In late Glacian of the year 853, a flash of emerald light drew adventurers to the Mannaseh Swamp, home to sunken Kasmarkin where rests the long, and not always noble, history of the fallen troll empire. Beside Maeglor stood the statuesque figure of Lorielan, the Jade Empress, and, speaking with perfect fluency the trollish tongue, the erstwhile Goddess imparted to the teacher a ruby scroll. Scribed upon this parchment was a promise: of a renewed future, without the taint of Chaos or the machinations of demons to spoil its rise.
Visions soon beset the troll race, confusing riddles and infuriatingly vague images filling their minds. Rushing to confer with Maeglor, Reinn, Sphera, Iesen, Majin, Paine, and Embrelle relayed what they had seen. As heated discussion began to take place among the dozens gathered – most among them not troll-kin but interested and eager to assist nonetheless – it was Embrelle who first took up the banner of Kasmarkin’s charge. Five couplets were presented, each, it was thought, representing a troll-kin of some significance.
And while some frowned in consternation, remembering all too well the escape of Pazuzu and the demise of his jailor, the Tl’fah-kx’khrah-megra Sh’fah, others began to fan out across the world, their search begun.
Farrah Roualt and Mezghar Al’Jafri soon deduced one of the riddle’s meanings: Cookless we stand in hungry vigil, indentured servants forged in the master’s sigil. To Adryn’s Keep they went, Embrelle once more at the front of the party as the Hashani met with old Claek, regaling him with a song in exchange for his signing of the curious scroll.
Astarod Blackstone hastened to Qurnok, hoping to unravel one piece of the riddle: “Enigmatic eaves redeem, sibilant slithering, I dream.” Directed of course to Rurnog, Herpetologist, Astarod and his band of followers questioned the snake-expert for half a day, finally convincing him that the visions were real, and he too offered his signature, accepting the body of a mother scorpent for his studies in trade.
Torrent with equivalent ambition sought to head to Riagath for answers, questioning Leiga of the Gyrog. Torrent left empty handed, but would soon return.
Embrelle and her Hashani then met with Korlosh of Delos, having unravelled yet another piece of the puzzle: “All aground, the master of a ship, little use to me, the bardlike.” Unconvinced and unwilling to waste time, Korlosh’s demand was simple: a signature in exchange for the spilling of blood. Reyl stepped forward to face Embrelle in battle, defeating her swiftly but fulfilling the captain’s terms in the process.
Meanwhile, Ellryn of Mhaldor had gone to Mysia. One part of the riddle continued to elude everyone: “Breath of the Gods am I, I serve the lady in white from on high.” Consulting with Favian, a theory was born that the first half referred to the wind, and so Ellryn made her way to the Ivory Tower, and to Methats. Yet Atlantia’s tower was filled with enemies, and Ellryn fell.
Once again Embrelle led the discussion on behalf of the troll-kin, and when Ellryn returned from the Halls, observed as the Divine Wind named his price: a new recruit, of trollish heritage, to join the Ivory Mark. With some careful prodding and friendly encouragement, Jomi stepped bravely forward, offering himself as the latest Ivory Champion in return for Methats’s name on the ruby scroll.
With four signatures obtained, one remained. To Riagath went all adventurers, meeting once more with Leiga of the Gyrog. Amid discussions on the proper name of Kassar-ken, the chieftess insisted that she would sign nothing without a story. And so it was Karrigan who regaled all present with the dramatic tale of Pazuzu and his escape, to general applause. Leiga signed her name and released the famous battle cry of Gruul, and the adventurers returned to Maeglor, successful.
Content that the confusing quest had reached its end, Maeglor read aloud the scroll’s contents and placed it in the box beneath the statue once marking Kasmarkin’s entrance. The reaction was immediate.
The earth roiled and the swamp seethed to life as the ancient city rose from the depths for the first time in a century. Its ancient spires, though crumbled and ravaged by time and Chaos and demonic machination, once more pierced the sky. What began as a promise stood once more among the marshes as a very real possibility.
Arcanian Avenue and Prospero Way soon felt the footfalls of countless adventurers, keen to look upon the seat of the old empire. Beside the shattered fortress of Lord Taug, brought to ruin as he physically fought his way out of imprisonment, stood the implacable and captivating figure of the Jade Empress.
Weaving stone from nothing, She crafted a well of promise, setting it firmly into the ground. The Goddess praised the trolls for their achievement, wished them well for the future, and disappeared through a lucent archway of crystal.
Summary: Lorielan visited Maeglor of the trolls, gifting him a ruby scroll. Trolls across the world then began experiencing visions, a riddle pointing them at five elders of their race. Once the elders were found and the scroll signed, the statue guarding Kasmarkin’s entrance transformed, and the city rose from the depths of the swamp, never to sink again. Minutes later, Ulvna screamed…