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Spoiler: Complete Character Progression   Tips, Tricks, Guides and Advice

Started 8/11/18 by whitebutterfly54 (redbutter54); 42931 views.
In reply toRe: msg 60

HIGH MAGE OF FROST

LEVEL 93

The High Mage of Frost greets you from the Ruler’s Study just beyond Ice Hall.  He claims to be the strongest mage of ice and snow and is ready to help.  He insists the Ruler of the Islands should have a strong mage like him by her side and describes the Ruler’s beauty as “comparable to the loveliness of the most elegant snowflake.”  The High Mage of Frost is aware the Mage Coven tried in vain to lift the curse from the frozen fighters but, on the bright side, they won’t hurt each other in their current state.  The High Mage says only an ancient artifact will help lift the curse.  The Time Slipper can reverse time around the fighters and restore them!  But the artifact hasn’t been whole in many years.

The High Mage cautions that, once whole, the Time Slipper should be used wisely.  He knows where one part of the artifact is hidden.  The frosty winds of the Northern Islands whisper to the High Mage that the part lies under a thick layer of ice in the Sacred Lake.  The High Mage created a spell for breaking the ice of the Sacred Lake, but so far has only managed to crack it.  It seems the artifact is so ancient traces of its origin are almost lost.  All the ancient magic books don’t contain any information but the High Mage found a legend about the creation of the Time Slipper.

LEVEL 96

The High Mage of Frost is well aware of a spell that creates the icy cold wind both the Knight and Fire Conjurer described.  It’s the breath of the Dark Side!  And if the Lord of Darkness is here, his army of shadow beasts are close by too.  To track one of the Lord’s henchmen, the High Mage of Frost prepares a ritual using frosty patterns on the floor and special placement of items.  The Mage quickly depletes all his magic energy, but he’s found one of the Lord of Darkness’ henchmen, Shadow!  He sends you to Shadow while the frost and wind restore the Mage’s power, bit by bit.

After your visit with Shadow, the High Mage of Frost has enough energy to help find one of the Staff parts.  It’s hidden atop the ancient snow-covered mountain and not easy to reach.

The Time Slipper was created by ancient Titans from stardust and star energy.  It has a power that is without equal.  The power of the Time Slipper is that it can take control over time – accelerate, reverse and even stop it.  However, using this artifact can badly harm both space and time.  This is why it was broken and the pieces of it were scattered all over the world.  The pieces are hidden very well, but the High Mage managed to free the Mysterious Asteroid from the Sacred Lake.  His last request again cautions you to be very careful with the completed Time Slipper.

LEVEL 97

The High Mage of Frost is well aware of a spell that creates the icy cold wind both the Knight and Fire Conjurer described.  It’s the breath of the Dark Side!  And if the Lord of Darkness is here, his army of shadow beasts are close by too.  To track one of the Lord’s henchmen, the High Mage of Frost prepares a ritual using frosty patterns on the floor and special placement of items.  The Mage quickly depletes all his magic energy, but he’s found one of the Lord of Darkness’ henchmen, Shadow!  He sends you to Shadow while the frost and wind restore the Mage’s power, bit by bit.

After your visit with Shadow, the High Mage of Frost has enough energy to help find one of the Staff parts.  It’s hidden atop the ancient snow-covered mountain and not easy to reach.

SHADOWY HIGH MAGE OF FROST

Ruler’s Study

Level 98

The High Mage of Frost is a shadow victim, slowly disappearing from this world.  The curse hasn’t touched everyone yet, but one by one, all the residents of Midnight Castle will become shadows.  But even a very powerful mage such as the High Mage of Frost can’t stop the curse.  He hasn’t felt the cold stab of fear in a long time and the evil is draining his magic and life force.  He can’t even conjure a worthy snowdrift!  An icy wind deeply pierces the soul of the High Mage and he wonders how long until everyone’s gone.  But the snowflakes sparkling in the moonlight make this world too beautiful to leave.

There is a ritual the High Mage wants to perform.  With your help, and the Mage’s remaining powers, it just might be successful.  To quickly collect the magical items and potions, help from other mages is essential.  After gaining their favor, the magister of the Order of Burning Heart offers a mandrake tear, Lady Melissa sends a fern flower and Ellaniel, the elvish healer, has powered unicorn hair.

While the wind blows ever forward, the High Mage of Frost readies the ingredients and musters all the magical power he can. 

