Steward Pratt McGrubben on New Trismus now has more interesting things to say.

Pratt tells you, 'Hello there, and welcome to NewTrismus. Like many others before you, and many others to follow, you have arrived here having only recently learned about your special destiny in this world. Well, let me be one of the first to welcome you to this island. My name is Pratt McGrubben, and I am the steward for this village. Our village here is nestled far from the mainland, hidden from the scrying powers of the Withered Aegis. We are able to train the newly discovered Gifted such as you here in relative safety; when they are ready to join the war against the Aegis, they will most assuredly be ready. It is (1)my duty as the steward of this island village to ensure this.'

(1) Pratt tells you, 'My duties here keep me busy, yes. I welcome new arrivals to the island, much like I've already done. I also am able to help you get familiar with the (2)services our village has to offer you. I also have some knowledge about (3)current events and some of Istaria's (4)recent history, if this interests you any. There is an Imperial Herald in our village who is seeking those who are Gifted. Speak with him when you feel you are ready. Finally, if you feel confident in your training and your studies, I can offer you some (5)final advice before you make your way into the world.'

(2) Pratt tells you, 'Our village offers the basic services for both trades and adventuring. If you are interested in learning more about one of the schools, let me know and I can direct you to them. Your school trainers usually offer tasks to do; this is a great way of earning knowledge and a little coin for your efforts. Located here in the village is a pawn broker who is all too eager to trade your items for some quick copper, and a consigner to sell items at a rate you set. Outside the village are various raw resources waiting to be harvested, as well as some denizens you might face on the mainland. We pretty much have it all here, but honestly our island is only really suited for those folks with little worldly experience. More seasoned folks will find more success on the (6)mainland in one of the racial seats.'

(6) Pratt tells you, 'Aye, the main continent of Aradoth is the home of the known Living Races of Istaria. As the Withered Aegis laid siege to our land, some of the other known races were either lost... or worse. It is known that some of the races were either ensorcelled or outright corrupted to fight for the Withered Aegis. These (7)subjugated races as we call them now have their origins on the continent of Aradoth, and other continents not too far from the mainland as well. These island sanctuaries are far from the mainland, where the real struggle continues. Once you step foot on the continent of Aradoth, you too will know adventure in ways you never imagined.'

(7) Pratt tells you, 'Some races fled the approach of the Withered Aegis, while others were unable to escape. The Satyr were one such race, enscorcelled by the power of necromancy, but freed through the combined efforts of the Gifted. Through heroic efforts of tradesmen as well as adventurers, the Machines of Discord, Palsy, Inhibition and Famine were destroyed and the Withered Aegis hold on the Satyr was broken! The Satyr are now free, though their homeland still lies deep within the lands east of the Great Barrier, firmly under the blight. Another were the Dryads. Hidden, lost some say, from memory and from the corruption of the Withered Aegis, they were brought back by a mighty spell from the Realm of the Void. But as with the Satyr, the homeland of the Dryad still remains lost to them.'

(3) Pratt tells you, 'Well, things in general have been fairly quiet as of late. We're still at war with the Withered Aegis, though there hasn't been a huge battle against them in at least ten years. There are daily skirmishes though, and anyone who wants to cut their teeth against the Undead Horde doesn't have to look very hard to find a fight. The Empire as of late has been taking a more direct role in the war, having shifted focus from years of internal recovery. With a mandate of authority from the races, the Empire has begun to spearhead the drive to reclaim the Frontier from the Withered Aegis. The first step is to clear out the remnants of the Aegis in western Aradoth and rebuild what has fallen into disrepair. Once we push them back over the (8)Great Barrier, then we can take the fight to them in the Frontier. The time of high adventure is at hand, my friend.'

(8) Pratt tells you, 'Ah, yes, the Great Barrier was a grand experiment of the Elves, Gnomes, and Dwarves. These three races erected an enormous wall that divided the continent in two. The Withered Aegis had begun their campaign of terror against the Living Races by sundering the Frontier of eastern Aradoth and pouring through the small isthmus that divides east and west. At the time, those races knew little about their foe. To contain the growing chaos to their east, they all three erected the Great Barrier, hoping to contain the chaos from overtaking them. History now shows how much we underestimated the Withered Aegis; they circumvented the wall, rapidly dividing up the three races and sundering almost all of their lands. We thought it was truly the beginning of the end.'

