Call of the Forsaken Information & Guides:
The cataclysm arrived not from the air but from within the earth. West Karana, a fertile plain filled with trees, farms, and settlements was pulled apart as Lady Lendiniara traveled from another dimension, passed through Ethernere, and tore into this dimension. As the rift opened beneath West Karana, tectonic plates began to shift, thrusting sections of land into the air, breaking open stores of flowing magma, and causing the river that flowed across the plain to heat near boiling and spill haphazardly into the newly created basins and depressions. Trees bent and snapped, villages drowned in rushing waters, long-buried warriors were unearthed, and the inhabitants of the land feared that the apocalypse was arriving.
Now, the rift to Ethernere is widening, its influence seeping out into West Karana. While some of the plain's old beauty remains -- lush grasses and trees, rolling hillsides, and flowing waters -- destruction has visited most regions. Trees have been uprooted, houses have toppled onto each other, new rock formations and mesas have jutted out of the earth, sections of land have fallen away, lava creeps across grasslands and burns all in its path, and the boiling waters denude the landscape.
More troubling, Ethernere spreads its tendrils beneath the ground. Its gray mists form pockets and tunnels underneath the land, hollowing out land formations like burrowing shellfish in an ocean rock. Holes of mist open and close every day, and the region becomes increasingly unstable. Whatever the mists touch becomes drained of color and begins to pass into the gray space, the place between worlds.
Unless Lady Lendiniara can be sent back to her dimension and the rift be closed, Norrath will be lost in the gray.
With Lady Lendiniara’s presence threatening the existence of Norrath, an unlikely alliance has been forged with The Forsaken to send the dangerous dragon home. At Zebuxoruk’s request, the bravest will fight their way through recently discovered lands to recover magical artifacts that contain the power to return Lady Lendiniara to her world.
Adventurers will face adversaries at every turn, from those who refuse to release the magical artifacts, to others who are determined to see the dragon dead at all costs. Before all comes to a close, a familiar face will emerge with a new directive, leaving the fate of Norrath with one decision: Will you put your trust in the sly speech of a Teir'Dal or the endless ramblings of a madman?
The ground rumbles across the plains of West Karana. The land contorts as the barrier between dimensions breaks down. A chasm opens. Lady Lendiniara, a dragon from another dimension, breaches Ethernere and is thrust into our Norrath. Mountains of debris rise. Rivers of lava flow over the land.
Some citizens of West Karana believe that the upheaval marks the end of the world. The guards of Qeynos have entered the plains and set up base camps in order to calm and assist the inhabitants of West Karana. Meanwhile, Ethernere and its mysterious creatures invade Norrath and begin to consume its land and population.
"Are you fearless? Do you not dread my claw, tooth, or breath? Thus far, the only ones who have had the will to approach a dragon are the ones whose insanity has substituted for courage." - Lady Lendiniara
After arriving in this strange alternate universe, Lendiniara's first thought was to reenter Ethernere in an attempt to return to her proper reality. Landing on the floating island of rock in the place where she entered this dimension, Lendiniara searched for passage home but could not find it. And so, here she remains, communing with those that travel through the portals, attempting to find anyone who would help her return whence she came.
Dragons are not often welcome visitors, especially in a land turn asunder by an unexplained cataclysm. A military squad from Qeynos, led by General Brustus Tacitum, has been dispatched to assess the damage done by the invasion from Ethernere. Their mission is to provide aid for citizens in danger, reestablish a sense of order in the region, and destroy the dragon thought to have caused the incursion.
The exposure to Ethernere has even transformed the local wildlife. The numerous giant spiders and bears in the area have fused together, forming a new species of creature known as the ursarachnid. These new creatures, with an instinct to trap their prey and store them in caves, have taken up residence in West Karana.
Lendiniara was not the only being to arrive from Ethernere. When the passage to this dimension opened, the Harrowing Horde came through as well. The beings that make Ethernere their home thrive on living essences, and they have emerged into Norrath to claim the energy of its inhabitants.
Unless Lady Lendiniara can be sent back to the dimension from which she came, the passageway to Ethernene will remain open and all of Norrath will be lost to the gray mists between worlds. With this in mind, will you work to aid Lady Lendiniara, or seek to destroy her?
Commander Zavrus and her agents have discovered that the quarrelsome Stone Hive bixies are creating a massive army in the Bixie Warfront to wage war on Crescent Reach. The Stone Hive bixies have become enthralled by a mysterious magical force that compels them to fight anyone and everything they come into contact with.
Also, the drakkin Frislo claims his brother was kidnapped by the bixies when all of this began. He is recruiting anyone that will listen to him to investigate the massive underground caverns of the Bixie Warfront and work to rescue his captive brother.
