Chapter the FirstEdit
or, "How Many Descendants Does It Take...?"
The stern-looking guard whispered a quiet warning as he led the travelers down the hall leading to the throne room. "Ye are about to enter the presence of our much-respected and beloved King Lorik XVI. Pay him your respect, and no shenanigans!" He shot a threatening glance to each of them in turn before opening the large wooden door and ushering them inside.
"Welcome! Welcome to our fine castle of Tantegel!" bellowed the King jovially. However, his demeanor became immediately more serious; this was no time for chit-chat. "Ye have come claiming to be heirs of the great Erdrick, have ye not?" The adventurers all gave affirmative responses, varying from an energetic salute and a "Yes, Sire!" to a simple nod of the head. The King continued, "Then listen now to my words.
"Long ago, a renowned warrior known to us as Erdrick fought against evil using an artifact called the Ball of Light. That Ball was kept here in this castle...but then came the Dragonlord, who stole the precious globe and took it with him into the darkness of the Devil's Isle. I hereby command ye, as descendants of Erdrick, to retake the Ball of Light and restore peace to this land of Alefgard. The Dragonlord must be defeated, by any means necessary." King Lorik's face took on a steely look of defiance as he spoke those words--defiance of his mortal enemy, and defiance of the pain and suffering which he had caused. Nay, more than that--defiance of the Fates themselves, who seemed to have set an indomitable foe upon him. With Erdrick's aid.... "I shall give each of ye gold pieces numbering six score with which to buy supplies for your journey. Use it wisely, and may the light shine upon ye."
As the warriors filed out of the throne room, Lorik leaned toward his chancellor, whispering, "Surely we will succeed! I had only expected one person to answer the call--this is wonderful!" A festive smile flashed over his face as he ribbed the chancellor, "I suppose 'tis true what they say: There's one born every minute!"
The stern guard who had first escorted the travelers stopped them after sealing the door to the chamber. "Ye did well for ones who look so vulgar. I am impressed! However, our great King did not tell ye of his secret sorrow.... It has been half a year since the King's own daughter, the beautiful Princess Gwaelin, was kidnapped from this very castle. He never speaks of it--for the sake of his people, he will not show any sign of weakness. However, it breaks his heart that she is not by his side. Please, if she still lives, find her and return her home!"
Topics Covered Edit
- 1) Dragon Quest Cosmos
- Our tale begins outside of Tantegel Castle, where King Lorik has decreed that any and all descendants of the legendary hero, Erdrick, step forward and venture forth on a quest to confront a great evil that has cast his shadow across the entire land of Alefgard: the Dragonlord. The King's call is answered by nine first responders: Garradum, the Enigma; Reid, the Priest; Dr. Lolo, the Natural; Isidor, the Mighty; Cristo, the Brave; Quartz, the Schemer; Dr. Cornelius, the Kind; Locke, the Resolved; and Donardus, the Seeker. After being charged with their duty and receiving a stipend of 120 gold pieces, the group heads toward Brecconary. Along the way, each are ambushed by a Slime and a Red Slime and are forced to fight for their lives-- with only their bare hands and pride standing between them and a humiliating defeat. The slimes prove to have more bite than bark: several flee the scene after seeing one of their brethren fall, but not before one takes Isidor's life. As the fates would have it, Quartz arrives too late to save him (to this day, Isidor firmly believes this was the first of many injustices by the one known simply as the Deceiver~!)
- In Brecconary, the ragtag bunch of descendants secure odd jobs ranging from herb picking to helping an old man test out curses (at only slight danger to self!) and working with the Better Business Bureau to uncover the price gouging ways of the Tool Shop merchant. Meanwhile, the King welcomes three new warriors to fight for his cause: Anduin, a mischevious girl with a split personality; Rikka, a deadly fighter from an unknown world; and Racor, a Justice of Osterfair on a mission to pursue a criminal known as D'Saad Mulan. With the added defense of affordable Dragon Scales and the added strength of newfound companions, the descendants turn their eyes on more challenging lines of work. The main group travels with a local hunter to the Scorp's Nest, while Isidor and Garradum journey with the botanist to pick a rare desert flower (this is otherwise known by Isidor as Deception Number Two). One of the King's loyal soldiers, Varus, finds that though he may scorn the ways of Erdrick he can sit idly no longer, and he sets off to better serve his king and kingdom.
- 2) Brigands of Brecconary
- The team assisting the hunter narrowly avoids disaster and returns to town carrying a scorpion hide as their trophy. Isidor and Garradum, however, are not so lucky. Isidor is killed by a Magician, and Garradum is pushed to the brink himself before rallying for a heroically improbable victory. A main force consisting of Locke, Cristo, Quartz, Racor, Rikka, Anduin, and Reid set out to explore the Ancient Cave to the north in the hopes of learning more about the legend of Erdrick. Meanwhile, Dr. Lolo pores through the records in Tantegel's library and discovers that the Imperial Scrolls of Honor all seem to have disappeared, except for Isidor's scroll. Lolo sets out to Garinham with Donardus. An unlucky flip of the coin lands Zephyr stuck playing the role of 'descendant', though he manages to team up with Varus briefly while helping out the hexologist.
- Deep inside the Ancient Cave, suspicion and paranoia are chipping away at the tenuous bonds of trust between members of the exploration crew. To make matters worse, a newly-revived Isidor sets out to confront Quartz and end his deception once and for all. The King meets with three new adventurers in his throne room: Jarid, a young priest from Cantlin with a crippling fear of slimes; Rengar, who escaped as a captive from Charlock and seeks revenge against the Dragonlord; and Ixus, a knowledge-circle Initiate gathering information about the legend of Erdrick.
- 3) Tyrants of Tantegel
- Upon hearing of his exploits around town, Jarid believes Isidor to be the Enlightened Warrior of Legend and follows him to the Ancient Cave. There, the two team up with Dr. Lolo and a "friendly" ghost named Casper to form the Justice Legion X of Alefgard! Meanwhile, Zephyr, Rengar, and Ixus form a lesser alliance to help out the botanist. Deep inside the Ancient Cave, the exploration crew happens upon a small treasure chamber, guarded by four shadows from the past-- Erdrick and his companions Glennard, Viron, and Harley!
- Though the shades have but a fraction of the power that their bodies once posessed, the leadership of Erdrick coupled by the magic of Harley and the brutal strikes of Glennard push the descendants to each of their individual limits. Eventually, Anduin falls at the hands of Glennard; an act that proves to be the turning point of the battle if only because it rallies the other descendants together towards a common cause: avoiding the same fate. Just as the final blow is about to be dealt, the JLXA barges into the room-- and chaos ensues!
- The combined paranoia and single-minded determination of Racor and Isidor causes a rift in the space-time continuum just large enough for three bizarre creatures to creep out: Space Ghost, Moltar, and Zorak. Isidor attempts to dispense his own unique brand of justice, but the others are much to preoccupied with surviving to pay him much heed. Back at Tantegel Castle, Archibald, caretaker of Jaws (a pile of ashes that used to be a feline with a heroic heritage) becomes the latest person to enroll himself on the King's mission.
- 4) Deception of the Descendants (through post #97)
- As Glennard finally falls in battle, the four shades reappear to offer the descendants their respect and wisdom. Opening the treasure chest, the descendants find a stone tablet with a message from Erdrick. "...When evil arise, seek ye these Artifacts, then fight! for this is your destiny as bearers of my blood." Armed with this information and with a renewed confidence in their own abilties and in each other, the descendants emerge from the cave victorious and make their way to Tantegel Castle to declare their chosen path in life to the templar...
Chapter the Second Edit
"What Evil Lurks in the Hearts of Men?"
or, "Smell No Evil, Taste No Evil, Feed No Evil"
Dharma Temple, Tantegel Castle
Now came a time of choice for most of the adventurers. They had seen the flyers about town advertising a new temple offering training in new job skills, and knowing themselves strong enough, they ventured into Tantegel and were directed down a hall to the right of the entrance. The group, some traveling together and some keeping their distance, was made up of Isidor, Racor, Locke, Cristo, Rikka, Reid, Quartz, and Dr. Lolo.
"Hello! Hello! Descendants of Erdrick, one and all, I presume?" The old man at the altar was as chipper as usual. "No need to tell me why ye have come, I know ye very well, very well indeed! Ye wish to learn new arts, new powers, new channels of self-discovery, yes? Then ye have come to the right place! Come ye up to this Altar of Dharma, my friends!
O Great Goddess, you who are the overseer of all you have created, who guide the will of all your subjects with your gentle hand! The will of your followers Isidor and Racor is to become Rangers; the will of Locke and Cristo is to become Soldiers; the will of Rikka, a Fighter; of Reid, a Priest; and of Quartz and Dr. Lolo, Wizards. Please grant these wishes through your own will, and increase their strength through your own strength!"
The Templar allowed the eight to contemplate this thought for a moment before speaking: "Now rise, and enter your new destinies."
Upon rising, the eight paused for a moment of reflection--and remained there, seemingly in a deep reverie. Panic began to set in (or at least, adrenalin) as they realized their bodies were frozen in place! They struggled against their invisible bonds until the castle guard shackled them in steel.
The Templar stepped up to Dr. Lolo, removing his slimy companion from his sleek cranium. "I am sorry to have deceived ye, but alas, I can do nothing more for ye. The King shall handle the remainder of this quest. Good day." The Templar gently stroked Junior, who watched with mouth agape as the majority of the Descendants of Erdrick were led out of the Temple to the throne room, with Lorik sitting upon the throne with his chin upon his left palm, drumming the fingers of his right hand.
Once the great door to the throne room was barred shut behind them, King Lorik XVI rose and clapped twice; the Descendants' bonds immediately released and fell to the floor. Despite his age, he was quite an imposing presence. "We are certain that ye must wonder at your circumstance," he began, his voice booming throughout the chamber. His chancellor, standing slightly behind the right side of the throne, winced a little. "Ye stand here today accused. We have reliable information that leads us to doubt our trust in ye. Surely, in our haste to gather the great Descendants of Erdrick, we could not be so blind to have gathered a band of mere thugs for the task of defeating the dreaded Dragonlord; if so, this incident shall forever be a blight upon the history of Alefgard. This is why I have gathered ye here, to answer these charges and face your accuser." He faced them one by one, reciting their charges from memory:
"Locke, thou standest accused of sorcery and unlawful concealment of place of origin.
