The Elven Crystals
- Braegon - (Party Leader)
- Eric - (Military Scientist)
- Logan - (Scribe)
- Thorn Ilsdöttir - played by Tina Nevin
- Sorceress in Silver
- To retrieve the “Torque of Continual Restoration” from the Tomb of Elric the God King. This involves finding 3 parts of a crystal which when reconstructed acts as a portal to the tomb.
After discussing the requirements with the Sorcerer in Silver, we left the guild by Rune portal to Brandenburg and started walking north towards Gullet Hollow.
Encountered four large cats called "Snattlecats". They have a talent of making themselves invisible at will, as long as they are conscious and not stunned. A decent shot with an enhanced Necrosis took them out - once we could see them. They were summoned to Alusia 2.5 years ago, presumably arriving somewhere close to the local area. Stayed the night in Ingham at "Old Marshalls Tavern".
Met a bunch of Satyrs near the woods who were harmless. Guards on the bridge to Axbridge didn't cause too much trouble, but we had to talk our way across. They figured that since we were employed as mercenaries we should have an arm band indicating as such. 10/1/94: Met about two dozen hob-goblins and orcs in the forest. These include an earth mage good at Hands and Healing, and a wicken. We did not engage them apart from a personal duel between Saracen (who lost) and Saydar who won with a little help from his "crushing" talents. Stayed in Ashmore, a run-down village with very few people and no food.
Our donkey was eaten by the villagers during the night. Quite a dismal bunch of people really, but you can't blame them for being hungry. "Met" an old man close to gullet hollow mumbling something about "going to see a man in the village". He disappeared in a puff of smoke, after which a large magical storm blew in. Stayed in Gullet hollow at the local inn. Captain Raykal from the Rogue Princess was present. Shipwrecked the night before (surprise!) due to the warning light being in the wrong place. Some of the villagers are obviously wreckers. He knew of the crystal on the boat and we agreed to leave at 11pm (low tide) to find the crystal. (NB: The only walking access to the island is at low tide). Three shipwrecks on the bar, one with a Night Gaunt.
The Rogue Princess had been dragged into a cave (map included) was already looted. We were just in time to stop the sacrifice of a sailor by some guy who happened to have the crystal in his hand. The sailor was saved and the mage dispatched. Unfortunately his master, a tentacled storm demon, arrived soon after but we escaped to safety as the caverns filled with water.
A number of undead were removed as well as some evil mushrooms (yes, mushrooms.) The captain and the one to be sacrificed did not survive the night, what with mushrooms, undead, and the like. The Church on top of the island is looked after by a priest "Aelfric" who thankfully the others did not kill. There is a well here that allows a single endurance point back per day. Obviously the villagers were all wreckers. So we headed off to talk to discourage them from their livelihood and found that they were already running for the hills. We headed them off and made sure they did not escape with any of our treasure.
Something happened today, but it can't have been important since I forgot. Stayed in the now deserted inn for the night.
Travelled through Gallows Wood with an army of undead leaving an obvious track. During the night were visited by "Birtrum" and "Hans" from a village in the woods, originally from Ashmore. Nice chaps, and a tad hungry. Leader of the village is "Haal". These guys were grateful for any food we could give them as it seems the black nights an other such menaces in the area made for a very miserable life style.
Met 24 hobgoblins from the skull crushers clan, who did not get back to warn the others. They kindly told us of the black mage and earth mage in residence as well as the security situation: 2+ guards at cave entrance; at least one at lookout; 2 guards at saddle into canyon.
Camped approximately five miles from cave.
Thorn ran (invisible) up the path to set up a rune portal. She shouldn't have gone alone. I was forced to wait four hours before going to find her, hoping she was still alive. By this stage she had been captured and taken to the cave complex. 24 zombies headed up the path before us and we followed some time later. Attacked by 18 bowmen from the ridge above us as we were about to make our assault on the entrance from above the cave. The bowmen escaped via tunnelling. We headed into the cave, and after some hard work captured the entire clan of 180 hobgoblins. The combination of mass fear, walls of stone, and long-range sleep with wizards eye was quite successful. The chief and earth mage were dead, as were most of his elite guard. The black mage was let go in return for removing the 100 year sleep he had put on Thorn. Poor we thing, she didn't deserve it, especially the Orcs of the party pretending they were princes and trying to wake her up.
A geas was cast on the black mage to "head east and don't return". All defensive and offensive material was later removed from the hobgoblins and they were left to continue a more peaceful life of gardening and farming. I am sure they will do wonders with the place.
Saydar flies off into the sunrise with Thorn clutched gently in his arms, thus paving the way for us to return home. It was a beautiful and touching sight… if not somewhat strange. Some of the party seemed to find it amusing. Perhaps it was Thorn's passionate remark "I love you forever" or her climbing into Saydar's arms with a sweet whimper of "don't let me go". I'm not really sure, but it did seem a private moment that maybe shouldn't have been shared with the rest of the party. All of this does confuse the rumours I have heard about Saydar.
We finally returned from the church in late afternoon, to stay at the Guild for 12 days before continuing to find the third crystal shard.