Adventurers must delve into the whimsically wicked world of honey and warfare that these bixies have created underground. The hive is working diligently to train soldiers and construct massive weapons. Bixie Warfront will only be the start of this conflict if Crescent Reach is unable to get the assistance of additional heroes.
Commander Zavrus and the Crescent Reach military are short on time. If the Stone Hive bixies can’t be placated, there will surely be a bloody conflict that will negatively impact more of Norrath than just Crescent Reach. Will you and your allies have what it takes to bring an end to the Stone Hive bixies' madness?
Neriak is a city divided.
King Naythox Thex, ruler of Neriak, sits somberly on his throne in the Darklight Palace. Flanked by his personal Dreadguard, Naythox looks to the empty throne next to him. He wonders silently to himself where his wife Cristanos Thex is, and in what way she plans to murder him.
The atmosphere of Neriak’s Fourth Gate is taut with tension. There has always been dissension between the various Teir’Dal factions, but the altercations between King Naythox Thex and Queen Cristanos Thex are at an all-time high. As a result, the Dark Elven factions they represent are preparing for what they believe will be a bloody civil war. Previously, Lanys T’Vyl was able to rally the Dark Elves to a common cause and keep the peace in Neriak. However, Lanys has been missing for quite some time, and the Teir’Dal are more divided than ever.
While areas of Neriak like the Foreign Quarter have historically been accepting of morally-flexible and opportunistic races, this is not the case in the Fourth Gate. The unhappily married king and queen plot against each other, work to rally those forces loyal to them, and continue to build up their own sovereignty. Untrusting of outsiders, the royal couple has ordered the Fourth Gate guards kill anyone who isn’t Teir’Dal on sight.
Norrath is on the verge of destruction. As witnessed in West Karana, the end of days appears to be rapidly approaching. However, it is believed that there are powerful artifacts in the Fourth Gate of Neriak that will have a significant influence on Ethernere and the denizens of the dead. Ironically, few Teir’Dal are aware of the importance of the relics in their possession. Adventurers will need to seize these items from Neriak’s Fourth Gate if they want a chance at saving Norrath from obliteration.
Will the current state of political fighting in Neriak make it easier for adventures to acquire these items that may be their only hope to prevent the complete annihilation of reality? Or, is there another way to save Norrath?
The lead-up to the Tower of Rot's opening began with Captain Russell Cooper's heroic adventure chain.
In time, you would encounter a rather angry Undead Lord by the name of Kyle Bayle, the apparent long-dead leader of the original ill-fated Qeynos expedition into the Dead Hills many years prior. While you managed to defeat Kyle Bayle's Captain and Sergeants, the Undead Lord managed to retreat back into his tower.
Meanwhile, the guards of Qeynos have been trying to remedy the disaster site that is West Karana. This situation has gone unresolved, however, and creatures of the Ethernere (having initially appeared due to the time ripples caused by Lady Lendiniara's appearance) have managed to breach the Qeynos Hills and the city of Qeynos, itself.
The citizens of Qeynos aren't the only ones having a problem with the Ethernere invasion. These creatures have also begun to invade the site of the Tower of Rot, itself, and are being fought off by the tower's undead forces (Erron Ailspoc has been sent to recover some samples from these beings).
What links the Tower of Rot with those time ripples is not yet known for sure, but rumors suggest something inside the tower will lead to an answer...
It is usually quite hot during the summer months around the deserts of Ro, but the heat this year has grown shockingly hotter. The patches of desert vegetation have wilted and, in certain areas, turned completely black. Recently portals appeared in Ethernere-Tainted West Karana and South Ro. Flickers of hot ash and puffs of dark smoke are said to spring forth from the portals. In South Ro, the disturbance has caused an extreme drought, and the locals have rightly taken notice. If the heat wave is not broken, the desert’s oasis will dry up and parch the regions of Ro.
The torridity isn’t the only threat, however. Reports of burned creatures venturing forth from the portal have increased as well. Initially the Freeport guards were sent to investigate. Despite their assistance, it became quickly apparent that more needed to be done. Even the great Solusek Ro has sensed the portal’s danger. He has sent an ambassador to ascertain what threat may lurk there and what connection it may have to the great sun god.
Quick to move, Lanys T’vyl has also been investigating these portals. After her initial inspection, she believes that an ancient artifact lies within the depths of the city beyond the portal. She also believes that the artifact could be the final key in returning Lady Lendiniara back to her home.
Little is known of the fiery city of Argin-Hiz or its strange inhabitants. Brave hero, you must investigate the mysterious city. If the promise of flames does not compel you, the promise of great riches will. But be warned, for all is not as it seems.
EQ Dev comments explaining the difference between The Void (G) and The Void (H):
The timeline the world is on that leads you to 'The Void' (h) in COTF has split from the path that Norrath was on during Seeds of Destruction, which is why it exists outside of the continuum of 'The Void' (a-g) and the portals do not work the same way.
