The Secrets of Fortress Deviare
Welcome, friends. As it has been too long since a revelatory content drop for the nerds of lore, we shall endeavor to use what we got and squeeze as much information out of grainy screen captures as we can on our quest to discover and solve the secrets of Fortress Deviare.
It has already been documented that Fortress Deviare is on one of the four islands that make up the Azure Isles, and that this island chain rests between Kingsreach and Frosja Nochta to the north. It has also been stated that the fortress was its own fiefdom at one time, ran by the Deviare family then consolidated by the Thronefastian crown in later years. It still is ran by the Count Deviare and guarded by its own independent military.
With this brief backstory in mind, the first item on the list must be the intricate map of the Azure Isles. This collection of four main islands form a talon shape in the Bethrale Sea on the north side of the continent of Kingsreach and south of the bitter cold Frosja Nochta. With the newest release of the continent of Kingsreach, we have scant islands to choose from and no hint at the placement of Frosja Nochta. This leads me to believe that none of these islands are part of the Azure Isles.
There was however a map that was said to show the location of the Azure Isles hanging on the walls of the Fortress itself. One wizard of note was able to snatch a copy for us to pour over. Here is what he found…
Once this was in our hands, our on-staff cartographers went to work trying to restore this map for viewing. After painstakingly removing excess lines from some letter for clarity and lightening up the areas, we are left with this image…
Truly, this map was full of wondrous information waiting to be uncovered. Our historians spent night and day reviewing and collaborating and surmising and pontificating. The most legible of all the markings were strewn across the bottom left corner of the map. The very noticeable large island had NEGROPONTE written across it and beneath was what appeared to be ACHA ISLE.
Needless to say, the scholars were excited. They were clues to what we were looking at. Negroponte was translated as Black Point and Acha was an old word meaning a splinter or sliver. Could these be the names of the individual isles in the Azure chain? Black Point seems to refer to something dark in color. We know that the small island off the coast of Tenebrous with black sands. But that would put Tenebrous north of Kingsreach if that were the case. More study ensued until, at last, an ancient map predating the Sacred Six from the race of the Google gave us the answers we sought.
Upon further inspection of the text on the map, it was determined that the lower land mass was not Acha Isle, but ACHA - some mountains that looked like letter – IA. Negroponte off the coast of Achaia was a location in ancient Greece. And so it turns out that those responsible for hanging maps in Fortress Deviare grabbed an old map and hung it in the lower regions. At some point, I’m sure that they will have their maps sorted out. So, unfortunately, our first quest which was highly anticipated, turned out to be a bust.
There seemed to be something else going on within the walls of Fortress Deviare. There were symbols of dragons everywhere. And apparently research on dragons was ongoing. First we look to the beginnings of the Deviare clan who carved this homestead out of the Azure imbued rocks of the island. Their family crest conveys a dragon, legless, with small wings resembling fins, all encased in a floral crown.
This exaltation of dragons at the heart of their family is reminiscent of the group of dragon worshipers who long for the day dragons return to rule on Nhystyrrok and allow their servants to share in their glory. These are know as the Sect of Peryth. It is also worth noting that the way the current lord of dragons, Rok’Nhilthamos, came to power was after his father, the ruler of dragons on land, killed his own brother, who ruled the dragons of the sea, then was himself killed by his son Nhilthamos who claimed both kingdoms. Could it be that the Deviare family is wishing to usurp the throne of Nhilthamos and bring back an age of Dragons of Sea in power once again? The dragon depiction is so pervasive that hundreds of years later, the Fortress Deviare still uses the same depiction on their crest as well.
To muddy the waters even farther, there is a certain connection between Lycandrell and Fortress Deviare, with brutish werewolves threatening the inhabitants in the wild but also Lycandrells in the castle working to some mutual advantage. This is odd since most Human culture views all Lycanthropes as evil, dirty, and animalistic. Fortress Deviare actually employs them. There is a certain place of worship buried at the lowest levels of the castle where these “drell” can be found, along with other humans. Of note, there is an object of worship adorning a table in the depths of this chamber.
