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Rudoguil is a peaceful citizen of Cloud City and he’s sick and tired of people confusing him with some criminal gnome! Suddenly, Rudoguil the Bloody appears, asking “Who are you? Why are you here? Do you know who I am? I’m Rudoguil the Bloody, threat of all seas!” Rudoguil the Bloody says everybody around seems to be crazy about some Expedition but he thinks he can make it more fun. “What a surprise, our guide was accused of robbery! Well yes, I framed him! So what?” Old Bloody heard you’re acquainted with an old pirate friend of his and would like to send Skull Pete a bottle of rum.
Skull Pete is excited about getting some famous Elvish rum from his old friend. Pete decides to return the favor to Old Bloody by making a batch of gnome wort. He has a recipe for it, but not the ingredients. Fortunately, he knows some vendors who could sell him some. There is one unusual ingredient in gnome wort. “I just hope that the she-gnome’s ringing laughter” isn’t from an actual she-gnome!” Finally, the gnome wort is finished and Pete offers you a taste, “Don’t you want to try? No? Is it because of the color?” Pete asks you to deliver this bottle of gnome wort personally to Rudoguil the Bloody.
Old Bloody’s reaction to Pete’s gift, “Gnomes’ home brew beer! Strong, agggrr!” Rudoguil questions the amount of provisions you’re taking because he doesn’t want to carry too much weight. He decides to solve the problem by selling all the excess provisions. “Except now we have no provisions at all! But I have money.”
Henry the Archeologist thinks he can find out the reason why the previous expeditions failed. “They found traces of a strange fire where the expeditions disappeared.” After exploring further, Henry discovers a demonic fire was responsible and the innkeeper knows something, but won’t share it. There was an item found where the expeditions vanished. “How strange! The item belongs to a gnome. But neither of the participants owned it.” Henry would like to talk to the gnomes in charge but he’d have to pay off the mercenary creatures. “I’ll try and ask other gnomes, but you know they are extremely greedy.” “The only gnome with a bad reputation is now the leader of the third expedition! Hmmm…” Unfortunately, the leader of the Expedition has an alibi.
LEVEL 31 cont.
Murk is not the simple gnome you may think he is. “Do you know what happened with two previous Expeditions? I destroyed them! I’m blind, but my sorcerer’s power is still with me! To tell the truth, I didn’t mean to harm the destroyed Expeditions. Not my idea! So sad.” Murk claims he will remain a slave to another’s will until he gets his eyes back. The return of his eyes will give him strength and freedom of will and the ability to help with your Expedition. So you help Murk regain his eyes “I can see again! The witch has no control over me! My strength is restored!” *** Murk transforms into the Spirit of Chaos***
The Spirit of Chaos got rid of the slave collar, but couldn’t stay intact with his eyes stolen. He gradually begins regaining his power, “I can feel the surge of energy. Soon the guilty ones will pay for their atrocities!” Your help has been priceless. The Spirit knows you were sent by the witch to learn about his plans but he assures you he has no grudge against her, his plans are more important. The Spirit of Chaos isn’t interested in the Portal, “I’m going to summon chaos from my world, and you’ve just helped me. This world will surrender to me!”
The Stone Fairy would like to help with the Expedition, but she can’t do much in her present state. She doesn’t want to be made of stone forever and longs to fly, like other fairies. You have lifted her spirits and she knows another ritual that could help her. Gradually, her hand becomes less stony. “I’ve heard the Expedition procurement leaves much to be desired” and helps by sending items to the leader of the Expedition.
LEVEL 31 cont.
Rudoguil the Stony says “Our supplies of food and tools are gone! Our guide is in jail!” He begins restoring the supplies of food and buying tools to replace the stolen ones. “Who could possibly have committed this robbery?” The provisions turned out to be with the city merchants. They looked surprised when Rudoguil bought back his own supplies! He doesn’t think it’s a good idea to leave the suffering guide in jail mostly because there isn’t anyone to take his place. Rudoguil takes all the procured items to bribe the guard for the guide’s freedom, but the guard is a greedy fellow. Armed with more items for the guard, the guide is finally freed. Running into a familiar merchant, “The merchant I bought our supplies from stated that I sold him the supplies, and then destroyed half of his kiosk. Nonsense!” Rudoguil gives some items to the merchant to redeem everything he supposedly destroyed but “I feel like I was framed.” Finally, the provisions and equipment are almost ready, “But the guide refuses to go with us saying he needs the redemption of his moral damage. The guide is really strange. It’s as if he’s afraid of me.”
