Announcements - 2003/06 - Heart of Woe

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June 2003 - Patch Page



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June Teaser

Heart of Woe

First, there is surprise.

The wall crumbled inward pinning Jarvis under a mound of earth and the living walls of the Hive. Olthoi swarmed through the gaping hole into the tunnels, shredding his companions in a matter of seconds. Jarvis struggled to reach his sword, but it lay just out of his grasp.

"Arikas, did you say that there were students within the halls?"

"Yes, Lord Master Asheron, several."

Asheron acknowledged the response with a nod of his head, placing the orb back onto the silken pillow and bringing his hand to his chin.

Second, there is pain.

An Olthoi stepped onto the rubble that pinned Jarvis' legs. Jarvis bit back a scream, but could hold it no longer as the Olthoi lowered its eyes to meet his. It was watching him, searching his face for a sign of understanding. Finding none, it hopped on the rubble and the man screamed again. A long pincer stretched from the Olthoi's back and gently touched the side of Jarvis' face. Jarvis was quivering now in a mixture of fear and pain.

Third, there is acceptance.

Jarvis resigned himself to death. "The pain will end soon," he repeated over and over in his head, as a pincer thrust itself through Jarvis' right shoulder and another pierced his left shoulder. The Olthoi pulled Jarvis from the rubble, screaming but unable to struggle. As the man screamed, the Olthoi mocked him with its own piercing whine.

"Then it is decided?" Elysa asked Lord Kresovus and Aun Hareltah.

"Our Xuta's shall come together and dance in unison. It is agreed." Hareltah responded.

"The Lugians of Linvak shall also come together at this great junction and support the common cause. Yet I must state that if trespasses continue on our lands, we will continue to fight." Kresovus spoke calmly and clearly without a trace of malice.

Elysa nodded and the three prepared to speak to their people.

Last, there is realization…

Jaleh al-Thani stood and smiled broadly as he clapped his guest on the shoulder.

"It has been far too long since last our paths crossed, my friend. Sit, sit; we shall toast to times past."

His guest sat across from him at the table and produced a cask of cider.

"Let us toast with this; it is from the cove." His guest spoke quietly.

"Ah yes, the finest of all of Dereth." Jaleh smiled and offered his cup.

…that betrayal comes from those that you trust.

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Release Notes

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Heart of Woe

Let me tell you a tale of misery. Let me tell you of how a man came to hold power and how that power was stripped from him in an instant. Let me tell you a tale and let it twist your bones so that you know the true meaning of loss.

He was a wealthy man, having made his money in illicit trade, who spent his days thinking of ways to gain a higher station in life. His existence was solitary and joyless without the touch of money in his hands; but, when he held money and tangible wealth he was full of joy.

Eventually the man made a bargain and became important in his own right, breaking ground for the first time in years, in a land that many felt was abandoned of anything righteous or good. There, he crafted a society that would net him fortunes beyond compare, and he took a noble rank garnering political clout as well.

But along the way the man lost sight of who he was, and where he had come from. He forgot his past and thought that he could escape it. But all sane men know that there is no escaping the past.

He made enemies, he made friends, and he forgot everything that had come before. But his past remembered and now it has come calling; and in deep halls removed from the sight of prying eyes and perked ears his screams echo.

There is no escaping your past. There is no way to escape death when it comes for you. You cannot buy the loyalty of the reaper, for he doesn't want wealth. He wants your soul.

New Functionality and Content

  • The coalition races of Dereth are coming together to build a new stronghold in the Dires! All Isparians are invited to participate in naming this symbol of hope and unity for our future. Submit your ideas for a town name and then vote on your favorite name from the chosen few! Visit the Developer's Forum at for more details.
  • A character's natural drain resistance now protects him or her against spells that drain stamina and mana. In the past, natural drain resistance only protected against spells that drained health.
  • The stamina and mana drain spells have been modified to work exactly like their health-draining cousins. Please see the Letter to the Players for further explanation on these changes.
  • If your monarch owns a villa, you can now recall to that villa with the allegiance recall command (@house mansion_recall or @house alleg_recall).
  • What's that digging noise?

Miscellaneous Improvements and Changes

  • If a player killer has been involved in a PK battle within the last 20 seconds, the command line portal recalls—house, allegiance, lifestone, or marketplace—will fail. After the 20 seconds have passed, the player can use those commands normally.
  • The Isparian Arms quest has been revised. See the Letter to the Players for more details.
  • Atlan weapons have also been revised. Ivory can now be applied to Black Fire Atlans and Shadow Atlans.
  • The creatures in each section of Gaerlan's Citadel have been tweaked and are now a better match for the intended level ranges of the quest.
  • Several more static landscape spawns have been upgraded to match their areas.
  • A number of new creature variations are roaming Dereth, and some older ones are looking a little more unique.
  • Mu-miyahs will now defend each other.
  • The rate at which certain Virindi drop uncarved Singularity keys has been adjusted based upon their difficulty.
  • The young Olthoi Queen on Marae Lassel appears to be growing more powerful.

