Category Archives: Butcherblock Mountains

The Prophetic Mystery

“The Prophetic Mystery” – from the writings of Geraint Caradoc
“The under dynasty will be eaten, starting with your bottom.”

This is the phrase that started it all. First it was a curiosity, and now that I have began to look further into it, my interests have grown. I had come across the prophecy as I was rebinding some of the books in my grandfather’s library that had survived these few years since the War of Plague upon Qeynos. It was in an ancient dialect of Erudish, but its mention of a dynasty eaten and my bottom made me laugh.

Due to the age of the prophecy, I have began to wonder if this could be something that has already taken place, or something still to come. I have decided to start investigating it, and am keeping this journal as record of my findings.

“The under dynasty” may be speaking of an underworld empire or leadership of a kingdom that came from an underground location.

Gnolls, kobolds, dark elves, dwarves, halflings, minotaurs, goblins, shik’nar, fire giants, burynai, undead, and dragons all come from below, or live below ground. Ak’Anon, Neriak, Blackburrow, the Underfoot, and Nagafen’s Lair can all be considered kingdoms that are located underground.

Under dynasty could also be speaking more of an underdog; the oppressed; the disadvantaged. This would also fit with the gnolls, kobolds, minotaurs and goblins.

“Eaten, starting with your bottom.” is an odd phrase to say the least.

To eat is to wear away, corrode, devour, ravage, consume or overtake. But “starting with your bottom”…what could that imply? The underside, the base, the origin, lowest point. That could be both physically, or socially. The lowest of people within that society, or the lowest point of the empire’s recognized land? Maybe the foundation of the empire itself?

Dragons definately devour, and they tend to make their lairs in underground locations. But if it were a prophecy relating to the mystically powerful dragons, then I should be able to find other related prophecies. But my search for other prophecies, so far, has had little results.

I did find several others that also referred to kingdoms coming to an end, but I was able to discern key differences to know they were not speaking of the same instance.

I consulted an oracle who is well known for her ability to see underlying meanings, and some of her previous prophecies have already come to pass. I had my notes with me, but she never even read them!

“You have Brell on the brain, and cannot dig yourself out from under it. An old enemy, always buried…quakes and cracks upon the land. They make the attack upon their holy land. Crusade to take it for all his children. Growls and drool below the man of stone and stein.”

It was all she could say.

These new details of the prophecy allowed me to narrow my search; gnolls, kobolds, minotaurs, goblins, burynai, and dragons. They all make growl sounds, and drool.

The line about Brell could be because it all happens underground, or it could be that the prophecy involves some of his creations such as dwarves, halflings, gnolls, kobolds, and goblins. This is further supported with, “for all his children.” The most telling was, “The man of stone and stein.” That is a dwarf.

The only dwarven civilizations I know can be found on the continent of Velious and Faydwer. Of those locations, Kaladim in the Butcherblock Mountains is the one I know with suspects lurking near by; kobolds and minotaurs.

The dwarves have long held that they are the only true children of Brell Serilis. The gnolls, kobolds, and goblins have long been offended by such claims. They, as well as so many other creatures of the Underfoot, all hold him as their creator. I suspect this prophecy is about the kobolds.

Kobolds are a subterranean, tribal race that resemble oversized attack dogs. Compared with a gnoll they are bulkier, and more stout. They walk hunched over, and often on their knuckles.

They appear to be less civilized then gnolls, as they never don clothes and rarely equip tools, but they are a force to be reckoned with. They are not to be underestimated in their magic proficiency nor in their raw brute strength. They have leaders and shaman that can organize the tribe quickly and effectively.

They have long engaged in a fierce and a horribly bloody grudge against the younger children of Brell, the dwarves and gnomes.

Lore tells of the direct relation of this animosity leading to the birth of the Lord of Despair, Rolfron Zek. This sibling rivalry could easily be fanned into a blazing inferno.

Kobolds are close with nature, especially beings which they consider to be kindred souls, which can allow them to gain the cooperation of other creatures for whatever means.

