Category Archives: Rathe Mountains

Tale of Events from Eternity’s Knight (GM Event Log)


The telling of events from Steamfront Mountains to Dagnor’s Cauldron

A number of dragons then appear within the hills outside the city of Qeynos and assumed mortal form. One of their number being a blue drake named Drakel took the form of a high elf, Lady Zavo Zatanov. They gather a band of adventurers to escort them to lair of Lady Vox, who is found howling in rage over the theft of the shard from Veeshans claw; left from when Veeshan struck the world in its creation.

These dragons now in mortal form from the Ring of Scale confront Carson McCabe’s agent and is felled by their hands, attaining the Crystal Claw of Veeshan. Leaving the ruins of Permafrost Keep they run into the lackeys of Mayong Mistmoore that had been sent to escort Kivgor Illbriar back to the halls of Castle Mistmoore. A battle ensues between the dragons and their adventurous allies against the agents of Mistmoore who are driven off, with Lord Galendore left slain. At the commencement of their victory they are asked to aid them in a ceremony that would be performed within the confines of the Rathe Mountains.

At the Rathe Mountains the members of the Ring of Scale that are present begin preparations for their ceremony that will forever rend the veil, and awaken dragons all across the face of Norrath from their slumber. However, before the ceremony can even take place Mayong Mistmoore arrives confronting the dragons and their allies.

Three of the dragons who had now assumed their true form are slain before the gathered adventurers can drive Mayong from the Mountain Passes. With the ceremony now in ruin Lady Zavo asks for a volunteer to sacrifice himself and keep the Crystal Claw of Veeshan in safe keeping, who was then dubbed “The Scaled Claw”.

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Through the Rathe Mountains


In this book, we follow the adventures of Gerren from his outpost on Lake Rathetear through the Rathe Mountains which have been taken by the Rallosian Army.
Gerren dressed simply. His task would require stealth and speed, for the aviaks reported bands of ogres patrolling the familiar paths through the Rathe Mountains. If Gerren were to break through their lines, he would need to blaze his own trail. And Gerren definitely needed to make his way through — he and fellow Guardsman Ilkalla had been at the Qeynos’ outpost on Lake Rathetear for several months while the Rallosian Army crept closer. Now, the Rallosians were building an enormous barge to carry them across the water.

Ilkalla pressed a dried gnoll’s foot into Gerren’s hand. “For luck,” she said. “I don’t know why, but we’ve always had that in our family; I want you to carry it with you on this journey.” Neither of them said it, but they both knew it was true: the likelihood of his making it through was the equivalent of the aviaks and centaurs holding the Rallosians off. They did not expect to see each other again. After a quick meal, Gerren took a little-traveled way up the face of the slope along the edge of the Lake.

“I can see now why this is travelled so infrequently,” Gerren muttered, pausing for a moment to catch his breath. The rocky mountain face was so steep that in some points, Gerren would need to retrace his steps to consider the options from several angles. Once, a slice of rock upon which he was perched gave way and he slid down quite a distance before being able to stop himself.

Three-quarters of the way up was a cleft in the rocks through which this path passed. The splintered boulders forming the opening folded over on the side facing the Lake, making it impossible to peer around. Gerren knew that if the Rallosians were already on the pathway beyond the rocks, he was doomed. There was no quick escape route. He unsheathed his knife and the gnoll’s foot Ilkalla had given him tumbled out, bouncing off the rocks down the face of the mountain.

“There goes the lucky gnoll’s foot,” Gerren thought, with a smile. Somehow, the idea that the foot of a dead creature could be lucky was amusing. He slipped through the cleft and found the way clear. Tension released in his neck, although he was still wary as he felt his way to another cluster of granite boulders marking another turn in the path.

Hill giants! Gerren leaned back into the boulders, blending himself into the rocks. The Rallosian Army was not the only thing in the Rathe Mountains, but hill giants were not usually found near this forlorn area. Perhaps they, too, had been displaced by the invading ogres. Gerren watched them as they milled around for several minutes before striding off down the narrow, featureless road.

Gerren waited until the sun was directly overhead before moving. There was a stretch of the passage with no easy alternative route — not that the ways he had been traveling had been easy at all. Still, with the sun above he would cast no shadows and might be able to slip undetected across the roadway. Even covered by his superior camouflage, Gerren knew that there were things he could do to make himself even less visible to his enemies.

