I present to you the water crystal of Kaliphlin. The story of how I came to find the crystal is long and I shall save the complete tale for another time. However I am now unconvinced of the benevolence of the Elder Druids and because of this I will recount to you the actual finding of the crystal. You may not recognise me in the paintings for I decided to set aside my heavy armor and wear a lighter more adventure suited attire.
My search party, which consisted of myself, ten soldiers, four packmen, my personal portrait painter, and our mysterious guide, had been trekking through a primeval jungle south of Barqa for over a week. Our mysterious guide that I had met in the caves I had discovered near the WitherWoods, continued to chart his course with a strange compass like device and we continued to follow him. Finally on the day we found the crystal, the ancient path we had been following abruptly ended at the edge of a cliff overlooking a hidden jungle valley.
Across the valley, built in successive intervals, stood a row of towers connected by rope bridges. We continued our trek across the bridges and towers and eventually came to the center of the valley. One of my soldiers fell through a rotted plank of one of the rope bridges but he managed to grab one of the ropes and his comrades hauled him back up.
At the center of the valley a mound of rock rose above the jungle fauna. Upon this rock was built an ancient edifice. We carefully crossed the last rope bridge to this structure and found the rock mound to be hollow on the inside and there was a staircase built into the rockface leading down to the bottom of the pit.
Suddenly the fauna growing upon the walls of the ancient edifice began to move. Until now I had not paid much attention to the fauna on the walls, my concentration being instead on the deep pit within the mound of rock. As the vines detached themselves from the walls, I realized these were a species of plants I had never encountered before. I had noticed some interesting plant species in the jungle below as I crossed the rope bridges one of which looked like the rare Dragonwing Flower.
But these vines were thicker than a man and thorny.
One of my soldiers screamed as a thick tendral wrapped around him, his swinging sword unable to free him before he was torn in half. The rest of my soldiers were already in action hacking at the tendrals but I could not see much hope in their efforts.
Suddenly a burst of fire came from behind me and engulfed one of the massive vines. I looked behind me and saw our mysterious guide aiming his mages staff at another vine and saw a stream of fire shoot out of the glowing red gem at the tip of the staff.
“Fire! Men! Light your torches!” I yelled to my soldiers. My packmen lit a torch as my soldiers retreated back to us to light their torches. With the torches, my soldiers began to make visable progress toward destroying the vines.
Unfortunately our success was not to be easily won. The vines changed tactics and instead of trying to grab my soldiers, they now began to coil and whip at us, the sharp thorns on the vines slicing and ripping through any unprotected skin.
Two more of my soldiers were felled, one being slammed into the wall and knocked unconcious and the other knocked off the narrow stairway and falling into the depths below. I heard yelling behind me and realized that our mysterious guide was trying to get my attention.
“The head!” he yelled pointing at the center of the pit below. I looked and understood what he meant. We had to get down to the head and destroy it if we were going to emerge from this battle triumphantly.
I yelled the orders for my soldiers to make their way down to the center of the pit. I instructed my packmen to return to the last tower out of reach of the vines and followed my men down the narrow staircase that wound down around the side of the pit. Our mysterious guide remained above and continued to shoot flames of fire out of his staff but now directed at the massive head at the bottom of the pit.
Once I reached the bottom, I realized that I no longer had much of a fight ahead of me. The plant's head was engulfed in flames and it thrashed about trying to escape the fire to no avail. I swung my torch and hacked at the vines surounding the head and soon the plant ceased to move. A blackened and crumpled lump of leaves was all that remained of the plant head. I looked around to see if there were any other enemies or traps but couldn't detect any so I walked over and picked up the water crystal from its monument.
The return journey home was quite easy and we encountered no problems. Our mysterious guide took leave of us just before we reached Barqa. I asked him to return with us and I would reward him for his help recovering the crystal. He refused saying he had somewhere else to be and had no time to stop in Barqa. I never saw his face as it was always covered by a golden mask but as I think about him now, I get an uneasy feeling about him. I continue to ponder who he was and what was the strange device he used to find the crystal.
I now know that I have only scratched the surface of the mysteries that Historica holds and that thereare more mysteries here than a lifetime of adventuring can uncover. But I now have decided to search for more information about the Elder Druids, for if their sacrifice had the power to bless historica, why then was it locked away and the keys sent to the four corners of the land and guarded by such dangerous entities?
I urge caution in proceeding until more solid information is obtained of the Elder Druids for it seems now we act upon legends, legends that could have become corrupted over the ages.
May your wells always be clean and full,
Mikel Kalores of Barqa
Edited by Mikel Kalores, 13 May 2012 - 02:05 AM.