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Lucas the Minotaur, in Grim Mansion, says not to judge a book by its cover. He's a good person who means you no harm and would like to believe the same about you. He finds your face trustworthy and wonders if you ever considered having a minotaur for a friend.
He introduces himself as Lucas Rampant Stare of the Thunder Axe settlement. He's an educated minotaur, having always had more interest in books and knowledge than combat. Lucas realizes the stereotype is that minotaurs are warlike, but make no mistake, he can still handle an axe!
On the Dark Side, there's a sacred town of minotaurs called Ariadne's Labyrinth, but the way there is hidden to outsiders. The town is beautiful and few ever had the honor of visiting it.
Something dark and horrible appeared in the labyrinth; something Lucas believes is a shadow serpent. Having long slumbered in the deep darkness, the shadow serpent is one of the Dark World's most ancient and horrible restless shadows. But something woke it and now it's hunting. The shadow serpent is small, but it grows each night as it hunts the minotaurs. And the town is in danger as the shadow serpent grows bigger and bolder.
Lucas remembers old tales from his youth that mention a Hidden Sword, a legendary weapon capable of destroying dark creatures. While swords aren't common weapons for minotaurs, Lucas is sure his hand won't shake while wielding the Hidden Sword. He admits the tale of the sword seemed clearer and more logical when he was a kid, but vows to deal with the shadow serpent himself.
The legend contains a riddle, "The red stone near the rocks is hidden by the shadow of the forgotten tale", and Lucas realizes his youth wasn't wasted in those dusty old libraries after all when he knows where to find the sword.
Lucas prepares for his journey with jerky, clean water and his faithful axe. He offers up a minotaur tradition while casting aside thoughts of what could happen if he fails to defeat the shadow serpent. In his culture, minotaurs bump horns with those close to them before setting off on a journey, but decides it would be safer for you to just shake hands as humans do.
Lucas the Minotaur disappears from Grim Mansion.
Lucas the Minotaur, back from his adventure with the shadow serpent, re-appears at Grim Mansion. Lucas can’t believe everyone had so little faith they thought they’d never see him again. While his journey wasn’t easy, it was fun and he needs just a moment to catch his breath. Lucas is strong, resilient and somewhat educated, so what’s the worst that could’ve happened? Torrum’s worries were baseless, but Lucas promises to send him a message. Lucas did manage to locate and subdue the shadow serpent, whose elder brother, the fire elemental, swore to avenge him! Lucas wasn’t aware shadow serpents could have fiery brothers.
Shadow’s curse is the most immediate threat and Lucas promises to research the artifact part, but there are no guarantees. He’ll sort through the books, manuscripts and scrolls to speed up the search but there’s only one of him and many books. Lucas swears it’s easier to swing an axe all day than to rummage through so many generations of wisdom, but he continues the search for any mention of the artifact part. He could get a Master’s degree searching through all that, but why would a minotaur need one?
While the scrolls are so old they’re crumbling, Lucas manages to find mention of the artifact. The ancient text looks like gibberish and proves difficult to translate. After deciphering the text, Lucas says it’s an ancient prophecy containing a grave threat. The shadow serpent’s fiery elemental brother guards the artifact part in the mine at the heart of the mountain. The elementals sleep deeply, as long as they’re not disturbed, and Lucas would rather not wake the brother of someone he just defeated.
LEVEL 108 cont.
Shadow’s curse will take effect soon, leaving Lucas the Minotaur no choice but to risk facing the second serpent. If the serpent is asleep, it won’t notice Lucas taking the artifact part. For a moment, the serpent’s eyes lit with fire, but it faded quickly and Lucas walked away with the Gem of Total Recall. (This completes the Recollection Crown, which goes to Shadow at Creepy Street.) Lucas knows the Crown is bound to make Shadow remember who he really is.
