The Frost Potion – Page 25



Perilous Jack dives unhesitatingly into the GreenShaft through which the Green Ogre has fled.

He passes through a Warp Portal concealed in the GreenShaft, which whisks him away to the Ogre’s lair beneath the earth. Though the darkness is thick in the lair, he can see well enough. Years ago, Perilous Jack was the recipient of a most advantageous gift from his friend Serra the True – the gift of permanent darkvision, allowing him to see even in total blackness, albeit without color. His darkshine enchanted eyes and the residual glow of the magic on his sword serve him well enough.

From the WarpShaft, Jack leaps immediately to the attack, falling upon the first of the Green Ogre’s guardians – a pack of noisome Zombies. Behind his protective screen of undead, the Ogre is making hasty preparations to do battle with the intruder, unlimbering his huge club and flexing his powerful muscles.

Jack hacks and slashes his way through the Zombies and confronts the Ogre. The Potion of Bane is still strong upon his weapon, an advantage that immediately turns the tide of the battle. Jack scores a glancing blow on the Ogre’s arm, opening a cut that the huge creature would otherwise ignore – but the poison on his sword is stronger even than an Ogre. The wounded Ogre recoils in agony, and Jack presses home the attack, thrusting again until the poison takes hold. The Ogre collapses in a writhing heap and perishes, drooling noxious green foam.

There is no time to rest just yet. More Zombies emerge behind him, and from a high shelf near the ceiling, one of the fearsome and disgusting Worms of the Earth descends. Jack snaps the Dancing Dagger forth to engage the Zombies and leaps over their heads, carving open a trench in the huge Worm’s body. Now keenly aware of the fast-fading enchantment on his weapon, Jack rampages through the lair, dodging the undead and inflicting poisoned wounds on a second Worm. As the living creatures succumb to the poison, Jack dispatches the remaining undead at a more leisurely pace. At last, the lair is free of enemies, and Jack turns to the captive Fairy, bound in cold iron chains to prevent her from using her magic.

Jack strikes the chains from the Fairy, and she stretches her wings and flutters aloft.

“Many thanks, brave warrior,” she chimes at him in her bell-like language. “My name is Princess Isamu. Your courage will not be forgotten. Here is a small token of my gratitude.” She produces a small pouch stitched of butterfly wings and shakes free some of the glittering particles that cling to her beautiful hair. She proffers the pouch of Fairy Dust to Jack, which he accepts with a gracious bow.

“When next you visit Mahorela,” Princess Isamu continues, “journey to the village of Woodturf. In the woods to the south of the village stands an ancient oak, greater than any for miles. Stand before the trunk of this oak while the moon waxes and speak my name; a door shall open into my father’s hall. You may enter and claim a greater reward for your service today. But be warned: do not eat or drink at my father’s table!”

“I will remember,” Jack promises.

Eager to be free of the filthy lair, the Fairy says nothing more and departs through the WarpShaft while Jack remains behind to examine the lair and treasure. Though there is plenty of the latter, it is fairly common – gold, silver, and the like. Three of the CacheStones are accessible; the others are cemented in masonry beyond Jack’s ability to remove, their hidden panels buried in stone and mortar. The CacheStones he can open with his StarSteel Hammer yield three disks of pure StarSteel.

Remembering his earlier prize, Jack examines the contents of the Ogre’s pouch. Inside he finds a huge wad of human hair – enough to cover at least a dozen heads, by his reckoning – a cloak of stitched rat hides evidently crafted with a youthful gnome in mind, a lump of stone containing a laughable quantity of gold ore, a few battered copper coins, and a wine flask containing something that looks and smells suspiciously like urine. Ogres, Jack reflects, have rarely achieved fame for their intellect. He throws the purse away.

Aside from the WarpShaft and a capped GreenShaft in the corner of the lair containing a human skeleton, the lair has only one other feature of importance – a pair of GreenShafts in the ceiling. One contains a dark and dormant Warp Portal, which likely opens only from the other side, and the other is a common GreenShaft, open at both ends, and seems to lead up into a low room or tunnel above the ceiling of the lair, certainly too low for the Ogres to have used.

Add the following to the Journal: When next in Mahorela, visit the great oak tree near the village of Woodturf while the moon waxes and speak the name Isamu. A door will open into the Fairy realm, where I will be rewarded for rescuing the princess. But do not eat or drink there!

Add 3 StarSteel, 2000 Gold, 50 Silver, 2 Rubies, 1 PowaShroom, and the Pouch of Fairy Dust to the Pouch of Ghrul. Note that the Pouch of Fairy Dust contains 10 doses.

If you think Perilous Jack should explore the upper chamber, turn to 17.

If you think he should investigate the human skeleton at the bottom of the capped GreenShaft, turn to 13.