Original Link (now dead) -http://ac.turbine.com/?page_id=579
Introductions - May
The air was heavy with smoke and the stench of burned flesh. The smell of slaughter lingered on every blood- and ichor-spattered surface in the underground cavern. A man dressed in gore-encrusted leather armor walked across the cavern floor, which was littered with corpses. A few of the corpses were human, dressed in robes, now sodden with blood and filled with puncture wounds. Most of the corpses were spectacularly inhuman: great tentacled beasts and finned horrors from another realm…
Stepping around one particularly large, tentacled carcass that still stunk of the dark magic that once animated it, the master assassin Oswald found several of his acolytes gathered together around something in a back corner of the cavern. As he grew closer, he could hear a sibilant whispering noise. It seemed his acolytes had managed to capture one alive, after all. He smiled slightly, even as the crowd of acolytes noticed him and parted quickly to reveal their prisoner.
The captive was humanoid in shape, a two-legged, two-armed shambler that walked mostly upright. But its skin was scaly and fouled with slime, and its head was crested with a sharp finned ridge. Goggle-shaped eyes glowered balefully at him, and its wide, fish-like mouth flapped and hissed with pain and rage. Its limbs had been pinned to the ground by the simple expedient of four heavy dirks driven through its flesh and between its major bones. By the creature's head, one of his acolytes stood by with a blade, ready to dispatch the creature at his command.
Oswald looked up and met the eyes of one of the other acolytes assembled here, a young woman whose cockiness was evident in the set of her arms as she watched her Master approach. "Sabithra," Oswald said to her, "report now."
The woman grinned and bowed with exaggerated deference. "We managed to bring this one down alive, Master. As you told us, it is different from the other Moarsmen that we're most familiar with, but it does seem, in its powers and its inclinations and its… smell… to be similar to the new colonies of these creatures that have appeared on shores around Dereth. First near Ayan Baqur, then Tou-Tou, and – "
Oswald held up a hand. "Enough. I've reviewed the scouts' reports. I know where these things have crawled ashore." He paused to listen to the noises the creature was making. "Have any of you been able to understand what it's been saying? Have you been able to divine which of the Matriarchs this one serves?"
Sabithra shook her head. "Unintelligible to all of us, Master. It doesn't seem to recognize any of the Matriarch names you taught us. At least, it didn't seem particularly reverent or respectful of any of them. Just seemed to get more and more angry when we repeated those names."
Oswald nodded. "As I expected. Give me some room." He made a gesture, and the acolytes all took a step back as their Master approached to squat near the creature. They watched in fascination as their Master looked into the creature's eyes and muttered something harsh and guttural.
The creature's eyes, which were beginning to dim from pain and blood loss, snapped back open, alight with surprise and anger. A torrent of gibberish spilled forth from the creature's mouth, and more blood and ichor spattered on their Master's armor. A gob of slime hit their master in the face, which he wiped away with calm dignity. He continued to speak to the creature in its own language, and the beast grew even more animated. The acolytes all watched in dumb incomprehension.
Finally, Oswald seemed to ask the creature a question. The creature's response was a croak of what seemed like malevolent laughter, and a word that sounded like "T'thuun" seemed to issue from its lips several times as it responded to the question.
Sighing, Oswald drew a handkerchief from within his armor and wiped off his hands and face. He stood up and looked back over the rest of the cavern, where more of his acolytes were dutifully dripping lamp oil over the rest of the corpses. He nodded to the acolyte standing ready with the sword, then stepped back. The acolyte nodded and brought the sword down in a smooth arc that severed the creature's bulbous head from its body. Blood and gore fountained from the neck-hole and showered the sword-wielding acolyte and Sabithra with more pungent ichor. Sabithra cursed and stepped back, flicking pieces of viscera from her armor.
Oswald indulged himself with a small smile at Sabithra's displeasure before he tossed the handkerchief to her. "Clean your hands off," he said to her. "Now, are you carrying parchment and a pen like I asked you to?"
Gritting her teeth, Sabithra nodded. "I am, Master."
Oswald nodded and smiled at her. "Very good. Now, retrieve them from your pack and get ready to take dictation."
Sabithra almost dropped the handkerchief. "Dictation, Master? I don't understand."
"Dictation, my quick-learning acolyte, means I will speak out loud, and you will write my words down on paper. Then, we will roll up the paper, and send it to someone as a letter. Make sure you write neatly. These hoary old nobles do value good penmanship. More to the point, I'm sure that they're going to want to hear all about recent developments among the Falatacot. Perhaps that old fool will even be able to tell me why these creatures have found something to worship in place of the old Matriarchs. It's the least he can do, with all the time I've spent cleaning up his mess."
"I…" Sabithra looked into Oswald's eyes and decided not to push her Master's patience. "As you say, Master." She finished wiping her hands off, then retrieved a sheaf of parchment and a quill from her pack. She sat near Oswald, braced the paper on top of her pack, wet the pen in a small bottle of ink, and made ready to take dictation.
"Wonderful," Oswald said approvingly. "I'll start the dictation now. ‘To Lord Rytheran of Menilesh…'"
Sabithra tried to contain her own look of surprise as she began to write.
