Category Archives: Rodcet Nife

Order of the Storm Caller

You say, ‘Hail, Shayna Thunderhand’

Shayna Thunderhand gives a soft smile and delicate motion with her hand and bow of her head, ‘Greetings, Soandso. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance. I am Shayna Thunderhand — sorceress of The Rainkeeper and one of many ambassadors to the Jaggedpine. The recent events have yielded quite an interesting turn in our [organization’s] duties — and we are very excited to once again be reunited with our brethren and homeland.’

You say, ‘What is your organization’s duties?’

Shayna Thunderhand says ‘The Order of the Storm Caller is one whose roots are tied with the foundation of Qeynos and it’s establishments dedicated to the arcane sciences. When the Jaggedpine forest and it’s culture and people were still a part of the Qeynos kingdom, the wizards, magicians, and enchanters of Qeynos invited those from the Jaggedpine to partake in their fledgling studies. Gladly, our ancestors did so and returned to the forest with their newfound knowledge and passion in the art of the arcane. It was then that our elders felt that a new order must be established — the Order of the Storm Callers. As with all existing orders of The Rainkeeper, we had a [founding member] — one who made it possible for us to maintain our studies and interweave it into our everlasting faith in Karana.’

You say, ‘Who was your founding member?’

Shayna Thunderhand says ‘A wise and stoic woman by the name of Toliara Stormcaller was the first of our ancestors to master the art of wizardry. When she returned to the Jaggedpine with her newfound knowledge, the elders were very intrigued. She was asked to coordinate the efforts of all the Jaggedpine natives that had taken an interest and shown their adept talents in the ways of the arcane and form an opening ceremony to take place during the winter solstice celebration. Gladly and excitedly, she did so. The magicians, wizards, and enchanters loyal to The Rainkeeper met for several months, formulating [plans] and establishing [rituals] that would usher their order into the collective goal and cause of Karana’s faithful.’

You say, ‘What plans and rituals?’

Shayna Thunderhand says ‘The night before the sacred annual ritual and festival, the hierophant of Karana passed into the great Eye of Karana’s Storm. A new hierophant was to be named at the ceremony sited at the Throne of Karana’s Thunder. It is tradition that when a new hierophant is recognized, that the elders of each artisan, spiritual, and military order present the sacred item of their order that would then be wielded in the sacred ceremony — in this case, it was the winter solstice. Toliara called upon her brothers and sisters of the arcane sciences and together they forged an [item] of considerable power significant to that which The Rainkeeper sacredly represents.’

You say, ‘What item?’

Shayna Thunderhand says ‘The enchanters, who were also artisans highly skilled in the ways of jewel craft and even blacksmithing, were asked to forge a golden scepter with a hollow cradle at its peak. The magicians then conjured the elemental essences of the storm — water and air and sealed them in an azure sphere that was created from pure, enchanted elemental water. Toliara and her fellow wizards would spend days researching and creating a spell and rune of their own with which they would fulfill the purpose of the item. She etched the sacred runes upon the base of the scepter and sealed the separate items into one whole. Upon the dawn of the winter solstice, the fledgling order met at the Shrine of Karana where they would then [firmly establish themselves] among Karana’s most faithful.’

You say, ‘How did they establish themselves?’

Shayna Thunderhand says ‘The new hierophant was named and it was he that would lead the opening ceremonies of the solstice dawn. Tradition dictates that the head of each of The Rainkeeper’s order would come forward, bearing their sacred item to the hierophant and each in their own way, respectfully representing their order and its foundation, aid the hierophant in the ceremony. Toliara, representing the fledgling arcane order, was last to present her order’s item to the new hierophant — whose curiosity was piqued by the beautiful and most apparently powerful item. The ceremony began and each item was used in the [conjuration of a great storm].’

You say, ‘How did they conjure a great storm?’

Shayna Thunderhand says ‘The druids chanted around their hierophant, who held their order’s sacred item. As they chanted, they brought forth the great blanket of silver clouds upon the horizon. The rangers, rogues, and bards in their musical chant ushered in the raging winds that guided the druids’ clouds over the forest. It was the duty of the veterans, the warriors and knights, to call forth the thunder and begin the broiling of the storm. Toliara and her order then began an arcane chant. She raised the scepter upwards to the sky and collectively, the small order wove a single spell that arched from the scepter and struck the center of the tempest that responded in a great display of lightening and rain. Until the rise of the next dawn, the ceremonies continued — each order respectively praising Karana. By the rise of second dawn and the end of the solstice celebrations, the [Order of the Storm Caller] was inducted into the ranks of Karana’s faithful.’

You say, ‘What is the Order of the Storm Caller?’

Shayna Thunderhand says ‘That is the name that was bestowed to the arcane order of Karana’s faithful, led by Toliara. For several generations the order would thrive and become the primary ambassadors between the city proper of Qeynos and the forest. Eventually, when corruption threatened the land, it would be the Order of the Storm Caller that would act as the messengers and mediators between the political and spiritual interests of the Jaggedpine and ultimately, it would be their direct ties to the city that would influence the [decision] of Antonious III.’

You say, ‘What decision?’

Shayna Thunderhand says ‘All wished to spare the Jaggedpine from corruption for it was the sacred homeland of one of the city’s largest and most prosperous religious and cultural foundations. The Order of the Storm Caller knew that separation was the only way to assure the forest’s safety, for Qeynos would need all of its resources to defend against the approaching venomous shadow. However, not all were in favor of this decision. One known as Urwenae, an enchantress and at the time second to only the order’s arch mage in power and influence, held strong opposition to removing themselves indefinitely from their sacred lands. However, she was overruled by the decision of her superiors and the majority of the Jaggedpine Orders, thus the forest was sealed. The Order of the Storm Caller, along with the Veterans of the Storm, would [retreat] fully from the forest to aid the inevitable battles in defending Qeynos and its kingdom from threat.’

You say, ‘Why did they retreat?’

Shayna Thunderhand says ‘Collectively, the council at Qeynos and the orders of Karana’s faithful knew that it was best for the forest to have only the bare minimum of necessary inhabitants needed to preserve the culture and ancient ways remain behind. The shadow of corruption and turmoil was inevitable and Qeynos could not afford to spare these resources in such great quantity and the Orders agreed. The Veterans of the Storm, the knights and warriors of the Jaggedpine, and the Order of the Storm Caller were asked to relocate fully to Qeynos. There was little opposition to this decision, although the fanatical Urwenae [would never forgive her superiors and brethren] for allowing them to become separated from their homeland.’

You say, ‘Why would she would never forgive her superiors and brethren?’

Shayna Thunderhand says ‘She felt that all of Karana’s Orders should remain in the forest — that Qeynos’ resources were plenty and that the threat of the shadow would surely call the aid of nearby Erudin and perhaps even Rivervale if Qeynos were to fall into such dire jeopardy. Despite her zealous and near-fanatical opposition to the ruling, she was a well-respected member of the Order and was in-line to inherent the position of arch-mage when her mentor and the current ranking member of the Order passed into the great Eye of Karana’s Storm. For nearly a decade she waited in silence — her disapproval of the decision a constant, although she cooperated with her Order, she rarely left the Orders’ library. Eventually, she ascended to the roll of arch-mage over the Order of the Storm Caller and it was then that she had the opportunity to exact her vengeance against [those whom she thought as traitorous] heretics against Karana and their ancient, sacred path.’

You say, ‘Who did she think was traitorous?’

Shayna Thunderhand says ‘Ultimately, she blamed everyone who had voluntarily and without opposition agreed to the ruling made ten years prior with the sealing of the Jaggedpine forest. Urwenae despised both her fellow members of the Order of the Storm Caller as well as the Veterans of the Storm — viewing both groups as traitors. Ten years of reclusive behavior had given the necessary time for her planning to blossom and the death of her mentor and her ascension granted the perfect opportunity to execute her [revenge]. Upon the tenth anniversary of the Jaggedpine being sealed, a mere fortnight into her reign as arch-mage, Urwenae disbanded the Order in a violent display. A massacre was committed in the sacred halls of Qeynos’ arcane studies — an incident that was cleverly covered-up by the political council of Qeynos to keep the citizens from unnecessary worry regarding an external threat.’

You say, ‘What was her revenge?’

Shayna Thunderhand says ‘She had gathered a small group of like-minded followers — mainly, her most adept pupils that trusted her explicitly and were thus easily manipulated by her. The Order met in the cellar level of the arcane hall in Qeynos and there, Urwenae and her pupils destroyed all but a select few members of the arcane order. Many of the elders survived — escaping through portals of their own creation, although we lost many brave souls who attempted to remain behind and see their would-be executioners rightfully abolished. Urwenae and the two pupils, one being a powerful wizard that survived the encounter escaped through a portal when all that remained in the hall were dead. It is said that Urwenae then destroyed the sacred item that Toliara had forged all those centuries before, splitting the item into several pieces. As they are indestructible by design, Urwenae instructed her pupils to scatter the [pieces] throughout Norrath, while she herself would hide the scepter deep in the bowels of the Hole.’

You say, ‘What pieces?’

Shayna Thunderhand says ‘I cannot say for certain how Urwenae divided the scepter for the only documentation we possess was written in an ancient dialect that until recently, none could translate. The dialect is one of an ancient human tongue that dates centuries before the foundation of Qeynos — even before the foundation of the Throne of Karana’s Thunder. Of course this particular incident occurred in a more recent time, but Urwenae was well-versed in the ancient tongues of Norrath and knew well that her journal would be legible only by the most learned of Qeynos’ scholars or the forest’s elders, and even then her words would seem the fanciful tale of a madwoman — for there never was a massacre in the arcane hall in Qeynos, or so was the common belief until now. Those of us who are descendants of the few survivors that preserved the order knew of the truth and until recently, we had in our possession [Urwenae’s Tome].’

You say, ‘What is Urwenae’s tome?’

Shayna Thunderhand says ‘Urwenae’s tome, an Ancient Ashwood Tome granted to her by her late mentor, detailed Urwenae’s plans and what exactly she had done with the pieces of the scepter. You must understand, Urwenae was an arcane scientist — and a brilliant one at that. However, she was fanatically organized and required documentation of everything — a trait that was considered a merit before her madness had been discovered. The tome will likely detail where the missing pieces of the scepter lies and it may also copies of the lost, ancient scrolls scribed by Toliara and the first members of the order — scrolls that detail the exact runes and arcane chants to re-create the enchantment of the scepter, which was likely broken when Urwenae dismantled it. Unfortunately, the tome was [stolen] by one of the bandits that have recently inhabited our forest.’

You say, ‘Why was it stolen?’

Shayna Thunderhand says ‘I’m not entirely certain, although I doubt it was done for any purpose regarding the Order, our history, or any of the specific arcane knowledge contained within. Likely, the thief thought that it might fetch a price on the underground market of Norrath. The scouts have been able to identify the individual as Vranol Blackguard, the second eldest of the Blackguard family and one of its most dangerous members. We believe him to already be in High Pass. If [you can retrieve the Ancient Ashwood Tome] from him, if he still has it within his possession of course, then I would be more than willing to impart unto you our ancient arcane lore. However, this reward can only be wielded by one whose heart and faith belongs fervently to The Rainkeeper and their profession is of one of the three acceptable schools of magic. If you are unable to wield what reward I can provide, then I shall not bear ill will if you turn away, my friend.’

You say, ‘I will retrieve the Ancient Ashwood Tome.’

Shayna Thunderhand says ‘Marvelous! However, for me to reward you properly, you must seek our the tormented spirit of Urwenae. It is rumored that when she went into the depths of the erudite hereitcs’ former home, that she was cursed by one of the ancient spirits there — her mind and spirit forever trapped within the boundaries of the ruins. As the magic of the scepter was tied to its bearer, it is likely that the essence of the Gleaming Crystal Scepter remains with her, so long as her essence resides on the prime plane of Norrath. If you can find her, retrieve the scepter, and return it to me with the recovered tome, I shall be better able to properly reward you for your services to us.’

