Dragon Wars other - paragraphs
- Dragon Wars
Dragon Wars Paragraphs
1) In this dark chamber are warehoused several sculptures of decidedly inferior quality. Mostly they are
crude attemptsat busts, or full-figure nudes of decidedly pornographic intent. Whoever produced these
disasters, it could not have been the same artist that created the rest of the artwork you've seen on the
2) Renewed by the fruit of your sacrifice, the vampire lord emerges from the tomb. "You have awakened
me, and for thisI am in your debt,"' he lisps. "Do not presume to command me, however. You have not
obtained the Silver Wheel, and until you do, my soul is my own!"
The Lord of the Undead vanishes, leaving behind only an oily cloud of smoke, and the bucket of deep-
fried jumbo shrimp. Back to the drawing board.
3) This is a shrine to the dark lady Irkalla, queen of Magan, the underworld of Oceana. Of all the
structures in this area,this is the best preserved. Simple offerings of weeds and rocks lay before Irkalla,
indicating some residents of this worldworship the dark queen.
Irkalla's image is blasted from bronze. She seems serene and confident, with a terrible sort of beauty
lurking in her fiercecountenance. The black pits of her eyes stare at you without emotion. Here is a deity
to be feared - perhaps also to beloved.
4) You stand before the gate to Purgatory's great public arena. Bloodthirsty residents of the Dilmun
interior come here toenjoy the spectacle of outlander scum such as yourselves fighting to the death on the
floor of the arena.
A guard swaggers up to you He is clad in the trappings of authority fine armor, a weather-beaten harness
well-oiledweapons. "Oy there, you filthy street scum," the guard growls. "you look fit enough to hold a
weapon. Why not haul your butt into the arena and make yourself useful?" Why fight for another man's
pleasure when life in Purgatory is adaily struggle for survival? You're about to turn away when the guard
lays a heavy hand on your shoulder and adds,"You'll get your choice of arms...and if you defeat your foe,
which I doubt, you might win Papers of Citizenship. Namtar help me - heathen dogs like you living in
Dilmun! I don't like it, but the law is the law."
5) With distaste you discover the source of the foul odor. Before you is a low structure, not so much a
building as an oddseries of stone slabs leaning against one another. Some ancient stonemason identified
this place with a Iegend carved intothe rock: "Morgue". A more recent hand has added its own opinion:
"The way out, chumps!".
The stench of the dead is overpowering, but sensing there's something important about this place you
hang around onthe fringes and observe the routine. Sallow work gangs of malnourished slaves, themselves
more dead than alive, slowlycarry corpses from the building and stack them in sloppy piles. You dimly
wonder what crime or heresy landed thesepoor souls a job as salves in a city of criminals.
From time to time additional corpses are brought here by the more tidy citizens of Purgatory. These are
deposited in thehouse or stacked in the piles without seeming purpose. After a time, several of the slaves
bundle one or more corpses intoa crude canvas sack and hurl the bundle over the wall. Distantly, you
think you hear a splash. you judge you're near theharbor wall are the dead of Purgatory hurled into the
waters of the city's harbor?
It occurs to you a living man could lay with the dead, and journey with them in a sack over the wall and to
freedom in theharbor beyond. How far do the sacks of corpses fall? Are they really tossed in the harbor, or
do they tumble into a well?Could you escape from a bag of cadavers before it sank to the bottom of the sea,
maybe forever mired in muck and weeds?Perhaps the overpowering smell of this place is starting to get to
you. or perhaps this is your ticket out.
6) Here you find a simple wilderness shrine, tended by a lonely druid. He welcomes you to his temple,
saying the placeof worship is open to all.
The shrine is earthy and natural. The walls seem rooted in the depths of the earth, the rock seems alive
with animalspirit, the very air is crisp and sweet. You see that the patron deity of this shrine is the man-
animal Enkidu. "He is thegod of beast-men and man-beasts," the druid explains. "He respects only the
strong and pure, to whom he will grant apowerful boon Before Namtar's purge, the god was in residence
in this forest, where he presided over a vast druid colony.Now Enkidu is gone, the brotherhood is broken,
and knowledge of our magic is lost."
7) You secure yourself in a bag full of only slightly stinking corpses and wait patiently. Someone sews the
bag up as youlie motionless. After some moments, you hear a throaty voice call, '"Oy, yew! Run yer sword
throo them bogs, thar! You'membar wot hopp'nd last week! We don't wont any mar escayps now, do we?"
You are bound and helpless!
8) A great cry of joy goes up as you debase yourself. In a city of criminals, what shame is there in going
native? Just tomake you feel at home, the beggars beat you steadily for a week. Properly initiated into the
world of mendacity, youeventually are set free to wander the streets of Purgatory, better understanding if
not entirely fond of the city's lowestclass of citizens.
9) A statue of Namtar, the Beast From the Pit, dominates this dirty city square. You carefully examine the
statue, tryingto memorize the features of the villain who exiled you to Purgatory. You struggle in vain.
The citizens of Purgatory,themselves no less fond of Namtar, have taken it out on his image - the nose is
broken, limbs are chipped, and the mouthis deformed beyond all recognition.As you watch, a wild beggar
spits on the statue. "Filthy face of stone!," she mumbles. "Layed down with lizards he did,that stone face
lies as much as he!" The poor mad creature wanders off, still spitting and mumbling, leading you
towonder if a similar fate awaits you in the months to come.
10) This back-alley building is in remarkably good repair. Curious, you enter, and recognize the interior
of a modestly-appointed magic shop. A wizened gnome of a man springs from behind the counter and
scurries up to you. "Mercy,mercy me...customers! Bless me, customers at last!"
The old man is insane but friendly. He explains all high magic has been outlawed by order of Namtar, but
instruction inthe low arts is still permitted in isolated regions. He is eager to teach you what he knows,
and will in fact refuse a fee,preferring to teach for the simple joy of it. Unfortunately, the old man knows
little useful magic.
11) Try as you might, you just can't get your nose to remain on your face. That Namtar sure has an odd
sense of humor.
12) Just ahead you see a bridge. The bridge is covered and armored doors bar the way across. The bridge
appears to be theonly way to cross the water and reach the land beyond. A pack of guards lounge before
the entrance to the bridge. As youappear, they snap to attention. A guard with a narrow forehead and
small eyes approaches you.
13) You're in the middle of the bridge. Although the bridge is covered, you can hear water rushing
beneath you. It isastonishingly loud.
The bridge is longer than it appeared from the outside. You recognize now that even a good swimmer
would find itimpossible to swim from one island to the next. This bridge is the only way across.
14) Your knowledge of city lore serves you well. This place isn't so much a city as a prison. The streets are
unpaved andevidently double as an open-air sewer system. Many of the city's structures are buildings only
in the loosest sense of the word - several have holes in the roof (or no roof at all), others have been gutted
by fire. Everything is damp, showing this city is little different from any other on Oceana...the rising sea
level is eroding the land upon which the city is located,and it is slowly sinking. Doubtless those buildings
that have basements will be at least hip-deep in water. Graffiti is scrawled on walls everywhere, generally
curses directed at Namtar and crude pornographic renderings of all the species of Oceana In all, Purgatory
is an ugly place you would do well to leave as soon as possible.
15) The guards retire a few steps and converse in low tones when you show them the ring. One of them
approaches nervously. "We're King's men, you know. We don't want any trouble." He shuffles his feet and
won't look you in theeye. "We just went along with...with everyone else. You have seen the King?" He
frowns when you answer. "That ring means you're on King's business, so you can pass...but if anyone
asks, we never saw you. Understand?"
You pass into the city. The guards still won't look you in the eye.
16) Before you is a tumble-down collection of huts. A group of ill-clad unfortunates are gathered around a
fire. They see you approach and rush to your side. "We saw you swim across the bay", says a toothless
man who seems to lead thegroup. "Any enemy of Purgatory is a friend of ours. C'mon in and sit by the
17) This is the temple of the Yellow Mud Toad, dedicated to the patron beast of this city. The temple is a
run down anddepressing as the rest of the city. The center of the temple is dominated by a huge statue of
the Yellow Mud Toad, sunk fully a third of its height into the muddy floor of the building. "Everything
sinks these days," a priest of the temple complains. "This whole city must be built on a lake. We'll all sink
away to nothing if this keeps up!"
18) The camp is deserted. Apparently everyone who lived here was slain in your recent battle. You notice
signs ofhabitation, but whoever lived here was dirt poor. It's unlikely you'll find anything of worth in the
camp. Glancing backat the pile of bodies left in your wake, and then at the bucolic scene of the camp, you
sense there was probably a better way of handling this situation. The man who confronted you seemed a
lot like yourself. Maybe he mistook you for authority from Purgatory, and only sought to defend himself.
This was probably a time for words, rather than swords.
19) After about an hour, the sick man's fever breaks. He props himself up on one elbow and smiles. "I was
dreaming,"he says in a weak voice. "I imagined I floated on a vast black pool far beneath the earth. I think
it was in the Underworld. I saw a goddess bound in chains. She was stranded on an island guarded by
monsters." He laughs. "I guess I had a fever."
The man tries to stand up but finds he's still weak. You help him sit up. "My name is Ulm," he says. "I
guess I have you to thank for breaking my fever. The guards at the bridge beat me up, and I just can't seem
to bounce back." Intrigued, you encourage Ulm to continue. "I escaped from Purgatory through a secret
door in the wall. I tried to cross thebridge north of the city, but I didn't have the right papers, and the
guards beat me. I've been coughing blood ever since."
Ulm's eyelids begin to droop, and in minutes he's asleep again. A moment later his body stiffens, and Ulm
dies. At least his final moments were pleasant ones.
20) In the center of the ruined tower that occupies the heart of this city, you find a dais and what's left of a
statue. Thedais stands about four feet high, and, from the looks of things, appears to have been placed
here since the tower wasdestroyed. A plaque on the dais reads, 'This plaque marks the original location of
Lanac'toor's Tower and Magic Academy. This statue commemorates his feats." There used to be a statue
atop the dais, but it has been removed, leavingonly Lanac'toor's swollen feet behind. The statue appears to
have broken off clean at the ankles.
