Category Archives: War of Plagues

The Varsoon Collection, Volume 5 – The War of Plagues


This book is titled “The Varsoon Collection, Volume 5 – The War of Plagues.” It is a complete volume that details the War of Plagues and the return of Varsoon.
The following compilation is a brief presentation of the legends and myths of the mage, Valdoartus Varsoon, known to many simply as Varsoon. Much work was done to separate the facts from the fiction in order to bring this work to you, the reader. The final volume in the series, this book speculates about the rumors of his return from death.

The story of Varsoon does not end simply with his death many hundreds of years ago. During the War of Plagues, there were many reported rumors of a mysterious mage that led the Bloodsabers, a group of cultists devoted to the worship of the god of disease, Bertoxxulous. The cult is reported to have existed for many hundreds of years, but one day came out of hiding to lay waste to Qeynos during the time of King Antonius Bayle V.

The War of Plagues raged across the land for a number of years, with neither side gaining ground. Using tactics reserved for only the depraved, the Bloodsabers, under orders of their leader, contaminated the city’s water supply. Thousands of innocent people died during the war, and most of the atrocities were blamed on a mage the Bloodsabers called “The Undying.”

“The Undying” was seen at the head of their armies, raining down upon the soldiers of Qeynos all manner of blights. From locusts to oozing miasmas, the Undying was a formidable mage. It didn’t take too long for some people to claim that this mage was Varsoon returned to life.

Using the fear that came with the name Varsoon, the mage began calling himself Varsoon the Undying. His demands against Qeynos were for them to hand over every second child that lived in the city. It seems there was some type of dissension among the Bloodsabers over this demand, which allowed Qeynosian soldiers to gain the upperhand. Soon enough, after a massive battle, Qeynos defeated the Bloodsabers once and for all. Unfortunately, they were never able to find Varsoon the Undying after the battle.

There are hidden records, however, that we had the privilege of reading. These records tell of a mage’s body being found on the battlefield. The mage’s body was covered in scar tissue from horrible burns to his entire body. The cause of death was not from fire, however. He had died from nothing more than a simple arrow piercing his heart. Or so they thought, until they noticed that he was still breathing.

A priest of the Temple of Life was with the party that discovered the body. Being a high-ranking exarch, he knew this man was no ordinary undead soldier. The priest summoned several of his brethren to the body and began to perform a very intricate ritual over the body.

After several hours, the priests had completed their spells and proceeded to burn the body of the mage until it was nothing than ashes. Rather than letting the ashes be scattered to the four winds, they gathered them into a special container and carried them to a special crypt in the Qeynos Hills. When asked what the ceremony was all about, they explained that it is the only way to prevent a lich from returning to life.

To this day that crypt remains locked, so we have no way of confirming whether or not the lich those priests destroyed was the same Varsoon from centuries earlier. Were this the case, it would appear that Varsoon actually did achieve immortality after all. But it does not explain why the word “lich” was never attributed to him until that final account.

We thank you for reading this series. As the reader can tell, there are not many solid facts about the real history of Varsoon. Perhaps if the House of Varsoon had not been burned to the ground so many centuries ago we might have been able to find more facts there. Whether more information comes to light in the future, the fact remains that Varsoon no longer walks among the living. Norrath has been safe from his predations for hundreds of years, so we may at least take comfort in that as we lay down to sleep at night.

The Commander’s Wife


This autobiography sketches the life of Araminda Bayle, the wife of Kane Bayle, the Commander of the Qeynos’ City Guard who was executed for his treasonous association with the Bloodsabers during the War of Plagues.
Days pass, stretching before me like an abyss. That it should come to this: my husband Kane, the Commander of the Qeynos City Guard regiment, is sentenced to death. I look back, now on the eve of his execution, and wonder whether I could have saved him. I know his mother feels the same. She is old now and frail; the look in her eyes haunts me. Yet, I look into the mirror and see the same expression. Sorrow, guilt and remorse.

Our marriage was as happy as might be expected. Our parents linked our names from my birth and Kane, a lad of thirteen at the time, took the news of our betrothal poorly. I do not blame him; he was young and vigorous while I was still toddling around my mother’s knee. Still, in time he grew to love me in his own fashion. Our wedding was truly the happiest day of my life. We wed on my twentieth birthday.

Our great sorrow occurred within a year of our wedding. I gave birth to Kane’s first son, but within hours the babe sickened and died. For many days I lay abed, unable to speak or care for myself. Kane’s sorrow was surely as great as mine. We cried together over our son’s death. But then, with me so ill, it seemed prudent for Kane to take up rooms elsewhere in our home. He did not move back into my room, even after I recovered.

Kane’s military career progressed quickly, and not only because he was a member of the Bayle family. He distinguished himself in arranging the City Guard into smaller subunits that could respond to danger more quickly than they had been able to in the old days. We entertained the other officers in the evenings and during the day, I did charity work with the other wives.

It was during one of my scheduled visits to the infirmary that I first heard rumors of my husband’s infidelities. The other wives were afraid to speak of it for fear of retaliation, but my special friend Greda pulled me aside and told me that everyone knew how things stood between he and I. “How does anyone know where a man stands with his wife but his wife alone?” I replied. I stayed until the end of my shift; I am not one to shirk my public duties.

