Category Archives: Shissar

The Scepter of Shadows


You say, ‘Hail, A shimmering presence’

A shimmering presence’s voice invades your mind, drawing images of past present and future together into a perverse harmony. Some images you recognize as your own, but the others seem to be coming from the spirit’s own [memories].’

You say, ‘What memories?’

A shimmering presence begins to glow a bit brighter. Your mind is filled with visions of a great swirl of clouds and lightning. You can almost feel the wind of the storm creeping into the chinks in your armor. It looks as if the storm is creeping across the surface of Luclin. You see several figures standing at the entrance of a [great temple]. The storm seems to be bearing down on them.’

You say, ‘What great temple?’

A shimmering presence continues to flood your mind with images of the storm bearing down on the temple. Your view suddenly shifts. You’re still looking at the storm, but it appears to be moving toward you this time. There is a creature beside you wearing a robe, holding a scepter in one of his…four arms! He is obviously the leader of the group, As he is wearing beautiful [ornate robes] compared to the rest of the four armed figures around you.

You say, ‘What ornate robes?’

A shimmering presence glows brighter still as your vision turns to follow the robed figure up the stairs of the entrance to the temple. The figure raises his scepter toward the storm and begins to recite some unfamiliar words. A crackle of magical energy blazes across the sky seemingly in defiance of the raging storm. The energy quickly dissipates however, and the storm continues to bear down on the temple. The figure cries out in pain as the scepter in his hand shatters into many shards. The sofly glowing gem from the scepter head rolls silently down the steps and disappears.

A shimmering presence begins to quiver and shake. The formless entity appears to grow and shrink in complete disregard to natural laws. The light in the temple around you appears to slowly dim until you are surrounded by an impenetrable cloak of shadows. Fear grips your heart as your vision slowly adapts to accommodate the low light. When you can finally make out the figure before you, you find yourself silently praying for the darkness to return.

You say, ‘Hail, The Spirit of Akelha`Ra’

The Spirit of Akelha`Ra ‘s hollow eyes look up at you. You have the distinct impression that she can see right into the darkest shadows of your soul. She opens her mouth to speak but the sounds you hear come from inside your mind. ‘Greetings mortal, thank you for releasing me from my [tormented prison].’

You say, ‘What tormented prison?’

The Spirit of Akelha`Ra appears to be fading in and out of existence as you speak to her. The spirit’s voice fills your mind. ‘I am Akelha`Ra, once high priestess of Luclin and leader of the Akheva. This form you see before you now is a fading remnant of my former existence. The storm was the cause of my imprisonment in the world of undying [spirits].’

You say, ‘What spirits?’

The Spirit of Akelha`Ra says ‘We Akheva are immortal entities placed in this plane by the mistrees of shadow. We are her most perfect creation. Death has no meaning to us, as even in death we find rebirth through the power of the mistress. My imprisonment was caused by my seperation from the power of the mistress by [Atenha`Ra]. It was she who sent the storm to destroy me and all that followed me.’

You say, ‘Who is Atenha`Ra?’

The Spirit of Akelha`Ra says ‘It is more then a little ironic that Atenha`Ra is a reflection of myself. An entity created from my own consciousness, a reflection of a shadow. She now holds the seat of grand power in [Vex Thal], and I have not the power to gain entry to the city, let alone face her. You must find my scepter that was lost in the storm to gain entry to Vex Thal. The scepter has likely lost much of its power from being shattered. Once it is reassembled you will need to merge a Orb of Luclinite with a source of celestial power inside the scepter. The spirits whisper that the emperor of the Shissar holds the power to manipulate such energy. Be weary of him, he is heralded as the slayer of gods, the defiler of realities.’

You say, ‘What of Vex Thal?’

The Spirit of Akelha`Ra says ‘Vex Thal is the sacred home of the Akheva. The place where Luclin’s power directly touches this world…ungh…I can not summon the frame of my scepter in my current weakened state. I need a soul to regain my pow…’ As she speaks you can see her slowly fade out of existence. You wonder how long her spirit will stay with this world. She seems entirely unable to speak to you now, and can only muster the strength to point at the ground at ______’s feet. ______ reaches down a picks up a small emerald off the ground, but it disappears silently into the shadows. Akelha`ra looks as if she is trying to speak again.’