Level 99

Success!  The High Mage of Frost managed to slow the process of shadow transformation.  It’s all up to you now.  Assemble the Shadow Tamer and stop this curse!

In reply toRe: msg 61

LORD OF DARKNESS

LEVEL 97

As ambassador representing the Ruler of the Islands, you meet the Lord of Darkness in the Ancient Garden.  Maybe he can add some details to what you’ve already been told about him.  The Lord of Darkness has waited centuries for the moon to enter the right phase – when the long eclipse would make him the most powerful.  With the call of the dark moon, the Lord of Darkness tried the portal to this world, and it opened.

Nightmare is a horse that can turn your blood to ice and she belongs to the Lord of Darkness.  Nightmare led the Lord of Darkness through the portal without fear.  When she beats her hooves, the ground shakes.  The Lord of Darkness has never seen a dragon, but can’t imagine a more majestic animal than Nightmare.  Anyway, he would never exchange Nightmare for any dragon.  The Lord of Darkness has many devotees.  His army also feels the call of the dark moon and stands roaring at the threshold to the portal.  But they can’t follow him through…yet.

The Lord of Darkness is enjoying this moment, but the long eclipse will be soon.  And with the dark moon, he will have the power to bring his army to this land.  While he insists he will make this world even better, the Lord of Darkness says he seeks power over the living and dead, everywhere the sunlight falls and everywhere that exists in complete darkness.  Everyone will become his servants, bowing to him and his power.  He asks what you want, but before you can answer, says he really doesn’t care. 

The Lord of Darkness recognizes you’re a stubborn one with fury in your eyes.  He wonders how you’ll fare against him and if you’ve listened to anything he’s said.  His last bit of advice…prepare for a new future.

Level 99

Sensing your “pet genie” searching for him, the Lord of Darkness expected your visit.  He remembers your last entertaining conversation, which distraction enabled the portal to his world to be sealed.  He wanted to punish you for ruining his plans, but physical injury is so unsophisticated.  He wonders how you like the new look he gave to your friends and allies.  And the Lord of Darkness vows there will be more shadows soon; the mage’s pitiful attempt to slow the process is pure and simple desperation.  He looks forward to the valuable acquisition of the genie and wise raven’s shadows. 

The Lord of Darkness seems satisfied by his revenge and your anger.  He’s very impressed with the results of his curse considering the first tests were with lab rats.  But everything worked out and, since his army can’t invade because of you, the Lord decides to make a new army here instead.   He also plans to increase the range of the curse to affect all Midnight Castle residents, including you.

These are no empty threats; the Lord of Darkness vows everything he said will come true.  But why not join him?  You would be so powerful.  Declining the invitation, the Lord is surprised at your inability to look ahead since you seemed so bright.

Level 102

The completed Northern Breath goes to the Ancient Garden and the Lord of Darkness disappears (he reappears in the Hall of Suffering) but he managed to capture some of the Midnight Castle residents and turned them into shadows.  Now the mission turns to releasing those souls from the Dark Side and destroying the Lord of Darkness, once and for all.

Msg 785.63 deleted
In reply toRe: msg 62

LILITH THE HUNTRESS

Forest of Shadows

Level 98

The Huntress hunts evil shadows invading this world and she’s looking for someone.  If you help her, she hopes to call you a friend.  Like you, the Huntress is able to travel freely between this world and the Dark Side.  Many shadows, creatures and sorcerers seeking solitude found the Dark Side a safe place to live and they’re outraged when shadows invade the world of the living.  Lilith the Huntress confesses the one she’s looking for is none other than Shadow, the Lord of Darkness’s sidekick.  It appears once upon a time, Lilith and Shadow were more than just friends; until he got into trouble.  She also wants to be clear about her allegiances...she’s against the Lord of Darkness.

The old adage is true, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” and Lilith will help in the fight against the Lord of Darkness.  But Shadow isn’t her only motivation in the fight against the Lord of Darkness.  Sealing the portal to hold back the shadow beasts and saving this world is of greater importance.

She calls herself a “Shadow Elf”, and shadow elves have been moving between worlds without portals since ancient times.  It’s a skill that can’t be taught.  Lilith is aware the enraged Lord of Darkness cursed everyone in Midnight Castle.  A curse older than the ancient dragons that turns everyone into shadows and Lilith has no idea how to stop it. 

