The Great Sequoia

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You find yourself inside the base of the largest tree you have ever seen. Not surprisingly, it is cool, shaded, and airy. Hmm, you think you detect faint traces of mint and -- yes, that's vanilla! -- on the breeze. Though a slight sense of mischief quietly calls to you in the back of your mind, you are content to rest or sleep here in peace for a length.

(Red Aura) Bathed in mystique, a most lovely statue sits here cupping a book.

Look dryad
Hidden from normal view, your privileged eyes now look upon a most glorious statue of a, she is more than a woman. An elven female, perhaps? Hmm, no, not quite. Your mind races as you try to remember the lore of the woodlands, and finally, it hits you: This statue is of a mythical dryad! The dryad has been created from a myriad of materials -- teak wood inlaid with silver dust, strands of mithril, and here and there a precious stone. She has been carved in a seated postion, and cups a rather small, leather- bound tome in her hands. The binding reads, "The Book of Booga."

Looking north, a series of images seems to shimmer in and out of view, as if projected from some unseen source. Mesmerized, you think you count five distinct illusions - or is it six? Maybe seven? It's entirely possible your mind is playing tricks on you. Guessing they are all moments from the lord of the Great Sequoia's history, you observe each in turn. You've almost overlooked something near the bottom of the wall, maybe two feet off the ground. Some letters appear to have been etched: hALfLings ArE nEAt

An avenue lies back beyond the yawning entryway from whence you came.

Along the southern side of the Great Sequoia, your eyes see various mementos of Kerriariadne's adventuring life. The well-worn garb on display would serve any glory-seeking explorer well, you wager. It is said that most of the equipment meticulously laid out along carefully placed hooks, shelves, and display cases makes a soul heartier, stronger, faster, smarter, wiser, and a definite dicing machine. If you could only get your hands on some of that! A wicked blade catches your eye.

For the most part unnoticed, a supremely subtle thumping makes its way to your ears. The sound is slow but regular, steady and evenly-paced, and now that you've noticed it -- it's really quite relaxing. Gazing westward to find the source of the thumping, you are stunned. You are staring at what must be the heart of the Great Sequoia! Behind its protective fibrous wooden skin, you can see the wall of this monumental tree palpitating, beating, beckoning...

Looking upward, the truly cavernous properties of this most immense tree awe you. High above, the gleam of metal draws your attention, for there floats what appears to be a wound-up scroll of considerable dimensions, bound at either end by mithril rollers.

The hearth of the Great Sequioa is warm and soft. It occurs to you that whatever position you assume, the ground seems to conform to your body, yielding a good measure of comfort. You quietly thank the marvelous tree for being so accommodating.

Look image illusion first
You recognize a youthful Kerriariadne in the first illusion, standing on the edge of a loch as the darkening of the day approaches. Off in the distance is a castle, silhouetted by gray clouds and mist. Beside him to his right is the figure of an older human man, dressed in robes and seemingly directing Kerriariadne from a parchment in his hands. The notion comes to you that the parchment is a map, and this is Lord Tokugawa, instructing the young ranger on the first steps in pursuing the arts of magic. "Seek Jill but be warned, for the path is arduous and cold. We will speak again when you return." The illusion shimmers and is gone, replaced by another.

Look image2 illusion2 second
As one illusion seems to shimmer away, a second shimmers into view. It is of a more experienced Kerriariadne, and the ghost of an orc warrior. You continue to watch as a small, silly ogre slips through a crack in the air and appears beside the harried ranger/mage. Kerriariadne utters a magical word and the illusion fills with blackness. "My prey is gone!" The image dissolves into the shadows of the Sequoia, but immediately another begins to shimmer into view.

Look image3 illusion3 third
Intrigued, you watch as a figure looms into view. Quickly the details form, and you are struck by the change in Kerriariadne's appearance. He emanates stealth and a growing strength in magic, but his face appears quite ... wild. A katana is strapped loosely over one shoulder, and a longsword over the other. His hands are covered in blood, and he holds a steak of a corpse - shamanic equipment is strewn about but you cannot tell if the victim was once minotaur or dwarf. Those eyes, those crazed elven eyes. What HAS Kerriariadne done??? "The horror..." whispers your mind, but you cannot look away. As quickly as it came, the image is gone and another takes its place.

