A Quest for Immortality
Once upon a time, I, Robert the Triple Classer of Holy Virtue, sent a petition for immortality to the great Implementors of this realm. I felt as though my mortal life had reached its end and I needed a new challenge, so I asked the Rulers to give me the opportunity to become immortal. Some time after I sent my petition, Madman himself transferred me to His office and asked if I was willing to undertake a quest to gain my immortality. After my affirmative answer, He gave me a list of quest items and questions. At that time I didn't really realize what He expected from me, for I was caught up in the whole event of meeting Madman in person. Only after He transferred me back to the Guild Hall, when the reality of the quest began to sink into my head, and after discussing it with some of my friends, I realized how tough the next few days were going to be. The quest list contained 4 items that must be obtained, and two questions that must be answered. Those questions were the least of my concerns, as I was convinced I could find the answers in time. But the items were a different story, and I had no earthly idea how to find them...
There was no time to waste, so the first thing I did was begin to collect items that would provide magical assistance in my journeys. I'm lucky to have many friends that were very helpful, so it wasn't too difficult to collect about eight sanctuary potions, as well as a few heal potions. Protective items in hand (and in containers), the real quest began. I was allowed to ask others for help, but I had to kill the required beasts on my own. My good friend and colleague in Virtue, Lorn, was willing to accompany me to the Sahuagins, which entailed a long and dangerous journey under water. The first item that I needed to acquire was a steak made of a Great White Shark, a dangerous fish living on the bottom of the Maelmordian Seas, near the Sahuagin area. Lorn reached the place where the sharks were first, and they all attacked him right away, smacking their ferocious chops at the thought of a gnome dinner. I noticed he was also fighting a sahuagin guard, so I picked one of the sharks to fight. Right after I attacked the shark, Lorn fled, with the guard and two sharks following him. I knew he would be ok (Lorn is a very powerful gnome), so I concentrated on the shark and after a hard fight I managed to kill it! Without hesitation, I slung the corpse of the Great White Beast over my shoulder, and quaffed a recall potion. Back in the safety of the Recall Room I dropped it, and my friend Scroll, who was waiting for me there, butchered the corpse. Item number one of the quest had been obtained! And what happened to Lorn? He'd been in tighter spots than that before, and so he arrived smiling, with the blood of two unlucky sharks and an unluckier guard on his weapon and armor.
My adventure under water didn't take too much time, but I realized that this was only the easiest part of the quest. It also began to occur to me that I wouldn't have enough time to finish the quest before the quickly approaching deadline imposed by Madman. Once again, I turned to my friends to help me find the two random items on the list: a -2 damage item and a +20 mana item. It was a reassuring thought that people out there were working on the randoms while I was concentrating on the remaining quest items. Of course I would search for the randoms myself as well, but only after I got the rest of the items. And, if I couldn't succeed, it would feel much better to hand Madman the items my friends found for me than handing him nothing but excuses. While some of my best friends were on random hunts, Lorn and I were brainstorming about how to acquire the fourth item on my list: a bag made of Demon Lord hide! We asked around for advice, but not even the mightiest characters in the land ever visited the Demon Realm, let alone pay a visit to one of the Demon Lords! As to my requests for escorts to the Realm, I received nothing but a few sarcastic remarks and some muffled laughter. Then Lorn came up with an idea. Our Lord JohnPaul could summon me to a Demon Lord's room. After all, Madman had told me that I could ask anyone's help to get to a certain place, as long as I killed monsters on my own, and 'anyone' to me sounds like Gods are included! So I asked Lord JohnPaul to help me, but he hesitated a bit. As much as He wanted to assist me, He wasn't sure if He was permitted. Finally, He agreed under one condition: He would ask Madman's approval and if the Ruler didn't approve, any bag I would gain in that manner would not fulfill the terms of the quest. I gladly accepted this offer. Approval was granted, and My Lord cast all possible defensive spells on me and summoned me to Vil, who was a fine (and nasty) representative of the Demon Lords. Everything happened so quickly; before I knew what was happening, I was fighting a Demon Lord! Seeing the scary white aura around Vil, which offered him superb protection from my spells and weapon's blows, I quickly cast 'dispel magic', and the aura faded. From then I was the stronger one and within a few minutes (and a surge of adrenaline!) the Demon Lord was dead. Actually Vil turned out to be a much easier victim than the shark, thanks in no small part to JohnPaul. Without hesitation, I grabbed the corpse from the floor and tried to get out. But that is when luck turned against me: all my recall potions failed! How could I get out of this place before Vil would come to life again?! Frantically I looked for possible exits and found a locked door to the south. Ok, Robert, I ordered myself, think! A key, where could I find a key to exit this accursed room? I peeked in the inventory of all of Vil's servants, but they had nothing. It figured that a Demon Lord wouldn't trust any of his henchman with a key to let them out! I started worrying what would happen if the Demon Lord were to somehow resurrect himself and find me