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”.
A tall barbarian woman, in red armor, sat near the soul-binder in the city of New Tanaan one day. She called for folk to gather and hear a tale. This is the tale she told.
Gara Tidyng says “After Veeshan brought life to Norrath, she settled into the Plane of Sky and drew a veil across the chasm separating the dragon plane from us. Then she fell into a long and peaceful slumber. So too, did the dragons still left on Norrath, as their strength was derived from the Plane, and the Veil kept them from exercising their magical powers.’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘Ya see, lads, the Ring of Scale dinna take kindly to mortals meddling in their affairs, and the Veil did well to prevent that. Aye, but the dragons slept, and the Veil fell into neglect, until mortals began to find cracks and once more make inroads into the Plane of Sky.’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘On Norrath, the dragon Zavo`Zatanov and her accomplices were determined to remove the Veil and restore the power of the Ring of Scale. Not your normal group of travelers were these. Though they called themselves brother and sister, they were clearly not so: Zavo, a High Elven woman of exquisite beauty; Rals`Zezonis, strongly human; Sarethsin`Kaz, a typically snobbish Erudite; and rounding out this already peculiar group, a troll named Soreg`Sslisn.’
Clerigo says, ‘How do you know this Noble Gara?’
Xzibitt says, ‘Was Zavo an Enchanter?’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘Great reward and dangerous adventure they promised, fortune and glory to all who could hear, and not an ear in the land missed their call.’ Gara Tidyng ponders whether some enchantment might have lain behind the irresistible call to arms.’
You agree with Gara Tidyng.
Gara Tidyng says, ‘all good questions, listen and you shall hear… And what could possibly be the goal of such a motley group, forcing them to enlist the aid of total strangers?’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘Like a knife, the next two words sliced through the cold night air, silencing all within hearing.’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘Lady Vox.’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘Lady Vox holds that which we seek.’
Kaltea says, ‘Woohoo’
Gara Tidyng draws a quick breath as if she herself had been present. Then she says, ‘Through Blackburrow did they venture, the gnolls rejoicing that they did not stay their journey. Thence through Everfrost, which some say melted a little under the presence of such a horde. On to Permafrost, the lair of the Lady Vox.’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘They paused, casters with their noses buried deep within their books, murmuring arcane phrases, warriors unsheathing their blades, donning helms, while some of the smaller folk faded in and out of view.’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘That’s when they first heard: Vile children of Scale, your efforts are wasted this day! You were fools to think that you could stand against the fury of Mistmoore!’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘The sound echoed off the canyon walls. Out of the shadows sprung the horror, three Tier`Dal soldiers, agents of the dreaded Vampire Lord. Lord Galendor, nightmare of Castle Mistmoore and chief enforcer of Mayong Mistmoore himself, led the charge, leveling a furious attack at the High Elven woman, Zavo, before any had time to react. Khasra Vei`Ras was not far behind, and a Tier`Dal priestess lent support from the shadows . . . D`shar was her name.’
Gara Tidyng slows, seeming to drift away to another time and place as she speaks. She continues her tale, saying, ‘Now, fighting a Tier`Dal agent of the Vampire Lord might not seem to be such a difficult task, until you turn to your comrade and see her very life draining away, dripping down her tunic and staining the ground.’
Beruthielle shudders, knowing how dangerous Tier`Dal priestesses can be.
Gara Tidyng says, ‘This unholy union of rage and wit, chaos and order . . . it sticks with you.’ She seems to be speaking as someone with more than a passing acquaintance with the issue.
Gara Tidyng says, ‘Zavo and her companions defended themselves well, but they never could have lasted on their own. Luckily, they had prepared themselves, enlisting the aid of some of the greatest that Norrath offered. Even so, the battle was bloody. Before they even had time to organize themselves into some semblance of order, forty had become twenty.’
Xzibitt mourns for the loss of Zavo.
Gara Tidyng says, ‘The tide finally began to turn for the heroes when one of the young half-elf warriors discovered the Tier`dal cleric D`shar hiding in a corner and quickly dispatched her. Without a healing force, the Tier`dal had no hope for victory.’
You nod at Gara Tidyng.
Gara Tidyng says, ‘Galendor fell almost immediately, and Khasra, badly wounded, stumbled backwards and uttered a few cryptic words. What followed sent a chill through the bones of all who were there to witness, and these were battle-hardened veterans of the worst that Norrath had to offer.’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘Ya see, the shadows crept out from the very stones beneath her feet, reaching up from the ground to envelop the Tier`dal woman, swallowing her into darkness.’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘Little did they know that while this was taking place, a dwarf rogue by the name of Kivgor Illbria had snuck into Vox`s lair and had purloined the Shard. Loud and foul were the cries of anguish rumbling through the bowels of Permafrost when Vox discovered the Shard missing.’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘Just as loud were the cries of glee from Kivgor, taunting Vox for letting down her guard.’
Clerigo says, ‘Uh oh!’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘His luck failed him, though. As he was about to make good his escape through the gates of the cavern, Kivgor ran headlong into Zavo`s group.’
Clerigo gasps at Gara Tidyng in astonishment.
Gara Tidyng says, ‘Proud of his accomplishment, Kivgor waved the Shard before them, but his pride quickly turned to anguish when he discovered that this was the very Shard that they were hunting. He attempted to flee, but they caught him and challenged him for rightful ownership of the Shard.’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘Badly outnumbered, Kivgor stood nay chance at all, but he still fought for the Shard. His dying words echoed through the chamber Fie on you, accursed Mistmoore! I fall in your favor, but now you be without your precious trinket!’
Gara Tidyng looks puzzled, and then says, ‘Mistmoore, mentioned twice now? What role could Mistmoore play in this drama?’
You ponder the matters at hand.
Gara Tidyng knows that the party was soon to discover the answer to that question. She says, ‘Ya see, Mayong Mistmoore was the bitter enemy of the Ring of Scale, and he wanted nothing more than to possess the Shard and thereby control access to the Plane of Sky.’