Look image4 illusion4 fourth
Now just coming into view is a grown Kerriariadne, involved in a one-on-one battle with a formidable-looking aarakocran. The aarakocran wears an amulet inscribed "Knowledge" and seems to be shredding the soul of his opponent. Kerriariadne utters some words, and a white aura which had surrounded the aarakocran fades away. Suddenly the scene is filled with slicing and dicing. Feathers everywhere, quite messy. This illusion ends, and another begins forming.

Look image5 illusion5 fifth
A large ogre radiating a white aura shimmers before you, wearing an aarahide loincloth, wielding a great aaraclaw, and holding an odd- looking mass of hair. All at once his aura is gone, his weapon is on the ground, and the expression on his face can only be described as surprise. Behind the ogre, you can only see a katana and longsword weaving this way and that... The illusions projected from the unseen source continue.

Look image6 illusion6 sixth
Kerriariadne Bala'Bandienne, now engulfed in an intense light red aura, stands in front of a black sapphire encrusted mirror. You can't quite make out what he is doing, but it appears that ... yes, he is uncorking a little vial hanging around his neck and pouring small droplets of a ruddy brown liquid into a large bubbling cauldron of chocolate. The scent of vanilla rushes over you and you realize he is tainting the chocolate with Vanilla Extract! He looks up to make sure no one is watching, then he quickly tosses the mirror into a large sack and leaves the scene.

Look wicked blade katana ginsu
On a gilded stand rests a blade of truly brilliant crafting. Its weight perfectly balanced, its edge glinting in hues of blue, red, and purple, its hilt woven of the finest leathers and set with diamonds, this is the fabeled katana which has cut through many an opponent. Its name is Ginsu.

Look guidelines tenets
The scroll of unusual size comes to you, and you swear you hear a faint giggle. Tenets of the Dark.

Foremost Tenet: Lord Kerriariadne reserves the right to have the longest name among all names of His Glorious Dark Membership.

Duck Tenet: All Glorious Dark Members are required to think of One Funny Thing to say about Ducks when asked.

Green Tenet: Treat all young adventurers (sometimes called "Newbies") as you would your own family. Hopefully, such treatment is a good thing.

Randoming Tenet: All Glorious Dark Members are required to dedicate Themselves to searching for items and randoming for the Betterment of the Glorious Dark when requested.

"Be Warned" Tenet: Public bickering, bragging, boasting, taunting, or otherwise puerile behavior is not tolerated. Do Not Do It.

Very Important Tenet: Whenever possible, exercise Self-Reliance in the use of your adventuring and exploits, as very few things are so disturbing as Needy People.

      • Entry Requirements on Reverse Side. ***

Management's Addendum: It is your responsibility to be familiar with all other rules and policies of TFC and abide by them at all times. Any semblance to any other scroll, fictitious or living, may or may not be purely coincidental or intended by this scroll's creator.

Look mithril rollers scroll
As you consider the great scroll floating high above you, suddenly it drops toward you and unrolls, revealing its contents. The letters are large and printed very clearly, and they begin: "Tenets of the Dark." Ah, here are the guidelines that would bind you...

Look entry entrance requirements
The Entry Clause: Joining the Glorious Dark requires the Applicant meet several criteria: 1) Applicant must be a minimum of 11th level in Each Chosen Class at the Time of Entry. 2) Applicant must have Spell-Casting Ability and must either create a spring or a mushroom at the Time of Entry. 3) Applicant will have all designated Entry Items on their person at the Time of Entry. Items will be of Lord Kerriariadne's choosing. 4) The Actions of the Applicant will at NO time be disgraceful to either their own Self or to their intended Glorious Dark Family before (or after) Membership is granted. 5) Applicant must always remember, "This is just a game." This will be every Applicant's Test Question immediately prior to being accepted as a Glorious Dark Member.

Look door entry entryway sap
The Great Sequoia is secured by a gigantic, gooey door. It is difficult to discern exactly what material comprises the door, as it is entirely covered in a thick, very sticky sap. Perhaps the door IS sap?

(Red Aura) a miniature silver sylph A miniature silver sylph lies here.

Look sylph wwp
A little figurine of silver, exquisitely crafted, embeds itself in your armor.