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Cerea Island 2 - Suttus Tales (Chapter Two)

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This story is from the book: "Cerea - Adventures in an online world" ISBN: 978-1-4303-1486-8


Chapter 2 - Wars and discord

By Tara and Vindir

Continued letters recovered from the archive of demigod Saffron Ders.

Dear Saff,

I hope this finds you well and possibly on your way home to the island? Cerea could use all the help it can get at this time.

Though we are doing well so far, I feel the worst is yet to come.

But don't let me get ahead of myself... let me go back... and catch you up on the happenings around the island.

First of all, I must tell you my personal news.

I abandoned my hopes of ever becoming a seeker, as I found no god I could worship. Gods are powerful and deserve respect, but I feel no one person is worth more than any other. A god is just a person who has gained power. It didn't feel right to worship a god. And I have no interest in being a goddess myself.

I heard a tale of long ago, how the island of Cerea had guardians to protect the Land. So, I gathered some friends and we tried to find them and enlist their help to fight Suttus. Along the way, we found that they are all gone. But I became intrigued, and... Well, I have become the Guardian of Vesper.

This is an awesome responsibility, and has some powers that I am just beginning to discover. I will use them fairly to protect the land. They have come in handy already in our fight against Suttus.

As you may remember, in my last letter, I mentioned how Suttus was gathering three armies. Well, he has. And, he has set his sights on Vesper to be his 'New Capital'. Yes, that is a direct quote from Suttus.

They started attacking already. Chaos Raiders from the north, Dark Knights from the west, and R'Lyeh Guards from a gate made near Vesper Lake.

We know we have to stop Suttus, but the armies will destroy Vesper and Cerea before we can get to him. So, we set out to stop or at least slow down the armies.

We started with the R'Lyeh Guards coming in through the gate. We gathered essences and used the ritual we used once before to close the gate, and we were successful.

Then the Dark Knights. They come from a fortress across a long bridge into the Greywoods. We tried to burn or blow up the bridge, but it was magically protected so we couldn't harm it. We finally got over a hundred copper ore rocks, blocked the tunnel entrance past the bridge, and then threw so much magical fire at it, that it melted and formed a permanent (or sort of permanent) barrier. If they try to blast it from the other side, they will have to do so from inside the passage, and probably collapse the tunnel.

Now, we have the Chaos Riders left. Not sure how to handle them. We scouted as far as the Greyhills, where we found them too thick to handle. I know they come through the Bandit Pass, but even if we could block that, they would just find another way. Not sure yet.

We are all tired. We will rest tonight and hopefully our brains will be fresher with some ideas tomorrow.

Oh, and I forgot to mention, each army seems to have dragons helping them. We have fought several so far. This adds to our burden.

At least our group is working well together. We know how much is at stake.

Please hurry home.



Dear Saff,

The Chaos Riders are no longer an immediate threat. We have planted a Yuzy tree on their portal, blocking them out. I am not sure how long we have until they find a way to get through again.

Vesper can breathe a bit more easily for a time.

Suttus is getting a bit more frantic, tossing out his Balors and taunting us. He declares that we didn't stop his real "Powers". I chose to believe he is just trying to frighten us.

We did hear, him and Krao talking. It wasn't exactly clear what they were up to, but they seemed pleased about something. It is clear they are working together.

We must stop Suttus. Unfortunately, I have no idea where to begin to look.

One good news from the island, Boink has now obtained his 2nd level of seeker. He was so happy, and it was so well deserved. His god, Kieron, did send us off on a wild goose chase... or I should say, a wild berry chase first, but it all ended well, as he presented us with the Yuzy seed we needed.



Dear Saff,

I am beginning to despair of you ever returning to our beloved island of Cerea. I am sure you are enjoying your homeland, and your family, but we miss you here.

We had a glorious day today. We sought out the Hooded Wizard's home, found his 'golden cup', and destroyed it. The combination of intensive magical attack, holy water, and then Borg's kick into the lava of the volcano should have completely obliterated the Hooded Wizard.

This should weaken Suttus. At least one of his minions is now out of our way.

Now, we must focus on Suttus himself.

And, I still have no idea where to start looking.



Dear Saff,

We have weakened Suttus, quite a bit I hope. We have changed the Krao temple in the Bandit Fort, to a temple to of Storm. We have changed the Krao temple in the sewers under Cerea, to an altar of the land itself. This should be a blow to Suttus.

We encountered him several times, and tried to kill him. But we had no success. We must seek out more information; find his weaknesses.

We will prevail; I know it.



Further excerpts from the diary of seeker Vindir Peivriana

With Suttus weakened we now needed to find a way of delivering a crippling blow. We had a number of choices. Raise an army of our own or disrupt Suttus supporters.

Early in our quest we stood in Jaysek's temple in R'Lyeh when a flurry of messages arrived. The first, from Jaysek, was handed to me. It confirmed what I had known all along that Jaysek was on our side and supported us. It also revealed something new; Suttus had been the one who destroyed R'Lyeh all those years ago.

