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Sometimes, no news is good news and there’s nothing else to do but keep living our lives. Never before has waiting been so agonizing. Valkyrie receives word that the squad is on the way back with the artifact part! “May the wind be at their backs; I can feel the power of the priestesses back in our sacred borders.” The situation is grim and the price of victory dear. The artifact part is back, but the Valkyries have almost become full shadows.
Valkyrie hands you the Inhibiting Wraps, which will add power to the Shadow Tamer, and says “I hope you can solve this dilemma. My people need you now more than ever.”
Meanwhile, the Fire Conjurer finished restoring the stone, “The stone is restored, bathing my community in emerald light. It won’t stop the shadow transformation, but it’s slowing. Everything seems to be fine, but I’ll continue to monitor the situation. All of that effort, but people are still turning into shadows. At least it bought us some time.”
The Fire Conjurer hands you an unexpected gift she found while searching the library, the Agony Tree Bark, another artifact part for the Shadow Tamer.
Fate has prepared another new encounter, hopefully an ally.
Morisa the Forest Witch says, “As my dice foretold, a visitor came to see me. You’ll have to gain my trust, stranger. Then we’ll talk.” After your completed tasks gain her trust, the Forest Witch introduces herself. “My name is Morisa. I’m from the world of the living, but it was too noisy and hectic there, so I moved to the Dark Side. I don’t intend to leave my dwelling just yet. As you can see, it’s much quieter here – the ideal place to do magic.”
The Forest Witch acknowledges an uncertain future lies ahead, “I know what the Lord of Darkness is doing. I’ve seen the future, and...No, I shouldn’t tell you, or it won’t happen. I know a lot, but I can’t tell you everything.”
After expressing to the Forest Witch how much you need her help to find the Shadow Tamer’s final artifact piece, Morisa says, “Of course, where could the last part of the Shadow Tamer be if not the shadow world? I need to see what the cards say and check the position of the stars.” That final piece is the most elusive piece and Morisa will help you find what you need...for a couple of favors.
As luck would have it, you can always count on family and Morisa knows just the right person. “My cousin, Baba Yaga, can help get the part, but she won’t do it for free.” The Forest Witch asks, “Could you do me a couple of favors while my cousin is busy with ours?” Once the tasks are done, Morisa comments “I haven’t heard that much complaining in a while, but it will be worth the effort.” But she is also quick to compliment, “You’re as fast as a magic broom, your abilities are amazing” and “you’d make an excellent apprentice.”
Morisa the Forest Witch doesn’t consider the Lord of Darkness either friend or foe. “I’m not worried about the Lord of Darkness. He has no use for me. I wouldn’t help him anyway.”
While the Forest Witch looks forward to sharing some good news, there’s nothing for now. But she’s positive her cousin will find what you’re looking for. Word finally comes of a fortunate find, “Wonderful news! My cousin found the missing piece! She’ll visit soon.”
While you were away, it seems Morisa the Forest Witch and her cousin had a pleasant visit. “You missed the fun! My cousin brought raspberry tea, and we had a hearty conversation. We’ve been telling stories and laughing all night! It was so much fun, I’m not sure I’m ready to get back to work just yet.”
*****I’m busy practicing magic and preparing herbs right now. Come back in another Moon phase. (End of Update)
LEVEL 100 cont. (Update September 17, 2020)
Morisa teases about completing trials like in the fairy tales before she’ll surrender the final part of the Shadow Tamer. But she claims it was a just a joke to cheer you up and hands over the Scroll of the Secret Song. The Shadow Tamer is now complete and the power of the artifact helped everyone regain their physical forms (Valkyrie, Fire Conjurer, Genie and High Mage of Frost).
“It’s time we dealt with the Lord of Darkness. He’s caused constant distress since his arrival.” The Northern Breath is a powerful artifact capable of destroying the darkest intentions of the evilest beings.
The Genie searches through the entire Elder’s knowledge for information about the Northern Breath. “My mind has found a legend, but we’ll have to verify its authenticity.” While the Northern Breath is a legendary artifact, “we can’t even confirm that it truly existed.” It’s been a long time since anything piqued the Genie’s curiosity like this. “Several parts make up the Northern Breath. The first is called the Firestorm Eye. It’s said to be protected by a powerful Pearl Dragon.”
Unfortunately, the Pearl Dragon is less than cooperative and demands gifts in exchange for the Firestorm Eye. The Genie suggests, “Let’s send the first gifts to the dragon to at least confirm that he really has the Firestorm Eye in his treasury.” The wait seems interminable, but finally the Genie has the answer, “The Pearl Dragon said “yes!” Do you know what this means, mortal? The Northern Breath is real!”
Whatever the Pearl Dragon asks for, always remember the goal. The Genie wonders if you’ve ever heard the legends of dragon treasuries. “They aren’t true – their treasuries are even bigger than they say.” Finally, the Pearl Dragon has been entertained sufficiently, the gifts garnered his favor and he’s ready to hand over the well-earned reward. But your continued grit and patience, allows the Genie to sneak in a few tasks of his own, “Your reward is on its way, but I have three requests for you in the meantime. Why can’t a mortal fulfill a genie’s wishes from time to time?” After his third wish is fulfilled, the Genie wonders “How did it feel, walking in a genie’s shoes?”
