Is a Killer Moraktatha on the Loose?

By Lusa Lockless, Travel Editor and Reporter-at-Large, the Tarnath Times


Kogu 17, SP~5,022

Are the rumors true? Is there a killer moraktatha slithering through the streets and the dark stone steps of our beloved city devouring folk at will? And, what are our local officials doing to stop it? Unless I’m mistaken, it is their duty to protect us, is it not?

Friends, please don’t panic. Even if those who have sworn to protect our community are failing at their job, you can count on Lusa Lockless to keep you informed!

The first mysterious event was reported almost three weeks ago. Perdy Fellfether, father of five, failed to find his way home. His husband immediately told the constables of the Western District (one of Tarnath’s most peaceful and clean neighborhoods), pressing upon them the constancy of his husband’s punctuality. “He’s never late!” Perdy told me he told them. But, it would seem they had better things to do, and Fellfether is still missing with no explanation, or comment, from the Western District’s officials. I’m sure you agree with me that we all send our thoughts and prayers (each to our own gods of course) to Perdy’s family.

The next attack occurred just a few days later. Thalmo Podwall, owner of Podwall’s Perfumery on Hethgeg Street, was on his way home when he saw a human-like figure following him. Actually, he “felt” that he was being followed by a human-like figure. His emotions were telling him one thing, but his eyes, when he could get past his feelings, told him another. He stopped to challenge his stalker. His description resembled that of Mr. Fellfether; however, Mr. Podwall said that the human he talked to seemed to have trouble responding. It hesitated in answering and then seemed to use several words out of context. Of course, Thalmo was worried about their mental state. When he flourished a cudgel that he carries for security, the creature backed away. As Mr. Podwall walked away he swears that the creature seemed to fade from his heart. It then appeared as a long, thick snake slithering into a nearby alleyway. Strange indeed, Friends!

Since then there have been a number of other assaults. Some folk have been reported missing under strange circumstances and others have told of similarly strange encounters.

My contacts at the Charismatic Guild have assured me that this has all the signs of a moraktatha, and likely a large one, and old. These creatures, in their natural form, resemble snakes with many eyes. They can be quite large, as much as ten feet in length or more. What is truly unique about a moraktatha is expressed perfectly by Imblenhi in his famous Bestiary: “In addition to the physical nourishment, moraktatha get knowledge from their prey; they actually live out the entirety of their meal’s life as they digest it, experiencing every thought and emotion it did. After digesting something or someone, a moraktatha knows everything that creature knew, remembers that creature’s life with the same fondnesses and petty hatreds that the creature itself held”.

I will leave you with this warning, my Friends — beware of strangers after sunset and, when you can, travel in groups, until this thing is found and destroyed.

Until then, you can count on your Lusa Lockless to keep you informed about the latest events, so remember to read my column every day.

Until next time, stay safe!

Crawn Disputes — Will there be War?

Knowing Naldrin

A weekly column about everything Naldrin City

Clara Flettwell

By Clara Flettwell, Reporter at Large, the Naldrin City Expose

Kogu 48, SP~5,020

There’s some big news coming out of the Council of Drawnwyn meeting this week, and the Naldrin City Expose has the story here, first.

Insiders tell us that hostilities may be heating up between the Karrin Crawn Lands and the other major crawn kingdom on the Tamarra Continent, the Northern Kingdom of the Szaskar Crawn.

For those of you who follow the politics of the Continent this is nothing particularly new.  The crawn Kingdoms across Tamarra are constantly bickering, usually about territorial boundaries.  We’ve even seen a few incidents of crawn troops from one kingdom (or village) getting into a brush-up with their crawn neighbors.  In the last few weeks, though, the disputes have gotten a lot more serious.

My fellow reporter at the Expose, Carton Ododo, has passed along his finding that there was a two-day pitch battle only last week between forces from the Karrin Crawn Lands and the Szaskar Crawn.  The clash took place east of Naldrin City, along great Naldrin Road just a few miles from the Mizzanur Iron Works.  The battle raged on for two days as a sizable contingent from each of these mighty Crawn Empires engaged.  Carton estimates that there were at least two thousand troops on each side, and rumors were that another thousand or more had been dispatched by the Szaskar to join their comrades.  It is quite interesting how far from home the Karrin forces were.  Their lands lie on the western coast of Tamarran many hundreds of miles from this field of battle.  Several of my own sources have told me that these Karriners were marching toward the Szaskar Kingdom when they were intercepted by Szaskar forces, and that their intent was to march into Szaskar lands.

