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[News] Blackrock Detector A Deadly Disaster

Discussion in 'UO Pacific' started by Guest, Apr 2, 2008.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    By late morning, word had spread like wildfire throughout every facet of every shard. At long last, the infamous Blackrock Detector would finally see the light of day, thanks to the diligent work of its creator, Kronos and his crew of learned assistants. In every tavern and every vendor shop, down the back alleys, in homes both rich and poor, on guildhouse steps and everywhere in-between, the people of Pacific were chattering excitedly about the hopeful news. All this talk of blackrock had reawakened in me an acute curiosity that I could stand no longer. In my travels, I had acquired and ferreted away a fair stash of the bizarre, obsidian colored ore and locked it all away in a magically protected chest, tightly sealed and out of sight in a back room of my Felucca tower. After hearing tales of other citizens going mad from exposure to it, even so far as to be considered "infected" by the stone's curious aura, I wanted nothing to do with blackrock. But now... hearing the excited rantings and ravings of those who had tinkered and experimented with the ore since then was tempting enough, but was nothing compared to what was being whispered in the darker circles I was known to frequent. Claims of extraordinary powers, fantastic revelations and incredible wealth were what beckoned the adventurous, rogue spirit within me.</p>

    Recalling home from the Shattered Skull tavern, I entered my stony fortress, mounted the stairs and approached the door to my storage room. I was filled with an unusual trepidation, but my curiosity (and the brewed beverages I had consumed for breakfast) refused to let me give in to cowardice. Tentatively, I unlocked and pulled open the heavy door for the first time in months, nose wrinkling at the stale air I had disturbed. I pulled a torch from its holder on the wall, murmured some Words of Power and oil-soaked light flared to life, repelling the oppressive darkness. Pushing aside a few exceptionally crafted wooden crates, I grasped the handle of the heavy chest I sought and pulled it out into the torchlight. The magic lock was disspelled and the lid tossed back, the finely tinkered hinge squeaking only slightly from the effort.</p>

    The breath caught in my throat as my eyes settled on the malevolently glittering chunks of black ore piled inside the velvet lined chest. My head swam as I looked upon dozens of chunks of blackrock, ranging from tiny fragments the size of a gold coin to larger, heavier rocks... some exceeding 25 stones in weight. Hefting a medium sized piece in my hand, I held it close to the torch to examine it, but the strange ore seemed to absorb the meager light. I paused to reflect on the intriguing conversation I had overheard in the tavern earlier in the day...</p>

    "Ye want t'have a good time, mate?" The odd offer was met by a raised eyebrow. "Name's Afzal and a hundred k o' gold'll get me to spill my secret..." The shady informant kept his voice low to keep nosy tavern patrons from overhearing, but failed to notice me, safely hidden in the shadows nearby. The man to whom this one was speaking murmured something that sounded like 'Cecil' and nodded his agreement to the terms. His half lidded eyes did not seem to register neither the cost nor even the conversation, but Afzal plowed onward. "Get yerself some o' that blackrock they be talkin' about, mate. Make sure no'buddy's watchin' you an' say these words 'ere out loud." From an inner pocket, he produced a small bit of paper and slid it across the table to the slightly more alert Cecil. The burly soldier stared blankly at the sheet for a few moments before he crumpled it in his meaty fist and tossed it back at Afzal.</p>

    "You buffoon!" Cecil bellowed. "Ah'm no mage!" Afzal fell back out of his chair, eyes wide and looking wildly between the crumpled secret that had bounced off his forehead and onto the floor and the exit. The greedy fool of course went for the paper, but a well placed kick from the shadows from yours truly sent him instead sprawling right into the beligerent warrior sparking a rather lopsided brawl. By the time Cecil finally managed to heave his considerable weight off of poor Afzal, I was already sneaking my way out the back of the tavern and onto the safety of my small dragon boat parked nearby.</p> Returning to the present, I reached into my tunic, pulled out the still crumpled page and unfolded it onto the cold, flagstone floor. Sure enough, as any apprentice mage could easily discern, Words of Power were scribbled in a runic script across the page. Despite my extensive teachings and training in Magery, I did not recognize this particular spell, but I was confident I had the skill to cast it. Closing the lid on the rest of the blackrock stash and sliding the chest away a safe distance, I stood and placed the chunk of ore at my feet. I swallowed hard, willing away the wave of dread crashing upon me and took a few deep breaths. Clearing my head, I finally spoke aloud the Words of Power that would eventually be my very undoing...</p>

    "Vas Kal An Mani In Corp Hur Tym!"</p>

    I barely recall the explosion or being subsequently tossed backwards into the unforgiving stone wall, but the strange energies that enveloped me before I blacked out are fresh in my mind even now. Well, when I at last had come to, I found nearly an entire day had passed! Stopping just long enough to shove a few pieces of blackrock into my pocket, I hurried off towards Trammel, nearly late for the big show in Moonglow.</p> <center>***