It appears a new evil is threatening the castle and its presence is tied to a recent visit deep inside the mountains. Lucas the Minotaur senses danger and believes he knows where it’s coming from. The mine he visited recently caved in and is currently buried under rubble. Unsure what caused such a colossal avalanche, Lucas knows only something powerful can remove it. Being very strong, Lucas clears the entrance to the mine only to find it empty. When he last visited the mine, it was guarded by a sleeping fire serpent. Lucas swears it was still asleep when he left, but it’s empty now and that can only mean one thing...he has awakened one of the most unruly and destructive elementals to ever exist! While all his books and scrolls had no answers, Lucas hopes there’s some information in the parallel world. He knows just who can help with that. (Torrum the Weapon Maker)
Torrum’s trip to the parallel world confirmed Lucas the Minotaur’s hunch that the people living in that world already knew how to deal with the serpent. Lucas wants to reflect on the information about the Chilling Belt, but he finds deciphering that information is difficult work. The ancient texts, written in an unknown language, force Lucas to sift through countless documents for a translation. Minotaurs have excellent memories, however, and Lucas recalls a dictionary somewhere in the castle’s depths that should help translate the ancient writing.
With dictionary in hand, Lucas begins reading the manuscript carefully. Sensing the location of the artifact part is nearby, Lucas believes the manuscript contains a well-hidden metaphor. Clearly, the manuscript points to a labyrinth! Vowing to “crush some bones if need be” Lucas visits the labyrinth and returns with the Ice Gem. It’s still too cold to hold for long, but now there’s a chance of putting things right.
LEVEL 113Lucas steps in for a hug then r
Ludwig Milton in Ancient Cemetery wonders what brought you to such a grim place at such a grim hour. He apologizes for his unusual appearance and hopes you learn to look past it once you get to know him better.
Ludwig Milton calls himself a true knight and begins to relate a little about his life. When he was alive, a long time ago, he was brave but foolish, and it's his fault he ended up here. He used to live in a castle, was a threat to foes, a protector of friends and a magnet for ladies. Those were happy times.
One day, Ludwig caught a glimpse of what he thought was a simple village girl in the forest. She stole his heart, both figuratively and literally. But she turned out to be a witch. Nevertheless, Ludwig became obsessed with her and every day plunged deeper and deeper into blind love. He saw her eyes at night and heart her voice call to him from the darkness.
One night, Ludwig succumbed to her song and went to her as a meek lamb. She greeted him happily and asked for a favor. She asked Ludwig to help her defeat the Lord of Darkness himself. He'd barely heard her request before he found himself agreeing. The witch led Ludwig to an old portal and began whispering spells and waving her staff. As though hypnotized, Ludwig approached the portal and saw the reflection of a terrible world. He stepped inside and heard the wretched witch call the Lord of Darkness 'master'.
That's when the veil of love fell from Ludwig's eyes and he found himself on the Dark Side. He could barely move, but used the last bit of his strength to stab the portal's base with his dagger, destroying it. But the Lord of Darkness' revenge was elegant. Ludwig is neither alive nor dead and unable to leave the Dark Side.
After hundreds of years in solitude, Ludwig is happy to have someone to talk to. He knows about the artifact and will help get the Sky Stones.
While Ludwig can't leave the Dark Side, the descendants of those who once swore their allegiance to him now exist in the land of the living. His faithful raven, a reliable means of communication, will deliver a message to the one who swore allegiance; he might be dead, but sometimes the sons must pay for the debts of the father.
The story behind the sworn allegiance isn't exciting; Ludwig saved a noble knight from a terrible death in harpy's claws during a hunt. Exciting or not, if it weren't for Ludwig, that knight's descendants wouldn't even exist.
That descendant is an honorable person who understands the mission's importance. Ludwig finds it good to know that even after his death, rebirth and years of silence, he still has allies.
Ludwig says "It's hard to see from your perspective, but many people are working together to help our mission. Isn't that a reason to be proud?" (Sounds like a message from the devs)
Even though the only thing holding his bones together is magic, Ludwig hasn't felt so alive in a long time. He's still able to put a plan into action and can't believe the Lord of Darkness' reign is coming to an end. But it's odd the Lord of Darkness isn't interfering at all; it's as though he doesn't believe he can be stopped. Centuries of doing as he pleased made the Lord less vigilant and the time is right to take advantage, or defeating him will only be a dream. Now is the time to take action as you are rewarded with the Sky Stones.
Ludwig Milton, Skeleton Knight is cursed and slowly fading away and the curse can only be undone by the one who cast it. When Ludwig disappears, everyone else will turn into shadows. Ludwig describes Shadow as a “madman” who says he wants eternal life for all but Ludwig’s endless suffering means nothing to him. The only way to redeem a madman’s mind is restore his memories, so Ludwig agrees to help find another artifact part. He remembers an artifact part was hidden by a serenity seeker up on the mountain and Ludwig asks his faithful raven to fetch it. Patience is a virtue...first the raven is delayed returning from his travels, then a blizzard causes delays. Finally, the raven soars high in the mountains and returns with the artifact part.