Apparently, the two sides fought to a draw even though there were significant casualties for each.  To put it another way, the Crawn way, each side claimed victory.  The leader of the Szaskar regiment claimed they had repulsed the dishonorable invaders from the west, and the Karrin forces claimed that they had convincingly defeated the larger but weaker Szaskar fighters and left them alive out of an abundance of generosity.

It looks like that was not the only ramification of the fight.  At yesterday’s meeting of the Council of Drawnwyn, there was a venomous war of words between the representatives of the two Kingdoms.  Inside sources tell me that not only were harsh words thrown between the two parties, but that swords were drawn!  The Council guards were able to intercede before any serious damage was done, but the Karrin Crawn members stormed out of the proceedings shouting that the Szaskar would regret their actions, and regret them very soon.  Haffress, the head of the Szaskar delegation then gave a rambling five-minute rant to the Council members who were still in the chamber, and then declared the meeting over.  He then tossed his chair and, along with his entire delegation, swept out of the Council chamber “with their snaky heads held particularly high”, as one member said off the record.  Of course, neither Crawn delegation was actually in charge of the meeting, so the Council, after a short break, continued with other business.

It looks like things are heating up between Karrin and Szaskar, folks!  Keep your ears to the ground and your eyes on the Expose.  We’ll bring you the latest news as soon as it becomes news!

The Ancient Ishiri Temple of Ocheegogo

This blog post is written as a newspaper column from the in-game personality, Clara Flettwell.  Clara is a reporter for one of the largest newspapers in Naldrin City, the Naldrin City Expose.

More of Clara’s columns can be found in our BeyonderRPG Patreon and in upcoming blog posts.

Knowing Naldrin

A weekly column about everything Naldrin City

Clara Flettwell

By Clara Flettwell, Reporter at Large, the Naldrin City Expose

Kalkix 27, SP~5,021
The Ancient Temple of Ocheegogo

A few days ago I and my good friend Lorleena decided to visit the ishiri Temple of Ocheegogo (OH-chee-go-go).  This still active house of worship is a little known jewel in the Naldrin City region. It is considered one of the great architectural wonders of our region and one of the greatest examples of ishiri architecture on the Continent.

The temple is maintained by an ishiri organization known as the Okogans.  For many centuries they have kept the temple in pristine condition, and protected it from the general public.  On occasion they do offer tours to small groups of select individuals. My cousin Lorleena and I were lucky enough to join one of those groups on a recent afternoon.

What strikes you first, as you see the temple from the roadway, is its height and slender grandeur.  It rises over a hundred feet into the air above the surface of Old Naldrin Way, the ancient roadway that winds across the steep mountain ranges from the Second Tier of Naldrin City deep into the abandoned parts of the ancient city.  A warning to all travelers — the road beyond Ocheegogo is not safe and should be absolutely avoided!

The inside of the temple is even more spectacular.  The broad stone doors open easily into a long hallway with high vaulted ceilings, lined on either side with one alcove after another as far as one can see.  It is well-lit by lamps of a strange design that hang from the walls.

The alcoves, each dimly lit, varied in size.  With the help of our guide, we quickly discovered that each was its own history lesson.  The alcoves nearest the front doors we had just entered were the oldest and those with the most recent history were furthest away.  The walls of each were covered with friezes, paintings, and intricate abstract designs that told stories about the ishiri and our city.  Some stories were of heroic individuals. Others recalled great feats performed by the ishiri folk or individual clans. The ceilings often had their own art works to embellish the story told in that alcove.  Many of the larger alcoves held display cases or lecterns for maps, books, and other writings that seemed very ancient.


Our ishiri guide, a female named Gagallo, was patient with us, willing to take as much time as we needed to explain the artifacts we were seeing and the history they represented.  There seemed no end to her knowledge.

Near the end of our hours-long visit, I asked Gagallo if there was an alcove for Drawnwyn and her crown of Seven Eyes.  It is hard to read the reactions of an ishiri, but over the years I have known many and many of those are my friends. I could see that she was surprised at the question and somewhat disconcerted.  I immediately felt the gentle probes of Energetic Powers, likely Physic Energy, trying to detect my capabilities and what I might have in my possession.