You say, ‘Ohhhh … ‘
Gara Tidyng says, ‘With all due haste, Zavo`s group journeyed to the Rathe Mountains, where the final partitioning of the Veil was to take place. Surrounded by their mortal supporters, Zavo and her friends shed their illusions and stepped forward to reveal their true dragon nature.’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘However, before Zavo could reveal herself, the sky was suddenly filled wi` shadows, while faint laughter swirled through the rising wind. A harsh voice, filled wi` hatred and disgust, echoed through the mountainsides, `Children of Scale! You shall not succeed this night, I shall make sure of it. For centuries, you have evaded me. Now this shall end. Everything you possess . . . is but a waste.’
You say, ‘who was that?’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘`Twas the very voice of Mayong Mistmoore, challenging them for possession of the Shard.’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘Quickly the mortals sprang to the defense of the Scale, but it was too late for the doomed party. One by one, Mistmoore’s cold touch enveloped them in misty vapor, draining their life and strengthening his.’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘Fighting valiantly, the humans appeared to be on the verge of sure victory, when suddenly Mayong faded from view, eluding their attacks. The shadows quickly retreated back to the corners and stones from which they had issued, their tendrils rising in the air and the sound of a thousand shrieks echoing across the Mountains of Rathe.’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘As the shadows slithered from view, a voice was heard, faintly hissing these words of defeat, `You have won this day, Children of Scale, but it shall not be the last battle that you will face. Rend your veil and harness your power, it shall do nothing for you, as in the end, you all shall perish, dragon and mortal alike, your corpses shall rot at my feet. For this I can assure you. Until that night comes, I bid thee a good morrow, and sleep well.’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘The voice trailed off into sadistic laughter that hung within the air for what seemed like an eternity before fading into the wind.’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘Alas, Zavo mourned the loss of her beloved companions, cursing the name of Mistmoore.’ Gara Tidyng lowers her head to conceal the tears in her eyes.
You comfort Gara Tidyng.
Gara Tidyng says, ‘Determined to complete the quest which she had started, she called for the human who had most distinguished himself in the battle to step forward. She asked him if he was ready for the final task, to die by the Shard, spilling his blood on the earth of Norrath so that the Veil would be sundered forever.’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘He paused not a moment before nodding in agreement.’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘After performing the sacrifice and resurrecting the hero, Zavo presented him wi` the Shard, which became known thereafter as the Crystalline Claw of Veeshan, a mighty and powerful weapon. Forevermore in the realms of the Scale was his act of bravery sung.’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘Thus did the Veil of Veeshan become torn, and the realms of mortals and Scale did mingle. The dragons of Norrath were once more restored in power and glory, a fitting position for the Ring of Scale.’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘Of the outcome of the battle between Mistmoore and the Ring of Scale, we can only guess, for I am certain that the final pages of that Act have not yet been written.’
Gara Tidyng bows before her audience. Gara Tidyng says, ‘Thank you all for listening to my tale. Long is my journey that lies ahead, and soon I must take my leave, but first I ask that you partake of my humble refreshments.’
Gara Tidyng passes out goodies from her backpack. She says, ‘I will hail you and then pass out goodies, I have some for all who want them.’
Xzibitt says, ‘How will the final Pages get written of this long tale’
Gara Tidyng beams a smile at Xzibitt.
Gara Tidyng says, ‘Safe travels to ye, friends. I must be away to tell my tale again.’ Gara Tidyng turns from her audience and goes on her way.
Mayong Mistmoore says, ‘Forgive me, miladay. I realize how much of a disappointment this must be to you, to awaken and only a few moments thereafter find yourself in death’s hand’
Mayong Mistmoore begins to cast a spell.
Mayong Mistmoore tries to cast a spell on you, but you are protected.
Allaynia has been slain by Mayong Mistmoore!
Nuborisha has been slain by Mayong Mistmoore!
Mayong Mistmoore says, ‘Now, who else shall test my mood?’
Mayong Mistmoore continus with the young dragon.
Mayong Mistmoore says, ‘Your pain shall be brief, but not without a few more moments upon this world’
A young dragon hisses at Mayong Mistmoore, “The immortal lord sends henchmen to do his own work? Pathetic you are, Lord Mayong Mistmoore. It is quite an enigma why the Ring of Scale has not yet disposed of you.
Mayong Mistmoore chuckles at A young dragon.
Mayong Mistmoore says, ‘Tis a pity that you see it this way, milady. Enough of the meaningless insults, yes? There is somethingt of more importance with which I require your assistance.’
A young dragon laughs.
A young dragon says, ‘The immortal lord, who has fought the Children of Scale for countless years…now turns to the aid of one fledgling of that same brood he fights?’
A young dragon says, ‘This day is filled with strange events, indeed’
Mayong Mistmoore says, ‘The shard, milady. Tell me the tales and rumors of which you have heard.’
A young dragon lowers her head once again to the ground, “Rumors of which I have heard reguarding this shard you seek?
A young dragon says, ‘I know of only one rumor, but know that it is only a rumor, and should not be confused with fact’
Mayong Mistmoore grins evilly at A young dragon.
Mayong Mistmoore says, ‘Of course, milady.’
A young dragon says, ‘The Lady Vox, when she was cast out of the Ring, marked a traitor to her own, was said to have fled with the shard as her final revenge upon the Ring. It is said that she clutches the shard within her own claw.’
A young dragon says, ‘That is all I know’
Mayong Mistmoore raises his hand, motioning for Lord Galendore to approach.
Mayong Mistmoore says, ‘Galendore, there is a man whom I whish you to seek, someone of great power as well as being eminently expendable’
Lord Galendore says, ‘Where would one find this man, milord?’
Mayong Mistmoore says, ‘He has taken a brief residence within Dagnor` Cauldron. We will need him to retrieve a shard. For what reasons, he need not know. The reward for his assistance and success shall be great’
Mayong Mistmoore turns back to the dragon, nearly uncounscious from the wounds she has suffered.
Mayong Mistmoore says, ‘Thank you milady, for your cooperation. Unfortunately, you must take your leave’
Mayong Mistmoore bows before A young dragon.
Mayong Mistmoore begins to cast a spell.
A young dragon has been slain by Mayong Mistmoore!
