Category Archives: The Nexus

The Fall of Erudin: Part 2


The Fall of Erudin:Part Two
By: Khuzaymah In’am

News of the High Guard’s termination did not sit well with its leadership, Vicegerent Jabalah and his brother Budayl. Later that evening a meeting was held with the leader of the Deepwater Knights, Sir Thamir Fa’iz. Budayl and Thamir were unable to quell Jabalah’s seething anger over El’Arad’s decision. In a rush, the Vicegerent stormed into El’Arad’s chambers within Erudin Palace and confronted him over his decision. The argument ultimately ended with the death of Jabalah at the hands of several void creatures summoned by El’Arad.

The murder of Vicegerent Jabalah threatened to disrupt El’Arad’s plan to control the city of Erudin. After denying any involvement in the Vicegerent’s disappearance, El’Arad pushed the activation of the new Nexus months ahead of schedule. When the Grand Farisan Nexus was activated a critical error was revealed. El’Arad and his fellow researchers based their construction of the Nexus off what was known of the Luclin Nexus and the spires in the Toxxulia Forest. Unbeknownst to El’Arad the spires were originally designed to channel their energy through the Nexus in Luclin. When the new Ulteran Spires were activated, they attempted to touch the original Nexus, and the mystical barriers erected by Norrathian pantheon caused the energy of the New Nexus to feed back upon itself.

The Ulteran Spires discharged the energy back into the new Nexus, which in turn exploded outward across Odus. This explosion of mystical energy not only destroyed the newly constructed Ulteran Spires on Antonica, but also tore through the fabric of reality itself, causing the entire continent of Odus to shift into Ultera. Realizing now as the time to act El’Arad revealed his secret allies to the rest of Erudin’s populace. Shadowed Men and other denizens of the void began to appear in the city causing havoc and destruction. In an attempt to save as many citizens as they could Sir Thamir Fa’iz and Budayl Idris organize an evacuation of Erudin. Rumors that safe passage to Paineel still existed gave hope that they could escape the aftermath of this experiment gone horribly wrong.

During the evacuation Thamir and Budayl are beset by a contingent of void beast led by none other then Madani Lu’ay, El’Arad’s most trusted advisor. The two men engage Madani in combat and soundly defeat the ambush. It is now certain in the minds of the two men that El’Arad has aligned himself with Roehn Theer. Thamir and Budayl then resolve to assemble the entire order of the Deepwater Knights so that they can overthrow El’Arad. The following morning over one hundred men and women soldiers marched through the streets of Erudin towards the palace. Lead by Sir Thamir and the de-facto leader of the High Guard, Budayl the army entered the palace, finding it undefended.

Cautiously they crept deeper within the vast halls of the impressive structure. No sooner than the last soldier entered the palace the huge iron doors of the palace swung shut, trapping the rebellious army within. The sounds of an extraordinary battle were soon heard. Thunderous explosions and screams of agony pierced the morning air of Erudin in a cacophony of Agony. The last remnants of justice were all but wiped out. El’Arad’s capture of Erudin was now complete. The Order of the Deepwater Knights was no more.

Consequences of Thralldom


The Journal of Kalidan Il’Finik, Master Conjuror
Day 3

Being somewhat of an expert in conjuring manifestations of creatures both magic and mundane, the new focus of my studies should surprise no one.
Menial tasks such as cleaning, cooking, and laboring are things I hardly have time to burden myself with. Instead I have taken it upon myself to summon a multitude of planar creatures whom I will subjugate, train, and ultimately command to do my bidding.
To accomplish this task I have brought on board a noted diviner named Sachin Al’Faz who claims to be the foremost authority on planar positioning and triangulation. In spite of his pompous nature I have agreed to make him a partner in this experiment. His knowledge will help me ascertain exactly where I must focus my search.

Day 17

That fooI, Sachin, is attempting to renege on his promise! He claims that he cannot continue our work together because he must instead go to work for that blunderhead, El’Arad. Nonsensical poppycock, if you ask me! El’Arad has already assembled an entire army of sages, researches, analysts and laborers to assist him at the Grand Farisian Nexus.
Why can?t Sachin see that our work takes precedence? Should he still refuse to complete the equations we begin tomorrow morning, I fear drastic measures will have to be taken. The gangrene of misguided loyalty should not be allowed to rot the fruits of my work!Day 19

Harsh words turned to blows this morning, at least in the manner seen fit for two mages. At daybreak I arose to find Sachin clearing his work table and packing the last of his equipment. When I confronted him about the unfinished equations, he demurred on his obligations to me and muttered something about bringing glory to the “singular greatest Erudian cause.” Sheer nonsense if you ask me. In the end, Mr. Al’Faz had to be fettered by magical means. Though I did not take pleasure in confining him against his will, he left me no choice but to trap him until he finished his work Finally, after what seemed like hours, the equations were complete.