Gagallo quickly told us that those collections were under repair and not available.

“I am sorry for the inconvenience,” she said.

At that moment several guards approached Gagallo.  They were clearly letting her know that the tour was over.  Seeing these well-armed soldiers prompted me to notice that the temple had been well-guarded since we entered.  Allowing others into their temple was obviously something the Okogans did not do lightly.

We thanked Gagallo and the guards for a wonderful and instructive afternoon. They bowed in the customary ishiri manner and stood at the doorway as we made our way out of the temple, back to Old Naldrin Way.

For Lorleena and I the journey back to the city was filled with lively discussion of the many wonders we had witnessed, and great curiosity about the things we had not been allowed to see.

If you are interested in the history of our city, the ishiri, or just a bit of mystery, the Temple of Ocheegogo should most certainly be on your to-do list.

A New Danger in Tarnath?

By Timmarint Block, Politics Reporter, The Tarnath Weekly Chronicle

Timmarint Block

Kalkix 21, SP~5,021

Timmarint here, your source in getting to the bottom of rumors.  This time it’s about city officials. According to sources in the government and a few influential organizations, a search is on for a jewel from the Crown of Drawnwyn, a very powerful artifact that could affect who controls  Tarnath, and perhaps the entire region.

Our leads almost all concurred that Teetl and Yov, the best known private detectives anywhere on the Continent, have been hunting down this artifact for a well-placed client.  As most readers will know, Teetl, a dwaheely, and his partner Yov, an ushen, have been working together for over two decades now. And they don’t come cheap. This reporter was determined to get the scoop from the famous duo about what part they played in this hunt, if any.

We arranged to meet at the Hungry Oogert Inn in the Great Northeast, one of the best neighborhoods in Tarnath for excellent dining.  I’d met these masters of sleuthing on several occasions, but never one to one (or two). When I saw them approach, I was immediately struck by the sight of these two walking down the dusty street.  Teetl sets a quick pace as if he’s always in a hurry, and Yov, who dwarfs his tiny companion, takes one large easy step after another.  Even so, it works. Somehow.

We sat down for an early breakfast, just after sunrise.  I had the eggs and several slices of phrellas belly — best in the city in my opinion. Teetl is the more talkative; Yov tends to be quiet, but he’s sharp as a nail.  We spent some time with pleasantries as well as details of some of their most recent cases, which they were happy to discuss. The conversation got loose and fluid, and then got to my real questions.

TB: I hear that you recently did a bit of work for Mayor Sympriono.

Teetl: We’ve worked for the mayor a number of times over the years. He’s a good guy – he’s always treated us fairly and honestly.

TB: Yes, I agree.  We’ve always had good things to say about him in the Chronicle.

Teetl: I like your paper.

TB: Thanks for that.  Yes, I consider it a point of pride to get the details right on every story I write.  Like, I’ve heard from a number of contacts, I won’t name who, that the tunnels under Old Naldrin City are pretty nasty.

Teetl: Yup.

TB: And mostly under water now.

Teetl: A bit.

TB: And, when you get down far enough, well, lots of wenbelnym…

Teetl: No question.

The Wenbelnym

TB: I mean one wenbelnym is dangerous, but a swarm of them?  Emotional daemons are tough enough when they’re physical weaklings, but these guys are like twenty-foot long eels, and they can take you out!

Yov: Tee…

I see Teetl glance at Yov, who gives him a knowing look.

TB: How did you get past ‘em?

At this point, both of my breakfast companions begin to squirm a bit in their chairs, so I go for the big question.

TB: I mean, you don’t get a chance to snag an Eye from the Crown of Drawnwyn every day.

Teetl: (ahem) I don’t know what you’re talking about.

TB: The Eye of Amdrath, right?  The one that controls Emotion Energy?.

Teetl: I think you’re confused.

TB: You gotta have a lot of courage and smarts, taking on all those wenbelnym and coming out alive.

Yov stands up abruptly.  Teetl rubs his left arm as if remembering something unpleasant.

They give each other a knowing look.  Teetl stands up.

Teetl: Our thanks for the meal.