The Witch says “You made an awful mistake returning eyes to this creature. Now I fear he’ll take his revenge.” The creature is much stronger than the Witch and now she no longer has power over him. “Long ago, I summoned the ancient Chaos Spirit but he was too strong for me. I took out his eyes to control him. Until you meddled.” The Witch ordered Murk to get rid of the first two Expeditions for reasons of her own. “With nothing to stop Murk, something horrible might happen! She tries to find out about Murk’s plans her own way, but the only result was losing contact with her agent. “Hope he didn’t blab too much to the Spirit of Chaos before he died.” Arabella plans to hire more reliable people from the Spy Guild by greasing the right palms. “The Guild has terminated the contract! We’ll have to find out the Demon’s plans ourselves.” A simple plan might be better anyway, “That Murk has a peculiar sense of humor. The Magic Eye – I won’t even tell you what I saw!” The ominous intentions of the Spirit of Chaos are made known to Arabella, “The world is on the brink of catastrophe! But we still have time.”
Valeria’s Spirit wants to help her dear Jeronimo make a fortune. She found a couple of contracts for him in Cloud City, but to trade there, you need even the lowest rank in the Trade Guild. Valeria bribed all the important people and now all the documents are ready. She thinks Midnight Castle is beginning to look grand again and wants to help your Uncle by making her own contribution. ***Valeria’s Spirit becomes human Valeria Steiner*** “I’m human again! I can’t believe it!”
The progression of Valeria Steiner:
1. Level 13 ghost
2. Level 26 spirit (half ghost/half spirit)
3. Level 31 human
Happy not to be alone anymore, the Broken Automaton greets you in Metro Station and asks your help. “Speech confirmed – must develop communication with human subject. New word. Gratitude.” Automaton needs helps restoring his original functions and is able to increase capacity and realign his body. “New thoughts submitted. Human emotions pondered.” Parts were needed for his hydraulic drive, after which his movement drill was successful. He calls you “friend” and wants to acquire more complex thinking and greater intelligence from you. Movement is life, so overcoming immobility is required, but damage is discovered and there are unknown complications to his muscular system. Repair complexity was underestimated, but the new components fit well. New functions and shiny new parts result in gratitude. ***Broken Automaton transforms into Automaton***
The Spirit of Chaos greets you with “Well, my legions are late. But I have no time to waste!” He has some grand plans that require the work of many elements, including you. “When you open the gates to the Source of Sorcery, the world will fill with magic. That’s good, right?” He also says “When the legions come, it would be better for the world to be filled with magic.” After all, the more magic there is, the more chaos can devour!
Ragnus Beardrune introduces himself “My name is Ragnus, and I am the keeper of the rune garden.” He agrees to help you locate the Source of Sorcery, but his help is expensive. He describes the Spirit of Chaos as a creature who doesn’t belong to this world and wonders how it got here. “If this spirit is summoned from a different world, it might disturb the balance here.” So far, all efforts to banish the demon are in vain and the Spirit of Chaos is only growing stronger! Ragnus “discovered that collecting a certain amount of magic artifacts might help keep the balance in our world.” The fate of the world depends on you and while the balance is intact for now, it might change at any moment. Ragnus searched through the ancient volumes and found the Unicorn is the only way to defeat the demon. But where is he? It won’t be easy to find this magic beast, but there’s no choice. “Oberon won’t give away the Unicorn’s whereabouts. We need to track him.” Ragnus has heard a lot about the Source of Sorcery over the years, but he’s never seen it. “As the keeper of the Rune Garden, it’s my responsibility to collect magic from all over the world.” He knows for sure the way to the Source goes right through his Rune Garden. “Until the Spirit of Chaos is defeated, magic is in danger. That’s why I’m trying to collect as much as possible.” If magic were to suddenly disappear from the world, Ragnus would have a chance to revive it with his collection of runes and magic. Ragnus declares “Your name will stay in historical records of our world. The next generation of gnome-conjurers will appreciate your help.”
LEVEL 32 cont.
Chris Arwin the Assassin says “So, the Spirit of Chaos is threatening our world? Don’t worry, we’ll deal with it.” To carry out this operation, rare and expensive equipment is needed. But good equipment doesn’t come at a discount. There is an acute shortage of hooks, ropes, an anti-magic amulet and a sleeve crossbow. The troll’s assistance could be useful and Chris wonders “Do you think Henry the Archeologist can turn into a troll at will?” All weapons have been made ready in the event of armed guests. “We made a test foray to check the surroundings. And some issues arose.” Sometimes Chris mistrusts his powers and then the memories return. He feels like running away from it all, escaping with a fair lady. Constantly thinking about Valeria, unable to eat or sleep, he says “She’s very beautiful, don’t you think?” Chris’ lack of focus results in a failed attack on the target.