Everything Norrathians do alters the course of the future in one way or another. Monumental events such as Ethernere flowing into our plane of existence are especially impactful. What we see in 'The Void' (g) is the end of time if we follow this particular course of history until the planet's death.
The visuals are the same in that the pantheon has not been slain, thus littering the celestial atmosphere with their remnants (Norrathians prevented that by completing SoD) but what Zebuxoruk has experienced and what he has to relay to you is different.
Jeslellathina (along with a ladder to the Bixie Warfront) is found just southeast of the main city entrance and has a few words about the bixies in Call of the Forsaken:
You say, 'Hail, Jeslellathina'
[Jeslellathina] plays with a bit of flame wrapping around her knuckles as she says, 'Have you ever seen a [building burn], _____?'
You say, 'Jeslellathina...'
Jeslellathina laughs, holds her flaming hand up to her mouth and blows a kiss of flame at you. She says playfully, 'Don't mock the name, honey. It's specifically chosen for its purpose, just like you've been.'
You say, 'A building burn?'
Jeslellathina looks up at you, confused by your answer. She asks again, 'Well, have you?'
You say, 'No...'
Jeslellathina snaps her hand shut with surprising force and snuffs the flame out. 'What a pity. You're really missing out. [Honeycomb] burns quite well, too, though.'
You say, 'Honeycomb?'
Jeslellathina says 'Oh, have you not heard already? I'd assumed everyone in Crescent Reach had by now; the gossip here is quite out of control. Well, we're here on a [rescue] mission.'
You say, 'Rescue?'
Jeslellathina says 'Jacyll, one of the finest bards I've ever heard, and a personal friend of mine, was kidnapped by the Stone Hive bixies. Thus, the [ladder]!'
You say, 'What's this ladder?'
Jeslellathina looks a little irritated that you require more explanation. She begins flicking flames off of her fingers as she recites, 'Attention, all brave adventures that set foot inside Crescent Reach's borders! The esteemed and well-respected bard, Jacyll, has been kidnapped by the Stone Hive Bixies and taken to their [underground camp].'
You say, 'What underground camp?'
Jeslellathina says 'Yes, yes. I was getting to that.' Jeslellathina takes a deep breath and continues drearily, 'Their newly excavated underground tunnel network can be accessed via a subterranean pathway and one super long ladder. The authorities of Crescent Reach can guarantee safe passage into the underground fortress, but assumes no [liability] for...'
You say, 'Liability?'
Jeslellathina's head snaps up like she fell asleep, smiles, and says, 'Oh yes, it'd be a shame to miss that part. As I was saying, Crescent Reach assumes no liability for any serious injuries, BEST FRIENDS, decapitations, life-threatening predicaments, BEAUTIFUL FLOWERS, diseases, bug bites, or HEAPING PILES OF TREASURE that may be acquired within [the cavern].'
You say, 'The cavern?'
Jeslellathina shoots spark into the sky and says, 'We've taken to calling it the Bixie Warfront, but there's really no official term for the place. It's just an extension of the existing Stone Hive the bixies constructed long ago on the eastern edge of Blightfire Moors. This one's much [more dangerous], though.'
You say, 'More dangerous?'
Jeslellathina holds a finger up to her lips and puts her ear to the ground, motioning for you to do the same. She asks, 'Do you hear that subtle thumping? It's been going non-stop ever since we discovered the cavern. The entire complex is a massive military wonderland: factories, battlefields, fortresses, training camps--they've got [everything] down there.'
You say, 'Everything?'
Jeslellathina says 'Everything. Including our friend, Jacyll. If you think you're up for the challenge, head down the ladder and speak to his brother, Frislo. He'll make sure you're [put to work] finding the stolen drakkin.'
You say, 'Put to work?'
Jeslellathina says 'Oh, yes. It's definitely work. Oh, wait. Are you accepting?' Jeslellathina doesn't wait for your response, immediately reciting, 'The people of Crescent Reach, and especially the family and friends of Jacyll thank you for your contribution. You may return to Crescent Reach for refreshments and possible dancing after Jacyll is rescued.'
After receiving help from adventurers like you, Norrathians have gathered all the relics needed to perform the ritual that will send Lady Lendiniara back to her world.
"The relics await you. Already the Ethernere rifts have torn into this place. Soon the Void will flood and collapse, along with all worlds. The ceremony must begin." - Zebuxoruk
Lady Lendiniara and Lanys T`Vyl have joined Zebuxoruk. Ethernere has grown stronger though, and it has started seeping into the Void. Powerful adventurers must travel here to push back the Ethernere incursion and allow the ritual to be completed.
But can Zebuxoruk maintain his sanity under the influence of Ethernere? Can Lanys T`Vyl be trusted with such powerful relics? If either of them strays from their duties during this ritual, Norrath will surely be lost.