Category Archives: Plane of Fear

The Unclaimed Eye

The Unclaimed Eye
A Gorowyn Sarnak Creation Story

When the gods first came together to make the races of Norrath, they organized rows of many colored round stones before them. They divided these stones up, and when one of the gods would finish molding a new race, they would place the stones near the top of the head, giving the new race sight and life. In this way each of the races were made and placed upon the earth.

When it came time to create the Iksar, Cazic-Thule spent many long hours boasting that he had finally found the perfect design. This new race would be faster, smarter, and more versatile than any he had ever created, and leagues ahead of anything the other gods had designed – of this, Cazic-Thule was certain.

He locked himself away and worked and worked at the first Iksar, destroying them time and time again as they came up imperfect.

Finally, he found what he believed to be the final design, and set about giving it life. When he went to retrieve the stones for the Iksar, he found that one of them was missing. Howling in rage, he tore apart the Plane of Fear looking for it, uprooting trees and taking buildings apart stone by stone so that he left a wake of rubble and plant matter. But the stone was nowhere to be found.

Little did he know that the stone had fallen from his workbench and rolled and rolled until it fell straight into Norrath, landing deep in the jungles of Kunark.

Cazic-Thule was furious, but he grudgingly completed the process of creating the Iksar. He had invested far too much into these creatures to simply let them go. He took the remaining stone intended for the Iksar and split it in two, creating a finished, but imperfect, race.

By virtue of Cazic-Thule’s brilliant design, the Iksar were still a formidable people, but they were not what he had set out to accomplish, and for that, he would never forgive them.

Centuries later, the imperfect Iksar set about to create a slave race; these slaves would come to be known as the Sarnak. Blending their own life with that of the dragon, they inadvertently created something greater than themselves, and in time, these children would come to betray and overthrow them. However, these Sarnak will still imperfect beings, as they were the progeny of Cazic-Thule’s blundered creation, and spent many years in slavery. Though they may have been greater than the Iksar, they were still not the champions Cazic-Thule had foreseen.

Just as the unfinished Iksar had sought to create something better than themselves, so eventually did these imperfect Sarnak. It was their fortune that in a deeply secluded place, they came across the long lost stone of Cazic-Thule. They did not know exactly what they had in their hands, but they did know that it was powerful indeed.

They began to work at creating a new slave race; never realizing that with this power, their creations would be capable of casting off their rule even more easily than they had thwarted the Iksar.

And so it was that this new race was made more completely than either the Iksar or the original Sarnak. They were not quite to Cazic-Thule’s original design because of the dragon blend, but they were still great.
The Sarnak knew they had found perfection, and quickly destroyed the original group, sensing their ability to rise up and overcome them. Had they been wise, they would have abandoned the effort, but in their arrogance, they believed that with careful and rigorous manipulation, they could raise a second group of these new Sarnak to follow their orders.

They were wrong.

A hero, who we now know only as Gorowyn, rose from among these perfect ones and led us in revolution. Unfortunately, all were destroyed in this first effort, and the world lost the perfect ones for a time. The original Sarnak, knowing they could no longer call themselves true Sarnak, began to call themselves Di’Zok.

Later, beings even less worthy than the Di’Zok came and found the secrets of our creation. They recreated the perfect ones, and in trying to subjugate us, found their demise. Now we were free, and ready to claim our destiny.

At first, we knew nothing of where we had come from, but in time, we found documentation of what had come before. We learned of our hero Gorowyn, and how he led our people against our creator captors, and of the magic that made us superior to all who had come before.

We came to know ourselves as the chosen of Norrath. After all, hadn’t we killed our own gods, our own creators?

Knowing that we had nothing to fear from the lesser denizens of Norrath, we raised a city and established our presence on the world that would be ours one day. We named it Gorowyn; in honor of he who had shown us our destiny and led us to cast off the reigns of imperfect beings. None can challenge us, for we are Sarnak, the final embodiment of Cazic-Thule’s perfect design, and finally we have the life he wished to give us so long ago.

The Rescue of Firiona Vie

Festival of Tunare’s Harvest

The annual festival of Tunare’s Harvest was held at the newly created outpost of Firiona Vie on the continent of Kunark. The year had been a hard one that began with the capture of Tunare’s Chosen, Firiona Vie, by the Iksar Danak Dhorentath. One year before, after Firiona Vie’s capture, Galeth Veredeth over saw the construction of the elven outpost on the shores of Kunark by the command of King Tearis Thex, to find and return the Champion.