21) You pick your way through the ruins and come upon a spy post maintained by the defenders of
Byzanople. Severalsoldiers are gathered here. They are gaunt from months of isolation - you surmise that
if the city does not fall by assaultit will soon succumb from hunger. The soldiers are led by a woman
warrior dressed in white and red. As yet, you remain unobserved.
22) This shack has been set up as a universal shrine for Dilmun's many religions. A priest welcomes you
and escorts youaround the shrine. The majority of the shrine is devoted to Irkalla, the Queen of the
Underworld, and her consort Nergal.The priest explains worship of Underworld gods always spreads
during times of strife, perhaps because people come toview their own world as an extension of hell. Also
represented is the man-animal Enkidu, patron of the Druids, and the obscene Refeek, god of things better
The priest lets you worship or observe as you see fit, neither condemning nor encouraging your actions.
"These are hardtimes," he says, "you had better pray to them all. We can use all the help we can get."
23) You intently scrutinize the murals for several minutes, and are able to arrive at a few broad
conclusions. It seemsthis city square was used to confine a dragon. You remember a legend of the cities of
Dilmun holding dragons captive asdefense against their neighbors. The murals depict blood sacrifice and
obtuse ceremony being used to pacify the dragon.In one of the ceremonies, a priest is depicted aiming a
short metal rod at a dragon, seemingly holding the beast under hissway. There is no rendering of the
dragon in action. It seems the dragon demanded a terrible price for a purely defensiveweapon.
Furthermore, the ruins surrounding this square offer mute testimony to the effectiveness of a dragon for
24)You board the ship as soon as the last of the pirates drops dead, eager to see what it was the thieves
were so deter-mined to defend. You see the ship's name is the PRAIRIE MADNESS, and that it seems to
be fitted out for fast raidingmissions. There isn't much of a cargo hold, so the ship won't serve for long
journeys, but it looks very fast and dangerous.
25) "Welcome to Phoebus, City of the Sun!" chirps an odd mechanical voice. You stop in your tracks,
trying to identifythe source of the voice. After a few moments, you hear the message again, and determine
it is coming from a raised stonedais and plaque directly in your path. Evidently the message is activated
by your presence. "Welcome to Phoebus, Cityof the Sun!" the voice says again, this time a little slower
than before. You examine the plaque and see it is a a map ofthe city. "Welllcoooome tooo Phoeeeeebussss,
Ciiiityyy offff theeeee Sunnnnnnnn..." the voice intones, now perilouslyslow. Something's wrong with the
device. A mechanical hand protrudes from the dais, frantically trying to shake yourhand, but there's no
way you're getting near it. Two stern looking gentlemen dressed all in black stare at you, making you
nervous. Committing the details of the map to memory, you hurry away from the silly
device."Wellllllllllllllcooooooooooommmmmeeeeee. . . !"
26) The walls of this city are of bright marble that seem to glow with an inner light. The streets are paved
and clean, andthere is no sign of poverty or disorder. The horse carts run on time. You can't shake the
feeling something is about to gotragically wrong.
27) You at last stand before the Sword of Freedom. The hilt of the fabled blade is just inches from your
grasp. A hushcomes over the city of Freeport. The furiously boiling waters previously surrounding this isle
have subsided. You look upand see the citizens of Freeport have gathered all around the harbor, waiting to
see what you will do next. Some of thecitizens appear happy, others are proud, many just wear blank
stares. One large man stands silent, but tears roll down hischeeks.
You smell a faint scent of ozone. Somewhere, a baby cries.
28) Two officers occupy this building, evidently associated with the military force drilling on the parade
grounds outside.The officers quickly shuffle aside the dice game they were playing when you entered, and
snap to attention. They relaxwhen they see who you are, and you sense a change in their attitude.
The elder of the two officers gives you a close inspection. "Such a fine lot of patriotic types," he says. "It's
about timesomeone from this feeble little burg enlisted in the army! Welcome to the service of King
Drake. Hail Namtar!"
29) Perilously weakened from your long journey through the swamp, you at last enter the City of the
Yellow Mud Toad.The walls here are sagging and brown with grime. The city smells almost as bad as the
swamp that surrounds it. Stillpools of foul water and puddles of bubbling mud clog the streets. The people
of this city shuffle about on their tasks,letting your greetings go unheeded and refusing to look you in the
30) Sheltered at the base of the ruined city wall you find a funky little souvenir shop. A sign in the
window identifies theplace as "Your Lanac'toor memorabilia shop!" Intrigued, you enter. An unseen bell
chimes an offensively sour note as you swing open the door to the shop. Inside you find a remarkable
selection of Lanac'toor souvenirs. Images of the madsorcerer are inscribed on mugs, bowls, plates,
bookends, trophies, boxes, candles, and lanterns. Lanac'toor grinning faceor family crest is embroidered
on hats, ties, underwear capes, and belts...a store clerk even offers to personalize any item you select,
sewing or engraving your name on your purchase. A very small portion of the shop is given over to items
unrelated to Lanac'toor. Most of it seems like junk - bits of masonry from the city wall, tiny images of the
Yellow MudToad, and odd scraps of metal. You are amazed by the single-minded devotion this shop
shows to an historical figure soinsignificant outside the walls of the City of the Yellow Mud Toad.
31) On the far distant horizon you spot the menacing shape of a black sail. It seems these sea lanes are
patrolled bypirates and other scurvy beasts. The enemy ship is down-wind from you - it is only a matter of
time before you arecaught !
32) Huddled in the shelter of the city's ill-repaired wall you find a militia of wild-eyed men. "Is the war
over?" one ofthem asks. "Does Lanac'toor live?" wonders another.
You are able to piece together something of the history of this place. The patron of the City of the Yellow
Mud Toad wasa wizard named Lanac'toor. He occupied a tower that formerly stood in the center of town.
Lanac'toor quarreled with Namtar when a general ban on magic was announced, and war broke out
between the City of the Yellow Mud Toad and Namtar's city of Kingshome. As soon as the war began it
was over. Kingshome legions summoned a dragon from theswamp to shatter the walls of the City of the
Yellow Mud Toad. Lanac'toor's tower was destroyed and the wizard himselfwas turned to stone.
After Lanac'toor was killed, the enemy army withdrew, apparently unconcerned with the fate of the City
of the YellowMud Toad. The citizens of the city are convinced the worst is yet to come, and thus maintain
a feeble city militia asdefense. It seems unlikely the city has anything worth defending. The men of the
militia mutter to themselves as you leave.
33) Ahead you see the walled city of Byzanople. The tattered banner of Byzanople still flies above the
city's unbreached walls. The approaches to the city are occupied by the army of Kingshome. The besieging
army is spread across thecountryside, indicating it has been several months since Byzanople was invaded.
As you approach, several heavily armored soldiers launch an assault on the city. They scramble over
rubble and rush thecity's gate, waving their weapons and shouting war cries. A hail of arrows, stones, and
boiling oil descends upon theattackers wherever they stray too near the wall. The defenders make short
work of the Kingshomer assault, and fewerthan one in ten of the soldiers launching the assault make it
back to their camp.
34) A rough pile of rubble marks the perimeter of the Kingshome advance siege camp. The cyclopean
walls of Byzanople are just a few yards away. A twisted path leads through the rubble toward the gates of
the city. The path passes beneaththe walls of the city, forming a savage killing ground. The path is littered
with broken arrow shafts, debris, and the bodies of others who have tried to take this city by storm.
35) This massive central structure dominates the city of Lansk. Unlike the walls that surround this city,
this structure isfortified and prepared for war. Armed Lansk guards patrol the battlements, looking stern
and ill humored. Written warnings in a variety of languages advise passers-by to keep their distance. And
not without reason, for within the structure, visible through a thick glass panel, you see a dragon. The
beast is huge, completely filling the fortress that is itshome. It must weigh at least eighty tons. The dragon
is asleep, but no less fearsome for all of that.
A plaque explains the dragon is maintained by the city as its primary means of defense. Should disaster
ever threaten thecity, you read, the dragon will be set free, destroying both the city and the army that
would conquer it. The dragon is maintained by expensive blood sacrifice - primarily by hurling criminals
into the dragon bunker.
The dragon is impressive, but you feel vaguely disappointed. This isn't a fearsome flying saurian; it's an
overfed monster sitting in a cage.
36) You alert the warriors to your presence. The soldiers are startled when you speak, and when they turn
you see theyare pale with fright. They realize you could have killed them before they knew you were there.
The soldiers regard younervously as the woman in red and white approaches.
"You're the infiltrators the Kingshomers sent from their camp," she says. "I see you are surprised - my city
might belosing this war, but we're not without our resources."
The woman shakes your hand as she introduces herself. "My name is Princess Myrilla," she says. "If you
meant us harm you would have attacked us from behind. You don't look like Kingshomers; I choose to
trust you." Myrilla barks someorders to her men in a language you don't understand. Turning back to you,
she continues, "Follow me. My brother will want to speak with you."
Myrilla leads you through a secret passage into the heart of Byzanople. It's odd this girl has so abruptly
taken you into herconfidence. You decide to play along...if she can't make you a better offer than the
Kingshomers, this is certainly aneasier way into the city than storming the gate.
37) Several squat figures surround the entrance to a tunnel leading under the walls of Byzanople. A
wooden palisadeshields the tunnel entrance from the eyes and weapons of the city's defenders. You
recognize the figures as siegeengineers, and surmise they are attempting to undermine Byzanople's walls.
A short and powerful man covered with mud and sweat emerges from the tunnel. "I think we're through,"
he says. We had to find our way through a patch of granite, but I think we've come up against a cistern or
basement wall. He looksat you expectantly. "All we need now is a pack of brave idiots to try the tunnel,
find their way into the city, and open thegate for us."
38) Using your magic spell, you watch in wonder as color flows back into the frozen dwarves. The
chamber is filled witha noise uncomfortably like the popping of popcorn as the dwarves return to life,
their joints made stiff from ages of disuse.Before long, the entire clan is restored to life. The dwarves give
you the once-over.