The roadway was clear and Gerren slipped into the shadows of another clutch of boulders. He paused there to listen for the sounds of pursuit, but there was only silence. That in itself was worrisome, as there were usually birds trilling or insects buzzing. Gerren would even welcome the wuffing sounds of the great bears. “Everything must be hiding from the Rallosians,” he thought, “Perhaps I should get lower to the ground myself.”

Calming himself, Gerren spent a moment recalling the spells of transformation. He remembered amusing Ilkalla on their watches by changing himself into a wolf and padding around, sniffing things. He said a quick prayer for her and the small force by Lake Rathetear, then cast his spell. Energy rippled within him and he shook himself to spread it through to the very tips of his dark fur.

Gerren set off through the rocks, keeping always to the shaded side of the paths. The club that hit him in the back of his head was so quick and brutal that he did not feel a thing as he slumped lifeless to the ground. “Found something for dinner!” yelled the troll that had killed him. The gleeful yelps greeting this cry echoed through the otherwise watchful Rathe Mountains.

The Tale of Brother Zephyl


by Brother Nusad, Clan Historian
Among the many members of the Whistling Fists Clan who safeguarded the lands of Norrath over the centuries since its founding, one of the most renowned was Brother Zephyl. Though he traveled far and wide, he followed of his order and sought to draw very little attention to himself. Despite these efforts, Brother Zephyl would become known for his great deeds during the Age of Turmoil.

For many years, Brother Zephyl safeguarded the Rathe Mountains, which at that time was a dangerous landscape fought over by many warring factions. Though remaining on the outside of any political conflicts, Brother Zephyl ensured the safety of those who traveled the roadways.

This rocky region held many dangers, one of the most troublesome of which was a tribe of lizardmen that called the valleys of the Rathe Mountains home. These deadly creatures despised all warm-blooded beings and frequently attacked unsuspecting travelers. The cowardly beasts were known to avoid a fair fight, preferring instead to gang up on small groups of adventurers and try to overwhelm them with superior numbers.

One day the lizardmen ambushed a small trade caravan bound for Lake Rathe, and it seemed the merchants faced a certain doom. Suddenly, springing from the rocks above, a dark robed figure arrived to defend the hapless merchants! Brother Zephyl struck the scaled attackers with fists of blazing speed, singing a song of battle as he drove the fiends away. The merchants wished to reward the brave monk, but the modest Zephyl would accept no reward and simply went about his way.

Many more tales like this were soon to be told by other travelers that were saved by the mysterious monk who defended the weak without any care for his own safety. Despite his best efforts, Brother Zephyl’s name and reputation became known, and soon curious travelers from afar came seeking acceptance into the Whistling Fists Clan. It is said that some who were worthy even earned the right to wear their own robes of dark crimson.

But it wasn’t only Norrathians who took notice of the monk’s skill and power. From within the ranks of the lizardmen rose a terrible champion who vowed to slay the monk and devour his flesh. This fearsome reptilian shaman, known as Mortificator Syythrak, set a trap to lure Brother Zephyl out by attacking a group of travelers. When the monk arrived, Syythrak summoned forth the powers of disease to try to weaken the noble defender. Brother Zephyl counterattacked, using his Whistling Fists style to strike a multitude of blows against the wicked fiend.

Some say the battle lasted hours; others claim it went on for days. What is known for certain is that at the end, the mighty Brother Zephyl was victorious. He fashioned a fine vest out of the creature’s mystical hide, offering the tunic to a young monk passing through the region.

Brother Zephyl eventually left the Rathe Mountains and had many other adventures. But he never forgot the lands he safeguarded for so long, and it is said that he even requested that his remains be laid to rest there in an unmarked grave. For this reason, the Rathe Mountains have always been held sacred by members of the Whistling Fists Clan.

The Lady of the Lake


Waiting for an inevitable war is never easy. In this book, we meet two Qeynosian Guards at an outpost on Lake Rathetear who find themselves on the edge of war and far from home.

The drums echoed in the Rathe Mountains and reverberated through the deep waters of Lake Rathetear. They were victory drums, sounded by the ogres of the new Rallosian Army. They had taken the mountains and now their drums warned of their advance to the Lake itself. Aviak scouts reported their progress and numbers. There were so many ogres and trolls, it was said that the road was blackened by their shadows as far as the aviak eye could see.

