THE LOST JEWELER'S HAMLET part 3
The only way into Oberon’s fortress was through a sewage-system discharging into a lovely pond just north west of his castle. The Shade Queen had transformed me into a frog and I swam against a boggy current holding my nose and kicking frantically. After navigating an endless maze of rusted, reeking and foul pipes I emerged, dung-faced and gasping for breath, swimming in a fresh-water pool beneath the Shrine of Eir.
Even though I had breached the impregnable ramparts, one does not just dance into the lord’s sanctuary and demand to be led to the catacomb entrance where the source code showing the location of the Lost Jeweler’s Hamlet is hidden. Centurions lingered at every doorway, and I was shield-slammed, booted and kicked everywhere I searched.
At last I found a Paragon Crown in an open chest near a warehouse and after placing it on my reptilian head the guards snapped to attention everywhere I hopped. “You may be an enchanted prince waiting to be kissed,” the Belrathian Guard stationed near a House of Unity entrance told me. “But you still must perform three Devine Quests before I let you descend the inside stairs.
The first quest was to Destroy a Bridge to the Black Marsh. After searching, I found a dozen Great Western Dragons heating up Oberon’s Keep with their fiery snouts and told them (truthfully) that there were several bags of marshmallows hidden under the wooden structure. They returned from the Black Marsh minutes later … sticky … but smiling.
Next … I was to Intimidate a Hostile League’s Marshall. I sent a message to the #1 ranked league’s leader and informed him that I’d just opened an extra-large can of Whoop-Ass and invited him and all of his captains to dinner at my castle. The Belrathian Guard was more than satisfied as he grinned at my shaking legs … and we went on to the last quest.
In order to Liberate a Captured Maiden I had to climb the highest tower in Oberon’s Keep. I found Mara bound to a chair with rope made from dwarf eyebrows and guarded by Darkmoor goblins. Her joy at seeing a frog wearing a crown vanished when she kissed me and found I was no handsome prince. Her wrath invoked such fury that, after rinsing her lips with coal oil, she awakened the entire castle with shrieking screams as she broke free from her itchy ropes, bashed the goblins and pursued me as I fled down the stairs.
Seeing the maiden was free, and the castle in rapturous turmoil, the Belrathian Guard allowed me to descend into the catacombs. The game’s source code book was guarded by more than a dozen sleeping programmers. I removed the pages regarding hamlet locations and was headed for the front gate when a ferocious storm-cloud of Maronnen, Orcish Raiders, Ogres and Orcs attacked. It seems the castle that had slept for years was now active! Balur and a host of other deviants wanted their revenge and were laying siege!
When a large group of Fiends, Spectres and Wights broke down the front gate, I escaped and ran through a storm-cloud of arrows and into a clump of trees. I discovered that the location to the Lost Jeweler’s Hamlet was in the exact center of an equidistant triad with Beacon 419 as the first location.
But before I could discern the location of the second Beacon, the beautiful but terrible Shade Queen appeared riding a wild and out of control Red Dragon and its fiery breath scorched the remaining pages from my hands. The precious source code scattered along with her ear shattering screams as ashes in the Dark Plain’s wind. The furious Dark Witch vowed to change me into a dung beetle or worse before my real torture began … but thankfully for me she was out of energy.
I now hide deep in my own catacombs from the vicious and enraged Marshall of the #1 league and the Shade Queen. And I scan the area to the north, south, east and west of Beacon 419 exactly sixty-six minutes after the end of the weekly league Brawls. The treasure could be anywhere, but I will never stop searching for the legendary and almost (raid-proof) Lost Jeweler’s Hamlet to appear. To see it for just 90 seconds … long enough to capture (sigh) ... with its infinite supply of precious dreams ... and glistening sapphires.
THE END ???