Challenge 3 The Search for the Crystal
Chapter 1 Prologue
On a sunny morning, two rangers are spotted on a snowy mountain road.
Kieran: Do you have any idea why your brother, Lord Adam, summoned us, captain Virgil?
Virgil: No Kieran, I truly don’t have a clue.
Kieran: Ah, we’ll find out soon enough! Just behind this ridge lies our answer.
Guard: Welcome gentleman, Ser Adam is expecting you.
Chapter 2 Breezerock Cabin
Virgil: Yes, Breezerock cabin. Not a bad holiday retreat if you ask me.
Guard: G’Morning Captain Virgil. Lord Adam is waiting inside.
Kieran: I’ll go stable the horse m’lord, good luck!
Virgil: Thank you friend.
Kieran: Hmm, are these elven horses?
Guard: Correct, there are a couple of Avalonian Elves inside as well.
Kieran: They are? It must be of great importance than, haven’t seen an Elf passing our cold borders in quite a while.
Chapter 3 The Crystal of Air
Virgil enters the cabin, greeted by a familiar face and three not so familiar.
Adam: Virgil! Welcome brother! How was your journey?
Virgil: It was fine, the roads are a lot safer lately and the weather was perfect. I don’t wish to be rude but I think we haven’t met, ser Elf?
Tirion: No I guess not. My name is Tirion, ambassador from the Avalonian Elf Party, these are Dante and Nero, two of best guards.
Virgil: Elves huh? What have you gotten yourself into this time Adam?
Adam: Haha no, that’s not the case this time Virgil! In our battle against the regime of the High King and the Jarl we can use every ally we can muster. For good coin, the Elves are willing to lend us a helping hand now and then.
Virgil: And what is it that you need mine and their expertise for?
Adam: As always, straight to the point, that will get you far Virgil, mark my words. But yes, why are you gentleman here! We all know the previous plan of the Cold Circle didn’t went to well.
Virgil: Ha no, you can say that again, Balruf was crushed during elections, it is said only he voted for him haha.
Adam: Well yes, but now me and my fellow kings may have the key to an independent Mitgardia! Everyone knows the High King has sent his scouts all over Historica to find some petty crystals, but none of them succeeded so far.
Tirion: Petty you say? They are the keys to probably the most powerful relic in all of Historica!
Adam: Yes that is the story. But I’m not interested in old lore. My allies don’t run deep enough for me to collect all four, so I want you to find me the Crystal of Air, situated right here in Mitgardia!
Nero: Prrffft! ~almost chokes on his drink~ Come again foolish human? Hundreds of men have been searching for these “petty” crystals and you just wants us to “find” one?
Tirion: I know you wouldn’t summon us for this Adam, you better explain yourself.
Adam: Haha, off course hundreds of men are searching, but none of them has what I have! The exact location!
Virgil: The exact location of the Crystal?!
Adam: Yeah sort of…
Tirion: Sort of?
Adam: Yes, I have the exact location of the man who claims to know the exact location of the Crystal. They call him the Architect. He was once a famous Historian from the halls of the Jarl, but he got fired. The direct reason was never mentioned, but it is said he got a little too familiar with black arts.
Virgil: Ah, an intelligent man going rogue. Where have I heard that before? And where does this Architect live? Oh wait, let me guess, some deserted cave deep in a place where no man dares to venture?
Adam: Uhm a deserted mine actually…
Tirion: So let me get this straight; you want my man and this human to find a man who knows the location of a crystal to find the crystal and bring it back here?
Adam: Yes exactly.
Tirion: Allright, Nero, you stay here, Dante with me. You know the ways of payment Adam! Please don’t forget, will you?
Adam: No I won’t. Good luck Virgil and Nero, for the sake of the Cold Circle and of all Mitgardia!
Chapter 4 Keep out!
After a couple of days walking, the party entered the woods mentioned in Adam’s map.
Deep in the forest they discover the clearing and the entry to the Kolskerr Mine.
Virgil: Finally! We made it.
Kieran: It sure is a deserted mine! Look, all the gear and tools are just left behind, almost like they didn’t know how quick to leave.
Nero: Yes, there definitely is a strange vibe in the air.
Kieran: And this “keep out” sign isn’t helping either!
Kieran: It looks like they were mining iron here, these crates are filled with iron ore! A small fortune!
Nero: Good luck fitting that in your backpack.
Virgil: We are here for bigger reasons gentlemen, Let’s go inside.
Kieran: I’ll keep guard ser Virgil!
Chapter 5 The Architect
The party enters the abandoned mine. Inside one of the tunnels shines a vague light at the end, just visible. They decide to move in that direction, which leads them to a bigger clearing.
Virgil: Uh excuse me ser? We don’t want to intrude or anyt…
Architect: Ah yes! The rangers and their knife-eared friend.
Nero: Come again?!
Virgil: ~whispering to Nero~ Please control your emotions Nero.
Virgil: But you were expecting us? We get that a lot lately hehe. But that means you know?
Arch: Of the crystal? Of your plans? What you mean I know?
Virgil: Yes, yes of the Crystal.
