EverQuest: Second Darkness
Crowds begin to gather at the much-toted Gold Goblin Gambling Hall, where the grand gambling event “Cheat the Devil and Take his Gold” looks to be poised to bring the game hall back in business after a long decline. Yet the gambling tournament is not the only thing going on in Freeport, for a strange atmospheric phenomenon lately manifested in the sky above the city. The strange blot has hung in the air for several weeks, moving slowly in what appears to be a random pattern in the sky. At first assumed to be a dark cloud, it soon became evident that it often moved at odds with the wind. The blot itself resembles nothing so much as a shadow floating in the sky, almost as if some large but unseen object were partially blocking the sun’s rays.
Freeport already hosts a large number of scholars, but as word of the blot spread, additional investigators from locations as far as Erudin came to witness the strange phenomenon, their numbers swelling the city’s population. Arguments over the source, nature, and implications of the shadow rage in areas where scholars congregate, but when it became apparent that the shadow was having little direct impact on the city itself, most of Freeport’s citizens moved on to other concerns, leaving the matter to the bookish sages in order to get on with the business of doing business. Of course, the majority of the city’s residents find the influx of new marks to be quite welcome, and both pickpocketing and the confidence business is booming.
In a city where everyone watches for new opportunities to turn a profit, no news remains a secret for long. Here are but a few of the rumors currently making the rounds in Freeport.
The Shadow in the Sky: A strange, persistent, dark cloud recently appeared in the sky above the City of Tears. Some people say it was caused by the Order of Cyphers meddling with the Cyphergate – a destroyed relic that once led to the elemental planes. Others believe it’s a storm being cooked up by Solusek Ro or some overly moral deity to wipe Freeport off the map. It’s the big news in town and everybody seems to have their own explanation.
Carnivore Carnage: Several wavecutters recently washed up on the rocks near the Freeport Light, their hulls covered in dozens of gashes from teeth and claws. Sailors fear some new predator in the Ocean of Tears or an unseasonable migration of local bunyips.
The Devil and His Gold: The washed-up crime boss Saul Vancaskerkin recently renovated the Gold Goblin Gambling Hall and has a massive gaming tournament planned called “Cheat the Devil and Take His Gold.” While this might just be a publicity stunt, some say the swindler sold his soul to some fiend and is using the tournament as a way to raise the money to buy it back.
Siren Song: A band of smugglers recently tried to set up a base at Devil’s Elbow, an island just south of Freeport’s harbor, but they’ve gone missing. Most blame Virashi, the famed siren of the haunted island, for the disappearance.