“Why do they come here?” asked Ilkalla, one of the Qeynosian guards stationed at the Lake. “Because they can,” responded Gerren, the other guard. “And here we are, unable to send word to Qeynos. We will die fighting alongside these savages.” “Do not say such a thing,” Ilkalla said uncomfortably. “They have treated us very kindly since word of the Rallosian Army reached them. You may not like them, but the aviaks have offered us shelter in these uncertain times.?

Smoke curled on the opposite shore of the Lake Rathetear, which obscured whatever the Rallosian Army was doing. The drums in the mountains had stopped. Other than the acrid tang of smoke drifting across the water, one might forget that the ogres were there. A squadron of aviaks swooped low into the smoke to get a closer look; their report was not encouraging. The ogres were apparently cutting down massive numbers of trees, stripping their bark and sharpening their ends into spikes.

Ilkalla wondered what the ogres would do with spikes the size of trees. It seemed unlikely they would build a fortification; they were on the offense not defense. “We must get closer…but so far the aqua goblins in the Lake are not cooperating with us. I must make them understand the danger to us all. If I can get safe passage, I could find out what the Rallosians are planning.” The aqua goblins had for the most part retreated to their lairs in the midst of the Lake, trusting its deep waters to keep them safe.

One of the aviaks that Ilkalla had befriended went with her to the aqua goblins’ chief. The discussion was disappointing to some extent, as the chief was more interested in the baubles Ilkalla had brought as gifts than he was in the danger posed by the Rallosians. It took the better part of the morning before he agreed to allow her safe conduct through the Lake. “I don’t speak for them sharks, though,” the chief said with a snicker. Ilkalla was a strong swimmer though and knew how to deal with the sharks.

Under cover of darkness, Ilkalla slipped off through the black water. She opted for a small coracle and paddled silently across the Lake. The smoke that drifted across the water may have hidden the ogres’ activities but it also provided Ilkalla with excellent concealment from any watching eyes. She soon found out that if anyone were watching her, it wasn’t the ogres. They were apparently so confident of victory that they set no watch along the shore.

Though she was tired from her trip across the Lake, Ilkalla knew she could not stop to rest. She must find out what the ogres were doing and then paddle back across the Lake without being caught. Pausing to listen for indications that she had been seen, Ilkalla methodically investigated the narrow beach until she found what she was seeking. The ogres were not using the sharpened tree trunks to build a fort; they were building a raft.

Quickly, Ilkalla returned to the coracle and paddled quickly back where Gerren and the aviak leaders waited for her. “They’re planning to transport themselves across the Lake,” Ilkalla panted as soon as she stepped ashore. “They are building a raft, a barge of immense size to carry their troops. It is nearly done.” She sank to the shore and inhaled deeply. “We need help.”

Gerren pushed back his hair and said, “The time to send for help is long past. The aqua goblins may have let you pass once, but they will surely side with the ogres and trolls.” Ilkalla nodded, adding, “We must make for Karana and thence to Qeynos.” Gerren laughed, “I would not let you take all the glory, my friend. You crossed the Lake; I will cross the mountains. The aviaks will not be able to stand alone.”

“They stand not alone,” said a deep, rumbling voice nearby. Ilkalla and Gerren turned, startled to see a centaur. He bowed and said, “The aviaks sent word to us. While we have not always agreed on things, this is different. This is war.” Ilkalla slowly stood, looking over her shoulder across the dark water. “Yes,” she said softly, “This is definitely war.”

