Elemental Apocalypse

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This is a Class C (bronze star) article.
Elemental Apocalypse
Eamon adventure #149
Elemental Apocalypse intro.png
Author Sam Ruby
Released October 1987
EAG number 149
EDX number 09-10
EDX set The Sam Ruby Adventures
Native format Apple DOS 3.3

Elemental Apocalypse is a four-part Eamon adventure written by Sam Ruby, with each part occupying its own diskette. The parts are titled "The Indoor Forest", "The Search for the Hidden Valley", "Mount Mundabar", and "Assault on the Element Lords".

Premise

After departing from the northern city of Andport aboard the sailing ship Lucky, a storm at sea wrecks the ship and you drift aimlessly for days, finally washing up on the western shore of an unknown continent you dub "Northland". The people living there take you to the kingdom's capital of Sayhar to meet the Prime Minister, a kind man who befriends you and gives you food, shelter, and access to a library where you can read about the land and its history.

You learn that Northland, an area where magic is not normally practiced, was wracked by a series of conflicts known as the Magic Wars which began 50 years ago when a band of seven powerful magic users known as the Element Lords invaded from the east. After 20 years of battle and bloodshed, one of the Element Lords named Blancos defected to join the Northlands and with his help two of his fellows were slain and the remaining four banished to another dimension, bringing the wars to a close.

The Prime Minister, knowing you're a capable adventurer, now seeks your assistance with a series of sensitive missions, first to locate their absent king, then to infiltrate a neighboring kingdom of goblins, to find the source of recent natural disasters... and ultimately to save the kingdom by preventing the return of the Element Lords.

Full introduction

Part One: The Indoor Forest

Recently you were taking part in a seaborne expedition when your ship was wrecked by a storm. You floated for days until you reached the western shore of a distant continent, whose inhabitants, their culture, and history you knew nothing about. Fortunately, your languages were similar (a common ancestry?). You found that you were on an uncharted continent (which you name "Northland.") The dominant country, where you come ashore, is the North Kingdom. You decided to make your way towards the capital; the port of Sayhar at the mouth of the river Martazar.

There you were received by the Prime Minister of the North Kingdom, who was eager to here your tales of another land. One night you had dinner with him.

The Prime Minister told you he had a matter of great importance to talk to you about in the morning. But first, he wanted to give you the opportunity to find out a little about the Northland and the North Kingdom.

Library
It is late, and you do not have much time to read. You skim through some of the books to get a general overview of things.

Geography
The North Kingdom is a federation of smaller countries united under the King of Sayhar. Sayhar is the largest city in the North Kingdom, and is the largest port in Northland. One subdivision of the North Kingdom is Tredland, which is triangular in shape (two of its borders are the north border, which is the south border of the Sayhar nation, and the sea is the western border). Tredland is roughly half the size of the Sayhar nation. A third major subdivision of the North Kingdom is an area called Southaven, which, as its name implies, lies to the southeast of Sayhar (it is a good distance from the port). Southaven is a very rural area, the only major town being the town of Southaven. It is important to remember that though we speak of borders, the areas are not really separate countries but more like large states. Besides a few smaller areas, the rest of the North Kingdom is divided into three territories each about a fourth the size of the Sayhar nation. These are the east, south, and north territories. The north territory is thickly wooded and serves as a principal source for ship and home building. Like the other territories, it does not qualify as a state because of the relatively few inhabitants. The territories are also called that because they are not completely policed, equipped with roads, and, again, inhabited. The north territory is quite "tame" and safe, the south a joint territory shared with some of the southern countries, and the east, a buffer between the North Kingdom and the wild lands. The Indoor Forest lies in the middle of the east territory, but is much further north than south.

History
The year is 1020. The number dates back to the colonization of Sayhar (the origin of the colonists is unknown) and the establishment of the port. Sayhar grew to be a powerful city-state during the 600s, the years of sea exploration and heavy travel. Through a limited form of democracy that still exists, Alnaron I was elected King of Sayhar. By 835 he had united the city-states surrounding Sayhar. He later married Illya of Tredland, uniting the two countries into what was called the North Kingdom.