Rikka, thou also standest accused of sorcery and unlawful concealment of place of origin.
Reid, thou standest accused of the theft of sacred scrolls from the private libraries of Tantegel.
Dr. Lolo, thou standest accused of the theft of sacred scrolls from the private libraries, fraternizing with spirits of the dead, fraternizing with dangerous monsters, and conspiracy to commit murder.
Isidor, thou standest accused of impersonating the noble blood of Erdrick, fraternizing with spirits of the dead, and conspiracy to commit murder.
The one known as Quartz, thou standest accused of unlawful use of an alias to conceal identity from the crown, petty theft of articles priced not more than 100 GP, conspiracy to commit murder, and general swindlement and fraudulent practices too numerous to utter here and now.
The one known as Racor, thou standest accused of unlawful use of an alias to conceal identity from the crown, unjust practices in the interpretation and execution of law, and vigilantism. Cristo...." The King's countenance grew even more stern than it had been. "Cristo, thou standest accused of perhaps the most awful crime of all. Dost thou truly carry the blood of Argold the Wanderer?"
"But of course he does, my liege! Why else would I tell you so?" A slightly nasal voice emanated from the far corner of the room, where the man had stood concealed.
The King addressed the Descendants: "If ye will continue your quest, ye must answer to me, and your accuser." The man strode toward the center of the carpet before the eight Descendants, wearing a wide smirking grin over his face that accentuated his narrow eyes. Racor hissed in instant recognition as the man entered his view.
"Oh, Racor, Racor, Racor, look what mess ye've gotten yerself into! Ye should'ive stayed in Osterfair where the King puts up with the 'justice' of ye and yer Sovereign. And call me Iratsad, please! That name 'D'Saad' is already gettin' some bad publicity 'ere."
He slowly ambled up to the line of the accused, starting on the side with Locke, speaking shortly to each as he passed. He smiled evilly and whispered in a sing-song rhythm to Locke, "I know something ye don't know!" To Rikka, he spoke with a sly smirk, "Ah, the pretty lady with the fire in 'er 'air. I wonder 'o thou truly art?" He continued on, speaking to each in turn: "'Ad fun with yer Scrolls, Reid? Thank ye for looking after Izzy, Doctor! And Isidor, Isidor!" He placed both hands on Isidor's shoulders. "Splendid job in the cave, truly magnificent! Heehee! Yer father is so proud!" Moving on to Quartz, he spoke, "And I do believe that ye are my faverite of the bunch! A career criminal! Delightful!" Seeing Racor next in line, he sneered and took a wide girth. "I've already talked t' ye, no special attention." Finally, he stopped at Cristo, but did not turn to face him.
"Of course, simply dropping from Erdrick's 'black branch' is not a crime.... I have an offer for those of ye with lesser offenses. I believe ones such as ye could help me, especially thou of Argold's line! Now, Reid, the good Doctor, and Racor, I cannae do anything about, but the rest of ye...I would be willin' to rescind my claims--if you help me!" He suddenly spun and grasped Cristo painfully by the arm, glowering directly into Cristo's eyes with a look of stark madness. "What say thou, black seed?!"
Topics Covered Edit
- 4) Deception of the Descendants (post #98 onwards)
- The descendants visit the castle templar...only to be shackled in bonds and brought before the King to face his judgement. Locke, Rikka, Reid, Dr. Lolo, Isidor, Quartz, Anduin, Racor, and Cristo stand before King Lorik; each accused of various crimes that they must answer for. At the forefront of the 'investigation' is none other than Racor's nemesis D'Saad Mulan, who suspiciously seems to know every minute detail of the captives in the throne room.
- Each of the descendants have a chance to face their accuser, and each employs their own unique style of defense-- capped off by Cristo, who punches D'Saad square in the jaw for insulting his cursed bloodline. The madman's response is as swift as it is brutal: the others can barely react before D'Saad reaches for his battle axe and swings a mighty blow, slaying Cristo instantly. He then splatters Cristo's blood against the other descendants in the room, leaving them "marked", before he vanishes without further incident. King Lorik, deeply troubled by the betrayal of his confidence, revives Cristo but can offer the others neither information nor solace about the stolen Imperial Scrolls of Honor or the "mark" that has been placed on them.
- After regrouping in Brecconary and seeking out information regarding their encounter with D'Saad Mulan, the descendants again split up to tackle a variety of jobs. Archibald meets Atma (who was ZAP!ped into this land from the world of Final Fantasy) and the two venture out to pick herbs; Rengar and Donardus also assist the apothecary in gathering a special batch of antidotal herb. Quartz, Cristo, and Locke follow the botanist's directions to find a special tree. The zoologist pits two teams in a race to find a "green slime": Reid, Rikka, Racor, and Anduin vs. Dr. Lolo, Isidor, Jarid, and Ixus. Zephyr visits the templar to declare his own path in life, while Garradum sets out for Garinham.
- 5) Legend of the Green Slime!
- Racing deep into the mountains, the adventurers in search of the green slime instead find themselves faced with an ambush. Slimes of never before seen shapes and complexions ooze out of the primordial Slime Pool, overwhelming the descendants. Dr. Lolo and Isidor fall before the combined might and number of the slimes, and what was once a friendly race now becomes a harrowing battle for life and death!
- Thankfully, the other descendants face much less deadly odds while completing their own quests. The botanist manages to make a Strength Seed out of the magical leaf returned to him, while the apothecary gathers a sufficient supply of antidote herbs to sell. Zephyr and Garradum wind up in the hexologist's cage after meeting in Garinham (a profitable occupation, as Archibald and Atma can attest to).
- Shantros makes a cameo appearance, only to meet an ignominious end in his first battle.
- 6) Countdown to Destruction
- Quartz reminisces about his time in Rimuldar, and how he once took a 'job' from a man named Davidial to spy on a secret organization with the dark intentions of bringing descendants of Erdrick together...to torture them and gather their blood. He later entrusts Cristo and Locke with this knowledge.
- Rengar's trip to the Brecconary inn is interrupted when he is tricked into captivity by a servant of the Dragonlord. He is tortured on end until he manages to kill his tormentor and make his way back to town, where he executes revenge on the traitorous innkeeper as well. Unbeknownst to him, he is now being tracked by a Demon Knight: the shadowy lieutenants of the Dragonlord's army.
- Viktorio sets out to follow in his father's footsteps as a hero, but soon realizes the harsh tolls of battle are not his destiny.
- Back at the Slime Pool, the team of Reid, Rikka, Racor, and Anduin manage an immaculate victory! If they were ever to have to fight another slime, it would certainly be too soon...
- Oh, by the way, the Slime Pool bursts out before them and forms into an animated, behemoth, green slime hellbent on wrecking havoc on the wearied warriors. The descendants briefly consider fleeing but the green slime is as unstable as it is deadly. Soon enough it boils over and explodes in a furious blast of ooze, expelling an enormous cloud of Eau de Slime drifting ominously towards the town of Brecconary...
- 7) Superfluous Slime Mayhem
- The impending slime siege serves to gather all of the descendants together back in Brecconary. As they plan the defenses of the town, Jarid suffers a fit of post-traumatic slime disorder and collapses in the streets. Anduin seizes the opportunity and captures the young boy before having a mental breakdown herself. Jarid is helpless to watch as Anduin's alter egos fight it out over the control of her body.
- The others seem to have Brecconary well-guarded until the thick cloud of Eau de Slime rolls in and blankets the town in a thick fog. Soon enough, slimes begin to rain from the sky! There is only person in town who knows how to dispel the cloud: a young lady who peddles faerie water. Reid places his trust in the woman's story and rushes off to disperse the faerie water as a coordinated attack with others who would help. The slimes, however, manage to create one final obstacle for them all; chests and saplings morph into Boxslimes and Treeslimes and start to threaten the remaining villagers!
- 8) The Climactic Concl-ooze-ion
- The stress of battle begins to manifest itself in some of the more...eccentric descendants. Garradum begins to mistake foliage for foe, Rengar hunts down Zephyr and delivers a brutal charge attack to the unlucky young man, and Anduin's dominant persona seizes hold of her and begins to cause mayhem around town. Thanks to the mystical powers of faerie water, though, the Eau de Slime clouding Brecconary is lifted and the slimes are repelled. King Lorik summons the brave defenders of the town to his throne room, where he offers congratulations on the victory and delivers punishment for those who destroyed more than they saved. After the rest leave, Garradum engages the King in a rather ominous discussion.
- The descendants then return to Brecconary for some well-deserved relaxation. Quartz has an interesting experience with the faerie water lady, Chrys, and her mystical silver tarot cards. Later in the night, Reid lectures the others about their mis-perceptions of his actions against the tool shop merchant, and of rallying together towards a common cause instead of engaging in petty quarrels. Quartz takes the speech to heart and offers to make amends to Isidor by challenging him to a race through the Mountain Cave, instead of a duel. Naturally, Isidor would have none of Quartz's antics, if not for a drunken Lolo stumbling into the middle of the argument to accept Quartz's bet for a race instead!
- 9) Penance of the Peccant
- The next day, two main traveling parties are formed and depart from Brecconary. Garradum's punishment is to procure trees from Kol's verdant forests to replace the ones he destroyed. He makes the trip with Dr. Lolo, Isidor, Jarid, Ixus, Zephyr, Archibald, and the Brecconary apothecary.
- Anduin is accompanied by Rengar, Atma, Racor, Quartz, Cristo, Locke, Reid, and Rikka as they head for Garinham. She is to recover stone from the quarry in the Rocky Mountain Cave to repair the broken walls in Brecconary; Rengar agrees to come along, and the two are chaperoned by a guard from Tantegel Castle. The others in Garinham perform a hodgepodge of jobs, including a songwriting competition for the Wizards of the Englishe Language.