Red Lake


In this book, we see the Rallosian Army’s advance through the eyes of Ilkalla, a Qeynosian Guard at an outpost on Lake Rathetear.
For as long as she could, Ilkalla watched Gerren’s progress up the steep cliffs bordering Lake Rathetear. Even when she could no longer pick him out among the shadows cast by the jagged rocks, she fancied she could see him making his way cautiously along. Finally, she crept into the hut she and Gerren had shared beside their outpost and slept. The Rallosian Army would launch its barges across the Lake and she would need her strength to meet them.
The sun was high overhead when Ilkalla awoke. Her dreams were troubled by the thrumming of the ogres’ victory drums which had started up again while she slept. “Why couldn’t they use a victory flute instead?” she grumbled, latching on to the least of the concerns this day would bring. She had been able to cross the Lake on a coracle twice in one night, but she had been pulling only herself. She was not sure how long the massive, heavy Rallosians barges would take to make the same crossing.
There were very few humans around Lake Rathetear. Ilkalla was the only one present at the strategy meeting, where the aviak and centaur leaders stood before parchment maps, marking off the approaches across the Lake and the defensive positions available. The wide arrows indicating the ways the Rallosian Army could attack were wide swathes of red ochre compared to the tiny ash grey lines for defense. To Ilkalla, the ochre marks looked like dried blood.
“The best course of action is to stop them before they cross,” said Khaza, an aviak general. “The aqua goblins will join with the ogres, not with us. We have fought them too long for them to suddenly consider us their allies,” responded Errod of the centaurs. “Perhaps we could put our defense in two zones, rather than hoping to defend across the entire shore,” said Ilkalla. She pointed to the most likely site where the Rallosian barges would land. “Aviaks in front over the water and the rest of us on the shore.”
“With some aviaks in the flanks to keep the Rallosians from spreading our front lines too thin,” agreed Khaza. “We might not survive for long against the entire Rallosian Army, but we can pick them off and lessen their numbers.” The aviak and centaur leaders sent word to their gathered forces. Ilkalla (a “non-flier” as the aviaks called them) would join a centaur unit held in a third tier reserve.
Mixed now with the steady beat of the victory drums was the sound of chanting. The Rallosians were crossing the Lake, chanting to keep their oarsmen in rhythm and their deep voices carried across the water, bouncing off the mountains. No doubt their ruckus was designed to inspire fear amongst the defenders waiting for their approach. Instead, it filled them with anger and purpose. They might die this day, but they were taking as many ogres with them as they could.
Ilkalla chafed at being assigned to the third tier, but she knew her strengths did not include hand-to-hand combat. She gathered beside her all her own arrows plus the quivers Gerren had left behind. She looked toward the Rathe Mountains again, wondering how he was faring and praying that Tunare — wherever she may be — would guide him. Ilkalla had never been one of the faithful, praying to the gods at every rainbow or stubbed toe, but somehow it seemed fitting to pray today.
The chanting grew louder along with sound of vigorous splashing from the ogre paddlers. They were not skilled watersmen, but they were strong. As the first barge approached, the aviaks went into motion, throwing themselves into the faces of the Rallosians. The ogres’ chanting was now disrupted by the fighting calls of the aviaks — shrill, piercing and challenging. The barges did not halt with this interference; they continued their slow progress forward.
Thanks to the aviaks’ efforts and the skills of the archers in the second tier, the first barge to hit the shore came in at an awkward angle. The spiked boards scraped heavily into the loose gravel shore with enough force that many of the ogres standing ready for battle were set off balance. The centaurs charged in to take advantage of the moment, but another barge gliding in set loose a volley of arrows that tore into the second tier. All too soon, the third tier moved forward.
At the far end of her line, Ilkalla took careful but quick aim at the ogres, trying to avoid the remaining aviaks and centaurs at the front of the line. From the corner of her eye she caught a movement, but was unable to stop the blow. Sinking to the rocky shore, Ilkalla’s mind drifted like the waters surrounding her. “I always thought that water was blue,” she murmured dazedly. As the final blow struck, a shriveled gnoll’s paw floated up beside her on the waves of the red lake.

Invasion of Earth


Source: http://eqplayers.station.sony.com/news_article.vm?id=51162

During the Elder Age of Norrath, the first Rallosian forces led by the great ogre Murdunk invaded the Plane of Earth – the realm ruled by The Rathe, Council of Thirteen. Under the command of Rallos Zek, the Warlord, Murdunk was instigated to invade this realm by Rallos Zek’s eldest son, Eriak. The goal was simple for Murdunk – he wanted to prove to Rallos Zek, the Warlord, that he was worthy to lead the forces of Zek throughout Norrath.

A great battle ensued and many guardians of earth perished along with numerous members of Murdunk’s Rallosian army. To their dismay, the invasion was destined to fail because of the regenerating ability that The Rathe possessed. When a member of the Council of Thirteen was slain another would replace it. This gave them great advantage and although many of their guardians had been defeated, The Rathe emerged victorious. Those Rallosians not slain were thrown from the plane by the wards of The Council of Thirteen.

