Befallen was once the site of a wonderful temple, a reclusive home for the monks who maintained it. Many blame the dark elves for what it has become, but whatever the cause, Befallen is now a home to the undead its inhabitants used to hunt and destroy. Individuals who thrive on these beings have also taken up residence in its halls, necromancers and shadow knights.
Befallen is a small dungeon filled to the brim with undead creatures of all sorts. If that doesn't give you enough of a feel for the danger here, I'll explain more. Trains and being swarmed here are the largest danger to anyone adventuring into the halls. Most adventurers would describe this place as difficult to adventure in without dying at least once, and usually for one of the above reasons.
First off, the trains can be atrocious. There is a very low level area (the 1st floor) and a quite high level area (3rd floor). On the 3rd floor (well, on any floor actually) it is very easy to be swarmed and overwhelmed, and many people, if they don't die, will then be running for the exit. This causes problems for the people who lie along their path. Many of the monsters will jump off of the train and attack people that they pass by, but even worse is what happens when the person that all the monsters are chasing either zones or dies, and that is that the entire train walks back down to its level again. Along the way, they will attack anyone within their frenzy radius (which is almost the whole dungeon, it is so small). The trains are also more deadly because, if you are fleeing them, you have to somehow try and open locked doors from your inventory screen while being slammed.
As for the swarming, if you are able to walk in the front door and look down into the main hall when it hasn't been cleared out in a while, you will have a good idea of how this is readily possible. From your standpoint at the top of the stairs, there are at least four skeletons within view. Each of these skeletons is in attack trigger range of each other one, so basically, if you are low enough level to get experience from killing them, attacking one will bring all four onto you, which if you can get experience from them, can be tough to handle. Needless to say, every single room in the whole dungeon has essentially the same design, so either get used to soloing greens and low blues, or get in a group. It's even worse when you get jumped by creatures who spawn during your fight, so keep your eyes peeled and your keys handy (in order to create the trains mentioned above).
Specific dangers... Mummies attack, and mummies cause rabies. If you cannot cure disease, make sure you are friendly to someone who can (and will). Sitting or, even worse, meditating, is a surefire way to get swarmed. Basically, what happens is when you do either (or loot, incidentally) you increase the attack radius for any creatures around you. In other words, they will attack someone who is sitting down at a farther distance than someone who is standing. Also, aggressive greens (everything here) will attack when you sit, so if you sit down next to a decaying skeleton, he will attack you. Very annoying and potentially dangerous depending on your level. Necromancers are pure evil (no kidding, right?). They are much more deadly than they /con to you, especially since the normal rules of spellcasting that you and I follow do not apply to NPC casters (rules like not casting while running, using mana, being interrupted, etc). They tend to run early, so kill them fast and effectively.
Most people who come to hunt here are either looking for a specific item, either quest or otherwise, or are necromancers, clerics or paladins who have spells specifically designed for dealing with the undead. For them, this place is a great area in which to increase their experiences in the world, and almost anybody will group with them if they are interested in doing so.
For the rest of us, this place has a lot to offer still. The various undead have a high spawn rate and carry around a lot of cash, so if you're careful it's very easy to make a lot of experience and a lot of money. Some of the higher undead carry bronze weapons and rawhide armor, which is worth a fair amount of money.
Traveling To and From
Befallen can be reached through a small, partially hidden tunnel along the southern wall of the West Commonlands. An unholy glow marks the entrance at night, and during the day one must climb the dunes to find it, as it is hidden behind an upward-jutting sand dune.
Garden Variety's Glorious Adventures and Travel Guide to Befallen
Befallen is one of the most infamous dungeons on all of Norrath, but it was not originally built to serve as a home to undead and dark magic. It was designed and built by the Order of Marr's Fist, a guild of knights and clerics dedicated to the twin gods Erollisi and Mithaniel Marr. The order needed a stronghold to aid them in their efforts to pacify and patrol the Commonlands. Already in control of Freeport, the Order says this, their westerly stronghold called the Chapterhouse of the Fist, as a way to expand their forces throughout the western Commonlands. Under the command of High Lord William Taros, the ORder set about their business.