They believe in the spirituality of animals, but also the existence of their deity and creator, Brell. This can make for a dangerous enemy. They can gain the cooperation of others, and they have the conviction of religion to embolden their crusades.

If this prophecy is about the kobolds and the dwarves, then it stands to reason that it has not happened, yet. It is a warning that the kobolds will rise up after an earthquake and take the city of Kaladim from the dwarves themselves!

No such feat has been attempted, but if they were to organize and shore their numbers they could have an army big enough to take advantage of the confusion and grief that would accompany an earthquake in the Butcherblock Mountains.

I wonder if I should send my studies of this prophecy to the dwarves of Kaladim, or if they would simply laugh it off. I am not a seasoned scholar of prognostication.

I should do more research before I trouble them.

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.

Handbook of the Ravens of the North

Halas, the ancestral home of the Northmen, is no more. Torn asunder by years of fighting with the snow orcs, the city was finally razed to the ground by the fiery chunks of Luclin raining down to fulfill the shaman’s prophecy: “On the night of fire, Halas shall be consumed by earth. Blood shall flow like water, for death travels through the air.” Yet the sons and daughters of the Marr twins will not go quietly into the Gray Wastes, nor shall we leave our beloved Erollisi Marr unguarded as she travels those lands. Where she now lies, let us go too. We shall rebuild New Halas to stand guard by her shrine, and never again shall we turn our backs on our home.
–Nikolas MacCraifft, the White Raven

The life of an artisan is not for everyone, yet those who answer its call prosper not only in body and spirit but also in mind. And of course, one cannot overlook the financial gains possible through hard work and dedication to one’s art. Being an artisan is not a path for everyone, but those who follow this way of life find it worthy of their time and effort.

Your first step to becoming an artisan is to visit the hall of the Ravens of the North. This should be marked on your map. Inside you will find some representatives of the Ravens, a fuel vendor, and the tradeskill delegate. The tradeskill delegate can teach you more about how to become an artisan.

In order to create items, an artisan will need to obtain raw harvests. These can be purchased from others, but the cheapest alternative, and one that the Ravens of the North endorse, is to gather your own. You can harvest appropriate supplies to begin learning to craft in areas around New Halas. The main isle supplies the first harvests you will require, and materials for more advanced crafting can be found on the outer isles.

Every artisan’s skills and desires can take them on different paths through life. You will find new doors open to you and 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, you will speak to the Crafting Trainer who is within the hall of the Ravens of the North.

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 Ravens of the North are comprised of all artisans and merchants who own shops within New Halas. This faction manages the city’s broker system, and all vendors who use them pay a tax used for their upkeep. The artisans of Halas are always quick to lend a helping hand, and have been an essential and driving force behind the establishment of New Halas. While their fins skills and craftsmanship can earn them a comfortable living, they realize that no amount of profit is worth more than seeing the successful establishment of New Halas.

As you increase in skill as an artisan, you may offer to provide your services to aid the city of Halas. Representatives of the Ravens of the North 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 reimbursement, but will also improve your standing in the eyes of the Ravens of the North. Work order representatives can be found in the hall of the Ravens of the North.

If you earn sufficient status with the Ravens of the North to merit membership, their faction merchant located in their hall will sell you a title certificate should you wish to purchase an official title from the society. 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. Membership in the Ravens of the North is not mandatory, but there are rewards should you wish to dedicate yourself to their cause.

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 archetype, 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 for 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 art upgrades for fighter types. Jewelers make items of jewelry, and also combat art 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 and other tinkerers, however, as the mechanisms are far too complex for non-tinkerers to understand. Since many tinkered items are adventuring-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. Only those who have studied the skill of Adorning can create Adornments. However, any interested Artisan may learn Transmuting, Adorning, Tinkering, or all three. Those interested in learning more about tinkering, transmuting, or adorning can consult trainers available on the continent of Faydwer, in the city of Kelethin or at the docks in Butcherblock Mountains.

Should you decide at any time to change your profession as an artisan,the career counselor at the hall of the Ravens of the North 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. It is not a path for everyone to follow, but those who pursue it can be of great service to their friends and city if they choose to. Establish your reputation by doing your best at whatever task is before you. Over time, you will build your own clientele of satisfied customers who clamor for your work. The entire city of New Halas is a labor of love by its artisans, filled with many beautiful carvings and more still to come. We look forward to adding your work towards the enhancement of our city!

