother Budayl. Later that evening a meeting was held with the leader of the Deepwater Knights, Sir Thamir Fa’iz. Budayl and Thamir were unable to quell Jabalah’s seething anger over El’Arad’s decision. In a rush, the Vicegerent stormed into El’Arad’s chambers within Erudin Palace and confronted him over his decision. The argument ultimately ended with the death of Jabalah at the hands of several void creatures summoned by El’Arad.

The murder of Vicegerent Jabalah threatened to disrupt El’Arad’s plan to control the city of Erudin. After denying any involvement in the Vicegerent’s disappearance, El’Arad pushed the activation of the new Nexus months ahead of schedule. When the Grand Farisan Nexus was activated a critical error was revealed. El’Arad and his fellow researchers based their construction of the Nexus off what was known of the Luclin Nexus and the spires in the Toxxulia Forest. Unbeknownst to El’Arad the spires were originally designed to channel their energy through the Nexus in Luclin. When the new Ulteran Spires were activated, they attempted to touch the original Nexus, and the mystical barriers erected by Norrathian pantheon caused the energy of the New Nexus to feed back upon itself.

The Ulteran Spires discharged the energy back into the new Nexus, which in turn exploded outward across Odus. This explosion of mystical energy not only destroyed the newly constructed Ulteran Spires on Antonica, but also tore through the fabric of reality itself, causing the entire continent of Odus to shift into Ultera. Realizing now as the time to act El’Arad revealed his secret allies to the rest of Erudin’s populace. Shadowed Men and other denizens of the void began to appear in the city causing havoc and destruction. In an attempt to save as many citizens as they could Sir Thamir Fa’iz and Budayl Idris organize an evacuation of Erudin. Rumors that safe passage to Paineel still existed gave hope that they could escape the aftermath of this experiment gone horribly wrong.

During the evacuation Thamir and Budayl are beset by a contingent of void beast led by none other then Madani Lu’ay, El’Arad’s most trusted advisor. The two men engage Madani in combat and soundly defeat the ambush. It is now certain in the minds of the two men that El’Arad has aligned himself with Roehn Theer. Thamir and Budayl then resolve to assemble the entire order of the Deepwater Knights so that they can overthrow El’Arad. The following morning over one hundred men and women soldiers marched through the streets of Erudin towards the palace. Lead by Sir Thamir and the de-facto leader of the High Guard, Budayl the army entered the palace, finding it undefended.

Cautiously they crept deeper within the vast halls of the impressive structure. No sooner than the last soldier entered the palace the huge iron doors of the palace swung shut, trapping the rebellious army within. The sounds of an extraordinary battle were soon heard. Thunderous explosions and screams of agony pierced the morning air of Erudin in a cacophony of Agony. The last remnants of justice were all but wiped out. El’Arad’s capture of Erudin was now complete. The Order of the Deepwater Knights was no more.

A Bound Collection of Research Notes


Kor’Sha Experimentation Project
Research notes compiled by Relsiir Vailrek
Assistant Researcher in service to the Empire

It is an honor to be serving directly with the emperor on his most ambitious of plans, one that will surely bolster the strength of the Sebillissian Empire so that it might stand forever against any enemy foolish enough to face it. Although I will never be able to return to my home within Veksar — a history filled with the triumphs of the iksar.

We are to begin fusing the essences of our kind with the dragons this very eve. our initial tests proved very promising, and the results proved the theories of our top researchers. Once the Emperor heard about these revelations, he ordered the project to be begun immediately. Emperor Atrebe, a brilliant theorist and the overseer our project, is in the primary laboratory at this moment, preparing the subjects for the procedure. I am to meet him within the house, and will begin the extraction of essence immediately. We should know by first light if we will have a successful, viable union of the essences so that we might proceed with the next stage of our experiments.

