The Snow whipped around Prince Algor’s head as he pulled his fur vest closer to his (near frozen) body while ahead Toron was peering off in the distance through his spyglass. The old slime turned around “Well Al, it looks like we’re on the right track to the northern pass if we can chart this mountain trail …in a blizzard…with a squadron of Shocktroopers on our tai…” Algor cut Toron off mid sentence “ So basically easy breezy right buddy?” the Prince said with a smile as he blew into his cupped hands.
Three days earlier they had been at a royal feast back in Slime City when Sir Skaladon (a renowned knight of the King’s guard) shared a story his grandfather had told him about the fabled north passage which would lead to the lands ringed by the Teeth of the Gods. This land supposedly filled with strange sights and mystery had never been breached by anyone according to the legend, and most who tried to enter had either not returned or returned as blabbering lunatics telling tales of beasts made of living rock. Untouched lands, and the promise of glory being Algor’s greatest weaknesses this story intrigued the Prince, so naturally he soon persuaded Toron to help him find this lost passage to the North.
After gearing up the pair headed out from Slime City to the Teeth of the Gods Mountain range, but after a half days travel (by Land Slug) they were faced with cutting far to the East to avoid The Dark Citadel or hugging the edge of the Vallorian Jungle on the outskirts of the Tengkorak Village. Algor, ever the picture of Slime impetuousness opted to take the route less traveled, and they would have been fine if they hadn’t nearly collided with a squad of Shocktroopers practicing evasive maneuvers in their fighters. Moving along at high speeds Ziggy quickly zipped around the ground targets they had been using for practice as blaster bolts scorched the ground all around them. Algor pulled his ray pistol out of the saddlebags and fired off a shot towards one of the surprised fighters, and the bolt stuck it right in the left wing thruster causing it to spin wildly out of control before crashing into the Jungle with a loud explosion and a plume of smoke. The three remaining fighters grouped up into triangle formation as they circled around to concentrate fire on the fast moving Slug.Toron pulled a small circular object from inside his body and looked at Algor “ Fire into this!” he yelled as he tossed the orb into the air. It exploded into a colorful burst of green smoke as Algor fired a volley of shots from his pistol into the cloud. They heard one of the fighters cash into the ground as the cloud of smoke masked their escape from the Shocktroopers. Ziggy made his way into a small clearing at the edge of the Jungle bordering the mountains as Algor and Toron hopped off. Algor patted Ziggy’s head “ Ok buddy you head back home, and take the long way to avoid those Troopers.” The Slimes grabbed their gear form the saddlebags as the Slug nuzzled Algor before departing back to Slime City. Toron could hear the buzz of the fighters searching for them as they made their way into the mountains “ They won’t stop until they find us Al, so we better get moving to the cover of the mountains” he sighed as he started heading down a path that looked at least partially safe to travel.
Three days later the going had been tough with a massive blizzard rolling in, and several avalanches slowing progress for the two adventurers. If they looked out from the various peaks mounted on their path they could just barely see the tiny forms of Dracktholme’s fighters by the dozens with spotlights searching the area surrounding the Dark Citadel and Vallorian Jungle looking for the two Slimes even days later. Finally after another day’s travel Toron Spotted what looked to be a path between the towering mountains that blocked their path “ That MUST be the Northern Pass ahead” he exclaimed as he lowered his spyglass “ another half day’s journey, and we should be there” Toron added as he collapsed the Spyglass and stuck it inside himself. Sure enough by midday they were on the ground again, and standing in front of a clear path between the mountains. As they approached a booming voice echoed throughout the rock walls surrounding them “YOU SHALL GO NO FURTHER!” which stopped the pair in their tracks. As dozens of strange rock creatures wearing fur pelts and wielding wicked looking clubs suddenly surrounded the Slimes. Algor instinctively gripped his sword on his belt “ Friend, you will not need weapons here” a creature nearly naked and different from the others who seemed to be made of glowing rose quartz said to the Slimes. Algor relaxed his grip, but kept one hand on his sword as he replied “ We wish no harm either, and we’re merely on our way to the Northern Pass” this seemed to upset the glowing one as frown crossed his craggy face “ That my friend is something we cannot allow, but please let us continue this conversation inside the walls of our Abbey where it is warm and safe” he said with a gesture towards a tunnel leading into the mountain.
Algor looked at Toron suspiciously “What do you think buddy, should we go into the dark tunnel with these guys?” he said letting go of his sword. Toron looked around “well Al, they’ve got us vastly outnumbered, and a nice warm abbey sounds a lot better than a snowy mountain pass to me” he replied before adding “You fine gents wouldn’t happen to be the kind of abbey dwellers that brew ale would you? This made the glowing one smile “yes my friend, we would happen to be just that kind of abbey dwellers” he chuckled as he started off towards the tunnel.