39) You find a hidden cove. There's a dock house by the water, and beside it you can sec several small
ships tied up tothe dock. You must pass through the dock house to get to the boats. To your right is a
small wayside shrine to somedivinity or another. The cove is very quiet, aside from the lapping of the
waves and the rhythmic creaking of the boatstugging at their ropes. It's hard to tell if this place is
inhabited or not.
40) A wave of fetid humidity strikes you like a slap in the face when you open the door to this room. This
place must beunder an enchantment. Within the room is exactly reproduced a hot and swampy
environment not unlike the Isle ofQuag. The floor is a deep and bubbling mud bog, wide-leaf palms grow
here and there, and in the underbrush you think you see small reptiles warming themselves on hot rocks.
A most unusual sight to find in a dungeon....all the comforts ofhome (if you're a reptile).
4 l ) The pirates are friendly enough when you pay them their gold. They offer you a seat and serve you a
brutal meal of calamari and grog. "My name's Long John Ugly," the leader identifies himself. "And this
here is my gal, Peg." Ugly's girl has two peg legs and no teeth, but she's by far the most presentable
member of this motley crew.
You converse with Ugly and his band for several hours. Ugly used to be a sailor in the Tarsian navy. He
explains Tarswas a minor city on the isle of Forlorn, and that it was reduced to ruins in the early days of
the war with Kingshome."These ain't good times to be a sailor, me bucko, Ugly growls, becoming
increasingly maudlin as the grog does its work."Namtar don't want folks sailing about from one island to
the other. Too hard to keep people in their place that way!".
You learn Ugly's band has scratched out a living raiding along the coast, but pickings are slim. You also
guess they do abit of smuggling. Ugly is hesitant to take you out in his boat, saying the weather is wrong
and the seas are too dangerouslately. When you remind him of the gold you paid, Ugly smiles and Peg
shrieks with laughter.
"I didn't figure that gold covered the cost of a passage, mate!" Ugly laughs. "That was just a fee for this
fine repast and fornot gettin' yer throats slit." Peg whispers something in Ugly's ear. "But Peg likes ya, and
I'm in a charitable mood, so I'll do ya a favor. Seein' as how ya should be dead anyway, I'm willin' to ferry
ya over to the Necropolis. There's plenty ofloot to be had in that place, which should suit you folks just
fine." Ugly gestures over his shoulder and points toward thesouth wall. "The dock's on the other side of
the south door. I'll meet ya out there in a minute." Ugly looks you straightin the eye as he concludes, "And
I do mean the south door. You'll do as yer told if you've got any sense."
42) In this dusty and disused chamber you find what was formerly the throne of King Drake of
Kingshome, the mightiestruler of Dilmun. The throne is heaped in the corner and in poor repair.
Carelessly tossed behind the throne you findDrake's ceremonial crown. Maybe it will be worth something,
if there is ever a true king in Kingshome.
43) You sail through most of a day and night through thick fog. There is no moon, and the going is slow
and treacherous.Several times you think you glimpse phantoms in the fog, or hear strange beasts bumping
against the hull of your vessel.Just when you think you may never reach your destination, an island looms
out of the murk.
The island is an irregular mass of black stone, covered in moss and green slime. Ruins of impossibly
ancient design arejust visible in the center of the island. Luminous eyes peer at you from dark hollows and
forbidding bogs nestled alongthe coastline.
44) The magic paint works as advertised. Now covered with the mystic colors, the formerly ruined walls
of the City of the Yellow Mud Toad stand tall and strong. You hope strong walls will be enough to hold
off the growing terror you know lurks in the swamps, just a few feet away.
45) The sail to Freeport is a long one, and your supplies are barely enough to last the voyage. You sail east
and away fromthe majority of the Dilmun islands, headed into previously unknown waters. Once free from
the war-torn islands of theDilmun interior, you are able to enjoy the natural beauty of the maritime world
Presently you come in sight of a glistening modern harbor sheltered in a strange coast. Your charts
indicate this isFreeport, and anchor your ship at a dock.
46) Your journey takes you to the frontier known as the Eastern Isles. This area is unclaimed by any
nation, and youexperience no encounters with hostile maritime forces.
The Eastern Isles have a rustic quality lacking in the Dilmun Interior. Here things are unfinished and
wild, and seemuntouched by the corruption of the Interior. This region is the closest thing you've seen to
the paradise you expected tofind when you arrived in Purgatory, many months ago.
Presently you spot what seems to be a ruined city, half-submerged in the sea. You find a place to land your
craft on astretch of sand southeast of the ruins.
47) Near the bridge you find a run-down building. A sign above the door identifies the place as the
'Official Quag VisitorsInformation Bureau'. The building is every bit as run-down on the inside as out.
An ugly little woman with a cluster of purple eyes enthusiastically greets you. "Welcome to Quag, Isle of
Luxury!" shesays. "I'm so glad you're here. We don't get so much business since the war." You learn that
Quag's only city - the Cityof the Yellow Mud Toad - is sinking into the swamp and the priests of the
Yellow Mud Toad are powerless to stop it."But it's really quite safe for travelers," the woman is hasty to
add. "Quag remains an isle of wonders, and many stilldream of taking the vapors!"
You judge the woman quite mad. Saying good-bye, you depart.
48) A wall of rock stands athwart your path. Massive bronze doors guard a way through the rock;
fearsome beasts guardthe way to the door.
Two creatures guard the way through the rock. They are half scorpion and half dragon, but in some ways
they look like men. Their eyes glow with balesome fury. They glow with an inner light, bathing the
ground at their feet in glory. They appear to be a man and a woman, and thus doubly dangerous for the
bond they must share.
49) After a few hours of cautious work, you're able to lash an appropriate rock to the broken pick handle
with the laces you received from the dying man. The result is a serviceable if makeshift hammer. The
hammer probably isn't worth much as a weapon, but it might hold up long enough to break the chains that
50) The door closed behind you with an ominous sound evoking the finality of the tomb. The door and
wall from thebridge must have been sound proofed, for no sooner do you emerge from the bridge than a
mad chorus of howls assails your ears. Insane screaming seems to spring from every direction, although
you cannot see the source of the noise. It's enough to drive a person mad!
51) You walk beside a clean and stylish harbor. Although you are near the sea, this place has none of the
stink associated with Oceana's coastal places...either Freeport is not sinking, or the port is engineered such
that seepage is not the problem here that it is elsewhere in the world.
The construction here is simple but attractive. There's rustic feeling associated with the unfinished wood
railings foliage, and crisp scent to the air. The people of this place are dressed in effective leather and
cloth, and seem healthy andenergetic. Everyone is armed, and you judge the citizens of this place know
how to defend themselves. You are greetedwarmly as you approach, but the citizens of Freeport do not
tarry to speak. Everyone seems engaged in a mission of great industry.
52) To the south is a little island in the harbor. Standing in the center of the island is an anvil, plunged to
the hilt withinthe anvil is a brilliantly gleaming magic sword. There seems no way to the island...the
water here seethes and boils withmagical energy. It doesn't take much imagination to surmise a swim to
the island would be fatal.
A Freeport citizen notices your interest in the island. "That is the Sword of Freedom," he says. "Many
years ago, the great hero Roba delivered it from the Underworld. After many years of adventuring, Roba
retired here and founded ourcity. Shortly before his death, Roba built this magical island to protect his
The citizen is silent for a moment before continuing. "Legend says that so long as the sword remains in
the anvil, noharm can come to Freeport, " he says. "At the same time, Roba warned a time would come of
great strife on Oceana. He said a champion would appear one day to claim the sword. He who wields the
Sword of Freedom will quell the strife inOceana, but at the same time will doom our city. Such is the
sacrifice we must someday make."
The citizen wishes you well and leaves. The Sword of Freedom is just out of your reach. It seems to taunt
you. How toget it? How to get it...?
53) In this cell you find a weak young man dressed in soiled motley. "Good evening ladies and germs, it's
good to be back at the palace," he says as you enter his cell. "A funny thing happened to me on the way to
the dungeon." The poorman was obviously a court jester. "I ran into Sir Loin of Pork this afternoon - he
said he was about to become Baron of Greymatter." This guy really stinks. If wiser men than you
consigned this man to the dungeons, who are you to set himfree. "I got a million of 'em," the jester says,
seeming to notice you for the first time and perking up considerably. Thisconfirms your worst fears, and
you slam and lock the cell door. "Cancel the Renaissance - it looks like a reign of terror!"comes the
muffled voice from behind the door.
Even Namtar has a good idea now and then.
54) "Thanks for putting me back together - I feel swell!" Lanac'toor grins. "I was a little nervous when
you put my armson backwards, but I guess I'll get used to it. Having my elbows bend the wrong way will
make it easier for me to scratchmy back!"
55) A yawning chasm stretches before you. A violent gust of hot wind rises from the chasm...the void
must reach to thevery roots of the world, below even the Underworld. Out of the chasm, starting an
unknowable distance beneath you andstretching as far as the eye can see, you view a vomitous mass of
irregular black stone. The tower stands piled atop itselfand is at once designed and chaotic...from one
angle it looks like a sorcerer's stronghold, while from another it seems like the exposed spine of a fantastic
beast. Perhaps it is not really there at all. More likely it exists in more than one dimension at the same
time, and is thus difficult to see in its entirety.
One thing is certain...this tower has nothing to do with god, or salvation, or pilgrims. This is a tower of
Evil. This is theTower of Namtar!
56) A tall and powerfully built man with a greenish complexion greets you when you enter the building. "I
am Tarkas, first citizen of Tars," he says. You learn that he and his fellow officers fled here to Freeport
when their home city of Tarswas destroyed by the legions of Kingshome. Tars was previously the foremost
city of the Isle of Forelorn. Now Tars is asad ruin, while Purgatory passes for the isle's only city. If you
explore the ruins of Tars, Tarkas says, be sure to seek thehidden chambers beneath the city - they might
still contain fabulous treasures.