The Emperor’s theory was absolutely correct – we were able to fuse the essences into something new… something even stronger than before. However, the result has shown a surprising resistance to the magics we had planned to use to shape its growth. We had expected a full test subject by today, but the new essence looks much the same now as it did on the first day. This is contradictory to what we had achieved before, although Emperor Atrebe now says that he had expected this to happen. He won’t explain further, but has retreated to his chamber to think and plan. In the meantime, I believe we will need to discard the current test subject, which is unfortunate.

Emperor Atrebe emerged from his chamber late last nightfall, and hurriedly began talking with the other chief researchers. I was not able to hear much, but it seems that his theory rests in the change of essence we used for the experiment. it seems that we were using a swamp frog essence before, which appeared to be more receptive to the shaping magics we had planned to utilize. It seems, therefore, that the strength of our people is a hindering factor in our own experiments – which is of little surprise, now that I think about it. We will have to plan for this going forward, although I believe that the Emperor may already have something be is working on.

It’s been weeks, and I’ve heard little news of progress on the Emperor’s project, aside from home hushed conversations and glimpses of him quickly making sketches. However, even though the first test was largely unsuccessful, we did learn much about the process. Another of the chief researchers, Velizz, decided to continue with the frog-essence experiments. Apparently she believes we can create something useful from those creatures, and has even managed to gather the support of none other than Emperor Atrebe himself – much to the chagrin of the rest of the researchers. I haven’t seen any results as of yet, but I am planning to visit the laboratory this evening.

I must admit, my original skepticism regarding Velizz’s work evaporated fairly quickly after visiting her lab. I can easily see the potential in the beasts she is creating — even though the first few I have seen would technically be considered failures. The first one immediately devoured another assistant before we could destroy it, and the next one screamed in agony for several minutes before it finally died as well. But the sheer power of these beasts cannot be denied, and the potential for a sturdy, obedient, flying mount to supplement our forces certainly is an unexpected boon. Without question, Velizz’s creation will see its way into the ranks of our mighty armies.

I see now what took so long for Emperor Atrebe’s plan to come to fruition. Apparently, we were attempting to merge the essences too quickly. However, if we do not maintain the magic necessary to create the union, then the essences will die. Unfortunately, given the amount of power that must go into the merging, there’s no possible way we could have our mages and priests maintaining the channels for the required length of time. The Emperor, however, had a different plan. It seems that he devised a way to create a liquid with the necessary arcane properties through alchemy, and a tank to hold the subjects in until such a time when they have reached maturity. I eagerly await the outcome of this new methodology.

Success! The Emperor’s genius cannot be denied. What emerged from the birthing tanks was more glorious than I could have imagined. Everything Emperor Atrebe said proved true, and the fruits of his genius are being put to training in the on-site facilities. I was amazed how obedient these creatures were when they first left the tanks. It was as if they understood the instructions they were given immediately, and they did not hesitate to obey them. I overheard the Emperor saying that he had found a way to put “whispers” into the thoughts of the growing subjects, so that they would hear and obey the commands they were given when they were ready. It’s brilliant — these creatures can be created, trained, and outfitted in a remarkably short periods of time, allowing us to keep the ranks of our armies almost permanently supplied with able troops.

Following the success of his last creation, Emperor Atrebe had devised a new plan, although the details to this one are secret to most all of us. Thus, I am not sure what it is he is attempting to achieve, although I imagine it will again be of tremendous benefit to the Empire. There is a rumor, however, that he is planning to use himself as the test subject for this new procedure. I’m not sure if I am comfortable with this decision, but if it meets with the same success as his previous endeavor, then who knows what power the Emperor himself may possess. This is to take place within the next few days, and I must go prepare. Long live Emperor Atrebe!

Collapse


Although change is inevitable, no one expected changes of the magnitude experienced during the Age of Cataclysms. This story is told about one of the veterans of the Age of War, who returned home to help rebuild it, only to see everything else collapse.

Every day, they considered themselves fortunate. Although Rivervale and the Misty Thicket had been overrun by the Hordes of the Inferno during the Age of War, the occupation was a relatively short one. Rebuilding commenced before the last mound of dead orcs and goblins had finished smoldering. The Runnyeye goblins, what was left of them anyway, were sent sniveling back to their caverns. The halflings looked forward to an age of peace.