Mayong Mistmoore turns his head from Lord Galendore and faces the crowd, eyeing the individuals as they scowl at the vampire and his Tier`Dal minion.
Mayong Mistmoore says, ‘Make use of the services of these pathetic mortals about you as the man you shall be seeking is not one to be underestimated. Be swift, Lord Galendore, as our time grows short.’
Lord Galendore shouts, ‘Those who seek glory, for any reason, and your intents matter not, step forward! Those who wish to prove themselves shall be rewarded greatly’
Lord Galendore shouts, ‘Step toward me now, seekers of glory, and you shall find your treasures at the hands of Mistmoore!’
Lord Galendore says, ‘I can not go any further into this area, for reasons I shall not discuss with you. Seek out Kivgor Illbriar and tell him that a proposition is to be made to him’
Lord Galendore says, ‘I expect to see him here shortly, so do not fail me lest you incur the wrath of my master. Go now, and do not return here until you have Kivgor at your side’
Lord Galendore shatters a vial of liquid at his feet and vanished into a cloud of smoke…
…(looking for dwarf)…
Kivgor Illbriar peers out into the crowd with his one good eye, his upper ip curled up in a sneer, exposing the remains of his teeth, stained yellow from the tobacco packed inside his cheeks.
Kivgor Illbriar says, ‘Hmm. Well, what kin it ‘urt to try? Eh? Well Alright I can go with ye to this.. Lord.. Galendore.. but watch ye backs and ye pockets, as if this be a trap.. I will nae think twice about slittin yer throat n pickin ye dry…’
Kivgor Illbriar says, ‘Lead on buggers.’
Kivgor Illbriar says, ‘Aye. Well laddies… w’ere iz this Lord?’
Lord Galendore a small column of smoke rises from the ground revealing Lord Galendore…
Lord Galendore bows.
Lord Galendore forces a smile of respect across his twisted face.
Lord Galendore nods towards the filthy dwarf standing among the crowd.
Lord Galendore says, ‘Kivgor Illbriar, would you please step forward? I have a small business proposition for you’
Kivgor Illbriar makes his way through the crowd, pausing for a moment in mid-step, he turns his head toward the ground.
Kivgor Illbriar opens his mouth, a deep gurgling emerges from the dwarf’s throat as he spits the tobacco onto the ground.
Lord Galendore raises his head slightly at the dwarf, a sneer of impatience crossing his brow.
Kivgor Illbriar wipes his jaw with his forearm before proceeding towards the Teir’dal.
Kivgor Illbriar says, ‘These ‘lil buggers tell me that ye wanted ta’ ‘ave a meetin’ with me, fer a proposition.. er somethin’ to that effect, aye?’
Kivgor Illbriar reaches into the small pouch, pulling a small bit of tobacco and places it in between his lower lip and jaw.
Lord Galendore says, ‘Yes, they have informed you correctly, Kivgor’
Kivgor Illbriar raises an eyebrow at the Teir’dal, puffing out his red cheeks as he spits a bit of brown juice onto the ground.
Kivgor Illbriar says, ‘Yeh yeh, I already got that part… but WHAT is it exactly ye want me t’do? And ‘ow much are ye goin’ t’be payin’ me t’do yer work?’
Lord Galendore says, ‘It is a small task and shouldn’t be too far out of your league. There is a family relic that is dear to my master, something that is even older than he’
Lord Galendore says, ‘Unfortunately, this treasure has fallen into the grasps of the White Lady, Vox’
Lord Galendore says, ‘Your task, if you choose to accept, is to retrieve this shard from the dragon’s lair’
Kivgor Illbriar raises his eyebrows in surprise towards Lord Galendore. Opening his mouth to speak, he is interrupted by the Teir’dal’s words.
Lord Galendore says, ‘We have heard greatly of your abilities, as well as that of many other. We sought you first, as we have great faith in you, Kivgor’
Lord Galendore says, ‘If you do not accept this task, then we shall ask another, although in truth, you prove to be the one of most worth’
Kivgor Illbriar closes his jaw, turning his head as he scans the area around him. His eyes gleaming with interest, he takes a few steps closer to Lord Galendor.
Kivgor Illbriar says, ‘That be true, dark one?’
Lord Galendore grins wickedly at the dwarf.
Lord Galendore says, ‘Aye, Kivgor, every word’
Kivgor Illbriar says, ‘Alright then, I’ll take up yer little job.’
Lord Galendore nods in approval towards Kivgor Illbriar and extends his hand for the dwarf to take.
Lord Galendore says, ‘A most wise choice, Kivgor’
Kivgor Illbriar reaches out to take the hand of Lord Galendore, forcefully shaking the Teir’dal’s hand in agreement.
Clouds spread over the sky, concealing the rays of the sun from the waters of Cauldron
The light now a murky gray, shadows begin to rise from the corners of the lake, coming together over the Dwarf and Teir`Dal as a towering pillar of darkness. Stopping out of these same shadows, a tall figure approaches the dwarf
It begins to rain.
…(Mayong Mistmoore appears)…
Mayong Mistmoore says, ‘Excellent. You have done well this day, Galendore.’
Mayong Mistmoore turns to the dwarf, staring curiously at the vampire standing before him.
Mayong Mistmoore says, ‘And you, young Kivgor Illbriar. I welcome you to my services. I assure you that you will not come to regret your decisions.’
Kivgor Illbriar turns his head to the side once again, letting out another spit of the brown fluid from the tobacco beneath his lip.
Kivgor Illbriar says, ‘I take it this be the big boss, Lord Mayong Mistmoore ‘imself, eh?’
Mayong Mistmoore grins evilly at Kivgor Illbriar.
Mayong Mistmoore says, ‘I am he of whom you speak’
Kivgor Illbriar says, ‘So, when will ye be ‘avin me go on this little treasure ‘unt for ye?’
Mayong Mistmoore says, ‘Immediately’
Kivgor Illbriar raises an eyebrow, turning his head and glancing quickly around the area.
Kivgor Illbriar says, ‘An ye want me t’go… alone? Or will I be accompanied by….’
Mayong Mistmoore motions to the dwarf to cease his words.
