Quest Level 30 - A Wizard and His Cocoa
Letter 1 or opening message
Greetings Detective Softly, We have heard you are capable of great deeds. You are just the adventurer we need to resolve our family’s little difficulty
I will be waiting for you in Gurth
Jack Daniels Flathead, XIII - Wizard 8th Form
Gurth - Beginning Event
You wander through the quaint, vaguely medieval farmer’s markets, looking for the powerful wizard who requested your assistance, taking in as you pass the nearly empty auction houses, the slowly decaying wooden wagons awaiting their next load of grain, and near the back - a line of grain silos that seem to have been converted into economy cottages for commuting students.
A pointy hat with patches near the tip peers out of one tiny window, followed by a languidly waving hand. Oh dear. You do your best to act nonchalant as you hurry past toward the nearest open shop, trying hard to look like you have pressing business at Carter’s Extraordinary Livery and Overalls Emporium. The pale young wizard weaves out of his bungalow after you, spins around dizzily, and falls in slow motion toward a pile of old burlap grain sacks. You do your best to avoid looking at the scene until you hear a well-bred accents demand, “Will no one help my poor boy?”
Glancing sideways at the tailored linen suit, restrained make-up and enormous gems on the distressed beauty’s accessories, you express concerned shock at seeing the poor body a-laying in the rye. You rush over. Her Ladyship follows at a more sedate pace, and you both seek to revive the scholar. His mother gently holds his head while you wave the wizard’s well-worn velvet hat over his tousled, ginger hair. Finally the young Collegiate is able to sit up. You roll out the barrels until everyone has a place to sit, even flourishing your own fancy cape over the dirty lid for her ladyship, but she just smiles at your gallantry and remains standing nearby .
“Thanks for getting help, Mum,” whispers the young magician. “Has Father come round yet?”
Her Ladyship looks worried. “He still wants you in the family business. Pass your exams, and we’ll talk about it.”
She stares at you. “You will help our darling, won‘t you?”
In all the histories of all the requests ever made, this one sounds the most demanding, the most exciting (Just ONE of her smallest gems would buy you the finest armor in Frostham), and -yet the most pure. After all, she is a Mum caring for her young…and you - well, you are going to help, definitely.
After you murmur your assent, ‘Mum’ kisses the young man on his forehead and ambles away.
“Thank you, Detective Derek…err Dirk Softly for meeting me here. My Uncle Zipathormus spoke highly of your investigation skills. If you succeed, I will richly reward you”
You look deeply into his anxious, pale, round face, and your skepticism shows. “I am well connected, as you see, and soon I shall be a most powerful wizard. You shan’t regret it. You know - I would be a full wizard now if I hadn’t tried to reverse an ancient family curse in my last year at uni. The dread Kobold of Jearr needed for the rite bit me, and the cursed infection still had me bed bound by exam week. I have studied - but the poisonous effects still ache. It weakens my concentration. I need but one thing to be assured of my place in the Enchanter’s Guild.”
“What is it you need, Master Wizard? Hair from the Kobold that bit you?”
He winces a little, but continues. “I need cocoa.”
You start rummaging in your backpack, pleased to have this over so quickly.
“No, no, no. Not the Miss Griff packets from FrobozzCo. You know, the real thing. I have need of Frobozz’s Magic Cocoa of Concentration…the kind Dungeonmaster Dalboz is said to have perfected…”
You look blank. You could draw this look on a piece of paper and everyone would agree you drew a blank.
The black magical sheep of Flatheadia‘s most exclusive clan waves a gilt-edged cookbook at you. “It’s right here in the special Atrii edition of "Gluttonous Recipes of the Fat and Unemployed," you know?”
An ornate bookmark marks the relevant spell. Now you know, and you’re not happy. In fact you are already exasperated, “And You know that digging for Flatheadia Fudge is still very illegal, right?”
“Its still technically illegal to loot Pheebor too”
“It’s a ruin! Everyone‘s looking through it!”