Now having two strong bases, the Order of Marr's Fist spread their influence from the Ocean of Tears to Kithicor Forrest, securing roads, eliminating bandits, and driving the Deathfist Orcs to the brink of extinction. When the knights of the Order found things of dangerous power, they stored them away deep within the Chapterhouse for safekeeping. Among these objects was an ancient elven weapon of power known as the Thex Mallet.
After many decades of success, the order suffered a critical setback. A patrol of paladins found a sick, starved, half-mad wanderer in the western Commonlands. Though he was barely able to speak, the paladins learned his name was Gynok Moltor. In his fevered ramblings, Moltor claimed he had been cursed by gnoll shamans and driven into exile. Concerned for his safety, the patrol brought him back to the Chapterhouse, in the hopes of nursing him to health.
Unbeknownst to the Order, Moltor had a long history of unscrupulous behavior, bu this vile betrayal within Befallen was the worst. A petty thief and smuggler, Gynok had managed to rise to a position of power and authority within the merchant community of Qeynos long ago, through shady deals and blackmail. When a caravan set out to find a commerce route from Qeynos to Halas, Gynok managed to secure a position on it. the group nearly died in the frozen lands of the north, but they made it to Halas. There the barbarians told them of a quicker path between Halas and Qeynos, through the burrow of the Blackburrow gnolls.
An expedition was arranged to see if a route through the gnolls' territory could be established. The expedition was met by Opolla of Blackburrow, and old and wise gnoll shaman who saw that her people needed to live peacefully with their neighbors if they were to thrive. Opolla met the traders in peace, and offered to put out a feast in their honor. When the traders asked how they could be sure the other gnolls would obey Opolla, she showed them the four rings she wore on her right hand, the badge of her authority.
Immediately, Gynok lusted after these rings and schemed to steal them. After the feast, when other traders and gnolls were asleep, he snuck into Opolla's quarters and tried to remove the rings. But Opolla awoke and began to raise and alarm. Gynok panicked and cut off the shaman's hand to retrieve the rings. The shaman survived, and refused to allow the traders to be killed as they had entered the gnoll home under her promise of safety. But she declared a war between the gnolls of Blackburrow and the humans of Qeynos and barbarians of Halas. She also cursed Gynok Moltor and his family, and the angry residents of Qeynos banished him for his evil act.
Some months later, he was led into Befallen by the knights of the Order of Marr's fist, starving and dehydrated. Once Gynok had recovered his wits somewhat, he repaid this kindness by killing the knights watching over him, sacrificing them on a defiled alter to any god willing to give him the power to destroy Blackburrow and Qeynos. The dark, cursed magic that answered his call indeed gave him such power, but also bound him to the site of his evil deep, preventing him from ever using that power to gain his desires.
The exact nature of the dread power that answered Moltor's call is not well understood even to this day, and at best can only be described as a thinking, malignant force. Creating a cloud of black, foul necromancy, this evil force destroyed all those who dwelled within the Chapterhouse. Even Gynok was killed, although he was raised within minutes as an undead himself. The could spread out from the Chapterhouse to destroy small villages and whole caravans, and even to raise a horde of undead at an old battlefield around a tower in the eastern Commonlands. But the power of the malignancy was not limitless, and killing and perverting so many holy men and women drained much of its foul power. When dawn broke on the second day, the dark force was drawn back to the bunker within. Though its evil had spread for miles on its first night of existence, the evil could no longer break free of the bunker, but was limited to toying with those willing to enter. The Order of Marr's Fist never recovered from the loss of their main stronghold, although the Knights of Truth and Priest of Marr rose up to take their place.
For decades, none entered the former chapterhouse, which became known as Befallen. So quick was the destruction of the Order's base, and so complete was its transformation to a place of evil, Commonlands assumed Befallen was a different location entirely. Gynok Moltor ruled over Befallen as a petty warlord, luring the occasional adventurer into his lair and making deals with necromancers wishing to study Befallen's power. Moltor's power was relatively weak in terms of the great powers of Antonica, but with no Order of Marr's fist to raise an army against him, he endured as a force to be reckoned with in the Commonlands, despite being unable to leave Befallen himself.