Mayong Mistmoore says, ‘No, Kivgor. You will venture alone, as this is a task requiring much stealth and skill. I feel it would be best for you to go alone due to the nature of this task.’
Kivgor Illbriar says, ‘Oh? Alright then.. I’ll fetch yer trinket. Any particular time ye want it back?’
Mayong Mistmoore flashes a gentle grin of amusement towards Kivgor, “Immediately”
Kivgor Illbriar spits one last time, barely missing Lord Galendore’s shoe. Flashing a toothy grin towards Mayong, the dwarf throws down a small potion, the glass bottle shattering as it hits the ground.
Kivgor Illbriar is surrounded by a massive cloud of smoke and dust, fading away from view as the smoke is blown with the wind…
Mayong Mistmoore leans towards Lord Galendore.
Mayong Mistmoore says, ‘Somehow, I do not feel that this dwarf will be successful as anticipated. Your thoughts, Galendore?’
Lord Galendore says, ‘He has promise, but I believe his ego and overweighted vanity would prevent him from succeeding’
Mayong Mistmoore lowers his head in thought, grazing his chin with his hand. For a moment, he pauses and then turns his head to Lord Galendore.
Mayong Mistmoore says, ‘Galendore…’
Lord Galendore says, ‘aye, milord?’
Mayong Mistmoore says, ‘send for the priestess, as well as Khasra. They shall accompany you to the caverns of the north where you will ensure the dwarf’s victory.’
Lord Galendore bows before Mayong Mistmoore.
Lord Galendore says, ‘Immediately, milord’
Mayong Mistmoore says, ‘Galendore, one more thing before you go.’
Mayong Mistmoore says, ‘These mortals…’
Mayong Mistmoore waves his hand in the direction of the crowd.
Mayong Mistmoore says, ‘Which of these mortals has been of greatest service to you this day, Galendore?’
Mayong Mistmoore eyes the crowd as he speaks to Lord Galendore, searching the minds of those around for Galendore’s answer.
Lord Galendore points at Terok. Yeah you!
Lord Galendore says, ‘That one, milord, Terok I believe is his given name. One who isnt too bright, but provided as much help as can be expected from a mortal’
Mayong Mistmoore leans down further towards Lord Galendore’s ear.
Mayong Mistmoore keeps his eyes upon the one Galendore indicated as he whispers a series of words to the Teir`Dal in a language unknown to any who dwell within this realm and time.
Lord Galendore nods at Mayong Mistmoore.
Lord Galendore approaches Aludian, his hands dropping to the elaborately embroiderd belt around his waist.
Lord Galendore stops infront of Terok, noding in respect as he removes the belt from his waist.
Lord Galendore gently folds the belt in half, keeping his eyes locked upon those of Terok’s as he outstreches his arms in offering of the belt.
Mayong Mistmoore closes his eyes and lowers his head and he thanks, Aludian. From behind a mask of shadows, the vampire opens his eyes, staring into Terok’s eyes.
Mayong Mistmoore says, ‘I shall not forget your services to me, mortal child.’
Mayong Mistmoore raises his head as he walks towards Terok. Stopping only inches from Terok, Mayong raise his wrist up to his chest, his dark robes folding down his forarm.
Mayong Mistmoore says, ‘As I shall not forget you, neither shall you forget me.’
Mayong Mistmoore lifts his other hand to his wrist, slashing violently across the blue flesh with his claw-like nails.
Mayong Mistmoore reaches into the folds of his robes, withdrawing a small vial encased within a bat’s skull to the open wound, allowing the vial to completely fill.
Mayong Mistmoore lowers his wrist, still holding the vile of his blood up to Terok.
Mayong Mistmoore says, ‘Let this be a gift to you, a gift of the most personal nature.’
Mayong Mistmoore raises his head, tilting it slightly to the side as he speaks, his voice now trembling with strength.
Mayong Mistmoore says, ‘A warning to you, child. To accept this, is to do nothing, but to drink of it, is to pledge yourself to me. Eternity’s Knight, forever you shall be.’
Mayong Mistmoore grins sadistically at Terok as he hands over the vial.
Mayong Mistmoore chuckles evily.
Mayong Mistmoore bows.
Ashteth T`Dral says, ‘It appears you are the one who is screaming Zikk’
Dorvias N`Keth says, ‘Do not forget me dragon, for I shall not forget the headache you have caused this day.’
Zavo`Zatanov says, ‘How could I forget one like you Dorvias?’ Zavo`Zatanov smiles. Zavo`Zatanov says, ‘He knows to respect his elders.’
Ashteth T`Dral says, ‘Lanys is searching to piece Malevolence together still.’
Zavo`Zatanov says, ‘I thank those of you that aided me in defeating, Irin`ka, and those of you that aided him, pray that I do not learn of it. For i am sure that you would be quite tasty.’
Zavo`Zatanov says, ‘Know this, my opinions of these rumors remains the same. ‘
Slovak says, ‘How many pieces of Malevolence have been found?’
Ashteth T`Dral says, ‘Lanys has only found one piece thus far’
Zavo`Zatanov says, ‘1 piece, Slovak.’
Ashteth T`Dral says, ‘She searches for the second piece as we speak’
Slovak says, ‘How may we mortals help in delaying her?’
Ashteth T`Dral says, ‘No, Lanys has grown quite powerful, you would not be a match for her’
Zikk says, ‘mortals can’t we must wait for firona vie or some such’
Zavo`Zatanov says, ‘He was a companion, nothing more, Zikk. And my history doesn’t change.’ Zavo`Zatanov says, ‘I thought Irin`ka a trusted friend. I was mistaken, but I was biased.’ Zavo`Zatanov says, ‘I am much more objective on the views of world happenings.’ Zavo`Zatanov says, ‘I am certain of one thing. There is no war.’ Zavo`Zatanov says, ‘There is no WAR.’ Zavo`Zatanov says, ‘I know much of thise world. I have lived many centuries.’ Zavo`Zatanov says, ‘The gods are not at war, Donjira. All of the events are unrelated.’ Zavo`Zatanov says, ‘No, Slovak. What is happening with Lanys is separate from what is happening with Cazic and Firiona. Of this I am sure.’ Zavo`Zatanov says, ‘I have studied long and hard on the history of this world.’