“Laws in GUE haven’t kept up with the times. We both know that…You know- It’s a sad business but even if everyone else is scavenging for treasure in Pheebor or Antharia you can still be arrested if the guardsmen catch you at it…”
He’s right, of course. The vast majority of GUE’s laws are still hopelessly outdated, probably because the updating committee still hasn‘t got through backlog from Dimwit Flathead‘s reign. This is a point you could easily argue if you got caught with the illicit fudge, which probably won’t happen anyway. Besides, who could let such a wonderful Lady down. His Mum is counting on you…
You know you will go. What you know best is that you don’t want to hear the phrase “you know” one more time…
“Fine, fine. What else am I looking for…”
Please -just look for Frobozz’s Fudge. That’s the one we can’t send the servants to get. They won’t go near the former capital, Flatheadia. Family curse, you know. Nothing for you to worry about. I am pretty sure its expired by now. Mum will be scouring the markets for ingredients too, so just return the items as you get them and I will send you a message if we need anything else.
“Thank you, generous adventurer from the bottom of my heart. Concentrating my magic before the next exams will make all the difference. When I win glory - you will win riches. My family will be most grateful”
You hope so.
Stage 1 Flatheadian Fudge - in Frigid River Valley
1. Congratulations! You’ve found this year’s secret location for the annual Camp Egreth Royal Guardsmen’s Convention. They are a happy crowd, and don’t seem to mind sharing a pint or two with ‘their fan.’ (Obviously you couldn’t tell them what you were really here to find.) You comfort yourself, as the first weekend passes you by, that eventually one of these grizzled guards will have seen something useful to your quest, and - on the fourth day, your luck finally changes.
At the day’s biggest banquet one hoary old veteran takes an especial liking to you. While giving you a vigorous head rub he remarks on how glad he is to see someone from your generation looking into honest employment. “So many kids your age went right into treasure hunting after the lay-offs. I know you aren’t like that and it does my heart good to see it.”
“Thank you, sir, but how did you know so quickly?”
“No treasure hunter would be this far from Flatheadia‘s vale, the city ruins, or the other treasure caves of the GUE. You HAD to be looking for us.” You gulp to yourself as the friendly old soldier smiles and says, “Look me up in Miznaport when the retreat is over and I will get you the next watchman’s position that comes open. You have my word.”
“Thank you , Sir!” you reply, as you edge away from him and speed off into the night.
2. You are cccoooollldd..soooo cold you are just about frigid! Why oh why would you ever look for edible fudge in this dreary place? Have you considered learning more from the Encyclopedia Frobozzica before going on?
3. You’ve looked under rocks and down wells, in trees and under hills looking for Frobozz’s dark, sweet magical mess. You’ve found lots of brown squishy things underground.. You’ve found plenty of decayed mushrooms, soggy leather remnants from previous adventurers, and some objects you’d rather put out of your memory as soon as possible, but there is certainly nothing here remotely like the legendary fudge. You are beginning to realize the Capital of Flatheadia was nowhere near this valley of fears.
1. There a scent in the air, in the water, in the trees and on the breeze…like carob or cocoa tea. You’ve still not seen any fudge, but with so much water-like chocolate, you must be on the right trail.
As the afternoon wears on, you know you are getting close.
Not just any old fudge could have created the magic chocolate frogs, the hill of chocolate-covered ants, chocolate turtles swimming in unusually luscious- looking ponds, or the chocolate rabbit you’ve just seen dashing past (muttering at his chocolate watch). Too bad you couldn’t catch any of them, as it is clear the fudge is slowly melting away into the landscape - but the Flatheadian Fudge reserves are said to be huge. There are sure to be whole mounds left beneath the rocky soil. You just need an opening.
2. The trail became rough in the last few hours. Mounds of dirt and leaves have had you clambering up, down, and all around random barriers that appeared on the marked path. But the trouble all became worth it when one particularly angled snag sent you sprawling downhill. Muttering you turned to look at what tripped you and realized you’d found the old highway sign into Flatheadia! Now you know this can’t be the original Flatheadia…that place was what was turned to fudge, but didn’t the old stories say the second city was built on or near the first? You must be so close!
3. You’ve found a former black market distilling operation which purified the fudge ore back into edible confections. The mine shaft is sealed now, and the old King’s seal is intact enough that you don’t dare fool with it, but a few boxes from the enterprise are still hidden in a nearby tree and you snag a few, suspecting you should be able to find another way into the Fudge Mines before too long.