But Ludwig won’t last much longer and if his strength subsides, all work will be in vain. Ludwig knows someone who can help...Nala.
(Since shadow curses can only be lifted by those who cast them, the most Nala can do is slow the effect. She successfully performs an Impediment Ritual to buy enough time to find the artifact to restore Shadow’s memory.) While thankful for Nala’s help, Ludwig knows it’s only temporary and yearns for a permanent solution. He rewards with the Wing of Serenity.
Ludwig Milton, Skeleton Knight was left gravely weakened by helping Shadow lift that terrible curse. Putting his pride aside, he humbly asks for help once again. The powerful effect of the curse left behind painful consequences, but Ludwig remembers a potion maker mentioning that the potion of a thousand lives can remove a curse’s effects. That potion is as powerful as it is rare and its ingredients are almost impossible to find.
Unable to move, Ludwig sends his faithful winged companion to the potion maker himself to find out how to brew that potion. The raven returned with a list of all the proper ingredients. Fern butterfly wings are the most common ingredient and isn’t it nice that their wings regrow? Little victories add up to large achievements, and the next ingredient is laughing mushroom’s tears. They are very rare but highly effective. Many have tried to grow them, but they only grow in the wild. Ludwig’s raven found a glade full of laughing mushrooms and collected their tears.
The last and rarest ingredient is the light of the rising moon. It’s almost impossible to catch, but his raven manages to trap some in a silver lantern. He had to fly high above the mountain to get it. Now the ingredients must be brewed in a sand dragon’s scales at the temperature of the sun.That potion provided regeneration and recovery and Ludwig is well on his way to becoming strong enough to search for the next artifact part. He reveals the next part is kept in the glaciers of the sky birds. Ludwig sends his raven, but the sky birds aren’t friendly and fought his raven. The raven managed to retur
Twisted Mountain (August 3, 2021)
Han the Sage, a seeker of truth, appears at Mountain Foot. He looks for answers in this life and aids those who seek to find themselves. Han is aware of the curse and the artifact part sought, but he can’t remember what it looked like. Patience and humility will help reach the goal. One needs calm when attempting to remember the past because it takes a clear mind to reveal the artifact part. Introspective meditation is the last stage of mental preparation to help achieve inner peace. Han the Sage’s words may sound like cryptic doublespeak but, like a guiding star, they help him recall the memories he needs. He readies to astral project into his mind palace to remember the artifact part which will take his mind and spirit far away from this place.
Nearly lost in the infinite world of memories, Han returns with good and bad news. The good news is he remembers what the artifact part looks like; the bad news is he remembered the item was lost and only the harpies can find it. While the harpies have a bad reputation, one of them is a true friend, Olympe the Harpy.
Han, the Sage never doubted his friend’s generosity and appreciates the information. Armed with a direction to follow, Han knows seeing your goal clearly is paramount to any task. He begins searching as he visualizes the goal and hopes his gaze will soon fall upon the needed item. Initially eluding him, Han sees the item within his grasp. He’s glad he kept his mind sharp all these years.
Patience is rewarded when Han hands over the next artifact part, the Wing of Distinction.
Busy meditating, the subconscious self of Han, the Sage offers greetings. He senses the serpent’s awakening has created chaos in your mind but he needs someone with a clear mind and brave heart. Grief consumes Han’s mind and not even concern over the serpent can overshadow it. Fate was generous in granting Han a twin brother, although they walked two very different paths. Everyone must follow their own path and Han’s brother chose the way of the warrior, which caused the brothers to drift apart. Not willing to believe his brother is gone, Han enters a trance and searches for any connection to him.
Han feels life still flows through his brother, but can’t understand why he hasn’t visited in so long. Twins have a special connection and Han believes his brother’s mind is trying to tell him something. He feels his brother’s anxiety and decides to send his astral body in search of his brother. Han’s subconsciousness begins its faraway journey, but something won’t let him proceed. Perhaps his brother is in a protected area. Strengthening his astral body, Han manages to reach the soul that so closely resembles his. The path leads to the harpies.