It was my decision to draw upon creatures from the Plane of Dreams. I expect to summon a sylph-like creature or perhaps a gentle beast of burden. As I have stated before, the summoned being must only be fit to perform chores around my laboratory and domicile. Defense is, and will always be, placed iii the hands of my Tellurian servant. Who better a soldier than a mindlessly loyal pile of rocks?

Day 22

That bastard will pay for what he has done! In his bitterness the fool must have intentionally changed the variable coordinates used in the equation. Upon the completion of the spell I opened my eyes and saw not golden sylphs or benevolent beasts, but foul-smelling wicked beasts that can best be described as bipedal goats!For what it is worth, the fiends did appear to be granted with some merit of intelligence. Despite their thick dialect, I was able to decipher their native tongue as being Thulian. They claimed to be servants of Terris-Thule, demi-goddess of the Plane of Nightmares.

The goatmen, or Gruengach as they call themselves, were quickly growing agitated. They demanded to be returned to where they came from so they could continue their work for their dark mistress. When I inquired as to where that place was, the Gruengach seemed at a loss for words.

Day 23

As best as I could tell the Gruengach serve as servants to Terris-Thule despite not actually residing within the Plane of Nightmares. Their work, it appears, is done between the Planes. When I began to explain the complexities in deciphering the specific point o their origin they grew angry and violent.

No sooner had their leader raised his mottled claw in anger, that my Tellurian defender intervened by smashing him in the chest. A wretched cacophony of braying resulted when the rest of the Gruengach realized what had just occurred. Not wasting another moment, I mesmerized the whole lot and placed them in a submissive trance.

Day 58

It has been several weeks since my subjugation of the band of Gruengach. Although unfit for some of the more delicate tasks I had envisioned my summoned help to assist me with, the brutish strength and willpower of their kind makes them analmost inexhaustible source of labor. Having more or less mastered the act of incarcerating the goatmen, I have since taken it upon myself to summon more of them, thus creating a veritable army of Gruengach all under my absolute command!
Day 92

Today I was greeted by none other than El’Arad himself! As he entered the courtyard to my grounds I could see his eyes widen in disbelief at the sight of my burgeoning workforce. I explained to him the manner in which I had summoned the Gruengach and the way in which I had incarcerated them into thralldom. For once in his life the old man seemed impressed with the efforts of someone beside himself.

Day 106

El’Arad returned to my home today with a most lucrative proposition. He expressed interest in purchasing several Gruengach to serve as his own servants and guards. Apparently the old man is close to completing the Farisian Nexus and wishes to protect his work with an added amount of security. I was more than happy to oblige. As a token of appreciation I was invited to join him during the inaugural activation of the Farisian Nexus. I leave for Quel’ule tomorrow.Day 146

A calamity of monumental proportions has occurred. This entry must be short as I am recording this on borrowed time. The activation of the Nexus did not go as planned. An explosion has occurred unlike any I have witnessed previously. Something that could be best described as a mighty blast of lightning-like power dispersed out from the hub of the Nexus. Many were killed as the town of Quel’ule was torn asunder. Outside the sky had changed and I am unable to find the sun or the stars in the sky. To make matters worse the archaic dominance I once held over the Gruengach has been losI My attempts to subjugate them once more have proved to be unsuccessful.

Day 147

I am writing what rn4i well be my final living thoughts. The barricade is beginning to collapse and I fear my Tellurian champion will not be able to hold them off forever. The goatmen have not forgotten who placed them in unwilling servitude and they seem hell-bent on taking their revenge. I fear I…

There are no additional journal entries.

Assistant Researcher’s Notes, Vol. 3, The High Council of Erudin


“Indeed,” was El’Arad’s response. I could see his face clearly now, and admittedly, it was hard not to look at him in awe. This was the man who had proposed the rebuilding of the Nexus, and it was through his guidance that the two cities were now cooperating, and working toward a common goal. To imagine that Zal’Urid now stood against the man who had brokered peace between our cities made me ill — but I knew that my master was no fool, and would not be here unless he was certain of his position.

