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by Tharloch

Maquiladora, Zyloth?, and I were hanging about in the mirror room enjoying each others company when our conversation was interrupted by a great crackling sound. We were knocked to our feet as the whole island seemed to lurch beneath us. We sat stunned for a moment before we recognized the event as a great glacial upheaval. Maquiladora's face lit up and she exclaimed, "We will be the first ones there!" She shot off like an arrow for the mirror to the Cold and Snowy regions with Zyloth? and I right on her heals. We quickly reached the small passage; I stopped to heal Zyloth? and myself as we had sustained some minor wounds. Alas, Maqui was too enthusiastic and ran out the far end without noticing that we had paused. Soon we heard her death screams mixed with the unmistakable growls of a Polar Bear. I had only heard rumors of this fearsome beast, and knew I was no match for it. But with two of us, we felt we could outsmart it and rescue our friend. Tragically, we soon discovered that it was not just one bear, but many, and they were accompanied by all manner of other creatures. I was soon killed, but was able to sketch a few of the more unusual creatures.

Orga, Meshra and Bears, Oh Mai!

Fortunately, we were not the only ones to hear the glacier crack. We were soon joined by a large number of exiles, including some of the most famous names in Puddleby. A great battle began, the creatures never stood a chance against a steady flow such great heroes as Marcus Antonious? and Blitz. And with healers like Bounty? and Sassy in the area, the fallen were quickly revived. At this point, wisdom and common sense dictated that I return to safer environs; if what I had seen was only what had come out of the glacial rift, how could I possibly survive entering it? Hah! I ignored my better judgment, of course, and followed the others onward!

Upon entering the rift, I found the other side appeared much the same. I was about to feel disappointed, when I noticed an unusual structure to the north. It looked much like the fence which surrounds the town of Puddleby. I explored along it, but was unable to find a way in. The only area that looked like a gate was blocked by snow and rock. Through a small gap in the fence, I saw a man calling himself the "Lookout". He seemed to be standing guard at the gate, but would not respond to any of my questions. I explored the area a little more, and I began to notice there were fewer exiles about than before; they must have found a way into the town! Soon thereafter, I stumbled upon a small cave opening almost completely hidden by snow and trees. I found myself in an underground cavern. I began to wander within it, but it soon become apparent that this was a HUGE place.

Fortunately, I grew up near the mines where my father worked, and had a fair amount of experience navigating them. I quickly retraced my steps back to the entrance and began a more methodical exploration. At this point I had become separated from the other exiles that were about and was wandering alone. The cavern walls in some places were clear ice and contained some small cracks. I was occasionally able to glimpse other exiles exploring and could hear many of them shouting as their yells echoed throughout the cavern. It should also be noted that I occasionally observed groups of Frost Orgas and Glacial Meshra? that glared at me through the ice. Fortunately, I did not stumble into any such groups, but others who find themselves in these caves should explore with care. My previous spelunking experience proved invaluable, and I was eventually able to see a light at the end of the tunnel. I am certain that I explored only a small part of the great cavern; perhaps someday I will be able to help map it, but such a task will take many days of effort.

When I crawled through the gap at the end of the tunnel, I found myself standing next to a small Igloo within the town. I have heard of such structures before, but the sight of a home built of nothing but ice will not soon be forgotten. I briefly explored the town. It seems to have been abandoned, except for the Lookout and Fi'Du?, the local brew meister. The lookout appears to serve a similar function as the Sylvan Scout in the South Forest. His warning is currently rather meaningless, as the southern exit from town was the blocked one I had observed earlier from the other side. How Fi'Du? manages to keep beer in stock in such a remote region is a great mystery.

I soon followed most of the other exiles out through a gap in the town wall. Here another great battle was joined. The Polar Bears were plentiful and even the most jaded fighters seemed to be enjoying the challenge. I seemed unable to damage even the weakest creatures in the area, but there were plenty of opportunities to use my moonstone, so I kept quite busy. I did my best to help, even though that often meant just staying out of the way. It was a great honor just to be working beside some of Puddleby's finest. For a long while things seemed to be going well. There were several deaths, but on the whole, people were being raised faster than they were falling.

We gradually began working our way back to the town and a great debate broke out as to what we should call this arctic settlement. I can only assume that this debate began to distract us, as many of us seemed to start falling at once. Many accidents occurred as people leading off polar bears collided and were quickly killed. When things began to look hopeless, I stepped into the town, hoping to be able to heal and regroup in a safer area. This proved quite foolish as the town was just as dangerous and I fell yet again. A small group eventually collected in the town and Bounty? revived me. We had some brief but intense battles. For a moment it looked like we had things back under control and would be able to mount a full rescue. Yet fate can be quite cruel, as we were soon ambushed and lost several of our most powerful fighters. I retreated to the local bar to regroup, but found it already occupied by a Snow Feral. As it was chasing me out again, a Frost Orga entered and the two of them pinned me near the doorway and I watch helplessly as they tore me apart in the "place to get a cold brew". I waited a long time as I listened to the others fall one by one. Soon the only healer left was Sassy. But if you are only going to have one healer, she's the one you want!

She put up a heroic fight, but eventually she fell as well. Soon thereafter, Toad? entered the bar I was lying in. He was gravely wounded. He lamented his situation briefly, then prepared to face what seemed an inevitable death. I began to lose hope as well, when suddenly I felt Sassy's thoughts from my Sunstone. Rumor has it that Falinea paid her a visit, but whatever the cause, I was grateful. Soon she appeared in the bar and aided Toad? and myself. Toad? and Sassy bravely fought the almost steady stream of creatures that entered that bar. I did my best to heal them as I could, but I fear I was not much help. We were contemplating how best to rescue the others when a Polar Bear came running in. Toad? wounded it, but was forced to back off when he was also wounded gravely. I went to help him while Sassy led the bear away. I regret that I assumed Sassy was indestructible, and failed to notice that she was sustaining great injury trying to keep us safe from the bear. Before we could come to her aid, she had fallen. Toad? and I tried to rescue her, but the bear was soon joined by a Frost Orga and Glacial Meshra?, and I was unable to avoid them all in the confined space of the bar. Once I had fallen, Toad? fought bravely for a while and we were briefly joined by Ferazel?, who had somehow survived on his own, but without healers it was only a matter of time until they too were felled.

At this point all hope was lost. I was prepared to consign my spirit to the great void of purgatory, when a mysterious Elder showed up. He dragged us all from the bar to his workshop. There he revived us and transported us back to the Cold and Snowy regions outside the glacier. We found many of the others there and we spoke together of the great adventure. Soon three Frost Giants were sighted, but that is a story for another time. I hope all of you will someday get a chance to explore within the great glacier, there are many interesting sights and sounds. If you go, travel with good friends and give Fi'Du? my regards, he's got the coldest beer in the land!

Fi'Du watches us get dragged away

Healer, Spelunker, and creator of much red snow
Order of the White Elephant

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Page last modified on March 12, 2009, at 10:35 AM