As is the custom for the holiday season, I took time out of my busy schedule of dishing out justice to thugs, rattling skeleton mages to dust and chasing Corpion tail, to visit what I was told was a sincere pumpkin patch. I doubted it would rival Stinging Tree, but I felt it was worth my perusal and observation nonetheless.
It was a festive day with a gentle breeze and the fine colors of the autumnal season. I noted several others on a similar pilgrimage. We all took to the field to evaluate it’s sincerity.
To my astonishment, it was indeed a fine pumpkin patch, replete with scarecrow to keep the hooligan crows at bay. Was it more sincere and thus more entitled to receive a visit from the Great Pumpkin? Oh nay nay, but I investigated further.
When I moved to the middle of patch, the true and deceptive nature of this field revealed itself. I was shocked to see the gourds were rotten and festering on the vine. As I looked to express my dissatisfaction at this kind of nurturing, I was greeted by a small field hand wearing a costume paying tribute to the Great One.
He seemed just as outraged at the deplorable pumpkin condition as I, brandishing his scythe with dangerous vigor and bellowing muffled words of condemnation.
“I agree with you completely,” I said, not truly understanding what he said. “You would be wise to make haste and remove those infected gourds from the vine before they leech the life out of the entire crop! You are on the verge of total disaster, and only mere hours left before the Orange Exalted One makes his yearly visitation. If you wish to be considered for patronage, you must make amends!”
I felt my words landed on deaf ears as the lad advanced upon me without a hint of understanding as to the dire circumstance he and his patch were in. And then it struck me. Or rather, he struck me. With his scythe. In the shins. Rotten cur.
It was a devastating blow to be sure, and the rapscallion cackled with delight as I crumpled to the ground.
“Egad man! Cut at the vines, not a me! What’s the matter with you? Learn how to use that thing before someone really gets hurt,” I cried. With real tears in my eyes.
“It’s Pumpkinhead!” came a cry from the field. “Destroy the tainted pumpkins! He draws power from their rotten, festering carcasses! Trample them under your boot! Divide and conquer!”
“Oh my, that sounds bad,” I said. “And just who is this Pumpkinhead? Some sort of misguided impersonator? They always turn up at this time of year, trying to get praise, trying to sway followers.”
My thoughts were interrupted by another savage blow from the pumpkin-headed attendant and his scythe. Then it became clear.
“You are no farm hand come to tend to the plight of this pumpkin patch. You are a gourd minion of evil!” I said. Realizing the peril I was now in, I leapt to my feet, set my blade alight and fortified myself within a ring of fire.
“I’m going to roast your seeds of destruction over an open fire!” I cried as I leapt forward with an injurious thrust to his rind head. Pumpkins are surprisingly flammable, and soon he was a charred, pulpy husk at my feet. With no time to hesitate, I waded into the decayed field and kicked each and every pumpkin that crossed my path.
The horrible things spewed fetid spores into the air, most likely giving me a terrible disease that won’t present itself for years to come. But, there was more dangers ahead as Pumpkinhead bellowed in anger at the smashing of his minions. I flicked off their seedy remains and made ready for battle.
With his power weakening, we leapt into the fray. We realized Pumpkinhead was still a formidable adversary. He retched up pestilence and rot, covering each of us in his filth, our eyes burning from the stinging spores. We were stunned, but not stopped. Attacks came from every side as this malcontent impersonator soon met a fiery, carved up fate, just like his ill-tempered minions. There was much rejoicing as the pumpkin body was frisked for valuables. Regrettably, he had nothing of note.
Confused by the loss of their leader, the remaining minions were rounded up and trampled back into the soil from whence they came. Not wanting him to rise up and repeat such destruction, his grotesque body was severed from his even more shocking gourd of a head, and each was buried in separate parts of the field. A sternly worded sign was then erected to give warning to others who might mistake this for a sincere pumpkin patch.
Quickly lad, we need to get to the main patch and save those pumpkins, there’s not a moment to lose.
Now see here, you need a scythe or some type of cutting implement. What do you expect to do with that bow?
Go back to whence you came you fetid imposter! You’ll be punished for this blasphemy!
More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia
- Now I see why the rates are so cheap…
- The Sincere pumpkin patch springs anew
- I’ve got big gourds!