“Let me assure you that I am not offended by your accusations,” El’Arad said calmly.
“However, I am puzzled. What is it you think you have discovered that compels you to argue so vehemently against your plan?”
“It’s not what I think I’ve discovered, El’Arad,” my master returned, “It’s what I have ascertained through rigorous study and calculations. Your plan is flawed, because it is based off incorrect information.”
“And what information is that, scholar?” El’Arad asked.

“You are attempting to reconstruct a spire transportation network to replace the now nonfunctional Combine Spires. Yet, you based your design off the Combine Spires themselves,” Zal’Urid explained patiently. “My calculations suggest that the new spires will still attempt to connect to the Luclin Nexus, as did the originals. Although I cannot be certain at this point, my research suggests a dangerous feedback of mystical energy resulting…”

El’Arad interrupted my master’s speech. “You cannot be certain of the outcome, yet you stand before this high court asking us to cease what could be the greatest achievement of the erudite people. And why? Based on admittedly uncertain information.”
“The only thing I am uncertain of is the outcome,” Zal’Urid returned. “At best the spires simply will not function. I am still working on the calculations for any other outcome aside from that.”

“What then, do we have to lose if the spires do not work as we designed them to do? IF your calculations cannot conclude any other outcome with any degree of certainty, why are we holding this court?” El’Arad asked with a hint of amusement in his voice. My master has always had impeccable control over his emotions. It is a rare case when I have seen him allow circumstances to get him
visibly upset. In almost every situation, Zal’Urid is deconstructing and analyzing the situations around him, and formulating plans for any given situations. I could see though, that El’Arad was beginning to make my master’s shell of logical detachment begin to crack. At the time, I could not be certain as to why, since Zal’Urid had been in many such open debates, but I knew that something was different this time.

“I believe, esteemed scholar, that the spires not functioning is the least likely outcome,” Zal’Urid said sharply. “In fact, I believe the most likely outcome is more likely as I said before — something far more catastrophic. That’s why I mentioned it at the beginning of this court.”
“You are questioning, then, all of the scholars who have worked on this project, all of the great erudite minds, both from Erudin and from Paineel, and all of the hours upon hours of research that has been poured into what we are attempting to accomplish?” El’Arad turned to face the councilors seated behind him now. “You are saying, to this court, to these scholars, to these people, that all of their research is flawed, while yours is accurate? And we’re supposed to take this based on what — your uncertainty, which you cannot
support with facts?”

“Indeed,” Zal’Urid responded, to a chorus of jeers and disapproving murmurs. “I believe that more time and research must be dedicated before we begin this project in earnest. We can still get to Antonica by sea, so there is ample time to conduct further study.”
“So you admit your contempt for your peers, then?” El’Arad said, a slight chuckle in his voice. Turning toward Zal’Urid, his gaze narrowed. “Tell me something. How many generations of your family have lived within Paineel?”
“I am the first, councilor,” Zal’Urid answered.
“Interesting,” El’Arad mused, as he began to circle my master. “Tell me then, who were your parents, if not scholars from Paineel?”

Zal’Urid hesitated, briefly before he could answer. However, Coriante Verisue wasted no time in answering for him. “They were Deepwater Kngihts, were they not, scholar?” she called out, the disdain evident in her voice.
“Indeed,” Zal’Urid said loudly, “My parents were both members of that Order.”
“And why, then, did you leave Erudin as a traitor to live within Paineel?” El’Arad said, punctuating the offensive word ‘traitor’ for effect.
“Because the scholars of Erudin have proven to be shortsighted and narrow in their thinking,” my master answered bluntly. The angry muttering from the crowd grew ever larger.

“And is it also true that the Deepwater Knights have opposed this project from the beginning?” El’Arad began, never taking his eyes off my master. “Is it not true that they have made their own shortsighted and narrow way of thinking very clear to this court, and to all of Erudin very well known?” Calls of agreement began echoing off the walls of the high court now. I began to shift uncomfortably, unable to hold back my unease. “Tell me, scholar,” El’Arad said fiercely, “Did you not go to the high court of Paineel simply as a mouthpiece for your parents’ order? Are you not just repeating the rhetoric of the Deepwater Knights, looking to spread their fear and lies to any and all who will listen?”