In the scrolls of her ancestors, Lilith found a legend about the Shadow Tamer.  It was created by the shadow elves long ago, but all details are lost to the streams of time.  Lilith believes in the artifact and its power, but finding all its parts will be difficult. 

Suddenly, Lilith the Huntress feels Shadow somewhere in the town between the worlds of the living and dead.  She wants you to find Shadow and tell him about her.

Lilith the Huntress is very pleased Shadow remembers her and chose the right side in this conflict.  While you were gone, Lilith got information that a Shadow Tamer part resides in the sacred domain of the shadow elves.  It was thought the road to it was long forgotten, but Lilith found she can enter the domain by walking the shadowy path.  It’s dangerous, but difficult times require difficult solutions.  She asks you to wait patiently and trust her. 

It wasn’t easy, and Lilith doesn’t want to relive the horrors she saw, but she found the Ancient Pipes.  All hope now resides with you.

Level 102

Lilith is sure she and Shadow will be together, he's the most important thing in the world to her.  But one thing stands in their way...the Lord of Darkness.  Shadow has changed; he still serves the Lord of Darkness, but he's secretly helping from the inside.

Lilith wants to perform a small elvish ritual to protect Shadow from the Lord of Darkness' evil influence.  The ritual is as old as the Shadow Elves themselves and is used to protect families and loved ones.  She must brew a special drink called the Heart's Warmth.  Once Lilith drinks the brew, she'll sing a special song and the warmth of her love will protect Shadow.  She's never made this drink before, but this seems like the right time and for the right person.

She must remember the ingredients; thistle leaf blood from the tree of ancients (not hard to find, all elves carry it), forest heart flowers (they try to hide from your gaze), moon tea (it doesn't grow on the moon, it's just made of special moon leaves that must be brewed for many hours under the beams of the increscent moon), agate ginger root (used in many potions and readily available for herbalists) and red lemon (usually impossible to find).  Miracles do happen, all the ingredients have been collected and Lilith begins brewing the beverage.

The life-defining tea is ready and Lilith is ready to drink it and sing the song that will put Shadow under the invisible protection of a girl who's in love with him.  Unfortunately, no one should hear the song so she asks for some privacy.

Lilith feels alive and takes that as a sign the tea was a success and Shadow is now under the protection of ancient elvish magic.  Wonders how Shadow is feeling, but it's too dangerous for Lilith and Shadow to communicate right now.

Is so glad everything is going well and Shadow is trying to sabotage the Lord of Darkness's plans

Lilith recalls legends that mention the Northern Breath.  The beginning of the tale is lost, but the ending mentions the Ice Wing.  Important texts indicate the Shadow Elves kept the Ice Wing and used it to decorate the statue in the town's main square.  Lilith is sure the Ice Wing is on its way and it does eventually arrive.  (The completed Northern Breath goes to the Ancient Garden and the Lord of Darkness disappears, but he managed to capture some of the Midnight Castle residents and turn them into shadows.)

Lilith wishes your visits were under more festive circumstances, but agrees to help free those bound souls.  Surely her people, the dark elves, know how to release the souls from the Dark Side.  One note and a couple of carrier pigeons won't be enough; it'll take a massive missive to tell the whole story, delivered by an entire flock of carrier pigeons!  Finally, the pigeons are sent on their way and there's nothing left to do now but wait for the messages to reach the elves.

The shadows began vanishing one-by-one and Lilith is afraid someone found a way to kill shadows.  While it's true she hunts down shadows in the world of the living, Lilith won't tolerate killers on the Dark Side.

Lilith is confident a special mirror could help her see the shadow destroyer.  She manages to find all the parts and sets about putting it all together.  The finished mirror leads Lilith to the shadow of an ancient tyrant who learned how to kill his fellow shadows.  

Unfortunately, the hunt doesn't go well and Lilith's shadow is wounded by the ancient tyrant.  Vitality draining from her shadow's wound, Lilith knows this is more serious than she first thought.  She doesn't want to alarm her beloved Shadow, so she implores the aid of Morisa the Forest Witch.

Level 103

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MORISA THE FOREST WITCH

Hut on Legs

Level 100

Dice foretold your visit to Morisa the Forest Witch, but she says you must gain her trust before she will talk.  Once that’s done, Morisa says she’s from the world of the living, but it was too noisy and hectic, so she moved to the Dark Side.  It’s much quieter there, the ideal place to do magic.