Shayna Thunderhand says ”Aaah. . . yes. Well done. Well done, indeed, my friend. The tome still contains the Toliara’s ancient notes and we shall be able to restore the lost magic to the scepter.” Shayna holds the scepter firmly in one hand and the opened tome in the other. In a powerful voice, she recites several arcane words. As she speaks in the magical rhythm of the spell, the scepter in her hand begins to faintly glow and seems almost to haze as if enshrouded in a blanket of dense fog for but a moment. Shayna reaches the last word of her spell and extends the misted scepter to you, ”This is the Scepter of Storms. It is not yet complete and requires its original pieces to be whole once again. If you wish to continue to [aid the Order of the Storm Caller], I shall be more than willing to complete the scepter for you — as your worth to us shall be proven in the task.’

You say, ‘I will aid the Order of the Storm Caller.’

Shayna Thunderhand says ‘Very well, my friend, and may Karana guide you through this path. There is one known as D’mitrious Irska, a powerful magician who can be found at the arcane hall in Qeynos. He is currently the senior member of our order and will be able to further aid you than I, for most unfortunately, many pages of the tome have been damaged by Vranol when he stole it. D’mitrious is more wise in this matter than myself and his willingness to aid you should be more than overwhelming once the scepter has been presented to him. However, he will require one [further component] with the scepter to secure his aid.’

You say, ‘What further components?’

Shayna Thunderhand says ‘The Scroll of the Tempest Eye, one scribed by Toliara herself as she completed her portion of the item, has been lost to us for some time. Urwenae tore the scroll from the pages of the tome and gave it to her pupil, Lazara, and instructed her to take them into Permafrost with the hopes that the threat of the great ice dragon that dwells there to ward any would-be heroes away. Like Urwenae, Lazara fell to an unknown, although dark fate and it is likely that the twisted impression of her former existence remains — guarding the scroll with its unlife.’

D`mitrious Irska says ‘The Scepter of Storms. . . but how could this be? You have spoken with Shayna, yes? I see that she has found one to retrieve the stolen tome. But what is even more intriguing is the acquisition of the scepter itself. I am impressed and these items represent your deeds better than any arrogant boasting that I hear day in and day out from the other youths of the order. Aaaah and yes, you have the scroll! Well then, we cannot let an opportunity like this slip through our fingers, now can we?” The mage quickly eyes the scroll before closing his eyes and beginning an arcane chant. The scroll in his hand begins to smolder, although the page is not damaged. A glowing silver image of a swirling storm seems to reflect off the surface of the parchment. Then, the scepter begins to slightly chime and runes begin to magically imbed themselves into the scepter’s base. The mage opens his eyes and extends the scepter to you, ”Now then, [shall we continue]?’

D`mitrious Irska says ‘Now that the scepter has been properly modified for the task, you must keep it safe for now. Your next task will be to seek out two more components, for the original components and the spells describing how they were forged are lost forever — destroyed by Urwenae’s second and final pupil who went mad while attempting to fulfill his duty. The Essence of Storms must be retrieved, and there is only one place within the whole of Norrath’s prime or astral realms that it can be found — the Plane of Sky. There is a being known as The Storm Mistress who dwells there. Seek her out and retrieve the Essence of Storms from her ethereal being. Do not worry yourself over what seems to be a gruesome murder and thieving, for she will coalesce again as all immortal, planar beings do in time. The second item that you must retrieve is the Cloudy Azure Sphere, which lies in the hands of [Priestess Auraia] in the depths of Kedge Keep.’

You say, ‘Who is Priestess Auraia?’

D`mitrious Irska says ‘Auraia was once a priestess of the Prime Healer. Upon her travels throughout the world of Norrath, she stumbled blindly into the castle grounds of Mistmoore. Fortunately, it was during the daylight hours and she did not need to wander far before discovering the error of their ways. Quickly, she attempted to turn back, fearfully respecting the wish for privacy that is heavily guarded and ferociously enforced by the vampire lord’s undead servants. As she made her way out of the castle grounds and returned to the boundaries of the Lesser Faydark forest, Auraia happened upon a recently discarded azure sphere. She had no idea what the sphere was intended for – at first likely thinking it the lost toy of some Koada’Dal or gnomish child. However, she was intrigued by it and threw it in her pack for a later inquiry and inspection. Eventually, Auraia heard tales of the ancient underwater city known as Kedge Keep from her Koada’Dal hosts in Felwithe. The intrigue was too much for this young adventurer to bear and so ‘

D`mitrious Irska studies both items intently, muttering softly to himself at an inaudible tone. Eventually, the mage closes his eyes and begins to chant, the melodic weave of arcane words causing the essence to shimmer with the brilliance of an electrical storm. Slowly, he brings both hands together, sealing the ethereal essence within the magical sphere — a union that forces a loud boom, the voice of thunder, to echo throughout the hall. D’mitrious opens his eyes and examines the completed orb and nods to himself, ”This should be sufficient. Take it and place it within the scepter. When the two enchanted items are united, the Orb of the Storm Caller will be forged.”

Places of Norrath: Qeynos

Overview of Qeynos

The free city of Qeynos controls most of the plains to the west of the Serpent’s Spine Mountains. The city is ruled by the firm yet just hand of Antonius Bayle IV. Qeynos represents the pinnacle of human achievement and is a haven from the fierce wilderness of Norrath. Bayle is a well-liked and respected leader, but the seeds of corruption are being sown by the Circle of the Unseen Hand and their allies in the city guard.

Qeynos is set atop small cliffs that run along the coastline to the west. Due to their composition of eroding sandstone and rock, climbing them is virtually impossible. The cliffs act as a natural barrier, making Qeynos impenetrable to attacks from the west or from the ocean. At a low point in the cliffs, the people of Qeynos have built a treat pier, protected in a harbor naturally formed form the stone and a bend of in the coastline.

The ocean is a deep, dark blue. The waters are usually fairly calm, although waves crash roughly against the cliff base. Many ships safely come and go daily from Qeynos’ harbor. These include naval, fishing, trading, and transport vessels from Erudin. Adventurers and tradesmen will often been see at the docks, awaiting one of the two vessels that travel between the two coastal cities through the oceanic pass known as Erud’s Crossing.

Northern Qeynos
Northern Qeynos is, in fact, the original City of Qeynos. During an invasion of the city a surprise night attack that started a war many years ago, the southern and eastern walls took heavy damage. Some of the buildings in these areas were destroyed but the militia and able-bodied citizen fought the invasion and saved much of the city including the palace. Later, instead of fixing the old castle wall, it was decided to expand the city of Qeynos by building a new one further out.

Most of the buildings in Northern Qeynos are very old looking, but a few have been remodeled or rebuilt. Made mostly of gray stone blocks and brown bricks, the houses and shops in this area are now showing their age. The paint is worn away and dark vertical trails have formed from rain water erosion. These buildings are sturdy and have been around for ages, but were obviously built for function over style during Qeynos’ early years when the kingdom was small and poor. From the towers and some of the outer walls of the city hang cloth flags and banners, displaying the colors and insignia of the kingdom of Qeynos.

A local tribe of gnolls, the Darkpaw has become a stubborn and enduring threat to Northern Qeynos, striking terror in the civilian population due to their constant raiding. While the city guardsmen have valiantly fended off the assaults, the have failed to stop them outright. At their wits end, the frustrated citizens have taken to offering adventurers a bounty in return for the delivery of gnoll teeth an fangs

Southern Qeynos
Southern Qeynos holds in it the main docks for passage between Antonica and Odus. This is a bustling area full of people transporting their wares between the two continents. Also on the ships logs are adventurers seeking new wealth and new fame that can be found in the different lands.

The Southern District of Qeynos also houses the bank that is heavily guarded by barbarian warriors. Near the bank lies the Ground of Fate. This is an area where combatants can prove their skill in combat with one another. The ringing sounds of sword melee can often be heard throughout the entire city.

Many guildhalls lie in South Qeynos where they can train young students interested in their art. Though Qeynos is a grand city, beggars and rats can often be found in dark corners.

Qeynos Catacombs, the Qeynos Aqueduct System
Located in the sewers below the human city of Qeynos, the Qeynos Catacombs is a large system of aqueducts. At first glance the sewers seem to be a normal rat infested dungeon with a variety of colorful graffiti written on the walls. But there is a dark secret hidden in the catacombs. Minions of the dark god Bertoxxulous, the Plague Bringer, have set up a secret shrine and base of operations within the catacombs. Entrance into the catacombs can found in the northern and southern sections of Qeynos; some hidden and some not so hidden.

Minions of Bertoxxulous roam the hidden passages; all not allied with his minions should avoid the secret tunnels. The rest of the catacombs are fairly safe for most adventurers.

The Lineage of Antonius Bayle
After the fall of the Combine Empire, the majority of humankind spread out and occupied the center of what was then called Tunaria. These humans lived in small villages upon the fertile plains of Karana. Over time the villages prospered and grew into small towns. Two of these towns were so successful as to grow into full-fledged cities. On the eastern coast, Freeport grew as a dangerous and bustling port of call frequented by those braving the journey across the Ocean of Tears. To the west, the city of Qeynos grew under the noble rule of law under a man named Antonius Bayle.

Humanity continued to prosper and grew strong. Much to the disdain of the elder races, the humans chose to rename the continent after one of their own, rather than a god. From that point forth, the continent was known as Antonica, in honor of all Antonius had done for the people of the races who lived there.

Antonius I was successful in incorporating the lawful city of Qeynos. He was given the role of ruler around the age of 25. For his success in bringing together the humans of the Plains of Karana and for founding the city of Qeynos, he was named “The Great Unifier.”

Antonius Bayle II became ruler of Qeynos when he was around 36 years of age. He led the movement to rename the continent of Tunaria to Antonica, ostensibly after his father. Of course, there were those who noted that he also shared the name of his father. During the period of his reign, the heretic Erudite necromancers revolted and left Erudin. Shortly thereafter, the disaster which formed The Hole occurred. Thus began what is known as the “Age of Turmoil.” Antonius II became known as “The Great Defender.”

Antonius Bayle III grew up during the beginning of this Age of Turmoil. During his childhood, he witnessed the construction of the heretic city of Paineel and saw Sir Lucan take control of the city of Freeport. When he came to power at the age of 26, he did his best to remain neutral and, as such, was named “The Great Diplomat.” Antonius Bayle III, for reasons unknown, chose to break tradition and name his first son Kyle rather than Antonius. In an attempt to establish a new seat of power in Antonica and extend his lands southward, Antonius III charged his eldest son Kyle with the expansion. Kyle left with a cadre of men to find a suitable location and to begin building.

A great deal of time passed without hearing any word or report of progress on this project. Antonius Bayle III sent a series of scouts to investigate but none ever returned. Kyle, his men and those sent to investigate were never heard from again. Roughly 25 years after the mysterious disappearance of Kyle, Antonius Bayle III had another son. This one he chose to name Antonius and he became Antonius Bayle IV. At the age of 24, Antonius Bayle IV was installed as the ruler of Qeynos, which he remains to this day.

It is believe that it will one day become tradition for the ruling leader of the Bayle line changes his/her name to a variation of Antonius upon taking the throne in honor of the first Antonius Bayle.

Antonius Bayle IV
Antonius Bayle IV is a highly devout Paladin of Karana. Though still relatively young, he is about as righteous, lawful and goodly as they come. He rules the city of Qeynos and its territories with a firm, but just hand.

He is simply referred to as “ruler”. Though some citizens may call mistakenly call him Your Honor, Grace and even Your Majesty, he does not expect to be referred to as such. He prefers to be called “Lord” if any title must be used. In his humility, he finds himself mildly embarrassed when referred to by any of the more lavish titles bandied about by those citizens who view him in awe – even as king – but know no better.

He considers himself a citizen in service to the city and views his role as the benevolent protector of Qeynos and the surrounding area. The government of Qeynos consists of the Circle of Ten, which is comprised of the heads of each of the guilds, including the Merchants of Qeynos, the Captain of the Guard (Kane Bayle) and a few of the more influential lords of the city.