- Is there no end to this blight?
- Setting up for our first vintage
- Travels to Jaanaford and revisiting Highvale
- Exclusive Darkstarr Metronome: Final Concept
- Pen of the Avatar – Darkstarr Metronome
- The Witch, A Log and A Swamp
- Xavara, I have you now
On a recent excursion to Resolute, I made the acquaintance of Sir Conrad Dupre, a rather stoic chap that stands at the ready to do battle with the Kobolds. A man of few who words, at least until you sneak him a mug of ale or two, who told me about a battle hardened set of armor that might suit me in my pursuits against the thugs and my covert dealings with the bandits.
It seems he commissioned several new sets of armor for his men, but they were looted by scoundrels, some say it was the elves, who secreted them away in the Verdantis Mines. As per usual for someone of my keen prowess with the blade and fighting spirit, Dupre asked if I would be so bold as to sneak into the mines, thrash the scalawags about the head and shoulders and retrieve the looted goods. If successful, and he emphasized the “if” in a way that gave me pause for my meager lie, he would be more than happy to gift me a set of the fine armor.
Always on the lookout for ways to risk my life at the behest of strangers for trinkets, and never one to shy way from taking possession of another suit of armor, I readily agreed. Finishing off our ale, and wishing me the best of luck in not ending up dead, Conrad bid me a good evening. I then consulted my maps on how to get to the Verdantis Mines. After he made several corrections to my chosen path and turned the map the right away round for me, I was off.
Like so many of the mines I have found myself in, it was a bleak affair, with shoddy, bug eaten beams, crumbled rocks that tried to do grievous harm to my ankles, and the usual sense of foreboding. Not to mention the dank smell of wet Elf.
It seems they were indeed the culprits behind the theft of the armor, so I announced my presence with authority and set my sword on fire.
In retrospect, it may have been advantageous to err on the side of stealth, travel amongst the elves in a more cautious fashion, but hindsight is like a fish out of water.
Since I had made my presence known, it seemed fortuitous to let the elves know I meant business by declaring, “Look here elves, I mean business!”
This most assuredly raised the alarm and the ill-tempered devils came from all corners to investigate the nature of said business.
“Good evening armor stealing rapscallions! I have retribution and death for sale and there’s no need to barter!” I declared.
This took them aback, so I leapt in to action. I darted hither and yon, serpentined with the dexterity of a mongoose, clung to the shadows, like a shadow, and leapt from the staircases to increase my advantage and weave my web of confusion. I even took them on a dizzying ride in the mine carts, which we both seemed to enjoy.
But, this was not a day for fun an jocularity, as I pummeled the elves into the ashen ground, retrieving the stolen armor pieces one by one.
I was quite displeased at one pair and their taunting game of tossing the gauntlets back and forth to each other, keeping them just out of my reach. After several frustrating volleys, I put an end to their jibes and mockery by breaking the kneecaps of one of the competitors, thus putting victory and the gauntlets in my hands.
It should also be noted that even though the elves have secreted themselves away in a mineshaft, living the life of a miner is by no means part of their agenda. I discovered many nefarious deeds including a bevy of secret chambers riddled with horrors and the grim remains of dozens of workers injured by the reckless and unsafe working conditions.
That would have to be documented and rectified in a future visit. For now, my task was to return the armor Conrad so that he and his troops can continue to take up the mantle in the battle against the Kobolds. Why the armor was stolen by the elves and not the Kobolds still remains elusive to me.
Back in town, Conrad was quite pleased at my not showing up dead. I put his surprise aside and displayed the pieces of the Knightly Armor Plate I had taken from the cold, dead hands of several elves. Most of the elves had nothing of value upon their person and could have saved their hands if they would have mentioned that in the beginning.
But no matter, all the pieces had been returned and Conrad was well pleased. So pleased in fact, that he said I was free to keep a set as payment for a job well done.
“Well done, PeteWi The Disoriented! You are quite the spelunker of mines, slayer of elves, and purveyor of trinkets! Although it’s quite clear your current armor is more than capable of keeping you alive, and giving you another would be somewhat irrelevant, I nevertheless want you to take this ridiculously heavy and somewhat dinged plate armor as a token of my appreciation.” With that, Conrad pressed the armor upon me.
