The Virindi drifted serenely toward an assembled crowd of a dozen Lugians. The grey giants were standing in a circle around another Virindi and a large open space on the floor. All of the Lugians were members of the Gotrok, a group that had rebelled against their lords in the citadel of Linvak Tukal and had allied themselves with a renegade faction of Virindi that had been dubbed by their Isparian foes as “Apostates.”
They were all gathered in a newly discovered ruin far beneath the Direlands. The Lugians had been excavating the site for weeks, and had finally broken through several thousand years' worth of sediment to find the remnants of an Empyrean facility that apparently predated the presence of Lugians, Virindi, or humans on Dereth. Not long after they had broken through a wall to explore the interior, all labor had ceased as the Lugians discovered something incredibly interesting, and summoned the Virindi supervising them, the one now floating in the middle of their circle.
The Virindi in the center of the circle was a Servant, with little independent initiative of its own, charged merely with directing the labor of the Lugians. The newly arrived Virindi was its superior, ranked a Master in the Apostate command structure, and given broad latitude in its powers to explore, expand, and defend this dig site.
The Master drifted into the crowd of giants. These Lugians were eight feet tall, nearly half a ton of muscle, and descendants of a proud and harsh warrior culture. Even so, they stood aside, respectful and occasionally fearful, as the insubstantial shrouded figure moved among them. The gleaming sickles at the end of its arms were elegant and effective weapons, but the magical power at its command was the true intimidator. The Lugians knew little of magic and feared and distrusted its power, and they knew that, behind the unsettling graven visage of the Virindi's white mask lurked an alien and ruthless mind, capable of sapping the strength from their limbs with a thought, or destroying them all with blasts of fire and acid
At the center of the crowd, the Master came close to its Servant, which was hovering over a pile of bronze-colored metal. The mass of metal appeared to be some kind of suit of armor, or the body parts of some metal creature. Armored legs, arms, breastplate, and helmet were visible. It lay in pieces, and inside each of the body parts could be seen intricate gears and clockwork mechanical parts.
The Servant dipped in the air to acknowledge its Master and opened its mind to communicate.
“We have found a remnant,” it wordlessly told the Master through their telepathic bond. “It is ancient by the estimations of this world. Analysis dates it to before the opening of the portals, before the invasion of the Olthoi destroyed Empyrean civilization in this locality.”
The Master absorbed this information and drifted closer, letting its own keen analytic senses wash over the prone form of this clockwork being.
“We do not detect sentience in this shell, and it does not appear to ever have harbored biological components, but it still carries the emanations of energy within its shell,” the Master told the Servant.
“We discovered traces of energy within the shell. A core of power contained within the abdomen of the body.”
The Master, with a mind more capable of analogies and comparisons than the other, acknowledged the information. “If this entity was once a bipedal biological construct like the Lugians or the human meatlings, the core would be its heart.”
The Servant had nothing to say to that, but continued with its report. “The power core is composed of an unfamiliar element. The element appears to be very complex in structure, yet very concentrated and rich in potential even in the trace amounts present here.”
The Master examined the body parts more closely, paying special attention to the abdomen and the power core. “The Quiddity knows of this element, but it is rarely seen and knowledge of its properties is not granted to those of limited agency.”
The Master stepped back, coming perilously close to excitement at its find. It asked the Servant a question: “Are there more shells like this?”
The Servant said, “Our remote survey indicates there are more shells distributed throughout the facility. We also sense trace emanations of the unknown element.”
The Master thought for a moment. It turned to survey the crowd of curious Lugians gathered around, then spoke again in the mind of the Servant with a series of orders.
“Send a message to the Consul. Inform it that we will need fifty more Gotrok laborers and thirty Hea soldiers to continue the work here. We will also require six more Servants to supervise the work and security details. Secure this area. Allow no more laborers to enter this chamber.”
The Servant was about to turn to go and execute its orders when a quick command from the Master brought it back to attention.
“Order these laborers to their quarters. When the new Gotrok laborers arrive, direct them to separate quarters, outside the facility. Do not let the groups mingle. When the Hea and Servants arrive, they are to exterminate all of the laborers gathered here. From that moment on, only other Servants will be allowed to see or touch any of these shells.”
The Servant bobbed in the air to acknowledge the instructions. “We shall obey.”
Queen Elysa paced back and forth in front of a giant map of Dereth and its surrounding islands. In one hand she clutched a rolled-up parchment, twisting it in her hands in agitation. The map itself was a marvel. It was as long on each side as a human was tall, and incredibly detailed. Lakes, forests, rivers, and mountains were all rendered perfectly and in full relief, so that one could almost feel the snow swirling around the peaks of the Linvak mountains, or smell the fetid stink coming off Blackmire Swamp.
The map was Asheron's creation, and he had created it in the council room of his private fortress on the island he claimed as his own. He stood at the head of the table, looking down over the map in deep thought. The wizard Harlune sat nearby, nursing a mug of ale and frowning at everything.
Asheron gestured at the map, and a small point in the northeastern Direlands began to glow. “So,” he began, “your scouts report a new Apostate excavation here…” All three of them looked at the map with varying levels of unease. “What other details have they reported?”