Tarkas is bitter when he recalls the ruin of his city. "We were betrayed," he says. "We relied on our
dragon to defend us.We didn't dream Kingshome would be so bold to assault us when our dragon was
healthy and awake. When they lay siegeto our city, we released our dragon...and the beast did nothing! A
hundred years of blood sacrifice to that terrible dragon,and what good did it do us in our hour of need?"
Tarkas grows animated as he speaks, accidentally smashing a table as he excitedly flails his arms. "I tell
you, Namtar found a way to usurp control of our dragon! Since Namtar rose Kingshome against all of
Dilmun, dragons have all butvanished! Namtar controls them somehow...but no man can control the
saurians without paying a terrible price. If someone could learn what he's done with the dragons - and
leam how to wrest their control from Namtar...then Kingshome would learn a thing or two!!"
57) This simple hall serves as the community meeting place for the citizens of Freeport. You are greeted
by minor cityofficials who welcome you to their town and eagerly ask you for information of the war in
Dilmun. "These are darkdays," the official says. "Soon Kingshome will control all of Dilmun, then
Namtar will cast his evil gaze toward the Eastern Isle and our fair city."
The official scratches his head. "It's odd," he says. "My father was an advisor to the court of King Drake at
Kingshome.He said Drake was a peaceful old man. His son, Jordan of Byzanople was a regular
firebrand...but not Drake. Whysuddenly make war on his neighbors? It doesn't make any sense...Namtar
must have poisoned him." The official shrugs."I wonder if something's happened to him. King Drake
hadn't been seen in public for over a year when I was last inPhoebus, and that was some time ago. Maybe
something happened to him."
58) After a long wait, you shuffle onto the block with a host of other unfortunates. You are in better shape
than the poorwretches that surround you, and your group is instantly the subject of spirited bidding. You
shudder as you are sold to aman with a fat neck for more gold than you are likely to see in a lifetime.
You are led away from the slave auction and linked one to another by a continuous sequence of chains and
collars.Presently your new master appears and introduces himself. "I am Master Mog," he says. "From this
moment on, I am your mother, I am your father, I am your God, I am your world. I am Mog - Mog is All.
Abandon all hope of freedom. You are my property, to do with as I please."
Mog leaves you to the hands of his slave bosses, who spend the next several weeks attempting to break
your spirit. During this time you are loaded aboard a painfully slow cog and sail to Master Mog's estate.
You are afforded a briefglimpse of Mog's luxurious palace before you are led beneath the earth and
introduced to Mog's salt mines.
Then begins a mind-numbing series of repetitious chores. You are not permitted to leave the mines. You
work, sleep,and eat in the same series of identical tunnels, never permitted to see the sun.
59) You are admitted to the camp and immediately pressed into service. The army makes no attempt to
provision ortrain you - it's evident they consider you a band of cutthroats, and that they like you just the
way you are.
You are billeted in a siege camp located a few miles south of the walled city of Byzanople, which for
months has stubbornly resisted the enlightenment of joining the unified Kingshomer Empire under
Namtar and King Drake. Thebesieging Kingshomer army is preparing to take the city by storm. You are
to be among the waves of unfortunates theywish to send over the wall. You may not take kindly to this
idea, but there are many more of them than there are of you,and this is no opportunity to desert.
60) These cramped quarters serve as home for Mog's unfortunate slaves. Men sleep fitfully on the cold
rock floor,encumbered by the stout chains that bind them one to another. An examination of your
companions proves your chainswill never be removed - some of the sleeping men are still chained to
companions who have long since passed away.
61) The dying man gratefully gulps water from your cup. "You are angels," he says. "I want to die, but not
alone, andcertainly not thirsty!" The man wipes his mouth with his wrist. His parched lips crack and
smear his wrist with blood."Not much longer," he says with a wan smile. "When I'm gone, I want you to
have these." The dying man shows youhis boots. The soles are entirely worn away, but the tops are still
secured by stout leather laces. "The boots aren't muchgood, but the laces are strong - maybe you can do
something with them." The old man is abruptly seized with a coughingfit. You know the end is near. "I
hope you fare better then me," he croaks.
62) The last of the guards drops dead and silence claims the mines. A ladder leads up out of the salt
mines. In the dimdistance you can see sunlight for the first time in uncountable hours, days, or months.
Freedom is at hand. But whatawaits you at the top of the shaft?
63) Several people are huddled around a fire. One of them offers you some stew which you eagerly accept
- it's bland andwatery, but it's the first hot food you've had in days and you eat every drop. After your meal
you doze off by the fire,grateful to at last be in the company of charity and good will. When you awaken,
you feel as if you've been reborn.
64) You stand before the gleaming city of Lansk. The streets are clean, the people are orderly, and while
the city iswalled, there is no gate. None of the busy citizens you spy carries a weapon. The city shows no
sign of war or occupation. However, it does seem like a very rich place, and you can detect a faint smell of
dragon in the air....
65) This guard room is occupied by several menacing men who stand when you enter. "Well...look at
this," one of themsneers. "Our prisoners have 'escaped'. We have to 'recapture' them - perhaps several
times." The guards begin to closein. "Remember, men, these prisoners were trying to escape...we won't be
accused of beating prisoners in their cells again ! "
66) This is Phoebus' incredible Temple of the Sun, renown all across the world of Oceana. The sun's
warm rays shineinto an open atrium, bathing the broad leaves of a variety of exotic heliotropic plants.
Acolytes of the temple are busyabout on mysterious tasks. The floor is inscribed with a gold design
depicting the motion of Oceana and her sisterplanets. From some unseen chamber you hear the soothing
sound of running water.
A gold curtain swings aside and a short, swarthy man enters the chamber. He is dressed in blue robes
inscribed with starsand moons, and wears a pointed cap. It seems the man very much wants to look like a
wizard, but has no idea of whatwizards actually look like.
"I am Mystalvision, High Priest of the Temple of the Sun," says the wizard in a comically high and wet
voice. "You are to be commended for making it this far. I don't care that you cracked out of Purgatory, but
your behavior since enteringmy city has been intolerable." Mystalvision snaps his fingers, and several
cruel gentlemen dressed all in black appear outof nowhere. "Namtar's Stosstrupen would like to ask you
some questions," Mystalvision sneers. "I should ask you to come along quietly, but it will be more fun to
do this the hard way "
67) This is an open-air slave market, filled with the cry of fleshmongers and the laughter of a perfumed
crowd. Here menand women are for sale - people such as yourselves - to the jaded residents of the Dilmun
From the gate of the slave market you watch as several young men are auctioned off. They seem less
healthy than yourselves - maybe they've been in the city longer than you. It seems a sad way out of this
place, to make yourself aslave...but isn't anything better than a life of misery and slow death in the streets
You scan the crowd, anxious to measure the character of citizens of the Dilmun interior. Their faces seem
cruel andaristocratic, with a faint hint of the more-than-human. Here and there you spot a face that seems
kinder than most, but if you were on the block, what guarantee would you have of receiving a kind
master? Could you truly live with yourself asa slave?
There is a long line of lost souls waiting for the auction block. Nothing will stop you should you decide to
68) The door to this hut is open, and from within you hear someone singing. Entering the hut, you see a
simple room...apile of straw serves as a bed, while a candle bums on a large rock that passes as a table.
Behind the rock you see a sadman who seems very old. His eyes are empty sockets and both his hands
have been amputated at the wrist. You wonderwhy a blind man burns candles when he's alone.
The man stops singing and swings his head in your direction when you enter. "You must be the outsiders
everyone's soexcited about," he says with a firm voice. "I can smell Purgatory on you. Please come in. I'd
like to see some newfaces...provided I could see."
You learn the man's name is Carson. He was a sorcerer at the Temple of the Sun, in Phoebus. "That was
before Namtarrose from the Pit," says Carson, pausing to spit. "Damn Underworld types should stay in
their own world."
You talk with Carson well into the evening, pumping him for information. You learn that Namtar is
either a demon or aman - Carson seems to use the terms interchangeably. About a year ago Namtar
appeared at the court of King Drake in Kingshome, and was welcomed as the court magician. Within a
year, Kingshome had mobilized and began making waron its neighbors. At the same time, Namtar
announced a general ban on magic, using his secret police - the Stosstrupen - to enforce the ban. A great
magical war ensued, which Namtar and the Stosstrupen won handily.
"Now sorcery is all but dead in Dilmun," Carson continues. "Take a look at me. Ten years learning Sun
Magic and itleads to this! All the old Masters are gone...Lanac'toor was finally driven over the edge and
shattered into a score ofpieces; Zaton exiled to the deep wilderness; and Mystalvision..." Carson is silent
for a long time, then says, "I can't proveit, but I always thought Mystalvision was wrapped up with
Namtar. He's the High Priest at the Temple of the Sun. Our Order fell to Namtar so quickly...we must
have been betrayed. Beware of Mystalvision!"
You talk with Carson late into the night, but learn little else of value. He is either unwilling or unable to
teach you anymagic. Heeding his advice, you take your leave of the old man.
69) When no one is looking, you crawl into an open sack filled with disgustingly fresh corpses. You lay
still as the sack iscrudely sewed shut. The darkness of the tomb descends upon you as the bag is closed.
None too gently, the entire sack is heaved onto the backs of the slaves. Dead arms embrace you, long
fingernails claw at your hair, rotting grave mold seems to penetrate your body. There is a lurch and a rasp
as the bag clears the wall, and then you fall.
Your flesh crawls with anticipation. Will you meet your end, smashed to death with a host of corpses on
some unseenrocky spire? Or will you splash into the warm waters of Oceana, at long last free from the
stinking hell of Purgatory?
You splash. You sink. You struggle. At last you win free of the sack, and the dead hands that drag at you
seeminglyresentful of the life you display. Lungs bursting, you break from the water at the base of the
harbor wall, and quicklyclamber aboard some debris you find floating close by and strike out for shore.
70) Mighty oaks intertwine above your head to form a living gateway to this enchanted forest. A fresh coat
of sparkingdew lays over everything, lending a fantastic quality to the scene. The ground is covered with
an inviting blanket of greenmoss. Faerie lights glimmer from within the boles of dark yet pleasant trees.
This is a magical place.