In 929 Alnaron died. Queen Illya ruled successfully for ten years, and then stepped down in favor of her popular son Alnaron II. By 937 the North Kingdom had become a great sea power, reducing the threat of any of the countries that lie far to the south. Alnaron II became known as the Sea King. It is believed that during this time, Pyrano, the lord of the magi, visited Sayhar in the guise of a traveler, and discovered that magic had not been harnessed in the North Kingdom.

In 942, Southland was added to the North Kingdom, and the three territories were established. A treaty was signed with two other countries in the northeast, further enlarging the kingdom. Once this was accomplished, the king turned his attention to domestic problems.

958: Messengers from Southaven report hostile raids by strange folk from the east. It is later learned that the goblins, ancient foes of northlanders, have suffered heavy damage at the hands of the invaders. Magic — an alien art form to Northlanders and goblins — is employed with great success by the invaders, who declare themselves to be the seven magi and their disciples.

960: The Magic Wars begin in Southaven. The magi and their folk attack from the Hidden Valley, their home in the far east. King Alnaron orders a state of emergency.

965: The North Kingdom launches an offensive, but the strength of the magi is underestimated. Pyrano repulses the attack. However, survivors bring information on the magi. There are seven — Pyrano, Terralar, Hydronor, Aerinie, Blancos, Alsazar, and Cerelorn. They are loyally supported by several thousand magic-trained warriors. The location of the Hidden Valley and the plans of the invaders are unknown.

967: The magi take Southaven. The Northlanders draw back and guard the border.

970: Fearful of further attack, the North Kingdom signs a cease-fire. Many Northlanders succumb to the desire for magic and join the magi. Blancos argues for peace; Pyrano's preparations remain secret.

980: War breaks out again. The southern states are caught off-guard; they suffer heavily. Blancos defects to the North Kingdom.

984: The magi press towards Sayhar. Alsazar and Cerelorn are sent to Tredland to draw off forces; a month later Pyrano and the others attack from the east.

985: The people of Tredland rally and defeat Alsazar. He and Cerelorn are slain, but their bodies are carried off by disciples. The southern offensive is defeated. Pyrano runs into a trap outside Sayhar, but he is still strong. The battle reaches the royal palace, and Pyrano and Hydronor engage the king and his son Alnaron III on the steps of the palace. The king is slain, but his son wounds Hydronor and captures Hydronor's crown, the crown of water. With it he subdues Pyrano momentarily. Meanwhile, word of the southern victory reaches Sayhar. Forces arrive from Tredland. Pyrano's forces are routed. Blancos confronts the four magi and banishes them to separate dimensions. The last disciples are hunted and slain in the territories.

986: Alnaron III assumes the title of Sea King, and at his coronation he announces to a cheering crowd the lifting of the state of emergency. He keeps the crown of Hydronor. Blancos is hailed as a hero and is given honorary status as a citizen of the North Kingdom. In 1016, he collects the three other crowns and sets off to the Hidden Valley, which he grows lonesome for.

That is all you have time to read.

Conference
"So, traveler," said the Prime Minister, "though you speak humbly, I judge you to be a man of great deeds! Thus, since I also judge you to be discreet, I have a task for you!"

"In the western territory there was built an Indoor Forest, a masterpiece of engineering, for King Alnaron I. But during the Magic Wars it was abandoned, and for several decades it has been shunned."

"But four weeks ago, the king took a secret holiday there. We of course sent several attendants with him, but for fear of some enemy finding out he had left the kingdom, we sent no soldiers."

"The king has not returned!"

"Nor have we any word from the Indoor Forest. Now, as I told you, the king's trip was a secret. Therefore we cannot send a large party to investigate. But you, a stranger, could easily be snuck out of the city and sent to the Indoor Forest. Then you could find out what is happening. Remember, neither friend nor foe may find out about the crisis, lest the security of the North Kingdom be jeopardized!"

