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The secret evil lurking under Zao

The secret evil lurking under Zao


Written by: Jefir Infallible

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This is one of the articles that was submitted to the contest. It was written by Jefir Infallible

The secret evil lurking under Zao

The Dwarves in farmine will soon become undead!

During one of my many times doing the three main quests of the continent known as Zao (New Frontier quest, Children of Revolution and Wrath of the Emperor), I decided to do it completely without spoilers, and what a surprise I was about to uncover…

We first reach this new continent thanks to the dwarves, who constructed machines that could navigate the underground water systems thanks to the audacity of their technomancers.

One of the technomancers who made this technology possible.

Player: steamship

Thorgrin: Do you see this amazing new technology? The imperial mining guild funded the research to build this baby. With it we can travel faster and farther than ever before.

Player: technomancer

Thorgrin: I’m also a technomancer, true. I took part in inventing and developing this revolutionary new steamship.

And while doing the missions in this outpost we’re first faced with one of the many evils lurking under Zao: the corruption.

Player: mission

Ongulf: It seems things went from bad to worse! First we had some problems with the mine shafts we were building, and now that we found some precious veins in one of the new mines, and it happens to be the holiday resort of some hostile stone creatures! …

Ongulf: Nothing we dwarfs couldn’t handle alone, but I rather thought this could be something interesting for an adventurer like you. …

Ongulf: So I reserved you the privilege to slay the leader! Use the mining lift to reach mine A07. The more stone creatures you kill, the better. Your mission, however, is to slay their leader, most likely some special stone beast.”

This dialogue in specific is referring to the Shard of Corruption:

The Shard of Corruption, picture from Tibia.fandom.com

This shard of corruption is a stone beast that bleeds poison. This would be, sadly, the first of many times we would face off corruption in one of its many forms.

While doing mission 8 of The New Frontier Quest we find Ztiss, who when we follow his dialogues says to us:

Player: land

Ztiss: Ziz land iz ze home of our people. We call it Zao, after ze firzt great leader of our people! Zao ruled for many hundred yearz. …

Ztiss: He united ze tribez under hiz rule. He tamed ze firzt animalz and taught hiz people to zeed and harvezt. …

Ztiss: He ztole ze zecret of zteel from ze evil lordz of ze deep and flooded zeir cavez to drown zem. …

Ztiss: He fought ze many-eyed horrorz and enzlaved zem. When zey finally rebelled, Zao had learnt enough of zeir magic to crush zem. …

Ztiss: He led hiz armiez to conquer ze whole continent. After many centuriez, he choze ze mozt worzy of hiz offzpring in a battle on ze Izle of Ztrife az hiz zuccezzor. …

Ztiss: Zen he azcended to ze zky to watch over hiz people from the cloudz for all eternity.”

Although this text is very difficult to read because of how lizards speak, we can get a glimpse of what the lizards, drakens and dragons do in Zao, and we get to know the fact that this continent is named like this because of the emperor who seems to have ascended, something like Ferumbras does in Ferumbras’ ascension, which is quite interesting.

I also want to point out something that was first put into the spotlight in Mirius’ Discord server where we speak a lot about mysteriando: Ztiss also tells us that the first inhabitants of Zao were Bonelords, and that they were enslaved by the dragon emperor Zao. Maybe that’s how he learned of ascension: “He fought ze many-eyed horrorz and enzlaved zem

We have to talk about the emperor Zao because when we speak to Zalamon he tells us:

Player: corruption

Zalamon: Zze emperor of zze dragonzz hazz tranzzformed himzzelf into an undead creature to lazzt for all eternity, to cheat deazz. Hizz corruption flowzz to zzozze he bound, and from zzem to zzozze zzey bound, and from zzem into zze land.”

So all this corruption was made by the emperor himself? If this undead corrupted ruler sounds familiar, it’s because we’ve seen it before, in the form of Arkhothep in Ankrahmun.