Han, the Sage is very grateful the person most dear to him was rescued. Reuniting his soul with that of his twin helped Han regain his spiritual powers. It’s as if they share one soul. Han’s twin told him of a prophetic vision concerning part of the Chilling Belt. The artifact is hidden deep in Han’s subconsciousness, requiring a deep dive into his inner self that will create something so powerful from nothing. Han knows that if he can’t make it materialize, the artifact part may be lost forever. Many years of spiritual practice rewards Han with the artifact, but it leaves him weak and weary. Once recovered, Han says the universe rewarded you generously with the next artifact part, the Ice Salamander.
Han senses an unstable mind and the instability beneath Ludwig, the Skeleton Knight. He knows the path of self-destruction begins with imbalance...imbalance, chaos, self-destruction and finally villainy. To save Ludwig, his soul must find balance. Meditation won’t help if the mind is overpowered by a feeling or idea. A question torments Ludwig Milton’s soul and the answer to that question is all that holds him back from the brink of villainy. Sending a true token of love should unlock the puzzle tormenting him and lead to enlightenment. Han warns that ignorance is not bliss...only truth, whatever it may be, brings balance. You are rewarded with the Gloriosa Superba for the Charming Bouquet.
Han, the Sage is well aware of Ronan and the unsuccessful attempts by many to help him. Han says what lies at the heart of Ronan’s plight is broken trust. Ronan did not betray Prince Stronghold; rather the Prince falsely believed Ronan stripped him of immortality not to save him, but for personal gain.
There are many kinds of suffering, including spiritual suffering. The level of grief Prince Stronghold endured caused immense damage to his soul. He thought his only friend had betrayed him, and it fractured his spirit beyond any physical pain.
Han feels Prince Stronghold’s spirit nearby on the mountain; calming it will restore balance to the world. Luckily, Han knows a simple pacifying ritual and begins verifying the rites and steps that must be taken. First, the Prince’s spirit must be cleansed of all negative energy. Once that negativity has been expelled, positive energy must replace it. The ritual was a success and Prince Stronghold’s spirit now brims with positivity. He understands the truth that Ronan was trying to save him and says he knows of a lost item that may be of interest.
Stronghold’s spirit shares the tale of the Blessed Champion who, long ago, defended the Castle from a great enemy. In the battle, the Champion used the All-crushing Hammer and all fled before its might. The Hammer was destroyed, but the Champion retained a piece for himself. He realized the only way to keep the Hammer part safe was to go into hiding. Of course, the Champion knew the part would survive longer than he would – before he died he must have hidden it.
The Champion was a master of magic as well as a great warrior and he cast a powerful concealing enchantment. Fortunately, great magic inevitably leaves a trace. The Champion’s spirit has in some way marked the artifact. Most likely, what was left behind was a trace of his greatness. Han should be able to locate it with little trouble.Han managed to find the part easily, but it’s been magically sealed. To open it, he must be found trustworthy. Han
Twisted Mountain (August 3, 2021)
Olympe, the Harpy appears at Mountain Ledge. She blocks the way and demands proof you’re not an enemy. Caution is wisdom; these are dangerous times and harpies don’t trust outsiders. Olympe has known Han the Sage for a long time and he’s always been kind to the harpies. Olympe’s heard everyone’s in mortal peril but the harpies have survived by being cautious of outsiders. She doesn’t know your mind and is wary if your intentions are good. She asks not to judge their cautious ways too harshly and begins putting trust to the test. Once past the trust exercises, Olympe shares more information about her people.
The harpies are ancient and wise but many believe they’re birds of prey that should be exterminated. They’re never safe despite the fact they’ve never been cruel and, in fact, value kindness and justice above all else. The harpies are slowly vanishing at their enemies’ hands only because of the way they look! People don’t accept them so they live solitary lives to prevent extinction, but it has closed off their society.
Mistrust has become ingrained, almost instinctive, over many generations. But they still trust those that offer help. Trust takes time, but once Olympe’s trust is earned, she agrees to help find the artifact part. While flying is taxing, Olympe is positive the part can be found just over the mountain. It’s not a small mountain though and it’s filled with many dangerous twists and crags. The search could take some time. Luckily, the gift of flight isn’t all that aids the search; Olympe shares the harpies also possess an eagle eye. With it, Olympe can spot the item from high above. When Olympe begins searching the right area, the artifact part emits strong magical energy. Olympe approaches the sacred cave of the enlightened and confirms the artifact part lies inside but she is not allowed to enter the cave. Han, however, can enter the cave so you must return to him and give him this new info.
