|MIN LEVEL||START LOCATION||START REQUIREMENTS|
|60||Plague Mists Cave (7,10)||[none]|
You hear the sounds of battle echoing through the halls of the damp cave.
When you arrive at the battle you are surprised to find a Creature with appearance of a fish, but standing like a man. He is pulling out a long harpoon from a destroyed Cave Scuttler at his feet. As he does so you hear a loud snap. You wince at the noise, knowing its head has sheared from the haft.
The odd Creature swings round and faces you with the broken Harpoon. He now holds it like a quarterstaff. You can tell from his stance that he is an experienced Warrior. You step back out of weapon range. Then ask him if he saw a Female Mage walk through here recently. The Creature halts for moment, 'You wish me no harm? Our kind have only known pain from the land dwellers. How odd.' He relaxes, then suddenly chokes and gives a shuddering breath. He slams the end of the staff onto the cold cave floor and leans heavily on it.
You stand where you are and ask him if he is all right. Not getting any nearer to him as it might be a trick. With another rasping breath the Creature nods, slowly. 'We Sathkrin can stand the waterless realms for a time. But eventually we need to return to the embrace of the sea. Though I fear that I have traveled too far. I risked coming here thinking that there might be a pool. But I was wrong.' He looks at you, 'How far am I from the surface?' You chuckle, then tell him that just around the corner is the Village of Misthaven.
Again he nods, 'It seems I have paid for my recklessness with my life. I do not have long to live. These Crabs put up a good fight as well. Surprising really.' He then gasps for breath. Without thinking, you ask if there is anything you can do to help. The Creature, sags visibly. 'We can gain moisture and strength from the Creatures of the Waters. I wold not have guessed that you would readily aid me. I am grateful.' He collapses to his knees, you can't really tell much from his face, but assume that he is going in and out of consciousness.
He hands his bag to you, then slumps forward. Rushing over to him, you see his ribcage rising and falling in shallow breaths. You don't have long. Opening the backpack you find the usual traveling items, then you find a string with a series of stone tables all linked together. On one side of the small tables are sea creatures, on the other ingredients listed. You find one with a large crab and take it. You guess this is what the Sathkrin needs.
You receive 1 x Recipe of Crab Draft
The Sathkrin Hunter is slumped on the cold cave floor fighting for breath, he looks incredibly thirsty. If only you had a Draft to give him.
You tilt the Hunters head up and pour the strange drink slowly into his gasping mouth. For a few moments nothing appears to happen. Then his hands grab the rough clay bowel and he gulps the rest down like a drowning man.
He finishes the drink and gets back onto his knees. The Hunter's breathing steadies, he smiles up at you. 'Thank you Warrior, you have saved my life. Let it be said that the Sathkrin pay back their debts.' He digs into his bag then hands you an odd scroll-like object. Taking it you realize it is a scroll made out of seaweed and then waxed to protect it against the elements. 'You will find the harvest of the sea a potent weapon to those who can use it. Whilst you construct it I shall rest a while and regain my strength. But I can tell you that I have checked most of the obvious chambers in this labyrinth of caves and I found nothing unusual. There is just one area left. I shall meet you in the Plague Mists Cathedral when you are finished constructing the Harpoon.
You receive 1 x Scuttler Harpoon Recipe
The Cathedral is a majestic place. Ancient stalactites hand in graceful teeth from the ceiling. You walk in wonder at the beauty all around you. It is then that you hear the soft chanting echoing through the dark.
On an altar carved from the very floor you see in horror a familiar orb resting between two black candles. Thalmar stands holding a strange tooth in both hands. You draw your weapon and advance before she can finish...
From nowhere invisible hands grab you. You feel burning fingers dig into your very bones. You stop moving instantly due to the unexpected agony. Thalmar continues...
The Sathkrin Hunter holds the broken Harpoon in both hands and runs at the Mage screaming. With a flash of pain, your arms move against your will. You strike the Hunter lightly and he goes down, thrown off balance.
