Well of the Great Ones
|Well of the Great Ones|
|◄Eamon adventure #230►|
|Revised||28 December 1994|
|EDX set||Classic Eamon Adventures, Vol. 5|
|Native format||Apple DOS 3.3|
Well of the Great Ones was sent to Tom Zuchowski by Pat Hurst in an unfinished form. Zuchowski relates in the notes on the disk that Mike Ellis entered the data on a borrowed Apple II and hadn't tested the adventure before it was submitted. Zuchowski's correspondence with Hurst and Ellis subsided and—absent input from the author—Zuchowski opted to debug and finish the adventure himself, releasing it in 1994.
The adventure features encounters with malevolent deities associated with the "Cthulhu Mythos" of horror writer H.P. Lovecraft (though none of these "Old Ones" featured in the adventure actually originated from Lovecraft's work). It is one of two Eamon adventures to focus upon Lovecraft's pulp mythology; the other is Robert Romanchuk's The Tomb of Y'Golonac which features a similar story. The creature Y'Golonac makes a return appearance in Well of the Great Ones.
The opening screens of the adventure describe the player drinking with Moloch, an emissary from a foreign court. Moloch describes that ominous happenings have been witnessed at the Arcosian Swamp, including the sighting of a two-headed snake and the walking about of a resident's dead son. Moreover, a plague of rats has emerged from the swamp, threatening to overrun the Main Hall.
Moloch describes a temple dedicated to malevolent and ancient deities in the middle of the swamp he believes to be central to the strange phenomena. The emissary implores the player to assist by venturing into the swamp's depths and dropping a magical amulet into the eponymous well, thereby neutralizing the malevolent force.
"Evenhold is in great danger!", Moloch, emissary of the court of Tanjid, confides to you over cups at the Main Hall bar. "Signs of impending doom are all about us. Last week a serpent with two heads was killed down by the stables. The week before, a madwoman reported seeing her son, who was three weeks dead, stalking the hills above the vast Arcosian swamp. She claims to have followed him until he vanished into the heart of that stinking hell hole."
"Now a plague of swamp rats is swarming over the city. If the city can't control their number, there won't be enough left in the city's granaries to feed half the populace through the coming winter."
Moloch's haggard expression convinces you of the depth of his concern. Staring directly into your eyes, he continues.
"The trouble seems to be emanating from the swamp. I sent scouts in there, but none returned. Late late night, I was contacting by, let us say, an unexpected source. I have learned that deep within the Arcosian lies a temple, an eldritch place of aeon-ridden evil. A madman now seeks there to reopen that which should never be."
Moloch grasps your hand and places an odd-looking amulet in it.
"My night callers left this with me in hopes that I might find an adventurer brave enough to enter that place of the damned and help put an end to the evil. When used, the amulet transports you to a pier on the edge of the swamp. It will also bring you back to the Main Hall."
Moloch pauses to swill from his tankard before continuing.
"You will find a skiff waiting at the pier. Proceed north to the temple and do not stray from the channel. Once there, you must drop the sign in the well, and destroy the statue. Thus will you seal the gate that the evil one seeks to open. Beware the guardians lest they bite and catch. Destroy the evil one ere he looses those bound in aeons past. His hour of triumph is nearly come, for when the stars are right, the Great Old Ones will rise again."
Rising abruptly, Moloch says, "I depart for Tanjid tonight to report to the High Councilor. It is up to you now." He dons his cloak but turns back for one last caution before leaving. "Words of power can release tremendous forces, good and evil. To bind forces once unleashed may require reversal. But remember, the act of acquiring knowledge may be hazardous if the knowledge serves the Great Old Ones. Now each of us must be going before it is too late." With a flourish of his cloak, he departs.
Slowly you stand, the amulet clenched tightly in your fist. As you concentrate on its shiny surface, there's a blinding flash of light and you feel a lurching sensation. When your vision clears, you find yourself standing on a pier at the edge of the Arcosian Swamp. You wait here several minutes while your stomach makes the trip that the rest of you has already made.
Tom Zuchowski awarded the adventure a review of 5/10 and a difficulty of 6/10, noting that although some portions of the adventure were "masterful," its unfinished state led him to reduce the rating.
This adventure, like Pat Hurst's Buccaneer! and The Dark Brotherhood, is set outside the city of Evenhold. In the Hurst adventures, the Main Hall is on the southern coast with the Malphigian Sea to the south and the Arcosian Swamp to the north.
The story of the adventure also features an emissary from the court of Tanjid, suggesting that this name denotes a nation or kingdom on the planet Eamon.
- Eamon Adventurer's Guild Library Master List
- The Interactive Fiction Database: Well of the Great Ones
- Interactive Fiction Reviews: Well of the Great Ones