I would like to thank all of the Devs and DM's for their work in creating and testing the changes. Also the efforts by the DM team to help bring these plot changes into being by creating quests for the players which allows players to immerse themselves into the main plot as it unfolds.
Special thanks to shadow_80aus & André Axe'm for their contribution in introducing rideable horses into Edon.
Also special thanks to Nemesis_22 & Maditay for their efforts in creating/updating maps.
Last but not least a special thanks to Rothbart and his writing ability and putting the plot changes into words.
Enjoy the new horses and take time out to visit Dread Castle, Black Valley, Strel Underground pass and the Community Trade Hall to see these new changes.We already have big maps changes for the next update in progress.
Implemented by: shadow_80aus and André Axe'm
- Dread Castle
- Black Valley
- Strel Underground
- Community Trade Hall
Designed by: Mustang, Maditay & Nemesis_22
Omnipotent…all seeing perhaps, but not all knowing. But then with the gods of Faerun, you did not need to be able to see the future, to predict what the pantheon would do. Torm had been the first to fall.
“Not his fault. Just his nature”, mused Lord Ao. “Whichever way he chose, he was going to lose his divinity. Intervene against the Scourge and I strip him of his powers, fail to intervene and he can no longer be the god of duty.”
For a second Lord Ao, concentrated on the “weave”. A vision of powerful man, hair close clipped in a military crew cut came to him. “As a god he was powerless, as a mortal there is much that he can do.”
Lord Ao released his control on the “weave” and waited for it to return to its normal flow, waited… Waited…WAITED.
”Two seconds too slow” frowned the Overgod. “ Someone is tampering with it”.
The foredidding shoreline was known on the few maps that existed as “Devil’s Rock”. Few sailors had tried to ever set foot upon its cursed stone, none had ever returned. High on a cliff on the north side of the island, eight glowing portals shimmered. Soul traps – conduits that prevented the soul of a defeated Scourge from being banished to the Outer Planes and trapped within was one particular soul, destined for a Demon Lord’s wrath.
A monstrous clawed fist drove into the depth’s of the soul trap and ripped the vestiges of Flametounge from the planar aether. The mewling fragment was slammed down into the core of a black pentagram. Something like a shadow twitched and began to feed, drawing on the energies of Krensibhon.
Hunched on the cold stone, the one time Scourge leader Flametongue gasped for breath … and for time. Trondor had fallen, but he had failed. Failed in the primary mission to find the new crafting halls, failed in their objective of capturing Lady Katheraine and for the Scourge, the price of failure was high.
As the power of Krensibhon restored him, the canny Scourge, wracked his mind for something that would stop him from being consigned to the Abyss for eternity.
“Horses…Scow does not know about the horses” thought the Demon. The lesser servant that had discovered the enemy’s plans had approached Flametonge covertly, seeking a reward. “Two can keep a secret, if one of them is dead”, was the last words the Abashai heard, as Flametonge sent the underling to its reward. Now was the time to cash the infromation in, in the hopes it would buy his life.
Mages call it the “weave”. It’s the mystical threads that govern the flow of magic in the multiverse. They try and explain it to apprentices as a mystical sheet, with the warp and weft, manipulated by Mystra and her servants. All encompassing, all enveloping: touching every point in the planes.
The smarter apprentices want to know, “if it is a sheet, does that mean it can be folded back on itself?” The sages just smile at the presumption of youth and say, “no, its just an analogy”
Mostly the sages are right. Between the protections of the Great Machine and the efforts of the servants of Mystra, the weave is perpetually in motion, guided and shaped, so that it may never touch another point of the Weave. For if for even a second the warp and weft of the weave were to touch, then “wild” magic would result. Uncertain, uncontained, uncontrolled. Awesome, both in its power and in its danger.
Two figures in a hidden valley. One a young man, clad in robes of green. The other, slightly older, his elven heritage showing strongly. The younger man, turned and slowly opened his hand.. A week old colt, nickered softly and pushed its muzzle into the druids’ palm. The scrape of a rough tongue and the cube of sugar disappeared.
“So will they be safe here, Aerin?”