still in his room. I knew that my Lord wouldn't have enough power left to back me up with his spells a second time. Oh, and what if I died? I would lose everything, including my steak made of the shark! I would never be able to complete the quest naked. I came back to my senses when I saw the corpse of Lord Vil decaying into dust. I realized that my most important concern was to figure out how to get out of there! Then, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed something glittering in the corner of the room: the key!! I ran to the corner, took the key and tried to open the door. It rewarded me with a lovely *click*. Things were looking promising now. I cast all the defensive spells I knew and left the room, hoping for the best. Outside Vil's confines I was attacked by several nasty monsters. I fought and fought, quaffing one purple potion after the other, providing me with just enough protection to remain alive. Why oh why wouldn't my recall potions work?! This was the ultimate nightmare. I was bleeding freely, leaving trails of blood all over the place. For every monster I killed, two others would leap from the shadows and attack me, Things began to look hopeless. Then, just before a demon could deal me a death blow, JohnPaul whispered to me to praying for an immortal recall. With my last breath of life I invoked my Lord's immortal powers and... I made it! On death's door, and totally exhausted, I fell into a deep slumber in JohnPaul's temple. As I drifted into a coma-like state of sleep, I realized that although I had killed the Demon Lord, I had been unable to obtain a bag sewn from Vil's corpse. My adventures seemed to be for naught!
It took a few days of resting before I regained my strength. This resting period gave me the opportunity to identify all those random items that my friends had found. Azzark, Croac, and many, many others sacrificed so much of their time and effort to aid my completion of the quest, and I owe them greatly. Hundreds of randoms went through my hands, but to no avail. The required randoms were not among the treasure trove brought to me. During this time I also had the chance to come up with my answers to the two questions asked by Madman. Those few days of rest were actually coming in quite handy after all. During this rest period, Madman had contemplated the approval he had given JohnPaul to assist me, and he had decided against further interaction from my Lord. So even if I'd managed to get the bag, it may not have sufficed. Still, though, I was beginning to have the feeling that this Demon Lord adventure was not truly worthless. At least I now had the confidence that a Demon Lord was not impossible to kill, as everyone told me. When JohnPaul told us that he wasn't able to help me with another summon, Lorn got a bit edgy and, with his gnomish intensity, he told me there was only one possibility left: just enter the Demon Realm and see where we would end up. It was clearly an all or nothing proposal. When another follower, Lady Faith, heard about our plans, she insisted that she be allowed to fight alongside us in our goal. JohnPaul certainly disapproved of the idea of three of his strongest followers heading blindly into the Demon Realm, in affect signing our own death certificates, because just like us he knew we had little if any chance. But we had to do SOMEthing. My resting time was over, and we strapped on all our gear. It was time for Demon Lord Adventure, Act II.
Remembering the thoughts that came to me the last time I visited a Demon Lord (like, why in the world did I go in there holding the Shark steak?), I wisely gave the quest items I had obtained so far to Nikodemus, a friend from the Ivory Rose. After buying hordes of potions of recall, Lorn, Faith and I went to Demon Realm. It was the most exciting, but also most ridiculous thing I ever did in the 900 years of my existence. Suffice it to say that Lady Luck was surely smiling ear to ear on us that day. After killing about 25 demons (it seemed closer to 100 to me though) we managed to get into the vicious Demon Lord Orcus' room! We weren't as prepared as we should have been, but with our combined cleric/warrior/mage/thief powers, the Demon Lord was dead in no time. I remembered the rules of the quest, however: it was necessary for me to kill Orcus on my own. After we all regained our strength we ungrouped and waited for Orcus to come back to life, so that I could slaughter the beast on my own. The anticipation was amazing, but the actual wait didn't take too long. He reappeared with a snarl, but I was able to kill this Demon Lord on my own! Of course, the old saying is that when things appear too good to be true, they probably are, and once again this proved true. Luck was ready to turn against me once again. We had discussed our escape scenario, in case we had succeeded, several times before we made our way to the Realm, so as we planned, we unlocked the door, went south and prepared to quaff a recall potion. Nikodemus, the superb shaman, would be waiting in the Recall Room to make a bag of the corpse. One flaw in our plan, however: I was cursed by one of the 25 demons and was unable to recall! Ok Robert, I thought to myself, you've been here before, but this time you're much better prepared and you aren't alone now, think! Just remember plan B... Plan B...? What plan B?! No plan B, ack! The others saw how much in trouble we would be in the two minutes or so it would take for another onslaught of demonic beings, and yelled that they had no choice but to leave me behind. Better one dead body than three, we agreed. They invoked their power to recall, and they disappeared before my eyes. The worst possible scenario had occurred: I was alone once again in this brutal area. I fought like I had never fought before, but being an elf (and a cursed one at that) I had no chance against those demons without the others by my side. I died somewhere in the Realms.