Many high elves entered Befallen searching for one of the objects the order had placed within for safekeeping: the Thex Mallet. A few even managed to find this object, yet they were each trapped by the evil of Befallen and kept from carrying the artifact back to Faydwer. Word of these expeditions eventually reached the dark eleves of Neriak, who concluded that if an elven artifact resided within Befallen, the place must be the remnants of the elven empire that stood where the Desert of Ro is now found. A force of dark elves, commanded by the shadowknight Lord L'Rodd, traveled to Befallen to claim it and the Thex Mallet for the greater glory of Neriak.
Lord L'Rodd and his brace of necromancers assaulted Befallen directly, decimating the undead of Gynok Moltor. Moltor managed to hold only the western wing of the second level, granting L'Rodd dominion over the rest of the dungeon. L'Rodd found the Thex Mallet and claimed it for hiimself. Impressed by the power of the dark elf commander, the evil force of Befallen threw aside its weak vessel, Moltor, and set its hooks into this new shadowknight. L'Rodd found he could now command the undead of Befallen, and made preparations to return to Neriak at the head of a conquering army. To L'Rodd's surprise, however, he was unable to leave the dungeon without suffering great pain.
He too had fallen prey to the curse of Befallen.
Struggle for Power
Tales of Befallen's power spread far beyond the Commonlands, eventually reaching the Innothule Swamp. There it attracked the attention of Redak Brokenskull, a troll shadowknight of great power. Brokenskull wished to unite the troll clans of Norrath under his control, and then lead them in conquest against the rest of the world. Though a mighty warrior and a fair leader (for a troll), Brokenskull lacked the raw power to bring his splintered and insular people together. In the tales of Befallen's undead masses, the troll saw an opportunity to gain the forces he required.
Brokenskull arrived to find Lord L'Rodd raging against Befallen itself, with only a tenuous grip on command of the dungon. Gynok Moltor fought him at every turn, stealing the Thex Mallet and hiding it in pieces throughout the stronghold. The troll offered his services to first L'Rodd, and then Moltor, playing the two undead against one another. When both were weakened and disadvantaged by their fighting and his maneuvering, Brokenskull betrayed them both , stealing Moltor's sword and using it to destroy every living creature loyal to either Moltor or L'Rodd. When both undead turned on him in fury at his betrayal, he proved unable to destroy them both, and was forced to withdraw to an abandoned corner of Befallen to lick his wounds.
But the evil that inhabited Befallen knew a conqueror when it saw one and granted Brokenskull its dark authority. He was made the new lord of Befallen, able to send its legions in nighttime raids against nearby villages and camps. But when the troll attempted to march his new forces to Innothule Swamp, he discovered himself unable to leave the dungeon. Another dark villain had been caught by Befallen's darker curse.
The Burning Dead
Matters in Befallen remained unchanged for decades, with Redak Brokenskull unquestioned ruler of the place of evil but unable to send his forces further afield than one night's march. A decade ago, though, new forces came to Befallen, offering to aid Brokenskull in overcoming this limitation - members of the Burning Dead, the forbidden gnomish guild of necromancers, came to Befallen to offer a deal. Led by Menizzia the Thaumaturge, the gnomes promised Brokenskull they would serve him and seek a way to free him of Befallen's grip, in return for being allowed to live in Befallen and study its dark magics. Frustrated with the limited scope of his efforts thus far, Brokenskull agreed.
Secretly, of course, Menizzia had no intention of freeing Redak Brokenskull, though she certainly spent a great deal of time and effort researching the limits and range of the evil power's domain. In truth, Menizzia planned to use the power of Befallen for her own fell purposes. She was a disciple of the teachings of a powerful gnomish necromancer who lived centuries before, the great Marnek Jaull. Once a mighty force in Tunaria, Jaull had fought against the elves of Taksih Hiz and come close to exerting domination over half the continent before he and the Burning Dead were stopped by the paladins of Prexus. Since his loss, gnomish necromancers had continually sought a way to recapture or recreate his power. But Menizzia hopes to do more than that - she planned to bring back Jaull himself.
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