Adventure

In a move of senseless bravado and overzealous ego, I found myself in the midst of the crossfire of the Crag Foothills. I knew it would be a dangerous venture, but I was looking for fortune and glory in the form of the shiny stones I’d heard so many people talk about. What I got was a face full of fire and a back full of arrows.

I didn’t realize the path leading to the mines would be riddled with the undead as well as rampaging bears and wolves. It was a cacophony of evil doers and before I realized my mistake, they were using my head to beat out the rhythm of their nefarious deeds.

I was quickly overwhelmed and ended up face down in the dirt wishing I had never left the safety and confines of my hot tub. I was suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous skeletons when I felt the cold darkness of sleep blanketing me.

Then amidst the chaos I saw a figure. He moved with savage grace under the rhythm of the light, his bow singing out a melody of devastation and destruction. The day rang with the cries of the fallen, and there I lay, weeping in the dirt with the belief my time is this realm had drawn to a close.

There was silence. An eerie, cold silence with the sound of the trees in the wind. It had been a losing battle, but was suddenly over.

As I looked up, I saw a foreboding figure of bone. He loomed large and seemed to be waiting. I turned my gaze to see my combatants lay scattered and broken on the path.

I arose and took in the full nature of his countenance. I felt a chill run through me. Realizing who stood before me, I began to panic.

"No, no, no!" I exclaimed. "Don’t take me away! I’m not ready! I need more time! I still have things to do, places to see, ale to drink! Can we make a deal like I read about in all those ridiculous tomes?"
"Of what do you speak?" he replied in a distant, echoey voice.
"Are you He?" I asked nervously.
"He, who?" he replied.
"Him," I said.
"Him, who?" he repeated.
"Have you come to take me away?" I asked, trying a different tact, but still riddled with panic.
"Take you where?" he questioned.
"The Afterlife," I replied.
"Afterlife?" he asked.

He was clearly weaving a web of confusion and then began a hypnotic dance which I assumed was meant to lull me into a dream state for our journey into the afterlife. But when I felt neither lulled nor journey bound, I felt the need to inquire into the situation.

"Now look here. I don’t mean to be rude, but if I’ve died and you’re here to whisk me away to the  Afterlife, would it be possible to dispense with the dancing and get on with the negotiating?"
"Negotiating?" he asked.
"Yes, negotiating. I’m not ready to be dead yet, and am willing to offer up something personal and meaningful to bide my time here in this realm wherein you accept the deal and come to collect me at a later date. Egad man, don’t you read? This is how these things work!"
"I’m not sure I follow you," he replied as he continued his dance.
"Aren’t you Death?" I asked directly.
"Death?"
"Yes, Death. The Death. The chap that comes along when things have gone horribly awry and the spark of life gets covered in shite." I began to feel something was amiss about this exchange.
"Nay," he said.
"Then who are you?" I asked. "And more importantly, am I dead?"
"I am he who dances on graves," he replied with a bow. "And you have taken some ruinous blows to the head and perhaps have more arrows sticking out of you than one man should reasonably withstand, but I dare say, you are still alive. However, I recommend you seek some tincture before those wounds turn caustic and you expire in a drainage gully."

"So, you aren’t Death and you aren’t here to take me to the Afterlife?" I asked feeling my tether to the situation was beginning to unfurl.
"Nay. I was merely passing through and saw the undead here causing grievous harm to your person and thought I would offer some aid. You were holding your own, until you weren’t, and they started tossing you around like a hot sausage."
"So, not Death?" I confirmed.
"Nay," he replied.
"No Afterlife?" I inquired.
"Not today,"  he countered.
"Then, I thank you for your kindness," I said, the pain of the arrows of misfortune making their presence known.

But there was no reply. The figure of bone was already bounding down the path heading deeper into the foothills. Within moments I heard the cry of battle. The sound of the skeletons crumpling to the ground fell into the distance and I hobbled my way to a healer.

 

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No Death, No! I have so  much to live for! I know who you can take though! I have a list! Let me get it!

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

It’s the usual story. You’re walking along, minding your own business, looking at the stars, enjoying a mug of ale, when all of a sudden you get thrown through a Lunar Rift. And there you are, lying face down in the dirt, the supple flesh of a pumpkin staring back at you, and somehow, the nagging feeling this isn’t the first time this sort of thing has happened. It was a painful landing and to make matters worse, the ale mug didn’t survive the trip. Now what are you supposed to do?

Fear not my weary friend, help is at hand. And rest assured, this is New Britannia, you can’t cast Immolation without hitting a tavern, so that ale mug shant be empty for long.