- Later on, Quartz, Racor, and Rikka head out under the employment of the local hunter. They encounter a bizarre breed of metal scorpions with an unnatural agility and ferocity, and Rikka sacrifices herself so her companions can finish them off. In death, Rikka learns a startling aspect about her ancestory.
- Isidor arrives in Kol and seeks out glorious revenge against his father, only to be foiled those most diabolical of rivals: a locked gate and a "gone fishin' " sign. Ixus manages to best a fellow Initiate in battle, earning himself the rank of 'Blade' in the battle-circle.
- All the while, Princess Amelia De Fair has arrived in Alefgard after sneaking away from her home in Osterfair. She seeks the Justice Racor, but when she hears of the plight befalling the country she can't help but seek a dose of justice herself, as well.
- 10) The Shadow on the Screen...
- Quartz and Racor survive an ambush by a warlock, but their attempts at interrogation are foiled when the man's head abruptly explodes. Quartz barely manages to weasel a name out of the wizard that had been spying on their battle: Mirach. Quartz recalled the figure from his days in Rimuldar, spying for Davidial, and it now appears that those events are somehow connected to whatever dark deeds D'Saad may be planning.
- Those who submitted a tune for the lutenist are treated to front row seats at the band's performance. Unfortunately, the concert is sabotaged by a group of ninjas and assassins with a bounty on the heads of the descendants. Nevertheless, our heroes are quick to leap into action! The man who hired the saboteurs reveals himself after the battle: Doran Caleb Al'shane. The twist? He is the same man who represents the Wizards of the Englishe Language and he knew that primarily descendants had wrote the songs for the concert.
- Back in Kol, Zephyr's errant Sleep spell causes him to fall into a slumber and leaves him with questions about his past travels, and the magic inside him. Jarid brings Isidor before the Church in Kol, only to be shocked that the head priest there has proclaimed Isidor's next-door neighbor (and latest rival) H'sildur as the Enlightened Warrior. Jarid vows to help Isidor in fulfilling all parts of the prophecy so his greatness will be acknowledged across the entire land. Dr. Lolo and the others assist the BBB rep. to inspect Lolo's bathhouses, which had become mysteriously haunted since his departure. A missing artifact owned by someone named 'Howard' may be behind the disturbance.
- Rengar's fury overtakes him once again as he assaults the guard, and then Anduin, deep in the Rocky Mountain Cave. Anduin pleads with him to regain control, even as her own control is slipping away... Against all odds, Rengar manages to fell Anduin's omega ego and barely escape the cave with his life.
- 11) A Clockwork Kumquat
- Cristo reveals to his friends more details about his family and Argold's branch. His parents were hunted down by former friends and neighbors, and those of Argold's line can only seek refuge aboard Captain Garret Jackson's ship, or give in to their cursed ancestory. That night Cristo is beset by a horrible dream about Argold coming before him, bearing the Mindsword and tempting him into darkness...only, it wasn't a dream. Reid wakes up the same night and finds Cristo and Locke shocked and bloodied inside Quartz's room at the inn. Their search for answers leads them to the hexologist, who suggests Sleepnotization as a means for unlocking the mysteries that occurred while they were asleep. Cristo is the first to step forward and attempt the proceedure.
- Locke becomes more pensive and reclusive afterwards, remembering back to a long lost time and place, and wondering why he has no recollection of the events of the past night.
- The descendants investigating the haunted baths find themselves in a fight against blob monsters. The amorous blob possesses the BBB rep and manages to escape, probably because it gave everyone the creeps even when it didn't have a body to flaunt around. Instead, they regroup briefly before winging it back to the castle and heading North towards Garinham with Amelia. Garradum finds Zephyr and returns a keepsake that he hadn't seen since his father was wearing it during the day Hauksness was sacked.
- Doran sends a letter to those who 'helped' him earlier: he offers information about D'Saad in exchange for captured monsters.
- 12) The Great Cave Offensive
- Most of the descendants have gathered in Garinham, where the bet between Quartz and Dr. Lolo is about to commence, despite the ominous events of the past few days. The two have agreed to explore the Rocky Mountain Cave in search of artifacts, and whoever returns the most valuable treasures to the archaeologiest will be declared the winner. Quartz's team is comprised of Isidor, Garradum, and Reid; Lolo has Racor, Jarid, and Locke helping him. Cristo, Rikka, Zephyr, Ixus, Atma, and Amelia have decided to tag along as well to help in fully exploring the place. Garradum somehow manages to slip Yi-Jing castings to each of the members embarking on the quest.
- Rengar and Anduin are busy testing their strength around Brecconary helping the botanist acquire more strength seeds, a task that is more deadly than anticipated. Archibald finds the two later on and offers to assist in the second leg of the quest.
- Rusted somehow undergoes 'conversion' and finds himself on the plains outside of Tantegel. What motives lie behind the shroud of darkness that seems veiled over him? The world may never know...
- 13) Cave Story
- Quartz's team is the first to stumble upon a mystic set of runes carved upon the floor of the cave. Knowing no fear they enter the passage, only for Garradum and Isidor to be summarily rejected as a wave of pain rushes over them. The four decide to split up for now to maximize their chances of discovering an artifact. Isidor manages to invoke the wrath of the
canariesdruins patrolling the lower level of the cave.
- Lolo's team leaps out to an early lead, finding several artifacts in the eastern loop of the cave. They also find a chamber with runes on the floor, but Locke is forcefully ejected and they decide to search elsewhere for now.
- The other explorers find a couple artifacts themselves, while Cristo tells Ixus, Zephyr, and Amelia of the Argoldian blood in him. Later, they cross by another runic passage, and Rikka reveals her ability to naturally perceive magical auras. Zephyr is unable to cross, but when they meet up with Isidor and Garradum, Ixus and Garr manage to pass through.
- Back near Brecconary, Rengar dies in yet another botanary adventure gone wrong. Yet, with the mysterious shade that he sees stalking him from time to time, that might be the least of his worries... Alister finds himself transported to Alefgard and teams up with Rusted to gain his bearings in this new world.
- 14) Artifactual Astonishment
- The secrets behind the runic passages are slowly being uncovered. As it turns out, each set of runes refers to a specific skillset that is required for the trials that await beyond the magical barrier. Reid walks the path of a Priest, and his efforts to save a woman in need grants him a Priest's Ring. Racor's chosen path in life is that of a Ranger, and his reason and balance help him to discover a Ranger's Ring. Ixus and Garradum find themselves in an almost otherworldly combat arena, and the winner in a no holds barred contest of strength will be rewarded with the contents of an ornate treasure chest.
- In addition to magical rings and ancient relics, Cristo, Rikka, Isidor, Zephyr, Amelia, and Atma also stumble upon a large treasure chest with a bizarre riddle on it: "There is a cat in the box. Is it alive or dead?" As the chest is opened (or, rather, smashed by Rikka), an icy wave pours out and curses Rikka and Isidor. All that remains in the chest...a deathly looking necklace that Cristo offers to look after.
- Rengar is informed by a so-called Count Elrick that the mayor's daughter has been kidnapped and taken to a cave near the Scorp's Nest. Eager to prove his strength and resolve, Rengar rushes off to save the maiden in distress! Archibald's cat Jaws runs away and he and Anduin form a search party together.
- Four more adventurers make their way to King Lorik's chamber and are informed of their task to defeat the Dragonlord. They had narrowly escaped death in Rimuldar and briefly put their unfamliarity and unease of each other aside to ensure that they wouldn't meet the same fate on the journey to the castle. Shaft, his younger brother Rex, and Mazrim all seem to have their own motives, but Dr Mysterio seems to be in the quest just for the food--slimenberry pies, mmm...delicious!
- 15) Anniversary Edition
- Ixus bests Garradum in their duel and claims a Fighter's Ring as a prize. Garradum is more than a little puzzled to see that the ring still exists, which is a puzzle in and of itself. The two depart to rejoin the rest of the exporers and meet up with Quartz and Reid. Quartz is also wearing a ring; a Wizard's Ring bestowed to him for his knowledge of magic-- both tactical and arcane.
- The remaining adventurers reach the end of the cave, with only one final set of runes guarding a passage for the Soldiers Cristo and Locke. Though the two choose different paths for their trial, their foe is the same: a Dragon.
- Perhaps nudged on by fatigue or the dingy cave conditions, Zephyr berates Racor for his overbearing attitude towards Amelia. Amelia snaps at him, but Dr. Lolo diffuses the situation with his usual clear-headed problem solving approach. He and Racor agree to wait for the soldiers while the others begin the journey back to the surface. The outgoing party meets up with Quartz's team (including Zorak and Moltar, who also managed to get lost in the cave) just in time for him to bag the last Magidrakee, completing Doran's monster hunting request. Their reward? The grand opening of the Atma Monster Battling Arena!
- Topside, Jaws has managed to lead Archibald and Anduin all the way to the Scorp's Nest, where they fatefully meet up with Rengar in time to all fall into Count Elrick's trap! Rengar's worst fears are confirmed: before him stands one of the most loyal and deadly warriors in the Dragonlord's army: a Demon Knight.
- In the relative safety of Brecconary, Alister lends a hand to the apothecary, while Mazrim, Shaft, Rex, and Dr Mysterio meet the hexologist for the first time. Two new adventurers find themselves warped into the world and meet up with the King: Majkel, the one man army of good; and Deleon, saved from an apocalyptic world only to land in a time where the Dragonlord's shadow looms over all.
- 16) Cave Conclusion?
- Cristo manages to pass his trial and the Soldier's Ring becomes his. The five rings of power possess many curious properties; in addition to their use in battle, the rings also have a limited form of telepathy that allows the ring bearers to remain in contact with each other. Even more remarkable, the rings at times seem to house a mind of their own! (or, at least a projection of the ring bearer's mind. Perhaps it isn't a coincidence that Ixus's ring is the most talkative and introspective of its kin.)