    Townsfolk and outsiders alike turned out at the curtained construction site in Moonglow in countless droves...
    hundreds of curious and concerned citizens from all walks of life converging early to eagerly await the
    unveiling. As the hour approached, the crowd grew restless, elbowing and pushing for a perfect
    view of the diabolical contraption on the lawn just east of the town's inn.</p> <center>

    The overcrowding grew dangerously close to getting out of hand and
    the mysterious being called Draconi appeared in a dazzling display of
    light. Urging the cantankerous crowd to back away from the machine
    to give Kronos and his assistant ample room in which to work, Draconi
    had little luck convincing the crowd with just his words alone.</p>

    When the crowd was hesitant to comply for fear of losing a front row seat,
    Draconi lend a friendly but firm hand in freeing up some room.</p>

    Shortly after the barrier had been formed, a cheer arose as Kronos politely nudged his way through the
    crowd to stand before his masterpiece of engineering. After some brief introductions and explanations of
    what he hoped to accomplish, the Director of Alchemical Studies was ready to get down to business...</p>

    A young apprentice stepped forward from the crowd to assist Kronos with a last minute check of the machine.
    Once everything looked to be in order, Kronos called for everyone to step back and commanded the assistant to flip
    a switch. The machine hummed to life and Kronos called out the Words of Power to activate what appeared to be
    the power source of the Detector, which began to rapidly spin and whirl. Colorful waves of mysterious energies washed
    outward from the core and a high pitched sound began to grow in volume. Everyone around the perimeter first took one
    step and then another panicked step backwards when the machine suddenly lurched and pitched violently before rumbling
    to a disturbingly motionless stop, much to Kronos' dismay. The shocked crowd gawked and stared at the
    machine and its maker, equally puzzled with both.</p>

    Visibly flustered and frustrated, the Head Mage for the project promised the
    next day would undoubtedly be a success before hastily recalling away.</p>

    Angry and disappointed, the gathered mob began to fight among themselves and all but refused to leave,
    incredulous that hours waiting had been for naught. It was several hours more before everyone finally,
    albeit reluctantly, abandoned the broken machine, many feeling dejected and somehow cheated.</p>

    The next morning, after a night of ceaseless tossing and turning, I awoke with a dull ache,
    presumably from my blackrock induced encounter with the wall the previous day...
    At least that was what I thought before the voices started to haunt me.</p>

    Unable to shake the strange sensations and creepy voices, I instead
    headed out early to Moonglow, eager to occupy my mind otherwise.
    A newly constructed fence and posted guards was hardly an obstacle
    for me and I stealthily maneuvered past both with a Shadowjump.</p>

    What a difference a day makes... there
    appeared to be some sort of electrical disturbance
    emanating from the machine. I dared not get too close.</p>

    As the crowd began to assemble once again, Inu the Crone,
    babbling incomprehensibly and nonstop, wandered over to entertain us.</p>

    Cheery sentiments and positive outlooks from some of the eventgoers.</p>

    A staggering assembly, nearly half an hour from the start of the event.</p>

    -Dragon Parking Only-
    All Others Towed at Owner's Expense</p>

    I wonder how that turned out for her...</p>

    A slightly less enthusiastic greeting for Kronos the Mage and his lovely assistant Melissa. As before,
    Kronos had barely finished greeting the crowd before jumping right to business and casting his spell.</p>

    "Bet Ex Wis!" cried Kronos. The machine began to hum and gyrate as it did the night before. More colorful waves of energy
    flowed freely, accompanied by alternating flashes of incredibly bright light and moments of impenetrable darkness.</p>

    A crackling of pure energy startled everyone and time slowed to a crawl, freezing everyone in place.
    As the light faded to blackness a final time and the crowd's yelling blended into a silence which roared
    in my ears, I felt a distinct sensation of falling, faster and faster... I thought I was as good as dead...</p>

    Instead, my vision slowly returned and I was surprised to see we hadn't moved an inch.
    But something was wrong... something was not quite right. The sky was an odd hue
    and the air far too still for this time of year. The town and the crowd was eerily quiet,
    but soon astonished whispers became terrified, panicked screams.</p>

    Horrific creatures descended upon us swiftly and without mercy. Demon berserkers, winged fallen
    warriors, fetid essences and dark wisps tore through the crowd with a chilling and ruthless efficiency.</p>

    Taking advantage of the chaos, I disappeared into the crowd and snuck away hidden in the shadows.
    I made a beeline for the south gate intending to hit the nearby moongate, but that plan was dashed to pieces
    when I discovered the world ended just a short distance outside of town. Once I finally regained my shaky
    composure, I noticed the same held true for each of the remaining gates... Trapped with nowhere to run.
    What was going on here?</p>

