Kiln

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.

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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

While visiting the local market in the town of Kiln, a my attention was wrested by a concerned citizen. He spoke frantically of bizarre occurrences that centered on the local water supply. While I took this to mean over exuberant use of the lavatories and not a particular forte of mine, he corrected my assumption and said the drinking water had been tainted by a menace. I further replied that the local inebriate should be held accountable and perhaps a gate would be in order, but this still did not console the man. He finally explained that the keeper of the cistern had ventured down, but never returned. He feared the worst and felt there were strange creatures lurking therein.

He recognized my prowess with the blade and bid me to investigate and save the poor lad if he was in distress. I have retrieved many things from the wells that dot the realm, but venturing into a cistern was new territory. Luckily, Alley Oop had heard the terrible tale and was ready to sally forth.

It was immediately apparent that the concerned citizens use of the word, “cistern” had been quite liberal and we found ourselves in a water filled catacomb. However, as we searched for the lost water lad, we discovered we were not alone. As we turned the corner, we ran headlong into a series of tainted water elementals.

Not to be outdone, I brought forth my air elemental and we sent the creatures to a watery grave. We then discovered that even though the water elementals had no means of carrying such, they possessed a set of keys. These keys would reveal themselves to be necessary to open a set of locked gates that would be needed to descend further into the labyrinth.

From an odd maintenance note left behind, we were told that due to pressure issues, only two gates could be opened at a time. At first this made no sense, but as Alley soon divined, in order to descend we would need to use a series of valves and switches to control the water level. A diabolical series of events that left me scratching my head.

Undeterred, Alley observed the interaction of water and lever and quickly deduced how we could continue our forward progress. And as we made our way down, some details became clear that this was no ordinary cistern accident.

Notes had been left behind detailing what could only be interpreted as devious experiments. The keeper had been using strange forces to try and harness the power of water. And while it seemed to work in the short term, his thaumaturgy had become dangerous and corrupt. The creatures had turned against their creator. His laboratory notes detailed his advancement and his notable descent into madness. The water keeper was no more. But his fiendish creations still skulked in the shadows.

It seemed, that in order for us to set matters to right, we needed to vanquish a final elemental that verily dared us to enter it’s lair. Alley took up the challenge without hesitation and lead with a ferocious attack. The Air Elemental and I flanked the menace and it was a three pronged attack of devastation. But rather than stand it’s ground and fight to the bitter end, the elemental circled the room like a coward. But no matter, a moving target is all the same.

Alley landed a series of brutal attacks and the elemental burst into a foul, but harmless spray. I say harmless, but I’m quite sure that elemental is going to give me a serious eye infection.

And then it was silent, save for the echo of the drips as they fell upon the stone. We had been far too late to save the water keeper, but the water supply was once again safe. We surfaced and brought good news to the citizen who was still waiting at the outlet for our return. He was overjoyed at our success and showed his gratitude with a tithing of coins. His generosity was appreciated, but I felt pangs of guilt in taking them, as I had to explain that on more than occasion, I had been forced to paddle within their water supply and who knows what manner of detritus I carried with me. Saving the populous can be nasty a business. I suggested they let things settle before quenching their thirst, or better still, put the water in a cauldron over an open flame before consuming. I can’t be held responsible for what might happen otherwise.

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More than happy to help with your plight good citizen. But, and I hate to point this out, you seem to be using an old crypt as an entry way to your water supply. I don’t mean to question your judgment, but you did clean out the previous occupant before carrying on with this new construction project, yes?

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Quite an auspicious cistern isn’t it?

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Water cistern my eye!

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Oh nay nay, that’s no drinking water, not by a long shot! You tell fibs Mr. Concerned Citizen!

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Do we really have to go in there? It’s dark.

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What in the name of all creation is that?! Nevermind, just the Faun bringing me a drink.

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

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