You stare down at your friend, utterly confused by your actions. Within the blanket of silence Thalmar mummers, 'The curse works I see. Excellent.' You whisper, 'I'm cursed?' Thalmar nods, 'The construction of this artifact curses all those who touch it to serve the Orb. I doubted it was true, but it looks like my paranoia payed off this time.' She wiggles her fingers, You see she is still wearing her long silk gloves. And with that she drives the tooth into the Crystal Orb. It shatters and water pours out in a massive rush as if the springs of the deep had been opened.
Thalmar laughs, 'Well well. The old woman was right after all. How odd. I never expected anything to actually happen. Do enjoy your new playmates Warrior.' She is about to turn away when she stops. Walking over to you she cuts herself with a small knife and with a few words smears her blood across your face. 'Just in case you live, one never can tell.' She then crushes a small blue pearl in her hand, with a smile and a laugh she lets powder fall from her fingers. In a flash Thalmar vanishes from sight.
The Hunter staggers to his feet, 'Well the curse explains why you stopped me, but with the Orb shattered I guess you're free of it now. It's just the Horrors she has released into world we have to deal with. Quickly defend yourself Warrior!'
You feel a large bulk rise beside you, then the many arms of the Deepwater Sentinel reach for you. You must destroy 1 Deepwater Sentinel to live.
The Sathkrin Hunter stands near the Altar, his broken Harpoon in his hands. 'Have you killed that Sentinel (Elite)?'
You see the Hunter take a long deep breath of relief, 'There are many tales of our people that speak of the Sentinels. They are a potent foe, you have done well to best it Warrior. But I still have a bad feeling about that Magic User. Do you think she would go to all this trouble and only summon a Guardian of the deep?'
You shift uncertainty, that thing was not that easy to fight. You ask what he is worried about. The Hunter stares unfocused up at the roof of stone above you. 'Can you remember the colour of that pearl she crushed?' You consider this for a while, then tell him it was blue. He nods again slowly, 'As I feared. There are few places in the deep that has such pearls. One of them is not too far from here.'
'It is the what the Surface Dwellers call the Plague Mists Isles. Though I do not know how we would get to them. The waters around those Isles have vicious currents that even our most skilled Scouts fear to swim.'
You then tell the Hunter that Misthaven is a village full of Fishermen. He looks at you blankly. Smiling - you tell him that Fishermen have boats, we have no need to swim anywhere!You should return to Misthaven and take a boat to the Plague Mists Isles to check that Thalmar is not up to mischief.
You see a pale Temple against the black broken rock. You approach it and marvel at the detailed workmanship carved into the shattered pillars. Your heart chills when you see Thalmar sitting within the destroyed Temple, contentedly eating trailbread.
You draw you weapon and charge, she hears you coming and turns to look at you. Thalmar smiles politely at you as you rush towards her, 'You can have some as well you know. You just need to ask.' She offers you a round of Trailbread, the killing blow arcs toward the Mage.
You stand before her frozen like a statue. In her other hand she lifts a wine skin, 'I have drink as well, all the comforts of home in fact.' Your weapon drops to the floor, your hand explodes in a fireball of pain. Clutching your fist you are reduced to your knees before her.
She pats you on the head like a kitten, 'It's so nice to be bowed to. Such manners are so hard to find these days.' Then you notice the cold ache on your face and remember the blood she smeared there. You gasp for air against the enveloping waves of agony. She sets out a napkin before you and places the Trailbread on it. Next to this she places a wooden cup filled with deep red wine. 'It's so nice to have company for my little picnic. We have a perfect view of Misthaven of course. From here we can witness its complete destruction in absolute comfort. Which is the most important thing I'm sure you'd agree.'
The shock of her words snaps you from your pain. Looking behind you the Hunter is hanging back. Fear and confusion written across his features. You wave him away, there is no reason for him to be trapped by Thalmar as well. He nods curtly and slowly backs off.
