The moonlight glowed over the vast cemetery known as the Field of Tears as the soft hooting croak of a Frowl could be heard in the distance. Toron sat behind a Tombstone and looked over at Algor who was crouched in his heroic full body form next to a large stone cross. They had been in the cemetery for hours trying to lure an especially angry Banshee Spirit that had been terrorizing the nearby crossroads for weeks, and beyond the sounds of life all around them, Toron could hear none of the wails these creatures were known for. Suddenly the moon was obscured by clouds and a scream that would render a normal being to a quivering pile of fear echoed across the dark cemetery, and in the dark of the night, Toron could see the spectral form of the spirit floating towards their decoy slowly.
As she approached the decoy Algor rushed forward sword in hand and yelled at Toron “Get the net!” as he leaped onto her back swinging wildly with his blade. The Banshee tossed him off into a statue of some long dead Baron or Count smashing it to pieces. Algor scrambled to his feet and grabbed his sword as he stood across from the Banshee who was snarling at him. “ Ready Tor?” he asked Toron who was off to his left. “Always Al, let’s get this nightmare and head to the tavern for a pint… I’ve got a powerful thirst brewing” Toron replied. As the Banshee tensed up preparing to charge Algor cast a spectral duplicate spell and sent it towards her side, and when she turned to attack the shimmering form Algor charged and took a mighty swing with his sword. The Banshee let out half a shriek before her head was separated from her body and both pieces fell to the ground. Algor stood up and brushed himself off “ Well bud I would have preferred to get the bonus for capturing her alive, but at least travelers in the area can rest easy knowing this particular spirit won’t be bothering them anymore” he said to Toron who was inspecting the damage to the statue that had been smashed in the tussle. Suddenly a scrap of paper in the rubble caught his eye. “ Hey Al, check this out!” he said as he picked up the rolled up paper and handed it to Algor. Looking it over Algor could see a lot of ancient Jalldoonian writing on the scroll, but a name stood out to him “The Reliquary of Karnok?” he said out loud to no one in particular “ not THE lost Reliquary of Karnok…no way!” he continued. Toron shuffled over and took a look “Well Al, looks like we may be on the cusp of solving one of the oldest mysteries of Jalldoon… that reliquary is supposed to be filled with the most powerful artifacts of the first Emperor of Karnok, and if this is what it appears to be we may be able to use them in the fight against Boshak” Toron said before adding “now can we PLEASE go get a drink?” as he shuffled off towards the Crossroads Tavern. Algor stuffed the Banshee’s head into a sack and started off after Toron, but neither Slime noticed the pair of eyes watching them from the darkness.
Algor being one who loves to make an entrance kicked the tavern door in as they got there and slammed the sack with the head in it down on the bar “Here you go Brock, as promised one Banshee Spirit taken care of. I had hoped to take her alive for that bonus, but you gotta take what you can get when not being killed by a Banshee I guess” he said to the bartender with a laugh. The bartender peered into the sack and looked at Algor “ Well at least I can mount the head here in the bar to show people she’s been taken care of, but damn if I didn’t want her alive” he said to Algor. “Yeah, but what were you planning to do with it once I brought it back anyway?” The Prince asked as he watched the barkeep count a stack of gold coins for his reward. “What do you think I was going to do? I was going to put it in a cage and charge people to see the Crossroads Banshee in person, and maybe make some coin while doing it.” The barkeep replied with a smile. Algor shook his head and laughed “Jeez Brock, we’d have to come back here in a week once she broke out and killed everyone. Thank goodness for small favors I guess” he said as he grabbed the sack of gold and ordered two Karnokian Grogs for him and Toron. As they sat down Toron noticed his old friend, the Ranger Merrick across the tavern and made motion for him to come over. Merrick made his way to their table and as he sat down he pushed his white hair out of his face before speaking “ Hey Toron, hows tricks my friend?” he asked as he tipped his drink to the two slimes.“Merrick you scoundrel you still mothering baby Battle Mages for the Syndicate instead of doing real work?” Toron said with a chuckle. Merrick looked mock offended “Algor how can you stand traveling with the crusty old sack of slime telling you his war stories all day?” he said as he slapped Algor on the shoulder to which Algor replied “It’s not easy Merrick I can tell you that” as he took a long swig from his tankard. All three of them had a laugh before Merrick asked “What brings you boys out here this late at night?”. The Slimes told him all that had happened, and Merrick’s face lit up “The Lost Reliquary of Karnok? This could be HUGE” he exclaimed before adding “You gotta let me in on this guys”. Algor and Toron realized they could use a few extra sets of eyes and hands, and having someone they knew on board would be far better than hiring someone to help so they agreed that Merrick and his charge (a Battle mage in training named Crowfoot) could come along. Algor bought them all rooms at the Inn before he summoned a magical bird to bring a request for Slugs to the Emerald Caverns to be used to travel to Karnok the next morning.
The next morning Algor woke up early to find his friend and mount Ziggy waiting for him with two of his siblings. Algor scratched Ziggy on the back of his neck as he drank a steaming hot mug of slow brewed spiced grapeweed to start his day. Shortly after Toron, Merrick, and Crowfoot came down from their rooms ready to start the journey to Karnok. Algor gave Merrick and Crowfoot a few tips on how to ride the Slugs. As they left the stables Algor could see Crowfoot worrying about how slow they were going, but he clearly wasn’t familiar with the high speeds a Kandanian Land Slug can get up to. He spoke in the language of the Slugs for Ziggy to take them to full speed, and soon they were nearly flying across the ground. After arriving at Karnok they left the Slugs at a stable on the outskirts of the city and headed to the Faulty Compass a famous tavern and inn that doubles as the base of operations of the Jalldoon League of Explorers, an organization dedicated to exploring the planet and helping other explorers get ahead.
As the group made their way through the busy midday streets of the bustling city to the Compass Algor explained what they had found to Crowfoot who seemed starstruck by the whole experience, and would have went along with a search for anything at this point. As they entered the Faulty Compass nearly everyone in the tavern perked up seeing Algor. As a member of the Explorers League Algor was one of their real celebrity members so they all needed to shake his hand and talk to him. After far too long Thaddeus Crumblepot (the president of the Explorers League) sat down with Algor as he showed him what had been found. “Thaddeus, this is a map towards the Reliquary of Karnok…it has to be, look at all this ancient Jalldoonian! I’ve translated some of it already based on what I know and it appears to be located below the sewers” Algor said as he pointed out the start of the map. Thaddeus looked shocked for a minute before responding “What do you need to make this an official League operation my friend?” Algor thought for a moment “ We’ll need some torches and packs to carry things back with, and any possible Slime artifacts become instant property of the Slimes NOT Emperor Pullo or the League.” he said as he reached for a glass of punch being brought to him by Oliver (the Gatonian barkeep of the Faulty Compass) “oh and Merrick and his charge are with us as well so they’ll need to be amply rewarded for their part too” he added quickly before finishing his drink. “ Of course I’m sure none of that will be objectionable to the Emperor for finding such an important piece of Karnok history.” Thaddeus Crumblepot said as he got up to grab some torches and packs for the party. Now fully equipped for a delve they left the tavern and headed towards the entrance to the sewers.
Continued in Part 2…