Dancing with Bugbears

My studies and life among the captivating bugbears of Butcherblock Mountains.
After months of talk and study, I have decided to go where my heart has been pulling. I am leaving for Butcherblock from Thundering Steps, tomorrow! My calling is amongst the misunderstood bugbears. I will bring a knowledge of these poor creatures to all of Norrath!

Some believe that a halfling woman, such as myself, must be mad, choosing to study such intimidating beings. And be it in a foreign and treacherous land, then she’s doubly mad! I silence them with my rebuttal, “If I do not do it, who will?”

I landed at the Butcherblock docks, and had soon secured a dwarven guide and several helpers to aid my trip to the bugbear camp. They were a burly lot, and looked a bit rough around the edges, but they certainly knew the fastest paths and the safest routes. Plat well spent, no doubt! We traversed north through the lush Highlands with little trouble, and made camp for the night a bit off from the bugbears.

The next morning, the dwarves and I shared a meal and resumed our trek to the bugbear camp.

We weren’t but a griffin’s leap from the camp when a large bugbear came running at us from the side! It was a male, wearing crude skins and jagged metal bits as armor. He wielded a club with nails embedded in its surface.

The dwarves fought back , in their fear and ignorance. This only brought others to the fight! I tried to calm the lot, to stop the dwarves, but they must not have heard me what with all the screaming. I cannot blame these abused creatures! Here we were coming to their homes appearing as an army might.

They had long been the slaves of other Underfoot races, and our merry band of scientists must have looked to them like any other, coming in to enslave them, again.

I was blesed that they had noticed my pacifist nature, and my respect for their well being. I mourned for my guides, who knew no better then to meet aggression in kind, but I am here as proof that it is not the only answer.

I established my own camp very near to theirs, and have even been allowed to watch them from afar. I know they are watching me, too. Studying my moves and behaviour, no doubt, as I am theirs. They are too protective and inquisitive not to!

How such a majestic race came to be thought of as a digrace or purely as muscle and fodder for mining and construction initiatives is beyond me!

As I have been living near the bugbear clan and studying them, they have grouwn increasingly inquisitive and welcoming of my presence. Several have approached me, and have bene grateful for the meals that I have shared with them!

Language is a bit of a challenge, but with patience and an open mind, I find that we communicate quite well. The desires of a child are easy to discern even before they can speak. The situation is similar, and at some points has triggered my maternal instincts.

During my studies, I have made a great deal of headway with the clan, and have even been approached by some of the more curious ones, even nick named several!

Pookie is demure. Light in tint, he takes extra care to muss his hair with mud. he enjoys watching me and has even started to imitate my writing with his finger.

Nibbles is a darker brown. He enjoyes stocking small creatures, and is rather protective of his kills.

Cuddles is an enamored member of the clan. He even gives me kisses. Or that is to say, his version. I have never witness the bugbear show affection amongst themselves, but he licks my face, and smacks his lips. It is quite sweet!

Jumjum is a fighter, and has been witnessed instigating more then one amongst his own clan. I wonder if he is trying to prove his worth for battle.

Silverback named for the distinctive patch of silver hair on this back, though it is often covered by his leather smock.

I was fortunate to witness a prize being presented to the clan leader, today! A hunting party passed by my camp grunting and barking at one another. Their volume indicated that they were excited by something. It had alarmed me at first, but their body language told me it was a joyous occasion. They walked proud, and were hitting each other playfully.

Once within their camp, they gathered in front of the leader, and many ornate armor pieces were thrown on the ground at his feet. He made a great whoop!

Jumjum then produced several very hairy looking orbs from a bundled object he carried. I could not make out the objects from my distance sadly, but it brought the entire tribe to grunting, and hitting the ground! What an adventure to see such joy and pride exuded from these graceful creatures!

