Chapter 2: Tomb of the Crown

The history of Norrath is a rich and varied one. EverQuest Online Adventures benefits from the myriad of lore that it’s PC predecessor sets down from 500 years in the future. To help you better understand EQOA’s setting in the Age of Adventure we are bringing you lore articles about various regions in the world. Our current focus centers on bits of history with the Elves of Tunaria.

The first installment chronicled what is known about Aros`Thalinor, a structure steeped in Wizardly and more currently, Necromatic, history. Now, we bring you word about the tomb and catacombs from the destroyed elven city of Takish`Hiz – Holciel Rowen`dal.

Holciel Rowen`dal
as documented by Lyriam Kaelean,
Guildmaster of the College of High Magic, Fayspire

When a village, town, or city is built, the builders must take into consideration not only the living occupants, but also the dead. Takish`Hiz was no exception. Off to the west, within the Serpent’s Spine, the tomb and catacombs of Takish`Hiz were built. It was named Holciel Rowen`dal, roughly translating to Tomb of the Crown.

For hundreds of years the honored dead of Takish`hiz were brought to Holciel Rowen`dal and laid to rest. Commoners, lesser nobles, nobles of houses close to the throne, and royalty were all brought to the tomb, carried there by family members and servants along the Road of the Dead in great processions. The tomb was divided among the social castes and each elf had his place.

After the forest of Elldar fell to the advance of the burning sands, most of the elves of Takish`Hiz left Tunaria for new lands, desperate to escape the wrath of the spiteful god who envied Tunare and her creations. Not all left however. Many remained, believing that the forest could be restored to its former glory. Though hundreds died and their bodies were swallowed by the sands, hundreds more were taken to Holciel Rowen`dal. In these dark times the Tomb was visited now more than ever, and even though the sands buried the Road of the Dead, the elves still remembered its path.

Takish`Hiz remained, under the oppression of the desert’s intense heat and biting sands. The elves were forlorn as experiments to restore Elldar were unsuccessful. Their numbers dwindled year after year, the elves now desperate. It was then that the Teir`dal appeared and made war on Takish`Hiz, the home of their ancient enemies. With Al`Karad’s defeat, Takish`Hiz was doomed. Great battles were fought, but in the end the tide of darkness that were the Teir`dal overcame the elves, slaughtering all who could not escape.

The dark elves began the looting and defiling of the ancient elf city. Treasure was, and still is, being shipped to Neriak. Through their exploration of the city, they also learned of Holciel Rowen`dal, and began the looting of the catacombs, as did the greedy and opportunistic human nomads from the north. Treasure was to be found in great quantities there, though that was not all that was found. The dead were not always restful, and the spirits of the Kings and Queens still haunted the halls. And now, to this day, treasure hunters come from afar to take their chances in the catacombs in search of precious elven artifacts and glory.

Rumors, lies and half-truths abound in many circles on Tunaria regarding the whereabouts and details of the Tomb of the Crown. What is clear is that any journey to the tomb is perilous in and of itself. Fearsome creatures of all sizes lurk in the Desert of Ro; one can only hope that they are few when crossing it in search of the gorge that leads to the tomb. Scorchstone Gorge was once not so scorched. The forest still stood near by when a site for the tomb was being sought. The gorge was hidden from casual travelers and no creature lairs were found in its walls, making it a prime site for the construction.

Solusek Ro’s curse of the forest also affected the gorge. Plant life withered and was swept away by the winds while the small creatures that lived there moved on or died. Now the gorge is inhabited by deadly beasts as well as other competing treasure hunters, not to mention the dead that wander from the tomb to seek out and destroy the living.

Without Takish`Hiz and the elven people to link the spirits to their former selves, they have become lost and bitter. The spirits are now spectral beings that haunt the catacombs and consume any life they can find. The bodies of unfortunate adventurers are risen and guard the tombs from intrusion. Not only death lurks around every corner, but also the curse of unlife if one is unlucky enough to fall victim to the wrath of a spirit king. However, elven treasure is still to be found, and few can refuse the compelling promise of glory.