Now that the trial is over, I know how many women claimed that my husband was unfaithful to me. My husband was…is not a perfect man, but he is respectful of my position. My father is Lord Mrallon, who has long been a friend to the Bayle family. Kane could not disgrace my family as well as his by sinking to the levels some of these women claim. They lie, though it appears their lies are more persuasive than mine.

Do we not all lie to ourselves at some point? How many nights had I sat beside this window wishing Kane would come to me, and instead seeing him slip down the street in the dark? I told myself then it was an emergency, the Guard needed him. And so, of all the truths and lies told about my husband, what do I want to believe now? That he was seeing other women or that he was using his strategic skills to aid our enemies?

The questions twist in my mind like knives. When I think of my husband, I see the young man on our wedding day, handsome and proud. I see him trying to comfort me after the death of our only child. I see him in his dress uniform, smiling at me as we dance at the head of a regimental function. Who is the Kane Bayle that tonight breathes the last breaths of this life? Where has my husband gone?

This at least the gods grant me: we have no children. I could not bear to leave a helpless being without his parents. It will be no easier to leave one’s parents behind; I see my parents’ faces as they were through the trial, struggling between sympathy for me and hatred for my husband. I see his parents’ faces: his father, stoic and his mother unable to tear her eyes from Kane’s face. How her cries torment me; she is crying yet and no one can comfort her. No one can comfort me.

The sun rises. I see the shining city of Qeynos below. The sparrows fly from their nest beneath my window sill. The war has brought death and uncertainty to many lives but oh, so much more to mine. I cannot bear knowing what they think of Kane. This day, they execute my husband but through their words, they have already condemned and executed me. May my parents forgive me. May my flight prove swiftly fatal.

Sovereignties of Qeynos


Sovereignities of Qeynos

Penned by Randyle Brinn,

Historian and Scholar

On this, the first anniversary of Antonia Bayle?s crowning

Antonius Bayle (the first) ? The Great Unifier

Time of Rule: The Age of Enlightenment

Antonius Bayle, son of Vallius Bayle, brought order to the Plains of Karana, unifying the nomadic clans of the plains with the village of Oceangreen, and thus established the city of Qeynos. Havign renounced the title of king, he required all to simply call him by his name, Antonius.

Antonius Bayle II ? The Great Defender

Time of Rule: The Age of Reclamation & Age of Turmoil

Antonius Bayle II had studied under the fearless Knights of Thunder, as well as the Rangers of Surefall Glade. His mind for battle was instrumental in keeping the city unified despite the upheavals and unrest that plagued his reign, including the Erudite exodus from the city, and their subsequent uprising within Erudin. Under the rule of this militaristic leader, the Qeynos Guard grew and expanded divisions beyond the city walls.

Antonius Bayle III ? The Great Diplomat

Time of Rule: The Age of Turmoil

Antonius Bayle III, noted for his foreign diplomacy, is lauded for forging alliances between Qeynos and Erudin, northmen clans, and the halflings of Rivervale, during an overwise notably tumultuous time, which witnessed the erection of Paineel, and the dawn of Sir Lucan D?lere rule of Freeport. His intentions for establishing diplomatic ties with such hated enemies of the state were cut short by assassination, but not before he had fathered three notable sons; Kyle, Antonius IV, and Kane (the traitor)

His first son, Kyle, born before Antonius Bayle III had inherited the Qeynos Throne, disappeared mysteriously. From this point, the Bayle line would never again be direct, as Antonius IV, his second son and namesake, would henceforth be the most direct descendant of Antonius Bayle the first.

Antonius Bayle IV ? The Great Avenger

Time of Rule: The Age of Turmoil

By far, one of the most loved and celebrated rulers since Antonius Bayle the first, Antonius IV fought numerous battles against not only the foes of the kingdom, but the enemies of his allies. He has been noted as the single ruler that stretched the benevolent belief of Qeynos further beyond the borders than ever before. He proved his great skills of leadership and battle during the War of Plagues and established a council of representatives and advisory, known as the Circle of Ten.

Growing concerned, due to Antonius IV?s bachelorhood, the Circle of Ten implored him to wed, and sire children in order to further the Bayle lineage, and secure the Qeynos throne. Agreeing (perhaps relucantly), he accepted and arranged marriage, and soon sired twins, Anton and Antea, before his untimely death at sea.

Only upon Antonia Bayle?s emergence have historians come to learn of Antonius IV?s greatest secrets ? his love for Lady Shae of Felwithe, and his true first born, Shaonia, (Antonia?s great-great-great-grandmother), and of his true death. Antonius IV had faked his death at sea in order to be reunited with his true love, and live out his remaining life with her and their daughter.

Anton and Antea Bayle ? The Twin Monarchs

Time of Rule: The Age of War

Rather malicious folk, Antonius IV?s twin heirs squandered the riches of the throne, and demanded fealty from all citizens, ushering a dark period for the city of Qeynos. Strongly bonded, the twins often seemed more like king and queen rather than sibling rulers. After Antea was slain, by a raiding band of Rallosians, Anton was plunged into a pit of depression. His eccentric behavior became increasingly erratic and violent, ending with his suicide.