- Infused with a new sense of camaraderie after their discussions in the cave, Racor, Ixus, Garradum, and Quartz exit with Dr. Lolo, Locke and Cristo and meet up with the others shortly afterward as they all head back to Garinham after a successful spelunking trip.
- Finally back in Garinham, the archaeologist confirms that Quartz has won his bet with Lolo. Meeting with Doran, Quartz and co. glean from him that D'Saad's current projects include breeding a variant of "super scorpions" to unleash upon the countryside (coincidentally, four of which are fighting Garradum and Zephyr in the inagural arena battle). He reveals that one of his contacts for acquiring the scorpions was named Mirach. Rikka vents her frustration on poor Jarid for some of his actions in the cave, though Lolo and Ixus among others wonder if she took her joke a little too far. Locke is tricked into visiting the hexologist for a sleepnotization session. Racor is tasked with solving a particularly brutal triple-homicide murder mystery.
- Rengar, Anduin, and Archibald manage a miraculous victory against the demon knight after Jaws lends a helping paw by catching the fiend offguard. Later that night, D'Saad Mulan wanders in on the scene of the battle and discovers the secrets behind reanimating these fearsome shadow warriors and bending them to his dark needs.
- After receiving some extra help form the friendly neighborhood hexologist, the six newer adventurers embark to gather herbs for the apothecary. After receiving some extra 'help' from the friendly neighborhood hexologist, Alister chooses to embark for Garinham instead.
- 17) Shatter (through post #7)
- Dr. Lolo visits the archaeologist and makes an inquiry regarding the legend of Erdrick. The man cannot fulfill his request though, he explains, because he lent his scrolls to none other than princess Gwaelin some months ago. At the time, Gwaelin was heading east before she disappeared without a trace. The archaeologist suggests that Howard of Rimuldar may be able to help with such information, despite Lolo's personal rivalry with the man.
- Racor solves his investigation, but upon realizing who the murderer is he rushes off to save his friends, who he suspects to be in great danger!
Chapter the Third Edit
Deep Inside The Hexologist's Lab
"And then I woke u--" Locke's eyes open suddenly. He looks around the room, from Quartz to Cristo, realizing that he remembers the events of that night fully now--as well as last night's events. The Hexologist, unfortunately, is standing in the wrong place at the wrong time: between him and the door.
Locke attacks Hexologist! Lost 25 HP. Poisoned!
As Quartz tends to the Hexologist, Cristo gives chase, but is surprised when Locke suddenly turns!
Locke attacks Cristo! Lost 18 HP.
"Vomioth!" Quartz casts Slow! Locke: Fizzles!
Locke reaches the door, but as he opens it, Racor is there! The Justice's eyes widen in surprise, but he quickly regains composure: "Locke, you are hereby under arrest fo--"
Locke unleashes a primal roar! Excellent move! Racor lost 35 HP.
Quartz catches up with the others. "Under arrest, Racor? For theft?"
Racor looked up from the ground. "No--murder!"
Cristo and Quartz look at each other. "...He really did it? Locke...."
Meanwhile, Locke hastily returns to the room at the Inn that he occupied last night.He takes Wayfinder from under his pillow, and follows its directions...to disappear.
Topics Covered Edit
- 17) Shatter (post #7 onwards)
- Cristo and Quartz begin to interrogate their friend Locke through means of Sleepnotization. Locke's abrupt change in demeanor and sly, smirking answers unsettle them, but they press forward. Eventually, Locke reveals that he hired the Horn-y boys to steal a legendary Sword from Doran, and it was he who attacked Cristo that night inside of Quartz's room, to keep him from possibly breaking Locke's only link to D'Saad. Locke wakes up, breaks through the ranks of his former allies, and recovers the Sword, Wayfinder, before he disappears into the countryside.
Locke's betrayal aside, there is another force of evil that may be gaining power. Develshion, cast out of Charlock and branded a traitor by the Dragonlord, vows revenge and sets out to conquer the world himself.
The remaining descendants in Garinham are shocked by the recent goings-on, but regroup to form a three-pronged offense. Quartz, Rengar, Garradum, and Atma set out with the hunter to the Scorp's Nest in hopes of exterminating the threat of the "super scorpions" and learning more on D'Saad's whereabouts. Racor departs for Kol with a hand-picked team of Rikka, Ixus, and Amelia to search for Locke. Dr. Lolo, Cristo, and Zephyr, as well as Isidor and Jarid also set out for Kol, but they plan on braving the road to Rimuldar.
Lolo has a talk with Cristo, revealing to him a long-forgotten chapter in Alefgard's history: the day Kol was raided by an army of dragons. He then gives Cristo a familiar pendant passed on from Cristo's parents. Cristo also pays off Zephyr to keep silent about a small windfall he inherited after selling the death necklace from the Rocky Mountain Cave. Isidor unwittingly fulfills a part of the prophecy of the Enlightened Warrior.
- 18) Drift
- Develshion finds that his commanding presense allows him to recruit monsters away from the Dragonlord's cause. What he did not expect, however, is that slimes have an uncanny knack for recruiting as well: innocent ten year old girls, that is. And so it came to pass that Develshion finds himself wandering around Alefgard protecting Artemis, an herbalist's daughter with an unusual talent for healing. Among her only possessions: the mystic Priest's Ring that she acquired after Reid's checkered past finally catches up to him.
Mazrim, Shaft, Rex, Dr Mysterio, Majkel, and Deleon visit the templar in Tantegel Castle to declare their paths in life, only to find Rusted standing before them instead! Though he manages to fool a few of the would-be heroes at first, they eventually see through his ruse. After an ominous meeting with Develshion, Shaft and Rex make their way to Garinham (meeting up with Deleon on the way), while the others team with Develshion and Artemis to investigate reports of the reappearance of the Green Slime. Artemis visits her mother Leia before the journey and is gifted with a strange, glowing pendant.
The Kol-bound crews finally make it to the city. Racor remembers something Quartz told him during Sleepnotization and searches four steps south of the baths, where he finds an ancient double-sided coin; heads on each face. Zephyr again meets with an old friend, Hank, and tells him the truth of why he's still traveling the countryside: Meena, the girl who saved his life in Hauksness, was killed by a dragon, and he's determined to find her long-lost sister Mara as a final debt of gratitude. Amelia remembers back to the time when she first met Racor. Even if she doesn't know it yet herself, she has taken quite a fancy to him. Meanwhile, not far outside the gates of the city, Locke's Wayfinder has finally guided him to his target: the possessed BBB rep??
The Anti-Arachnid Alliance stumbles into a trap right inside the Scorp's Nest, and find themselves faced with the battle of a lifetime— however short that might be.
- 19) Quo Vadis
- Deep in the Scorp's Nest, Quartz's team manages to hang on for their lives against the ferocious scorpions, thanks in large part to the hunter's cunning strategy to drive the scorpions into a frenzy and turn them against their captors. Just as they are about to flee, Mirach seals the only escape and traps them inside. Having reached a literal dead-end in their quest, the nest begins to resemble a tomb far more than any would like to admit. Seemingly out of nowhere, though, a voice calls out and they are magically transported out of the dark death pit. Sunlight greets them once again and enables them to gaze upon their rescuer...a woman, masquerading as a warlock, with long, dark hair and an air of mystery (or is it danger?) about her. All are shocked; none moreso than Quartz, who seems to have met the girl before. Ignoring his friends' pleas, Quartz finds himself compelled to follow her—alone. Rengar, Atma, Garradum, and the hunter have to pick themselves off of the ground at Tantegel Castle after Quartz's wyvern wing gets in their way of following him.
With no way to track Quartz, the three go ghost hunting for the apothecary instead. Garradum meets an old acquaintance at the inn beforehand.
Racor and his companions follow a bogus lead on Locke, only to stumble into a frantic battle with a trio of warlocks and their summoned minions. While asleep, Amelia dreams of the day she left the castle to search for Racor. Shaft and Rex visit the hexologist to fatten their wallets, as well as research Laconic, an ancient language known more casually as Erdrickian. Instead of seeking human help in this magic-infested world, Deleon allies himself with a Ghost. Zephyr asks Isidor if he can become the newest warrior in the JLXA. Unfortunately, the trip turns a lot less fun mere moments later when Dr. Lolo is overwhelmed and killed.
- 20) In Soviet Rimuldar, Encounters Grind YOU
- Fresh off his revivification in Tantegel Castle, Dr. Lolo receives a letter from Quartz containing a lead in Garinham, and containing Quartz's magical ring. Lolo decides to check up on Brecconary before he departs— lucky that he does, as the zoologist's lab has just been ransacked. Fearful that the descendants headed to the Slime Pool may be venturing into the teeth of a deadly trap, The doctor races off to save the day.
Dr. Lolo makes it to the entrance of the pool quick enough to burn through the trap, but meanwhile the Green Slime has reformed and is out for blood against the newest set of trespassers. While it manages to kill Mazrim, the others are able to fend off the barrage and defeat the Green Slime. This time it does not expel a cloud of Eau de Slime; instead the others are forced to flee for their lives as the Green Slime releases a tremendous explosion that sends slimes skyrocketing to all four corners of the land. Dr Mysterio treats his friends to a hearty feast whereby the warriors decide their next course of action: Mysterio will accompany Majkel to Garinham (Lolo follows them shortly after); Develshion and Artemis visit the templar to declare their paths of Ranger and Priestess, respectively; and Mazrim invites the latest signee, Kuros, on a quest for the botanist. Kuros is thankful for the help, as he was only roped into this job as a means of settling numerous gambling debts racked up against Doran.
Shortly into their travels, Mazrim and Kuros run into a wild warrior by the name of Mipe that abruptly joins in their fight. Whether this sandy skirmisher is an ally or adversary is anyone's bet— perhaps the first bet Kuros has passed up in his whole life. Develshion and Artemis present themselves before the templar, but are instead greeted by the shadow priest, Rusted. He tricks them into attacking each other to prove their "evilness". Racor finds a tattered note on one of the corpses of the warlocks, signed simply by "D". Ixus asks Rikka to try on his Fighter's Ring. Isidor remembers back on his encounter with his father Eternus which sent him South to Rimuldar in the first place.