The tunnel in the mountain took them deep underground to a massive grotto. The floor of this giant cave was covered with small pools and lots of vegetation which appeared to be growing by the light of large orbs hanging the from the many pointed stalactites dripping from the ceiling of the cavern. In the center sat a large stone abbey with a massive bell tower, and as the group entered the cavern a loud clang rang from the bell which reverberated across the entire hall and filled the Slimes with a sense of peace somehow.
Once they descended the stairs into the grounds of the abbey more of the rock creatures appeared from hiding places behind rocks and bushes. Each creature’s body appeared to be made of living rock draped in a fur pelt while each had some kind of gem in place of their one eye which glistened in the light of the cavern. The glowing one spoke after a long walk in silence “My friends, this abbey houses the Hands of the Gods order of monks , and you will find no quarrel here as long as you promise to listen to our warming about venturing any further on your chosen path” his head turned towards Algor expectantly “By all means sir, please any warning you have will be heeded by us” Algor replied.
The glowing one smiled as he lead them into a large dining hall, and platters of food were brought out along with large flagons brimming with ale. As Toron quickly grabbed the ale in front of him he looked around wondering what the story of this place was, but he was surprised when the glowing one spoke “Ahhh Toron, you wonder what the purposes of this Abbey are my friend? Toron nearly spit his ale out before gulping it down “ How did you know that?” the slime asked accusingly. Once again a smile crept across the glowing one’s face “ It is one of the many abilities the Gods have blessed me with friend Slime, but please allow me to explain while you enjoy your ale.” He said as he nudged the flagon in Toron’s direction” before launching into his story….
“Millenia ago the world of Jalldoon was new, and the Gods created the Slimes as the native inhabitants of the world that world soon be filled with creatures from many times and places. The gods in their infinite wisdom new that they would need someone to do their bidding on Jalldoon so they created the Hands of the Gods order of Monks for this purposes. These beings were made from the Planet itself, and each bore a precious gem in place of an eye. The gods also created a leader for the order that would directly take the orders from the Gods. This Voice of the Gods was made from a glowing pink gemstone, and the power of the Gods poured out of his very skin. As Jalldoon quickly filled with strange new beasts and citizens the Gods segregated a portion of the planet to keep some of the stranger or more deadly beings from running roughshod over the planet. This portion of the planet was ringed by mountains that touched the skies, and kept the most evil contained within. The Hands of the Gods order was housed in an abbey built at the center of the planet with tunnels allowing them to reach almost anywhere in the world with little time. The order’s main goal was to watch over the entrance to this segregated portion of the planet letting nothing in or out. The monks of the Gods Hands have protected this “Northern Pass” since the dawn of time, and will continue to forever.”
We are the Hands and Voice of the Gods, and now do you see why you must not venture to the North at this time Prince Algor?” The Voice of the Gods asked as he finished his story. Algor looked up at the Voice “ Well yeah I see why, but you can’t just tell us there is all these crazy things up there while expecting us to not see for ourselves…we’re adventurers thats kind of what we do” he said as he put his half full flagon down on the table. The Voice of the Gods face became grim “ahhh young Slime you will have your chance at the North soon enough, but for now you must focus on your own little corner of Jalldoon as the Gods tell me that war is imminent. The forces of Baron Dracktholme and Master Boshak build as we speak preparing to unleash their hell upon the Planet, and YOU must lead the charge against them Algor…YOU must push these madmen back before the evil in the North smells their kind taking over the Planet because if that happens we will all be in darkness.” He said gently placing his hand on Algor’s shoulder. The Prince was stunned, and as he searched for something to say the Voice once again spoke “never fear my friend you’ve some time yet, and you’ll have plenty of friends helping you once the time comes this much I know. Don’t forget you’ve always got us on your side. Now let’s drink some Ale before Toron drinks every last drop in the abbey.”
Algor and the Voice stayed up late that night talking long after the other Monks had gone to sleep, and toron had drunken himself into a stupor. During their talks Algor learned much of the history of Jalldoon that the Slime Edler Magi had left out or not known. Even things that eclipsed the knowledge contained inside the Slime Tablets of Creation, and with such knowledge a new mission to assemble a team of heroes to protect Jalldoon weighed heavy on the young Slime’s shoulders. The voice instructed Algor on how to contact them should he ever have need, and bestowed upon him one of the large clubs the monks used as their personal weapons. In the morning they walked the two Slimes to the entrance of the tunnel that would bring them out a short journey from the entrance of Slime City. Toron, having drank far too much Ale the night before was thankful to have to not return through the mountains they had come from, and despite the pounding of his head felt a spring in his step as they walked away from the Hands of the Gods abbey. Algor, however felt the rising tides of destiny bearing down upon him.