No success could be sweeter than chocolate..and you’ve stumbled into the mother lode!
You were just walking along when the washed out earth beneath you gave way. The sinkhole left you in the lap of luxury. Its dark, rich sweetness commanded your complete attention for a long, long time. Finally you lay back exhausted, but happy, looking into the beneficent night sky. You may have a tummy ache tomorrow, but you are one happy adventurer tonight. You briefly consider keeping this place for yourself, slowly devouring its delicacies as the decades pass, but then a vision of J.D.’s Mum’s sad expression, one delicate bejeweled hand gently supporting her ill son’s brow prompts you to put aside your unworthy thoughts. You pack up as much of the fudge as you can carry, mark directions to this wondrous place in your secret journal with Invisiclue ink and head back toward civilization.
Letter 2 (beginning stage 2)
I cannot thank you enough for the gift of chocolate, dear friend. You know, there is enough to do all I hoped! Mum even baked me delicious fudge cake brownies with the extra. (I shall send you a piece). Sadly, Whithers, Mum’s manservant has been less successful. He has heard of some underground witches who obtained a rather large jar of Hotbugs but refuses to negotiate with ‘scarlet women.’ I must say, I found his attitude presumptuous as I found he has not met them before and, therefore, can have no idea what color their dresses might be. In any case, we still have need of your services.
J.D.F. XIII Wizard 8th Form
Stage 2 Antharian Cave Witches were said to have bought the last jar of Hotbugs (Antharia Caves)
1 hhmm… It really wasn’t much of a clue. Zork has Enchantresses everywhere, swamps, forests, at the corner markets. Aha! Another dark-as-cave witches’ hut. Looks like this one is made of lima beans. Yecch! You use the corncob knocker to get the old Dear’s attention..
You hear “Hee hee hee” as the elderly crone opens her door and looks you over. “You are a healthy young one, aren’t you? Better to stop here than to stop at Old Anniss’ hut, eh? She’s got cookies and candy all over the place. She’s evil, evil I tell you...ruining kids teeth and diets like that. ” She motions toward the table and you set your traveller‘s pack beside it, gratefully taking a chair. “All the childhood obesity problems we have and she wants to give them processed sugar treats and chocolate for breakfast. What’s the GUE coming to, I ask you?” You smile nervously and nod agreement. You couldn’t get a word in to disagree with a sharpened chisel. She continues to ramble on about the ridiculously high prices of organic foods and wheat bran, and the need for alternate food sources. You perk up at this, perhaps she’s the one using Hotbugs after all.
“Come have a healthy lunch with ole Granny and tell her all about your quest. I will be glad to help, for a reasonab…what’s this???” You turn and see Granny holding your secret stash of fudge brownies…oohh …dear…
Half an hour later, you struggle to the top of the ridge and watch your latest guess go up in a greenish smoke that smells remarkably like succotash. Two random explosions go off and you wince, hoping those weren’t …no, thank goodness…those were just her emerald slippers.
2. You thought it was rather odd when you muttered over the clues to yourself and the next patch of gravel formed an arrow pointing back the way you came. Even odder was the moment you realized that the whisperings and giggles you heard when you told yourself how close you must be - were coming from area boulders. Now some rocks with faces are muttering things like “Go back!”
“This path leads to certain destruction!”
“Don’t you know what a stalagmite looks like, dummy?”
Just what are they trying to get across anyway?
3. After much struggling and mighty monster slaying, you reach a dead end. Thankfully, it was more of a dead end for the monster who opposed you here, but there‘s definitely no way forward that remotely resembles a pathway toward the underground witches. You throw aside the latest monster’s heavy bulk and reconsider your plan. Maybe you should ask Antharia Jack if he has seen anything? You need buy more bandages anyway.
1. Underground..check…witches supposed to live here check..or rather not check yet, since you haven’t heard a single cackle - but at least this is where they were supposed to have been. There’s certain to be a clue to their current whereabouts somewhere down here.
2. You follow a trail of snail slime, to a snail happily gunking up some ginger cookie crumbs. You then follow the remaining crumbs to a happily snacking rat of unusual size. After slaying it, you follow its not inconsiderable rodent pellets back to an opening where the moonlight streams down from high above onto an ancient altar. As you look around you see that niches have been cut into the walls…sort of monoliths in relief.
