Original Link (now dead) -http://ac.turbine.com/?page_id=546
In the warm, smoky tavern of the bustling Aluvian town of Arwic, a man approaching middle age sat alone at a table by the fire. His wide shoulders and bulky arms marked him as a warrior. His alert eyes and wary posture, even as he nursed a mug of beer, marked him as a sensibly paranoid man in a time when strange disruptions were occurring all over Dereth. His name was Girion the Unlucky, and he was about to be surprised, despite his best efforts.
A hand touched him softly on his shoulder. Unaware that anyone had approached him, Girion reacted instinctively. He twisted his shoulder and launched himself up and back out of his chair, trying to knock down whatever fool had decided to try to get the drop on him. Expecting his elbow or shoulder to hit his opponent, he was put off balance when he met only empty space behind him, and a blow to the back of his knee from his unseen assailant was enough to drop him on his back.
Girion blinked away his surprise and noticed someone looming over him. The face was familiar. The last time he'd seen it was over a year ago, in the Chapterhouse of the Whispering Blade…
"Adso, sir?" He could hardly believe it. His second meeting with Adso, and it started off just as the first one had – with him clumsily attacking the skilled assassin, and Adso putting him down with minimal effort.
Adso laughed "Well met again, Girion. Please, I didn't mean to interrupt you quite this dramatically. I apologize for not announcing myself before I touched you. I will not do that again in the future." He extended a hand to help the larger man stand, then motioned for Girion to sit back down. Adso pulled up a chair from another table and sat across from him.
"What can I do for you, Adso sir?" Girion asked, sipping his beer to try and recover his equilibrium.
"Well, Girion the Unlucky, I'd like to help you earn yourself a new name," Adso said, smiling. "And maybe a new weapon."
Girion shook his head ruefully. The last time he'd met Adso, he'd been given a wondrously crafted new mace and asked to scout the woods near Arwic. He'd died almost instantly, overwhelmed by hordes of Mukkir, and lost the new mace. He'd lost a weapon and gained a nickname within minutes of leaving the Chapterhouse. He never did recover the mace…
"I'm interested," he told Adso. "Tell me more."
Adso leaned close. "The Olthoi-infested valley north of here, on the other side of the mountains. Being a local, I'd assume you were familiar with that land. Am I correct?"
Girion nodded. "Yes. Great training ground. Always some excitement to be found in the Olthoi lands, especially lately."
Adso grinned conspiratorially. "Excellent. We have reason to believe that the Olthoi of that region are building up to something. We believe it's being caused by the same force that is agitating other creature populations in Dereth. I'd like you to go up there and investigate a certain hive. And in exchange for your help…" He reached into the pack at his side and drew out an oblong cloth-covered bundle.
Before he could unwrap it, Girion held up his hand. "If that's a runed mace like the last one you gave me, please give it to me after I've come back," he said. "I don't want to lose this one too."
Adso laughed. "As you will. Maybe you should be known as Girion the Wise."
Girion stood over the corpse of an Olthoi Warrior, the last of a group of three that he'd killed. Viscous green gore dripped from the spiked head of his mace and his shield was scraped and scratched and acid-scorched from the vicious attacks of the giant insects.
He'd been in the Olthoi-infested valley for almost half a day. So far, so good. He'd advanced pretty deeply into the tunnels that Adso had asked him to investigate. So far he'd encountered nothing too worrisome. He, like anyone else who called Arwic home, was an old hand at doing battle with the fearsome creatures that had once enslaved all the humans living in Dereth. He was well practiced in the principles of fighting Olthoi: keep the wall to your back, keep your shield up, and pummel their joints until they go down. He knew that, as long as he wasn't surprised, he'd be able to survive even against multiple foes.
Feeling very pleased with himself and already thinking of the beautiful and powerful weapon that Adso had promised him, he didn't think too much of it when a single Olthoi stepped into the passageway in front of him, a stone's throw away.
He readied his shield and brandished his mace, advancing slowly. From its shape and size, he judged it to be another Warrior. The beast became aware of his presence and it charged, chittering furiously.
