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Gemstone IV News

Echoes of Return
Posted on 10/08/2009 06:56 PM CDT by the Webstaff


Long ago, just at the fringes of memory for Velathae's oldest residents, there stood a belfry tower.  Famed it was through the town, for its bells pealed with joyous songs for joyous occasions, from births to weddings to passing on to another life.  Yet, when its owners passed away, its fame was of another kind: a specter soon reigned over the structure, pacing through the tower and upon the upper reaches.  No one knew where the spirit had come from, or why it suddenly appeared one day, but the belfry was obviously cursed.  So cursed, in fact, that the spirit spent the majority of its time pounding fists against the stony summit of the belfry.

Perhaps even more frightening to the town residents, however, were the strange and cryptic riddles that issued from the specter's lips as whispers that carried far on stormy eves.  At first subdued, the odd rantings and pounding sounds grew louder and louder over the passing months, and the villagers became more and more afraid for their safety.  Who knew when the specter would descend and unleash his rage upon them?

One night, nearly a year after the specter's first sighting, the bells in the tower began to ring with violent intent.  Driven by extreme fear, the villagers massed together at the tower's base, where they then locked the tower door.  Once locked, and once certain that the specter was still inside, they set torches to the tower.  Thus it came to pass that the tower that once heralded the best and brightest of occasions with its elegant tolling of the bells quickly and quietly -- for the bells suddenly quieted as the flames grew higher -- burned completely down to the ground.  Only once did the specter appear up in the belfry, his eyes wild with terror, before fading out of sight, never to be seen again.

The next morning, all that remained of the tower were broken stones, which were soon overtaken by wildflowers and grass.  With time, the existence of the tower and its ghostly resident passed out of the village stories, and for most, completely out of memory.

----

Although still shrouded in mystery, the Tower Hill family is well known as an eccentric, greedy group obsessed with collecting items of all kinds -- from pieces of useless fancy to those of wondrous abilities.  Many feel that the family is cursed given some of their past unsavory collection practices, including theft and unfair gain.  Even so, the family has given away and auctioned off some of its items in the past; thus, the items pass through their hands, making way for new marvels.

This year, the family has announced that they will disperse some more of their collection to those who gain entrance to Tower Hill for the auctions over the weekend.  While some may see this as a means to right the wrongs of the family, others have noted that the family members have been acting just bit more strange than normal, as if there is something going on that the rest of Velathae has yet to discover -- that they may be responsible for the appearance of things best left forgotten.

For, of significance to a handful, there is the appearance of something that should not be there:  rising from the ground along a strange path on the western edges of Velathae is a tower that is capped with a belfry.  Strange tolling sounds, eerie and cryptic, are heard throughout the tower.  Whispered rumors have just started to float around the town as the oldest of the villagers begin to remember… .

Eve of the Reunion Celebration, 5109

The Merchant Consortium of Greater Elanith has once again negotiated with the ghostly residents of the village of Velathae to house this year's Ebon Gate event.  Visitors to the village may find many wonders, both natural and supernatural, at their fingertips to enjoy.

This year's Ebon Gate comes in two different package options:

Option A

This ticket is for Velathae access -- it will allow its holder into the Ebon Gate festival grounds, with access to all general events, games, and the celebration.

$40 is for one character access
$55 is for two character access
$65 is for three character access
$75 is for four character access

In Platinum, the $40 ticket gives access to all characters on the account.

The general EG entry (non-auction) tickets will go on sale Saturday, October 10th at 7pm Eastern for all subscribers.

Option B

This ticket will allow its holder all of the above, plus admission into an auction for a guaranteed auction-quality item.

These tickets are $100 in Prime.  The ticket will allow four characters into the Ebon Gate grounds, but only one character will be able to access the auction area.

These tickets are $50 in Platinum.

Auction tickets will go on sale in three staggered batches:
Friday, October 9th - 9pm Eastern
Saturday, October 10th - Noon Eastern
Saturday, October 10th - 6pm Eastern

The first 30 minutes of each batch will be limited to Premium bids only.  After 30 minutes, the remaining ticket pool for that batch will be opened up to all subscribers.

The Platinum instance Option B tickets will go on sale Saturday, October 10th at 7pm Eastern for all Platinum subscribers.


Events

The village of Velathae offers numerous delights and wonders that will surely entertain visitors for hours.  Several hosted games by one of the local ghostly residents will happen throughout the entire weekly event.  Also, why do the residents find the belfry tower so curious?  Certainly, this is a mystery worth looking into!

Orchard Games

The games in the orchard are varied and numerous as the apples that grow on the trees -- this year, some of the favorites are back:  Sing Me an Epitaph, Bubbling Brew, What Was I?, Entrails Toss, and Creepy Anagrams.  Visitors beware, however, as the spirits of the orchard are a feisty bunch and are unpredictable.  Bodily harm may occur.

Villa Macellarius

The old Villa Macellarius has been reported to have odd occurrences happening to it since the manifestation of the village.  Visitors can explore the villa, but are cautioned to stay alert.

Winter Wren Estates

The wealthy inhabitants of Winter Wren Estates have not been heard from since the devastation to the village, however the ghostly residents of Velathae have talked about strange sightings within the community.  Take a wander past the estates, and knock on a door or two -- you may get an answer.

