Saturday, August 04, 2007

The Mad Wizard Razaq and the Way of the Black Mirror

Wanting to act quickly on the information provided by the second Mad Addy, the crew quickly sold off the Pig Iron and collected a bounty for the death of the first Addy. Then they set sail once again to Mad Wizard Isle, home of the swimming owlbears and gods know what else.
Finding somewhat on Mad Wizard Isle is a problem, since the topography of the island changes week to week and sometimes day by day. The crew had no choice but to sail around the beaches until they found a suitable harbor--which they did after a half day's sail. A harbor, complete with a small village of natives, was sighted on the south end.

The Captain had the ship anchored and took a boat ashore with his most fearsome crew members. They were met by the unafraid tribal chief and perhaps a score of the small brown villagers. The chief chuckled when asked if they could point the way to the mad wizard Razaq. "Many wizards here. Many wild spirits. Swing a dead cat. Maybe you hit the one you want."

With no other options presenting, they gave the chief a small sum of gold to feed the crew remaining on the ship and headed inland. It seemed that while they searched for the wizard, the wizard searched for them, for he was waiting for them on the very path they took! He was a pale scantily clad man that obviously hadn't seen a bath in many a month, with wide staring eyes and a horrible moving growth on his neck. As they watched, the groth twitched and opened an alien eye. Immediately, he assailed them with mad wizard babble:

"I have seen you, I have seen the Ways! I know the ways, they are my ways and they are your Ways, but they are not your Ways! HAHA! What do you know? You know nothing!"

Whereupon he loosed his minions on the crew; horrible tentacled scorpion things that screeched and charged with wild abandon. But that wasn't enough; for soon another Razaq appeared, equally repulsive and mad as the first!

Battle ensued, made horrible by the fact that the Razaqs and their minions seemed to have no regard for their own safety. More horrible still; the tentacled monstrosities that he summoned exploded in a shower of acidic gore and viscera, causing great pain to those unfortunate enough to be caught in its effect. Jenna in particular was sore wounded once the fight was done.

Captain Winston struck the deathblow on the last Razaq and was strangely afflicted thereafter. He seemed to feel a pull deeper into the island, and could occasionally be heard muttering about the wizard's Ways. Nor would he take a step back towards the village or the Maelstrom, indeed, he seemed pained to even think of it.

They made camp and pressed on into the next day, where they met battle with another pair of Razaqs and their abominable minions. Once again Jenna was brought to death's door by the exploding monstrosities, and only a days worth of prayers and rituals performed by Marik the Storm Priest kept her from slipping the mortal coil.

They day after that they came upon possibly the most disturbing sight of all: Razaq copulating with a tentacled unnatural version of Adalaine Scoldaria. Both were quickly cut down and burnt, and neither seemed to even take note of their impending deaths.

But overlooking this unnatural event was... The Black Mirror!

Imagine if you could carve out a table top from a starry night sky, but it was 20 feet long and 10 feet tall. Jam one side into the flank of a hill, and there you have the Black Mirror from a safe... well, what we'll call a safe distance. From a distance it hurts the eyes, since on the one hand it looks like a great sheer slab of black glass but it also looks like you're looking up into a clear night sky.

From a not-so-safe distance, one who is not mad can get a glimpse of the Ways that Razaq goes on about. A mere glimpse can leave you wondering if you saw your reflection, a tree-lined path, a demon, an angel, or a reflection of yourself that is not really you. One who is not mad will get an impression of a gateway, a convergence of many paths. One who is not mad may not be able to resist the unnatural allure of the Black Mirror... as Murgosis was not able.

At first, 'twas Jenna that seemed caught by the Mirror, but when Murgosis went to pull her away the Mirror caught his eye... and showed him home. Not just Egypt--although it was unmistakably that--but his home where he grew up. Indeed, there was his father, and his mother... and himself. There was a reflection of himself that moved as he did, but as he moved closer to the Mirror his reflection seemed to change and become more real.

This doppelganger, this Mirror twin, wore the robes of a priest. Not a warrior-priest as Murgosis was, but a true Cleric of the Egyptian gods. Closer and closer the twins came, until they reached out a finger to touch the Mirror and--

There was a sound like breaking the surface of the water after an underwater jaunt. For Murgosis' part, he was uncertain if he was above or below the water but there was his priest twin, on his side of the Mirror with his crewmates.

This was not a freindly meeting. Priest-Murgosis seemed to know a great deal about our Murgosis and was for the most part, disgusted. Our Murgosis, quick to answer challenges about his conduct (and, dare we say it... bull-headed) with his fists made up his mind to settle this--his way. Priest Murgosis presented his ankh and sought to smite this heretic with the power of mighty Ra--but got more than he bargained for.

Meanwhile far, far away on the isle of Feyjounaisse, Laina Silverleaf strode about the wooded streets of Terre Du Plom. She had been fretting lo these many weeks about the disappearance of her half-brother, whos continuing absence made her so concerned she was actually pondering how to search for him outside of Feyjounaisse without getting on a boat. As she walked and pondered, she heard a voice call out "Cristo," which is what the other elves called her brother Christopher.

She hurried toward the voice in time to round the corner and see--was it Christopher? A man in robes like Christopher would wear walking through a glowing portal. The portal was held open by a tall, bald human man with mad eyes--whom she will recognize later as Razaq. She rushed towards the portal but Razaq grew angry and held up his hand. "This is not your Way!" he screeched.

The world tilted and did a little dance for Laina. This might have been fun, but the world seemed to be stepping on her feet a lot and she fell up. Or sideways. It was hard to tell for a moment, but then she managed to figure out down from sideways and everything was going to be alright and she tumbled forward into the sun and grass and sea air--

A furious beam of sunlight rocketed down from the heavens and transfixed both Murgosis and his twin. Both minotaurs were locked in place; the priest brandishing his anhk, the warrior with sword poised.
Laina tumbled out of the Mirror, not 5 feet from the Murgosi, landing on her skinny ass. "Uh," she said.
The rest of the crew...blinked. "Where'd the elf come from?" Marik asked.

From the south came Ochobo the Spirit Warrior. He was a small brown man from a village of small brown people. It was his duty to hunt down wizards such as Razaq, and he thought the crew of the Maelstrom would lead him to one. After all, from what he could tell, they had killed several wizards and their minions already. And here was something unnatural, this slice of night sky jammed in the ground--that bodes ill. Before he could even call out to the crew, the Mirror twitched and--

A pair of Razaqs stepped out of the Mirror, one right next to where Laina sat being stunned. Tentacled monstrosities followed.
There was a mighty battle. Laina pitched in on the side of the crew, and so saved herself the fate of being gutted like a trout. Ochobo proved himself an ally. Another Razaq joined the fight a few moments after it started. Jenna fell (again).
After all was done, there was one Razaq that did not fade to nothingness as the others had done. Finally, Razaq was done.
But what of the Mirror?

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