Atamarr stood in the desert sands, looking over the latest batch of recruits. The peoples of Dereth had been busy; there were more recruits to his cause every day. As a small dust-devil whipped by, he turned toward the assembled ranks and spoke. “Greetings to you all. I am Atamarr, the Primus of the Gold Gear House. You, who have begun to see the truth of the Iron Blade schemes, have been gathered here to set to rights the evils the Iron Blade Primus is perpetuating in this world, as well as on our homeworld.”
Atamarr stopped for a moment to gauge the reactions of the ranks. There was some murmuring, and a few notes of approval. Atamarr thought about how hard it was… how hard it is… to have to judge the doings of the Great Houses, when for so long they had guided the lives of every Gear Knight. It was like taking the only thing in the world you could always rely on, and then learning that it was based on lies. He hoped that those standing in front of him had the strength to endure that loss, and still honor their people at the same time.
Trying not to show his sadness at the situation he was reawakened to, Atamarr continued, “From all those who have joined our cause, I have selected you specifically because each of you carries the gifts necessary to thrive in this new world. Of all of us, you are the most open-minded, the most willing to explore, and the most ready to learn things anew.” Atamarr thought that it was both strange and fitting that it was the youngest, least experienced recruits that had the potential he needed to rebuild on Dereth. Those who had functioned for the longest were more powerful, but could not as easily cope with the radical changes needed to survive in this place, to start over from nothing.
Atamarr paced down the first line of recruits. Each stood with military precision, as was expected, but also admired by the old Primus. “You all are our greatest hope in this world. The old ways cannot weather this storm. We are now separated from our home. There is nothing we can do for those whom we left behind. The Iron Blade Primus himself controls the access from our homeworld to this place. Unless we can change that, there is no going back. So, with that option removed, what are we to do?”
The question set the lines quietly abuzz. Atamarr gave them a moment to mull it over before continuing. “What we will do…all we can do… is start anew. To that end, these are my final orders to you. From this moment on, in Dereth, the Great Houses are disbanded!” Atamarr's voice rose in volume as he continued to inspect the lines. “No more can we stand separate! My quest for each of you is this: Go into the places and mingle with the peoples of Dereth. They are not your enemy, even if forces here and at home wish for you to believe such. Learn from them, find their worth, and earn their friendship and trust.”
“Those that have sided with me against the Iron Blade will find succor and friendship amongst the varied peoples here. The Aluvian Queen, Lady Elysa, has allowed us to join the alliance of races she has helped create. You all will be considered as one of them now, a free citizen of this realm. Use that freedom well. Learn all this world has to teach, and create a better place for all our people. This is our home now. Treat it and its peoples with respect and honor, as I know you are all capable of.”
At this point, the gathered ranks of young Gear Knights broke into an uproar. Some cheered on Atamarr, some called out questions in confusion, while others were horrified at the changes being laid out before them. Atamarr raised his hands, quieting them.
“Yes, I understand that this changes everything we were raised to believe in, and yes, I understand that this will not be easy. You have not joined a side in a war as you may have believed, at least not in the traditional sense. There is no way, at present, to stop the Iron Blade Primus's actions on our homeworld. We are trapped here, unless we can find some way to create another path home. We can battle those who come here as his forces, or show them the light, as you all saw. But we cannot simply end this situation as it stands now. We will continue to find a way. We will find one eventually, but until that time comes, it serves us all best if we grow in strength as a people.”
“You are indeed the youngest of us, but in that fact lies our greatest hopes. Of all of us in Dereth, you have the greatest capacity to adapt, to learn, and to grow in understanding of the strengths of this place and its peoples. Use that strength to your advantage, to all of our advantage. Go now, with my blessing, and knowing that you are now the guiding lights of our people. Dismissed.”
With that, Atamarr turned on his heel and marched back to Xarabydun proper. Along the sides of the ranks of recruits, several older Gear Knights began opening portals to the Academies where the new members of Dereth would take their first steps in learning of the home that now awaited them.
“Greetings, Empyrean Overbeing. I come to you with news of use to yourself.” said Claude the Virindi, who still maintained that he was just another Isparian and the Archmage of Ayan Baqur. Nobody had the heart to tell Claude that his assumed disguise had never fooled even Ulgrim, let alone the adventurous visitors to Ayan Baqur.