Girion waited for it to come to him. Just before it got to him, he lowered his shoulder and charged, using his shield as a battering ram to knock the Olthoi off balance and get in a good uppercut swing. The funniest thing happened when he collided with the Olthoi, however. There was a shriek of tortured metal, and he felt a hot burst of pain in his left shoulder. The unexpected pain robbed some of his strength, and he wasn't able to put all his power into that first swing of his mace. The mace made a good solid thwacking noise as it hit the chitinous armor, but it didn't seem to do much damage. He wobbled for a second but managed to keep on his feet.
His momentum, at least, knocked the Olthoi back and bought him a second's pause to check out his wound. A gaping wound had appeared in his upper arm, matched to a hole in his shield… Somehow this Olthoi had punched through his shield and the armor plate of his pauldrons…
Suddenly terrified, he noticed the strange glow coming from the Olthoi's sharpened attack limbs. Even as he noticed this, the creature attacked again. Reacting quickly despite his surprise, Girion angled his shield to deflect the blow. Again there was an explosion of pain, this time in his forearm, and he saw another hole in his shield and another grievous wound behind it. He growled in rage and came ahead, swinging his mace like a man possessed. He abandoned all attempts at defense and tried to pummel the Olthoi to death before it could finish him off.
A few wild seconds later, he stood over another dead Olthoi Warrior. The corpse glowed faintly, still displaying signs of the enchantment that allowed it to punch through his shield so easily. Girion took a deep breath, eyes almost tearing up from the pain emanating from half a dozen points on his arms and chest and one acid-burned strip of flesh on his thigh. Barely able to lift his shield and mace, he set the mace down and hurriedly took a gulp from a flask at his side. It helped, but not enough. If there were more of these devilishly enchanted Olthoi about, he knew he wouldn't last long.
A few moments later, Girion saw another Olthoi in the corridor. This one was smaller than the other. It looked like an Eviscerator. Knowing what to look for now, he could spot the telltale glow of enchantment from its spearlike limbs. He sighed. The Eviscerator noticed him and chittered a challenge. Before moving forward to attack him, it let spew a gout of flame from its mandibles. The flare of fire lit up the cavern and made him squint his eyes.
Girion almost dropped his mace when he saw this Olthoi breathing fire. "That's just not right," he sighed, as he advanced to do battle with this exotically lethal breed of Olthoi.
Girion materialized in front of the Arwic lifestone. He was battered, bleeding from a dozen different wounds, and scorched all over. As soon as the disorientation of his recent death faded, his eyes came to focus on a dripping cold mug in front of him, and he smelled the sharp, heady aroma of a high quality beer. He almost thought he'd found the way out of Dereth and into a proper afterlife, before he noticed that it was Adso holding the frosty mug in front of him. The assassin looked similarly abused, with his leather armor hanging in pieces from him, slashed and blasted all over.
Girion accepted the mug wordlessly from Adso and took a long gulp, quickly draining half the pint. He sat for a few moments, gathering his composure, then looked towards his employer.
"Bad?" Adso asked him.
"Very bad." He showed off his perforated shield.
"That's bad," Adso agreed.
"And some of them breathe fire now," Girion elaborated.
"Very bad," Adso nodded.
"What happened to you?" Girion asked.
Adso grinned ruefully. "I was just trying to help a little girl find her lost toys."
Original Link (now dead) -http://ac.turbine.com/?page_id=548
August 2007 Rollout Article
Four armed and armored humans strode into the settlement of Oolutanga's Refuge. A pleasant breeze, redolent of the sea and tropical flowers, drifted through the village of trees and huts. Though the entire island of Aphus Lassel was a jungle paradise, teeming with life, the small village that served as the residence for the Tusker King Ooolutanga and his followers was nearly deserted.
At the dimly lit fringes of the settlement, solitary Tuskers moved back and forth, going quietly about their business. Universally, they moved with their heads down, refusing to even look at the visitors, though their tense body language and agitated snorts from a few of the males made it clear that their arrival had been noticed.
"What's wrong with everyone?" The first human to speak was a teenaged boy, just growing into his full adult size. He was dressed in gleaming black plate armor and walked with the upright, imperious bearing of those born to rule and trained to warfare. His name was Borelean Strathelar, and he was the crown prince of the realm of New Aluvia.
"Things are not well in King Oolutanga's domain, my son," said his mother. Cutting a strange figure for the ruler of the realm of humans, Queen Elysa was tall and leanly muscled, dressed in worn leather armor and carrying her famous longbow.
