The Darkened Sea Information & Guides:
Lanys T`Vyl and Firiona Vie are at odds... And The Buried Sea is the backdrop as its storylines and characters will be revisited.
Firiona Vie has been travelling the world on a mission from the goddess Tunare to bring the realm back into balance. Her latest efforts have brought her to the Buried Sea, seeking to heal the ruler of the Combine Empire, Tsaph Katta.
Now it’s time for you to travel to the domed city of Katta Castrum and find Firiona! After Firiona came here with her allies to heal Tsaph, the city was attacked by Lanys T`vyl and a corrupt splinter faction of the Combine. In the chaos, Tsaph was kidnapped. Now, he must be rescued and Lanys must be stopped.
Katta Castrum has come under attack and the dome has cracked, allowing millions of gallons of seawater to flood the lower levels of the city. The surviving Combine have fled to the safety of the temple in the center of the city in hopes of escaping with their lives, and are trying to save what's left of the city while driving off the encroaching shissar before the dome collapses completely.
The shissar have taken advantage of the situation and have pillaged much of the city for magical artifacts. They can now be found in areas much closer to the city center.
Here, a group of Karana worshiping inhabitants have lifted the coral forest from the sea and shattered the dormant volcano in the middle of the zone in an effort to impress their god by creating the perfect storm.
When outsiders invaded the Coral Keep, they brought a myriad of outside cultures and religions. A group of powerful kedge in the keep were introduced to the worship of Karana from one priest traveling in the area, and converted to the worship of the god of storms. They found a small island nearby, a volcano and a small surrounding jungle and beach. The kedge wizards, magicians, and enchanters all worked their powerful magic to manipulate the area. They hope to engineer the perfect storm and open a gateway to the plane of their new god.
Whether the kedge's plan will work remains to be seen, but they have succeeded in causing a massive amount of chaos in an around the island. Another group of druids has some to put a stop to their machinations, and have enlisted help to aid in their endeavors.
After the events of the Buried Sea expansion, Jameswell Dagmire, a pirate sailing the waters of the Buried Sea, began harassing the ships of the Freetide Cartel, trying to make his name known and build his riches.
One night when boarding a merchant ship belonging to the Freetide Cartel and captained by Quigley Barnables, Jameswell stopped in his tracks, sword still drawn and dripping blood. But he wasn't the only one stilled at that moment: all the men on the ships, both pirates and cartel members, turned their heads toward the reef, listening to the song that sailed over the surf. The men manned the tillers, scuttling both ships on the reef. Broken beams and broken men floated in the sea, some still swimming toward the song. One by one they disappeared as scaly hands grabbed their legs and dragged them down into the grottos.
Jameswell and Quigley still held to the rigging of Quigley's listing galleon, the sea kissing their arms with cold. But a warm light grew as Jameswell stared into the dark waters: a face as beautiful as any he could imagine drifted up from the depths, smiling to him with an outstretched hand. He reached out.
Quigley was not a young gnome. His hearing was nearly gone, and so was his desire for women. "Let go!" he shouted, "That is no maiden!" Jameswell's grip remained strong. Quigley had known men who had been lost to sirens. He had seen what had become of them. He could not condemn any man, even a filthy pirate, to their clutches. Quigley drew Jameswell's sword from its scabbard, groaning to lift the shaft of steel forged for human strength. It took three tries. When the bone snapped and the last thread of skin ripped away, Dagmire's blood rushed into the sea, along with any desire left for the scaly, disfigured face that sneered at him under the water, clutching the severed arm.
The siren swam away with only a fraction of her intended prize. Quigley bound the pirate's stump and staunched the bleeding. When sunlight found the two captains, all their men were dead or gone, taken by the sirens. Then and there the two of them swore that from this day forward neither pirates nor merchants would be helpless victims of the sirens of the Buried Sea.