Antonius Bayle V ? The Great Sage

Time of Rule: The Age of War & The Age of Cataclysms

The child of Anton Bayle and one of Antea Bayle?s hand maidens, Antonius V was the most scholarly and wise ruler of Qeynos. He also was the youngest, having been crowned at the age of fifteen, after the death of his father. Due to his youth, he sought the unparalleled guidance of the Circle of Five in many decisions of stage. Thankfully, he had been tutored in history, art and arcane sciences during most of his youth, for without his wisdom Qeynos would ahve certainly met its destruction during the Rending.

Antonius Bayle VI ? The Great Healer

Time of Rule: The Age of Cataclysms

A disciple of the Temple of Life since his youth, Antonius VI rose to become one of the greatest priests to walk the streets of Qeynos, a power that he used benevolently when the Shattering occurred. The Great Healer aided in the healing of thousand of Qeynosians, and their allies. He found strength in the Circle of Five, and treasured their advise and guidance.

Antonius Bayle VII ? The Great Dreamer

Time of Rule: The Age of Cataclysms

During Antonius VII?s rule, the art of survival became a priority. During this time of great tragedy, he would often comfort the masses by relaying his prophetic dreams of safety, prosperity and cooperation for Qeynos. During the Great Dreamer?s reign the first steps to abandoning the animosity between the kingdom and many of its foes began.

Unfortunately, he was unable to see his dreams of harmony to their end. He, and his fellow Bayle family members, drowned when their royal vessel was swallowed by the Coldwind Sea, after being churned and torn asunder due to a great meteor shower.

The Circle of Five

Time of Rule: The Age of Cataclysms

The council of city representatives and advisers had increasingly assisted in the decisions of the crown, since their official inception as the Council of Ten during Antonius IV?s reign. They reluctantly took up rule of the kingdom themselves while a search for a royal successor was carried out. When the violent cataclysms began to calm during the reign, The Circle of Five oversaw the rebuilding of the kingdom.

Many of the current Qeynosian organizations were established under their rule, and many of the alliances started by Antonius VII were formed. The Pact of Tserrin was signed with Freeport and the Far Seas Trading Company began to run goods, services and survivors to and from the ravaged land for both cities. Their necessary reign would last only until their search for a successor of the Bayle bloodline proved fruitful!

Antonia Bayle

Time of Rule: The Age of Destiny

Born Shirrana of the Sisterhood, she is the first female to sit upon the kingdom?s throne by herself, and the first to have been bestowed the title of Antonia. She is Antonius IV?s great-great-great-granddaughter, as her mother was Taylania, the daughter of Marinya, who was the daughter of Baylisia, the daughter of Shaonia, daughter of Lady Shae of Felwithe and Antonius Bayle IV.

She took the throne with much fanfare, and brought with it hope and prosperity to the citizens of our rebuilt kingdom of Qeynos. Her current reign will undoubtedly meet many a challenge. Let us pray to the gods that she leads with dedication, conviction, grace and wisdom, as her ancestors before her.

Long live Her Highness!

Ilene Cellus’ Family History Book


I am sure that some of my family’s writings still exist elsewhere in Norrath. Unless they were destroyed in the Shattering or as mentioned before, held back by unscrupulous vendors. Whatever portion of this tome you have, cherish it and remember the Cellus family of Qeynos.
Good thing Ignatia had the sense to hide her journal. When all the Books of Knowledge were destroyed, some folk took that a bit further and destroyed every book they could find! My mamma said to me, “Illene, where do you go and spend all your days?” but I didn’t answer. I don’t want her to know about these books I found from the War of Plagues and before, or she’ll burn them before I finish reading them.

It’s so interesting to know some of the thoughts my ancestors had so long ago. They didn’t know back then that the gods were going to leave and everything would be so awful. Mamma said the gods left behind hope, but I’d rather have the gods. When I pray, I want to know there’s something listening.

We live up in Qeynos Hills. Sometimes, we go to Qeynos, but always in a big caravan because of all the orcs. First it was one or two, but lately there’s more and more of them. It makes mamma and papa nervous and they talk about moving back to the city. I like the Hills, though. Except for the stupid gnolls. That’s one thing that hasn’t changed, they still come up now and again.

There’s a lot of northerners coming to Qeynos Hills too. I don’t know how we’ll all survive, with those orcs coming in from the east. We spend a lot of time in caves hiding. I can’t stand it. Someday, I’m going to go where there’s nothing but grass and sky and you can see forever! Or near the sea! That would be good, too.

We get fish sometimes out of the lakes, but they’re pretty scrawny. All the food is scrawny. We go sometimes to get acorns and roots. When there’s a deer or something big, we eat every last bit! In fact, papa just went out to get some wood so we can make soup out of the bones mamma saved.

I haven’t been allowed outside for months; the grown-ups say it’s too dangerous. There’s no one to hear our prayers which makes it lonesome. Oh! I hear them coming back already! I hope he’s brought me… he’s dead! An orc hiding near the waterfall killed him! My uncle tried to save him, but nearly died as well. What will we do? How’d the orcs get so close in? We’re going back to Qeynos tonight, mamma says I have to hide the books.