(4) Pratt tells you, 'If you've not been living in a cave for the past hundred years or so... and believe me, that hasn't been a bad idea at times, then you know that the Living Races have been at war with the Withered Aegis. The Aegis is a force of powerful necromancers from both our Prime Realm of Existence and the horrific Realm of Blight. They control a vast undead army often referred to as the Undead Horde. Up until ten years ago, things looked very grim for us all. They had broken through the Great Barrier, sacked both (9)Rachival and (10)Feladan, all but destroyed (11)Aughundell and had begun a campaign to siege the very heart of Aradoth itself, Tazoon. Well, we stopped the Aegis cold at the (12)Battle of Tazoon some ten years ago, and the tide of battle has swung toward our favor for the first time. With the (13)formation of the Empire of Istaria after the Battle of Tazoon, we have begun to take back what was once ours.'

(9) Pratt tells you, 'Rachival was the home of the Gnomes before the Withered Aegis sundered it some thirty-odd years ago. No one knows why Rachival fell as quickly as it did, for the Gnomes had many machines to help them fight the Undead Hordes. But some say that they were betrayed by one of their own. I do not know the truth, but it is something they do not speak lightly of. The Gnomes now dwell in a shanty town they call New Rachival, just outside the western walls of Tazoon.'

(10) Pratt tells you, 'Feladan was the home of the Elves before the Withered Aegis destroyed it, and nearly the Elves along with it. The Elves refused to rebuild a seat of power, but instead set up a court within the walls of Tazoon itself, known as Feladan-in-Exile. In the last year, however, with the help of growing numbers of the Gifted, the Elves were able to reclaim their homeland and drive the Blight from their precious forests.'

(11) Pratt tells you, 'Aughundell is the home of the Dwarves and was the only one of the cities near the Great Barrier to survive the invading Undead Hordes. The Dwarves, however, endured a twenty year siege that was not lifted until after the Battle of Tazoon. They paid dearly for their freedom and lost their king, Dralnok, in the process.'

(12) Pratt tells you, 'Though called different names by all of the Living Races, the Battle of Tazoon represents the recent turning point in their downward slide into oblivion. Other common names that the Battle of Tazoon is referred to as are "The Battle" or "The Great Battle". The battle itself took place a mere ten years ago, when the Withered Aegis (under the leadership of Torrin Macalir) and their Undead Horde was literally outside the walls of the Tazoon. The battle at first was merely a last stand the Humans, as well as the denizens of Tazoon, were taking against what seemed to be the eventual fall of Tazoon itself. The Undead Horde outnumbered the Human and Tazoon army by a number close to five to one. It was thought that even if the other Living Races were to offer cooperation, something they had not done to date, their help would arrive too little, too late. Should Tazoon fall to the Withered Aegis, the Living Races would essentially have been cut off from one another via Tazoon. If Tazoon fell, the war for all intensive purposes (14)would have been lost.'

(14) Pratt tells you, 'Though there are differing accounts of what exactly transpired at the Battle of Tazoon, there are some points that ring consistent throughout each account's retelling. The most important point that carries over in each of the differing versions tells of a group of heroes using an ancient artifact to destroy Torrin Macalir, as well as a large chunk of the Undead Horde present at the Battle of Tazoon. While there is no direct evidence of the artifact's actual existence, there was an explosion at the site of the battle the likes of which have never been felt or seen before. The explosion itself was reported to be brighter than the sun, though no heat was felt on living skin. The undead, however, recoiled in the blast of the explosion as though their decayed flesh had been subjugated to the fires of a blast furnace. The blast changed the landscape surrounding where it was activated; a large crater now rests where the detonation took place, and the land surrounding that is rippled as though it were water frozen in mid-wave.'

(13) Pratt tells you, 'After the Battle of Tazoon, the Living Races signed a unilateral peace accord amongst themselves and created the framework for the foundation of the Empire that has sprung up since. The Empire gets its power from the continued support of each of the member races. It is no secret that each race has an investment in making the Empire work, since the Withered Aegis has proven that without a unified front, they will destroy us all. There's still friction between the races from time to time, but the unified effort against a common foe has done wonders in giving the Empire the basis of strength it enjoys today.'

(5) Pratt tells you, 'Well... all I can tell you is that we have a chance now -- the Living Races, I mean. When things looked the darkest, a series of miraculous events took place that gave us a chance to reclaim what was once ours. What we do now is try to live up to the sacrifice others have given us. This 'Empire of Istaria' thing is a bold experiment in cooperation from a group of beings that are notorious for not cooperating with one another. Heh, it's quite the paradox, if you think about it. Still, with the emergence of the Gifted... we just might make it. We can fight back the Withered Aegis and everything they send at us, so long as people like you are willing to champion that cause. How you do it -- that is what you must find out on your own. Good luck, Gifted one.'