Accepting his generous gift, I slipped behind the changing screen and donned the new armor. The sword and shield were a delightful combination and the Knightly Plate was a fine addition to my combat readiness. It should be a fearful reminder of my last visit when I return to the elves to discuss their dangerous working conditions.
Huzzah! This will let the rapscallions know I am here!
On second thought…
Well, this certainly looks dangerous. What manner of trickery goes on in here?
I get the sense more than mining is taking place on the premises. Is this cavern wasn’t so riddled with death and treachery, that would make a fine location for an ale house.
I knew it, these elven hooligans have no respect for people’s personal property or for their safety and welfare. I say, are those ruby crystals growing over there?
More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia
- Completing the Grand Tour and getting the Kobold Commander Mask in Shroud of the Avatar Release 19
- A new quest from Bodan, my little piece of Braemar and there is Epic Loot in the Sewers
- Happy Halloween!
- Economic Collapse of the Graff Gem Mines
- Putting the romance back in necromancer
- A vacation retreat to the foothills
- I do my best to fill Oba’s leggings
- Pen of the Avatar – Darkstarr Metronome
- Working with the Public Merchants
- I make Copper Armor, there is some Hot Tub diving, I get stuck in a tree and Alley Oop turns 60
It had been a night of grand merriment when I stumbled out of the tavern in Solania. The reason for my visit and cause of celebration is both unknown and unimportant. But the festive nature of the evening took a downward turn when I entered the privy and found I was not the only occupant.
To make matters worse, my confederate was in a tattered soldier uniform. While I am not entirely familiar with the emblem, members of the constabulary, especially those encountered in a privy should be avoided. But there was something entirely not right about this situation. Then it struck me.
“Egads my dear fellow! You’ve obviously had quite a night of revelry, and no shame in dispensing with the overflow ale, but your clothes will be in quite a ruinous state if you don’t get up off the privy floor! Further, you should latch the door when the premises are occupied, I feel a dash awkward about this encounter.”
“Outlander! What great fortune I find you here!”
“Now see here!” I quickly explained. “First, there is to be no talking in a place such as this! It should be considered sacred ground. Eyes forward. No talking. Those are the rules. Second, I don’t know what you’ve heard, or what you think you know, or what that old spinster claims, but it wasn’t me, I was never there and plenty of people in the realm wear this style of hat!” I emphasized my point with many hand gestures and the attempt to hypnotize the soldier. “And on top of that, this is the largest privy I have ever encountered and that alone is disconcerting!”
“I am Helena of the Whiteguard soldiers and it’s urgent I speak with you!”
“Beg pardon? Helena?” I asked.
“Yes, of the Whiteguard.”
“Helena, I believe you are in the wrong privy.”
“Privy? No, Outlander, you are in the Solania catacombs. And I am need of your help.”
“Not a privy?” I asked.
“No,” she replied. “A catacomb and death awaits around every corner. This is why we must speak.”
“A catacomb you say.”
“Yes,” she answered. “It has been a catacomb for quite some time. The privy is quite a distance in the other direction. How many libations have you consumed this eve?”
“That is of no consequence!” I stated. But, if you will you excuse me for a moment, I have an extremely urgent matter to attend to, and it must be done in private. Peeping eyes only make me nervous.” With that, I retraced my steps as best I knew how. Moments later I returned and picked up the thread of our conversation.
“Now, you say you need my help?” I asked.
“Yes! To help defeat the Ichor Witch!” she said with great fervor.
“Ah I see. And let me guess. She is some sort of terrible abomination roaming about this dank and terrible place and you want me to risk life and limb to venture into the catacombs, defeat this horror where others have failed and bring you back some sort of token of the deed. Does that sum it up?” I said.
“Well, as a matter of fact, yes. But how did you know?” she with great confusion.
“This isn’t the first catacomb I’ve mistakenly stumbled into,” I replied. “And what is it you would like me to bring back? Some sort of heirloom? A trinket of some kind?”
“Bring me the head of the Ichor Witch!” she demanded.
“Great Halmar’s Teeth!” I cried. “That’s a bit grim don’t you think? A swatch of clothing seems sufficient if you asked me.”