Antonius Bayle holds veto power over the council and only Antonius may declare war or enter into treaties on behalf of Qeynos. The council may remove Antonius by unanimous vote, in which case a new ruler would be selected by popular election.

The Bayle line is by no means a hereditary monarchy. It is possible that some day a non-Bayle could rule Qeynos. In the simplest terms, the Bayles are very wealthy landowners who have a long history intimately attached to the city of Qeynos. Antonius IV is an incredibly popular, well-loved and respected ruler. This is due in part to his selfless personality, humility and devotion to his duties to the city and its people. It is also due to the trust the people have put in the Bayle lineage for producing skilled, trustworthy and reliable leaders.

The city of Qeynos oversees and protects most of the land west of the Serpent’s Spine, which includes the Plains of Karana. Qeynos represents the pinnacle of human achievement in the eyes of many. Though Antonius thinks of the Plains of Karana as his own, these feelings are best described as protective rather than possessive. He would also never state these feelings out loud for fear of angering one of his constituents.

The Bayle family tends to have children later in life. In fact, Antonius IV was born a full 35 years after the disappearance of Antonius III’s first son, Kyle Bayle. Kane Bayle was born two years after Antonius IV.

Antonius IV never knew Kyle. All he knows of his older brother is what was learned through stories told by his elders. Though he does occasionally wonder about what happened to him, he is too focused and dedicated to his duties as ruler to consider spending the time and resources that would be needed to search for the answers. This is a purely personal concern and he would not feel right about using city resources for such a selfish, wistful and sentimental reason. And thus, he seldom, if ever, discusses the matter.

Antonius is also an unparalleled swordsman. His closest rival in armed combat is his younger brother Kane Bayle, who himself has only been bested in combat by Antonius and Ebon Strongbear.

As a youth, Antonius IV spent much time escaping into the Jaggedpine Forest where he befriended another youth called Frenway Marthank. He still maintains a strong bond with his childhood friend. It was during their days as youths that Antonius came to appreciate the wonders of the forest and eventually do more than any other ruler to protect the forest ecosystem.

Ebon Strongbear, with whom he has a strong relationship, trained Antonius IV as a youngster in the Hall of Steel. Bayle then went on to the Temple of Thunder as most local aspiring paladins would in Qeynos.

While in the Hall of Steel, Antonius and Kane made great friends with Milea Clothspinner of the prestigious Clothspinners of Qeynos, one of the wealthiest families in the realm of Qeynos. Milea is currently an adventurer, a fact of which her family disapproves.

Later, Antonius IV went on an epic quest with the Qeynos Claymore at his side. This was before he became ruler and after he was a full fledged paladin. His father knew of the quest and its importance and allowed Antonius to wield the Qeynos Claymore for the purpose.

The Qeynos Claymore is what the city is named after and dates back to a time when the humans were living in small communities. Qeynos is an old sort of slang Combine word roughly translating to “manifest destiny for humanity”. The sword is magical and sentient.

The warrior Milea Clothspinner, who often uses a different last name when adventuring, accompanied Antonius IV on this quest. The ranger Frenway Marthank and the bard Vhalen Nostrolo also began the quest with Antonius, but Vhalen left before its completion. Along the way, the high elf Lady Shae of Felwithe joined them. There was also a halfling that assisted Antonius in this quest as well and there are rumors that say that this halfling was none other than Mayor Gubbin of Rivervale. The purpose of the quest was mostly unknown save that it was very important. Though he may speak wistfully of his old friends and adventure, the quest itself and its outcome are something personal and private to Antonius. Thus he does not discuss it other then to say that it was something he had to do in the past.

Antonius IV became romantically involved with Lady Shae after the completion of his quest. However, the Circle of Ten and the Felwithe ruling houses eventually caused the relationship to be broken off. As of right now, Antonius is not married or romantically involved in a public manner with anyone, and as yet has no heir. Milea, ever the adventurer, has been seen in the Plains of Karana lately. She is closer to Kane than Antonius and has put her total trust in the younger Bayle, asking him to watch over her little sister for her. She does not know of Kane’s corrupt soul.

Vhalen is still about in the Karanas and is currently despondent over the disappearance of his love, Metalla. And of course, Mayor Gubbin is the richest halfling around and the current mayor of Rivervale. For reasons known only to him, the mayor does not want the “exploits” of his youth known publicly. Antonius respects his friend’s wish, though he may drop a vague hint now and then. Frenway still lives in Surefall Glade. The recent death of his son in Mammoth Cave has left him in a state of severe grief.

Another of Antonius’ close and trusted friends is Vegalys Keldrane. Vegalys is a paladin of Rodcet Nife and is a few years younger than Antonius. Vegalys acts as advisor and confidant to Antonius Bayle and is also a public servant acting as Lord Magistrate for the city of Qeynos. Vegalys generally concerns himself with investigations into such things as organized crime though he is not directly involved with law enforcement, which is a duty that falls to the Qeynos City Guard.

Kane Bayle
Kane Bayle is Antonius’ younger brother, by two years. Kane acts as Captain of the Guard in times of peace; however, in times of war, Antonius himself assumes direct control of the Guard and the armies of Qeynos. Kane secretly wants to overthrow his older brother and take control of Qeynos, a fact of which Antonius is blissfully unaware. If Antonius ever heard talk of such a thing, he would be certain to set the record straight that he and his brother have a close relationship and such things are the ranting of drunkards and madmen.

Kane has been lulled into an alliance with the Bloodsabers and has begun to turn toward the ways of Bertoxxulous, the Plaguebringer.

The guildmasters in Qeynos are based on deity worship. There is a guildmaster for each class that is available to humans and half elves with the exception of Druids and Rangers guilds which are in Surefall Glade instead. Spell and tome merchants are also available for each class. Here is a list of the main guildmasters:

Good and Neutral
Belious Naliedin – (Bard, Agnostic, Karana, Rallos Zek, Rodcet Nife)
Renic Losaren – (Cleric, Karana)
Runethar Hamest – (Paladin, Karana)
Priestess Jahnda – (Cleric, Rodcet Nife)
Camlend Serbold – (Paladin, Rodcet Nife)
Mespha Tevalian – (Enchanter, Agnostic, Karana, Rodcet Nife)
Kinloc Flamepaw – (Magician, Agnostic, Karana, Rodcet Nife)
LuSun – (Monk, Agnostic, Quellious)
Ebon Strongbear – (Warrior, Agnostic, Karana, Rallos Zek, Rodcet Nife)
Gahlith Wrannstad – (Wizard, Agnostic, Karana, Rodcet Nife)
Hanns Krieghor – (Rogue, Agnostic, Bristlebane, Karana, Rodcet Nife)

Lyris Moonbane – (Necromancer, Bertoxxulous)
Sragg Bloodheart – (Shadow Knight, Bertoxxulous)
Xeture Demiagar – (Clerics, Bertoxxulous)
Perkon Malok – (Magician, Bertoxxulous)
Reania Jukle – (Enchanter, Bertoxxulous)
Tranon Callust – (Wizard, Bertoxxulous)
Rocthar Bekesena – (Warrior, Bertoxxulous)
Hanns Krieghor – (Rogue, Bertoxxulous)

City Resources
Qeynos provides the basic necessities of adventuring: Bankers, a Soulbinder, a Tribute Master, Task Masters, augmentation needs, and merchants that sell backpacks, ale, bandages, food, drink, armor, weapons, shields, and fishing gear.

You’ll also find a Priest of Discord, Tradeskill Quest Masters, tradeskill crafting objects, and supply merchants for alchemy, baking, jewelcrafting, pottery, tailoring, and blacksmithing.

Just outside the city gates, adventurers can make use of a Plane of Knowledge portal.

Places of Interest
Northern Qeynos
The Temple of Life
The Temple of Life is where the resident priests and paladins of Rodcet Nife train and worship. The grounds of the temple include buildings, lush grass, shrubs, tress, and a large pool called the Pool of Jahnda. The temple itself is a circular gem-encrusted marble structure that hovers above the pool. A fountain of sparkling holy water flows from within the temple down to pool below. Throughout the temple and its grounds, the structures are made of white granite with marble floors and thick, light colored, velvet curtains.

Priestess Jahnda is the High Priestess of the Temple of Life. She is wise beyond her years, although no one seems to know how old she really is. The pool, over which the Temple of Life hangs, is named in her honor. The Pool of Jahnda is not meant for public use. It is a sacred pool created for the Koalindl. The Koalindl are fish that were a gift to Priestess Jahnda from the Prime Healer. They are said to be magical in nature. It is rumored that, every so often, the Prime Healer visits our plane in the guise of a Koalindl and swims in the pool.

The Silent Fist Clan
The Silent Fist Clan is the order of monks native to Qeynos. The guild hall is located in the northwest corner of the city against the outer wall. It is a medium-sized, light brown colored wooden building that is clean, unworn, and well-kept. Used as a training hall, the main room is a large open space with smooth, hardwood floor and thatch roof. There is a small room attached to the main building that serves as LuSun’s study and the living quarters. LuSun is the powerful teacher of the Silent Fist Clan. He teaches his pupils that their greatest weapon is the power of their spirit.

Crow’s Pub and Casino and the Circle of Unseen Hands
Crow’s is a run down, old, brown brick building that entertains the local hooligans. The establishment offers a fine selection of brews and ales including Crow’s Special Brew. This brew is one of the finest drinks that can be found. It use to be sold only at Crow’s bar, but apparently Crow is allowing it into other bars for a very hefty price.

One of the pub’s bartenders, Hanns Krieghor, frequently holds secret meetings a back room where a secret passageway leads to the rogue guild, the Circle of Unseen Hands. Hanns always has henchmen guarding all entrances to the guild, so unwanted people can’t get in. Hanns looks like a rough and tumble cutthroat when tending bar, but when he dons his black cloak of the Circle of Unseen Hands, he blends into the shadows and darkness and is rarely seen. He can pick almost any lock and is a master pick pocket. However, the Circle frowns upon stealing from Qeynos locals because they don’t want to run the risk of having the guild being discovered.

Ironforge Estate
The Ironforge Estate includes a weapon shop, a jewelry shop and the home of the Ironforge family. Headed by Brohan and his wife Hurrieta, the Ironforge family is one of wealthiest family’s in Qeynos, if not the wealthiest, and produces the finest craftsmanship. Also crafters, the Ironforge children run the shops. The entire estate is well protected, as the Ironforge family has well known close ties with the local officials and the militia.

Ironforge’s Weapon Shop
This weapon shop is run by the Ironforge family. The main room is a large workshop, with a smaller storage room in the back. There are various weapons for sale displayed along the walls and in the counter display case.

Jewel Box
The Jewel Box is a shop that is run by Svena Ironforge. It is made from wood and is attached to the front of a large wooden house, both of which are clean and well kept. The shop has a large wooden display counter, which shows off the gems and jewelry for sale, and there is also a locked set of cabinets, which holds the more valuable items and class specific items. Svena’s father was the town’s previous jeweler; she was fascinated with gems as a young girl, and is now the most reliable source for appraising gems and jewelry, for a small fee.

Sneed Galliway’s Trading Post
Qeynos largest general store, this shop is run by Sneed Galliway. Sneed is friendly, middle-aged man, who runs his shop with his wife and children. They have a wide variety of new and used items for sale, from small knives to torches to bags to clothes to ropes and even food. The lower floor is Sneed’s shop, and it is filled with brass racks and wooden crates and cases, which display the various goods for sale. The second floor is divided into rooms, including the living family’s living quarters.

The Cobbler
This shop is run by craftsman Gerault Takenmaul. Gerault makes and sells shoes, boots, belts, and bags in this small shop, and lives upstairs in a tight, but cozy nook. The shop is a wood and red brick building, with an old, wood shingled roof. The floor is made of wood, but is mostly covered by colorful rugs. Spools of thread, yards of leather, and various tools clutter the floor and workbench of this small shop.