Bits of old sandwiches, fruit pits, herbal tea grounds, and cookie crumbles bear witness to what must have been a glorious picnic. A beribboned maypole leans inside one of the niches that is clearly being used as a supply closet out of season. You rummage through the remaining boxes and jars for enough oil to refill your lanterns. In one box you find receipts listing newt’s eyes, 3 new cauldrons, a bale of hay for new brooms, and bolts of hat-quality felt. On one particularly sulfurous- smelling bit of parchment there is a listing for 6 cans of brimstone AND a jar of Hotbugs. This is it! This is where Antharia Cave Witches met the Devil’s salesmen!
After refueling, you follow the disturbed dust and muddy footprints into the bowels of the earth. They can’t be far now!
3. “You are here” says the sign…and so you are. Way down in the depths you’ve come to a fork in the tunnels with this helpful sign indicating that a variety of underworld denizens are not too much further on. The fork - or is it a trident- points down one wide, smooth path, a short passage leads nearly directly up to a ledge that seems to have a narrow chimney in it. The only way you could use that would be to dump your entire load -including lantern- and pray not to meet a grue. Another tunnel leads toward what must be water. You go down a little way and hear it sloshing. Finally you try a tunnel that has stalagmites…(or are they stalactites)…with unusual square bases at the entrance. Yes, this must be the way.
At the end, you find an elevator shaft with a plaque nearby that tells you, in its lower right-hand corner, that the “Antharian Enchantress Society” is on the 337th floor. Unfortunately, the elevator seems to be broken. At least you know you are close. You assume you are, as you have already gone a long way under ground, but the portion of the plaque marking what floor you are on is discolored beyond usability. You search around for a service staircase and finally find one spiraling down around an enormous pit. Peering into the darkness you think you can see lights waayy below, as well as openings to other tunnels and areas. Searching this will take awhile, but one of these communities must be theirs. You hope your supplies will hold out until you get there.
You finally stumble into the Antharian Witch community just as they were setting down to tea. To your considerable relief, they are pleased to see you and invite you to partake of the goodies. You begin negotiations as soon as the last sponge cakes are eaten.
They listen carefully to your story. Afterward they draw aside into a veiled cave, and you hear a vigorous but indistinct debate. Finally, they return to the table, and their leader, Izah responds in her silky voice, “Traveler, we have little need of your zorkmids or treasures. The Cavern provides all we need…” your face begins to fall at these words, but Izah puts her white little hand on yours and smiles as you look up. “However, we know of ways you could be of service to us. If we are pleased with your work, perhaps you will receive what you seek.”
Within a few minutes you find yourself running up ladders changing glass ‘bulbs’ to make light ‘flowers’ - nailing up loose shelves, repairing sinks, and generally doing an amazing amount of maintenance all over the cavern.
As you bustle around, moving furniture, and chopping wood, you note that several of the witches do indeed have red as a prominent color in their apparel. It looks rather nice on them. You wonder why Whithers disliked red dresses so much. You shrug to yourself. Its not your problem.
At the end of your labours, the cavern is much brighter, the elevator works, and the Antharian witches are openly suggesting to their leader that the no-outsiders rule was more of a guideline really. Witch Izah looks sufficiently upset by this to give you the entire jar of Hotbugs, staving off any chance of your remaining to earn more of them.
You are blind-folded again and led up, up, up… and through the darkness… the blindfold melts away on its own as you take in your new surroundings. It seems you have been deposited at the end of a tourist group, exploring a safer end of the cavern. You enjoy the lecturer’s explanation of the difference between stalagmites (g = ground) and stalactites (c = ceiling), and afterward a quite decent lunch in the cavern cafeteria, covered by the tourism agent leading the party who seems to have been magicked into thinking you had pre-paid.
If quests were always this pleasant, you’d go on them all the time!
