Once again, the streets of Nujel’m were filled with
throngs of brightly-dressed and garishly masked revelers.
The streets were lined with tables, covered with foods of
many varieties, some of which were extremely rare. Although
vendors did not sell anything this year, masks were in abundance,
and some kind-hearted souls were good enough to give masks
to those without.
The ‘Game’, the traditional activity of the
Festival, was expanded this year. In the palace gardens of the Sultan,
almost a hundred chests were laid out, locked and trapped. Only one would
contain the scroll that would gain the successful lockpicker the prize.
When the Palace gates were finally opened throngs of treasure seekers
flooded the palace and to the gardens. By the time I arrived the air was
filled with the pungent smell of poison gas clouds (dispersed well enough
not to harm bystanders, thankfully), the thunk of arrows, and the flash
and burnt smell of explosions. In the end, though, the scroll was found by
a man known as Mystic, who claimed the second prize of the Golden Headband
of Ezrekot, an enchanted scarf that would grant the user night vision.
The traditional ‘Game’ was also played, the bearer of the box
eventually being identified and the box stolen by Angela, the self-styled
‘Queen of Thieves’. Her efforts earned her the Lantern of Ezrekot,
whom used it as a magical recall device that could not be taken by his
enemies or identified as such until he was long escaped. (On the subject
of Ezrekot himself, a Nujel’mite thief of almost epic proportions, scant
little information I could find, save that he perished in the naval
bombardment of his hideout by the Royal Navy. A drunk sailor, however,
told me a slightly different tale, that Ezrekot began to use his skills to
smuggle slaves out of NuJel’m, earning him eventual capture and
execution upon the guillotine of the ruler of Nujel’m. Whether this is
true or false I leave for our readers to decide or discover.)
Dark events conspired during the Festival, however.
Sometime during it, a group of the cult known as the Soulblighters, and
some of those of the Order of the Unseen Dagger, banished from Nujel’m a
year ago, were lured to the cemetery and ambushed by men in black masks
and robes. Although the battle was close by estimations, the ambush was
successful. Word arrived shortly thereafter that the Cult, which had laid
claim to the opulent city-state of Nujel’m. I managed to secure a brief
interview with Vizier Dumont, the Master of the Ceremonies, upon the
Many of my readers are unfamiliar with these ‘Soulblighters’,
could you explain?
Dumont: The Soulblighters are a fanatical cult of warriors who sought to
conquer our sister city of Magincia from within, by murdering and
extorting it’s citizenry. I believe they are a splinter group from
another larger cult known as the Fallen Lords, whom worship a deity
known as ‘Dracus’.
Why was Nujel’m involved in these matters?
Dumont: The Nine, or the Magincian Parliament if you prefer the full
title, asked The Sultan to aid them in ridding the island of these
miscreants. In addition to the ambush this night, their holdings in
Magincia were also destroyed. The remnants of them fled upon a ship in
an unknown direction, and good riddance to them.
Surely the King does not approve of such tactics, though…
Dumont: Lord British may rule Britain, and the most of the cities after
his own fashion, but he does not make law here in Nujel’m. And no laws
would prevent us from aiding an ally in trouble. I notice he does
nothing to stop the gathering of evil upon his own borders in the Great
You refer to the recent orc activities?
Dumont: Aye, the recent incursions of orcs into the southern borders of
Yew does not bode well for the future. Who knows when the next horde may
rise, and threaten civilization again. Not to mention this ‘Endless
Graveyard’ that headquarters itself in the Crypts of Yew.
Despite the victories, however, there was one sour
note. It was Ben Kahns who discovered that during the chaos of the
Festival the Silver Bow was stolen from its display case in its namesake
tavern. Rumor holds that one of the Order of the Unseen Dagger, greatly
skilled in the arts of theft, stole it for reasons unknown. None at this
time know of its properties, but in the hands of evil, it could do little
From the Town Cryer - The Journal of Ultima Online, Monday, July