You say, ‘What frame of your scepter?’

The Spirit of Akelha`Ra opens her mouth to speak, but the voice in your head is no longer audible. You reach forward to touch the fading shadow of a creature and draw back in horror as your hand disrupts the spirit before you. She evaporates into the shadows once more.

The Spirit of Akelha`Ra laughs quietly as the energy of the gem is absorbed into her being. She begins to chant in what you presume to be Akhevan. She suddenly cries out in pain and her image begins to flicker. She looks at ______ directly in the eyes and says, ‘Vyanemis Tuis, use my gift wisely.’ She disappears into the black marble leaving only a dark scepter frame lying on the floor. ______ picks it up.

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Paying Homage to the Past


Untold ages ago, the Faceless One, Cazic-Thule, placed us upon the lands of Kunark. Scattered and unlearned, we were enslaved by the terrible snake-like Shissar with their curses and wicked enchantments! At last one day the skies opened up and the sacred Green Mist delivered us from our enemies. Unaffected by the mist, we watched as our captors melted away. In the midst of a cacophony of screams of terror and anguish the iksar were freed. Today we remember the destruction of our oppressors by desecrating an article of their creation.

Over the centuries, many tribal states were established as we spread across Kunark. It was one iksar, Venril Sathir, whose knowledge of battle and necromancy allowed him to conquer and annex all the tribe-states. Using the might of the united tribes and the slaves of conquered lesser races, the mighty fortress of Sebilis was built. Imposing and beautiful, Sebilis was a place of learning and lore where for many long years we honed our skills and thrived. Under Sathir’s rule as the first King of Sebilis, he established the great Sebilisian Empire. The jealous dragons, however, saw our greatness and knew we posed a threat to them.

The meddling dragon known as Trakanon was not content to leave us alone. Through his treachery, he turned our servants against us and led a group of his kind to Sebilis and destroyed it! Many iksar were slain then and we honor them by lighting a funeral pyre from the remains of iksar slain in these times.

During the time of the Rending our beloved Kunark was beset by terrible earthquakes and the Lake of Ill Omen flooded the city of Cabilis. It was during these times that a large sailing vessel carrying many of our kind to lands far away was smashed by a massive wave. Many survived this tragedy by swimming to the shores of a nearby island.

For nearly a year the survivors lived on that island until the Overlord caught wind of their presence. After a series of fierce battles he captured the survivors, brought them back to Freeport and tried to enslave them! Years passed, but despite the Overlord’s best efforts, he could not break their spirits.

As the Rallosian army spread across all of Norrath, the Overlord knew he could not repel these aggressors without our help. In exchange for our freedom, we fought valiantly alongside Freeport’s own army and crushed the Rallosians with the help of the same Green Mist that had killed our former oppressors, the Shissar! Today we remember our brief captivity and toss the Overlord’s tools of oppression to the bottom of the sea, where they can never be used to hinder the mighty iksar.

Beyond the Rune


Notes by Lord Rikantus Everling
The greatest prisons are those we make for ourselves. My prison begins with my love of my daughters. My beloved daughters have been slaughtered by the accursed guardians that once cared for them. These six were once bound to my family by their curse, but the stench of betrayal is strong within this manor and such villainy soon sets into all who dwell within. Betrayal became necessary to acquire the wondrous artifacts of my family and betrayal will tear us apart and piece us back together in the shape of blasphemy.

My daughters have been cut and my sentries have fallen to blades. In this bloodbath I am imprisoned, never able to leave. No door could be opened, no window broken down. How such magic could be wielded by Pelleas is beyond my understanding. But there I found myself, alone in a house of death. But I am an Everling and the gift of the occult is my trade. I can find a way to save my daughters because I have studied with the House of Varsoon and have heard the name of Ethernere.

Ethernere is said to be a place where the dead go before they are allowed into the eternal halls of the pantheons. It is not a plane as we know planes to be. This is a dimension, a realm that exists all around us, in this space and not. Here in Ethernere is where I knew I could find my daughters and return them to the land of the living. I raced to gather my research notes taken from my time with Varsoon. These notes will craft my path and allow me to rescue my beloved daughters.

