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UPDATE ****** DECEMBER 20, 2021
Nala’s spell backfires once again and she finds herself lighter than air. In fact, she’s light enough to float away and “there’s nothing to hold onto!” It turns out the “flying fairies know about our trouble, so they gave me this fancy-looking thing and said that you need it.” Hoping she helped save the castle, Nala presents the Sea Unicorn, the final piece to the Chilling Belt. (The Fire Elemental’s spirit is tied to the mountain and as the miners’ greed gobbled up the limitless treasure, the mountain’s pain overtook the Fire Elemental. The Elemental knew his molten fire could cause the mountain to erupt at any moment, destroying everyone and everything in the castle. The Chilling Belt is the only way to tame a raging fire in someone’s heart and when the Chilling Belt goes to the Fire Elemental in Lava Cave, it has the desired effect and the castle is saved.) Pinfeathers gives you the Charming Bouquet.
Ludwig Milton, Skeleton Knight wishes to have a heart-to-heart, sharing a bit of his past. “Thanks to you my body is whole, but I can’t say the same for my heart and mind.” With the lifting of the curse, Ludwig’s memory was restored and he remembered the stinging pain of lost love. “Long ago while exploring the mountain, I met a stunningly beautiful Shamaness. She rebuffed my advances, and I was left alone with my hopelessness.” Ludwig hopes their long time apart changed her feelings, but believes it likely only soured her further.
“Why the pessimism? Just look at me -- I was handsome then, and still I repelled her. Now I’m just a bag of bones. Worst of all, I’m stuck here, and she’ll never leave the Shaman Glen. Perhaps if I sent a gift...a bouquet?”
Ludwig realizes a bouquet isn’t the greatest idea, but having treated her so poorly in the past, at least it’s a start. “My raven can help me with the first flower but gathering the rest will require some special skills. I wish there was another way to discover her feelings, but I’ll have to share my burden with a few -- those who can help me complete the bouquet.” The Enticing Vriesia becomes part of the Charming Bouquet.
Han, the Sage knows Ludwig has a stable mind but senses some instability beneath. “Imbalance always leads to chaos.” The path of self-destruction is imbalance...chaos...self-destruction...then villainy." If you truly wish to save Ludwig, we must help his soul find balance.” Han understands meditation won’t help if the mind is overpowered by a feeling or idea. “A question torments Ludwig Milton’s soul. The answer to that question is all that holds him back from the brink of villainy.”
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 ‘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 of “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 as spoken by ‘Helman.’
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.
Morisa the Forest Witch has quite the green thumb and is sure she can help. Flora grown in the Forbidden Forest is best for the Charming Bouquet, but “preparation is the key if you want to stay alive.” Morisa says “The forest is forbidden for a reason -- there is far more to worry about than savage beasts and perilous plants. Beware the bewildering air -- so full of magic from the plants and animals that the unprepared may be ensnared and lost forever.”
The forest isn’t lacking in excitement and Morisa wonders what adventure lies ahead. She prepares a potion to drink before entering the forest to guard her mind and memories. “Wish me luck -- even the prepared can perish.”
Upon her return, Morisa can’t wait to share her adventure. “I met a three-tailed fox and even glimpsed a unicorn! Most importantly, I have something for you...Here it is -- this flower is sure to excite any recipient.” The Exciting Plumeria takes its place in the Charming Bouquet.
The Fire Elemental extends a warm welcome but doesn’t offer a hug for fear of “reducing a good friend to ashes.” The Fire Elemental admits “I’ve never been in love, but I’m no stranger to fiery emotions. I assume love burns in this way?” The Elemental agrees to help because “No one deserves a heart burnt to ashes, least of all Ludwig Milton.”
The Fire Elemental knows of a rare flower sure to please anyone. “The flower is solid stone, beautiful and beloved by all. Finding it however...that’s no simple feat. The flower lies in secret under the heart of the mountain. I’m happy to make the trek.” Only Elementals can brave the depths of the mountain and the Fire Elemental assures he’ll “be back in the flash of a spark.”
He returns, saying “I’ve got it, but it was no small thing -- I had to tear it from the mountain’s heart.” And the Strelizia of Attraction, the final flower, is added to the Charming Bouquet. The Charming Bouquet goes to Helma, the Shaman Outcast but nothing seems to happen and the story between Ludwig and Helma remains unfinished.
The Revitalizing Cauldron is the new Primary Quest Object, whose description reads “One draught will dispel the despair from your soul and replace it with joy.”
Innkeeper “Salty” Took offers a gloomy greeting and wonders if it’s tiring wandering around the castle. “Boredom can take your life like anything else. Grief weighs me like an anchor. What will lift it? Perhaps the answer will find me in time...” Aware that “some potions exist that can lift the spirits”, Salty feels the melancholy growing and resolves “a bit of magic couldn’t hurt in this fight, right?”