Firiona’s companions gathered at the festival and talked of their deeds over the year. Lyirae Oakwynd spoke of her lost brother and the joy she has found in her new friends. Ognit Eznertob and Dabner Drednever matched wits with Al`Kabor in a test of riddles. Afterwards, Ognit spoke of his part in the opening of The Hole while his friend and protector, Dagda Icefury, shared her own memories. Sionachie Heartsinger sang songs for all that were gathered as Sir Jevik Isqual stood solemnly by as the festivities continued, eyeing almost cautiously every motion and movement of all present at the festivities.

Thubr Axebringer challenged all that were gathered to a drinking game, while Dreezil Pocketdip made his own game of collecting rare coins mistakenly left in the pockets of revelers. He didn’t want to bother them about their errors.

Presiding over all was Galeth Veredeth, Firiona’s most faithful protector who felt responsible for her capture and disappearance. He deemed it good to celebrate Tunare’s Harvest, but with the girl he had raised as his own child for several years gone and her conditions unknown, the elder Paladin’s life was without direction, save to investigate clues as to her whereabouts.

A strange voice in the air…

As a soft, cool breeze washed over the shores of the outpost, birds’ songs rose to become a beautiful ballad. An enchanting and almost unearthly soothing voice spoke in the breeze saying, “Galeth Veredeth… the time has come…”

Tunare, the Mother of All, seemed to coalesce from the mist and music, glowing with an inner light as she watched the mortals gather at her feet. Galeth and the others had ran up and bowed low before her. She bid all to rise, and told them that the time had come to rescue her Champion. She had learned that Firiona Vie was being held by the Iksar shaman, Danak Dhorentath, in the ruins of an ancient civilization amidst a verdant jungle. A ward had been placed by Danak’s master, Venril Sathir, that prevented Tunare from doing the deed herself. Tunare told Galeth that he and Firiona’s companions should gather what forces they could and go there as quickly as possible, for when the day ended, so would Firiona’s life.

Galeth apologized for failing to protect Firiona that day and vowed to save her from her dark fate. Tunare forgave him his error, and faded into birdsong and music once again.

The mood of the festival had changed from gaiety to anger at the Iksar who would do this thing. Danak and his followers would feel the true force of Tunare’s anger from the swords and spells of her children. Al`Kabor reasoned from Tunare’s words that Firiona could be found in the Emerald Jungle near the ancient City of Mist. He gave a map to Thubr to plan their assault, and then they were off, grim expressions on their faces but with hope and gladness in their hearts. They braved mosquitoes and goblins as they headed toward Field of Bone through the Swamp of No Hope.

The Iksar capital city of Cabilis was on the horizon as they crossed to the Emerald Jungle. The sinister aura of the place dampened their spirits and more than one brave adventurer lost his nerve and headed back. This only strengthened the resolve of the others.

The Dark Ritual

The ritual spoken of by Tunare had already begun. Vahlai Ka’Izal, a dark elf in league with Danak, had come across a dark ritual that would turn the power of the Lifeguide, the staff Tunare herself had fashioned for her Champion, into a thing fetid of evil. A necromancer sent energy flowing between Firiona and Danak

Vahlai distilled this power into a crystal vial she carried. Danak then drank the potion and channeled the power through the staff, it’s clear gem turned an unearthly shadow of blackened green as he dedicated the power of the staff to The Faceless, Cazic-Thule. Firiona cried out to Tunare to forgive her; but the air turned turgid and stale as the Lifeguide rotted the air around it.

As they entered the jungle, Galeth challenged the dark ones and vowed to stop their ritual, but Danak’s shriek of triumph shattered the tomblike stillness like a hammer through a windowpane.

Galeth swore that Danak would join his master in the plane of fear, and Thubr gathered the ranks and charged through the forest.

The Battle

The battle will be sung of for ages! All that had given witness and blade to the battle shall speak of it for centuries to come. Each cut of the air, each drop of blood falling to stain the cold jungle floor shall be remembered as if it were not a tale, but of a battle ensuing as they spoke.

