Abandoned Codex MUD
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The priestess' gift

A middle aged woman with handsome features awaits you.
The priestess of the forest glows with an aura of divine radiance.
The priestess of the forest says 'Greetings, adventurer. Doubtless you wander these '
The priestess of the forest says 'woods in search of a way to prove your worth. Well I have'
The priestess of the forest says 'a quest for you, if you are interested. Are you?'
You say 'yes'
The priestess of the forest says 'Excellent!'
The priestess of the forest says 'Now pay close attention- To the north of here lies a tower of'
The priestess of the forest says 'stone, a magnificent structure that the current evil occupants'
The priestess of the forest says 'are far from worthy of. I bid thee enter this tower, slay the'
The priestess of the forest says 'evil within, and return to me the key, with which I may bar it'
The priestess of the forest says 'to further intruders. In return, I shall reward you well...'

A key.. What a miserably simple request. It all began when my lord DoomWeaver, Master of Clan Forsaken expressed interest in an artifact said to be held by the Priestess of the forest. Being the loyal subject I simply popped off to gain this artifact..

Orcs are interesting creatures, they can be recognized by their pig like facial features, thorough lack of intelligence, and foul reek that clings to whatever they come into contact with. Their main defense it seems is in fact their smell. Who wants to replace their beloved sword, the one that has carried them through so many battles, simply because they cannot bear the smell that clings so tenaciously to that polished razor edge? I personally despise the creatures and when told by the Priestess that I must deal with an entire stronghold of the buggers in order to gain the prize that my Lord sought I grew quite upset.

I need to work on my temper... in this particular case I found myself crawling on hands and knees back to my clan, seeking the comfort of our healer. Of course the best way to learn from you're mistakes is to repeat them as many times as possible so that they may be permanently etched into you're thoughts. With this in mind I asked Skcender, an acquaintance from a past misadventure, if he would like to participate in my mistakes. Through sheer tenacity and hard headedness, with Skcender repeatedly drawing the priestess's attention away from myself, we were able to conquer the rather sturdy priestess and found to our dismay that even in defeat she stubbornly demanded that we rid the area of Orcs in trade for the sought after relic. Finally reaching this point we found that it would be rather foolish to turn back so in a rage Skcender and myself decided that hunting Orcs might not be such a bad idea after all.. And hunt them we did.

I will once again pause to comment on the smell of Orcs.. While a single live orc is bad enough to kill mold, a score of dead ones is INHUMANE!! The fortress was also infested with things worse than orcs.. trolls and hobgoblins leapt out at us with every turn we took. After many hours of hunting we were distressed to learn that we had killed virtually every single living thing within that stronghold yet had not found the miserable key! In a rage we began to tear the place apart and in so doing stumbled upon a secret chamber concealed within the throne room.. This must be it.. there was nowhere else to look, true there were a few locked doors but how would one lock a key behind a door without the key to do so? The passage being concealed as it was had very poor ventilation, and as a result we had no trouble at all seeking out the master of this orchish cesspool.. I admit that while his squeals were music to my ears the fact that he had no knowledge of this sought after key brought a crashing halt to whatever elation we had experienced upon gotten rid of the final orc..

One key.. a simple item. so small... both Skcender and myself were covered in blood, our clothing shredded from repeated blows.. all this work.. and it was for naught. I do believe that Skcender needs to work out a few of his anger management problems as well for he seemed quite upset, even if it was understandably so. When next I managed to find him he was busily mutilating the array of corpses we had left in our wake.. Needless to say I joined in the fun and took out a few of my baser emotions on the rotting cadavers. It was while doing this that we came upon a door, locked... we could not find the key.. it was simply to much and Skcender turned that poor door into something faintly resembling a neatly stacked pile of toothpicks. The room we found was up to our expectations, empty as usual and so without further delay Skcender knocked down the door in this room as well. All in all it was an enjoyable sight. Doors don't have much of a chance when a well armored warrior decides that they should be something less than a barrier.

Treasure can come in many forms.. gold, silver, gems.. And all these we found tucked securely into chests of varying shapes and sizes, but the most amazing find of all, was a simple ivory box.. containing a crude and slightly tarnished silver key.

Just rewards... I would have to say that the thrill of the adventure was worth the pain involved but the glorious feeling that we had when giving the key to the Priestess and receiving our prize was somewhat lessened by the sight of our esteemed leader simply tucking the artifact into a bag at his side... Oh well.

  Hard work pays off.
  Hard adventuring pays less.
  Don't sweat the petty things.
  Don't pet the sweaty things.

As always, Menion The bloody and beaten Ranger.
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