Morisa is aware of the Lord of Darkness’s curse and she’s seen the future, but telling you would keep it from happening.  She also knows what’s hidden in the shadows; where would the last part of the Shadow Tamer be if not the shadow world?  Before proceeding with her story, Morisa must see what the cards say and check the position of the stars.

She has a cousin, Baba Yaga, who can help get the artifact part, but she won’t do it for free.  Helping Morisa with a couple of favors has her commenting that you’re “as fast as a magic broom.”  Morisa is amazed by your abilities and thinks you’d make an excellent apprentice.

The Lord of Darkness is neither friend nor foe, so Morisa isn’t worried about him.  He has no use for her and she wouldn’t help him anyway.

Wonderful news from Morisa’s cousin; she found the missing piece and will visit soon.  You missed all the fun when Morisa’s cousin visited.  Baba Yaga brought raspberry tea and she and Morisa enjoyed a pleasant visit with hearty conversation.  They told stories and laughed all night.  It was so much fun, Morisa isn’t sure she’s ready to get back to work just yet.

Level 101

A spoon fell from the table in the morning, followed by a fork.  For Morisa, they were signs that guests will arrive.  She knows a lot about the Northern Breath and is willing to share in exchange for a few tasks.

The Northern Breath is an ancient artifact that was created by many talented artisans.  It contains five dangerous artifacts and 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.  It can create a powerful magic aura. 

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 and those who try to study its history only go mad.

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 Northern Breath will obey the one who can collect its parts and tame the power roaring inside it.  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.

Morisa believes the Northern Breath can cast the evil Lord so far away that he may never be able to return.

Level 102

(The completed Northern Breath sent the Lord of Darkness from the Ancient Garden to the Dark Side's Hall of Suffering, but not before he managed to capture some of the Midnight Castle residents and turned them into shadows.)

Morisa is sure she can help Lilith and explains that in the shadow world, shadows are real and can be harmed and also healed.  Morisa knows Lilith is an experienced huntress, so whoever hurt her shadow must be very powerful.

Level 103

Morisa sets about working on the challenge to restore Lilith's wounded shadow before she gets worse.  She finds some usable herbs in the forest for the elixir, but will have to trade with some unfriendly creatures, the winged harpy, terror of the eastern mountains, for other items. 

A mandrake leaf is needed to make a special candle before brewing the elixir and Morisa manages to find the leaf in her very own garden.  The candle is ready, along with all the herbs and powders, but now begins the difficult part.  The elixir must be stirred from dusk to dawn without interruption.  

Morisa hopes Lilith's strength is seeing her through this difficult time, but all this work has taken a toll on Morisa.  Finally, the moment of truth has arrived.  If done correctly, the elixir should emit vapor as it cools and change color.  It takes longer than expected, but finally the color changes and Morisa is confident her elixir will cure Lilith's shadow wound moments after drinking it.  Morisa has never been prouder of her skills. 

In reply toRe: msg 65

Level 101

Nala appears in the Old Tavern, Town of Shadows and is a former apprentice to the High Mage of Frost. She has a cat named Cauldron and they've been together since she was little.  She became a mage's apprentice to be strong and independent.  Always a little clumsy, Nala thought an apprenticeship would really help her.

But while the other apprentices succeeded, Nala struggled to keep up and began feeling out of place.  That's when she totally messed up.  Wanting to prove something to herself, her teacher and the other apprentices, Nala stole her teacher's book for a certain spell.  The spell was powerful, too powerful for someone at her level.  The spell was supposed to summon a monster from the Dark Side, but instead, Nala got teleported here.  Now her body and spirit are bound to this place and she can't leave.

On the bright side, it's easier to learn magic here.  Magical energy is everywhere.  She even knows a secret that might help you.  The parts you've collected so far for the Northern Breath have a unique and powerful aura, an aura Nala's encountered before.  Nala asks if the Horns of Half-Moon sound familiar.

The Lord of Darkness spent a long time here looking for a way out.  Nala did her best to keep out of his sight.  She knows the Lord of Darkness left this world and she watched over things through the magic mirror.  She wants to help.

The Horns of Half-Moon are hidden in some nearby haunted castle ruins.  The castle was empty until Nala went there to practice a spell.  Her spell made the castle more...lively.  It was too easy to cast spells near that castle.  So easy that her spell filled it with ghosts!  It must have been the Horns of Half-Moon's influence.  When you arrived with the artifact, Nala immediately understood its connection with the secret of that castle.