Stage 3 Hungus Lard in Tidal Flats (mistaken for Ambergris)
Thank you again, worthy adventurer! The jar of Hotbugs is keeping my cottage warm and snug. Already my health is much improved. I hope I shall not have to use all of them when the time comes. Regrettably, we are not yet at our goal. None of the markets here or near Mum’s have Hungus Lard. You know the stuff. Merchants here in Gurth have heard of it too, but aside from mentioning that its not truly from a Hungus, they have not been able to give us many leads. One waterman at the local bar volunteered his finding of some unusually smelly ‘ambergrease.’ I quote the worthy sailor below:
“Usually it be smellin’ better by the third week, but not this goop. Must be from the Gar Banzo whale. Their gas problem be summat fierce, I hear. Blows ’em plain onto the shoreline mud! That be where I’d found it. Ya, and where I left it too. Phew! Mebbe its what you landlubbers be looking’ for?”
Not much of a lead, I fear, but it’s the best I have been able to obtain.
J.D.F. XIII Wizard 8th Form
1. You consider what you should be seeing right now..a dead whale on a spit of flat shoreline. The smell should be most wretched, not sweet and fragrant, as it seems at present. This is a wonderful spot for a picnic, but its not getting you any closer to winning your quest.
2. You explore every tidal pool, every flat rock, and every -yecch- pile of stinky waxy stuff. The last pile apparently came from a troll’s ear. A small voice whispers to you that you should re-examine your clues.
3. You look for any sign of mud in the shoreline. Nada. All sand. No whales in sight either, dead or alive. Face it - this can’t be the right beach. Its not flat enough, for one thing.
1. You pick over your crab dinner and consider the smell that nearly ruined it for you. Its not unusual for sea life to beach itself, but this odor, faint as it still is, smells more like the rotting barnyard than any salt-based organism you’ve ever seen. That sailor may be on the right track.
2. You take in the reek of the beached Gar Banzo whale carcass…and then sniff the air upwind. Both are very smelly, but the upwind scent is nasty in its own special Hungus way. Keep going!
3. You happen on a pile of waxy amber gris, but it really doesn’t smell that bad. You know some perfumers and chandlers would be glad to take some of this off your hands. Too bad the sailor had such a weak…the breeze picks up again and promptly informs you that the dreadful odor is still beyond your reach. Oh.
You finish collecting your samples, mail them to your post box in town, and travel on.
Whew! What a smell! You thought you were close before, but when that warm breeze hit just right, you thought you’d lose your lunch. You thank the deity of your choice for that Anti-Nausea Charm salesperson you encountered early in the day. Its got to be Hungus Lard too, because every Quelbee in the area has been fleeing inland.
The mound of stinky-ness lays in the tidal pool, extinguishing any small life form that dares to draw near. You have found a mysterious pile of Hungus Lard! Its obviously rare stuff - and magically potent -so here’s a question - do you take just enough for the recipe or take extra to sell to magic merchants?
Suddenly your stomach churns again. Oh no! Its been hours! You forgot to ask how long the charm lasts. You scoop up a bunch - guessing generously at what the recipe required and start running for the nearest mailbox.
Stage 4 Quelbee honey in Frotzen Fields
Thank you for coming through once again. Find enclosed a portion of the Hungus Lard you so thoughtfully mailed to us express. You should be able to return it by mail. We have persuaded the postman to continue bringing packages, though it took a substantial tip and the last of my brownies. Any chance you could…you know…well…never mind for now. We are almost there! Just an ingredient or two more!
As you know, Quelbees have not been hard to find, but after scores of servants and employees have returned with hands empty of all but welts, we are forced to call upon your legendary expertise once again. As to where to look, a delirious Whithers had a note in his pocket. It seems clear enough. I have wrapped it around the chunk of Hungus Lard.
J.D.F. XIII, Wizard 8th Form
The note has been largely eaten away by the lard, but what you can still read says “Found the hive ___ minds if you get clos_ ____ ___ tacked by __elbe__ in F___ ie___ meadow: The smoker no good for Quelb__ __ese old lungs, __ilad_ Suggest you send the y____ool
[translation. Found the hive but it minds if you get close. I was soon attacked by the Quelbees in Frotzen Field meadow. The Smoker no good for Quelbees or these old lungs, Milady. Suggest you send the young fool.]