We rune portalled back to the island and set off to the castle. A Priest was hung up on a post near the bridge, but we released him and told him to travel to the island and see the priest there for help. In the grey hills a magical blizzard struck, as did a yeti whom we despatched. (The blizzard seemed to be a talent of the yeti) The yeti had been compelled with non-college magic... rather strange. Soon after this we met a Reverend who told us he would "help" us in the morning. He was (stressing the past tense) someone who had fallen out of favour with the baron 10 years ago. We fell asleep and on awaking continued on our way.
Ambushed four black riders travelling down the path, capturing two of them. The black riders are "Knolls", which are creatures approximately 7' in height. They indicated that the baron had 12 other elite knights, possibly 4 mages including an illusionist, wicken, mind, and greater summoner. I certainly hope the man was mistaken on the last count.
The black riders have some sort of "telepathy" with someone or something at the castle so they can see a vision of the person and the surroundings when they die. This was probably the reason for the two Rank 20 phantasms rapidly approached the two more barbaric members of the party. They survived... just. I really did hope that they were invested items and not being cast.
Nomination for Tempest in the "not the smartest adventurer" category. Situation: Down to endurance only, with a rank 20 Phantasm after him. Decides to buzz the 4 mages on the hill who promptly mental attack him. Luckily for tempest he was heading upwards at the time, and the windwalk had enough ranks to get him back to the ground when he awoke.
Uninviting chasm in front of castle is 40' deep, 150 yards wide. Filled with bound mist with visibility 10'. Bridge is an illusion. We crossed the chasm and met at least four mind-mage hell-hounds on the way. Not all of these were destroyed.
Castle Assault We arrived at the castle gates where an old man offered Saydar a permanent shriven potion that would enable him to do some amazing Necromantic thing… it just required Saydar to sit with him for a while, and presumable perform a ritual. Saydar obviously isn't a very trusting orc, since he refused the offer. This frankly was surprising to me, since his. The guy did tell us that the castle was "death for necromancers" and necromancers should never go it. However I got the impression that it was death for all other mages as well. The castle walls are bound with spirits that "tear you limb from limb" if you try and tunnel through them. The others sat in the sun while I went to work and slept everyone in the castle (still 6 black knights unaccounted for, mind you)
At about this stage something terrible must have happened. Thorn and Saydar's brief and poetic courtship came to an end when thorn berserkly tried to kill him. I never thought it would last.
While this fight did distract me, Saydar recovered from the shock and took out his obvious unhappiness in a truly orcish manner - by necrosising one of the black knights. Almost immediately I (yes me, Logan) was set upon by swarms of rank 20 Phantasm's - Hundreds of them!! (well, it was at least 10.) They were coming at me more than one every five seconds from under the ground. It is probably lucky that I don't remember much past the first few seconds. Many thanks to Breagan who I understand gave me a troll-skin in the nick of time. The next thing I remembered was awaking in a leak proof bag, with the bag and myself sticky with blood and internal bodily fluids. What a horrible place to put me, and I'd hate to wonder what happened to the pour soul put in there before me. Yuck.
As for the phantasms, I was starting to get the impression that until now someone was being nice to us by letting us be there. I presume that at least one horribly large and powerful being was camping at the castle and wanted to be left alone. This I shall do. An obvious clue was Breagan being controlled and scrawling a note on the snow stating "Do not go under the castle or I will kill you." I can't help wondering if the controller works for the Greater Summoner, or the Greater Summoner works for it. Something not to ponder on.
Inside the Castle, the duke (confirmed to be a greater summoner) had an illusionist dopple ganger filling in for him while the duke was upstairs busy summoning another one of his creatures... presumably for our benefit. We removed them both from the castle. The Duke is currently chirping happily in an Aviary at the guild with the other Greater Summoners encountered by guild parties.
Another nomination: This time for Saracen who after finding out that 6 black gems we had just found were cursed, promptly picked them up and suffered the effects of each of the six items. After being told "don't put them down" he immediately did, so someone else had to pick them up again!
We left rather quickly back to the guild with our prisoners (and the crystals) as we didn't feel comfortable hanging around.
Note that more Snattlecats (see 8/1/94 for description) were seen on the way back in the same area.
Retrieving the Torque On assembling the three components of the crystal, the crystal transports all people in the immediate area to a not particularly pleasant plane. Here lies the tomb of the Elvin God King Elric. He is protected externally by a particularly evil Wolf like creature which travelled the two miles to the tomb in less than 30 seconds - quite a feat. It also breaths Frozen Doom (capitalisation deliberate) which I understand is not resistable from descriptions of other encounters with breath weapons. Protection from cold stopped us from being damaged slightly as we entered the very cold tomb. Inside the tomb lay the body of the Elric which was protected by some form of Magical barrier, and physically by a Stone Golem guardian (or was it an Iron Golem? I forget). I was blinded and hurt badly by the magic barrier after I accidentally passed a wizard eye through it while searching for the torque. The Magic here is very ancient and I would not recommend playing around with it.
The torque was in a chest which we took back to the guild and returned to our employer. Returning to Alusia was done by assembling the three crystal components found in the tomb. It is probably that these are the same crystal pieces on Alusia, possible due to the vast time difference between the two planes.