Of course, peace and war are relative terms. There were still skirmishes to be fought now and then. Folks locked their doors and windows at night, when they hadn’t done so in the past. The Leatherfoot Brigade was slowly rebuilding its ranks, too. Veterans returned home from the War of Defiance that had nearly swallowed Qeynos and Freeport, bringing with them tales that darkened the nights and made the comforts of home all the more enticing.

Gemma Pathfinder’s shoulder still caused her intense pain when the weather was out of the east. She didn’t like to join in the tales told about the first few days when the Horde swept through Rivervale. She’d been so sure they would kill her, but for some reason they’d left her unconscious on the street and continued on their way. Gemma was one of the lucky survivors, although she reflected, it was again a relative sort of luck.

Lately, her shoulder had been bothering her more and more. She moved slower than she had in the days of her youth during the War. Still, she was thankful for living long enough to see the orcs killed or driven away. She was in her beloved Rivervale to help direct its reconstruction. When the townsfolk talked about building a shrine to the dead, she pointed out that rebuilding Rivervale was the best shrine they could create. And it was.

Walking through the Misty Thicket, Gemma thanked Bristlebane yet again for her good fortune. She stood on a small hill ringed with woods pausing to catch her breath. Rubbing her aching shoulder, Gemma looked slowly about the woods. “That’s odd,” she thought, puzzled. “Why aren’t the birds singing in the trees?” A thrill of fear chased up her spine. Were they under attack again?

Still puzzled, Gemma noticed the treetops swaying back and forth. First the motion was subtle; she only noticed it because she was looking for the silent birds. Then the trees began to sway in earnest. There was a loud, ear-splitting *BOOM* and the ground shook violently. On the hill, Gemma was tossed to the ground. She could see the earth roiling beneath its green coverlet of grass like waves on a pond.

The ground shook hard for so long that Gemma thought Norrath would shake until it broke completely apart. Trees whipping back and forth started snapping like twigs. Suddenly, Gemma felt the hill upon which she lay sprawled lifting and grinding back and forth. A large hunk of turf slipped down the rising hillside taking Gemma with it, sliding down like frosting that’s been put on a cake before it cools.

Gemma’s eyes were wide with fear, but she knew she had to keep her wits about her to save herself from any dangers from the shifting lands. As the shaking subsided, she cautiously stood up to take stock. The earth was ripped and torn in many places leaving jagged brown scars across the green grass. Many of the tallest trees, some that survived the fires set by the orcs and goblins those long years past, had splintered apart.

“That was some earthquake,” Gemma said, brushing bits of dirt and grass from her clothes. She walked cautiously back toward Rivervale, finding new escarpments and paths covered by fallen trees. Even on the best of days, Gemma’s walk was slowed by her years, but now she was navigating unfamiliar terrain entirely. It was home and not home at the same time. And for the next several days, the lands shook and screamed in agony.

An unusually thick fog hung in the air for many days after the initial earthquake. When the tremors slowed, Gemma and some of the other folk wanted to see the extent of the damage. The fog had not lifted. Standing on the edge of a newly formed cliff, Gemma gasped. Rivervale and the Misty Thicket stood within a grey fog ring and where trees once marched away toward the horizon, a furiously bubbling sea frothed instead.

The Crimson Teir


Source: http://web.archive.org/web/20001017190142/everquest.station.sony.com/hht/h_hq_Teir.shtml

Innoruuk, God of Hate, created the dark elves by kidnapping the king and queen of the elves, who were created by Tunare, and twisting them to his own image. The result was a cruel subterranean dark-skinned race. The dark elves are the means through which Innoruuk plots to destroy the races of Tunare, Prexus, and Brell Serilis who made a pact to populate Norrath with the races they created. Innoruuk especially despises the elves and dwarves.