The Great Barrow

Entrance into the great barrow under Tower Hill was expressly prohibited during the living years of the village.  However, since the recent manifestation, the seals that blocked off entrance into the great barrow have gone missing.  The local ghostly officials have stated that visitors may explore the insides of the barrow, but they will not be held accountable for anything that may happen to those that stray inside.

Jousting

Set aside from the orchard, the old farmer's field is now host to a spectacular supernatural event--ghost jousting. Ride on an enchanted, ghostly horse against your foe and unseat them to find glory!

Auction

The Tower Hill family's collection is massive -- so large as to elicit a great deal of jealousy, rage, greed, and murderous intent by those who wish to get their hands on prized items.  This year's offerings span from trinkets that perform feats of unbelievable magic to rare shields to odd, fuzzy little creatures.

Each ticket holder will receive a Tower Hill Auction Token to use in the two event areas: Raffle and Auction (silvers). In the raffle area, the items are raffled off to the individuals who submit their tokens for a particular item. The auction area is for those who want to attempt to win the item with silvers by submitting their token for a chance to participate in the auctioning of an item.

*Each participant can win one and only one item at the auction, whether from the tokens room or silvers room.*

The winner will walk away with their high quality item and those that did not win may reuse their token to try their luck again.  If for any reason one of the visitors is unhappy with their item, they are able to exchange the item with one of the consolation prizes -- either a Mayhem tattoo or 600 Premium Points (to use however you wish) -- during the remainder of the event.

The auction will take place over the opening weekend of Ebon Gate.  Half of the auction items will be released on Feastday (Saturday) and half on Restday (Sunday).  The auctioneers will work each day in three shift times -- 12:00 (noon Eastern), 4:00 (4pm Eastern), and 8:00 (8pm Eastern).  Each shift will cycle through a set batch of items until all of the items have been auctioned, the next cycle starts, or no further bids are put out for the items remaining in the current batch.  Items will move quickly, so do not miss out!

A full list of the items to be auctioned will be provided in the days leading up to the auction and will specify which items will be released on which day.  Of course, the Tower Hill family wants everyone to have a small taste of what is to come, and thus it is said that a sample of what is to gain by those who enter is as follows:

* Elanthian real estate
* Defensive bonus items
* High-end weapons and armors of rare quality
* Rare magical relics, from spell casting to understanding other languages
* Unique items with custom flair and personality
* Unheard of tattoo types -- a new experimental breed

From everything above to Chronomage daggers and exploding mushrooms to bottomless quivers, lightning swords, and dedicated Arkati relics, there is a little something for everyone to enjoy.

Shops

With a village full of ghostly craftsmen, one can certainly expect a variety of goods and wares.  Some of the old favorites and recent finds include:

A Distinguished Presence
A Passing Fancy
A Pious Habit
Aspirations of Expiration
Bath From Beyond
Beast Within Costumes
Beggar's Alley
Beguiling Selections
Berla's Cloaks and Things
Better Protections
Blades of Steel
Bladesmith's Cottage
Bound for Fashion
Classical Couture
Continuous
Creidne's Charms
Dancer's Passion
Dark Rose Cottage
Dislocated Bones
Elixir of Death
Engaged in Elegance
Epitaphs of Love
Feed the Beast
Fickle Fancies
Forest Fashions
Forget Me Not
Frost Cottage
Grey House
Haunting Sounds
Hidden Hand
Home of the Art
In the Lilac Trees
Iron It Out
Love Me, Love Me Not
Malapart Magus
Malleable Majicks
Mallowyr Cottage
Mallowyr Manor
Market Fresh
Mourning Glories
Muirne's Makeup
Pewter Palace
Pirenia's Puppeteer
Reunion Relics
Riverboat Taer
Root Cellar
Rozenwyn's Regalia
Runty Hog Tavern
Sacred Blade
Scents of Death
Second Life
Serendipity
Show Some Respect
Silk-O'-The-Wisp
Silver Scryer
Speil Manor
Spinning Faith
Sugar and Spice
The Broken Cirque
The Carpenter's Table
The Crusible Crux
The House of the Grey
The Look It Took
The Painted Teacup
The Parazonium
The Passing Portal
The Prop Closet
The Queen's Reign
The Sacred Flame
The Traveling Flame
We Guard Thee
West Sunset Boutique
Yares' Emporium
Your Best Foot Forward
Zephyr

... along with others!

Merchants

The ghostly residents of Velathae have agreed to uniquely craft their wares for you, and you can expect some of the following to appear...

Aersalyn
Ageta
Ahalia
Ahieltria
Anfhuil
Armella
Ashelis
Berla
Brighita
Cetiei
Chamblin
Creidne
Danekas
Frinko
Hanval
Heddy
Imdal
Ivora
Jeem
Lixua
Lmere
Loehli
Lyntha
Lyrarose
Milintica
Motega
Muirne
Myrellie
Neptunera
Nerille
Nowal
Peretta
Pirenia
Rizyn
Roulin
Rozenwyn
Sarishe
Sealuna
Sheerise
Sylnorilla
Tiffidy
Tintrett
Valinda
Walram
Yansio
Yares
Yvexia
Zetoile
Zieravie
Ziethsmet

... along with others!

So come join the residents of Velathae and the Merchant Consortium as they celebrate this year's Eve of the Reunion in grand style!



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