You journey for several days until you reach the Indoor Forest. The guide has been instructed to lock the doors behind you, lest some evil that had taken root in the forest escape.

As you look around to get your bearings, you hear scuffling outside the forest, and then a scream. Your calls to the guide go unanswered.

Part Two: The Search for the Hidden Valley

It has been two months since your adventure in the Indoor Forest. The North Kingdom has been shocked by the death of King Alnaron III, but his stewards have kept the nature of the death a secret, in fear of panic. As you once again find yourself in Sayhar, you are invited to the royal palace for a conference with the Prime Minister. Before the conference, you have an opportunity to further examine the records of the palace archives.

Library
There are two topics that appear especially interesting.

Commentary on the Magic Wars
The Magic Wars lasted some twenty-five years, during which the North Kingdom came close to falling apart several times. The Northlanders were at an extreme disadvantage from the outset, for they never recovered from the initial surprise attack. Totally caught off-guard and helpless against magic, the Northlanders were driven from the southern territory and most of the eastern territory. Still not knowing what he was up against, King Alnaron (II) ordered a strike that was supposed to drive the invaders from the territories. But Pyrano, leader of the magi, expected that response. Using a wave of reinforcements from the Hidden Valley, he easily repulsed the attack.

However, the magi were outnumbered. They were forced to adopt a strategy of slow but sure advancement. But because of their magic they were able to take Southaven after seven years. Then they suddenly stopped. Through Aerinie, Pyrano negotiated a cease-fire with the hapless Northlanders, who desperately needed a respite. However, the advantage was given to Pyrano, who was enabled to turn his attention to the goblins and to securing supply lines and territory. Also, the magi were able to seduce many Northlanders with the lure of magic.

The uneasy peace lasted for ten years. Many Northlanders, who were probably terrified by magic, proposed a permanent peace, hoping to appease the magi and avoid further bloodshed. This proposal was endorsed by Blancos, who had begun to sympathize with the Northlanders and question the need for war. Pyrano remained silent. Then, when the Northlanders least expected it, he launched an attack. The "wall" of forces that were charged with protecting the border was smashed, and the Northlanders beat a hasty retreat. Pyrano allowed Alsazar and Terralar to ravage the countryside. It was this action that perhaps lost the magic wars.

The first effect was that it brought the North Kingdom together. Until now, the northlanders had not wholly felt the war — the armed forces suffered heavily, but for the most part, the population had been safe. But now Pyrano was bringing the war home. When the tales of merciless killing came back from the outer states, the people became enraged. Even the goblins had some sense of honor and codes of conduct, but the magi were out to conquer and kill. The second pivotal effect was the defection of Blancos. The master of thought had become opposed to Pyrano's policies, and when Blancos arrived in Sayhar, he wasted no time: the Northlanders began to learn magic.

The war pressed on, and Pyrano laid out a plan for the final victory. Alsazar and Cerelorn were to lead a commando force through Tredland, intent upon rendezvousing with the second force. This consisted of a force led by Aerinie and Terralar and Hydronor, and its mission was to clear the way for Pyrano's triumphant march into Sayhar. It seemed like a good plan, but Pyrano underestimated two factors: the ability of his foes to learn magic; and the determination and pride of the Northlanders.

When Alsazar's force hit Tredland, they found very little resistance. Alsazar, becoming overconfident, pressed forward. But when he reached the heart of Tredland, the trap was sprung. His commandos were overwhelmed by the men, women, and children who ambushed them in the woods and fields. His forces were spread out because of his rapid advancement, and even magic was no use against the traps, spears, and burning oil of the Tredlanders. Ironically, Cerelorn, mistress of plants and animals, was slain by a bear guarding her territory. Alsazar was struck down by a mighty blow to the head.