Donjira says, ‘So how shall we classify it when they fight?’
Zavo`Zatanov says, ‘When who fights, Donjira?’
Ashteth T`Dral says, ‘Lady Zavo, I must take my leave now. If the second piece of Malevolence is within the Ring of Scales possession, Lanys shall surely come for you.’
Ashteth T`Dral says, ‘Be ready for his assault.’
Zavo`Zatanov says, ‘They have fought against the beginnings of time and it is a conflict that will never end. It is not a war. ‘
Ashteth T`Dral says, ‘Bertoxxulous has no business in this’ Ashteth T`Dral says, ‘He is not invovled period’
Zavo`Zatanov says, ‘Neriak’s army and Lanys’ forces are gearing up to fight one another. Not the forces of light.’
Ashteth T`Dral says, ‘Bertoxxulous shall not strike’ Ashteth T`Dral says, ‘None of my visions from Innoruuk speak of Bertoxxulous’ Ashteth T`Dral says, ‘You question the Prophet to Innoruuk?’
Zavo`Zatanov says, ‘Faenyar, I have studied Norrath since long before any of you. I would know if a war was on the horizon.’
Ashteth T`Dral says, ‘Lady Zavo is correct in her assumptions, this war you speak of does not exist’
Zavo`Zatanov says, ‘I was close to Irin`ka. I trusted him. I am not deceived on the goings on of the world.’
Zavo`Zatanov says, ‘I have come and you have asked me questions.’
Ashteth T`Dral says, ‘If you wish to remain ignorant to the truth, do not ask’
Zavo`Zatanov says, ‘I have answered them honestly.’ Zavo`Zatanov says, ‘Believe what you will, but there is no war.’ Zavo`Zatanov says, ‘And they have asked me about it.’ Zavo`Zatanov says, ‘As a historian of sorts, I have told you what I know to be true.’
Ashteth T`Dral says, ‘I do not believe any have spoken of this war but yourselves’
Ashteth T`Dral says, ‘So long as the staff remains in pieces, there is no threat’
Zavo`Zatanov says, ‘We cannot allow this staff to be made whole again!’
Zavo`Zatanov says, ‘This is not an option.’
Ashteth T`Dral says, ‘If it is reassembled and falls into the hands of Lanys, she shall surely attempt to destroy the Teir`dal nation’ Ashteth T`Dral says, ‘Along with anyone else who stand in her way’ Ashteth T`Dral says, ‘She was spurned by Innoruuk, there is now a new chosen’
Zavo`Zatanov says, ‘Lanys has fallen from grace.’ Zavo`Zatanov says, ‘The Ring of Scale has always taken care of itself, and it always shall.’
Ashteth T`Dral says, ‘Lanys has fallen from the grace of Innoruuk’ Ashteth T`Dral says, ‘She still retains her power, but not her position’
Ashteth T`Dral says, ‘Valizrae D`Tora, still but a child, is the new chosen.’
Zavo`Zatanov says, ‘There is much to be learned from watching, Donjira.’ Zavo`Zatanov says, ‘Where do you think that my wisdom comes?’ Zavo`Zatanov says, ‘She is the Daughter of Innoruuk. His blood runs through her.’
Ashteth T`Dral says, ‘Her power is not funneled to her by Innoruuk, it was given to her completely at birth.’ Ashteth T`Dral says, ‘Until her death, she shall continue to wield it’
Zavo`Zatanov says, ‘I must be off to report all of this to the Ring of Scale. Thank you again for helping me with Irin`ka Set.’
Ashteth T`Dral says, ‘Malevolence was disassembled because it has the ability to take power from Innoruuk’
Zavo`Zatanov nods to those in attendance. Zavo`Zatanov says, ‘Learn from my words. I speak the truth.’
Khasra Vei’Ras laughs, Zavo is NOT in league with Trakanon, I assure you. She serves the ring of scale most faithfully.. a pity.
Zavo`Zatanov says, ‘Yes, Mistmoore. It has, but not quite the pleasure you see it as.’
Mayong Mistmoore turns a stern, cold glance to the priest. Mayong Mistmoore says, ‘I shall decide whether or not she is of any use to me or not, your grace.’
Dorvias N`Keth says, ‘Of course…. Lord Mistmoore.’
Mayong Mistmoore says, ‘I… thank you, Zavo`Zatanov, for your aid…’
Zavo`Zatanov says, ‘It is good to see even the Arch Priest of Innoruuk in his place.’
Mayong Mistmoore makes a faint motion with his hand and gentle nod toward Khalor. Mayong Mistmoore says, ‘However…’
Zavo`Zatanov says, ‘How have I aided you?’
Mayong Mistmoore turns his glance to all gathered.
Dorvias N`Keth raises an eybrow.
Khasra Vei`Ras says, ‘Cease your disrespect, Lenyfix, or I shall deal with you most harshly’
Mayong Mistmoore says, ‘How naive would you all be to not know that the Ring of Scale would not already know of your actions? If they would wish to keep the Staff safe, they will do so. After all, your grace…’ Mayong Mistmoore says, ‘Was it not you who was within the lands of Kunark mere hours ago, searching for the staff through one of Sathir’s agents?’
Dorvias N`Keth hesitates.
Zavo`Zatanov says, ‘Yes, Dorvias, we know much of what goes on in Norrath. Even more so in Kunark.’
Khasra Vei`Ras says, ‘Do not insult my maste’
Dorvias N`Keth says, ‘I only wished to… bolster our efforts towrds halting Lanys’
Zavo`Zatanov says, ‘Can you not control, your whelp, Mayong?’
Mayong Mistmoore says, ‘Allow Lanys her unveiled self-inflicted torments. The Gem shall not fall into her hands so long as it is within my possession…’
Zavo`Zatanov points at Khasra.
Mayong Mistmoore says, ‘Of that, I assure all of you.’ Mayong Mistmoore Raises a brow lightly.
Khasra Vei`Ras says, ‘You are brash, Dorvias. You speak without thinking too often.’
Dorvias N`Keth glares at Khasra, hiding behind her Master.