Henry is concentrating on getting items for his archeological collection and doesn’t seem interested in talking at first. Then, “You’re saying that Chris is interested in my troll powers?” Henry has many skills, but he can’t turn into a troll at will. And he wouldn’t want to! He doesn’t mind helping to banish the Spirit of Chaos and suggests searching for runes, since magic protection from a magic demon is needed.
Arabella Scales’ familiar broke its wing and she asks you to help heal her precious pet. She loves her familiar more than anything, but while working on a potion, the poor thing keeps trying to fly. Finally, the familiar has recovered and the Witch says “It’s time to get down to urgent issues. The first is Ragnus Beardrune.” The new potion for Ragnus is especially good, but she doesn’t want her efforts wasted by Ragnus storing it. “I spent too much time destroying the first expeditions to let that Ragnus meddle now!” The Witch warns your Expedition should not take place, saying “You have no idea what’s at stake, fool!” “Gnomes destroyed their own mountains, and took hold of the Source of Sorcery. Those gnomes, that Spirit of Chaos…Everyone, even the Knight, is against me…”
Oeland Silverman’s clans are going through a time of conflict. “In times of hatred, drastic action is required – against all odds.” The clans took the loss of the mighty Artifact very badly. Oeland managed to calm his people down but he continues to worry. “The decision is made. There’s no turning back. Spies have been sent to the forest.” Oeland worries about Oberon’s response, but he weighed all options in the face of the conflict. His advisors want reliable evidence of a successful operation. “I want to avoid bloodshed, but you have to break a few eggs to make an omelette, am I right?” Oeland’s spies in the elfish forest are having trouble and need assistance, but any strengthening of their position will outrage Oberon. “The spies are reporting suspicious moves from the elves. We need to find out what they are up to.” The elves’ current weakness provides the best chance for Oeland’s clans. Oeland predicts the werewolf clan will become a significant force in the world. There were a few victims, but the goal requires sacrifice.
The Witch says she’s willing to help free the world from the Spirit of Chaos. She’s sure he’ll take revenge after being deprived of his magic eye. “I’m no longer a weak healer! Help me, and we’ll calm down the Spirit of Chaos.” Back when the Chamberlain felt Arabella’s power, he offered to share his knowledge with her. It should be enough to defeat the Spirit of Chaos. “The Chamberlain did a lot for me. But at some point, the pupil leaves the teacher behind.” “One day, I had to give away part of my soul to fulfill my power. It was then that I roughened. I felt it come over me.” Arabella feels pity that she had to destroy her mentor because his assistance would be very helpful now. Arabella managed to weaken the Spirit of Chaos, who draws his magic power from his own dimension.
Anabel, appearing alone in the Forbidden Tower, is frantic that castle affairs take up so much of her time. “I don’t even have time for my Knight!” Anabel confides the Knight suspects she is concealing something, but it’s all in the past. “My Knight still can’t understand that the castle also needs love. Otherwise, we’ll have nowhere to live.” The Spirit of Chaos is interfering more and more and Anabel is afraid to tell the Knight about the problem, fearing he might attack the demon and get killed! As long as the Spirit of Chaos is here, Anabel feels buried in problems and spends less and less time with the Knight. “Oh, why did the Dragon make me take on so much responsibility? I’m so tired!”
LEVEL 33 cont.
Valeria would love to help with the Spirit of Chaos, but her powers are limited. She’s decided to learn something new to help you. “If I make a contribution to the guild, I’ll be able to take lessons. Time to talk to my teacher!” Her muscles are in knots, her whole body aches and she’s so tired. But she knows she can help. “Didn’t I tell you? Chris agreed to teach me his craft!” Learning to be an assassin isn’t easy, but Valeria is making progress. She’s starting to enjoy the lessons, even though she nearly fell off a cliff while learning to balance. Valeria can’t take her eyes off Chris, who’s so strong! She asks your help with the equipment and the delicate art of disguise, but there are so many subtle details to learn. “Chris doesn’t think I’m skilled enough. Perhaps he is too protective of me?”
The Iron Knight, alone in the Forbidden Tower, confesses he has some issues with Anabel. She’s always busy and the Knight is irritated that she dedicates all her time to castle matters. He doesn’t understand why Anabel is upset with him for getting rid of “useless castle residents.” “I’ll try to prove to Anabel that we should spend more time together.” Opening up his heart to Anabel just doesn’t seem to be enough and he knows Anabel is hiding something about her past. “Now Anabel is saying I don’t care about her or her past. I don’t know what to do.”