Locke's Sword guides him to his destination: an extremely burly man with golden hair and a quartet of metal scorpions meant as a test. Though Locke is defeated he gets his meeting with D'Saad all the same. Unfortunately, since the blond man, Axis, has stolen the Wayfinder Locke is in no position to dictate the terms. D'Saad ensures his cooperation by forcing a demon knight into his body. Locke is to round up 'recruits' for D'Saad Mulan's army, and even if he were to disobey the demon knight lying dormant within him would finish the job, and finish off Locke in the process.
- 21) Axis & Allies
- In the templar's chamber, Develshion clubs Lot after he begs for the fight to end. Disgusted with Rusted's trick and Develshion's brutal display, Artemis splits from him and vows to herself to always do good. She confronts a voice she had been hearing in her pendant and the strange ring, which played equal parts in helping her out and tempting her to the darkness. The voice belonged to a young boy named Alastor, but with her mother's help Artemis can now trust the voice to aid her in her travels.
Those traveling to Rimuldar make it through a first obstacle, the Agellus Caedis, only to get shut out from the city when the guards suspect them of being descendants of Erdrick. The merchant at least has a friend to vouch for him, but the others are forced to concoct crazy plans to try and gain entrance. Unfortunately, one such plan backfires spectacularly and dumps them into the moat-turned-cesspool, along with one of the guards stupid enough to fall for the trick.
Lolo meets up with Garradum, Rengar, and Atma and learns of Quartz's disappearance. At the same time, the tool shop owner passes along a note with directions leading into the wilderness. Following the hunch, they come upon the note's author, an extravagant man known as King Miyu. He is searching for his son, the prince; the others agree to assist in tracking him down.
Mazrim and Kuros survive their trip with the botanist with the added help of their new ally Mipe. Mipe is escorted to meet King Lorick as the two others continue their partnership and visit the hexologist. Busy from the uptick in adventurers offering able bodies for curse-testing, the hexologist agrees to lend Shaft a tome on Laconic to help his translating. Maybe now Shaft can make some progress without the watchful eyes of the hexologist seeing what he was trying to decipher. In Kol, Racor's team aids a hunter in his efforts to 'control' the local moth population. The four have their hands full fending off the fluttering annoyances, especially when Ixus succumbs to a trace of confusion powder.
Meanwhile, Develshion journeys with the hunter to test his strength against a scorpion, while Locke follows the instructions left by a...familiar voice and sets out on a new task.
- 22) Welcome to Rimuldar - Now Go Home
- After rescuing the guard (and themselves) from the fetid moat and vicious monsters, Zephyr and the others question the man about the state of Rimuldar. They learn that Rimuldar had been vulnerable and ripe for picking when Axis and his henchman took over the town. The citizens don't exactly like the situation, but no one is complaining about the anti-descendant treatment, to be sure. To make matters worse, Axis, Mirach, and D'Saad's other goons can come and go about the city at will, but the only other person that might have any idea on how to sneak in is Quartz. After winging it back to Tantegel and healing up in Brecconary, they set out to deliver a report to King Lorik. En route to the castle, they happen upon a warlock who had been setting a trap of some sort. Though they are unable to prevent what happens next, Junior bravely saves their lives before a time bomb sets off an explosion of Eau de Slime, collapsing the tunnel and summoning a sea of slimes to destroy any evidence of evildoing. Undaunted, they all set out for Garinham with Tomas the guard, who is searching for his brother the BBB rep.
The others are no less busy in the meanwhile. King Miyu is slaughtered and his companions find themselves in a bind far away from civilization. Develshion runs up against a warlock who tricks him with promises of revealing the Dragonlord's secrets, then runs away to save his own skin. He joins Mazrim and Kuros to assist the apothecary shortly afterward. Artemis is killed by an unusually agressive pack of Druins, though her resolve to continue adventuring is undamaged. Racor's team presses on with the hunter and discovers a couple of warlocks harvesting the killer moths.
In Garinham, Shaft and Rex are hired by the archaeologist to find more artifacts in the Rocky Mountain Cave. Isidor, Jarid, and Archibald hunt the "floating magic slime" for the zoologist; Isidor also hopes to capture a few to send to Doran so he will assist with a monster army for Isidor to storm the gates of Rimuldar!
Anduin tricks Zephyr into meeting her at the inn and then some...stuff happens.
- 23) Les Slimasions Dangereuses
- Racor's group manages to subdue and interrogate a warlock with ties to D'Saad. They learn that his cultists are being sent across the entire countryside to gather monsters, and of the location of Mirach's old lab in the sands to the north of Rimuldar. As for D'Saad himself, the warlock's brand prevents him from uttering anything more than "The Coast of Death" before a dark force consumes him. When Racor tries to contact Quartz and the other ring bearers, his Ranger's Ring resonates with visions of multiple destinies; outcomes not yet fulfilled, or perhaps not yet diverted. When they return to town, Racor knows that it is time again to set off in search of answers...alone.
Meanwhile, Locke finds his way to Mirach's old lab and happens upon the BBB rep again. He also meets with Davidial, who has a plan to help sneak Locke into Rimuldar in order to recover the Wayfinder.
Dr. Lolo's team manages to save Garradum from a poison death, then happens upon Cristo, Anduin, and Zephyr. The two groups exchange information before parting ways, one to Tantegel and the other to the Scorps' Nest. While King Miyu is being treated in Brecconary, Lolo, Garradum, Rengar and Atma decide to head for Kol.
Isidor, Jarid, and Archibald capture the monsters Doran is seeking, and even defeat another Green Slime along the way. Shaft and Rex decide to combine forces with Majkel and Dr Mysterio to fully prepare for a cave exploration. After successfully assisting the apothecary, Kuros decides to declare his class while Develshion and Mazrim stay behind to train against monsters.
Back in the safety of Kol, Torin convinces Ixus to participate in a friendly sparring match. Ixus realizes that his travels have made him stronger and more agile than most men could even hope to be, but at the cost of a fair amount of technical skill and precision. Before his disappearance, Racor teaches Amelia how to use her new chain sickle weapon.
- 24) Missing in Action
- Following a mysterious voice, Anduin, Zephyr, and Cristo are led to the coastline, where a knight has in his clutches the woman last seen with Quartz. While Anduin is quickly slaughtered, Cristo and Zephyr barely escape death when the girl ushers them off the cliff into her secret hideout. There, she welcomes her two new initiates as 'Resonators' by inserting strange crystals into the side of their heads. Cristo and Zephyr then head to the west to a prison where Anduin and another associate of the girl are being kept captive.
Deleon is killed fighting in the wild, but is resurrected in the throne room just in time to watch King Lorik interrogate Develshion and the hunter about their trip earlier. Except, something about the hunter seems...off. Seeing through the veil of illusion, Deleon attacks the hunter, who reveals himself as the same warlock as before. With help from Develshion and Kuros (who had just completed his class change ceremony) they rid themselves of their foes, but not before the warlock taunts "Kyle" to venture to Kol. The three form an uneasy alliance and set forth to Garinham to gain more strength. As they leave, Mipe is revived, but he exacts revenge upon the red slimes that killed him and changes his own class into that of a soldier.
In the Rocky Mountain Cave, Dr Mysterio and Majkel split up from Rex and Shaft, the former two jumping down a hole at the entrance. Both groups face tough battles against the agitated denizens of the cave as they perhaps wished they could have stuck together a bit longer.
Isidor's team eventually make it to a plateau filled with slimes, where Healers begin to summon the slime together to form one giant purple blob of doom. They successfully fend off the various forms of the purple slime and barely escape with their lives intact. As a reward, Doran gives them three scouting rings which will allow them to recruit monsters for Isidor's grand assault on Rimuldar. After a well-deserved rest, they decide to help the botanist, and gather some new "allies" along the way.
Dr. Lolo and his friends make it to Kol, and visit the hexologist to pass the time. Meanwhile in the wilderness, Amelia, Rikka, and Ixus have their hands full without Racor's added skills. Perhaps distracted by his absense, Amelia leaves herself vulnerable to attack and is ripped apart by a pair of metal scorpions. Her death hits Ixus and Rikka pretty hard, as they both promised Racor they would look after the girl.
Locke recovers the Wayfinder and performs another task for Davidial, involving murdering a man named Ector, Rimuldar's resident historian (and a man of Argoldian blood), who was locked in a jail cell. In making his escape, he is helped by another prisoner, but the BBB rep pays for the breakin with his head. Locke makes plans to return to Davidial after successfully completing his task. Unbeknownst to him, Racor had just completed a demanding journey to the same sandy hideout...
- 25) Prisoners of the Mind
- With Amelia's death Rikka and Ixus are quickly overwhelmed and killed. Ixus in particular feels guilty that he did not use his Fighter's Ring to turn the tide of batte. After their resurrection in Tantegel Amelia meets Artemis and the two instantly forge a bond of friendship and mutual support. Amelia is relieved to have a young protégé to instruct and look after as it alleviates her concerns about being a burden for her other friends and teammates. There is another part of Amelia, however, that she is finding it increasingly hard to deny: her love for Racor.
Following the mysterious girl's advice, Zephyr and Cristo continue on towards the jail (operated by the Knights of Cantlin) and are reunited with Anduin just in the nick of time. Along the way they gain a measure of revenge against the dark drakeepas that had laid them to waste just a short while ago.
Develshion introduces himself to Isidor, mainly as a ruse to gauge the man's usefulness in future evil scheming. He then convinces Kuros and Deleon to help him test curses with the hexologist to pay for a sturdier suit of armor. Isidor merely shrugs the encounter off as another convert in his crusade against Rimuldar.
Embarrasingly, Locke is killed on his way back to Davidial. With the unexpected detour back to D'Saad's hideout Racor manages to sneak into the place first. He gets the jump on Locke as he enters the place but Davidial breaks up the scuffle and locks Racor away briefly while he deals with Locke. After his close call Racor wings back to Tantegel to seek out a new course of action.
Alister wakes up from the mother of all hangovers and springs back into action.