Even as an immortal being, the Genie is eager to see the artifact. “The Firestorm Eye is in my hands. I’m sorry, but I’d like to hold it for a bit. You don’t get to touch a legend every day.”
Even the Guardian Titan, with centuries of wisdom, is surprised by the existence of the Northern Breath. “The winds bring worrying news. We must deal with the Lord of Darkness before it’s too late.” After doing some fact-checking, the Guardian Titan shares what he found, “The Northern Breath is no harmless trinket. There’s a reason its parts were separated and hidden. The parts were so well-hidden that their existence was even erased from the memories of the Elders.”
If you are ready for whatever fate has in store for you, the Guardian Titan will continue with his search. “One legend mentions a possible location of the Dragon Fire Orb. According to the legend, the Dragon Fire Orb is right under our nose in the old arsenal, but an ancient Golem guards the way. Tricking the Golem is impossible. Defeating him...Hm..I’ll have to think about this.” The mages determined the only way to fight the Golem is by creating a special weapon. The Guardian Titan finds the plans to make the weapon, but “I won’t need fire, steel, or even tools – just magic, and knowledge.”
The weapon is almost ready; its silhouette is already visible through the magical mist. Just then, on snowy wings, a messenger owl arrives with an urgent request from the Ruler of the Islands.
Ruler of the Islands is grateful for your haste. “I know that you’re assembling an artifact that can help us, but I want my people to be ready if anything...unpredictable happens.” The horrible calm is maddening, “It feels like the threat of another storm!” She found a special spell in the ancient royal scrolls. “It’s not exactly a spell, but an appeal to the high Northern gods. The Northern gods are stark and silent. We need to clean up to show that we treat our islands with love.”
To appease the gods, the ability to uncover secrets and solve mysteries must be proven. “Birds are singing happily in the forests, and the breeze is blowing gently. The gods need to see our crafting skills. We should show the finest works of our blacksmiths, leatherworkers, and jewelers.” Preparations are in full swing when “the clouds broke, and the sun spread its rays over the snows of the North. This is a promising sign.”
“Our best cooks are making our finest and most famous dishes. We’ll place the tables in the main square and feast to show our love for this land.” All this preparation is actually an appeal to the gods, so it’s important to be heard. “Can you feel it? The gods are satisfied. The sun will protect us during the day, and the moon will at night. The Lord of Darkness has no power here.”
The Ruler of the Islands considers you a true friend, “Win or lose, the Lord of Darkness will change our world forever. I hope it’s for the better. I’m ready to sacrifice everything to keep my people safe. I hope to see you again someday.”
The Guardian Titan readies his special weapon, “There’s nothing like a solid crossbow that’s powerful enough to pierce stone! I tested the magical crossbow. It’s sure to deal with the Golem.” The Guardian Titan believes in your success and hands over the Dragon Fire Orb.
Nala, former apprentice to the High Mage of Frost, stands in the Old Tavern with her cat named Cauldron. “I’ll admit it’s a strange name. I named him when I was little, and we’ve been together ever since.” Nala enjoys your company and thinks you seem trustworthy, so she decides to share her story. “I became a mage’s apprentice to be strong and independent. See, I’ve always been a little clumsy, and I thought an apprenticeship would help me. While the other apprentices succeeded, I struggled to keep up until I started to feel out of place. That’s when I really messed up.”
Poor Nala made a huge miscalculation, “I wanted to prove to myself, my teacher, and the other apprentices that I was worth something, so I stole my teacher’s book for a certain spell. The spell was powerful – too powerful for someone at my level. I was overconfident. The spell was supposed to summon a monster from the Dark Side, but I messed up and got teleported here instead. The worst part is that my body and spirit are bound to this place. I can’t leave, no matter what I do.”
But Nala managed to find a silver lining amidst all the bad, “It’s easier to learn magic here. Magical energy is everywhere. It even reveals its secrets to me. In fact, I might know a secret that could help you.” Nala already knows about the Northern Breath; the parts collected so far have a unique and powerful aura, an aura she’s encountered before. “The Lord of Darkness spent a long time here looking for a way out. I did my best to keep out of his sight. I know that the Lord managed to leave this world. I’ve watched over things through the magic mirror, and I feel like I should help you.”
Nala learned one of the artifact parts is called the Horns of Half-Moon, which is hidden in some nearby haunted castle ruins. She has a funny story to tell about the castle, “The castle was empty ruins before I went there to practice a spell. My spell made the castle more...lively. It was too easy to cast spells near that castle. So easy that my spell filled it with ghosts!” It must have been the Horns of Half-Moon’s influence as a magical amplifier. Nala immediately understood the connection between the Northern Breath and the secret of that castle. “I’m ready to visit the castle to get the part you need. I wonder if the ghosts will know me as their creator. I hope they’re not mad!”