“No! I need the head, I wish to use it for scrying to determine the origin of this terrible menace!” she said, her voice full of venom, the bandage on her head shaking wildly.
“Perhaps it would be best if I escorted you to a healer. It seems you have suffered a rather debilitating head wound and a lie down is what you need rather than the severed head of some witch.”
“No!” she insisted. “I need the head! It will reveal all and I must have answers! It is important to me, to the Whiteguard, perhaps even to all of Novia!”
She had a determined air I couldn’t help but notice.
“My goodness, quite a few requests for heads in backpacks these days. But if you insist, I will see what I can do. I have to confess, I think there are better ways of handling this sort of thing. Popping the heads off witches seems a little less than noble,” I said.
“The whole head!” she said again.
“Yes, yes. The whole head. Now point me toward danger,” I insisted.
“Follow that path,” she said pointing down the corridor. “I’m quite sure you will run into one of the Bloodbone creatures and all will be revealed.”
“Bloodbone? That sounds dangerous,” I commented.
“Oh, it most certainly is. How do you think I got the head trauma?” she said.
“Does it have to be tonight? I’m not really in the mood for head trauma,” I answered.
“Well, certainly not. I can be any time you like. Shall I quill you in for next week?” Helena retorted.
“Oh, is that possible?” I asked. “I’m sure there is an opening after bath night.”
“Absolutely not!” she bellowed in a shrill voice. “Now get in there!” Her gestures were frantic and a little unsettling.
I did as instructed and slowly crept down the dank corridor. As predicted, skeletons leapt out from the shadows intent on stabbing me in the vital organs.
However, after crushing their brittle bones to dust, I found I was in possession of someone else’s vital organ and it pulled me deeper into the catacombs.
“Now see here unknown force,” I said. “I don’t take direction from disembodied organs! That leads to nothing but trouble!”
But it was no use. I tried to go my own way, but the sway of this grim fetish was rather overpowering. I was guided through twists and turns leading me to a most grisly chamber.
“Curses and blast! Yet another hideous chamber of death, or worse,” I said.
The macabre relic compelled me forward, into the circle of Bloodbone fighters, frightening cauldrons and shocking columns of light and fire. This ridiculous heart that had somehow been stashed in my pocket wouldn’t let me leave. It drew me right into the middle of the fracas putting me face to face with the terrible creatures.
It my panic and want to stay alive, I let loose with many exuberant slashes and run in an unpredictable course, weaving a web of confusion. I was working on me, so I could only assume I was making progress against them.
Unbeknownst to me, my gyrations triggered some sort of summoning ritual as the Ichor Witch made her appearance. Like so many other diabolical creatures that materialize from the vapors, she was not pleased to see me. Her cry of burning my soul or some such insult clued me in to her distress and that there would be no chance to sit down over tea and discuss matters.
As such, I dispensed with the pleasantries and skipped over the pithy monologue that normally explains my adversaries malcontent behavior and went for the cleansing fire.
Fire is the natural enemy of witches and seems to bring out the worst in minions. I was thusly attacked from all sides. Amidst a cacophony of debilitating strikes, fireballs and spells that nearly rendered me unconscious, I lashed out to defend myself.
I swung at everything that moved, and several things that didn’t. My Whirling Blade cut a destructive path, broke a few vases and upset a few cauldrons. But soon the hall was quiet except for the sound of dripping fluids from unknown origins.
To my great surprise and relief, the witch and her minions were crumpled in a heap on the floor. Despite my belief this is no way to get a trophy, I did the nasty work that needed to be done and returned with the witch’s head in a bag.
Returning to the guard, I handed over the trophy and stood by anxiously to hear the conclusion of this strange mystery. But what the guard mumbled made no sense and was borderline incoherent. She claimed the witch came from both here and there, was both old and young and was a little bit of this and a little bit of that.
“Are you sure you shouldn’t lie down before taking on such measures?” I asked. “I may have stumbled in here by accident, but what you say makes no sense.”
Then, tossing the head at me, she claimed, “I have learned all I can, I must now ponder upon this new information. Here, enjoy the skull.”
It was now a blackened husk with frightening, glowing eyes that seemed to stare straight into me.
