City of Mist: Shortcut

cityofmistAs we lounged in the splendor of our Guild Hall and caught up with each other’s latest adventures, my good friend Halmar, the Erudite wizard, suddenly turned to a matter that he had been working on. His eyes twinkled as he recounted a quest he had undertaken, and how he had already completed the initial phases; some by himself and some partnered with Amphar, our Froglok cleric guildmate. These initial steps were both great adventures in their own right, and may possibly be chronicled in this collection as well.

Halmar leaned over the table toward me and described a powerful scroll that holds the secrets of using a magical mental “burst” to confuse enraged foes and lower their rage. “What can I do to help?” I grinned.

Before sunset, I had retained Faniklin, a mercenary who had accompanied me on several past adventures, stocked up on rations, and made preparations to depart for the City of Mist. Once assembled, Halmar teleported our party to the Emerald Jungle where we faced very little resistance.  Surrounded by perpetual mist, the city, once known as Torsis, had been the home of the Army of Iksar.  In that time, it was a very wealthy city, crafted of the finest stones and materials, and home to many merchants and tradespeople.

Now, however, the dead roamed the streets, looking to devour the living.  We fit that description, but those guarding the ground level of the city were no match for our magic.

As we cleansed the city of undead, Halmar shared his research with me. I would need to use my coercive arts to charm a Human skeleton by the name of Mardon. He was in a guard tower the top of the city keep.

As we fought our way up, Halmar had an ingenious idea. According to the maps he had scribed prior to our journey, we had a long road of battles and clearing undead infestations ahead of us. However, as we rested on a lower barbican, his eyes turned up to the parapet above us, then over to a rod that held an ancient banner just below. If the banner rod would hold us, we could possibly levitate to rod, drop our levitation and jump up over the parapet wall.

The plan was easier conceived than executed however, and we started doubting if it were possible each time we fell to the courtyard below. Fortunately, we were basically a long staircase away from another attempt each time that happened. I tried cloaking myself in illusions large and small, but each attempt was met with failure.

After falling and climbing the staircase probably twenty times, I made it to the top again and paused to catch my breath. Halmar was just starting another attempt and as I saw him drop his levitation on the banner rod, I decided to run up to him without dropping my levitation (I wasn’t sure if the rod could hold an Erudite AND a Gnome) and float over his shoulders to see where that would take me. Before I realized I was indeed on the parapet walkway, I was rushed by ghouls and goos.

They were not difficult to dispatch, but now we had the problem of bringing Halmar over. The trick I had used would always leave one of us behind. I decided to clear the parapet walkway of all evil creatures while Halmar attempted his gymnastics a few more times. Even with my spotting and coaching from above, the feat eluded him. Then, a thought hit me. “Halmar, our binding magic…will it work here?”

“Absolutely,” he replied quizzically.

“Listen to this, then. What if I bind up here, then come down there. You will leapfrog me up to the walkway, and I will gate myself back up?”

“That is a very clever idea!” Halmar admitted, now looking hopeful again. “That just might work.” Less than a minute later, we knew for sure and the three of us were reunited on the parapet walkway. We set up a base camp in one of the old guard towers. The next day, we find that Human skeleton and free Mardon from his curse, completing another step in Halmar’s quest for his scroll of great power.

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