“How dare you!” Zal’Urid retorted, seething now with anger. “My research is my own!” My master thrust his notes into the air, shaking them toward the seated council. “My calculations and findings are sound! I challenge any of you to study my notes, and find a flaw within them, as I have found flaws within yours!”
The council chamber erupted into jeers. “Throw him out!” came the calls from the benches above. “I’ve heard enough!” My master attempted to argue back, but the crowd was no longer paying him any heed. El’Arad walked backwards out of the light, almost melting into the darkness beyond. It was clear that he had done what he had set out to do. It was over.

The large, heavy doors to the council chamber closed behind us as we left the chamber. As we walked slowly down the hall, I saw that Zal’Urid had calmed considerably, and was back to formulating a new plan. Before I could speak, he spoke to me. “There is something else amiss here, apprentice,” he began. “I can’t be certain what it is, but El’Arad has another motive — I could sense
it, but I cannot put my finger on it.” I nodded my agreement, because I was not sure where my master was going with his thoughts.

“We must find out more. I want you to go to the library of Erudin. Begin seeking out whatever information you can there. Listen in on the scholars’ conversations, observe what tomes they are researching, find out who is associating with whom. Whatever is happening here, it is intertwined with the Nexus experiment, and thus could decide the fate of all of Odus — we must learn all we can, as quickly as we can,” he explained. I was surprised, to say the very least.
“M-m-master,” I stammered, “Please forgive me. Planning for the next round of debates is one thing, but looking for a web of conspiracy is something completely different! How can you…”

“Do not question me, apprentice,” he said firmly. “I ask only that you follow my instructions faithfully, and speak none of this to no other. It is imperative that this remains between you and me.”
“As you wish, master,” I replied.
Zal’Urid looked up to me. “There will not be another round of debates — I am sure that El’Arad will see to that. Meet me in three days back on the shore of the Vasty Deep with your notes. Be as discreet as you can.”
“I will,” I answered. “Where will you be?”

Zal’Urid looked away. “I am going to meet with the Deepwater Kngihts, and begin to compare notes. Where that meeting will take me, I cannot say.”
I nodded. ”
Very well. I will meet you in three days,” I said, and turned to walk away.
“Indeed,” Zul’Urid answered. “And apprentice,” he said calmly, “Watch
your back.” I froze for a moment, hearing the deliberate cold tone of his voice.
When I turned around, Zal’Urid was gone. I will not fail you, my master. I will not fail.

Tome of Destiny – Chapter III – Attack of the Nexus


Ayenden concluded his business in the Bazaar and strolled into the Nexus. The usual crowd of travelers was passing through, and Ayenden thought he might look around for some familiar faces with which to seek adventure. He caught sight of an old friend standing atop the platform. “Enkasha,” he called out. “I didn’t expect to see you here today.”

The tall, serene Erudite saw him and smiled slightly. Ayenden knew this was the extent of the emotion she was likely to show. She walked down the stairs and greeted him.

“You are correct, my friend. I am indeed overdue for the festival. I was exploring the planes with my guild mates, which took far longer than I had anticipated. I am certain to be chided for my tardiness.”

“It sounds like a glorious occasion for your people,” Ayenden said. “Are you sure I can’t convince you to take me along as a guest?”

Enkasha rolled her eyes and sighed, a gesture Ayenden knew to be playful rather than demeaning. “You know full well that the celebration of the anniversary of Erud’s birth is a sacred and private ritual for us. Outsiders are never allowed to attend.”

“Yes, you told me before,” Ayenden muttered. “I hope you will tell me the details later, at least. I’m sure this eighth centennial will be quite an occasion. Who knows, one of you might even tell a joke.”

Enkasha sighed again, but the faintest of grins betrayed her amusement. “It shall indeed be special, though not for the reason you posit. But enough of this chatter; I must see the scion about teleportation to Odus.”

Before he could respond, Ayenden’s attention was drawn to a commotion atop the Nexus platform. The air itself seemed to crackle and sputter as a vortex of energy began to swirl. “What in the name of Tunare is that?”

Enkasha turned and watched, her eyes narrow. “Something is teleporting into this chamber.”

Ayenden shook his head slowly. “That is no ordinary spell. Someone is opening a doorway to this place, and is expending a great amount of energy to do so.” He muttered the beginnings of an incantation, his eyes fixed upon the growing vortex. “I think perhaps you should be visiting that scion now, my friend.”

“Nonsense,” Enkasha protested. “Who else will defend a fragile old wizard like you?” She cast a spell to summon forth a fiery pet and commanded it to stand in front of her. The swirl of energy on the platform above them was expanding rapidly.