I must admit that I am confused by the other Faydwer folk. Earlier, some startled me as I was strolling back from studying Pookie. They called to me while waving their arms and motioning to to come hither.

“Thank Tunare, we got here in time!”

“What is the matter?” I asked.

They appeared to be dumbstuck.

“You are in grave danger, dear lady.”

One even warned, “That one’s a man killer!”

“I am in no such danger.” I assured them. “I only fear being crushed by their love!”

And with that, I walked back to my camp, to continue my mission. My published work will disprove misconceptions and myths about the bugbear, including the myth that they are violent.

They clan has been very busy the last few days. They gatherers have been collecting fresh game, and roots while the crafters have been making new skins into banners and clothes. They must be getting ready for a ceremony or a celebration of some kind!

The best news is that Cuddles has come to my tent. I think he wish me to join in the party! He is wearing some of the new skins upon his head and is accompanied by one of the tribe shaman. They are waiting with me now, but have made motions and grunts to each other to indicate I am to follow.

Perhaps they wish to make me a part of the tribe or to extend some other pleasantry upon me! No doubt, my next entry shall be full of merriment and awe. I am excited to share all that would have occurred, and all that I have learned on this night!

(There are no further entries. This page, like many of the following pages, is smeared with crusty mud and blood left by thick fingerprints.)

A Sojourn of Faith

A Sojourn of Faith
By Nicadiaus Quellborn

It is with much eagerness that I begin scribing this account, a tale that has taken me from my birth home of Erudin on the continent of Odus and has found me in this humble hovel within the foothills of the Butcherblock Mountains. This journey was prompted by a yearning and a compelled conscience that try as I might I could not deny.

During my maturation as a young erudite I noticed a contempt my brethren had towards other races, a feeling I did not share. In particular, I was quite intrigued with the civilized societies of Faydwer. Surely these people who were so radically different from each other but who could co-exist for so long in peace much have been blessed by the Tranquil One.

This thought was confirmed to me one sacred night when Quellious herself appeared to me in a dream and called me to this special mission. I was to be her voice and bring her to the people of Faydwer. However, I had a very difficult choice to make. I was, after all, a highly respected man within the temple and my beautiful wife, Jessa, was with child.

After weighing the decision carefully I concluded that I could not deny my feelings nor my goddess. I would leave my noble position and wrest my ever loving wife from her palatial home and make the dangerous sea journey. my commitment and my choice would come at a heavy cost.

It was on that passage that Jessa would give birth to our lovely daughter, but the Ocean of Tears is aptly named. By beloved wife soon fell gravely ill following childbirth. The gods in their mysterious ways decided to claim her before she ever laid eyes upon the land of our destination. My faith was shaken to its very core as I went through the horrible task of preserving my wife’s body for travel.

Our ship landed on the southern shores of Faydwer, blown off course by a savage storm. Heartbroken and filled with sorrow, I couldn’t bear to look into the face of anyone as I stepped off the ship. I ignored the warnings of the dwarven sailors that crewed the ship and set out into the wilds.

As I traveled the strange new countryside I swore that I could not bring hollow words to the dwarven city of Kaladim. I still needed time. I constructed a humble tomb for my beloved wife in the foothills of the Butcherblock Mountains and laid her to rest. I then built a simple hovel nearby, the very house I now make this record.

In time, it was through my daughter, Jessa, named for her precious mother, that my faith would return. She possessed every quality that I loved in her mother. She glowed with a lightness of spirit and warmth of heart that I could feel, as if she contained Ro itself. It was young Jessa that would one day urge me to offer up my prayers to Quellious once again.

I feel the time has come for me to make my long-delayed journey into the gates of Kaladim. I end this account now that I might close this chapter of my life and begin a new one. The dwarves of Faydwer will now hear of the peace of the Tranquil One and of the blessings she brings.

LDON 13 – Search for Lost Lands

In the warm air of the Commonlands tunnel, Calliav closed his eyes and began running through the countless images and visions filling his mind.

“I see snow, ice, and a great mobilemagic with no face. There may have been a face once, but it is gone now,” he whispered. “There is little more to that, I’m afraid.”