1. Why do bees hum? Because they have forgotten the words! Haha! You crack yourself up. Seriously though, have you seen any flowers in the fields here that a Quelbee could use to make honey? Thought not.
2. No Bee-gonias here! Hehe You should be-gone to places more likely to feed a Bee colony. You might want to check that note again. Looks like the there may have been a proper name in it
3. You are just wandering around humming to yourself when you stumble over a root and drop your note from Whithers. Hey you’re a Fumble Bee-quest-person-thingy. Anyway, this isn’t the place, Fritz.
1. Hello, honey! You snuffle up the beautiful flowers and nearly inhale a Quelbee along with it. Happily it decides your presence is none of its buzzness and flees at the first smell of you. Time to follow…
2. It’s a lovely afternoon. You are very bored, and so you start singing to yourself
“You'll send a curse on me when the west wind moves
Upon the fields of Frotzen
You'll forget the time we ate Quendor pie
As we waltzed through fields of gold
I never forget my shovel…
or where I left my helmet off..
but I swear in the days still left to steal some Quelbee gold…”
You stop and look up at a horrendously LARGE Quelbee, grinning away at you madly. Oh right! They LOVE Stung here.
You approach to ask it some questions but the wind abruptly changes and it flees from your Hungusly bad ‘star power.’ Wow. Can you just imagine how much honey that insect could make? You have just got to find the hive this bee came from…
3. The path bee-fore you grows ever noisier.. Hhuuummm…I think you must be getting very close indeed.
You pick up a smoker on the pathway toward a particularly lovely rose bush. On a whim, you follow the largest rose’s pointing petal to a jacket in the distance. You pick it up and find it is emblazoned with the crest of your employers. Oh my! It has been ruined by any number of punctures. No wonder Whithers was ill. Dropping the well-aerated rags, you notice the foot falls in one direction walk and seem to be running in the other. Doesn’t take an Einstein to realize which way you should be heading.
Just the same you are going to follow the walking feet to the Quelbee hive.
You knew when you heard the buzzing like a swarm of…well, its pretty obvious you’ve found the nest. The Quelbees have found you too, but thanks to the wonders of Hungus Lard, they don’t dare come anywhere close. Now- you could throw the whole lard chunk into the nest, but how to remain unstung when the last defenders flee from it?
You sit and ponder the point…and the points on the bottoms of those Quelbees for a bit. Aha! You have it! Using only half the lard, you add it to the smoker you found earlier. The ponderously stench-y smoke proves to be very effective, and you are able to thoroughly plunder the nest and retreat with your precious cargo with no trouble - as long as you don’t count the damage to your lungs and your nasal passages, and the fact that every bit of clothing you own now smells as though a thousand hunguses have been your constant companions since your early childhood.
Stage 5 Moss in Ruins of Pheebor (optional…seriously)
Dear Detective Softly,
We are almost done! But- as you may have surmised, there has been a slight hitch. The test batch of cocoa was not entirely successful. Since the only substitution was the mossy growth from my bathing room, instead of the usual Borphee blue-green moss from the great aqueduct pipes of yore, this must be the culprit. I would go and get it - but the altered cocoa has filled my cottage with friendly purple yipples, visible only to myself. While these powers are enjoyable, I must be here to let the little darlings out every hour or so or my cottage would soon be ruined. You understand. Please bring the moss back to Gurth as soon as possible. Exams begin again on Mud Day next.
J. D. F. XIII, Wizard 8th Form
1. “Borphee is long gone,” you mutter to yourself. “Why would any nutter expect to get me to find a special moss that grew only in its river?” Why indeed. The city is gone. It isn’t like the river and the moss are still there…Oh...wait a minute…
2. Bored out of your gourd as you plod along - you start playing with sounds of Borphee “bore fee boar fu berr free boor.” All at once you stop and look up...was there in clue in there? Nah.. Must be your imagination.
3. Whatever happened to old Borphee anyway, you wonder, hacking through the 29th hedge of the morning. Maybe you should have checked the ole Encyclopedia Frobozzica the last time you wandered through Irondune
1. “Borphee‘s path lays over the ocean, and some of it lays under the sea, but while the river Borphee’s still flowing, it won’t bring back Borphee to me”
A fisherman applauds your impromptu performance. You blush a bit, but recover your wits before he leaves to ask him if he has ever seen the Borphee moss on the river banks around here.