Salty’s heard whispers of an intricate incantation and must find it quickly as “apathy’s grip tightens on my shoulder.” The incantation is in hand, but Salty says it all looks like nonsense to him. Sure the answer is out there, Salty takes “my grief to the library -- there must be instructions somewhere for brewing the joyful drink.”
After solving the incantation, Salty says, “I’ll know joy again soon if I’m lucky. Grieving and toiling...it’s no laughing matter. Here, may the joyful drink help you as well.” The Joyful Drink (a vial of smiles, inside jokes, and delicious puns.) is added to the Revitalizing Cauldron.
Pinfeathers says “Our friend Took is suddenly unbearably sad. Four potent potions should cheer him up!”
Henry the Archeologist is willing to help but not until he gets a bite to eat. “So you say Took needs a bit of cheering up? Yes, a plan is coming together in my mind. Help me while I track down our prey.” Henry is sure he’ll figure everything out and urges haste before the hunt is over. “I’m tracking a witch. Which witch...does it matter?” Henry catches the witch, who gave him the potion base. “A shaman’s ritual should get things bubbling. Helping others is so draining -- I feel like an empty vial. Perhaps some entertainment would make me feel more...rewarding?” Henry’s always up for a bit of fun and the Potion of Fun (Fill your belly with the deepest laughter) is added to the Revitalizing Cauldron.
Anabel in Tiara knows a fair bit about things that come from the heart, “Love requires dedication, but one must also be...amiable. While learning a great deal reading the family’s diaries, Anabel wonders how to seal love within a vial. “It seems love requires a special container -- and I don’t mean the heart. This vial can contain the power of love.” Anabel doesn’t believe absence makes the heart grow fonder and says there are too many types of love in this world. “We can’t craft true love without gathering all kinds of affection, passion, and devotion. How will I fit them into one vial?
With a bit more time, all the emotions come together in the vial and the Loving Mixture (Each sip is a reminder to love yourself and others just as well) is added to the Revitalizing Cauldron.
The Warrior Knight is bound by noble duty to assist in Salty’s dilemma. “There’s neither nobility nor honor without kindness. Together we can vanquish our friend’s troubles.” The Knight remembers stories of a magical remedy, “I hear tell the solution is in the castle of an influential lord. Take care of my duties while I make our plea.” Fortunately, tales of the lord’s famed generosity are well-founded and the Knight returns with a story to tell.
“When I was young, I dreamt of slaying dragons. With time I’ve learned that kindness and honor are better weapons than fire and sword. A respectable dragon has invited me to his cave. Within the cave lies a lake of kindness, whose water mortal men cannot endure. I can bear the depths, but please assist me while I’m away.” The Knight must recuperate as the quest held many trials, but “our friend may be saved yet. This solution soothes the soul.” The Kind Concoction is added to the Revitalizing Cauldron.
Valeria Steiner in the Chapel in Ancient Park offers spectral greetings. “Professor Pinfeathers must be joking! I have no happy memories to share. Unless...” Valeria knows depression is no small matter and we must do what we can. “I know a vial of happiness is buried here somewhere.” Busy bickering with a gray ghost, Valeria hasn’t found any vials but she does have a bit of information. “A crafty witch haunts these parts. In life, she could brew anything, even true emotions. Perhaps she still can in death -- that is if we can find her.” Valeria found “the old crone hid some fancy vials within the walls.”
*****END OF UPDATE -- The adventure will continue in a future update.
UPDATE ****** APRIL 4, 2022
Valeria Steiner who’s “used to hunting secret passageways”, urges “don’t put too much stock in the memory of a ghost” but “perhaps the Castle’s walls hold just as many mysteries.” Valeria feels “so many traps left by that witch…’twould be nice to be able to glide through walls. I can’t recall many happy memories, but there must have been a few, right?! Took had better appreciate his lifted spirits.” (You are rewarded with the Infusion of Happiness and the completed Revitalizing Cauldron goes to Salty.)
Torrum the Weapon Maker is feeling a bit gloomy. “It’s sad…I delved so deep into the work of my portals, I’ve forgotten my true craft.” A noble art, weapon crafting was Torrum’s first true love and wonders if it will bring him joy again. “Pinfeathers says we need to protect ourselves. A weapon of great defense – I’m on it. So you don’t know who we’re protecting, or from what? Well…I guess our castle is known for its mysteries.”
With that in mind, “we can’t do better than the All-crushing Hammer. It’s the ultimate defensive weapon.” There is one small snag however. “Most say the Hammer was forever lost, its parts scattered through time and space. Of course, thanks to my portals, all of time and space is within our reach.”