Key among Varsoon’s research was the ancient rune. It had no name, for it existed long before names. It was an ancient whisper from times unknown, but it is what he believes to be the first key to Ethernere. At the time, his goals in Ethernere were not mine, but it was a path to the unknown, the stock of my trade. We studied notes and studied the rune, a peculiar glyph rules by what looked like two intersecting triangles. Eventually, this time of research ended in failure, or so I thought. Reports soon told me that Varsoon lied and he had breached the barricades of Ethernere.

That was then and now I am placed within the blood soaked castle. It was at this time that I knew my notes could be deciphered and a way to Ethernere could be made. If I could reach such a place then I could retrieve the souls of my daughters before they moved on to eternal realms. Having done my studying, I realized I needed to piece my daughters back together. Employing my art in flesh constructs, I went about sewing together the parts of my beloved daughters. The creations were not as accurate as I had hoped, but would be sufficient as vessels until I could acquire new ones.

Performing the final steps of the arcane ritual, I began to realize that I am about to enter the realm between death’s door and the eternal gates. But I was wrong. The research undergone so very long ago within the Keep of Immortality was flawed. It was either flawed or Lord Varsoon had fed me lies on purpose. I believed the latter at first, but soon realized it would be near impossible to corrupt every one of my notes. Perhaps the destination was not the one we believed it to be. Perhaps is no more, as I soon learn.

Through powerful rituals I have opened a gateway to the unknown, a gateway to oblivion. I set foot upon the surface of a rock hurtling through a maelstrom of astronomical anomalies. I see the emptiness around me filled with flotsam and jetsam made of other hunks of rock. All is being sucked towards a blinding center as if we were in a universal whirlpool. The rocky moons about me seem lifeless, but the one I am atop is different. A tower rises from this lifeless rock. Could this be Ethernere and could this be the mythical Deathtoll Belltower? It was not.

The tower was crackling with arcane forces. The sound created boomed across the silence of this world, feeling as though it could destroy the ears of a god. Massive streams of energy burst out of the top of the tower and arced off into the void. I noticed something that nearly was lost among the many wonders. This place is close to the center of the vortex universe, but somehow fighting the speed of other bodies around it. I wondered if the arcs of light were anchoring it down in some fashion, anchoring it to what?

Having no where to go, I ventured forth towards the tower. The walk was much longer than I had estimated. The rocky terrain made the journey far more difficult as well. Luckily, I happened upon a stairwell. The brickwork was amazing and the minerals used unknown. I decided that the stairwell was just as safe as the tower and being so close, I descended. I may have chosen wrong, the descent was long, longer than the trek to the tower would have been. Suddenly, it ended and I found myself within a massive cavern.

Inside the titanic cavern I could see another tower far off across the uneven landscape. The air was brilliant and blue. Dazzling lights danced about this air as if they were schools of fish. I could see swirling vortices of arcane origins bursting forth from high on the cavern walls. Suddenly, I heard a rumbling sound. I hid. Peeking out from behind my rocky refuge I spotted a large lumbering beast. This beast was like a massive burly minotaur with eyes of red that pierced the darkness. I turned to sneak back up the stairwell, but there was no stairwell!

Having no where to retreat to, I was forced to trudge onward. I darted from shadow to shadow, outcropping to outcropping. I managed to elude the horned behemoths and draw closer to the tower, the only place I could see as a possible release to this mystery. Looking at the tower I noticed something very eerie etched onto its crown, the rune that brought me here! There atop this tower in a realm unknown was the same symbol that Varsoon had chased. It was this rune that brought us here, or did it call?

Varsoon and I traded knowledge gathered from history and across Norrath. We believed this to be a passage to Ethernere, but was it truly? Neither of us could say for sure unless we ever made it here, and here I am. Did Varsoon also find this place? The ethereal chain that bound me to Norrath tugged tight. I must find my answers soon or be forced to return empty handed, never seeing my beloved daughters again. I must enter the tower and find my answers if they do exist. Enter I did.

(The final page contains two sketches of two runes. They appear as follows: 1. The Rune of Ethernere – There is an image of two triangles turned upon each other and intersecting to create a diamond at the center. 2. The Rune of Sunder – There is an image of a swirling line such as a whirlpool would create when viewed overhead or a spiraled serpent. The Rune of Sunder has a hurried note scribbled in blood over it. “Look to the stone of the Shissar.”)