Their other companions were much less famous, but no less distinguished in their service to the realm. At the front of the group, dressed in a practical mixture of oiled black chainmail and leather, the scout and assassin Adso stood point watchfully and alertly, ready for any kind of trouble from the easily angered Tuskers. By the Queen's side, the sorceress Hoshino Kei stood, dressed in a set of Exarch mage robes, bristling with powerful enchantments. She was probably the most well-defended member of the group, and not just because the young and infatuated Prince had come to regard her with a sort of chivalric protectiveness.
Though Elysa had the keenest eyes and Adso was the best-trained scout of the group, it was Kei who spotted their contact on the island, a human woman named Jilna Fullgood. She huddled in the shadow of Oolutanga's personal home, gesturing to them while attempting to remain inconspicuous to the very tense Tuskers milling about not too far away.
"There," Kei said with a soft voice. She had the presence of mind not to point and draw attention to Jilna, but instead used her eyes and the set of her jaw to indicate Jilna's position. "There she is. As she promised. I only hope she has that potion she promised to brew for us."
Adso nodded and looked back over the group. "Let's go, then. No time to waste."
King Oolutanga sat slumped on his throne, with the strange Tusker Mudmouth hunched at his side. Oolutanga's eyes were unfocused and dim, while Mudmouth scanned the room with angry and suspicious eyes. At four points around the throne room, four great, dark pillars stood, thrumming with energy.
Mudmouth was the first to notice the arrival of the royal party. He hissed in anger, black lips drawing back from his teeth in an expression that was both undeniably simian and yet disturbingly human.
"Unwelcome visitors, Great King Oolutanga," he whispered to the insensate King.
Oolutanga's head lolled limply on his great neck, and he managed to focus his gaze on the four human intruders. Before he could muster up the will to say anything, Queen Elysa spoke up.
"Your village is not as friendly as I remembered it, King Oolutanga," she said respectfully.
It seemed like it took a moment for Oolutanga to understand that he'd been addressed. He shook his head, scattering slobber from his jaws. "Why should this village be friendly to you, Queen Elysa of the hairless apes? You are not a friend to Great King Oolutanga."
At the king's side, Mudmouth nodded enthusiastically. "Well spoken, Great King. Little Elysa is nothing to our affairs."
"I wonder about the pillars that stand here, Great King Oolutanga," Kei said, strolling forward casually. "I had heard before of the wonders of your court, but I have never heard of these things, which are unique and beautiful…" She approached near one of the pillars and, under Mudmouth's suspicious gaze, ran one hand cautiously down its side. Prince Borelean moved quietly to stand behind her, one hand on his sword, looking warily between Kei and Mudmouth.
"Stand back from that pillar, little girl-child. Who are you to come in here to the Great King's throne room and fool with things that are beyond your understanding?" The menace in Mudmouth's growl set them all on edge.
Kei bowed. "I apologize for my imposition. It was not my intent to… meddle with the King's affairs." With that, she retreated from her forward position and came back to stand with Adso and Queen Elysa. Prince Borelean stayed in front, rippling with aggression and nervous energy. As Kei rejoined them, she looked into the Queen's eyes and nodded ever so slightly.
Adso detected the motion and stepped forward to stand next to Prince Borelean.
Mudmouth noticed the byplay between them all and waved his hand. From the edges of the room, Tuskers appeared. Great and powerful Tuskers, the strongest warriors loyal to Oolutanga and his advisor.
"Do not do this," Queen Elysa cautioned. "This can be resolved without bloodshed. I assure you, if you come at us, you will die." Calmly, she drew her bow and nocked an arrow. Adso and Prince Borelean drew blades, and Hoshino Kei produced a spellcasting orb from within the sleeves of her robe.
Mudmouth snarled at the humans. "Fools! We are allied with a greater power! A power that recognizes the true potential of the Tuskers!" As if on cue, at the back of the room, a cloaked Virindi drifted into view, enchanted sickles raised high in its ethereal hands.
Elysa looked into the eyes of Oolutanga himself and shouted, trying to break through the haze. "Great King Oolutanga! A false advisor leads you down dangerous roads! You can stop this now! We will help you!"
