It is strange to travel the Desolation so freely. Until recently, I wouldn’t have even dreamed about crossing the sulfurous haze here. After we gained Queen Aijundu’s favor, we could control the wurms to go anywhere in the Desolation (provided that the area is sandy enough). This is exactly what we need to track down Varesh. Unfortunately we will have to deal with the consequences of releasing Palawa Joko later. I can only hope that after Nightfall, heroes will still have the strength to stop the undead lord if he tries to take over Elona again.
In the search for Varesh, and to combat the effects of Nightfall, Rajas is helping me explore the Sulfurous Wastes. Hopefully I can learn a bit more about ancient Elona and this wasteland in general.
Rajas went up ahead and bonded with a wurm host. These are not small little wiggling worms; they’re colossal beasts! Our wurm hosts can withstand many attacks and can also deal heavy damage to our foes. Since there are a total of 8 people in my party (Rajas, myself, hired help), little can stand in our way.
These “awakened undead” were once controlled by Palawa Joko. Since his imprisonment, they have had no master for quite some time. Now that the undead lord has returned, he still finds it difficult to command them.
I spotted this strange pool of yellow liquid near where we entered the area. My wurm was very hesitant to approach it.
Besides the junundu, there are still “regular” desert wurms out here. One might think that they’d like seeing us, but they also attack us on sight. It can be a very irritating battle, because they slip back into the ground when wounded, and erupt from it at any time.
The junundu cannot travel across rocky ground, so we must travel a short distance to find another wurm spoor.
Far ahead, near the Remains of Sahlahja, I found a collector! Kwesi was quite offended when I asked how she got here, and refused to tell us. Her sandy island is surrounded in sulfur, so unless she can control wurms, there must be another way to cross the Desolation. She didn’t seem the least bit perturbed by a group of talking wurms.
Nightfall’s back tendrils became a common sight here. It is no surprise that as we get closer to Varesh, Abaddon’s influence grows stronger.
While knocking down a pillar so that we could travel across an otherwise isolated area, I spotted something strange. There is clearly a stoney face looking back out at us. I have only been through here recently, so I don’t know who its maker is. It looks quite happy. Maybe some bored undead sculpted it.
On that otherwise isolated area, we found Infantryman Hareh. He seems to think that if we can give him the ancient tome of knowledge, he would become smarter, or at least smart enough to climb the ranks. We found the tome for him and then he bothered us to help him raise an army of undead.
He brought us to a mass gravesite, and we had to protect him from waves of margonites while he raised an army. I can’t wait to hear Palawa Joko’s response to his request to become an officer. I’m sure that the fact we did all the work for him won’t hurt his chances at all! *laughs*
Moving on, we found two more “faces”. This brings the total up to four (there was an additional face near the first one). The demonic tendrils on this one makes it look like the face has grown horns.
We made our way down to what appears to be a temple of Abaddon. After we killed a large group of monoliths, I remembered agreeing to check out this area earlier for Officer Lohru. Since Rajas wasn’t in a hurry to leave after the exploration, I decided to follow up and report back.
Next, Officer Lohru had us go back and clear the place again. This time there were many shrines to Abaddon in this “Temple of the Margonites”. Each time we touched a shrine, it summoned a few margonites and monoliths to fight. When we had summoned and killed all of these monsters, we reported back to the officer.
On our third trip to the temple, we were pleased to find that it was clear of Abaddon’s minions. Instead, Palawa Joko has stationed a few undead to watch over the place. While I don’t enjoy doing favors for Palawa Joko, I am deeply worried about what would have happened if the monoliths continued to multiply, or if the shrines had released the monoliths and margonites out into other parts of Elona.
Now that the temple is clear of enemies, I noticed a small wooden box tucked away. It was another hidden treasure, like the ones I have seen before in Elona. Rajas and I received a few platinum coins and a golden item from the chest. I also noticed that the temple has the same art style as Prince Ahmtur’s citadel. It must have been a popular design in ancient Elona.
Rajas and I deserved a break after a long day of exploring. Although I hate to see what “living arrangements” Palawa Joko will provide for us as we travel the Desolation in search of Varesh.
Prized Spoils: 4 golden items
Outposts: Gate of Desolation, Remains of Sahlahja
Friends: Rajas I.