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Adventures on Dagger Island
Dangers abound on the snowy plains of Dagger Island, lying in wait for the unsuspecting, and unguarded, traveler. Our spotlight today focuses on a traveler to the Island, who found something far more valuable than treasure and triumph among the polar bears and snow leopards.

 "The cool fog caressed Jean-Luc's face as the ship moved closer to the island shore. This was not a trip he had wanted to make; but the guild had a new home on the island, and the guildstone was needed there. Mist, his faithful steed for so many years now, shuffled and neighed behind him. Perhaps it was the cold, or perhaps the mare felt the same sense of foreboding that he himself felt.
"A gentle scrape of the keel and the ship stopped. The tiller man was anxious to leave; what was it about this island, so distant from the bazaars and the courts of Britain, that unsettled people so? Jean-Luc saddled Mist and walked down the plank, smiling at the symbolism. The tillerman raised plank and anchor so fast that Jean-Luc was hard pressed to even pay him. A crack of canvas, and the ship faded into the fog.

"The new map marked the tower's location, and was only a short ride. As Mist turned in the right direction, again seeming to read her master's thoughts, the fog became clouds; and soon a storm enveloped the pair. Jean-Luc grimaced and pulled his cloak around him. A long walk in a hot sun was certainly better than the shortest walk in a storm, he thought. He surveyed his surroundings. Shadows and outlines made it clear that his was not the first guild to make a home on the island, and certainly man was not the only inhabitant. Walrus skittered about, disturbed by the passing of interlopers. And something else.

"Senses alert, he saw it. Polar bears, stalking man and horse, evaluating the chances of an easy meal. Jean-Luc checked his equipment slowly, but nonetheless completely. The bears, as if realizing that they no longer had the advantage of surprise, faded back into the wailing storm. And what an odd wail it was. The storm was fading, but not the sound.

"Jean-Luc moved towards the source, listening intently.

"It was Mist that saved them. The mare stopped and bucked slightly, jarring him alert. The smell was unmistakable. An orc hunting party. Jean-Luc lay on the top of a drift and surveyed the all-to-familiar scene. Cries came from a poor soul chained to a tree. The time had come to act. One does not gain the title of Glorious Lord at auction, and an innocent was in need.

"The orc sentry's last memory was hearing words of power before his life literally went up in flames. The death scream brought the party around as one, to see a white charger bringing doom into their midst. Jean-Luc beheaded another as he stormed through the orcs, his katana swing ending by cutting free the prisoner. There was only enough time to force the map into grasping hands, with a terse order to "run here!" and the battle was on.

"Jean-Luc felt the familiar sensation of a spell being reflected safely away and sought out the orc mage. Outnumbered was bad enough; an orc mage was only made it worse. Jean-Luc ran off several yards and began to conjure. The orc party closed furiously, and found a pillar of living flame waiting for them. With most of the orcs fighting the fire elemental, Jean-Luc turned his attention to the orc mage. The mage was powerful indeed, but in the end no match for a seasoned fighting team like the one before him. The rest of the party had fallen to the fire elemental, which itself faded from existence.

"Jean-Luc tended to Mist's injuries, fed her, and then healed himself. He relieved the orc corpses of gold and reagents, then followed the tracks of the former prisoner to the guild tower. A frightened woman ran to him when he called. As Jean-Luc examined her for injuries, he was captivated by her eyes; dark pools that hinted at many things. They ate in silence.

"'So how did you get to this island?' he asked.

"'I was captured near Trinsic, while gathering reagents for my training,' she replied.

"As kindred spirits, they talked for hours about the magical arts. Jean-Luc showed her the finer points of some spells, and gave counsel on gaining in skills. With a start he realized something he hadn't thought of.

"'What is thy name m'lady?'

"'I am Angel, m'lord.'

"'Indeed you are,' Jean-Luc thought. A journey unwanted had ended with a growing friendship unanticipated. Jean-Luc poured more wine, and he and Angel talked on into the night."

- Jean-Luc of Pacific

Join us next week as we continue to Spotlight your tales of adventure in the lands of Britannia. Be sure to keep an eye on FYI for future spotlight topics, and send in your stories!

Published: October 2000
Please Note: Some dates are estimates as exact dates were unavailable.
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