As you get your bearings, it’s best to try and help the local citizenry. You could go rushing off into the first forest or thicket you find, but to be honest, it’s not going to end well. There are Thugs, and Skeletons and Bears, oh my!

It’s time to take a moment and plan. Some of these citizens are displaced travelers like yourself, while others are looking for someone to get a job done. Completing these tasks should establish you as a virtuous soul and perhaps quell the fear that many feel towards Outlanders. Most of these will allow you nto their good graces without risking life and limb.

Soltown:

Japeth in the tavern needs some help getting a poem to his lady love
Bentley is looking for the key he left on his desk at home in East Perennial Trail
Geof wants and Iron Blade that can also be found in East Perennial Trail
Ashton wants a book of recipes he left behind in Solace Bridge
Raymond is looking for the hammer he left behind in Solace Bridge
Emily is looking for Quincy’s blade and the note he left for her in Solace Bridge
Jeanne needs help finding her daughter’s necklace that went missing in the Soltown cemetery
Edvald from Solace Bridge has a report that should be given to Stanley, the guard
Stanley, near the refugee camp could use a courier to Ardoris

Owl’s Head:

Ask Myra about her brother and visit the Clink in the upper market
Talk to Morton in the tavern and fetch his ledger from Kingsport
Visit the guards in the upper market and help out Winslow with some Healing Herbs from Kingsport
Thomas Strongbeard might need some help with his shipments of ale. Anton in Kingsport might be the right man to talk to

Braemar:

Chat with Bodan behind the tavern in Braemar about wolves that plague South Valeway. He could also use some help with a lost acquaintance of his in Owl’s Nest
Bridget could use some help in finding her lost husband Veimor. Seems he may have disappeared in West Ravenswood
Innkeeper Flynn is having trouble keeping his taps stocked too. Anton should be busy if you get this sorted out.

And now my friends, I hand you over to Quests of the Avatar, because everyone needs a bit of help in their way.

As for me? Well, I have some unfinished business in Soltown in regards to a fire-lighting miscreant that would do harm to those poor refugees.

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

Since falling head first through the Lunar Rift and smashing that pumpkin patch, I have been trying to help out the citizens of the realm. While on the island of the Hidden Vale, I managed to help Morton with his Ledger, checked on Myron in the Clink – who refused my help, got that poor chap Winslow in the guard house back on his feet by fetching some healing herbs, brought some peace to Bodan in Braemar and took care of that nasty wolf problem he was talking about and even pointed Kelly of Owl’s Nest in a new direction and perhaps she will leave that rapscallion band of Red Sash Bandits. Being the only maiden in those caves, I fear for her propriety.

With those victories under my belt, I felt it best to bring some comfort to the refugees in Soltown. The guard clued me in to their plight and so far, I have done a bit of all right. Since they left Solace Bridge in such haste, I began my searches within those ruins.

I got Fighting Raymond his blasted hammer back, without much thanks I confess. I had to search all over that burned out wreck of building before finding it. It couldn’t be next to the anvil, oh no, that would have been too easy. It has to be on the opposite side doesn’t it! I managed to find Quincy’s belongings safely tucked away in a chest at the foot of his bed. At least, I assume it was his bed. There was no one to ask about such matters. I found a Suspicious Character lurking about the Soltown cemetery and when questioned on his doings, I was summarily ignored. His rifling over the grave stones gave me pause and since Jeanne was looking for a lost necklace, he seemed like a prime candidate for the misdeed. Geof is now all set up with his Iron Blade, although if he plans to use it to fight evil, he will in fact have to leave the town at some point.

In Soltown itself, I listened to the tavern banter and offered my services to Bentley and brought back a mysterious key from his less than savory domicile in the swamp of the East Perennial Trail. I think that chap is up to a bit of no good to be honest.

One soul beyond saving was Japeth. When I found him out in the back alley getting sick all over the side of the tavern, he told me his sad story of unrequited love. I volunteered to take his poem to his intended, but in the end it was not a success. However, I don’t get the sense Emily is the right lass for him as she has definite airs above her station. She can talk all she wants about her grand vision of the future while she swings that broom.

I even helped Ashton retrieve his long lost recipe book, but after sneaking a peek at the contents, I regret my decision. I think his relations may have changed on him.

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Is there a particular reason we are meeting out here on these rocks away from town? Did I interrupt you in mid fish?
Wait a moment, are you doing naughty things to the water supply?