Southern Qeynos
Hall of Steel
The Hall of Steel is the guild hall for the Steel Warriors of Qeynos. It is the training ground for some of the greatest warriors of Antonica. The Steel Warriors’ Guildmaster Ebon Strongbear, Earron Huntlan, and a few others, led the city’s militia to victory against the Sabertooths of Blackburrow, a small gnoll tribe that lives in the nearby forest, and they are now known as local heroes.

The hall is a large, light gray stone building that decorated with banners of the guild’s symbols and colors and is located adjacent to the Grounds of Fate area. The training room has various weapons displayed on the wall, as well as other training equipment. The upstairs has a large open window overlooking the arena, to watch the various events and other warriors competing.

Grounds of Fate
This is an area where combatants can prove their skill in combat with one another. The ringing sounds of sword melee can often be heard throughout the entire city.

The Wind Spirit’s Song
The Wind Spirit’s Song is the bard’s guild of Qeynos. Guildmaster Belious Naliedin use to work as one of the King’s private entertainers, but now he confers his time-earned wisdom and skills on to others, confining his performances to shows at the local tavern. His financial resources are meager, but he is quite content with his lot.

Hall of Sorcery
Within the Hall of Sorcery, Qeynos citizens study the three circles of magic and lend their services to citizens of Qeynos. Master Enchantress Mespha Tevalian oversees the Hall of Sorcery and the Order of Three.

The hall has a few rooms including a large, round room made of tall dark gray slabs of granite. Long colorful banners line the outside walls of the building and represent the three classes of magic studied within – red represents wizard, gold represents enchanter, and blue represents magician. Inside, the back part of the building is partitioned off by a thick black, velvet curtain, behind which is a private study. Along the walls off the main room, there are a few small tables for studying, and in center of the room there is a large stone altar, with a round firepit in the middle of it and various writings around the edges.

Temple of Thunder
The Temple of Thunder is where the Knights of Thunder worship Karana, the Rainkeeper, the Deity of Storms. The paladins and clerics of the Knights of Thunder are well respected in the city. They often assist the Qeynos Tower Guards in the Plains of Karana.

The temple is located to the side of the arena and beyond a few homes. It is surrounded by a stone wall and has a large grassy area attached. This area is where the cleric and paladin of Karana train and practice.

Lord Runethar Hammerfist is the master of the Temple of Thunder. All paladins report to him and all clerics report to High Priest Renic Losaren.

Tin Soldier
Run by Blacksmith Rane Sedder, the Tin Soldier buys, sells, and trades new and used armor. Merchants within offer chain armor, molds for chain and plate armor, and other various blacksmithing supplies.

The first floor of the shop displays various, new and used metal and leather armor pieces that are for sale. The second floor has a store room and the living quarters for Rane’s family.

Fhara’s Leather and Thread<
Shop owner Fhara Semhart makes and sells a variety of clothing and sewn goods made from leather. She also offers various patterns and other tailoring supplies. Fhara’s shop is connected to her home where she lives alone. This small wooden building is filled with bolts of fabrics and spools of thread on the walls, and a counter where Fhara does her work.

Bag & Barrel
Raheim Varshen and his wife Fellesha run this shop together. They sell various types of containers and satchels. The shop also serves as their home. Raheim is a carpenter who makes small water barrels, tinder and jewelry boxes, crates, etc., and Fellesha is a seamstress who crafts various sizes of bags, skins, pouches and backpacks. Inside, the walls are full of merchandise and equipment and in the backyard, they have a pottery wheel and kiln.

Nesiff’s Wooden Weapons
Nesiff Tallaherd is an excellent craftsman and woodworker. He makes walking sticks, bows and arrows, poles, staffs, javelins, halberds, pikes, pole-arms, and boar-spears, all handcrafted from wood from the local forests. Nesiff has been known to import wood from far away lands, to make specially ordered bows, staffs, and ax handles. A merchant stationed outside the shop sells various fletching supplies.

Lion’s Mane Tavern and Inn
The Lion’s Mane Tavern and the Lion’s Mane Inn are located in the Common’s Square section of Qeynos and are run by Earron and Tasya Huntlan. Both buildings are made of sturdy lumber and are kept fairly clean. The Tavern is connected to the Inn, but is only about half the size.

Lion’s Mane Tavern
Earron Huntlan runs the Tavern with an old war buddy, and both are like local heroes who like to trade old war stories with the customers. The outside of the tavern is made from wood and the inside walls are lined with bricks. The entryway has a colorful painting of lions playing poker. Behind the bar counter, rows of shelves are filled with various types of drinks.

The Tavern is usually quiet during the day, but can sometimes get pretty rowdy at night after the locals have had a few too many, but Earron is usually able to force the troublemakers out of his bar with no problems.

Earron seems to think there is something going on in Qeynos. He thinks there is something more than just a few shady characters moving into town. I think it’s just normal progress and growth. Have you ever been to Freeport? Qeynos isn’t nearly as bad as that place yet! The town’s just getting older, that’s all.

Lion’s Mane Inn
Tasya Huntlan runs the Lion’s Mane Inn. It is a large, two story, wooden building, that is attached to the Lion’s Mane Tavern. At the entrance, there is wooden receptionist desk, where Tasya Huntlan greets people with a friendly smile. The Huntlan family lives in the inn. Tasya and her daughter Sissy sell various ales, wine, and other drinks to quench the thirst of weary travelers staying at the inn.

Office of the People
This is a small, wooden building where a list of city events, ordinances, advertisements, and other documents are held. Rucio Divella knows a lot about the city and also is the one to see about buildings for rent. Hansl Bigroon is the office manager and a great engineer. He has designed most of the structures in Qeynos. He has been working with other great engineers from various cities to design some bridge that will span Erud’s Crossing and into Odus itself.

Qeynos Hold
The Qeynos Hold is the main bank of Qeynos and is run by the Copperhold family. Kendall Copperhold is well trusted and has close ties to the city government. The bank is a medium sized, sturdy brick building. The main room is divided in half by a long counter. Behind the counter, there is an inaccessible stairwell that leads down to an underground vault that is behind a locked iron door. The bank is heavily guarded by strong barbarian warriors.

The Herb Jar
A small shop that has changed ownership many times over the years, The Herb Jar is currently run by Caleah Herblender. Caleah is a mysterious gypsy woman, sort of vagabond look to her. She is a former student of Kinloc Flamepaw, and still has close ties with the Hall of Sorcery. This is why she’s allowed to operate her fairly successful business here. Caleah makes a good living, but it doesn’t flaunt it.

The shop has a scent of burning incense and has various books and potions on the shelves. A large, deep blue and purple rug covers most of the badly worn wooden floor.

Mermaid’s Lure
The Mermaid’s Lure is located on the south-side of the docks. The wooden walls are badly worn and the iron bolts and hinges are rusted from the harsh, salty seawater and air. It is adjacent to a dock that extends out into the ocean, where various seagoing craft are tied up.

Captain Rohand runs the Mermaid’s Lure and trades goods with the sea merchants from Odus. He is a rough looking man with tangled dirty beard and hair, and his skin is dark brown and tougher than leather. The Ol’ Captain is more than ready to tell his tales of adventures and legends to anyone willing to listen.

Fishing nets and gear hang on the walls of the shop in addition to the shells of sea creatures. The shop sells all sorts of nautical supplies.

Port Authority
The Port Authority can be found near the southern docks. Ships leave for other cities on a regular basis.

Fish’s Ale
Fish’s Ale is a pub owned by Fish Ranamer. It is located just off the Qeynos Harbor docks. This pub is a rough and tumble mix of drunken warriors and sailors. A night without a fight here is the exception, not the rule. The City Guards pass by as if the pub doesn’t exist, and pay no attention to the drunks or brawls heard from within. Fish himself is an ex-sailor, and runs the pub with some old sea dog partners. Fish serves up brews, in the quiet, private bar in the back of the building, to shady smugglers and people who want to keep a low profile. An open brew barrel can be found inside. There are also a few places for drunken travelers to rest after a long night of drinking fighting.

Voleen’s Fine Baked Goods
Owned by Voleen Tassen, Volee’s Bakery can be found in the southern part of town, just east of the docks and north of Fish’s Ale. The bakery sells bread, pastries, muffins, cookies and baked goods and baking supplies. Brewing supplies are also available. An oven inside is available for use when Voleen and her staff aren’t busy making goods with it.

Firepride’s is a metalworks shop run by armor smiths Ton and Lanhern Firepride. The shop is an average size wooden building. The main room is separated by a long display counter. The front half of the room displays the pieces of armor that is for sale, and the back half is Lanhern’s workshop, which is cluttered with various tools and there is a small forge in the center of it. Lanhern is hardworking and is known for producing quality goods at a fair price. Ton believes that he is the finest of all blacksmiths.


Palace of the Ancient One

Palace of the Ancient One

On the edge of the Void, there is a palace. It is the remnant of an ancient civilization, cast into the Void long ago in the ancient past. The islands of this palace float on the edge of Nothingness, threatening to be swallowed into nonexistence if they should fall into the center of the Void.

Anashti Sul is somewhere in this palace, assembling another army of creatures to take with her as she fades from the Void. While she races to complete her task before she dematerializes form the Void, time is running out for the forces of Norrath to defeat her.

The voice of Anashti Sul comes from everywhere and nowhere at once, as if she is inside your head. ‘My armies of the Void are routed in disarray,’ she says. ‘But my most loyal followers swear to protect me here in my palace, while I muster another Void army to conquer Norrath!’

You begin on the island of Switchmaster Zaxlyz. Explore the many islands of the Palace of the Ancient One to finally confront the Prime Healer and end her threat forever.

You must defeat Switchmaster Zaxlyz to continue to the next island in your quest to defeat Anashti Sul.

Niclaus Ressinn

Niclaus Ressinn says ‘Hail, Mixxit. I am Niclaus Ressinn, loyal Paladin of Life. I am scouting the Qeynos Hills on orders from High Priestess Jahnda. We have received reports of undead prowling these hills of late.’

Niclaus Ressinn says ‘Oh, things are becoming dire here in Norrath. May Rodcet protect us! I have gathered most of the evidence I will need to present to Jahnda, but I could still use your assistance with one final piece. I need to recover a rib bone from one of the undead beasts that wander these hills. Be sure the rib bone comes from one of the putrid skeletons. They are the spawn of Bertoxxulous.’

Niclaus Ressinn says ‘I believe the undead prowl these hills at night. I have found the remains of several adventurers who obviously had the misfortune of running into some of Bertoxxulous’ dark minions. One young human was still cluching this parchment in his cold, dead fist.’

Niclaus Ressinn says ‘I believe it is from a spell book of some kind and I do not have a working knowledge of things arcane. Perhaps you could help? Take it. I am sure someone in Qeynos could decipher it. I must remain here to gather more evidence but please return to me with anything you discover.’

Niclaus Ressinn says ‘Guard, Come quick! The undead gather near the ruins of Geupal!’

(NPC from Qeynos Hills)

Jal’Raeth Tome

Within the Jal’Raeth writings is mentioned a renegade Jal’Raeth that believe differently than the rest of his kind.

This pacifistic Jal’Raeth recognizes that undeath is not a gift of eternal life but a curse.

It is written that the renegade Jal’Raeth, Rodcet Nife, has visited many realms to heal and enhance the frail mortal inhabitant

According to the tome, Rodcet Nife, possesses great powers of healing and rivaling the dark powers of others of his kind.

There are passages that speak of resurrection, and mentions of rituals that enable the Jal’Raeth to communicate across worlds.

Please take this tome to Ammathor Lithkin of the Anagogical Order in Qeynos.