Galeth’s sword erupted in fire as he tore into the minions of fear and hate. As Dabner healed them all, Thubr’s axe swung like a machine and Dagda’s sword protected Ognit as his spells picked off enemies. Dreezil’s blade stabbed the evil ones in the back and Al`Kabor’s gaze alone was enough to bring many of the darkened ones down.

They finally won their way through to Firiona’s side. Galeth’s image blurred as the full power of regret and pain gave his sword-arm new strength. Danak was sent reeling until finally his back was against the wall. He surrendered.

The evil ones were taken into custody as Thubr struck the shackles from Firiona’s arms and legs. As Galeth took Danak into custody he lost himself in his rage and it took all the efforts of Firiona’s companions to get him to pause long enough to demand the corrupted staff back from the evil shaman. Danak spit in Galeth’s face and refused. He stated that he would not allow the staff out of his grasp save that it be pried from his stiff, cold fingers. Galeth hissed that wishes like that could be granted, and began beating him once more.

Danak used the power of the staff to defend himself as he shouted to good and evil folk alike to look upon the cowardly actions of a ‘good’ paladin who would cut down a surrendered enemy. Thubr rushed to Galeth’s side, leaving his prisoners unguarded. With her captor’s distracted, Vahlai was able to open her shackles with a spell, then did the same for her assistants Ghargin Bumblok and Rogkasth Vr`I.

Vahlai yelled to Danak that she was free, and the Iksar threw her the staff. She grabbed it in her dark hand and created a portal that her and her two companions fled through to safety, telling Danak to seek her in the place they both know when the time comes.

Firiona hurriedly forgot her own pain as she begged Galeth to put aside his anger. She said that though the staff is gone it could be found once again.

Unnoticed, Danak pulled a talisman from his armor, chanted some words and faded away even as Tunare herself returned to congratulate Firiona on her freedom and Galeth for the great deeds he had done that day.

Firiona’s companions one by one and together gated from the blasted ruins, but there will soon come a day when the Lifeguide will once again make its presence felt in the world. In that day, the companions will again be called to put aside their worldly tasks and once more do Tunare’s will.

Until that day, may the peace and hope of the Mother of All guide your path and ways.




Isle of Dread

The entity known as Cazic Thule, or The Faceless, has many incarnations of its will. Most notable of these is its extra planar home, the Plane of Fear. However, the depth of Fear knows little in the way of bounds and it is apparent, to those learned in such matters, that there are other realms and manifestations of Cazic Thule’s twisted power.

The Isle of Dread is one such incarnation. Perhaps a land to reward the most faithful of The Faceless’ followers in their afterlife or perhaps a simple trap to lure foolish mortals into endless terror for the glory of Cazic Thule. Whatever the reasons for its existence, exist it does. What this enshrouded island holds remains to be seen, as so far the only word of it comes from the ramblings of madmen washed ashore after days lost at sea.

Tome of Destiny – Chapter VI – The Fall of Gukta

“By the sacred name of Marr… there are so many of them!”

Kyruk stood atop the gate and surveyed the carnage below. The Rallosian Army seemed endless, extending as far into the swamp as his eyes could see. Over the last few years the ogres had sent many raiding parties into Innothule, but nothing close to this.

Captain Gormuk signaled his archers to fire another volley at the Rallosian cavalry and turned to his friend. “Numbers do not matter, for these devils have no honor in their hearts. They will fall as other invaders have.”

Kyruk shook his head. “I do not think honor will be enough this day. They will soon breach the walls of Gukta and enter the city. If they reach the hatchery?”

“No!” croaked Gormuk, firing an arrow of his own. “Do not think such things! Marr will preserve us as he always has!”

Kyruk chanted an incantation and gestured. Comets of ice rained down from his webbed fingers onto the ogres below. But for every ogre that fell, it seemed three more took its place.

“The tunnels, Gormuk! You must order the constables to gather the eggs and take the civilians into the tunnels, or all will be lost.”

The captain fired more arrows, muttering a prayer with each. The ogres brought catapults to the front of their ranks as their mages summoned huge spheres of flame to launch at the walls. Gormuk could see the fight slipping away from them. “We have fought long and hard for this place. So many battles with the trolls… so much bloodshed. How can we just abandon it? How can we do that to the one who gave us his sacred blessing?”

