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[Official Fiction] The Awakening - Act VI. Part 1.

Discussion in 'UO Baja' started by WarderDragon, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. WarderDragon

    WarderDragon Babbling Loonie
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    The Awakening - Act VI. Part 1.
    Kai Schober
    The EM Team

    The grass beneath his tread was soft, and covered in the morning dew from a sun that was rising in the east. Each step was taken without any specific destination, and there was no greater purpose in these steps beyond wandering; the land was unfamiliar and strange, and there were no clear landmarks to guide the way, and no signs of any sort…so he wandered. His robe dragged along the ground, fraying its edges as he went…but he paid it no heed. Finally at the end of his energy for the moment, he dropped to his knees in the soft grass, and meditated. An answer would come, or a path would be found. As he grew accustomed to the scents and sounds all around him, a new and unfamiliar sound crept to his ears. He drew himself up and brushed grass from his robe, before altering his direction…and headed in the direction of the wail of anguish he’d heard.

    It took some time, but eventually he saw a thin wisp of smoke rising in the air; soon after, the smell of cooked meat reached his nose. Thinking to find himself at some sort of gypsy outpost, he was far more confused to hear noises that could only be associated with the sick and dying, and he hastened his pace. He stopped suddenly as he saw a red and white sign affixed to an ankh in front of him. While the ankh served to give him some minor comfort that he was not in completely alien circumstance, the sign brought confusion and curiosity to the forefront.

    Quarantine Area! Danger! Entry Prohibited By Order Of Queen Zhah

    There was a fence to lend credence to the quarantine order, but the gates were missing, and he found no guard barring his entry. Were it truly this dangerous, would there not be more stringent measures taken? And what of this Zhah, whom the sign ostensibly claimed to be a Queen? It had seemed there was far more to know than he could have imagined.

    He was close enough now to hear the coughs and moans of the dying and deathly ill, and looking at the sign once more, he strode brazenly past the fencing, paying the sign no more attention. Perhaps the people here could answer his questions, he thought. It was only to find yet another shock as he approached, to see that what lay before him in the area were naught but gargoyles…and not even gargoyles as he knew them. He observed the strange gargoyles carefully and was already mentally cataloguing their symptoms in his head as best he could, despite his unfamiliarity with them. As he walked through the makeshift camp, he stepped onto finely grained sand and rounded the corner of a building before blanching at the sight before him, and realized that his initial assumption earlier wasn’t too far off about cooked meat. His sight was consumed by a funeral pyre, tended by two healthier looking gargoyles, who even as he watched silently threw another limp body atop it. His jaw set with determination at the sight, and despite his curiosity, he knew what had to be done.

    * * *
    All initial attempts and conventional remedies had failed him; his magic was equally ineffective in curing these gargoyles of their affliction. It had been…an indeterminable amount of time since he had needed to apply himself in such a manner as this, and certainly even longer since being presented with one that would require his knowledge of alchemy. Still, with as focused as most alchemists had become on only the most basic potions, the archaic way he approached it had opened up new avenues, and he checked over the list he’d come up with. He wasn’t absolutely certain it would work, but he knew it was a better chance than they’d had before. Still, it would be dangerous to gather some of the ingredients, if they could even still be gathered. He was unsure if the Blightborn slimes could even be found, but he was fairly certain that Orcs and Terathans were too hardy to have vanished completely. Add that to sugar and vanilla, which any horticulturist should be able to gather, and a cure should be able to be fashioned.

    The problem would be with the disease itself; it seemed to constantly change itself and stop responding to what few treatments they’d already used to stifle it, so that meant that the cure wouldn’t be consistent. It was possible that with different quantities of each ingredient mixed in different fashions, the same ingredients could continue to be effective for some time. He now only found himself with one major problem; being without anyone to assist in finding and gathering the ingredients.
     
  2. WarderDragon

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  3. WarderDragon

    WarderDragon Babbling Loonie
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    The Awakening - Act VI. Part 2.
    Kai Schober
    The EM Team

    The key was clenched tightly in his hand as he made his way to the ruins that were left of his masters once great castle; the ramparts had been shattered and burned wreckage lay everywhere, but in his mind’s eye it was all still as it had been, and he found his way towards the area he sought. As he approached he could tell that despite the crazed and lunatic nature of the mobs that had destroyed, sacked, and burned his lords home to the ground, none were able to pierce the heavily ensorcelled and locked compartment that he found underneath a pile of blackened stone. After a few moments of effort, the jester managed to clear the debris from the locked door that once lay hidden beneath an ornate rug, now no doubt adorning some peasants floor. Heckles looked to the lock as he lined up the key, and the glowing runes around it shone brightly for a moment before going out as the similarly enchanted key broke down their own magic. With a rough turn, the deadbolt clacked and he pulled the door open, and he descended into the dark depths of the cellar. As his footsteps echoed along the stairs he withdrew a night sight potion and quaffed a bit of it to allow him to see what still lurked in his masters wine cellar.

    His eyes adjusted, but it was just a bit too slowly as the minstrel tripped over an empty bottle. His fall was heralded by the stream of invectives that flew from his lips. His scathing curses did little but echo along the mostly emptied cellar that he’d steadily been doing his best to consume. He dusted himself off and approached the mostly emptied racks until he neared the final row of bottles, stopping to look over the few bottles remaining. There were only a half dozen or so bottles left in this spot, and he noticed that one had a peculiarity to it that drew his attention. He removed the sealed bottle, recognizing it instantly as one of his masters favorite vintages, as his enhanced vision caught a glimpse of something hidden behind it…a small hole that the bottle had concealed. A keyhole, to be precise. With a curiosity that required satiation, he dug the key back out of his pocket and thrust his arm into the crevice that the bottle had once occupied, and turned it as the creak of old and unused hinges strained as the wall rack slowly swung open before him. It took Heckles but a moment to realize what he’d uncovered, and as he walked in he drank the sights instead of the wine he’d initially set out for.

    The room would have sparkled as only the finest gemstones do had there been any source of true light to catch the gleaming golden accents of the hidden vault that lay here. Along with various relics, tomes, and personal mementos of his lord, ensconced within were countless examples of fine jewelry, gold coins, and enchanted armor and weaponry. Most eye-catching to Heckles, however, was the golden strongbox centered upon a small table in the back of the room, a key laying in front of it. As he opened it, he found it filled only with deeds and drawings, papers with the runic language written on them and old experimental spells. Amidst it all were numerous currency markers for very large sums being held by the Britain Bank, and a set of intricate designs that looked to be architectural drawings. Despite his inexperience in the matter, he could recognize the cartographical symbols enough to realize where and what it was that detailed upon it…as well as the cost estimates hand written along it. He recounted the checks that he’d found, and an idea came to his head. Perhaps it had always been his lord’s intention that if he didn’t return, Heckles would find this room and these drawings, and act on them in his stead. And even if not, it would at least be a more fitting use of the area than continuing to let the wreckage sit atop it in ruins.

    A roguish grin played its way across his lips as he did a few brief calculations in his head, thinking to himself. Well, it must also have been my lords intention that there’s enough left over to keep me from that fate worse than death…sobriety.