Dev: Creation of the Shissar


From Kevin McPherson who came up with all the backstory for Kunark:

“Yes [I came up with the Shissar], from my ICE Rolemaster campaign, actually. By the time this lore was in a world of mine, I had kicked 2nd edition D&D to the curb in favor of Rolemaster.

I had a lot of lore from that particular campaign, and so I wrote out a 5000 year history first. And timelined the major and semi-major events, especially those that were prophetic.

So the 5000 year history of Kunark had many hidden things cited in the timeline that the common person wouldn’t know, to which design was privy, and these hidden things could be revealed to the adventure as they delved into dungeons deep.

Steps I always take when developing a RPG campaign ( and of course Kunark ) are:

1) Develop a history and back story, preferably one that stretches over 1000’s of years, and many “ages”

2) Think about the main players in each age, the faction groups and their leaders, and minions, their alliances, motivations, and then derive major and medium events, and hidden plots, based on these.

3) Try to always make the past more epic than the present, make that revelation of hidden knowledge very delicious…make the finding of past artifacts most desirable.

4) Have re-occurring villains transcend ages. These could be undead lords like Venril, or they could be gods or other supernaturals.

5) Think about the current motivations and plots for all the major player factions and leaders in the current time…what they are looking to achieve not just in the present, but in the future.

6) Develop an end game. What do the heroes ultimately do, uncover, and have to fight, to end or win the campaign?”

-Brad

Ruins of Kunark


SHISSAR KINGDOM

While the Dragons took centuries to grow and organize, a race of intelligent serpents – the Shissar – assumed the forefront.
The Shissar were a brutal race who enslaved the Iksar, using our ancestors for workers and food. From their capital of Chelsith in what is now The Overthere, they explored the ancient rites and forgotten practices which would lay the foundation for much of Iksar knowledge and philosophy.
As learned from the rest of Norrath, nothing is permanent. Eventually the Shissar angered even their own god. A horrible plague destroyed every Shissar, however, the Iksar survived unscathed.

IKSAR NATION

Over the next several centuries, the Iksar grew to greatness on the buried ashes of their former masters. They migrated outward across the continent of Kunark and formed five principal tribe-states: Kylong, Nathsar, Obulus, Jarsath and Kunzar.
This last tribe-state was led by Venril Sathir, a young and powerful warrior-mage, who raised an unyielding army of undead with the assistance of necromancy.
Sathir and his Kunzar armies conquered and annexed the remaining tribe-states under his rule as the first King of Sebilis, the renamed Iksar nation. In order to build his Sebilisian Empire, Sathir brutally captured and enslaved the Hill Giants, Forest Giants and Frogloks of Kunark.
Throughout Sathir’s life, the Sebilisian Empire quickly grew in might, power and grandeur.

THE RULE OF RILE

King Sathir aged, but he did not want to die. To cheat death, he made an unholy pact with Innoruuk to rise, undead and immortal.
Rile, Sathir’s heir, had other plans and thwarted the ritual.
Sathir’s soul was trapped inside an amulet that was hidden away as Rile cremated his father’s body.
Rile assumed the throne, however, little changed in the kingdom. The son of Sathir seized more valuable land and his ruthles reputation increased under the terror of his warlords: Kurn Machta and Karatukus and the vampire, Chosooth. By the time these warlords finished, most of the continent definitely belonged to Sebilis – all but a few pockets of Giants and Dragons.

THE RING OF SCALE

The Iksar had left the Dragon lands alone, but their threat was easy to see. The Dragon lords convened the Ring of Scale and argued about how to proceed.
Trakanon, the large blue, advocated swift intervention on behalf of all races against the Iksar. However, Trakanon was voted down and the Ring of Scale decided to intervene only indirectly.
Trakanon and a number of the younger dragons decided more direct action was required. They conjured a squall at sea that destroyed Rile’s warship while the King was on board. This action triggered a spectacular war among the Dragons that lasted for almost a half century.

