on Dec 21, 2006
The players hear the voice of Fiore. It is a very quiet (they can’t even tell if it is truly audible or simply in their minds) but it is also potent. It is a cold, feminine voice.
This was left for the players (and, by extension, the readers) to ponder.
The conversation with her went on for a while. The players worked out that yes, this really is the Fiore of old. Yes, she was imprisoned by the Dwarves. Yes, she created the curse. Yes, this box is a prison for her spirit which blocks all of her supernatural power. Her power only extends far enough to fill this room with grass (which she sort of can’t help, actually) and allow her to “speak” to anyone within a few feet of the box.
Finally, Fiore asks if they have come to free her. The players were just looking for answers, really. They are not sure what to do. Then one of them (Eomer or Skeeve) asks if the box could contain the spirit of Mordan.
Fiore thinks it can. The players never question this, which I would have if I were in their shoes. I’d expect an imprisoned being of incredible power to be willing to give me just about any story to get me to open the box.
They deliberate for a while, but the solution seems too perfect to really consider walking away. They agree to free Fiore.
She thanks them. However, she warns them that they should be quick. Once she is out she is going to kick everyone off of the mountain. Once she is released, they should run. For their lives.
They agree. Eomer picks the locks. The lid is pulled back, and a brilliant light floods out. The ground begins to shake.
Skeeve pitches the Orb of Mordan into the box and they quickly lock it shut once again. Then they make a mad dash for the surface. As they run, they can feel the tunnel collapsing behind them.
They charge out of the broken stone doorway into the late afternoon light. The ground is shaking violently and a gargantuan column of black soot is shooting out of the mountain. The invaders that have made their homes and fortunes on the slopes of Fiore for the past few centuries are going to leave, or die.
They head south as quickly as possible. It is snowing ash. They are tired but they press on, not wanting to rest at the foot of the mountain in its fury. After dark the mountain subsides. Ash fills the air. Enoch’s light can barely penetrate the black fog. They do their best to hold a direct southward course desipte their lack of bearings.
By morning they draw near the sea and find they are at last escaping the cloud. They have been awake and on the move for over twenty-four hours by now. They are coated in ash, bruised, and weary.
Summoning the last of their strength, they press on until they reach the Mages Archives. Once there, they collapse and sleep for the next two days. Endo and Garret prepare them a cooked meal in the kitchen. Once they have cleaned up and eaten, they meet in the library to plan their next move.
Mordan’s Orb is imprisoned in a magic-proof box which was strong enough to hold a being as mighty as Fiore. That box in now buried in the unreachable depths of the mountain, and they alone know where it is. This is probably an even better prison than his former one, although they still need to see to the difficult job of getting him into it. They still need to defeat Mordan one last time. If he is struck down now, his spirit will reform within the box, and he will be trapped forever.
The curse of the mountain is also lifted. Everyone wonders what effect this will have on the Queen and her minions.
And what effect will the mountain’s erruption have on everyone?
They have many questions, but they are a two day’s journey from the answers. First things first. They rest.
Shamus Young is an old-school OpenGL programmer, author, and composer. He runs this site and if anything is broken you should probably blame him.