This is the story of Dazrada Soros and the White Dove of
The story takes place during the Time of the Bane, two
hundred years ago. At this time the High Priest of Taath was a Psycian named Dazrada
Soros, who had disappeared during the Great Conflagaration and summoned back to the Spur
by the Muatana-al Esteban a hundred years later. Soros was a loyal servant of Taath,
at least for a while. But he changed.
The precipitating factor seems to have been the theft of an
artifact from the Temple of Taath, a cluster of glowing morbius stones, although whether
this was the cause or only coincidence one cannot say for certain. But after the
theft of the stones, Soros withdrew. He stopped presiding over rites and services,
and refused even his most loyal acolytes access to him. At the same time,
black-robed men unknown to any in the Spur began to migrate to the city, and with these
men only did Soros agree to speak. And then, one day, he quietly slipped out of the
Temple with a guard of black-robed men, though always before he had claimed to be bound to
the Temple Taath and unable to leave.
Perhaps this is when the rumors of Soros' having been
replaced by an impostor began. There are tales of an eyewitness, a Flerian named
Sampo Grotte, who saw the High Priest's corpse; but these tales are now impossible to
It was not long after Soros' disappearance that a Human
trader named Basalak came to the Spur and met with a gathering of residents in the Town
Square. He claimed to have "appropriated" a great artifact, the White Dove
of Rinanni. The White Dove is a most wondrous thing, for whoever bears it is immune
to the will and the power of any of the gods. For the right price, Basalak claimed,
he would sell the White Dove, or return it to the Temple of Rinanni if the buyer so
Now, as you can imagine, there was a great deal of outrage
and distrust among the people of the Spur, and most would not have paid a tarnished copper
piece to Basalak. But among the people gathered in the Town Square that night was a
Drag-alene Bardess of Rinanni named Roxy Glytterchaser, beloved by all the people in the
city. She was heavy with child, and had been saving up every silver so that she
might perform the rites of childbirth as her race was accustomed to do. But surely,
she thought, the safe return of her Goddess's most holy artifact was of more
importance. So while the others bickered and threatened, Roxy slipped away to the
Bank, returned with pockets laden with gold, and paid Basalak's ransom for the White Dove.
Only then did Basalak confess that he did not actually have
the White Dove with him. Though he promised to return with the Dove, the people of
the Spur were outraged by his deceit. How Basalak managed to escape the angry mob
that pursued him through the city is a story long since lost, if ever known.
He did return to the Spur, however, several days later.
He claimed that he had intended to fetch the White Dove from its hiding place and give it
to Roxy, but had been waylaid by a black-robed man. The White Dove was in the hands
of a minion of Dazrada Soros, claimed Basalak, and it could take as long as six weeks for
him to find the Dove and steal it back.
Now, the people were in no mood to trust this thief who had
taken the money of a pregnant Drag-alene, but they found that they had no choice, for none
of them knew where Soros and his minions were to be found. Impatiently the people of
the Spur waited for Basalak to return, fearing what they thought was the worst -- that
they had been taken for a fool by a con artist, and that they would never seen Basalak
But Basalak did return to the Spur.
One day there was a great explosion far to the south, perhaps
as far as Meetpoint, perhaps further, and clouds of ash rained down on the Spur.
Shortly thereafter Basalak fairly dragged himself into the Town Square, battered, burned,
and bleeding -- all but dead. The people of the Spur quickly healed Basalak, not
forgetting the ill will they held toward him, but only wishing to hear his tale.
Basalak said that he had followed the trail of the White Dove
to a large, well-trafficked temple far to the south. But Soros had tracked him
there, and somehow caused the temple to explode, with Basalak and many others still
inside. Basalak barely escaped with his life. Most were not nearly so
lucky. And if the White Dove had been at that temple, Basalak had not been able to
find it. He feared that Soros himself had gained possession of the Dove, and was
using its power to shelter him from the wrath of the Gods.
Still, Basalak promised to continue searching for the White
Dove, and to attempt to steal it from whatever had taken it into its possession.
He would not succeed.
One day, a group of people in Town Square heard a piercing
scream to the north. They found Basalak's body on the Guild Road, crumpled on the
cobblestones. One of their number called out to Rinanni, begging her aid in
returning the poor creature to life. But Rinanni did not listen, or -- more likely
-- could do nothing against the force of the White Dove. Rinanni's holy light turned
Basalak's corpse to dust, and a breeze blew the ashes southward.
The group rushed back to Town Square, only to find it filling
with men in black robes, men who set upon the adventurers with weapon and with rune.
And thus began the siege of Soros the Conqueror, bearer of the White Dove of Rinanni, who
sought to set himself above the gods.