To begin, “we’ll need to know where the Hammer was forged”, but Torrum can’t seem to locate its home on his end. “I hate admitting I need help. Can you guess who I turn to first in times of need?” (Lucas the Minotaur, of course)
Lucas the Minotaur is so happy seeing a dear friend, he steps in for a hug. “Of course, minotaur hugs have been known to break bones, so perhaps a simple hello will be best.” Since the target’s identity is unknown, Lucas wonders if it could be one of us. “So to protect this unknown victim, we must assemble the All-crushing Hammer? The Hammer’s might is nigh unimaginable. Do you know it’s most important quality? Its power was so great, its creators put a defensive spell upon it – it can’t be used to attack.”
Lucas, knowing Torrum “isn’t the biggest reader, is always ready to help a friend.” Starting with the most ancient texts, Lucas loves studying the sky. “Stargazing is more than watching pretty lights – the night sky holds great knowledge. Time means nothing to the stars. They hold the secrets and memories of countless millennia.” Unfortunately, the forecast is less than perfect. “Alas, clouds hide the sky’s secrets. Rotten luck, really. Wait! If I summit the mountain and rise above the clouds, then the weather means nothing!”
Reading the stars revealed a cryptic message, “lost in the echo.” Lucas recalls “a legend about a group of people who go into hiding. In the legend – they were master weaponmakers. They decided to disappear. Villains hounded them, demanding they craft them weapons. So they chose to vanish…figuratively.” Lucas found a scroll with an invisible inscription that few can decipher. “I can’t make heads or tails of this scroll. Any ideas? This is starting to make me angry…I’ve tried everything I know, but I still can’t read it!” Little did Lucas realize the solution would be so simple. “I did it! I got so frustrated that I chucked the scroll into the fire…but heat turned out to be the key!?”
Lucas manages to decipher the message, “but surprise surprise…the answer is incomplete. The location of the weaponmakers’ hideout is always moving – it’s an invisible, flying fortress!”
Torrum knows the place Lucas speaks of…”it’s the Domain of Weaponmakers! I’ve dreamt of seeing it, but no living soul knows its location.” But who can we ask if no living soul knows?
“By my beard…we should talk to someone dead! A friend of mine might know where it is. This friend is the ghost of an ancient dwarf. He was lucky enough to visit the Domain once, and left me a hint to its whereabouts.” Annoyed that his friend left just a hint instead of the exact location, Torrum has an idea. “Wait, I think I got it! I can activate my portals to reach the Domain.” His portals can travel through time and space, but there was one small complication. “I arrived at the Domain of Weaponmakers, but in the past – no one there had heard of the All-crushing Hammer yet.”
Reminiscent of a time paradox, Torrum says, “You know, I wonder if my mistake gave them the idea for the All-crushing Hammer in the first place?”
His second try through the portals resulted in being a bit too late. “The Hammer was already destroyed and its pieces scattered.” A spark of inspiration ignited itself, “My beard! I could go back and help them make a new head for the Hammer!” That sounded good theory, but Torrum was insulted when the Weaponmakers wanted proof of his skill. “I’ll show them what this dwarf is capable of!” Ultimately dazzled by his artistry, the Weaponmakers “helped me re-create the piece of the All-crushing Hammer that had been destroyed.”
“You came through, and so shall I! May the Hammer, and your journey, be blessed. It’s a pity we don’t have the materials to make the rest here.” (You are rewarded with the Sovereign Head.)
Level 113 cont.
Helma, the Shaman Outcast, still at Shaman Glen, is very welcoming. “While it warms my heart to see you, I must ask – why have you come?” There appears a flicker of shadow in the sunlight…someone is in trouble and Helma feels sorrow. “I sense an unending struggle…a spirit suffering in silence for long ages and only now beginning to yield to the pain. My heart seeks a shield from the sorrow.” Trusting that the All-crushing Hammer will solve this problem, Helma says “Violence is unnatural, but since you say this Hammer can only be used for protection, I’ll consent to help. Nature has blessed me with access to an artifact that is sure to help. It’s an amulet called the Omniscient Eye. With it I can search the heavens and earth without actually going anywhere.”
Helma prays the will of nature will guide her toward the goal, but she encounters a hostile disturbance. “Some force works against my Omniscient Eye, disrupting its vision. Perhaps someone doesn’t wish us to create the All-crushing Hammer.” Helma knows whoever is preventing the victim from being saved is very dangerous and she hesitates about proceeding. “Hmm. It seems that the spirit opposing us is no longer a part of our world, so there shouldn’t be any immediate danger. Every delay is further torment for the victim.”
Helma continues, “I see that the victim betrayed his friend – the weight of the treachery shattered his soul. When stung by betrayal, the broken soul wanted revenge, and…they got it. Retribution was swift and brutal – they condemned the victim to eternal suffering.”
While the Omniscient Eye can see far and wide, it cannot see into the depths of the Earth. For that, help is needed from the Fire Elemental.