Jameswell and Quigley put aside their differences and establish the defenders on Brother Island, an assorted group of pirates, merchants, or other men interested in sailing the seas without falling prey to sirens. The Brothers begin offering armed escorts -- for coin, of course -- to ships that want to cross siren-infested waters. That is chiefly how they earn their living.
The Brothers are currently at war with the sirens from the Caverns of Endless Song, who have been raiding Brother Island with more frequency and ferocity. The Brothers are in a defensive stance.
Then along come Firiona and her companions...
This is a series of submarined caverns located underneath the coral forest adjacent to Tempest Temple and home to a "jilted and jealous" sirens.
A rogue band of sirens has broken off from their sisters in the buried sea and taken up residence in the recently raised grotto around the Tempest Temple. Many an intrepid adventurer and pirate has been snared by their beckoning voices, and now assist in the defense of this new stronghold. Thankfully there are those strong of will that have entered the caverns in search of their lost companions. Help them rescue their snared friends and uncover the secret of Silisia's entrancing power.
Degmar is a castle on the bottom of the ocean that was translocated by the Combine in an effort to preserve the Dwarves who inhabit the castle. Unfortunately, the Dwarves have been driven to insanity due to the isolation. A magical barrier around acts as a dome that keeps the pressure of the sea waters and all the sea life at bay, so the castle's intricate stonework and designs have been preserved.
Hundreds of years ago, the Combine Empire used their magic to kidnap and hide small samples of many races for safekeeping, to ensure that the species would be protected from complete extinction. Even the populous dwarves were not overlooked by the Combine. They used their magic to translocate a prominent dwarf castle, Castle Degmar, alongside their domes at the bottom of the ocean.
This dwarven medieval/gothic-style castle still rests directly on the ocean floor with no dome around it -- the ocean is right outside the windows. Magic protects it from the water's pressure and from sea animals that might attack it. The magic also protects it from degrading over time. Despite being hundreds of years old, the interior and exterior are relatively pristine.
As a dwarven castle, it was filled with dwarf nobles, guards, and servants. The dwarf commander who owns the castle was present when it was translocated, but so was the delegation of high elf nobles that he was entertaining.
Unfortunately, over the hundreds of years since they were taken, things have not all gone so well.
This is an island out in the ocean, near the Buried Sea. It is a lost, isolated, tropical jungle full of prehistoric creatures: giants, dinosaurs, a lost tribe of lizardmen. This was the original home of the Drogmar. Aside from the occasional pirate ship that comes by to pick up Drogmars and sell them in Gunthak as mounts, they don’t have much contact with the outside world. Even the lizardmen here who built this Temple to Cazic Thule have forgotten who their god is.
This tropical jungle forest has been untouched by outside influence for several hundred years which has allowed the land to maintain its primal atmosphere. There are five factions in play on the island:
The Dinosaurs: The dinosaurs were the first to rule on this island, they may have been deposited by flying dragons who wanted to ensure their primitive cousins could have a land that they would be safe to develop in.
The great beasts roam the central and north-western sections of the island. They tend to their eggs, hunt for food, and drink water at the lakes, rivers and ponds. They have begun to win their battles against the lizardman tribe so it is rare they fight anymore as the lizardmen primarily stay in their temples now. The dinosaurs are mostly indifferent to the Aviaks and are non-confrontational toward the forest giants.
The Thaell Ew Lizardmen: The lizardmen, a creation of Cazic-Tule, were the second race to make its way to the island. Cazic-Thule set his creations loose in swamps and jungles throughout Norrath, this island happened to be one such location.
The Thaell Ew grew smarter over several generations, built grand temples and began to conquer the dinosaurs. Within the last 200 years the tribe has begun losing their battle against the dinosaurs and the extent of their territory has begun to recede. Ruins of lizardman statues and very small pieces of lizardman architecture can be seen in the dinosaur valley, suggesting that at one point their temples extended out into the western clearing as well as the north.