Guide to Collecting Crypt Plates


“A Beginner’s Guide to Crypt Plates,” by Poola Thackery. Poola has been a crypt plate collector for many years and currently owns the finest collection of these funerary relics in all Antonica.
You may be asking yourself why bother collecting crypt plates since I, Poola Thackery, have already got the largest collection in Norrath. First of all, it’s an excellent way to learn about history and genealogy. Second, if you find a rare plate, I might trade you several of mine for a single rarity! That’s a great incentive, I think.

What is crypt plate collecting? It is the collecting of the plates used to identify the tombs, coffins or sarcophagi of the deceased. These plates are made of metal, usually something soft like tin or brass, and provided some basic information, such as name and lineage of that person. In the most ancient of times, these plates were only used by the wealthy. With so many modern conveniences in Norrath, however, many folks are making and using them.

The most valuable of all crypt plates dates back to the Age of Turmoil. In those days, only the titled and the wealthy could afford ornate plates. Normal folk (like you and I) would have thin wooden tablets which, of course, disintegrate over time. The oldest plate in my collection is for Amalia Keinaira Bayle, who married Melton Bayle who was a cousin of Antonius Bayle the Third. Amalia did not have a coffin; her plate was hung from a copper chain off one of the urns in the Crypt of Betrayal. Second shelf, third from the right IF you must know.

This is not grave-robbing, the removal of the crypt plate. I want that to be plain and clear. In the old days, the families of the deceased were offered the plate before the interment. If they chose not to take the plate, then it falls into the “finders keepers” category of collecting. I am a staunch advocate of such.

The walls of urns in the Crypt of Betrayal are quite beautifully arranged. This is in contrast to the way most of this level of the catacombs is maintained. In some parts, I’ve seen coffins broken and bits scattered across the ground. There’s one place, I have no idea who it belongs to (the plate was already gone), but the doors were nearly completely destroyed. While I do not pay for the crypt plates I obtain myself, I deplore the use of force to wrest a plate from a crypt.

I arrange my collection by family name although many collectors use other methods such as in order of the deceased’s rank, or by a date on the plates, or even by the plate’s material. Since my collection is so extensive, I have found that keeping them by family name allows me to quickly locate any single plate quickly. My current collection is well over two thousand individual plates.

You can display your crypt plates any number of ways. In my house, I recreated the funerary urn walls of the Crypt of Betrayal, then placed a plate into each niche. Obviously, as I have so many more plates than there are urns in the real Crypt, my display case is scaled down some. I keep all the Bayle family plates on their own wall.

Cleaning your crypt plates will obviously depend upon their material. If it is a metal plate, be careful not to scratch the surface or you might rub off the very words that give the plate its value. Plates carved from marble or granite are somewhat sturdier, but you would not want to drop them. I dropped the plate from the tomb of Linnea Feilanna Bayle (sixth urn from the left, two rows from the bottom) and it split in half. Luckily for me, the front remained mostly intact.

You will only want to sell your crypt plates with other reputable folk. In the past couple of seasons there has been an increase in the vile practice of pretending to give the seller a bag of coin in exchange for the plate, but the seller finds she has a bag of stone chips only instead! I have noticed that this wicked behavior is much more pronounced when trading or selling relics of the Bayle family, particularly the Bayles who lived during the War of Plagues.

I truly hope this guide interests you in the fascinating practice of collecting crypt plates. There are still some out there, and as I mentioned before, I would be interested in trading for some of the rarer old pieces. Good luck on your new hobby!

From the Trial of Kane Bayle


The questions of the inquisitors are not given in the transcript, however it is possible to follow the course of the trial through these witnesses’ eyes. There is nothing like eyewitness testimony to bring history to life.
I am Marghetta Landon, a member of the Qeynos City Guard. I served as Captain Bayle’s Chief of Intelligence before and during the War of Plagues. Before the War, my office was directly across from his and I updated him directly when circumstances required. As the War became inevitable, however, Captain Bayle moved my office somewhat further down the corridor. That does not mean that he did not have access to me or to the information gathered by our scouts immediately upon request. He just…stopped asking for it. I couldn’t…he didn’t want to know.

Captain Bayle and I trained together in our youth, but obviously his station in life allowed him greater — what’s that? Oh! My apologies! I am Jenner Wenbie, of the Qeynos City Guard. My family has a long tradition of service to the city. And I tell you — all of you! — Captain Bayle is no traitor! Someone, obviously a Bloodsaber spy, is trying to bring down and sully the name of one of the greatest leaders the Guard has ever known! No, I will not sit down! Someone is trying to murder my Captain, my friend! Get your hands off me!