News of the defeat spread quickly across the Rallosian Empire. Such a dramatic failure angered Rallos Zek. He was not content to wait for the heavily scarred and injured Murdunk to recuperate and chose to enlist master tacticians and proven war heroes Tallon and Vallon. Although he was extremely disappointed with Murdunk’s previous failure, Rallos Zek decided to allow him to accompany his horde in this second assault hoping to make use of the knowledge that Murdunk had acquired in his previous battles in the Plane of Earth.

With the power of the Warlord behind them, Tallon and Vallon rallied the legions of children of Zek and entered the Plane of Earth. This invasion was only partly successful – though the Rathelings’ power source remained untaken, the members of the Rathe Council were captured and brought to Norrath, where one of them was executed. Where this Rathe member fell, the Rathe Mountains were raised, and Lake Rathetear formed. The Rathelings were incensed at these brazen attacks, and mourned the death of the thirteenth council member; for one of them to die in Norrath was permanent and irreversible.

While Rallos Zek was unquestionably the greatest warrior ever to exist, he knew little of the inner working of the Planes of Power. Rallos Zek was ultimately scarred and disfigured by the same wards that had banished Eriak and he lay silently regenerating in the Plane of War while the reborn Rathe exacted vengeance on the army’s leaders. As the leader of the ogre nation and Zek army, Murdunk was slain.

To protect their realm from further fruitless attempts at invasion, the Rathe Council placed a curse upon all creatures of Zek. In this they were aided by several other members of the pantheon. The curse spread rapidly through the lush homelands of the giants and froze all of the lands, now known as Everfrost. The curse swept the lands of Norrath, striking any child of Zek that it touched, turning all followers of Zek into lesser beings in mind and body.

Tallon and Vallon, sensing their inevitable demise at the hands of the curse of the pantheon, called out to Rallos Zek to deliver them. Rallos Zek was sufficiently renewed by this time to summon Tallon and Vallon to his plane to escape the curse of the pantheon, but was unable to save the rest of his creations. Realizing that Eriak surely knew of the ward that protected the Plane of Earth and had failed to tell him of it, Rallos Zek brought the crippled form of Eriak before him. Rallos Zek tore from him the essence of warfare, tearing it into its more base elements and imbuing them to Tallon and Vallon, the two mortals who were able to succeed where Eriak had failed.

Eriak still retains a piece of the essence of war in his shattered and disfigured frame, but was banished to the lower levels of Drunder, the Fortress of Zek, to help in the menial tasks of forging weapons for his father’s armies. To this day the great form of Rallos Zek bears the scars from the ward of The Rathe beneath his blackened war armor, a silent reminder of the failure of his only son.

This is a pivotal moment in the history of Norrath. It is here that the forces of Discord plan to strike. Success by the Rallosians would mean that war would prevail on Norrath, and isn’t war a form of destruction, of discord?

The Korascian Warrens

The Korascian Warrens is the key invasion route for the Rallosian forces as they battle their way into the Rathe Council Chamber. This area of the Plane of Earth is adjacent to both the Rathe Council Chamber entrance and the portal to Toskirakk. The bulk of the Rallosian Army is in a siege camp in the northern canyon, facing the entrance to the Rathe Council Chamber.

The Warrens is named for the great frog Korascian Prime, who has guarded the approach to the Rathe Council for centuries. Now he and his minions are sequestered in the west astride the line of the Rallosian advance, battling ill-equipped Rallosian slaves who are sent in to distract the frogs. Many such slaves end up succumbing to Korascian Prime’s mesmerization powers and become thralls.

Korascian Prime’s original lair was destroyed by the Discordians with a great magical disjunction. This left a massive rift in the northeastern limb of the Korascian Warrens, exposing the Plane of Earth’s elemental crystal core, and venting out a new order of crystalline monstrosities which hate all other forms of life.

The Rathe Council Chamber

The Rathe Council Chamber is the original seat of The Rathe beings who govern the Plane of Earth. Its appearance reflects the essence of the powerful beings who rule here. Great stonework vaults linked with tunnels define the interior, which is patrolled by stone golems and guarded by many different kinds of creatures native to the Plane.

The Rallosian Army is attempting to destroy all thirteen members of The Rathe Council to seal Rallos Zek’s dominion over the Plane of Earth as well as Norrath. Should this happen, with Rallos gaining control over the source of the Rathelings’ magic, the balance of power among the gods would tilt inexorably in Rallos Zek’s favor, and Norrath would enter an age of endless disorder and destruction.