“It’s really a cave moss. You know that, right? The spores come out of the Phee river source. They only grow up here on the drainpipes in the city ruins and aqueducts. They must like whatever they used to make them. Look around near the cities and you’re bound to find some.”
You thank Ben Fyshin III for the encouragement. You guessed right. This is the place to look!
2. An old map found in a ruined shop confirms what the Ben told you about the Phee River and Borphee. The river comes from Pheebor, and there are pipes all over the place. So far all the indoor plumbing has been clean and dry…or at least dry. Maybe if you poured some river water on a pipe and came back in awhile? Oh right...those exams are starting next week.
3. Aha! The sailor was right! The same river was fed into the aqueducts and pipes of both cities. The same moss does grow in Pheebor. You can see some blue moss in the river below growing on an old pipe from your vantage up here in the Pheebor’s tower ruins. Its 100 feet below on jagged rocks, but its there. Now all you have to do is find a live pipe and you’ll be smoking’!
After clambering around the waterside of Pheebor ruins only to find pipe after pipe has broken over the years, you have another bright thought… Maybe you should follow where the river water is dripping and see if any water on the old drainage pipes has produced the famous blue-green moss. All you need is for the Borphee water and the pipes to meet, right?
It took some digging (and several outhouse breaks) to follow a trickle of water back from an aqueduct to where the small stream cascaded onto another broken pipe, but you’ve found it at last!
In fact, the heavy blue moss has nearly hidden the drain pipe. The spores alone are making you dizzy. There is no doubt that this is the good stuff, man. You scrape some off with your helmet (storing some in a side pocket for later) and stumble back to Gurth
Ending Event:: Gurth (base)
Its been a long quest, but you reflect that your reward should be a mighty one.
You tread wearily toward the Wizard-to-be’s hut, carrying the helmet of precious blue moss before you.
The young Heir looks much better than the last time you saw him. Evidently even imperfectly made Dalbozzian cocoa can do a world of good. He rushes to you and claims your precious cargo with a delighted smile.
You look around for any sign of yipples, and he notices. “Oh right, you don’t know yet. The yipples left yesterday.”
Well done, indeed! Detective Dirk..Derek..whatever! You know- you have surpassed your reputation! Tis deeds worthy of Antharia Jack himself!”
“Wonderful! Glad to hear you think so…and now, my reward?”
“Will be here very shortly. Mum will be here in the morning, ready to make your treasurer hunter’s chest swell with delight. In the meantime, please be my guest. My fraternity plans a party in a few hours. I want you to be my guest of honor.”
He stops and takes a whiff of you. “Hhmmm.. You may want to change first.”
It’s a terrific evening, all told. The proper Frobozzian/Dalbozzian cocoa is made before the party, allowing your host to wow his noble fellow students with any number of clever tricks, and he credits you repeatedly with saving his career. It’s all a bit premature, in your opinion, but the attention of his classmates is too agreeable for you to argue the point.
Dinner is delightful…course after course of rare roasts, breads, cheeses, and desserts have been catered in. You get an extra chuckle from the decorative jar of ‘rare Quelbee honey’ bought (according to the tag) from the same Gurthian merchant you visited earlier in the week. After the overwhelming repast, you are offered more potent potables than any two Freshmen during Rush week.
Not surprisingly, you wake up in between two purple yipples on your host’s futon. Its about lunchtime, and you’ve missed your host. A note on the door from your obviously still inebriated employer explains that his Mum & Dad taken him off to the University lodge for the final exams.
You stumble about the small cottage looking for a snack, and finally notice the rhythmic thumping of a weight on your chest. Looking down you examine the precious ruby brooch pinned carefully to your shirt.
Well! !Well! Dear Mum did remember you. You wince, remembering what you must have looked like, snoring away on the futon. Its not quite the impression you wished to leave with such an influential couple, but…it was one terrific party.
A jeweler appraises your ruby at [50K-150K] zorkmids. Not bad. But with all the extra treasures you sold from your journey, the total take is closer to a cool [quarter mill!]
Pleasure working for ya, kid.
You earn 250,000 zorkmids