Olympe, the Harpy agrees to help search for Han, the Sage’s twin. Han’s brother is very important to the harpies; he protects them from destruction. Olympe readies for her flight to where the warrior twin should be and enlists your help to protect the vulnerable settlement while she’s gone. The news isn’t good. The location the sage saw was empty, but his twin had been there. His spirit still lingers in the air. Olympe says it’s possible to track the warrior twin’s lingering spirit, but only the oldest of the harpies knows how. She’s an outcast who lives somewhere near the settlement.
The elder did her best to hide from outsiders; otherwise, the harpies would have died out long ago. Harpies never completely vanish; they always leave behind clues. But the elder harpy, being the wisest of all, left very cryptic clues as to her whereabouts. Unable to completely decipher the elder’s clues, Olympe says a possible hint leads in four different directions. Harpies never refuse to help those close to them, but they do require payment. Olympe readies gifts for four harpies, who split up and travelled in the four cardinal directions in search of the elder harpy.
The elder harpy determined the warrior’s last location, so while there’s hope, there’s no telling what state he’ll be in. The elder found him and departed quickly, without another word. Apparently, the warrior was fighting to protect the harpies from invaders. Olympe can’t tell the cause of his wounds, but they’re very deep. The warrior is a skilled fighter and Olympe can’t imagine who could have done this kind of damage. Luckily, the harpies have remedies that can handle these wounds. Once his wounds have been cleaned to avoid infection, the warrior is placed in the healer’s tent to recover.
Olympe is told the protector is awake and feeling much better. Olympe is glad the harpies could help and she’s sure the brothers will contact each other soon. The warrior has important information.
To learn about protection – who better than a people who have been living in secrecy for ages? Olympe, the Harpy in Mountain Ledge knows we’re in trouble again. She likes adventures, but safety is top priority.
Olympe knows about Ronan and doesn’t think it’s wise to free him. The length of his captivity…who knows how it has warped his mind. What if he’s dangerous? Olympe believes it’s imperative to discover why Ronan’s chains can’t be broken by any other tool.
Aware of Dolores’ belief the chain is composed of a rare metal, Olympe nonetheless feels that can’t be the only reason for its strength. Besides the metal, there’s a mysterious seal on the chain. A unique alloy of metal and magic, Olympe wonders where this seal came from and what mind came up with the idea. Only the coven of mages could have conceived of such a thing.
While Olympe understands why the mages used spectral protection, the technique has its flaws. Mainly, special protection cannot be undone – only broken by a powerful artifact. Olympe knows her knowledge is very limited and feels lost in the mist of the unknown. This magic is ancient, far too old for any human hand.
Luckily, the harpies live far longer than humans, some lives span millennia. Olympe decides to speak with the elder, whose memories span so many ages.
The elder spoke about the ancient battle in which the All-crushing Hammer was used, then revealed a surprising secret. The Hammer’s power lies not in its strength, but in its effect on others – the hearts of foes turn cold with fear, and magic from any other source is silenced. With a flick of the wrist, you can make enemies flee and render powerful magic meaningless, but it seems best to only do this once. The elder revealed the last item needed to complete the Hammer is a leather strap.
But not even the finest leather can endure the ruin of time. The good news is that harpies excel at leather craft, among other things. As long as suitable material can be found, creating a new strap should be a snap.
Shaman Glen, October 4, 2021
Helma, the Shaman Outcast says ancestors talk to us through the sounds of nature. You’re out of sync with nature but once you let it into your heart, the world will open for you. These lands used to thrive when shamans from all over lived here. To prevent this place from perishing, Helma remained while everyone else left for more peaceful lands. The nature spirits once revealed a prophecy about a threat coming from this mountain. The shamans heard the prophecy and did their best to suppress the mountain’s power. But they had no way of knowing the true source of the threat. On the day the prophecy came true, the shamans used all their power to subdue the mountain...and that’s when the miners came.
The miners exploited the opportunity to search for precious ores and treasure. Legend says that the ancient spirits who created this world put treasure under the mountain and left a powerful guardian to protect it. The miners’ greed was limitless and the shamans were powerless to stop them. That’s why they decided to seek refuge elsewhere.
