While traveling on the road to adventure, I stopped off in Desolis to converse with the local trainer, skilled in the arts of Fire magic. After wading through her cackling prophecies and obvious cautions about the burning power of fire, she agreed to teach me some of the more advanced fire skills. But there was a catch. I would have to prove my worth by heading to Nightshade Pass, slay some Pillar of Flame named Xavara and bring back her ashes. Sounds a touch morbid actually, but she was insistent. No more training in Fire Skills until the quest was complete.

Lacking alternatives, I set out for Nightshade Pass. As soon as I entered I was greeted with the slings of arrows and the hurl of fireballs. Why are these bandits always so hostile? I had no choice but to silence their assaults with my own volley of savage immolations. I must admit to taking great pleasure in rooting them to the ground and pummeling sense into their heads. And the ground may have been on fire while this took place.

As I read over my instructions, it became clear to me that I was to head to the sulphur springs that have such mystical healing powers. And it also became clear, this was the new threat Alley had informed me about.

I was confident that, whomever Xavara was, she could be reasoned with and we still might be able to come to some sort of arrangement about opening a resort and spa within the springs. As she glimmered high atop the hills overlooking the lake, I did the courteous thing and introduced myself. At first she seemed to ignore me, which I assumed was her lost in thought at the beauty and grandeur of the scenery. As I drew closer, I did my best to gain her attention. This, sadly, was met with a barrage of fireballs and the shrieking of “Begone!”

I attributed this to her being startled at my sudden appearance and tried to explain that I had an opportunity to discuss. She responded by setting me on fire. This was indeed unexpected and I concluded this was an end to the negotiation phase. I then tried to explain that the maniacal trainer in Desolis sent me out here to get some ashes and that if she would be so kind as to scorch a couple of trees and some scrub, I would take those back as proof of her ashes and none should be the wiser.

A fireball to the head convinced me she disagreed with my plan and we were going to have to do this the hard way. The sword it will be then.

But that proved to be a slight miscalculation on my part. You see, you can’t fight fire with fire. My Flaming Sword of Smiting, Fire Arrow, Ring of Fire and Flame Fist only seemed to fuel her fury against me. She simply grew more powerful and when my leggings caught alight, I thought it was time for a new plan. If only I had brought a bucket of water, I would be done and heading back to town.

Woody might be useful in this situation so I brought him in to aid my endeavors. I also checked my book of spells and realized I did have a couple of Water based spells as well as few related to Earth. Those might snuff out her fiery temperament.

After discussing my new attack plan with Woody and assuring him that even though he was indeed a wooden chest that no harm would come to him by battling a creature made entirely of fire, we rushed headlong against her.

Xavara stood her ground with great vigor, but Woody and I were equally determined. An Ice Fist to the head proved quite effective, especially when combined with a dazzling array of sword combinations. It took time, but the pendulum of victory swung to our side.

And then before us must have been the ashes we were sent to retrieve. Carefully scooping them up and placing them in a satchel I brought just for the occasion, Woody and I were heading back to Desolis.

As promised, the mysterious trainer gave me insight into the dark art of creating, harnessing and controlling my own fire elemental. With near incessant words of caution, she bade me luck in my travels and then muttering and chuckling, she dashed away into the blazing heat of the sun with her newly found ashes.

“Well, yes, you’re welcome, glad I could help,” I offered as she ran in wild circles. Hopefully you aren’t up to anything dangerous and sinister with this new found loot.



Ah, this must be Xavara. Perhaps she is the one in charge of these springs?


A good evening to you! Do you have a moment to discuss a fabulous business proposal I have for you?


Get her Woody! This crazy fire harpy tried to set me on fire! I came here to discuss how we could best take advantage of these springs and you go and set me on fire! True, there may have been some talk of collecting your ashes, but I was willing to compromise. You refused, so now I have to use the sword and collect them the old fashioned way.


Oh, that’s a rather undignified way to go out.
See Woody, you didn’t go up like tinder, just like I said. There’s nothing wrong with my battle plans!

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

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