I am Milea Clothspinner, a lieutenant in the Qeynos’ City Guard. Captain Bayle and I…were friends. He…and Lord Bayle…were very kind to my family and have been for many years. When rumors first began that Captain Bayle was toying with the worship of Bertoxxulous, I did not believe them. And yet, I noticed subtle changes in Kane…that is, Captain Bayle’s behavior. He would disappear for hours and not tell me where he had gone. At first, I thought…it was another woman…

…this is very difficult for me. One night, I followed him and discovered that my rival was not only another woman, but a member of the Bloodsabers! I could not hear their conversation, but later I was able to capture this woman and have her questioned. It was her information that led me to realize the extent of Kane’s…Captain Bayle’s betrayal. Due to his position, not only as Captain of the Guard but as a member of the Bayle family, it was difficult to convince our superiors of his crimes. I was accused of…

…letting my…my feeling for Captain Bayle interfere with my judgment, that I had become enraged upon discovering his liaison with another. My closeness with Captain Bayle I will not deny, but my love for the city of Qeynos is stronger. And then it was confirmed independently, that Captain Bayle ignored a request for reinforcements to the left flank and instead assigned the troops which could have been sent to assist to a detail cleaning the Bayle family crypts! Review the orders issued under his command and the pattern is quite clear…

…when additional troops were requested, sometimes very urgently, Captain Bayle found reason to assign them trivial tasks elsewhere. I implore this court to find Captain — no, I will not call him that, for that is a position of honor and leadership — Kane Bayle guilty of treason, for plotting with the Bloodsabers against the city of Qeynos. By his subtle techniques, he allowed the Bloodsabers to infiltrate and occupy the catacombs in preparation for an assault on the weakened Guard forces. He is guilty of violating our most sacred vows, and made “Might for Right” into “Might for Wrong.”

My name is Eizek Elron and I am a member of the Qeynos City Guard. I reported to Captain Vegalys Keldrane, who in turn reported to Captain Bayle. During the War, our unit was assigned to patrol the catacombs to prevent the undead from rising beneath the city and taking us unawares. This assignment clearly shows that Captain Bayle was trying to protect us at all costs. Uh…could you repeat the question? Oh, yes, I remember. Our scouts reported an increased undead activity…

…beneath the city, and Captain Keldrane devised a plan to stop them. There’s some tunnels down there that you can use to cut off your enemy’s escape routes. Our plan was to use these routes to our advantage. Captain Bayle approved of the plan — so you can’t say he was trying to hurt the city! We were not successful, though. Most of the unit, including all the officers, were outflanked by the same maneuver we had planned to use. When we got to the tunnels, they were already full of the Bloodsabers. But you can’t blame that on Captain Bayle!

I am Linnet Bayle, the mother of Kane Bayle. I beg this court to spare my son’s life! You cannot know the truth, not with so many of our youth slain and unburied on the battlefield. How can you use the testimony of a handful of simpletons to condemn the Captain of the Guard to death? Was his judgment flawed? Perhaps. You cannot say that all your own actions are without fault, when reviewed after the need for quick decisions is past. Do not let your desire for vengeance…

…cause you to place the blame and hurt of all our losses on the shoulders of a few. You say he secretly planned with the Bloodsabers, our enemies, yet can offer no clear evidence beyond the word of a jilted lover. Do not send my son to the executioner’s block for a failed romance! I beseech you, remember all that he has done for Qeynos and let the family of Kane Bayle decide his fate, not an impersonal court of law. Please. Oh, please!

A Martyr’s Tale


“A Martyr’s Tale,” by an anonymous martyr of the Bloodsabers, who was put to death by the wretched Qeynosians in a show of might at the end of the War of Plagues.
In the darkness, I light a candle to my god Bertoxxolous. See the flame shimmer? See how it wavers as though fending off blows? When I crush the candlewick in my fingers, the light offers no resistance but a mere sting. This is, then, how the Qeynosians are to those of us who know the truth — they are the wick and we will extinguish them, one by one.

They are foolish, believing that they can win in the end. Though I languish in their prison cell where they fling me the rotted flesh from the battlefield as meat, I know that my faith in Bertoxxulous will be rewarded. Perhaps not now, not in this lifespan…but a reward I shall receive nonetheless. I look to no promise to make me whole, no misguided agreements shackle me.

We nearly had won that day. With the help our leader, Kane Bayle, we were positioned beneath the city. He gave us advance warning of battle plans and suggested routes we might take to ease our passage through the city’s armies. The city acclaimed his leadership; little did they know then where his allegiance lay.

I was a singer at a local eatery and dallied with the men of the Guard. They pretend to be so righteous, such devoted husbands and Guardsmen. Their wives, the mistress in the marriage of a Guardsman to Qeynos, believing all the while that their men were working diligently. But I knew otherwise. I knew the truth about many of those faithless so-called heroes.

One day, I met Kane and we began our affair. He, who had suffered such slighting at the hands of his family, needed my encouragement. I forsook all others to woo him to our side, to the cause of Bertoxxulous. The conquest was easy; he was already intrigued by our god and eager to learn more. I fed him as much as I could, then took him to my mistress, who helped him learn more.

My Kane is not the blind fool his trial makes him out to be — oh, no! Even while he toyed with me, he already knew what he wanted. He soon cast me aside for larger prey amongst our ranks, but I am not a jealous cat. We needed his strength, his knowledge, his connections. At that time, we had need of him more than he of us. I am grateful to have known him so intimately for so long.