ATREBE’S IKSAR EMPIRE

Atrebe, Rile’s first-hatched son, then became King. This young Iksar was different than his father. He was reclusive and enamored of Necromancy. All feared his use of the magic of the Shissar and his grandfather, Sathir.
His experiments joined a dragon with an Iksar, creating the Sarnak, a race of intelligent Dragon-men. He also joined a Dragon with a Froglok, creating flying mounts for his armies; the Sokokar. On these flying beasts, the Iksar were deadly. Soon, only the hardiest Dragonkind stood unconquered by the Sebilisian Empire.

IKSAR vs. THE RING OF SCALE

Over the next half century, Dragonkind struggled against the Iksars’ airborne army.
Atrebe was succeeded by his son, Ganak, a most capable warrior.
The war ended inconclusively over the Field of Bone with an aerial duel between Ganak on his Sokokar mount and Jaled-Dar, then leader of the Ring of Scale. Both were incinerated by magic and fire.
The Dragons retreated, but not before destroying the Imperial palace and all of Ganak’s hatchlings in a daring final blaze of revenge.

THE EMERALD CIRCLE

Instead of a new king, the Iksar nobles created the Emerald Circle, a body of five nobles who wisely worked to enhance the Iksar cities and trade, rebuild the navy, and return prosperity to the Empire.
Unfortunately, whenever the ambitions of rulers are involved, strife soon follows and the Empire was ultimately divided back into the original five tribal-states. Even that treaty was soon forgotten, as the tribed began to wrestle for supremacy over one another.
Unbeknownst to the Iksar, the Ring of Scale had also rebuilt and was meddling in every alliance and affair, pitting the tribal-states one against another.

THE END OF THE SEBILISIAN EMPIRE

The slaves revolted in Sebilis. Goblin lords from Faydwer invaded Kunark. The Giants mustered an army and destroyed the warlord outposts before they attacked the cities. The final destructive attack on the Iksar came when Trakanon and his Dragon allies descended on what was left of the Iksar cities and reduced them to ashes and ruins.
The grand Sebilisian Empire was no more. Free from Iksar restraints and rule, all the other races established themselves and began warring amongst themselves in their lust for domination.

EQ2 23rd August 2012 Developer Questions Answered


Source: http://forums.station.sony.com/eq2/posts/list.m?start=0&topic_id=521654&#5788275

Heya, I’ll take a minute to answer some of these.  I’m sorry I wasn’t able to be at the chat – I’ve had a ton to do, and time is something I’m in super short supply of.  SMILEY  Anyway, the majority of these are going to be a bit vague, which is on purpose – I prefer to show don’t tell when possible, where “show” = “in the game”.  SMILEY

Is the Forsaken City the fabled city of Zebuxor?

  • No, it isn’t.  It DOES have a name, however.  SMILEY

Is Nizara something to do with the Plane of Knowledge?

  • Mmm… sort of, but not directly.

Is Dozekar Kerafyrm’s father or was he cursed for some other reason?

  • That would be telling.  Kerafyrm’s history is something we’re hoping to go into a bit deeper here soon, as he come more to the center stage.  How Dozekar and Kerafyrm are related would likely be one of those story points we would explore.

Why did Xul’Varien stop being the god of disease?

  • That is actually deeply tied to some of Anashti’s history.  I want to dive deeper one day into more of her story, but right now the gods have their hands full (you know, with a universe-smashing dragon with god-slaying powers flying all willy-nilly around the world).

Are the shadowed men descended from the Jal’Raeth?

  • So actually, I gave Lyndro the wrong information here.  Truth be told, I was half-listening, and I completely misunderstood what he was asking me (like, COMPLETELY).  So, the Jal’Raeth are a clan of shadowed men, but there are others as well.  (And again, totally my fault, I’m sorry – I need a vacation I think.  Heh.)

Who was Kerafyrms mother?

  • As before, that would be telling.  Hopefully it’s something you’ll find out soon.  SMILEY

With the shissar’s prophecy, did they know Luclin was to explode and did they prepare for it?

  • Ha!  I WANT TO TELL YOU THIS, because there is an answer to give.  BUT, this is the exact storyline we’re going through right now, so all I can say is – You’ll find out.  SMILEY

Will we ever see Aataltaal from the Tarton’s Wheel quest?

  • Perhaps, but I couldn’t say for sure right now.

