Posted by: Cherno Hazelnut | April 7, 2011

Disaster on the Isles, part VI

The next morning, a shout of “WISPS!” went round and round the island, as both Satyroi and Willow had spotted the will o’ wisps floating above the river near the new waterfall.  Citizens gathered around the canyon to see, and they asked Willow if she could look underwater for a shard.

Underwater with Willow, and wisps above

Willow looks for a shard in the ruins under the dancing will o wisps.

“I’ve got it!” she shouted up to everyone on the cliffs, after she recovered a blue-coloured tile fragment from under a collapsed pillar.  Willow met them outside the canyon, where the land was not so steep.  Curious, everyone inspected the tile, and then Willow read the spell on the back.  After she did, Satyroi quickly swam back into the canyon and confirmed that the will o’ wisps had indeed moved elsewhere, just as before.

Willow shows the shard to everyone

Willow shows the shard to everyone.

In the meantime, Willow placed the new shard on the counter top in the alchemist’s lab, still messy after the earthquake.  Satyroi noticed that every shard was a different colour, and wondered if the colours somehow corresponded to the seven elements.

Willow places the shard with the others

They could not remember what the seven elements were, so they went back to the cellar to look at the floor where all the elements were written.  Satyroi took notes on the mage’s unfinished scroll, writing a list of the elements and trying to match them with the colours and locations of the fragments, thereby identifying which shrine location was for which element.

Cherno and Satyroi in the mage's cellar

The seven elements are inscribed on the floor of the cellar.

After spending some time in the dank cellar, Cherno and Satyroi went up to the top of the lighthouse for fresh air.  The sun was setting, and they had a magnificent view over the Isles.  As night fell, they were both sure they saw the familiar sight of will o’ wisps again!  But they appeared to be floating over the volcano again.  How could this be?  A shard was already recovered from the volcano.  Ithil was wandering around the island below, and since she was in a winged form, she could perhaps take a closer look at the wisps.  Satyroi and Cherno called to her, and asked her to help.

Ithil investigates the will o' wisps above the volcano

Ithil investigates the will o' wisps above the volcano.

Ithil returned to the top of the lighthouse, reporting that there were indeed will o’ wisps above the volcano, but that she could not see any sign of a tile fragment up there.  Satyroi decided to ask Bleizdu why the wisps would appear above the volcano again.

Satyroi talks to Bleizdu

“It’s possible that the first fragment was from the Fire Shrine, when the lava was still hot,” explained Bleizdu.  “When lava cools, it becomes something more similar to Earth.  The wisps could be indicating the location of the Earth Shrine.”  Satyroi then showed her the notes he wrote on the scroll, about the colours and locations of the shards found, and their possible corresponding elements.  Bleizdu went downstairs to study the shards, and correctly identify their associated elements.  Everyone joined her in the lab.

Bleizdu identifies the fragments

  • yellow fragment – Fire Shrine – volcano
  • white fragment – Air Shrine – top of the old waterfall
  • blue fragment – Water Shrine – underwater ruins in the canyon
  • tan-orange fragment – Body Shrine – mineral water cave
  • thistle fragment – Spirit Shrine – angel statue in cemetery

According to Bleizdu’s findings, the only shrines that had not been found yet were the shrines of Mind, and Earth.  And it was quite reasonable to assume that the will o’ wisps were now indicating that the Earth Shrine’s location was on top of the volcano.  But how to search for a fragment there?  Nothing was visible on the surface, so it might be embedded within the cooled lava itself.  And although Captain Givreroux had cooled the lava, it was still rather hot up there!

Bleizdu next to the volcano

Bleizdu prepares to cast a spell.

For safety’s sake, Bleizdu volunteered to use the last remnants of her magic to hold the heat back from the surface of the solid lava rock, while Eaken and Cern chiseled their way through it.  The last thing anyone wanted was for hot lava to come spewing out of any openings in the surface!

Eaken and Cern mine through the cooled lava

Though Bleizdu’s magic barrier did help with the fearsome volcanic heat, it was still terribly hot up there.  But Eaken and Cern hacked away at the lava rock bravely, until finally they reached a green-coloured tile fragment.  Cern grabbed it, and then they both hurried down the mountainside.

Eaken and Cern return to the group with a shard

Cern handed the shard over to Eaken, who read the spell written on the back.  As before, the will o’ wisps vanished to another location—as Bleizdu had told, the final remaining shrine was the Shrine of Mind.  But for now, having stayed awake all night, everyone agreed that some rest would do them good.  They would need plenty of energy for finding the last tile fragment, and then who knows what would happen after it was found?

Furthermore, has anyone noticed the blank gravestone marking the old mage’s grave?  A name has gradually appeared engraved upon it.  Leahcim Renrut, it says.  Why does that name sound familiar?

Before and After shot of the "blank" gravestone

Before and After. This gravestone was originally blank! The epitaph mysteriously and gradually appeared on its own.

To be continued.

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