“As safe as anywhere Legebrion. The properties of the rift will stop the Scourge from teleporting into the valley.” The pair watched as the foal lowered its head and drank from the stream, that flowed down from Legendary farm. “And the Rangers will keep the valley’s borders clear of the scourge scouts”
“One thing I don’t understand Aerin, why did we not use horses against the Drow?”
“They would have been of little use underground, and we could not have kept them safe, this close to Sholo. ”
The Galdorian scout nodded “but their extra mobility will go some way to combating the ability of the Scourge to teleport. As Lor says, now its time to take the battle to the Scourge.”
The Great Machine precessed, as it gimbals began to oscillate. Two threads came perilously close to touching. Automatically the Mistress of Magic began to make the necessary adjustments, as she had done a thousand times before.
Numerous alternative potentials existed, ways that the fabric could be subtly changed so that the damage could be avoided, Of course, all this would be in strict contravention of the express orders from Lord Ao, but then he was hardly likely to find out.
Fine hands moved dexterously and the two threads, began to shift, twisting in ways no mortal could fully comprehend. For an instant the shimmering yarns seemed destined to collide and then they passed, missing by the magical equivalent of an inch.
It was only then that Mystra realised that she was no longer alone.
My Lord its not my fault! Your great plan worked, as you brilliantly foresaw. We pulled our elite units out of Kabu and flooded the area with expendable underlings. Only the one known as “Forrest Walker”, saw through our subterfuge, but she was ignored.”
“So if I am so clever and you followed my instructions to the letter, where are the new crafting halls?” boomed the Scourge Lord.
Lady Katheraine…she was not there….she must have been warned”, quailed the underling
Scourge Lord Scow reached down, grasped Flametongue around the neck and dragged the weaker demon to his feet and then beyond, The long bone claws of Flametongue’s feet scrabbled once on the black stone and then the underling was suspended. Incised claws squeezing ever deeper into his trachea,
”But….But….bu..” Desperately the underling tried to force words from his throat, but the talons closed every tighter.
“ Soul hater has revealed your incompetence. Not everyone ignored the one called “Forrest Walker”. You failed me, Flametonge”
Whatever Flametonge had been about to say, the words died with him as his windpipe ruptured. For a moment the figure still struggled, bone claws raking the air futilely, and then Scow hurled the corpse against the northern cliff. An oily mist rose from the shattered outsider. Slowly and against the wind, the demon essence began to drift towards the soul traps.
“Just as well our Commander believes the crafting halls have not yet been rebuilt. A fact, which I have chosen not to bring to his attention. And one I can’t afford you to be around to tell tales about.”
With a contemptuously glance, the Scourge Lord breathed in deeply and then blasted the soul fragment with demon breath. A flicker of black flame, and the residue was gone, consigned to the pits of a very private hell…
“You were warned". There was no hint of threat in Lord Ao's tone, but neither was there a hint of potential compromise. This was how it was going to be, inevitable as the coffin lid closing. "During the 'time of troubles', the price of interference is the diminishment of your divinity, did I not make that absolutely clear."
Two larger hands took control of the weave, and if they were not as sure or as supple as Mystra's, they possessed the strength to do what was required.
Celestial eyes watched as the pattern reversed itself, the threads closed and then kissed. For an instant there was a spark, though to call it such, is to call a raging forest fire, a children’s bed time candle. In that instant, the essence of the two threads was consumed, leaving nothing but a black shadow, where once Mystra's power had ruled.
“I will not remove your godhood…this time. But what was one yours, now belongs to another, such is the cost of your intervention.”
Lord Ao turned in response to Mystra’s unspoken question.
“The locals call it “Bloodwood”.
Scourge Lord Scow bowed his head to the supreme leader of the Scourge.
“All is as planned, dread one. One again we have raised the blade of Krensibhon over the Misty Isle and now it casts its shadow across the village of Trondor.”
A voice deep, terrible and yet compelling, like an avalanche coated in honey. “I have sensed it in the ‘source’. Its power grows and so does the domain of Krensibhon. Now only the icy north will be beyond our reach and that not for much longer. Send Soulhater to Icevale, the frost and snow will be to his liking.”
Written by: Rothbart