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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Once Again Maruk and the Seven Sevens Quest

Maruk’s adventures were always challenging. You asked for another, so let me tell you about the Five World Ice Walk. Like its name hints at, its path spans five worlds, all connected by nexus, a shared artic clime and a preponderance of shaking, quavering, moving, swaying and trembling landscape. The worlds are Khaas (Arduin), Quine, Khortuus, Vou and Glinterim. Looking back at my notes, Maruk actually finished this quest (one of the Seven Sevens) before he took on the Imp Queens of Hro or Thoughtshear, so I’m a little out of order but I hope you will bear with me.

Maruk had dwellings all over Khaas but he primarily dwelled in either Melkalund (Arduin) or Ilshadmere (Ithalos). The reason I point this out is the events that transpired to bring Maruk to take up the Five World Ice Walk. Maruk had acquired over his life quite a substantial amount of things: from magik to the mundane, he had an interesting and somewhat esoteric collection. Anyway, while away seeking information on his quests, one Huenhwyr the Haeft, a well renown and skilled “purveyor of fine goods” (or thief, if you prefer), paid his home in Ilshadmere a visit. Huenhwyr was rather discerning and selective of the items he pilfered, outwitting and disabling dozens of complex traps, spells and wards; he also only slew Maruk’s pet Wyvergon in sacking the manse.

Needless to say, Maruk was riled and a little judicious tracking brought him to Huenhwyr’s doorstep, armed, pissed and backed by two handfuls of friends! Rather than die, Huenhwyr chose to deal instead. He gave up the majority to Maruk, pointed him to where the rest had went and handed over just about everything else he had. Mollified but still pissed, Maruk cut off both of his hands and then pronounced the greatest curse he could to ensure they would never heal but instead bleed Huenhwyr’s life blood every time he thought with avarice, dwelled on his exploits or dreamed of illicit doings.

In the mess of things he took from Huenhwyr was a journal of one Njouls of Siesierte (which lies on the Talafarian border with Marmachand). In the journal, Njouls spent some time penning his surprising shipwreck and subsequent exile to a forsaken cold sheet of ice. Excited by the lead, Maruk tore into the journal, correlating its information to other tidbits he had gathered from before. Its pages held the key to the location of the Five World Ice Walk on Khaas and his communions with the divine told him where he must lay the mark. Somewhere on the path lay a point where the five worlds all touched as one and the ice fall from the worlds to dance dizzyingly out into an abyss of nothing. The ice makes short lived mazes as it falls as the chill of the abyss is so cold if freezes the air and ice solid for a short time before the weight of the falling ice shatters it and sends it spiraling in to the deep. Here Maruk had to go. Therein also, he had to take his mark and lay it upon the special place where the ice from all five worlds has frozen as one.

Which he did. With near a dozen comrades, he crossed the chilling ocean about Khaora. Several died on the way but found within them the will to carry on when called back. The nexus they found on a small island in the far north looked like a great white hook, curving to pinion the sky. The winds were fierce, but with magik and will they crested its top and entered a billowy gate to another world.

The world Quine resembled the vast endless tundra, the sky constantly shrouded and the skin so cold it flayed the skin away. The land seemed to sway and jiggle, constantly, weeping a dark watery oozes from crevices in the frozen ground. Jubaal was devoured by an inky mass of semi-sentient bacteria (the ooze) and nothing was left of him but his boots (which they kept as a tribute).

The nexus on Quine was a madcap dance of quivering ice shards, perpetually grinding to so unheard beat. The eleven of them made it through to Khortuus, though not without each of them taking some sort of bruising from the nexus (broke both of Maruk’s legs, though he was able to heal them once through).

Khortuus had weak air (bad atmosphere) and at times lances of vacuum would spear down from the void (space) and suck things away. It also consisted of small island of icy stone, rocking and bobbing in an ocean of a liquid helium type substance. A truly terrible place. Five of them permanently lost limbs to the helium ocean and Deug (of the Teal Spear of Uulon) was sucked into the great void of space (turned inside out and frozen). They took the nexus (glimmering mirrors) and ended on Vou.

It was on Vou they found the abyss and the fall of ice from five worlds. At this particular point, no one wanted to brave the short lived ice paths and bickered for a while about how to proceed. Naoun de Lia (and the player) got tired of it all and caught Maruk by surprise and heaved him bodily onto the ice path, crying “you might want to hurry!”

It was, you might say, quite a laugh! (Right from my notes, quote and all.) He succeeded in running like hell and used magik to dimension tunnel rapidly through the ice to where he needed to go and then back out again.

All in all, one of his milder ones.

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