The Automaton says “Information from external sensors requested. Danger noted.” External sensors decoding completed and settings have been adjusted. Increased storage capacity for analysis and calculation needed.
Rudoguil the Stony says “You can’t trust this mechanical brain with anything. I have to take charge.” Bring everything directly to Rudoguil, not “that rusty automaton.” Rudoguil the Bloody shows up wanting to know what all the fuss is about. “Unlike this silly machine, you’d make a good pirate. While everyone is busy with the demon – we can make a fortune!” He says his mental health has suffered bringing up that little machine. His head starts hurting and he feels something coming. Rudoguil the Stony is very pleased with what you’ve gathered up for the Expedition, but more is needed. He’s aware his mechanical friend doesn’t feel well lately, but the “Automaton wasn’t meant for hard tasks.” Hopefully, these updated mechanisms will help.
The Automaton has initiated faster thought and human command of English. Intelligence has increased! Things have become clearer and internal circuits are almost restored.
Anabel, alone in the Forbidden Tower, has a lot of responsibility and is “determined to stop the Spirit of Chaos. But don’t tell the Knight about it, please!” She recognizes the Knight just wants to protect her and would never allow her to stand up to the Spirit of Chaos. “I don’t want to get the Knight involved in the struggle against the Spirit of Chaos. He might get hurt!” “We’ll find a way to defeat the Spirit of Chaos and perhaps afterwards I’ll reveal my secret to the Knight…” The Spirit of Chaos has lost the link to his dimension and can finally be defeated! Since the Wise Dragon knows the exact spells, Anabel wishes he were here now. Determined not to let the Spirit of Chaos escape justice, Anabel gets in touch with the Wise Dragon. With the help of her old friend “I created a magic trap. I think it will free us of the Spirit of Chaos forever.” But in the process, Anabel feels her Knight drifting away from her. She sends you to the Spirit of Chaos to make sure everything worked properly. “Please, my love can’t wait!”
The Spirit of Chaos thought you were the last person he would need help from. “I was deprived of all earthly power. I can only rely on myself – and you, perhaps.” But the Spirit talks of payback time and says “They don’t know who they are dealing with! These dragons will know my fury! Oh no! They couldn’t…Anabel? It was her plan? How could I have been so wrong…” ***Spirit of Chaos explodes and disappears from the Commercial District***
Anabel is exuberant…the Spirit of Chaos has been banished. “It’s such a long time since I saw my beloved!” But joy is short-lived, “That Spirit of Chaos drew me away from my Knight. How can I regain his trust?” I feel so guilty! Hopefully, my beloved will forgive me. We love each other after all!”
Jeronimo ‘Salty’ Took is sick at heart over his “Valeria problems.” He suspects Valeria is sweet on Chris Arwin and to find out what Valeria is doing, Salty feels a bribe is in order. “I found out that my beloved Valeria is now an assassin! It’s Chris’ fault!” Salty knows that even ghosts have feelings and he needs something that will remind Valeria of his love. “I can’t believe that Valeria left me for Chris! Even if I am a ghost.” Chris is keeping Salty from talking to Valeria, but Chris forgets Salty is a ghost and he can see Valeria whenever he wants. “If I had a life, it would have lost all meaning.”
LEVEL 34 cont.
Oeland has bigger problems and is not impressed by the banishment of the Spirit of Chaos. The situation in the elfish forest has grown dangerous. “A better word is devastating! Oberon offers more resistance than I suspected.” Even though Oeland respects Oberon for having reached his status all on his own, this is war. Oberon “is a very dangerous opponent.” But the werewolf clans have no choice, they need the Artifact. This clash of races was predetermined given the closeness of the clans’ territories to the elfish forest. “Looks like the elves were expecting our attack. We’ll try to live up to their expectations.”
Ragnus Beardrune offers his knowledge, “These magical items will help you fight the evil spirits on your way to the Source of Sorcery.” You’ll need special charms to protect the Expedition from magic and Ragnus hopes the charms will prevent another disaster. “Many decades ago, a horrible catastrophe took place. It was caused by my ancestor.” Ragnus cautions you on your journey as he doesn’t want to lose his home again. Meantime, with the proper gifts, he will try to convince the gnomes of the importance of your Expedition. “I managed to find different specialists for the Expedition. But they won’t work for free!”