Anashti’Sul Diety Quest

You say, “Hail, Plumetor Dul’Sadma”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “Greetings, mortal. It is little wonder you have come to see me. Now it is time to celebrate, as the Forgotten One is returning to our world once again!”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “The Forgotten One? You must mean Anashti Sul, correct?”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “Indeed! After all of these long Ages, she will once again walk among the gods as she once did, and shower her gifts of love and compassion upon the undeserving mortals of Norrath! These are truly exciting times to be living in!”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “Pardon me, I do not mean to question you, but I had thought that Anashti Sul was destroyed in her palace in the Void. That is what has been whispered, in any case.”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “No, my little feather, she was not destroyed. Although what happened to her in the Void was not part of her plans, that event will work into the favor of all of us. You see, the victory of those who fought her in that palace merely snapped her tether to the Void itself, catapulting her back to our world!”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “Wait, so is Anashti Sul among us again, then?”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “Not as of yet. She is materializing on our world now — gathering her strength, reestablishing the conduits of power that anchor her to this world. This is a long and exhausting process, but it is one that even we, as mortals, can assist her with. Imagine — we could help a goddess be reborn in her rightful home!”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “Why would we do that? Was she not banished for crimes against mortals?”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “Crimes? Nay, they were not crimes. Anashti Sul always worked out of love for the mortals! She was the goddess of life and health… she felt the pain of every creature as it lay wounded, sick, or dying, and she sought nothing less than to eliminate that horror forever.”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “So what happened?”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “The other gods were jealous of her gifts to the mortals. They saw that they could lose all of their followers to Anashti Sul, once the mortals saw how much she loved them, and the extent that she would go for them. Anashti Sul risked her existence for the mortals, and she paid the ultimate price for her love.”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “So she looked after us, rather than abandoning us as the other gods did in the past?”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “Oh, very much so. Anashti Sul would never have agreed to the pact of the gods, and would not have allowed her followers to suffer as they did. Imagine a world where death and disease were but a memory of the past; where life was eternal and Anashti Sul was watching over all of us as she once did.”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “I’ll have to admit, that does sound quite a bit better than what we’re forced to live with now. What can I do to help?”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “First, we must gather the followers of Anashti Sul, and prepare them for her return. We will want to begin building the foundation of her canon, so we will want to collect stories of her from the past — lost tomes in libraries across Norrath that have been overlooked by those that do not understand their significance. With those, we can create the stories to teach and enlighten those who might not know the truth of Anashti Sul’s caring nature.”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “I would be willing to collect those tomes, if you need me to.”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “I am glad that you see the light of her love, and your willingness to help may be a beacon to others who do not yet see the truth, or have forgotten it.”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “Forgotten it? What do you mean?”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “I once belonged to a group of worshipers of Anashti Sul, known as the Fellowship of the Peacock. Our group was thought to have been killed to the last member, but we were scattered because of the jealousy of others. Those of us that were left have gone into hiding, most fearing for their lives. Most have forgotten the glory of her word, and a few have even strayed from the path altogether, seeking the light of other deities.”

You have become a worshipper of Anashti Sul.

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “True heresy, to be sure. So you would like me to gather the lost tomes, and the lost members of the Fellowship of the Peacock, then?”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “Ah, you are definitely a sharp one, my little feather. Anashti Sul will be pleased to have followers such as you in her muster. Now go forth — find the ancient scripts, and find those who have lost their way. When you find someone who you think might be a member of the Fellowship, speak these words: “Can you hear the peacock’s call?” and they will answer, “Indeed, and the feathers are quite beautiful.” They will know it is safe to speak to you.”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “Very well then. I will return when I have finished.”

The books were located in the libraries of Freeport, Gorowyn and Neriak.
Almar was found in Butcherblaock:

You say, “Hail, Almar Shi’iz”

Almar Shi’iz says to you, “I have no time to speak with shifty travelers. Be on your way!”

You say to Almar Shi’iz, “If I might have a moment of your time, please…”

Almar Shi’iz says to you, “I said BE ON YOUR WAY. I will summon the guard if I must!”

You say to Almar Shi’iz, “Sir, can you hear the peacock’s call?”

Almar Shi’iz says to you, “… Indeed, and the feathers are quite beautiful. Okay, who are you, and how did you find me?”

You say to Almar Shi’iz, “Plumetor Dul’Sadma sent me. Anashti Sul is returning to Norrath, and it is time for her followers to muster once again.”

Almar Shi’iz says to you, “Are you mad? When I was last with the Fellowship, I was captured and tortured for information regarding the Ewer of Sul’Dae. Why would I risk my life for them once again?”

You say to Almar Shi’iz, “Have you forgotten? Anashti Sul also suffered. Anashti Sul was also punished for doing what was right.”

Almar Shi’iz says to you, “So? Why should that matter?”

You say to Almar Shi’iz, “Would she not look favorably on those who suffer for her, as she did for them? Is it not too much to give of ourselves for her, even if it means giving our very lives? Would you want Anashti Sul to give up on you so easily?”

Almar Shi’iz says to you, “Well… of course not…”

You say to Almar Shi’iz, “Then why would you do so? Now is the time. Anashti Sul returns to Norrath even against the judgment of her fellow deities. She returns for us, once again bringing her gifts to Norrath!”

Almar Shi’iz says to you, “Oh, what a cowardly fool I have been! My eyes were blind to the truth, and I nearly lost my way forever!”

You say to Almar Shi’iz, “Don’t be too hard on yourself. Although you might have lost your way for a time, it is not too late to rejoin the muster. The Fellowship needs all of us, and your help will be invaluable to teach others her word.”

Almar Shi’iz says to you, “You are right! I have been to many ports in this world, and I have friends in many places. I will carry her message forward, and will risk my life if need be. Imagine… Anashti Sul could really be returning to bring her gifts to us! I will be ready!”

You say to Almar Shi’iz, “I know you will. I will tell Plumetor Dul’Sadma that you have rejoined us. Farewell for now.”

And then it was off to Thundermist Village in the Steppes:

You say, “Hail, Allelia Halkreeb”

Allelia Halkreeb says to you, “Welcome to Thundermist Village! Beware the centaurs in the plains… many are not very friendly at all.”

You say to Allelia Halkreeb, “And they are quite loud as well. But I hear something above that… something louder.”

Allelia Halkreeb says to you, “Is that so? What might be echoing out in the valleys?”

You say to Allelia Halkreeb, “Can you hear the peacock’s call?”

Allelia Halkreeb says to you, ” Indeed, and the feathers are quite beautiful. What are you doing here? Has the Fellowship been reborn?”

You say to Allelia Halkreeb, “The Fellowship never died. The muster might have been scattered, but it is time to rejoin and spread Anashti Sul’s message to the corners of Norrath.”

Allelia Halkreeb says to you, “Have you forgotten? The Fellowship was hunted down! We barely escaped with our lives! Would we not risk our lives once again by stepping out into the open?”

You say to Allelia Halkreeb, “Of course. But Anashti Sul stepped out for us in the past, too. She did not flinch when the other gods persecuted her, and did not back down when faced with retribution for her actions on our behalf.”

Allelia Halkreeb says to you, “I have a good life here. I am betrothed, and am looking to start a family. How could I leave all of that behind to risk my life once again?”

You say to Allelia Halkreeb, “Would you not want your loved one to live forever, as he should? Would you not want the gifts of Anashti Sul to be showered upon your new family, as they once would have been?”

Allelia Halkreeb says to you, “Well… of course I would. How could I not want such a thing?”

You say to Allelia Halkreeb, “How would that even be possible if Anashti Sul had turned her back on us so many lifetimes ago? What if Anashti Sul had taken the easy path, rather than doing what was right for those she loved? Because of her tenacity, those gifts will be there for us when Anashti Sul returns.”

Allelia Halkreeb says to you, “Is it true? Is Anashti Sul truly returning to us again?”

You say to Allelia Halkreeb, “Of course she is. And those who are there to greet her will be first in line to receive her grace, as will those that we love.”

Allelia Halkreeb says to you, “Very well, then. Count me in. I will rejoin the Fellowship, and spread the word of Anashti Sul to any who will listen… and louder to those who will not. All will hear of her glory, if I have anything to say about it!”

You say to Allelia Halkreeb, “Anashti Sul herself would be pleased. I will inform Plumetor Dul’Sadma of your heartfelt decision. Farewell for now.”

And finally, to Qeynos!

You say, “Hail, Curys Kasin”

Curys Kasin says to you, “Ah, have you come to hear the glories of Rodcet Nife? He returns to us! The light of Rodcet Nife will shine throughout Norrath once again!”

You say to Curys Kasin, “Is that so? What about the light of a true god? The light of one seemingly forgotten even by those who once followed her teachings?”

Curys Kasin says to you, “What… what do you mean? Anash… I mean Rodcet Nife is the true light of this world!”

You say to Curys Kasin, “Ahh, is that so? I think there is more to you than meets the eye. Can you hear the peacock’s call?”

Curys Kasin says to you, “What a strange… strange thing to say. I have no idea what…”

You say to Curys Kasin, “I ask you again. Can you hear the peacock’s call?”

Curys Kasin says to you, “Please… do not — Indeed. And the feathers are quite beautiful. You are not here to kill me, are you? Rodcet Nife will protect me!”

You say to Curys Kasin, “Will he? And how do you know that?”

Curys Kasin says to you, “He is the light of life! He brings healing and hope to those who have none! With his return, we again will have the power to fight the darkness!”

You say to Curys Kasin, “If I am not mistaken, did Rodcet Nife not abandon you once before? What makes you think he would not do so again?”

Curys Kasin says to you, “He did not abandon us! He did what was best…”

You say to Curys Kasin, “Did he now? Leaving our ancestors in a torn world without this beacon of light and hope as you now profess, retreating from those who once trusted him? Is that the mark of a compassionate deity?”

Curys Kasin says to you, “Did Anashti Sul not leave as well? She has been gone for ages!”

You say to Curys Kasin, “Condemned for showing TRUE love for the mortals! Sent into oblivion for daring to give the mortals freedom from pain and suffering of all kinds! She did not leave us — she was wrested from us by the jealousy of the very deities who abandoned us!”

Curys Kasin says to you, “But Rodcet Nife is here now… he is returning to Norrath and the Plane of Health! Can you not feel his power?”

You say to Curys Kasin, “Can you? Or are you preaching the words of others who fed you lies when you were weak?”

Curys Kasin says to you, “It’s true! I turned to the Temple of Life to save my own skin! I lost hope when I thought the Fellowship was destroyed! Oh, I have been so foolish! Will Anashti Sul forgive my transgressions?”

You say to Curys Kasin, “Perhaps. But that is between you and her. Choose your restitution quickly, however, as Anashti Sul is returning to us as we speak.”

Curys Kasin says to you, “Oh dear… what will I do? What… wait! I have an idea! Perhaps it was a good thing that I was brought here!”

You say to Curys Kasin, “Why is that?”

Curys Kasin says to you, “Well, Rodcet Nife is the god of health and life now, just as Anashti Sul was in the past. It’s possible that they will either become close allies — or intense rivals. As a trusted member of the Temple of Life, I can report of the activities of their followers, which could be invaluable to the Fellowship!”

You say to Curys Kasin, “Hmm… true enough. That very well could be useful.”

Curys Kasin says to you, “Yes, yes! Look! I already have something to tell you!”

You say to Curys Kasin, “Is that so? What is it?”

Curys Kasin says to you, “Well, there are rumors that the Temple has been investigating an outbreak of creatures out in Antonica. I’ve heard that a group called the Cabal of the Fyr’Un might be responsible for it.”

You say to Curys Kasin, “So? What does that mean to us?”

Curys Kasin says to you, “When we were members of the Fellowship, the legend of the waters of the Fyr’Un was often whispered among our ranks. It’s possible that these are more followers of Anashti Sul, carrying out her commands very close to here.”

You say to Curys Kasin, “Okay… tell me more.”

Curys Kasin says to you, “The Temple has been quite thorough in confronting the Cabal and the creatures associated with them… something about digging graves in the hills. If that is the will of Anashti Sul, then perhaps we can continue the work started by the Cabal! Dig up the graves marked by Anashti Sul herself, and we will be doing her work!”

