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Understanding The Phantom
*The following was written upon a rolled and bound piece of parchment found outside of the BNN offices* 

Greetings. I regret that I must remain safely anonymous for the time being, to ensure my safety. Although I may not be able to reveal my identity yet, I am quite willing to provide what information I do have regarding recent activity in the city of Yew. The phantom known as Xenthyl seems to have targeted the Yew area and the homes of the people who inhabit the area surrounding the city. A wave of spider attacks controlled by Artarion, self-proclaimed "Lord of the Spiders" seems to be increasing in frequency with no apparent end in sight. All of this seemingly has a connection to the past... 

Xenthyl once served Lord Ventryn, a powerful lich who would stop at nothing to gain possession of the ancient Stormguard relics. Xenthyl, bound by the soul binder armor, could do little to break free from Ventryn's control - but occasionally could break free long enough to provide those who opposed Ventryn with important information. Eventually Ventryn was stopped and he repented, proclaiming that never again would he stride along the path of evil. Xenthyl however did not trust Ventryn's promise and vanished from sight before Ventryn could free him of the soul binder armor. Although Xenthyl was free of Ventryn's control, the soul binder was still bound to him. Ventryn parted ways with those who saved him and wandered the land in hopes to enlighten himself and cleanse himself of his wretched past. Neither Ventryn or Xenthyl were seen for an extended period of time... 

However all was not forgotten. Rumors began to spread like wildfire, rumors stating that a dark figure had been seen wandering the forests of Yew and even within the halls of Empath Abbey itself. The citizens of Yew began confronting Xenthyl and learned that he had a hidden cause and a mysterious master who obviously had Yew in their sights. Xenthyl was soon accompanied by a small army of spiders, which would harass the innocent citizens of Yew. Xenthyl, however, insisted the spiders were not under his control and were the minions of yet another mysterious individual. And soon Artarion proudly introduced himself to the citizens of Yew... 

Artarion began conducting the spider attacks himself – with no apparent cause or reason behind them. After several attacks that seemed to have no motivation, Artarion partially revealed the intent of his attacks. Artarion was more inclined to reveal Xenthyl's intentions rather than his own, however. Artarion explained that Xenthyl's intentions had a connection to the distant past. Apparently Xenthyl deemed the citizens of Yew responsible for the power that Ventryn achieved before being stopped. Ventryn's reign began in Yew and many underestimated his threats and power early on. Xenthyl believed that if the citizens of Yew would have acted more courageously in opposing Ventryn they could have stopped him before he gained more power and his influence spread outside of Yew. Xenthyl convinced himself that Yew did not do all that they could to stop Ventryn and thus Xenthyl would now seek his own revenge. Artarion explained that he would stop at nothing to aid Xenthyl in his cause, and if Xenthyl requested spiders to accompany him on his visits to Yew he would comply with his requests. Artarion was reluctant to reveal his motivation however, only mentioning that his hatred for Yew was far less complicated when compared to Xenthyl's hatred. 

So after considering this brief history many questions come to mind. What is Artarion's motivation? Is Xenthyl still bound to the soul binder armor and being controlled by another? Is there a third individual directing the attacks of Xenthyl and Artarion? Both Artarion and Xenthyl have mentioned the elementalist Qua'Tel who aided in Ventryn's defeat; does he have some connection to recent events? Where does Ventryn fit into this puzzle, if at all? I understand that I provide far more questions than answers, but I believe that if we begin to research the answers to these questions we might be able to better deal with Artarion, Xenthyl and any other individuals that may be involved. Again I regret that I must remain anonymous for the time being, but my own safety is a priority as well. If the day comes that I can reveal my identity I shall, but until then I watch from the shadows. 

Farewell, until next time.

Published: November 2000
Please Note: Some dates are estimates as exact dates were unavailable.
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