Ready to visit the castle for the needed part and wonders if the ghosts will know her as their creator and be mad.  The good news is Nala got the artifact; the bad news is she tried a spell to calm the ghosts, and now the castle is full of rather arrogant cats.  Maybe a castle full of cats is better than a castle full of ghosts.  At least she won't be lonely.

Intends to have some fun days amidst her furry felines and hopes Cauldron doesn't get too jealous.  You are rewarded with the Horns of Half-Moon.

Level 103

(The completed Northern Breath goes to the Lord of Darkness and he disappears, but not before he captured Midnight Castle residents and turned them into shadows.)

Nala once again casts the wrong spell, something exploded and a strange mist appeared from which she could hear growling.  If Pinfeathers believes she can be of help, then Nala believes in herself too.  The growls inside the mist seem to grow louder, so Nala fixes coffee and tries to figure out how to get rid of the mist.  She knows where she went wrong with the spell and won't make that mistake again...although she'll probably make others.

Since Nala is the only one who can see the mist, she decides to treat it as a curse rather than a spell.  The hallucination intensifies; Nala feels the mist closing in and the beast's growls rattle her very soul.  Her scientific mind wonders what will happen if the mist reaches her, but common sense says she might not want to know.  Nala poses that magic may not be her thing after all, but quickly shakes off that negativity and begins making an ingredient list.  First up is a two-horned root. 

Nala feels the mist calling her to enter it and she doesn't know how long she can resist its thrall.  Despite the situation, she feels quite impressed she was able to cast such a powerful spell, even accidentally.

Finally, all the ingredients are together but now Nala has lost the spell!  She sends a bird to her mentor and pictures him shaking his head over her misadventures.

Level 104

The spell worked, the mist recedes and Nala is ready to help with the business at hand.  The next artifact is well hidden by a terrible, loud, toothy beast and Nala must work harder than she expected to distract it.  Maybe that horrible creature wants something to eat, but Nala guesses it's not looking for dandelions and buttercups.  Once the beast is full and happy, having calmed down once Nala fed it her lunch, the Runic Paint of the Ancients is yours.

LEVEL 107

Nala is among the few mages who have studied shadow curses.  Most shadow curses can only be lifted by those who cast them so Nala can only hope to slow the effect.  If the Impediment Ritual works, it’ll buy enough time to find the artifact to restore Shadow’s memory.  But Nala is very stressed knowing something could go wrong.  What if Ludwig Milton dies and everyone turns into shadows and blames her?  Despite all her doubts and fears, Nala knows there’s nothing to lose.  Things can’t get worse, but they won’t get better if she doesn’t try.

During her apprenticeship, Nala was rarely sure of herself.  Growth comes when one learns to fix their own mistakes.  Despite praying to Merlin for help during her first attempt at the Impediment Ritual, there was an unforeseen complication.  Instead of slowing the curse, it seems to have sped up!  Checking and double-checking, Nala has a theory on what went wrong.  Testing that theory though turned her cauldron into a kumquat!  She restored her cauldron and made a second attempt at the Ritual.  It worked!  The curse has slowed down enough to allow time to find the artifact and restore Shadow’s memory.

In reply toRe: msg 66

Level 101

Torrum the Weapon Maker appears in Town of Shadows and knew someone needed his help from the rumbling thunder.  Torrum's life goal is to create a perfectly unique weapon, so he studies ancient magic and crafting techniques.  His research brought him to this world, but he can't leave.  He's aware of your troubles, but has problems of his own.  While he came to this grim world for research, he doesn't have a way back.  He needs your help to create a mechanical portal that will take him back home.

He tells you the Sealing Staff was originally a Dwarven design.  His portal is to be made of iron, gears and pipes.  He's learned a lot of secrets about this land, and in exchange for help with his portal, he'll reveal information about a certain stone.  The Polar Star is no simple stone and Torrum will be sorry to give it away, but he knows you need it more than he does.

While Torrum works on the portal, he asks you to look for anything unusual and worthy of his attention.  First, his most important tool got broken then, just as his luck was turning, a shadow bat flew by the portal and knocked an important part off.  It was a minor setback but seems each hour brings a new challenge.  Torrum will have to double his efforts to make up for lost time.

The Polar Star is in his secret stash and no one but Torrum has access to it.  

