Previous Update: Neritum
by Darrosh Jewfist,Orderly Anarchist, and CrazedPorcupine
From the third round of island explorations.
The Nyrothians described Mag Mell as a place of untamed beauty. In the ancient times, it was a land of dense jungles with a dormant volcano. The island was filled with the toughest creatures Nyroth had to offer, and it was common for warriors seeking to prove themselves to go there and return with the head or skin of a slain creature.
The cataclysm’s rampant magic caused the sub-nexus to go wild, ending with the long-dormant volcano at the center of Mag Mell going active. Its eruptions burned the dense jungles to ash, leaving a fiery wasteland of stone and cinder.
Bilgewater’s scouts, wearing pyrikhos cooling bands around their necks and taking frequent drinks from Gangplank’s citrus-fortified tropical elixirs, explored the island. A minor eruption blanketed the island in a rain of ashes, requiring them to resort to stuffy Zaunite rebreathers and goggles. Their first night, an ear-splitting roar awoke them from their tents, whereupon one Summoner found herself quite literally face to face with a thirty-foot-tall dinosaur. She had brought her dinner into her tent to avoid the need to fan falling ashes away from her bowl; the monster was craning its neck down to sniff at the scent of some leftovers. Panicking, she reached for the first spell that came to mind. Given that Mag Mell’s thaumic landscape was severely overcharged with elemental fire magic, it was both unsurprising and deeply unfortunate that this spell was a flash-flame hex-burst. Under normal circumstances, this would at most have caused some painful burns and a blinding flash of light, such as would be sufficient to scare off wild animals. But here, it detonated the ambient manapool, reducing the dinosaur to ashes but also opening a chasm in the ground whence came several very angry fire elementals, in corporeal forms of flowing magma.
Those unfortunate enough to be near the chasm when it opened were incinerated. The others fled into the night. (Bilgewater’s mercenary scouts would later protest the practice of sending initial scouting expeditions without Champion backup.) Their panicked flight brought them into contact with a band of hunters wearing dinosaur skins, wielding obsidian-tipped spears and nasty-looking spiked clubs. The hunters tried to calm these strangers down, but in the throes of adrenaline shock some of Bilgewater’s privateers drew weapons and took aim. Disaster was averted when Thaskos, the Aeaean automaton-guide, intervened. After a few bitter remarks, the hunters took the scouts back to their village.
There, the scouts met the village chieftain, who directed his people to give the strangers refreshments, and treat their burns with soothing plant balms taken from some of the few patches of jungle that still remained after the cataclysm. Though much of their gear had been abandoned at the campsite, the scouts did still have a few items of value on them, which they presented as gifts. With Thaskos translating, they conversed.
The chieftain explained that the Dragon King Tarakona ruled over Mag Mell from his lair in the heart of the volcano, resting atop a treasure hoard (as dragons seem wont to do, and dragon kings doubly so). Whether for sport or as some sadistic regime of population control, Tarakona takes to the skies once a year to rain fire and devastation down on the people of Mag Mell, killing hundreds, at times thousands, and snatching up anything of value that his eyes come across along the way.
At the scouts’ request, the chieftain also spoke of his people’s past. Though Tarakona destroyed or stole virtually any technology more advanced than a spear, he did not seem to recognize the power that books could hold, and the people of Mag Mell had kept extraordinarily detailed records, both via oral tradition and written accounts transcribed onto thin plates of nonflammable stone. Before the cataclysm, the ecosystem of Mag Mell was in harmony, and the human inhabitants coexisted with the dragons and dinosaurs. (This explained why the artwork of Mag Mell’s oldest heroes depicted them riding atop the beasts.) After that fateful eruption, however, the plants perished and the animals became murderously violent.
When the scouts returned, a meeting was held to decide what to do about Mag Mell. Three principal options arose: slay Tarakona and bring peace to Mag Mell, explore the island to gather objects of value and perhaps tame some of the smaller dinosaurs, or try to sneak past Tarakona and steal some of his treasure.
The basic options: tame some dinosaurs, slay the dragon king, or pretend to be a hobbit and steal the dragon’s treasure.
Bilgewater can select its course of action from the options below.
Tame the dinosaurs. Bilgewater could tame the dinosaurs that roam the island. Dino-cavalry! (Major Research; Minor Military to assist)
Hunt some dinosaurs. Bilgewater could also hunt the dinosaurs for their valuable…pelts? (Major Military; Minor Research to assist)
Slay the dragon-king. Bilgewater could try to retake the subnexus inside the volcano that the dragon lives inside of. (Epic Military; Major Espionage to assist.)
Filthy hobbitses. Bilgewater could try to steal from the dragon without being caught. (Epic Espionage; Major Research to assist.)
There are also a few secondary decisions to make.
Champions. Bilgewater can send up to three Champions, as usual. Each Champion has a 10% chance of going MIA, but increases odds of success considerably.
Offer help to the Shadow Isles? Bilgewater could assist the Shadow Isles with Neritum. (It can condition this on what the Isles plan to do.) It could also backstab them, or whatever actually hurts skeletons in a surprising and hurtful way.
Ask for the Freljord’s help? Bilgewater could use some help from the Freljord on any of the three quests described above, whether getting some tips on taming wild animals, procuring some frost magic to ward off dragon flames, or…well, yes, getting some frost magic to ward off dragon flames.
Bilgewater’s Summoners may cast their votes here.
(Bilgewater voted to tame some dinosaurs and scavenge around for some resources, and sent Nami, Katarina, and Twisted Fate to do it.)
Bilgewater dispatched an expeditionary team of Champions, Summoners, and mercenaries to explore the island.
Nami made friends with a plesiosaur.
Twisted Fate and Katarina rode dinosaurs around a volcanic landscape.
Valoranian hunters pursued the most dangerous game.
It was pretty amazing. Sometime, you should find someone to tell you more about it.
Next Update: Lack of Jurisdiction