Thalmar looks past you and sihns reluctantly, 'Awww, I've never killed a fishman before.' She cups your chin in both hands and lifts it. Your eyes meet, 'But there is always time for that later isn't there. One mustn't be greedy.' You see nothing in her eyes but gentleness and charm. It could be any young woman talking about cream cakes. A chill boils up within you. Thalmar is beyond a cold hearted killer. Before you is something much worse. She thinks her actions are completely reasonable. She has every right to murder whomever takes her fancy.
Her hand drops and she gives you the cup. You drink out of simple unthinking reflex. The wine is full bodied and fruity. Such a truly excellent year, that even your uncultured palate can appreciate it. She laughs, a soft musical sound that draws your eyes to her. 'Enjoying the fruit of one's labour is so important. Most do not take the time to savor their achievements.' In the distance you see Misthaven resting on the coast. Thalmar follows your gaze, 'Oh, don't worry, that will go soon. Unless someone can kill the beast.' She turns to you, 'Maybe you could try, you never know, you might even succeed. But it is a terrible beast, the Deepwater Kraken. The Sentinel is just its little friends you see. They make way for the Kraken to rise. Once it is summoned by the Orb it crawls up from Deepwater using the roots of this Island. It would be lovely to watch you battle the monster in single combat. Though it is said that it can only be killed using the Shin Yarin Longsword. But I don't know for certain. But I did find this delightful Recipe during my research.'
'Now do be a dear, and go entertain me with trying to kill the Deepwater Kraken (Titan). Remember - every living being in Misthaven is depending you. Off you go now.'You receive 1 x Shin Yarin Longsword Recipe
Thalmar sits gazing at you, she seems rather annoyed. 'You have not died trying pointlessly to kill the Deepwater Kraken (Titan). Which is simply not good enough!'
Thalmar laughs joyously, 'Oh this is just too precious. Yes, I saw you battle valiantly alone against the towering Titan. You looked to sweet with your little sword and righteous fury, I really am pleased. It's been a wonderful time, you have made this little trip so very enjoyable.' Thalmar begins to pack her picnic things into a worn leather bag.
She even turns her back to you whilst she does it. You have your weapon drawn in your hand. You try to raise it, but you arm fails to move against her. She swings the bag over her shoulder and looks at you like someone eyes up a prize racehorse. 'Well I must be going. Now, I know you'll miss me but it really can't be helped.' She turns to go then stops, 'Oh, and please do get killed. I can then bind your immortal soul into an object and together we can have even more fun. Unfortunately the living have that irritating free will.' Thalmar makes a tutting sound as she brushes hair out of her face, 'That is something which is always getting in the way. Thankfully the living are so fragile, so it is not an insurmountable issue.'
With a wave of her silken hand she walks toward the coast, 'Since you amused me so much I shall return the favor and not murder your fishy friend. Bye bye now. Maybe we shall meet again, obviously at my convenience.'
You watch her walk calmly to the shore, then vanish in a flash of magic. You stand there raging at the empty Isle. The Sathkrin Hunter slowly rises from the cold waters not far from you. He walks over to you, 'I'm pleased that you stopped the Kraken, I am also shamed that I could not do anything to help. She is such a powerful Magic User, I am not sure what I could have done. Other than getting myself or maybe both of us killed. But she has her fingers into you now my friend. Be careful. Watch your path, I fear it will only become darker with her shadow falling over it. Now I too must go. I have good news to tell the Elders that the Kraken has been stopped. But I do not wish you to forget me, so please take this token of friendship. Our people give these only to Hunters who have served our Realm greatly. It is much prized.'
'Be well.' And with that he too walks off into the sea and vanishes from view. Desolation fills your heart, the words of Thalmar ring in your ears...
'...and please do get killed. I can then bind your immortal soul into an object...' If that is true not even death will free you of her influence. A chill wind blows off the sea, but you do not feel it.
You receive 47,794 Xp + 1 x Sathkrin Sea Pearl