    I deftly dodged any confrontations with the bizarre denizens of this world, and while
    watching the slaughter, I came to suspect this was not the Moonglow I knew. The over-
    whelmed army of unwilling participants in this crazy nightmare steadily began to regain
    ground and fight back the relentless assailants. Attempting to rejoin the others at the center
    of town, I was stopped in my tracks by the sudden slowing of time along with that
    nauseating feeling of falling again... Where were we headed this time?</p>

    Strangely enough, we returned to where we had so abruptly departed... Wandering over to the field next to
    the inn, I expected to see an angry Kronos hunched over his machine that had spiraled out of control. I was
    stunned when I saw instead a massive crater where the Blackrock Detector once stood and a bizarre portal.
    I began to piece things together with others and we concluded that we had been trapped in a sort of alternate,
    "mirrored" version of Moonglow... one that was still under siege by hordes of vicious beasts. Either brave
    or foolish, (or both) hundreds of people returned through the corrupted rift back to the mirrored city
    in search of treasure or out of duty and Honor.</p>

    An adventurous soul tinkers with a bit of blackrock and the Armageddon spell
    in the alternate Moonglow and summons a blue wisp.</p>

    A plan is formulated, even amid all the chaos.</p>

    Normally one to back away from overwhelming odds such as these, I found
    myself and my courage bolstered by the valiant efforts of the few brave souls
    who were fighting off dozens of the encroaching berserkers.</p>

    Why am I not surprised?</p>

    Slowly, but surely, the tide turns and the berserkers begin to fall
    to our persistent earthshaking and terrible jokes.</p>

    All joking ceased when a cry from the battlefront
    chilled everyone to the bone. Shadowlords?!
    Surely they were mistaken... right? Wrong.</p>

    Even the demon berserkers were unsettled by the appearance of ethereal Shadowlords and broke off
    their assault on us to kill the fearsome entities, who died in massive blasts of energy and dark smoke.
    Seemingly unaware of the danger these Shadowlords possessed, a citizen charged straight at one,
    holding a piece of what looked like blackrock in front of him like a protective talisman. As he
    reached the Shadowlord, the surely dead man cried out an incantation... It was the arcane
    spell known as Armageddon! The Shadowlord screeched in agony and crumpled lifelessly
    at the feet of the valorous knight who retrieved the Shadowlord's cloak for a trophy.</p>

    Envious of the trophy, I stealthed off into the woods to find my own,
    despite the danger. It did not take long before I found one engaged in
    battle with a berserker demon. Sneaking up behind the cloaked terror,
    my blood ran cold and I barely managed to get the words out...</p>

    So stunned by the violent reaction and tremendous explosion
    that I found myself rooted in place and nearly killed as the
    ethereal shadowlord recoiled and and struck out mightily.</p>

    I immediately fled the Shadowlord's wrath, whipped around the side of a building
    and hid there, trembling in the shadows. Once I had caught my breath, I risked a peek
    around the corner. I cheered silently to myself as I witnessed the berserker striking a
    lethal blow to the weakened Shadowlord with its bloodsoaked sword. Even before the
    felled horror had collapsed to the ground, the berserker was off in search of another victim.</p>

    That was fine with me as I had what I came for. After donning the cursed cloak,
    I felt the life draining from my body... but yet, at the same time, my mental acuity
    was clearly heightened and mana consumed in spellcasting was quickly replenished.
    Worn out and beat down, I retired for the evening to browse my loot. In addition
    to the cloak, there were a few other items of interest that I plucked from the
    corpses of the dead like threads of Life and Fate from dark wisps...</p>

    ...and numerous oddly hued planeswords and planeshields from the fallen warriors.
    I have yet to discover a use for any of these strange items, but I have heard that the
    threads of Fate and Life have some deeply hidden meaning that only the spirit-
    speaking Mediums of Sosaria can decipher... Should anyone discover
    any other secrets or interesting tidbits, please share them!</p>

    Returning to the corrupted rift after a night of much needed rest, I found that the battle between the ethereal
    creatures and the demon berserkers had wildly swung in the former's favor. Most intriguing. I shall certainly
    keep an eye on this most mysterious place, as I expect the rest of the concerned citizenry to do...</p>

    If any among you, the readers, would like to share their experiences or artistic renditions of what they
    have encountered in this alternate Moonglow, feel free to flag me down if you see me out and about.
    Otherwise, I can be reached by those strange communications devices called "ICQ" and "email"!</p></center> <p align="right">-Ryan "Sheridan" Smith
    <a target="_blank" href=mailto:[email protected]>[email protected]</a>
  2. Fantastic reporting. We're lucky to have this level of posts on Pacific.

    Well done!
  3. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Ya, that really is good. I like the moving pictures heh.
  4. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Absolutely fantastic, I agree. Well done Sheridan
  5. Xeria

    Xeria Guest

    Magnificent job!! Your story is the most accurate and up to date that I have yet seen. Thank-you for that ..
  6. Sheridan,

    That was excellent reporting!

    When I don't have the time to play, I can read your posts and I don't miss a beat.