Meanwhile, the fighting in the north was equally fierce. The men had learned just enough magic to hinder the magi, but Terralar's forces were able to reach Sayhar. Then word came of the victory in the south, and all hell broke loose. The magi began to feel fear, and the Northlanders rallied. When Pyrano rode in, he was met at the steps of the royal palace by King Alnaron and his son Alnaron III. Pyrano battled the king, while Alnaron three confronted Hydronor. Hydronor, a weak warrior, turned to magic; but the young heir had proved a good pupil to Blancos, and he smote Hydronor to the ground. He took Hydronor's main source of power, his crown of water, leaving the fallen Hydronor helpless. Then he turned, but only to see his father burned alive by Pyrano. Alnaron employed the crown of water against Pyrano, and the magics of the two opponents were cancelled out. They dueled over the body of Alnaron II, when suddenly Blancos emerged.

The new king and his new subject teamed up to hold Pyrano at bay, as the Northlanders routed the invaders. Blancos banished the four magi to separate dimensions, and the next year, peace was declared.

The following are notes on the magi themselves. Names are pronounced by accenting the first syllable.

  • Pyrano — Master of Fire — The most powerful of the magi. Pyrano's followers included fire giants, whom he used with great effectiveness against the goblins.
  • Terralar — Master of Earth — Was second only to Pyrano in sheer power. His body was not unlike stone, and though his range of spells was limited they were, never the less, powerful. He was often accompanied by stone giants or earth-dwelling creatures.
  • Hydronor — Master of Water — Often set up his tent in water, where he felt protected. He had some control over water creatures, though he was fairly weak in physical combat.
  • Aerinie — Mistress of Air — Preferred to fly unrestrained amidst the clouds. She possessed a wide range of spells but was not as powerful as some of the others. She often entered combat from the sky, using missile weapons with great accuracy, and could be seen flanked with creatures of the air.
  • Blancos — Master of Thought — Was more interested in knowledge and science than power. It was he who best understood magic; though he used it for defensive purposes mostly.
  • Cerelorn — Mistress of Life — Used her spells to master animals and plants, who would then fight for her. In combat she often changed shape into a creature with better combat abilities. Cerelorn hated men, for she had no control over them.
  • Alsazar — the Master Builder — Was a practical magi. He created magical items, and was also an accomplished warrior. Little is known of him.

Needing a conductor to harness powerful magic, the magi commanded Alsazar to create crowns of magic. The crowns were made of trizantium, a highly magical metal. Each crown was styled according to the owner, and without them, the magi are somewhat powerless, having come to rely on them. Alsazar never possessed one. Cerelorn's was recovered by a follower and lost in the forests of Tredland. Hydronor's was taken by King Alnaron III. Blancos kept his, and he took the crowns of the other four magi before banishing them. These crowns he took with him to the Hidden Valley when he returned there.

The goblin race
Goblins form a separate race of inhabitants of this continent. Their skin is a dark green color, and they prefer half-spherical metal helms, thick leather armour on the torso and groin, with shoulder guards, arm and leg bands, and leather boots. They are much larger than humans, standing on the average seven feet high. All goblins are muscular.

During the magic wars, goblins and Northlanders formed an uneasy alliance against the magi. The goblins used guerilla warfare to hinder the supply lines of the magi, an important effort that may have saved the North Kingdom. But the goblins suffered heavily, and by the end of the war, the goblins had split into several camps of allegiance. The goblins, afraid of attack by the North Kingdom, left the wild lands that are beyond the eastern territory, and took up land in and below the east mountains. They did not venture beyond them, to the Hidden Valley: for they are extremely fearful of magic, a power unusable by them. Eventually, the warlord Gra'sha established control over the mountains, driving out rival tribes. Though he is not strong enough to win a war with the North Kingdom, he rules firmly and is therefore feared by king Alnaron. Since the goblins inhabit the mountains and Northlanders do not want another war, passage to the Hidden Valley has never been gained.

Conference
"We have two points of concern to talk to you about," says the Prime Minister, addressing you at a conference of the National Council.