The miners’ digging almost awakened the guardian of the treasure but a miracle happened when the mountain erupted with lava, taking those who disturbed its peace. Helma was chosen to be the mountain’s caretaker and she can’t leave it under any circumstances.
According to the prophecy, the land can be saved from the guardian of the mountain, but it’s too dangerous to go into the mountain. Helma says “your aura shines like a thousand suns on a cloudless day. You must be the savior from the prophecy!” A minor eruption sealed off the entrance to that part of the mountain and Helma calls on the powers of nature; air, water, earth and fire, to heed her call. “Let the savior enter the mountain.”
The path opens and Helma says nature will protect you.
LEVEL 110 cont.
Helma, the Shaman Outcast knows the Fire Elemental suffered because of human interference. Even though the harpies knew the prophecy, they couldn’t protect him. Trying to remember where the shamans kept the artifact needed to pacify the mountain, Helma says when she was little, she saw an old shaman use a peace pipe to communicate with the ancestors’ spirits. After recreating that ritual, Helma’s powers grow and she knows the artifact should be in the old shaman settlement. But she must go alone since only shamans can enter that sacred ground. Helma found the artifact, but it’s sealed in a case made by the royal artisans. Succeeding in opening the case, Helma presents you with the next artifact part, the Polar Bear.
(Ludwig Milton – Level 111 - His body is now healed, but Ludwig can’t say the same for his heart and mind. Once the curse was lifted and his memory restored, Ludwig was stung by the pain of lost love. He confides a secret...long ago while exploring the mountain, Ludwig met a stunningly beautiful Shamaness. But she rebuffed Ludwig, leaving him alone with his hopelessness. So much time has passed, Ludwig wonders if the Shamaness’ taste has changed, maybe even soured further. He’s pessimistic because he was handsome then, yet still repelled her. Now he’s just a bag of bones and stuck in the Ancient Cemetery while the Shamaness will never leave Shaman Glen. Perhaps a gift, maybe a bouquet...not the greatest idea, but Ludwig treated her poorly back then and a bouquet is at least a start. Believing there’s no other way to discover the Shamaness’ feelings, Ludwig rewards with the Enticing Vriesia for the Charming Bouquet.)
Helma, the Shaman Outcast is very intrigued by this latest adventure. A Magic Kit should help with the next flower, but once the Kit is ready, Helma has trouble remembering the order of the spell. “Measure thrice and cut once, as my teacher would say.” Helma remembers “I turned my teacher into a pumpkin once -- got turned into a broom for a week as punishment.” She measures out the elements but “I must have miscalculated -- the flower looks a bit carnivorous. Not exactly what you were looking for, huh?”
The first try is always an adventure and “take two usually spells success, at least for me. Second time is the charm, right?” As she presents the Alluring Hibiscus, Helma says “Here it is! Beautiful, right? Skeleton Knight’s paramour will love it. My teacher would be proud. He wasn’t one to heap praise, but a lack of criticism can feel just as good.”
***Level 111 - Professor Pinfeathers – Natural Help- Says Talk to Nala for 5 tasks but shows a picture of Helma, the Shaman Outcast and actually sends you to Helma for the 5 tasks.
Based on the dialog in this section, I believe the true character for those 5 tasks is Nala and being sent to Helma is an error. When Nala was first introduced, she mentioned her teacher who she tried to impress with a powerful spell. In this section, ‘Helma’s' teacher always said ‘measure thrice and cut once’ and remembers when she turned her teacher into a pumpkin. Unique to Nala is miscalculating spells or casting the wrong spells. And Nala, not Helma, would use words like ‘Hmmm’ and ‘right up my alley.’ Helma is a Shaman who was chosen to be the mountain’s caretaker and can’t leave it under any circumstances. She can call on the powers of air, water, earth and fire and believes ancestors talk to us through the sounds of nature. Her limited dialog is along the lines “your aura shines like a thousand suns on a cloudless day.” And finally, the final sentence after awarding the Alluring Hibiscus has ‘Helma’ saying “Skeleton Knight’s paramour will love it.” BUT Helma IS the Skeleton Knight’s paramour. So that sentence makes no sense attributable to Helma.I believe it is quite obvious the dialog attributed to Helma is actually Nala’s. So, even though Pinfeathers’ quest shows a pic of Helma and the player is sent to Helma, his quest line reads “Talk to Nala” and this is correct. Nala should be the character for this dialog and being sent to Helma is an error. For those reasons, I decided to put the dia
Lava Cave, October 4, 2021
The Fire Elemental warns this is a dangerous place. He’s guarded the treasures of the ancient spirits since the mountain was created. Only someone with a pure soul and brave heart can hope to get even a glimpse of it. Once satisfied you didn’t come for the treasure, the Fire Elemental confides his fire essence is tearing him apart from inside. His inner flame was meant to protect the mountain, but because of human greed, he could end up destroying everyone.