Mayong Mistmoore says, ‘This is all the aid I shall give to this quest — and know that I and my minions are in no way allied to the Crimson Triad… or anyone else, for that matter.’
Khasra Vei`Ras says, ‘You go too far, Arch Priest.’
Mayong Mistmoore says, ‘So long as Lanys does not gain the staff, I care not as to what happens between the Teir`Dal, Innoruuk, and their fallen little child.’
Khasra Vei`Ras says, ‘I hide from no one!’
Dorvias N`Keth says, ‘Perhaps… perhaps I do not go far enough. That is not for you to determine.’
Zavo`Zatanov says, ‘And the Ring of Scale is in no way allied to the Crimson Triad or Mistmoore. We keep to ourself, though we know much.’
Ashteth T`Dral says, ‘Calm yourself Dorvias, they seek only to help. Innoruuk does not wish conflict today.’
Mayong Mistmoore turns a glance to Khasra, holding out his hand lightly in invitation for her to take it.
Mayong Mistmoore says, ‘Come, my dear. We shall depart for the time being. ‘ Mayong Mistmoore returns his glance to the arch priest. Mayong Mistmoore says, ‘And your grace… I suggest a little modesty and tact — it would suit you a bit better.’
Dorvias N`Keth says, ‘I bid you both farewell, I look forward to returning to Kunark.’
Khasra Vei`Ras turns to Mayong and takes his hand,’Master.’ Khasra Vei`Ras beams a smile at Mayong Mistmoore.
Zavo`Zatanov says, ‘Farewell, Mayong. Know that the Ring shall keep an eye on your actions.’
Ashteth T`Dral says, ‘Thank you for your assistance Lord Mistmoore’ Ashteth T`Dral bows before Khasra Vei`Ras.
Khasra Vei`Ras says, ‘And know this, Zavo’Za.. I have my eye on you as well.. for my own reasons’ Khasra Vei`Ras glares.
Mayong Mistmoore briefly makes a graceful motion with his hand, and immediately he and his minion are envolped in shadow and disappear from sight.
Innoruuk preserve me for my hate grows stronger still this day. Blasted Mistmoore, always with his foul nose in that which does not concern him. Teir`Dal he may have been but that was long, long ago. He has grown arrogant and no longer swears fealty to Innoruuk or any other. The Bloodmoon was mine to protect, mine to care for! However… he is a powerful ally. His “help” is neither needed nor welcomed but I do not doubt his ability to keep the stone safe. It may be that we loyal to hate might benefit from his allegiance in the future, so I do not wish to count him as enemy. He may watch over the stone for the time being, it might even serve to further complicate matters for the bastard Lanys T`Vyl, so I shall leave it be.
The Ring of Scale becomes a whole new concern. If the fool dragon Irin`ka Set was to be believed, then Trakanon’s aid may soon be required, I don’t care what Ashteth believes. Trakanon can be controlled; he has worldly desires and so can be manipulated. Further, his fury at the Ring of Scale itself will ensure his loyalty to our cause. It is Trakanon who might tip the scales in our favor when all is said and done… and perhaps as an added reward for all of my time invested, he might just do the thing that Irin`Ka Set failed to do- kill Zavo`Zatanov. Her arrogance and stubbornness will not go forgotten. It is only a fool that works against the will of Innoruuk, and there is no room in this world for the foolish.
What comes next should be interesting indeed. I have made no friends in the Ring of Scale and may very well find myself at their doorstep soon. This is yet another reason to retain the good graces of Mistmoore. I have never fully learned the inspiration of his silent war with the dragons, but if it may be used to the benefit of Innoruuk then so be it. The bastard child Lanys will not succeed in rebuilding Malevolence. That is the bottom line. That is the will of Innoruuk himself, and so shall it be no matter the cost.
Dagda’s keen and well-trained eyes caught a glimpse of several figures walking slowly across the snowy wastes. She turned and looked at the approaching figures, her eyes flashing in startled recognition. Curious she made her way toward the figures. The two gnomes, Ognit and Dabner, flanked her on either side.
Her eyes met with the eyes of the beautiful golden haired high elf standing before her. Dagda was sure she was seeing a friend but could not remember who she was or how she knew her. The high elf was accompanied by what must have been a half elven bard, judging from the lute slung across her back, that also seemed eerily familiar to her. In fact, the erudite in robes, the human resplendent in shining armor, the scruffy looking halfling and the scowling dwarf all seemed familiar to her for some reason. But the shy wood elf carrying the exquisitely crafted and ornately decorated bow, she did not recognize.
Seeing the smile upon the face of the high elf, Dagda did not wish to seem unpleasant. She reached forward and gripped one arm, wrist to wrist and clapped her other hand upon the high elf’s shoulder in a gesture of greeting and friendship. In doing so, she brushed against the beautifully carved, bejeweled staff the high elf carried.
A flash of light came forth from the staff and everyone stood for a moment stunned, shaking their heads. Suddenly, Dagda looked into the eyes of the high elf and smiling with sudden recognition she blurted out, “Firiona Firiona Vie! It’s been so long my friend. But I had a feeling I would be seeing you again soon.”
Firiona hugged the large barbarian woman tightly. Turning to her side she said, “I would like to introduce a new friend of ours. Her name is Lyirae.”
Lyirae curtsied gracefully. “It’s a pleasure to meet all of you. I certainly hope everything is all right.” She looked around nervously and then added, “It sounded like a war was going on a moment ago.”
“Oh that!” Ognit made a dismissive gesture. “It was nothing, don’t concern yourself.”
“Yes. It really was nothing,” Dagda said quickly as she elbowed the gnome, a smile playing across her face. Ognit just scowled back at her.
“Yes, I can truly say that I do remember you all now. I see none of you have changed over the years.” Firiona smiled briefly but it quickly faded. “I truly wish we were meeting under better circumstances. I’ve come to ask the three of you for your help.”
Her face grave, she continued, “The task set before us is difficult and the road we must travel deadly. And I truly know not what the future has in store for all of us. Already Sionachie, Thubr, Dreezil, Sir Jevik and even Al`Kabor have agreed to accompany me in my task.”
Bowing graciously, Dagda said, “Firiona, it would be my honor to travel with you and the others once again. I will be at your side.”