"Though the kingdom has weathered the death of Alnaron III, a new crisis threatens to destroy us all. For it seems that nature has turned against us. Sailors report unusual storm activity, and, as you know, the prosperity of our country depends largely on sea trade. But that is not all. Cyclones have ravaged the east, and earthquakes are causing great damage as well. Furthermore, fires have been raging all over the country. In addition to destroying the forests (and therefore our supplies of wood), they have burned down several homes."

"And, as if this crisis was not enough, last night word leaked out of the strange circumstances surrounding our lord's death. The people, already restless with frustration, are crying out for action."

"We have reason to suspect the goblins as responsible for the murder. Perhaps by killing the king, they hoped to cause enough confusion to make gains in the east. Our forces are on alert, but so far there have been no hostilities other than the usual skirmishes in the wild lands."

"You can understand, I am sure, the seriousness of our situation. Already two of the states are calling for immediate retaliatory action. And at the same time, we are being destroyed by natural disasters."

"And yet, the unbelievable number of these occurrences have led some to believe that the disasters are not so natural. And of this I too have been convinced. I fear we are being deliberately attacked — through the use of magic!"

"You see, after the Magic Wars ended, the goblins cut off passage to the Hidden Valley. Their greatest fear is that we gain more knowledge of magic. But, since we were at peace, there was no real need to risk war for the sake of reaching the Hidden Valley. And since we do not know what goes on there, it is entirely possible that some of the magi's folk survive there, and are exacting revenge from afar. Of the seven magi, only Blancos remains on this earth, and he left several years ago for the valley. Thus, any magic that we possess is not help against this barrage. I fear that the recent events are an elemental apocalypse, and that soon we may all perish if we do not find a solution."

"We have a plan, a plan that involves you. We intend to send a lone warrior to the Hidden Valley. We cannot send great numbers, or they will be detected, and a terrible war will begin with the goblins, a war we can ill afford. Blancos told us that the Hidden Valley lies 'beyond the east mountains.' The only way to get there is to go through the high pass in the east mountains, which lies far to the east, past the territory and at the far end of the wildlands. Gra'sha, a goblin warlord, keeps a small force there to warn him of any attempt to reach the valley. But if we were to send a single fighter, he could succeed in breaching the defenses and reaching the valley."

"Here then, is your briefing. You will be escorted to the border of the east territory, and then accompanied by a small force through the wild lands. When you reach the foothills of the east mountains, you will be on your own. Your mission is to gain passage through the high pass and learn what is going on in the valley. If the disciples of the magi do exist there, and if you are capable, you should destroy the threat."

"We have recently intercepted a description of Gra'sha's defenses. Goblin platoons consist of four details, which consist of three soldiers and an officer. In a platoon, the officer of the fourth detail is of a rank equal to captain, and he is the commander of the platoon. We expect that the goblins will have two details in fortifications, a third detail inside the pass, and a fourth on patrol. It is absolutely necessary that you eliminate any lookouts before venturing further, or the captain will have time to hide any important objects."

"One more thing. It has come to our attention that you possess some prowess in magic. Know you, though, that your magic may not work in the Hidden Valley. Go carefully but speedily. If you attack the goblins, do so cautiously; they are mighty warriors. However, they will not follow you into the valley."

"Godspeed, traveler."

Part Three: Mount Mundabar

Blancos speaks.

"You know my name," he says, "but do you know who I am?"

Yes, you do. He is Blancos, one of the magi.

"Well, now that that's been established, who might you be? Not a disciple, no doubt. A Northlander? You do not appear to be one."

You tell him who you are and what has happened since you have been in Northland.

Blancos is shocked when you tell him of the death of Alnaron. He becomes even more sad when he hears the rest of your tales.

