From the desk of Zer Sonantius Strigidae
Report for Praetor Ariahdnia Z'Ress
3 Stargazing, Fenin Ro, Age of Veeshan
I address this report to you personally for fear of it falling into the wrong hands. Over the last five months, I have taken on a personal duty to infiltrate the Order of the Rime to gather evidence of its crimes and see to its downfall. I have spent a significant portion of that time deep undercover among their ranks in both Kunark and Velious, and have compiled quite a list of injustices against all the inhabitants, both native and immigrant, of those territories. My cover was recently blown as I moved through their ranks, and so I report to you now, seeking advice and aid in moving forward.
The Order employs brigands and vagabonds from all races, its ultimate goal being to bring about some kind of ice-bound apocalypse in which only the Order of the Rime and their warlord, an apparent half-ice-giant named Kraytoc Killingfrost, will be the survivors. Their magic is incredibly effective at chilling any climate, as evidenced by the deep freeze they have instituted in the northern areas of the Fens of Nathsar, an otherwise tropical region. (An injustice against nature itself, in my opinion, to change a climate so drastically.) To bring about their goals, they seek powerful magical artifacts and also seek to sway or enslave any being whose powers might be used toward their ends.
I was motivated to infiltrate them when I discovered from the coldain of Velious that the Order of the Rime was capturing and enslaving the local ice and wind elementals for use in their nefarious plots against other races. As I am sure you are aware, most such nature elementals are indeed sentient beings (if a bit alien to corporeal persons such as ourselves), and as such, I felt this was a grave injustice to be addressed as swiftly as possible. I resolved that the best way to accomplish this would be from within the organization, where I could collect records of the unwilling enslavement of sentient creatures like the elementals to bring as evidence before the powers of Norrath. Ultimately, I did find this evidence, and so much more.
To gain access to the Order, I first enlisted the aid of the Rilissian Iksar of Kunark, who are attempting to use the chaotic presence of the Rime in their lands to their own ends. Ultimately, the Rilissians provided me with a quite effective disguise, and I was subsequently able to pose as an enlisted soldier of the Order of the Rime.
Most of my activities while undercover in Kunark were of a logistical nature, acquiring and transporting food and supplies for their camps and armies. They are largely extremely poorly organized in this aspect: there seems to be little or no standardization or rationing among the troops, and as such, all three of their largest camps in Kunark are in need of constant resupply. My other duties with the Rime in Kunark tended toward sabotage: destroying or tainting supplies of other, native factions in the areas they were operating in. I am conflicted about these tasks, as some of them required or resulted in unjust violence against local populations. My only rationalization is that these orders were assigned to many soldiers of the Rime, they would have been carried out regardless of my presence, and the orders gave me further opportunity to gather evidence of the crimes of the Order. I have written records of these orders and others to other Rime soldiers which should be strong evidence against them.
The Order's main goal in Kunark is the acquisition of ancient, powerful artifacts; a goal which aligns well with the Rilissian warlord Dominus Rile's goal of reconquering his ancestral homelands. The Rilissians are using the Rime as first wave shock troops in their campaign, and the Rime is hopeful of using this front line position to claim powerful artifacts. Both factions fully intend to betray each other as soon as their goals are accomplished.
After sufficient time in Kunark, I was promoted to service in Velious. I contacted the coldain to explain the work I had already done and the evidence I had collected. They enthusiastically encouraged me to continue my deep cover work, even if it meant acting against coldain interests to maintain my cover. My investigation proceeded similarly as before, though the Order in Velious is much more highly organized than in Kunark. Very little of my service there involved resupply as before, and tended much more toward sabotage and thinning the ranks of coldain defenders, both directly and by reducing coldain morale. Every new assignment provided new records and new evidence of injustice against the natives of Velious, though again I remain conflicted about my participation. The administration of Thurgadin have legally absolved me of action against them in light of the information I have provided them. My only hope is that the evidence I have brought to them might aid them in bringing the Order to final justice.
The ultimate goal of the Order of the Rime in Velious seems to be the enslavement of the dragon Yelinak. They believe that the ancient and powerful being will be key in bringing about their frozen apocalypse.
In discovery of this goal, I worked closely with their commander in Velious, a sage and mystic of the Order named Grand Restorer Lingwal. Unfortunately, his considerable clerical abilities permitted him to see through my disguise, but he did not reveal his discovery of my deception until after I had already completed my assignment of disabling the dragon Yelinak's coldain honor guard.
This is the point at which I request aid and advice. My cover is blown, and the Order of the Rime still moves freely in Velious. Though I doubt the Order actually has the resources available to reach the dragon Yelinak and defeat it, it may soon. The Order of the Rime in Kunark has managed to open a chamber in the ruined city of Charasis called the Emperor’s Athenaeum. Within, they expect to acquire artifacts, or evidence of such, allowing them to enslave a being as mighty as Yelinak. As such goals are reprehensible, it is of utmost importance that a group of seasoned explorers including myself enter the Athenaeum and retrieve these artifacts before the Order can get them. Tracking down and preventing access to any resources which might allow the Order’s true goals to continue is likely to be of high importance in the future of Norrath.
In the name of Justice,
Zer Sonantius Strigidae