Yes, for so long — for Kane was one of us for much, much longer than the foolish Bayle family realizes. While they mocked his achievements, cast him aside in order to fawn over Antonius…Kane was with us. He steeped himself in our lore while he covered himself in the mantle that Qeynos wanted to see in him. They thought his work was on their behalf, but it was for us. It was for Bertoxxulous.

They have put up the gallows where we can see it from the barred windows of the prison. They think it will intimidate us, make us squirm before our deaths. I stand beside the window, my spine straight and my head up. I am not ashamed to die for my beliefs. What frightens the “good” people of Qeynos is nothing to a Bloodsaber. I have slain my own family, murdered without a care those who crossed me. No, I am not afraid to die.

How quaint. The guard who watches me was one of my patrons from my old singing days. He offered to release me in exchange for my favor! My gaze weakened him and I let him stay with me. I am not interested in bargaining with a fool. Still, I will miss some of the pleasures of this life…such as keeping the guard intrigued long enough for us to be discovered. He is now sitting in the cell across from mine, crying. The fool.

I will return to finish my work here in Qeynos. This, I already know: I will be assigned to the catacombs below, to the Bayle family’s tombs. Though they despise him, they will bury Kane there…and I will follow. Death will grant me more power than I have as a minion in life. I will remain true to our cause and fight against the weak with renewed vigor.

A Collection of Epitaphs


The poetry and stories have a homey simplicity about them, especially those written during times of great stress throughout the world. The frayed edges of the pages upon which these verses are copied is a mute testament to those who read this book before, several times.
The epitaphs are grouped roughly by race. Not all Norrathian races are represented, although the ones most likely to have lived for many generations in Qeynos are listed.

Of Humans and Halflings

Humans and halflings may seem an odd combination for burial groupings, but it proved to be a very practical choice. The humans preferred to be interred horizontally, while the halflings seemed to prefer a vertical burial. That allowed for placement of tombs in very close proximity without wasted space.

Time and again we called your name

Little did we know You’d lost your ears to the trolls — Ezzie Appledore, aged 49

Ezzie Appledore’s neighbors always wondered why she didn’t hear them; they thought she was too proud to associate with them. It wasn’t until her death that they discovered she hadn’t any ears, which would have made hearing a bit of a chore.

There’s a place at the table where you used to sit

Your feet after a long day in the fields That’s the very first thing I polished After your funeral. — Lestin Farmerson, age unknown

Lestin operated a large farm and had large feet that he planted on his wife’s table every chance he had. At first, he did it just to annoy her. Later, he’d gotten into the habit.

The gods welcome you home

Wherever they are And wherever you roam Though, if gods there still be Then I am a gnome — Brenna Marche, aged 89

Brenna’s husband Rusty believed that the gods had forsaken Norrath and that no one would hear from them ever again, while Brenna firmly believed the gods would return. Time will tell which of them was right.

You never returned

From your trip over-sea Oh, how I wish You’d left stuff to me — No Name

It’s not clear to whom this epitaph was written, and the tomb on which it was engraved was robbed many generations past. It seems whoever the person was, they were considered wealthy in their day — evidently moreso in material wealth than friends.

Of Elves and Half-Elves

The elves buried beneath Qeynos often fell in battles of its defense and the residents of the town from its early days wanted to show respect to the elder children of Tunare. While they generally shun the half-elven in life, the choice of burying them together was pure practicality — there were fewer elves being buried and the humans refused to have half-elves buried amongst them, so they moved all half-elven tombs to the section reserved for the elves.

You were my best friend forever

Who listened when no one else would Other elves and the humans reject me I wish they took me and not you — Ferianna Leimi, aged 94

The Leimi family died of one of the many diseases rampant during the War of Plagues. Ferianna was rare among high elves, associating freely with the half-elven and befriending them while others shunned them and called them names. The writer of this epitaph was presumably one of Ferianna’s half-elf friends.

Though fallen in battle,

I hear your voice sing Though your last breath is drawn I still wait for Spring — Meiri Linnarian, ageless

Meiri was a member of the Qeynos Guard on patrols in the lowest level of the catacombs. Her unit was overwhelmed by enemy forces. None survived.

Far out to sea, ships are sailing

And I stand alone at the quay You’ve taken my heart on this journey Hold it within yours, my love — Jarna Greyflower, half-elf

Interestingly, many of the half-elf tombs include not their age but the fact that they were half-elves. It is unclear whether this is a mark of pride in their heritage, or whether they were not accorded the honor of noting their lifespan.

Many who died are unburied

Their bones scattered over the hills Let this song be their remembrance Until the battlefield stills — For the Unsung Heroes

of dwarves and Barbarians

Dwarves and barbarians formed alliances as they came to the city of men, both enjoying hearty meals and gaudy entertainment. After the destruction of the northlands, the dwarves joked that the barbarians could be buried alongside them, if there be any reason to bury a dwarf. The comment had been made in jest, but with so much upheaval in the lands, it was inevitable that many from all the races of Norrath would perish.