“What the deuce am I supposed to do with this?” I asked in horror. “I don’t want your cast off skulls! I’m not traipsing through town with this disgusting relic without a darn fine reason!”
“I don’t know, turn it into a lamp. Put it on the mantle. Save it for the Samhain season and scare some little urchins within it.”
“Oh I say, it would indeed look quite fetching on the mantle. I do have those pieces of Naturamas that could use a centerpiece,” I said mulling it over. “While I don’t disagree with your decorating ideology, I feel you are deeply troubled to have come up with it.”
“Bah! That is just the green monster of jealousy talking!” she retorted coldly.
“Be that as it may, I bid you good evening. These have been troubling and sobering events. I believe it best for my mental well being to spend some time in the tavern washing away these memories.”
Gadzooks my dear fellow! This is no place to take a rest! And goodness sake, lock the door when facilities are occupied!
Oh my, this looks bad. Very bad indeed. Are those pools of blood coming to get me?
Very well, I admit, I have a room full of these looted skulls. There’s nothing wrong with that. I’m quite sure I’m not the only one.
More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia
- The House on the Hill – Part I – The Call for Justice
- The House on the Hill in Harvest – Part II – Showdown with the Witch
- Travels to the underground city of Raven’s Head
- A Key, A Chest, And That Same Terrible Swamp
- The Drunken Ritualist of Tenebris Harbor
- The face of pure evil reveals itself
- The Tale of the Hood of Truth
- Completing the Grand Tour to get the Fez Hat in Shroud of the Avatar Release 17
- A night of quests and adventures in Owl’s Head, Owl’s Nest and the Red Sash Bandits
- My quest to help brings me face to face with the undead in Kingsport and Braemar
As I strode in to Owl’s Head to conclude a rather delicate transaction with the public vendor, I noted the not too long forgotten Tour Guide standing off in the shadows.
“Well good evening, Tour Guide! Fancy meeting you here! I had anticipated after our last encounter where you nearly got me incinerated, mauled by a bear and attacked by thugs that our paths would not cross again. But, here you are, most likely with some sort of trinket that necessitates my harrowing escape from a myriad of enemies and nefarious types out to do me harm? What has brought about your return? Come now, out with it!”
“Good evening Outlander! I do indeed have another exciting and thrilling tour of the realm for you. There will new places to explore, and wonders galore! And when complete, you will get this fabulous, limited edition, hand crafted Cloak of the Shardfall. I can tell by that twinkle in your eye, I have your interest.”
“Oh my dear Tour Guide!” I replied. “Why do you tempt me so? You know my fondest for cloaks! You know I can’t resist the temptation to add another to my collection, even when it means I might lose my life, or worse yet, my dignity. Very well, give me the details! Spare me nothing! Keep me in suspense no longer! Who am I up against this time? Do I have to rob a dragon nest? Steal the loin cloth off a troll? Abscond with the unmentionables of a Cabalist minion?”
“Well, Outlander, I can’t deny those are all fine ideas and worthy of future quests, but I have something far different in mind this time. This is a real tour this time and all you need to do is visit my confederate in the town of Westend, Brookside, Etceter, Brittany and #@$%.”
“Beg pardon there Tour Guide? I think you got a little something stuck in the clockwork gears there. That last location didn’t quite come out.”
“No, there was no error. You merely need to go to #@$%.”
“I see your game. You’ve somehow lost the destination of my final visit and I will have to somehow divine the answer by connecting seemingly unrelated and random sets of information. Very well. Since there is a cloak on the line, I’m willing to play along.”
And with that, I sped to the Lunar Rift and hurled myself to the destination of Westend. To my great delight I was not mauled, stabbed or pummeled with arrows. I was in a civilized town and the Tour Guide watched patiently for me with no sign of thugs or skeletons waiting to leap out at me as soon I got too close.
The other destinations were as equally not fraught with danger. I was even able to take a moment for a light repast at the local tavern before continuing on my way. But as I neared the conclusion of my journey, the final location of the Tour Guide eluded me. I sat in the tavern going over my parchments trying to deduce where he might be hiding.
Using my adventurer skills and past experiences, I plotted my course, connected the lines, triangulated my position relative to the Oracle, drew a curve through all the locations and came to the conclusion that although it made a fine drawing of a drunken condor, it would not help me locate the final hiding place of the Tour Guide.