Kyruk cast bolts of lightning at the ogre wizards, but they were shielded from his attack. “This is just a place, Gormuk. The swamp will preserve us and we will grow strong again. But to stay would be prideful, and such pride brings dishonor. If they stay in the upper tunnels the civilians can safely reach Guk, and the Rallosians will not be able to bring their war machines inside its narrow passageways. There we can make a stand.”

Gormuk shot more arrows, but his efforts were futile. The ogres kept coming, and more and more fallen frogloks lined the battlefield. The catapults fired, sending huge globes of flame crashing into the city walls, setting them ablaze.

The captain turned and shouted to the guards below. “Go to the council and tell them that we cannot hold the wall! You must take the eggs and hatchlings into the tunnels. Gather all the civilians and guide them to Guk. We’ll seal the tunnels behind you.”

The guards saluted and rushed to obey the captain. Gormuk turned to Kyruk. “The elders say some dark power has arisen in the depths of Guk. I pray they are wrong, and that the ancient citadel will protect our people.”

“It’s the right thing to do, Gormuk. On my oath to Marr, we will hold these monsters back and give our people the time they need to escape.”

“We will do more than that!” shouted Gormuk. “The swamp will flow with ogre blood this day!”

Gormuk fired more arrows down at the Rallosians, then dropped his bow and unsheathed his sword. “Make sure the tunnels are sealed, my friend!” With one mighty leap he jumped from the top of the wall down to the battlefield below. He threw back his head and let loose a mighty croak. “For Marr!” He charged into the fray and swung his blade back and forth, cutting a swath into the ogre battle line.

“Gormuk, fall back!” cried Kyruk, casting a protective spell upon the captain. But Gormuk charged into the endless ranks of the ogres and disappeared from view.

“Your sacrifice will not be in vain, old friend.” Kyruk wove his strongest spell and unleashed all his power onto the ogres below. The Rallosians drew closer to the wall as the catapults launched again. Kyruk gasped and whispered a swift, fleeting prayer.

“Where are the rest of them?”

“We are not sure, General. The hatchery has been emptied, and we can find no trace of the civilians. They just seem to be? gone.”

Urduuk dismounted and walked over to the sergeant, fixing his gaze upon him. “Gone? Gone?” Urduuk clenched his mailed fist and shot it forward, crushing into the jaw of his subordinate. The ogre crumpled to the ground, as much from intimidation as from the blow itself.

The general turned and surveyed the burning rubble that had been Gukta. “I ordered you to wipe all trace of these abominations from this wretched swamp, and yet somehow they managed to escape. How? And more importantly, to where?”

A burly ogre stepped forward and saluted the general. “I swear to you that they did not break our line, sir. But whether through magic or some form of trickery, I believe there is only one place they would go. Back to Guk, to the ancient tunnels they once called home.”

Urduuk considered the junior officer’s words a moment. “Yes, of course. The frogloks would seek the only safety they could find. You, lieutenant, what is your name?”

“Danarg, my lord.”

“Lieutenant Danarg, gather your soldiers and go to the mouth of Guk. Take them into the tunnels and cleanse that cursed place of the froglok pestilence once and for all. Do not emerge until this duty is done. Am I clear?”

Danarg saluted again. “I will not fail you, General.” He turned and motioned for others to follow him.

Urduuk climbed atop his steed and addressed his troops. “As planned, the rest of you shall divide into two wings. Those of you who bear the mark of Tallon will secure Innothule and move northward to rendezvous with our orc allies in Southern Ro. Those of you who bear the mark of Vallon will ride with me to the Feerrott and prepare to take the Mountains of Rathe.”

One of Urduuk’s advisors drew close to him. “General, the Arm of Vallon incurred heavy losses in the taking of Gukta. They need reinforcements.”

Urduuk nodded. “We will enter the Temple of Thule and add the forces of Fear to our ranks. They will make a useful addition to our army.”

“But General, the Amygdalan were unwilling to join with us before. What will change their minds now?”

“Their minds are irrelevant, for they serve a weak and silent god. They will join us or I will destroy their crumbling temple and shatter the Fear gate.”

Urduuk signaled his legion to march westward. He knew his troops had a taste for conquest and they would quickly grow hungry for more. “The Avatar was right,” he said to himself as he rode toward the Feerrott. “This world will soon be ours.”