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Scarred Lands: The Old Sage

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.
August 16, 2009
Scarred Lands: The Old Sage
Denday of Madrer, 150 AV

After recouping from their travels over the perilous Gascar Peaks, the group had finally made itís way to the Fouled Forest, in order that the Old Sage might actually be able to give them answers to questions that had been plaguing them since they first met in Mithril, months ago.

As dawn broke, and so did their camp, they moved into the forest. Their senses on alert for anything that might be a threat, they noticed an abundance of normal wildlife in this place. It seemed that the ravages of the Divine War and the taint of the titans hadnít fallen heavily in this place. As they moved through the ancient wood, they took some small comfort in the fact that there were still places that held the natural beauty of the world.

After wandering around in the forest for a few hours, searching for anything that might be where a sage would dwell in a place like this Halder, Phoenix, and Mao all spotted the glimmering golden dome of a tower off in the distance.

After making the trek through the forest, they reached a large clearing in which a large ramshackle tower stood. They made their way across the clearing breathing a sigh of relief that they had finally reached their goal.

That relief was short lived as they stepped across the clearing and around them four hovering glowing spheres blinked into existence. Gripping their weapons and readying themselves for a fight, the group watched the large orbs as they hovered about the clearing.

With a flash of rippling chaotic energy, the first orb struck. A high pitched squeal rang out around the clearing which heralded the orbs intentions. Gripping their ears against the attack the party leapt to the offensive.

The battle was difficult. The orbs had strange powers which they used to deadly effect. Attacks using sound assailed their ears, and one orb struck Karel blind. Attacking one orb, Halder vanished during the battle.

Blind, and wandering through the battle Karel made his way to the tower and attempted to open the door and get the sage to call off his guardians. The door failed to open and Karel made his blind and blundering way around the tower, seeking an additional form of ingress.

Phoenix, in a moment of common brilliance, leapt around the floating orbs, and banged on the door to the tower.

As the orbs ceased their onslaught, a loud, aged, and disgruntled voice sounded from the tower and prattled on about young people, their lack of manners, and the interruptions that youth seems incapable of keeping themselves from being.

The door opened and they saw a short man, roughly the size of a dwarf, dressed in a crimson robe, with purple curly toed slippers, and a long purple and gold nightcap with a pom pom on the end. He glared as them through one eye that was framed by a golden monocle.

As they cautiously made their way through the still floating orbs, and explained what they were there for, the old man grumbled a great deal more. He waved a hand and the orbs vanished.

Safaria asked him about their vanished companion Halder, and the man said that he wasnít gone, just a few miles north. She asked if there was any way to return him and with another grumbled curse, the sage made a complicated gesture and the half-orc was returned to them, plucked from his perch in a tree nearly five miles north of the tower.

Giving in to some bastardized form of eloquence, the man identified himself as Yugman and proceeded to lead them through his tower to his study, where they could discuss things and he could be comfortable.

Karel, still blind, asked if there was anything that could be done about his eyes. Yugman squinted at him and with the sardonic laugh that only a cantankerous old man could have, informed the (still much older) Karel that he wasnít blind, he simply needed his glasses. Producing a pair of battered spectacles from his robe, he handed them to Karel and instructed the 23 year old wizard to don them.

After vehemently opposing the idea, since he didnít need glasses, Karel eventually slipped them on, and was surprised that he could see. As Yugman turned away from Karel he stopped and sniffed, and then proceeded to follow the scent that he smelled all around the room and back to Karel.

The sage asked why he smelled like time, and they told him about the attack of the time sand creature that had aged Karel. Then the young wizard asked if there was a way to remedy that as well. Yugman wrinkled his nose and said that there was. He led Karel to a particular spot and then told him to stand on one foot while hopping in a circle counter clockwise, all while flapping his arms like a chicken and quacking like a duck.

Karel, his very nature as a stoic necromancer being opposed to such tomfoolery, proceeded to rip off the glasses that he disdained anyway, and reverted to the childlike tactic of sitting in silence (and darkness due to the blindness) and refused to have anything to do with the sage, who he felt was incompetent and disrespectful.