Here lies Tammak Brannuck

Who knew how to swing But forgot how to duck — Tammak Brannuck, age unknown

Tammak was a barbarian who would go to the local eateries and challenge the patrons to fisticuffs in the street. One day, someone accepted his challenge and Tammak turned around to leave but forgot the door was much lower than he was used to. He hit his head on the door’s lintel so hard it knocked him backward into a display of deer antlers.

These are the bones of Wallace McWallace

He lived rough, fought hard and ate well Too bad he drank from the well, too — Wallace McWallace, died aged 37

Wallace was slain by lizardmen archers as he drew water from the well outside his farm.

We promised we wouldn’t write you a poem

So we won’t. Don’t let it be said We didn’t do anything you ever asked — Garr Stonehammer

The Stonehammer family was famous for disobeying the rules their patriarch Garr set down. Looks as though he finally got his way.

You didn’t tell me there’d be elves.

— Gruer Hardy

Gruer and his family escaped the destruction of Halas, fighting many brave battles through gnoll territory to reach Qeynos, where Gruer collapsed in shock at the unexpected sight of elves in the city of men.

Sovereignities of Qeynos


Sovereignities of Qeynos

Penned by Randyle Brinn,

Historian and Scholar

On this, the first anniversary of Antonia Bayle’s crowning

Antonius Bayle (the first) – The Great Unifier

Time of Rule: The Age of Enlightenment

Antonius Bayle, son of Vallius Bayle, brought order to the Plains of Karana, unifying the nomadic clans of the plains with the village of Oceangreen, and thus established the city of Qeynos. Havign renounced the title of king, he required all to simply call him by his name, Antonius.

Antonius Bayle II – The Great Defender

Time of Rule: The Age of Reclamation & Age of Turmoil

Antonius Bayle II had studied under the fearless Knights of Thunder, as well as the Rangers of Surefall Glade. His mind for battle was instrumental in keeping the city unified despite the upheavals and unrest that plagued his reign, including the Erudite exodus from the city, and their subsequent uprising within Erudin. Under the rule of this militaristic leader, the Qeynos Guard grew and expanded divisions beyond the city walls.

Antonius Bayle III – The Great Diplomat

Time of Rule: The Age of Turmoil

Antonius Bayle III, noted for his foreign diplomacy, is lauded for forging alliances between Qeynos and Erudin, northmen clans, and the halflings of Rivervale, during an overwise notably tumultuous time, which witnessed the erection of Paineel, and the dawn of Sir Lucan D’lere rule of Freeport. His intentions for establishing diplomatic ties with such hated enemies of the state were cut short by assassination, but not before he had fathered three notable sons; Kyle, Antonius IV, and Kane (the traitor)

His first son, Kyle, born before Antonius Bayle III had inherited the Qeynos Throne, disappeared mysteriously. From this point, the Bayle line would never again be direct, as Antonius IV, his second son and namesake, would henceforth be the most direct descendant of Antonius Bayle the first.

Antonius Bayle IV – The Great Avenger

Time of Rule: The Age of Turmoil

By far, one of the most loved and celebrated rulers since Antonius Bayle the first, Antonius IV fought numerous battles against not only the foes of the kingdom, but the enemies of his allies. He has been noted as the single ruler that stretched the benevolent belief of Qeynos further beyond the borders than ever before. He proved his great skills of leadership and battle during the War of Plagues and established a council of representatives and advisory, known as the Circle of Ten.

Growing concerned, due to Antonius IV’s bachelorhood, the Circle of Ten implored him to wed, and sire children in order to further the Bayle lineage, and secure the Qeynos throne. Agreeing (perhaps relucantly), he accepted and arranged marriage, and soon sired twins, Anton and Antea, before his untimely death at sea.

Only upon Antonia Bayle’s emergence have historians come to learn of Antonius IV’s greatest secrets – his love for Lady Shae of Felwithe, and his true first born, Shaonia, (Antonia’s great-great-great-grandmother), and of his true death. Antonius IV had faked his death at sea in order to be reunited with his true love, and live out his remaining life with her and their daughter.

Anton and Antea Bayle – The Twin Monarchs

Time of Rule: The Age of War

Rather malicious folk, Antonius IV’s twin heirs squandered the riches of the throne, and demanded fealty from all citizens, ushering a dark period for the city of Qeynos. Strongly bonded, the twins often seemed more like king and queen rather than sibling rulers. After Antea was slain, by a raiding band of Rallosians, Anton was plunged into a pit of depression. His eccentric behavior became increasingly erratic and violent, ending with his suicide.

Antonius Bayle V – The Great Sage

Time of Rule: The Age of War & The Age of Cataclysms

The child of Anton Bayle and one of Antea Bayle’s hand maidens, Antonius V was the most scholarly and wise ruler of Qeynos. He also was the youngest, having been crowned at the age of fifteen, after the death of his father. Due to his youth, he sought the unparalleled guidance of the Circle of Five in many decisions of stage. Thankfully, he had been tutored in history, art and arcane sciences during most of his youth, for without his wisdom Qeynos would ahve certainly met its destruction during the Rending.