You say to Curys Kasin, “Very well, then. I’ll go out and find those graves. Thank you for the information.”

Curys Kasin says to you, “See? We can find information on both sides this way! Anashti Sul would be pleased, would she not?”

You say to Curys Kasin, “It’s not for me to say. However, I will send word to Plumetor Dul’Sadma of your intentions. Good luck to you, and farewell for now.”

You say, “Hail, Plumetor Dul’Sadma”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “Ah! Anashti Sul’s little feather has returned! How goes your journey? Did you find the tomes and the lost members of the Fellowship?”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “I did, Plumetor. Here are the books you asked for.”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “Ah! You did very well! And about the missing members? What did you find?”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “It is true that a few members lost their way from the muster. However, they have found their way back to us, and are now working in their own ways to help spread the word of Anashti Sul, and to do her work.”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “Excellent! The more members for the Fellowship and for her muster, the stronger she will be when she finally arrives on our world. You have done well, little feather, but there is much more to do. For now, go forth, and speak her word to any who will listen. It’s likely we will need you once again in the future, and I am certain you will be ready.”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “I will be. Farewell for now.”

You say, “Hail, Plumetor Dul’Sadma”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “Welcome back, little feather. I am pleased you have come back, as there is more to be done. Are you ready to carry out her will?”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “I am. What is it that Anashti Sul asks of me?”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “I have spoken to Sai’lis Ka’shish – the one you knew as Curys Kasin. He spoke of a prophet of Rodcet Nife, one known as Seeress Ealaynya Ithis. She was the first to receive the visions of the Prime Healer, and was the first to announce his return.”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “What does that have to do with us?”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “She met her untimely end recently, and was laid to rest in a tomb underneath the Temple of Life by the Celestial Watch. A new prophet has taken her place, and is spreading the lies of the Prime Healer to the people of Qeynos.”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “What should we do about it, then?”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “While we are not in a position to deal with the new prophet as of now, we might be able to learn more about the Prime Healer from the Seeress herself.”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “How can we do that? She is no longer among the living.”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “Anashti Sul’s power is not limited to the living. Her gifts can be granted to all, live or dead. Although the Seeress might have once followed the weak god Rodcet Nife, she will see the light once the gift of Anashti Sul is given to her — it is impossible not to.”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “Very well then, but why do we need this information? What can she give to us?”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “Her visions might provide insight into the reasons of Rodcet Nife’s return. Coming back now was indeed quite timely… if Rodcet Nife had not come back now, then the Plane of Health — the rightful home of Anashti Sul — would have been vacant when she came back. We need to know if the gods are once again conspiring against Anashti Sul now that her return is imminent.”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “I see. How will we do that, now that she has been laid to rest in the tomb?”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “First, you will need to bring her the grace of Anashti Sul — the Gift of Waking Dream. This will not only give her the spark of life once again, but also allow her to see the world as it truly is… and to experience the love of Anashti Sul firsthand. With that, it’s likely she will be willing – even eager – to supply you with the information you need.”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “How do I get the Gift of Waking Dream, then?”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “You will need to create it once again, as there are no more vials of it left in Norrath, and haven’t been in many ages. It is the pure essence of life, combined with the lucid dreams of those not clouded by the complexities of their own everyday lives. With those things, you can create the Gift once again.”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “Where will I find these things?”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “Luckily, there is a place where all of these exist within close proximity to each other. The Enchanted Lands teem with the essence of life within them, the most concentrated of which is found in a flower known as Karana’s begonia — a flower completely indigenous to the Enchanted Lands. You will also need the nectar of life, which is some of the purest water found in all of Norrath. You can use this vial to gather the waters of the Lazy Drain, which runs through the Enchated Lands.”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “What about the lucid dreams you mentioned?”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “That will be quite easy as well. The corrupted halflings found in the Enchanted Lands are completely in the service of the Overseer, no longer concerned with their day to day lives. They are in pure bliss, under his command and not burdened by their own clouded thoughts. Gather some of their blood, which will be the final ingredient in this mixture of the Gift.”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “Will that be it?”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “For now. Give the Seeress the Gift of Waking Dream, and listen carefully to what she says. If she reports anything worth investigating, then see what you can find. Return to me once you have answers for us.”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “I will. Farewell for now.”

From here, you pick flowers, fill a vile with water and slaughter a bunch of Halflings, all in the Enchanted Lands…then you head to the Tomb of the Seeress, just outside of North Qeynos in Antonica. After locating the seeress’ resting place in the tomb, you slip her corpse the Gift of Waking Dream…and she is transformed into a not very lovely (but very TALL) zombie, complete with swarming flies.

You say, “Hail, Seeress Ealaynya Ithis”

Seeress Ealaynya Ithis says to you, “…Rodcet Nife… his voice is silent… where is Rodcet Nife…?”

You say to Seeress Ealaynya Ithis, “As he did once before Seeress, Rodcet Nife has abandoned the ones who trusted him, and allowed you to die. It is Anashti Sul that provides you once again with life, who embraces you when you have been lost.”

Seeress Ealaynya Ithis says to you, “Anash…ti Sul? Anashti Sul… has saved me?”

You say to Seeress Ealaynya Ithis, “Indeed. And now, she needs your help. She needs to know more about Rodcet Nife. Why has Rodcet Nife returned to Norrath? What has brought him back?”

Seeress Ealaynya Ithis says to you, “I… do as Anashti Sul says… I will tell… you. Rodcet… Nife… seeks Berto… xxulous. He returns… to coun…ter the actions of… Bertoxxu… lous. To bring… health… to the diseased.”

You say to Seeress Ealaynya Ithis, “What about the Plane of Health? Did he not come back to take the Plane of Health from Anashti Sul?”

Seeress Ealaynya Ithis says to you, “Rodcet… Nife… never spoke of Anashti Sul… to me. He seeks… Bertoxxulous… the Plague… bringer… his enemy.”

You say to Seeress Ealaynya Ithis, “Hmm… the Plaguebringer. It might be worth finding more information about Bertoxxulous as well. Any potential enemy of Anashti Sul is worth learning more about.”

Seeress Ealaynya Ithis says to you, “What… of me? What does… Anashti Sul want… of me?”

You say to Seeress Ealaynya Ithis, “You have done well. From here, go forth and preach the word of Anashti Sul where you once spoke of Rodcet Nife. You have led and inspired people once before, and can do so again. Once the people see that Anashti Sul has given you life once again, they are certain to see the light of her love for mortals.”

Seeress Ealaynya Ithis says to you, “Yes… Anashti Sul… loves us. Cares… for us… Anashti Sul…”

You say to Seeress Ealaynya Ithis, “I leave you now to carry out your task. Anashti Sul will be watching over you, Seeress.”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “I have discovered that Rodcet Nife seems to be unaware of the return of Anashti Sul, or at least was at one point. His primary concern was to counter the Plaguebringer, Bertoxxulous.”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “Ah, the repulsive Bertoxxulous. Rodcet Nife has never been strong enough to destroy him, and has, in fact, been bested by his adversary in the past. Only Anashti Sul has the knowledge and ability to truthfully wipe disease from Norrath, erasing Bertoxxulous’s power forever.”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “I have even collected information on Bertoxxulous, from one of his followers from the long past. I thought this might be useful to Anashti Sul, to prepare her with knowledge on the activities and nature of her new enemy.”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “Ah, well done! Through my communions with her, she will learn more about this foul enemy and those that follow him. You have done well, and have earned a rest. Go in the name of Anashti Sul, and return to me another time. You have proven yourself worthy and able, and I will call on you once again. Farewell.”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “Praise to Anashti Sul. I will return once again.”

You say, “Hail, Plumetor Dul’Sadma”

Dul’Sadma says to you, “Ah, you couldn’t have come at a better time. Anashti Sul has sent me a task once again, and there is no one more able to carry out her commands than you. Are you ready?”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “Of course I am. Tell me of your visions.”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “Anashti Sul is not pleased with the state of Norrath as it is. Not only has a weak god taken over her precious Plane of Health, but has also allowed a deity of disease to spread pox and pestilence throughout Norrath. And as you discovered, Bertoxxulous even poisoned all of the Thundering Steppes at one time! Rodcet Nife has proven to be nothing short of a failure!”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “I couldn’t agree more. What should we do about it?”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “We can do little directly, but Anashti Sul will work to protect us against these threats to the mortals of Norrath. To do that, she will require her army, and this is where we come in.”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “What must we do?”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “The Sul’Dal elves of the Sinking Sands were once the followers of Anashti Sul, the first to discover the truth of her love for us after she was banished, in spite of the attempts of the jealous gods to erase her memory and deeds forever. Even as they have passed into history, the Sul’Dal still follow her vehemently, and would willingly march as an undying army, should she call. You must find the spiritual leader of the Sul’Dal, and tell her that Anashti Sul calls to her people once again.”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “I will carry out Anashti Sul’s wishes. Is there more I can do?”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “As a matter of fact, there is. Anashti Sul spoke to me of another army, one that she amassed in the confines of the Void during her imprisonment there. With her connection to the Void severed, they cannot follow her to this world, and thus cannot fight with her. She says that other members of this race have found their way into Norrath, and have established conduits that they might pass through. We must collect these reality anchors from these pockets, so that Anashti Sul might be able to create one of these dimensional rifts herself, allowing her army to pass through as she commands.”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “I will go to prepare her armies, then. I will return once I have carried out her wishes.”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “You are proving to be quite the industrious little feather. Go now, and I await your return.”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “Until we meet again.”

The spiritual leader of the Sul’Dal is found in the Sinking Sands:

You say, “Hail, Celistae d’Galdis”

Celistae d’Galdis says to you, “I hear…I hear a faint voice, lost to me in the billowing sands of time. It sounds so close, but so faint at the same time…”

You say to Celistae d’Galdis, “Do you recognize it? Do you recognize the voice of Anashti Sul?”

Celistae d’Galdis says to you, “Anashti Sul? Can it be? Can it be that the Forgotten Goddess is found once again?”

You say to Celistae d’Galdis, “It is true. She is coming back, and she seeks to pass the word to those who have proven faithful. She is looking to rally the Sul’Dal elves under her wings, so that they might march forth as part of her army on Norrath.”

Celistae d’Galdis says to you, “To serve Anashti Sul… to finally carry out the deed we waited so long for, carrying her word and her gifts as our sword and our shields. We have waited for this day for many lifetimes.”

You say to Celistae d’Galdis, “Anashti Sul will be pleased. The Sul’Dal have proven eternal followers and faithful believers in her power, and will certainly be well rewarded on her return.”

Celistae d’Galdis says to you, “I will enter the Silent City, and begin spreading the message there. I will need your help in the Sinking Sands, however.”

You say to Celistae d’Galdis, “Oh? What can I do to assist you?”

Celistae d’Galdis says to you, “Many of our warriors have been lost to the sands, wandering forever, separated from their bodies. You must locate these disembodied spirits and reunite them with their bodies, so that they might be whole once again. They have undoubtedly heard the voice of Anashti Sul as well, and will be eager to serve her on her return.”

You say to Celistae d’Galdis, “I will find these disembodied spirits and lead them back to their bodies. Farewell to you.”

After reuniting the spirits with their bodies, it is off to the Obelisk of Lost Souls to collect the anchors, and then it is back to the Sands once again….

You say, “Hail, Plumetor Dul’Sadma”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “You make Anashti Sul proud, little feather. Please tell me you bring me good news.”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “I do. I have brought the word of Anashti Sul to the Sul’Dal elves, who, as we speak, are rallying themselves in preparation for her return. I have also collected the reality anchors and rift essences that allowed a group of shadowed men to maintain a link to Norrath. Hopefully, these will allow Anashti Sul to create such a pocket, herself, to bring her army through.”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “Very well done, little feather! With her armies on the ready, Anashti Sul will be ready for war, if she is forced into it — or if she chooses to march against the Plaguebringer or even Rodcet Nife, himself. They will see her terrifying power first hand, and woe be to any who choose to stand in her way.”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “What else should we do to prepare?”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “Nothing for now. I will pray for more guidance, and will let you know if there is more to be done. This could take some time, so please go out in her name for now. Be ready to come if she should call.”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “I will. Farewell to you for now.”