Further messages of support and encouragement arrived from Ra, Kieron and the Storm Goddess. With our spirits raised we proceeded on our quest.

It was hard work, but we achieved quite a lot:

We convinced half or the people of R'Lyeh that Suttus had destroyed them and they withdrew their support from him... unfortunately we also triggered a civil war in R'Lyeh as the two opposing viewpoints clashed. It seems that Jaysek has made it my task to resolve this, for it was the task he set me when he promoted me to one of his seekers, but that happened after our quest.

We managed to bring peace between the orcs and the people in the city of Cerea and obtained the help of the Fighter School to teach both the Cerea Guards and the orcs to aid us in our fight against Suttus.

We were less lucky with many of the other races and peoples we approached, but for the most part we at least got them to agree to fight Suttus, but some, alas, also now dislike us more than before.

Another great success was the war we managed to trigger by subterfuge between the Chaos Riders and the Dark Knights. We framed the Dark Knights for destroying a holy statue of Chaos Riders... one that stood on an Essaence stream focal point in the destroyed Fortress.

We have therefore eliminated all of Suttus large armies as viable supporters of his. Unfortunately, he seems to have gained the duergar as his allies. We in turn have gained the support of the halfling community (and army, if you can call them that) of Bushburrow.

Things look, if not good, at least much better for us.

The final thing we discovered was that the tree in centre of R'Lyeh is a massive Essaence concentration, once harnessed by the people of R'Lyeh as a power source. I think it must be the most powerful Essaence focal point I have yet come across.

Things are looking up for Cerea, but this island is not safe yet.


I have been on this island for quite some time now. I feel I have contributed much, and for the most part made it a better place. In recent times though I have become disillusioned.

Gone are the days of hunting enemies, or taking the fight to them. In recent times all the others and I seem to do is talk to one group or another, attempting to convince them that only through alliances and working together can the island hope to survive.

These groups all care little or nothing for the island they inhabit. They are all focused on their petty bickering and hatreds.

What is worse is that I cannot remember any victory in recent times. The last victory was the alliance with the orcs and now that turns out to have been only a temporary victory, for we are once more at war.

I have become demoralised. Whatever is done, however much we try, we inevitably lose or get only a draw.

In my last encounter with the duergar, I lost it completely. I considered myself a diplomat, it seems I was wrong.

I was provoked, there is no doubt about that. Added to the Duergar Princes' insults were the months of frustration and the lack of tangible success, and the destruction of the few successes we did have and I suddenly decided I was not going to stand there and take another insult by turning the other cheek.

Why should I be forced to grovel and stand there taking insults from people who refuse to see beyond their petty problems. People who just look for any excuse to break their treaties, paying lip service to the treaty but never supporting the spirit of the treaty they enter into.

It seems that my frustration has now also cost me my connection with Jaysek. I feel empty, as though a part of me is missing. The one thing I might have had to support me, also taken.

My friends may have stood beside me in the fight, but they do not understand my feelings and frustrations, the constant defeats eating away at me.

It seems there is nothing left for me.

If I stay on this island, I will be forced to try and negotiate alliances again. Suck up to those that have through selfishness and mean spiritedness terminated agreements and try to get them to re-agree to those same agreements only to know that those same agreements will probably not survive long enough for the ink to dry (or the sound to fade, for the verbal ones).

My future on this island holds only grovelling, petty bickering and insults, with little or no chance of success, until we finally need to face Suttus and lose. We will have forgotten how to fight, because we spent all our time talking.

How much of this is my fault? How many of these defeats have come about because of me? Certainly the last one.

Maybe both Cerea and I would be better off with me leaving the island.

A weighty decision, one I will need to consider a short while longer before acting upon, but a decision I will need to make.


Dear Diary,

It seems the whole orc war was caused by a drow supremacist cult called the Al-Tai. Named after the so-called "prophet" of the same name, this cult believes the drow are destined to rule the entire world.

After much effort we managed to convince the king that the entire war was a deliberate act of sabotage by the Al-Tai and once we presented the evidence, peace was declared once more.

As to the duergar... I minimised my contact with them. Obviously my feelings towards the duergar were getting in the way of what needed to be done for Cerea.

I was surprised to learn that the Blue Duergar Prince is actually a paladin of Iorak, something I would never have suspected. It seems that I misjudged the blue duergar at least. Maybe the others? I don't know.

We managed to give the blue duergar a hiding place and shelter under the city of Cerea, in the sewers, the new Temple of Land. We also spread the rumours that the green duergar had chased them away and then the blue duergar had died in an accidental confrontation with the Old One.

Director Thymphony is also writing a play about the story we made up, so hopefully this will further support our ruse.

I hope that this will stop the green duergar looking for the blue. Our hope is that the green will come to see the green Princess as an unworthy leader and overthrow her. At that time, the blue princess will emerge again, and hopefully all the duergar will unite behind her.

I did discover that the green prince was a disguised drow, or at least a drow plant, which might explain why he was so determined to start a fight with me.

As to what happened to the other duergar, the red for example and how the green gained the upper hand, I do not know yet, but I plan to find out.

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