PaxLair, Chesapeake (PaxLair Times) – October 30, 1998 – by Arik – After a hard day of mining in the mountains of Shame, i returned home with a good load of ore. As i neared my smithy, i noticed a dark clad figure at my door-step. Setting the heavy sack of ore to the ground to free my hands, i approached the suspicious being:”Hail, what may i do for you in the mioddle of the night? I am the owner of this fine shop, ’tis opened from dawn till sunset….”. A dark voice answered me:”Arik Lor, the smith?”. After the shivering of my body ceased, i simply nodded; what is in this voice that can frighten a hard man so much, i asked myself. But before i could say any more, the figure produced a small, artfully crafted box from the depths of its robes and vanished without a trace.
Pulling myself together, i first ignored the box that i set onto the table while depositing the ore for smelting. I worked hard, avoiding to think about the strange incident, but then all ore is smelted into fine ingots an after cleaning the floor of the smithy, all i could do is done… Slowly i sat down in front of the box, examining it closely. It seemed very old, with strange runes and ornaments all over the lid and the sides. What seems to be the locking-mechanism was crafted in the likeness of an old seal, but i could not distinct the shapes and forms on it, as they shifted every time i looked at them…
Entranced by the play of lights upon the seal i reached out to touch it. With a sound like a moaning of many voices, the lid was suddenly open, and the spell i seemed under gone. Curious, i examine the contens of the box. The first thing i noticed was a good amount of gold, then next to it an old scroll and finally a crystal of communication. I am no greedy man, but not dumb either, so i reached out to get the gold and concern myself with the rest of this mysterious things later, when the gold would rest safe in my bank. But as i touched the gold, the crystal seemed to explode with a bright light, levelling itself above the box!
A voice:”Ah, Mr.Lor. So you seem to agree to my little proposal? At least, you like the gold.” *cackles*
Arik Lor:”Errr, what proposal?”
A voice:”I want your skill to craft something very special for me, master Arik. It is somewhat delicate work, so must insist on total discretion on your part. I hope the gold will ease it to you?”
Arik Lor:”’tis a nice sum of gold,indeed, sire. In fact enough to staff out a little army with the finest of my armor. What shall i craft for you?”
A voice:”Hmm, let’s say it is a bit of jewelery in the broader sense of the word. All instructions on how to craft them and how to smith the special ore needed are contained within these scrolls. I know you also mined near the excavations in the Minoc mountains where the earthquake struck. And i learned you found somewhat contaminated ore there?”
Arik Lor:”Aye, after smelting this ore, there where strange beads of a black material left. I collected this strange material, asi wanted to study it. Ne’er seen such before.”
A voice:”Exellent! *coughs* That is exactly the material needed… how much of it is in your possesion?”
Arik Lor:”’tis not very much, just a handfull of splinters.”
A voice:”It will suffice, as long as your skill is good enough. Don’t waste anything, prepare by trying the technique on mundane…errr normal ore. *coughs*” And stick exactly to the plans! After you finished, put the “jewels” into the chest, along with the scrolls. If you succeed, you will be paid the same amount of gold again…”
Arik Lor:”That is indeed splendid…i hope…i hope this is nothing against the law or something?”
A voice:”Ah, not at all! How can it be against any law to craft something out of ore? After all it is your job!” *cackles*
Arik Lor:” *ponders over the gold* Aye, that is true…well, then, i guess we have a deal, mister…?”
A voice:”Just call me N.. I will know when you are done with your work, master Lor. One last thing: no word to anybody about our little agreement, it is a…surprise. Yes, i think you can put it this way. *cackles* Farewell, and work fast!”
With these last words from N. the crystal flashed in a bright light again. After my eyes had recovered, the box was closed again; but the scrolls and the gold lie open on the table… Although this whole affaire reeked a little fishy, i started to examine the scrolls. After all, i had customers with stranger wishes already, and this new smelting-technique seemed really interesting…maybe i can even use it to craft better armor!
After working all night, i crafted three strangely shaped coins, which seem to slip from my eyes touch and a similar pyramid that never stopped spinning since i put a finishing touch to it…there are symbols on each of the coins which resemble the symbols on one side each of the pyramid. A rectangle, a circle and a triangle, while one side of the pyramid was left blank…
At last my rudimentary knowledge of alchemy and magic came in handy, or else i would never have been able to finish the work. I will not reveal what strange magics i used to forge these things. Only to hint on it, there was an altered version of the telekinesis-spell which took me as much efort to cast as it were a fifth circle one… and something that enchanted the flames in my forge which i could just cast with the power of the scroll.
As my strange customer ordered me to, i took the tablet with the coins and touched the seal of the box again. As before, it seemed to pop from closed to opened with no delay, and again, there was a pilke of gold and the crystal in it. As i set down the coins and the scrolls into the box and grabbed the money, the crystal came to life again.
A voice:”Ah, excellent! They are perfect, my regards to you, master Lor!”
Arik:”Thank you, but i have my doubt as to what you will use these things to.”
A voice:”That is not of your concern, Arik. You have been paid well, and are not responsible for this any longer. But if it really interests you, these “coins” and the focus will end the tyranny of those that follow Truth, Love and Courage. And your work will play a vital part in these plans. *cackles madly* Fare thee well.”
While the laughter died away, the box closed shut and vanished along with the crystal. I still shudder when i think that the honest work of my trade will be put to evil uses. Therefor i wrote the whole story up for you brave men and women of Britannia as a warning. I will not rest until i can recover these coins and destroy them, hopefully before they can do the Principles any harm.
Arik, Grandmaster Smith
NOTE: This is part of a continuing PaxLair Player Quest, not a Seer Quest.