It would appear that there are some in the fortress who are worshipping land dragons. They even go so far as to create large replicas of their deities and hang them in their studies.
Whether the worship of these dragons is the common thread of the Lycandrell and the Deviares still remains a mystery, but what is known for sure is that there is a dragon presence in the waters around the Azure Isles, and the Deviare family is aligned.
Now, to a more sinister plot if you can stomach it. There was a dark secret unknown in all of Terminus dwelling in the study of Diogracius, the historian working in the employ of the Count Deviare. This secret knowledge, while not imparted, came from a reliable source of mine, Joppa of Thronefast. In his study was found crushed root from the caves under Deviare, a fragile tincture of assorted liquid, and a celestium shard, cut and polished down to specific dimensions. His work on harnessing the diabolical azure flowers of the caves was growing more and more important as if it were consuming his every thought. Everyone knows that the flowers have an effect not that different from the effect of the screams of a banshee on its target, turning them slowly and agonizingly into themselves. Strangely, the banshee and the wraither, who walk the caverns below setting up for themselves places of worship to Ulthiros, Keeper of the Damned in the Human pantheon, are in a battle hundreds of years long. Is Diogracius working to counter the wraiths from below by harnessing the powers of banshees? Or even worse, is Diogracius working with the wraiths and a follower of the illegal worship of Ulthiros, trying to find ways around the effects of banshees? We all know the story of mad King Alonthir, whose worship of Ulthiros led to its outlaw and almost destroyed the rancid dynasty of Amensol, first king of Men, may he be disgraced. I digress… Diogracius’ journal entries seem to be heading down a slippery slope.
There is one more option as well, actually, the most sensible and most dangerous. Along with the wraiths and Ulthiros cultists making their homes underneath the Fort, there is also the issue of the real ruler of the Azure Isles, the Azure Queen. The Azure Queen uses the azure orchids, as they are called, to converse with her servants and also to spread the intoxicating servitude she wished to spread to all who come to her isle. As Diogracius first exclaimed upon finding the azure orchids, he had a desire to “plant” those crystals and study their effects.
This obsession with the crystals was to be a breakthrough for Viscount Tellring, to save his master, Count Galion from the torture he endured from something on the island. But Diogracius sought it for another purpose: to rule over his masters.
Unfortunately, his research backfired. The innocent soldiers he was training in the art of spelunking all began to contract the same illness as the Count. The Count, he had been told by Tellring, was “gone.” Diogracius took it to mean dead. The soldiers at Deviare were told that the Count was better and on a hunt into Frosja Nochta. And the rumor on the island was that Tellring was sent back to Thronefast with merchandise from the Fort and that he would not be back for a time.
The truth is that Count Galion had not recovered but was given over entirely to the will of the Azure Queen as her new beloved. Tellring has abandoned the fortress with no leader. And Diogracius, under the spell of the Azure Queen, is bringing more recruits into her presence via his “planted” crystals, strengthening her sway over the Fortress. He had even gone so far as to deliver them directly to her minions, the cave spiders in the depths of the island, assuring them that nothing in the caves was dangerous even after he studied the spiders. Poor, poor Adella Windlain… He even has an orchid by his bedside supplanting messages into his mind.
He has finally been awakened to the Queen, who has promised him knowledge, and server her completely. As his final journal entry states in a moment of pure intoxication, “It is as if a small orchid bud was placed inside my soul and has been growing since the day I first entered the caverns. Now, it is in full bloom. I carry my purpose, buried in the depths of my chest. I speak of it to no one but myself… and to the one true queen.” And he isn’t talking about Amanthiel of Thronefast.
Whatever the case, it is never good when so many magical elements are in the hands of someone studying creatures of lost souls while creating an army of wooden soldiers. Yes, you heard correctly. Diogracius is making physical bodies to be occupied by the tortured souls of wraiths. See the shocking evidence below.
The world is full of mystery and intrigue must be carefully scrutinized to keep the forces of darkness at bay. I trust you use this information wisely.
Leader of the Resistance Against the Corrupt House of Amensol