Level 102

"Bless my bolts!  The portal is almost ready.  I'll be able to leave this forsaken place soon and return to my own projects", says Torrum.  Places the final components on the Portal and is ready to make the journey home.  Wishes you good luck and hopes to meet you again.  You are rewarded with the Polar Star.

Torrum the Weapon Maker disappears from Town of Shadows and reappears in Valley of Fallen Giants Northern Islands.

Level 104

Torrum, ready for another challenge, says the Unicorn Brush was believed lost a long time ago.  Legends place it in the ruins of an ancient town of craftspeople and Torrum knows where those ruins lie.  This gives him a chance to fire up the mechanical portal once again.

It needs a couple of parts, but a bit of tinkering here and there and it's good as new.  Torrum says half the job of being a good mechanic is knowing how to get missing parts quickly.  

Torrum receives a concerned message from his brother, Magrum of Diamond Mountain.  Magrum's note claims the gems mined from his mountain are turning black and he wants mages sent to protect against whatever is happening.  Generally, mages are afraid of Diamond Mountain and dwarves don't like strangers in their lands, but Magrum needs help.  Torrum knows the one thing mages can't refuse and he offers them gems from the very heart of his mountain in exchange for their help.  He imagines the shock on their bearded faces and hopes they accept his offer.

It's said dwarven fortitude could forge steel, but Torrum isn't so sure about his.  An all-consuming darkness is forming inside the gems, but the mages are still silent.  Finally, the wise old men are on their way and Torrum prepares a generous gift for them as thanks for fighting the growing darkness.

The mages are late, and Torrum senses something is wrong.  The mountains are still and quieter than usual with tension.

A fiery redhead - a girl!  Torrum never thought anything he could experience would cause the mix of vivid emotions he's feeling now.  Torrum has no words to express his anger; they requested a squad of seasoned battlemages and got some brash child instead.  She claims to be a powerful artifact mage, so she's arrogant as well!

Begrudging acceptance replaced anger once the red-haired girl made her case.  Torrum barely talked his brother into allowing the girl into the heart of the mountain and could almost hear his brother's teeth grinding.

But the girl turned out to be quite a good mage, after all.  Thalia found a dark fissure deep in the caverns and it seems the dwarves awakened something grim deep in Diamond Mountain.  Torrum suspects whatever escaped from the mountain is now troubling his old friend Lucas and his people.

Level 105

Torrum is concerned his friend Lucas the Minotaur is standing alone against the Shadow Serpent, but notes his people were always a bit reckless.  He trusts Lucas knows what he's doing, but in the meantime, his people are preparing for a new threat.  As you are rewarded with the Unicorn Brush, Torrum says he hopes to see you again.

LEVEL 108

Torrum the Weapon Maker (Valley of Fallen Giants) hasn’t heard from his friend, the minotaur, since Lucas left to deal with the shadow serpent.  Since his old friend didn’t even leave a note behind, Torrum’s been in a constant state of worry.  Waiting feels endless and sometimes no news is worse than bad news.  Torrum decides helping to restore Shadow’s memory will be a good distraction from worrying about Lucas. 

He can use one of his portals to teleport to the artifact part, but Torrum’s portals are known for being unpredictable.  But once set and ready to go, Torrum steps into the unknown.  He could turn up leagues away from the intended destination and, unsurprisingly, Torrum’s first trip through the portal was a fiasco.  He ends up in the dream world where only the lucky escape and you could search for all eternity and never find the exit.  Dreams actually corroded the portal, almost like rust, but Torrum manages to fix it. 

Torrum’s second trip through the portal deposits him in the tower of mages!  Apparently, dreams did more damage than first appeared.  It seems an intricate part of the portal was completely corroded and that’s how he ended up in the tower of mages.  But forging is nothing for a dwarf and Torrum gets underway again. 

Finally, the portal takes Torrum where he’s been trying to reach, the parallel world.  It’s similar to this world...with some differences.  Torrum found two copies of the part, but he must choose carefully.  It’s a critical choice because only the right part will work in its respective world.  Torrum encountered the strangest thing he’s ever seen...he met himself in the parallel world.  The other Torrum was quite helpful...and handsome too.  He told Torrum which artifact part to take and he hands over the Pendant of Remembrance, hoping not to be a shadow the next time you meet.  

Msg 785.68 deleted
In reply toRe: msg 67

Level 104

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.

Level 105

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.

LEVEL 108

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.  

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Level 105

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.

LEVEL 106

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. 

LEVEL 107

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.

LEVEL 107

(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.

  

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