71) Much to the garrison's dismay, the gates of Byzanople prove little obstacle for you. The Kingshomer
army streamsthrough the open gate and makes short work of the outnumbered city garrison. Byzanople
After putting the garrison to the sword, the victorious Kingshomer soldiers gleefully get down to some
serious pillaging.Buck Ironhead, the commander of the Kingshomer siege camp, appears from the chaos.
"I've got to hand it to you," he says, "you really did a job on these Byzanople jerks! Now Namtar's control
of Dilmun is complete. I'm sure the BeastFrom The Pit will want to thank you personally." Ironhead
smiles when you remind him of your bargain. "I haven'tforgotten, I assure you...but seeing as how you
threw in with me so easily, I doubt you have any real sense of honor. I wouldn't trust you clowns as far as I
could throw you!" Buck stands back as several of his soldiers gather around. "Put these traitors in irons!"
The guards close in. It's an epic fight, but no heroes can long withstand sheer weight of numbers.
Everything goes black as the last of your party falls to the dust.
72) This shrine is formed from rocks and wood and moss - it seems a profoundly natural thing, more an
outgrowth of thisenchanted wood than a thing built by man. The divinity worshiped here is none you
recognize, but the feeling of theplace is one of harmony with nature.
Upon closer inspection, you see dried bloodstains on the rock. The stains are not large - this shrine is not
used forsacrifice - but perhaps its resident god is awakened by a token gift of life.
73) This hidden glade is charged with magical energy. The rocks marking this clearing form a ring of
deliberately-placedstanding stones, the focus of which is upon the earth where you now stand. You feel
power rushing from the roots of theearth and into your soul. Enkidu himself stands and regards you.
74) Old Jack's eyes grow bright when you show him the signet ring. "His majesty..." Jack whispers. You
sadly shake your head, indicating Drake is dead. Tears form in Jack's eyes as he sighs. "Me poor, poor
king...I knew ye'd come to nogood with that demon Namtar! "
After showing him your ring, Jack treats you like an honored guest, forgiving all your misdeeds in the
forest. "I'm a King's man, ye got ta believe that," he says. "I love me King an' I never disobeyed him. But I
never like the looks o' that Namtar - he's a very devil, he is! It must have been 'im wot killed old Drake."
Old Jack pauses to spit. "Someone's gotto bring Namtar down, and clear the way for young Prince Jordan
to take the throne. You've got the ring, so you're it!"
Old Jack solemnly hands you his bow. "This here's me bow, I call her Nevermiss! Drake gave her to me
when we wereboth boys, and she's never failed me. Now I give her to you, to shoot down that foul
Namtar!" Jack is hesitant to releasethe bow, and even as you hold it his eyes linger on the weapon. "She's
like a lady, she is...you treat her kind. You treather kind."
Jack is abruptly eager to leave. He refuses to leave the forest, saying it's his only home. He wishes you all
good luck andmelts into the woods.
He will never be seen again.
75) After what seems an eternity, you locate the source of the screaming. Nearly mad yourselves, you find
a city of themad squatting on a desolate shore. Feeble huts made of driftwood and debris huddle together
in a feeble pile. White-haired loons with wild eyes stumble to and fro, mumbling to themselves or
shrieking like cats. Crazed citizens of theplace wrestle with one another, seeming like writhing human
serpents. It's a madhouse, and the inmates are running the asylum.
76) A mad artist inscribes designs on the sandy floor of his hut. "I don't have to do this, you know," he
says as you enter.It's uncertain if he's talking to you, or if you walk in on him while he was talking to
himself. "I can make a good livingas a tattoo artist!" he continues. "But I will draw on you, mother earth,
because everyone else draws from you. You.Who. Moo. Moo?"
The artist jumps up and bounds about the hut. "Moo! Moo!" he howls. "Don't you see? It's all so clear. At
last! Atlast! The poor man rushes past you and is quickly lost in the village of the lost.
77) Amid the ruins you come upon a remarkable sight. A bonfire illuminates a shattered city square.
Scores of peoplee avort about the fire this is the greatest gathering of people you've seen since arriving in
The occupants of the square constitute a cross-section of Purgatory's citizenry. Blind beggars, mad poets,
dog-faced children, and drunken priests swarm about the fire like moths to a flame; drinking, singing,
loving, bleeding, brawling. Above them all, seated on a rude throne of stacked masonry, you see the man
you surmise to be the king of this place. If he is a king, he is a king of thieves.
Astounded by this strange sight, you do not notice until it is too late a score of scoundrels sneaking up on
you. Surrounded by rogues, you are urged toward the fire, where you come under the gaze of the figure on
the throne. "Outlanders!," the king roars, teetering atop his perilous perch. "You've strayed far from your
homes, little does and kittens. This is the Court of Miracles, gathered to pay homage to the King of
Purgatory..." the king pauses, awaiting the proper moment before continuing, "...me, Clopin Trouillefou!"
78) A group of ragged unfortunates sun themselves on this dismal coastline. They sit in folding beach
chairs, somebeneath the shade of colorful beach parasols. All the men and women are dressed in rags.
Few have teeth; fewer still have a proper tan. The day is cold and grey.
"Hail Namtar!" a woman cries. "Great is he to take such care of us! What have we to want for?" A one-
armed youngman elbows you in the ribs, and says with a sidelong wink, "Quite a little resort we got here,
wouldn't you say? Boy, thatNamtar sure is a swell egg!" "This is a ritzy place - nothing less than a king
retired here!" cackles another. Similar comments come at every turn. You find this place is called Toxic
Beach, and these poor lunatics think it's some sort of beach resort to which they've been sent as reward for
faithful service to Namtar.
A few bloated dead rats have washed up on the bleached coastline. An odd tumble of rocks marks the
north end of the shore. The rocks are covered with debris, as if the remains of a shipwreck have washed
79) There is a deep rumbling as storm clouds gather. Abruptly rain begins to fall in relentless sheets,
threatening to floodthe stone, the forest, the entire world.
A supernatural hush falls over the glade. Even the pelting rain seems to fall silent. Suddenly you arc
surrounded byanimals - bears, dogs, deer, ducks, and even a penguin. You turn and see still more animals
crowding outside the door tothe shrine. You see a lion lay down beside a lamb. The animals are waiting
Above the stone appears the ghost of Zaton. The ghost speaks. "My friends, I am forever in your debt for
liberating mysoul. By restoring me to the world, the world restores itself. The natural order is
reestablished. Man and beast may againlive in harmony."
The animals begin to excitedly roar, bark, and bray. "My time in this world is done," Zaton says. "But for
you brave adventurers the task is just beginning. Namtar is evil! He must be destroyed! To you I grant the
boon of knowledge...useit well!"
80) The center post of these communal huts shelters a secret chamber. A skeleton dressed in the royal
colors of Kingshome sits on a makeshift throne. Whoever this was, he's been dead a long time. A royal
signet ring gleams on oneskeletal finger. The ring seems both valuable and important.
81) A dwarf springs up as you enter the room. He eagerly scans your party, then collapses in
disappointment. "Nodwarves," he weeps. "Never are there any dwarves. Poor Josephina is all alone." The
dwarf has a woman's name, but it'sbearded and it smells and...well, no matter, Josephina is probably just
as crazy as everyone else in this silly town.
"The kingdom is broken," cries Josephina. "The great clan hall is sealed, and all the dwarves slumber in
the vaults.Namtar stole the eyes from our icon and hurled them into the sea. Every day I search the coast,
but never do I find theeyes." Josephina continues to weep, hardly aware of your presence.
82) Nisir, the Mountain of Salvation, rises above you to an impossibly great height, seeming to rip the sky.
Although it isdaytime, when you look up you can see stars near where you guess the summit of the mighty
mountain must be. Itseems to you the mountain must push through the very atmosphere of Oceana to
produce such a sight.
Ahead of you, a long line of pilgrims slowly files past the sole gate leading from the harbor.
83) A prisoner lies babbling in the corner . "A secret tunnel connects this prison to the Nisir", he says.
"When you findthe swamp within the mountain, know you are near Namtar!"
84) The pilgrims stop one-by-one to kneel before this elaborate shrine before continuing. The shrine
depicts the image ofthe Universal God, a faceless deity that looks in all directions at once, and raises its
arms to encompass both earthheaven, and underworld. You note with relief that not even Namtar has
dared to undermine the basic faith of Oceana.
The pilgrims evidently expect enlightenment and salvation to result from their visit to Nisir. You expect
salvation of adifferent kind - the sort that can come only from sending Namtar to his doom.
85) It is several days' sail to Nisir, the Mountain of Salvation, but the route is easy to follow. The great
mountain Nisir seems to rise from the roots of Oceana and reach to the heavens - it is easily the tallest
mountain on the planet, and youare in sight of your destination for most of the journey.
The harbor at Nisir is clogged with pilgrim's vessels. Several hundred robed figures crowd the docks,
slowly passingthrough the harbor's only exit into the interior. The great mountain of Nisir looms above
you, stem and forbidding. Yousense a moment of destiny is at hand.
86) You are pressed into service and sent directly to the front. The army makes no attempt to provision or
train you - it'sevident they consider you a band of cutthroats, and that they like you just the way you are.
A troop ship conveys you to King's Island, where the walled city of Byzanople stubbornly resists the
enlightenment ofjoining the unified Kingshomer Empire under Namtar and King Drake. Byzanople has
been under siege for severalmonths, and the besieging Kingshomer army is preparing to take the city by
storm. You are to be among the waves of unfortunates they wish to send over the wall. You may not take
kindly to this idea, but there are many more of them than there are of you, and this is no opportunity to
You are billeted in a siege camp located a few miles south of the actual siege.
87) Directly ahead you see the semi-permanent camp of the Kingshomer campaign army. The army
occupies a valleybetween two mountain peaks. A wooden palisade has been erected across the mouth of
the valley, providing the camp with a measure of protection against raiders from the south.
There is no evidence of an enemy army anywhere in the area. From the looks of the camp, it seems likely
this is a basefrom which the Kingshomer army is besieging an enemy fortress or city.