Original Link (now dead) -http://ac.turbine.com/?page_id=582
Rollout Article - May
Lord Rytheran sat in his most recently constructed sanctum, his journal open before him to a blank page. The proud Lord of Menilesh, once the most favored noble of the Eternal Court of Dericost, slouched in a most undignified fashion in his hard stone throne. All around him, his servants silently carried on their tasks, engaged in research and minor magical experiments, while he himself brooded over the empty journal, staring at the white parchment with empty eyes. He thought about mistakes and miscalculations that dated back millennia – to memories that seemed more like dreams to him now, perhaps stories that he had once been told. He thought about the very real problems those mistakes had created for him now, in an age he could never have foreseen and in a situation he never wanted to be a part of.
His thoughts were interrupted by his Steward, who entered the room, dodged past a few scurrying acolytes, and took up a position just to his side, obviously waiting to be acknowledged and unwilling to speak or touch his master in order to receive such acknowledgement.
Rytheran let him stand there for a few moments before he turned to look at the Steward. He then noticed the rolled-up parchment in the Steward's hand, and asked him with a flat voice, "What news do you bring?"
The Steward bowed deeply, almost abjectly, and presented the letter. "A thousand pardons for interrupting your, ah, contemplation, my lord. This missive was brought by… a mortal. An Isparian."
Rytheran's interest piqued, as much from interest as irritation. It bothered his ancient pride to even have to treat with the lesser races that had stumbled into a land his people once claimed for their own. Still…
"What sort of Isparian?" he asked. "One of the little slave-queen's servants? The witch's? The assassin's? Some other pawn of the Yalain?"
"From the messenger's dress and… methods of ingress, I believe this missive comes from the assassin. The seal would seem to indicate that as well."
Rytheran took the letter and looked at the seal. The deep red wax indeed bore a familiar sigil. He straightened up in his seat and raised his head to look around the room and announced, "I will be alone now." With little delay and in almost total silence, the room full of servants and acolytes set down what they were doing and shuffled dutifully from the chamber, shepherded out by the ever-servile Steward. The Steward himself was the last to leave, and closed the door softly behind him.
Sighing with all the weariness of a hundred dusty centuries, Rytheran broke the seal and looked at the letter. He sneered to see that the text was in the primitive characters of the Isparian alphabet, and knew this to be a deliberate insult. He held the parchment in his right hand while absent-mindedly tapping an ancient, half-forgotten song with the fingers of his left hand. Gradually, his fingers stopped tapping, and clenched into a fist. When he got to the end of the letter and the sign-off from his correspondent, he raised his fist and slammed it down onto the granite surface of his desktop.
The whole table shuddered from the force of the blow. Cracks spread out from his fist in a spiderweb pattern. A nearby candlestick swayed, and an ancient vase fell from its mount and shattered on the stone floor. Rytheran stood up from his throne, balled up the letter, and threw it into a corner of the room.
There was the sound of running footsteps from outside. The door opened slowly as the Steward hesitantly poked his head back into the room, expecting to have to duck a magical bolt, or at least a thrown lamp. He was relieved to find his master merely pacing the room in agitation. "Is all well, my lord? Is there something you would have of me?"
Rytheran stopped pacing and turned to address his Steward with a calm voice. "Open the pathway to Bur. Bring me a scribe and a messenger. An expendable messenger. When they see what I have to say, when they find out what has happened to their followers on this world, those treacherous old crones will undoubtedly want to sacrifice someone."
Original Link (now dead) -http://ac.turbine.com/?page_id=580
Release Notes - May
Hello there and welcome to the May 2008 Release notes! Lets see what is new and exciting in Dereth this month.
New Content and Updated Functionality
As a way of saying thank you to our players for their understanding while we worked through our server issues a couple months back, we will be offering each player a choice of reward items. When players log in to the game after the May event goes live, they will be able to speak to an NPC who will give them a token they can use to choose one of several special items. The items players can choose from are:
One free level. If a player who is level 275 accidentally chooses this reward, the will get their token back to choose another item.
Aerbax Pack Doll
One 25 use key to golden chest at one of the three casinos. For this event we have slightly increased the luck on the Casino chests.
One foolproof bag of one of the following salvage types
20 Enhanced Health Elixirs (200 health) There is a 5 minute cooldown on the use of each potion.
20 Enhanced Mana Elixir (200 mana) There is a 5 minute cooldown on the use of each potion.
Locked fellowships will now transfer leadership to the next in line when the leader drops so that the leader can be re-invited. There will only be a 15 minute window in which this option is viable. So if after 15 minutes, the leader has not returned, they will not be able to be re-invited to the fellowship. This fix also resolves the issue of players not being able to rejoin a fellowship after being dropped more than once.
Hoshino Kei is no longer in two places at once.
Based on player feedback, we have gone through current spells in the game to ensure that spells are not overwriting each other improperly.
The reward NPC for the Burun Kings quests and the Deep no longer give out title tokens. They will now just give players the title, rather than the token.
Due to technical reasons, any Dark scarabs that players have when the worlds come down for the May event, will be gone when the worlds come back up. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause players.
The invoker quest and the Burun Kings quest have both had their XP rewards updated to higher amounts.
Items with Cooldown timers now have a visible countdown on their icon. This should allow players to more easily tell when an item is ready to be used again.
Graveyard Wisps now show their correct level to better reflect the difficulty of fighting them.
Some strange new forts have appeared in the waters around Dereth. Players may want to investigate these strange structures.