Lore:The Treasure of the Ageless
The Treasure of the Ageless
Part 1: The Four Kings
At the dawn of civilization, when the World Of The Wurm was still young, in an ancient era long before humans arrived in the lands now known as the Freedom Isles, four mighty kings gathered in the grand hall of the Library of Sorrow. They were the true rulers of the four kingdoms of the Ageless, enthroned in the ancient time by the Four Gods themselves. Although the kings were immune to the passing of time, they felt that the era of the Ageless was coming to an end. In response to their prayers the Four Gods had revealed the future to every one of them, and it was clear that all complaints and appeals to Fo, Magranon, Vynora and Libila would be in vain.
"This world of ours will soon belong to a new race", they said. "Even the Keepers of the Truth, our mighty army, will not impede the inevitable, as the gods foresee it." And they sat together for a long time, bemoaning their fate, their spirit changing from angry to sad and helpless. Finally, one of them rose and spoke: "So, the Golden Valley will soon see many new creatures, and the World Of The Wurm will finally belong to the Humans. If this is the will of the Four Gods, so be it! But, before we have to vanish, let us each create something very special, a unique item as a gift to the new race of Humans, to help them in their effort to become the owners of our beautiful world!"
And so they agreed to create four powerful and unique tools, made from the purest of silver. They returned to their kingdoms and summoned the most skillful of their blacksmiths to forge the best tools they could make from the best silver they could find.
One year later the four kings gathered again in the Library of Sorrow and they presented what had been created in their kingdoms. "The Silver Sickle will help them to plant and cultivate vast forests, so they will always have wood to make fire and build sheds", the first king said. "The Silver Knife will be priceless as a tool to produce meat, furs, hides and material, so they will never be hungry or cold", the second king continued. The third king produced a Silver Hammer and said: "The hammer will be their tool to build houses and make their own tools from iron", and the fourth king continued: "This is the Silver Trowel used for erecting the great human temples and palaces."
So they laid down the four unique tools of pure silver before them and were satisfied with what they had created. Suddenly a strong gust of wind arose and with a mighty roaring sound Libila herself appeared amongst them, filling the air with the strong odor of the Dark Realms. "So you decided to give your help to the feeble humans?", she rumbled in her mighty voice of thunder. "A sickle, a knife, a hammer and a trowel to settle and live in a peaceful world of rocks, trees and flowers? Heh! You fools!" Her laughter filled the grand hall and reverberated from the walls of the Library, making the kings tremble with fear. "How long do you believe those humans would survive in a world swarming with hostile creatures without a true weapon?", the Goddess asked. "Do you see them killing a lava fiend with a sickle? Would they attack a troll with their silver knife? What good would a hammer and a trowel do against a hell scorpious?" With these words the dark goddess disappeared.
The four ageless kings looked at each other and realized that in their grief and sorrow they had forgotten to create the most important of all tools: a powerful weapon! Embarrassed they knelt down at the altars and prayed to the Four, asking for a unique and divine weapon to give as a present to the human race. And then, finally, the most noble and powerful sword appeared in front of the altars: a large two handed sword made of pure hardened silver!
There they lay: the Silver Sickle, the Silver Knife, the Silver Hammer, the Silver Trowel and, as a gift of the gods themselves, the Silver Sword!
The four kings agreed to hide this treasure of invaluable unique items in a secure place, to make sure that only the boldest and worthiest of the human race would be able to retrieve them. So they sent out seven of their winged Scouts of Truth to explore the seven continents that were to become the home of the human race. The Seven searched for a long time, until one of them finally found a forgotten cave built by the extinct race of the Gnomes deep below a high, almost inaccessible mountain in a remote spot at the edge of one of the seven islands.
So the Treasure of the Ageless was hidden in the underground halls of the ancient Gnome people, sealed from the light of Sol by rock and soil, guarded by fierce creatures that roamed the tunnels leading to the treasure chamber.
And the millennia passed...
Part 2: The Discovery
It was going to be a hot summer. According to the human calendar, week 1 of the Bear's starfall in the year of 1017 had just begun when bold explorers first set foot on the newly discovered island they had chosen to name "Deliverance". Among them was a serious, distinguished man in his best years, who called himself Yaga. Shortly after his arrival he began to explore this pristine island full of new wonders and exciting adventures. As fate would have it, Yaga first reached the north coast, but then turned east and wandered along the shores for a long time, always alert to the dangers that emerged around him. In his efforts to escape a terrible death by one of the fierce creatures that were abundant in that wild and undeveloped country he did not realize that the coastline had impalpably made a southward turn, so that he walked on and on towards the southeast corner of the island. Unaware of his real location, he finally decided to settle in a place we now call "Serendipity Bay", one of the most remote spots in all of Deliverance.
No maps existed at that time to guide our explorer, nor were there any human settlements in the area, which later turned out to be a long narrow peninsula roughly shaped like a dog's leg. It was a harsh and hostile area of land, with rocky cliffs and steep slopes that made it particularly hard to find suitable spots for villages and farms. A high mountain range extended along the peninsula from north to south, and in the outermost corner, almost inaccessible by humans, a very tall pointed mountain peak arose. Unable to climb this prominent landmark for a long time, the first explorers adequately called it "Dragontooth Peak".