“The scholars at the Arcanum believe the Apostates are re-visiting Levistras' plan to create a New Singularity for themselves on Dereth, and so establish this realm as a home world for them. If they succeed where Levistras failed, that will be the end of Isparian civilization on Dereth, not to mention the enslavement or extinction of every other sentient race on Dereth.” The Queen looked around at her two companions. “I imagine even you two might have reason to fear if the Apostates become the ultimate power on Dereth.”
Asheron nodded slowly. “Indeed. Harlune and I have both survived great catastrophes on Dereth, thanks in no small part to the bravery and resourcefulness of your Isparians. But if the Apostates claim Auberean as their own, I fear we will have nowhere to hide, and little power left with which to combat them.”
Harlune snorted. “Not to mention the kind of havoc they will be able to wreak across multiple worlds. Auberean is a crossroads and a center of power across multiple intersecting plains, thanks to its unique connections to portal space. They'd be foxes in control of the henhouse, with access to every other henhouse in all of creation.”
Both Asheron and Elysa grimaced at the thought. “What reason is there to believe they will succeed, then, if Levistras already failed once in such a plan?” Elysa asked hopefully.
Asheron sighed. “They have discovered the presence of Aetherium in these lands. In tiny amounts, to be sure, but it is present, and they seem to be gathering as much as they can. Levistras knew nothing of Aetherium, and the New Singularity it attempted to construct was based on a much less powerful medium for the manipulations of its own rebel Virindi.”
Harlune spoke up. “In addition, that archdemon T'thuun kicked over a lot of apple carts when it tried to come into the world. The ley lines that bound and control the magic of Dereth are weakened and vulnerable to further manipulation.”
“If that's the case, no doubt the activities of the secret societies have also done some damage, and made the Apostates' task easier,” Elysa said with a meaningful glance at Harlune.
The old mage ignored that and took a long gulp of his drink. “What else did your scouts say?” he asked.
Elysa unrolled her parchment again, and re-read it carefully. She'd already read it a dozen times, but she read it again in the vain hope that the mysterious words would make more sense to her.
“One scout overheard the Lugians around the work site say something about unearthing an ancient Primus, whatever that is. But shortly after that, the Lugians were herded away by a Virindi Apostate and they have yet to come back to the surface.”
Asheron and Harlune glanced at each other in alarm at mention of the word “Primus.” Elysa was a veteran of combat and an expert archer, and her eyes missed none of this.
“What? Do you know what this Primus is, and why they are talking about it?”
Asheron and Harlune looked at each other significantly again, holding the gaze for a long moment. Exasperated, Elysa almost yelled, “Well?”
Finally Asheron broke his silence. “Yes. We recognize what they meant by this ancient Primus.”
Elysa looked expectantly at him. She was a mortal, a common-born Isparian who had lived but a few short decades. Though she was a Queen, Asheron was the most powerful mage in Auberean, the son of a proud line of Empyrean nobility, and thousands of years old. And yet, he could not resist the strength of her will. He'd preferred to be able to deflect her question, but decided he owed her the truth. “This is an old and sorrowful tale, one that goes back hundreds of years, before I mistakenly opened up a portal to the Olthoi world. I had been experimenting with portals, and on another world we discovered a very strange race of creatures. They sent a diplomatic delegation to this world…”
Hello there and welcome to the August 2009 Release Notes. Summer is finally here and with it, the baby creatures have become all grown up. There are also reports that the town of Mar'uun has returned again. What is going on there???
Lets see what else is new and exciting in Dereth this month!
Statues have been added to the Society Strongholds that will teleport players to Moarsman City and Freebooter Isle.
The Moarsman City drop location is now on the platform away from the monsters.
Monster Fights and Carenzi Races are now started by players. A player can start one of these events once every 15 minutes, the events themselves can go off as frequently as once every 5 minutes.
Monsters in the Monster Fights now spawn with 1 of 11 random weapon choices.
Summer is here! The baby creatures are all grown up now.
The Map now shows Moarsman City and Freebooter Isle.
Blighted Mana Crystals now drop 100% of the time off the creatures they've always dropped off.
Blighted Mucky Moarsmen no longer count for the Mucky Moarsmen killtask.
The Pincer quest will now directly award the titles as opposed to giving a title token.
Tusker tusks quest will now directly award the titles as opposed to giving a title token.
The Society Armor Writ timer has been reduced to 1 day.
The monthly Killtask and Explorers quests have been updated.
Players will now have access to Karlun's Fort if they've ever had access before. This will allow that section of the Whispering/Rossu quest to be repeated.
The infinite falling spot near the graveyard has been fixed.
Machinist Gloves should now be dyeable.
Elementals that were called humans are now elementals.
The Prodigal Olthoi broadcast typo is fixed.
The Shambling Archivist will now properly fight back.
So there are just some of the things we have in store for Asheron's Call in August. Please remember that along with everything listed here, there are several new quests and exciting things going into the game for the August Event.
Scheduled Hotfix Friday August 21st 10am -12pm Eastern
On Friday August 21st, all worlds will be down from 10am - 12pm Eastern for a hotfix. This fix will address an issue on the quest known as Thugs Part III, where if players talk to the NPC Fiona Woron before handing in the item, the NPC will lock up not allowing anyone else to complete the quest.
We apologize in advance for this extra downtime and we appreciate your patience.