Who was Tarton and why did he hate the gods?

  • If we do explore more of the Tarton’s Wheel lore, then that would be a question we could answer then.

Encyclopedia: Shissar Vol. IV


The Betrayal

Time has revealed the Shissars’ dark intentions and a profound betrayal. It would seem the Shissar have always had ulterior motives. They have used our resources to rebuild their civilization over these many years, though their civilization is more aptly called an army. When they saw a weakness in the Combine as our city came to be in jeopardy, they struck.

It has become clear that the Shissar mean to not only see the Combine destroyed, but to return to Kunark to rule over those lands and the Iksar once more. May the gods help us
all.

Encyclopedia — Shissar — Vol. II


Hope for the Shissar Empire

Centuries passed after Zhisza took his followers deep into Empotith to rebuild the Shissar Empire, but his efforts were not successful. Zhisza’s hopes of overcoming the Iksar and reclaiming the Shissars’ former glory waned greatly. He recognized his Shissar were becoming vulnerable over the passage of time, not stronger. A new tactic was in order. He would use what resources he had to change the tides.

Over the centuries, Zhisza employed goblins to bring him word on the happenings of the world. Eventually — almost
two thousand years since his choice to remain on Norrath — Zhisza learned of the crumbling of the Combine Empire. Through this knowledge, he also came upon a rumor that Tsaph Katta still lived but was locked into an eternal curse.

It cost Zhisza nearly all of his valuables to pay for sensitive information regarding the Combine. The rumor he clung to most tightly was that of the Combine Loyalists erecting an invisible city because within that rumor it was also said
that they sought intelligent creatures as allies to save Tsaph from his curse and protect them from General Seru. Their offer promised a home to any allies and that they would be unseen by the world and protected.

Encyclopedia — Shissar — Vol. I


Escaping the Green Mist

Nearly two thousand years before the appearance of the Combine Empire, the Green Mist swept over Kunark and decimated the Shissar. Over a period of a year, tens of thousands of Shissar succumbed to the green death. However, during that time, the coddled emperor, nobles and their slaves isolated themselves from the lower castes in an attempt to prevent their own demise.

Emperor Ssraeshza, the military and spiritual leader for the Shissar Empire, spoke of a vision that promised to deliver the noble Shissar to Luclin, the moon. He assured all that he could release them from the clutches of the Green Mist. Emperor Ssraeshza and his supporters firmly believed they could start their empire anew on the moon and be free of the Green Death forever. Alas, there were some nobles who were in disgust of Ssraeshza’s plan, chiefly Zhisza, who quietly set to work to find a way to remain alive on Norrath. It was their dream to retreat, rebuild and return to reclaim their empire.

On the day that Ssraeshza and the remaining Shissar cast their great spells to teleport to Luclin, Zhisza and his
followers executed their own plan. As Ssraeshza moved through time and space to the moon, Zhisza and his nobles teleported deep within Empotith, an underfoot school of Dark Arts that had been under construction. When Ssraeshza and his followers arrived on Luclin, they presumed Zhisza and the others dead.

Encyclopedia — Shissar — Vol. III


The Collegium Contract

Emperor Zhisza of the Shissar in Empotith wrote a seemingly sincere letter that was copied and delivered by messengers to anyone who might be close to the Combine. In it, Zhisza offered the promise of a cure for Tsaph Katta who was bound in an eternal curse. Better yet, Zhisza would share the knowledge and means for endangered Combine Loyalists to learn Shissar teleportation that would send them to Luclin.

A Combine emissary received word of a letter from Zhisza of the Shissar. Sceptic of  Zhisza’s offer to assist the Combine, he agreed to meet with him in secret. Not only were all Shissar supposedly dead, but the reputation of the Shissar was grim indeed.  However, the first meeting between human and Shissar was  remarkably civilized.

Soon, after all assurances of peace and mutual benefit were made, an alliance was forged and the Collegium Contract was signed. Under the protection of the Combine in the agreement, the Shissar could finally exist safely in a new home and continue to practice their arts and share knowledge with their hosts.

However, the agreement has not been as fruitful as the Combine expected. While the knowledge to send Loyalists to the moon was delivered and put to good use, the Shissar have no cure for what ails Tsaph Katta.