As years passed the area slowly filled with human settlements. Village after village was erected by busy craftsmen, and before long the peninsula became a civilized and lively place. One spot, however, seemed to remain as remote as ever, hardly touched by human feet in all the years that passed: Dragontooth Peak - silent, desolate and inaccessible. Only a handful of human settlers seemed to be attracted by that lonely barren area high up in the mountains, where the winds were strong and only the eagles kept them company. Among those few was Yaga who, after leaving the thriving village of Serendipity Bay, chose the area at the foot of Dragontooth Peak as his new home to live in solitude.
One day, in the winter of 1026, Yaga set out to climb the northern face of Dragontooth Peak on a quest to find iron and other mineral resources. The wind was strong and cold, and it was a real challenge to climb the steep cliff, trying not to lose grip on the slippery rock and at the same time swinging the pickaxe in an attempt to prospect for ore. All of a sudden he was alert - something was different here! The rock sounded hollow as the pickaxe came down, and there was an unexpected gush of pebbles rolling down the cliff. What was this? Could there really be an old tunnel in this remote, impassable place? A mine even? But who could have built that? The place seemed untouched, as if no human had ever set foot on it.
Excited beyond belief Yaga began to wield his pickaxe frantically, loosening smaller rocks and pebbles until, after what seemed like endless hours of mining, the rock face finally yielded to unveil an opening that could only be the entrance of an ancient underground tunnel! What a discovery! However, daylight was almost fading by then, and Yaga was so exhausted that he was unable to continue, and so he marked the spot and climbed down again to rest for the night.
On the next day, he got up early and found himself tempted to run down the mountainside and tell all his friends in Serendipity Bay, Silverhold and Anagrom Ataf about his discovery. But then again - what if it was just a random hole in the mountain? With nothing in it but rocks and stones? Wouldn't it be embarrassing to alert half of the population just because of an empty cave? So he decided to find out more about the tunnel all by himself; after all there might even be veins of precious minerals in there which he would be able to call his own!
And so it came about that Yaga, a common, inconspicuous and peaceful citizen of Deliverance, accidentally stumbled across the caves of the ancient Gnome people underneath Dragontooth Peak, the very place where the kings of the Ageless had buried their treasure several thousand years ago!
It took many adventurous expeditions into the endless maze of tunnels, and more than once Yaga almost lost his life to dangerous precipices and aggressive creatures that roamed the ancient caves. Many of the tunnels turned out to be dead ends, and Yaga had to use his pickaxe again and again to remove debris and landslides. But at last, after many weeks of adventure and exploration, he entered the large underground hall of the Gnomes. In the center there was a huge stone coffin, guarded by a giant lava fiend sleeping next to it.
Yaga knew that there was no way of fighting and defeating this beast, at least not in an open battle. The only chance was using a deceit, finding a way to outwit the guardian - but what could he do?
Carefully moving back to the quiet darkness of the tunnel that lead to the guardian's hall, Yaga pondered over his options. His exhaustion and his pounding heart reminded him of the strain and dangers he had encountered, and he finally sat down to rest. After a while he became very quiet and began to meditate. Breathing slowly he fell into a deep trance, and suddenly the answer was there! It had been there all the time, he had just been too occupied and too excited to see it! The Path of Love! Many years of meditation had made him a Guru on the Path of Love and people even called him a "Protector". With proper concentration he was sometimes able to create a stream of love and let it flow around him to affect all creatures nearby. For a short while those creatures would feel nothing but love and remain peaceful until the effect would vanish.
That was what he had to do! Slowly moving closer to the sleeping guardian he concentrated on his surroundings, collected all his meditative powers and focused his mind on a deep feeling of love. The huge lava fiend stirred, groaned, opened its eyes - and then closed them again with a deep, satisfied sigh. Carefully Yaga moved close to the coffin and opened it. Inside he found a stone plaque with an inscription engraved on it in the ancient letters of the old race of the Ageless. And next to it, wrapped in plain cloth made of cotton, there they were: the five precious silver tools, the heritage of the ageless kings, created thousands of years ago as a gift for the human race.
Knowing that there was no time to lose, Yaga quickly picked up the tools and the stone plaque, shouldered his backpack and managed to leave the hall just in time before his love effect on the lava fiend was fading.
It took many weeks of studying and reading every available book on ancient lore and history, until Yaga was able to translate the writing on the stone and he finally understood the true nature of the tools. Awed and humbled by the significance of the treasure he had found, he meticulously kept it a secret and retained the tools in a well hidden place. There they lay for more than 10 years. But eventually it became clear to him that those unique and precious items were not meant to be kept by him as a secret treasure. They were created as a generous gift to mankind, to be used by great men and women worthy of them.
So Yaga finally decided to publicly announce the existence of the Tools of the Ageless: the Silver Sickle, the Silver Knife, the Silver Hammer, the Silver Trowel, and - made by the gods themselves - the Silver Sword. They are now ready to be used - but only by those worthy of such a great honor. And so Yaga decided to make sure that only the oldest and wisest of all Wurmians would be able to acquire a treasure of such enormous value.