“You pick a curious time to develop a sense of humor, milady. Not that I’m ungrateful, but I really must insist that–” Ayenden gasped as the portal opened and dark, massive beings began to rush through it. “The Diaku!” he shouted in disbelief. “Get back, Enkasha!”

The huge, heavily armored soldiers poured through the opening with weapons drawn. They stormed down the stairway toward the crowds that had gathered and began to attack.

“What are they doing outside the Plane of Tactics?” Enkasha cried out. Instinctively she bolstered her pet and ordered it forward as a soldier charged her. The Nexus was now flooded with adventurers from the Bazaar and Shadowhaven, but more Diaku continued to charge out of the gateway. “There are so many!” she exclaimed. “We cannot stop them.”

“Let me translocate you away, Enkasha,” Ayenden pleaded. “Now is the time for neither jokes nor pride.”

“No, I will stand here and defend this place,” she countered, healing her pet as it fought against a Diaku swordsman. “But you must go and warn others. We need reinforcements.”

“I will not leave you!” Energy bolts flew from his fingertips as more planar invaders kept coming.

“Which of us is being prideful? You must go, and go now. I think something else is coming through the portal.”

From behind the Diaku came tall beings whose very heads seemed to be made of fire, their massive weapons burning with the arcane power of their master.

“By all the gods!” Ayenden hissed. “Those are the servants of Solusek Ro. And they seem to be carrying a massive gem of some sort with them.”

Enkasha was pouring all her strength into her pet, struggling against the assault of the Diaku. “There can be no more delay. We need help, Ayenden. Go now!”

He wanted desperately to stay by her side but knew that she was right. Ayenden cast his gate spell and waited for it to spirit him away. “I’ll be back soon. Stand fast, my friend.” As reality began to shimmer around him, he saw a Diaku archer take aim at Enkasha from atop the platform. He tried to call out to warn her, but before he could utter a sound he was gone.

The familiar scent of the Faydark filled his nostrils, instantly replacing the stench of burning air that had permeated the Nexus just moments before. Teleportation was always vaguely disconcerting, but no more so than this night. He turned and sprinted down the pathways he had learned so well in his youth.

At last he caught sight of the guards outside the grand city of Felwithe. “Sound the alarm!” he shouted. “The Nexus is being attacked!”

Ayenden charged past the various people milling around the open gate and ran inside. He had to tell the paladins to gather their forces. This invasion may take an entire legion of knights to repel.

The captain of the guard walked toward the wizard, flanked by his lieutenant. “What is this attack you speak of? Tell me quickly.”

Ayenden gulped for air as he told the captain what had transpired. The captain considered the wizard’s words for a moment, then turned to his lieutenant. “Send word to the king of what is transpiring. Tell him we may need additional reinforcements. I will bring a squadron with me to hold these beings back.”

The lieutenant saluted and marched quickly down the corridor. The captain pointed back toward the city gate. “Meet me outside. I must gather my forces, and then we will need you to take us to the Nexus.”

Ayenden nodded and ran back outside. After what seemed an eternity, the captain and his guard arrived, accompanied by additional wizards.

“Weave your magic and take us to the Nexus,” the captain ordered. Ayenden began to cast immediately, and as he chanted the spell he felt the familiar gathering of energy around him and his passengers. But suddenly the gate collapsed and the spell was broken.

Ayenden cursed to himself and began to cast again. This time his power seemed lessened, despite the fact that he had been meditating for the last several minutes. He looked at the captain and shook his head.

The captain turned to his wizards. “You take us there,” he ordered. They began to cast, but their spells fizzled as well.

“I cannot explain this,” one of them said aloud. The others were just as baffled.

“We must go to the spires. The scion can take us there,” Ayenden pleaded. The captain nodded and ordered his soldiers forward.

This run seemed far longer to Ayenden than the last one had, but finally they reached the gigantic forest spires. He knew something was wrong before they got there. The familiar hum was gone, and the scion stood alone at the center of the spires.

“What is it? What has happened?” Ayenden cried out. “Tell us!”

The scion looked around helplessly. “They’re dead,” he said softly. “The spires are silent.”

Ayenden stood, his mouth agape. He looked up at the sky, feeling more lost than he could ever remember. He thought of his friend so far away.

“I’m sorry, Enkasha,” he whispered to the clinging darkness of the night. “I’m so sorry.”