“Greetings, Claude. What news do you bring this day?” Asheron wondered what it was that could bring Claude all the way to his island. It was rare for Claude to leave his self-assigned post as a magical supplies vendor.
“During my... studies... into Portalspace, with my fellow meat-bag mages, we managed to locate a small number of entities matching your general characteristics. We have heard that you seek such fellows, and wished to impart to you the knowledge needed to find said beings.” As Claude spoke, a small black crystal emerged from ones of his sleeves and floated over to Asheron. “This missive contains the location information necessary to access said entities.”
Asheron couldn't believe his luck; after what seemed like ages searching for his lost kin, Claude, of all beings, managed to find a small pocket of Empyreans trapped in Portalspace! And then came to tell him how to reach it! This was far too good to be true. Asheron carefully suppressed his growing hope for a moment and asked, “Are you positive, Claude?”
“Were they... alive, when you found them?”
“Inspection found them to have continued biological activity, but dormant... I mean, they seemed asleep.”
Asheron held the small shard gingerly while he continued. “And this message shard contains what I need to find them?”
“Query: Have I ever lied to you or given you reason not to trust this simple Archmage?”
Asheron suppressed a smile as he answered, “No, Claude, you have not.” He still wasn't sure if he should trust Claude, but he had gotten the Virindi's help in the past, and he had always been straight and to the point in those dealings. “Thank you for this. If I can free even a small number of my people, it is a great boon to me.”
“You are welcome, Empyrean Asheron... I hope this information serves you well.”
“It will, Claude, it will.”
As Claude floated back out to the courtyard and ripped a hole into Portalspace, Asheron set to drawing the needed information out of the message shard. He found the information surprisingly complete. In all his years of searching, he had never considered asking one of the friendlier, independent Virindi for aid. Now he all but cursed himself a fool for not doing so sooner. Portalspace was the Virindis native home, and none knew it better. Once this pocket of Empyreans was freed, he'd have to ask Claude for help in locating the rest.
As he walked to his Circle, deep under the castle tower, Asheron pondered the best ritual layout to carefully and delicately access this deep portion of Portalspace. He'd have to take several extra precautions opening even a small portal so deep into the swirling mess of Portalspace, especially if he didn't want to potentially disturb whatever was keeping those he wanted to save alive and asleep.
Two days of preparations, castings, and magical rites later, he was prepared to extract the group of Empyreans from their slumbering tomb. Asheron quickly reviewed the information, as well as his preparations and defenses, just to be safe. Once he was satisfied that he had covered all foreseeable problems he began the ritual itself.
For the first hour of the magical rite, everything went perfectly. It had been quite some time since he had manipulated Portalspace in this way, and he was pleased that all of the old memories came back unbidden. Then, unexpectedly, everything shifted; some outside force began assaulting the magical lattice he had created to stabilize the deep section of Portalspace so he could open a portal to it directly. Asheron triggered the first line of prepared defenses, and then the second, as the assault continued.
Asheron could not identify the force attacking his spells, but it proved to be quite powerful and was still unweaving his magics even through the now-disintegrating defensive magics. The tactics that the force used seemed somewhat akin to what he knew of the Virindi, but skewed somehow, like they knew exactly which threads of power to pluck from the magical latticework and which places his defenses would be the weakest. Asheron scrambled to keep the magics stable, but as he did, something else shifted...
As best as he could tell, later, he had managed to unweave the effect before any permanent harm could come to him or his destination. The effort, however, had left him unconscious on the floor of his own Circle, where his Guardians had found him and moved him to his chambers to recover. As soon as he was obviously awake, one of his Emissaries approached his bedside and waited to be acknowledged.
“Speak, Emissary. What do you have for me?”
“Lord Asheron, a large disturbance was detected in the local Portalspace field around the time of your rituals. We have received several reports that the portal network connecting the more populated areas of Dereth has destabilized completely.”
“A decent number of portals have failed, M'Lord.”
Asheron sighed sullenly. “I see. Thank you. Emissary. I'll attend to it immediately.” He slowly rose from bed and brushed the worst of the wrinkles from his robes. “Inform Queen Elysa that I'll be needing to speak to the Council, and get Prince Borelean and his wife for me.”