Nedaria stood close and kept her hand on his forehead, helping him slow the rush of thoughts. Morden took notes in a code only the most trusted Wayfarers Brotherhood could understand.

“Now I see blood. Lots of blood. The dead are walking, breathing, reanimating. They are unholy and feed in the most despicable ways. I see a castle . . . but there is much underground. Much more,” Calliav said.

There was a pause as Calliav searched his thoughts. Suddenly, he winced and his face lengthened.

“Confusion, fear. The walls are collapsing and sand is rushing in. Half blood, half sand. Now they are all in sand. They do not know that the wrath of Solusek Ro has passed,” he said in low tones. His cheeks glistened with tears of sadness.

Calliav’s chest heaved as he took a deep breath. He paused again. Under his eyelids, his eyes fluttered wildly.

The hush around them was broken as Calliav gasped so suddenly that air whistled through his teeth.

“Oh my, the paladins are lost. I see the frogloks blessed by Mithaniel Marr are transformed. A curse holds their souls. I feel the burning hate of a god,” Calliav panted. “And the orcs. The orcs have risen. Goblins have been overrun and enslaved.”

Morden and Tondal looked to Nedaria. In both of their eyes, Nedaria read the need for confirmation of Calliav’s ramblings. In many ways, the possibility of undiscovered lands felt too good to be true. Morden also had trouble believing that he could have ever missed such places in his travels.

Nedaria looked at both of them and nodded.

“These visions he is sharing are not fantasy. They are real. There is much strife deep within the earth . . . and darkness,” she said.

Morden turned around to see proud members of the Wayfarers Brotherhood sharing past adventurers and creating new stories as they ambled about. He cleared his throat.

“Listen up brothers and sisters. Our time has come. Pack your goods and be prepared to travel. Nedaria will lead a camp to the Frigid Planes and Northlands on Antonica. Tondal will lead some of our brethren across the Ocean of Tears to the Butcherblock Mountains on Faydwer,” Morden said. “I will remain here with Calliav and a greater compliment of the Wayfarers Brotherhood. We are about to open the doors to the future of all Norrathians, I expect. Off with ye!”


The Relic of Brell Serilis


At last, with the long sought after scroll in his possession, the mighty Al’Kabor unravels the secret behind the demise of the Kedge race. Phinigel Autropos, the last surviving Kedge, consigned his brethren to permanent undeath with a magical spell of great power. Al’Kabor, armed with this knowledge, confronts Phinigel. The unspoken threat that he could use the very same spell on Phinigel himself is made clear, unless Phinigel cooperates with the wizard. The last Kedge is not one to take such threats lightly, however, and though he could more than likely destroy arrogant Erudite, he reasons it wiser to teach him a valuable lesson rather than risk his own life.

Phinigel uses his arcane magic to send out a vision of an ancient artifact, long guarded by his minions, the aqua goblins. The Hammer of Dagnor Butcherblock, the first dwarven king, appears before the dwarven rogue Duskan Hammerhand and a dark elven cleric named Teuil N’Mar. In the vision, the hammer is revealed, secreted beneath the murky waters of Dagnor’s Cauldron within a barnacle-encrusted tower, and guarded by aqua goblins. Duskan recognizes the holy relic, and immediately makes a foolish attempt to retrieve the hammer alone, desiring the glory of the successful deed solely for himself. He fails, narrowly escaping the aqua goblins with his life.

Crawling along the shore, barely coherent and near death, Duskan manages to convince a party of passing adventurers to escort him to his King. When Duskan is brought before King Kazon Stormhammer and reveals his story of the vision and his botched raid, the King organizes an expedition for the recovery of the Butcherblock Hammer, known among the dwarves as Dagnor’s Fist. Three dwarven champions are chosen to head the effort: Boris Stormhammer, the King’s nephew, Kalek Orefinder, and Fenric Ogrebane, son of the legendary Furtog Ogrebane. These three, aided by the adventurers, easily cut down the aqua goblins guarding the hammer. As the goblin Tidal Lord is dying, Phinigel Autropos himself appears. He stymies the dwarves and adventurers, driving them back. Then, as swiftly as he appeared, he disappears. The dwarves and adventurers finish off the last goblin and rescue the hammer.