TB: So the mayor’s a very happy client, I assume?

Teetl (who stares in a way I wouldn’t have imagined he could), through pursed lips: We don’t discuss our clients!”

Next thing I saw was the backs of these two as they briskly made their way out of the Hungry Oogert.

And now, dear readers, we have some pretty convincing evidence that at least one of the famous Eyes from the Crown of Drawnwyn may be among us, and –  dare we speculate – in use against us?

Current Events: The Stillness Wars

New Aftershocks from the Stillness Wars

By Toodla Oblodt, Naldrin City News
Naldrin City, Kalkix 37, SP~5,017

The Stillness Wars between the Quay Empire and their allies1 against the Undead ended in SP~4,998, almost two decades ago. However, the aftershocks reverberate throughout the continent to this day. Recent information reveals three ghastly events (details below) that warrant the attention of the citizens of this city and all good people throughout Tamarra.

The Stillness Wars began in SP~4,981, when Qua Am Man2, the Emperor of Quay, battled a cohort of undead near his capital city of Qua Enna on the western coast of Tamarra. At that time the Quay Empire reached all the way from the western to the eastern shores of the continent, dividing our Continent quite neatly into two more or less equal halves. The Quay Empire was quite powerful at the time and controlled the bulk of trade between the northern kingdoms and those in the south.

By the end of the war the undead were defeated, and were confined to areas called the “Quiets.” However, the war extracted an enormous toll on the Quay Empire in terms of lives lost, and on cities and towns permanently saturated with the stillness energy of the Undead. The damage to the Quay Empire was so severe that it could no longer sustain itself as an empire, or even as a single political entity. Within a few years the once mighty Empire collapsed into a set of small cities and territories, many of which claimed the title of Quay Empire. These territories were scattered among a vast patchwork of “Quiets” that covered (and still cover) the middle of the Tamarran Continent. Each Quiet is bathed in stillness energy and serves as home to a large population of undead. It is not uncommon for undead from these Quiets to roam outside of their territories, making the lands around them quite perilous to travelers.

In light of this, the citizens of Tamarra would do well to pay heed to recent disturbing events:

The Naldrin City News has confirmed that last week a party of Elaynor (the elite group of kamari fighters) was ambushed along the Quay Road as they were traveling from their home in the Nethuel Enclave to the Region of Jowea. Several reports say that the entire group was brutally slain. Clearly, it would take a considerable fighting team to defeat these Elaynor. The kamari leadership of Nethuel has not yet responded to a request for comment.
In addition, it is now clear that the city of Martown, less than 60 miles north of the Region of Jowea, is under attack from an undead force. Estimates as to the size of this force vary, but there are somewhere between two and three hundred undead “shufflers” led by a sentient undead. Martown is, of course, very close to the prosperous and populous Region of Jowea, so this incident is a serious threat to the Jowean population.
Finally, some of the royalty of the former Quay Empire seem to be making a political move. There are strong rumors that Quee Esdel, the ruler of the city of Qua Ennel, has negotiated a large contract with the Mercenary’s Guild. This may forecast the beginnings of a new war in the region. Quee Esdel has petitioned the Council of Drawnwyn to recognize her as the legitimate ruler of the Quay Empire, and therefore the owner of all the lands once held by that kingdom. This is, as readers will agree, an outrageous claim. Each of the scattered cities and territories that remain of the fallen Quay Empire claim to be the one and true heir of the Quay Empire. A delicate peace exists, at least for now, and if the Council of Drawnwyn were to recognize any one of them as the true Quay Empire, it would undoubtedly throw the region into chaos, and perhaps war. Even so, Quee may have a deal with the Undead of this area for an allegiance against her enemies, which could provide her with sufficient power to make her aspirations a reality.

The NCN will stay on top of these stories so that you, the citizens of Naldrin City, will remain, as always, the best informed population on the Tamarran Continent.

1. There were over two dozen other nations and kingdoms that allied with the Quay Empire during this struggle.  The most prominent were the Kingdom of the Szaskar Crawn, the Karrin Crawn Lands (more of a confederation of smaller crawn kingdoms, and the Twelve Wellyn Clans of the Kana Forest.

2. The race known as the Qua Enna were exterminated in SP~4,795 near the end of the Second Nulentian Invasion; however, it was customary for subsequent leaders to assume a traditional Qua Enna name as their ruling name.