Nala managed to get the artifact, but she tried a spell to calm the ghosts and ended up with a castle full of rather arrogant cats. At least she won’t be lonely amidst the furry felines but hopes Cauldron doesn’t get too jealous. She hands over the Horns of Half-Moon.
Torrum the Weapon Maker appears at Town of Shadows, “The thunder rumbled that someone needs Torrum’s help, but I judge only by actions, not empty words. My life’s goal is to create a perfectly unique weapon. So, I study ancient magic and crafting techniques toward that end.” He insists on testing your skills before talking business and ol’ Torrum is adequately impressed. He’s aware of your troubles, but has problems of his own. “I came to this grim world for research, but I didn’t have a way back.” He asks for your help creating a mechanical portal to get back home. “The portal you used to come here only works for you.” Torrum says the Sealing Staff, used to seal the portal to the Lord of Darkness and his army, was originally a Dwarven design. Torrum’s portal will be made of iron, gears, and pipes.
In exchange for help with his portal, Torrum has learned a lot of secrets about this land, and one of them is a mysterious stone. The Polar Star will light the battlefield, exposing the dark forces while casting no shadows. Torrum continues working on the portal and trusts you to look for anything unusual and worthy of his attention. “Cogs and gears! My most important tool got broke! Just when my luck was turning!” Then even worse luck, “Each hour brings a new challenge. A shadow bat flew by my portal and knocked an important part off. It’s more fragile than I thought. Bad luck won’t break my spirit!” Just another minor setback, fixing the part was easy, but Torrum must double his efforts to make up for lost time. While work on the portal continues, a visit to Morisa, the Forest Witch might be in order.
Morisa had a sign that guests would be arriving, “A spoon fell from the table in the morning, followed by a fork.” Morisa knows a lot about the Northern Breath and hopes you’re ready to listen. “The Northern Breath is an ancient artifact...it was divided into five separate artifacts, and each was hidden in a different place. It took many talented artisans to create it. The Northern Breath contains five dangerous artifacts. The mage who designed it ultimately understood that nobody should possess such a weapon.”
“The Firestorm Eye was found inside an ice volcano of the North by dwarven miners. The Firestorm Eye can create a powerful magic aura. I believe it’s a truly unique artifact.”
“The Dragon Fire Orb is a special vessel created by Uls the Vitreous, an ancient artisan who could turn scraps of glass into masterpieces. The Dragon Fire Orb was reinforced by dragon fire to withstand any heat and keep it safely inside.”
“A long-forgotten jeweler created the Horns of Half-Moon. It was his last creation, imbued with his remaining life force as he slipped into the next life. The Horns of Half-Moon shine even in complete darkness, lighting the way for travelers.”
“The Polar Star is the most mysterious part of the Northern Breath. No one knows where it comes from. Those who try to study its history only go mad.” That’s all Morisa knows about the Polar Star but she believes its full potential has yet to be unlocked.
“The Ice Wings were kept in the royal treasury in the far North until the day the descendants of their creator asked for them back. The King decided not to fight over the artifact and returned it to the Shadow Elves. The Elves were pleased.”
Morisa further explains, “The Northern Breath will obey the one who can collect its parts and tame the power roaring inside it. You have that ability. You’ll understand what I mean when you take the assembled Northern Breath in your hands. In the hands of a kind person, the Northern Breath can fight the darkest evil, but in the wrong hands, it will only make the evil worse.” This is why it was hidden away. The Northern Breath will become a powerful weapon against the Lord of Darkness. Morisa believes the Northern Breath can cast the evil Lord so far away, he may never be able to return.
She hopes you learned something new and hopes to see you next time.
Torrum promises the Polar Star is in his secret stash and he’s the only one who has access to it.
With the final part to the portal solving Torrum’s problems, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. “Bless my bolts! The portal is almost ready. I’ll be able to leave this forsaken place soon and return to my own projects. I just need to place the final components, and I can make the journey home.”
Torrum hands over the Polar Star, with these parting words, “We work very well together! I hope we’ll meet again in our world! Good luck, my friend! (Torrum, the Weapon Maker disappears from Town of Shadows and reappears in Valley of Fallen Giants, Northern Islands)
Lilith the Huntress is happy to see you again and has news to share. She and Shadow mean so much to each other, but the Lord of Darkness stands in the way. Lilith says “Shadow has changed. He still serves the Lord of Darkness, but he’s secretly helping us from the inside!” Lilith wants to perform a small elvish ritual to protect Shadow from the Lord’s evil influence. “The ritual is as old as the Shadow Elves themselves. It is used to protect families and loved ones.” According to Lilith, Shadow is the most important thing in the world to her. “I need to brew a special elvish drink called Heart’s Warmth for the ritual. Once I drink it, I’ll sing a special song, and the warmth of my love will protect Shadow. I must remember the ingredients. I’ve never made it before, but this seems like the right time and for the right person.” Locating all the ingredients begins, “It’s not hard to find a thistle leaf, and elves all carry the blood of the tree of ancients, but the rest is going to be a challenge.”