Fortunately, both Faith and Lorn had made it to the safety of recall in one piece. They'd known it would happen, but they were still devastated when I told them I had died and lost my corpse. They came to visit me in the Loth Llorien inn, where my wounds were being tended to, and Faith burst into tears when she saw me there lying helplessly. We all were about to give up my immortal aspirations, when something that had been nagging at me from a small place in my head jumped right into clear focus. Just before we unlocked the door to leave Orcus' room, I had wizmarked the place. It was a piece of cake to get back there, all I had to do was portal! But we had to hurry before my portal spell wouldn't work anymore, so we couldn't affort to hesitate: Lorn gave me 10,000 gold pieces and I bought as many red potions as I could carry. Without time to obtain any replacement equipment, I portalled the three of us back to Orcus. Killing him on my own without equipment or weapon was certainly out of the question, so we were forced to slaughter him together. We were getting trained at this! It was becoming easier and easier. As in each prior encounter, there was one stroke of misfortune that befell us. After Lorn and Faith removed our curses and we went to unlock the door, we realized we couldn't get out of the room! The key was still in my corpse, lying somewhere outside the room in the Demon Realm!!! This was too much for me, and with the stark realization that all three of us were going to die in here, I fainted. Faith and Lorn witnessed my fall to the ground; without protective head gear, I lost consciousness from the impact of my elven head on the hard floor. Lorn later told me that Faith began to panic, as she couldn't comprehend everything that was happening around her. Luckily, Lorn kept a level head though. Thinking for a bit, he realized that there was still a way out: another cleric could summon us out of the room! It was now time for the high-level cleric Cujo to enter the picture. When he heard that the three of us were trapped in Demon Realm and that we still needed the bag made of Demon Lord hide, he asked his Ivory colleague Nikodemus, who was waiting for us in Recall, to join him on a trip to this dangerous place. They came up with a brilliant plan. The two would stay at the entrance of the Demon Realms, from where they would be able to summon us. But before they did that, Lorn and Faith needed to kill Orcus yet again. Then Faith, the youngest and therefore the easiest to summon for Cujo, would take the corpse and give the sign to be summoned out. If everything went ok, Nikodemus could make a bag of the corpse there. Just when everyone was ready for action, I disappeared into the void, still unconscious from my fall. Now there was no chance I could be summoned out unless I regained consciousness, but when would that be? Once again Lorn and Faith had to make a difficult decision: could they leave me behind a second time? It was like history repeating itself, but this time there would be no wizmarked room to get back again. Desperately realizing that this was their only chance to get out, and possibly the last chance to get me to immortality, they decided to go along with Cujo's plans. They killed Orcus (the fourth time he had been slaughtered in a short period (Tynian knows the last time he had been killed!), Faith let loose with her patented yell, recognized throughout the realms, and Cujo summoned her. She dropped the corpse, Nikodemus made a bag out of it and Cujo summoned Lorn out as well. Finally, everything went according to plan! But what about me? I was still lying there unconscious in Orcus' den. For days I lay there and Lord Orcus must've felt sorry for me, because he didn't kill me the entire time I lay in my trance. However, this feeling of compassion ended quickly the minute I regained consciousness, for he attacked me without mercy and killed me easily.
When I resurrected for the second time in the Loth Llorien Inn, both Lorn and Faith were standing there, smiling at me, holding the bag in their hands. They were convinced I still had a chance to complete my quest succesfully. I was less confident though, realizing I had only little time left before Madman would invite me back into His office, and I still had not been able to obtain the two random quest items (although I had what I believed to be the correct answers to his questions). Soon Nikodemus came to visit me, handing over the steak made of shark hide. I went to JohnPaul's temple to fully recover from my last day's efforts, and await Madman's summons. While there, other followers from the Path of Holy Virtue came, and they gave me the biggest shock of the whole set of adventures: they had obtained the necessary random items from the list! This really came out of the blue; it was unbelievable! Sitting there in a state of stunned bliss, I realized that, although I was totally naked and half dead, I had each of the required quest items! I prayed that Madman would be in a good mood when he had to judge my efforts. I received the summons a few hours later, after word got to him that my quest was completed. He sat back in His chair, listened to my stories and looked carefully at the quest items. He then asked me the questions and I answered to the best of my ability.
So, you ask, how did everything turn out? What was the end result of my incredible quest? If you don't already know, just take a look at the Wizlist!!
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