Antonius Bayle VI – The Great Healer

Time of Rule: The Age of Cataclysms

A disciple of the Temple of Life since his youth, Antonius VI rose to become one of the greatest priests to walk the streets of Qeynos, a power that he used benevolently when the Shattering occurred. The Great Healer aided in the healing of thousand of Qeynosians, and their allies. He found strength in the Circle of Five, and treasured their advise and guidance.

Antonius Bayle VII – The Great Dreamer

Time of Rule: The Age of Cataclysms

During Antonius VII’s rule, the art of survival became a priority. During this time of great tragedy, he would often comfort the masses by relaying his prophetic dreams of safety, prosperity and cooperation for Qeynos. During the Great Dreamer’s reign the first steps to abandoning the animosity between the kingdom and many of its foes began.

Unfortunately, he was unable to see his dreams of harmony to their end. He, and his fellow Bayle family members, drowned when their royal vessel was swallowed by the Coldwind Sea, after being churned and torn asunder due to a great meteor shower.

The Circle of Five

Time of Rule: The Age of Cataclysms

The council of city representatives and advisers had increasingly assisted in the decisions of the crown, since their official inception as the Council of Ten during Antonius IV’s reign. They reluctantly took up rule of the kingdom themselves while a search for a royal successor was carried out. When the violent cataclysms began to calm during the reign, The Circle of Five oversaw the rebuilding of the kingdom.

Many of the current Qeynosian organizations were established under their rule, and many of the alliances started by Antonius VII were formed. The Pact of Tserrin was signed with Freeport and the Far Seas Trading Company began to run goods, services and survivors to and from the ravaged land for both cities. Their necessary reign would last only until their search for a successor of the Bayle bloodline proved fruitful!

Antonia Bayle

Time of Rule: The Age of Destiny

Born Shirrana of the Sisterhood, she is the first female to sit upon the kingdom’s throne by herself, and the first to have been bestowed the title of Antonia. She is Antonius IV’s great-great-great-granddaughter, as her mother was Taylania, the daughter of Marinya, who was the daughter of Baylisia, the daughter of Shaonia, daughter of Lady Shae of Felwithe and Antonius Bayle IV.

She took the throne with much fanfare, and brought with it hope and prosperity to the citizens of our rebuilt kingdom of Qeynos. Her current reign will undoubtedly meet many a challenge. Let us pray to the gods that she leads with dedication, conviction, grace and wisdom, as her ancestors before her.

Long live Her Highness!

Vhalen Nostrolo


‘Listen up kids and pass me a smore:

I appreciate the interest in my background. I can’t reveal all the bits and pieces, but here is something to go on.

In the Age of Turmoil, Vhalen was a prestigious member of the League of Antonican Bards. Although never truly having a home, Vhalen frequented stages of Qeynos quite often. It was there in Qeynos that he met the woman of his dreams, the woman that would complete the sonnet of his soul. Now, I would love to tell you the tale of this romance, but we would be here all day. I would love to tell you the woman’s name, but that would be revealing too much too early. What I can say is that the sonnet of love ended in tragedy. Vhalen and his love would grow farther and farther apart until one day… she vanished. Vhalen grew distraught and almost went mad. He broke ties with the League of Antonican Bards and stormed into the Plains of Karana, (no pun intended), where his insanity grew and his actions became violent and malicious. He lost all control. But he would not remain in this state of madness. The records of his temporary madness were only destroyed after he dragged his tortured soul from the pit of despair and performed many good deeds for the residents of the Plains of Karana. His selfless actions more than made up for the crimes of his madness. It was said that the harmony of the thunder storms of the plains sang to his soul. This beautiful melody of Karana cleansed his soul and madness was no more. That is why Vhalen soon made residence within the Plains of Karana. It was the place that saved him from a pit of madness. He often sat beside the well, the well where he first met his lost love. There at the well he could now safely compose poweful songs of love and soon some of the greatest of arcane sonnets, the likes of which has never been seen before. Some of his more powerful arcane melodies required the use of enormous intruments such as organs the size of temple halls and harps that rose like sails on a ship. By far his greatest spells required the bells within his bell tower, The Bell Tower of Vhalen. It was in this Bell Tower of Vhalen that Vhalen played some of the greatest arcane compositions for the defense of Qeynos during the War of Plagues. When all seemed lost and Qeynos was soon to fall, Vhalen stood alone in his Bell Tower, ringing aloud the sound of benevolence and the powerful melody of valor. He stood alone, in a tower surrounded by a sea of undead, ringing the bells that would smite the forces of the Bloodsabers and their allies. Even as the forces of evil break down his door and stabbed as his soul, he still rang the bells. Without his efforts in the War of Plagues, all would be lost and Qeynos would be no more.

Oh… one more thing. About that woman he loved. At some point he learned that his temporary madness was not the result of a broken heart, but a soul driven mad by the compositions that his love often studied. It seems as though his love acquired some ancient songbooks and even an instrument once belonging to a legendary bard named Kelkarn. Odd, just like his love, Kelkarn just vanished one day. Where he went and why he went was never discovered.

That’s all. Does that help a bit?

——
Tony “Sir Lucan” Garcia
EQII Game Designer

Reference: http://forums.station.sony.com/eq2/posts/list.m?start=0&topic_id=186950