As they march victoriously back to Kaladim, a dark elven raiding party ambushes and slaughters them. In the fight, the dark elven wizard perishes, preventing the raiders’ return to Neriak. The leader, Valkis D’Vinn, carefully seals the captured relic in an enchanted adamantium chest, and orders his group to march to Crushbone, where another dark elven wizard awaits.

Fenric, thought dead but actually feigning, overhears these plans, and immediately seeks help once they leave.

The dark elven raiding party discovers upon returning to Crushbone that the wizard they sought, Szasi R’Alis, is dead, along with Grak Crushbone, who died defending her. Valkis attempts to bargain with the adventurers who surround them, but is quickly cut down. The sealed Adamant Chest of Thex passes into the possession of the adventurers, who return to Kaladim to deliver the chest to King Kazon. The Dwarven King declares the dwarf in the party of adventurers his champion, and instructs him to return with the key to the chest.

The adventurers travel to Nektulos and slay Captain Na’Var, holder of the key. The Captain struggles, but is outmatched. The adventurers take the key back to the King, who rewards them with baubles from his treasury. The King then declares the dwarf adventurer who was integral to the success of the mission to be Champion of the Dwarves, and Guardian of Butcherblock’s Hammer.

The Swashbuckler’s Homecoming


To continue his search for immortality, the wizard Al’Kabor needs certain items to replicate a most heinous ceremony. In his studies in the library of Erudin, he has read about a scroll of great power, and the fateful journey leading to its loss at sea.

The ship “Shark’s Bane” was chartered to carry the scroll from Butcherblock to Freeport during some of the worst storms that ocean had yet seen. Despite being crewed by rough and seedy veteran seaman, none of whom were strangers to travel in treacherous conditions, the voyage turned disastrous.

Upon reaching the Ocean of Tears, the ship’s captain determined it would be prudent to seek refuge at the Sisters of Erollisi Isle. His order to the tillerman to steer hard to port was met with no response. Turning, he watched as the poor soul was swept over the rail on the crest of a wave. The captain scrambled toward the rigging. A second wave breached the starboard side. The captain shut his eyes tightly and prepared for the impact. When none came, he opened his eyes. A muffled screamed escaped him as he watched the wave, now standing impossibly on the deck, sprout great arms and reach for him. The cacophony of snapping timbers and the thundering of water were all that bespoke the final voyage of the “Shark’s Bane”.

Al’Kabor’s knowledge of the ship and its fate are the results of his studies in the great Library of Erudin. However, as is the case with tales of this sort, much of the text was based upon hearsay. But there was mention of one Tillerman Jairik as the only survivor of the tragedy.

Excited at the prospect of adding this scroll to his “Shopping List of Armageddon,” Al’Kabor once again recruits a party to seek out Tillerman Jairik, and convince him to return to the site of the wreck to assist in the retrieval of the lost cargo. The wizard’s knowledge of Jairik is limited to his general location. “The wretch has reverted to the meaningless existence of an arms monger, peddling his wares in the cave of East Commonlands. Were it not for the fact that within his tiny skull is locked the key so conjunctive to my research, I would give no more thought to his death than I would afford a mosquito in Feerrott.”

Tillerman Jairik has no knowledge of the cargo of the ship, though he knew it was valuable. He avoided the hold of the ship when the item was loaded, and was issued strict orders by the captain not to snoop. He felt an eerie presence even as he boarded the ship that rainy evening. “Arr, what a man don’t know about, won’t show up later to bite him in the arse!”

Jairik has a mild fear of the sea now, but he overcomes it in order to accompany the adventurers to the location of the wreck. “Me ol’ bones will feel more at ease knowin’ me crewmates be at peace in their watery graves, aye.” Because he was swept overboard before the attack of what Al’Kabor identified as a water elemental, he has no knowledge of the beast. He fully expects the ship to be in ruins with its cargo plundered long ago. Little does he know, the elemental has taken up residence aboard the lost ship.