Down in the Rocky Mountain Cave, Shaft and Rex find several odd items and riddles that could use their attention. Dr Mysterio and Majkel, however, ultimately regret their decision to split up as they are killed. In a fit of mysteriousness, the doctor casts Bang on the throne room once he is revived, causing a minor miscommunication about his true intentions. Nothing a full-on feast cannot resolve, however! Not far away, Mipe completes an herb-gathering job with the apothecary. He then meets and teams up with Majkel and Mysterio to tackle the Ancient Cave to the north, where the local archaeologist has reportedly gone missing.
- 26) Curse of IRON BOX
- Inside the Ancient Cave, Majkel, Dr Mysterio and Mipe find a note from the archaeologist that the cave has...changed since the first group of descendants conquered it. They press inside, eager to get to the bottom of this mystery. In a different cave, Shaft and Rex heft an Iron Box back to the surface, where they join Archibald (and the corpses of Isidor and Jarid) on a trek back to Garinham. When they finally arrive, the ecstatic archaeologist makes a grand scene opening the box in the center of town, in front of many citizens and no less than 18 descendants. Inside the Iron Box is a strange, glowing crystal, which surges with immense power as several balls of energy burst forth and scatter to the four winds.
Opting not to pursue these arcane powers at this point, those in Garinham split up into several parties. Rengar rallies Garradum, Atma, Rikka, Ixus, Amelia and Artemis together to seek out King Miyu again; Archibald, Shaft and Rex plan another foray into the Rocky Mountain Cave; while Isidor, Jarid, Mazrim, and the guard Tomas make their way to Kol. After the hexologist's quests prove to be more than they can handle, Develshion and Kuros seek employment with the apothecary instead, while Deleon confronts the old man directly about his psionic powers.
After much reflection on the matter, Ixus determines that he should not come to rely upon the awesome power of the Figher's Ring, and instead offers the ring to Rikka. She hesitantly accepts the gift.
Meanwhile in the prison, Zephyr saves a young girl's life as they rush away from the now monster-infested hallways, right into the knight's trap. His victory is short-lived, however: not only is there a hostage situation, but the Genius Loci of the prison is making life miserable for all within the walls. At least Zephyr and Cristo have finally run into the prisoner they were instructed to find and rescue— Reid!
Still working solo around the Kol environs, Racor solves a crime that has occurred on Lolo's property. While recovering the stolen goods, though, an unidentified person burns the shed to the ground, destroying the very clothes of Viron that were found in the Ancient Cave. All that remains is a small pendant-like charm with unknown markings carved around the sides.
King Lorik welcomes Iaust, who has arrived back from his travels and is ready to fight for his homeland questing against the tyrrany of the Dragonlord.
- 27) Well, It Was Up To Thee
- Trapped in an increasingly hostile prison, Reid begins to chant a nonsensical song which first immobilizes Zephyr and Cristo in a wave of pain, but soon opens up a passage to safety through the crumbling walls. The knight, Simon, avoids a rematch against Anduin, for now. After winging back to Tantegel, Reid vanishes, but the crystals have already tasked them with a new mission in Kol.
Meanwhile, when King Miyu and his retainers cross the bridge into the southern lands, the dark energy which had escaped from the prison swarms all around, bringing with it the big, bad guardian of the jail: a Golem. After being inexplicably roused from a kamikaze attack, the bodyguards are forced to fend off the first wave of evil creatures in a sea of darkness before King Miyu personally takes matters into his own hands...or rather the massive blocky hands of the exploded Golem's shell. Thanking his escorts with a handsome reward, King Miyu blasts off into the sky from the helm of his new rocket-powered Golem!
Thankfully, the other descendants find themselves involved in far less hectic endeavours. The two trios of Majkel/Mysterio/Mipe and Archibald/Rex/Shaft continue to plumb the depths of the Ancient Cave and Rocky Mountain Cave, respectively. Iaust first helps Dr. Cornelius pick herbs, then stops by the hexologist's shack. Though wary of the old man's tricks and traps, Deleon is convinced by the hexologist to investigate a mansion near Brecconary teeming with suspicious monster activity.
After a quick stop in Kol to buy new equipment, the JLXA + Mazrim depart for Garinham to again attempt to retrieve a specimen for the botanist. Racor manages to exchange information with them before they leave Kol, and in particular has a private discussion with Jarid. Later, when Cristo's team arrives in Kol Racor teams up with them to assist the botanist recover a sample of fire-red lichen from the entrance to the Swamp Cave.
Locke remembers back on his past conversations with Davidial as he heads towards the man's lab. Once there, Davidial performs a ceremony to exorcise the demon knight from Locke's body. What no one expects is that a third entity is also expelled— Locke's repressed good conscience! A fight for Locke's soul begins...
- 28) Tough nut to crack?
- After the Lockes fend off the shadowy Demon Knight implanted by D'Saad, they turn to face each other. His evil personality holds the upper edge in the duel, and one again subjugates the "good" Locke deep within his body. After much discussion with Davidial he returns to D'Saad, where the necromancer charges him with the latest in a line of fell tasks...
Back at Tantegel, King Miyu's "team" each go their separate ways. Rengar and Garradum visit the Hexologist and meet up with Iaust, who quickly forges a friendship with the grizzled veteran warriors. Amelia confides in Artemis that she feels the need to escape from under the watchful eyes of her de facto bodyguards, and the two set out alone. Rikka and Ixus split up to spread out in search of the girls; Rikka to Garinham, Ixus to Kol. Rikka particularly seems to take this development hard, considering it another failure of her guardianship duties. Unfortunately for them, the girls simply double back to Brecconary, where they engage in a bit of justice to catch the tool shop owner in the act of stealing.
Deleon sneaks into the mansion and finds the captain of the guard, a man named Ferras, speaking with monsters...disguised as normal human guards. After convincing Ferras that something was awry, the two make their escape out of the building back to the safety of town to report back to the hexologist.
Meanwhile, near the mouth of the Swamp Cave, the four adventurers Racor, Cristo, Zephyr, and Anduin gather the lichen desired by the botanist (no thanks to the crystals which painfully remind their owners that they were supposed to be investigating the tower ruins). Their victory is short-lived, however: Locke emerges from the cave mouth with his army of monsters-- and his Wayfinder pointed towards Kol.
On their hurried flight back to defend Kol they run into Ixus and Atma. Racor rushes off to plan the defense of the town, while Ixus uses some wings and scrambles a response team of descendants: Rengar, Garradum, Iaust, Amelia, Artemis, Develshion, Kuros, Majkel, Dr Mysterio, and an unknown figure named Salt who travels with Iaust at Rusted's suggestion.
Near the end of the Scorpion Hunt, Alister betrays the Hunter, burning him with fire and turning to evil.
A thick column of smoke can be seen on the southeast horizon.
- 29) Locke your door
- From far and wide, descendants across the land quickly hear of Kol's plight and rush to lend assistance. In total, 15 descendants form the first line of defense for the secluded forest village: Racor, Cristo, Zephyr, Anduin, Atma, Ixus, Rengar, Garradum, Iaust, Amelia, Artemis, Dr Mysterio, Majkel, Develshion, and Kuros. A handful of guards, the Kol Hunter, and a diminutive, yet oddly battle-hardened figure named Salt are all the other assistance they can gather. After a half day of hurried preparations and nervous waiting, Locke's forces manage a surprise strike at nightfall, catching the defenders off-guard and forcing the descendants to fight for their lives to merely hold on. Garradum and Dr Mysterio are the first to fall.
Not all descendants answer the town's call for help, however. Rikka secretly tracks Amelia to ensure she makes it to the town safely, but then departs on her own grim quest, only to be diverted by several evil mages, and one familiar face. Develshion, on the other hand, abandons Kuros and the others and joins Locke's side, eager to rebuild his reputation as a general of evil.
In the Rocky Mountain Cave, Archibald, Shaft and Rex attempt to flee from a huge soul-eating worm named Cedric, but are overtaken by the monster and forced to fight to defend themselves. They soon realize that Cedric is being controlled by a druin-like creature, but barely escape the cave with this knowledge, let alone their lives. Their only trophy is the Wizard's Ring, which Shaft accepts. Rebuffed, they instead hear about Locke's invasion and make haste to defend Kol.
- 30) Locked Out
- The defenders barely fend off the first wave of Locke's monsters, thanks in part to the timely assistance of Archibald, Shaft, and Rex. Unfortunately, Rengar is the next to meet a warrior's end in battle. Soon after, Develshion emerges from the shadows and reveals his true evil identity to the defenders, claiming his control of the monsters around him as general of Locke's forces. The descendants are too hard-pressed to be able to act upon this betrayal, though, when just as everything seemed under control, Racor's magical ring goes haywire and leaves him vulnerable, lying near the center of town, with none other than Locke standing before his crumpled form, prepared to deliver a final killing blow with Wayfinder.
- 31) Never Give Up, Never Surrender
- Amelia throws caution to the wind upon seeing Racor and rushes to save him in any way possible. Unbeknownst to her, seeing Racor's prone form triggers a vision in Locke (a flashback? a memory?) of a day when he killed his own mentor, Ortega. Locke is so shocked by the image that he cannot follow through with his action, and quickly retreats off the battlefield. His one spoil of war: the dual-headed coin that Racor had dug up in Kol that Davidial is keenly interested in obtaining. As Locke vanishes from Kol, a new figure emerges to continue the onslaught: Axis, Warlord of Rimuldar.
Develshion is sickened by Locke's act of cowardice in running away, but soon has his own problems to worry about: Salt appears before him and challenges him to a one-on-one duel to the death. Salt reveals himself as none other than Lot, the templar's apprentice from Brecconary whom Develshion had attacked and killed to prove his evilness. Salt comes prepared with a strange axe which triggers repressed flashbacks in Develshion's mind for every attack which connects. Develshion cannot overcome Salt's single-minded determination for revenge...or revelation...and dies after a hard-fought battle.