You say, “Hail, Plumetor Dul’Sadma”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “Your timing is quite impeccable, little feather. Once again, it is time to work on Anashti Sul’s behalf, and you are the one to carry out the deed.”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “I have been waiting for her call. What is it we must do for her?”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “Anashti Sul is ready to make her return to Norrath, and she is preparing to take back the Plane of Health, as it is rightfully hers. However, she has mentioned something troubling… something that has even angered her.”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “What is it that she found?”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “The Ewer of Sul’Dae, her precious artifact, has been destroyed, and the pieces removed from the temple of the Fountain of Life! It no longer funnels the power of the Fyr’Un as it once did, and the River of Life is dwindling down to nothing. Without that artifact, Anashti Sul will have a far more difficult time claiming what is rightfully hers.”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “Is there a way to repair the Ewer of Sul’Dae? Is there nothing we can do?”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “I have sent out other members of the Fellowship in search of the shards of the Ewer of Sul’Dae. If what I am hearing is true, then it might be that the dark elves of Neriak have collected the pieces in a foolish attempt to repair it and harness the power for themselves.”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “Should we go in and retrieve it then?”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “First, marching into the home of the Teir’Dal and attempting to remove something by force would certainly prove deadly to any who tried such a thing. Secondly, you might be underestimating the size of the Ewer of Sul’Dae… there is no way you could lift it or even move it yourself.”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “So what can we do, then?”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “Anashti Sul is close enough now that her power can return the Ewer if we can empower it once again. To do that, we will need to collect waters from the River of Life, the Fyr’Un. If we return the waters of the Fyr’Un to the Ewer, then Anashti Sul can use her connection to the Ewer to move it herself.”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “Where is the water we need, then?”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “It is within the Living Tombs. You’ll need the purest of these, from a pool known as the Pool of Immortality. Take this vial and fill it with the water from that pool. It is found on top of the central building in the Trade District there. Collect that water and find where the Ewer is being kept in Neriak.”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “I will. I shall return once Anashti Sul has reclaimed the Ewer for herself.”

After entering the Living Tombs and filling the vial with water from the Pool of Immortality, it is time to go to Neriak…

You say, “Hail Sharnar D’Zauer”

Sharnar D’Zauer says to you, “Welcome to the halls of the Dark Bargainers. Deals can be made here for most anything you might be searching for.”

You say to Sharnar D’Zauer, “That’s good to know. There is something I am looking for, something that I have a feeling I can only find here.”

Sharnar D’Zauer says to you, “Is that so? Well, if the coin is right, I’m sure something can be arranged. What might you be looking for?”

You say to Sharnar D’Zauer, “I’ve heard rumors that you might know something about the Ewer of Sul’Dae. I require that artifact, and if I must pay for it, then so be it.”

Sharnar D’Zauer says to you, “You must be joking. The Ewer is not for sale, and you couldn’t take it if you wanted to. There must be something else we can offer you… we have artifacts here from all over Norrath.”

You say to Sharnar D’Zauer, “No. I do not need any of those. I need the Ewer of Sul’Dae. Where is it?”

Sharnar D’Zauer says to you, “You fool. Where do you think you are? You can’t just walk into here and begin making demands of the Tier’Dal. It won’t end well for you at all.”

You say to Sharnar D’Zauer, “Perhaps, perhaps not. But I have the power of Anashti Sul behind me, and I am prepared to die in her service, if need be. However, regardless of the outcome for me, you will not survive if things should turn bloody. I am prepared to lose my life in search of the Ewer… are you prepared to lose your life to protect it?”

Sharnar D’Zauer says to you, “I should call the guard right now…!”

You say to Sharnar D’Zauer, “Do it. See the truth of my words. But I will find the Ewer, either with your help or after I separate your head from your shoulders. The choice is yours, but I grow impatient.”

Sharnar D’Zauer says to you, “Prepared to die for the Ewer? Well, you’d better be. Fine then. It isn’t like you will make it to the Ewer, anyway. None can even approach the workshop where it is now.”

You say to Sharnar D’Zauer, “Workshop? You mean it has been repaired?”

Sharnar D’Zauer says to you, “Indeed, it has been. However, it might have been the worst mistake ever make by the Dark Bargainers in our long history.”

You say to Sharnar D’Zauer, “How so?”

Sharnar D’Zauer says to you, “Bah, find out for yourself, follower of Anashti Sul. If you want the Ewer so bad, then go fetch it. We’ve hidden the tunnel to the workshop behind a tapestry just down the path there, next to the ogre stand right below us. Go ahead and claim the Ewer… if you can.”

You say to Sharnar D’Zauer, “Wasn’t that far easier? I will worry about the Ewer, you worry about your own hide once the Queen finds out that you’ve given up one of her secrets. Farewell to you.”

Sharnar D’Zauer says, “Certain… complications arose while the Ewer of Sul’Dae was being reconstructed. Some of the inhabitants that you speak with here may not be as they appear.”

A stroll through the workshop eventually leads to the Ewer, which Anashti Sul can now claim. It is back to the Sands. Again.

You say, “Hail, Plumetor Dul’Sadma”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “…”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “I’m sorry to interrupt your meditation, but I have good news. I have returned the waters of the Fyr’Un to the Ewer of Sul’Dae, and witnessed it vanish before my very eyes.”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “Ah, that is good news. That means that Anashti Sul has claimed her precious artifact, and is now prepared to materialize in our world. You have done well, little feather… very well indeed.”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “Thank you, Plumetor Dul’Sadma. Is there anything I need to do now?”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “Not now. I’m sorry to be so brief, but I must continue my communion with Anashti Sul. She is close… so very close…”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “I understand, and I will go for now. I will return another time.”

You say, “Hail, Plumetor Dul’Sadma”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “I have been awaiting your return.”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “I am pleased to serve Anashti Sul once more, if needed. What can I do?”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “Anashti Sul is prepared to return to Norrath, but is trapped in between the Void and Norrath. We must help guide her through, help her to materialize in our world.”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “What does she require of us?”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “We must perform an ancient rite… one forgotten to time, to all save one god, one who has collected the knowledge of all the ages past. It is in an ancient tome that existed even before Anashti Sul was banished. You must find this tome and follow the ritual that it details.”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “Very well, then. Where can I find this tome?”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “It is likely within a city that once hid the secrets of Zebuxoruuk himself, the Forbidden City. You will need to find the tome within its halls, and follow the instructions of the rite to help Anashti Sul return to her rightful home.”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “Where will I perform this rite?”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “Do it within the one temple that still stands in her honor, the Fountain of Life. It is there that the Ewer now sits, and there where she can gather her power in solitude.”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “The Fountain of Life? Isn’t that within the Silent City?”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “It is. However, Anashti Sul is awaiting your arrival, and the way will be clear. Simply enter the Silent City from the entrance within the Sinking Sands, and you will be granted passage to the Fountain of Life this one time to perform the rite.”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “Anashti Sul is always looking out for us. It is an honor to serve her.”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “Indeed it is. Now, find that tome, and enter the Fountain of Life as instructed. You are very lucky indeed — you will be the first of the mortals to witness Anashti Sul as she returns to Norrath. How very incredible that would be!”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “I am looking forward to greeting her on her return, then. Farewell for now.”

So it is off to Mara and the Forbidden City, where the book is retrieved, which instructs you to gather the blood of those “borne of the Ewer” which are clearly ghouls and vampires way over in the Loping Plains. This is, of course, needed for the ritual. After all is collected, it is then back to the Living Tombs, this time to the Empowered Fountain of Life. The rite is performed and the Avatar appears.

You say, “Hail, Avatar of the Forgotten”

Avatar of the Forgotten says to you, “At long last! After so many millennia… I feel the power of the living mortals of Norrath surge through my being! I have returned from the edge of non-existence!”

You say to Avatar of the Forgotten, “Anashti Sul! Long has Norrath awaited this moment! The Forgotten Goddess is lost to us no more!”

Avatar of the Forgotten says to you, “Ah, Lodge. I have heard much of you, and the work you have done with Plumetor Dul’Sadma on my behalf.”

You say to Avatar of the Forgotten, “I have. I have done everything that was asked of me in your name, and your name alone!”

Avatar of the Forgotten says to you, “And you will be rewarded for your efforts, be certain of that. You have brought together my followers, rallied my armies, and even assisted me in returning the Ewer of Sul’Dae to its rightful home in this very temple, once again feeding the waters of the Fyr’Un. Yes… yes, you are quite the useful mortal, are you not?”

You say to Avatar of the Forgotten, “Thank you, my lady. I have dedicated myself to serving only you. What will you do now that you have returned?”

Avatar of the Forgotten says to you, “Hmm… I do not feel the presence of Xul’Varien, but instead I sense this new being — Bertoxxulous, if I have heard correctly, who is evidently the new Lord of Pestilence. I will be watching that one carefully. However, I have a more pressing matter at hand, which is the one who replaced me, Rodcet Nife.”

You say to Avatar of the Forgotten, “What is your plan?”

Avatar of the Forgotten says to you, “My plan, in simplest terms, is to retake the Plane of Health, which I created from my own essence! How dare Rodcet Nife take my home as if it were his own! It will be sweet justice when I wrest it from his hands using such a familiar army, and show those foolish enough to follow him who the true deity of life is!”

You say to Avatar of the Forgotten, “What can we do to help you?”

Avatar of the Forgotten says to you, “For now, I will gather my strength and prepare my armies. However, I want you and Plumetor Dul’Sadma to announce my return to the followers of Rodcet Nife. I want to tell them the truth of my word, and show them the gifts that I will bring to them. I will send the prophet to speak on my behalf, but I want you to gather my gifts.”

You say to Avatar of the Forgotten, “How can we do that?”

Avatar of the Forgotten says to you, “Here. Take this, and find followers of Rodcet Nife out in the hills of Antonica. Give them my Gift, and they will join the prophet in her declaration of my return. Once you have completed your task, meet up with the prophet just outside the Temple of Life. She will provide you with further instructions from there.”

You say to Avatar of the Forgotten, “I will do as you command.”

Avatar of the Forgotten says to you, “I know you will. You have done very well, and your deeds will not be forgotten. Now go. I have much to attend to.”

You say to Avatar of the Forgotten, “As you wish. Farewell.”

Having been given the a decanter of blessed Fyr`Un water, it is off to Antonica to turn followers of Nife into followers of Anashti Sul – the water turns them into mildly intelligent zombies…a conversation can be held with them. More or less. And so it is time to rendezvous outside of the Temple of Life in North Freeport. Accompanying Plumetor Dul`Sadma are the 5 ex-Nife followers that are now zombies.

You say, “Hail, Plumetor Dul’Sadma”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “Ah, little feather. I am glad to see you here. We are within the lion’s den, as it were, ready to bring the message of Anashti Sul directly to the followers of her rival, Rodcet Nife.”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “Indeed, and I am ready. What must we do?”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “Anashti Sul herself has asked that I deliver her message, but I cannot enter the grounds near the Temple of Life without bringing the attention of the guards in the temple. That might end poorly for us, indeed.”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “How can I help, then?”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “You might be able to enter the Temple of Life without arousing too much suspicion. Go into the temple itself and look for a way to create a distraction. If the guards rush you, defeat them. That should create enough of a diversion that I can enter the grounds and deliver the message as commanded.”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “How will you get out?”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “Do not worry about that — I will take care of it. Now go and return once the diversion is done.”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “I will return soon.”

You say, “Hail, Plumetor Dul’Sadma”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “Is it done? Is it safe to enter?”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “Yes. I have created a sufficient diversion that should tie up the guards for a few minutes at least. Now is the time to move.”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “Very good, little feather. Please feel free to accompany me if you would like to watch the show, or make your way out of here… it’s up to you, as your part in this is done. Head to the Sinking Sands, and I will speak to you in our usual place.”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “Thank you, Plumetor Dul’Sadma. And farewell.”

