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Talraen, August 9, 2009 12:02 AM (edited 8/8/09 8:02 PM)

Day 5: The Tetrahedron and the Ether

Mood: Indecisive
Tags: Travelogue, Ultima VII: The Black Gate
After our late night helping Penumbra, my fifth day in Britannia got off to a late start. We had eaten a quick meal on the ship back to Moonglow, so no one was in the mood for a big breakfast. We immediately set sail southward, toward Terfin. While I had visited the island before, when it held the castle of Lord Blackthorn, I had not returned since it had become the home city of the gargoyles. Truth be told, it was pretty similar to the former gargoyle homeland - I suppose they wanted to make it feel as homey as possible.

The gargoyles on Terfin were a surprisingly friendly lot. Many knew who I was, and False Prophet or not, appreciated my efforts to restore the Codex to the Void. I spoke to King Draxinusom, still technically the leader of their race after all these years, though he says others have taken his place. Indeed, two separate forces seem to be dividing Terfin: the traditional Altars, represented by Tergerus (father of Inamo, coincidentally), and the Fellowship. There were rumors in town that the Fellowship was plotting against that altars, but I discovered that the plot was mostly the work of a single, angry gargoyle named Runeb. As has happened all too many times in my brief stay in Britannia, he attacked me when confronted with this accusation.

As for the reasons for my trip, I discovered that Elizabeth and Abraham had left for the Meditation Retreat on the nearby Fellowship island. More disturbingly, King Draxinusom admitted that he had sold his Ethereal Ring to the Sultan of Spektran. The Meditation Retreat was nearer, so we sailed there next, only to learn that Elizabeth and Abraham had continued on to Buccaneer's Den, though we have since learned that they are still there.

As for the Sultan, Spektran was only a short sail away. This so-called "Sultan" lived in a rather large palace for just one person, though he was quite mad and thought he was surrounded by a large harem. When we asked about the Ethereal Ring, he dared us - he literally dared us - to try to break into his treasure vault. He even told us that we could take what we wanted, should we manage to get in. He was quite confident in his vault's defenses, and for good reason: a dangerous stone harpy defended the vault door. It was a foe like none other we had yet encountered. Even with all of my best protective magic in effect, a few of the group (I won't name names) fled after taking grievous injuries from the foul beast. It took some time to destroy, but destroy it we did. With the Ethereal Ring and several other magic rings in hand, we immediately sailed for Moonglow.

Penumbra quickly enchanted the ring and sent us on our way to Dagger Isle and Dungeon Deceit. It was a small, but very dangerous, dungeon, filled with all manner of traps and monsters. Our general lack of enchanted weaponry was troublesome when we ran into vile ghosts, but in truth the traps were just as dangerous. An entire hallway was filled with arrow-firing traps, and we had no choice but to simply run through and take our injuries. Beyond this hall, we met a pair of adventuring women, half-sisters who had only met after their father was murdered. They were on a quest for revenge against a cyclops named Iskander. Iskander, who was further inside the dungeon, does not deny the accusation, but claims their father, a mage, had gone mad and he was only defending himself. For all I know, the women have found Iskander since we left.

As we neared our goal, the dangers only grew. A fierce dragon guarded a burnt-out room at the north end of the dungeon, and it took our best efforts (and a large supply of our healing potions) to take down the great beast. It is fortunate that we did so, however, as among its treasure was both magic armor and a glass sword, which was soon to come in quite handy.

It wasn't long before we found the Tetrahedron Penumbra had mentioned. I put on the enchanted Ethereal Ring, which protected me from the Tetrahedron's defenses. I entered a small portal in its side, and was transported to an otherworldly area, along with a huge demon of unknown origin. Were it not for my glass sword, I doubt I could have felled the creature. With its destruction, the Tetrahedron was destroyed as well, and I found myself back in the dungeon, along with a smaller copy of the Tetrahedron, which I took with me. Feeling much worse for the wear after making it here, we fled the dungeon as quickly as we could to ensure our survival.

Back in Moonglow, both Penumbra and Mariah (now quite sane) confirmed that we had restored the Ether to its rightful state, and mages across the land would recover from their madness. Finally we had achieved something of great benefit to the world, though exactly what the Tetrahedron was and who put it there remained a mystery.

It was almost nightfall, but we had our sites set on tracking down Elizabeth and Abraham, so we set sail for Buccaneer's Den, which was quite active despite the late hour. The interim Fellowship branch leader (for Abraham is the permanent leader in Buccaneer's Den) told us that Elizabeth and Abraham had come and were still on the island. However, we were unable to find any trace of them. The entrance fee of the Baths proved too rich for our pockets, but no one at any of the other establishments seemed to know anything relevant to our quest. There was some talk of staying to play at the House of Games, but frankly the entire town stank of corruption and I wanted nothing more than to leave. We set sail, therefore, for Serpent's Hold to the south, hoping to find lodgings.

Sadly there is no inn at the Hold (I suppose visitors are rare), but we arrived during the Hold's most active drinking hour, so we were able to converse with the many knights within. It seems that someone had defaced the statue of Lord British outside the hold, and that was all everyone wanted to talk about. We agreed to investigate the crime, but required the services of the Hold's healer, who had already turned in for the night. We thus spent the late hours investigating the nearby islands, finding both a treasure cove filled with riches (and four more glass swords which will no doubt serve us well) and a pirate lookout. Shortly after midnight, we made camp in Serpent's Hold, hoping to finish our investigation and return to the mainland in the morning.
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