Arch: I know most things happening in Mitgardia Virgil, Captain of the northern rangers.
Nero: So what are you? Some sort of he-witch?
Arch: Let’s just say I have my ways.
Virgil: Your ways are of no importance to me, we were told you know the location of the Crystal of Air, the key to the shrine of Druids.
Arch: Ah straight to the point! I like you. But yes, I do know the location. ~Searching for a specific scroll~ Ah yes here it is! “History of the Edhel”!
Nero: Edhel? As in Elves? What do Elves have to do with the Crystal?
Arch: Yes! What DO Elves have to do with the Crystal? Everything off course! The Elves have everything to do with the Crystals. Let me take you back to a couple of hundred years ago. Modern history says it were the powerful druids who first inhabited the lands of Historica, but it is nowhere to be read that they were indeed Elves! Four Elves to be specific, four ambassadors of the four different Elven races. One green Elf from Avalonia, one sand Elf from Kaliphlin, one light Elf from Lucifornus (now known as Nocturnus) and a snow Elf from Mitgardia.
Nero: What is this nonsense! We know the green Elfs, heck, I’m one of them! But what is this with the other three so called Elves?!
Arch: Yes, not much is known of the other three, that’s for sure, but please let me explain. These four very powerful Elven lords created the Shrine, where they stored the very essence of their power. And then created four keys to protect it from evil. The sand Elves took their key deep underground, the green Elves hid it in their darkest forest, the light Elves in their brightest castle and the snow Elves to their highest mountain. The other three locations, I’m not aware of, but I do happen to know the highest mountain of Mitgardia.
Nero: But what happened to them? The Elves! Why does no one know of them?
Arch: Well, it is said that the sand Elves still dwell in their deep tunnels. The light Elves retreated to their castles in the sky after the Drow started popping up in Lucifornus and rapidly changed it to Nocturnus. And the snow Elves just disappeared one day.
Arch: Yes, as in vanished, never seen of again, thin air…. You know, disappeared.
Virgil: But so we must travel to Mount Northrend?
Arch: Straight to the point once more, perfect! But yes, I do believe the snow Elves hid their Crystal of Air inside their lost city in Northrend, just north of Pikesteel mountain.
Outside, meeting up with Kieran again
Kieran: So you’re saying that we went from Breezerock all the way to this dreaded place, which is one the most southern points of Mitgardia by the way, and now we must go to the most northern point of all Mitgardia?!
Virgil: Yes that is exactly what I’m saying.
Kieran: I should have just stayed a farmer like my daddy said. “Don’t join the army son, you’ll get yourself killed” Yeah, killed of fatigue darn’it!
Chapter 6 Tomb of the Gloss’Edhel
After a fourteen day stroll the party arrives at Mount Northrend. Two days later, they arrive at a place like they have never seen before.
Kieran: Woa! What is this place? I have never seen anything like it!
Virgil: You’re right, the architecture, the style, it is incredible!
Nero: So it seems the crazy he-witch was right after all. Here are some markings. Hmmm dulin goll…. Hmmm Gloss’edhel hmmmm gundalbad hmmm. Yes it seems this is one of the lost cities of the Gloss’Edhel, or Snow Elves.
Virgil: A city? Does it say something about a crystal or anything?
Nero: No it doesn’t. Only that you shouldn’t eat the meatloaf in Dulin’s Inn.
Virgil: Enough with the pranks, let’s try to find a way in.
Nero: We could always try the door?
Chapter 7 The Last Sanctuary
Nero: This is no city! These are ruins! Where are those Elves?
Virgil: Well, the Architect did say they vanished one day.
Nero: Yeah well I thought he meant that they retreated to their cities high in the mountains. This place looks like it hadn't been taken care of in hundreds of years.
Kain: 457 to be exact.
Kieran: Whaaaaah it’s a ghost!! Kill it! Kill it quick!
Virgil: Get back, quickly!
Kain: Easy now! There is no need to be afraid, I can’t harm you, even if I wanted.
Nero: Who are you then? What are you doing here?
Kain: My name is Kain, I am the last of the Snow Elves. Or techinically, I was the last, because I’m dead you see.
Nero: But why are you a ghost? I don’t get it, Elves don’t become ghosts, twisted men become ghosts, grieving widows become ghosts, not Elves!
Kain: I did not chose this. I was once a proud highpriest, in the service of our great king Raziël. Raziël was a great leader, under his command we flourished. The Gloss’Edhel was a noble race with many qualities. For decades we ruled the world of Mitgardia and we were in peace. Men existed by that time, but only a few hundred. We lived side by side as equals. But then more men came and more and more and more. There was no room for the Elves, we were a threat because of our slow aging and great strength. So the Nords started a war against us and we were out numbered. Elves that were captured were enslaved if not killed and those who escaped retreated to the mountains. Raziël fled with most of his kin to this place, the last sanctuary of the Gloss’Edhel. We lived here for a few years, but it was eating at Raziël that they were living in shame, it twisted him. He started to seek out for ways to overcome the iron fist of men and started to reach out to ancient Gods. Duramarth answered. The ancient God of Ice. By performing twisted rituals, the Gloss’Edhel gained abnormal strength and stamina. The rituals were inhuman..