Several guards lounge before the entrance to the camp. They eye you with suspicion.
88) Within this building you find a group of old men gathered around a table. They're playing dice and
speaking rapidlyto each other in a dialect you can barely understand. You are noticed and welcomed into
The men play for the joy of it. There's a complicated wagering scheme involved, but no money ever
changes hands, andthe men don't seem to care if you're rich or destitute. After a while, you begin to make
sense of their speech.
It seems these men are residents of the Dilmun interior, displaced to this island of outlanders by war and
oppression.From them you learn a little of recent events in Dilmun. The Dilmun interior consists of
several large islands, each ofwhich is dominated by an autonomous city-state. Warfare has been frequent
between the rival cities, but no single nationhas ever been able to rule all the others. Each city keeps a
dragon captive somewhere within its walls - if total disasterever threatens, the dragon will be let loose.
This would almost certainly lead to the destruction of both sides, but itserves as a deterrent to conquest.
Recently, the city of Kingshome launched a bid for empire. Kingshome's imperialism was aided by a
sorcerer - Namtar the Beast From the Pit. Thanks to Namtar, all magical opposition was quickly
overwhelmed, and Kingshome made rapidgains. For some unknown reason, the conquered cities never
launched their dragons against Kingshome.
The youngest of the men arrived at the camp just a few months ago. So far as he knows, nearly all of
Dilmun's cities havebeen conquered or lay in ruins. The city of Byzanople on the King's Isle remains free,
although it has been under siege forseveral months. He also mentions a city called Freeport in the Eastern
Isles, but his companions scoff when he does,saying Freeport is more myth than reality. Nevertheless, the
young man asserts he'll find Freeport someday - as soon ashe can find a ship bound for the Eastern Isles.
Since the war, very few ships travel the interior waterways, and it hasbecome increasingly difficult to use
Dilmun's many bridges.
89) You restrain the hunchback and prevent him from hurling the prisoner into the pit. Tears flow from
the hunchback'salready swollen eyes. "Buth Gethtrude must eat!" he mumbles. The dragon's thrashing
intensifies, and the great beastbegins beating its head against the side of its pit, setting up a great
rumbling through the dungeon. ''Now thuh manue hath hit thuth windmill!" the hunchback howls, trying
to flee down the narrow causeway to the edge of the pit. Hedoesn't make it...with a great booming, the
dragon lurches from from his chains, bumping against the platform on which you stand. The hunchback is
hurled screaming into the maw of the dragon...but now that that beast is free of its chains,no mere morsel
can satisfy it!
You flee the scene as the dragon smashes at the supports of the dungeon, and in so doing at the foundation
of the entirecity of Phoebus. You find a crazy path to the surface uncovered by the dragon's rage. You flee
the vicinity of the city andwatch from a nearby hill as the dragon claws its way to the surface. Before long,
Phoebus is a flaming ruin as the dragontakes its terrible toll. The city destroyed, the dragon slowly rises
into the sky, and flaps off to the east.
90) This is the office of the supreme commander of the campaign army of Kingshome. General Buck
Ironhead regards you from behind his desk. Ironhead is a frightening sight. His arms are a mass of scar
tissue from a sequence of woundstoo tedious to list. His face shows no mirth. His hands continually clench
and unclench. His head is completely flat - you could balance an egg on it.
"It's about time ya goldbricks showed up!" Buck snarls. "What do ya think this is - a soggin' country
club?? Ain't ya ever heard of reporting to yer commandin' officer??" Buck doesn't wait for a reply. "Now, I
know you clowns are a packof liberal adventurers. You don't like Namtar, you don't like the army - kid's
today!! Ungrateful whelps! Well, I don'tcare about any of that. I'm here to give you a second chance."
Buck comes out from behind his desk and hobbles around his office as he continues. "You're in the army
whether youlike it or not, so you might as well do this the easy way. You may think you've got this thing
licked, but I know damn well you can't tell your elbow from a dragon's blowhole. You keep your nose
clean and serve with some distinction at thefront, and I'll do what I can about gettin' you a full pardon.
Namtar's a megalomaniac, but he's also a businessman, andhe needs creeps like you!"
Buck dismisses you. "This is yer only chance. Namtar's gonna control everything sooner or later, so you
might as welljoin the winning side. Namtar's promised a kinder and gentler Oceana, but he can't get on
with it until guys like you toethe line.
"Get outta here!!"
91) Some bandits were evidently holed up here. Their campfire is still warm. Evidently they were eating a
meal when you showed up, as half-finished bowls of gruel stand all around the fire.
They weren't very good bandits, or maybe they hadn't been at it for long. There isn't much loot to be had
in this camp.Maybe they were adventurers such as yourselves, turned to crime in these hard times.
92) The magnificent stag lays dead. As you kneel beside your kill, the shaft of an arrow buries itself to the
feathers in the sod between your feet. You look up and see an old but very dangerous-looking man aiming
yet another arrow at you.
"This is the private preserve of King Drake," the old man says. "An' you have been poachin'." He glances
over yourparty before continuing. "These bein' hard times, I imagine ye gots to eat...but that was a prize
animal ye just killed, andI've gots to do me job."
The man keeps his bow half-cocked and watches you closely. He seems to be waiting for you to make the
first move. Maybe it would be worth winning his trust.
93) "BRAAAAAP!" Nergal is crude. "That was delicious...l will hallucinate later, and imagine Irkalla
working for aliving." Nergal shifts his ponderous mass on his throne, leans forward, and leers. "And now
you will serve Nergal!"
With impossible speed, Nergal grabs the volunteer with both slimy hands. His jaw seems to drop down to
his belt as theblack maw of his mouth is exposed. He quickly slips the volunteer's head into his mouth,
and clenches his jaw with asickening crunch. The volunteer's body stiffens, then goes limp, collapsing to
the ground without a head.
All is silent. Nergal smiles.
94) You recall learning of waters like this during your mystic studies. The pool of water ahead fits the
description of Aspu Waters...waters of the world ocean that underlies the surface of Oceana. Apsu Waters
are coterminous with theworld of Oceana, the mystical Magan Underworld, and dark dimensions where
gods and devils reside.
95) The slave boss is relentless. He offers you not a moment's rest, nor a drop of water, or even a scrap of
bread. All thatmatters is that the tunnel be completed. No single man or beast may stand in the way of the
project. Night and day youare driven to finish your task, with the sharp lash of the whip on your back, and
the laughter of the cruel slave bossringing in your ears.
96) An old man leaps to his feet and lunges for his bow when you enter the shack. "Glory be - ye got past
me snare! ! ", heexclaims. "That's quite a feat, but it still don't do to go bargin' in on honest folks without
so much as a knock! "
"Me name is Old Jack," he continues. "I'm the game warden hereabouts." Jack keeps his bow half-cocked
and watches you closely. He seems to be waiting for you to make the first move. Maybe it would be worth
winning his trust.
97) The long line of white-robed pilgrims ends at this rocky shrine. One by one the pilgrims pass before a
huge andpowerful image of the Universal God. There are no guards here. None are required. The God
keeps its own orderbeneath its own roof.
Looking up into the faceless face of the god, you feel the hand of destiny upon you. Namtar has not yet
attempted tosupplant Oceana's primary religion...but can that day be far away? The gods risk disaster
when they come to the world inperson - they must work through champions to see their will is done. The
Universal God seems to need a champion, alegendary hero to serve the cause of Freedom. Roba of
Freeport was such a hero. Will you be another?
The God requires a sign.
98) You climb the Mountain of Salvation for several hours, but the summit seems to draw no closer.
Several pilgrimsdrop from exhaustion along the path...the road to salvation is not for the weak of heart.
But a fraction of the way up the mountain, the path abruptly cuts into the rock. A level plain has been
cleared in the sideof the mountain. This is evidently the place to which the pilgrims travel. Turning
around, you look out at the world ofOceana from your lofty perch on the world's highest mountain. To
your alarm, you see you have long since risen aboveeven the highest clouds. The sky is purple and strange
stars twinkle - the huge bloated mass of the sun fully fills half thesky. Truly, this place is close to God.
99) In this stuffy bedroom you find a journal. From it you determine the master of this house was a man
named Mog, arich aristocrat who made his fortune in the mining business. By all accounts he was a crude
man - wealthy but uncultured - who fancied himself an artist. The journal is largely given over to a
remarkably frank account of Mog's failure asan artist.
Mog admits to experimenting with alchemy in pursuit of his art. At one point he confesses using a potion
to transformliving flesh into stone, but the artistic results were not satisfactory.
Near the end of the journal Mog mentions "acquiring an apprentice" by supernatural means. It seems this
apprentice wasoriginally supposed to assist Mog in his art. Toward the end of the journal, Mog admits the
apprentice has begunproducing incredible works of art which Mog displays in his garden and calls his
own. Mog hints that the apprenticedemands a terrible price for his art, and that he fears him. It is possible
the apprentice might not be human.
100) Off the beaten path you find this is a temple to the Magan Underworld. This seems a considerably
older place thanthe other structures on this plateau. The Underworld was before there was a was, and
doubtless it will still thrive whenall of Oceana has long since burned off into the void.
101) You receive a note with your feeble meal for the day:
'I am Berengaria, Acolyte of the Temple of the Sun. Mystalvision has gonemad. He punishes me and the
others for no reason. He has been corrupted by Namtar.
'We of the Sun serve justice; you must believe that. Mystalvision has broughtdishonor to our Order. These
are dark times. You have been unfairly imprisoned.
'I have unlocked your door, and made certain the jailor is drunk. If you arecautious, you should be able to
sneak past him and escape. The jailor's roomadjoins the cell block. Look for the secret door in the south
wall of the jailor's room - beyond is a passage that leads to people who will help you. I regret I cannot give
you a weapon...just doing this much has placed me in great jeopardy.
'Should you escape, meet me at the Icarian Triumph tavern in the northeastquarter of the city. I'll have
something for you.
