Dragon Age: Descent

The Island of Intrigue

It was dawn on the second day of the voyage. The human scum and I were all settled in the dining room and awaiting service, yet for some reason none was forthcoming. I found my stomach rumbling; yet there was no sight or smell of food – or the crew for that matter. Indeed, I even found myself watching the foolish interactions of the wench Bessnods as she seemed to be playing off two men at once. Humans eh?

Still, this mildly amusing distraction was abruptly brought to a halt as a commotion arose on the deck. Several of the human scum went out to query the crew, although I stayed back. No point in us all going, I reasoned, and in any case; if there was a fight or some such then there would be no point in risking my neck for it. Soon, they returned to the dining room with Simon the Sailor in tow. It seems that he wanted Lucien’s bat to investigate something…but what exactly?

I eased myself closer, my pointed ears pricking sharply at what I heard. It seemed that the human scum had found themselves charted on a collision course with an uncharted island, one that none of the sailors had come across before. It seemed to be some sort of enchanted island, for wherever they sailed, the island followed them, refusing to let them pass. I rolled my eyes; why I ever thought that these humans would get me home safely was a mystery to me.

I went on deck, only to witness the foolish humans sending Lucien’s bat towards the island. Of course, the poor creature failed to return, prompting Simon the Sailor to encourage us to board the rowing boats and go to the island. I queried him, but it seemed that there was no alternative option. After a disgusting display of affection between Bessnods and Valeros; we boarded the boats and the crew rowed us over. Normally I would not bother with such a risk to myself, but it seemed that the only way to get a sensible answer was for a sensible elf to be there. Alas that I was the only elf present to fulfil this role.

As we rowed towards the island, we saw strange flickering lights, evidently the work of sorcery. As we approached the island, a somewhat bedraggled creature of a man came over and hailed us. Hopping out of the boats, we conversed with the man. It seemed that he too was drawn to the island through the means of sorcery and could not escape. He had been here for a few days and had had ample opportunity to explore. It seemed that the heart of the magic of the island came from a mysterious cave that the odd man was unable to enter. Naturally, the foolish humans decided to investigate…

As we clambered up to the cave, the human’s chattered away dully while I observed my surroundings. The journey was about twenty minutes in total and soon we found ourselves clambering up a curious set of stone steps towards the odd cave. A strange stone door met our gaze with two holes in it, the bottom one was pitch black and looked rather ominous. Still, the stranger, whose name was Jory #Teamswag, attempted to poke his curious magical staff into the hole to a rather disappointing anti-climax of availing nothing. I called them to step aside and attempting to pick the lock myself, but alas it seemed it was beyond my skills. Embarrassed, I stepped aside to witness Alissa pick the lock easily to reveal a pitch black interior.

Cautiously, we stepped into the darkness. Jory cast the strange light spells that had drawn us too him earlier to reveal a straight passageway with two sets of crossroads along it. The crossroads had steps leading down both ways and the four passages all seemed to be the same. The humans bickered over which was to go but eventually they agreed to go down the right hand passage. We found ourselves eventually encountering thick plant growth which seemed to indicate the presence of another entrance to the cave system. We retraced our steps and went further into the cave, where an evident sense of evil was tangible. The straight passage split in two and we went down the left passage into a stony area. There was curious ivy on the wall and it took me but a moment to recognise it as demon weed. I warned the others to avoid it. Beyond this there were no other signs of life and we cautiously continued.

Jory ploughed on ahead down the passage and soon the inevitable happened – he got himself into trouble. The passage gave way to a steep slope down into an evidently magical darkness that no light could penetrate. We called down to him and it seemed that he had landed safely in an odd, thick, goopy substance. A few moments later, the smell of smoke assailed our senses and the sight of it exuding from the hole was somewhat unnerving. An ominous rolling, tumbling noise could be heard and suddenly an odd slot opened in the wall. Smoke tumbled from it thickly. Alissa tossed a rope down to Jory who tried to climb up, only to fall back down again. My growing sense of dread suddenly came to a climax as a firey cartwheel come out of the slot and fell down into the hole, yet still we could see nothing. Screams could be heard from Jory below but we managed to pull him up and quickly put out the flames that licked at his clothing.

A few of the humans tended to him and healed him a little, before we continued sensibly and carefully around, using a ledge around the pit. We found ourselves in a cave covered with dark ivy with a waterfall tumbling down from the top of the cave. Jory, somewhat recovered from the previous incident, tried to freeze the waterfall, his magical powers rather powerful, although his attempts failed. It was evident to me that the waterfall tumbled down into a cavern below where a ledge awaited us.
Down we went, leaving a few of our number behind. Climbing down, we found ourselves in a cavern, filled with a plunge pool from the waterfall and a river leading off it. As Jory cast lights around the room, we noticed an odd floating orb that was evidently very magical. Alissa checked around and disabled a few traps that were hidden around the cavern. Meanwhile, Simon the Sailor hit the orb with a stone which caused a beautiful array of light to emanate around the room. The orb began to crack and to my horror of horrors it revealed a dreaded rage demon…

Instinctively I dived into the water for cover and tugged out my bow while Jory fired a flare at the creature causing it to howl. I shot it, landing a powerful blow and could not help but grin in triumph. Still, it was not dead yet and soon we were all battling the dread creature. Yet the damage was done and soon it collapsed down, the mortal blow struck by Simon the Sailor. The fell beast disintegrated before our very eyes into nothing but a pile of ashes and a strange ring.

Jory seemed somewhat overawed and warned us to stay back as it turned out to be what Jory called a fade ring. I had no wish to entangle myself with such magic. Jory investigated the ring, sending his lights over for a closer look only to watch them spark and crackle – a testament to its power it would seem. He approached it slowly…when suddenly his lights came back and dazzled our eyes in a blinding flash. By the time we could see again Jory had the ring.
Quickly, I assessed the situation and decided to ally myself with this evidently powerful sorcery. No point in risking my neck for the pathetic humans. It turned out the Jory was the reason why we were all here and had drawn us all this way. He was an apostate who had been searching for this ring all his life and had it now. With an evident rush for power, he summoned an array of demons at the humans, protecting me from their villainous ways.
The humans fled much to my satisfaction and Alissa fell. Simon the Sailor went to help him but by then the demons had reached them and they were forced to fight, both taking some considerable damage. Jory froze the foolish Valeros so that he could not move and Malign the cleric fled the scene. As they battled to and fro, I could not help but grimace, glad to be on the side of the stranger if nothing else. Still, he took the demons away and released them before they were killed. Suddenly, a huge flash of light erupted and both Jory and I vanished into the fade….

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