In desperation I kicked my chair, slammed my fist and toppled my ale. This only lead to further desperation and I hurled the parchment to the floor with great impunity.
As it floated to the floor, I realized the picture was upside down. The answer stared back at me, almost tauntingly, and I dashed from the pub! I then quickly returned to the pub to pay my drinks bill lest there be trouble with the local constabulary and another tavern be added to the list of establishments I’m no longer able to visit.
With that crisis averted, I anxiously waited at the Lunar Rift. I repeatedly checked my sundial, but due to the time of night, it was of little value and time passed even more slowly.
But then the moment was at hand, the gleaming bolt of light struck the cairn stone and I leapt in with a wail of glee.
“Tour Guide! I knew I would find you in the Isle of Storms! It’s the last place anyone would look for you, and thus the last place that came to mind. Other than you being located in a respectable public house or that house of ill repute we aren’t supposed to talk about.”
“Greetings Outlander! I’m glad you’ve come to pay me a visit. I feared no one would play along and come to say hello. I can’t say I blame them, I have put you and your kind to the hazard and caused a bit of grievous injury along the way.”
“Indeed you have my blue metal miscreant. But let us put all that behind us as you reward me with a fabulous new cloak!” I said excitedly. “I’ve been to all the locations. I’ve checked in with your comrades. I even had them write it down in my book of mischievous and exciting deeds. I have proof of where I’ve been! It won’t stand up in a court of law, just keep that in mind, but it should suffice for this adventure!”
“Congratulations to you Outlander! Take this cloak and wear it well. Be a shiny beacon of adventurous skill and questing fortitude! And don’t forget to tell your friends I’m out here.”
With that, the Tour Guide gave an enviable flourish as he draped the Shardfall Cloak around my shoulders. I was giddy with excitement and silky trim of the collar was an extra treat.
“It looks quite fetching on you Outlander. Wear it well!”
“Wear it? Are you daft? It could get soiled! Cut! Snagged by some street urchin! Dear me no! This will go on the wall with my other collection of cloaks. I shall admire it for many a day and only don it on special evenings.”
“Well, as pleases you Outlander. Thank you kindly for dropping by. Perhaps you could drop in from time to time and tell me how things fair in the rest of the realm?” he asked, rather longingly.
“Is there another cloak in it for me?” I asked. “And will you let me have it without needlessly risking my life?”
“Perhaps,” he answered.
“Then I shall be back in due course and will regale you with my grand adventures!” Then I sped off toward the Rift once again and gave a wave to the Tour Guide as I disappeared into the ether of the realm.
Huzzah! Another beautiful cloak to add to my collection! And I didn’t get mauled, set on fire, or stabbed in my kidneys! That makes this one even more special!
More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia
- Completing the Grand Tour in Shroud of the Avatar Release 14
- Completing the Grand Tour to get the Pilgrim Bonnet in Shroud of the Avatar Release 24
- Completing the Grand Tour to get the Highwayman Hat in Shroud of the Avatar Release 21
- Shardfall Biome and Wyrmsands in Shroud of the Avatar Release 14
- Completing the Grand Tour to get the Bowler Hat in Shroud of the Avatar Release 26
- Completing the Grand Tour to get the Bycocket Hat in Shroud of the Avatar Release 18
- An altruist monk says what?
- The Grand Tour of Release 11
- Completing the Grand Tour and getting the Silver Carnival Jester Hat for Shroud of the Avatar Release 15
- Welcome to the SotA Travel Guide
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.
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
- Someone has poisoned the water cistern
- Shroud of the Avatar Release 5 Coming Thursday April 24th
- What this place needs is a privy
- I met a strange lady. She made me nervous. She took me in and gave me breakfast
- Investigating the Tomb of the Talhoffer Twins
- The Barrens, an Oasis, the Portal of Death
- The good people of Jaanaford put Alley on trial for being a witch
- Helping out the Refugees in Soltown
- Down into the Necropolis and Down to the Bottom of the Shaft for Shroud of the Avatar Release 16
- Welcome to Release 16 of Shroud of the Avatar. New places, new faces, new quests