Meeting at the Minoc studio of
the sculptress Demosthena, a large group of adventurers gathered in an
effort to cleanse the Shrines of Valor, Justice and Spirituality of the
corruption that has befallen them.
The power of the Shrines had taken refuge in the very
earth itself; in the form of three trees!
Guided by conversations with the Archmage Balart and
the members of the famed Mage Tower, it was decided that wood from these
three trees would be harvested, and that three boxes would be fashioned.
The Mages explained that while energy can be neither created or destroyed,
it can be redirected, given a proper container to harness the power. Only
matter touched by the Virtues would be hardy enough to hold their power
within them. The premise is that, with the proper rites and incantations,
the energy of the Shrines and the energy of the corruption upon them could
be switched, using the wood from the Virtue Trees as a conduit.
The problem lay in the method of harvesting the wood.
Scholars suggested that an unusual object was needed to do so: a golden
axe. After some discussion, it was decided to approach Demosthena, for her
expertise in dealing with rare and unusual minerals (Her statues on
display in Minoc are the talk of the town!)
Demosthena admitted she could do the job, but she’d
need 500 ingots mined from a portion of the isle of ice known as “Ogre
Point”. A sojourn was taken to find and mine the ore. Half-a-dozen
miners were guarded by two score warriors, as they fended off the
onslaught of the fierce ogres. Once the ore was gathered, and brought to
Demosthena, she asked for a few days time to fashion the axe. It seems her
studio was over-run by cats, and the fur they were shedding was all over
her finest tools!
So the adventurers returned to her studio at the
appointed time, eager to claim the axe. Demosthena asked who would bear
it. The axe was able to do the job, but it would only last for three
strikes. Each cut must thence be perfect! Only a person with high ability
could do the labor. A young girl named Ashley spoke up as to her skill in
lumberjacking and carpentry, and Demosthena granted her the blade.
Portals were opened to the first tree; that in which
Valor hid. After a brief fumble with the axe (no doubt the effect of so
many eyes fixed upon her) Ashley struck a perfect cut upon the tree! With
the logs in hand, Balart concentrated, and conducted a magical rite as
Ashley fashioned a small box from the wood. The power of the Valor flowed
from the tree into the box, leaving it colored a vibrant red!
Quickly, the adventurers rushed to the second tree,
that of Justice, and did their work again. Another success quickly
followed. This time leaving a lush Green box.
Confident now, the party went to the last of the three
trees, that of Spirituality. The first step proceed smoothly, but as
Ashley completed the final box, a mighty pack of Gargoyles descended upon
the group. Fighting to protect the young craftswoman, the assembled
warriors and mages ultimately prevailed against the foul creatures. And
the glowing white box was safe.
All three boxes in the hands of Balart, all that
remains are the rituals to remove the corruptions themselves. Denizens of
the Mage Tower say these should happen throughout the week, and that all
interested parties should go to the Mage Tower for more information.
From the Town Cryer - The Journal of Ultima Online, Thursday,