"For justice and the Sun, I remain your friend - - Berengaria'
102) This is the jailor's room. The fat jailor snores in a drunken slumber. He's slumped over his table, but
there is a ropetied to his hand, and a bell tied to his rope. Should he stir, the bell will ring, possibly
summoning guards. The jailor isasleep, and doubtless very drunk, but turn-keys are notoriously light
103) These are the private chambers of the master of the house. The curtains are drawn across the
windows permittinglittle light to enter the room. In the murk, you can see that this room, like the others in
the house, is strangely devoid ofwall hangings...and that no mirrors are present.
The Master is in, sitting in his favorite chair. He wears the garb of an artist - specifically of a
sculptor...and he wants you to be his next masterpiece!
104) In the dark shadows of the dungeon you find a pit, at the bottom of which is a frothing dragon. The
beast isconstrained by a series of chains, but it seems to you the saurian could hardly be bound by such
Suspended above the center of the pit is a wooden platform, on which a demented hunchback struggles
with a boundprisoner. The hunchback is about to push the prisoner into the pit, evidently intending him as
a sacrifice to the dragon.The prisoner struggles as best as he is able, but his hands are tied behind his
back, and he is weakened from long captivity. The dragon thrashes back and forth, impatient to receive its
105) There are evident signs this chamber was formerly the lair of a beast or large animal. A pile of straw
in the cornerindicates where a large creature could have slept. The walls scraped with claw marks, and the
room is pervaded by anunpleasant odor. The room makes you feel instinctively uneasy.
106) This torture chamber is a vision of misery. The walls are lined with chains for securing prisoners in
place; thecenter of the room is occupied by racks, iron maidens, a fire pit, and other horrible instruments.
In the corner is a holeinto which are hurled the grisly remains of stubborn heretics.
A dying druid is stretched on the rack. You have rescued him from his torture...at the same time, it is
evident he willsoon die. There is nothing you can do to save his life, but perhaps you can ease his final
107) This tower chamber is in very ill repair. The supports are sinking, and half the floor is flooded with
inky blackwater. The contents of innumerable vials and potions are emptied on the floor alongside the
smashed vials that formerlycontained them. What was once a great magical library has been destroyed by
fire and water damage.
Amid a pile of debris you find the fragments of a journal. Much of it is in some magic language you can't
understand, buta small part is legible. The journal is dated prior to the destruction of the City of the
Yellow Mud Toad. You surmise thejournal was maintained by Lanac'toor.
'The chicken remains animate, not that it matters any longer. That pinhead Mystalvision has changed the
rules again.Where will I find a vole in this weather?...Have resumed expansion of my tower's basement,
using Soften Stone and Create Wall spells to clear rock, but this whole damn building is sinking. I keep
running into pockets of water. Furthermore, I uncovered an entrance to Magan, and all manner of berserk
Underworld denizens are running amok in mytunnels...The hell of it is that I've lost my spectacles that
Utnapishtim the Faraway gave me. I'll never see the entranceto the College of Magic without them.
They're buried somewhere in the rock. I don't know if I can locate them at thislate date, with Namtar's
thugs loose and my name on the hit list. I should prepare the city for defense, but I haven't donemy
laundry in weeks, and it's beginning to smell.'
Such are the concerns of sorcerers.
108) You are led to a secret throne room beneath the city of Byzanople. There Prince Jordan and several
advisors huddlearound a map in a council of war. Jordan is stunned when he sees his sister has brought
you into the heart of his defenses.Jordan's private guards tense as they lock eyes with you.
Prince Jordan recovers his composure and listens with interest to his sister's story. He is very interested to
learn you are infiltrators recently pressed into service with the Kingshomer army. "You are not native to
Dilmun, I can see that, "Jordan says. "This isn't your war. No Outlander reaches the interior without going
through Purgatory...and Purgatory isadministered by Kingshome. I know because my sister was formerly
Governor of Purgatory."
Jordan invites you to sit and offers you wine. "My father is King Drake of Kingshome," Jordan says. "I
haven't seen myfather in over a year - not since Namtar rose from the Pit. My father is a peaceful man,
and he loves his children...but hehas recently dismissed my sister from her post at Purgatory, and then
layed siege to me here at Byzanople. My fatherloves me and the succession is not disputed. I want to see
my father die in bed - I do not covet his throne. There is noreason for the King to make war on me. It
must be Namtar's doing.
"My father is not perfect, but it was never his way to imprison Outlanders for no reason. Namtar has
stolen my fatherfrom me; he has robbed you of your dignity. He is our common enemy. I make you an
offer - reject Kingshome and joinme in my struggle against Namtar. When my father is restored to the
throne, I will see you are richly rewarded."
109) Jordan smiles. He leads you to the map he and his men were examining. You recognize it as a plan
of the Kingshomer siege camp. Jordan pumps you for information concerning the camp and the size of the
force stationed there.
"We'll attack them tonight," Jordan decides. "There is a secret way from the citadel to the enemy camp -
we will takethem by surprise." Jordan looks at you as he continues, "Feel free to explore the city until we
arc ready to leave.
110) "The time has come," Prince Jordan says as he meets you on the stairs. Together with several of
Prince Jordan'sbest fighters, you sneak away from Byzanople through a secret passage. Only a skeleton
garrison is left behind - yourealize Jordan is throwing everything into this attack.
Using a local guide, you pick your way through the mountains surrounding the Kingshomer siege camp.
The guide seemsto lead you through solid rock at times, and you soon have little idea of where you are.
Suddenly, from ahead, you hearBuck Ironhead bellow orders to a pack of new "recruits". The battle is
about to begin!
l l l) You enter the dusty and perhaps forgotten ancestral crypt of Byzanople. The murky vault stretches
off into the darkness, harboring the remains of several generations of royalty. Perhaps they were buried
If you listen, you think you can hear a faint rattle of chains, and the raspy sound of a corpse drawing
112) Deep beneath the live volcano, you find the dragon hatchery. Here fantastic riches are free for the
taking. Yourperilous journey across the northern desert, so terrible in its undertaking, at last seems
113) The priests gratefully accept your knowledge and help in restoring the temple. "Truly you are people
of the Toad,"says a priest. "Please accept these boots as our gift." You are provided with several sets of
oversized golden boots. The boots are fashioned so as to resemble the flipper feet of a toad. It will be
difficult to walk wearing such thing. "Theowner of Magic Golden Toad Boots can leap great distances!"
the priest says with pride.
114) In the darkest heart of this palace of the dead you find an incredible sight...the court of Nergal,
consort to Irkalla andKing of the Underworld. The bloated white mass of Nergal slouches on a throne of
skulls, attended by a score of pallidgoblins. Worms squirm in his hair, bats nestle in his loins, and rodents
peer at you from within Nergal's mouth. Abouthis neck, on a silver chain, you see a large and ornate key.
"Topsiders...in my Court!" Nergal roars. "Bad enough I am in exile without fool clodhoppers barging in
on me. Goblins!Ghoulies! Bring them here!!"
115) "Haw! Most entertaining," Nergal laughs. The hideous god raises one fist and his court of freaks -
though you justhacked them to pieces - lurch to their feet like puppets on invisible strings. The goblins
and ghoulies look ready to fightagain...it's evident the undead monsters will eventually wear you down.
"You have entertained me...but you must alsofeed Nergal and serve Nergal before you can ask a boon of
Nergal. That is the law!"
Negal looks at you expectantly. A ghoul titters.
116) Just as advertised by the blind juggler, there was indeed a secret tunnel out of Purgatory. Beneath the
rock markedwith the secret sign you find fresh armor and weapons...thus armed, you are ready to seek
revenge for your imprisonment.
117) Here in the open garden you find an unusual statue. It is of an apparently wealthy man, if the quality
of hisgarments is any clue. He is in poor shape, and appears to be afraid of something. The quality of the
work is excellent, butthe statue is very unflattering.
118) A massive mechanical brass automaton stands at silent attention in this chamber. It is a flawless
piece of engineering, massive yet agile, and heavily armed and armored from head to toe. It would not do
to run into this thing in a darkhallway.
119) This vault is filled with slumbering dwarves...but if they sleep, it is the sleep of the dead, for the
dwarves have beenturned to stone. The dwarves are frozen in all variety of poses - sleeping, eating,
working, and just a few while fighting.It seems the dwarves were surprised by something terrible that
turned them to stone.
120) The Dragon Queen recoils when you show the Dragon Gem. "Curse you!" she hisses. "The Dragon
Gem marks youas friend of dragons, and binds me to your will." The Dragon Queen looms above you,
seeming impossibly large. "I grantyou your life, and I dismiss you from my presence. When next you use
the Dragon Gem, I will respond...but the sacrificeyou offer must be sweet, or I will turn on you, and the
Dragon Gem be damned!!"
With a beat of her wings the Dragon Queen is gone.
121) Peals of hysterical laughter assail your ears. You've discovered the secret undercity of Lansk, and
where the cityabove is staid and conservative, this place is a true party town. Citizens stagger about in
drunken stupors, angry soldierswrestle with one another, women and animals run through the streets.
122) This statue represents Irkalla the reigning deity of the Magan Underworld. It is to her you must
appeal if you willlong survive in the Underworld. She frequently wars with her consort Nergal, sometime
King of the Underworld.
123) Here is a statue of Nergal the cowardly King of the Underworld. When he is not getting along with
Irkalla, Nergalis exiled to his palace in the Necropolis, a city of the dead hidden on one of Dilmun's many
isles. Nergal is a bloated andridiculous creature, but from the look in his eye you surmise he might have a
sense of humor.
124) This statue honors the Universal God, the most popular deity of the surface realm of Oceana. The
Universal God isa faceless deity with multiple arms and hands. Each hand is posed in a different signal,
sending messages of hope and fearto the faithful. The Universal God is said to offer power to those who
serve Freedom - it was a patron of the legendaryRoba of Freeport. An ancient shrine to the Universal God
on the mountain of Nisir attracts millions of pilgrims annually.
125) Here you find an image of Enkidu the beastman, patron deity of animals and Druids. His worship is
strong in thewild places, but has declined in cities with the rise of Namtar and the destruction of the Druid
126) Here you find Lansk's dragon, perhaps first glimpsed from the city square above. Up close the dragon
is not nearlyso impressive. It is an old dragon - its fire has gone out, and its teeth have been pulled. It is
still a powerful beast, but ageor drugs seem to have robbed the beast of its fighting spirit. The animal
looks at you with something close to sadness inits eyes.
