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There are a few key elements related to Rytheran and his actions involving the Graveyard. Unfortunately, there are some discrepancies between them.

Ancient Enemies

In the Ancient Enemies event (Wintersebb, 18 PY) the graveyard was added. As part of this addition, the Ancient Journal Pages were introduced. Also during this event Lord Rytheran left the Mage Academy, leaving Rytheran's Apprentice in his place with an updated Rytheran's Letter. In the rollout article for this event, Adso mentioned to Sabithra that less than a year prior he had scouted that exact area of the Direlands and had seen no evidence of the graveyard.[1]

At this point, the story behind the graveyard contained no errors. Long ago, the House Mhoire fled from Dericost to Dereth when Lord Cynreft Mhoire learned that Prince Geraine IV had become undead.[2] At the conclusion of the Millennium War Geraine and his servants, including Rytheran, fled to Dereth to escape their destruction.[2] Rytheran found the Mhoires[2] and used a then unnamed magical book, later revealed to be the Book of Eibhil,[3][4][5] to destroy their estate and torture and corrupt the people.[6] All of the House Mhoire was destroyed, with only the graveyard remaining, which was eventually swallowed by the earth.[2]

Later, at some point after Wintersebb, 17 PY[1] and before Wintersebb, 18 PY, Rytheran entered the hidden library below the mage academy and read from the Book of Eibhil.[6] He did so in an attempt to refresh his fading mind, which according to his letter to Aerfalle was successful.[6] However, his reading from the book caused the graveyard to be unearthed and the spirits of the Mhoires to awaken.[6] Rytheran wrote that he would continue to study the book until he could fully restore himself and Aerfalle to their former glory.[6]

Foolish Ambition

In the Foolish Ambition event (Wintersebb, 19 PY), a new quest was introduced to recover Rytheran's Journal. The Foolish Ambition Teaser details the events prior to the quest. Now a few errors appear in the continuity.

In the teaser, Rytheran is depicted just finishing writing his journal then discarding it on the floor.[3] After a conversation with one of his majordomos, Rytheran, talking to the Book of Eibhil that once rested on the Master's Lectern, says,

"If it were my decision, I would leave you here and hope these halls remain sealed forever. But I know that will not be true, that this library and that accursed graveyard will come forth again some day. And perhaps the only chance to reverse the damage done is somewhere else within your thrice-damned pages. Very well. Come on, you vile thing. My master awaits."[3]

Rytheran then picks up the book, and is said to stride out of his study and ritual chamber for the last time.[3] This creates an error in the chain of events previously established. According to the lore from Ancient Enemies, at some point prior to the graveyard resurfacing, Rytheran had entered his library, read from the Book of Eibhil, and this reading had caused the graveyard to reappear, all of which Rytheran documented in his letter to Aerfalle.[6] However, in the Foolish Ambition Teaser, Rytheran is shown leaving his library for the last time, with the Book of Eibhil in hand, some time prior to the Graveyard resurfacing. His actions after both events are quite different, as well. See conclusions below for more details.

The other error comes from the text of the journal itself.

Pages 1, 2, and 3 seem to be written in the recent past. Rytheran reflects on events of the past: using the Book of Eibhil to destroy and curse the House Mhoire, the Battle of Ayn Tayan, the Olthoi invasion, and the various actions of the Isparians on Dereth, who have only been present on Dereth for around 25 years.

On page 4, Rytheran writes of how he was duped by the book. It is unknown whether this is in reference to his actions millenia ago with the Mhoires or his recent reading from the book.

Page 5 however seems to be written in the distant past, shortly after Rytheran had destroyed the Mhoires with the book. He writes of using the book (and given the context, presumably his use of it to destroy the Mhoires). He writes how this use has created a flaw in the Ley Lines. He states that though, "it will not arise now, or even in a thousand years," the flaw will eventually appear, and the primal chaos (presumably, T'thuun or Old Ones in general) will exploit it. He then goes on to state that he will bury and conceal the graveyard to the best of his ability to conceal the flaw for as long as he can, further supporting that this passage was written long ago.

On page 6, Rytheran seems to write in both the distant past and in the more recent past. He writes of his plot to hide his mistake--the burying of the graveyard--which we know from the Ancient Journal Page to have occurred immediately after the destruction of the Mhoires. And he writes his plans for the future--to take the book out of his library and hide it--an action which is depicted in the teaser. And lastly, he writes of his plans to prepare for the coming war over the Ley Lines - perhaps a hint at the formation of the Eldrytch Web.

Conclusion

There are two main issues that need to be resolved.

First, the content of the journal:
The Foolish Ambition teaser shows us that the book was just written, and that the events of the teaser took place prior to the Graveyard resurfacing. Based on the text of Rytheran's Letter, we can assume that his reading from the book to restore his mind took place in the library and thus before the teaser. And given that Rytheran's Journal mentions Isparians as Asheron's minions, it had to be written between 10 PY and Wintersebb, 18 PY, most likely much closer to Wintersebb, 18 PY.

Given this information, there is no reasonable explanation to the inconsistencies in the journal. While the information in the journal can probably safely still be considered canon, the timeline of the events it lays out cannot.

Second, the order of the more recent events:
Rytheran's Letter had to be written shortly after the graveyard resurfaced. It describes him recently using the Book to restore his mind, causing the graveyard to appear. It ends with Rytheran set on continuing to study the Book.

The Foolish Ambition Teaser events took place before the graveyard resurfaced, and Rytheran's Journal was written immediately preceding the teaser. It ends with him leaving his library for the last time, taking the Book with him, set on never using it again, and turning it over to Geraine.

The two accounts of events are contradictory. For his updated letter to be accurate, it would have had to be written after the journal. However, his letter makes no mention of being duped by the book, or about him taking the book to Geraine. Instead, the letter shows Rytheran as quite content to continue using the book, oblivious to the trickery of the Old Ones.

Despite the errors in the content of the journal itself, the events from Foolish Ambition are more recent, and are thus more canonical. The correct order of events is likely:

  1. In the distant past, Rytheran uses the Book of Eibhil to destroy the House Mhoire.
  2. Shortly after, Rytheran notices his use of the book created a tiny flaw in the Ley Lines, one which will eventually allow the Old Ones to exploit it. Rytheran uses his own magic to bury and conceal the graveyard.
  3. In the recent past, but prior to Wintersebb, 18 PY, Rytheran enters his library and uses the Book of Eibhil to restore his mind. This event is described in the first half of Rytheran's Letter.
  4. Later, but still prior to Wintersebb, 18 PY, the events of the Foolish Ambition Teaser occur. Rytheran writes his journal, then leaves the library with the Book of Eibhil and brings it to Geraine. When Rytheran writes of being duped by the Book on page 4 of his journal, he is referring to his recent use of the book to restore his mind.
  5. During Wintersebb, 18 PY, the graveyard resurfaces due to Rytheran's recent use of the Book. This event is described in the second half of Rytheran's Letter.
  6. During Wintersebb, 18 PY, as the graveyard resurfaces, Rytheran pens his new letter to Aerfalle.
  7. During Wintersebb, 19 PY, Isparians gain access to Rytheran's Library and discover the journal.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 2007/03 Ancient Enemies - Rollout
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2007/03 Ancient Enemies - Ancient Journal Page
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 2008/03 Foolish Ambition - Teaser
  4. 2008/03 Foolish Ambition - Rytheran's Journal
  5. 2008/03 Foolish Ambition - Lord Rytheran's Journal: Lore & Dialog
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 2007/03 Ancient Enemies - Rytheran's Letter
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