The Thaell Ew have become more reclusive as they lose ground to the great dinosaurs which they once were winning the fight for territory with. They have no contact with the outside world so they are unaware what has happened to their god Cazic-Thule. Their outwardly visible daily life revolves around the worship of idols in the temple, hunting for food and drinking.
The Kromtus Giants: The Kromtus forest giants were the next group to find their way to this island. The original members of the tribe were elite scouts of the Rallosian army that marched upon the Plane of Earth. When the battle was lost and the curse of the Rathe struck Rallos' creatures these giants were not spared. Rather than being able to retreat to Kunark the scouts were caught in a void that deposited them upon this island. Unable to see any way off the island the group settled in the south-eastern forest and has lived here for many generations since.
The Kromtus keep mainly to themselves. They have scouts positioned at the valley leading into their territory to ensure no threats make their way into the village. They station fishermen to gather food for the tribe and will rarely hunt but only if they are unable to obtain enough fish.
The Bloodfeather Aviaks: The Aviaks are the most recent surviving migrants to the island. When the massive migration of Aviaks from Timorous Deep to Redfeather Island occurred, several members of the tribe continued south to this island to settle. Over many generations these Aviaks have forgotten their faith in Karana and have begun fearfully worshiping the great black raven to the south. It is not known if the raven came to the island before or after the Aviaks, they only know that it is imperative to their survival that they do not disturb the mythological beast's nest.
The Combine Spirits: The final group to arrive on the island was a small band of sailors from the Combine empire. They settled on the beach and began to build their traditional monuments and residences. They never managed to return home and died out after a single generation. Their skeletons and ghosts still inhabit the ruins they left on the beach.
The Combine Dredge is a series of magical mining platforms connected by mana conduits that the Combine built. Its purpose was to harvest resources from the bottom of the ocean for the Combine; Lanys has shown up here with her forces and has a much more nefarious purpose.
In centuries past, when the Combine took to the ocean, their geomancers were tasked with surveying the ocean floor and discovering the best ways to harvest resources.
Focusing their powers through magical crystals, the geomancers began raising sections of the seabed and constructing platforms from which they could extract the riches of the sea. From these platforms, they raised small islands and began mining them. They also sent divers into the ocean, protected by enchanted armor to provide air and withstand the pressures of the deep, in order to scout out locations that would be ripe for harvest.
As they pulled more resources from the ocean, the Combine used the resources to experiment with building their domes beneath the sea, closer to mining and harvesting locations. Soon, the technology for living and working under the waves was proven, which helped the Combine survive when Prexus drowned their civiliazation.
When Prexus attacked and sank the Combine Empire, the Combine abandoned the dredging platforms. Now, Lanys' cultists have found them and are using them for their own purposes. Some of the Combine from Arx Mentis has also returned to the area, working alongside the cultists to both gather resources for Arx Mentis and aid in the search for part of the Lifeguide.
Arx Mentis is a floating fortress filled with Combine, their creatures, and their cohorts. The fortress represents the pinnacle of Combine technology and magic. Even here, Lanys has joined forces with a splintered group of the Combine and is working to thwart the goals of Firiona Vie.
The Citadel floats above a small island, held aloft and entirely powered by magical energies. On the island is a small city where the common citizens life. The elite, magic-wielding Indagatoris Opertum, live above them. The Indagatoris Opertum live their lives to learn about magic. All of their needs are provided for, either by magic or the efforts of those in the city below.
But even the simple citizens of the city live well and have a lot of free time. Most of them study art, religion, philosophy and other such things. Their needs are provided by the magic of the Citadel and some small amount of labor of their own.
This idyllic life is, as is so often the case, marred by power struggles and politics. Arx Mentis is ruled by a council of four Principals; Gordianus, Lucia, Nonia, and Numicia. These four are, in turn, ruled by Calix Quirinus. The city itself is managed by a mayor called Praetor Livio.