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Good heavens, Japeth! This will never do my friend. This is not the sweet song of seduction in anyone’s book.

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Oh my dear fellow, you may not have seen any dangerous animals, but they certainly saw you.
Oh well, back to the task at hand. I’m sure there’s an Iron Blade out here somewhere.

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

With my bitter feud with the local vendor still raging, yet being low on Spider Silk that is used in the wondrous skills of creating a fabulous ring of fire and calling the Air Elemental to my rescue, I had no choice but to head out into the woods and harvest the silk myself. Of course, this meant facing one of my deadliest foes and greatest fears, the Red Spider. The mere thought of it gives me the creeping horrors; those cold lifeless eyes, those excruciatingly long and dangerous looking fangs, the hideous and troubling number of legs covered in fur, that bulbous back end that hides a terrible, venomous secret. I’ve been face to face with these monstrosities on many occasions and each time I feel the burning sting of their venom as it courses through my veins. And my Air Elemental has proven to be both unsuited and equally unwilling to suck out the poison in my hour of need.

But this time, I had a new plan. As I quietly followed the path through Deep Ravenswood, I located their lair. My plan was to lie in wait and spring upon them as they came out of their darkened hovel for a spot of breakfast. As the morning sun peaked over the horizon, I set my designs in motion.

As the first unholy creation stepped into the light, down came the sword. The Air Elemental discharged a magnificent bolt of lightning that stunned the bejeebers out of the fuzzy devil. I immediately had the upper hand and crushed the life right out of it. I set to work extracting the needed Spider Silk, but, the sound of the commotion had awakened the hillside and the cave itself. Within moments, several of them were coming right toward me. It was time for the cleansing power of fire and so the ground was scorched with Immolation. And it worked perfectly. They walked right into my trap and I took great satisfaction in their cries for distress, although the smell of burning spider was both noxious and overwhelming.

With those vermin flat on their backs and their little legs twisted and useless, I harvested my silk. I realize I should not take pleasure in the misfortune of others, but I let out joyful cries of glee as I dispatched each and every one on of the hairy beasts.

My wild cackling must have raised the ire of the clan and soon another swarm was on the move. But this time, I was flanked to the left and right, cutting off my escape. I showed them my intentions with a healthy dose of fire. They showed me their intentions with multiple stinging attacks of venom right in the backside. It stung like blazes, but I stood my ground. The Air Elemental launched static bolts, stopping the beasts in their tracks as I swung like fury. Several of them met their end, but taking so many venomous bites started to cloud my judgement.

I felt it best, even though I no longer had any feeling, to make a hasty retreat and ran in the opposite direction of the spiders. A tree barred my path, but even under the influence of venom I was able to negotiate a treaty with it and afford myself passage. But then, things began to take a turn. I made it to the path and stumbled my way toward safety. I heard an angry sound rustling over the leaves and turf. So much venom, so little vision.

Stumbling and dragging my winged helm through the dirt, I made my escape. I collapsed just outside the forest, a stockpile of Spider Silk on my person. I may have lost consciousness and the use of my limbs, but I showed that vendor I could get my own reagents and saved myself some coins.SotA_06-29-16_8-28_1

Be very, very quiet, we’re hunting Red Spiders. You draw them out, then I’ll scorch the ground and smack them over the head. Simplistic yes, but it should be effective.

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Ha ha! You’ve all fallen into my diabolical trap! Take that, every last one of you! 

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Well, that wasn’t so bad. Now for a quick bit of harvesting and I’ll be on my way.

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

The events of Valhold left me a shattered man. All that family drama, not to mention the stone cold violence, put me in a foul mood and I felt I needed a distraction. I know Boreus is still in a bit of bother, but he’s been under wraps for this long, a few more days or so won’t make much difference. Not to mention my air elemental has been complaining nearly non-stop that I rely on her too much, that I put her life in jeopardy, that I’m going to get us both killed, or worse. I’m not sure what she means by the “or worse” bit. I’m reasonably sure the being dead part is in fact on the end of the scale, but who knows how these elementals think. Regardless, my nerves were frayed.

To find some peace and tranquility, I found myself wandering along the shoreline of Novia. The names of the towns had a menacing undertone, or put forth the idea of endless commercialism so I avoided them. I felt dejected until I spied a lighthouse in the distant. Ah, a lighthouse, what could be more representative of tranquility and relaxation than that? And more than likely, it was tended by a kind and gentle soul who would welcome a weary traveler and afford accommodation for a night or two. I consulted the map given to me by a peddler in the street, but my direction was still not clear. I should have spent the extra coins and purchased a map from the proper map vendor. The one written by the child I was trying to help was devoid of landmarks, was riddled with X’s and notations of “buried treasure here” and had been scrawled using an ink that wasn’t permanent. Thus, portions of the map were missing and all I could discern was the “here there be dragons” warnings he’d left for me. At least he was concerned at my falling off the edge of the world. It seems he sensed my directional prowess.