Awareness of the Emperor, showing the undead state of Zao.

But by far the most interesting character in this dwarven outpost is Cael, who, after finishing the New Frontier Quest stage where we help finishing the construction of the outpost reveals to us amazing information regarding the continent of Zao:

Player: zao

Cael: I’ve learnt a few things about an illness, or how I prefer to call it, 'corruption’ of this land.

Player: corruption

Cael: You know, while all this talk about growing and preparing rice might sound boring, there are actually some bits of vital information hidden in all those lists. …

Cael: It seems that not only the loss of the southern area hampered the rice harvest of the lizards. …

Cael: Ever since the dragon kings established their reign, the harvest constantly got worse. And this is not all! It’s reported that everything that is growing in this land experienced a fertility decrease. …

Cael: Even the lizards themselves seem to suffer from a population decline. It’s widely blamed to a plague that ravaged the land in the past, but that seems unlikely given the fact that also plants and various animals were affected. …

Cael: Additionally, several plants changed in shape and became poisonous or toxic. Also, some new-born lizards seem to be affected by this. …

Cael: According to the descriptions, I’d call them mentally unstable, but their people see them as 'blessed by the dragon emperor’. I assume there are strange forces at work in this land, and I have a bad feeling about it. …

Cael: Anyway, you know what else was mentioned in this book? A path down to a hidden cave system below the Muggy Plains. …

Cael: Apparently, at first this system was used to hide – or rather to get rid of – new-born lizards that carried the sign of corruption – before the lizards decided to view it as a blessing. …

Cael: Who knows what happens down there now – maybe it’s worth a look, maybe not. Maybe you won’t even discover anything. In any case, be careful.”

Cael the Dwarf Scholar who studies the continent.

So as we can see, this corruption is disrupting all forms of life around the continent, that’s why the dwarven outpost mining was disrupted by a shard of this corruption.

But here’s what’s more interesting, and what might mean that the dwarves from farmine will soon become ill and undead!

For this we have to refer to a book that’s inside Falcon Bastion named “Annotations on the Grey Plague and the significance of the Grimoire Impluviatus”.

This book details a plague that made the falcon order become undead, that’s why we can find them in the undead section of the Bestiary.

Undead page of the Bestiary

Since the books is way too long and I don’t want to reach the limit, I’ll give some paragraphs of this book:

“Since we first set foot on these new lands, we felt a sensation of dread. Something out of the order, a tingling on the skin. Like a wind that blows right through you and chills your bones. We explored this island thoroughly to build our fortress on stable ground and in good faith. As our fortifications grew, so did our urge to explore the new continent. Several expeditions were made, one endeavor led to the death of two brothers who died after the bite of strange beasts that roam the barren steppes. When we managed to venture further into the north, we encountered a strange plague, befalling these lands: Ravus, the Grey Plague, as our druid calls it. It affects not only beasts but plants and the very soil.

Yet the feeling of dread that loomed so heavily over the island and the continent did not leave us. What we brought with us was a beacon of evil which we would soon find out. Ravus, the Grey Plague, spread among us. It was first discovered on the graves of the brothers we lost in the steppes. Their resting places were desecrated by a vile dark substance, the stench was almost unbearable. The Grand Canon kept most of us away from the unsightly scene and tried to contain it. None of us knows how many times he shoveled up the graves but it could not be stopped.

Our druid and the Preceptor are working on a solution to the plague. Our quest is far from over, we pray that there is still hope.”

Location of the book in the Falcon Bastion

This book confirms it: Zao is a continent that has more dangers beneath it than what we first thought. The dwarves are putting themselves in great danger while making a settlement in this cursed continent.

Who knows where this will lead to? Will we be able to save the dwarves from this horrible fate that destroyed the whole Falcon Order? Or is their fate already set? We can only wait and see…

Zombie Dwarf Horde by Devin Platts on ArtStation

Maybe soon we’ll see Cael fall to the plague…






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