Rudoguil the Stony reports “The preparation is taking way too long. I can hear people laughing at us! We must hurry!” He suddenly feels sick and Rudoguil the Bloody appears “May a harpoon take your arm! Where have you been? Hurry, it’s time to cast off! Don’t let anyone tail you!” He wonders if you know about “Franmar the Wise? He was the last king of the gnomes.” Apparently, he had an heir, but no one knows who or where he is. “They say the one who finds the heir to the gnome throne will get immense fortune.” Rudoguil the Stony says “The reason we left the mountains was a disaster – we never discuss it.” The gnomes didn’t like it, but King Franmar insisted on the Departure. “The king might have saved us all – or not.” And he hasn’t been seen since the Departure.
Although much has been forgotten, the Automaton has accessed new layers of memory. “It’s not easy to decode memory with centuries of storage.” Memory block must be cleared and he offers “gratitude to human friend.”
The Witch doesn’t hide her annoyance “Why don’t you sort out your problems yourself?” Unfortunately, her involvement in banishing the Spirit of Chaos has become well-known and that’s not good. In the midst of working on a potion, she confides “I used to be called Arabella. It was long ago and my life was hard back then.” Arabella is a “beautiful name of a poor healer. But I won’t get sentimental.” If not for the Chamberlain’s teachings, her life wouldn’t be so difficult now. Determined to find out something about her past, “Strange, but after I tried to see the past, everything went wrong.” It looks like someone deliberately hid part of her life from her eyes. Wanting to stop wearing her heart on her sleeve, the witch decides to look to the future instead of the past. But she’s broken-hearted, “he’ll never find it out anyway.” “This wrench that I’m feeling now rips my heart. What’s happening to me? Oh, my sweet Knight looked at me so…”
Rudoguil the Stony has moved from Cloud Pier to the Source Gate. “Unlike the previous Expeditions, we at least made it to the Gate of the Source. We’ve only just begun. The Gate is the first destination. Soon we’ll get to the Source!” Rudoguil’s assistants explored every stone, tried all the opening runes, but they couldn’t find any way inside. The Gate, being sealed with the ancient symbols of power, wouldn’t budge. Those symbols will have to be located, but that won’t be an easy task. “I think the gnomes’ symbols of power must be in our Homeland – under the ground.”
Anabel is still trying to win back the Knight’s love, but it’s so complicated. She’s so sad that the Knight won’t even talk to her. After weighing several options on how she and the Knight can grow close again, Anabel asks the witch for a love potion. “I don’t like to use potions, but I don’t have a choice. The witch is my only hope.” “This potion will erase my Knight’s bad thoughts, and we’ll get back together!”
The Rune Priest, Ragnus Beardrune, is concerned about opening the Gate and wants to stay away from the ancient subway. “A long time ago, the gnomes abandoned the subway because of untold horror – but the memories linger.” Ragnus admits “I’m scared. I’m scared that we might go down in the subway and disturb the evil there.” So Ragnus is against your search for the key to the Gate of the Source in the subway. “It’s too dangerous. I won’t let Rudoguil and his Expedition enter the abandoned tunnels.” So far, the search for the key to the Gate of the Source has proved fruitless, but Ragnus has a plan that involves the Automaton.
The Automaton welcomes you “Good uncertain time of day! My sensors do not work underground.” Ragnus Beardrune’s inquiry was declined because the hint decoding unit is missing. “Decoding human notions still presents difficulty.” Ragnus’ assignment has been decoded and contradictions identified. “Ragnus’ data is corrupt. I am asked to follow a false program!” The Automaton’s analysis proves that the Rune Priest Ragnus Beardrune’s order is a contradiction. If obeyed, lives will be threatened. The Automaton “must reject Mr. Ragnus. The Gate must open.” Just yesterday, strangers used force in an attempt to damage the Gate. “They acted on the priest Ragnus’ order. Does not compute. Mr. Rudoguil found out that the rune priest had tried to seal the gate, and he got furious. A strange feeling.”
Ragnus Beardrune feels it’s a pity that the “Automaton doesn’t work for us. This would have made it much easier.” Controlling the Automaton will take the best engineers in Cloud City. Ragnus is still determined to keep his people away from the subway. “My people are searching all possible catacombs and stashes, but they haven’t found the key to the Gate of the Source yet.” The search is proving unsuccessful, but Ragnus has more important things on his mind. “A murderer has appeared in Cloud City. The gnomes dread going out into the streets.” Ragnus doubts they can manage on their own now, so he sends for a professional detective.