The defenders are left to overcome the might of Axis and his own reinforcements: a pack of wolves, a Rouge Scorpion, and the possessed BBB Rep. This proves an even more troubling task when Axis unveils his true power as a Werewolf, and the Rouge Scorpion captures the attendant from the magical baths, Elysia, and runs off with her. While Were-Axis proves to be a deadly formidable foe, he cannot hope to overcome the combined might of the brothers Rex and Shaft, even though he brutally rips Rex to shreads before Shaft can burn him to the ground. Ominously, the body of Axis melts into a dark, shadowy mass, and sinks into the earth.
Despite the defenders routing the monsters in Kol, however, it still seems as if the day will be marked with tragedy, as the Rouge Scorpion meets up with Mirach and prepares to race away with Elysia. Just in the nick of time, however, four heroes offer themselves as the last line of resistance: Isidor, Jarid, Mazrim, and Rikka. Isidor bravely blocks the scorpion's path just long enough for Rikka to unleash a spinning screw attack which severs the scorpion's life force outright. Mirach still manages to escape, but not before firing a signature head-exploading attack at Rikka.
- 32) A New Day Yesterday
- Kol has been successfully defended. The townspeople meet with the descendants the following day to offer their heartfelt thanks, handsomely reward their rescurers, and ask for further help in the reconstruction and reforestation of the town. The hustle and bustle of city life slowly returns to Kol as the descendants forge new alliances and prepare to depart to seek out new goals once again.
Archibald rounds up test subjects for the Hexologist by offering a rare Boomerang as the prize in a competition between the Rangers: Racor, Zephyr, and Isidor. Racor manages a victory and adds the esoteric weapon to his collection. Afterward, he finds Rikka's agiel and rushes off to save her, fearing the worst. He finds her just in time to see Quartz save her from jumping off a steep seaside cliff. Quartz and Racor discuss much of the recent events in the world, including Rikka's own suicidal behavior as she tries to punish herself for failing to protect Amelia. Racor hopefullly manages to talk enough sense into her to keep her from making another attempt on her life, as the three once again go their own ways.
A septet of adventurers depart for Rimuldar, including Isidor, Jarid, Mazrim, Rikka, Archibald, Cristo, and Ixus. Isidor has long sought revengue upon the town for denying him access, and he finally feels as if the time is come for an invasion of his own doing. The other less Enlightened members of the group agree to tag along to investigate the thick column of smoke which appeared on the horizon the other day, before the siege.
Anduin "convinces" Zephyr to return to the prison run by the Knights of Cantlin, to seek out and destroy Simon and the entire prison for good. Racor notices Zephyr's sudden, yet unnanounced departure and believes him to be kidnapped. He organizes a search team of Amelia, Artemis, and Kuros to follow their tracks.
Rex, Shaft, and Majkel all agree to help with the immediate reconstruction of Kol and depart for the Rocky Mountain Cave to retrieve stone from the quarry. At the mouth of the cave they meet up with three of the warriors slain in the fight for Kol: Rengar, Garradum, and Iaust, who themselves plan to build their strength fighting the monsters within.
Develshion and Deleon team up to assist Ferras in the further investigation of the evil which has taken hold at the manor on the outskirts of Brecconary. Alister, after testing his own mettle at the Tree of Strength, heads to the Rocky Mountain Cave.
After fleeing from Kol, Locke met up with Eternus the Slayer. Agreeing to head to Kol, Locke followed Eternus as the man carved a swath of destruction through the monsters they met en route, until they arrived at the smoky ruins where Rimuldar once stood. Not the least bit deterred, Eternus merely found a passage leading into Neo Rimuldar: an underground city below the ruins with one minor disturbing detail. All the residents look exactly like the possessed BBB Rep?!
- 33) Voluntary Searchings
- Racor's group tracks Zephyr and Anduin to Garinham, where he embarassingly catches her at the inn. Later, Zephyr explains that they are en route to the prison to confront Simon. Racor decides that the prison is worthy of investigation and so the party of six depart to the south.
After storming the manor outside Brecconary, Deleon and Develshion are confronted by Steve, the tool shop guy. He reveals his true vampiric form and manages to kill Develshion before Deleon can subdue the monster. A weird shadow energy envelops Deleon after the battle and grants him the title of caretaker of the Cathedral of Shadows. For his part in the battle, the Hexologist awards Develshion with a Control Torc, a device which will amplify his abilities to recruit monster companions.
Exhausted after navigating the Rocky Mountain Cave and sending stone from the quarry back to Kol, the team of Rengar, Garradum, Iaust, Shaft, Rex, and Majkel agree to regroup in Garinham. Alister also makes his way back to Garinham after falling in battle while pursuing a lead from the town.
At the footsteps of the ruins of Rimuldar, Isidor's siege team meets steep resistance from the Wyverns that patrol the region. Mazrim and Archibald are killed when the beasts spew fire, and if not for some quick action by Rikka (and timely assistance by a BBB Rep) the entire party may have been wiped out.
Meanwhile, in Davidial's hideout Locke is reunited with Thef as he ventures deeper into the abandoned laboratory.
- 34) "Hi Welcome home"
- Making their way into Neo Rimuldar, Isidor's maddest ramblings are vindicated when his father Eternus introduces himself as the mayor of the town. The adventurers gain little in the way of information from the BBB clones that inhabit the city, so to pass the time Isidor and Jarid, along with Cristo, Ixus, and Mazrim decide to visit the Hexologist instead. Rikka hangs around the town thinking about her next move, while Archibald departs to the South to see if he can find any traces of civilization.
- After arriving at the prison and surviving a particularly nasty encounter on the now-haunted grounds, Racor decides to split his group up into two teams to take advantage of the multiple entrances into the prison. Anduin, Zephyr, and Artemis will bravely storm the front gates, while Racor, Amelia, and Kuros will cleverly sneak into the basement. Unfortunately, this plan backfires when all entrances lock behind them, leaving the two teams permanantly split up until they can reunite within the haunted walls.
- Locke is lead by Thef to Davidial's desk, where the thief pockets an item and reveals a secret staircase leading further down before parting ways with the Soldier. Undaunted, Locke continues down into the labyrinth.
- Determined to get to the bottom of the mystery of why people have been referring to him as "Kyle" lately, Develshion departs for Kol and runs into Salt again on the outskirts of the village.
- In Garinham, Alister decides to depart for the Rocky Mountain Cave, while Rengar's group instead continues on towards Kol, to check up on the reconstruction efforts.
- 35) "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"
- King Lorik welcomes four new adventurers to his throne room: the mysterious (yet somehow familar) Zoroaster, the farm girl Meg from Brecconary, another woman named Mesia, and a man called Les Driem with a more...slimey disposition. The first three team up to investigate BBB reports of a 'counterfeit herb' in the Brecconary area. Meanwhile, Archibald's venture in the wilderness comes to an abrupt end. He is revived in Tantegel, but is now separated from Jaws.
- Lolo wakes up from a coma and is shocked to hear that his hometown had just suffered another siege. He embarks on a journey to seek out the answers to some strange visions he had during his sleep.
- Quartz emerges from his disappearing act deep in Davidial's lair, where he teams up with Locke to search for something.
- 36) Coinspirators!
- Salt encourages Develshion to sneak into Kol in disguise to learn more about "Kyle". After inquiring at the church, he finds that both Kyle and his parents are dead. However, the father was a man named Barris who remarried after his wife's death and had a daughter named Artemis. He travels back to Brecconary to try and learn more from Artemis' mother Leia. Les Driem is already in town and unknowingly visits the Hexologist, barely escaping with his life.
- In Neo-Rimuldar, Rikka has a chance encounter with Reid, who asks her to pass along two cryptic messages to Quartz: "Perspective works both ways" and "What may appear to be two clues are in fact one". He also passes along a strange ring, different than her Fighter's Ring from the Rocky Mountain Cave. She meets up with Quartz sooner than expected as his trip into Davidial's lair was ended by a scorpion trap. Hiding Locke's identity behind an iron mask he convinces Rikka as well as Isidor, Jarid, Cristo and Ixus to aid him in making a second attempt at the hideout.
- A team lead by Rengar and featuring Garradum, Iaust, Shaft, Rex, Majkel, and Archibald meet in Kol and decide to lend a hand with reforestation while simultaneously helping the hunter out with the local moth population.
- 37) Awakenings
- After entering Brecconary Develshion is confronted by Leia. She demands he leave town immediately, and when he doesn't heed her warning she quickly subdues him. Develshion awakens in the Hexologist's house with a curse affixed around his neck which allows Leia and Salt to effectively control him. They request that he seek out new descendants in the area and help them gain battle experience, while also keeping an eye out for troubling reports of monster activity from within the Brecconary region. He seeks out Zoroaster and Meg to fulfill these duties.
- In the prison, Anduin's group manages to make their way to the cellar, where Artemis bravely crawls through a crumbled passage to search for clues, finding instead a golden claw. Racor's team find themselves busy fending off the horrors that lie in wait in the prison sub-levels.
- Making their way to Davidial's hideout Quartz observes that a second trap has been sprung that has filled the place with monsters. They cautiously proceed into the labyrinth, unsure what tricks and traps await them within.
- 38) and the Secret of Chambers
- Dr. Lolo partners with Alister to investigate the Rocky Mountain Cave. Though his heart wants him to investigate his coma-induced visions of the desert surrounding Hauksness, he knows he is not yet at full strength. Meg's investigation of the counterfeit herb continues as she narrows down her list of suspects while assisting the Apothecary with Zoroaster and Develshion.
- In Davidial's hideout, the adventurers are thrust into a maze of puzzles, tricks, and traps that they must carefully navigate. If they do not solve a particular riddle, then they must fight their way out of the following room.
- The Hunter from Kol has led Rengar and co. to the heart of the forset that contains the moths' nest. He seeks the heads of the guard moths as battle tropies, but won't get them without the fight of his life.
- Anduin convinces Artemis to let her borrow the golden claw to test its effectiveness in battle. When she equips the weapon Artemis notices an ominous shadow creep over her. They continue on, hoping to find Racor's team before they find the creature that has cast the prison into ruin.