Minor Details

  • Several small text issues with fishing have been fixed.
  • Aun Ngationa has learned his own name! And also where each piece of rubble can be used…
  • The quest for the weapons of Frozen Fury now involves a dais, not a dias.

Letter to the Players

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June Letter to the Players

Greetings, and welcome to the June 2003 edition of the Asheron's Call Letter to the Players. Spring is warming into summer, creatures are getting their summer plumage, the fish are biting… and so are the bugs. There are just a few issues we wanted to discuss in this month's Letter, so let's get to it!


Twice in the past two months we have called on players to help us gather data, and twice players have answered our call with enthusiasm. Back at the beginning of May, we tested new hardware on the test world of Shadowclaim. The data from that test showed us several weaknesses in that configuration. Then at the end of May, we tested an improved configuration. As we write this we are still analyzing the data, but we can say at the very least that we are getting closer to launching a stable hardware upgrade. None of this would be possible without the energetic assistance of the players, and so we want to thank everyone who helped for the donation of their time and attention.

Isparian Arms

The June update includes some changes to the Isparian Arms quest and to the Isparian weapons themselves. We'll leave you to discover most of the details, but we do want to tell you about the most significant changes.

First, we streamlined the quest to obtain the necessary ingredients. These changes should not interrupt anyone who is already midway though the quest, except that you may be able to skip some of the old steps. If you were stuck in this quest due to the state of your quest flags, you will now be able to pick the quest up more or less where you left off. If you have any confusion or questions about this quest, just visit the Arcanum agents in Xarabydun—they will steer you right.

Second, the process of crafting the Isparian weapons has become simpler. We lowered several of the skill checks in order to make the quest more accessible for lower level characters, and in addition we modified the process that determines the quality of the weapon you create. Previously, the quality of the weapon you received depended on two things: the quality of the infused ingot and your weapon skill. Now, however, only the quality of the infused ingot determines the quality of the weapon. This means that you can no longer accidentally create a weapon with a wield requirement higher than you can wield—although you can still do so deliberately if you really want to.

Last, come July, putting a stone into an Isparian weapon no longer destroys the stone. And all existing variants of the Isparian weapons can be transferred between players. Note that this does not necessarily apply to any new Isparian weapon variants that we may add in the future.

Allegiance Recall

In order to better support our smaller allegiances, we are extending the ability for characters to recall to their monarch's house. Previously the @house mansion_recall command only worked to recall a character to a mansion, but now it will also work to recall a character to a villa (assuming that the monarch owns a villa, of course).

Command-Line Recalls and PK

In June, player killers who have been recently engaged in a PK battle will no longer be able to issue any of the command-line recalls, such as the house recalls, @lifestone, and @marketplace, until they have been out of battle for at least twenty seconds. This is similar to the restriction on using portals during a player-killer battle.


With the June update, characters will benefit from natural drain resistance against stamina and mana drain spells, as well as against health drain spells. In short, the drain resistance listed on your character information panel (also known as the burden panel) will work on all types of drains. Remember that you can use the command @endurance in game to find out more about your natural resistances.

In addition, the stamina and mana drain spells will now work just like health drains in terms of percent drained and the received multiplier. The following chart details these changes.

Mana and Stamina Transfer Spell Changes

Spell Level Old % Drained New % Drained Old Max Damage New Max Damage Old Received Multiplier New Received Multiplier
1 10% 25% 100 30 1.0 2.0
2 15% 25% 100 50 1.0 1.6
3 20% 25% 100 75 1.0 1.33
4 25% 25% 100 100 1.0 1.0
5 30% 30% 100 120 1.0 1.0
6 40% 40% 100 150 1.0 0.75
7 50% 50% 100 180 1.0 0.5

A Groundbreaking Opportunity

In June, players will have an opportunity to participate in the building of Dereth in a new and exciting fashion. Watch the Asheron's Call: Dark Majesty site (link to after the update for more details!

The Peril Beneath

Last month, Asheron returned to his old school at Knorr to survey the damage and recover certain volumes of forgotten lore. Against his will, some Isparians followed him there and discovered a great deal of information about the Empyrean—and about their downfall via one angry Olthoi Queen. The Isparians also discovered evidence that the Queen had abandoned Knorr at some point, although she'd left part of her copious brood behind. While Asheron puzzles over who opened the way to Knorr, Elysa worries about signs of increased intelligence among the Olthoi of Dereth. And we are all left with one large question: Where is the Knorr Queen now?
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