He remembers one day was particularly fine until he heard the overwhelming anguish of the mountain caused by the miners. When the miners found out about the limitless treasure, greed took over. They decided to take everything for themselves. The ancient spirits tied the Fire Elemental’s spirit with the mountain, so when the miners reached its core, the Fire Elemental was filled with pain. His wounds are so deep that he’s barely able to hold off his fire.
The shamans weakened the mountain, but they had good intentions. He’s afraid his molten fire could cause the mountain to erupt at any moment, destroying everyone and everything in the castle. Only the Chilling Belt can stop it, but there must be some temporary way to calm it.
The Fire Elemental says the ancient spirits foresaw this possibility, so they created a unique stone flute covered in gems. This stone flute from the mountain depths can buy some time, but the Fire Elemental is having a difficult time remembering where it is. Finally, the spirits’ powers helped him remember; the calming instrument is in the mountain’s treasury hall. Rendered weak from his wound, the Fire Elemental says the hall is vast and full of unusual artifacts. He finally locates it, but there is still one obstacle protecting it.
The completed Chilling Belt that goes to the Fire Elemental in the Lava Cave. His inner flame was meant to protect the mountain, but because of human greed, his molten fire could erupt, destroying everyone and everything in the castle. The Chilling Belt tames the Fire Elemental’s raging fire and Pinfeathers declares ‘We’re saved!’ (Get Charming Bouquet)
The Fire Elemental offers a warm welcome but no hug for fear of reducing a good friend to ashes. While the Fire Elemental has never been in love, he’s no stranger to fiery emotions. Assuming love burns in the same way, the Fire Elemental offers to help because no one deserves a heart burnt to ashes, least of all Ludwig Milton. There is a rare flower that is solid stone, beautiful and beloved by all. Finding it, however, is no simple feat. The flower lies in secret under the heart of the mountain.
Only elementals can brave the depths of the mountain and the Fire Elemental is happy to make the trek. He had to tear it from the mountain’s heart, but the Fire Elemental returns in a flash with the flower, as promised. The Strelizia of Attraction is added to the Charming Bouquet.
The Fire Elemental is very happy to help Helma, who he considers quite charming. Helma understands him like no one else because she’s so close to nature. She knows the Elemental can find things hidden deep underground. Those who live below the Earth have uncommonly deep memories. Elementals are uniquely suited to learn from the past – to see deeper. To find something a human’s eye can’t see.
He knows the pain of feeling like you’re going to explode so, after making sure the task was noble, the Fire Elemental agrees to help. He explains that he’s one with the depths, nothing that happens escapes him. Every footstep on the rocks above, every magma bubble below, he feels it all. He’s part of the mountain.
Since the All-crushing Hammer is ancient, knowledge of it must be buried within the depths. The Earth’s natural elements hold memories better than humans do. So there must be something here about the Hammer.
The age of the artifact means it’s buried deep, and the deeper it’s buried, the greater the danger. Waking the elemental giants deep with the rock would unleash a devastating earthquake.
The Fire Elemental suddenly realizes the underground elements combine to form a colossal timeline. It looks like a record of everything that has happened over the ages. It’s a record that mirrors the path of every human who has walked above – every action. And much has happened on the grounds of Midnight Castle!
With so much rock and dirt to navigate through, it won’t be easy to find the needed memory. The path travels along the very creation of the Castle. Wondering how the Castle was built, the Fire Elemental decides it’s not wise to disturb the soil unless it’s absolutely necessary. So he moves on to a memory of a grave battle. Long ago a great enemy laid siege to the Castle and there was a terrible battle. The Castle was saved by the All-crushing Hammer. The soil says that while the Castle was saved, the great weapon was destroyed.
Finally, the stones show one of the Hammer parts is somewhere sacred. After a bit more work, the Fire Elemental understands why the Omniscient Eye couldn’t see it. The part is in the Garden of Ancient Shamans, a sacred place that’s heavily protected.
