On my way back from Tenebris Harbor, I was reminded that I needed to pay a visit to the ever vigilant Ivar in the city of Kiln. He made mention that something has tainted the water supply and if I would be so kind as to have a look.

Just as he was from my last visit, Ivar stood by the cistern waving his arms frantically to get my attention.

“Creatures! Elementals! The lost alchemist!” he sputtered.

“Yes indeed Ivar, many terrible things lurk down there and you wish me to risk my life and have a wee bit of peek?” I said.

“Well, a bit more than just a peek if you don’t mind. Perhaps you could bring an end to whatever is sullying the water and setting the ale to an undrinkable state?” he commented.

“Sorry? The ale in Kiln is undrinkable?” I demanded.

“Well, yes. The water is tainted and so the ale supply is running dangerously low. In some varietals, we have nothing to offer at all,” he replied looking quite glum.

“That is unconscionable! This will not stand! Why didn’t you inform me the situation was this dire? Step aside my dear fellow, Sir Mud Pie and I will soon set matters right!” And without further commentary on the matter, we descended the ladder and entered the murky space.

Right away I could smell the foul air of evil doers hanging thick. Their stench is unmistakable and burns the eyes. But we pressed on through the labyrinth looking for the lost alchemist.

Several wrong turns were made until we found a handy, but stern note warning us not to fiddle with the water levels and that we should keep our filthy hands off the switches and valves.

Just for that, I spun the closest valve with great vigor. To my surprise the water level began to rise, doors began to swing and pathways began to open. Realizing this was a deadly trap and we would surely die a horrible death from drowning, I encouraged Mud Pie to make a hasty retreat.

But it was a hopeless endeavor as I had already taken a dizzying number of lefts, followed by incalculable rights and lost my path of retreat. We had no choice but to press on in order to find an exit and make our escape. I theorized we could turn the bad fortune of Kiln to our advantage.

I know many a brewmaster throughout the land and have even been known to brew a batch myself. That salmon ale should not be counted against me however. Mud Pie and I could easily establish ourselves as importers, put this sword-wielding adventurer life behind us, and retire with fabulous riches. But then I conjured an image of the Oracle shaking her stoic head at my profiting from the misfortune of others and dismissed the idea. She has no problem at my profiting from looting their corpses, but some lines shouldn’t be crossed.

With torch held high, we snaked our way through various tunnels that all looked the same until we came to a vast chamber that certainly looked to be the location of many ill deeds. Whenever there is a large opening underground, purveyors of naughtiness will assemble.

Much to my excitement, there was a lever, and as we all know, one of the greatest thrills in the realm is to pull an unknown lever to see what happens.

This one did not disappoint and the water began to recede. I hurled myself off the platform and made my way to the new opening that had appeared. Salvation was only a short swim away.

Alas, this lead us deeper into the cistern and covered me in some sort of unidentifiable sludge. Mud Pie was unfazed as he is always covered in some sort of sludge. That’s why he has to sleep outside.

We then went up the ramps, around the bends, through the murky tunnels and down the ladders. The entire endeavor is a sad blur as I later discovered from the healers, I contracted several diseases previously thought to be eradicated, which had caused some memory loss, problems with my lavatory functions and a disdain for pork pies. The first two don’t trouble me, but I’m quite sure I’m a fan of pork pies.

I do recall running into several very ill-tempered water elementals that unleashed watery fury on us. Their resilience to fire and ice still puzzles me. And their ability to heal against my repeated and robust stabbing was troubling.

I also have a faint glimpse of finding the alchemist, lying face down in the gutter. As is my way, I stole his notes and several artifacts for later bartering. It seems the daft loner decided to create elementals to help with the labor. Apparently they grew tired of his company and turned their watery, idle hands to mischief. From what I recall of the living conditions, I can see why.

While there was a lot of spinning of valves, pulling of levers, and jumping off ladders, the exact sequence escapes me, but the healer says my memory of events should return in a few years when my festering diseases have run their course. It’s all fine with me. I lived to tell the tale, even if I can’t recall enough of the details to actually tell the tale correctly.

After defeating the rampaging elementals and fleecing the alchemist, we made our way back to the surface. Ivar must have acknowledged we put matters right as he gave me a fine framed parchment as a gift for my good deeds. He also gave me a bundle of healing herbs before sending me on my way. At least I hoped they were healing herbs and I hadn’t simply laid down to eat some roots in my state of delirium.

It’s quite a fine piece that I have placed next to the one I got from that strange lady of the woods. I must admit the exact nature of the message they inspire is lost on me, but it’s a noble home decoration and that’s what’s important.

SotA_05-11-18_20-35_1

Well, these are quite lovely. I will have to get Alley to translate them for me one day.

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

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