A good and dangerous item, but I have a question. Does the curse infect your mind the moment you don the armor? Or does it slowly grow into existence, becoming stronger with every battle in which the armor saves your life? Go to Comment
Well documented on the crude charts of the Snake Rider culture that has claimed a vast swath of the Southern Seas for its own, Oharshu is nevertheless a place of fearful mystery and superstition to both these ferocious race of sea-faring raiders and the more immeasurably more civilized and enlightened costal merchants of Caladin who seeking protection from the dangers of venturing into unknown waters, sometimes accompany the former on their great long-boat voyages to the distant and exotic ports that are inaccessible to the large but rather clumsy and wreck-prone galleys of the royal naval authorities of Calan.
Oharsu is not one of these ports. In fact, its very name is derived from a bastardized version of the Snake Rider word for ''Place Of Vanishing Ones''. Legends abound of the foolish ones that dissapear forever upon setting foot on the islands For this reason, no merchant or trader well accquantinced with these parts, will consent to set foot on it.
The appearance of the island itself would at first sight,seem to contradict this grim reputation that surrounds it. From a ship's crow-nest, a sailor will catch a glimpse of a serene and beautiful coast ringed all around with lush groves of coconut-groves and almost artistically sculptured mounds of golden sand-dunes. Peering closer, he will soon discover little stone huts dotting the cast-line. If the crew's interest is piqued sufficiently enough, they will decided to make a landing and investigate the little stone huts.
There to their amazement, they will find groups of beautiful women gathered on the shore expectantly, as if awaiting their arrival. Out of place in so sultry a climate, they are all either ravishing red-heads or brunnetes and are clad in absolutely nothing, save flimsy minisucle skirts of woven grass.
Casting come thither looks at the brawniest and most formidable looking voyagers, they will inform the visitors of the great riches and prizes that await the warriors brave enough to venture into the interior. Many captivated by the hypnotic beauty of the damsels will respond to their challenge, and none of them will ever return to be seen again.
For the island is home to a surviving thane of the ancient Kasmir. Fleeing the destruction of his people by the vengeful gods whoa had grown wrathful with their arrogance and decadence, he sought shelter in this refuge where he believed that their wrath would not reach. He was was wrong.
Sending their divine orders of warrior immortals to in ferocious pursuit, they soon surrounded his pyramidal fortress built in the lush heart of the island. Storming it, they bound him with chains so mighty that even his enchantments could not break them and had the one feared mage-lord sealed in a pit beneath his former stronghold.
There he would remain for eternity, given much time to reflect on the failings of his people, as well as his own past excesses.
But the gods were still not content. Intent on having their little jest, they promised that they would release him if he could find the one warrior capable of defeating him in single combat. An impossible demand for one who had been the mightiest warrior among the Kasmir. Once a source of arrogance for him, it would now be his undoing. An irony worthy of the gods indeed.
But the thane refuses to surrender hope. Always he casts his illusions to bring forth new warriors that descend into his dark hole to do battle with him, enticing sojourning sailors to land at his island with the aid of the damsels he has created. But his efforts extend beyond that alone.
His island is home to a menagerie of numerous savage and bestial warriors, all of them collected from the numerous lands by the minions he has recruited from among the ogres that inhabit the island. Venerating the thane as a god, they sail forth to other shores and bring with them the fighters that may be able to win their lord's freedom.
Ferocious eel-men from the submerged continent of Tarrod recruited from the elite armies of their cruel Empire, savage human loathing Shura plucked from the seas of Acqua that summon the ferocious strength of their shark deity when engaged in combat, and even water elementals and vicious demons summoned from other realms by the enchantments of the thane.. All come to do battle with him, greedily awaiting the prizes that will come to them should they defeat him.
First, they will fight and begin slaying one another in a blood-soaked battle royal that takes place in the jungle. Usually lasting for the course of an entire week, each participant will have to slay any living sentient thing he sees, until he is certain that of all the participants, only he remains alive. Then this formidable fighter will begin his trek into the island's interior, braving the numerous ambushes sprung on him by the silent venom tipped poison darts of the ogres and the atacks of the ferocious man-eating giant pythons reared by them, throughout the course of his journey, and halts only when he reaches the pyramid and enters the great pit that lies beneath it, via a a chamber through which the thane is barred from leaving his prison.
In those dark bowels, he will engage the imprisoned being in battle, a struggle that tragically for both parties, always inevitably ends with the brash challenger being slain. The rules of his jailors demands that the thane fight with his full strength and there are none who can face that and emerge alive.
So the thane continues to lie despondent on a throne built from bones of his vanquished foes, awaiting the one that can finally defeat him and free him from his long bondage. For that shall also be the one whom he will enlist in his vengeance against the gods, seizing control of that warrior's mind in the moment of his liberation and utterly bending it to his will. Go to Comment
The code is quickly changed, the moment word reaches the Guild of a code being cracked by law-enforcement. An extra knot here and there, and the cops find themselves starting from scratch again. This is the beauty of the system, Go to Comment
With regard to the plot "Sleeping Mines of Elathon":
You manage to get the water wheel in the mine working which operates a pump to clear the flooded lower levels. As you explore the dank tunnels of the lower galleries, you can hear the creaking of the wheel above. You enter a low-ceilinged passage and are crawling on your backs, when the creaking stops. The water starts seeping wetly around the back of your head...