Bound Ronan at the Cliff of Lament wonders what interest there is in a place of punishment and a man bound in chains. He suffers endlessly and undeservedly.
His isn’t the simple story of a villain punished for his crimes, but a much more complex tale. Since childhood, Ronan was a faithful friend and servant to the Crown Prince Stronghold. Through their many travels, Ronan walked beside the Prince and kept his many secrets. The Prince had one secret greater than the rest…some would call it a gift and others a curse. The Prince’s gift was that of immortality.
Prince Stronghold embarked on a great journey to escape his father, who envied his gift. He fought with his father constantly, who longed to gain immortality himself.
Prince Stronghold wept at the thought of outliving his loved ones and he and Ronan set out in search of a cure for his immortality. They traveled far and wide, but no one could help. Ronan couldn’t stand to see his friend’s pain and swore he’d find a way to end his torment.
By sheer luck, Ronan discovered the reason for the Prince’s immortality, the Totem of Life. This artifact gives eternal life to one randomly chosen ruler so they may lead their people to endless prosperity.
Ronan felt he was being courageous and decisive by not asking permission from the Prince before destroying the Totem. Unfortunately in his haste, he missed something. Something the Prince did not miss; that the one who destroys the Totem becomes immortal themselves. The Prince considered Ronan’s action treachery to gain immortality for himself and, in a heartsick rage, bound them both with an unbreakable chain. The Prince’s remains lie beside Ronan still.
Ronan believes a descendant of the one who forged the chain can help and she just happens to be nearby. (Dolores the Blacksmith)
Ronan is confused by Dolores’ statement that he can find the Hammer part without anyone’s help. The only thing he possesses are his memories. Can those save him? Ronan seriously doubts the answer lies there. Riddles do not bring Ronan any comfort, but Dolores insistence that he’s missing something hiding in plain sight is one riddle he’d like to solve.
The remains of an axe is all Ronan has left. It’s been in his family for ages, ever since his grandfather found it long ago after some great battle. The Prince broke the axe before binding himself and Ronan together; now all that’s left is the pommel. Ronan is surprised he had a piece of the Hammer all along and suddenly his pain feels bearable. (You are rewarded with the Spiked Pommel.)
Dolores the Blacksmith at Mountain Workshop works the forge like few alive. She understands Ronan sent you, but she’s told him many times that no one can help him. Right now, Dolores is more concerned with her own heavy legacy. Her grandfather made the chains that bind Ronan and she’s shunned by the people of the town, as if she’s responsible. Feeling her life is a bit grim right now, Dolores knows she’s capable of great things even though she can only find work making kitchen knives and other such drudgery.
Dolores wants nothing more than to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps forging great weapons and armor. Recently, she was asked to forge a sword and hopes that’s the beginning of a promising future.
While her grandfather was a blacksmith, Dolores doesn’t know if her father was. She never met her parents and her grandfather never spoke of them. His example is all she ever had.
Dolores still has a lot to learn, but she must surpass the skill of her grandfather to have any hope of breaking his greatest metal masterpiece. From what she can tell, the chain binding Ronan is truly unbreakable and his imprisonment may last forever.
Studying all the records her grandfather left about his creation yields no solution. Not even her grandfather knew the origin of the metal used in the chain. They spent years searching, to no avail.
Dolores wonders if a weapon made of the same metal would be able to break the chain. Once she remembers her grandfather speaking of the All-crushing Hammer, an extremely powerful weapon. He said during an attack on the Castle, our Champion struck the ground just once and the might of the blow caused the enemy to flee in terror. The force of the strike destroyed the Hammer and its parts scattered.
The parts could be anywhere and perhaps some have been found already. Each of the individual parts are priceless and indestructible, quite a gift to come across. Any lucky souls who found them might not even know the power of what they possess. Imagine a piece of the Hammer used as a paperweight!
Dolores’ skills go beyond blacksmithing. Her hammer can do more than just form metal – it can detect the presence of legendary artifacts. Focusing deeply enables her to sense artifacts nearby, but her hammer has been known to fly from her hand!
Her hammer feels an artifact’s energy, but something is odd. It seems the part is not far at all. If Dolores’ intuition is correct, Ronan has a puzzle to solve. Tell Ronan the location of the Hammer part is closer than he thinks, and he can find it without anyone’s help.