"Grave is the matter, indeed. I feared such a thing might happen. But I babble. Listen, traveler. After I left Sayhar, I wandered about for some time, before returning to the Hidden Valley, as it is called in Northland. When I came here I found that the once-proud disciples had degenerated into wandering nomads. I came to the foothills, where once stood the castles of the magi, glorious monuments constructed by Alsazar. But what I found was most curious: the castle of Pyrano, Terralar's underground castle, Hydronor's by the lake, and Aerinie's in the mountains, had been razed. It was as if some great force had rent them from their foundations and then disintegrated them. Alas, my home had been ruined by time; but the castle of Alsazar and Cerelorn had survived. I therefore came here and made my way to the laboratory, which we now stand in. I spent some time here, and one night I awoke to a great clamor. I arose, and at first I believed I was dreaming."

"Traveler, do you realize who killed King Alnaron? Do you realize what is happening?"

You think for a moment.

"The four magi have escaped, and they have come for revenge!!!"

"For, on that night, I awoke to see four figures standing before me. They were Pyrano, Terralar, Hydronor, and Aerinie! Somehow they escaped the dimensions I banished them to long ago, and now they had returned. Alas, they imprisoned me thus, and after searching the castle they found their crowns. With them, their power is nearly infinite! Then they broke my crown, and after some gloating, went off to their dimensions again. That was nigh a year or two ago."

"But Hydronor did not find his crown, since the king... alas."

"I begin to see their course. From what I gathered from their boastful talk, I believe that they have molded their dimensions according to the elements they command; thus, they have created dimensions of air, water, earth, and fire, layered parallel to each other much like the layers of our earth. In these dimensions their power would prevail totally. And now you tell me of the recent disasters in Northland. It is obvious. Armed with the power of the crowns, the magi, the 'Element Lords,' hurl their fury at Northland from their dimensions! This must stop, or all of Northland will be destroyed!"

"And yet, the Element Lords stay out of reach in their dimensions, content to attack from afar. Therefore there is only one thing that can be done. An assault must be launched on the Element Lords, in their own dimensions. Until they are all dead, the survival of Northland will be threatened. And time is running out — if you were to return to Sayhar to seek help, Northland might be destroyed before action could be taken."

"You, traveler, must go alone!"

"With my crown broken, my power is limited. I cannot go with you, nor can I teleport you to the dimensions. And yet there is a way to reach them."

"Far to the north of the valley, tall mountains rise amidst the icy wastes. There is one mountain called Mundabar, a huge mountain whose top cannot be seen from below. A long time ago, an explorer scaled the mountain, and discovered a trans-dimensional field near the summit. Theoretically, the field exists in all dimensions, and therefore serves as a gateway to them. If you could reach it, you could find your way to the Element Lords."

"But the danger is great. Mundabar is hard and cruel, and it is said that frost giants inhabit the frozen caves high in the mountain. The giants were feared even by my people, and Mundabar was therefore shunned. You should try to keep out of trouble and keep your goal in mind."

"If you succeed, you will be facing the element lords on their 'home turf.' The physical rules and logic that apply in this world may not exist in the other dimensions. Be careful! Also, I have noted that up until now, you have not been very careful in your actions. Look before you leap!"

"If saving the world is not motivating enough, let me inform you of a treasure you may wish to seek. Alsazar once fashioned a great mace out of trizantium — his greatest creation. It was so powerful, it could crush a crown of magic like so much paper. It was this that they used to destroy my crown. Note that the Element Lords have divided the mace into four parts, so that no mage could destroy the power of the others. If you were to assemble the mace, you could become the most powerful man in the world."

"Fare well!"

Part Four: Assault on the Element Lords

You are floating through the dimensions. Worlds and other planes of existence flash before you, as an amulet given to you by Blancos pulls you towards Aerinie's dimension of air, the most accessible of the elemental planes controlled by the magi.

You have used up the remainder of your healing aids to put you in perfect health. You look around and find yourself solidifying somewhere in Aerinie's dimension. You once again go over your instructions. After killing one of the magi, the command word "Torar," taught to you by Blancos, will destroy the dimension. Theoretically, this will shunt you into the nearest parallel dimension — namely, the next elemental dimension, and then your home dimension.

Theoretically.

Walkthrough

⚠️ A walkthrough is needed for this adventure.
⚠️ A map is needed for this adventure.

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