- Three new descendants take an oath before the King to defeat the Dragonlord and recover the Ball of Light: the boorish castle guard Melthor, the impulsive Gaius, and Icarus, another survivor from Hauksness.
- 39) Shades of Meaning
- The descendants who assisted the hunter return to Kol victorious. Rengar, Garraum, Iaust, Shaft, Rex, Archibald, and Majkel present their war trophies as well as saplings to aid in the reforestation effort. Figuring that one good turn deserves another, the septet decide to partner up with the hunter again to push farther into the moths' nest, while collecting more saplings.
- While Meg and Zoroaster are off visiting the templar, Develshion receives orders from Salt to assist the other newcomers as well. Salt also lets him know that they are pleased with his cooperation thus far. When the newly-minted wizard Zoroaster and Soldier Meg return, they team up with Develshion, Melthor, and Icarus to investigate the Slime Pool. Gaius meanwhile attempts to kill Deleon in order to obtain one of the control torcs that would allow him to recruit monsters. Though he is soundly defeated, his second attempt is more fruitful, as he meets up with Dr. Lolo. The two take the quest together.
- Reaching Davidial's study, Quartz immediately recognizes a grim statue of Davidial sitting at the desk, almost as if the man had been turned to stone. The others start searching the room: Isidor tries to deface the statue because he doesn't have one of his own yet; Rikka and Ixus study a few books from the library; Jarid searches for any other secret rooms; and Locke attempts to break into a locked drawer. This act sets off yet another trap, and worse off triggers a recording by Davidial that gives away Locke's identity.
- The two prison teams reunite just in time, as their resourses and resilience were close to wearing out against the unholy opposition in the dungeons. Amelia has a flashback to her life in Osterfair and the time when her sister Gracia had her budding family ruined by an attempted assination. The only thing that spared Amelia from a similar fate was the former Racor's quick work in recovering an antidote. Back in the present, the reunion is short-lived as Anduin quickly rushes off in the direction of screams of anguish which she attributes to Simon. They all rush down into a lower chamber to find the Genius Loci as well as a now-possessed Anduin standing before them. Her intent is quickly confirmed to be murderous after she rips through Artemis.
- 40) Unholy Matrimony
- Dr. Lolo once again takes the Zoologist's quest in Brecconary to search for Junior, who he sent after the others with provisions for the tough battles ahead. Accompanying him is Gaius, who is eager to start building an army of slimes of his own now that he has a control torc. Develshion's group presses on even against new opposition that is the result of Davidial's twisted breeding experiments.
- Back in Davidial's study, Jarid stumbles upon a secret back room that houses strange vials and a map with lines running across the entire countryside, all seemingly connecting back to the ruins Northwest of Kol. The vials contain samples of various colors: black, blue, green, gold, silver, white, copper, and clear. Each sample also has the name of one of the 'descendants' that had taken the King's quest. With just a few exceptions, it seems like Davidial had been spying on everyone. Before they could investigate further, Quartz suddenly blacks out, then comes back around acting oddly. He convinces Locke that to access the contents of Davidial's desk, they would need to draw out his "evil" personalitly. Cristo looks on in fear as Quartz pulls out a Resonator crystal and drives it into Locke's head, but his own crystal holds him in place before he can warn the others. In reality, Quartz has been posessed by Aldon, the leader of the Resonators, and once Locke retrieves a book and a codex left by Davidial, Quartz warps both of them away to D'Saad's lair. Though Locke manages to free himself from the crystal and regain his "good" personality, he manages to fool the others long enough to live and possibly escape...for now.
- Across the countryside and inside the prison, Racor's team manages to defeat the Genius Loci and subdue Anduin before she can kill anyone else. As the evil spirit withers away, all that is left in it's place is Simon. He had been consumed by the spirit and now exists as a broken man. Before they can make their escape, another shadowy figure emerges to block the way. Sensing the room collapsing around them, Racor sacrifices himself to engage this apparition (which bore a striking resemblance to a man dressed as a member of the Tantegel Guard). Zephyr and the others make it back to Tantegel, where they confront the Hexologist about their experiences inside the prison. Amelia is distraught over losing Racor and takes this loss the hardest, but after learning that a strange aftifict she found called the Moon Seal may be the key to containing the evil inside the prison, she has renewed hope to locate the other seals and make a trip back to the prison to save Racor. Anduin has also been tormented by her behavior and she feels a dread sense of a great evil that is now living inside her. When the Hexologist examines her Golden Claws he instead remarks that Anduin is pregnant. That night, she abandons questing with Zephyr in favor of repaying her debt to Amelia and Artemis. The three set out for Garinham to search for other crests.
- Zephyr receives a cryptic warning from Maya through his crystal. He is torn about his next direction of travel but ultimately decides to make his way to Kol with Kuros, reasoning that Anduin may have gone off in that direction herself.
- 41) Slimehood's End
- Locke decides to assist D'Saad's botanist in order to gauge the lay of the land and look for an escape route. The others that were left in Davidial's Lab solve the last riddle and escape from his study. They wing it back to Tantegel with the intention of intercepting Quartz at the ruins nearby Kol. On the way, they meet up with Zephyr and Kuros. Once they reach Kol, the two groups exchange stories about their recent adventures. Ixus informs Zephyr that he believes Davidial had been experimenting on the bloodlines of the 'descendants' and that he believes himself and Zephyr to be related to Argold's line. Zephyr seeks advice from Cristo on how to cope with this heritage: Cristo reminds him that he is also a descendant of Rinku and that he must never give in to despair. The two decide to adventure together for the time being, with Kuros in tow for added firepower.
- Amelia reaches Garinham with her companions and talks with the archaeologist en route to searching the Rocky Mountain Cave for the other seals. Anduin seeks out information about her parents.
- At the Slime Pool, not one but two Green Slimes emerge to push back their agressors. Dr. Lolo and Develshion are separated from the others in an eruption of slime fluid, but both groups do manage to kill the Green Slime. Meg's life is claimed, however, and the Slime Pool continues to spit out odd new breeds of slimes that seem to be fusions of other monsters like the Scorpslimes from Davidial's experiments.
- 42) The Ultimate Answer
- While Dr. Lolo and his allies manage to escape from the Slime Pool, Junior is abducted by the slimes and is taken prisoner in a far away place unfamiliar to the ball of goo. Lolo takes the loss hard but vows to hone his monster taming skills to teach the creatures of the land that humans and monsters can coexist in harmony. Develshion has an encounter with Leia, who compliments him on his progress and urges him to keep traveling with Zoroaster. Icarus speaks with the Templar and reflects upon the day his little sister was abducted by the Man in Black. Melthor and Gaius also seek enlightenment from the Templar.
- Rikka, Isidor, and Jarid set out to investigate the tower ruins on the peninsula west of Kol. On the other side of the continent the Hunter leads his team towards the moth's nest. The battles are taking a harsh toll, however, as Archibald meets his end and Shaft and Rex are about to abandon the team before being surrounded by kingly-looking moths. At D'Saad's hideout Locke encounters Quartz (who has mysteriously reappeared after a lengthy absence) and the two set out together for Rimuldar.
- King Lorik welcomes a new descendant on his quest, a Fighter named Samuel.
- 43) Prime Objectives
- After powering up their monster taming skills, Dr. Lolo and Archibald assist a diplomat from the castle in making a trip to Garinham in order to re-establish ties with the city. Develshion and Zoroaster remain in Brecconary and track down the crooked shopkeeper who had been passing off lumwort as herbs, endangering all who came in contact with the combustible plant. This deed is blamed on men in black robes, leading Icarus to join their cause. Their only lead is to search the cave to the North.
- Amelia and Anduin are rebuffed in their attempt to track down additional seals, due to the cursed golden claws that Anduin found in the prison that attracted monsters with every step. The Hexologist uncurses the claws, and later gifts them to an ominous intruder. Amelia later runs into Develshion and warns his traveling companions of the man's traitorous nature during the siege of Kol.
- Samuel hones his fighting skills while helping the Apothecary pick herbs. Seeking more of a challenge, he then 'helps' Mazrim (standing in for the Hexologist) test out his curses.
- Despite claiming the life of Iaust and the Hunter, the moths are defeated, leaving the badly beaten bodies of Rengar, Garradum, Majkel, Rex and Shaft to make their way back to town. After the improbable victory, Shaft receives a mysterious letter at the Inn and decides to seek out this 'DM' fellow who promises to share knowledge of the ancient languages. Another letter is found, this one addressed to Dr. Lolo. Rengar, Garradum, Iaust and Majkel agree to deliver it to the good doctor. Elsewhere in the Kol region, Cristo, Zephyr, Ixus and Kuros manage absolutely nothing of consequence in their failed mission to assist the Botanist in obtaining a specimen of black mold.
- Quartz and Locke make a stop at Neo Rimuldar before continuing on toward their goal.
- 44) The Tower of Doom
- Develshion leads Icarus, Melthor, and Zoroaster into the Ancient Cave in search of the Men in Black. While each of them may have their doubts about Develshion after Amelia's warning, they are in no position to refuse a powerful ally on their quest.
- Samuel continues his training by assisting the Botanist retrieve a rare desert bloom. Finally, he becomes strong enough for Donardus to proclaim him worthy of succeeding him as a Fighter. He decides to travel to Garinham to properly equip himself.
- In Garinham at the moment are Rengar, Iaust, Garradum and Majkel, biding their time with the Hexologist while they wait for Dr. Lolo and Archibald to arrive with the diplomat from Tantegel. Unfortunately, the diplomat's caravan can not survive the trip and breaks down mere paces from the town, causing the diplomat to abandon his mission.
- In the Kol region, Rikka, Isidor, and Jarid continue to explore the Northwest tower, regrouping back in town to ensure that they are not caught off guard at less than full strength. The Apothecary receives assistance from Cristo, Zephyr, Ixus and Kuros in picking out herbs.
- Shaft and Rex board a boat to take them to 'DM' but have to survive the danger on the high seas along the way.
- Locke and Quartz find themselves hard-pressed to continue on and must regroup at D'Saad's hideout. Instead, D'Saad decides to pit Locke against an Axe Knight to test his mettle.