It used to be such a happy place. True story: I started EQ2 as a happy resident of Baubbleshire. I joined a roleplay guild on Antonia Bayle, settled down for a happy time in a happy land and —
— and then I saw through the facade. These people weren’t happy. They were miserable. That little kid who screamed constantly of gnolls — why wouldn’t anyone help him? The cheap grins that masked the terror every one of them lived with. The false hope that Qeynos’ thick walls would keep the bad things away. It was a sham, a fraud, and I couldn’t do my part any more. I couldn’t live with the lies. I couldn’t go to bed in my haffer hole and trust that the guards in their shiny silver suits could keep me safe.
I betrayed Qeynos and moved to Freeport. This was before the easy, solo betrayal quests; I had to spend three days killing five hundred orcs and a bunch of rare bosses before they’d let me in. I joined a lot of groups, met a lot of great people. Each and every one of them were kind, helpful, and unflinching companions in the face of the great evils that grip the Shattered Lands.
When I finally proved myself to Freeport, I was handed the keys to a small hovel in Big Bend, where the slumlord teased me mercilessly — until he found out I had friends in high places, anyway. I was HOME.
That’s what Freeport means to me.
Deathknell Citadel is as emblematic to Freeport as the mage towers are to Qeynos. Floating above the city on beams of powerful magics, it was a symbol of power and a challenge to the forces that would pull it down. It was my first glimpse of Freeport, back in the time when a level 15 character would face death many times on the long trek through the Thundering Steppes and Nektulos Forest.
SOE pulled it down. Not because of a challenge to Lucan’s authority or a mystical shake-up in the city’s centers of power. No. They did it because they HATE FREEPORT.
Back in EverQuest, the great cities of Oggok, Qeynos and Freeport stood fast to protect Antonica from enemies of the south, west and east. They did their jobs unflinchingly; bravely; without reward or notice.
Sorry, except for Freeport. Some quests had you calling out Lucan and killing him — while the shiny Bayles of Qeynos went on their merry way. Aside from the occasional refugee problem, Oggok, too, managed to stay strong against the tireless depredations of lizard men from the Temple of Cazic-Thule and the horrors of the Gate to Fear.
But Freeport… Freeport was a wide-open city, full of life, color and happiness. Even the halflings of Rivervale found a home there that Qeynos never offered them. People would gather by the gates to trade languages; meet on the docks to share tall tales of travels across the Ocean of Tears and of the mysteries found in far Faydwer. The bank in North Freeport was a well-regarded trade center.
Then the Plane of Magic opened, and desolation spilled from that horrid cesspool of a plane and destroyed fair Freeport forever.
Freeport changed from a colorful, open, simple town to one of dirt and grime, a place no respectable person would ever go. And aside from people seeking entry to the Plane of Magic, nobody did, ever again.
The rebuilt Freeport of EQ2 was a place of wide-open spaces, broad streets, meeting places, a place of friendship and intrigue and mystery and tall stuff to jump from. Now SOE is tearing the place apart.
Don’t let the cruel wizards in San Diego have their way with our fair city. We must band together to save our home. Save Lucan. Find ways to rebuild Deathknell. Don’t let them do to modern Freeport what they once did to its predecessor.
Let Qeynos take the heat for once.