It is said that in the past, Innoruuk had a group of chosen Teir’Dal followers he employed to spread hate across the face of Norrath. These chosen were known as The Crimson Teir. Only the highest and most decorated followers of Innoruuk were chose to hold these positions. To each he entrusted a piece of armor that they were bound to, in life and in unlife. These relics allowed them to channel some of Innoruuk’s power, and with their aid they sowed suffering and hate across the world. Though this pleased the Prince of Hate, he had ulterior motives, for he was already planning the coming of his Child.

This armor, though it granted the owner incredible power, that power came at a terrible price. Each piece was bound to the soul of the owner, and slowly drained away the life essence of the possessor. These spiritually desiccated creatures would eventually serve as the tests he would pit his child against. The now physically ruined and mentally corrupted Crimson Teir can no longer comprehend their roles in the glory of their wicked master, Innoruuk. They know only bedlam in a hollow and endless existence of unlife.

Acting on the advice of her teacher, Laarthik K’Shin, Lanys T’Vyl sets forth to reclaim the pieces of armor from the Crimson Teir, now scattered across the world. Her first test brings her to the old Teir’Dal city of Befallen to obtain the Abhorrent Bracers of Darkness. The following is a missive sent to Neriak by Laarthik K’Shin:

The night began with a gathering of the Teir’Dal outside Neriak. They knew Lanys would appear, as it was her custom to do so at that hour. She was expected. I, however, was not. My arrival helped to unite the servants of Hate and defeat the heathens, which had dared to venture into Nektulos.

I was allowed to speak from the Great Rock, what we now call the Pulpit; I addressed those assembled with the following words:

“From the time of my birth, in the age of the lost, I have seen our people divided by what has created us. I am an old, old man, given life anew by our Prince of Hate, and I was bade to teach young Lanys, the Daughter. This is now the time we join to change the face of Tunaria, what you know as Antonica. The children of the weaker gods have been catered to and protected long enough! It is time for us to show our unified power! United, we shall make our name known that its merest utterance shall inspire unbridled terror. We shall stain the lands with heathen blood as a tribute to our Prince. Tonight begins the ascension of Lanys T’vyl!”

Throughout my speech, many of the enraptured slashed themselves, spilling their blood upon the ground as personal offerings. With the arrival of Lanys T’Vyl, war chants and songs of praise rose throughout the crowd. A palpable energy seemed to flow from them, prickling my skin. What a joyous time for the Teir’Dal, one that shall not soon be forgotten. Now was the time to harness the rising tide of passion and hate, and direct it toward our goal.

“We shall march on the Commonlands,” I shouted, “and greet the first of the Crimson Teir. Young Lanys has determined their weakest link through her deep meditations, and tonight, we sever that link! Who will join in escorting the Child of Innoruuk to our common destiny?”

We began our march on the Commonlands. There was one dissenter who decided to declare his own war at this time, trying to divide us. “The Crimson Teir have aligned themselves with the Freeport Shadowknights, and they are amassing a force outside the city!” We continued on to the Commonlands, however, not to be diverted from our goal.

Upon entering the Commonlands, Lanys pointed, and spoke in dark-speech so all could hear, “We go to the western portion of the Commonlands.”

Defending the Daughter became a task, as many Kodiaks patrolled where we walked, but my sword arm never faltered. At last we reached the entrance to the lost city Befallen. The futile attempts on the life of the Daughter by paladins, druids and bards there grew tiresome. A druid in wolf-form brought a group of hill giants to attack, but knowing Innoruuk guided me that night, we were victorious over them.

While we awaited the last of our army to reassemble, I shared a tale of our first encounter with the barbarians in their frigid land. Soon, it was time to mount our offensive.

Within Befallen, many light-dwellers employed the Guise of the Deceiver against us, but we saw through the glamour easily. The offending bard, enchanter and wizard were set upon by the throng and quickly dispatched.

We raged through the lost city to the third level, where we finally engaged Jerak T’Shir. The battle lasted nearly twenty minutes. Many of the undead in that place joined in the fray, assisting their own against us. Lanys was badly injured, and I was unable to heal my student. However, there in the midst of the chaos, one of our own brave clerics healed the Daughter, pledging to protect her. It was an inspiring sight!