Ognit stepped forward, his face screwed into scowl and spat, “So you’re saying that you came to get us last? And that you asked for Al`Kabor’s help before mine?” Firiona looked over at him, hurt flashing visible across her eyes.
Raising both hands to his mouth Ognit began to laugh, a high pitched and ear splitting guffaw. It was good that he laughed rarely. “I’m kidding Firiona,” he said, “I wouldn’t miss the chance to travel with this group again for all the world!” He then gave Firiona a hug, smiling as he did; his face looking like it may crack in the process, so unaccustomed to the facial expression as it was.
Dabner bounced forward toward Firiona with glee. “This is great! It’s going to be just like old times again! I’m so excited!”
Stopping for a moment, Dabner counted on one hand. He then counted on the other. “Wait What about Lorisyn? Are we going to invite him to come with us as well?”
Firiona, looked down at him sadly and said quietly, “Dabner”
Lyirae lowered her head and closed her eyes. She turned and walked slowly away from the group, stopping some distance away and began sobbing quietly.
Inquisitive, Dabner turned and asked, “Firiona? What happened to Lorisyn? Where is he?”
Firiona glanced at the sky before returning to gaze upon Dabner. “We were attending the Festival of Faydark’s Children. Sionachie, Thubr and I were all there. We learned some wonderful news. Lorisyn has had a twin sister. Lyirae is Lorisyn’s twin.”
Dagda and the gnomes’ eyes widened with surprise. Looking back toward Lyirae, the resemblance was obvious.
Firiona continued, “We were all caught up in the moment with the festival, the reunion and the good news. But then,” she stifled a sob in her throat, “Shortly thereafter, we were ambushed Lorisyn was struck down by assassins.”
“What?” Dagda spoke in a soft, dangerous voice, as her eyes flashed with fury. “Who are they? I will burn the sound of their names forever into my mind. They shall know the full force of my rage before I end their lives.”
Looking the barbarian in the eyes Firiona says, “They are old enemies of ours and have been since”
She lowered her head and shook it with frustration, “I honestly can not remember. One is a Teir`Dal woman by the name of Vahlai Ka`Izal. The others are a Troll and an Orc by the names of Rogkasth and Ghargin.” Dagda nodded solemnly upon hearing the names of the assassins.
Ognit’s face was frozen in shock. “Well Surely you could have revived him and brought him back to life! Surely there were healers present!”
Dabner glanced over at Lyirae standing off from the group. His face was suddenly filled with the wisdom that comes from studying the spiritual world, even at the cost of missing the finer points of the mundane world.
Facing his friend again he said softly, “Ognit The gods don’t allow for any life to be permanently extinguished, even the life of the lowliest snake or insect, until it is their appointed time. Once that time has been fulfilled and the cycle of life has been completed, the soul moves on never to return to this plane. From that point forward there is nothing that any mortal can do to bring life back to the body, for the soul has already moved on.”
Upon hearing the soft voice and words of the gentle cleric, Lyirae walked slowly back to the group. She smiled lightly at Dabner, her eyes red with tears. “You speak as would a follower of Tunare.”
Dabner turned to look once again upon the face of his friend’s twin. “Though I am happiest with a good solid chunk of earth above my head, I have been traveling above ground for quite some time. As a man of faith I have found it important to study and understand the beliefs of others. Particularly those of my close friends.”
Taking hold of Lyirae’s hand, he looked softly into her eyes. “Know that Lorisyn is now strolling in a glade far more beautiful than any known in the Faylands or any other in this mortal realm. He now dwells forever in the arms of the Great Mother.”
Dabner then turned to Firiona, his face uncharacteristically hard and resolute. “I will join you in your journey to the new lands. And Brell willing, I will do everything within my power to see that those responsible for Lorisyn’s death find justice before going to meet their dark gods face to face, sooner then later.”
Dagda clenched her fists at these words and said, “My rage burns and I can not stand here. Let’s be on our way.”
Firiona nodded, “Agreed, Dagda. Let us move on, we have a very long journey ahead of us.” Together, the group turned and began to walk back the way they had come.
Firiona Vie and her party, now fully assembled, set forth on their journey to the new lands to confront the Ring of Scale. Fighting against the raging blizzard, their faces drawn and determined, they disappeared into the furious storm.
“We had done all that we could in our attempts to prevent the events that have come to pass. I see it now, through my unwavering vision, for what it had always been – destined.
Eons ago, a prohibited union of elemental dragons hatched the first prismatic dragon. Kildrukaun, Arch Priest of Veeshan and member of the Council of Elders, condemned the mated pair to death and appointed himself custodian of their almighty son, Kerafyrm. Quickly, the fledgling dragon demonstrated his immense power and cunning, impressing just as many of his kin as were struck with fear.
During this time, our nation split in two. The Ring of Scale fled to Kunark, while the Claws of Veeshan, the original order and wurm council, remained on Veeshan’s blessed continent of Velious. Kildrukaun, furios over the division, insisted it was the Eternal Mother’s will for the dragon factions to reunite. He prophesied that Kerafyrm would lead The Claws of Veeshan in a great civil war against the Ring of Scale forcing the reunification, and thus fulfilling Veeshan’s will.
Some of The Claws of Veeshan questioned the authenticity of Kildrukaun’s visions, others merely his interpretations; after all, they were considerably self-serving. The council dismissed Kildrukaun’s prophecy, claiming that waging a war against The Ring of Scale would expose them to the growing threat of the giants of Kael Drakkel.
Thus Kerafyrm sharpened his teeth, along with his tactical mind, upon the frozen battlefields of Velious. He ascended quickly within the Claws of Veeshan, obtaining the rank of general, and proving he was as shrewd as he was merciless. But no battle satiated this monstrous creature’s unrivaled lust for destruction and chaos. Eventually, the Council of Elders was forced to order Kerafyrm’s imprisonment.
Kerafyrm’s legions of supporters, including Kildrukaun, were severely outnumbered by those of the elder council, and eventually Kerafyrm was restrained and secured within a prison of indefinite slumber. The council appointed four immensely powerful dragons (Tukaark, Nazata, Ventani and Hraashna) to serve as his guards and ensure his eternal slumber. Meanwhile, Kildrukaun and the other surviving traitors who had aided Kerafyrm fled Velious to unknown locations, awaiting the return of their prophetic saviour.