Oolutanga's eyes rolled upward, and Mudmouth cackled triumphantly. "Get them!" he screamed at the assembled guards.
As the guards surged forward to attack the four humans, Mudmouth drew a shining gem from a compartment behind the throne and broke it on the ground. He vanished in a flare of purple light, and then the wave of Tuskers broke over the Queen's little group.
A few minutes later, amid the rubble of the ruined pillars, Queen Elysa Strathelar poured a potion into the slack mouth of the still-insensate Oolutanga. As Borelean and Adso kept watch, bloodied blades still drawn, the Tusker king's eyes fluttered open, truly awake for the first time in a long time. He recognized the woman who sat at the base of his throne.
"Mudmouth…" he wheezed. "Where?"
"He escaped," Elysa answered grimly. "But not for long." She glanced at Adso, and they nodded to each other in mutual respect.
Original Link (now dead) -http://ac.turbine.com/?page_id=545
August 2007 Release Notes
Hello there and welcome to the Release Notes for the august event, Corrupted Sovereigns! Dereth is once again on the cusp of something big occurring. The Olthoi in the north have undergone some odd changes, and there have been reports of more strangeness surrounding Bobo. Let's see what else is going on this month in Dereth.
We will be running a series of live lore based events for the August event. We have a set schedule for these events, but we will also be running them randomly as well. Our goal is as always, to let as many people as possible participate in these events. The scheduled events are as follows:
Harvestgain- August 23, Thursday, 8pm EDT
Leafcull- August 24, Friday, 8pm EDT
Morningthaw- August 25, Saturday, 3pm EDT
Solclaim- August 26, Sunday, 3pm EDT
Thistledown- August 27, Monday, 8pm EDT
Verdantine- August 28, Tuesday, 8pm EDT
Wintersebb- August 29, Wednesday, 8pm EDT
Darktide- August 30, Thursday, 8pm EDT
Frostfell- August 31, Friday, 8pm EDT
Updated Content and Functionality
After studying how Composite weapons are made, a Gharu'ndim woman has finally come up with a way to craft a Composite Atlatl.
The area in Olthoi north that had seen some strange activity over the last month is now seeing even more activity. Adventurers hunting near that area may want to proceed with caution when the August event goes live.
There has been more strange activity surrounding Bobo. Players may want to trying running through things again, to see how they may be of help to the Tusker cause.
A new spirit has arisen from the Graveyard. This new spirit appears to be looking for something that was lost. It has been reported that this new spirit has only appeared at night.
In the past Tuskies could only hit players with their projectile attacks, even though at some point they would run up and try to hit you with physical attacks. This has been fixed and the Tuskies will now be able to hit players with projectile as well as physical attacks.
The Portal Guardian outside of Sanamar has finally decided to stop talking about the festival activities, right before the start of the next festival season.
In Concept/Game Discussion
We wanted to take this time to discuss some changes we want to make to The Colosseum in the coming months. As we had said when we first introduced The Colosseum, it is going to be an ever changing place where players will have multiple options.
The first of these upcoming changes will be the introduction of Colosseum currency. The basic concept will be that as players work their way through The Colosseum, they will earn Colosseum coins, depending on how far they make it through. The more levels you complete, the more coins you will collect. Players will then be able to spend these coins at a special vendor in The Colosseum, who will sell some unique items found only on that vendor. This vendor will work the same way that all of our vendor work, but instead of taking pyreal, he will only take Colosseum coins.
Some of the items we are looking at making available for purchase would be things like; 24hour passes to certain Colosseum bosses, Colosseum Tickets, Keys to open the Colosseum chest, and more. The items listed above are of course only tentative, and could change at any time during our development of this new currency.
Another thing we are looking at adding to The Colosseum is a practice area. This would be a place where players would be able to go in to a Colosseum like room, click on a statue representing a particular stage of The Colosseum and do "practice runs" on the levels of their choice. Players would not earn xp for these practice runs, but they would be able to learn and adapt to certain stages that may be causing them problems. This could be something that will help people get better at making Colosseum runs, without having to waste an entire run through The Colosseum.
So there are just some of the things we have in store for Asheron's Call in August and beyond. Please remember that along with everything listed here, there are several new quests and exciting things going into the game for the August event.