The knight fell, and his Bracer latched onto Lanys as the new owner. She smiled grimly, then bowed her head in prayer. I took this opportunity to reward the fallen knight’s barbed leg plates to the young cleric, promising that in time, she, too, would have a teacher, one that would show her just what her fate as a Daughter would be.

Lanys saw fit to take the coin from me and give it to a young dark one. Methinks she fancied him, but perhaps I will see him on the sacrificial table before her work is done.

I leave you with this tale of the battle, and return to my duties as Teacher.

–Laarthik K’Shin

Several days after recovering the bracers of darkness, Laarthik K’Shin again appears in Nektulos Forest. He tells those of the faithful that the time of Lanys T’Vyl’s second trial is at hand. This one he feels will be especially hard, there’s no telling what is in store when you enter the lair of Najena.

Laarthik gathers a group of those faithful to Innoruuk. Lanys appears, speaking to her followers in a cold, heartless manner. The party, afraid of the power that she possesses, remains quiet in a bowing stance before the Child of Hate. Lanys, Laarthik and the faithful dark elves journeyed to Najena to face yet another of the Crimson Teir’Dal.

After passing through Lavastorm Mountains, they make their way to the Najena’s dungeon. In the depths of this dark fortress, Lanys and her followers find Tovin D`Rin, the second Crimson Teir`Dal. This skeletal magician is protected by Agony and Strife; his roguish imp pets that Najena helped him create long ago. They are probably the most powerful creations the twisted Najena has ever created. Agony and Strife are linked to Tovin in such a way that he cannot be harmed while these pets remain alive.

Lanys and her party fiercely slay Agony and Strife, leaving Tovin D`Rin open for attack. Tovin begins to panic and shouts “Mortal… NO! Agony and Strife have departed me. I am mortal again!” Lanys and her followers begin their attack on him weakening him with each hit. Once Tovin has been defeated, Lanys finds herself in possession of the Abhorrent Boots of Darkness.

For his assistance with the battle, Laarthik rewards the most devout warrior of the party with his blackened iron bastard sword. Lanys and Laarthik then return to Neriak.

“Through magic, The Crimson Teir is bound. Through hate, The Crimson Teir is strong. Through age, The Crimson Teir is wise. Feeling the connection sever between their members, they flee to the far corners of the lands, in futile hope that they will be forgotten. If it were only so simple…”

In his dreams, Laarthik sees visions in pairs: fire and stone, primitives and gnomes, and two faces marked in red. He awakes with a start, immediately knowing where next his path leads.

Laarthik K`Shin quickly confronts the dwellers of Neriak, the children of Innoruuk. He warns them of the difficult tasks that awaits Innoruuk’s chosen child. As he explains to them the journey they must take, Lanys T`Vyl appears before them in her usual powerful and threatening fashion.

The adventurers make haste to Solusek’s Eye where the last of the Crimson Teir awaits. Upon entering Lavastorm Mountains, Lanys is attacked by a high elven assassin. He fears her power over the dark elven nation and what she might bring upon Norrath. He is no match for Lanys and her followers, however.

Deep in the tunnels of Solusek’s Eye, Enchantress Mydraa K`syk and the thief Talia K`syk make a hopeless effort to flee the coming of Innoruuk’s chosen child, for they know that with each member of the Crimson Teir that falls, Lanys grows in power.

Realizing that they will not be able to escape quickly enough, they charm four inhabitants of the caverns to defend them. These Stolen Clockwork XDCV units are formidable warriors, but provide only a small amount of protection against the Child of Hate.

Upon reaching the Crimson Teir, Lanys’s followers engage the guardians. Many of them perish.

“Defeat them!” Laarthik K`Shin shouts. “We must defeat them for the Child of Hate!” As the last of the Crimson Teir falls, the last pieces of the Abhorrent Armor of Darkness affixes themselves to Lanys. At that moment, a circle of flame surrounds her, and she is rocked by waves of violent power. Lanys T`Vyl becomes the true child of darkness and hate.