While Kerafyrm slept, Norrath’s children, in an attempt to satiate their incessant desires for adventure, knowledge and riches, pushed out across this world. It was only a matter of time until they stumbled upon Kerafyrm, who had come to be known as “”The Sleeper.”” Inspired by green and ignorance they slew the four elemental warders and awakened Kerafyrm from his slumber. Kerafyrm showed his gratitude by devouring them, prior to bursting explosively from his prison into the frozen wastes.
The Claws of Veeshan felt Kerafyrm’s wrath immediately. Confronting those members of the council who he could find, Kerafyrm ripped their flesh into shreds, once more demonstrating his unchecked lust for destruction. He was intent on annihilating every vestige of their existence. The ages of sleep had only made him more deadly and vengeful. The wise and ancient dragons of Velious knew they were hardly a challenge for the Awakened, caught unawares as they had been. A desperate plan was hastily hatched.
Lord Yelinak bravely faced Kerafyrm in a furious battle in the skies above Velious, as others made their escape, and four chosen dragons of immense power (Charayan, Grendish, Jortreva and Susarrak) were called upon. However, Yelinak proved to be no match for Kerafyrm. Kerafyrm inflicted grievous wounds upon him, and all of Skyshrine witnessed the lord’s broken body fall to the frozen land beneath as the four Crusaders approached. Savoring his victory over Lord Yelinak, and fearful of the overwhelming power of the Crusaders, Kerafyrm flew off to places unknown.
The Council of Elders held no doubt that this was but Kerafyrm’s first act of vengeance. It was an attack of pure wrath. His next attack would be far more deadly, utilizing clever tactics and his legion of followers. First, they held a service to honor Lord Yelinak’s sacrifice. It was a lavish affair, lasting for days within Skyshrine, calling wurms from across Norrath to pay their respects.
Afterwards, the council sent out their agents and infiltrators on a search for information pertaining to Kerafyrm and his followers, including Kildrukaun. They were certain that word of Lord Yelinak’s demise would quickly spread across the world, reaching the Awakened.
They then initiated an unprecedented act of defence – The Upheavel, successfully cutting off Eastern Wastes and Great Divide from Western Wastes and Cobalt Scar. Intended to make the dragon lands within Velious less susceptible to attack, it also served to isolate the land in case the battle were to escalate.
It was at this time that Lord Yelinak revealed the ruse surrounding his death to all of Skyshrine. It had served it’s purpose, which was to provide the Awakened with false information while having brought the council enough time to explore all attack and defense options against the inevitable onslaught. He had risked much in battle, and although he had not been slain, he had been prepared for such a sacrifice.
Lord Yelinak amde a plea on behalf of the Children of Norrath to Skyshrine. He was going to seek aid from the heroes amongst them. He felt strongly that they were the key to defeating Kerafyrm. Some wurms scoffed, dismissing his opinion, while others saw its wisdom. He left them to debate as he made all haste, to the Norrathian city of Thurgadin.
But Kerafyrm, anticipating Skyshrine’s increased defenses, led his Awakened Legion to the opulent Temple of Veeshan within Western Wastes. The attack was brutal and swiftly executed. The dragons and dragonkin who refused to join against The Claws of Veeshan fled, and sought refuge in Skyshrine. As they took flight, some managed to save eggs and young from the Western Wastes. In Skyshrine the wurms regrouped and prepared for battle.
Upon realizing that some of the nests of Western Wastes were empty, the Awakened began to claim the remaining eggs for themselves, taking them into Temple of Veeshan. Driven by parental instincts, the Claws of Veeshan quickly rallied to fight for their unhatched young, and took to the Western Wastes in overwhelming droves. As it became clear to Kerafyrm that they might succeed in their efforts, and could continue with their march right on to Temple of Veeshan, he ordered his most impressive elemental wurmkin to do the unthinkable – destroy Western Wastes!
Willing to sacrifice any of his own legion battling upon the frozen landscape, the elemental mages began their ruination. The previously raised land shook from glacier top to wyvern cave, and began to crumble. All but Temple of Veeshan itself was swiftly annihilated. Too many dragon, dragonkin and egg met their brutal end, crushed between rock and velium as the land crumbled and fell into frigid waters below.
The Claws of Veeshan watched as great achievement was ripped out from beneath their wings by Kerafyrm. Once more, they were forced to seek shelter and regroup within Skyshrine, taking with them the eggs and young that they were able to save from the hatching lands.
As I look back upon these events, and recount them for myself, I can see that it was destined to come to this point, but I find myself wondering if Kerafyrm still believes himself the prophesied unifier, or for that matter, if Kildrukaun and other others still believe he is. Is that even his intent any longer? Not even my holy gift of vision beyond sight has granted me power to pierce that veil.
Glory to the Eternal Mother!
Lendiniara, The Keeper”
You say, ‘Hail, Druushk’
Druushk says ‘Who steps in my lair?! Ah, ’tis but a soft-flesh nuisance. I must say I am amazed at the idiocy you adventurers must boast to explore these areas, especially when we’re trying to keep you out. Since you are here, I will tell you of a story and a [dilemma] I am having if you wish. You might become more enlightened.’
You say, ‘What dilemma?’
Druushk says ‘In previous years, we, the Ring of Scale, have had one of our own sitting on the Overking Bathezid Di’Zok’s council, well disguised. Our friend has also been spying on the council itself. He was our voice when we needed the Sarnaks to listen to reason. Unfortunately, we have lost contact with him. I had a personal affinity to our friend, because he was one of my personal assistants. I could sense his presence elsewhere on this continent and now it has dissipated. I fear he may have been killed, though I am not sure by whom. I would like you to investigate this further and bring back the remains of my assistant to me, so I can learn of his fate.’
Druushk says ‘My worst fears are true. My assistant has been slain. I will have my servants investigate this heinous crime. Here is your reward for this deed mortal. If you do not like it, I can provide you with a different reward.’