Kieran: ~whispering to Nero~ Inelfish, not?...
Nero: ~whispering back~ Shut up fool!
Kain: Can I continue? Great, thanks! So, yeah where was I… Yes, the rituals. The rituals involved drinking blood from our brethren and offering lower Elves as sacrifices to Duramarth.
Virgil: Drinking the blood of you brothers?! That really is sick!
Kain: Yes, but Raziël didn’t care. He was furious with men and couldn’t care who suffered, as long as he could have his revenge. So he created his own elite army of Blood Elves. And he charged at the men. But he was foolish. The decades of hiding didn’t stop the men from evolving their weapons and walls. Raziël and his Blood Army was easily defeated and he returned alone. The rest of the Elves slaughtered. Guilty and again full of shame, he performed his last ritiual: The bounding of the race. With one last spell he bound the remaining Snow Elves to his fate. What happened to him, would happen to them. And then he took his life and ended the race of the Gloss’Edhel.
Kieran: Woaw. What a terrible story, I’m so sorry.
Kain: Ah yeah, you get to deal with it over a year or four hundred.
Virgil: But, what happened to you then? Because wouldn’t all the Elves be ghosts if they were bound to the same fate?
Kain: Anyone ever told you you are a very direct being for a human?
Virgil: Uhm yeah, I get that from time to time…
Kain: But yes, good question. Raziël left me out of the spell. As High Priest, I got one last assignment. To build the grave of the great King. He needed a grave to make amends to the great Gods of the Elves, for he betrayed them with his rituals and didn’t want his entire race to suffer for it. In the end he still was noble, just like his first intentions.
Virgil: But why did he take his own life? Why end his race?
Kain: You don’t get it do you human? How would you feel that because of you rule and command your entire race had to live a life hid away, or enslaved?
Nero: Yell imek dull alin, tol imek muus kalin.
Kain: Exactly, better to die in pride, than to live in shame.
Nero: One of the ancient creeds of Elves.
Kain: But now to the other situation at hand: I don’t think you guys are here because you were dying to hear the sad story of the Gloss’Edhel, now were you?
Kieran: Ha almost forgot! Yeah we are here for a different reason.
Virgil: We were told that an ancient treasure is situated here.
Kain: You have to be a bit more specific, many ancient treasures are in this sanctuary.
Virgil: The key of air, the key to the shrine of druids.
Kain: The Key?!How do you… How… So. You know the truth. How inconvenient. The Shrine holds too much power. Men can never understand. It would corrupt them, twist them. I cannot allow you to take the key with you. Only one time in the entire history of Historica the Shrine was opened by someone else than an original Druid and it is said that that created the Drow.
Virgil: We are not after all four of them. We are historians and want to tell the world the story of the Gloss’Edhel. And to tell the entire story we need the prove of their existence. The Key is that prove!
Kieran: ~whispering to Nero~ We are?!
Nero: ~Whispering back~ please shut up once!
Kain: We don’t need our story to be told, human! I will never give you the key!
Virgil: You don’t need to. We know where it is. The highest mountain, says the lore, so we just have to make our way to the top of the sanctuary.
Kain: Noooo! No! you can’t!
Nero: You cannot harm us ghost. You cannot stop us.
Chapter 8 Duramarth
The party makes their way to the top of the sanctuary. There they finally see it, their goal.
Nero: There it is.
Kain: No! Stop. I will give you one final chance! Leave now, forget this place and never come back.
Kieran: Maybe we should listen to the Elf you guys. Maybe he is right.
Nero: We cannot back out now! We are so close.
Virgil: I’m sorry Kain, but we have to do this.
Kain: Then I’m sorry too. Duramarth karamarth, Duramarth biogarth, Duramarth ingotarth!
An enormous screech is heard from the heavens which makes the party fall down to their knees and cover their ears. When they get back up their feet, they see a giant black dragon staring at them with evil golden eyes.
Duramarth: Who awakes me from my sleep? This better be worth it.
Kain: Me, my God. I have three new sacrifices to be made. They were trying to defile your great treasure.
Duramarth: Hmmm I am quite hungry.
Virgil: What is this?! A dragon?!
Kieran: I hate to say I told you so.
Without hesitation the ancient God throws a breath of freezing ice to the party, only to be deflected by Kieran's shield. Nero showers the creature with arrows, but they seem to do little to no damage against the iron skin of the dragon. Another bolt of frost hurls to Kieran, yet again succesfully deflected by his shield. "You will die human!" Duramarth screeches, which makes Kieran trip, he lays defenceless on the ground, Duramarth charges...
Kieran opens his eyes: "I live?" And he sees Duramarth's head on the ground next to Virgil. The body of the dragon disappeared as Virgil cut off the head of the great beast.
Nero: You did it! I really thouhgt we were done for!
Kieran: Yeah you can say that again! Now quickly go get that key, I can't wait to leave this place.
So this concludes my story! Hope you guys like it and here are some more pictures of the room and my guardian
Edited by Blaze, 17 April 2012 - 09:59 PM.