The Festival of Shoalla

By Clara Flettwell, Reporter at Large, the Naldrin City Expose

Shoalla 1, SP~5,021

Clara Flettwell, Reporter-at-Large, Naldrin City News

The greatest and most jubilant celebration on the Tamarran Continent is the annual Festival of Shoalla, which occurs during the final five days of the year and celebrates the Six Energies of the world.  It is named after Shoalla Palkonna, the great Energetic Philosopher who was the first advocate for a purely scientific examination of the Six Energies.  Since each of the six Tamarran months is 60 days long and the year is 365 days, the final five days are dedicated to Shoall. This holiday is known simply “the Festival” or “Shoalla”; however, in the Guilds the more formal title is the Close of the Tamarran Pulse, or simply, “The Close.”²

Preparation for the Festival begins weeks and sometimes months ahead of time, and during the days prior the roadways of the continent are packed with travellers making their way to their favorite spot to celebrate.  Hotels in the major cities are packed with visitors from the countryside, and often people’s homes become temporary boarding houses for friends or family.

Shoalla officially begins at sunrise on the first day with thanks for the year that has just passed.  Many people pray to the gods or goddesses of their chosen religion; others give thanks to their ancestors or to their family and close friends.  The tradition within the Guilds is to pay proper respect to the Science of the Six with readings from Guild texts.  After thanks have been properly given, all good folk set out to meet and greet the many others they find in the streets and cafes.  It is a time when the more formal social norms are set aside, in keeping with the notion that all races and creatures are composed of the same Six Energies.  Commonalities are brought to the fore and differences are set aside so that all may enjoy themselves.

The two greatest challenges each person takes on during the Festival of Shoalla are to eat as much as they possibly can, and to commit as many acts of kindness and generosity as possible.  In the last few years, many people have begun collecting small coins called Tokens of Shoalla, which are used to track exactly how many good deeds they have accomplished.

Individual celebrations across the Continent are too numerous to list.  The Colossal Puppet Walk and the Great Gate Race stand out as two of the oldest and most ubiquitous. The Colossal Puppet Walk, which takes place in each of the major cities of Tamarra, is a day-long affair.  Puppets as tall as fifty feet, and as small as a sock on a puppeteer’s hand, are paraded through the streets of the city.  These magnificent creations are devised in the image of local political figures, legends of the past (such as Emperor Samron, or Shoalla herself), as well as creatures whose images arise solely from the fertile imagination of the greatest puppet-makers on the Continent.  Musicians join in the fun as the puppets make their way throughout the streets, until everyone gets caught up, spontaneously falling into line behind their favorite puppets.

Perhaps the greatest of the many challenges set forth during the Festival of Shoalla is the Great Gate Race.  Several hundred Tamarrans start this race, which begins on the very southernmost part of the continent and traces a circuitous path until it ends on the Second Tier of Naldrin City in the northern part of the continent.  The race takes the full five or six days of the Festival to run, and the runners must navigate over one hundred dimensional gates to complete the course.  Officially, the race is restricted to channels, because of the danger to the untrained.  However, it is well known that sorcerers and other non-Energy wielders break the rules and participate unofficially in the contest.  The tricks used to navigate the dimensional gates, by those who cannot naturally wield Physic or Shadow Energy, are many and varied.  It is quite common, though, to use blink bats as guides and to buy stones imbued with Energetic Powers or spells.

Even with extra help, the gates are difficult and dangerous.  Some are unsteady and can blink in and out of existence, so the contestant requires great skill to coax the gate into compliance with their needs.  Other gates are deliberately set to appear and then go away at particular times during the competition.  It is not unusual for one or two of the less-skilled contestants to meet an untimely demise or go permanently missing each year.  In those years, the sweetness of the victory is tinged by a sadness that not all those who started the race made it to the end.

This is only a tiny sampling of the variety of what takes place each year across the continent.  There are many other contests, parties, and pleasures during the Festival of Shoalla, which Tamarrans spend a lifetime exploring.

¹ It should be noted that every four years, the Festival is six days long (since the year is 366 days and not 365), and is even more splendid and raucous.

² However, that title is used only by the more bureaucratic elements of the Guild and the Council of Drawnwyn.