6- In Pursuit of the Stone

An icy breeze whistled across the hills, parting the fog around a worn dock. The ship creaked and groaned with with the efforts of the salty crew to bring her to shore. A slight elf quickly nodded to an Erudite captain before disembarking the ship. He nimbly slipped past a Kejekan fisherman, completely unnoticed, before disappearing into the mountains.

The midnight journey through the black waters had been nerve-wracking for the elf. Throughout the voyage, the crew had muttered charms of warding as they worked, their eyes searching the darkness for signs of marauding ships. The cargo hold of the old ship had been cramped, and the food bad, but he had made it. The trip was well worth it, as he had made a marvelous discovery and needed to bring word to Kelethin at once. He had found a way to the island.

As the Teir`Dal turned their thoughts to the sea, so did many keen minds across Norrath. News of Grobb's fall, along with rumors of piracy and great powers, spread to the far reaches of the realms. Councils were held amongst city leaders and factions, debating what should be done in this changing time. It had been so long since an event of this magnitude surfaced that the oldest sages were called forth to address this development.

The once peaceful seas had become places of danger and robbery, and the power emanating from the Gulf of Gunthak could conceivably pose a threat to all of Norrath. Trade lines that crossed the sea were severed and packages were not reaching their intended destinations. Communication between the continents would have been lost without the powers of magic. Many factions sent scouts to the Gunthak region, with orders to bring back information on the prophecy, the Grozmok stone, and the mysterious Broken Skull Clan.

Travelers quickly realized that passage to Broken Skull Rock would prove most hazardous, as the pirates now ruled the seas. The increasing power of this renegade band had spread through the Gulf of Gunthak and the Buried Sea, making travel all but impossible.

One particularly astute scout of Tunare sought a safe route to Broken Skull Rock. In his travels, he happened upon a smuggler transferring goods to the island, departing from a remote dock in the Stonebrunt Mountains. This was far from the normal routes the pirate ships patrolled. After a bit of bargaining the elf procured passage on his ship. This proved to be a reliable method for reaching Broken Skull Rock, though the journey was dangerous and there was no guarantee of safety upon arrival.

When the scout returned to Kelethin with the news, messengers were sent at once to other key figures across Norrath. To aid the cause, the Academy of Arcane Sciences and the Druids of Surefall devised new magics for swift travel to the Stonebrunt Mountains. As copies of these spells made their ways into the hands of some of the shadier merchants in the Commonlands, adventurers of all sorts began heading to Broken Skull Rock. A variety of motivations drove these aspiring heroes to Odus: Some sought treasure, some looked to exact revenge upon the clan that had wronged them, and some felt the call of a higher cause.

In Faydwer, many feared that the Dark Elves might gain possession of the stone and warp its power for their own, twisting and bending the world to do their bidding. This must not be allowed to happen, the elves of Faydwer swore. If the hand of Innoruuk had reached this island and empowered such foul creatures, what other horrors could be in store for the civilized realms? What new tragedies would befall the ever-changing world of Norrath in the years to come?