The entourage walks straight into the courtyard of the Temple of Life (this was neat, imo). Time for a stump speech!

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says, “Greetings, followers of the one known as Rodcet Nife! Do not be alarmed. I am here only to speak the truth to you!”

Disciple Telas`velle says, “By the Gods! What has happened to those people? ”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says, “I am here to guide you from your unenlightened path! I am here to deliver you the message of the true Goddess of Life, the one who rightfully rules the Plane of Health and has worked for the benefit of mortals in the past!”

Murgen says, “Anashti Sul… she is the true one…”

Jeizin says, “Anashti Sul… is… Life…”

Toranim Skyblade says, “What is this heresy?! ”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says, “You pay homage to a “god” who promises you health and life, but what has he brought you? Can you not still die? Are there loved ones who do not still get sick?”

Liyah says, “Never… die…”

Gerehmie says, “No sick… ness…”

Prelate Lorhym Ithpsym says, “Rodcet Nife is a beacon of light in this world! Through his teachings, we can fight the horrors of disease and pestilence, but none can hold back death forever! That is foolishness!”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says, “Ah, but there is one who can, and who has introduced her gifts to us in the past! Imagine living eternally, without fear of the blackness of death! You can truly live forever under her wing, free from disease, free from oblivion!”

Curlose says, “Eternally…”

Murgen says, “Live… forever…”

Gerehmie says, “Be… with us…”

Prelate Lorhym Ithpsym says, “What — as one of THOSE? Perish that thought! That is not existence! It is servitude!”

Medic Brendan says, “What you offer is worse than death itself!”

Ethri Vasou says, “Lies!! That’s all you speak!”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says, “See? You are so blinded by your lies that you cannot see the beauty of Anashti Sul’s gifts! You would rather follow a god who offers nothing, provides nothing, and does not work on your behalf? Anashti Sul was banished because of her love for mortals, and her efforts to share that love with you! Would Rodcet Nife face extinction to do what was best for you?”

Liyah says, “Anashti Sul loves… us…”

Jeizin says, “You… blinded…”

Toranim Skyblade says, “How did she get in here?! What is going on?”

Disciple Telas`velle says, “What did she bring to us? This?! Look upon them! They are nothing but shells! Their bodies may walk, but their eyes are lifeless! It is you who are blinded!”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says, “You will see the truth of my words in time. When you are lying on your deathbeds calling for help from your weak god, you will see just what the limits of his power are. Then… then you will beg for the gifts of Anashti Sul! Pray that she sees mercy on you before you fade into the nothingness!”

Jeizin says, “In time… in… time…”

Gerehmie says, “See… the… truth…”

Curlose says, “You will… beg…”

Ethri Vasou says, “I’ve had enough of this madness! Someone call the guard!”

Medic Brendan says, “First Bertoxxulous, and now this?”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says, “There is no need for that. I will be going, then. Think about what I’ve said, though. Your minds may be closed to the truth, but I know your hearts see differently. Seek me out when you are ready for enlightenment.”

Murgen says, “Know… the truth…”

Gerehmie says, “Not… ready…”

Prelate Lorhym Ithpsym says, “Go then! And take your deceitful words with you!”

Guards are coming…time to go! And so it is back to the Sands, one last time to speak to the Plumetor.

You say, “Hail, Plumetor Dul’Sadma”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “Ah! Here you are! I have been waiting for you!”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “I am glad to see you made it through your ordeal unharmed, Plumetor Dul’Sadma.”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “Of course I did. With the protection of Anashti Sul, and your help, I had more than enough time to deliver the truth of her word to the Temple of Life, and made it out without an issue. You have done very, very well.”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “Thank you again, Plumetor. Is there anything more to be done?”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “Not unless Anashti Sul calls on us again during her struggles with her enemies. Until then, we must simply spread the word of her love and her grace to the unenlightened, and continue our work in her name.”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “Then I go forth to do just that.”

Plumetor Dul’Sadma says to you, “As do I. Don’t be surprised if you hear from me again. Until then, however — Anashti Sul be with you, little feather.”

You say to Plumetor Dul’Sadma, “And with you. Farewell.”

Rodcet Nife

Followers of Rodcet Nife take a solemn oath to fight disease and death until one or the other finally claims them. They are very generous and humble, asking little more than the recipients of aid from them pass their kindness onto another. They are not content to deal with the effects of disease and death after they occur and vigorously seek to destroy the sources of these evils. Healers and mystics are typical followers but many noble rangers and paladins also have also taken the Nife Oath. They believe that, through faith in The Prime Healer, the wounded heart of the universe shall one day be mended and death’s dark shadow will never be seen again.

Remembering Rodcet Nife

I first saw the great healer as a young girl. I had the fortune of being there, that day, when he first came to us. I had bent down to pick up a bluebell that had grown alongside the walkway in North Qeynos, carefully extracting it as gently as I could so as not to destroy it. As I finally stood back up, I noticed not only that my mother had gone on without me, but that something peculiar was happening. Around me, people were frozen, gazes fixed on the sky. I craned my head upward, searching for what it was that they were all looking at. It was only later that I would realize I had dropped the bluebell I’d spent so long trying to preserve; when my eyes fixed on the focus of their curiosity, I had dropped it, forgetting it had even existed.

Just above me, a perfectly circular object descended from the sky, spinning on its axis. Blue light streamed down from its bottom in a shaft, searching the course of its descent. It was capped in an iridescent dome and made sounds unlike any creature I’d ever seen. At first, that’s what my child’s mind thought it might be: a mockery of a flying beast, terrible in its extreme mutation. It came to rest some twenty feet above the ground, directly above my head, and when people appeared suddenly in that shaft of light below it, I thought maybe they were jumping out of its mouth. It was only later when I went inside that I realized it was some kind of craft, like a coach, but one that could fly.
When the blue shaft vanished and the people came to full view, I found them to be neither human, nor elf, nor goblin, nor ogre, nor anything else I could name. One stood at the front of the group, nearest to me, and his eyes were deep green, pupil-less orbs, his skin a pale green, and hairless. He stepped forward, and the crowd inhaled sharply. He was only a hairsbreadth from me now and he leaned down so that he could peer in my eyes. I even remember that he smelled different, like nothing I could name, but it wasn’t unpleasant — no, I remember thinking it was a very fresh smell, like clean blankets. When he spoke, I couldn’t understand what he said, and I merely stared up at him with a mixture of curiosity and terror. He seemed to wiggle something near his ear, and then when he spoke, I heard clearly:
“Is there disease here? Has the Xulous force reached this world?”
It was as if speaking broke the spell. Some people panicked, running from the sight, while others drew swords and nocked their arrows. Still others yelled that we should talk because he had come to save us, for as it happened disease had swept through a neighboring region and claimed lives with the unbiased carnage of a great fire. By then though, my mother found me and swept me up into her arms, holding me to her chest tightly and backing away. I watched the man as she went, and he watched me, the bottomless depth of his eyes unmoved. I lifted a hand and waved to him, and he smiled and waved back. Turning to the crowd, he said, “Please don’t be afraid! I’ve brought medicine! I’m here to help you, not hurt you!” As my mother drew me further and further away, his words were drowned in the roar of the crowd, but I still remember his face, so many years later. A face I would later come to know as that of a god.

And help he did. It took time but eventually they routed this force he was pursuing, the “Xulous”, and healed those who were still alive. Those who were there say he performed great miracles, that he was able to bring people back from the very edge of death so that they walked and talked as healthy individuals once again. My mother would later boast about how we had been there, forgetting of course, that it was she who drew us away, and about how I was the first person he ever spoke to. In doing so, she maintained, he had bestowed on me his blessing of perfect health. This seemed plausible enough until a few years later I fell into a deep sickness, not the plague that had ravished us but an equally dangerous malady. It seemed I was done, but the great healer was to visit me for the second and final time.

The plague had been overcome, and the god had been occupying himself spreading his wisdom to our people. He had already earned himself scores of followers, and they were building a temple in Qeynos where he had touched down. We had learned his name was Rodcet Nife, and people had begun to worship that name. As it happened, he returned to Qeynos just as it seemed I was going to finally lose my fight for life. When he came into my room, my vision was so blurry I could barely make out his face, but the smell was unmistakable. He leaned over and tipped a crystal vial into my mouth. I remembered that clearly — the vial — because later people would attest it had all been holy magic, but as I understand it, magic is an ethereal thing and this was very much tangible. I felt it roll down my throat; it was thick and unpleasant tasting, but instantly I began to grow better. It would be weeks before I had fully recovered, but that was the moment in which I stopped feeling myself slip away, and started feeling myself return.
Stowing the vial back into a pouch at his side, a pouch that had become as legendary as its owner with its ability to produce whatever was needed for a given patient, he smoothed back my hair and said, “You should feel better soon,” before leaving for the door. My mother followed him in tears, praising him and begging him to let her give him something in return. He only waved her away, and that made her cry all the harder.

As I understand it, it was later that very day that Rodcet and his companions had vanished. In the newly anointed Temple of Life, his followers awaited his return and taught the world of the wisdom he had left them.
I am a very old woman now, and have only ever heard rumors that Rodcet might have once again appeared on Norrath. Were it that I were a long-living elf and might actually live to see him again, but I am a human and my years are done now. I can only count as many as I have because of him, though, and I remember that every week’s end with a small donation to the Temple of Life. He will return, I am sure of it, and when he does, Norrath will be a world free of the suffering of disease and decay.

– Alora Nimens, resident of Qeynos

A Leaflet

RODCET NIFE The Prime Healer Rodcet Nife is the sustainer of life. He is the air which we breathe and the rhythm of our hearts. He is the glory of life itself. From his throne in his iron temple high in the Plane of Health he commands you. He commands you to live!! Do not ignore his call. Stand upon your feet and walk to his glorious temple in Qeynos. Walk to the Temple of Life and celebrate the Prime Healer. The glory and perfection of life is ours to cherish and defend. Join us. We are already one with him.

The Hole Uncovered: Elementals Attack Vol. II

“Suddenly, Al’Kabor found his feet had sunk into the ground a good foot or so and he was unable to walk. Surrounding him on four sides were small creatures that appeared to be made of earth itself. They grabbed at his robes and began pummeling him with their fists of rock and dirt. Without even thinking, blinded by the sheer audacity of these creatures to even dare assault the mighty Al’Kabor and dirty his best robe, he begun to summon forth the magical energy to unleash his wrath upon these creatures. The small elementals, standing no taller then the shortest halfling, were each blasted to bits by the sheer power of the energy released in all directions by the mighty wizard. Clods of dirt and pebbles flying through the air were the only evidence that the creatures were even there a moment before. “”Why are these elementals all over the place?”” He pulled his feet free from the ground and walked over to a cleric of Rodcet Nife who was tending to another victim of the elemental attack who faired far worse then the wizard. He asked, “”You! Cleric! Did these elementals rise from the ground or did somebody summon all of these?”” The cleric finished bandaging the wounded traveler and said hurriedly, “”Sir, I have no idea. Excuse me, many are hurt or in peril from this attack. I must take my leave.”” Al’Kabor shouted to no one in particular, “”Bah! I’d gather more information from a wall then I would from you people!”” He continued to walk up the stone path. Here and there earth elementals were assaulting folks outside the city in the hills of Qeynos. The Jagged Pine Treefolk from Surefall Glade were on full alert. The rangers and druids that called the glade home were doing their best to stem the tide of the elemental invasion. Wandering the hills, Al’Kabor walked about blasting any elemental he came across to kingdom come. He did this not in defense of the hills nor for any sort of loyalty to the fine city of Qeynos but more in retaliation for his days of lost work and as therapy for the general feeling of rage and displeasure he was experiencing. Today was not a good day at all and it was about to get much worse. “