127) The cave is much larger on the inside than without. The interior of the cave is lined with thousands
of naturalcrystals that crazily reflect the light. After your long dark journey through the Underworld, you
are dazzled by the suddenlight, and become disoriented.
A voice rings in your ears. "You are the heroes of Oceana, and to you has fallen the burden of this
adventure. Listenclosely, for this is what you must do...
"The fair world of Oceana is sinking as the seas swell ever larger - there is little to be done for this. The
world has itsspan of life like any man or beast. The pilgrim Isles of Dilmun have been usurped by Namtar,
a renegade demon from therealm of this Underworld. He has disposed of King Drake of Kingshome and
rules in the late King's name, using theKing's legions to pursue his path of conquest.
"Namtar must be destroyed. He has isolated his enemies, dispersed the magical brotherhood of the world
and takencontrol of the dragons.
"The Sword of Freedom must be found and reborn in its forge. A reconciliation of sorts must be set
between Irkalla andNergal, for without accord in the Underworld, there can be no peace on the surface.
When all is ready, seek the Mountain of Salvation - Namtar must be returned to the pit of hell from which
The voice fades...
128) You sprinkle the ashes on the dark waters of the well, which abruptly begin to swirl. Although the
night of theUnderworld is absolute, you think you see a reflection of stars in the swirling black waters.
The motion of the waterintensifies and the ashes are sucked into the depths.
You stand back as a ghostly apparition rises from the well. At first the form is a shade, then a ghost, then
a spectre, thena living corpse. Gradually the shape takes corporeal form...blood, bone, muscle, teeth, hair
The ashes are restored to life!
129) The meeting of the Dilmun Underground is called to order. All those in attendance at the meeting
are cloaked indark robes, and although you recognize a few voices, no faces are visible.
130) Formerly the imperial court of King Drake, this hall retains none of the splendor of ages past. Where
once hungbrilliant tapestries, the walls are now bare. Empty pedestals mark where renowned sculptures
formerly stood. Blocks ofmarble are missing in several places where materials have been removed to
construct fortresses for Kingshome's campaign army. This is not the court of a king in residence.
131) This is a private bedchamber. A man wearing a simple robe lays on a divan. He seems neither old
nor young. Hehas no distinguishing marks or characteristics...there is no evil air to him, his eyes do not
piece to your soul, his brow hasno spark of mad genius. He sits up lazily as you enter, swings his feet to
the floor, walks across the room, and shakes your hand.
"I'm Namtar," he says. "I suppose you guessed that. You've given me quite a lot of trouble." Namtar
smiles. "Disappointed? Expecting something more? Later - I promise you. Won't you sit down?" Namtar
offers you a chair.
Namtar looks sleepy. He keeps rubbing his eyes. "Administering the conquest of the world is a bitch," he
says. "If I'd known how much work this was going to take, I doubt I ever would have started. Or maybe I
never had a choice. No matter. We need to talk.
"I am the son of gods. It is my destiny to rule men such as yourselves. You don't have to like it - I sense
you do not - butthat is the way of things. I have some grand plans, but I can't begin until this futile
resistance is quelled. It's just amatter of time. You know that as well as I. Why don't you pack it off to the
Isle of the Damned - it worked for oldDrake. You're not even native to Dilmun...there's little reason for
you to oppose me. Granted, that episode in Purgatorywas nasty, but into everyone's life a little reign must
fall. Ha ha. That was a pun."
No one laughs. Namtar sighs. "Ah well, I suppose we'll have to do this the hard way. I'll be leaving now.
If you're verydedicated, and very lucky, we may meet again within the Mountain of Salvation. I will kill
you then. In the meantimeconsider yourselves to be living on borrowed time. It's the least I can give you in
gratitude for the entertainment you'veprovided thus far.
"Oh...by the way. You can move again." Namtar's sorcery was so complete, you did not notice you were
under hiscompulsion until he brought it up. "I wish you the worst of luck, my friends." Suddenly Namtar
is gone - no flash oflight, no peal of thunder - just gone.
132) Aradrax screams as the first pint of blood is pumped from his body. This is going to be a long night -
a single pintwill never satisfy the Vampire Lord, but it seems none of the blood is going to come easy.
You check the machines andsee they function as advertised, but it still seems your volunteer is
experiencing needless pain.
133) "You're all right," the troll laughs, wiping the froth from his lips. "We have many other strange and
wonderfulcustoms of which you should partake. Meet me at the crossed oaks when the moon is full, and
you will have yourpromised meeting with the king."
134) In the very heart of the valley you find the sacred hive of the Dragon Queen. The Queen sits atop a
mountain ofeggs, some of which hatch young saurians even as you watch. The Dragon Queen is colossal -
easily ten times the size ofany beast you've confronted thus far. She fixes you with a fierce glare.
"You carve your way through my valley," she hisses, "destroying my creatures, and now enter the presence
of the MotherDragon. You will die for what you have done, but you will die slowly...as food for my
The Dragon Queen rears up and prepares to breathe a blast of poisonous fire.
135) "I trust you have read Poe " Namtar laughs. "The best place to hide something is in plain sight. You
paranoid doltswould never consider that, would you?" Namtar slides another rod into his arcane box.
"Soon my work will becomplete...soon I will fulfill my destiny - and then you will rue the day you laughed
136) The galleries are crammed with fools, each exiled here for their inability to follow directions. The
fantasy is only soreal as you allow it to be, and while at times life may seem a fool's errand, it is only what
you make of it. There is littlesense in cheating yourself at solitaire.
137) Bound in chains upon this lonely Isle of Woe you find the dark queen Irkalla, Mistress of Magan.
The chains aremade of enchanted silver, and she is unable to move. "Topsiders!" she snarls when she sees
you. "It's always the same.The water level rises, your toilets back up and everyone rushes to the
Underworld for help! Well, I have problems of myown, as you can see. That filthy half-breed Namtar
chained me here, and gave the key to the one creature who owes meno favors."
Irkalla regards you. "Perhaps you could be of some use," she says, her tone suddenly becoming incredibly
seductive."Find the Silver Key and set me free...you will be richly rewarded. Namtar is our mutual enemy.
Serve me, and I shallserve you to defeat him!"
138) You stand at the edge of the Isle of Woe looking out across the dark waters, and are convinced
nothing is going tohappen when a sudden flight of bats overhead heralds the arrival of momentous events.
An ominous ringing fills the air.A few yards offshore the dark waters part, and offered up from the depths
you see the legendary Sword of Freedom. Forgedfrom dwarven steel in the fires of hell, powered by the
essence of the legendary hero Roba, and tempered in the Apsu waters that underlie creation, the most
powerful artifact Oceana has ever known has been reborn!
139) The dwarf has the engine running in no time. With a shudder and a cough, the ancient airship
lumbers aloft, and forthe first time in centuries something other than a dragon plies the airways of
After several days journey to the west, you spot an uncharted island. At the center of the island is an odd
ring of standingstones, and in the center of the ring you see...
140) You are up to see the dawn as the sun's rays brilliantly spread across the waters of Oceana. Nights on
the trail havetheir own sort of beauty, but you can't hope helping it won't always be like this. Someday you
will no longer be anoutlaw. Someday you will sleep beneath a roof like other people, and at last be
considered a true citizen of Dilmun. Youwon't always be poor - this is just a phase.
141) In the next chamber, you see fires identical to the first. "Very good," the voice intones. "You have
potential, but Idetected a flaw in your form. Please negotiate this wall of fire for me, that I might study
your finer points."
142) "Now you are learning. Not everything is as it seems," says the voice. You enter a chamber occupied
by a stonegargoyle. The gargoyle's gaze is fixed on the door through which you must exit the room. "To be
seen by the gargoyle isto know death," says the voice. "Yet the gargoyle sees the exit. What to do, what to
143) "Now you have learned to listen. Excellent...you are half-way home," says the voice. You detect
genuine admiration in its tone. "This college exists in the rarified atmosphere of the true academic, but
not everyone you will encounterappreciates the Art. You must learn to deal with such ruffians." Out of
thin air, a huge warrior appears, wielding a swordin both hands. "I'm gonna split yer lobe, highbrow!" he
144) "I'm sorry that was so brutal, but I had to prove a point," the voice explains. "Some people can't
appreciate Art...insuch times, you must rely on more direct measures." You find yourself in a chamber
over which is suspended a hugeblock of granite. The block is hung by a cable...the cable trails to a wall
and down to the floor, where it stretches acrossthe floor as a trip-wire. It doesn't take much intelligence to
figure it would be unhealthful to trip on the wire. The voiceis strangely silent.
145) "That was novel. I don't think I've seen that solution before." Across the room you see your
mysterious host. "Iam Utnapishtim, also called the Faraway. I have been your teacher, now you must teach
me something. I want to seesomething novel and new. Give me your best shot...you go first." The wizard
waits for you to act.
146) This time it is Utnapishtim in the flesh who greets you. "Well done!" he says. "Having learned to
listen to me, you've learned you don't have to listen to me. Lanac'toor could not have done better." The old
wizard shows no concernwhen you tell him Lanac'toor is dead. "There's death, and then there's death. I
wouldn't worry about Toor."
Utnapishtim shows you to a cabinet, within which are three magic items. "For completing my gauntlet,
you may selectone item. I offer the Soul Bowl, the Laugh Staff, or the Sing Ring. Which will it be, my
friends?" The wizard looks at youwith a hint of impatience. From the way he introduced the items, you
judge he does not want you to select the Soul Bowl.
147) You emerge from a narrow pass and look out on a hidden valley. The valley is narrow and wet and
confined on three sides by mountains and by the sea on the fourth. The swampy mass of the valley floor at
first appears to be moving...until you look closer, when you realize the valley floor is covered with a mass
of living creatures, crawling one atop another asfar as the eye can see.
To venture into the Dragon Valley is to invite certain death.