I soldiered on in the direction of the lighthouse, but due to shifts in the landscape, a precipice, a crevasse, a bridge with a troll I was in no frame to content with and a series of unfortunate navigational miscalculations, I ended up in the Brittany Cemetery. My disposition was not lifted.

After trying several of the ferries and ending up on the wrong mainland, I broke down and asked for directions. I was informed the proper boat to the lighthouse was further down the coastline. I made my way further on, the jeers of laughter fading in the distance.

At last, I found the correct boat and set sail for the small island where I hoped I would be greeted by peace and tranquility. I was greeted by utter silence.

I knocked repeatedly and finally, Elad made his way down the stairs to let me in.

“Sorry about the delay,” he said in a soft voice. “Stairs are a bit of a chore these days. Have to take them one at a time, lest I take a nasty tumble and end up who knows where. Come in, come in!”

It was an understated domicile, with a small entryway, but a massive staircase that scaled the walls of the lighthouse.

“Come to see the light have you?” he asked as I watched the stairs wind up out of sight.

“Well, yes, actually I have,” I replied. “I’ve been the victim of several disappointing personal life events and was looking for solace in solitude. It seems a lighthouse and thus a lighthouse keeper would be the ideal.”

“Very well! Very well indeed,” he said joyfully. “Come on, up to the top. Got to keep an eye on the light.”

I followed as we made our way up the hundreds of stairs. We soon came to his sitting room and he invited me to take a look at the view while he prepared a suitable repast. The view was striking, the air cool and fresh, the sound of the waves against the rocky outcropping a pleasure to behold. I felt the tribulations of the previous adventures falling away.

I rejoined Elad who brought wine and cheese. “Have some cheese,” he said eagerly. “I like cheese. I’m a cheese cutter from way back. Come from a long line of cheese cutters. But now I’m a lighthouse keeper. A darn good one too. Light comes on at night, goes off in the day. Easy as can be. Well, except for the repairs, the gears, the cogs, maintenance, the lamp oil, the rain and a few other tidbits not worth mentioning. Do you play chess?”

His words hit me like a hammer. He was rapid fire and excitable. I gathered he didn’t get many visitors. “Oh, course I do,” I lied.

“Sit down, sit down, let us play a game. I’ll tell you all about Lord British,” he said with great excitement as he set up the board. “Oh, that Lord British, he’s a wonderful collector of things. Always looking for new trinkets, books, what have you. I work for him you know. Or at least I think I do. Haven’t seen him much lately. Not sure I even get paid. But no matter, the light must remain on, even though there hasn’t been a boat in these harbors for decades, and the sea provides all that I need.”

I don’t know if it was Elad’s exuberance in storytelling or my lack of understanding of the rules, but I lost in three moves. It wasn’t the defeat that bothered me, I’ve gotten used to that sort of thing, but the throwing down of the pieces and the dance of victory I felt was a bit much. The repeated hip thrusts were certainly over the top and I had to avert my gaze. However, I was the guest and abided by the rules of the house.

In the rematch, I faired no better and lost in three moves again. Elad said my leading with the piece known as the queen had been my downfall. I made note of that for the next game and although Elad was taken aback by my blistering opening gambit with the pawn, I was trounced in five moves.

Having worn himself out from all the wild gyrations at my expense, Elad said he would turn in for the night. I was welcome to stay and take the room on the lower floor. I eagerly took him up on the offer.

For the next two days, I spent a very peaceful time in the lighthouse, looking out over the sea, fishing along the shore and gazing at the stars. It’s hardly worth mentioning, but I did lose sixty-five games in a row to Elad, but I was getting better. I managed to hold him off for nearly six moves and captured one of his pawns. It was a triumphant sabbatical.

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Ah, a vision of serenity. Now, if I could only find the &*$%ing boat to get me over there.

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An auspicious dwelling to be sure. Hopefully Elad is home and welcoming to visitors. I hear lighthouse keepers are a docile bunch, but you never know, he could spring on my like a cat, drown in the sea, cut me up for chum and none would be the wiser.

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Elad! Good evening! My I intrude upon your hospitality for a night or so?

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

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