“As you wish, Lord Asheron,” said the Emissary. He bowed and left the room.
Asheron mumbled to no one in particular as he walked slowly to his library. “Well, I guess the rescue will have to wait until I can undo the damage and figure out what in blazes that was that attacked the ritual.”
A Virindi floated up to the old, stone throne in a darkened hall. “My Lord, the information you asked for was leaked to the unaligned ones who would share it with the Lightbringer, as you requested.”
“Excellent. Did your Apostates manage to disrupt his utterly predictable ritual?”
“Yes, Lord. The rite was disrupted before completion; thank you for the information on how his magics would be constructed. The intended targets remain trapped in Portalspace, and we used the fluctuations in the magics caused by the interference to destabilize his other works.”
Greetings and welcome to the June Event Release Notes! The Developers have once again been hard at work to bring everyone the best and most compelling content and features. This month Gear Knights are the latest playable race to join the ranks of the free peoples of Dereth. Along with the introduction of Gear Knights, several other changes are set to release this month, including the new landscape textures. Check out the Release notes to see everything that is new and exciting this month in Asheron's Call!
The newest playable race Gear Knights, have been added to the game. You can read the introductory fiction here, and read more about the Gear Knights functionality here.
The new Landscape Textures are in the game. When players first log in, their settings will default to medium. When turning up the graphics, players may notice some hitching on the higher settings, depending on your computer setup
The Town Portal Network has been created. Read here for more information
With the addition of another playable race, a new character slot has been unlocked for all players!
Negative Atheria spells should work on the creatures of Dereth
The Chapterhouse rings now include the two handed weapon skill spell
Some changes have been made that we hope will help those who experience the graying out of the landscape on ATI cards
Impious Staff quest has had the xp gained from the quest increased
The monthly killtask has been updated
The Glenden Wood Invasion is now more user friendly and has had an XP increase
Players now have the option of turning on Landscape Fog.
Players now have the option to turn on Visual Slots on the inventory screen
Several Typos have been fixed
So there are just some of the things we have in store for Asheron's Call in June. Please remember that along with everything listed here, there are new quests and exciting things going into the game for the June event.
With the introduction of Gear Knights as the next playable race, we thought it would be good to give everyone more insight into how they will interact with the world.
Gear Knights do not wear traditional armor. Instead, they can take the pieces of armor they find and transform those pieces into Core Plating to strengthen their forms. To do this, Gear Knights use a device called the Core Plating Integrator to transform their findings into a piece of plating that covers the same locations as an armor piece. The Core Plating Integrator uses Aether magic to create the Plating, which can then be installed onto the Gear Knight in the same manner as a human might wear more conventional armor.
Another important aspect of the new playable race is their weapon forte, for Gear Knights come from a battalion trained in the use of Mace. Therefore, Mace is a racial skill for PC Gear Knights.
The Primus did not want to leave his Gear Knights in a position where they could not trade with other denizens of Dereth. His aim is to encourage Gear Knights to interact with, and learn from, other races of Dereth. Having them unable to traffic the Core Plating pieces might lead to the Gear Knights shying away from trade. To remedy this, the Primus also created a Core Plating Deintegrator. This small device uses Aether magic to reverse the process of core plating integration, effectively reconstructing the armor piece back to its original form. This allows the Gear Knights to barter their wears with other races of Dereth.
So there is a breif look at the inner workings of Gear Knights. We hope you all enjoy playing them as much as we enjoyed making them the newst playable race in Asheron's Call!
With the addition of races that do not fit the standard human models, and the ability to turn multislot pieces of armor into a single slot the current inventory screen was inconvenient for players. We have added an additional view to help with this.
At the bottom of the current inventory screen, near the feet of the character, is a check box called Slots. This check box hides the character portrait and show explicit slots for all the armor pieces. This allows players to quickly equip and unequip items and to see what slots might still be open and unprotected.
The Asheron's Call team is always looking for ways to add new and exciting things to the game. Thanks to our old friend Matt "Scenario" Elliott once again, for creating this concept and the armor in-game that players will be able to acquire when the July event goes live! You can leave a comment about this concept art on the Official Asheron's Call forums!
Here is the Concept Art for this new armor.
And here is an early In-Game shot of the New Armor.
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