By the time the ship reaches the docks in the Ocean of Tears, Jairik has regained his sea legs, and has no problem swimming to the rocky isle. “C’mon, ye scurvy dogs! The salty brine will keep ya afloat, like an egg on a glass table!”

“Prexus! Don’t be takin’ me now!” Jairik exclaims when he sees the ghostly Shark’s Bane docked at the isle, and the great Water Elemental floating upon its deck. “Ach, I dinnae want to be fish food!”

The water elemental disembarks and attacks the adventurers. Jairik, overcome with terror, only assists in the battle when the party becomes overwhelmed, and even then only half-heartedly.

With the defeat of the water elemental, Jairik continues on with the party to the Sisters of Erollisi island, where Al’Kabor awaits them. Anxious to return to his laboratory and continue his research, Al’Kabor quickly rewards the adventurers. The party’s questions annoy him, they being far too simple to comprehend his plans, and he rudely departs.

Tillerman Jairik, the Swashbuckler, returns to the Commonlands and resumes his peaceful mercantile life.

Miners Guide to Toxicology

“Miner Maters Guide to Mineral Toxicology WHITE LEAD By combining LIMESTONE found on the coastal edge of the Butcherblock Mountains with LEAD SULPHIDES I have created a White Lead powder. Prolonged contact with one’s skin will begin to absorb the powder and cause severe pain in the back and kidneys. Brell save the poor dwarf who suffers from this malady thus ending his days of mining and enjoying good Dwarven Ale. LEAD PEROXIDE This lead powder was discovered by a fortunate accident. While experimenting with LEAD SULPHIDES I spilled a bit of my favorite dwarven brew, the TUMPY TONIC into my mortar and pestle. Much to my surprise the result was a yellow lead that is absorbed through the flesh and attacks the bloodstream much quicker than other forms of lead. The results of contact with this toxin are severe head pains and nervous agitation. IRON SULPHIDE While visiting a gnomish acquaintance of mine dabbling in the same field of research I was shown a marvelous ore indigenous to the Steamfont Mountains called Brimstone. By combining some BRIMSTONE with two SMALL PIECES OF ORE I discovered a substance that if inhaled will deaden the sense of smell. If ingested or introduced into the blood stream iron sulphide causes extreme body-wide pain that has been described as feeling as if your very blood is on fire. QUICKSILVER Of all the metals I have come across in my studies the liquid metal Quicksilver is the most toxic. Strangely the Kobolds were the first to begin using Quicksilver by ingesting Cinnabar, the ore that Quicksilver is found in. The beasts believe that it is a cure for disease and fungal infections. In order to extract Quicksilver from the ore the CINNABAR must be ground in a mortar and pestle then distilled. The most effective way I have found of distilling the cinnabar is soaking it in GNOMISH SPIRITS. The result is a dense silvery liquid metal that corrodes organic materials, including flesh and internal organs.”

Pages from Brodders Diary V

“My experiences with Trolls and Ogres. Ogre swill and other swamp inspired beverages aren’t the only thing to come from these beasts. Some of them have a gift for brewing. They joke, I hope it’s a joke, that it came from eating a dwarven brewer at one time or another First off is BOOT BEER, strange indeed as it sounds. The foul brew requires a Large Leather Boot, swamp vegetables, swamp mushrooms, malt, a water flask, and Milk The solids are bundled in a lil cloth bag and stuffed at the bottom of the boot. A troll wears the boot for a few days and then adds the malt water and milk. It sits on a shelf till remembered, or until it foams enough that someone notices it. This beverage is as disgusting as it sounds, and floored me for over a day and a half, luckily the troll teaching me the secrets was unconscious just a bit longer, I copied the notes and stole away. I left him this gift, written in runes and pictures so he might understand it easier as a fair trade: SKUNK BREATH ALE 2 skunk glands, gnomish spirits, short beer, malt, yeast, water, cask. From the sudden trade in skunk glands to South Ro from butcher block one must assume that this is a hit with the Trolls of Innothule, I hear Innothule’s Breath is what they named the beverage. I hear the smell stays on your breath for days after you drink it, a probable source of amusement for the trolls.”