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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Maruk and his Seven Sevens Quest (Epic Quest)

A quick bit about Maruk and his famous quest. It was an epic quest and lasted about 16 months of real time and 19 years of game time. It ran primarily while I was away from home and in military service. The player that ran Maruk and two others stayed constant in my gaming group while I had an ever-changing number of one to six that joined at any given time.

Regardless, poor Maruk never did finish his grand quest and was doomed to be forgotten, lost on his journey; changed to a tortured wisp of his previous power. He did, however, manage to seek out and place his mark of blood on several of the seven sevens before meeting a miserly demise on the Star Fang Causeway. Just as a side note, his “mark of blood” was a darkly ruby mace emblazoned with the rune signs of life, death, horror and heaven.

Anyway, you will only find some of the references in the AGs or in the World Book. Probably half or less, I would say. The Dark Calynpar and Shagrukomaru are not in the books for instance as are things like the Blood Trail to Fallen Khourush, Nine Devil Dust Walk, Jiiminkhandel, Beryllium Star Falls, Sun Anvil Shimmying Sands, Gnawmouth Rune Shades and a bunch more.

You would find Star Fang, of course, as well as Dark Vent, Caliban, Ibathene Tower and others. The World Walk is mentioned in the world book, as is Hell Tempo, though I’d have to go back and look to be sure.

Since you asked for some details, here are some snippets.

Calynpar look like feather fin knifefish except on a grand scale and exist only in the western ocean south of Khaora. The Dark Calynpar is deeply ebon in color with a luminescent inner mouth that prey only see right when it swallows them! They exist only in the deep depths of the cold ocean and feast on giant squid and other large beasts below. Maruk and his five shield brothers braved the cold depths of the ocean on Choodak. Now, Chodak are essentially, deep-water eels with a spherical luminescence, fearsome bites but a mild temperament. The Ooush-mueal merfolk south of Chardos use them as mounts. Maruk brought them the one of the Lost Pearls of Yu Oseel, an artifact of their local demigoddess in trade for mounts and a hunter/guide to the Calynpar. He had traded 5 tons of gold bullion for the pearl; pulled up from the Silver Fin, a sunken Chardosian treasure ship lost some years past in the fifth continent’s infamous Bitter Mouth Bay.

Anyway, after a long series of trials and torturous navigation, Maruk succeeded in placing his mark on a Dark Calynpar. Sadly, he lost two companions and his left hand in the progress. While one of his shields mates rose from death to fight again at his side, his other did not. Nor did his hand and he replaced it with a beautifully tooled and worked one of silveel with an orichalcum palm and fingertips that worked as well or perhaps better than his real hand had.

Much worse than the Dark Calynpar was the Shagrukomaru. A singular being, it slipped through a nexus into Khaas some time in the distant past, and dwells on the Great Wurm Road, feasting on chthonic beings and other horrible things that dwell in the great dark. A truly terrible being fully equivalent in power to a Greater Demon.

Maruk joined an expedition from the College of Magik in Melkalund seeking the truth of its existence. He and his companions were some of the primary firepower for the expedition and through a combination of luck, skill and plain old guts managed to find its trail. Maruk used trickery, magic and audacity to land his mark of blood on its oddly geometric body. This success was only bought at a great sacrifice and the Shagrukomaru took all the members of the expedition but Maruk and one other. The two of them managed to escape and then later retrieved the disembodied heads of all their companions from its lair while the Shagrukomaru struggled to swallow a meal of three horragus a short distance away. While he was able to resurrect his shield mates, two went permanently insane, one decapitated himself immediately after realizing he still lived and another lived for a few short hours while he was slowly and torturously devoured by some unseen and undetectable creature.

Hopefully you'll succeed where he failed.  I'll be outlining the bare bones behind each quest and how it relates over the next couple of posts.  I hope you enjoy it.

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