Yugman let him sit, and led the group up a spiral staircase through the tower. They passed through a room filled with clocks all counting down. Another floor they passed through an entire room filled with bottles of all shapes and sizes filled with glimmering motes of light, all of which hummed with a different tone.

The third floor they entered was a large study and workroom, in complete disarray. Incalculable numbers of scrolls and pieces of parchment littered the floor, as did piles and piles of books. Small boxes, gewgaws, knickknacks, and other bits of small magical paraphernalia were strewn about with apparent disregard for their value.

Yugman settled himself if a chair and then asked them to show him the book, after gesturing and blinking Karel into being on this floor. The old sage took the book and began paging through it, while listening to the various tales that the group had to tell him.

When they were finished, he answered all their questions by telling them that the book they had in their possession was the Libram of Silver Magic, one of the last remaining artifacts of the slain demigoddess of magic and wizardry, Miridum. That being the case it was also one of the last remnants of her divine presence on Scarn.

He flipped a few pages, and showed them a number of pages that held a complex magical formula and dozens of diagrams and incantations. He tells them that this is a true ritual that could bring about the return of the demi-goddess of magic and reshape Scarn as a result. It details the need for 4 artifacts of magic and 8 wizards to cast the ritual. The first of those was the book itself, and the second they surmised they would find in the city of Fangsfall.

When they asked Yugman if there was someone else who might be able to complete this quest, he told them that they were chosen by the remnants of Miridumís power for a reason. He continued on saying that they were on holy quest charged by a demi-goddess who exerted her will from beyond the void to attempt her return. He also warned them that there would be only one chance to return her as well.

After hearing this, and taking it all in, the group decided that they needed to get to Fangsfall with all haste. But without horses and due to the fact that Fangsfall was over 1000 miles away, they had no way to get there in time. Yugman chuckled and gestured to a door in the floor of this room in his tower. He told them that if they went down that passage, they would be able to make it to Fangsfall in due time.

As they were preparing to leave, Safaria, Halder, and Rutgar all spoke to Karel about acquiescing to Yugmanís request that he might be restored to his proper age. Becoming a paragon of teenage defiance he refused at first, saying that he would rather die than be made a fool of.

Yugman overheard this and rebuked the young wizard for his arrogance. Thinking that because he could wield magic at such a young age gave him the right to demand respect was foolish and that sometimes one had to rely of unorthodox methods to rectify unorthodox problems. He also impressed upon the young wizard the importance of living comrades, in that they would all need each other to complete the quest set before them.
With a sigh, Karel finally relented and performed the actions that Yugman directed him to. After a few minutes of feeling like a complete fool, Karel stopped and looked down to see himself completely restored, including his eyesight.

As they rejoiced at Karelís restoration and made their way down the passageway into a dark cavern that lead away from the tower, they noticed that the air began to get warmer.

Walking a bit futher into the cave, they lit a light, and peered into the darkness. Only to be met by a large and crimson reptilian face. One that belched flame in the midst of them, roasting the group.

Karel and Rutgar fell first. As the dragon moved in to attack, Safaria called out to Corean and struck a mighty blow, and took a few good hits from the claws of the beast. Halder healed her by Madrielís grace and she struck a few more good hits, while the beast laid low Pheonix and Mao. Eventually Safaria succumbed to her wounds, and Halder shrank back into the passageway to escape the fangs of the beast.

As he did so, the crimson scales and flashing eyes of the huge beast melted away. His comrades were restored before his eyes, and Yugman stepped out from behind a stalagmite.

A sorrowful look on his face, he told them that they would need to begin caring for each other a great deal more if they had any chance of surviving the coming trials that they would face. Before he finished speaking his form had faded away.

Coming to grips with their illusory deaths, they marched onward and eventually found themselves amongst some hills near a swamp. Looking back, the passage they had traveled through had vanished, and they determined they had been taken to within a 5 days travel of the city of Fangsfall.

They made camp as dusk settled in over the Fangsfall Penninsula.

The next installment of our adventures in the Scarred Lands. Comments welcome!

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Updated 09-13-2009 at 11:11 PM by RMajere

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