Posted by: Cherno Hazelnut | April 13, 2011

Disaster on the Isles, Part VII

While waiting for any sign of the will o’ the wisps to light the way to the Mind Shrine, Citizens got to work cleaning up after the earthquake.

Cleaning up the rubble of a cave-in.

At the site of the cave-in, Eaken, Korinna, and Cern hacked the large boulders into smaller stones, which Willow, owen, and Captain Givreroux hauled away into an iron waste container.  In this manner, they cleared the rubble of the collapsed cave that had once been the Tauroi residence.

Eaken near the fenced-off sinkhole

Flood waters rushed in to fill the sinkhole created by the cave-in, and the swirling waters were deemed too dangerous to leave exposed.  So the sinkhole was fenced off until it could stabilise.  And a large wooden crane was built on top of the old waterfall, to hoist the fallen decorative stones back up to the top.

A crane lifts a decorative boulder

After working hard all day, the Citizens gathered in the tavern in the early evening to brainstorm ideas for finding the Mind Shrine and its associated shard.  “I had an idea, but it’s not very good,” said Satyroi.

“Any ideas at this point are valuable.  Let’s hear it,” Eaken encouraged.

“Well, the only place we haven’t looked for the wisps is underground,” he began.  “So maybe if we start digging… but we don’t know where to dig… we’d have to dig everywhere.”  The premise was sound, though difficult to put into practise.

Owen chimed in.  “If we’re looking for the Shrine of Mind, wouldn’t the library be a good location for it?”  However, Cherno and Satyroi had been in the library just hours earlier, looking for any books about Leahcim Renrut after seeing this name magically engraved on the blank gravestone.  While they were in the library, they saw no sign of will o’ wisps.

“That whole tower could be a prime location for the Mind Shrine,” Willow admitted.  “We should split up and explore each floor until we find the wisps.”  It was the best idea so far, and so everyone agreed.

Owen searches the library for wisps

Owen began looking around the library, while Willow went to search downstairs in the basement, and Cherno began making her way to the top of the lighthouse tower.

Cherno in the Alchemist's Lab

She didn’t get very far, however, when Willow shouted from the cellar, “Here!!  They’re here!!”

Willow finds the will o' wisps

Eaken and owen rushed in, with Satyroi and Cherno not far behind.  Korinna stood in the doorway to the lighthouse, peering down the ramp into the cellar.  The lights danced around the mage’s furniture.  Cherno said to Satyroi, “You were right!  The wisps were underground!”  Eaken and owen looked in the drawers of the old dresser, while Satyroi opened the chest to look for a shard there.

Satyroi looks for a shard in the chest

The dresser drawers were empty, and everything was the same as they had seen it before, with the exception of the mage’s staff discovered under the bed.  Cherno suggested taking everything out of the chest, to perform a thorough search of its contents.  Satyroi placed the scrolls and books on the floor as he emptied the chest.

Satyroi finds the shard in the old chest

And there it was, the final fragment, underneath a pile of dusty old books in the chest.  When Satyroi picked it up, there was a sound like a shimmering breeze as a spirit appeared before everyone—the spirit of Leahcim Renrut.

The ghost of Leahcim Renrut appears in the cellar

To summarise what he said, he congratulated them on finding the seven fragments of the Heart Stone, which they ought to put back above the altar in the Temple in order to signal to the gods that they would renew their God Pact.  Leahcim said that at the turn of every God Year, one island is destroyed if it has failed to honour or renew its God Pact.  The ancient mage saw the destruction of the Eighth Isle at the end of the first God Year, and after fleeing to the Seventh Isle, he made it his life’s work to research the cause of the destruction in order to prevent it from ever happening again to the remaining Seven Isles.

Seal of the Eight Isles on the ancient spell that summoned the will o' wisps

Seal of the Eight Isles on the ancient spell that summoned the will o wisps

But before Leahcim could complete his instructions for the Citizens of the Seven Isles, he was murdered by a group of religious fanatics who believe all magic is evil and any gods besides theirs must be false gods.  These cultists hoped that eliminating the knowledgeable mage would mean the Citizens of the Seven Isles would not have enough information to complete the tasks necessary to preserve themselves.  And if the Seven Isles fell, all magic would fall too and there would be none left anywhere in the world.

The Old Gods created the Eight Isles to be a haven for the mythical creatures, but in exchange for the land, the gods put the Citizens in charge of the very source of magic itself.  In order to keep magic strong and healthy, the shrines to all the spheres of magic had to be maintained, as well as the Temple of All Magic.  This was the God Pact that was made at the creation of the Eight Isles, and which must be renewed from age to age.

With satisfaction for their job well done, Leahcim faded away into eternal peace.  Satyroi turned the Mind Shard over in his hands, and was curious what the spell on the back might do, now that all the shards were found.  When he read the spell, Korinna shouted from the doorway, “The light!  It’s back on!!”

Lighthouse beam shining on the Temple

Everyone rushed outside to see, and sure enough, the lighthouse was lit once again.  But instead of rotating as it usually did, its beam was shining directly onto the backdrop behind the stage at the amphitheatre where, at the top, there was the outline of a seven-pointed star.  It appeared that Givreroux’s hypothesis was correct; the seven shards needed to be placed in the hollow star above the stage.

“But I thought Leahcim said we had to assemble the fragments above the Altar at the Temple,” puzzled Cherno.

“A theatre is kind of a temple,” Korinna clarified.

Kal places the first shard

Kal places the shard from the Fire Shrine first.

Speedy Satyroi ran back into the mage’s tower to collect the other six fragments, putting them in his leather pouch.  Then he gave the pouch to a young fae named Kal, who flew up to the star and carefully placed all seven shards in the hollow star outline.  He was very suspicious that it was a dangerous job, and kept flying out of the way after placing each shard.  But to everyone’s relief—especially Kal’s—nothing terrible occurred once all seven fragments of the Heart Stone were restored.  The lighthouse light began to rotate as normal, and the sun popped up suddenly and brightened the sky.

Showing their gratitude to Leahcim Renrut

Everyone made their way from the amphitheatre to the graveyard, to thank Leahcim Renrut.  Korinna poured out a bit of wine, Satyroi placed seven perfect acorns on the grave, and Baby Twig plucked a cherry blossom from her head and toddled forward to offer it to the deceased mage as well.  As they were all gathered there, a loud creaking sound broke the silence.  “The willow!” shouted Eaken.  Everyone turned and looked; the great willow tree had set itself upright by some magical means.  Slowly, one by one, every tree that was still alive after being blown over by the storm winds began to right itself as the damage was magically reversed.  The flood waters gently receded as the island gradually rose up out of the sea again.

Although there was still plenty of work ahead of them, the Citizens of the Seven Isles felt like celebrating.  So they danced to the drums and pipes in the drum circle.

Celebrating in the drum circle

The God Clock has reset.  The Seven Isles survived to see another God Year.  But the question remains, who are those who wanted to see the Seven Isles and all Magic destroyed?  Will they return to finish the job?




  1. […] To be continued. […]

  2. […] that start on our own. After all, we all have families, and jobs, and lives outside of Second Life. By the time we reached the peak of the story, we three were left exhausted, but optimistic that now the ball was rolling the […]

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