Toskirakk

Toskirakk is the original capital city of the ogres and the mightiest bastion of the ancient Rallosian Empire. The slave-mine within is a platinum mine where much of the currency used in Norrath’s future would originate. With the growing dominance of their Empire, few outsiders remain as free people and the slave warrens grow crowded.

Chronicle of Gromok Vol. III


Freed of any obligations of duty, the soldiers that accompanied me and I set out in search of a fortress that had not yet fallen. We traveled and fought for countless weeks only to be greeted by death and misery at each destination, what survivors did remain at the ruined strongholds of our once great empire often joined us in our search for sanctuary or at the very least a place to rebuild our fallen society. Gradually as we traveled across Tunaria, what began as a small unit from the Fortress of Krithgor became a large caravan of refugees. We settled in the Feerrott Marshlands near the ruins of one of the Rallosian Empires greatest strongholds. A handful of capable warriors among us set out to the west in search of survivors at the locations of the Rathe’s executions and the death of Murdunk. Only two of the search party returned alive. They spoke of terrible devastation, Giants that were once allies of the Ogre people attacking without provocation, and of ferocious one-eyed giants that now guarded the valleys and canyons of the Mountains of Rathe’s Demise.

So it came to pass that the Feerrott Marsh became the new home of we, the Ogre people. The men took on duties of hunting food in addition to protecting the women and children from wild beasts of the marsh. The women harvested and cultivated what forms of crops could be grown in the marshy soil. The children did nothing, and this instilled fear into our minds and hearts.

The children born to us survivors of the collapse of the Rallosian Empire were noticeably and frighteningly different than children of previous generations. This new generation of Ogres was for the most part hairless, only females showed any ability to grow hair and even then it was a thin and straggly. The flesh of the youngsters was of a paler complexion and warty and course, they suffered frequently from conditions that turned their eyes bloodshot, made their noses runny, and they often drooled incessantly. It soon became apparent however that these physical conditions were the least of our worries for they were still physically strong and enduring. It was their minds that concerned us the most.

Chronicle of Gromok Vol. I


The Chronicle of Gromok Hergom

I ink these words for fear that my once proud and mighty Ogres will forget the events I have seen in my long life. I am known at the time of this inking as Elder Gromok but I was once a soldier of little renown and status in the mighty Rallosian Legions under the command of Warlord Murdunk.

I was not raised to be an Elder of my fellow Ogres. My training was that of a soldier and I concerned myself only with the arts of warfare. It is with reluctance that I now bear the mantle of Elder and the cause of that reluctance is the same reason that I ink this tale.

I was stationed at the Fortress of Krithgor when the ogre magi first opened the portals to the Planes of Power. Plans were quickly laid and orders sent to our fortresses and troops in all corners of Tunaria. A large invasion force of Ogres, Giants, Orcs, and Goblins gathered at the newly opened planar portals. At the time I felt disappointed that my orders were to remain at Fortress Krithgor, that disappointment quickly turned to anger when I learned that the invasion failed, and although Warlord Murdunk survived our losses were great.

Some time passed before news reached the Fortress of Krithgor that a second invasion was being orchestrated. Rumors circled like hungry buzzards over a field of carnage concerning the plans for this second invasion. It was even said that Rallos Zek was to lead the campaign with Warlord Murdunk and the most renowned champions of the Giants, Orcs, and Goblins by his side. Once again my orders were to remain at the home front to defend the women, children, and elderly citizens of the Rallosian Empire.

It was not long after the invasion forces of the Rallosian Legions once again passed through the portals to the Planes of Power that the home front too became a place of battle, slaughter, and glory. Mortal disciples of deities opposed to The Warlord, Rallos Zek, attacked the citizens and fortresses of the Rallosian Empire on Tunaria. Our enemies fought valiantly, and the resulting battles were the most glorious I was ever to behold. My weapons and armor were stained with the blood of our foes, and our children and elders kept safe within our impenetrable strongholds. Messengers passing through the Fortress of Krithgor spoke of the victories of the legion units led by Rallos Zek, Warlord Murdunk, and the Generals Tallon and Vallon. It was said that the Rathe Council, the twelve rulers of the Plane of Earth had been captured and forced to Norrath where they were being executed by Murdunk and his Generals, that mountains burst from the earth where the gods fell and that the dying tears of the fallen gods formed a cold, deep lake between the newly risen mountain peaks.

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.”